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EDF made exaggerated and unrealistic claims about local jobs to be provided by Sizewell nuclear power project

Ipswich Star 7th Sept 2020, Independent consultants have challenged the jobs and economic benefits that building a new twin reactor nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will bring – labelling the claims as “exaggerated” and “unrealistic”.

EDF Energy has said that Sizewell C will give the county’s economy a £125million a year boost and create 25,000 job opportunities during the 10-year construction period and 900 skilled jobs when the power plant is operational. But an independent review of EDF’s Economic Statement, assessing the impacts of Sizewell C on Suffolk’s economy, by research and analysis consultancy Development Economics – commissioned by the Stop Sizewell C campaign – has criticised key aspects of the research and evidence submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

EDF though insists its project will deliver investment, jobs, skills, education and training for decades to come. And it says its Economic Statement in its planning application is fully compliant with relevant national policy. Development Economics though claimed some aspects were “exaggerated” and “unrealistic”. It questioned EDF’s claim of up to “2,410 jobs for Suffolk residents”, saying this included people travelling from up to 90 minutes away, which covers large population centres in Norfolk and Essex.

It said these local workers will be the overwhelming source of lower skilled roles, expected to fill 90% of jobs in ‘Site Support’ –
cleaners, bus drivers and security guards – compared with only 8% ofroles in professional and management. At peak construction 76% of the workforce will come from further away still and will have to be accommodated in the area.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/sizewell-c-independent-economy-report-1-6824930

 

September 8, 2020 Posted by | employment, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Bill in USA Senate to help nuclear workers made ill by radiation exposure

Bill would expand access to comp for federal nuclear site workers  https://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20200731/NEWS08/912335900/Bill-would-expand-access-to-comp-for-federal-nuclear-site-workers#, Angela Childers, July 31, 2020  

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday would help workers at federal radioactive sites obtain workers compensation for work-related cancers and other health issues.

S.B. 4363, introduced Wednesday by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), would establish an occupational disease presumption for employees at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Radioactive Waste Management Complex.

The bill is aimed at helping cleanup workers at Washington State’s Hanford Nuclear Site and other nuclear sites more easily claim workers compensation benefits when they suffer from medical conditions as a result of exposure to toxic substances, Sen. Murray’s office said Thursday in a news release.

While the state of Washington created a presumption law for Hanford workers in 2018, the federal legislation would cover workers at other Energy Department nuclear sites. The Hanford site is a 560-square-mile federally operated site known for having manufactured plutonium used in one of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in late 2018 over the state’s presumption law, claiming that the law discriminated against the federal government and its Energy Department contractors and aimed to directly regulate the federal government by imposing extra cleanup costs on the decommissioned site. However, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in June 2019.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

August 1, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

China’s government-run nuclear institutions are experiencing a brain drain.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | China, employment | Leave a comment

Why did over 90 nuclear safety scientists resign en masse from an institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)?

90 CAS nuclear scientists who resigned were allegedly ‘poached’
Source: Global Times 2020/7  More than 90 nuclear safety scientists with an institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) resigned enmasse according to media reports, with the unusual high number of resignation drawing public attention, considering the essential service the scientists provide.

An employee at the Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST) under The Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (CASHIPS) of CAS said the more than 90 researchers who voluntarily left their jobs were “poached” and the resignations were part of “normal staff turnover,” the Shanghai-based news website thepaper.cn reported Thursday.

The employee didn’t identify which company or institute may have recruited the researchers.

INEST, located in Hefei, capital of Central China’s Anhui Province, a hub of China’s scientists, has about 600 members and 80 percent of researchers have PhD degrees, according to the institute’s website………Earlier media reports show the resignations were triggered by a conflict with new security staff hired in mid-June at INEST.

According to the official website, INEST was established in September 2011. It is devoted to the design and R&D of advanced nuclear energy and safety technology, and also an independent nuclear safety assessment center with the aim of promoting the sustainable development of nuclear science and technology.

The employee said the 90-plus researchers submitted their resignations in June.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1194812.shtml

July 18, 2020 Posted by | China, employment | 1 Comment

Bosses at Hinkley Point C have slashed 80 roles after employees worked throughout the coronavirus lockdown

Bristol Live 19th May 2020, Bosses at Hinkley Point C have slashed 80 roles after employees worked throughout the coronavirus lockdown. One worker, who wished not to be
named, said the news came as a ‘bitter pill’ after he risked his own health
to still work at the construction site during the last few months. The
worker was made “redundant with immediate effect” on Friday afternoon (May
15). He said: “We have struggled every day during this pandemic and the way
EDF has managed the outbreak. This has made the risk we have being taking
coming to site every day one bitter sweet pill to swallow.”

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/local-news/hinkley-point-c-cuts-80-4147171

May 22, 2020 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment

Sellafield’s safety dilemma- risk of coronavirus versus risk of nuclear accident

May 19, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Workers at ‘most toxic place in America’ – Hanford nuclear site – in fear of coronavirus

May 5, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

Workers at Connecticut’s nuclear power plant worried about coronavirus precautions

Nuclear plant workers cite lack of precautions around virus, myrecordjournal. 4 May 20, HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Workers at Connecticut’s only nuclear power plant worry that managers are not taking enough precautions against the coronavirus after 750 temporary employees were brought in to help refuel one of the two active reactors.

Ten employees at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford have tested positive for the virus, and the arrival of the temporary workers alarms some of the permanent employees, The Day newspaper reported Sunday.

“Speaking specifically for the guard force, there’s a lot of frustration, there’s a lot of concern, and I would say there’s anger,” said Millstone security officer Jim Foley.

Foley, vice president of the local chapter of the United Government Security Officers of America, said security personnel have had to fight for personal protective equipment and for partitions at access points to separate staff from security.

Foley also has filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration saying Millstone staff are using ineffective cleaning materials and citing a lack of cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning activity was not scheduled during three weekends in April, he said.

Officials at Millstone, owned by Dominion Energy, have not heard internal criticism about the plant’s virus precautions, Millstone spokesman Kenneth Holt said……..

Millstone recently increased cleaning staff on the weekends, Holt said, and there is regular disinfecting at the plant. …….

The deaths of nearly 2,500 Connecticut residents have been linked to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. More than 29,000 state residents have tested positive. As of Sunday, hospitalizations had declined for 11 consecutive days, to over 1,480……. https://www.myrecordjournal.com/News/State/Nuclear-plant-workers-cite-lack-of-precautions-around-virus.html

May 5, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. Environmental and Labor Groups Team Up to Demand COVID-19 Relief

Environmental and Labor Groups Team Up to Demand COVID-19 Relief, Candice Bernd, Truthout, 22Apr 20

 This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the U.S. economy, national environmental organizations are stepping up to support labor unions and frontline workers across the country in their push for personal protective equipment, sick and hazard pay, safe working conditions, and other forms of relief as the crisis intensifies.

The Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), which partners labor and environmental groups, is facilitating a loose coalition of more than 100 unions and environmental organizations working to pressure the Trump administration to do more to protect frontline workers. The groups are also supporting nine days of action from Earth Day to May Day to demonstrate the interconnection of climate justice and worker justice……… This story is published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate the U.S. economy, national environmental organizations are stepping up to support labor unions and frontline workers across the country in their push for personal protective equipment, sick and hazard pay, safe working conditions, and other forms of relief as the crisis intensifies.

The Labor Network for Sustainability (LNS), which partners labor and environmental groups, is facilitating a loose coalition of more than 100 unions and environmental organizations working to pressure the Trump administration to do more to protect frontline workers. The groups are also supporting nine days of action from Earth Day to May Day to demonstrate the interconnection of climate justice and worker justice…… https://truthout.org/articles/environmental-and-labor-groups-team-up-to-demand-covid-19-relief/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=de9b2e7e-e70c-405a-830f-e0ea3203ca88

April 23, 2020 Posted by | climate change, employment, health, politics | Leave a comment

Ohio a clear example of corporate power and dark money shaping public policy

What happened in Ohio is a clear example of corporate power combined with the growth of “dark money” organizations following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision to shape public policy decisions. The reasons why FirstEnergy engaged in such activities are not hard to guess. Any entity that invests so heavily in these dark money organizations, media strategies, lobbyists, and political contributions will be expecting a sizeable return on its investments. And indeed, it has been rewarded handsomely. The irony is that an industry that acknowledges that it is not economically competitive is spending massively on lobbying. It is the ratepayers and taxpayers who bear the cost of these twisted priorities.  

A dirty battle for a nuclear bailout in Ohio  https://thebulletin.org/2020/04/a-dirty-battle-for-a-nuclear-bailout-in-ohio/#    By Shakiba FadaieM. V. Ramana, April 21, 2020  Last July, Ohio’s governor signed House Bill 6 (HB6) to provide FirstEnergy (now Energy Harbor), a large electric utility, with subsidies of nearly $150 million per year to keep its Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants operating. Ohio is only the fifth US state to offer such subsidies; other states include New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Although the subsidies are justified by some as necessary for climate mitigation, in the latter four states, electricity generation from natural gas, which results in greenhouse gas emissions, has increased since 2017, when these subsidy programs started kicking in. Moreover, in Ohio, subsidies are also being extended to coal power plants, providing the clearest illustration that what underlies the push for subsidies to nuclear plants is not a result of a real commitment to climate mitigation but a way to use climate concerns to bolster the profits of some energy corporations.

The enormous lobbying effort that won the subsidies used dark money–backed organizations that spent millions of dollars to sway voters and politicians. But it didn’t stop with the bill being signed into law—the lobbying also thwarted the ability of citizens to put the proposal to a democratic vote through a referendum, including by funding television advertisements that falsely claimed that China was “intertwining themselves financially in our energy infrastructure” and threatening “national security,” implying that not going through with the nuclear bailout would somehow lead to Chinese control of Ohio’s power grid. As confronting climate change gets in the way of corporate profits, such dirty battles are sure to emerge more often.

Electricity economics. It has been known since the late 1970s that the cost of constructing nuclear plants in the United States is very high, but the cost gap between nuclear electricity and other alternatives has increased dramatically in the last decade. In its most recent estimate, the Wall Street firm Lazard estimated that a new nuclear plant will generate electricity at an average cost of $155 per megawatt hour, nearly four times the corresponding estimates of around $40 per megawatt hour each for new wind and solar energy plants. The average cost for natural gas plants is $56 per megawatt hour.

The gap will only grow larger. While the costs of nuclear power have been increasing, the costs of wind and solar power have declined by around 70 to 90 percent in the last decade. Even solar projects that offer some amount of storage to meet demand when the sun no longer shines are becoming cheaper. Last year, the city of Los Angeles signed such a contract at $33 per megawatt hour. So new nuclear power plants are simply not competitive in the US electricity market.

But what about already operating nuclear plants, those that don’t have to worry about borrowing money for construction or repaying the money they have already borrowed? Herein lies the real cost problem for electric utilities that own nuclear plants. For each megawatt hour of electricity generated in 2019, the average nuclear power plant in the United States spent $30.42 on fuel, repairs and maintenance, and wages; some spent much more. Those costs are comparable to the overall generation costs (including the cost of construction) of solar and wind power listed above.

Renewable energy plants, of course, cost very little to operate since they don’t need any fuel. Thus, already existing renewable plants will remain far cheaper than nuclear plants. With natural gas plants, the comparison with nuclear plants depends on the cost of natural gas; thanks to fracking, for the last many years, natural gas plants have also lowered their operational costs to way below that of nuclear reactors.

The net result is that nuclear electricity is no longer competitive, and that is a problem for utilities that operate in states where electricity is traded on the market. (Other states, where a state regulator approves electricity projects, allow utilities to pass on the high costs of nuclear power to rate payers.) The number of nuclear plants this trend affects is quite large. In 2018, Bloomberg analysts estimated that “more than one quarter of all nuclear plants don’t make enough money to cover their operating costs.”

Political games. This state of affairs has led electric utilities in various states to try and get taxpayers and ratepayers to pay more to keep up their profits. Ohio’s FirstEnergy started early, in 2014, when it asked Ohio regulators to allow its distribution utilities to enter into agreements to purchase the outputs of its coal and nuclear plants at a set price that significantly exceeded wholesale electricity market prices. Ohio ratepayers would end up paying for electricity from these plants even if the distribution companies could have purchased electricity from other providers at cheaper prices. The proposal was approved in 2016, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission blocked the deal because it would have been unfair to consumers.

Since then, FirstEnergy has regularly tried to get subsidies in one form or another—until it succeeded in 2019 with HB6. In summary, that bill forces electricity consumers in Ohio to pay a surcharge on their monthly bills, and the resulting amounts go to subsidizing two nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy—Perry and Davis-Besse—and two coal-fired plants owned by Ohio Valley Electricity Corporation. The bill also weakens (and will eventually gut) Ohio’s requirements for a minimum amount of electricity to be provided by renewable sources and reduces its targets for improving energy efficiency.

There has been a recent history of growth of renewables in Ohio, albeit from a pitifully low base. According to the US Energy Information Administration, between 2011 and 2017, Ohio’s wind and solar production grew by factors of 7.6 and 4.3 respectively. The reasons for this growth presumably have to do with the economic factors mentioned earlier. Likewise, energy efficiency programs saved twice as much as was spent on implementing them, and were projected to save $4 billion over 10 years. An increase in renewable energy production combined with energy efficiency improvements was shown to be the most economical way to reduce Ohio’s emissions by over 30 percent between 2012 and 2030 as part of the 2014 proposed Clean Power Plan of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

What do those in favor of the bill say? The arguments being used by pro-nuclear groups can be categorized into two sets of claims: economic and environmental.  The environmental argument is that nuclear power is a clean power source and a source of “clean air,” a claim made by, for example, Judd Gregg, former governor and senator from the state of New Hampshire and a member of the advocacy council of Nuclear Matters. The problem with that argument is two-fold. First, it does not explain why the bill would support the continued operation of old coal power plants. Second, it doesn’t fit well with the fact that renewables and energy efficiency are far cheaper sources of clean air, and this bill guts both of those.

The economic argument has to do with the fact that nuclear power plants are a source of employment among those communities living near the facilities. When they are shut down, those jobs would obviously disappear. Naturally, some labor unions, those with many members working in the nuclear industry, supported the bill. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers website, for example, proudly announced that its “activists have been hard at work, pressing representatives from both political parties to support this job-saving bill and urging all of their Buckeye State brothers and sisters to do the same,” with a union official going on to offer the tip: “No form letters or petitions, but one-on-one contact with the people that vote for them… It’s the personal touch that works.”

But, as with the environmental argument, the economic argument is dubious. The Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants employ an estimated 700 workers each. Even generous estimates that include “additional  jobs … that result from the overall economic boost associated with lower electricity prices and more in-state production” assert that the two plants create a combined 4,270 jobs. While these claims don’t square with the higher electricity costs that drive the need for subsidies, even these figures are just a fraction of the “over 81,000 workers” employed in the energy efficiency sector in the state.

More to the point, the number of jobs at these nuclear plants is very small when viewed in the context of the millions of dollars offered as subsidies to FirstEnergy, which, if invested in other energy resources, would create work for many more people. Per unit of electricity generated, nuclear power creates somewhere between one-half and one-sixth the number of jobs created by solar photovoltaic electricity. Because solar energy costs much less to install or generate, nuclear power employs even fewer on a per dollar basis.

The big fight. None of these arguments is exactly rocket science, and the fact that HB6 amounted to a corporate bailout was clear to many. Coalitions of Ohio companies, the state’s manufacturers’ association, environmental groups, and economists testified against the bill. A consumer group ran targeted radio advertisements pointing out how the bill was intended “to subsidize FirstEnergy’s failing investments.” All to no avail.

FirstEnergy’s lobbying power was overwhelming. Politicians were targeted directly and were offered campaign contributions. FirstEnergy and a political action committee they created contributed millions to political candidates and parties in Ohio. Although the details remain murky, much of the funding is documented by two main sources: state and federal campaign-finance filings and records from bankruptcy proceedings that FirstEnergy had entered into. Among the more egregious examples of this funding was the use of payroll deductions from FirstEnergy’s roughly 15,000 employees to raise and pay nearly a million dollars in political contributions between 2017 and 2019, most of it going to Republicans. The effort also included at least $9.5 million in television advertisements, much of which came from a dark money group. There is evidence, however, that FirstEnergy paid at least $1.9 million to this group. 

Although Republicans received the majority of the financial contributions, Democrats were also recipients, and therefore support for (and opposition to) the bill was not strictly along party lines. On the Democratic side, those who supported the bill typically cited “a desire to retain union jobs at the endangered plants.” On the other side of the aisle, those Republicans who opposed it invoked problems with subsidies in general.

The raw political and economic power of the industry was on display even after the bill was passed. Having been defeated within the legislature, grassroots organizations such as Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts and Ohio Consumers Power Alliance took to the streets and tried to collect signatures on a petition calling for a referendum question about HB6 to be included in the 2020 elections. It was a tough task, since those opposing the bailout had less than two months to gather over a quarter of a million valid signatures.

FirstEnergy tried to stop them with a two-pronged approach. The first was a legal trick. It went to the state’s supreme court and argued that the monthly charges on customers “should be considered tax increases, which cannot be challenged by a referendum.” But the court dismissed the case, saying there was “no ‘justiciable controversy’ for it to decide.” For the main part, though, the response from FirstEnergy and other beneficiaries was more of the same: dark money–backed organizations spending millions to undo the grassroots efforts by urging voters to refuse signing the petition.

Among these organizations was one called Ohioans for Energy Security, which sponsored television advertisements that falsely claimed that China is “intertwining themselves financially in our energy infrastructure,” threatening “national security,” and implying that not going through with the bailout campaign would lead to Chinese control of Ohio’s power grid. The watchdog organization Energy and Policy Institute quickly identified that some of the people featured in the TV advertisement were in fact FirstEnergy employees. In other words, there was reason to suspect that FirstEnergy was behind the advertisement. Ohioans for Energy Security also mailed thousands of letters to state residents with bold lettering behind a Chinese flag imploring, “Don’t give the Chinese government your personal information.” The hyperbolic allegations about China apparently are connected to natural gas-fired power plants in Ohio that were partially financed by a Chinese government-owned bank, although FirstEnergy has itself borrowed money from the same bank.

There were also accusations that the law’s supporters were trying to buy off circulators and take their petitions. Another front group, Protect Ohio Clean Energy Jobs, whose spokesperson was registered as a lobbyist for FirstEnergy Solutions, used “targeted ads on social media” to urge people who had already signed the referendum petition to withdraw their names.

The point of all these actions by FirstEnergy and its front or allied organizations was to dissuade voters from participating—and they succeeded. In October of last year, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts announced that it would not file the referendum petition, and HB6 went into effect.

Lessons. What happened in Ohio is a clear example of corporate power combined with the growth of “dark money” organizations following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision to shape public policy decisions. The reasons why FirstEnergy engaged in such activities are not hard to guess. Any entity that invests so heavily in these dark money organizations, media strategies, lobbyists, and political contributions will be expecting a sizeable return on its investments. And indeed, it has been rewarded handsomely. The irony is that an industry that acknowledges that it is not economically competitive is spending massively on lobbying. It is the ratepayers and taxpayers who bear the cost of these twisted priorities.  

Although they have not been so egregious in their strategies and the energy and environmental policy outcomes have not been so detrimental, electricity utilities in New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Connecticut have also pursued profits at a financial cost to customers. As in the case of Ohio, the concerned electricity utilities all have investments in fossil fueled plants as well, and they have a vested interest in maintaining those plants for as long as possible.

Adding up all the bailouts to utilities with nuclear plants in the five aforementioned states would result in roughly $15 billion going from consumers to these corporations over the next several years. Although such a sum might seem small when compared to the much larger bailouts that have been paid out in the aftermath of the economic crashes in 2008 and 2020, it is nevertheless a large amount of money within the electricity sector. More important, the funds go to maintaining the profits of large energy corporations, often under the guise of climate mitigation, but without delivering the real and rapid reductions of emissions that are urgently needed.

Climate change is a serious concern, and finding ways of rewarding electric utilities for maintaining the status quo is not the way to tackle it. Even worse, by diverting much-needed resources and investment away from renewables and related technologies, these subsidies undermine efforts to decarbonize the electricity sector and further entrench companies that invest in high-risk energy sources, be they nuclear or fossil-fueled.

April 23, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, employment, politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

16 hour days, 86 hour weeks for nuclear workers, amid pandemic panic?

Nuclear agency clears way for long days, weeks for Palo Verde employees, azfamily.comMorgan Loew 22 Apr 20,  PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given the operator of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station permission to work its employees 16 hours per day and as many as 86 hours in a week, according to a letter from the NRC obtained by CBS 5 Investigates.

“Palo Verde Generating Station requested and received this exemption from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission early and proactively so that the option to modify work hours is immediately available in response to an extreme circumstance. Work schedules are not changing at this time, nor is a change imminent,” stated Jill Hanks in an email. She is a senior communications consultant at APS…..

environmentalists, like Steve Brittle from Don’t Waste Arizona, say they don’t think exemptions like these are a good idea. “All of the money this industry has, this is the best they can do?” said Brittle.

He said he only found out about the changes because of a standing records request he has on file with the NRC. “Government agencies as well as potential polluters – they all need to have somebody watching over them,” said Brittle.

The NRC has granted similar exemptions to other nuclear reactors across the country and allowed some facilities to postpone scheduled maintenance. Environmental groups warn that reducing maintenance, worker’s protections, and oversight could lead to accidents.

Morgan Loew’s hard-hitting investigations can be seen weekdays on CBS 5 News at 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.https://www.azfamily.com/news/investigations/cbs_5_investigates/nuclear-agency-clears-way-for-long-days-weeks-for-palo-verde-employees/article_116ace1e-844a-11ea-890d-b3c0d57fab8c.html 

April 23, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s response to coronavirus risk for nuclear stations – isolate the nuclear workforce

Russia’s nuclear workers isolated onsite as coronavirus spreads, Bellona, April 3, 2020 by Charles Digges,   charles@bellona.no

Workers at Russia’s nuclear power plants will be isolated from the general public and required to live in onsite clinics at their respective stations as nuclear authorities tighten their response to the coronavirus after a number of industry infections.

The order came Tuesday from Rosenergoatom, Russia’s nuclear utility, and specified that both primary and back up crews of nuclear technicians, who “facilitate process continuity” would now be required check in to dispensaries at their plants, where they would be provided with daily living essentials and isolated from outside contact.

Rosenergoatom, which is a subsidiary of state nuclear corporation Rosatom, is responding to a Tuesday video address by Andrei Likhachev, the corporation’s CEO, which outlined the isolation measures.

Earlier this week, Likhachev confirmed that four Rosatom employees had tested positive for the coronavirus, the spread of which has all but ground the world economy to a halt as the number of those infected worldwide surpasses 1 million.

Russians have been told to stay home through next week on a government ordered holiday. There have been 4,149 cases of coronavirus reported by Moscow as of Friday, 34 of which have resulted in death. In his address, Likhachev asked all Rosatom employees who could feasibly work remotely had been asked to do so, though he said the corporation’s overseas reactor building projects would continue.

Rosenergoatom’s unprecedented steps to protect highly skilled nuclear specialists from falling ill from the virus mirror measures other countries are taking for their own workers to avoid power interruptions or outright plant shutdowns.

In the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering isolating its own workers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, while France – the world’s most nuclear-dependent nation – is weighing staff cuts of its own. Both France and the United Kingdom have shut down a number of their nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities in response to a spike in local infections

Rosenergoatom didn’t make clear precisely how many of Russia’s nuclear workers have been put in isolation, but its parent company Rosatom controls a sprawling network of reactors, laboratories, commercial structures and fuel fabrication facilities that employ some 250,000 people…….

Workers at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant, 1,800 kilometers to Moscow’s east, have already been working in isolation for more than a week, after the wife of one of the plant’s technicians tested positive for the virus.  https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2020-04-russias-nuclear-workers-isolated-onsite-as-coronavirus-spreads

April 4, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, politics, Russia | Leave a comment

Sailors on nuclear aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt applaud their fired captain

Sailors on aircraft carrier give their fired captain a rousing sendoff Capt. Brett Crozier advocated for stronger measures to protect his crew. abc news, By Luis Martinez, 4 April 2020,  

Videos have emerged on social media showing sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt giving their fired captain a rousing sendoff as he left the ship.

Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of duty for a “loss of confidence” following the leak of a letter in which he advocated for stronger measures to protect his crew from an outbreak of coronavirus aboard the ship.

The videos show hundreds of sailors gathered in the ship’s hangar clapping and cheering loudly for Crozier as he walked down a ramp towards the pier in Guam where the ship is docked. ……

In one of the videos capturing that moment, voices can be heard saying “We love you, too!” and “Thank you skipper!”

Later, the ship’s crew is heard rhythmically clapping and chanting, “CAPTAIN! CROZIER!”

Earlier on Thursday, Crozier was relieved of duty by acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly who said he had lost confidence in his leadership abilities following the leak of a letter where Crozier advocated for stronger measures to protect his ship’s crew from further infection by the coronavirus.

Modly said Crozier had expressed valid concerns for the safety of his ship but had exercised “poor judgment” in distributing the letter to senior commanders to a broad group of people when he could have expressed his concerns to the admiral aboard the carrier.

In the letter Crozier advocated Navy leaders to speed up the removal of the nearly 5,000 sailors aboard the carrier to appropriate accommodations on Guam that met social distancing guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The day after the letter appeared in the San Francisco Examiner the Navy announced that 2,700 of the ship’s crew were being brought ashore and that suitable housing would be found in hotel rooms on the island. …..https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sailors-aircraft-carrier-give-fired-captain-rousing-sendoff/story?id=69957655

April 4, 2020 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, health, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Work at Limerick nuclear plant threatened by rising Coronavirus death toll in Montgomery County

April 4, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Worker fatigue is a worry at U.S. nuclear stations, as NRC allows longer shifts

April 4, 2020 Posted by | employment, health, safety, USA | Leave a comment