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Growing opposition to nuclear power in Rwanda

November 29, 2020 Posted by | AFRICA, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Canada’s environmental groups join to oppose experimental Small Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

Canadian environmental groups oppose experimental small modular nuclear reactors, https://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2020/11/24/canadian-environmental-groups-oppose-experimental-small-modular-nuclear-reactors/   By Janice MacKay   November 24, 2020 A number of groups have joined together to ask the federal government to halt its plans to fund experimental new small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).

The Federal Government is preparing to launch the federal government’s SMR ” Action Plan” within weeks.

The SMR Action Plan is expected to include a strategy to fund and support the development of experimental nuclear reactors by private sector companies, the majority based in the US and UK.

In a media release, dozens of organizations from coast to coast have called the proposed new nuclear reactors a dirty, dangerous distraction from tackling climate change. They include Greenpeace Canada, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ralliement contre la pollution radioactive, Équiterre, the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick, the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and Northwatch..

The Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Green Party all oppose the government’s “small” modular nuclear reactor plan.

On November 13, Monique Pauze from the Bloc Québécois stated: “The Bloc Québécois denounces the intention of Ottawa to invest in nuclear energy to the benefit, once again, of the Ontario industrial sector, instead of financing the transition towards clean electricity. The Bloc calls for the abandonment of the anticipated deployment of small modular nuclear reactors. The Federal government is leading Canada towards a wall by betting on nuclear energy that is absolutely not clean.”

NDP natural resources critic Richard Cannings said in a statement: “Many Canadians have concerns about impacts of nuclear energy. When it comes to energy generation there are better ways forward. We have options that are cheaper and safer and will be available quicker. I think we should be supporting the development of energy storage solutions to help roll out renewables like solar and wind on a larger scale instead.”

On November 10, all three Green Party of Canada caucus members issued a statement and signed a letter to Minister O’Regan and Minister Navdeep Bains saying that: “Small nuclear reactors (SMRs) have no place in any plan to mitigate climate change when cleaner and cheaper alternatives already exist. The federal government must stop funding the nuclear industry and instead redirect investments towards smarter solutions. Nuclear fails on many grounds, including on the economics.”

Prof. Susan O’Donnell from the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick said: “Building new nuclear reactors does not belong in a climate action plan. Leading researchers have shown that investing in renewable energy is the best path to net zero and that adding nuclear energy to the mix actually hinders rather than helps.”

Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Director of Programs at Greenpeace Canada, said: “The Liberal government is throwing good money after bad. Hypothetical new nuclear power technologies have been promising to be the next big thing for the last forty years, but in spite of massive public subsidies, that prospect has never panned out.”

The release pointed out the proposed reactors are still on the drawing board and will take a decade or more to develop. If built, their power will cost ten times more than wind or solar energy. The most advanced SMR project to date in the US has already doubled its estimated cost – from $3B to over $6B.

The federal government announced its first SMR grant of $20 million to Terrestrial Energy on October 15.

The environmental groups said they are shocked that the government is funding new nuclear energy development with no parliamentary review, while trying to avoid public scrutiny and debate. They called the consultation process leading to date on the SMR Action Plan a sham. Individuals and groups could only comment on the plan if they first signed on to a statement of principles supporting SMR technologies. They say nuclear power and uranium mining will always be dirty and dangerous. Radioactive waste will have to be kept out of the environment for tens of thousands of years, and there is no known means of achieving that.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Canada, opposition to nuclear, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Taiwanese protest plan to dump water from Japan nuclear plant into sea

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

Prison, big fines, for Catholic anti nuclear activists

November 17, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

International leading experts opt for 100 per cent renewables and reject nuclear power 

Leading experts opt for 100 per cent renewables and reject nuclear power  https://100percentrenewableuk.org/leading-experts-opt-for-100-per-cent-renewables-and-reject-nuclear-power

The undersigned believe that a future based on 100 per cent renewable energy underpinned by traditional and advanced energy efficiency and storage techniques is not only practicable, affordable, but immensely preferable to one that involves nuclear power. Renewable energy offers us a rapid path to net zero carbon transition that, unlike nuclear power, does not involve the need for decommissioning of radioactive plant, nuclear waste or concerns about safety or security threats. With this in mind we regard the prospect of the Government effectively offering unlimited sources of funding to EDF to build Sizewell C nuclear power plant with dismay and urge people to send in their objections to their MPs at this prospect.

  • Dr David Toke, Director, 100percentrenewableuk,

also Reader in Energy Politics, University of Aberdeen.

  • Jonathon Porritt,

Founder, Director and Trustee, Forum for the Future
Co-Director of the Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme

  • Professor Tom Burke
  • Founding Director of E3G
    • Professor Peter Strachan

    The Robert Gordon University
    Aberdeen Business School

    • Dr Paul Dorfman

    Founder and Chair Nuclear Consulting Group
    Honorary Senior Research Associate UCL Energy Institute

    • Professor Bryan Wynne,
    • Professor of Science Studies and Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change
      • Professor Andrew Stirling,

      Professor of Science and Technology Policy,

      University of Sussex

      • Professor David Elliott,

      Technology Policy Group

    • The Open University
      • Professor Stephen Thomas,

      Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU)

      University of Greenwich

      • Professor Mark Jacobson,

      Director of Atmosphere/Energy Program,

    • Stanford University (USA)
      • Professor Christian Breyer,

      Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)

      • Shaun Burnie

      Independent Nuclear Consultant

      • Dr Ian Fairlie,
      • Vice President CND
        • Pete Wilkinson

        Chairman, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)

        • Dr Philip Johnstone

        Research Fellow
        Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU)

November 16, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

UK’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds condemns the Sizewell nuclear project

The Government looks set to fail in its first major domestic test over its declared commitment to the environment ahead of an upcoming speech by the Prime Minister. 

 A recent PR charm offensive by the energy company EDF extolling the green credentials of its proposals to build the Sizewell C nuclear reactor seems to be swaying government opinion, despite the fact that the project may irreversibly damage one of the UK’s most important and well protected wildlife sites. It is rumoured that the Prime Minister will announce the importance of future nuclear energy development in his upcoming 10-point speech on the environment.  

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds ’s Chief Executive, Beccy Speight, said: “The Government has committed to protect 30% of the UK’s land by 2030 to boost biodiversity, so allowing the destruction of one of the most nature rich places we already have in the UK would be a crazy decision. The Prime Minister must not let EDF pull the wool over his eyes regarding what a damaging project this would be. 

 “If EDF were to be given permission to build a brand-new twin nuclear reactor slap bang on the border of a globally important wildlife haven, then we believe that contrary to the ambition set out by this Government, nowhere in the UK is sacred anymore. The Government has stated that we are in an ecological emergency as well as a climate emergency and it simply cannot afford to waste taxpayer’s money destroying flagship reserves which mean so much to wildlife and people.” 

 The RSPB has waited for over a decade for EDF Energy to show them evidence that RSPB Minsmere won’t be irrevocably damaged if the energy giant builds the UK’s latest white elephant: Sizewell C. That evidence has never materialised and EDF continue to try and paint the development as environmentally friendly despite evidence to the contrary. 

 Home to a whopping 6000 species, Minsmere is widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s most important wildlife sites and has legal protection at both the national and international level. Protected animals that call the Suffolk coast home like otters, water voles, marsh harriers, bats and many more could all fall victim to this huge infrastructure project and legally protected land, Sizewell Marshes SSSI, could be built directly on. The concerns extend to marine life too with proposals suggesting waters off the local beaches could warm and that toxic chemicals could be pumped into the sea along with worrying numbers of dead fish. 

 Beccy Speight continued:   “We could be witnessing the horrors of HS2 all over again, wasting tax payers’ money on destroying irreplaceable homes for nature. If Sizewell C was to be built, it should come as no surprise to us all that we would once again be witnessing chainsaws and diggers decimating precious habitats which are not only important to wildlife, but to people’s health and wellbeing too.  For this to happen as we attempt to recover from a pandemic caused by a zoonotic disease only adds to the bitter irony of the situation. We urge the Government to think again.” 

November 12, 2020 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

In New Jersey, USA, ratepayers form Association to stop bailing out of nuclear power

NJ Ratepayers Unite to Stop More Nuclear Corporation Bailouts, Energy Monopolies https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/nj-ratepayers-unite-stop-nuclear-corporation-bailouts-energy-monopolies/  November 9, 2020,

Diverse energy users and consumer advocate groups create NJ Ratepayers United

Trenton, N.J.  –– As a $300 million annual nuclear subsidy continues to burden New Jersey consumers, a coalition has formed to oppose another proposed major energy policy initiative from PSEG and Exelon that would enable the companies to transform the state’s electricity capacity market and obtain windfall profits.

NJ Ratepayers United (NJRU) is a diverse coalition of New Jersey consumers, business groups, consumer advocates, grassroots organizations and energy providers that have joined forces to stop the proposed Fixed Resource Requirement (FRR). This proposed overhaul would transform how the state procures power, eliminating ratepayer protections and empowering select companies to leverage their market power to further increase electricity costs. Continue reading

November 10, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

In desperate search of disposal sites for its nuclear waste, Japan offers poisonous grants to two small villages

November 9, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan’s net zero emissions target should be combined with zero nuclear power

Japan’s net zero emissions target should be combined with zero nuclear power, October 28, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)   ”……………  Under Japan’s basic energy plan, the country aims to raise the ratio of renewables to 22 to 24% by fiscal 2030. But this target is far from sufficient. As the government is currently working on a revision to the plan, it should drastically review the energy mix.

It is imperative to reconsider the nuclear power ratio said to account for 20-22% of Japan’s power mix. The government is aspiring to secure constant nuclear power output by replacing aging nuclear power stations and through other measures while moving ahead with reactivation of idled nuclear plants.

However, nuclear power complexes carry the risk of severe accidents. As it costs enormous money to secure safety at those facilities, the idea of labeling nuclear power as cheap energy is not globally accepted. The government has a responsibility to provide a road map for breaking Japan’s dependence on nuclear power.

In European countries, efforts to revive their economies severely hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic through environmental investment are underway. This initiative, called “green recovery,” can come into line with the principle of a “virtuous cycle of environment and economic growth” emphasized by Prime Minister Suga.

It is hoped that Japan will achieve a decarbonized society through improvement of renewable energy technologies and active investments in research and development of hydrogen energy and retrieval and storage of carbon dioxide.

It is also necessary to build a mechanism to guarantee the realization of the promise of net zero greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to discussions on a carbon tax, levied in accordance with the volumes of greenhouse gas emissions, the government is urged to consider specifying this goal in Japan’s Act on Promotion of Global Warming Countermeasures.

Hurdles for attaining the goal remain high and we have a limited time frame. It is urgently needed to craft a strategy to prevent the net zero target from ending up as a mere empty promise. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201028/p2a/00m/0na/017000c

October 29, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Lithuania protests Belarus’plan for nuclear power station close to their border

Daily Mail 27th Oct 2020, The Baltic nation of Lithuania sent a protest note Tuesday to Belarus over
a planned nuclear power plant close to their border that is scheduled to
start operating in early November. The Astravyets nuclear power plant, 40
kilometers (25 miles) south of Vilnius, Lithuania´s capital, is to start
production between Nov. 1-10, Belarusian operator Belenergo told
Lithuania´s power transmission system operator Litgrid on Monday.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-8884303/Lithuania-upset-soon-open-Belarus-nuke-plant.html

October 29, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Angry reactions to Japanese government’s plan to release Fukushima nuclearwaste water into the Pacific

Plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific provokes furious reaction   https://www.dw.com/en/tepco-fukushima-contaminated-water/a-55334567 25 Oct 20, The Japanese government has reportedly decided to pump highly radioactive cooling water from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific Ocean. The plan has been slammed by environmental groups, locals and neighboring nations.Environmental groups have reacted furiously to reports that the Japanese government is set to approve plans to dump more than 1 million tons of highly radioactive water stored at the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, with their concerns shared by the governments of neighboring countries and people living in northeastern Japan.

A government panel set up to determine the best way of disposing the radioactively contaminated water is scheduled to announce its decision by the end of the month.

Three Fukushima reactors suffered meltdowns following a 2011 tsunami that destroyed wide swaths of the coastline in northern Japan’s Miyagi prefecture.

According to reports leaked to Japanese media, the panel will recommend releasing the approximately 1.23 million tons of water currently stored in tanks in the grounds of the nuclear plant.

The alternatives that have been considered are to evaporate the water into the atmosphere or to mix it into concrete and store it underground.

According to reports from national broadcaster NHK and other news outlets, the panel will call for the water to be again put through a process designed to reduce the radioactivity to below “regulatory standards” and dilute it with sea water before it is pumped into the ocean.

The three damaged reactors require constant cooling with water, which becomes highly radioactive, and mixes with around 170 tons of groundwater that seeps into the subterranean levels of the reactor buildings every day.

That water is pumped into hundreds of huge tanks on the site every day, with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), the operator of the power plant, estimating that even with more waste tanks being constructed, storage capacity will be reached fully in the summer of 2022.

Environmental groups insist that there is no reason why more storage tanks cannot be constructed outside the perimeter of the plant. They accuse the government of seeking the cheapest and quickest solution to the problem, as authorities have promised the site will be safe in 40 years.

And that deadline, they say, is completely unrealistic. Complications include recovering the molten fuel that escaped from the reactor chambers. This kind of recovery has never before been attempted and the technology required does not yet exist.

They also accuse the Japanese authorities of playing down the radiation levels in the water planned for release.

Environmental groups insist that there is no reason why more storage tanks cannot be constructed outside the perimeter of the plant. They accuse the government of seeking the cheapest and quickest solution to the problem, as authorities have promised the site will be safe in 40 years.

And that deadline, they say, is completely unrealistic. Complications include recovering the molten fuel that escaped from the reactor chambers. This kind of recovery has never before been attempted and the technology required does not yet exist.

They also accuse the Japanese authorities of playing down the radiation levels in the water planned for release.

Elevated levels of radiation

A study by the Kahoko Shinpo newspaper confirmed that levels of iodine 129 and ruthenium 106 exceeded acceptable levels in 45 out of 84 samples collected in 2017.

Iodine has a half-life of 15.7 million years and can cause cancer of the thyroid, while ruthenium 106 is produced by nuclear fission and high doses can be toxic or carcinogenic when ingested.

Tepco subsequently confirmed that levels of strontium 90 were more than 100 times above legally permitted levels in nearly 65,000 tons of water that had already been treated,

They were 20,000 times above safety levels set by the government in several storage tanks at the Fukushima site.

Fish industry worried

Precisely what is in the water that is due to be released into the ocean cannot be confirmed, however, as Tepco and the government have refused to permit independent testing on samples.

Residents of Fukushima Prefecture are also against the plan, with 42 of the 59 local authorities in the prefecture passing resolutions either expressing outright opposition to the plan or deep concern.

The fishing industry — which was devastated by the original natural disaster and has since struggled to reestablish itself — is also hostile to the proposals, with representatives of fishing cooperatives meeting with government officials last week to express their concerns.

“We are terrified that if even one fish is found to have exceeded the [radiation] safety standards after the treated water is released, people’s trust in us will plummet,” a fisherman from the city of Soma told Kyodo News. “Our efforts to fight false information and address other challenges could be wasted.”

Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens Nuclear Information Center, echoed those calls.

“Release of the contaminated water into the ocean should not be allowed when fishing unions from Fukushima and neighboring Ibaraki and Iwate prefectures are opposed,” he told DW.

“If it is dumped in the ocean, it will become an international problem and it is possible that bans on exports from this area will continue or that new export restrictions may be introduced.”

Read moreJapan: Environmentalists say Fukushima water too radioactive to release

“It is highly unlikely that the highly radioactive waste can be removed from the site of the nuclear plant, so instead of rushing to remove the fuel debris, the overall decommissioning schedule should be reviewed and measures taken so that the contaminated water can be stored on land,” he said.

In a statement issued to DW, Tepco said it is “not in a position to make a decision on this matter.”

“The government has been listening to the opinions of various stakeholders, including local municipalities and those involved in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, and it is the government that will make a decision on the disposal method,” the company said, adding Tepco will follow the disposal guidelines as instructed following the official decision.

Neighbors’ concerns

The residents of Japan’s neighboring countries and their governments are equally concerned, with an editorial in the Korea Times on Monday warning of an “environmental disaster” that could “destroy the marine ecosystem.”

The South Korean government has also demanded that Japan provide a full accounting of its plans for the contaminated water, including an accurate accounting of the different radionuclides that it contains.

In a statement released by the Foreign Ministry, Seoul said it places the highest priority on protecting the environment and the Korean public’s health.

Scientists and academics in China are demanding independent testing and verification of radiation levels in the water, while environmental and citizens’ groups in Taiwan have previously expressed concerns about the impact of any large-scale release of contaminated water on their health and well-being.

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Japan, oceans, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Legal fight to stop Sizewell nuclear project destroying an historic Suffolk woodland

East Anglian Daily Times 24th Oct 2020, Campaigners have agreed to continue their battle to stop an historic
Suffolk woodland from being felled – and are taking the fight to the
Court of Appeal.
EDF is preparing to cut down the 100-year-old Coronation
Wood in order to use the land and Pillbox Field to relocate some Sizewell B
buildings ready for a start on Sizewell C.
However, TASC (Together Against
Sizewell C) says the project is premature because the twin reactor nuclear
power station has yet to receive planning permission. TASC has now applied
to Court of Appeal following the High Court’s dismissal of supporter Joan
Girling’s bid for a judicial review application of the planning consent
earlier this month. Joan Girling said, ‘‘The Planning Inspectorate has
now accepted EdF’s recently submitted Sizewell C DCO application.
However, it remains our view that permission for Sizewell C is not a
foregone conclusion. “There is no certainty that it will be given
approval. Until such time that the Sizewell C application is determined, it
is the view of many people that the needless destruction of Coronation Wood
should not go ahead.

https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/legal-fight-goes-on-to-save-coronation-wood-1-6898954

October 26, 2020 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Taiwan furthers its departure from nuclear power, with more unused fuel rods sent back to USA

More fuel rods at fourth nuclear power plant sent back to U.S. https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202010210027

(By Flor Wang and Wang Chao-yu)  10/21/2020 Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) More fuel rods at a mothballed nuclear power plant in New Taipei were shipped back to the United States on Wednesday as part of government to honor its promise to make Taiwan nuclear-free by 2025.efforts

Five or six trucks carrying an unknown number of unused fuel rods from the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant arrived at Keelung Port in the early hours and were then loaded into several containers that departed for the U.S. at around noon.

However, the authorities in charge did not disclose whether this is the last batch of fuel rods being sent back to America.

A Legislative Yuan resolution that was passed in 2018 demands that state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) must send back all 1,744 unused fuel rods from the plant to America by the end of this year.

Taipower has said the task will cost NT$700 million (US$24.1 million).

In July 2018, the first batch of 160 rods was transported back to its U.S. supplier — Global Nuclear Fuel Americas, LLC — which was followed by three more similar operations as of August 2019, the Taipei-based China Times reported on Tuesday.

On Oct. 15, Atomic Energy Council Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星) said 240 fuel rods at the power plant were still waiting to be transported to the U.S. — a delay caused by travel restrictions triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, disposing of the 1,744 fuel rods from the plant could save about NT$100 million in maintenance costs per year.

The government has spent NT$283.8 billion on building the plant in New Taipei’s Gongliao District, but it has been mothballed since 2014 due to public concern over the use of nuclear power.

 

 

October 22, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics international, Taiwan | Leave a comment

How would Bradwell B affect local people, place and environment? What powers are behind the decision?

Maldon Nub News 20th Oct 2020, Anti-nuclear campaigners have produced a new video on the proposed Bradwell B nuclear power station. The YouTube video uses special effects in an attempt to show the scale of the plans. A spokesperson for the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) said: “With the Bradwell B Stage One consultation submitted, what effects would this vast industrial complex have on local residents and the whole area? “This video provides realistic imagery of the overwhelming scale of the proposals, including the hybrid cooling towers, turbine hall, reactors, spent fuel store, permanent pier and new access roads.” The video includes contributions from local residents and the recently formed Bradwell Action Network (BAN).https://maldon.nub.news/n/anti-nuclear-group-produces-video-on-bradwell-b-plans

October 22, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Japan – nuclear power fine – but no nuclear waste for Aomori Prefecture, please

Aomori wants reassurance that it won’t be final nuclear waste site, Japan Times, 21 Oct 20, Aomori Prefecture on Wednesday urged the government to reconfirm its policy of not building in the prefecture a facility for the final disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants across the nation.The request was made during a meeting of a council for discussions on issues related to the country’s nuclear fuel cycle policy between relevant Cabinet ministers and officials of the prefecture, where a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing facility is under construction. It was the first meeting of the council since November 2010.

At the day’s meeting, the Aomori side called on Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet, launched last month, to maintain the promise not to make the prefecture a final disposal site, upheld by past administrations.

Participants in the meeting, held at the Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo, included Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato and industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama from the central government, and Aomori Gov. Shingo Mimura.

“It’s necessary for the state and the operator (of the reprocessing plant) to make the utmost efforts to promote, with support from Aomori, the nuclear fuel cycle policy, including the launch of the plant,” Kato said at the start of the meeting.

Mimura told reporters after the meeting that he asked the central government to abide by the promise and promote the nuclear fuel cycle policy, in which uranium and plutonium are extracted from spent fuel and reprocessed into fuel for use at nuclear power plants.

Mimura indicated that Kato showed the state’s understanding of his requests……..

Aomori has agreed to accept spent nuclear fuel from nuclear plants across the country on the condition that a final disposal facility is not constructed in the prefecture.

The central government regards the nuclear fuel cycle as a pillar of its nuclear energy strategy.

Besides the reprocessing plant, a facility to make mixed oxide, or MOX, fuel from extracted uranium and plutonium is also under construction at the same site in Rokkasho. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/10/21/national/japan-aomori-nuclear-waste-disposal/

October 22, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment