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Precious waters — Tribes file to stop pollution from uranium and other hard rock mines

“The Havasupai Tribe has fought for decades to protect our beautiful water and traditional cultural lands from the harmful effects of uranium mining,”

Tribes file to stop pollution from uranium and other hard rock mines

Precious waters — Beyond Nuclear International Tribes, Indigenous groups, conservation organizations file petition to strengthen federal mining rules, By Earthworks, 7 Nov 21, Tribes, Indigenous groups and conservation organizations filed a rulemaking petition on September 16 with the U.S. Department of the Interior to improve and modernize hardrock mining oversight on public lands. The proposed revisions aim to safeguard critically important lands across the West and Alaska, including sacred lands and their cultural resources, vital wildlife habitat, and invaluable water resources.

“It’s long past time to reform the nation’s hardrock mining rules, end generations of mining-inflicted injustice to Indigenous communities, and chart a new course for public lands stewardship toward a sustainable, clean energy economy,” the petition states. “For far too long, mining companies have had free rein to decimate lands of cultural importance to tribes and public lands at enormous cost to people, wildlife, and these beautiful wild places of historic and cultural significance. The harm is undeniable, severe, and irreparable. Reforming these rules will prevent more damage, help us transition to green infrastructure, and leave a livable planet to future generations.”

The petition seeks to significantly update hardrock mining regulations, a need the Biden administration has also identified, to avoid perpetuating the mining industry’s toxic legacy. Current regulations disproportionately burden Indigenous and other disenfranchised communities with pollution and threaten land, water, wildlife and climate. New mining rules would help protect these resources and minimize the damage from the mineral demands of transitioning to a cleaner energy economy……………

“It is unacceptable for mining companies to evade scrutiny and tribal consultation requirements using outdated regulatory loopholes,” said Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. “At this very moment, mining projects in Arizona are threatening the permanent destruction of dozens of sacred sites for the Tohono O’odham Nation and other tribes. That is why the Tohono O’odham Legislative Council has unanimously taken a position in support of righting this historic wrong. The time has come for the federal government to uphold its responsibility in ensuring that sacred lands and waters are properly protected.”

“The Havasupai Tribe has fought for decades to protect our beautiful water and traditional cultural lands from the harmful effects of uranium mining,” said Vice Chairman Matthew Putesoy, Sr. of the Havasupai Tribe. “Each day uranium mining threatens contamination of Havasu Creek, which is the sole water source that provides life to Supai Village, our tribal homeland located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Without this precious resource, our Tribe and our homeland will be destroyed. We know that uranium poses a serious and irreversible threat to our survival as a people. This petition is necessary to hold the Department of Interior accountable for meeting its federal trust responsibility and helping to protect our sacred traditional cultural homelands and waters from the harmful and often irreversible effects of mining.”……………….

“We face an existential climate crisis, and must move quickly to convert our infrastructure to support low-carbon energy — but we must do so without replacing dirty oil with dirty mining,” said Lauren Pagel of Earthworks. “The Biden administration has an historic opportunity to confront the legacy of injustice to Indigenous communities and damage to the public lands and waters held in trust for all Americans. Seizing that opportunity requires policies that prioritize metals recycling and reuse over new mining. Where new mining is acceptable, the mining industry must undertake the most responsible methods.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the metals mining industry is the single largest source of toxic waste in the United States, and hardrock mines have contaminated an estimated 40% of Western watersheds. Unlike the oil, gas, and coal industries, metal mining companies pay nothing to extract publicly owned minerals from public lands across the West and Alaska.

The Interior Department oversees the regulations governing compliance with federal mining law and other public lands laws. The petition proposes revisions to several mining regulations and includes legal and policy analysis for each proposed improvement.

Overhauling the rules is a critical step toward bringing mining regulations and policy into the 21st century to protect public health and Indigenous and public lands and resources in the West.

Proposed revisions include:
 – Clarifying that the BLM must use its authority to protect tribal and cultural resources and values, wildlife, and water quality and quantity; 
 – Requiring the BLM to verify mining rights;
 – Closing loopholes that allow the mining industry to escape public review and consultation with local tribes and governments

The Interior Department is required to respond to the petition within a reasonable amount of time and indicate whether it will revise the rules. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/11/07/precious-waters/

November 8, 2021 Posted by | indigenous issues, legal, USA, water | Leave a comment

Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium continue their fight, especially about the effect on their water supply

Rita Capitan has been worrying about her water since 1994. It was that autumn she read a local newspaper article about another uranium mine, the Crownpoint Uranium Project, getting under way near her home. Capitan has
spent her entire life in Crownpoint, New Mexico, a small town on the eastern Navajo Nation, and is no stranger to the uranium mining that has persisted in the region for decades.

But it was around the time the article was published that she began learning about the many risks associated with
uranium mining. “We as community members couldn’t just sit back and watch another company come in and just take what is very precious to us. And that is water – our water,” Capitan said.

To this effect, Capitan and her husband, Mitchell, founded Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (Endaum). The group’s fight against uranium mining on their homeland has continued for nearly three decades, despite the industry’s disastrous health and environmental impacts being public knowledge for years.

 Guardian 27th Oct 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/27/human-rights-group-uranium-contamination-navajo-nation

October 30, 2021 Posted by | indigenous issues, USA, water | Leave a comment

Problems and public opposition to the plan to store high level nuclear wastes under the Great Lakes

Nuclear Question: Debate continues over long-term storage of nuclear waste in the Great Lakes. Great Lakes Now, By Andrew Reeves, 25 Oct 21,

Canada’s plan to store spent nuclear fuel 1,600 feet below ground in the Great Lakes basin, some 30 miles from Lake Huron, is continuing to ruffle feathers throughout the Great Lake states.

Earlier this month, U.S. lawmakers called out the Canadian plan for failing to prioritize the health of the Great Lakes and the 40 million residents who depend on it for clean drinking water ahead of its own energy needs.

Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee is leading a 20-member bipartisan group calling on President Joe Biden to pressure Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to halt the plans for storing an anticipated 57,000 tons of high-level radioactive material within the basin.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a statement on the ongoing legal battle over the future of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, accused the Canadian federal government of “adding even more risk to our waters” by allowing plans to store radioactive nuclear waste in a 1,400-acre underground warehouse to proceed.

Yet despite concerns within the basin from politicians and environmental groups, and unrest among local farmers worried about water contamination and potentially tanking property values, the project is moving ahead as planned. Geologic testing at one location in southern Ontario began this spring.

Even so, determining the long-term fate of Canada’s spent nuclear fuel remains far from settled as rifts develop within the host community, and between Canada and frustrated U.S. lawmakers.

“There’s a divide taking place,” Canadian Member of Parliament Brian Masse noted on a recent tour of the proposed South Bruce site with concerned residents. “I do believe there needs to be some responsibility taken on a federal level to make sure our communities aren’t broken in this process.”………

When spent nuclear fuel bundles are removed from a reactor they are currently interred in a water-filled pool for up to seven years until radioactivity decreases. From there the rods are relocated to dry storage containers made of 20-inch-thick, high-density concrete lined with steel half an inch thick. These storage facilities have a lifespan of roughly 50 years, and Canada has been generating nuclear power since the early 1960s. While the dry storage silos can be refurbished to extend their use, it does nothing to address the long-term need for safe storage solutions.

Experts at NWMO settled on a deep geological repository as the preferred storage option in 2007 after three years of discussion with European nuclear engineers.

The basic premise of the DGR is deceptively simple: bury the spent fuel. If NWMO could identify a willing host community that is situated in an area with suitable geology, the stage would be set to spend $23 billion over 40 years to construct a massive underground labyrinth of tunnels bored into rock that, in total, would be capable of storing the 57,000 tons of spent fuel that Canada currently has in cement-encased copper canisters. The aboveground footprint of buildings would be little more than a mile across.

But the question remains: Where should three million bundles of spent nuclear fuel be stored for what is, essentially, the rest of time?

Identifying a willing host community

The process for identifying a willing host community began in 2008.

From an initial pool of 22 potential locations across Canada, on-site investigations quickly whittled that list down to two, both of which are in Ontario: South Bruce, at a location some 30 miles from Lake Huron, and Ignace in northwestern Ontario. (The Ignace location, northwest of Lake Superior, is not within the Great Lakes basin; rather, it sits within the Winnipeg River basin. Borehole drilling to determine the suitability of the bedrock beneath the proposed site began in Ignace in 2017.)…………

U.S. lawmakers aren’t the only ones concerned about the proposed DGR. Public opposition to the proposal among South Bruce residents has been mounting steadily. …………. https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/storage-nuclear-waste-great-lakes/

October 26, 2021 Posted by | Canada, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Questions over water supply for the new £20billion nuclear plant for Sizewell, UK

 A regional water supplier is scrambling to work out how to provide enough
water if Sizewell C is approved, after the Environment Agency proposed a
large cut to the amount it can take from the River Waveney. EDF, the
company behind plans for the new £20billion nuclear plant, insisted today
it had a “clear and deliverable” strategy for its water supply.

 Ipswich Star 7th Oct 2021

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/business/sizewell-c-questions-over-water-supply-8392154

October 12, 2021 Posted by | UK, water | Leave a comment

Bipartisan House group asks Biden to stop Canada’s Great Lakes nuclear storage plans

Bipartisan House group asks Biden to stop Canada’s Great Lakes nuclear storage plans, The Hill, BY SHARON UDASIN – 09/17/21 01:20 PM EDTRep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) is calling on the Biden administration to stop the Canadian government from storing nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin. 

 The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), a nonprofit established by the Canadian government, recently unveiled plans to construct a site that “would permanently store more than 50,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste” in the town of South Bruce, Ontario, Kildee’s office said.

South Bruce, located within the Great Lakes Basin, is about 30 miles east of Lake Huron.


Kildee in a release from his office described high-level nuclear waste as “the most dangerous form of nuclear waste,” and said that if an accident involving such waste occurred in the Great Lakes region, it could take a catastrophic toll on public health in surrounding U.S. and Canadian communities.

“The Great Lakes are central to our way of life, and permanently storing nuclear waste so close to our shared waterways puts our economies and millions of jobs at risk in the fishing, boating and tourism industries,” Kildee said. “People in both the U.S. and Canada depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, which could be contaminated if there ever was a nuclear waste incident.”

Kildee is offering a bipartisan resolution asking President Biden to work with the Canadian government to stop the plans for the storage. The resolution is co-sponsored by 11 Democrats and nine Republicans from states surrounding the Great Lakes.

“From recreational activities to economic opportunities, the Great Lakes are integral to our daily lives, and a spill of hazardous materials would be devastating to communities across the state,” one of the co-sponsors, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), said in a statement. “We must continue to urge our Canadian allies to find an alternative storage site for nuclear waste.”

Tribal Chief Tim Davis, of the Michigan-based Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, added his concerns, noting his community’s ongoing work “to eliminate the continuing threat of nuclear waste being deposited into Mother Earth so close to the largest fresh water repository on Earth.”………. https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/572764-bipartisan-house-group-asks-biden-to-stop-canadas-great

September 19, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics international, USA, water | Leave a comment

Where’s the water coming from? In dry East Anglia, EDF has no solution for Sizewell nuclear power’s insatiable thirst.

EDF have announced yet another consultation, running for 3 weeks from 3rd to 27th August, this time it’s …Where’s the water coming from? One would think after nearly a decade of planning and many questions on ‘Where’s the Water coming from?’ EDF would have this sorted but NO.


Northumbrian Water/Essex & Suffolk Water have announced they cannot supply the ever increasing amounts of water needed to build SZC and will need several years to install over 20km of piping from the River Waveney to the site. We all know East Anglia is one of the driest areas in the country and members of TASC have been posing the question for years, see our response to Deadline 2.

As far back as Jan 2017 The Economist published an article on mains water at SZC, it makes for an interesting read, then as far back as 2010 TASC’s own Joan Girling was asking the very same question Where’s the water coming from?’

 TASC (accessed) 17th Aug 2021

https://tasizewellc.org.uk/edf-launch-yet-another-consultation-respond-by-27th-august/

August 19, 2021 Posted by | UK, water | Leave a comment

California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG and E) settles over nuclear plant’s environmental violations.

California company agrees to 5.9-mln-dollar settlement over nuclear plant’s environmental damage   http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/northamerica/2021-06/25/c_1310027301.htm, Xinhua| 2021-06-25 Editor: huaxia LOS ANGELES, — California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has agreed recently on a 5.9-million-U.S.-dollar settlement for once-through cooling water discharges from its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The settlement, reached with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, was the result of a thorough Water Board investigation into alleged violations stemming from the plant’s use of water from the Pacific Ocean in its cooling system since 1985 and was officially filed on May 25 with the San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

According to Thursday’s report by Cal Coast News, the nuclear power plant takes in water from sea to condense steam after it passes through two electrical generators in a process called “once-through cooling” and the used water is then released back into the ocean.

Under the power plant’s local permit, public water was allowed to be piped from nearby sea area into the ocean, but environmentalists argued the discharge of water into the ocean harmed marine life.

Ailene Voisin, spokesperson for the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, estimated the thermal discharge to be about 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11.1 degrees centigrade) above the ambient ocean temperature in that area and that alterations to the nearby ecosystem “are well-documented and well-understood,” yet with “no feasible technological alternatives or modifications.”

Another problem was that the induction system that pumps water from Diablo Canyon into the power plant also sucked up an estimated 1.5 billion fish larvae per year, causing disruptions to the reproductive cycle of local fish.

The Water Board said in a press release on June 18 that the settlement funds received from PG&E would be used for water quality projects that benefit the region. In addition to the settlement, the release indicated that PG&E had also been making yearly payments to mitigate the issues from their overheated discharges. 

June 26, 2021 Posted by | Legal, USA, water | Leave a comment

This is what uranium and radon, do in drinking water

Dr. Hans Frehly  1 May 2020, People who are exposed to relatively high levels of radionuclides in drinking water for long periods may develop serious health problems, such as cancer, anemia, osteoporosis, cataracts, bone growths, kidney disease, liver disease and impaired immune systems.  https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/library/water/drinking-water-problems-radionuclides/ 
Just think what cesium 137, tritium, plutonium, cobalt 60, strontium 90 do and all the other man created, super radionuclide poisons do. Even in minute amounts. They are from nuclear bomb making, nuclear ships, nuclear reactors, nuclear waste, oil field imaging, nuclear medicine, nuclear plants, nuclear accidents, nuclear waste. They are everywhere now. Ask yourself how much of the covid pandemic is from omnipresent nuclear pollutants, effecting us from weakened immunity. All radionuclides are the most potent industrial poisons of the immune system and genome. Humans are dumb clucks.

May 1, 2020 Posted by | water | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby attacks Australia’s Nuclear Prohibition laws

Jim Green, Online Opinion, 27 Feb 2020https://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=20758&page=0  

Nuclear power in Australia is prohibited under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. A review of the EPBC Act is underway and there is a strong push from the nuclear industry to remove the bans. However, federal and state laws banning nuclear power have served Australia well and should be retained.

Too cheap to meter or too expensive to matter? Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the Westinghouse project in South Carolina that was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion. The Westinghouse / South Carolina fiasco could so easily have been replicated in any of Australia’s states or territories if not for the legal bans.

There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

* The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4‒22.6 billion per reactor.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10‒12 billion per reactor.

* In the UK, the estimated cost of the only two reactors under construction is A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was almost seven times lower. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion, despite earlier government promises that no taxpayer subsidies would be made available.

Nuclear power has clearly priced itself out of the market and will certainly decline over the coming decades. Indeed the nuclear industry is in crisis ‒ as industry insiders and lobbyists freely acknowledge. Westinghouse ‒ the most experienced reactor builder in the world ‒ filed for bankruptcy in 2017 as a result of catastrophic cost overruns on reactor projects. A growing number of countries are phasing out nuclear power, including Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Taiwan and South Korea.

Rising power bills: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because nuclear power could not possibly pass any reasonable economic test. Nuclear power clearly fails the two economic tests set by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Firstly, nuclear power could not possibly be introduced or maintained without huge taxpayer subsidies. Secondly, nuclear power would undoubtedly result in higher electricity prices.

Nuclear waste streams: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because no solution exists to for the safe, long-term management of streams of low-, intermediate- and high-level nuclear wastes. No country has an operating repository for high-level nuclear waste. The United States has a deep underground repository for long-lived intermediate-level waste ‒ the only operating deep underground repository worldwide ‒ but it was closed from 2014‒17 following a chemical explosion in an underground waste barrel. Safety standards and regulatory oversight fell away sharply within the first decade of operation of the U.S. repository ‒ a sobering reminder of the challenge of safely managing dangerous nuclear wastes for tens of thousands of years.

Too dangerous: The Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters results in the evacuation of over half a million people and economic costs in the hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition to the danger of nuclear reactor meltdowns and fires and chemical explosions, there are other dangers. Doubling nuclear output by the middle of the century would require the construction of 800−900 reactors. These reactors not only become military targets but they would produce over one million tonnes of high-level nuclear waste containing enough plutonium to build over one million nuclear weapons.

Pre-deployed terrorist targets: Nuclear power plants have been described as pre-deployed terrorist targets and pose a major security threat. This in turn would likely see an increase in policing and security operations and costs and a commensurate impact on civil liberties and public access to information. Other nations in our region may view Australian nuclear aspirations with suspicion and concern given that many aspects of the technology and knowledge-base are the same as those required for nuclear weapons.

Former US Vice President Al Gore summarised the proliferation problem: “For eight years in the White House, every weapons-proliferation problem we dealt with was connected to a civilian reactor program. And if we ever got to the point where we wanted to use nuclear reactors to back out a lot of coal … then we’d have to put them in so many places we’d run that proliferation risk right off the reasonability scale.”

Too slow: Expanding nuclear power is impractical as a short-term response to climate change. An analysis by Australian economist Prof. John Quiggin concludes that it would be “virtually impossible” to get a nuclear power reactor operating in Australia before 2040. More time would elapse before nuclear power has generated as much as energy as was expended in the construction of the reactor: a University of Sydney report concluded that the energy payback time for nuclear reactors is 6.5‒7 years. Taking into account planning and approvals, construction, and the energy payback time, it would be a quarter of a century or more before nuclear power could even begin to reduce greenhouse emissions in Australia (and then only assuming that nuclear power displaced fossil fuels).

Too thirsty: Nuclear power is extraordinarily thirsty. A single nuclear power reactor consumes 35‒65 million litres of water per day for cooling.

Water consumption of different energy sources (litres / kWh):

* Nuclear 2.5

* Coal 1.9

* Combined Cycle Gas 0.95

* Solar PV 0.11

* Wind 0.004

Climate change and nuclear hazards: Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to threats which are being exacerbated by climate change. These include dwindling and warming water sources, sea-level rise, storm damage, drought, and jelly-fish swarms. Nuclear engineer David Lochbaum states. “I’ve heard many nuclear proponents say that nuclear power is part of the solution to global warming. It needs to be reversed: You need to solve global warming for nuclear plants to survive.”

In January 2019, the Climate Council, comprising Australia’s leading climate scientists and other policy experts, issued a policy statement concluding that nuclear power plants “are not appropriate for Australia – and probably never will be”.

By contrast, the REN21 Renewables 2015: Global Status Report states that renewable energy systems “have unique qualities that make them suitable both for reinforcing the resilience of the wider energy infrastructure and for ensuring the provision of energy services under changing climatic conditions.”

First Nations: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the pursuit of a nuclear power industry would almost certainly worsen patterns of disempowerment and dispossession that Australia’s First Nations have experienced ‒ and continue to experience ‒ as a result of nuclear and uranium projects.

To give one example (among many), the National Radioactive Waste Management Act dispossesses and disempowers Traditional Owners in many respects: the nomination of a site for a radioactive waste dump is valid even if Aboriginal owners were not consulted and did not give consent; the Act has sections which nullify State or Territory laws that protect archaeological or heritage values, including those which relate to Indigenous traditions; the Act curtails the application of Commonwealth laws including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 and the Native Title Act 1993 in the important site-selection stage; and the Native Title Act 1993 is expressly overridden in relation to land acquisition for a radioactive waste dump.

No social license: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because there is no social license to introduce nuclear power to Australia. Opinion polls find that Australians are overwhelmingly opposed to a nuclear power reactor being built in their local vicinity (10‒28% support, 55‒73% opposition); and opinion polls find that support for renewable energy sources far exceeds support for nuclear power (for example a 2015 IPSOS poll found 72‒87% support for solar and wind power but just 26% support for nuclear power). As the Clean Energy Council noted in its submission to the 2019 federal nuclear inquiry, it would require “a minor miracle” to win community support for nuclear power in Australia.

The pursuit of nuclear power would also require bipartisan political consensus at state and federal levels for several decades. Good luck with that. Currently, there is a bipartisan consensus at the federal level to retain the legal ban. The noisy, ultra-conservative rump of the Coalition is lobbying for nuclear power but their push has been rejected by, amongst others, the federal Liberal Party leadership, the Queensland Liberal-National Party, the SA Liberal government, the Tasmanian Liberal government, the NSW Liberal Premier and environment minister, and even ultra-conservatives such as Nationals Senator Matt Canavan.

The future is renewable, not radioactive: Laws banning nuclear power should be retained because the introduction of nuclear power would delay and undermine the development of effective, economic energy and climate policies based on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. A December 2019 report by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator finds that construction costs for nuclear reactors are 2‒8 times higher than costs for wind or solar. Levelised costs for nuclear are 2‒3 times greater per unit of energy produced compared to wind or solar including either 2 hours of battery storage or 6 hours of pumped hydro energy storage.

Australia can do better than fuel higher carbon emissions and unnecessary radioactive risk. We need to embrace the fastest growing global energy sector and become a driver of clean energy thinking and technology and a world leader in renewable energy technology. We can grow the jobs of the future here today. This will provide a just transition for energy sector workers, their families and communities and the certainty to ensure vibrant regional economies and secure sustainable and skilled jobs into the future. Renewable energy is affordable, low risk, clean and popular. Nuclear is not. Our shared energy future is renewable, not radioactive.

More Information

* Don’t Nuke the Climate Australia, www.dont-nuke-the-climate.org.au

* Climate Council, 2019, ‘Nuclear Power Stations are Not Appropriate for Australia – and Probably Never Will Be’, https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nuclear-power-stations-are-not-appropriate-for-australia-and-probably-never-will-be/

* WISE Nuclear Monitor, 25 June 2016, ‘Nuclear power: No solution to climate change’, https://www.wiseinternational.org/nuclear-monitor/806/nuclear-power-no-solution-climate-change

Dr. Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia.

February 27, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, climate change, indigenous issues, water | Leave a comment

As forests burn around the world, drinking water is at risk

As forests burn around the world, drinking water is at risk  https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2020/01/31/features/as-forests-burn-around-the-world-drinking-water-is-at-risk/

By TAMMY WEBBER Associated Press | Friday, January 31, 2020 Fabric curtains stretch across the huge Warragamba Dam to trap ash and sediment expected to wash off wildfire-scorched slopes and into the reservoir that holds 80% of untreated drinking water for the Greater Sydney area.

In Australia’s national capital of Canberra, where a state of emergency was declared on Friday because of an out-of-control forest fire to its south, authorities are hoping a new water treatment plant and other measures will prevent a repeat of water quality problems and disruption that followed deadly wildfires 17 years ago.

 

February 3, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, water | Leave a comment

Japan could decide on fate of radioactive waste water before the Olympics in July

January 27, 2020 Posted by | Japan, wastes, water | Leave a comment

Water shortages to hit 1.9 billion people as glaciers melt

1.9 billion people at risk from mountain water shortages, study shows   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/09/billion-people-risk-water-supply-rising-demand-global-heating-mountain-ecosystem  

Rising demand and climate crisis threaten entire mountain ecosystem, say scientists, Jonathan Watts Global environment editor,  @jonathanwatts, Tue 10 Dec 2019 A quarter of the world’s population are at risk of water supply problems as mountain glaciers, snow-packs and alpine lakes are run down by global heating and rising demand, according to an international study.

The first inventory of high-altitude sources finds the Indus is the most important and vulnerable “water tower” due to run-off from the Karakoram, Hindu Kush, Ladakh, and Himalayan mountain ranges, which flow downstream to a densely populated and intensively irrigated basin in Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan.

The authors warn this vast water tower – a term they use to describe the role of water storage and supply that mountain ranges play to sustain environmental and human water demands downstream – is unlikely to sustain growing pressure by the middle of the century when temperatures are projected to rise by 1.9C (35.4F), rainfall to increase by less than 2%, but the population to grow by 50% and generate eight times more GDP.

Strains are apparent elsewhere in the water tower index, which quantifies the volume of water in 78 mountain ranges based on precipitation, snow cover, glacier ice storage, lakes and rivers. This was then compared with the drawdown by communities, industries and farms in the lower reaches of the main river basins.

The study by 32 scientists, which was published in the Nature journal on Monday, confirms Asian river basins face the greatest demands but shows pressures are also rising on other continents.

“It’s not just happening far away in the Himalayas but in Europe and the United States, places not usually thought to be reliant on mountains for people or the economy,” said one of the authors, Bethan Davies, of Royal Holloway University.

“We always knew the Indus was important, but it was surprising how the Rhône and Rhine have risen in importance, along with the Fraser and Columbia.”

The study says 1.9 billion people and half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots could be negatively affected by the decline of natural water towers, which store water in winter and release it slowly over the summer.

This buffering capacity is weakening as glaciers lose mass and snow-melt dynamics are disrupted by temperatures that are rising faster at high altitude than the global average.

“Climate change threatens the entire mountain ecosystem,” the report concludes. “Immediate action is required to safeguard the future of the world’s most important and vulnerable water towers.”

As well as local conservation efforts, the authors say international action to reduce carbon emissions is the best way to safeguard water towers.

Citing recent research by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Davies said 75% of high-altitude snow and ice would be retained if global warming could be kept within 1.5C. However, 80% would be lost by 2100 if the world continued on a path of business as usual.

December 10, 2019 Posted by | ASIA, climate change, water | Leave a comment

Toxic flushing of nuclear poisons into Lake Winnepeg

November 21, 2019 Posted by | Canada, wastes, water | Leave a comment

South Korea’s safety concerns about Fukushima water release

South Korea Nuclear Regulator Wants Information on Radioactive Fukushima Water Release, By Reuters, 20 Nov.   SEOUL — Japan’s reluctance to disclose information about the release of radioactive water from its damaged Fukushima nuclear plant is hampering neighboring countries’ efforts to minimize the impact, the head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday.

Since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at some of the reactors the Fukushima plant, owner Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has been storing radioactive water in tanks at the site from the cooling pipes used to keep the fuel cores from melting. The utility will run out of space for the water in 2022.

Japan has not yet decided how to deal with the contaminated water, but its environment minister said in September that radioactive water would have to be released from the site into the Pacific Ocean.

“We have been raising Japan’s radioactive water issue to the international community to minimize the impact … but as Japan hasn’t disclosed any specific plan and process we would need more details to run simulations and study,” Uhm Jae-sik, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, told Reuters.

In addition to the Fukushima crisis, safety concerns about nuclear energy have increased in South Korea following a 2012 scandal over the supply of faulty reactors parts with forged documents, prompting a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, targets a long-term phase out of atomic power to allay public concerns.

“Regardless of the government’s energy policy change, our primary goal is ensuring the safety of nuclear power,” Uhm said.

South Korea operates 25 nuclear reactors, which generate about a third of the country’s total electricity. Of the 25 reactors, 10 are offline for maintenance, according to the website of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.

(Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Christian Schmollinger) https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/11/20/world/asia/20reuters-southkorea-nuclear.html

November 21, 2019 Posted by | South Korea, water | Leave a comment

Japan’s METI says it’s safe to dump radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear disaster into ocean

Japan’s METI says it’s safe to dump radioactive water from Fukushima nuclear disaster into ocean, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/11/18/national/japans-meti-says-safe-dump-radioactive-water-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-ocean/#.XdMEClczbIU, KYODO, NOV 18, 2019

The industry ministry said Monday it would be safe to release water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the ocean, stressing that on an annual basis the amount of radiation measured near the release point would be very small compared to levels to which humans are naturally exposed.

Discharging the water into the Pacific Ocean over the course of a year would amount to between just one-1,600th and one-40,000th of the radiation to which humans are naturally exposed, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, or METI, told a government subcommittee on the issue.

Water used to cool the melted-down cores and groundwater from close to the damaged plant contain some radioactive materials, and are currently being collected and stored in tanks on the plant grounds.

But space is running out fast, and the government is exploring ways to deal with the waste water — which already totals more than 1 million tons with the volume increasing by more than 100 tons every day.

According to an estimate performed by the ministry, annual radiation levels near the release point after a release would be between 0.052 and 0.62 microsievert at sea, and 1.3 microsieverts in the atmosphere, compared with the 2,100 microsieverts that humans come into contact with each year in daily life.

One member of the subcommittee called on the ministry to provide detailed data showing the impact of different conditions such as ocean currents and weather.

Another member requested more information on the amount of radiation that people will be exposed to internally, depending on how much fish and seaweed they consume.

The waste water is currently being treated using an advanced liquid processing system referred to as ALPS, though the system does not remove tritium and has been found to leave small amounts of other radioactive materials.

The tanks storing the water are expected to become full by the summer of 2022, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The plant was damaged by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011.

While government officials stress the safety of releasing the waste water, local fishermen are opposed to discharging it into the ocean due to worries that it would cause reputational damage and impact their livelihoods.

South Korea has also expressed concern over the environmental impact.

In September, Japanese and South Korean officials traded barbs over the issue at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

A nuclear expert from the IAEA said in 2018 that a controlled discharge of such contaminated water “is something which is applied in many nuclear facilities, so it is not something that is new.”

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan, water | Leave a comment