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France considering building 6 new EDF nuclear reactors at a cost of at least 46 billion euros ($51 billion)

France’s EDF expects six new nuclear reactors to cost 46 billion euros: Le Monde, PARIS (Reuters) 11 Nov 19 – French power utility EDF estimates it would cost at least 46 billion euros ($51 billion) to build six of its latest generation EPR nuclear reactors if the government decides to build them, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Saturday.The estimate was in a confidential document presented to the board of state-controlled EDF at the end of July, it said.

The EPR model is the latest generation reactor being built by EDF, with complex engineering and enhanced safety features put in place after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan.

However, the Flamanville EPR reactor under construction in northern France has been plagued by cost overruns and a series of technical problems resulting in years of delays.

EDF, in which the state has an 84% stake, said in October the project which began in 2006 would cost 1.5 billion euros more than previously expected, raising the total cost to 12.4 billion euros.

November 12, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

A UK Labour govt would make ‘collective’ decision over use of nuclear weapons?

November 12, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scottish National Party could want scrapping of Trident nuclear system, in return for co-operating with minority Labor government

Blackford signals scrapping Trident could be part of SNP ‘wish-list’ for supporting Corbyn Govt, Herald Scotland By Michael Settle, 10th November UK Political Editor SCRAPPING Trident could be part of a “wish-list” the SNP will set out for co-operating with a minority Labour Government, Ian Blackford has signalled.

The Nationalist leader at Westminster stressed how Britain should not be investing in weapons of mass destruction.

Questioned about whether the issue of Trident would stop the SNP holding negotiations with another political party in the case of a hung parliament, Mr Blackford said the SNP had been “pretty consistent” that they did “not wish to see nuclear weapons” on Scottish soil.

He explained how his party would “come up with a wish-list” of policies they would want to secure for a potential confidence and supply deal with a future UK Government…….

The SNP’s parliamentary candidate for Ross, Skye and Lochaber described Britain’s nuclear arsenal as “not fit for purpose,” explaining: “The simple fact of the matter is I’m not sure that we’re taking our responsibilities for conventional defences as seriously as we should be doing and to waste up to £200 billion on these weapons of mass destruction that can never be used is a fallacy.”

During campaigning last week, Nicola Sturgeon made clear she wanted nuclear weapons removed from Scotland “as soon as it is safely possible”.  The First Minister explained: “When we’re talking about nuclear weapons, safety has to be the primary consideration but the SNP is implacably opposed to nuclear weapons.”

The First Minister explained: “When we’re talking about nuclear weapons, safety has to be the primary consideration but the SNP is implacably opposed to nuclear weapons.”……..

Although Jeremy Corbyn is well-known as being personally opposed to Britain retaining nuclear weapons and Scottish Labour has come out against Trident, the UK Labour Party backs the policy and included support for renewing the nuclear arsenal in its last manifesto……. https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18026979.blackford-signals-scrapping-trident-part-snp-wish-list-support-corbyn-govt/

November 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Philippines not prepared for the dangers of nuclear energy

Philippines unprepared for nuclear energy: Senate energy panel chair,  https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/11/06/19/philippines-unprepared-for-nuclear-energy-senate-energy-panel-chair, Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News, Nov 06 2019  MANILA – The Philippines is “not ready” to use nuclear power as an energy source, a senator said Wednesday, adding more should be done to prepare for potential risks.

The Department of Energy announced recently its plan to draft a national nuclear program, which the Senate Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, will investigate.

“Saan natin itatapon ang nuclear waste? Pag may leakage ano ang gagawin natin? Meron ba tayong capability? Handa ba tayo in case of a nuclear leak?” he told reporters.

(Where will we dump nuclear waste? What will we do in case of a leak? Do we have the capability? Are we ready in case of a nuclear leak?)

The DOE should be more transparent about the benefits of harnessing nuclear power before it drafts a nationwide plan. Coal and solar are cheaper alternatives, he said.

“Nuclear energy is a very controversial source of energy dahil ang risk ay napakataas (because the risk is very high),” he said.

The government is eyeing the deployment of modular nuclear plants to some islands where electricity supply is low, Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi earlier said.

The Philippines also signed a memorandum with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom for a pre-feasibility study for nuclear power plants.   President Rodrigo Duterte “wants to learn more” about nuclear power, which could lower electricity prices and stabilize supply, Cusi said.

“We are hungry for power and we will tap any sources that would satisfy our own needs now,” he said.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment

Iran building a second nuclear reactor at Bushehr plant

November 11, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics | Leave a comment

Boris Johnson and the UK plan for nuclear fusion

Boris Johnson’s   nuclear energy pledge backed by UK firm with ‘answer to world’s problem’ By CALLUM HOARE. Express UK, Nov 5, 2019  A UK firm has pledged to build on Boris Johnson’s plans to take the “big step” in treading the path for nuclear energy which the Prime Minister claimed will be on sale “around the world” during the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Last month, Mr Johnson tabled £220million over the next four years towards the design of a commercially viable fusion power station in the UK with the hope to supply the world with renewable energy starting in 2024. Also known as star fusion, the breakthrough is a form of renewable electric power generation created during the same fusion process of a star – and it could “save the world”. In October, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced the Government’s new funding package – the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) during a visit to the site in Culham, Oxfordshire.  ……..Currently, the Joint European Torus (JET) is the world’s largest operational facility located at the Fulham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, where scientists work around the clock to scrutinise the technology.

JET was built by an international consortium in 1983, which formed the nucleus for the EU’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) – a megaproject which will open in Saint-Paul-Les-Durance, France, in 2025………
However, UK firm Pulsar Fusion is already ahead of the game, CEO Richard Dinan told Express.co.uk. ……..

The only thing that’s going to restrict us is capital.

“To an investor – no one wants to invest in fusion for safety, it’s very high risk – don’t worry about cracking fusion, it’s about cracking the finance.”

Pulsar Fusion recently opened up the UK’s biggest nuclear fusion centre in a secret location near Bletchley, Buckinghamshire.

Mr Dinan is confident his company will, during the next few months, create matter hot enough to replicate the temperature of the Sun in the UK.

A vacuum chamber will form the heart of the reactor and it is claimed it could soon reach temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius.

November 11, 2019 Posted by | politics, technology, UK | Leave a comment

UK firms given £18m for mini nuclear power stations

November 9, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

USA’s intercontinental ballistic missiles- epitome of nuclear corruption

 

November 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Senator Elizabeth Warren questions Holtec Exemption from Emergency Planning Requirements at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

November 7, 2019 Posted by | election USA 2020, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Wyoming’s Governor Gordon OK with the idea of nuclear waste dump

November 4, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

A USA Bill to make sensible but significant cuts to “nuclear weapons and delivery systems.”

New Bill Renews Debate on Nuclear Modernization,  https://www.cato.org/blog/new-bill-renews-debate-nuclear-modernization  November 1, 2019 By Eric Gomez 

On Tuesday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced bicameral legislation that would save U.S. taxpayers $75 billion on nuclear modernization costs over the next decade. The “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act,” or SANE Act, proposes sensible but significant cuts to “nuclear weapons and delivery systems.”

According to a press release from Sen. Markey’s office, the SANE Act will include the following:

  • Reduce the purchase of Columbia-class submarines from 12 to 8, cut the existing ICBM fleet from over 400 to 150, and reduce deployed strategic warheads from approximately 1,500 to 1,000 – saving $13.1 billion
  • Cancel the development of a new air-launched cruise missile and an associated warhead life extension program – saving $13.3 billion
  • Reduce to 80 the purchase of new B-21 long-range bombers – saving $11.6 billion
  • Cancel the development of new ICBMs and a new nuclear warhead – saving $13.6 billion
  • Cancel the development of a new submarine-launched cruise missile – saving $9 billion
  • Limit the plutonium pit production target to 30 per year – saving $9 billion

Sen. Markey stated that “The United States should fund education, not annihilation; that is our future…We need sanity when crafting America’s budget priorities, and more and improved nuclear weapons defies common sense.”

Rep. Blumenauer added that “these disastrous weapons will never be the answer to solving our complex and ever-changing national security threats…We should not be investing trillions of dollars of our budget on an outdated and irresponsible nuclear arsenal.”

At the time of the press release, the SANE Act was co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and by eight members in the House. It has also been endorsed by several prominent organizations, including the Ploughshares Fund, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), Peace Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Global Security Institute, and World Future Council.

Caroline Dorminey, policy director of WAND and my former colleague here at Cato, stated, “With defense budgets skyrocketing and a bow wave of costs bearing down on the Pentagon in upcoming years, now is the time for hard choices. Senator Markey, Representative Blumenauer, and cosponsors offer a clear alternative that will keep Americans safe without wasting their tax dollars on weapon systems that serve our past, not our future.”

Dorminey, who also co-edited Cato’s recently released America’s Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward-Looking Anthology with me and whose recommendations from her chapter on how best to manage nuclear modernization echo many of the proposals within the bill, also noted that “the SANE Act demonstrates [that] there are ample opportunities to craft a revised nuclear modernization plan that better reflects the shifting strategic priorities and evolution of threats facing the United States.”

Sen. Markey and Rep. Blumenauer have introduced various versions of the SANE Act in past years without success. Given current fiscal and political realities, perhaps this time will be different. Yet, whether the SANE Act passes or not, the legislation highlights the need for policymakers to have a robust debate on the merits of the modernization plan, if not America’s nuclear posture more broadly.

You can read the full bill here. To learn more about this and other pressing issues in nuclear deterrence and arms control, download a copy of America’s Nuclear Crossroads.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Exelon wants tax-payer subsidies for nuclear reactors – threatens to close 4, otherwise.

Exelon threatens to close four nuclear plants in Illinois if Springfield doesn’t act https://www.thecentersquare.com/illinois/exelon-threatens-to-close-four-nuclear-plants-in-illinois-if/article_b4d2cc7e-fbff-11e9-9619-ab5ee6984f21.html, By Cole Lauterbach | The Center Square, Oct 31, 2019 

Exelon’s CEO said Thursday that four of the company’s nuclear facilities in Illinois could be shuttered if state lawmakers don’t take action to make them more profitable.

Exelon President and CEO Christopher Crane said in an earnings call Thursday that the company “can’t sit here for years and bleed cash and build up debt” by keeping four of our nuclear plants operating in the absence of legislation from Springfield that would make those plants more profitable.”

The company had previously said the Byron, Braidwood and Dresden plants were in danger of being shuttered. On Thursday, the company said the LaSalle plant also was at risk of closure.

“Some are more dire than others at this point and we need to move forward with the legislation to prevent the loss for the state from an environmental perspective and an economic perspective,” Crane said.

The four Illinois plants represent a significant portion of Exelon’s nuclear fleet.

At issue is the interaction between federal regulators and Exelon’s Illinois-based facilities that get green-energy credits, allowing those facilities to sell energy on the wholesale market at more competitive rates than other energy providers, such as coal plants.

Crane’s comments came two weeks after one of the company’s former executives, Exelon Utilities CEO Anne Prammagiore, abruptly retired and the corporation disclosed that it had been served with multiple subpoenas in connection to a federal probe involving state Sen. Martin Sandoval and the company’s lobbying practices. This week, Prammagiore also resigned as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, according to media reports.

A veteran legislator told Crain’s Chicago Business last week that it would be difficult for Exelon to get much done in Springfield until lawmakers know more about the federal investigations.

Two of Exelon’s nuclear facilities benefit from legislation that Crane said kept them open, which included rate increases on consumers.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Wyoming legislators and their secret vote about nuclear waste dump

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Get the facts straight on nuclear energy

  To Editor of the Reformer, I was disturbed by the letter written by Kendall Neutron of San Diego, CA (“Nuclear waste can be dealt with safely”) and published in the Oct. 19-20 Reformer. Neutron claims to be a nuclear engineer who also claims to have a simple solution to the problem of safe storage and disposal of nuclear waste.I question the cost and safety of the solutions that are described.

Over 140 scientists from all over the world collaborated to write the book “Drawdown” edited by Paul Hawkin and published in 2017. They rank nuclear energy at No. 20 in the top 100 strategies to reduce or reverse global warming and describe these warnings:

Gen. 1 and 2 nuclear reactors (which include those built at Chernobyl and Fukushima and all those in the U.S.) use water to slow down nuclear chain reactions and use enriched uranium fuel. These are all located near major rivers or oceans making them capable of spewing nuclear radiation into major water supplies should any accident occur. The world watched this happen in Chernobyl and Fukushima, and to say that “nuclear energy is already the safest, cleanest, most eco-friendly, and least resource intensive way of generating constant power” is UNTRUE.

In addition to this, “Drawdown” reports this fact: “While virtually every other form of energy has gone down (in cost) over time, a nuclear power plant’s (cost) is four to eight times higher than it was four decades ago. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, advanced nuclear is the most expensive form of energy besides conventional gas turbines, which are comparatively inefficient. Onshore wind is a quarter of the cost of nuclear power.”

This is why the U.S. and Germany are closing down their older nuclear facilities and not planning new ones. China has 33 nuclear plants in operation and about 22 under construction as they move away from coal fired plants due to air pollution and global warming. China is also building solar and wind power at a very fast rate and producing electric vehicles of all kinds and is committed to reaching peak carbon dioxide in 2030 with a reduction of its carbon footprint from that day forward.

Let’s get the facts straight and continue to implement all kinds of less costly and less dangerous ways of producing and storing energy. In New England let’s work on replacing our last few aging nuclear plants with large offshore wind arrays such as Vineyard Wind which could produce at least 400 megawatts of power in its first stage of development.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Turkey Has Long Had Nuclear Dreams

Ankara has been contemplating developing nuclear weapons since the 1960s.  Foreign Policy,  BY COLUM LYNCH,  NOVEMBER 1, 2019, 

In September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party that it is time for his country to acquire its own nuclear bomb.

Such a move would mark a sharp break from previous obligations by Turkey, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bars non-nuclear states from acquiring nuclear weapons. But this is not the first time that Turkey—which has played host to U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1950s—has craved its own nuclear weapons program.

As part of our Document of the Week series, Foreign Policy is posting a copy of a Sept. 26, 1966, memo describing to then-Ambassador Parker T. Hart a troubling conversation Clarence Wendel, the U.S. minerals attache at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, had with a “reliable” Turkish scientist on Turkey’s nuclear ambitions.

The memo, one of 20 previously declassified documents on nuclear weapons in Turkey compiled this week by the National Security Archive, claims the source disclosed that officials from Turkey’s General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration “had been asked to cooperate with General [Refik] Tulga and Professor Omer Inonu (Professor of Physics at METU) [Middle East Technical University] in a Turkish program to develop an ‘Atomic Bomb.’”

Wendel, according to the memo, had flagged a number of developments suggesting the claim may be credible, including: “Repeated Turkish assertions that a 200 mega-watt nuclear reactor is planned for Istanbul”; the stockpiling of reserves of 300 to 600 tons of uranium in low-grade ore deposits; and the “delaying and haggling tactics of the Turkish negotiators during discussions of the extension of the bilateral agreement on peaceful uses of atomic energy which primarily concerned the transfer of safeguards responsibility from the U.S.A. to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”……..https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/01/turkey-long-nuclear-dreams-erdogan-bomb/

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, Turkey | Leave a comment