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Cutbacks for every agency – in the Trump budget, with the exception of the Pentagon

Trump Budget Would Cut Spending for Nearly Every Agency Except Pentagon, Truthout, Lindsay Koshgarian, March 12, 2019 The budget request President Trump released on Monday represents a conservative vision taken to the extreme. It would shoot military spending skyward while dismantling domestic programs piece by piece, with few exceptions.

The budget peels back many of the promises the president made either on the campaign trail or in tweets. For instance, the president has stated an intention to pull back from military interventions in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but his budget insists on an even bigger military budget. And the cash flow to the Pentagon, combined with ongoing tax cuts for the rich, puts the lie to the idea that Republicans care about deficits and balanced budgets.

The budget calls for $750 billion in military spending, a nearly 5 percent increase over 2019 spending. And it calls for a 9 percent cut in all other discretionary spending, which covers nearly everything else — including priorities like education, affordable housing, environmental protection, scientific and medical research, public health, and diplomacy, among others — taking it from $597 billion in 2019 to $543 billion in 2020.  The proposal also calls for additional cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security……..


March 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

Ratepayers, Gas industry, Environment groups fighting against Pennsylvania Nuclear Bailout Bill

Pennsylvania Nuclear Bailout Bill Draws Fire From Ratepayer, Natural Gas and Enviro Groups

The latest state policy effort to support nuclear power faces opposition on costs, market impacts and lack of clean energy guarantees. Greentech Media, 

But the long-awaited proposal is facing pushback from ratepayer advocates, natural-gas producers and environmental groups that say it’s a flawed approach…….

Opponents, including the AARP and other consumer advocates, have rallied against the bill, claiming it would add more costs than its sponsors have recognized by unnecessarily subsidizing the state’s still-profitable nuclear plants — a move that the state’s natural gas industry and energy analysts say will undermine the state’s competitive electricity market.

Environmental groups are opposed to a bill that lacks broader efforts to increase the state’s share of clean energy….

critics of the Pennsylvania bill, which was leaked in draft form two weeks ago, say that its flaws outweigh its potential benefits. An independent economic analysis of the bill found it could increase ratepayer costs by as much as $900 million per year, or roughly $5 per month for a typical household bill, compared to the author’s projections, raising the ire of ratepayer advocates.

Opponents have also questioned the wisdom of relenting to pressure from Exelon, owner of the Three Mile Island reactor, and FirstEnergy, owner of the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, which have both announced plans to close the plants by 2021. While the Three Mile Island plant is losing money, Beaver Valley is still profitable. But parent company FirstEnergy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, has threatened to close the plant, along with money-losing coal and nuclear plants in Ohio, absent some form of state intervention.

At the same time, the bill could also extend financial support to the three nuclear power plants that have no plans to close and are projected to remain profitable through 2021, a feature that’s drawn criticism from ratepayer groups that call it an unnecessary subsidy.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s significant natural-gas industry opposes the bill on the grounds that it would increase the share of the state’s energy subject to out-of-market subsidies from its current 18 percent-by-2021 goal, to more than half of the state’s total generation mix — a move they say could undermine its participation in the energy markets of mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM.

Finally, the bill’s impacts may not be enough to save the money-losing Three Mile Island plant, according to  a November report by PJM’s independent marketing monitor. Stu Bresler, PJM’s senior vice president of operations and markets, told The Inquirer that the bill will likely result in “upward pressure” on some market prices, but that these pressures may not be enough to save any particular unprofitable power plant from closure.

March 14, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Much opposition and anxiety, as Japan prepares to restart the biggest nuclear station in the world

Japan’s Tepco fights for return to nuclear power after Fukushima, DW, 11 Mar 19 
Eight years after the accident in Fukushima, preparations are underway to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant operated by Tepco. But residents fear a second disaster. Kiyo Dörrer reports from Kashiwazaki.

Decades ago, nuclear power was supposed to be the perfect solution for Japan’s thirst for energy and for its rural economies. And in the sleepy town of Kashiwazaki, in the prefecture next to Fukushima, the solution was supposed to be the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, run by the power company Tepco — the company responsible for the 2011 Fukushima accident.

When in full operation, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant is the biggest in the world, capable of servicing 16 million households. But all of its seven reactors have been idle since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi. This is Tepco’s only remaining nuclear power plant apart from the tsunami-stricken plants in Fukushima, in the neighboring prefecture.

Tepco has been repeatedly criticized for its negligence and has been ordered to pay compensation to the residents. The cleanup of the Fukushima power plant has been causing major headaches, while the reasons for the accident have yet to be clarified even eight years later.

But amid the controversy, in 2017 Japan’s nuclear regulation authority gave the go-ahead to launch the lengthy process toward a restart of two of Tepco’s reactors, which are located about 250 km (155 miles) east of the Fukushima plants, on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The reactors No. 6 and No. 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant, which are being prepared for a restart, are both the same type as those that melted down in Fukushima.

This time everything is going to be different, the deputy head of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, Toshimitsu Tamai, assures visitors on a tour of the facility. To banish fears of a second Fukushima, Tepco has built a 15-meter (49-foot) wall that is supposed to be able to withstand the highest tsunamis imaginable………..

Majority of residents against the nuclear reactors

But the local residents aren’t all buying Tepco’s story. Hopes of an economic boost ring hollow in the almost deserted shopping streets; the once bustling town center is now full of shuttered storefronts. Like many other country towns, Kashiwazaki has fallen victim to economic problems caused by the aging population and a growing rural exodus — trends no nuclear power plant can change.

According to the exit polls held in last year’s governor’s race, over 60 percent of residents of Niigata Prefecture, in which Kashiwazaki lies, are against the restart of the nuclear power plant. Locals have been alarmed by multiple mishaps during the preparations. In December 2018, the cables connecting reactor No. 7 with emergency backup power caused a fire for unknown reasons. And as recently as February 28, radioactive water leaked out of the core inside one of the idle reactors.

“To be honest, we just keep thinking: not again! They take one step forward and three steps back,” says Tsutomu Oribe, who runs a sushi restaurant in central Kashiwazaki. “We’ve all learned too well what could happen.”

“I don’t think that anybody should entrust Tepco with restarting a nuclear power plant if the company doesn’t even know what happened in Fukushima,” says Kazuyuki Takemoto, a retired local councilor and veteran anti-nuclear activist.

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Taiwan conference urges phasing out of nuclear power

Lee Yuan-tseh pushes nuclear phase-out  By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter Local industries should upgrade their production techniques to curb carbon emissions, and the nation should phase out nuclear power to avoid leaving more nuclear waste to future generations, former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) told an energy conference in Taipei.The conference was hosted by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) and other anti-nuclear groups, following another energy forum on Sunday organized by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) that called for maintaining nuclear power.

Advocates of nuclear power have gained more momentum after most people voted in favor of abolishing the “nuclear-free homeland by 2025” policy in a referendum on Nov. 24 last year.

Attendees — including Democratic Progressive Party Legislator-at-large Chen Man-li (陳曼麗) and New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) — first prayed for victims of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster on March 11, 2011.

Phasing out nuclear power is not only a security concern, but would also curb nuclear waste, said Lee, Taiwan’s first Nobel laureate in chemistry in 1986, adding that the older generation should not leave nuclear waste to future generations for their own convenience.

The nation needs to develop small-scale renewable energy generation systems to curb fossil fuel pollution and global warming, he said.

The global community might start tracking companies’ carbon footprints in two or three years, so local firms should start cutting their use of fossil fuels, he said, reiterating his suggestion that the government implement a carbon tax to curtail emissions.

The TEPU is working on two referendum proposals, including one recommending that the mothballed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant compound be converted into a site for renewable power research and development, union founding chairman Shih Shin-min (施信民) said.

The second proposal asks: “Do you agree that any construction or extended operation plans for nuclear power plants can only begin after they are approved by local referendum voters within the 50km-radius of the plants?”

The proposals are aimed at countering two referendum proposals by nuclear power advocates that seek to continue construction of the mothballed plant and to extend the permits of three operational nuclear power plants, Shih said.

The annual parade against nuclear power is scheduled for April 27, which would focus on renewable power development, Green Citizens’ Action Alliance deputy secretary-general Hung Shen-han (洪申翰) said.

Separately, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) wrote on Facebook that the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster pushed Taiwanese to seriously consider energy issues and the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration to mothball the plant.

While people hold varied views about when the nuclear-free homeland policy should be achieved, it is the nation’s common goal to ensure that the next generation has safe power generation, Tsai wrote.

March 12, 2019 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

“Recovery Olympics” does not impress everyone

‘Recovery Olympics’ moniker for 2020 Games rubs 3/11 evacuees the wrong way, Japan Times, BY MAGDALENA OSUMISTAFF WRITER, 11 Mar 19,  This is the fourth in a series examining how the northeast and the nation are progressing with efforts to deal with the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.The town of Rifu on the outskirts of Sendai is set to host 10 soccer matches during the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in line with the organizers’ plan to tout the games as the “Recovery Olympics.”

For Rifu, expectations are high the 2020 Games will draw international attention and lure more tourists, as Tohoku’s tourism sector struggles to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2001. As part of the plan, an arena in Miyagi Prefecture is set to get a face-lift for the games. …….

The central government hopes the quadrennial sports event will serve as a platform to show that the nation has recovered from the disasters.

But recovery wasn’t one of the original themes for the Tokyo Games. The concept was added when it became apparent Tokyo wouldn’t be able to secure all the venues needed in the capital or its vicinity. When organizers thus turned to the disaster-hit prefectures of Miyagi and Fukushima, which will host the softball and baseball games, the recovery spin was born, with officials saying the event would contribute to reconstruction.

Moreover, the reconstruction plan for the Tohoku region is expected to end when fiscal 2020 closes in March 2021, putting an end to various central government subsidies that helped both victims and municipalities.

“The Tokyo 2020 Games have become a goal for us to show the region has recovered,” said Yasuki Sato, a Miyagi Prefecture official tasked with coordinating the preparations.

But residents in the area view the preparations as something happening in the background. In fact, some believe they are actually hindering the region’s recovery…….

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | 1 Comment

Junichiro Koizumi now a formidable foe to the nuclear industry

As someone who believes he was deceived by the nuclear power lobby during his time as prime minister, he sees it as his duty.

“Just as Confucius said, for someone not to correct themselves after making a mistake — that is a true mistake.”

As Japan’s leader, Junichiro Koizumi backed nuclear power. Now he’s a major foe. WP By Simon Denyer, Akiko Kashiwagi contributed to this report.March 10 TOKYO — With his shock of white hair, his love for Elvis and his reputation as a maverick, Junichiro Koizumi was a burst of color in the sober, dark-suited world of Japanese politics more than a decade ago.

Today, Koizumi has come out of retirement to join a battle against the entrenched business and political interests he had tangled with in the past. A man known for his simple catchphrases has a new one to impart: “Zero nuclear power.”

Eight years after the March 11, 2011, nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, Koizumi is back in the spotlight, trying to harness the public’s growing distrust of nuclear power and rid his country of an industry he once promoted as prime minister from 2001 to 2006.

His reversal on nuclear power reflects a wider reconsideration across Japan after the Fukushima disaster, which was triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.

A February 2018 poll by Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper found 61 percent of respondents against the nation’s nuclear power plants being restarted and 27 percent in support.

“Momentum is building,” Koizumi said in an interview. “I am getting a strong response. It’s only a matter of time.”

Embarrassed by his own role in advocating nuclear power, Koizumi says he has learned from his mistakes. But Japan’s establishment remains firmly behind nuclear plants, even as other nuclear critics often point out the dangers posed by Japan’s quakes and tsunamis, a word Japan gave the world.

“The disaster brought a severe crisis, but we can turn crisis into opportunity. We can manage ourselves with renewables,” he said. “Take Germany, for example. They saw the disaster in Japan and changed their energy policy. But of all countries, Japan has not changed. It’s truly incomprehensible.”

Japan shut down all of its 54 reactors after the Fukushima catastrophe. Explosions in three reactors sent a cloud of radioactive dust across vast swaths of northeastern Japan and forced 165,000 people to flee their homes.

But since Shinzo Abe was reelected prime minister in 2012, his government has been on a mission to get the nuclear power industry back on its feet.

Nine reactors have already been restarted, six more applications to restart have been approved by a new, nominally independent Nuclear Regulation Authority, and the government wants nuclear power to contribute 20 percent to 22 percent of the nation’s energy by 2030.

….A damning report by an independent parliamentary panel in 2012 concluded that the Fukushima Daiichi disaster was “profoundly man-made,” caused by a disregard of the risks of earthquakes by an industry determined to preserve the illusion that nuclear power was absolutely safe.

Instead of supervising the nuclear power industry, METI colluded with it, the report said. It said the risks of nuclear power were downplayed in a culture of “reflexive obedience” and a “reluctance to question authority.”

…… why are elected politicians so determined to press ahead? The answer, Koizumi asserted, lies in those same vested interests he has spent the best part of his career fighting.

……. So much money has also been invested in the industry that there is a reluctance to write investments off. But Koizumi says nuclear power is neither economic nor necessary. The country, he noted, survived without it for two years without a single blackout.

……. Other voices of criticism struggle to be heard.

Shigeaki Koga, an energy industry expert, says his career was sidelined at METI after he expressed doubts about the safety of nuclear power, until he was ultimately forced to resign. He has since emerged as a leading public critic of nuclear power.

Kunihiko Shimazaki, one of Japan’s leading seismologists, warned of the risks of earthquakes and tsunamis along the country’s northeast coast for years before the disaster struck, but his reports were generally ignored or buried. After March 2011, he served for two years with the nuclear regulator, and spoke out forcefully, but his term was not renewed.

……….. As someone who believes he was deceived by the nuclear power lobby during his time as prime minister, he sees it as his duty.

“Just as Confucius said, for someone not to correct themselves after making a mistake — that is a true mistake.”

March 10, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

A billion dollar bailout for Three Mile Island Nuclear Station?

Bailout bill proposed for Three Mile Island nuclear plant, 21 News, by Jessie McDonough, March 9th 2019  MIDDLETOWN, PA — A 981-million dollar bailout will be proposed next week to keep Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant afloat.

Republican representatives want to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio

MIDDLETOWN, PA — A 981-million dollar bailout will be proposed next week to keep Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant afloat.

Republican representatives want to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard by adding nuclear energy to the plan. Energy providers will have to buy a certain percentage of nuclear which would lead high utility bills for you the consumer.

The proposal would bail out two nuclear energy plants. One of those is Exelon’s Three Mile Island.

Not everyone is on board with the proposal and its’ hefty price tag.

“We are talking almost a billion dollar nuclear bailout and basically it is a tax on consumers. It is going to force energy prices to be higher”, said Commonwealth of Pennsylvania CEO Nathan Benefield.

Some residents in Middletown where the plant is located are also worried about increases in their electric bill…….

March 10, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment


Centralized Storage, Beyond Nuclear 7 Mar 19 

With the scientifically unsound proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste dump now canceled, the danger of “interim” storage threatens. This means that radioactive waste could be “temporarily” parked in open air lots, vulnerable to accident and attack, while a new repository site is sought.



As reported by Newsweek.

Liberal Party Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau now faces calls from his Conservative Party challenger in this autumn’s election to resign over a scandal involving SNC-Lavalin, a giant engineering firm based in Montreal, Quebec. SNC-Lavalin has been accused of bribery, fraud, and other corruption over its practices in Libya. If convicted of such wrongdoing, SNC-Lavalin could be barred from Canadian federal contracts for a decade. (SNC-Lavalin has been previously barred for a decade from World Bank contracts.)

Holtec International has teamed with SNC-Lavalin to form a nuclear power plant decommissioning consortium. Already, the Holtec/SNC-Lavalin consortium has taken over ownership of the permanently shutdown Oyster Creek atomic reactor in NJ. This includes on-site irradiated nuclear fuel management.

Holtec & SNC-Lavalin are also vying for taking over the ownership of such other soon-to-be decommissioning nuclear power plants as Pilgrim in MA, and Palisades in MI.

Holtec is also the proponent for a national centralized interim storage facility for irradiated nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico.

Its partnership with a corrupt company like SNC-Lavalin calls into question Holtec’s own judgment.

However, Holtec itself has engaged in bribery, at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry nuclear power plant; in addition, Holtec CEO Krishna Singh has been accused by whistleblowers Oscar Shirani (Commonwealth Edison/Exelon) and Dr. Ross Landsman (NRC Region 3) of attempting to bribe them into silence, re: QA violations (see below).

And Holtec CEO Krishna Singh has also made racist remarks re: his own African American and Puerto Rican American workers in Camden, NJ.

Holtec is also infamous for QA (Quality Assurance) violations in the manufacture of its irradiated nuclear fuel canisters, brought to light by whistleblowers.

See these previous Beyond Nuclear website posts, for more info. on concerns re: SNC-Lavalin:……..

March 9, 2019 Posted by | Canada, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 3 Comments

Britain now needs a Green New Deal

Times 7th March 2019  Britain needs a new economy that works for everyone and to move beyond the
old, broken systems and status quo that left many people behind. A green
new deal for the UK could give us just that. Climate change has muscled its
way back onto the political agenda. It was debated by MPs last week for the
first time in two years.

It seems that the momentum around Alexandria
Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey’s green new deal in the US, the
audacious climate march on Westminster by schoolchildren last month and
increasingly rising temperatures may have finally jolted our politicians
out of their climate stupor.

Four months ago, a group of experts on the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered the news that
the world must halve carbon emissions in a little over a decade. Responding
would require an almighty push to green our economy – one that would touch
on every aspect of our lives.

Despite this stark warning from scientists,
the political establishment in Westminster barely flinched. There was no
commitment to redouble our efforts, no renewed urgency or call to action.

Instead, our politics continued to be consumed by Brexit. But the IPCC
report was a sobering wake-up call for many. A movement of activists in the
US, backed by a new generation of Democrats, including the Justice
Democrats, are reacting with the urgency needed. The green new deal – an
idea that came from organisations including the New Economics Foundation
(NEF) a decade ago – has emerged as a forceful response.

The idea is
simple: an unprecedented mobilisation of resources to achieve 100 per cent
renewable energy and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions within a decade
while creating millions of jobs and lifting living standards.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

All use of nuclear power will end in Germany by end of 2022

Nuclear “finished” in Germany, plant operators affirm Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung  04 Mar 2019,    Benjamin Wehrmann

The use of nuclear power in Germany will come to an end by the end of 2022 as planned, operators of the country’s remaining nuclear plants have told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in reaction to a survey in which almost half of the respondents said nuclear plants should run longer than coal plants. Energy company EnBW said that the political regulation means that “nuclear energy is finished in Germany,” adding that its two remaining plants would be deconstructed right after they are taken off the grid. Ralf Güldner, head of the German Nuclear Forum, said ending nuclear power while at the same time phasing out coal and struggling to expand the power grid could mean that Germany’s autonomous power supply security becomes threatened. However, Güldner too said the political situation was “very clear.” Plant operator Preussen-Elektra said “we certainly don’t think about any plan B.” According to the article, operators say that they will not have qualified staff anymore to keep nuclear plants running longer than agreed.

In the survey, 49.5 percent of respondents said the planned decommissioning of the last nuclear plant by 2022 and of the last coal plant by 2038 is the right order, while 44.1 percent said closing nuclear plants before coal plants is wrong from a climate perspective.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Greece, politics | Leave a comment

Act introduced to U.S. Congress- would stop Federal Govt from imposing a nuclear waste dump on any State

Act would give states voice on nuclear waste dumps, Las Vegas Sun,  March 5, 2019  The Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act would require approval of the governor and impacted local governments and tribes before any money could be spent on a nuclear waste repository from the federal Nuclear Waste Fund. The act would be applicable to all states.

The act was introduced by most of the Nevada delegation, including U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and U.S. Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford, all Democrats.

Members of Nevada’s congressional delegation are attempting to ensure states have a voice in the construction of nuclear waste repositories.

Nevada is home to the dormant Yucca Mountain nuclear waste depository.

Titus, who has introduced a similar bill multiple times in the past, said the federal government should not force a waste site on any community.

“The Trump Administration’s attempt to treat our state as the dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste is based on dirty politics, not sound science. No state or community should have a nuclear waste dump forced upon them. I’m reintroducing this legislation as part of our strategy to put an end to the Yucca Mountain project once and for all,” she said in a statement…….

Lee, Horsford and Titus characterized Yucca Mountain as a push to turn Nevada into the nation’s dumping ground.

“I refuse to sit by and watch my community be used as a dumping ground for the nation’s nuclear waste,” Horsford said in a statement. “Yucca Mountain is an ongoing threat to the safety of Nevada families and to the Silver State’s $40 billion tourism industry.”

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Atlanta Adopts Plan To Get Off Fossil Fuels And Nuclear By 2035

 • MAR 4, 2019 Atlanta will move to 100 percent “clean energy” by 2035, according to a resolution passed Monday by Atlanta City Council.

The goal is to have Atlanta use renewable energy, like wind and solar, and move away from power sources like coal, natural gas and nuclear.

In the plan approved by City Council, both the city of Atlanta and all residences and businesses in it would achieve that goal by 2035. That’s a change from the original proposal that set a deadline of 2025 for city operations, and 2035 for everything and everyone else.

The City Council had already voted unanimously to transition to what it calls clean energy, but Monday’s vote officially adopts the plan laying out how to do, and modifies those earlier dates. The resolution emphasizes finding ways to save energy and to make sure the switch is affordable.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma regime went all out for nuclear power, with secretive manipulations

Necsa’s financial fissures required dealing with the hangover of Zuma’s nuclear push, Daily Maverick, By Marianne Merten• 6 March 2019 

Preparing for the bonanza of a new nuclear build that never came emerged as a key reason for the financial ruptures at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd (Necsa), Parliament’s energy committee heard on Tuesday.

The impact of the push of former president Jacob Zuma’s administration for nuclear power was highlighted when the Necsa board and officials briefed MPs on its annual report – tabled months after the statutory September deadline in 2018, with 12 disclaimers and doubts over its status as a going concern.

The Jacob Zuma administration, and going big on nuclear with an extra 9,6 GigaWatts, are inextricably linked since his second term after the 2014 elections. And the opposition of National Treasury to the nuclear deal, widely costed at R1-trillion, is at the heart of the politics of State Capture, including the sacking of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene in December 2015 when he refused to endorse a nuclear deal with Russia.

As recently as 18 February 2019 the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard about the behind-the-scenes machinations when former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile confirmed earlier testimony from two former finance ministers he had worked with – Nene, and Pravin Gordhan, who today is public enterprises minister.

At one meeting called to discuss the nuclear deal, Fuzile testified as to how Gordhan insisted that “every rule in the book” would have to be followed if the country were to proceed with a nuclear deal.

“He (Gordhan) told him (Zuma) this was important because failure to do that would turn the arms deal problems into a Sunday school picnic.”

But he added at a later stage: “It would seem that people had other interests.”………

At this stage, it is unclear how the Necsa board intents not only to cut the salary bill, but also turn the SOE’s fortunes around. The board has been given a two-month extension to submit its strategic plan by April 2019.

The reality is that there will be no new nuclear build. In July 2018, on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Ramaphosa told Russian President Vladimir Putin there would be no nuclear deal as South Africa could not afford it, as it was widely reported. Feathers were ruffled and smoothed back into place, for now, by all accounts.

But for Necsa, the hangover of the second Zuma administration’s nuclear push must now be dealt with.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

The future of Britain’s Hinkley C nuclear project is in doubt

Bridgwater Mercury 5th March 2019 Roy Pumfrey, Cannington resident and Stop Hinkley spokesman has a number of
concerns about the new EDF Sedgemoor Campus off Bath Road.
The opening of ‘Barcode City’, the Bath Road hostel for Hinkley C workers (‘Hinkley Campus open’, Mercury, February 26) serves yet again to highlight the multiple problems with this project. Why is the ‘campus’ so small and so late on the scene? Rooms for 986 may sound a lot, but EDF have just announced that they want a 2,400 bed hostel at Sizewell in Suffolk. Oh, and  it is a hostel by the way, not a hotel as a recent BBC radio programme claimed.
If it’s only for Hinkley workers and the public can’t get a room, it’s a hostel! And why have we had to wait until the pressure on the local rental property market was so great before any EDF accommodation has appeared? One bedroom rents locally have risen from £380pcm 18 months ago to around £550 now. That’s a 45 per cent increase that people not
working at Hinkley simply won’t have been able to afford.
EDF is forever banging on about 25,000 Hinkley C jobs. It would be more honest of them if they admitted that they mean 24,100 notices of termination, as there are just 900 permanent jobs at HPC, if and when it is ever working. The prospect of that happening gets less by the week.
The French Government is taking nuclear back under state control, which makes Hinkley an oddity, and EDF can’t get Flamanville to work, which puts the vital UK Government loan guarantees for Hinkley C in danger of disappearing. The future fate of the Bath Road site was left hanging in your article. Let’s be in no doubt about what won’t be happening.
The nature of the blunt instrument that is a Development Consent Order means the only permanent legacy Bridgwater will
see is the power station and an enormous radioactive waste store, twice the size of what EDF originally proposed. All the temporary structures – the jetty, two hostel sites, park and rides, office blocks, freight lay-downs etc etc – have to be removed. EDF has already said its fantasy is to spirit the Bath Road units away to its improbable development at Sizewell.
As for the sites, acres of tumbleweed are all we have to look forward to.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

No nuclear power future for South Africa

March 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment