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Democrat Elaine Luria joins Republican politicians in Bill to fast track advanced nuclear energy

Luria calls for national effort on advanced nuclear technology    Dave Ress  Contact Reporter Staff writer

Which is why Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Norfolk, has proposed a bill meant to fast track advanced nuclear energy. And, as seems to be emerging as a pattern, she’s enlisted Virginia colleagues from the across the aisle — Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Westmoreland County, and Rep Denver Riggleman, R-Nelson County — as co-sponsors.

“As an engineer who operated nuclear reactors on aircraft carriers, I know that ensuring a thriving civilian nuclear industry is vital,” Luria said. “Nuclear energy must be part of any solution to transitioning to a clean energy future because nuclear power provides over 55% of our carbon-free energy.”

The bill would:

*set a strategy for nuclear science and engineering research and development;

* provide for at least two advanced nuclear reactor demonstration projects, to be completed by the end of 2025;

* let federal entities arrange power purchase agreements for up to 40 years, to make it more feasible for nuclear plant operators to venture into this line of business;

* start a pilot program for a long-term nuclear power purchase agreements for new nuclear technology;

* require the Department of Energy to provide a source for fast-neutron research;

* launch a program to supply reactors with High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU) fuel.

* set up scholarships and funding for students pursuing studies in nuclear science.

“We need an all-the-above energy strategy, and nuclear energy is an important component of that,” Wittman said.

Riggleman said “This bill will help position the United States as a global energy leader in a responsible and bipartisan way.”

Dave Ress, 757-247-4535,


June 20, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Energy Leadership Bill introduced in USA House

Bipartisan House Members Introduce Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, Bill set for referral to the chamber’s energy, science committees, Morning Consult,   BY June 18, 2019 

House members have introduced an identical companion to the Senate’s premier nuclear legislation, opening the bill up for conversation in the chamber.

Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Denver Riggleman (R-Va.) co-sponsored the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act, along with Reps. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) and Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), who chairs the Energy Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee — to which parts of the bill will likely be referred.

The House introduction shows enthusiasm for advanced nuclear energy in both chambers and will allow for discussion to move forward on NELA simultaneously in both the House and Senate, said Ryan Fitzpatrick, deputy director of the Clean Energy Program at the think tank Third Way. “Getting that conversation moving is a good thing for a timely process towards an actual passage.”

Among other directives in the measure, the Energy Department would have to create a national strategy for nuclear energy, demonstrate advanced nuclear reactor concepts and make an initial supply of high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel available, which is required by some new reactors.

Much of the nuclear industry is hoping for the bill’s enactment as a third win for the sector, which celebrated passage of two advanced nuclear energy measures last Congress. “The three pieces of the legislation together really will help push forth the advanced reactor industry,” said Everett Redmond, senior technical advisor for new reactor and advanced technology at the Nuclear Energy Institute trade group.

The bill has powerhouse support in the Senate, where it was introduced by Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and has 17 co-sponsors to date, including committee ranking member Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Development Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

Luria said Tuesday that she had learned about the measure before it was introduced in the Senate………

June 20, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s floating nuclear power plant

Russia unveils a floating nuclear power plant   NHK, 19 June 19,  A Russian floating nuclear power plant was opened to the foreign media on Tuesday in the Arctic city of Murmansk.

The country’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom developed the vessel-like unit. The plant will provide power to sparsely populated regions, mainly in the Arctic circle and the Russian Far East……

June 20, 2019 Posted by | politics, Russia | Leave a comment

Sad to see U.S. progessive politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sucked in by the nuclear lobby?

Say It Ain’t So, #Ocasio! (#AOC) Arnie Gundersen

Since early 2019 we’ve been hearing about the Green New Deal, a program that did not initially include nuclear power. Then suddenly, after an extensive lobbying effort by the atomic power industry, we heard: Ocasio-Cortez: Green New Deal ‘Leaves the Door Open’ on Nuclear.

How Green are the atomic power reactors proposed by the nuclear power industry?  Fairewinds has produced a two minute animation showing that carbon reduction via atomic power reactors is a nuclear industry marketing ploy.

Let’s look at the history of atomic power and the way governments and the atomic weapons and power industries have worked together to promote nuclear power. Nuclear physicists  discovered the nuclear chain reaction in 1938, and power has been produced using the atom since the 1940’s beginning with the Manhattan Project for the creation of the atomic bomb. Splitting the atom and creating nuclear weapons and power are old technologies that began more than 80 years ago! During that 80-year timespan, Americans and ratepayers in other capitalist countries were told  that using nuclear power as a source of electricity would be “too cheap to meter” if taxpayers would only subsidize more research.

Now we see impending financial collapse of almost all of the US nuclear power plants due to green energy! Solar, wind, wave, battery storage, and even newer technologies have proved that electricity can be created anywhere in the world in a manner that creates jobs, saves billions of dollars, and makes the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink much safer for all of us.

Instead of admitting nukes cannot compete with renewable energy, the atomic industrial complex is now proposing dozens of new designs that it claims on paper will compete in timeliness to successfully impact the growing climate crisis, including atomic reactors utilizing thorium and molten salt and new designs like Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), Micro-reactors, Traveling Wave, etc. Once again, the atomic power industry, which is the handmaiden to the nuclear weapons manufacturers, is sending lobbyists to convince your Congressional representatives that the atomic future will be different than the past. Lobbyists now claim that society will be so much better off when taxpayer funds bail out the aged, dangerous, and non-performing nukes and if the atomic power and weapons lobbies are given even more research subsidies.

Since the early 1960s there have been 250 applications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its precursor the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to generate electricity for profit using atomic power reactors. None of these 250 proposed atomic reactors  have been built on time or within budget. You did not misread; truly, every single proposed nuke went millions and then billions of dollars over budget and have started generating electricity years later if at all.

If a baseball player was at bat 250 times and struck out 250 times, would he still be playing baseball? Yet, the atomic lobbyists marketing nuclear power want us to pay them for more chances to use our money and strike out one more time.

Renewables, storage and conservation already have a well-proven track-record of lower costs, more jobs, and environmental compatibility than any of these newly imagined nukes will ever have – I say newly imagined because I have spent my career life as a nuclear engineer. When I first began my career, I drank the Kool-Aid and believed that nuclear power reactors were the solution to the world’s energy shortages and that atomic power created from the same technology as the atomic bomb was as safe as the nuke power industry claimed. As the 5 commercial meltdowns during the last 40-years have proved, especially the 3 major meltdowns that included explosions at Fukushima, nuclear power is simply not a safe method of generating electricity. The impact of the devastation from three simultaneous meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi to the social culture, environmental legacy, personal health, and financial welfare of Japan in 2011 is not a legacy that should be passed onto future generations.

Why then is the US Congress, including AOC – one of the brightest members of this new Congress and the creator of the Green New Deal (#GND) – “leaving the door open” for the  same old atomic power marketing ploys? For more than 80-years, we have witnessed the economic failure, ratepayer bailouts, subsidized atomic meltdown insurance, and actual catastrophic meltdowns.

When will they ever learn?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | election USA 2020, politics | 1 Comment

Electricite de France (EDF) has financial woes, hopes to save itself by switching from nuclear to renewables?

June 17, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics, renewable | Leave a comment

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak restates opposition to Yucca Mountain restart plan

June 17, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

UK Labour’s energy policy means that nuclear energy could be prioritised over renewables

Dave Toke’s Blog 15th June 2019   Labour’s proposals to take the national and regional energy grid back
into public ownership may give a boost to workers’ interests over
shareholder profits, but the way the proposals are set out produces an
increased risk of nuclear power being given priority over renewable energy.

Put simply that is because the way the proposals are structured means more
power to the GMB in particular, a body which is very pro-nuclear and which
is relatively hostile to renewable energy and a smart energy network.
Labour announced the plan, in May, to take the transmission and
distribution energy structure into public ownership, as well as plans to
set up a ‘National Energy Agency’ (to run the National Grid), Regional
Energy Agencies (to run regional distribution), and give opportunities for
municipal ownership of distribution on a local basis.

This plan can achieve traditional Labour Movement objectives, but its impact on pushing forward a
green agenda is doubtful. Put bluntly, the more that power is given to
bodies that will be influenced by organisations like the GMB (who favour
centralised power station solutions), the less useful will be the outcome.
The proposals make a gesture in favour of municipalisation, but for most
places the reality will be central control.

Control over the grid should be
given to local authorities as a matter of course, perhaps in consortia
(certainly at a national, transmission, level). Local authorities are
influenced by the local electorate and local citizen groups. They will be
sympathetic to green energy priorities. On the other hand centrally owned
quangos will be insulated from such democratic input and will be under the
thumb of the existing industrial establishment. Innovation will go out of
the window.


June 17, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Oyster Creek Nuclear Station’s nuclear waste, and opposition to the Holtec plan

June 15, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

“Chernobyl”s warning: attempts by governments to conceal and manipulate the truth

Chernobyl (2019) – What Have They Done?

June 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Japan’s restarted nuclear reactors could be forced to shut down for safety measures to be implemented

World Nuclear News 13th June 2019 Nuclear power reactors in Japan that have resumed operation could be forced
to temporarily shut down again if back-up safety measures are not in place
by specified deadlines under new rules approved by the country’s Nuclear
Regulation Authority (NRA). Operators of restarted units have already said
they expect delays in the completion of such facilities.

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics, safety | Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Energy moves to redefine ‘high-level’ nuclear waste. More waste coming to WIPP?

June 15, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR ENERGY LEADERSHIP ACT Some USA politicians push legislationfor USA to be global chieftan in new nuclear reactors

June 13, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Trump is more interested in helping nuclear companies to sell to Saudi Arabia, than in the well-being of Americans


US President Donald Trump recently took another step toward bringing Saudi Arabia into the nuclear club. While Israeli-Saudi ties have warmed in recent years, helping the desert kingdom go nuclear – with its ongoing support for the most extreme Islamic radicals in the world – can hardly be good for the Jewish state.

Secret negotiations with the US Energy Department over many months have led Washington to “transfer highly sensitive US nuclear technology, a potential violation of federal law,” to Saudi Arabia, according to House Oversight Committee sources cited by The Washington Post.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) revealed last week that at least two transfers were approved since the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Saudis say they want to begin building their own nuclear power plants with their own enriched uranium, even though it could be purchased elsewhere more cheaply. That raises suspicions that their real goal isn’t producing electricity. By enriching their own uranium, they could begin diverting it to highly enriched weapons grade, especially if they bar international inspectors, as they’ve insisted.
Given its record of obeisance to Saudi demands for top technology and weapons, it is unlikely the Trump administration would object, but instead continue helping to conceal the kingdom’s plans.   Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the de facto ruler, has said that the kingdom would build nuclear weapons if the Iranians did. He may have taken encouragement from a speech in the UAE last month by Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton.

The Iranians are threatening to leave the nuclear pact with the major powers – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – in the wake of the Trump administration’s unilateral exit last year and imposition of sanctions to tighten the economic screws on Tehran.

There’s “no reason” for Iran to walk away from JCPOA, “unless it is to reduce the breakout time to nuclear weapons,” said Bolton, a decades-long advocate of regime change in Iran. Bolton offered no evidence to back his claim.

That should give MBS the rationale he seeks to develop his version of the bomb.

When he turns to Trump for help, he will remind the president that if America won’t sell it to him, there are others who will. Trump is a sucker for that pitch.

North Korea would be a good place to go shopping, since they tried helping Syria build nukes until the Israeli Air Force stopped the plan, something it had done earlier in Iraq. Then there’s Pakistan, which is believed to have built its own nuclear weapons stockpile with Saudi financial help.

THERE MIGHT BE some resistance on Capitol Hill, where Saudi support is low and sinking, but Trump has shown himself more responsive to the wishes of the Saudis than the US Congress.

Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina may moan and groan and make threatening sounds toward Riyadh, but he and majority leader Mitch McConnell are Trump’s poodles, and will make sure the president gets what he wants.

All US administrations – Republican and Democratic – have indulged the Saudi appetite for top technology and weapons. They’ve been driven by pressure from industry and its friends in the Pentagon to sell, sell, sell – and an inexplicable attitude that we need the Saudis far more than they need us. Trump has just raised this to a new level.

Trump’s latest selling spree includes 120,000 conversion kits to produce smart bombs. It is part of an $8.1 billion package that Trump labeled “emergency” to bypass Congressional review.

Most alarming is the Trump administration’s approval for the transfer of highly sensitive weapons technology and equipment to Saudi Arabia so the kingdom can produce electronic guidance systems for Paveway precision-guided bombs, according to congressional sources cited by The New York Times.

The administration assured Congress that it is confident in the Saudi ability to protect the technology, that the need is urgent and that it won’t alter the balance of power in the region – which is exactly what it is intended to do.
Look for Trump to justify massive sales to the Saudis and the UAE as also helping protect Israel from Iran. Historically, all administrations have justified arms sales around the Middle East as harmless to Israel’s qualitative military edge. But they aren’t. Especially when the US is selling the Arabs the same planes, missiles and technology it sells Israel. Trump values his oil-rich customer so much that he has rejected the findings of his own CIA that the crown prince was complicit in Khashoggi’s murder.

Saudi Arabia is the Pentagon’s favorite cash cow. Arms sales are a lucrative business for the US Defense Department, which charges commissions and other fees, and gets economies of scale for its own purchases while selling off old inventory to help pay for replacements. Military attachés around the world are top salesmen for defense contractors as they lay the groundwork for post-uniform careers. Then there are the former – and possibly future – defense industry executives at the highest levels of the Pentagon, starting with the Secretary of Defense.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) said the administration “has effectively given a blank check to the Saudis – turning a blind eye to the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi and allowing their ballistic missile program to expand.”

The United States is not allowed to sell ballistic missiles, so the Saudis have turned to China. CNN reported last week that American intelligence believes Beijing is helping enhance the kingdom’s strategic missile program. In the 1980s, it secretly bought Chinese DF-3 missiles and based them within range of Israel. It bought more advanced missiles in 2007 with the approval of then-president George W. Bush. Unconfirmed published reports suggest they also bought other missiles from Pakistan, which produces a version of the North Korean Nodong missile.

If the Saudis decide to pursue nuclear weapons, they can turn to Trump’s dear friend Kim Jong Un, whose cash-strapped regime has developed its own and the missiles to deliver them.

With Trump looking for business that will create jobs he can claim credit for – and with John Bolton rattling sabers and B-52s, and calling for regime change in Iran – can Saudi Arabia be knocking on an open door to the nuclear club?

June 13, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Rick Perry, USA’s Secretary on Behalf of the Nuclear Industry

June 13, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

A Cool $20 million Bailout to Ohio’s Seven Utility Scammers

June 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment