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Trump administration about to force American public to subsidize nuclear and coal plants

A nuclear October surprise? https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/412413-a-nuclear-october-surprise, BY TIM JUDSON, 10/21/18  The Trump administration has been plotting for many months to seize power over the electrical generation sector by executive order, and despite widespread opposition and infighting that set the effort back this week, analysts say President Trump is personally invested in the idea, and that he and Energy Secretary Perry remain committed to ordering a bailout of failing coal and nuclear plants.

It wouldn’t exactly nationalize the industry or impose martial law. But the administration has invoked false national security claims and inappropriate “emergency” powers to claim the right to upend the market and force ratepayers and taxpayers to subsidize nuclear and coal plants against their will.  It would commandeer their money to prop up aging, unsafe, uncompetitive plants that should, and otherwise would, shut down.

Throughout the summer the administration signaled that soon, likely before the midterm election, Trump would issue a Section 202(c) emergency order imposing a two-year moratorium on nuclear and coal plant closures, ostensibly for the Department of Energy to study the ramifications of letting them close.

Meanwhile, grid operators would be required to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants, creating the equivalent of tariffs guaranteeing large profits for nuclear and coal plants. Grid managers would be forced to buy power from them, even though it’s more expensive than other sources of electricity, including renewables and efficiency.

The Electricity Consumers Resource Council has argued against the plan. Ratepayers are a captive market, so utilities are supposed to shop around for cheaper electricity on their behalf. A Trump executive order would prevent that, on the specious theory letting uncompetitive nuclear plants close threatens electrical grid reliability and national security, so consumers should get a big rate hike to keep them open.

While in effect over the next two years, such an order could preempt closure of uncompetitive nuclear plants, including those already scheduled to close. It might also delay or derail nuclear plant closures scheduled more than two years out, including New York’s Indian Point.

The Heritage Foundation opposes the Trump plan and points out there is no evidence that subsidizing aging nuclear plants helps grid reliability or national security. Keeping them open actually increases risks of radiological accidents and cyberattacks. But there’s plenty of evidence subsidies help nuclear plant owners.

Over the last year, owners ramped up spending on lobbying and pushed through billion-dollar state subsidies to guarantee large profits at public expense, first in New York ($7.6 billion) and Illinois ($2.4 billion), then in New Jersey ($3.6 billion) and Connecticut (estimated up to $3 billion).  They are now aiming at Pennsylvania and other states. They argue they deserve subsidies for fighting climate change, by supplying “clean energy” with “zero emissions.”

In fact, these aging plants are dirty and dangerous. Propping them up worsens climate change by undermining growth of renewables and efficiency measures. Owners got their subsidies anyway, after threatening state politicians with the fallout from closing their plants early.

By my calculation, most of the windfall is going to the largest US nuclear operator, Exelon. New York and Illinois subsidies accounted for about 60 percent of its profit growth this year. New Jersey and other state subsidies will swell it further. A Trump executive order would transfer yet more wealth from ratepayers to Exelon and other nuclear owners.

Is all this even legal? We’re about to find out. There are a slew of lawsuits waiting to challenge Trump’s executive order from consumer advocates and non-nuclear/non-coal generators. Many grounds for challenging it exist.

Since there is no energy or national security emergency, invoking them in a Section 202(c) order misapplies the Federal Powers Act and the Defense Production Act.  Trump’s order would be unprecedented, anti-competitive, government interference in power markets. It’s a federal mandate forcing individuals and businesses to pay for uneconomical power they don’t want. Those in New York and other states already coughing up billions for state nuclear subsidies will be subject to double jeopardy from this new federal surcharge, even if they object to subsidizing nuclear power and try to opt out through renewables-only purchasing programs.

There’s a fundamental question of whether nuclear subsidies serve the public interest, or whether they violate due process and the public trust.

In New York and other states, subsidies were rammed through with only perfunctory public input. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers filed complaints after they were passed. A lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court (Matter of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater v. NYS Public Service Commission, Albany County, 7242-16) is the first to challenge state subsidies on such fundamental, public interest grounds.

The organization I lead is a plaintiff in that case, which is also the last remaining legal challenge to state nuclear subsidies still standing, since federal suits asking the more technical question of whether state subsidies interfere with federal regulation of wholesale electricity markets were struck down. The NYS Supreme Court case survived motions to dismiss, and will soon go into evidentiary hearings. That means the question of whether New York’s nuclear subsidies are unfair, illegal or improper will finally get adjudicated in court.

The suit can’t reverse nuclear subsidies already established in Illinois and other states, but it could end them in New York and deter new states from adopting them.

t may also provide a glimpse of how lawsuits against a Trump executive order could get traction. Nuclear subsidies via government fiat contradict the public will, severely distort markets, and misapply the law. Executive overreach extended so far is ripe for remedy in court.

Tim Judson is the Executive Director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), one of the plaintiffs in the New York lawsuit.

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October 22, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

National security adviser John Bolton urging Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty

John Bolton pushing Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty, Exclusive: national security adviser recommends ending intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty over alleged Russia violations, Guardian,  Julian Borger , 20 Oct 18, John Bolton is pushing for the US to withdraw from a cold war-era arms control treaty with Russia, in the face of resistance from others in the Trump administration and US allies, according to sources briefed on the initiative.Bolton, Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, has issued a recommendation for withdrawal from the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty (INF), which the US says Russia has been violating with the development of a new cruise missile.


Withdrawal from the treaty, which would mark a sharp break in US arms control policy, has yet to be agreed upon by cabinet and faces opposition from within the state department and the Pentagon. A meeting on Monday at the White House to discuss the withdrawal proposal was postponed.

The INF faces a congressionally imposed deadline early next year. An amendment in the 2019 defence spending bill requires the president to tell the Senate by 15 January whether Russia is in “material breach” of the treaty, and whether the INF remains legally binding on the US.

Bolton, who has spent his career opposing arms control treaties, is seeking to shrug off the traditional role of national security adviser as a policy broker between the agencies, and become a driver of radical change from within the White House.

Former US officials say Bolton is blocking talks on extending the 2010 New Start treaty with Russia limiting deployed strategic nuclear warheads and their delivery systems. The treaty is due to expire in 2021 and Moscow has signaled its interest in an extension, but Bolton is opposing the resumption of a strategic stability dialogue to discuss the future of arms control between the two countries.

The US has briefed its European allies this week about the proposal, sounding out reactions. The briefing alarmed UK officials who see the INF as an important arms control pillar. The treaty marked the end of a dangerous nuclear standoff in 1980s Europe pitting US Pershing and cruise missiles against the Soviet Union’s SS-20 medium-range missiles.

The US alleges Russia is now violating the treaty with the development and deployment of a ground-launched cruise missile, known as the 9M729. Moscow insists the missile does not violate the range restrictions in the INF and alleges in return that a US missile defence system deployed in eastern Europe against a potential Iranian threat can be adapted to fire medium-range offensive missiles at Russia.

The National Security Council (NSC) declined to comment on the fate of the INF………

Bolton’s meeting with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Geneva in August, was expected to give the final green light to the dialogue, but Bolton is said to have blocked it. He is due to visit Moscow next week, when the Kremlin said he may meet Vladimir Putin.

(pic DANBY/BDN) The New York Times reported on Friday that Bolton intended to use his Moscow trip to inform Russian leaders of the administration’s plans to exit the INF agreement. Under the terms of the treaty, withdrawal would take six months.

In remarks in Sochi on Thursday, Putin appeared to suggest that Russia would adopt a “no first use” policy on nuclear weapons.

“We have no concept of a pre-emptive strike,” he told a conference. “[W]e expect to be struck by nuclear weapons, but we will not use them first,” he said.

A meeting of Nato defence ministers earlier this month in Brussels issued a joint statement saying the INF “has been crucial to Euro-Atlantic security and we remain fully committed to the preservation of this landmark arms control treaty”………

“The decision has been taken in the NSC [National Security Council] that the US should withdraw, and they are trying to persuade other parts of the administration. There has been no formal Trump decision yet,” said Hans Kristensen, the director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of the American Scientists. “Very little good will come of this, other than another round of nuclear escalation with Russia.”  ………https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/19/john-bolton-russia-nuclear-arms-deal-trump-lobbying

October 20, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Wales Labour government’s poor decisions, favouring nuclear project at the expense of citizenz’ well-being

Wales Online 19th Oct 2018  David Lowry: The article by Westminster Energy Minister Claire Perry
to mark Green GB week is hypocritical, especially as in the same week
fracking was allowed to restart in Lancashire. She talks about windfarms
and solar farms in Anglesey, but makes no mention of the massively
expensive (£20 billion-plus) new nuclear plant on Ynys Mon at Wylfa
Newydd, which the Westminster government’s new financing plans mean
electricity bill-payers in Wales will have to subsidise in advance.

Also, in south Wales, people living near the coastline from Newport to Swansea
have had their health put in danger by the dumping of radioactively
contaminated mud from just off the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Somerset.

The mud has been dredged to make channels for barges bringing equipment and
building materials to build the new £25bn reactor at Hinkley C. I find it
extraordinary that such a dangerous policy has been permitted by the Welsh
Labour Government, to assist the economically illiterate nuclear policies
of the Conservative Westminster government, whose policies are almost
entirely economically hostile to Wales. As a Welsh person from Neath
watching from afar, these absurd energy decisions are incomprehensible.
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/western-mail-letters-friday-october-15300307

October 20, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Trump and Kushner – naive, ill-informed and craven as they obsess over Saudi money

Trump and Kushner Put Saudi’s Money First https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-10-17/trump-and-kushner-put-saudi-arabia-s-money-ahead-of-khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi’s death has exposed the White House and two of its most powerful figures as naive, ill-informed and craven. What comes next?,  By October 17, 2018, The Trump team is standing by Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the investigation and controversy surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi deepens.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh for a photo op with the prince. In a press release, he praised the Saudi leadership for “supporting a thorough, transparent and timely” investigation into the Khashoggi affair, a full two weeks after the dissident first went missing.

Pompeo also said that Saudi leaders denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, something his boss, President Donald Trump, let the world know on Twitter as well.

By Tuesday evening, that line became more complex to defend after the New York Times reported that at least four suspects in Khashoggi’s disappearance had ties to the crown prince. A fifth was “of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority,” the newspaper said.

Complexity has never deterred the president, however. In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, he blamed critics of Saudi Arabia for holding it “guilty until proven innocent.” Lest anyone doubt his motives, Trump took to Twitter to talk about his finances:

“For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter). Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”

That statement would be easier to digest if Trump hadn’t bragged publicly in the past about how much Saudis have spent buying his condominiums – and if he wasn’t the steward of the most financially conflicted presidency of the post World War II era.

Trump is playing word games, of course. He says he has no investments in Saudi Arabia or Russia. But that doesn’t mean money from those countries hasn’t flowed into his coffers. In Saudi Arabia’s case, that has meant very different things over the years.

In the early 1990s, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bought Trump’s prized yacht on the cheap from the property developer’s creditors when he was on the cusp of personal bankruptcy. A few years later, one of Trump’s lenders forced him to sell the Plaza Hotel, a New York City landmark also mired in debt, to Alwaleed. As David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O’Connell noted in the Washington Post recently, this was a period when Trump was trying to dig himself out of $3.4 billion of debt, about $900 million of which he had guaranteed personally. But Alwaleed was a bargain-hunter at the time, not someone trying to ensnare a failed developer on the unlikely chance that he might someday become president.

Still, Alwaleed, who once described Trump on Twitter as a “disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America,” kept those early deals in mind. When Trump made fun of him on Twitter two years ago, Alwaleed responded by tweeting, “I bailed you out twice; a 3rd time, maybe?”

As Trump climbed out of his debt hole in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he courted Saudi condo buyers. The Saudi Arabian government bought the entire 45th floor of the Trump World Tower in 2001, and, before running for president, Trump was apparently contemplating doing business in Saudi Arabia – he incorporated eight limited-liability companies with names suggesting he planned to do business there (they were later dissolved).

After becoming president, Trump flouted tradition by declining to authentically separate himself from the Trump Organization and its hotel and golf properties. The Trump International Hotel in Washington has been a favorite venue for Saudi diplomats who have spent lavishly there, as well as at other Trump hotels.

The president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also decided to make Saudi Arabia a linchpin of their policy in the Middle East. Kushner, lacking full security clearance and any diplomatic experience, lobbied the crown prince directly in early 2017 to secure what was fancifully and inaccurately touted as a $110 billion arms sale – most of which had been agreed a year earlier, and the bulk of which still hasn’t been completed.

Shortly after that transaction was arranged, Trump visited Saudi Arabia. And soon after that, the Saudis announced they would invest $20 billion in an infrastructure fund managed by Blackstone Group LP. The New York-based firm had financed several of the Kushner family’s deals and its chairman, Stephen Schwarzman, sat on the president’s business-advisory council. The private equity firm told Bloomberg News that the Saudi investment had been contemplated long before Trump was even the Republican nominee.

Kushner’s forays alarmed members of the intelligence and national security communities, as Bob Woodward outlined in his book, “Fear.” At the very moment Kushner was throwing himself into these diplomatic adventures, he was coming under scrutiny for his own financial conflicts – in particular, his efforts to secure funding for 666 Fifth Avenue, a troubled Manhattan skyscraper his family owned.

Although the family has since sold off the property, Kushner had tried unsuccessfully to secure funding for it from a Chinese investor. His intersection with a prominent banker and diplomats from Moscow during the Trump campaign’s transition into the White House raised questions about whether he was courting Russian investors (which he denied). Inevitably, the Kushner family also courted a prominent Saudi investor to bail them out of 666 Fifth, as detailed by my Bloomberg News colleagues David Kocieniewski and Caleb Melby.

Late last year, Kushner made another secretive trip alone to Riyadh. He later described the visit as an effort to “brainstorm” Middle East strategies with Mohammed bin Salman. Not long afterward, the crown prince placed dozens of prominent businessmen and political rivals under house arrest in what was described as an anti-corruption drive. Among them was Alwaleed, the man who once snatched the Plaza Hotel and yacht from Kushner’s father-in-law.

Earlier this year, leaked intelligence reports revealed that diplomats in Mexico, Israel, China and the United Arab Emirates had decided to target Kushner because they believed he could be easily manipulated due to “his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.”

For his part, Kushner just plowed ahead, continuing to rest the White House’s plans for the Middle East on the shoulders of an equally young and untested man, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince. The disappearance of a single journalist, a one-time ally of the royal family turned critic, may ultimately cause Kushner’s plans to unravel – and expose his machinations in Saudi Arabia to more revealing and unwanted scrutiny.

If it doesn’t, it may well be because the president – putting the lie to his dissembling about his family’s financial ties to Saudi Arabia – will openly and stubbornly put money ahead of the moral and diplomatic issues at play in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

As he told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday night: “I don’t want to give up a $100 billion order or whatever it is.”

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | 1 Comment

USA ditches the plan to prop up the coal and nuclear industries

White House shelves rescue plan for coal, nuclear: report https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/411604-white-house-shelves-rescue-plan-for-coal-nuclear-report   The White House has shelved a proposed effort to prop up coal and nuclear power plants at risk of closure, Politico reported.

Some of President Trump’s advisers in the White House National Security Council and National Economic Council oppose Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan, due largely to the likelihood that it would raise energy prices, Politico said, citing four people familiar with the matter.

The rescue plan was a key piece of the Trump administration’s energy agenda, and Trump’s promise to save the coal industry. Perry first pursued the policy last year, asking that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) write a rule to require higher electricity payments to coal and nuclear plants, in a bid to preserve the “resiliency” of the electric grid.

But FERC, an independent agency, rejected the proposal unanimously.

Earlier this year, Trump formally asked his administration to find a way to save uneconomic coal and nuclear plants from closing.

A White House memo leaked in May showed that officials were considering using legal authorities to force coal and nuclear plants to stay open for two years. During that time, the National Security Council would study the issue from a security perspective and determine if other interventions could be used.

The Energy Department and the White House didn’t return requests for comment.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

New “low yield” nuclear weapon increases the likelihood of war

New proposal makes
nuclear war more likely https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/17/letter-new-proposal-makes-nuclear-war-more-likely/
Jo Ann Frisch, Pleasanton, 17 Oct 18Donald Trump said he doesn’t understand why we have nuclear weapons if we can’t use them.

The administration’s fiscal 2019 budget took a step in that direction by proposing to create a warhead more likely to be used in war: a low-yield nuclear variant to sit atop Trident D5 missiles. Trump says it will make a U.S. strike more “credible.” The smaller-yield weapon will not be distinguishable from high-yield ones thus lowering the threshold for nuclear use and making nuclear war more likely.

A bill introduced by Reps. Smith, Lieu, Garamendi and Blumenauer called Hold the LYNE (Low-Yield Nuclear Explosive) Act, HR 6840 would prohibit funds for research, development, production or deployment of this warhead…..For more information, go to trivalleycares.org.

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The very bad decisions of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Trump Enables a Saudi Lie The case of Jamal Khashoggi is part of a larger and more disturbing pattern. Bloomberg, By  Eli Lake October 17, 2018, The Saudi narrative about the disappearance and likely murder of Jamal Khashoggi is shifting. Last week it was a blanket denial. Now there are hints of the O.J. Simpson defense: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is determined to find the real killers. He’s launched an investigation. Perhaps, as President Donald Trump said, this is the work of “rogue killers.”

Needless to say, this smells like the prelude to a big lie.

In the words of Senator Lindsey Graham, who has defended the U.S.-Saudi relationship for years: “Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it.” MBS, as the crown prince is known, was assuring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he would investigate even as his government was sending a cleaning crew to its consulate in Istanbul, which Turkish authorities say is a crime scene………

The stakes are high in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is an important ally against Iran, and the Trump administration is planning next month to implement sanctions on Iranian oil exports. Embarrassing the crown prince now could upend that strategy and undermine the U.S.-Saudi alliance. So it’s tempting to encourage the Saudis to find a scapegoat and go along with the cover story……….

It won’t work, though. Not only is the rogue killer theory implausible, it fails to address a far more serious impediment to the U.S.-Saudi relationship: the crown prince himself. There is “a whole litany of things where he appears to have taken very bad decisions,” notes Simon Henderson, a Saudi specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. In the last year, Crown Prince Mohammed has had the Canadian ambassador expelled over criticism of the arrest of women’s rights activists. He had the Lebanese prime minister detained and forced him to resign his post.

These are not the decisions of a steady-handed leader. Before Crown Prince Mohammed consolidated power and purged his rivals, there were restraints against his impulses. No longer. For all intents and purposes, MBS is now the Saudi state. And that is a problem a convenient story about rogue killers will not fix. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-10-17/jamal-khashoggi-disappearance-trump-enables-a-saudi-lie

 

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

EDF says that Hinkley Point C new nuclear plant could be built from 2021 (with UK govt funding)

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Public-private partnerships for new nukes – USA’s Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA)

Nuclear innovation legislation becoming law, Post Register., Mike Crapo, a U.S. Senator, 16 Oct 18

Congress’s recent passage of S. 97, the Nuclear Energy Innovation Capabilities Act (NEICA)   ……….  Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) also co-sponsored this legislation that directs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to prioritize partnerships with private innovators to test and demonstrate advanced reactor concepts.

The measure authorizes the creation of a National Reactor Innovation Center that brings together the technical expertise of the National Labs and the DOE to enable the construction and testing of experimental reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) would partner with the DOE in this effort, contributing its expertise on safety issues while also learning about the new technologies developed through the Center. This legislation strengthens the ability of national laboratories, like Idaho National Laboratory (INL), to partner with private industry to prove the principles behind their research.  ………ttps://www.postregister.com/star/opinion/nuclear-innovation-legislation-becoming-law/article_dbbcc9f3-0cab-523b-aa97-0e0d783b371c.html

October 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Dominion company wants license to run Virginia nuclear reactors for 80 years!

Dominion seeks new 20-year Licensing for Surry Nuclear Reactors Power Engineering 10/17/2018, By Rod Walton Dominion Energy has filed an application with federal regulators asking to keep its Surry nuclear power station licensed for additional 20-year terms.

Surry Units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Dominion has previously said it believes the nuclear plant along the James River in Virginia could be safely operational through 2053.

Its current licensing allows Units 1 and 2 to provide power through 2032 and 2033. If approved, it would be one of the first 80-year plants in the U.S. Exelon Corp. has also applied for additional 20-year license for its Peach Bottom nuclear generation facility in Pennsylvania. https://www.power-eng.com/articles/2018/10/dominion-seeks-new-20-year-licensing-for-surry-nuclear-reactors.html

October 18, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment

USA nuclear regulators plan to reclassify Hanford High Level Nuclear Waste (HLW) as Low Level Wastes (LLW)

Regulators Discuss New Plans For Nuclear Waste At Hanford https://www.opb.org/news/article/hanford-nuclear-waste-plans-portland-oregon-meetings/, by Cassandra Profita  Oct. 15, 2018 Federal and state energy regulators will hold back-to-back meetings in Portland on Tuesday for a proposal to reclassify some of the high-level nuclear waste at the Hanford Site in Washington.

The proposal has major implications for the nuclear waste that remains in Hanford’s storage tanks.

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Energy has been working to retrieve the nuclear waste left in storage tanks, and in one area known as C-Farm, they’ve removed as much as they can get.

“But there is some amount they were not able to get,” said Jeff Burright, nuclear waste remediation specialist with the Oregon Department of Energy. “And that equates to approximately 70,000 gallons of waste.”

The Energy Department wants to downgrade that remainder to “low-level radioactive waste,” so they can leave it in place and fill the tanks with grout. The area would then be sealed off to prevent the waste from migrating.

It’s the first step in a long closure process for about 10 percent of the storage tanks on the site. But the Oregon Department of Energy has raised concernsthat federal officials are moving too quickly. The state has filed public comments asking federal officials to do additional reviews before making any decisions.

“The movement of waste through the Hanford environment is a very complex process that we’re still trying to fully understand,” Burright said. “Despite their best efforts, there are still uncertainties over very long time scales that could represent future risk.”

Burright said closing the tanks could prevent the future removal of the 70,000 gallons of remaining waste should new technologies emerge. Plus, he said, there may be additional risks stemming from the million gallons of waste that have already leaked or spilled into the ground underneath the tanks on the site.

The Oregon Department of Energy is holding its own informational meetingon the issue at 6:30 p.m. after the U.S. Department of Energy’s informational meeting from 3-5 p.m. in Portland on Tuesday. Both meetings will be held at the same location, the Eliot Center at the First Unitarian Church, 1226 SW Salmon St.

October 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Public hearing in Charleston area: focus is on the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

Charleston-area public hearing focuses on SCE&G, failed nuclear project, etc. Post and Courier 15 Oct 18 

  • The hour is drawing near for Charleston-area residents who want to vent to the powers-that-be about the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

    Or about their South Carolina Electric & Gas power bills.

    Or about whether Dominion Energy should get the go-ahead to buy SCE&G.

  • The S.C. Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities in the state, is coming to the Lowcountry this week for the last of three public hearings.

    The agency held previous meetings in Columbia and Aiken. The final roadshow is set for Monday at Charleston County Government’s Lonnie Hamilton Public Services Building at 4045 Bridgeview Drive in North Charleston. It starts at 6 p.m.

  • To keep things moving along, the floor will open for 3 minutes per speaker. All comments will be folded into several ongoing cases surrounding SCE&G, which was financially responsible for more than half of the failed expansion of the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station before abandoning the site in mid-2017. The disastrous project has already cost ratepayers billions of dollars — and is likely to cost them much more.

    The feedback that the commissioners gather will factor into other hearings scheduled for early November, when attorneys for SCE&G will face off against a slew of lawyers for environmental groups, industrial power users and the state’s utility watchdog agency. Those cases will decide whether the Cayce-based energy company misled the public about the progress of construction at the Midlands nuclear plant. They also will determine whether SCE&G executives acted prudently in allowing work to continue for so long before pulling the plug. And they will ultimately resolve whether SCE&G and Dominion can charge ratepayers another $3.1 billion for the unfinished reactors over the next 20 years should their tie-up be approved……….https://www.postandcourier.com/business/charleston-area-public-hearing-focuses-on-sce-g-failed-nuclear/article_9dbb8958-c8ad-11e8-885a-53

October 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham want Trump to continue with MOX nuclear fuel boondoggle

October 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, technology | Leave a comment

Climate change scientists have “a political agenda” – says Trump

BBC 15th Oct 2018 US President Donald Trump has accused climate change scientists of having a
“political agenda” as he cast doubt on whether humans were responsible for
the earth’s rising temperatures. But Mr Trump also said he no longer
believed climate change was a hoax. The comments, made during an interview
with CBS’s 60 Minutes, come less than a week after climate scientists
issued a final call to halt rising temperatures. The world’s leading
scientists agree that climate change is human-induced.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45859325

October 16, 2018 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

South Korean President Moon says that Kim Jong Un sincerely wants to abandon nuclear weapons

North Korea leader sincere, must be rewarded for move to abandon nuclear weapons: South Korean president, 15 Oct 18, PARIS (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.

……..“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.    Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

……Moon said he hoped another Trump-Kim summit would allow the two leaders to go further than the statements they made at their first meeting in Singapore.

“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime”.

“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-southkorea-northkorea/north-korea-leader-sincere-must-be-rewarded-for-move-to-abandon-nuclear-weapons-south-korean-president-idUSKCN1MO0SG?il=0

October 15, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, South Korea | Leave a comment