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Legal action against Franced’s EDF over Framatome (i.e AREVA) ‘s violations of environmental code

Liberation 17th July 2018 , Flamanville: NGOs lodge a complaint against EDF for “breaches” of security.
Sortir du nucléaire and Greenpeaceare to take legal action this Wednesday morning in the case of defective welds detected on the pipes of the future EPR reactor. The soap opera of the shipyard of the EPR reactor, built by EDF on the Flamanville power station (Manche), takes a legal turn.

According to our information, Sortir du nucléaire and Greenpeace France will file this Wednesday morning with the prosecutor of the High Court of Cherbourg a complaint against EDF and its industrial subsidiary Framatome
(ex-Areva NP) “for ten violations of the code of the environment and the regulation of basic nuclear installations “.
http://www.liberation.fr/france/2018/07/17/flamanville-des-ong-portent-plainte-contre-edf-pour-infractions-a-la-surete_1667181

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July 20, 2018 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

Rocky Flats Lawsuit: Activists Ask Judge To Keep Public Off Former Nuclear Weapons Plant,

The government says the site is safe.

A plant at the center of the site manufactured nuclear bombs components. The government spent $7 billion cleaning it up.

4.4 GB (29%) of 15 GB used
Last account activity: 1 hour ago

Details

July 18, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

European court dismissed Austria’s arguments against UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear project

Nucnet 12th July 2018 , Europe’s second highest court has rejected Austrian objections to the
planned Hinkley Point C nuclear station in southwest England, saying
British government aid offered to the project did not violate EU rules.

The European Commission approved the project in October 2014, saying it did not
see any competition issues, but a previous Austrian government took issue
with the decision and filed a case with the General Court in 2015, arguing
that it contradicted EU policy of supporting renewable energy.

Luxembourg has also challenged the approval, backed by a group of more than 20
academics, politicians and renewable energy officials who say it distorts
competition and flouts rules on government subsidies. But the court noted
in its decision today that the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland,
Romania, Slovakia and the UK intervened in support of the EC.

The General Court dismissed Austria’s arguments against the project. The court said:
“The General Court confirms the decision by which the Commission approved
the aid provided by the UK in favour of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power
station,” judges said. The judges said Britain has the right to choose
between the different energy sources.
https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2018/07/12/european-court-dismisses-austria-s-objections-to-hinkley-point-c

July 16, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, legal | Leave a comment

Cancer deaths from radiation due to atomic bomb tests – compensation to families under new Bill

Utahns who say family members died from cancer because of radioactive fallout would be eligible for $150K under new bill  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/07/06/under-bill-compensation/ By Lee Davidson, 6 july 18 

J Truman’s earliest memory is of sitting as a child on his father’s knee in Enterprise, Utah, transfixed by a show in the sky from nuclear-bomb testing in nearby Nevada, including watching pink-gray fallout clouds pass overhead.

“My parents died from cancer,” he says, blaming those radioactive clouds. So Truman, director of Downwinders, Inc., has fought since the 1970s for compensation for victims. A bill by Sen. Orrin Hatch and the late Rep, Wayne Owens in 1990, and expanded in 2000, gave money to victims in 10 southern Utah counties.

Now Truman hails new legislation that proposes finally offering payments to victims in all of Utah — and neighboring states. And payments under the plan would grow from $50,000 for downwind cancer victims to the same $150,000 paid to Nevada Test Site workers. People who received the lower payment could apply to get the additional $100,000.

“Salt Lake County was hit just as hard by fallout” from some nuclear tests as areas in southern Utah that have long qualified for compensation, Truman says. “So was the Uinta Basin,” according to federal fallout studies ordered by the earlier bills.

We need justice. Not ‘just us.’ There must be equal justice for all exposed and sickened,” Truman says. He adds that the $50,000 offered to some through earlier bills “doesn’t even cover the first round of chemo.”

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Rep. Ben Lujan, D-N.M., are sponsoring the new legislation — mostly to help victims in their states that had been excluded. No Utah members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors so far.

Similar bills have been introduced for the past eight years with no action, but Crapo managed finally to win a hearing last monthin the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This hearing has been a long time in coming,” Crapo said there.

The senator complains that 20 of the 25 U.S. counties hardest hit by radioactive Iodine-131 were in Idaho and Montana, where residents received no compensation.

His bill would now cover victims of cancers tied to radiation in all of Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Guam (because of Pacific ocean nuclear tests).

Crapo said he’s talked to many Idaho farmers who awoke after a 1952 nuclear test to “find their pastures and orchards covered with a fine white dust. It seemingly appeared out of nowhere. It looked like frost. But it was not cold to touch.” It was fallout, and he said no one warned farmers about its dangers.

Crapo complained that the government has long known, because of studies in Utah, about unexplained clusters of cancer downwind of nuclear tests. “That was 40 years ago. However, there are still a number of those affected who are still waiting for the government to do the right thing and make them eligible for compensation.”

Eltona Henderson, with Idaho Downwinders, testified that her native rural Gem County, Idaho, has been devastated by cancer that she blames on the nuclear tests — and has collected the names of 1,060 cancer victims from there. “Some entire families have been wiped out by cancer, where there was no cancer before the 1950s.”

She added, “It seems that because of the nuclear testing, our ‘Valley of Plenty’ is now ’The Valley of Death…. I have 38 people in my family that have had cancer, 14 have died from the disease,“ adding most did not have lifestyles that otherwise would have increased their likelihood for cancer.

Earlier bills also never compensated victims downwind of the nation’s first Trinity atomic bomb test in New Mexico, which developed the bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War

II. Tina Cordova of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders protested that omission at the hearing.

“The radioactive fallout settled on everything. On the soil, in the water, in the air, on the plants, and on the skin of every living thing,” she said. “The New Mexico Downwinders are the collateral damage that resulted from the development and testing of the first atomic bomb.”

Hatch and Owens in earlier decades said a major problem of passing compensation bills was their cost, and Truman said it is also an ongoing problem with new legislation.

Justice Department data show that more than $1 billion has been paid to 21,649 downwiders through the years, “and that’s just covering some rural counties. If bigger urban areas were added, that number could really take off,” Truman said.

When compensation is added in that was paid to workers at the Nevada Test Site and at uranium mines and mills, the U.S. government has paid $2.26 billion in radiation compensation.

Studies have said radiation from nuclear tests hit virtually every county in the nation to some extent. 

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., whose father, former Interior Secretary Stuart Udall, started early lawsuits seeking downwinder compensation in Utah, said paying some but not other victims is a grave injustice. “We must do everything we can now to make sure the many unwilling Cold War victims and their families are compensated.”

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said the new legislation “is about confronting the dark corners of our country and working to bring on the light,” and is about “making sure we do right by people who were wronged when our nation was building up and testing its nuclear arsenal.”

July 7, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, politics | Leave a comment

France’s anti nuclear activists not imprisoned

Greenpeace France 28th June 2018 The verdict of the trial of Privas, where Greenpeace France, one of his employees and 22 activists were judged on May 17 following an intrusion into the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant, fell. Despite EDF’s will to attack our activists, none of them have been sentenced to imprisonment.

Yannick Rousselet, a nuclear campaigner prosecuted for complicity, was released. EDF’s strategy to demand heavier prison sentences and colossal damages to Greenpeace to dissuade us from denouncing nuclear risk has failed.

The lawsuit against Greenpeace France, his campaign campaigner, Yannick Rousselet, and 22 activists of the organization was held May 17 at the tribunal de grande instance Privas in Ardeche. The verdict was made public six weeks later.
https://www.greenpeace.fr/proces-nucleaire-privas-verdict/

June 29, 2018 Posted by | France, legal | Leave a comment

New Mexico residents testify on atomic bomb fallout

 https://apnews.com/dc5e3c60042741c696dd062462a03cca– 28 June 18, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates for New Mexicans who many believe were sickened by U.S. uranium mining and nuclear weapons testing have urged Congress to acknowledge their sacrifice and authorize compensation for them.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez and the co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium testified during a hearing Wednesday in Washington on a compensation measure.

Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, it proposes expanding eligibility for payouts under the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act of 1990, which currently covers claims from areas in Nevada, Arizona and Utah that are downwind from a different test site.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa consortium, said many who lived in the area weren’t told about the dangers of the Trinity Test on generations of residents.

They could benefit from the proposal, along with post-1971 uranium mine workers in Northwestern New Mexico.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Law is now challenged by the “normalisation” of nuclear weapons

Amid Nuclear Entanglement, International Law May Well Have to Ban the Weapons Altogether https://thewire.in/law/amid-nuclear-entanglement-international-law-may-well-have-to-ban-the-weapons-altogether

As long as the conventionalisation of nuclear weapons is taking place, no binding treaties will be able to stop the proliferation of or regulate nuclear weapons. Olha Bozhenko,  22/JUN/2018

Nuclear weapons enjoy a separate and unique regime under international law. The majority of states struggle to establish a complete prohibition of nuclear weapons, as in the case of other categories of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In fact, in its only authoritative pronouncement on the matter, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stressed ‘the unique characteristics of nuclear weapons, and in particular their destructive capacity’.

Yet in view of some recent developments, to be discussed below, this distinction has been gradually disappearing, with the line between nuclear and conventional weapons becoming blurred. This means that nuclear weapons are not stigmatised as their WMD counterparts, but rather conventionalised.

This piece is an attempt to, first, ascertain the progressing conventionalisation among the current trends related to nuclear weapons and, second, delineate its consequences for the international legal regulation of armaments.

Paths of conventionalisation

Nuclear weapons conventionalisation has been referred to as ‘nuclear entanglement’, which essentially means the merger of nuclear and conventional weapons. Broadly understood, it manifests itself in the following ways.

Increased reliance on non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons:

As early as in his Dissenting Opinion to the Nuclear Weapons Advisory Opinion, Mohamed Shahabuddeen, a judge of the ICJ suggested that assuming tactical nuclear weapons could be no more destructive than conventional weapons, they should not be less lawful than the latter. Hence, placing nonstrategic nuclear weapons (NSNW) at the top of ‘conventionalisation agenda’ is not a brand-new idea. Besides, it has recently been emphasised in national strategies.

The most striking example is, of course, the US 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which radically departs from its predecessor in mandating the development of a range of nonstrategic low-yield nuclear options. The Trump administration considers this departure necessary as a response to Russia’s substantial reliance on and expansion of non-strategic nuclear arsenal, which considerably outstrips that of the US. At face value, this means that the two most powerful nuclear-weapon states have embarked upon the rapid expansion of their non-strategic nuclear options.

Such an approach depicting NSNW as quite a usable tool to advance military and non-military goals significantly lowers the threshold for the actual use. Such reliance on a limited nuclear strike can well lead to the full-blown nuclear escalation, which the ICJ considered among the possible consequences of using low yield nuclear weapons.

Integration of nuclear and conventional planning and operations:

The integration of nuclear and conventional capabilities also contributes to the conventionalisation. This is ‘nuclear entanglement’ in the original meaning of the term. The integration includes equipping dual use means of delivery with nuclear and non-nuclear warheads, merging nuclear and conventional support facilities, as well as integrating planning and training for both nuclear and non-nuclear forces. China and Russia are said to pursue this strategy whether deliberately or as a matter of historical legacy. Furthermore, US’s NPR specifically mandates ensuring ‘the ability to integrate nuclear and non-nuclear military planning and operations’ to ‘deter limited nuclear escalation and nonnuclear strategic attacks’.

These developments are frowned upon for a number of reasons. They tend to erode the line between nuclear and conventional forces in the most palpable manner. They also increase the risk of adversary’s misinterpretation of the nature of an attack, which can simultaneously target ‘entangled’ capabilities.

Expanding range of scenarios for the use of nuclear weapons:


Much has been said
 on the expanded range of scenarios where US contemplates first use of nuclear weapons, also in response to non-nuclear threats. Although the US strategy is most widely discussed owing to its considerable departure from the previous pattern, other nuclear-weapon states either preserve deliberate ambiguity with regard to the possible use of nuclear weapons (eg  UK and France) or explicitly declare their readiness to balance an adversary’s conventional superiority with a nuclear strike (eg Russia and Pakistan).

Expanding the role of nuclear weapons beyond deterring nuclear threats alludes to an increased rationality and military utility of a nuclear strike. This further undermines the arguments that there exists opinio juris (an opinion of law) prohibiting recourse to nuclear weapons, except for the purposes of deterrence. In view of such developments, it is understandable why the ICJ refused to acknowledge that the non-recourse to nuclear weapons since 1945 had been due to such opinio juris rather than the absence of military necessity.

Nuclear saber rattling:

Finally, never before has it been so common for political leaders to boast of their states’ nuclear capacities. One may recall Vladimir Putin’s threats to deploy nuclear weapons in the course of Crimea crisis and against Baltic states, or his most recent brandishing cutting-edge nuclear technology with animated nukes striking Florida in an address to the parliament. Along the same lines, Donald Trump publicly threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ and even with ‘total destruction’.

Although the ICJ refused to differentiate between nuclear and conventional weapons, when assessing the legality of the threat of nuclear weapons use (para 48), the state practice seems to have accepted a special standard for nuclear threats which is measured against the strategy of deterrence. For instance, UK’s High Court of Justiciary stated that ‘deployment of nuclear weapons in time of peace … is utterly different from the kind of specific ‘threat’ which is equated with actual use’ . Under this approach, states would only cross the line of nuclear deterrence and resort to the threat of using nuclear weapons if such a threat is specific enough, i.e. directed against a specific target.

Considering that the arbitral tribunal went so far as to equate the phrase ‘to face consequences’ to a threat of the use of force in Guyana vs Suriname, it is doubtful that states are still within the safe harbour of deterrence when directing their nuclear threats explicitly and specifically against other states.

Consequences for international law

Driven by analogy with other types of WMD, international law seeks to raise the threshold for using of nuclear weapons (or even contemplating such use) as high as possible. The adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is among the most notable developments to this end. Still, there is an observable tension between the movement towards nuclear weapons ban as enshrined in the TPNW and the trends described above.

International legal instruments like the TPNW are grounded on humanitarian considerations. In this particular case, the TPNW is meant to stigmatise nuclear weapons to the extent of their total abandonment by nuclear-weapon states. Considering that nuclear-weapon states refused to take any part in the ‘ban campaign’ leading to the adoption of the TPNW, it is reasonable to assume that such progressive stigmatisation (which can eventually generate a parallel customary prohibition) is the only way to endow the TPNW with pragmatic force. Analogy may be drawn with other disarmament treaties such as Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines Ban and Convention on Cluster Munitions: they contributed to the establishment of the customary prohibition of respective armaments even without directly binding all states possessing them.

However, when nuclear weapons are postured to be as usable as conventional ones, the normative boundary between the two is not hardened at all. No stigma is likely to appear for weapons possessing which is dictated and justified by strong military utility. As long as the conventionalisation of nuclear weapons is taking place, no binding obligations will probably proceed from the newly established TPNW regime, either as treaty rules or as a crystallising custom.

Along with the TPNW, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is to bear a major part in the ramifications. The core obligation of non-proliferation under Article II is likely to be affected, since nuclear weapons, if conventionalised, make their acquisition by non-nuclear-weapon states more conceivable. Additionally, the deployment of tactical nuclear devices makes nuclear weapons more accessible and ‘proliferable’ in the technical sense, spurring their acquisition by non-state actors, particularly, by terrorist groups. This is an alarming possibility considering that the non-proliferation to non-state actors still constitutes a legal gap largely left to Security Council Resolution 1540.

Besides, the conventionalisation of nuclear weapons invites their advancement, which is hardly in line with the (allegedly customary) obligation of nuclear disarmament under Article VI of the NPT. States are not in compliance with their disarmament obligation ‘to achieve a precise result – nuclear disarmament in all its aspects’ when they engage in the ‘vertical proliferation’ (i.e. modernising their nuclear arsenals or expand the range of scenarios to deploy nuclear weapons).

Should the described trends gain traction, their impact will in no way be limited to nuclear weapons regulation, but extend to the whole set of rules on the use of force. In particular, the gradually vanishing line between the threat of use of force and nuclear deterrence will further blur. It is questionable whether teetering on the brink of threats to use nuclear weapons is still justifiable under the concept of nuclear deterrence, which the ICJ was careful to characterise as practice ‘adhered to by states’. Consequently, it is doubtful whether nuclear deterrence should enjoy such leniency with respect to the standard of the threat of use of force.

The jus ad bellum (right to war) requirements for self-defence may also be affected by nuclear entanglement. For instance, it is highly questionable whether a limited strike with tactical nuclear weapons to preclude a massive conventional attack fails to meet the standard of proportionality. Similarly, it is not that clear whether anticipatory nuclear strike against a missile equipped with non-nuclear warhead is unlawful, since a state intercepting such a missile can be misled by its dual-use capacity in view of nuclear entanglement.

The questions of similar nature will arise with respect to jus in bello (laws of war). With the gap between nuclear and conventional weapons narrowing, there is less room to assert that employing nuclear weapons should be contrary to the proportionality principle. Correspondingly, what concerns the lawfulness of belligerent reprisals conducted with the use of nuclear weapons, a pre-defined approach exclusively based on the ‘nuclear element’ is likely to give ground to the qualification irrespective of the type of weapons. To put it bluntly, the ICJ’s reasoning that the legality of the use of nuclear weapons shall be considered on the basis of case-to-case compliance with jus in bello seems to be regaining relevance.

 Conclusions

While any radical transformation of the international legal regime governing nuclear weapons is still unlikely, there is definitely room for considering its adequacy for current challenges. In the near future we should be ready to make a choice of either raising the bar on the conventionalisation of nuclear weapons or easing this process. Simply put, international law may find itself in need of deciding whether it is better to ban nuclear weapons altogether rather than to regulate them.

This article originally appeared on Arms Control Law.

June 25, 2018 Posted by | legal, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Serbian citizens to sue NATO over their cancers due to depleted uranium

Lawsuits against NATO countries to be filed in fall https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2018&mm=06&dd=18&nav_id=104422  The first lawsuits are expected to be filed in the fall by Serbian citizens suffering from cancer.SOURCE: BETA 

They will sue NATO countries because of the use of depleted uranium during the 1999 bombing of Serbia.

This was announced on Monday President of the Association of Citizens “Depleted Uranium” Sveto Nogo. The lawsuits will be filed individually, he explained.

Speaking at a symposium in the southern town of Nis, dedicated to the consequences of the bombing, Nogo said that there would be no class action lawsuit, but instead those filed by cancer patients and their families.

“NATO countries will be sued for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. We will launch lawsuits against five countries, and after the symposium, it will be decided which countries those will be,” Nogo said.

He said that working groups will be formed in the coming months to draft the lawsuits and added that the Serbian Bar Association, the Belgrade Bar Association and “partially” the Nis Bar Association all stand behind “the project.”

“There has been an increasing number of cancer patients, and even babies are being born with cancer. We do not recognize ‘force majeure’, and as intellectuals we have no right to keep silent about it,” Nogo said.

The president of the organizing committee of the symposium, Srdjan Aleksic, said that, as far as the future cases that will be conducted before national courts of NATO member states, the most important point for Serbian citizens is that Italian courts have already confirmed the causality between the use of depleted uranium and soldiers falling ill after staying in the territory that came under attack of such weapons in Kosovo and Metohija.

“The soldiers who had cancer and the families of the deceased have been afforded compensation ranging from 200,000 to 500,000 euros by a court in Italy. We will seek the same compensation for our citizens,” Aleksic said.

According to him, it took five years for the Italians to prove in court the causal relationship between bombardment with depleted uranium and cancer, while Serbia is facilitated by their evidence – “and the first verdict should be reached in two years.”

“We appeal for an agreement and amicable resolution, because if Italian citizens have been paid compensation, I do not see any reason for our citizens not to receive it,” Aleksic pointed out.

Domenico Leggero, a member of the Italian commission looking into the consequences of the use of depleted uranium, also spoke at the event to say that all judgments in Italy have been made in favor of the sick soldiers, while the country’s Ministry of Defense has been declared guilty.

“In Italy there have been over 80 cases. The soldiers have been compensated,” Leggero said. He added that the harmful effect of depleted uranium on human health had been proven in Italy as early as in 1987.
Sergei Baburin, who headed Russian Duma’s assistance to Serbia during the 1990s, said that Serbia has waited a long time to file the lawsuits, but that it was still not too late – “because things should not be left as they are, because we will all be complicit in an injustice.”

Baburin said that many people who defended the country have been convicted of crimes – unlike those who bombarded it.

The two-day symposium in Nis gathered about thirty domestic and international experts, in the fields of law, medicine, engineering, atomic physics and ecology.

 

June 20, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

MOX nuclear fuel project in deep trouble, but judge rules against suspending its construction

Judge’s ruling keeps over-budget nuclear project from being shut down, BY SAMMY FRETWELL sfretwell@thestate.com  June 07, 2018

A judge on Thursday stopped the federal government from suspending construction of a nuclear fuel factory at the Savannah River Site atomic weapons complex near Aiken.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs damages federal efforts to walk away from the over-budget and behind-schedule mixed oxide fuel project, which has been on the drawing boards for more than two decades and is currently under construction. The mixed oxide fuel plant would turn excess weapons grade plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.

The U.S. Department of Energy has been trying in recent years to suspend the project, saying it is expensive and no longer necessary to dispose of the plutonium. The latest federal plan is to ship excess plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear bombs, to a New Mexico site for disposal.

Childs’ order temporarily halts the federal shutdown process until arguments can be heard in court over whether to keep the effort going. ……..

Savannah River Site Watch’s Tom Clements, an opponent of the MOX project, said he was disappointed in the judge’s ruling Thursday. Clements says the project isn’t necessary.
“The judge doesn’t understand what deep trouble the project is in,’’ he said, noting that building the MOX project doesn’t necessarily mean South Carolina will get rid of all surplus plutonium at SRS.

The project is about $12 billion over budget and years behind schedule, but employs hundreds of people who would be out of work if the project shuts down, boosters say. It has been touted as a way to provide new missions for SRS.

Federal officials say they won’t forget SRS in shutting down the MOX plant. They have proposed converting it to a factory to make plutonium pits for nuclear weapons. http://www.thestate.com/latest-news/article212778069.html

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Legal, reprocessing, USA | Leave a comment

Court of Appeals rules that lawsuits can go ahead , seeking refunds for ratepayers, regarding V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

SCE&G ratepayers’ lawsuit over failed nuclear project can proceed, S.C. Court of Appeals says, Post and Courier, By Thad Moore tmoore@postandcourier.com Jun 4, 2018 

      A slate of lawsuits seeking refunds for South Carolina Electric & Gas ratepayers can go forward, the state Court of Appeals says.

SCE&G had tried to have four cases tied to its failed nuclear project tossed, arguing the courts shouldn’t decide how much electricity-users pay for service. Ratepayers sued for lower bills and refunds after the costly expansion of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station crumbled, saying they shouldn’t pay for a project that won’t produce power.

In an order handed down last week, the Court of Appeals sided with the ratepayers — at least enough to keep their case alive. It agreed with a trial court’s decision not to dismiss the cases…….https://www.postandcourier.com/business/sce-g-ratepayers-lawsuit-over-failed-nuclear-project-can-proceed/article_cd86ab38-680c-11e8-bed3-f794c9e49995.html

June 6, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of Justice support Illinois nuclear subsidies

FERC, DOJ support Illinois nuclear subsidies in court filing  UTILITY DIVE,31 May 18  

Dive Brief:

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Department of Justice filed a joint legal brief in support of Illinois nuclear subsidies on Tuesday.
  • Lawyers for the two agencies wrote the zero emission credits (ZECs) for Illinois nuclear plants do not interfere with FERC’s authority to regulate wholesale power markets, as generators claimed. If the subsidies disrupt market operations, “the solution lies with the Commission, not the courts,” the agencies wrote.
  • The legal opinion will likely also apply to a pending court challenge against New York nuclear subsidies, as well as a New Jersey subsidy program enacted last week. The FERC opinion could also make a Supreme Court case over the subsidies less likely, analysts say.

Dive Insight:

The Tuesday amicus brief from FERC and DOJ is a blow for opponents of nuclear subsidies, who hoped the courts would throw out the recent state programs designed to keep uneconomic plants from retiring.

In their brief, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, FERC and DOJ write the Illinois program does not suffer from the “fatal defect” that doomed other state subsidy programs in the courts.

In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that a Maryland policy to support gas generation interfered with FERC’s authority because it made receipt of a subsidy contingent on wholesale market participation, which FERC regulates.

………Evaluating methods to integrate state energy policies into wholesale markets has been a focus at FERC in recent years — and also a point of contention. In March, the commission approved an ISO-New England plan to change its capacity market auctions to handle subsidized resources, but the 3-2 vote exposed divides between regulators on how to handle future cases.

Those issues are likely to come to a head next month, when FERC is scheduled to rule on two market reform options submitted by the PJM Interconnection — both of which could diminish the market impact of nuclear and renewable energy subsidies.

In the meantime, analysts say the FERC-DOJ brief makes it more likely the nuclear subsidies will be upheld by the courts — not just the Seventh Circuit, but also the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is hearing a similar challenge against the New York program……..https://www.utilitydive.com/news/ferc-doj-support-illinois-nuclear-subsidies-in-court-filing/524580/

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

South Carolina suing the USA govt over closure of MOX fuel reprocessing program

South Carolina sues federal government over end of nuclear fuel program  http://www.wrdw.com/content/news/South-Carolina-sues-federal-government-over-end-of-nuclear-fuel-program-483786421.html May 26, 2018 AIKEN, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is suing the federal government after the Energy Department announced it was stopping construction of a plant to turn plutonium used in nuclear weapons into fuel for nuclear reactors.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson’s lawsuit filed Friday says Energy Secretary Rick Perry didn’t consult Governor Henry McMaster before ending construction at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.

The lawsuit also says the Energy Department didn’t perform an analysis of how to store the plutonium already at SRS.

Instead of creating mixed oxide fuel, or MOX, the National Nuclear Security Administration suggests SRS make new plutonium pits for nuclear weapons.

Wilson called the decision to end MOX another chapter in the long, tortured history of broken promises by the federal government.
The Energy Department didn’t immediately respond.

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

USA Department of Veterans Affairs conveniently lost hundreds of claims for children, grandchildren of contaminated veterans

VA lost or misplaced hundreds of claims for children, grandchildren of contaminated veterans http://www.wfla.com/8-on-your-side/investigations/va-lost-or-misplaced-hundreds-of-claims-for-children-grandchildren-of-contaminated-veterans/1194448265, By: Steve Andrews  May 23, 2018

May 25, 2018 Posted by | health, legal, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Missouri legal case – claim that cancer caused by Manhattan Project

Woman claims Manhattan Project caused her cancer https://stlrecord.com/stories/511423482-woman-claims-manhattan-project-caused-her-cancer, by Amanda Thomas | May 20, 2018, ST. LOUIS – A Florissant woman has filed a lawsuit against a biopharmaceutical company and chemical-producing corporation for alleged negligence related to the disposal of “hazardous, toxic, and radioactive materials” near residential neighborhoods in St. Louis County.

Terry L. Williams filed a complaint on May 16 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Mallinckrodt LLC and the Cotter Corporation, alleging the defendants violated the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

According to the complaint, Williams alleges she has suffered physical injury, pain and suffering because of annual exposure to radiation when she engaged in frequent outdoor recreational activities in and around Coldwater Creek, HISS and SLAPS sites.

The lawsuit notes that the nation began a top-secret project to build the first atomic bomb during World War II and the Army created the Manhattan Engineering District (MED) to carry out the work of the “Manhattan Project.” After the war, the nation formed the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to continue its nuclear research and some of the work was performed in the St. Louis area.

“Under contracts with the MED and/or the AEC, the Destrehan Street Refinery and Metal Plant (which later became Mallinckrodt Chemical Works) processed natural uranium into uranium oxide, trioxide, and metal uranium at a facility in downtown St. Louis,” the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Mallinckrodt caused the release of radiation into the environment along haul routes in northern St. Louis County between 1942 and 1957. The complaint alleges that Mallinckrodt’s actions led to the contamination of “the air, soil, surface water, and groundwater along the haul routes.”

It is alleged in court documents, “Mallinckrodt’s acts and omissions between approximately 1942 and 1957 proximately caused plaintiff to suffer the injuries described in this complaint.”

The complaint notes that the affected sites in St. Louis County have elevated levels of radium, thorium and uranium in groundwater and soils. The Environmental Protection Agency reportedly found that direct contact with or accidental ingestion of contaminated soils and groundwater near those sites may pose health risks to individuals.

Williams requests a trial by jury and is seeking punitive damages.

May 22, 2018 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Trial of French activists who entered Cruas nuclear plant to demonstrate vulnerability of spent fuel storage pools

Liberation 17th May 2018 [Machine Translation] At Greenpeace activists’ trial, nuclear safety is no exception. At the trial of 22 activists of Greenpeace, the court tried Thursday to limit the debates to the facts – their intrusion in November in the nuclear site of Cruas-Meysse (Ardèche) – without being able to avoid the question of the safety of the power plants, that the NGO is questioning.

This action, preceded by a first in Cattenom (Moselle), had the same objective for its authors: to show flaws in the safety of spent fuel storage pools. The hearing was held under high police protection while a rally to support these “whistleblowers” was held all day in front of the courthouse. http://www.liberation.fr/societe/2018/05/17/au-proces-de-militants-greenpeace-la-securite-nucleaire-n-echappe-pas-aux-debats_1650850

Mediapart 18th May 2018 Against Greenpeace, state prosecutes civil disobedience. Sentences of reprieve and imprisonment were required against the twenty-three activists of Greenpeace who illegally entered the Cruas nuclear power plant in November 2017. For the public prosecutor, as for EDF, “it is time it stops. It is no longer possible to tolerate these repeated intrusions . ”
https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/180518/contre-greenpeace-l-etat-fait-le-proces-de-la-desobeissance-civile

May 19, 2018 Posted by | France, legal | Leave a comment