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Russia Issues Dire Warning After US Approves Ukrainian Strikes On Crimea


Russia has issued another stern warning related to further potential Ukrainian attacks on Crimea. “Strikes on this territory are considered by us as an attack on any other region of the Russian Federation. It is important that the United States is fully aware of the Russian response,” Moscow’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, warned Sunday.

This was in response to an earlier weekend statement by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to CNN. He said while speaking from the G7 summit in Japan over the weekend, “we have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory… What we’ve said is that we won’t enable Ukraine with US-systems to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine.”

However, the US has consistently denied that it has OK’d Ukraine using US-supplied advanced weaponry to mount such attacks. 

 Antonov further stated on Telegram in response that “the unconditional approval of strikes on Crimea using American and other Western weapons” alongside the move among Western allies to supply Ukraine with jets “clearly demonstrate that the United States has never been interested in peace.”

He warned the US administration against “thoughtless judgments on Crimea, especially in terms of ‘blessing’ the Kiev regime for air attacks” on the peninsula.

Per Russian state media, other Kremlin officials weighed in even more forcefully, warning that even nuclear disaster could be the result:

Sullivan’s remarks likewise triggered outrage from Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov, who opined that by allowing Ukraine to use US-made planes to target the peninsula, the White House had “agreed to unleashing a nuclear war.”

The official recalled that Crimea hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. “An attack on one of the pillars of Russia’s strategic security legally obliges our country to use all available means to prevent it from being undermined.” 

Russia has also recently accused Ukrainian forces of using UK-supplied long range rockets which are capable of hitting inside Russia.

This is also a cause for concern in terms of possible Russia-NATO direct escalation: “Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of more than 250 kilometers, give Ukraine the capacity to strike well behind Russian front lines and as far as Moscow-occupied Crimea,” US state-funded RFERL underscores, while adding that “British media reports said Kyiv had promised not to use the missiles to strike inside Russia’s territory.”


May 26, 2023 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Belgorod Attacks | Russia Removes Nuclear Warheads From Grayvoron Amid Attacks | Ukraine War

Anti-Russia militias, allegedly run by Ukraine, launched an operation into Russia on May 22 focused on the outskirts of Belgorod.

Anti-Russia militias, namely the Legion “Freedom for Russia” and the RDK (Russian Volunteer Corps), entered the Russian region. These militias mostly comprise of Russians who are now being called “traitors” by Russian Telegram channels. The militias claim to have overrun a border village in Belgorod region and call for an “end to the Kremlin’s dictatorship”. The militia groups called on locals to stay at home and not resist as they fought Russian forces in the region. However, reports say that unless they pull back across the border fairly quickly, the militia troops are likely to be annihilated. The Legion Freedom for Russia said they are trying to create a demilitarised zone to ensure Russian troops can’t shell Ukrainian civilians.

However, some experts believe that this operation had some bigger objectives. Watch this video to know what were the militias objectives and why they may aimed at Russia’s nuclear weapons.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Point Lepreau nuclear power station – too many expensive shutdowns

Ongoing Lepreau maintenance outage is 5th since 2018 to go over budget.

N.B. Power told to get more ‘realistic’ about its nuclear planning and budgeting

Robert Jones · CBC News · May 24, 2023 

N.B. Power is finding itself mired in another slow-moving and pricey maintenance shutdown at the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station after a faulty seal on a pump delayed a restart of the plant last week.

It’s the fifth planned outage at the station since 2018 to hit delays and go over its budget. 

The recurring problem is one that an outside review blames largely on optimism inside N.B. Power that maintenance work at the station will go according to plan — despite years of experience showing it rarely does…………………..

Previous planned outages that dragged on longer than expected in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 cost N.B. Power a combined $202 million more than expected, worsening its already fragile finances.

Utility’s struggles linked to Lepreau maintenance problems

A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers Canada review of N.B. Power operations found planned maintenance outages at Lepreau that went poorly have been a key contributor to the utility’s financial struggles. 

It blamed much of that on rosy expectations inside N.B. Power that fixing issues at the plant will go better in the future than it has in the past……………………………………. more

May 26, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | Leave a comment

French defense minister opposes American takeover of nuclear firm

Economy ministry makes the final ruling.


PARIS — France’s defense minister Sébastien Lecornu said he would veto the takeover of nuclear-submarine parts supplier Segault by American industrial machinery giant Flowserve.

“The defense ministry will veto the loss of operational control over company Segault,” Lecornu told French lawmakers Tuesday evening. “I never announced it publicly, but it’s done,” he said.

“For us it’s simple: we don’t want Segault to be controlled by an American company,” said an official from the defense ministry who was not authorized to be named.

France’s economy ministry, which has the final word on the file, was however quick to stress that no decision had been made. “The foreign investment screening procedure is ongoing,” said a French economy ministry spokesperson, declining to comment on the potential outcome.

While the defense ministry participates in the decision-making, the French economy ministry makes the final ruling.

France-based Segault is currently owned by Canada’s industrial valves group Velan, which is being bought by American industrial machinery giant Flowserve. If the deal goes through, Segault would become American-controlled, raising concerns in Paris’ halls of power that Washington would then have access to strategic French technology.

Paris last month confirmed that it was looking for a French buyer, as the file turned into a test of France’s industrial sovereignty ambitions.

Segault supplies components for nuclear-propelled submarines built by state-owned shipbuilder Naval Group and also makes industrial valves that are used on France’s flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Russia warns about nuclear power war risk

The involvement of the country members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Ukrainian conflict, increases the risk of a war between the nuclear powers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned. May 24, Luis Linares Petrov

NATO nations are rightfully directly involved in the conflict on Kiev’s side, and such an irresponsible line of behavior seriously raises the risk of a direct confrontation between nuclear powers,” Lavrov said during the 11th International Meeting of Senior Security Representatives.

The official added that the West must abandon the attempts to marginalize the United Nations Organization.

“In the interest of reducing international tension, we call on Washington and Brussels to stop making unilateral decisions, undertaking attempts to marginalize the UN and creating structures outside of it with a limited number of members that lack legitimacy, but seeking to dominate everyone else,” he said.

Lavrov went on to note that Western countries deliberately provoke inter-state and inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In line with colonial practices, they intend to continue exploiting the resources of the African continent, and the United States continues to view Latin America and the Caribbean as its “back yard”, and reacts nervously when these countries pursue independent and autonomous policies, Lavrov said.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A grim vision of nuclear warfare in Ukraine

The very real danger of nuclear escalation in Ukraine arises not from a putative Putin decision to win on the battlefield at any cost, but from the West’s constant crossing of its own red lines on military aid to Ukraine. NATO states began by sending large quantities of ammunition, small arms and defensive weaponry, then came long-range howitzers and HIMARs followed by air defence systems, tanks and armoured vehicles. Britain has now supplied Ukraine with long-range missiles capable of hitting a multitude of targets deep in Russia. Next will come F16 fighter jets, flown, perhaps, by western as well as Ukrainian pilots.

By Geoff RobertsMay 24, 2023

In Ukraine, grim visions of a new age of nuclear warfare are the natural counterpart of western hardliners’ march of folly towards the nuclear brink. Thankfully, there is an alternative, one that has been possible since the very beginning of the conflict and now has growing support among Western publics.

The Harvard-based website, Russia Matters, recently published an article by retired Brigadier-General Kevin Ryan with the alarmist but accurate headline ‘Why Putin Will Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine’.

According to Ryan, who served as a US defence attaché in Moscow, Putin’s use of tactical nuclear weapons is all but preordained because Russia does not have the conventional military power to defeat Ukraine.

In support of this supposition, Ryan recycles the well-worn mantras of western wishful thinking about the military situation in Ukraine: Russia is running out of materiel, its troops are of poor quality and Kiev is going to launch an offensive that will decisively turn the tide of the war in its favour.

As Bakhmut falls and Ukraine reels under successive waves of Russian missile strikes on its infrastructure, air defences and ammunition dumps, Ryan’s words ring more than a little hollow.

Most observers see Putin’s nuclear sabre-rattling as an instrument to deter and limit direct western involvement in the war, but Ryan construes it as evidence that Putin is preparing to use tactical nukes to defeat Ukraine’s coming offensive.

While Ryan is right to emphasise that Western decision-makers underestimate the chances of nuclear war in Ukraine, it is their own escalatory policies that constitute the main risk, not the possibility that Putin might decide to authorise the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Ryan rightfully points out that Putin has defined Russia’s proxy war with NATO in Ukraine as existential for the Russian Federation. But does that mean battlefield defeat or the loss of occupied territories in Ukraine will prompt him to press the nuclear button?

Putin has defined the existential threat to Russia as Western aspirations to break-up the Russian Federation and subjugate its peoples. That is the outcome he is pledged to do everything in his power to avert, even if it means risking strategic nuclear war.

Ryan also finds foreboding Putin’s appointment of his General Staff Chief, Valery Gerasimov, as overseer of the ‘Special Military Operation’ in Ukraine, together with the heads of Russian ground and air forces as his deputies. This is worrying, says Ryan, because these three officers control Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons, though he concedes that they can only use them at Putin’s behest. Even so, as the 1962 Cuban missile crisis showed, the risk of unauthorised use of tactical nuclear weapons by local commanders is not to be lightly dismissed.

In the absence of a Stavka (HQ) headed by a military-political Supreme Commander – as was the case with Joseph Stalin during the Great Patriotic War – the aforementioned high command structure is only logical, especially when Gerasimov is also the country’s leading military strategist.

Gerasimov and his team must surely be willing and able to use tactical nuclear weapons should Putin consider it necessary, but their conduct of the actual war signals no such strategy or intention. The low risk, force-conservation grind of Russia’s attrition tactics are, if anything, indicative of a concern to restrict the war to the use of conventional weaponry.

The very real danger of nuclear escalation in Ukraine arises not from a putative Putin decision to win on the battlefield at any cost, but from the West’s constant crossing of its own red lines on military aid to Ukraine. NATO states began by sending large quantities of ammunition, small arms and defensive weaponry, then came long-range howitzers and HIMARs followed by air defence systems, tanks and armoured vehicles. Britain has now supplied Ukraine with long-range missiles capable of hitting a multitude of targets deep in Russia. Next will come F16 fighter jets, flown, perhaps, by western as well as Ukrainian pilots.

Western weapons, technicians, trainers, military planners, intelligence gatherers and special forces have killed or contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers. At some point Putin may well decide to retaliate by stepping on to the escalatory ladder himself, with who knows what consequences if his spilling of American blood leads to a tit-for-tat response from would-be two-term President Joe Biden.

We will know soon enough if Ryan’s prognostications about the future course of the war are correct. But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, he is right and that facing defeat in Crimea or the Donbass, Putin would go nuclear. Surely that means we should redouble efforts to end the war as soon as possible? What sense does it make to continue a proxy war with Russia that, according to Ryan, is leading to Ukraine’s nuclear obliteration?

Pessimism and passivity are the natural allies of Ryan’s alarmism. Far from advocating restraining Ukraine so as to avoid nuclear escalation, Ryan is content for the West to simply “anticipate a nuclear weapon will be used.” And since, according to him, the use of nuclear weapons by Putin is inevitable, the West needs to prepare for a world in which they have been normalised as a weapon of war.

Ryan seems to discount the possibility that the United States would respond to Putin’s use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine by radical escalatory action of its own – a dubious assumption given Professor Joseph M. Siracusa’s recent report from the NATO-funded Tallinn Security Conference, where a high-ranking American official claimed it would be met by a massive US conventional attack on Crimea and on Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

According to Perth-based political scientist, Siracusa, the numerous Western hawks at the conference were gung-ho for throwing gasoline on the fires of the Ukraine war.

Siracusa’s reporting reveals that the true danger of nuclear escalation stems not from what Putin may or may not do, but from the inscribed logic of the western hardline view of the war as a zero-sum game in which either Russia or the West must triumph.

It is not clear to what extent Ryan supports such extremism but his grim vision of a new age of nuclear warfare is the natural counterpart of the western hardliners’ march of folly towards the nuclear brink.

Thankfully, there is an alternative, one that has been possible since the very beginning of the conflict and now has growing support among Western publics: a peace for land deal in which Ukraine concedes already-lost territory to Russia in exchange for security guarantees about its future as an independent, sovereign state. Such a deal would be a bitter pill for Ukrainians to swallow after so much sacrifice, but it would be far better fate than becoming the nuclear wasteland envisaged by General Ryan.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

World’s Biggest Nuclear Plant Kashiwazaki-Kariwa May Stay Closed Due to Papers Left on Car Roof

  • Tokyo Electric says papers missing from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa
  • Power plant has been banned from restarting by regulators

By Shoko Oda, May 23, 2023 

A week after Japanese regulators postponed the restart of the world’s biggest nuclear power plant due to safety lapses, a careless employee working from home added to the company’s woes………… (Subscribers only)

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Court rejects case opposing restart of Miyagi Prefecture nuclear plant

Japan Times. 24 May 23

SENDAI – A district court on Wednesday rejected local residents’ calls to halt the restart of a nuclear reactor in Miyagi Prefecture, ruling their concerns about flaws in emergency evacuation plans are not relevant as it cannot be assumed a serious accident is likely.

The Sendai District Court ruling came as Tohoku Electric Power aims to resume operations at the No. 2 unit of the Onagawa plant in February next year, becoming the first in the area hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami to restart.

“It cannot be assumed that a specific danger of an accident exists that leads to the abnormal release of radioactive materials,” said presiding Judge Mitsuhiro Saito……………………………………..more

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

An Open Letter to the Australian Government from concerned scholars regarding the AUKUS Agreement

By Concerned Academics and ExpertsMay 24, 2023,

We the undersigned are scholars of the humanities and social sciences and other disciplines with expertise in the following issues. We write this open letter to express our concerns regarding the Australia, United Kingdom, United States (AUKUS) trilateral security agreement. Specifically, our concerns relate to pillar one of the agreement, the joint development with the US and the UK of a nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) capability for Australia.

The underlying strategic rationale behind the AUKUS decision has not been adequately explained to the Australian public. Even if it is argued that the SSNs may provide certain capability advantages, the government has not made clear how AUKUS will translate into a safer Australia.

AUKUS will come at a huge financial cost and with great uncertainty of its success. It is likely to compound Australia’s strategic risks, heighten geopolitical tensions, and undermine efforts at nuclear non-proliferation. It puts Australia at odds with our closest neighbours in the region, distracts us from addressing climate change, and risks increasing the threat of nuclear war. Australia’s defence autonomy will only be further eroded because of AUKUS. All of this will be done to support the primacy of an ally whose position in Asia is more fragile than commonly assumed, and whose domestic politics is increasingly unstable

There is no question that a submarine capability is critical for Australia’s defence, particularly for undertaking surveillance and protecting our maritime approaches. The central and critical question, however, is does defending Australia require the offensive long-range power-projection capabilities provided by SSNs?

The answer provided by Defence, and successive Australian governments, has until recently been consistently in the negative. The procurement of French-designed diesel-electric powered submarines, initially sought to replace the ageing Collins-class boats, would be, it was promised, ‘regionally superior’. Now, we are told, it is only the superior attributes of SSNs that fulfil Australia’s defence requirements.

Perhaps this is the case. But Australia should not proceed based solely on these publicly untested assumptions. Peter Varghese, former head of the Office of National Assessments and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, makes the salient point that AUKUS is too momentous a decision to be left to the ‘echo chamber’ of classified discussions. It demands a yet to be had ‘proper and forensic public discussion about other options and their underlying rationale’.

SSNs, it has been proclaimed, are superior vessels when compared to conventionally-powered submarines in terms of stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, endurance, and survivability. This is correct in some respects, but only to an extent, and with important qualifications. Many of the apparent advantages of SSNs are conditional on the specific operational environment, and technological developments may render them less stealthy and effective than defence officials assume.

More importantly, possible superior capabilities alone do not translate into direct defence benefits, and many of the claims made in favour of SSNs enhancing Australia’s security do not survive scrutiny. For example, it’s been argued that the superior speed and endurance of SSNs provides advantages for protecting Australia’s vital shipping routes. However, the volume of our seaborne trade is much too large to patrol effectively, and that which passes through the South China Sea goes mainly to China.

Similarly, the argument that SSNs are required to protect Australia’s undersea communications infrastructure is overstated. Spread across a large geographic area, undersea cables are difficult to protect militarily, vulnerable to attack not only by submarines but also by relatively unsophisticated and cheap underwater technologies.

Significantly, there has been no compelling strategic argument made for why a small number of expensive nuclear-powered submarines confers greater defence advantages rather than a much larger number of cheaper conventionally powered ones.

Whatever the tally of defence benefits that SSNs might offer Australia, they must be carefully weighed against the costs and risks.

With an official estimate of up to $368 billion, almost certain to rise to even greater heights, AUKUS constitutes the most expensive defence procurement in Australian history by a wide margin. Equally importantly, the significant and ongoing opportunity costs and trade-offs this presents for defence and broader social spending are not easily dismissed.

Constructing SSNs will be one of the biggest engineering feats Australia has ever undertaken. There are immense execution risks involved in this effort to build, operate, maintain, and crew eight SSNs, and two types of boat simultaneously – the existing American Virginia-class and the yet to be designed AUKUS-class – with no experience in the management of nuclear-propulsion technology.

The political uncertainly inherent across all three nations, over a period of 10 terms of the Australian government, also raises the risk profile. It seems imprudent to hitch Australia’s most expensive and lethal defence capability to an increasingly uncertain ally that is in relative decline, politically unstable, and exhibiting troubling signs of sliding into an illiberal democracy.

Australia’s future nuclear naval reactors, fuelled by weapons-grade uranium, will not be subject to routine International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards on the grounds of protecting sensitive American military information. Although Australia is in negotiations with the IAEA to develop alternative safeguards, this establishes a troubling precedent for other non-nuclear armed states to exploit, and risks undermining international controls to prevent nuclear proliferation.

Australia’s degree of dependence on the United States to safely operate the SSNs is likely be high and risks the possibility of a US veto over their operation. It may not be wholly unusual for Australia to have limited operational sovereignty of its defence assets, but as former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has remarked, AUKUS takes this dependency to new heights. The pressure to submit this capability to American strategic interests will be almost impossible to resist.

Still, the most significant risks are strategic. The tripartite enterprise risks incorporating Australia into the more offensive-oriented aspects of our American ally’s military strategy in East Asia, most worryingly with respect to nuclear warfare. AUKUS will equip Australia with a potent capability to strike Chinese naval forces close to their home ports and, in coalition with the US, play a frontline role in hunting China’s nuclear-armed submarine force and its second-strike nuclear deterrent capability. ‘For this reason alone’, warns the Australia Institute’s International and Security Affairs head, Allan Behm, ‘China will view Australia’s decision as a wilful contribution to an existential nuclear threat to China’.

Many of our closest neighbours in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific have expressed concerns that the agreement will heighten geopolitical tensions, contribute to a regional arms race, and undermine nuclear non-proliferation. Such criticism reflects that AUKUS is at odds with regional desires to achieve a peaceful and balanced strategic order, and with the deep antinuclear sentiment that is an especially central element of Pacific regionalism.

Pacific island states have made clear that their primary and immediate security concern is climate change, and expressed the view that AUKUS indicates a lack of serious commitment from Australia in helping them to deal with that risk. Pacific voices should remind us that we too are facing a first-order strategic threat from climate change, and AUKUS serves as a distraction from addressing that critical threat to our security.

Put simply, the public case for AUKUS has yet to be made with any degree of rigour or reliability. The government must justify how the agreement will make Australia safer and at an acceptable cost. We the undersigned call on the government not to proceed with pillar one of AUKUS until and unless the questions and issues raised in this letter are adequately explained and addressed.

Signatories (as of 23 May 2023): (There’s a lot of them – here

Continue reading

May 26, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

After AP report, Iran’s nuclear chief says Tehran to cooperate with inspectors on ‘new activities’

The head of Iran’s nuclear program is insisting that his nation will cooperate with international inspectors on any “new activities” regarding its nuclear sector

abc news, ByJON GAMBRELL Associated Press, May 24, 2023

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The head of Iran’s nuclear program insisted Wednesday that his government would cooperate with international inspectors on any “new activities.” His statement followed an exclusive Associated Press report about Tehran’s new underground tunnel system near a nuclear enrichment facility.

The AP outlined this week how deep inside a mountain, the new tunnels near the Natanz facility are likely beyond the range of a last-ditch U.S. weapon designed to destroy such sites…………………. more

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

South Korean nuclear experts to tour Fukushima plant amid water concerns

Japan Times, BY ERIC JOHNSTON. STAFF WRITER. May 22, 2023

A team of South Korean experts arrived in Japan on Sunday for an unprecedented six-day visit that will include a trip on Tuesday to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, where the government is planning to release treated water into the ocean as part of a decadeslong decommissioning process.

Concerned about the aftereffects of the March 2011 nuclear disaster, South Korea continues to uphold a ban on seafood and marine imports from the area around the Fukushima No. 1 plant, despite Japanese government insistence the food is safe.

Nuclear Safety and Security Commission Chairperson Yoo Guk-hee is heading a 21-member team of government experts, who on Monday met with nuclear officials from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco) and various government agencies that oversee Japan’s nuclear power industry. They will tour the plant on Tuesday and Wednesday, paying particular attention to Japan’s plans to discharge treated water, currently being stored at Fukushima No. 1, into the ocean…………….

May 26, 2023 Posted by | politics international, South Korea, water | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – Why nuclear power accelerates carbon emissions  Kayla Ente on 21/04/2023 These carbon emissions have already been absorbed in the atmosphere, long before the plant starts producing electricity. Renewable sources of energy (like the three windfarms in Kent powering 400,000 homes) are cheaper, come with much less associated environmental destruction, and have a carbon footprint a fraction of the carbon emissions produced by the concrete footprint of nuclear power.

by Kayla Ente on 21/04/2023

In August 2018, Prof Andy Stirling and Dr Phil Johnstone published their working paper exposing the link between the fissile material produced by nuclear power plants and its importance for military purposes, where depleted uranium is used in weaponry and in submarines1.

The British government now openly admits that the taxpayer subsidises nuclear used for military purposes in our energy bills2. This is the motivation behind the ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) funding model proposed by the Government to finance new nuclear power.  We will all pay for the construction of new nuclear power plants through higher energy bills.    

Nuclear power is expensive, toxic and there is no solution for its long term storage. It is powerfully destructive, not only for its use in weaponry, but also leads to an increase in levels of radioactive materials in the air, as has been measured at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Aldermaston3.

As cancer rates in the UK rise to unprecedented heights, access to health care declines, and more people and businesses cannot afford to pay their energy bills, one must question the wisdom of UK energy policy and how it is manipulated to our detriment.

Hinkley Point C will produce 25TWh of electricity per year. As the electricity is produced whether there is demand for it or not, because a nuclear power plant cannot be switched off spontaneously, the present system of financing means that the taxpayer will fund the wastage that occurs on the grid when nuclear powered electricity generated is not used.

Historically, approximately 64% of energy produced by the centralised energy generation and transmission system has been wasted4.  This happens in the production of electricity – the efficiency of the plants themselves, the heat generated that is wasted and the transmission and distribution of electricity across the country.  Therefore, the projected carbon emissions savings are overstated because most of the electricity produced is not used, or worse, clean renewable power is switched off to manage oversupply of electricity on the grid.

Construction on the 3.26GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset began in 2016. Unprecedented feats of engineering have been achieved during the process, of which engineers are rightly proud.

In total, 74,600 tonnes of concrete has been poured to construct its base, the four intake heads and two outfall heads. 3km of cement tunnels have been constructed to expel the cooling water for the plant into the Bristol Channel. 

These carbon emissions have already been absorbed in the atmosphere, long before the plant starts producing electricity. Renewable sources of energy (like the three windfarms in Kent powering 400,000 homes) are cheaper, come with much less associated environmental destruction, and have a carbon footprint a fraction of the carbon emissions produced by the concrete footprint of nuclear power.

The newest nuclear renaissance, “Great British Nuclear”  is part of the government’s efforts to include nuclear power in the UK green taxonomy, i.e. that nuclear power is considered to be “environmentally sustainable”. Many see this as part of the government’s attempts to defer important investment away from wind and solar power developments (combined with investment in grid scale energy storage to ensure reliability). Because wind and solar power are the cheapest source of electricity, they embed affordability into our self sufficient energy future. They also bring higher gross value added to government accounts, as opposed to investments in carbon capture and storage which only add to the cost of generation, just to continue burning fossil fuels.

By focusing efforts on investing in partnerships with other NATO aligned countries (the USA spends $840 billion every year on its “defence” programme) in the spirit of Brexit, this government irresponsibly spends taxpayer’s money on programmes that maintain business as usual to burn fossil fuels and promote nuclear power instead of protecting its people during times of unprecedented suffering in social care, health care and energy security.

BHESCo have been saying for years that new nuclear power is a bad deal for the UK taxpayer and for the planet. Our Government should be directing its investment towards a national energy efficiency improvement campaign while encouraging the development of clean, renewable energy generation and energy storage.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment