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SCANDAL!! Norways NGO Bellona uncovers secret nuclear deals at the experimental thorium reactor complex in Norway

“….The Halden reactor’s own ethical guidelines state that it will not “export technology or materials that can be used for another nation’s military capacity without export permits from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Norwegian daily VG reported…..”

security-officer-1

Charles Digges,

11 September-2013

http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2013/halden_scandal

A major Norwegian nuclear technology institute has, as the result of Bellona legal pressure, admitted it has carelessly shared nuclear fuel technologies with other countries in contravention of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s regulations guiding the release of such sensitive information.

As a result of a police report filed in May by Bellona general director and nuclear physicist Nils Bøhmer, Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) – which runs the country’s Halden research reactor – has come clean that it should have handled several research agreements, some involving foreign militaries via the appropriate channels.

The unique qualities of the Halden reactor allow for a wide array of nuclear experiments that can have direct military applications, said Bøhmer. Research contracts with the Halden reactor are therefore overseen by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with international non-proliferation principles.

The Halden reactor’s own ethical guidelines state that it will not

“export technology or materials that can be used for another nation’s military capacity without export permits from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” the Norwegian daily VG reported.

The nuclear research in question involves developing fuel for nuclear submarines that can last substantially longer than traditional fuels, thus allowing military submarines to remain at sea for greater lengths of time without refueling.

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Bellona’s Nils Bøhmer.
Tone foss aspevoll/bellona

According to Bøhmer, that research is likely now in the hands of Russia, the US, Brazil, Argentina, and France.

The agreements the IFE has secured with nuclear research institutes in these countries circumvent Foreign Affairs Ministry approval as well as Halden’s own stated policies, said Bøhmer.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign affairs confirmed it had not received any documents pertaining to the deal in place between IFE and Brazil before the case was brought to its attention by Bellona and newspaper reports in late spring.

On May 12, the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo reported that the Halden reactor was carrying out so-called irradiation tests for Brazil’s navy as part of the development of the country’s first generation of nuclear submarines, VG reported. The first of these submarines is to be commissioned in 2023.

The IFE emphasized that no uranium fuel was ever to be exported, only reports on the experiments.

Deal sailed under the radar for two years

According to the VG report, the deal between the IFE and Brazil has been in effect for two years prior to its discovery.

According to Bøhmer, “the IFE seems to be selling know-how to the highest bidder” without regard to its possible military application.

This is especially dicey, he said, in the hands of non-NATO bloc nations, such as Russia and Brazil and Argentina.

“Research handling is out of control,” said Bøhmer, who noted that several other stop gaps, such as Norwegian Minister for Trade and Industry, Trond Giske, should have red-flagged the research sharing deals.  The Ministry for Trade and Industry oversees IFE.

“What happens at the IFE is [Giske’s] responsibility, but did he know what kind of research the institute was participating in?

Have all customers been civilian?” said Bøhmer. “There is every reason to question the common sense of these scientists when they wait until the case comes out in the media before applying permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The allegations that the IFE skirted Ministry of Foreign Affairs approval for the export of nuclear technological know-how, which could be used for military purposes are currently under investigation.

If found guilty it could lead to fines and even jail time for IFE upper brass, Bøhmer said Tuesday.

Continue reading

September 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Norway begin experiment with Thorium in Nuclear Reactor near Oslo -Why bother?

From the comments on December 13 2012 said: (Article correction)

“Thorium will never be a replacement for uranium because it is not fissile, it is fertile.”
This is obvious when you look at how thorium works in a reactor: Thorium-232 + neutron -> Thorium-233 which beta decays to Protactinium-233 which then also beta decays to Uranium-233. U-233 is fissile and is what is fissioned to produce heat and more neutrons.

So, using Thorium does not change the fact that Uranium is still fissioning to produce heat. 

Another thing, a reactor that is going to use Th to produce heat (through the reaction above) needs a load of fissile to produce neutrons to start the reaction above. Therefore, unless you use pure U-235 or U-233 with no U-238 to start the reactor, you will produce Pu [Plutonium]. Assuming an initial U-235/238 fissile load, you must reprocess the spent fuel and stick it in a fast reactor or you will still end up with long lived transuranics.

The benefits you attribute to thorium mainly arise when it is used in a Molten Salt Reactor with re-processing.”

By Joao Peixe | Wed, 12 December 2012

Norway is the biggest oil producer in Europe, and the 13th largest producer in the world, yet this fact does not stop it from pursing an alternative source of energy for producing electricity domestically.

That is not to say that it will dump fossil fuels, the energy switch that it is hoping to make is from uranium nuclear power plants, to thorium nuclear power plants.

Thor Energy will team up with the Norwegian government and Westinghouse of the US to begin a four year test which will determine whether or not thorium is a viable alternative to uranium. The test will occur at the government controlled nuclear reactor in Halden.

For decades supporters of thorium have argued that it is superior to uranium in every way, yet nearly all of the world’s nuclear reactors have been designed around uranium. Thorium reacts more efficiently than uranium, the resultant radioactive waste has a much shorter half-life, due to its very high melting point nuclear meltdowns are impossible, and no plutonium is produced in the reaction, therefore it cannot be used to create nuclear weapons.

Whilst many proclaim that molten salt reactors are the best type of reactor for thorium fuel, none currently exist or have received regulatory approval. Thor Energy will test the thorium in a heavy water reactor at Halden. The reaction may not be as efficient as possible, but for the fact that the reactor has already been officially approved the testing can begin right away rather than waiting years for a molten salt reactor to be built, checked and approved.

Really what the Norwegians will be looking to determine is whether or not the benefits of using thorium justify the cost of switching to it as a fuel source.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Norway-Begin-Testing-Thorium-in-Nuclear-Reactors.html

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No, thorium nuclear power is still not a viable energy technology

There’s little reason to consider thorium, molten salt reactors and Gates’ “traveling wave” TerraPower technology when considering the future of energy. We have solutions today. They may be boring and low-tech, but they are cheap, fast to build, reliable, predictable, and have incredibly low negative externalities.

CleanTechnica‘s policy will be to continue to ignore them in favor of the actually transformative technologies reshaping our world for the better.  

Why Thorium Nuclear Isn’t Featured on CleanTechnica Redux, https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/30/why-thorium-nuclear-isnt-featured-on-cleantechnica-redux/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter   30 Oct 19, Seven years ago, CleanTechnica published its policy position to not cover thorium nuclear reactors. Today, the United States has a Democratic presidential candidate in the top 10 who loves thorium, yet CleanTechnica still ignores it. Why is that? Continue reading

October 31, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, thorium | Leave a comment

The secret meltdown in Norway is stepping in Fukushima footsteps! Iodine 131 in Europe again! #IAEA #UNSCEAR

a-never-ending-story-2017

Just a quick forward to this article from Bellona.org. Bellona is a Norwegian based NGO  specialists in nuclear waste cleanup and safety. Both Nils Bohmer and Charles William Digges were in Tokyo within the first days of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and offered their services and high specification radiation detection equipment to the Japanese government to measure the all important first days releases from the nuclear disaster of 2011.

These early measurements would have been crucial and also a requirement of the IAEA`s safety protocols (post Chernobyl) to ascertain the likely heath impacts to the surrounding areas to the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown disaster. The Japanese government refused their kind offer and it was another 2 years before Nils and Charles could get to the Fukushima disaster site.

This lack of nuclear safety culture and cover up was mentioned in the official IAEA Fukushima accident report and it seems also ignored by the Halden management.

190a5d55d35ac5975a14cfd7ee0b1670

So, this couldnt happen again could it? Well it has no only happened again but there was no media reporting of the October 2016 meltdown (ongoing) that is producing iodine 131 and hydrogen to either the Norwegian public nor Bellona (that is based in Oslo Norway just north of the Halden Thorium Research reactor) until Bellona were contacted by myself (Shaun McGee arclight2011 the blogger) only a week ago asking for clarification of the safety of the melted fuel rods and radiation emission status.

Nils has seen fit to make a report on the few facts he could glean. No early radiation measurements to this disaster have been released except that EURDEP has some gaps in its radiation data from the Halden and Oslo radiation monitors even from as late as February 2017 (Screenshots from EURDEP radiation mapping EU below);

And Sweden ;

Screenshot from 2017-03-05 15:23:45.png

Here is a statement from Nils Bohmer from Bellona on this nuclear situation and some of the history and facts he has been able to get an update on;

Norway’s Halden Reactor: A poor safety culture and a history of near misses

haldenreactor Inside the Halden reactor before the meltdown. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Are those who operate Norway’s only nuclear research reactor taking its safety seriously? A new report raises concerns.

October 25th brought reports that there was a release of radioactive iodine from the Halden Reactor. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority subsequently withdrew the reactor’s operating license from the Institute for Energy Technology. The NRPA has pointed out several issues the institute must resolve before the reactor goes back online.

It’s not the first time the NRPA has had to issue an order to the IFE. The NRPA had been supervising the IFE since 2014 over its lack of safety culture. The incident in October shows this frame of mind persists.

Reactor cooling blocked

So what happened in October? The iodine emission began when the IFE should have dealt with damaged fuel in the reactor hall. This led to a release of radioactive substances via the ventilation system. The release began on Monday, October 24 at 1:45 pm, but was first reported to the NRPA the next morning.

The next day, the NRPA conducted an unannounced inspection of the IFE. The situation was still unresolved and radioactive released were still ongoing from the reactor hall. The ventilation system was then shut off to limit further releases into the environment.

This, in turn, created more serious problems. When the ventilation system was closed down, the air coming from the process should also have been turned off. Pressurize air kept the valves in the reactor’s cooling system open, which in turn stopped the circulation of cooling water.

‘A very special condition’

In the following days, the NRPA continued to monitor the reactor’s safety, and many repeated questions about the closure of the primary cooling circuit. The IFE initially reported that the situation at the reactor was not “abnormal.” By November 1, the NRPA requested written documentation from the responsible operating and safety managers. A few hours later, the NRPA received notice from the IFE that the reactor was in “a very special condition.”

What that meant was that the IFE had discovered temperature fluctuations in the reactor vessel indicating an increased neutron flux in the core, and with that the danger of hydrogen formation. Bellona would like to note that it was hydrogen formation in the reactor core that led to a series of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

The IFE therefore had to ask the NRPA for permission to open the valves again, even if that meant releasing radiation to the public. The release that followed was, according to the NRPA, within the emission limit values specified in the operating permit.

In Summary

The IFE has been under special supervision by the NRPA, but it doesn’t seem to Bellona that the IFE has taken the requirement for increased reporting nearly seriously enough. It seems they further didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation that arose in October. The IFE either neglected procedures it’s obligated to follow, made insufficient measurements, or failed to report the results satisfactorily.

Bellona is concerned that the reactor core may become unstable by just closing the vents. Hydrogen formation in the reactor core is very serious, as Fukushima showed. The IFE has previously stopped circulation in the primary cooling circuit for, among other things, maintenance while the reactor has been shut down.

fukushimapowerplant3_explosion_031311_after

Those who live around Halden had previously been satisfied with guarantees that the ravine in which the reactor could hermetically seal it off. As the incident in October shows, this guarantee no longer applies.

Nils Bøhmer is Bellona’s general director.

http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-03-norways-halden-reactor-a-poor-safety-culture-and-a-history-of-near-misses

March 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 19 Comments

nuclear-news.net hits 1 million views with a morning rant about Naughty Nuclear Norway!

https://i2.wp.com/www.chilefoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/1mill.jpg

Op-Ed arclight2011

Date 23 March 2014

posted to nuclear-news.net

Dear viewers

Nuclear-news has reached 1 million hits (1,ooo ooo ) after 7 years of hard work by Christina MacPhearson. So, I thought i should let you all know.

I have been wandering the annals of this site after a long stint at Enenews.com where I was able to discover the hidden world of the nuclear lobby. After being invited to join Christina in September 2012, I was able to put my knowledge to the test and research the nuclear industry and its connected industries (military, financial and political) further.

As well as the general research I came into contact with the pro nuclear blogging world where i began to understand the rifts within the nuclear industry such as problems with the ICRP radiation dose advice that is given to the public.

I also discovered the lengths and powers of the nuclear lobby to control the government and indeed this was commented on by the recently deceased UK MP Tony Benn who helped develop Atoms For Peace in the 1950`s. Tony Benn was nicely quoted as saying that the nuclear industry does not submit to government control but is an entity that is separate from government control and highly secretive. This shows the nuclear industry is not a very democratic friendly industry that has little transparency and shows signs of corruption with lax safety practices.

We give thanks to the many independent researchers and scientists for getting their findings and reports on line. This has meant that our understanding of the consequences of the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima Daichi have been uncovered in a way that the consequences of Chernobyl were never uncovered .The events concerning the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been documented using many forms of multi media. And a humble and not so humble network of bloggers and news gatherers has been able to pass this information on to others. I believe this process has been very effective and is likely the reason that so much time and money is being spent on countering these truths.

A nice example of how the game is rigged is seen in Norway, where scientific research and findings were hidden or ignored so that the worst effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster could be hidden. It began when NILU removed its radiation mapping system from public view whilst the connected thorium test nuclear reactor at Halden Norway was implicated with the nuclear military industry. In fact, this was deemed illegal in Norway as funding or supporting nuclear weapons manufacture will get you into court, and it indeed it did gt them into court!

Of course, Norway stepped forward to help the pro nuclear lobby out with another study showing little effect from Chernobyl in Norway with another recent report showing little effect on insects in Fukushima (which was reported in Norway) using only a computer model and ignoring actual field studies an reports with pictures and real data as reported even by the main stream media around the globe in 2012 (but little reported in Norway).

It might be said that a Norwegian Sovereign Fund Group only just recently pulled their investments out of TEPCO at a huge loss (not reported in Norway) followed by other european investors. So Norway had a vested interest to play down the Fukushima disaster with heavy financiers able to manipulate a public owned and paid for service like NILU. In 2012 Norway also helped to promote Japanese Sake. (reported in Norway)

Continue reading

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Whats up with the Thorium reactor supporting Twitter Heads?

arclight-SmOpEd by Arclight2011

Date-  4 March 2014

Posted to nuclear-news.net

Screenshot from 2014-01-07 20:03:20

A brief description of my tweeting experience – Short and sweet! But here is a little breakdown on the issues discussed/tweet linked.

OK! I am grey haired and get my phone hacked a lot so tweeting came a bit late in the day and my interest was stirred after my boss (The dear sweet little old lady blogger who allows me to create mayhem on her blog) was wearing her fingers out tweeting

The subject of all these tweets concerned possible future of dainty little Thorium reactors replacing the nasty big ogre like uranium reactors.

Of course the reason I believe that the push is for thorium

is that the corporations want to keep the nuclear fuel cycle going even if the uranium based reactors get switched off.

For Thorium arguments click here

https://nuclear-news.net/?s=thorium

I would like to concentrate on the nuclear fuel cycle a bit here to underline a Thorium reactors biggest flaw.

The Halden Thorium reactor in Norway for instance is currently running a paper mill and is running on recycled nuclear waste as well as Thorium.

https://nuclear-news.net/2013/09/12/scandal-norways-ngo-bellona-uncovers-secret-nuclear-deals-at-the-experimental-thorium-reactor-complex-in-norway/

The Oslo Fjord has been polluted from time to time from this reactor with mainly Beta bearing radionucldes according to the EURDEP radiation mapping. But the pollution doesnt begin there for the type of fuel that is actually being burnt.

The nuclear waste that is burnt in this reactor starts out as spent fuel rods as well as “hot” nuclear materials. These spent fuel rods are melted in nitric acid and the useful radionuclides are removed.

This spent fuel processing takes place at limited locations and Sellafield in the UK is one such place as well as La Hague in France. NO2 pollution levels are the highest in the UK with the European Union berating the UK for this pollutant that has been increasing over recent years. This pollution has caused real deaths and is a matter of public record.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/20/air-pollution-european-commission-legal-action-uk-nitrogen-dioxide

Of course, the emissions from Sellafield and La Hague comes to some some 4000 T/Bq (admitted) if memory serves me right. Bottom line, it is a lot of liquid and air emissions.

Whilst in London in 2011 and 2012 I found myself with a Gieger counter and during the course of measuring for radioactivity in the air I happened to notice that the NO2 air pollution increased with the radiation readings that I got.

I was able to track this pollution as well as others during 2012 using pollution maps and EURDEP as well as my trusty gieger counter and looking at other gieger readings throughout Europe. These pollutants seem to travel together.

But how could this be covered up? I hear you ask?

Continue reading

March 4, 2014 Posted by | Arclight's Vision | 1 Comment

Norway to commence testing of promising new nuclear fool

“Despite abundant oil reserves which have made Norway one of the world’s most affluent countries on a per capita GDP basis, the Scandinavian nation has always been a strong advocate of nuclear power, no doubt partially due to its extensive thorium deposits.”

Marc Howe | December 14, 2012

The Norwegian government plans to conduct trial usage of the nuclear fuel thorium, considered by many to be one of the most promising future energy sources, at its existing nuclear facilities.



Business Insider reports
 that the Norwegian government will be conducting the trials in collaboration with the USA’s Westinghouse and Norway’s own Thor Energy.

Despite abundant oil reserves which have made Norway one of the world’s most affluent countries on a per capita GDP basis, the Scandinavian nation has always been a strong advocate of nuclear power, no doubt partially due to its extensive thorium deposits.

Thorium was in fact first discovered by a Norwegian mineralogist, who named the radioactive mineral after the Norse god of thunder.

Thorium is touted by many, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates, as a preferable alternative to uranium as a nuclear fuel source. Its key advantages vis-a-vis uranium include greater abundance, improved power generation, less waste, and most crucially the fact that thorium plants are considered to be impervious to meltdowns.

China and India are also currently considering the inclusion of thorium-powered nuclear plants as significant components of their national energy portfolios.

The Norwegian trials will make use of an existing heavy-water nuclear reactor, instead of the molten salt or pebble bed reactors which are considered to be best suited to thorium power generation.

(“thorium power desperation” in my opinion – Arclight)

http://www.mining.com/norway-to-commence-testing-of-promising-new-nuclear-fuel-72358/

 

December 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facts: Thorium fuel not clean, not safe, not commercially viable

 One reason reprocessing thorium fuel cycles haven’t been successful is that uranium-232 (U-232) is created along with uranium-233. U-232, which has a half-life of about 70 years, is extremely radioactive and is therefore very dangerous in small quantities: 

Thorium Fuel: No Panacea for Nuclear Power, http://ieer.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/thorium2009factsheet.pdf     By Arjun Makhijani and Michele Boyd A Fact Sheet Produced by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Physicians for Social Responsibility
Thorium “fuel” has been proposed as an alternative to uranium fuel in nuclear reactors. There are not “thorium reactors,” but rather proposals to use thorium as a “fuel” in different types of reactors, including existing light-water reactors and various fast breeder
reactor designs. Continue reading

September 20, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

This week propaganda about Tokyo Olympics, and other nuclear news to 4th March

The corporate-political-media machine now gears up the spin for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  This is no coincidence, as March will mark the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.  After the 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagsaki, the American government swamped Japan with propaganda for setting up nuclear reactors – and indeed, the world, for”Atoms for Peace”. So again, the deception now is that the Fukushima tragedy is over – solved – fixed.

The Winter Olympics are over. We now return to your regularly scheduled nuclear crisis.

CLIMATE: Record warming in the Arctic.  Some of the world’s biggest lakes Are drying.

We already have a global cancer epidemic. A nuclear attack on North Korea would make it much worse.

High stakes talks as Trump forces a deadline on revising Iran nuclear deal.

Thorium Church: a trojan horse in the “green” movements

FUKUSHIMA

JAPAN. Removal of spent fuel from Fukui’s defunct Fugen reactor delayed by nine years. More Fukushima Propaganda to Come from Japan’s Ministry of the Environment.  Tepco sets sights on global expansion.

UKDamning report accuses UK government on the collapse of contract to clean up redundant fleet of Magnox nuclear reactors.  Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to keep Britain in EU internal energy market (IEM) and in Euratom.

USA. Senator Ed Markey warns on danger in allowing Saudi Arabia to enrich uranium, reprocess spent nuclear fuel. Energy Secretary Rick Perry ready to make concession to Saudi Arabia – to market US nuclear power to that country. Los Alamos Board of Public Utilities – doubtful about viability of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs).

SOUTH KOREAMoon Jae-in, the South Korean president, has called on the US to “lower the bar” for discussions with North Korea.

NIGERINTERVIEW:  Niger: “In Arlit, people drink water contaminated by radioactivity”.

INDIA. India’s State-owned nuclear power corporation plans new nuclear units, without nuclear waste facilities set up.

NORWAY, FINLAND. Norway and Finland find tiny amounts of recently released radioactive particles in the air.

FRANCE. Zombie nuclear corporation AREVA arises from dead -as “Orano”, “Framatome”.  Flamanville EPR: defects affect secondary circuit welds in nuclear reactor.  EDF discovering many more “anomalies ” and “non-conformities” in nuclear reactors.

RUSSIA. Putin announces a new array of nuclear weapons, that could evade a US-built missile shield. A forgotten nuclear disaster? 1985 Russian submarine accident.

SAUDI ARABIA. The last thing the Middle East needs is another country with the potential to build nuclear weapons.

AUSTRALIA. Australia’s extreme right wing Senator promises $445 billions to South Australia, if it takes in the world’s radioactive trash.

 

March 4, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Australian nuclear shill Ben Heard’s attack on renewable energy: refuted by 6 international academics

Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’ AUTHORS W. Browna,(a) , T. Bischof-Niemz (b)  , K. Blok(c) , C. Breyerc(d) , H. Lund (e) , B.V. Mathiesen (f  )  (Their  university positions are listed at the end of this post) September 2017

Abstract A recent article ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems [by Ben Heard, Barry Brook, Tom Wigley and Corey Bradshaw] claims that many studies of 100% renewable electricity systems do not demonstrate sufficient technical feasibility, according to the authors’ criteria.

Here we analyse the authors’ methodology and find it problematic. The feasibility criteria chosen by the authors are important, but are also easily addressed at low cost, while not affecting the main conclusions of the reviewed studies and certainly not affecting their technical feasibility.

A more thorough review reveals that all of the issues have already been addressed in the engineering and modelling literature. Nuclear power, as advocated by some of the authors, faces other, genuine feasibility problems, such as the finiteness of uranium resources and a reliance on unproven technologies in the medium- to long-term. Energy systems based on renewables, on the other hand, are not only feasible, but already economically viable and getting cheaper every day.

Contents Continue reading

September 25, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The week that has been: nuclear and climate news to 19 August

Things would appear to have calmed down in the North Korea nuclear situation, with some positive signs. Unfortunately the USA does not grasp China’s point of view.-In order to defy Trump, Kim Jong-un will probably target waters near Guam. -USA defence chiefs insist that a military action is an option. Most Americans are anxious about President Trump’s ability to handle the situation.

Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute argues that endless growth, not just climate change, is the world’s biggest problem, and that  technology will not save us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALugeRQbXAM

CLIMATE.Climate change’s effects. You can’t pinpoint events as definitely caused by global warming. Environmental disasters have always happened. With climate change, they are happening more often, and more severely.  This week, killer landslides in  Sierra Leone,  in Northeast Congo, in Northern India. -Climate change is drowning the Solomon Islands.

NUCLEAR–   Pledge for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.   China’s more rational response to the North Korean situation.

Iodine-129 waste used to track ocean currents for 15,000 km after discharge from nuclear plants.

Cancer and other health problems still being caused because of past nuclear explosions.  Linear accelerators – a much safer way to obtain medical isotopes, than from nuclear reactors.

ASIA. Another big nuclear problem in Asia – accumulation of plutonium.

ANTARCTICA. Beneath Antarctica’s ice, 91 previously unknown volcanoes have been found. Stability of East Antarctic ice sheet, even if western ice sheet melts (bit of good news, for a change)

CANADA. Area Burned in Severe Northwest Territory Wildfires Doubles in Just One Day.

JAPAN.  Japan’s massive accumulation of nuclear weapons-usable plutonium.

Fukushima. Report: 257 Tons of Corium and 180 Million Curies of Deadly Heavy Metal Poison and Radiation Released From Fukushima. -High-priced Fukushima ice wall nears completion, but effectiveness doubtful.

USA. USA brain drain, as climate scientists take up the invitation from France.  California Scientists Push to Create Massive Climate Research Program. – Trump uses executive order to reverse Obama-era order aimed at planning for climate change.  Increase in harmful algal blooms in U.S. freshwaters due to climate change.

Americans are disturbingly unbothered by the idea of striking first with nuclear weaponsThe weapons industry is polluting America’s environment – Potomac River as an example. USA power utilities have a long history of abandoning nuclear projects – Florida ratepayers could be up for $millions for two nuclear reactors that may never be built. South Carolina nuclear power backers push for tax-payer aid. Risky venture for Utah counties? will they gamble on speculative thorium nuclear venture? Pennsylvania to give out potassium tablets to communities near nuclear power stations.

SOUTH AFRICA. In South Africa, nuclear and coal lobbies wage a (losing) war against renewables.

IRAN. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calls on European Union to actively support Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear treaty. If USA imposes new sanctions, Iran could abandon the nuclear agreement.

RUSSIA. First load of nuclear waste from Andreeva Bay, Norway,  arrives in Mayak.

FRANCE.French nuclear regulator ASN makes EDF review all nuclear components made by Areva’s foundry Creusot Forge.

UK. BBC gives platform for climate sceptic Nigel Lawson to spout anti science. Global temperatures really have risen- climate denialist Nigel Lawson admits.  Energy sector impacted by Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

INDIA. India’s Adani mining giant accused of corruption just as it seeks funds from the Australian government for coal mine.

 

August 19, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear Hotseat notes for 22 Feb 2017 Iodine 131 in Europe, the evidence!

The media are trying to blame the Russians (Of course 🙂 ).. there has also been other reactor problems in Europe..

Norway has damaged fuel in its Halden research reactor since  Oct last year 2016  (reported) and it is releasing Iodine 131 but they said then that they are filtering the releases and none is getting out of the building.. Ukraine is straining their reactors because right wing Kiev mobs are blocking coal from the Russian eastern side.

This last week the Eurdep mapping was turned off in Ukraine, Poland and Russian monitoring was stopped for the same period and these monitoring stations are still offline today .. And in another incident, there has been a release a few days ago from Spain I think? ..

Also Irelands rad monitoring was switched off on Sunday morning, probably because of a release from Flamanville (France) that is having problems getting restarted  or maybe Sellafield (UK) .. some small evidence on the Irish EURDEP for that (I have a screenshot above ) .. A reactor in Germany is off gassing with a very high spike shown on the Eurdep monitor map from last week probably due to maintenance or refueling of the reactor.

On the widely January 2017 reported release likely from the ancient Budapest Medical Isotope Institute in Hungary

Hervé Courtois “In November 2011, for example, iodine-131 had been detected in air in several European countries and the survey4 had led to the rejection of iodine-131 from a radioisotope production institute in Budapest ( Hungary). Measurements carried out by the CRIIRAD laboratory in November 2011 confirmed a significant contamination of the vegetation with iodine-131 and iodine-125 in Budapest, several kilometers from this nuclear site.”

Criirad file on the January 2017 release in French (use Google translate); http://balises.criirad.org/pdf/CP%20%20CRIIRAD%20170214%20%20I131%20Europe.pdf

Eurdep radiation mapping mostly gets switched of when there is an unintended release. This is done by the IAEA to protect the nuclear industry and have it seem in a better light.

Link to Eurdep, Europes radiation maps http://eurdepweb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/EurdepMap/Disclaimer.aspx

An example of a switch off and peaks before from Ireland withing the last week (possibly to do with Flamanville or Sellafield nuclear sites;

In short the January release was due to the Budapest Medical Isotope Institute and the IAEA are covering it up again. A shortage of medical isotopes is causing increased releases of a number of isotopes and Iodine 131 is the easiest to measure. The pollution near the source should be made public as this area will have contaminated milk an vegetables. It is a crime that under privileged children are allowed to get cancer so that over privileged adults can be treated for cancer!

Here is the report on the Thorium reactor in Norway called Halden; : Incident in Oct and report from Nov 2016; http://www.nrpa.no/en/news/93500/update-on-the-situation-at-research-reactor-ife-halden-norway

In other news mentioned in the report .. Toshiba shares falling further;  https://nuclear-news.net/2017/02/21/toshiba-shares-fell-from-around-250-yen-apiece-to-186-yen-by-the-end-of-monday/

UK and French nuclear news

EDF France, the writings on the wall for energy!

EDF faces £1m a day bill to keep Flamanvile nuclear reactor offline

Worries over UK’s decision to quit Euro nuclear agency

Report by Shaun McGee for Nuclear Hotseat

February 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As Paris meeting nears, we must expose James Hansen’s pro nuclear spin

globalnukeNODon’t nuke the climate! James Hansen’s nuclear fantasies
exposed 
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986335/dont_nuke_the_climate_james_hansens_nuclear_fantasies_exposed.html Dr Jim Green 20th November 2015  

NASA scientist James Hansen is heading to COP21 in Paris to berate climate campaigners for failing to support ‘safe and environmentally-friendly nuclear power’, writes Jim Green. But they would gladly support nuclear power if only it really was safe and environment friendly. In fact, it’s a very dangerous and hugely expensive distraction from the real climate solutions.

James Hansen will be promoting nuclear power – and attacking environmental and anti-nuclear groups – in the lead-up to the UN COP21 climate conference in Paris in December.

The press release announcing Hansen’s visit to Paris berates environmentalists for failing to support“safe and environmentally-friendly nuclear power”.

It notes that the Climate Action Network, representing all the major environmental groups, opposes nuclear power – in other words, efforts to split the environment movement have failed.

Hansen won’t be participating in any debates against nuclear critics or renewable energy experts. His reluctance to debate may stem from his participation in a 2010 debate in Melbourne, Australia.

The audience of 1,200 people were polled before and after the debate. The pre-debate poll found an 8% margin in favour of nuclear power; the post-debate poll found a margin of 24% against nuclear power.

The turn-around was so striking that Hansen’s colleague Barry Brook falsely claimed the vote must have been rigged by anti-nuclear and climate action groups. “I can think of no other logical explanation – statistically, such a result would be nigh impossible”, Brook claimed.

‘Nuclear safety’ – a contradiction in terms?

An article co-authored by Hansen and Pushker Kharecha, published in the Environment, Science and Technology journal, claims that between 1971 and 2009, “global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning”.

Kharecha and Hansen ignore renewables and energy efficiency, setting up a false choice between fossil fuels and nuclear. Even as an assessment of the relative risks of fossil fuels and nuclear, the analysis doesn’t stack up. Kharecha and Hansen cite a UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) report to justify their figure of 43 deaths from the Chernobyl disaster.

But the UNSCEAR report did not attempt to calculate long-term deaths from radiation exposure from Chernobyl, citing “unacceptable uncertainties in the predictions”. Thecredible estimates of the long-term cancer death toll from Chernobyl range from 9,000 (in Eastern Europe) to 93,000 (across Eastern and Western Europe).

Hansen states: “No people died at Fukushima because of the nuclear technology.” The impacts of the disaster are more accurately summarised by radiation biologist Dr Ian Fairlie: “In sum, the health toll from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is horrendous. At the minimum:

    • “Over 160,000 people were evacuated, most of them permanently.
    • “Many cases of post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety disorders arising from the evacuations.
    • “About 12,000 workers exposed to high levels of radiation, some up to 250 mSv
    • “An estimated 5,000 fatal cancers from radiation exposures in future.
  • “Plus similar (unquantified) numbers of radiogenic strokes, CVS diseases and hereditary diseases.
  • “Between 2011 and 2015, about 2,000 deaths from radiation-related evacuations due to ill-health and suicides.
  • “An, as yet, unquantified number of thyroid cancers.
  • “An increased infant mortality rate in 2012 and a decreased number of live births in December 2011.”

There are many reasons to conclude that Kharecha and Hansen’s figure of 4,900 deaths from nuclear power from 1971 to 2009 is a gross underestimate, yet they claim that the figure “could be a major overestimate relative to the empirical value (by two orders of magnitude).” In other words, they think the real figure may be as low as five.

‘Nuclear power has the best safety record of any energy technology’

However a realistic assessment of nuclear power fatalities would include:

  • Routine emissions: UNSCEAR’s estimated collective effective dose to the world population over a 50-year period of operation of nuclear power reactors and associated nuclear fuel cycle facilities is two million Sieverts. Applying a risk estimate of 0.1 fatal cancers / Sievert gives a total of 200,000 fatal cancers.
  • Radiation exposure from accidents, including Chernobyl (estimated 9,000 to 93,000 cancer fatalities) and Fukushima (estimated 5,000 long-term cancer fatalities), and thelarge number of accidents that have resulted in a small number of fatalities.
  • Indirect deaths.

In relation to indirect deaths at Fukushima, Japanese academics state“for the Fukushima coastal region, no-one, not even Self-Defense Forces, could enter the area for fear of exposure to radioactive materials, and the victims were left in the area for a long period of time.

“This resulted in so-called indirect fatalities, people who died due to difficult and long-term evacuation, or those who committed suicide, lamenting the radioactive pollution of their farm lands and farm animals and who had lost hope to ever rebuild their lives.

“These are considered as fatalities related to the nuclear accident, and their numbers have risen to 1459 as of September 2013, according to the Fukushima Prefectural Office. Though they are considered indirect deaths, they would have not died if there had been no nuclear accident.”

Kharecha and Hansen ignore non-fatal impacts. For example, the permanent relocation of 350,000 people in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster was associated with a great deal of trauma. Four and a half years after the Fukushima disaster, over 110,000 of the original 160,000 evacuees remain displaced according to the Japanese government.

Using those figures (350,000 + 110,000), and the global experience of around 16,000 reactor-years of power reactor operations, gives a figure of 29 ‘nuclear refugees’ per reactor-year.

Nuclear power is safer than fossil fuels when considering accidents and routine emissions (by a wide margin, though not as wide as Kharecha and Hansen claim) – but we also need to consider the unique WMD proliferation risks associated with the nuclear industry as well as related security issues such as attacks on nuclear facilities.

But of course the ‘nuclear versus fossil fuels’ argument is a false one. When accidents and routine emissions are considered, renewables are clearly safer than either nuclear power or fossil fuels, and of course nuclear power’s proliferation and security risks don’t apply to renewables.

Yet Hansen falsely claims that “nuclear power has the best safety record of any energy technology.”

Nuclear WMD proliferation – there’s no way to stop  it

Kharecha and Hansen correctly state that “Serious questions remain about [nuclear] safety, proliferation, and disposal of radioactive waste, which we have discussed in some detail elsewhere.” However the paper they cite barely touches upon the WMD proliferation problem and what little it does say is a mixture of codswallop and jiggery-pokery:

  • It falsely claims that thorium-based fuel cycles are “inherently proliferation-resistant”. Irradiation of thorium produces fissile uranium-233 which can be – and has been – used in nuclear weapons.
  • It falsely claims that integral fast reactors (IFRs) “could be inherently free from the risk of proliferation”. Dr George Stanford, who worked on an IFR R&D program in the US,notes that proliferators “could do [with IFRs] what they could do with any other reactor – operate it on a special cycle to produce good quality weapons material.”
  • And the paper states that if “designed properly”, breeder reactors would generate “nothing suitable for weapons”. India’s Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor will be the next fast neutron reactor to begin operation. India refuses to place it under International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.

John Carlson, former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office,describes the risks associated with India’s plans“India has a plan to produce [weapons-grade] plutonium in fast breeder reactors for use as driver fuel in thorium reactors. This is problematic on non-proliferation and nuclear security grounds.

“Pakistan believes the real purpose of the fast breeder program is to produce plutonium for weapons (so this plan raises tensions between the two countries); and transport and use of weapons-grade plutonium in civil reactors presents a serious terrorism risk (weapons-grade material would be a priority target for seizure by terrorists).”

Hansen and his colleagues argue that “modern nuclear technology can reduce proliferation risks”. But are new reactors being made more resistant to weapons proliferation? In a word: No. Fast reactors have been used for weapons production in the past (e.g. by France) and will likely be used for weapons production in future (e.g. by India).

Thorium – another not-so-modern ‘modern’ nuclear technology – has also been used to produce weapons (e.g. by the US and India) and will likely be used for weapons production in future (e.g. India’s breeder/thorium program).

It is disingenuous – and dangerous – for Hansen to be waving away those problems with the claims that modern nuclear technology can somehow be made inherently proliferation-proof.

False hope: Generation IV nuclear technology

Here’s Hansen’s take on Generation IV nuclear technology – hyped up for it’s claimed ability to burn up nuclear waste. Nuclear waste “is not waste”, he writes. “It is fuel for 4th generation reactors! … The 4th generation reactors can ‘burn’ this waste, as well as excess nuclear weapons material, leaving a much smaller waste pile with radioactive half-life measured in decades rather than millennia, thus minimizing the nuclear waste problem.”

Hansen’s views take little or no account of the real-world experience with fast neutron reactors (and Generation IV technology more generally). That real-world experience is littered with accident-prone, obscenely expensive reactors (and R&D programs) that have worsened waste and proliferation problems. Most countries that have invested in fast reactor R&D programs have decided not to throw good money after bad and have abandoned those programs.

Hansen’s views are also at odds with reports published this year by the French and US governments. The report by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) – a government authority under the Ministries of Defense, the Environment, Industry, Research, and Health – states:

“There is still much R&D to be done to develop the Generation IV nuclear reactors, as well as for the fuel cycle and the associated waste management which depends on the system chosen.”

IRSN is also sceptical about safety claims: “At the present stage of development, IRSN does not notice evidence that leads to conclude that the systems under review are likely to offer a significantly improved level of safety compared with Generation III reactors, except perhaps for the VHTR [Very High Temperature Reactors] … “

Moreover the VHTR system could bring about significant safety improvements “but only by significantly limiting unit power”.

‘Technical challenges may result in higher-cost reactors than anticipated’

The US Government Accountability Office released a report in July on the status of small modular reactors (SMRs) and other ‘advanced’ reactor concepts in the US The report concluded:

“While light water SMRs and advanced reactors may provide some benefits, their development and deployment face a number of challenges. Both SMRs and advanced reactors require additional technical and engineering work to demonstrate reactor safety and economics …

“Depending on how they are resolved, these technical challenges may result in higher-cost reactors than anticipated, making them less competitive with large LWRs [light water reactors] or power plants using other fuels …

“Both light water SMRs and advanced reactors face additional challenges related to the time, cost, and uncertainty associated with developing, certifying or licensing, and deploying new reactor technology, with advanced reactor designs generally facing greater challenges than light water SMR designs. It is a multi-decade process … “

The glum assessments of the US and French governments are based on real-world experience. But Hansen prefers conspiracy theories to real-world experience, claiming that an IFR R&D program in the US was terminated due to pressure from environmentalists with devious motives.

The real reasons for the termination of the IFR program were mundane: legitimateproliferation concerns, the already-troubled history of fast reactor programs, the questionable rationale for pursuing fast reactor R&D given plentiful uranium supplies, and so on. But Hansen has a much more colourful explanation:

“I think it was because of the influence of the anti-nuclear people who realised that if this newer technology were developed it would mean that we would have an energy source that is practically inexhaustible – it could last for billions of years – and they succeeded in getting the Clinton administration to terminate the R&D for the fourth generation nuclear power plants.”

Wrong, stupid, and offensive: Hansen lines up with far-right nuts who argue that environmentalists want everyone living in caves. No wonder he is having so little success winning the green movement over.

Renewables and energy efficiency

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future?”asks Hansen“It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”

But there are credible studies for the countries that Hansen mentions:

  • USA: The Nuclear Information & Resource Service maintains a list of reportsdemonstrating the potential for the US (and Europe) to produce all electricity from renewables.
  • China: A 2015 report by the China National Renewable Energy Centre finds that China could generate 85% of its electricity and 60% of total energy from renewables by 2050.
  • India: A detailed 2013 report by WWF-India and The Energy and Resources Institute maps out how India could generate as much as 90% of total primary energy from renewables by 2050.

There is a growing body of research on the potential for renewables to largely or completely supplant fossil fuels for power supply globally.

The doubling of global renewable energy capacity over the past decade has been spectacular, with 783 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable power generation capacityinstalled from 2005 to 2014 – compared to a lousy 8 GW for nuclear.

As of the end of 2014, renewables supplied 22.8% of global electricity (hydro 16.6% and other renewables 6.2%). Nuclear power’s share of 10.8% is less than half of the electricity generation from renewables – and the gap is widening.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipates another 700 GW of new renewable power capacity from 2015-2020. The IEA report also outlines the spectacular cost reductions: the global average costs for onshore wind generation fell by 30% from 2010-2015, and are expected to decline a further 10% by 2020; while utility-scale solar PV fell two-thirds in cost and is expected to decline another 25% by 2020.

There’s also the spectacular potential of energy efficiency that Hansen sometimes ignores and sometimes pays lip-service to. A 2011 study by University of Cambridge academics concluded that a whopping 73% of global energy use could be saved by practically achievable energy efficiency and conservation measures.

Making nuclear power safe … how would you do it?

But let’s go with Hansen’s argument that renewables and energy efficiency aren’t up to the job of completely supplanting fossil fuels. It’s not an unreasonable place to go given that the task is Herculean and urgent.

What would make nuclear power more palatable, reducing the risk of Chernobyl- and Fukushima-scale catastrophes and reducing the WMD proliferation risks? ‘Super-safe’, ‘proliferation-resistant’ Generation IV reactor technology that’s both unproven and grossly uneconomic? Not likely.

So how about improved safety standards and stricter regulation? That’s something that really would reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents. A strengthened – and properly funded – safeguards system would reduce the WMD proliferation risks.

And therein lies the greatest irony of Hansen’s nuclear advocacy. Many of the environmental and anti-nuclear groups that he attacks have a commendable track record of campaigning for improved safety and regulatory standards and for improvements to the safeguards system.

Hansen has said little and done less about those issues.

 


 

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia> and editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter, where a longer version of this article was originally published.

Nuclear Monitor has been publishing deeply researched, often strongly critical articles on all aspects of the nuclear cycle since 1978. A must-read for all those who work on this issue! jim.green@foe.org.au

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Join our campaign to keep nuclear power out of COP21.

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November 21, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Developing world is losing its faith in nuclear power

Globally nuclear power is unpopular and has become even more so after Fukushima. A 24 country public opinion study carried out in May 2011 by IPSOS Mori found that 62% of those asked now opposed it, with opposition is some developing countries being very high, and similar to that in much of Europe.

Nuclear power and the developing world, Environmental Research Web, 20 Feb 12,  “…….There seems to be a belief in the region, similar to that that existed in the 1970s in Japan, that buying in advanced nuclear technology is the way ahead. It may then have come as a shock when, after the major nuclear disaster at Fukushima in March 2011, Japan decided to abandon its nuclear expansion plans, and high tech Germany launched a nuclear phase out programme- both of them backing renewables instead. So did Switzerland. Italy too backed off nuclear, thus joining Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and Greece as non-nuclear states.

China is also reassessing its nuclear programme. It currently gets under 2% of its electricity from nuclear and had planned to expand that to around 4% by 2020. That may be a small percentage, but given the size of the country it represents a very large programme. However it may be cut back to 63 GW, compared to the current official 2020 target of 80 GW. But to put that in perspective, China is aiming to get 15% of its total energy (not just electricity) from renewable and other low carbon options by 2020. Its wind potential is huge – 1000 GW or more. Continue reading

February 21, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment