Civil nuclear police: Working to 65 ‘physically impossible’, BBC News, 24 August 2016 Representatives of 1,250 armed police officers who protect UK civil nuclear sites have challenged a rule forcing them to work beyond the age of 60.
While most UK police can retire at 60, Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers must work until 65 under a new law.The Civil Nuclear Police Federation says it will be “physically impossible” for officers in their mid-60s to protect the public from terrorism.
It has taken the case to London’s High Court to try to get the rule changed.
It argues its officers have the most physically demanding role in the police service and will not be able to maintain their standards of fitness and weapons proficiency into their 60s.
A government spokesperson said the Civil Nuclear Police Authority – which oversees the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) – was “considering how to implement changes and reforms”.
The changes were brought in as part of the Public Service Pensions Act………
Analysis By Danny Shaw, BBC home affairs correspondentUnlike other forces that are in the headlines nearly every day – the Met, West Midlands and Greater Manchester Police, for example – you don’t hear a lot about the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.
Much of its work goes unseen, guarding nuclear sites in remote corners of the UK and protecting material in transit.However, it is vital work, particularly at a time when the terrorism threat level is graded “severe” with an attack assessed as “highly likely”. That’s one reason why its officers are incensed – and baffled – by pension changes which mean they’d have to work until at least 65 before retiring……..http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37169994
The move would boost employment when oil prices have dropped, reduce carbon emissions and help shift the economy toward green industries, according to the report released Friday by Greenpeace, the Alberta Green Economy Network and Gridworks Energy Group.
“The government can start putting people back to work without having to wait for the price of oil to go back up,” co-author David Thompson said Friday, which was also Earth Day.
The report estimates 68,400 positions are available from energy efficiency upgrades on more than 183,000 older homes and other buildings, requiring spending of $1 billion over five years.
Another 30,000 to 40,000 places would come from building LRT lines at a cost of more than $3.6 billion, along with the unpriced expansion of bike lanes, sidewalks and other sustainable transportation.
As well, there could be 46,780 jobs created by 2020 by almost doubling the amount of wind power to seven per cent of the electricity grid, boosting solar and geothermal production, and improving energy efficiency and storage.
No price tag is attached to this development. The provincial budget calls for investing $6.2 billion raised by the new carbon levy in green infrastructure, renewable energy, energy efficiency and other work over five years.
Many communities are already shifting toward renewable power.
The Lubicon Lake First Nation of Little Buffalo, 465 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, put in an 80-panel, 20.8-kilowatt solar electricity system next to its health centre last summer. The Louis Bull First Nation at Maskwacis, 70 kilometres south of Edmonton, will start installing 340 solar panels on four public buildings next month, training residents to work in this field and cutting electricity bills, councillor Desmond Bull said.
The approximately $300,000 cost is being covered with money from the federal government.
The project is intended to help the environment as well as produce economic development, Bull said.
“There’s not really any template or model for how First Nations can move in this direction.”
City of Edmonton chief economist John Rose cautioned this week that governments need to be prudent about major investments in renewable energy, but Thompson said Alberta has big wind and solar resources.
“We can learn from the mistakes others have made … We can go down the tunnel and hopefully get less scratched.”
Cosmic radiation: Apollo astronauts 5 times more likely to die from heart disease, says study Rt.com 29 Jul, 2016 The first study of Apollo astronauts – the only people to have traveled beyond Earth’s protective magnetic shield – has found that those who ventured to the moon are five times more likely to die from heart disease.
The NASA and Florida State University study revealed its findings on Thursday. They state that so far three Apollo astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, have died from cardiovascular disease, apparently as a result of the extreme cosmic radiation they were exposed to during their missions. The researchers concentrated on a small group for the study: 42 astronauts who flew in space, seven of whom were Apollo veterans, the other 35 being non-flight astronauts.
The study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, found that Apollo astronauts are four to five times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease death than astronauts who either never entered space or only flew on low-altitude missions.
“These data suggest that human travel into deep space may be more hazardous to cardiovascular health than previously estimated,” it said. https://www.rt.com/usa/353865-apollo-study-heart-disease/#.V5smTINhh9Q.facebook
Uranium is the dirty underbelly of nuclear – scientist http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/uranium-is-the-dirty-underbelly-of-nuclear-scientist-2016-07-21 21ST JULY 2016 BY: NEWS24WIRE Anti nuclear sentiment tends to focus onnuclear waste or operational risks, but more focus should be on the “dirty underbelly” of uranium mining, according to a science adviser.
“Whenever people get excited about nuclear power stations, they kind of forget where the actual uranium comes from,”Dr Stefan Cramer, science adviser for environmentalist groupSafcei, told Fin24 in an interview recently.
“Nuclear is a fallacy, both economically and environmentally,” Cramer, who was born in Germany but not now lives in Graaff-Reinet, claimed.
“Uranium mining is the dirty underbelly of this whole nuclearcycle,” he said. “It’s where it all starts.”
“One must stop nuclear industries in (their) tracks because it leaves future generations with an immeasurable task and legacy,” he said. “The best point to start is at the source, where the whole cycle of nuclear technology begins, and that is at uranium mining.
“Uranium mining is very much the dirtiest part of the entire industry.”
Anti-uranium mining boost Cramer’s focus on anti-uranium mining was given a boost this month when Australian company Tasman Pacific Minerals Limited said it is downsizing its mining application in South Africa by almost 90%.
“Overall, the area covered by Tasman’s new and existingmining right and prospecting right applications in the Western and Eastern Cape will reduce by almost 300 000 ha to approximately 465 000 ha,” it said.
Tasman is punting job creation as necessitating the success of its new application. “Currently very few opportunities for additional economic development exist,” it said in a recent report.
“Tasman believes that uranium mining has a significant role to play in improving the economic outlook of the region, not only from an employment perspective, but also in the economic activity that is generated by associated businessactivities that extend beyond mining itself.”
“We desperately need jobs in the Karoo,” he said. “The Karoo is an area of high poverty, (with) very low employment opportunities. Any opportunity is usually highly welcome and it is to be welcomed because we need jobs desperately. Buturanium mining is a very poor process to create jobs.
“If we are really serious about job creation in the Karoo, there are other opportunities, which are much more valuable.
“Agriculture is still the main employment opportunity and needs to be protected and improved. Agri-tourism is a very new and very fast rising opportunity, but the best (opportunity) of all is renewable energy.”Renewable energy jobs boost
“South African already has 28 000 jobs in the renewable energy industry as compared to 2 600 in the nuclearindustry,” said Cramer. “Even the most ambitious job projections in the nuclear field would be up to 30 000 jobs if they whole country is run onnuclear energy. If we go into renewable energies, it’s an order of magnitude.
“The Department of Energy predicts up to 350 000 jobs inrenewable energy, so uranium mining is clear(ly) not a good strategy,” he said.
Cramer said nuclear is also a fallacy from a democratic point of view, “because it creates a veil of secrecy over this whole industry”. “That is clearly shown in our court case against the South African government for its failure to disclose the contents of an agreement with Russia,” he said.
http://capitalandmain.com/latest-news/issues/labor-and-economy/green-state-golden-state-clean-energy-policy-makes-good-jobs-0719/ by Dean Kuipers July 19, 2016 California’s deserts are blooming with windmills and solar farms and, according to a new University of California, Berkeley report, these large-scale projects are creating top quality jobs. The Link Between Good Jobs and a Low Carbon Future, issued by the Don Vial Center on the Green Economy at Berkeley’s Labor Center, finds that despite the one-off nature of large, clean energy construction projects, these renewable-power enterprises are creating high-paying, long-lasting blue-collar jobs.
Rising temperatures caused by climate change may cost the world economy over $US2 trillion ($A2.63 trillion) in lost productivity by 2030 as hot weather makes it unbearable to work in some parts of the world, according to UN research.
It showed that in Southeast Asia alone, up to 20 per cent of annual work hours may already be lost in jobs with exposure to extreme heat with the figures set to double by 2050 as the effects of climate change deepen.
Across the globe, 43 countries will see a fall in their gross domestic product (GDP) due to reduced productivity, the majority of them in Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, China, India and Bangladesh, Tord Kjellstrom, a director at the New Zealand-based Health and Environment International Trust, said. Indonesia and Thailand could see their GDP reduced by six per cent in 2030, while in China GDP could be reduced by 0.8 per cent and in India by 3.2 per cent.
Kjellstrom authored one of six papers on the impact of climate change on health that were put together by the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health in Kuala Lumpur and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.
Kjellstrom warned that the lowest-paid workers – those in heavy labour, agricultural and manufacturing – were most at risk of exposure to extreme heat.
The other papers in the series showed around 2.1 million people worldwide died between 1980 and 2012 due to nearly 21,000 natural catastrophes such as floods, mudslides, extreme heat, drought, high winds or fires.
In Asia Pacific, 1.2 billon people have been affected by 1215 disasters – mostly floods, cyclones and landslides – since 2000.
The first three months of 2016 have broken temperature records and 2015 was the planet’s warmest year since records began in the 19th century.
Work stoppage continues at Hanford Nuclear Reservation http://q13fox.com/2016/07/12/work-stoppage-continues-at-hanford-nuclear-reservation/ JULY 12, 2016, BY ASSOCIATED PRESS SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A rare work stoppage continues by some Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers who contend that radioactive wastes left from the production of nuclear weapons are making them sick.
Union president Dave Molnaa, who ordered the work stoppage, said it will continue until all employees are provided with bottled air when working around all of the underground nuclear waste storage tanks on the Hanford site.
Workers have contended for years that chemical vapors escaping from the tanks are making them sick.
The steel tanks, some dating back to World War II, contain wastes created by the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons.
The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council, a coalition of 15 unions that represent workers on the site near Richland, issued the “stop work” order on Monday morning.
California Is Going Nuclear-Free, Which Means Everyone Else Can, Too, Fast Coexist.com MICHAEL SHANK 06.21.16
A historic deal to replace the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant with renewable energy could be a model for the rest of the country. “……, a new historic agreement between a major American power company and environmental groups shows that another way is possible. America can, in fact, transition off nuclear in the short-term and replace it with renewable energy, efficiency and energy storage resources. It’s totally feasible. Take a look at the groundbreaking agreement:
First, the 100-plus year-old California-based power giant, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), just agreed to shut down its two 30 year-old nuclear reactors in Diablo Canyon, letting the licenses expire in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This is a big deal, and it’ll make California, the world’s sixth largest economy, nuclear free.
This is no small thing. These two PG&E nuclear reactors, which spurred the start of the environmental organization Friends of the Earth, comprise roughly 20% of the annual electricity production in the company’s service territory and 10% of California’s annual production.
That’s a lot of power. And yet the transition off these kinds of plants is entirely doable and illustrative of switches that should happen across the U.S., including much older plants with long-expired licenses. Entergy’s Indian Point nuclear reactors north of New York City, for example, could be closed even sooner than Diablo Canyon and replaced with a portfolio of renewables, efficiency, and storage. Taking a cue from California, we should be replicating this everywhere.
Second, this agreement indicates that California is outpacing other states in how its utilities are redefining their future, as PG&E didn’t stop with the Diablo Canyon closure. They committed to ramping up their renewable energy portfolio over the next 15 years so that renewables will comprise the majority of their total retail power, at 55%, voluntarily exceeding California’s standards for 2030.
That’s also a big deal and heralds a new tide of utility leadership. PG&E sees the markets moving and wants to make the switch early. Utilities across the U.S., many of which are notoriously conservative in thinking and practice, are seeing the writing on the wall. And in the coming years, we’ll only see more of this switching as the economics are rapidly driving the conversion.
Former McDonnell Douglas workers, residents file suit over radiation exposure, St Louis Public Radio By DURRIE BOUSCAREN • MAY 20, 2016 Three former aircraft workers and seven north St. Louis County residents who say they were exposed to radioactive waste stored near Lambert Airport after World War II, have filed a federal lawsuit against Mallinckrodt and the Cotter Corporation.
“There were a lot of fellow employees that are no longer with us. And I feel that I’m speaking for them,” said the lead plaintiff, 72-year-old Bob Malon, who survived a colon cancer diagnosis in 2004.
The personal injury lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, seeks unspecified damages………
The nine plaintiffs claim that Mallinckrodt and other federal contractors acted negligently and allowed materials to leach into the environment, putting people nearby at a greater risk for several types of cancer and thyroid disease………
The 10 plaintiffs allege they were exposed to doses above 500 millirem a year without their knowledge.
Ken Brennan, the lead attorney on the lawsuit, hopes to consolidate it with ongoing litigation filed in 2012, McClurg et. al v. MI Holdings, Inc. et al. About 250 people who believe their health issues are connected to their exposure to radioactive contamination in north St. Louis County are represented by the consolidated suit, and another 150 have filed similar suits.
“We reconstruct, based on data that’s available, how much radiation was stored at the airport site, how that radiation was then distributed through weather and erosion and wind patterns,” Brennan said.
Brennan estimates a quarter of the plaintiffs are former employees of Boeing or McDonnell Douglas. The majority lived near the airport or along Coldwater Creek. Many plaintiffs, including Malon, were made aware of the litigation by a Facebook group that has tracked cancer and other health issues near Coldwater Creek since 2011, when a group of friends planning a high school reunion realized that many of their classmates had developed cancer or passed away.
“When we determine the extent to which each of our clients was exposed to radiation, we use existing science to demonstrate that their cancers were more likely than not caused by that radiation,” Brennan said……..
The people who worked at the waste site could be eligible to receive compensation from the federal government—and 48 of them have filed to do so, according to the Department of Labor.
By law, contractors and subcontractors who worked at nuclear sites between 1942 and 1971 can receive a lump sum and coverage of medical bills if they meet certain conditions. 22 cancers are specified in the law, including lung, breast and colon cancer.
Residents and nearby workers are not included, but Malon and the other plaintiffs believe their injuries stem from the same contamination. …. http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/former-mcdonnell-douglas-workers-residents-file-suit-over-radiation-exposure?utm_content=buffer961c0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
The world’s biggest oil companies are slashing jobs to cope with decreasing revenues, and one knock-on effect has been the drop in oil job postings.
Conversely, however, if the current pace of postings hold, solar would become the largest market for energy jobs by the fourth quarter of 2016, according to numbers tabulated by Indeed, the world’s highest traffic job site…….
Tara Sinclair, chief economist at Indeed. “Whether or not solar overtakes oil on Indeed, energy workers would do well to position themselves for work in renewable fields such as solar, wind, and hydroelectricity.”
This corresponds with a recent report by The Solar Foundation that highlighted the rapid growth of the U.S. clean energy sector. By the end of this year, the solar sector should have 240,000 workers under its wings, and currently employs around 77% more workers than the coal mining industry……http://fortune.com/2016/04/20/solar-oil-jobs-indeed/
Ukrainian nuclear power workers to protest on 30th Chernobyl disaster anniversary Rt.com 25 Apr, 2016 Ukraine’s state nuclear energy giant says all employees of the country’s nuclear plants will stage a massive protest over its frozen assets in Kiev on Tuesday, as the world will be marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
Energoatom, the operator of Ukraine’s four functioning nuclear plants, saidon its website on Monday that its workers resorted to such “extreme measure” because of the “inaction” of the state in addressing the issue of “unjustified seizure” of the company’s assets.
The assets freeze led to Energoatom stopping payments for nuclear fuel, nuclear materials and removal of used nuclear fuel, it stressed.
“The payment arrears may result in the delay in the supply of nuclear fuel to Ukrainian nuclear power plants and therefore stoppage nuclear power units,” the company warned.
The wages of the employees are also under threat, the statement by state-owned Energoatom added.
The protests action was scheduled after attempts to resolve the issue “peacefully” by the nuclear worker’s union turned out unsuccessful, it said.
The Energoatom assets were arrested in March after the court ordered to collect 127.3 million hryvnia (around $5 million) of debt from the company.
The debt to Ukrelektrovat company “is not confirmed by any primary accounting documents, while the liability of 2.5 million hryvnia that had been present on Energoatom’s balance account was written off in 2004 due to the expiration of the statute of limitations,” it explained.
The amount of the debt was artificially increased after legal enquiry by an individual expert, whose conclusions were put in doubt by the Justice Ministry and led to the launch of a criminal case, Energoatom said.
In April, the company has sent an open letter to Justice Minister, Pavel Petrenko, urging him to interfere into the situation, but the plea was ignored by the official……..https://www.rt.com/news/340902-ukraine-chernobyl-nuclear-protest/
Fresh setback for Hinkley Point as EDF consults French unions, Telegraph UK Alan Tovey 22 APRIL 2016 Plans by EDF to build the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station have been further delayed after the French energy company said it would consult with unions before announcing its final investment decision.
After a board meeting on Friday, the company said it had agreed a “significant” recapitalisation that would make it “possible for EDF to proceed with its strategic investment programme – including Hinkley Point C”.
However, the directors added they would go through a formal consultation process with unions over the decision. Although it will not be binding on the board, this statutory process would take 60 days, pushing it close to the June 23 referendum on whether or not Britain will remain in the UK.
Sources close to the French government – which is EDF’s majority shareholder with an 85pc stake – said administrative delays could easily push this consultation past the date of the Brexit vote.
Consulting the unions over the decision presents fresh hurdles to the muchdelayed plan to build the Hinkley Point power station, the first in a fleet of new nuclear power stations for the UK.
Ten years ago, EDF was predicting Hinkley would be supplying power by 2017.
Unions are sceptical about whether EDF can afford the investment – which the French firm is financing two thirds of, with the rest coming from Chinese investors – and have made public their opposition to the scheme.
Some senior staff at EDF are also against the power company’s involvement in such a huge project…….http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/24/fresh-setback-for-hinkley-point-as-edf-consults-french-unions/
EDF Unions Threaten to Go to Court Over U.K. Nuclear Project, Bloomberg, Francois De Beaupuy April 22, 2016
Employee representatives ask to be consulted before decision
Trade unions say they’ll sue if not consulted in advance
Electricite de France SA’s unions are threatening to take the company to court if employees are not consulted in advance on a decision concerning a proposed 18 billion-pound ($25.8 billion) U.K. atomic plant project.
EDF’s workers committee, which includes representatives from the biggest unions, met near Paris and voted to take legal action should the company fail to consult employees on Hinkley Point, according to a statement Thursday. The project is key to EDF earnings and has prompted disagreements between management and unions, it said.
“We ask that the workers’ committee is consulted before any decision by management or the board,” the committee said. If that didn’t happen then “the committee would be forced to take legal action to have any decision linked to the Hinkley Point project suspended or annulled.”The threat marks the latest attempt by workers to delay a decision, given concerns about EDF’s finances amid falling power prices across Europe. Union FO has already threatened to call for a strike. EAS, an association of EDF employees holding the company’s shares, is asking the stock market regulator to require that the French government, which owns 85 percent of EDF, repurchases shares at the initial public offering price…..http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-21/edf-unions-threaten-to-go-to-court-over-u-k-nuclear-project
Texas leads the nation with over 24,000 wind energy employees.
US wind power jobs hit record, up 20 percent in 2016 ‘Wind rush’ fuels hiring boom, delivers more consumer savings AWEA, DENVER, April 12, 2016 — American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016—an increase of 20 percent in a year—according to the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, Year Ending 2015, released today by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Strong job growth coincided with wind ranking number one as America’s leading source of new generating capacity last year, outpacing solar and natural gas.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joined in the release at a Vestas wind turbine component factory near Denver, saying “In 2015, Colorado ranked fifth in the nation for wind power capacity additions. An investment in the wind power industry and in wind projects generates new jobs, economic development in rural counties and clean air benefits to all Coloradans.”
“Wind power benefits more American families than ever before,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re helping young people in rural America find a job close to home. Others are getting a fresh chance to rebuild their careers by landing a job in the booming clean energy sector. With long-term, stable policy in place, and a broader range of customers now buying low-cost wind-generated electricity, our workforce can grow to 380,000 well-paying jobs by 2030.”
Each new wind turbine typically avoids over 4,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, (equal to nearly 900 cars’ worth). U.S. wind energy avoided 132 million metric tons in total CO2 emissions last year, equal to eliminating all electric power sector emissions from Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Wind energy also greatly reduces a variety of health-harming air pollutants, including smog-causing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which helps reduce asthma attacks and other respiratory issues. That displaced an estimated 176,000 metric tons of SO2 and 106,000 metric tons of NOx in 2015, representing $7.3 billion in avoided health costs last year alone.
The AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report Year Ending 2015 provides a comprehensive look at the entire U.S. wind energy landscape, offering industry trends, statistics, company rankings and the market picture through 2015. A comprehensive press kit here includes more detailed releases on specific findings, videos, infographics, and up-to-date photos of wind turbines across America…….. http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=8736
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