The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

European citizens lodge a complaint against EDF and French govt on nuclear unsafety

Greenpeace 2nd Dec 2017, [Machine translation] Nuclear: European citizens lodge a complaint against
EDF and the French state. Citizens from Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and
Switzerland, and many French people gathered today in five cities in France
to denounce the lack of protection of nuclear facilities in France and the
risks involved. They filed a complaint against EDF and the French state for
endangering the lives of others.


December 4, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Michael Flynn’s nuclear role complicates the federal investigation into Russian interference in 2016 USA election

Michael Flynn’s role in Middle Eastern nuclear project could compound legal issues, Chicago Tribune, 27 Nov 17  Michael Kranish, Tom Hamburger and Carol D. LeonnigWashington Post In June 2015, retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn took a little-noticed trip to Egypt and Israel, paid for by a U.S. company he was advising. The company hoped to build more than two dozen nuclear plants in the region in partnership with Russian interests.

Flynn’s quiet involvement in that project – and his failure to disclose his ties to the effort – could complicate the legal issues facing President Trump‘s former national security adviser, who has signaled he may be willing to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Congressional Democrats say that Flynn may have violated federal law by failing to disclose the Middle Eastern trip in his security clearance renewal application in 2016. A top House Republican declined the Democrats’ request for a congressional inquiry but referred the allegations to the special counsel.

Last month, Mueller revealed that his wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election has led to charges against three former Trump campaign officials. One of them, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, has been cooperating, according to court filings.

There are now signs that Flynn – whose international dealings have been the subject of intense interest by the special counsel – may also be willing to share information with prosecutors. Last week, his attorney shut down communications with Trump’s legal team, a development many interpreted as suggesting possible cooperation with Mueller.

Investigators for the special counsel have been examining whether Flynn hid foreign business dealings, particularly work he did for Turkish interests during the campaign, according to people familiar with the probe.

The nuclear venture is yet another instance in which Flynn appeared to have a personal stake in an international project while he was advising Trump in 2016, giving prosecutors one more potential avenue to pressure him to cooperate.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment. An attorney for Flynn declined to comment.

“General Flynn’s actions are part of a broader pattern of concealing his foreign contacts, payments, travel, and work on behalf of foreign interests,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. “The bigger question is this: What did President Trump know and why did he disregard all the red flags?”

The White House declined to comment.

Flynn served as an adviser to two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East: ACU Strategic Partners, which proposed a partnership with Russian interests, and IP3/IronBridge, which later launched a separate endeavor that initially proposed working with China to build the infrastructure, according to federal documents and company officials………

It is a criminal offense to knowingly omit material information requested by federal officials conducting such a review.

An attorney for Flynn’s company told the committee that it would not provide documents about the Middle Eastern nuclear project unless it is subpoenaed, according to the letter.

Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, declined to issue a subpoena and instead referred the Democrats’ concerns to Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

“Much of what is sought by my Democratic colleagues — if properly investigated charged and proven beyond a reasonable doubt — would carry criminal penalties,” Gowdy wrote in his Oct. 18 letter, posted by the committee. “Congress does not, and cannot, prosecute crimes.”…….

Flynn, who was fired by President Obama from his post as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014, became involved in ACU’s project in 2015, part of a group of former top military and diplomatic officials and nuclear experts the company assembled to help push its plan.

The idea: to build several dozen “proliferation-proof” nuclear power plants across Persian Gulf states. The plan relied heavily on Russian interests, which would help build the plants, as well as possibly take possession of spent fuel that could be used to build a nuclear weapon, according to people familiar with the project.

ACU’s managing director, Alex Copson, had been promoting variations of building nuclear facilities with Russian help for more than two decades, according to news reports. Copson did not respond to requests for comment, and ACU’s counsel, Don Gross, declined to comment.

ACU officials declined to identify its investors or answer questions on the record from The Post about whether it has foreign backing………

Around June 2016, according to his financial disclosure, Flynn ended his association with ACU and began advising a company called IP3/IronBridge, co-founded by retired Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt, a former ACU adviser.

IP3 initially proposed partnering with China and other nations on building nuclear power plants, rather than Russia, according to a company spokesman, who said the China component has since been dropped.

In August 2016, the company produced a PowerPoint presentation that included Flynn’s photo and former government title on a page titled, “IP3/IronBridge: Formidable US Leadership.” The document was labeled as a “Presentation to His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz” of Saudi Arabia and displayed the seals of Saudi Arabia and the United States. The presentation was obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight committee, who made it public……..

November 29, 2017 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Lawsuit to Stop Burial of Spent Nuclear Waste at San Onofre

Public Watchdogs Files Lawsuit to Stop Burial of Spent Nuclear Waste at SONGS San Clemente Times, By Staff, November 16, 2017 By Eric Heinz

An organization that scrutinizes government activity is making a last effort to prevent the storage of spent nuclear fuel rods at San Onofre.

Public Watchdogs, a nonprofit organization based in La Mesa, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday against the United States government, the Department of Defense and Secretary James Mattis, as well as Southern California Edison, the operators of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), and San Diego Gas and Electric to prevent the storage of more than 3.6 million pounds of radioactive fuel rods.

The lawsuit claims that under Public Law 88-82, a declaration from 1963 that allows the secretary of the Navy to authorize a permit for the nuclear power plant, storage of the spent nuclear waste was not authorized in the law.

The Navy owns the land where SONGS and Camp Pendleton are established.

Public Watchdogs is seeking an injunction that would find the “storage of spent nuclear fuel at SONGS is not authorized by, and is outside the scope of the authority granted to the Federal Defendants under, Public Law 88-82,” as well as “an order or judgment enjoining Federal Defendants from authorizing SCE and SDGE from storing spent nuclear fuel at SONGS and further enjoining SCE and SDGE from storing spent fuel at SONGS…….

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Legal action in South Africa’s High Court against government’s rushed nuclear energy deal

Two NGOs launch urgent High Court application against nuclear energy deal   17 NOVEMBER 2017   KYLE COWAN On Thursday, two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) launched an urgent court application to halt what they are calling a “rush by government in decision-making on the nuclear energy deal”.Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute said in a statement on Friday that they have approached the High Court to ask for an order to stay the process.

Last week, the same NGOs sent a request to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Energy Minister David Mahlobo‚ as well as the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa)‚ asking for a commitment to follow legal processes and allow public consultation on proposed nuclear deals.

The three parties had not responded to the request by Wednesday‚ the statement said.

Earthlife’s Makoma Lekalakala said: “We are part of an international movement against dirty nuclear energy‚ where we have seen governments enter into nuclear deals that are not in the interests of their people. That must not happen in SA.”

According to Earthlife‚ Mahlobo’s recent “utterances in the press” suggested that the finalisation of the integrated resource plan and the nuclear programme was being fast-tracked, “yet government has failed to implement the necessary public participation required by the court judgement that was delivered on 26 April 2017”.

The NGOs will ask the court to declare that:

• No steps‚ including the issuing of requests for proposals or request for information‚ be taken for the procurement of new electricity-generation capacity‚ derived from nuclear power.

• Steps not be taken in the absence of a lawful determination in terms of s34 of the Electricity Regulation Act‚ in concurrence with Nersa‚ following a procedurally fair public participation process.

“This determination would have to specify that new, nuclear energy electricity generation is needed‚ and what percentage of SA’s energy mix it would fulfil.”

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has also indicated that the country may not be able to afford the nuclear programme‚ which is estimated will cost upwards of R1-trillion.

The court will also be asked to direct Mahlobo and Eskom to provide written reports on what steps they have taken, or plan to take, on plans for nuclear power. Should evidence exist that they have taken steps to forge ahead with the nuclear programme‚ the court will be asked to declare Mahlobo and Eskom in contempt of court for violating the April court order.

“We cannot have unaccountable government,” said Liz McDaid of the faith communities’ institute. “We have now seen overwhelming evidence emerging in the public arena that shows how state institutions have been captured and how money that is meant to deliver services to South Africans has gone into the pockets of looters.”

“The nuclear deal‚ purportedly worth more than R1-trillion‚ is yet another one of these deals. SA cannot afford‚ nor does it need, new nuclear power-generation capacity. I think South Africans have had enough.”

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

Owners and suppliers of Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor – locked in dispute over delayed project

Reuters 14th Nov 2017, Pohjolan Voima Oy (PVO), the largest shareholder in Finland’s
long-delayed Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor, could make additional
compensation claims against suppliers Areva and Siemens following a recent
setback, PVO said on Tuesday.

The start of regular power production at
Olkiluoto 3 – Finland’s largest reactor – was last month postponed by
another five months to May 2019. “It (further compensation) has been
briefly discussed (within PVO). I don’t want to enter further this topic
as it is an issue for (reactor operator) Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) to
decide,” PVO CEO Lauri Virkkunen, told Reuters.

The owners and supplier are locked in a dispute over the plant’s delays at the International
Chamber of Commerce, where TVO is claiming 2.6 billion euros ($3.06
billion) from the Areva-led consortium, which has filed a counter-claim of
3.6 billion euros….

November 16, 2017 Posted by | Finland, Legal | Leave a comment

Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute and Earthlife Africa ready to take legal action against nuclear policy

Abide by nuclear procurement ruling or we go to court, state told
Failure by Energy Minister David Mahlobo, Eskom and Nersa to halt any tender process for nuclear energy will end in court 10 NOVEMBER 2017   LINDA ENSOR The government, Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) have been urged to abide by the judgment of the High Court in Cape Town and immediately halt any tender process for nuclear energy.

The call comes from the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute and Earthlife Africa.

Failure by Energy Minister David Mahlobo, Eskom and Nersa to give an undertaking by Monday that they will halt the process could result in an urgent application being brought to the high court to ensure that its judgment is respected and that the government acts “openly and transparently” with regard to nuclear procurement.

The two organisations have sent lawyers’ letters to Mahlobo, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, Eskom and Nersa recalling the April judgment, which ruled that any decision made about new electricity generation must be made in conjunction with Nersa through a lawful and procedurally fair determination under section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

The determination would have to specify why new
nuclear energy electricity generation was needed so urgently and what percentage of SA’s energy mix it would fulfil.

Earthlife Africa’s Johannesburg co-ordinator, Makoma Lekalakala, noted that the judgment emphasised the need for public participation as part of the determination processes.

The letters follow news reports that Mahlobo is fast-tracking finalisation of the Integrated Resource Plan by four months so he can expedite nuclear procurement. The plan will determine the energy mix the country will require in future, what proportion of this will be provided by nuclear and when the construction of new nuclear plants should begin.

Eskom has signalled its intention to begin the tender process immediately if the Integrated Resource Plan showed the nuclear programme could go ahead.

Liz McDaid of the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute said the fast-tracking of the plan was being undertaken despite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba having stated that the country did not need nor could it afford new nuclear plants.

The many serious allegations of state capture and irregular procurement processes by senior Eskom officials could not be ignored, McDaid added.

November 9, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

Stanford University professor  Mark Z. Jacobson takes legal action against critics of his 100% renewables article

Stanford professor sues critics of his 100% renewables article, Washington Post,   November 1 2017,   Mark Z. Jacobson, a Stanford University professor who has prominently contended that the United States can fully power itself with wind, water and solar energy, is suing the National Academy of Sciences and the lead author of a study published in its flagship journal that criticized Jacobson’s views — pushing an already bitter academic dispute into a courtroom setting.

The suit, which asks for more than $10 million in damages and retraction of the study, charges that lead author Christopher Clack “knew and was informed prior to publication that many of the statements in the [paper] were false.” It adds that the NAS “knowingly and intentionally published false statements of fact” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences despite being aware of Jacobson’s complaints.

Jacobson declined to comment on Wednesday, and William Kearney, a spokesman for the academy, said it does not comment on pending litigation……..

Clack’s study had 21 authors, but Jacobson’s lawsuit only names him and the academy. The other authors include a number of high-profile academic names in energy and climate change research and policy — a list that Jacobson charges magnified the impact of the article in the media and thus the damage to his reputation.

“We stand behind the paper, and we think this is a scientific issue that needs to be debated by scientists and not in the courts,” said one co-author, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing litigation.

The suit was filed in late September in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

The dispute turns on Jacobson’s idea, itself published in the PNAS and other journals, that it is feasible to construct a grid for the entire country that would be powered entirely by wind, solar and water energy (hydropower), with additional help from forms of energy storage. “No natural gas, biofuels, nuclear power, or stationary batteries are needed,” Jacobson and his colleagues wrote in 2015.

This idea of “100 percent clean energy” has been embraced by many environmental and climate change advocates, including  actor Mark Ruffalo and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). And no wonder, for it presents a highly ambitious and optimistic outlook on how the current transition toward clean energy — which would be central to stopping climate change — could continue to develop.

But Clack argued in PNAS earlier this year that Jacobson’s idea was not only infeasible but also that his work used “invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.” He and his co-authors said the transition toward cleaner energy will require “a broad portfolio of energy options,” which presumably includes nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, and more.

That’s where the legal dispute begins, since Jacobson charges that after seeing that study prior to publication, he sent a list of its purported errors to the NAS. These were not corrected in the final published version, his lawsuit says. …..

One of his greatest objections is over the claim that his work contained “modeling errors,” which turns on a technical dispute over how much U.S. electricity could be provided by hydropower and how much the current system of dams can be altered to increase their electricity-generating capacity.

This claim is “particularly harmful and damaging to Dr. Jacobson’s reputation because his primary expertise is in computer modeling,” the suit asserts……

According to court documents, the academy has until Nov. 27 to respond to the lawsuit.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | 2 Comments

Historic legal case on genetic damage, leukaemia, from nuclear radiation

Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment (CORE) 25th Oct 2017 Over the coming months, in remembering this epic and historic case in theLondon High Court when West Cumbrian families sued Sellafield over cancersin children of radiation workers, CORE will be publishing the 1992/93 daily court transcripts.

The initial two test cases were brought by Leigh Day & Co. The first by Elizabeth Reay whose 10-month-old baby, Dorothy, died ofleukaemia in 1962. George Reay, the baby’s father, died of cancer in the mid- 1980s and had received one of the highest radiation doses of any of the Sellafield workers.

The second by Vivien Hope, 28, who had been diagnosed in 1988 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, another blood cancer. Her father, David, was a fitter at the plant for more than 20 years.

Up to 40 further cases were depending on the outcome. Legally, the case would test
for the first time the concept of genetic damage: whether radiation from
Sellafield damaged the sperm of workers, resulting in leukaemia and related
illnesses in their children (Gardner theory).

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Death sentence for man found guilty over Iran nuclear scientist killings

Iran sentences ‘Mossad agent’ to death over nuclear scientist killings, SMH, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin , 25 Oct 17,  London: Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran’s prosecutor has said.

Dolatabadi did not identify the defendant on Tuesday, but Amnesty International said Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian doctor who studied and taught in Sweden, had been sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges.

At least four scientists were killed between 2010 and 2012 in what Tehran said was a program of assassinations aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program. Iran hanged one man in 2012 over the killings, saying he had links to Israel.

On the latest conviction, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi told the judiciary’s news agency: “The person had several meetings with [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad and provided them with sensitive information about Iran’s military and nuclear sites in return for money and residency in Sweden”…….

Djalali, a doctor and lecturer at Stockholm medical university the Karolinska Institute, was arrested in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven months, three of which were in solitary confinement, according to London-based Amnesty.

“Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to (the) use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East advocacy director……..

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Iran, Legal | Leave a comment

Not legal to subsidise nuclear stations – says independent company that manages competitive wholesale power markets

Subsidizing coal and nuclear power plants would not be legal, says PJM, By John Funk, The Plain Dealer, CLEVELAND, Ohio — The independent company that manages competitive wholesale power markets in Ohio and 12 other states believes a federal proposal to subsidize the owners of old nuclear and coal plants is unworkable and would not even be legal.

October 25, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa’s opposition party ready to take legal action if govt fails High Court ruling on transparency

Threat of court action if Govt steps out of line with nuclear plans, fin 24, Oct 22 2017 Cape Town – Should the details of any progress on trying to push through a costly and deemed unnecessary nuclear build programme not be open to the public, the DA will not hesitate to go to court to interdict it.

DA MP Gordon Mackay said in a statement on Sunday that allegations in the media regarding a high-level Russian delegation which met with President Jacob Zuma shortly before the second Cabinet reshuffle earlier this week are “startling to say the least”.

The reshuffle saw David Mahlobo appointed as new energy minister, raising concerns that this step was ostensibly to push through the nuclear deal in favour of the Russians.

Zuma reshuffled his Cabinet allegedly just hours after a meeting with a group of Russian officials in efforts to implement a R1tn new nuclear build project deal, reported the Sunday Times.

Mackay pointed out that the previous minister of energy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, committed on record to abide by the Western Cape High Court’s nuclear ruling in April this year. He added that Mahlobo is bound by the court judgment as well and any deviation will be illegal.

In order for the nuclear deal to be approved, five key pieces of legislation or regulations would need to be updated and amended by Parliament, according to Mackay.

These include the Integrated Resource Plan; the electricity pricing path; procurement regulations; the framework agreements; and changes to the energy act to allow for a different funding/ownership model.

“In addition, the court ruling made clear the need for a substantial public participation process,” emphasised Mackay.

“The fact is that we cannot afford nor do we need the nuclear deal. In any event, it is doubtful that we need nuclear in the energy mix bearing in mind that by the time reactors come online, green energy will be able to fill the gap sufficiently.”

He said the DA will be keeping a very close eye out for any such amendments and will also push for the entire process to be open and competitive…..

October 23, 2017 Posted by | Legal, South Africa | Leave a comment

Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear power plants – legally dead already – Harvard University

Harvard: Rick Perry’s grid plan is legally dead on arrival by John Siciliano |  Harvard University is laying out what it considers a rock-solid legal argument against Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear power plants.

It hopes its case will make the Perry proposal dead on arrival once the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission moves through the comment period and rules on the plan. But even the public comment period is not legally necessary, according to the law school’s Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative.

“The commission has no legal obligation to accommodate” Perry’s notice of proposed rule-making, the law school’s environmental policy arm said in a five-page legal analysis filed with FERC Thursday. “Its simplest path forward is to reject the [proposal] because it is fundamentally inadequate to provide the basis for a final rule.”

Harvard’s analysis was sent ahead of the Oct. 23 deadline for submitting public comments on the proposed rule that would implement the Perry grid plan. The plan has attracted a growing number of detractors from nearly all segments of the energy industry, conservative and liberal think tanks, former FERC chairmen and members of Congress.

Perry’s proposal seeks to provide market-based incentives for coal and nuclear power plants that are able to store 90 days of fuel onsite in the event of a severe supply disruption from a hurricane or other severe weather.

The core of Harvard’s legal case stems from Perry’s lack of basis for taking the action under the Federal Power Act, the law from which the commission derives its authority over the power grid.

“Critically, the [rule-making] does not propose that wholesale rates are currently unjust and unreasonable or unduly discriminatory,” Harvard’s comments read. “This glaring omission dooms DOE’s proposal under section 206 of the Federal Power Act and allows the commission to issue a swift rejection without weighing in on the merits.”

FERC must justify any regulation that provides cost recovery or incentives for fuel resources on the Federal Power Act’s primary charge that the commission must protect energy prices from becoming burdensome on the consumer. Harvard argues that the Energy Department does not address this central tenant of FERC’s authority in proposing the regulation and therefore the commission can reject it at any time.

The legal analysis refutes the Energy Department’s argument that “wholesale markets do not price ‘resiliency'” and therefore FERC must take action. Perry’s resilience argument “does not substitute for an explicit proposed finding that current rates are unjust and unreasonable,” according to the analysis.

On top of the legal flaws, the Energy Department “does not define ‘resiliency,’ nor has the commission ever used that word in connection with wholesale rates,” the Harvard analysis said. So, there is no common definition to debate or discuss. Harvard goes even further by saying the proposal should not be considered adequate for public comment.

“DOE’s bare assertion that rates do not account for undefined attributes does not provide adequate notice necessary for meaningful public comments,” according to the analysis.

The analysis could provide a legal argument for challenging the Perry plan in court, although groups haven’t reached that stage. Typically, lawsuits come after a regulation is finalized. Perry wants FERC to finalize the rule within 60 days of the proposal appearing in the Federal Register, which points to December.

A group of eight former FERC chairmen and commissioners also filed commentsThursday, calling the proposal “a significant step backward from the commission’s long and bipartisan evolution to transparent, open, competitive wholesale markets.”

“Pursuing the worthy goal of a resilient power system, the commission’s adoption of the published proposal would instead disrupt decades of substantial investment made in the modern electric power system, raise costs for customers, and do so in a manner directly counter to the commission’s long experience,” the former FERC officials stated.

October 23, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Czech Republic breaking its legal obligations in building nuclear facility, with neighbouring countries not participating

Client Earth 17th Oct 2017, The construction of nuclear power plants in a transboundary context require
the government of the country of origin to ensure participation of the
public concerned in its own territory as well as that of the neighbouring
countries affected. Analysis by Linli-Sophie Pan-Van de Meulebroeke.

In the context of a bilateral cooperation agreement with Germany regarding the
construction of a nuclear power plant in Temelín, the Czech Republic was
alleged to be in non-compliance with Articles 3(9), 6 and 9 of the Aarhus

With regard to Article 6 of the Convention, the Compliance
Committee has confirmed the Maastricht Recommendations according to which a
transboundary context does not release the concerned Party from its
obligations under the Convention. The ultimate responsibility for ensuring
that the public participation procedure complies with Article 6 still rests
with the competent authorities of the Party of origin.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena SCANA over failed nuclear project

Stock market regulators subpoena SCANA over failed nuclear project, Post and Courier, By John McDermott and Thad Moore Oct 17, 2017 

The nation’s top stock market regulator is investigating SCANA Corp.’s failed nuclear construction project, piling onto the growing stack of legal challenges and criminal probes now dogging South Carolina’s largest company.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees the stock market, has asked SCANA for documents tied to its effort to expand the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station north of Columbia. The company disclosed the investigation to its investors Tuesday.

Cayce-based SCANA, which owns South Carolina Electric & Gas, said the SEC’s subpoena was connected to “an investigation they are conducting relating to the new nuclear project.” The SEC declined to comment on the probe or its focus.

The state-owned power company Santee Cooper, meantime, hasn’t received a subpoena from the SEC, spokeswoman Mollie Gore said. Santee Cooper owned a minority stake in the project, which cost some $9 billion before it was abandoned in July.

The SEC inquiry is one of several investigations into the project, which was once heralded as the beginning of an American nuclear renaissance with a pair of new reactors in Fairfield County.

SCANA and Santee Cooper have already received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in Columbia, and the State Law Enforcement Division has opened a criminal inquiry into potential fraud surrounding the project. The state Legislature has formed two panels looking into what went wrong……..

The plunge has inspired at least three shareholders to sue SCANA, accusing the company and its executives of breaking securities laws by hiding the project’s problems from investors. The allegations have focused in part on the so-called Bechtel report, a highly critical audit that questioned the reactors’ viability in 2016.

And while legal challenges have piled up for SCANA, the SEC has already been involved on the edges of the V.C. Summer project.

Market regulators have been looking into the project’s lead contractor, Westinghouse, and how it recorded the project’s finances before filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, court filings show. The SEC has also been investigating the accounting practices of Westinghouse’s Japanese parent company, Toshiba…..

October 18, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

UK govt should now rethink its view on nuclear weapons

Recent news means we should change our perspective on nuclear weapons Independent UK , Robert Forsyth, 8 Oct 17  Caroline Lucas spelled out on Saturday 7 October what the PM should now do about nuclear weapons. To which I would add that the PM’s first and immediate action should be to rescind her statement that she is prepared to carry out pre-emptive nuclear strikes.

Such an action, or even the threat of doing so, is in contravention of Nuremberg and Geneva Conventions, the UN Charter and a 1996 ruling by the International Court of Justice and therefore places our Trident submarine commanding officers in an impossible position as to whether they should carry out such an order, bearing in mind they are not absolved of responsibility by the military chain of command.


October 9, 2017 Posted by | depleted uranium, Legal, UK | Leave a comment