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Slowing ocean current caused by melting Antarctic ice could have drastic climate impact, study says

The Southern Ocean overturning circulation has ebbed 30% since the 90s, CSIRO scientist claims, leading to higher sea levels and changing weather

Donna Lu, Guardian, 26 May 23

A major global deep ocean current has slowed down by approximately 30% since the 1990s as a result of melting Antarctic ice, which could have critical consequences for Earth’s climate patterns and sea levels, new research suggests.

Known as the Southern Ocean overturning circulation, the global circulation system plays a key role in influencing the Earth’s climate, including rainfall and warming patterns. It also determines how much heat and carbon dioxide the oceans store.

Scientists warn that its slowdown could have drastic impacts, including increasing sea levels, altering weather patterns and depriving marine ecosystems of vital nutrients.

“Changes in the overturning circulation are a big deal,” said the study’s co-author, Dr Steve Rintoul, an oceanographer and expert on the Southern Ocean at the Australian government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

It’s something that is a concern because it touches on so many aspects of the Earth, including climate, sea level, and marine life.”

The finding comes months after modelling, which Rintoul was involved in, that predicted a 40% slowdown in the circulation by 2050.

“The model projections of rapid change in the deep ocean circulation in response to melting of Antarctic ice might, if anything, have been conservative,” Rintoul said. “We’re seeing changes have already happened in the ocean that were not projected to happen until a few decades from now.”

………………………………………….. The study looked specifically at changes in overturning circulation in the Australian Antarctic basin, but the researchers believe a “circumpolar slowdown” is occurring.


“We expect in the longer term that while there will be ups and downs related to sea ice formation, the overall trend is that Antarctica is losing more ice, is melting more, and that will gradually slow down this overturning circulation.

“Unless we act soon we will commit ourselves to changes that we’d really rather avoid,” he said. “We need to act to reduce emissions and we need to do everything we can as fast as we can.”

The study, whose first author is Kathryn Gunn of the CSIRO and the University of Southampton, was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.


May 28, 2023 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change | 1 Comment

Ex-Pentagon Analyst: Biden Faces Shrinking Options on Ukraine

Ekaterina Blinova,

US President Joe Biden is running out of time to score a “victory” in Ukraine, retired Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik’s New Rules podcast.

…………….. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive in Europe, drumming up support for the much-discussed Kiev’s “counteroffensive“.

However, the former Pentagon analyst and US Air Force veteran told Sputnik that the Ukrainian armed forces were unlikely to achieve meaningful success, despite an influx of new Western weaponry.

“They have been put on the offense and yet they have been cleaned out militarily,” Kwiatkowski said. “And the aid that they’re getting from NATO isn’t interoperable. It isn’t compatible with what the Ukrainians are used to using. In many cases, it doesn’t work together. So they can’t put together a combined arms operation. They don’t really have an air force. They are really at a disadvantage.”

Many of the military plans announced by the Kiev leadership do not hold water, according to the military expert. For instance, earlier this year Zelensky pledged to seize Crimea, which reunited with Russia in response to the US-backed 2014 February coup d’etat in Kiev.

“Of course, Zelensky says, ‘We’re going to take Crimea’. With what? His armies are largely decimated and exhausted. They’re recruiting teenage boys and 65 year old men. This is not a good sign,” Kwiatkowski said.

She raised the question whether what is left of Ukraine is going to be governable: “Is there enough their territory, culture, people, industry? Is there enough there to constitute a continuing country? That conversation needs to happen. I imagine that Ukrainians are having this conversation.”

May 28, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuke Power’s “Renaissance 4.0” Has Already Melted

BY HARVEY WASSERMAN, CounterPunch 24 May 23

Nuclear Renaissance (version 4.0)” is the centralized corporate power industry’s final grab at mega-sums of public money and total control of energy.

Facing a definitive tsunami of cheaper, cleaner, safer, faster-to-deploy renewables, it’s meant primarily to serve the nuclear weapons complex while insulating entrenched centralized power against distributed green social democracy.

The “Renaissance’s” prime medieval reality is the escalated likelihood of another Three Mile Island-Chernobyl-Fukushima disaster at one of America’s lingering 94 reactors.

Most US nukes were designed in the pre-digital 1960s and ‘70s. They are dangerously decayed, with an average age of around 40. They are structurally dubious, seriously under-maintained and inherently unsafe.

None have significant private accident insurance. But a major meltdown/explosion could threaten millions of lives and inflict apocalyptic health, ecological and economic harm.

The Renaissance’s key illusion is that atomic reactors are some kind of magical unicorns, generating limitless cheap clean power while never aging, breaking down, emitting heat, carbon or radiation…and certainly never ever blowing up.

In fact our existing reactors are so hideously complex it’s impossible to meaningfully calculate the odds on which one will explode next …and when. Major disasters at six reactors—Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the four at Fukushima—have been accompanied by a bevvy of smaller disasters whose impacts have nonetheless been substantial.

After sixty years of operations, the Peaceful Atom still can’t get meaningful private disaster insurance. Nor has it solved its forever problem of safely managing its uniquely dangerous wastes.

Given the realities of a radioactive cloud blowing into Los Angeles, Chicago or Atlanta, or permanently contaminating a few thousand square miles of prime farm and forestland, there are no odds that can counter-balance any possible benefit from the risks being taken to extend the licenses of our current reactor fleet, or to undertake building a new generation whose safety again can’t be guaranteed, and whose costs, deployment times and real risks remain serious unknowns.

Especially when all this comes in the shadow of an astonishingly successful revolution in renewable generation, battery storage and increased efficiency. l

But first let’s follow the money.

Financial disaster has defined the last eight big Euro-American reactor projects. Single nukes in Finland and France, and double projects in England, South Carolina and Georgia, have all gone unimaginably over budget……………………………………………………………..

Thus the French nuclear poster child buys electricity from Germany, with zero reactors.

Likewise, 90+ US nukes can’t compete with wind or solar, can’t manage their wastes, can’t guarantee they won’t below up, can’t get comprehensive accident insurance. Most or all are riddled with serious structural flaws which are rapidly worsening with age…led by embrittlement, a fatal metals flaw likely to let reactors shatter and explode during the inevitable coming melt-down.

But buried amidst the massive “Rennaisance” arer some terrifying medieval realities. Among them are the dozen earthquake faults that surround California’s Diablo Canyon, whose two ancient reactors are riddled with dangerous and structural maintenance failures. Critical oncrete is crumbling at Ohio’s Davis-Besse and Seabrook, NH. Vital intake pumps at South Texas recently froze. Indeed, virtally every one of the world’s 400+ operating reactors suffers individualized problems that seriously threaten another Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima…whose four exploded reactors—like about half those worldwide—were designed by General Electric…………………………….

As for the future, any “Renaissance” involving the old-style first-generation big light water reactors starts with zero currently under construction, and no prospect of any new ones even remotely competing with renewables…or opening for an undetermined but very substantial amount of time.

All this comes as wind, solar, batteries, efficiency, micro-grids and other Solartopian assets plummet in price while soaring in reliability and job creation. As nukes careen into a fiscal pit, green energy exceeds all previous expectations, and is pricing out even fully amortized old nukes.

The “Renaissance” multiplies our peril by keeping old nukes operating ever-deeper into the danger zone, making the unthinkable virtually inevitable. The scale of any potential reactor disaster today dwarfs whatever “long odds” the industry might claim against it happening………………………………….

And then there’s the next Apocalyptic explosion.

Despite their sixty-year history, atomic power still can’t get liability insurance. Instead the taxpayers must absorb liability for a reactor apocalypse. No matter the odds, the consequences of such a disaster—human, ecological, financial—can never be compensated…………………..

In addition to fissile bomb materials and trained staff for nuclear weapons, commercial reactors impose a multi-national death grip against democracy. The corporate world’s greatest fear is a green public with local-owned renewables and micro-grids, can open the door to energy democracy.

Thus Ohio’s House Speaker, Larry Householder, took $61 million in utility bribes to help scam through billion in bailouts for two collapsing nukes. Household awaits sentencing.

But the Renaissance attack on renewables is well known. The Legislature in 2016 slipped a single clause into the Ohio Code that’s killed more than $4 billion in private financing. The anti-green attack has cost Ohioans billions in income and millions of safe jobs.

…………………………………………. The industry’s other Inconvenient Truth is that its much-hyped Small Modular Rectors don’t really exist now….and can never compete.

A pre-cursor to the smaller designs has already exploded at Santa Susana, north of Los Angeles, with catastrophic impacts. Provable new prototypes are allegedly on their way. Massive quantities of public money are being spewed at private hype-stars like Bill Gates.


t as illustrated in the works of Amory Lovins (The Road Not Taken), Mark Jacobson (No Miracles Necessary) and many many others, there is zero doubt that renewables, efficiency and storage can move our economy to carbon-free, saving billions of dollars and creating millions of jobs.

The question is when.

As of now, this latest “Nuclear Renaissance” is a diversion, a roadblock…and a serious danger. Oliver Stone’s super-hyped promo piece “Nuclear Now” might be far more appropriately titled “Apocalypse Again.”

Harvey Wasserman wrote THE PEOPLE’S SPIRAL OF US HISTORY: FROM JIGONSASEH TO SOLARTOPIA.  Most Mondays @ 2-4pm PT, he co-convenes the Green Grassroots Election Protection Zoom (www.electionprotection2024).  The Mothers for Peace ( could use your help in the struggle to shut the Diablo Canyon nukes.

May 28, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Everything’s Getting Way More Dangerous And Way More Stupid


Moon of Alabama has an article out on how an uncomfortable number of relatively restraint-oriented foreign policy officials have been exiting the Biden administration, while a China hawk has just been appointed the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Antiwar has an article out about how New York congressman Jerry Nadler told an Epoch Times reporter that he “wouldn’t care” if Ukraine used US-made F-16s to strike Russian territory, and doesn’t find the possibility that they might do so concerning.

This comes days after we learned that the Biden administration has signed off on Ukraine getting F-16s while also greenlighting an offensive on Crimea using US-made weapons, a nightmare scenario which greatly escalates the risks of nuclear war.

There are no adults behind the wheel of the vehicle that’s driving us toward World War Three. We’re on a bus that’s being driven straight toward a cliff, and it’s being driven by infants. If we survive this it will not be because of the experienced leadership of western governments, but completely in spite of it.

It’s getting more and more dangerous, and it’s getting more and more stupid. The other day the Ukrainian government tweeted a video in which the faces of characters from the Harry Potter film series are superimposed over Ukrainian soldiers, a perfect compliment to an earlier tweet by NATO about the Ukrainian military saying “We are Harry Potter and William Wallace, the Na’vi and Han Solo. We’re escaping from Shawshank and blowing up the Death Star. We are fighting with the Harkonnens and challenging Thanos.” This truly is the phoniest, most PR-intensive proxy war of all time.

And that’s nothing compared to how stupid the 2024 US presidential race is getting, already in May of 2023. In a recent interview on Fox News, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis was asked by Trey Gowdy how he would respond to the war in Ukraine on day one of his presidency and he started babbling about wokeness and gender ideology………………………….. more

May 28, 2023 Posted by | culture and arts, USA | Leave a comment

Clean energy transition sparks nuclear reaction

Along with its many known problems, as an inflexible, costly baseload power source, nuclear is becoming as outdated as fossil fuels.

By David Suzuki with contributions from Senior Editor and Writer Ian Hanington, 26 May 23

As the impacts of climate disruption become more frequent and intense, we need a range of solutions. One that’s getting a lot of attention is nuclear power.

Industry is pushing hard for it, especially “small modular reactors,” and the federal government has offered support and tax incentives. After 30 years without building any new reactors, Ontario is also jumping onto the nuclear bandwagon again. How should we react?

Along with its many known problems, as an inflexible, costly baseload power source, nuclear is becoming as outdated as fossil fuels. Small modular reactors will create even more waste and cost more — and slow the necessary transition to renewable energy.

Many disadvantages of nuclear are well known. It can contribute to weapons proliferation. Radioactive waste remains highly toxic for a long time and must be carefully and permanently stored or disposed of. And while serious accidents are rare, they can be devastating and difficult to deal with, as the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters demonstrated.

Along with its many known problems, as an inflexible, costly baseload power source, nuclear is becoming as outdated as fossil fuels.

Uranium to fuel nuclear also raises problems, including high rates of lung cancer in miners and emissions from mining, transport and refining. Add that to the water vapour and heat it releases, and nuclear power produces “on average 23 times the emissions per unit electricity generated” as onshore wind, according to Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson.

But the biggest issues are that nuclear power is expensive — at least five times more than wind and solar — and takes a long time to plan and build. Small modular reactors are likely to be even more expensive, especially considering they’ll produce far less electricity than larger plants. And because the various models are still at the prototype stage, they won’t be available soon.

Because we’ve stalled for so long in getting off coal, oil and gas for electricity generation, we need solutions that can be scaled up quickly and affordably.

The last nuclear plant built in Ontario, Darlington, ended up costing $14.4 billion, almost four times the initial estimate. It took from 1981 to 1993 to construct (and years before that to plan) and is now being refurbished at an estimated cost of close to $13 billion. In 1998, Ontario Hydro faced the equivalent of bankruptcy, in part because of Darlington.

Ontario’s experience isn’t unique. A Boston University study of more than 400 large-scale electricity projects around the world over the past 80 years found “on average, nuclear plants cost more than double their original budgets and took 64 per cent longer to build than projected,” the Toronto Star reports. “Wind and solar, by contrast, had average cost overruns of 7.7 per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively.”

China has been building more nuclear power plants than any other country — 50 over the past 20 years. But in half that time, it has added 13 times more wind and solar capacity.

As renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage technologies continue to rapidly improve and come down in price, costs for nuclear are rising. As we recently noted, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment report shows that nuclear power delivers only 10 per cent of the results of wind and solar at far higher costs. In the time it takes to plan and build nuclear, including SMRs, and for much less money, we could be putting far more wind, solar and geothermal online, and developing and increasing storage capacity, grid flexibility and energy efficiency.

The amount it will cost to build out sufficient nuclear power — some of which must come in the form of taxpayer subsidies — could be better put to more quickly improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.

Putting money and resources into nuclear appears to be an attempt to stall renewable electricity uptake and grid modernization. Small modular reactors are likely to cost even more than large plants for the electricity they generate. And, because more will be required, they pose increased safety issues.

David Suzuki Foundation research shows how Canada could get 100 per cent reliable, affordable, emissions-free electricity by 2035 — without resorting to expensive and potentially dangerous (and, in the case of SMRs, untested) technologies like nuclear.

New nuclear is a costly, time-consuming hurdle on the path to reliable, flexible, available, cost-effective renewable energy. The future is in renewables.

May 28, 2023 Posted by | Canada, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Russia moves ahead with deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus

ABC 26 May 23

Russia has moved ahead with a plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, whose leader said the warheads were already on the move, in the Kremlin’s first deployment of such bombs outside Russia since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Key points:

  • The plan for the nuclear deployment was announced by Mr Putin in March
  • The US has warned that use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in the conflict would be met with “severe consequences”
  • The US believes Russia has around 2,000 tactical nuclear warheads

The US State Department denounced the deployment plan but said Washington had no intention of altering its position on strategic nuclear weapons and had not seen any signs Russia was preparing to use a nuclear weapon.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States and its allies are fighting an expanding proxy war against Russia after the Kremlin chief sent troops into Ukraine 15 months ago.

The plan for the nuclear deployment was announced by Mr Putin in an interview with state television on March 25.

“The collective West is essentially waging an undeclared war against our countries,” Mr Putin’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said at a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart in Minsk, according to Russia’s Defence Ministry……………………………………………………………….

Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons superiority

Tactical nuclear weapons are used for tactical gains on the battlefield, and are usually smaller in yield than the strategic nuclear weapons designed to destroy US or Russian cities.

Russia has a huge numerical superiority over the United States and the NATO military alliance when it comes to tactical nuclear weapons: the United States believes Russia has around 2,000 such working tactical warheads.

The United States has around 200 tactical nuclear weapons, half of which are at bases in Europe…………………………………….

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed by the Soviet Union, says that no nuclear power can transfer nuclear weapons or technology to a non-nuclear power, but it does allow for the weapons to be deployed outside its borders but under its control.

May 28, 2023 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A Nuclear Collision Course in South Asia

The Budding Arms Race Among China, India, and Pakistan

Foreign Affairs, By Andrew F. Krepinevich, Jr., May 26, 2023

………………………………………………………………………………………………… THE RACE IS ON

China and Pakistan have a long and close relationship, in part built around their mutual view of India as a rival. India finds itself sandwiched between these two often hostile powers. Yet despite a history of wars and persistent low-grade conflict between India and its two rivals, a general war has been averted since India and Pakistan became nuclear powers a quarter century ago. Moreover, the three countries have not found themselves caught up in a nuclear arms race. Until recently, they viewed their nuclear weapons primarily as political instruments, not as tools for actual warfighting. All three adopted a “minimum deterrent” nuclear posture, maintaining the lowest number of nuclear weapons necessary to inflict unacceptable damage to their adversaries’ key cities even after suffering a nuclear attack.

In keeping with this strategy, the three Asian rivals avoided maintaining a significant portion of their arsenals on high alert. Instead, they stored their weapons in caves, in deep underground facilities, or in other concealed locations. Rejecting American and Russian notions that “retaliation delayed is retaliation denied,” the three countries, especially China and India, forswore the need for a swift response to a nuclear attack. To be sure, they would respond eventually—in days, weeks, or even months—but they did not accept the imperative of immediacy. As a result, these countries have avoided making heavy investments in early warning systems while retaining centralized control over their arsenals.

But the prospects for sustaining this era of minimum deterrence appear increasingly shaky. The tripolar rivalry has not been locked in amber: Tellis describes strongly held beliefs among top security officials in China, India, and Pakistan that their nuclear postures are inadequate. Led by China and Pakistan, with India following in their wake, the three rivals are now on a course that will result in a dramatic expansion of their nuclear arsenals, even if Russia and the United States pursue substantial cuts to theirs…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. more

May 28, 2023 Posted by | ASIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Stella Assange at Sydney rally: “It’s not just Julian who has lost his freedom, but all of us”

The whistleblower noted the comments of Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has made extremely tepid statements expressing “concern” over Assange’s plight. Albanese has said that “enough is enough” in relation to the Assange case. He claims to have made private representations to the US and British governments on behalf of Assange, but has stopped far short of any public demand for the Australian journalist’s freedom.

Albanese has recently hinted at the prospect of a plea deal in the Assange case. Kenny forcefully rejected this course. “Is there a Hicks solution? Why should there be? He has not committed any crime. He should not be forced to plead to anything. We need our prime minister to stand up, not just say ‘enough is enough.’”

Oscar Grenfell@Oscar_Grenfell, 24 May 2023

Some 800 people attended a protest in Sydney yesterday morning demanding the immediate freedom of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. People came from across New South Wales and from around the country to attend the rally, which was one of the largest demanding Assange’s freedom yet, despite being held on a weekday.

Speaking at the demonstration, Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, declared that the protesters were “at the forefront of a global movement for justice. A global movement that converges on one man, but the meaning of which goes far beyond Julian’s freedom. It’s not just Julian who has lost his freedom, but all of us. Because in order to keep Julian in prison, they have had to corrupt their own rules and their own principles.”

Stella, visiting Australia for the first time, noted that her tour had initially been planned to coincide with a scheduled visit of US President Joe Biden. He had been set down to attend a summit of the warmongering and anti-China Quadrilateral Strategic Dialogue this week in Sydney.

Biden cancelled, however Stella proceeded with the visit. She explained the crucial importance of the fight within Australia to securing her husband’s freedom. Assange is detained in Britain and faces extradition to the US, where he would be tried on Espionage Act charges carrying 175 years imprisonment for exposing American war crimes.

Assange is an Australian citizen. Stella explained: “Julian’s case is a case of global importance. But you guys are at the centre of it because Julian is an Australian, he’s a country boy, and he’s from this country. That means that the key to securing Julian’s release lies with you.”

Assange’s supporters in Australia were part of a “global movement” involving millions of people all over the world, she said. There is a growing recognition, internationally, that “he’s in prison because he exposed the crimes of others. No decent human being will ever tolerate that. The only people whose interest remains Julian’s imprisonment, are the ones who are guilty and implicated in those crimes.”

Within Australia, there had been a “sea change.” Only a few years ago, there had been “radio silence” on Assange’s case. But increasingly it was being discussed in the media, as well as by official politicians. This, Stella stressed, was a consequence of the demands made by ordinary people and a protracted grassroots campaign.

This fight had to be deepened, she said. “You guys need to shout louder, fight harder, put the pressure on each of your representatives, make Julian’s situation visible everywhere, every day, on your cars, on your shirts. Every day you tell all your friends, you talk about it with your family… Make sure Julian remains top priority until he steps out of that prison. I think we’re near, we can achieve this together.”

Stella noted that it was her first time in Australia, but it would not be her last. “I will come back here, home with Julian, and our kids who are Australian citizens will come home too.”

John Shipton, Assange’s father, placed the persecution of Assange within a broader context. Brown University, in the United States, had recently published a report showing that there had been 4.5 million deaths in the Middle East following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. An earlier document, from the same institution, estimated that the predatory US-led wars in the region had displaced 38 million people.

Speaking of those US interventions Shipton condemned a “hegemon standing in a river of blood.” He emphasised the striving of ordinary people for “justice” and “humanity,” which would ultimately be victorious. Assange’s case and the fight for his freedom were integral to this broader struggle.

Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, said: “If anything is to be taken from Julian’s persecution, it is that it has mobilised people all around the world… The fight gives meaning to Julian’s work. It has brought us all together here to fight for something that is so important to our Western democracies and that’s a free press. How can we make decisions about what our governments do in our name if we don’t know? It’s not possible.”

David McBride addressed the protest. A former Australian army lawyer, he faces life behind bars for blowing the whistle on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. They included verified murders of civilians and prisoners and other violations of international law. For these offenses, McBride, the man who exposed them, is the first to face court proceedings.

“There’s a good chance that even though I reported murders and cover-ups, that I’m going to go to jail for the rest of my life… It’s not something I hang my head about. It’s something I’m proud of… We need to stand up, the future of the planet depends on it.”

The whistleblower noted the comments of Australian Labor Party Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has made extremely tepid statements expressing “concern” over Assange’s plight. Albanese has said that “enough is enough” in relation to the Assange case. He claims to have made private representations to the US and British governments on behalf of Assange, but has stopped far short of any public demand for the Australian journalist’s freedom.

McBride responded: “I say this to Anthony Albanese. Enough of you saying ‘enough is enough.’ It means nothing. Imagine if I had witnessed war crimes in Afghanistan, witnessed murder and cover-up… and all I said to them is ‘enough is enough.’ It’s not enough.” McBride called for Albanese to “step up to the plate” and secure Assange’s unconditional freedom.

Stephen Kenny, Assange’s Australian lawyer, issued the same demand. Kenny represented Australian citizen David Hicks, who was rendered to the American military prison in Guantánamo Bay as part of the “war on terror.” Hicks was eventually freed and returned to Australia, as the result of a powerful campaign led by his father Terry Hicks. David Hicks had been compelled to sign a plea deal, despite having committed no crime.

Kenny noted the parallels. “Like David Hicks, Julian Assange has not committed any crime at all. So why is he in jail?” The editors of other major publications, who were involved in WikiLeaks’ 2010 and 2011 releases, for which Assange is being prosecuted, remain at liberty. This, Kenny explained, made clear that the case against Assange was political and required a political solution.

He outlined some of the abuses of the British judiciary. This included placing Assange in a glass box at the back of his courtroom during the first extradition proceedings, denying him the right to participate in his own case. Assange’s lawyers, moreover, had filed their latest appeal in November. The British judges merely need to determine whether he has an arguable case, a process which Kenny said should take several days or at most a week. But six months on and this task has not been completed.

Albanese has recently hinted at the prospect of a plea deal in the Assange case. Kenny forcefully rejected this course. “Is there a Hicks solution? Why should there be? He has not committed any crime. He should not be forced to plead to anything. We need our prime minister to stand up, not just say ‘enough is enough.’”

The rally raised several political issues. Many of the speakers, importantly, emphasised the decisive role of mobilising ordinary people in the fight to free Assange.

Inevitably, the statements of Albanese and other Labor representatives have generated some hope within the Assange camp. But there is no indication, whatsoever, that Albanese is fighting for Assange’s freedom, behind closed doors or anywhere else. This week he refused to even meet with Stella Assange. Albanese was part of the Gillard Labor government, which in 2010 and 2011, played a central role in the initial stages of the persecution of Assange……..

May 27, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Canadian reactors that “recycle” plutonium would create more problems than they solve

Bulletin, By Jungmin KangM.V. Ramana | May 25, 2023

In 2021, nine US nonproliferation experts sent an open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In their letter, the experts expressed their concern that the Canadian government was actually increasing the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation by funding reactors that are fueled with plutonium. Earlier that year, the Federal Government had provided 50.5 million Canadian dollars to Moltex Energy, a company exploring a nuclear reactor design fueled with plutonium. The linkage to nuclear weapons proliferation has also led several civil society groups to urge the Canadian government to ban plutonium reprocessing.

Much of the concern so far has been on Canada setting a poor example by sending a “dangerous signal to other countries that it is OK to for them to extract plutonium for commercial use.” But Moltex plans to export its reactors to other countries raise a different concern. Even if a country importing such a reactor does not start a commercial program to extract plutonium, it would still have a relatively easy access to plutonium in the fuel that the reactor relies on to operate. Below we provide a rough estimate of the quantities of plutonium involved—and their potential impact on nuclear weapons proliferation—to help explain the magnitude of the problem. But there is more. By separating multiple radionuclides from the solid spent fuel and channeling it into waste streams, Moltex reactors will only make the nuclear waste problem worse.

Moltex’s technological claims. Moltex established its Canadian headquarters in the province of New Brunswick after it received an infusion of 5 million Canadian dollars from the provincial government. The company offers two products: a molten salt reactor and a proprietary chemical process that Moltex terms “waste to stable salts” technology. Moltex claims that, by using its chemical process, it can “convert” spent fuel from Canada’s deuterium uranium nuclear reactors (CANDUs) into new fuel that can be used in its reactor design. Moltex essentially claims it can “reduce waste.” In light of the problematic history associated with molten salt reactors, Moltex’s proposed reactors, and especially the chemical process needed to produce fuel, deserve more scrutiny. These will have serious implications for nuclear policy.

In its response to the open letter from the US nonproliferation experts, Moltex dismissed the ability of outsiders to comment, arguing that experts “are not aware of [its proprietary] process as only high-level details are made public.” Moltex has been indeed sparse in what it shared publicly about its technologies. Still, there is much one can surmise from earlier experiences with the processing of spent fuel and from basic science. With some simple calculations based on these high-level details provided by Moltex so far—and taking those at face value, i.e., without evaluating the feasibility of the design or their plans—we show that there is reason to be concerned about the amounts of plutonium that will be used in the reactor.

[Technical explanation here about chemical processes]…………………………………………………………………………….

Moltex’s proposed technology has not yet been evaluated by the International Atomic Energy Agency for how well it can be safeguarded; nor is it possible to evaluate how well the technology can be safeguarded in advance of a final design. But there is good reason to think that a determined country—one that might not play by the rules set by the IAEA—might find a way to divert some plutonium from Moltex’s chemical process to use it in nuclear weapons.

Diversion has been a long-standing concern with pyroprocessing, which is closely related to what Moltex is proposing. …………………………………………………………more

May 27, 2023 Posted by | - plutonium, Canada, technology | Leave a comment

Nuclear Turns Fashionable

Should nuclear power really circumnavigate the planet with mini-power plants?

BY ROBERT HUNZIKER, CounterPunch 26 May 23

Small Modular Reactors (SMR) are the new nuclear craze, especially with the U.S. Congress, as America’s representatives see SMRs as a big answer to energy needs and reduction of greenhouse gases, advertised as a green deal for clean energy that skirts the heavy costs of paying the Middle East billions upon billions. However, the devil in the details is dangerously overlooked.

Notable nuclear accidents: NRX (1952) Kyshtym (1957) Windscale (1957) SL-1 (1961) Wood River Junction (1964) K-27 (1968) Three Mile Island (1979) Constituyentes (1983) Mohammedia (1984) K-431 (1985) Chernobyl (1986) Tokai (1997, 1999) Fukushima (2011) … but wait, hundreds, possibly thousands, of Small Modular Reactors (nuclear SMRs) are about to pop up around the world. What could possibly go wrong?

“Multiple and unexpected failures are built into society’s complex and tightly coupled nuclear reactor systems. Such accidents are unavoidable and cannot be designed around.” (Charles Perrow, Normal Accidents (Princeton University Press, 1999)

“On dozens of occasions because of human error or technical miscue or active threat, the world has come dangerously close to the brink of nuclear conflagration… it is a terrifying history of which most people remain ignorant.” (Julian Cribb, How to Fix a Broken Planet, Cambridge University Press, 2023.)

Should nuclear power really circumnavigate the planet with mini-power plants?

For Germany, which closed its last three nuclear plants in April 2023, the country’s Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management conducted a study: “SMRs have been the subject of repeated discussion in recent times. They promise cheap energy, safety, and little waste. BASE commissioned an expert report (in German) to evaluate these concepts and the risks associated with them. The report provides a scientific assessment of possible areas of application and the associated safety issues. It concludes that the construction of SMRs is only economically viable for a very large number of units and poses significant risks if widely deployed.”

Yet, “resistance to nuclear power is starting to ebb around the world with support from a surprising group: environmentalists… This change of heart spans the globe, and is being prompted by climate change, unreliable electrical grids and fears about national security in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” (Source: Why Even Environmentalists are Supporting Nuclear Power Today, NPR, August 30, 2022

U.S. senators recently introduced a nuclear energy bill called the Advance Act with bipartisan support, hopefully enhancing and advancing America’s world leadership role in nuclear energy by deploying SMRs by the bucketful, idealized as a “cleaner smarter safer solution” to today’s bulky nuclear power plants. Advance Act will cut red tape and make it easier and much faster for SMRs to gain a foothold in the marketplace……………………..

The excitement over nuclear is palpable, as politicians’ hands tremble with excitement, introducing what’s billed as the perfect green clean way to solve energy needs. There are cheerleaders galore. The U.S. Congress for one is a very influential cheerleading group, but it’s more pervasive than that. Big players like Japan and China are going all-in for nuclear. Japan Adopts Plan to Maximize Nuclear Energy, in Major Shift, AP News, December 22, 2022.

Wait a moment… isn’t Japan currently being criticized in several quarters of the world for dumping Fukushima toxic radioactive water into the ocean? After all, the U.S. National Association of Marine Laboratories, with over 100 member laboratories, issued a position paper strongly opposing the toxic dumping because of a lack of adequate and accurate scientific data in support of Japan’s assertions of safety.

Regardless, last week the G7 nations gave its blessing for Japan to dump Fukushima’s toxic water into the Pacific Ocean. Hmm.

Interestingly, PM Shinzo Abe (1954-2022) shortly after Fukushima’s meltdown 10 years ago, assured the International Olympic Committee in consideration of holding the games in Tokyo, that “everything was under control.” Notwithstanding numerous assurances by Japanese authorities of no harm, no foul, over the years, several independent journalists in Japan have reported numerous deaths because of the Fukushima meltdown and its aftermath but never acknowledged by the government. Assurances are not always assurances!

Therefore, it’s only fair that the darker side of nuclear cheerleading — yea yea yea no nuclear no nuclear — deserves some notoriety. For starters, the results of a recent study by Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 31, 2022, entitled Nuclear Waste from Small Modular Reactors.

Stanford News also published the study: Sandford-led Research Finds Small Modular Reactors Will Exacerbate Challenges of Highly Radioactive Nuclear Waste. The study concludes that SMRs will generate more radioactive waste than conventional nuclear power plants. Stanford and the University of British Columbia jointly conducted the study, e.g., SMRs will be manufactured in factories and industry analysts claim SMRs will be cheaper and produce fewer radioactive byproducts than the big bulky conventional reactors; however, the study discovered the upsetting fact that, pound-for-pound when compared to the big bulky conventional nuclear plants, SMRs will increase nuclear waste… considerably!

………………………………………………………………………………………. Meanwhile, SMRs are about to enter a world of nuclear power that has sharp critics. For example, crib notes of a detailed analysis of nuclear by Greenpeace, which has considerable nuclear expertise on staff, provides an offset to the ringing applause around the world for SMRs: 6 Reasons Why Nuclear Energy is not the Way to a Green and Peaceful World d/d March 18, 2022.

Greenpeace is not at all hesitant about exposing the “myths being perpetuated by the nuclear industry.”

For starters the scale of proposed nuclear energy installations does not come close to meeting the needs to go to net zero emissions in a timely fashion, according to projections by the World Nuclear Association, greenhouse gas emissions would only drop by 4% by 2050, assuming 37 new large nuclear reactors brought onto the grid per year from now to 2050. Yet only 57 new reactors are schedule for construction over the next 15 years. A number for SMRs is unknown currently.

Nuclear power plants are extremely dangerous as easy targets for terrorists, cyberattacks or acts of war. Moreover, they are unique hazards for accidents by nature like Fukushima and/or by human error like Chernobyl, and some accidents never go away.

“For the first time in history, a major war is being waged in a country with multiple nuclear reactors and thousands of tons of highly radioactive spent fuel. The war in southern Ukraine around Zaporizhzhia puts them all at heightened risk of a severe accident…. Nuclear power plants are some of the most complex and sensitive industrial installations, which require a very complex set of resources in ready state at all times to keep them operational,” Ibid.

Nuclear power plants are a water-hungry technology that must, must, must have a lot of water to cool the radioactive hot stuff. Nuclear power facilities are vulnerable to water stress, warming rivers, and rising temperatures. Facilities in the US and France have often been shut down during heatwaves or have scaled down activity, especially France’s shakiness in 2022. Global warming is nuclear power’s biggest enemy.

And, then there’s this: “Electricite de France SA’s fleet of 56 atomic power plants has long been the backbone of Europe’s energy system, but in 2022 it was more of a millstone……………………………………………..

For a prize-winning compelling read about the most toxic place in America and a terrifying look at the radioactive nuclear materials produced at Hanford for four decades: Atomic DaysThe Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America (Haymarket Books, 2022)

Regardless of the strongest assurances, nuclear accidents happen. They just happen!

Robert Hunziker lives in Los Angeles and can be reached at

May 27, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Groups Warn Biden that Ukraine War Shows Attacks on Nuclear Plants ‘Could Happen Here’

“Our concern is that the security of U.S. nuclear power plants does not seem to be receiving a commensurate amount of attention, neither from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), nor the administration,” the coalition explained. “Worse, your administration is also seeking to expand the nuclear industry in dangerous ways that compound nuclear plant security threats.”

Common Dreams , Jessica Corbett, 25 May 23

“The recent catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and the crash of two Boeing 737 Max jets demonstrate the real-world consequences of inadequate or capriciously enforced safety regulation and oversight. We can’t add radiological releases from U.S. nuclear plants to this list.”

In the wake of another nerve-wracking outage at a Russian-held Ukrainian nuclear energy facility this week, 90 groups and dozens of individuals wrote to U.S. President Joe Biden expressing “grave concerns regarding security at U.S. nuclear power plants.”

“We commend and wholeheartedly support your administration’s much-needed efforts to make nuclear plants in the Ukraine war zone more secure in the face of daunting political and military challenges,” states the letter, spearheaded by Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) and sent to the White House Wednesday. “This work protects not only Ukraine but the entire planet.”

“Our concern is that the security of U.S. nuclear power plants does not seem to be receiving a commensurate amount of attention, neither from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), nor the administration,” the coalition explained. “Worse, your administration is also seeking to expand the nuclear industry in dangerous ways that compound nuclear plant security threats.”

While the letter argues that given the associated security threats, “federal funding should prioritize scaling up renewables, storage, efficiency, and transmission upgrades, so as to phase out nuclear power as quickly as possible,” it also calls for immediate action.

“Nuclear plant security MUST begin at home,” the groups declared, urging the U.S. government to “learn the lesson” from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) since Russian forces invaded Ukraine early last year—that “attacks on nuclear facilities and other external dangers they face are credible threats and could happen here.”……………………………

The coalition also sent the president a separate document detailing security concerns and recommendations for U.S. facilities, but the letter highlights the top takeaways:

  • The 92 operating reactors and 19 reactors in various stages of decommissioning in the U.S. are vulnerable to sabotage, terrorism, cyberattack, dam breaches, and other threats of a deliberate nature.
  • Shipments of spent nuclear fuel to consolidated interim storage facilities (CISFs) are similarly vulnerable.
  • NRC nuclear plant security policy is reactive rather than proactive, leaving it up to licensees. The NRC also takes a “hands-off” approach to securing spent nuclear fuel.
  • Independent analysis shows this approach has failed, and that as a result, U.S. nuclear plants are not secure.

In a statement, Kevin Kamps—a radioactive waste specialist with Beyond Nuclear, which signed the letter to Biden—took aim at Holtec International, a U.S.-based company that owns a proposed New Mexico CISF, has handled spent fuel in Ukraine, and recently signed a contract to deploy small modular nuclear reactors in the war-torn country.

“Holtec’s performance in handling spent fuel has been abysmal in Ukraine and similarly abysmal in the United States,” said Kamps. “That’s one illustration among others that the problem is not limited to Ukraine, and that U.S. nuclear plants are subject to security threats we need to start addressing.”

NEIS director Dave Kraft asked, “What sense does it make to send tens of millions of dollars to Ukraine to enhance security and safety, when our own 92 operating reactors and 90,000 tons of high-level radioactive wastes are not secure?”

“What sense does it make to sprinkle the next-generation micro- and mini-nuke reactors around the nation and the world, boasting they can be mobile on flatbed trucks or housed in factories or Walmarts, when it is daily demonstrated that silent drones are capable of turning heavily armored tanks and military vehicles into shredded heaps of burning metal?” he added. “This is the real world nuclear power now exists in, and this administration is not prepared to provide the safety and security necessary for it to survive.”………………………………. more

May 27, 2023 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Ukraine: Why Negotiations Are the Only Rational Option in the Face of Climate Chaos and Nuclear Dangers

By Fabian Scheidler / Original to ScheerPost 26 May 23

The Pentagon Leaks have shown that, from the U.S. military’s perspective, the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine has reached a stalemate. Neither side can win in the foreseeable future, according to the assessment. Senior military leaders, such as General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said so publicly before. This makes negotiations, as difficult as they may be, the only rational option. For a continuation of the war under these conditions would lead to endless bloodshed, to a new Verdun, without achieving the restoration of Ukrainian territory. At the same time, nuclear escalation would become increasingly likely. 

Any ethically sound position in such a conflict must weigh the risks and sacrifices to be made for a goal against what can realistically be achieved. Yet even the question of how many people in Ukraine should die in order to shift the future course of the border by how many kilometers is considered cynical and lacking in solidarity by many who loudly pose as friends of Ukraine. But isn’t it, on the contrary, cynical not to ask this very question in the current situation? After all, those who die are Ukrainians and Russian soldiers, not those who muse in Berlin or Washington about war aims and noble principles. And those affected in Ukraine themselves currently have no opportunity to express their views on the matter by voting. …………………………………………………………………..

Geopolitical and ecological tipping points

The question, which kind of ethics we choose, goes far beyond the consequences of war in the narrower sense and relates to the entire global situation. The world faces a whole series of dangerous tipping points, both geopolitical and ecological. For one thing, a lasting new bloc confrontation greatly increases the risk of nuclear war. Even a “limited” nuclear exchange would lead globally to a nuclear winter and wipe out a large part of humanity. For this reason alone, diplomacy based on an ethics of responsibility is the only rational option.

Second, the new cold and hot war destroys the chances of preventing climate and biosphere collapse in several ways. If we cross some of the imminent tipping points in the climate system, the Earth threatens to enter an entirely new state that climate scientists call Hothouse Earth. Entire regions of the Earth, including parts of South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, would become uninhabitable. To prevent this, most of the fossil fuels in the Earth’s crust must remain in the ground. For this, in turn, intensified international cooperation – including with China and Russia – is indispensable.

As far-fetched as this may seem at the moment, the West must make Russia offers on how it can transform itself from an exporter of fossil fuels into a producer of renewable energies – because the largest country on earth has enormous potential for this. If Russia remains a pariah from the Western perspective, a nation with whom one does not talk, such a perspective is unthinkable.

The new bloc confrontation also threatens to channel the resources urgently needed for a socio-ecological transformation into the most destructive and climate-damaging of all sectors: the military. ……………………………..

According to the calculations of U.S. economist Robert Pollin, an effective Global Green New Deal that could still prevent devastating climate chaos would cost about $4.5 trillion annually – about 5 percent of global GDP. This sum would be affordable, but only if global military spending were curbed at the same time…………………………………………..

The question of sovereignty

The urgent need for negotiation initiatives is often brushed aside with two arguments. One, it is said, is that one cannot negotiate with a monster like Putin. But the history of the March 2022 negotiations, which had led to significant rapprochements between the two sides, proves otherwise. Secondly, it is repeatedly pointed out, especially by the U.S. government, that it is not up to us to propose compromises, that it is exclusively up to the Ukrainians. Of course, it is up to Ukraine and especially its citizens – who, however, have not even been consulted about any of this for years – to make decisions about war, peace and negotiations. But it is completely out of touch with reality to pretend that this war is taking place in a geopolitical vacuum………………………………………

……………….It is also interesting that the argument against interference comes from the U.S., of all countries, which has massively interfered in Ukraine’s affairs for a long time……………

………………………… more

May 27, 2023 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

While Sullivan and Wang build ‘guardrails’: where is Mr Blinken?

By C K YeungMay 24, 2023, Pearls and Irritations

When US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met face-to-face with Mr Antony Blinken’s China counterpart Mr Wang Yi for eight hours in Vienna on May 10-11, a meeting both sides described as “constructive”, where was America’s top diplomat, Mr Blinken?

The Sullivan-Wang meeting not only makes US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s long-awaited China visit a distinct possibility but also paves the way for a meeting between President Biden and President Xi Jinping at APEC in San Francisco this November.

…………………. “Both sides agreed to maintain this channel between Director Wang and the National Security Advisor”, and “Both sides see that a channel between Director Wang and National Security Advisor is one means of managing that competition (between the US and China).”………………….

So where is Mr Blinken?

Not only does Blinken’s portfolio require him to be the top line of communication with China, but President Biden also specifically named him his China man after meeting with Xi Jinping on November 14 last year. “The two leaders agreed to empower key senior officials to maintain communication and deepen constructive efforts”, and “The two leaders agreed that Secretary of State Blinken will visit China to follow up on their discussions,” President Biden announced.

Mr Blinken failed to deliver on both fronts. He makes no secret that he is keen to visit China. But China gently shuts the door on him and looks the other way when he tries to talk.

As the US President’s chief foreign affairs advisor and fourth in line of succession to presidency, the Secretary of State wields enormous sway in US foreign policy. Played constructively, Mr Blinken can be the guardrails that keep Sino-US relations on track. But he chose destructiveness.

Actually China had been all set to roll out the red carpet for Mr Blinken. On January 17 this year, two months after the Xi-Biden meeting, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesman said that: “We welcome Secretary Blinken to visit China and are in communication with the US on the specifics of the visit.”

But Mr Blinken hasn’t learned from the March 2021 Alaska talks, at which he got a lecture from his then China counterpart and Wang Yi’s predecessor Yang Jiechi, that the US is “unqualified to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength”.

After China’s “welcome” gesture, instead of creating favourable conditions for what could be a historic visit, Mr Blinken again resorted to his “position of strength” tactic during the lead up to his visit, reviving old issues and creating new ones to suppress China, including issues around the origin of covid, Taiwan, military base in the Philippines, NATO links with Korea and Japan, new export controls, new bans on Huawei – the list goes on.

………………………………………………………. Almost three weeks after the shoot-down [of the Chinese weather balloons], Mr Blinken still stuck to his “don’t let a crisis go to waste” mindset, escalating it further to denounce China for “Violating US sovereignty and international law,” while repeating the China threat narrative.

……… In stark contrast, Mr Sullivan’s spokesman Mr John Kirby said at a press briefing on February 16 at the height of the balloon hype: “We assessed whether they posed any kinetic threat to people on the ground. They did not. We assessed whether they were sending any communications signals. We detected none. We looked to see whether they were manoeuvring or had any propulsion capabilities. We saw no sign of that. And we made sure to determine whether they were manned. They were not. “

Back to Mr Sullivan. His statement after the meeting with Wang was all positive. The word “communication” was used 11 times, “productive” four times, “constructive” three times. The only adjective used to characterise US-China relations is “competition”, appearing eight times. All the usual suspects attached to China like “threats” “aggressive” “coercion” “confrontation” were used zero times.

…………………….“friends of China” do not exist in today’s US politics. Mr Sullivan is pro-China? You must be kidding. Same in Australia. People like Mr Paul Keating and Mr John Menadue have been painted red from head to toe by “white men’s media” for their China-friendly comments. But it is a joke to say Mr Keating or Mr Menadue are pro-China. They are true Australian patriots, 100 per cent pro-Australia. They treat China with fairness and reasonableness for no other reason than doing that is in Australia’s best interest. Lowering oneself to become a US spear for attacking China is in US interest and against Australia’s.

Mr Blinken will still have a chance to set foot in China before he steps down, as China would stand ready to honour the agreement with President Biden for such a visit to happen. But the top diplomat of any country who doesn’t have an open line of communication with Beijing cannot possibly be an effective diplomat.

Mr Blinken’s days as America’s top diplomat are numbered if President Biden is serious about having effective guardrails to keep the US-China relations on track.

May 27, 2023 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Irony Or What! India “Sidelines” Russia For US Nuclear Tech, But US Remains ‘Critically Dependent’ On Russian Nuke Fuel

The signing of the 123 Nuclear Agreement between India and the US ended the former’s pariah status in the nuclear world. It brought hope to the American player to collaborate in the nuclear energy sector.

But India’s first deal with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a power manufacturing company, has been hanging fire after the company reported bankruptcy. India is now seeking to cooperate with the US on building Small Modular Reactors instead of Russia.

At the G-20 summit, Indian bureaucrat Amitabh Kant called for India-US collaboration to build small 300 MW nuclear power plants and sought “unfettered access” to the US cutting-edge technology.

So far, Russia has been India’s biggest collaborator in the nuclear energy sector. It has helped set up the largest nuclear power plant in Asia at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.

………………………………………………………………………………………………..The US government, however, could not bring itself to sanction the Russian nuclear energy giant Rosatom because of its importance in the global nuclear industry.

A special high assay low enriched Uranium is used in the SMRs, and Russia has a monopoly over it. In the absence of an alternative source, the US is dependent on Russia for it.

HALEU is enriched to up to 20%, rather than around 5% for the uranium that powers most nuclear plants. But only TENEX, a subsidiary of Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom, currently sells HALEU commercially…………………………………………………………………..

The Nuclear Energy Market In India

A recent report in Reuters said that India is likely to overturn a ban on foreign investment in its nuclear power industry and allow greater participation from domestic private firms. An Indian government panel has recommended the changes.

Under India’s Atomic Energy Act 1962, the government controls the development and running of nuclear power plants. Domestic private firms have been able to take part by supplying components.

India has signed contracts with many foreign companies like Westinghouse Electric, GE-Hitachi, Electricite de France, and Rosatom to set up nuclear power plants. Apart from Rosatom, none of the companies have been able to deliver so far……

May 27, 2023 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

No, There Won’t Be Nuclear-Powered Commercial Shipping This Time Either

Clean Technica 25 May 23

Nuclear for commercial ships is so obviously flawed from a business perspective that I didn’t even bother to include it in my quadrant chart of sexy vs impractical maritime decarbonization technologies.

A while ago, I published my sexy-practical quadrant chart for maritime shipping decarbonization. Sharp-eyed readers noted an omission from it: nuclear power for commercial ships. While I make no claims to be encyclopedic, I do try to be relatively thorough, and it honestly didn’t occur to me to include it. Imagine my surprise that a private nuclear commercial shipping representative, CTO Giulio Gennaro of Core Power Energy, was on the panel with me at Stena Sphere’s technical summit in Glasgow.

My take is that all inland shipping and two-thirds of short sea shipping will just go to battery-electric eventually. There will be hybrid solutions where when the batteries are replaced, the pure battery range will increase and less fuel will be consumed. And biofuels will take care of the rest……………………………………………………………..

As an indicator of that niche going away, while there are over 900 ultra large crude carriers in service, only one — yes, that’s not a typo, only a single ship of that class — was on order earlier this year. No one is buying them because everyone knows that they have a good chance of being stranded assets. As I found out this week, smaller carriers are being ordered, but the ones most suitable for nuclear aren’t.

He made it clear that they were arguing for small molten salt nuclear reactors (which I guess would be MSR SMRs?), but no one pressed him on commercial demonstration of that technology. For context, there are two prototype, non-grid connected, tiny MSRs in operation in China the last time I checked. This technology has been around since the 1960s and was never commercialized. And as the product doesn’t exist today, it won’t exist in any volumes for a decade at least. They have a preferred technology, but I see no evidence of a specific design. They appear to be doing more promotion of the idea rather than development of a product.

May 27, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment