British nuclear weapons workers to go on strike over Atomic Weapons Establishment pensions dispute The Independent, 12 Jan 17 Staff manufacture and maintain nuclear weapons including the Trident programme Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden Employees responsible for manufacturing and maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons are to go on strike.
Workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) are to stage two 48-hour walk-outs as part of a long-running dispute over pensions.
A spokesperson said workers felt “deeply betrayed” by promises made decades ago guaranteeing their pensions, when they were transferred from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to the private sector, being broken………
“The four days of strike action later this month are not being taken lightly. It is not a ‘political’ strike, but one taken reluctantly by our members who have no desire to see thousands of pounds wiped off their retirement incomes.”
Unite claimed new pensions proposals, which would see the AWE’s pension contributions lowered, violated pledges made in a ministerial statement to the Commons in the 1990s. The AWE, owned by a consortium of Lockheed Martin, Jacobs Engineering and Serco, is contracted by the MoD to build and maintain nuclear warheads for Royal Navy submarines. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-nuclear-weapons-factory-workers-berkshire-go-on-strike-prospect-union-awe-atomic-weapons-a7523516.html
Nuclear workers in strike threat at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, Daily Post 4 Jan 17 Union leaders are to meet to discuss potential action over a pensions row Union leaders representing nuclear workers at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd are to consider strike action over pensions.
The unions said 16,000 workers at 19 sites across the UK face cuts under plans by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to make savings of £660 million.
The unions said the Government’s expectation is that the final salary pension schemes in place across the NDA estate will be reformed by April 2018.
Justin Bowden, GMB national officer, said: “There is no justification for this attack on the pensions of these nuclear workers and their communities.
“These pension funds are in a sound state and underwent considerable reform 10 years ago…….http://www.dailypost.co.uk/business/business-news/nuclear-worker-strike-threat-wylfa-12409439
DAVE LOCHBAUM, DIRECTOR, NUCLEAR SAFETY PROJECT UCS DECEMBER 13, 2016, Disaster by Design/ Safety by Intent #62
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) revised its regulations requiring nuclear plant workers to be fit for duty on March 31, 2008, to include measures intended to protect against mistakes made by workers impaired by fatigue. Specifically, Subpart I, “Managing Fatigue,” was added to 10 CFR Part 26, “Fitness for Duty Programs.”………http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/protecting-against-fatigued-nuclear-plant-workers
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/
- 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES
- business and costs
- climate change
- indigenous issues
- marketing of nuclear
- opposition to nuclear
- PERSONAL STORIES
- politics international
- Religion and ethics
- secrets,lies and civil liberties
- weapons and war
- 2 WORLD
- MIDDLE EAST
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- Christina's notes
- Christina's themes
- culture and arts
- Fukushima 2017
- global warming
- RARE EARTHS
- resources – print
- Resources -audiovicual
- World Nuclear