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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Cuomo’s costly nuclear plant bailout – financially and ethically wrong

taxpayer-bailout-exelonStop Cuomo’s costly nuclear plant bailout http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/stop-cuomo-costly-nuclear-plant-bailout-article-1.2980738 BY  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Friday, February 24, 2017, New Yorkers shouldn’t have to pay for energy they will never use. Which is why Gov. Cuomo should be consistent and close, along with Indian Point, three other outdated nuclear power plants near Rochester and Oswego.

Instead, he is taking $7.6 billion from New York ratepayers and giving it to a hugely profitable, Illinois-based energy company to keep the three plants open.

The governor says he needs the plants operational in order to meet his renewable energy goals, but that’s false. New York can meet its goals on time with wind, solar and hydroelectric power, a Stanford University study recently found. Cuomo should get on the same page as California and get serious about replacing nuclear power with safe, affordable and clean energy. It can be done.

A bailout of upstate nuclear power plants is going to be the largest transfer of wealth from government to a single corporation in New York’s history, and it runs counter to what energy experts are telling us about job growth potential from real renewables.

Most importantly, it flies in the face of pure common sense.

Exelon is the lucky recipient of our money. A Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion, it spent $430,000 on lobbying in New York in the past two years, including to obtain subsidies for its plants under the governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires half of the state’s eletricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2030.

Yet to prop up the plants, Cuomo has essentially levied a new tax that increases everyone’s utility bills, including local governments. For example, the City of New York will pay $208 million more over 12 years. The cities of Buffalo and Yonkers will pay over $3 million each.

Anyone who pays for electricity will be on the hook: residents, businesses, municipalities, hospitals, schools. Con Ed residential customers will see their bills go up by $700 million, Long Island by $500 million and Niagara Mohawk consumers by $465 million.

It all goes to Exelon.

It’s odd that Cuomo would plow money into these aging upstate plants at the very same time he’s moving to shutter the Indian Point plant near New York City out of concern for safety. Surely the governor is not saying the dangers posed to people and property upstate are less real than those downstate.

Here are five other reasons why the governor has this wrong.

One, nearly 800,000 New Yorkers are behind on their electric bills already. That number will surely increase when Exelon gets more of on our hard-earned money.

Two, it’s geographically skewed. The formula would force New York City, Long Island and some Westchester County customers to pay 60% of costs while using very little of the power generated upstate.

Three, only the governor, Public Service Commission and Exelon have seen this bailout “contract” with Exelon. Yet the decision is proceeding despite pleas from New Yorkers for public hearings and numerous attempts to obtain the document through the Freedom of Information Law.

Four, in New York, clean energy already provides more jobs than the nuclear industry by orders of magnitude — with the potential for astromical future growth. Statewide, estimates range from 85,000 to 180,000 jobs in clean energy, such as solar, wind, energy retrofits, heat pumps and other efficiencies, compared to 3,250 jobs at Indian Point and the other three nuclear plants combined.

Last — hardest to quantify but most important, at least to me — is the matter of moral leadership. Pope Francis has written on the state’s responsibility to promote the common good through dialogue and consensus-building. During his address to the U.S. Congress last year, he quoted from his encyclical “Laudato Si,” about care for the Earth, our common home: “ ‘We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology’; ‘to devise intelligent ways of . . . developing and limiting our power’; and to put technology ‘at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.’ ”

Supporting aging nuclear plants won’t get us to the future he envisions. Only wholeheartedly embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy will.

Brisotti is pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal parish in Wyandanch, L.I.

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Archbishop in South Africa calls for scrapping of nuclear energy, expansion of renewables

church greenflag-S.AfricaS. African bishop says government should scrap nuclear power; expand renewable energy sources, Ecumenical News, 23 Feb 17 The Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, has appealed to the South African government to scrap plans for developing nuclear energy and instead spend the money on education, training and other development initiatives.

The archbishop said in a statement issued from the church’s Synod of Bishops Feb. 22 coming at a time that faith and environmental groups are issuing a court challenge to a secret nuclear deal the government has struck up with Russia.

“The Synod of Bishops has revisited the resolution adopted by the church’s Provincial Synod last September, in which the church expressed its opposition to the expansion of nuclear energy and urged the government to pursue the path of renewable energy initiatives……

“We are deeply concerned that an expanded nuclear energy program will become an albatross around the necks of our children. And we cannot leave to the generations to come the task of disposing of our nuclear waste.”

Makgoba said the bishops believe South Africa has the potential of becoming a renewable energy hub for Africa, with huge potential for investment in manufacturing and associated employment.

“We note that overseas investors are queuing up to invest in our renewable energy program and since the design of the program is such that they provide the finance, this does not burden our people.”

ENVIRONMENT JUSTICE GROUPS

Environmental justice groups have renewed a challenge to the government’s planned expansion of nuclear energy in a court hearing in currently Cape Town.

In November the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute said a closed meeting on a nuclear build plan reinforces the perception that government has something to hide……http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/s-african-archbishop-says-government-should-scrap-nuclear-power-expand-renewable-energy-sources/59172.htm

February 24, 2017 Posted by | Religion and ethics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Indigenous people must have final say about their land – Pope Francis

Pope says indigenous people must have final say about their land  Francis echoes growing body of international law and standards on the right to ‘prior and informed consent’, Guardian, , 21 Feb 17, In the 15th century papal bulls promoted and provided legal justification for the conquest and theft of indigenous peoples’ lands and resources worldwide – the consequences of which are still being felt today. The right to conquest in one such bull, the Romanus Pontifex, issued in the 1450s when Nicholas V was the Pope, was granted in perpetuity.

How times have changed. Last week, over 560 years later, Francis, the first Pope from Latin America, struck a rather different note – for indigenous peoples around the world, for land rights, for better environmental stewardship. He said publicly that indigenous peoples have the right to “prior and informed consent.” In other words, nothing should happen on – or impact – their land, territories and resources unless they agree to it.

“I believe that the central issue is how to reconcile the right to development, both social and cultural, with the protection of the particular characteristics of indigenous peoples and their territories,” said Francis, according to an English version of his speech released by the Vatican’s press office.

“This is especially clear when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth,” Francis went on. “In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent should always prevail, as foreseen in Article 32 of the [UN] Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Only then is it possible to guarantee peaceful cooperation between governing authorities and indigenous peoples, overcoming confrontation and conflict.”

Francis was speaking to numerous indigenous representatives in Rome at the conclusion of the third Indigenous Peoples’ Forum held by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development…….. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/andes-to-the-amazon/2017/feb/20/pope-indigenous-people-final-say-land

February 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, indigenous issues, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

New rule in USA government erodes ethical oversight of politicians

Flag-USAHouse GOP Quietly Shields Lawmakers Records from Ethics Probes, Fiscal Times, By  January 9, 2017 The new rule states that records created, generated or received by the congressional office of a House member “are exclusively the personal property of the individual member” and that the member “has control over such records,” according to a report by OpenSecrets.org.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s appointees won’t be signing the required pledge about ethics

Trump’s appointees don’t seem to be signing required ethics pledges and don’t plan
ethics-nuclearto http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/26/1625454/-Trump-s-appointees-don-t-seem-to-be-signing-required-ethics-pledges-and-don-t-plan-to  
By Walter Einenkel 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | politics, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear protestors found guilty after blockading nuclear bomb factory

justiceflag-UKFive anti-Trident protesters found guilty after blockading nuclear bomb factory   The group argued they were putting their religious beliefs into action BY blockading the AWE Burghfield The Independent  Jon Stone Political Correspondent @joncstone 27 Jan 17, Five anti-Trident protesters have been found guilty of blockading a nuclear weapons manufacturing facility – days after new concerns were raised about the safety of Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles.
The protesters, who barred the entrance to Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire in June of last year, were from the Christian group Put Down the Sword / Trident Ploughshares.

Trident mounted nuclear warheads are assembled at Burghfield, which has been the site of repeated demonstrations for a number of years. The MoD said work on the missile system was disrupted by the protests……

The activists’ defence team argued that they were acting in accordance with their religious beliefs, which they said were protected by the Human Rights Act.However district judge Khan said that he did not agree that “that the actions of the defendants were a manifestation of a religious belief” and in any case that “these rights have to yield to the primary right of passing and re-passing the highway” outside the base…….

A joint statement from the defendants said: “We stand by what we said in court: Trident is an illegal and immoral waste of money, a crime against humanity and God.

“The prosecution said we could just have joined in a prayer vigil to the side of the road, instead of lying in it; we said our consciences wouldn’t allow that. We believe prayer is important but sometimes our faith compels us to put our whole bodies in the way of injustice and violence.“The Bible says religious acts are meaningless unless we also stand up for the poor and needy; we are called to bring a just peace with hope for all. We will continue to seek peace, and to take the consequences of doing so. It’s a small price to pay for the chance to challenge an evil like nuclear weapons.”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trident-burghfield-reading-nuclear-missiles-bomb-factory-base-protests-guilty-a7549261.html 

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, UK | Leave a comment

Despite nuclear tensions, Americans have continued to send humanitarian aid to North Korea

US Humanitarian Aid Goes to North Korea Despite Nuclear Tensions, VOA, January 25, 2017 Baik Sung-won WASHINGTON —  The United States has provided $1 million in humanitarian aid to impoverished North Korea, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.

Despite growing tensions between North Korea and Washington, the U.S. sent the assistance last week on the day before President Donald Trump was sworn in and took over the U.S. government.

It marks the first time that the U.S. provided humanitarian assistance to the North since 2011, when it provided relief items including medical supplies to North Korean flood victims. That aid, worth $900,000, was made through Samaritan’s Purse, a U.S.-based humanitarian aid organization.

Aid to help typhoon damageThe current assistance comes in the aftermath of Typhoon Lionrock, which hit North Korea in August with heavy rain that resulted in flooding. At the time, the government reported hundreds were dead and missing, and said thousands had lost their homes. International aid organizations responded immediately.

Outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry awarded $1 million for North Korea to UNICEF, a U.N. agency, the day before President Donald Trump took office last week………http://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-humanitarian-aid-goes-to-north-korea/3692811.html

 

January 27, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Pope Francis has influenced USA Republicans to shift climate views

PopePope spurs Republicans to shift climate views, EurekAlert, 24 Jan 17  CORNELL UNIVERSITY After Pope Francis framed climate change as a moral issue in his second encyclical, conservative Republicans shifted and began to see environmental dilemmas in the same way, according to a new study led by Cornell University communication researchers.

“When Pope Francis issued his encyclical paper in June 2015, he emerged as a strong advocate for climate action,” said Jonathon P. Schuldt, assistant professor of communication. “He is in many ways uniquely positioned as a global moral authority – a religious authority – and his position is very visible.”

Schuldt, along with Adam R. Pearson of Pomona College and Rainer Romero-Canyas and Dylan Larson-Konar, both of the Environmental Defense Fund, sought to understand a mechanism for changing public opinion about climate change. Their research, “Brief Exposure to Pope Francis Heightens Moral Beliefs About Climate Change,” was published online in the journal Climatic Change, Dec. 30.

The pontiff addressed waste, culture and modern day ills in the encyclical. Climate change is a global problem with grave environmental, social, economic and political implications, the pope wrote. Many of the world’s poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to global warming, and their subsistence depends on keeping Earth healthy. They have few resources to help them adapt to climate change, the pope said.

For this research, more than 1,200 U.S. adults were asked for their moral beliefs about climate change. …….https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-01/cu-psr012417.php

January 27, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Religious leaders of diverse faiths join together, saying that climate change is a moral issue

church greenFlag-USAFaith leaders reframe climate change as moral issue  Marion Renault The Columbus Dispatch  •  Friday January 13, 2017

Priests, pastors and ministers nationwide are spreading the gospel of climate change — as are imams and rabbis.

In recent years, faith-based advocacy has emerged as a powerful tool in the environmental movement. By reframing climate change and sustainability as moral issues, religious leaders hope to advance environmentalism by elevating it above the political fray.

“I believe that all religions, all faiths share a common goodness,” said Zerqa Abid, founder of My Project USA, a Muslim youth organization in Columbus. “All of us have to look within our houses, within our cities, in our everyday lives.

“We take care of the Earth, or we destroy it.”

Americans report fairly high levels of spirituality, but most do not view climate change as a moral issue, according to a 2015 survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Presenting climate change as a spiritual issue could be a successful strategy for attracting religious folks to environmental causes, the report suggests.

In Ohio, three-fourths of voters identify as religious, but little more than half say environmental laws are worth the cost, according to 2016 Pew Research Center surveys.

“Hitting people in the head with science doesn’t get them in the heart,” said Deborah Steele, fiscal officer for Clinton Township who previously worked for three years as an Ohio Interfaith Power and Light coordinator. “What gets people is a matter of conscience and not the logic of science.”

As leaders of intimate community spaces, religious officials are beginning to address the human-rights implications of climate change.

For example, exploitation of natural resources severely affects the world’s poorest populations and violates divine dictates on how people should treat the planet, said Rabbi Alex Braver of Tifereth Israel.

“The big-picture view, that’s what religion can offer,” Braver said. “I think (environmentalism) has very deep roots in ancient text and tradition, but it’s been lifted up in a different way now that we’re seeing the immense power we can have over the environment.”……….

At a rally on Monday, people from across several faiths and campaigns called on U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, to reject nominees for President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet who deny climate change or come from the fossil-fuel industry.

Among the people who attended was Aline Yamada and her two children. Yamada, a Buddhist from Clintonville, said she feels a parallel between her beliefs and the protest’s message.

“We are all connected,” she said. “I think this is the biggest moral challenge of our time.” mrenault@dispatch.com

@MarionRenault  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2017/01/13/faith-leaders-reframe-climate-change-as-moral-issue.html#

January 14, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics, USA | 1 Comment

Pope Francis implores world leaders to implement climate agreements, and to heed science

PopePope Francis: “Never been such a clear need for science” to protect the planet https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/11/29/pope-francis-urges-world-leaders-not-to-delay-climate-change-efforts/?utm_term=.0f0a9bece2f5   November 29 Pope Francis this week implored world leaders not to postpone the implementation of global environmental pacts, an appeal that appeared aimed at President-elect Donald Trump’s vows to end the United States’ leading role in combating climate change.

The pope’s remarks came during a gathering of scientists at the Vatican, at which he said there has “never been such a clear need for science” to guide human actions to safeguard the future of the planet.

“It is worth noting that international politics has reacted weakly — albeit with some praiseworthy exceptions — regarding the concrete will to seek the common good and universal goods, and the ease with which well-founded scientific opinion about the state of our planet is disregarded,” the pontiff said, according to a translation provided by the Vatican. He added that the “‘distraction’ or delay” in implementing global agreements on the environment demonstrates how politics have become submissive “to a technology and an economy which seek profit above all else.”

[Trump victory reverses U.S. energy and environmental priorities]

Trump, who is set to become one of the only world leaders to question the notion of global warming, has vowed to “cancel” U.S. participation in the international climate accord signed last year in Paris, in which countries pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions sharply in coming years. In addition, Trump has called for rolling back pollution regulations on the oil, gas and coal industries and shrinking the role of the Environmental Protection Agency.

This week’s comments echoed an encyclical regarding the environment issued by Francis last year in which he wrote about the “urgent challenge to protect our common home” and argued that “the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor.”

At the Vatican, Francis praised the work of scientists, who he said must remain independent and emerge as leaders in fighting for climate action.

“I would say that it falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences,” he said, “so that the vast potential of productivity will not be reserved for only a few.”

December 9, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Pope Francis urges national leaders not to wreck the climate change pact

PopeDon’t wreck climate change pact: Pope http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/dont-wreck-climate-change-pact-pope/news-story/a5c36744202997ae0318066349855400 Philip Pullella, Reuters November 29, 2016  Pope Francis has urged national leaders to implement global environmental agreements without delay, a message that looked to be squarely aimed at US President-elect Donald Trump.

Addressing a group of scientists that included theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, the pope gave his strongest speech on the environment since the election of Trump, who has threatened to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The ‘distraction’ or delay in implementing global agreements on the environment shows that politics has become submissive to a technology and economy which seek profit above all else,” Francis said.

Francis, who wrote an encyclical, or papal letter, on the environment last year, took a swipe at those who dispute that climate change is caused by human activity, criticising “the ease with which well-founded scientific opinion about the state of our planet is disregarded”.

During the campaign, Trump called climate change a hoax.

Last week he appeared to soften his stance, telling The New York Times he was keeping “an open mind” and that there might be “some connectivity” between human activity and global warming.

But days later, Reince Priebus, Trump’s designated White House chief-of-staff, told Fox News that the president-elect still believed climate change was mostly “a bunch of bunk”.

In his speech, the Pope said scientists should “work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences”.

A US withdrawal from the pact, agreed to by almost 200 countries, would set back international efforts to limit rising temperatures that have been linked to the extinction of animals and plants, heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.

Francis called for “an ecological conversion capable of supporting and promoting sustainable development”.

He said humans could not consider themselves “owners and masters of nature, authorised to plunder it without any consideration of its hidden potential and laws of development”.

n his encyclical last year to the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, the Pope called for swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin and urged world leaders to hear “the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor”.

November 30, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Commitment to divest from fossil fuels – Islamic Society of North America

climate action IslamIslamic Society of North America Announces Divest-Invest Commitment http://www.greenfaith.org/programs/divest-and-reinvest/islamic-society-of-north-america-announces-fossil-fuel-divestment Statement of Dr. Azhar Azeez
President of the Islamic Society of North America
   9 Safar 1438 AH/10 November 2016

ISNA was proud to have been an important part of the organizing of the Marrakech Conference back in April of this year at which scholars and Muslim leaders from around the globe affirmed the message of the Prophet Muhammed (AS) Suluh Medina (Charter) as a model and basis for interfaith cooperation common action as we strive for a better and more fair and just world.

ISNA also has a proud tradition of partnering with other national faith communities on issues and causes of justice including the Shoulder-To-Shoulder Campaign and most recently signing along with other national and world faith leaders the COP 22 Interfaith Climate Statement to be presented in Marrakech today.

“According to Islam’s most basic and fundamental teachings, human beings have been uniquely charged with the great responsibility of being Guardians and Caretakers of the Earth. It goes against the overall service based mission ISNA, to invest in fossil fuel companies whose operations and products cause such grave harm to humanity and to Creation and ISNA commits herself to this cause.”

The Islamic Society of North America is the largest US Muslim umbrella organization.  Established in 1963 as the Muslim Students Association of the US and Canada, ISNA’s affiliate and constituent organizations include the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (ASME), Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), Council of Islamic Schools of North America (CISNA), Muslim Students Association (MSA) and Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).  For information about ISNA, see www.isna.net

Contact:  Imam Saffet Abid Catovic, Board Member, ISNA Green Mosque Task Force; saffetac@aol.com

November 19, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | 3 Comments

Religious groups lobby at UN on nuclear weapons ban

Faith groups state nuclear weapons ‘incompatible with values of faith traditions’ at UN General Assembly First CommitteeFifth joint statement highlighting moral and humanitarian aspects of nuclear weapons,Religion News Service, 13 Oct 16     NEW YORK — On October 12, a joint statement by religious organizations calling for abolition of nuclear weapons was introduced during the civil society presentations at the UN General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security.

Dr. Emily Welty, Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs, introduced the Public Statement in Support of the Multilateral Negotiation of a Nuclear Weapons Ban in 2017, which reads in part: “Nuclear weapons are incompatible with the values upheld by our respective faith traditions which are also foundational elements in the development of international law—the right of people to live in security and dignity; the commands of conscience and justice; the duty to protect the vulnerable and to exercise the stewardship that will safeguard the planet for current and future generations… ”

This is the fifth time the group, calling itself “Faith Communities Concerned about the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons,” has issued such a statement. On this occasion, individuals representing 11 faith-based organizations from the Christian, Buddhist and Islamic traditions have signed the statement so far. The statement can be read in full here……….http://religionnews.com/2016/10/13/faith-groups-state-nuclear-weapons-incompatible-with-values-of-faith-traditions-at-un-general-assembly-first-committee/

October 14, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The inherently immoral nuclear industry and its radioactive trash problem

There’s been the usual evasion and wilful dishonesty on the part of both EdF and the Government as to exactly how the costs of managing that waste over the projected 30-year lifetime of Hinkley Point will be paid for. In the first instance, how best should EdFbe required to accrue for a sufficient share of revenue to cover those costs arising during the reactor’s lifetime – and then for decades/centuries beyond that once HinkleyPoint has stopped generating?

This is such a huge issue – financially and morally. The sums of money involved in treating, storing and finally disposing of nuclear waste are eye-watering, and if they were properly factored into the day-to-day operating costs of all nuclear power stations, it would make the whole ludicrous edifice finally topple over.

this is not just a managerially incompetent, technologically redundant, financially bankrupt and wilfully dishonest industry – it is inherently immoral.

The Hinkley Horror Story: Don’t Mention the Waste! http://www.jonathonporritt.com/blog/hinkley-horror-story-dont-mention-waste I haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything about Hinkley Point since the UK Government gave the go-ahead on 15th September. I suppose I’ve lived for so long with the inevitability of this insane project being approved, at some point, notwithstanding the endless delays, that I wasn’t particularly surprised when it happened. Just a weird mixture of resigned, weary and enraged.

Deep down, I still don’t believe that Hinkley Point will ever be completed. I’ve no doubt work will start in one or two years’ time (just as soon as a mountain of continuing problems at EdF’s project at Flamanville have either been resolved or permanently buried), but it won’t be long before the inherent ‘unconstructability’ of this particular reactor design (the EPR) sees exactly the same inevitable delays and cost overruns kick in – and keep on kicking in from that point on.

And somewhere along the way, there’s an equally strong likelihood of EdF/Areva going bust – or having its role comprehensively redefined by the French Government so that it focusses solely on managing upgrades in the French reactor fleet and dealing with all the legacy issues.

And those legacy issues are vast. As they are for all nuclear operators all around the world. Which is the main reason, I suspect, why hardly anyone has been talking about what’s been agreed in terms of dealing with all the new nuclear waste that would be generated by Hinkley Point.

There’s been the usual evasion and wilful dishonesty on the part of both EdF and the Government as to exactly how the costs of managing that waste over the projected 30-year lifetime of Hinkley Point will be paid for. In the first instance, how best should EdFbe required to accrue for a sufficient share of revenue to cover those costs arising during the reactor’s lifetime – and then for decades/centuries beyond that once HinkleyPoint has stopped generating?

This is such a huge issue – financially and morally. The sums of money involved in treating, storing and finally disposing of nuclear waste are eye-watering, and if they were properly factored into the day-to-day operating costs of all nuclear power stations, it would make the whole ludicrous edifice finally topple over.

Nobody’s thought more about these legacy issues, going back to the origins of the nuclear industry here in the UK in the 1950s, than Andy Blowers. His new book, ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’, has just been published, and even for those who have been tracking this particularly wretched aspect of an almost entirely wretched industry, it’s a pretty mind-boggling story that emerges.

Here are the words that I contributed by way of an endorsement for ‘The Legacy of Nuclear Power’:

“The nuclear industry invites us, all the time, to look forward – never to look back. Andy Blowers’ compelling study shows why: its legacy, all around the world, is a shocking one, with no long-term solutions to the problem of nuclear waste in sight, and countless communities blighted, in one way or another, by the nuclear incubus in their midst.”

Unbelievably, the UK’s dismal record in managing its nuclear waste (for both military and civilian facilities) is no worse than that of the USA (with the Hanford site in Washington State posing equally horrendous, ongoing legacy issues as Sellafield here in the UK) or of France, with its reprocessing waste management facilities at La Hague. Only Germany can demonstrate a rather better record – though that has little to do either with the industry or with the German Government, and everything to do with an implacably hostile anti-nuclear movement which has fought for decades to ensure that Germany’s nuclear waste should not be dumped at the designatedGorleben site and then forgotten about.

Andy has written an excellent summary article about these four sites.

(And for the story about what’s going on at Sellafield – in terms of the UK’s nuclear fuel reprocessing debacle – check out this article from Ian Fairlie, commenting on BBC Panorama’s recent exposé.)

What I most admire about Andy’s analysis is that it not only covers the all-but-unbelievable financial consequences of our nuclear legacy, but forces people to confront the moral implications of an industry that defers costs not just into the future but across generations.

One of the reasons why I’m still passionate about the concept of sustainable development (rather than the environment per se) is its unwavering advocacy ofintergenerational justice: being explicit about what any one generation owes to all those generations that succeed it. The nuclear industry today only survives by ruthlessly ignoring those intergenerational obligations: the economics of nuclear power only ‘work’ because it dumps the intractable problems of managing its waste onto future generations.

In other words, this is not just a managerially incompetent, technologically redundant, financially bankrupt and wilfully dishonest industry – it is inherently immoral.

And yet, even now, there are a few misguided environmentalists who tell us that our low-carbon future depends on investing yet more countless billions of dollars in this failed horror story of an industry.

October 8, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

The tragic illusion of nuclear deterrence – the Vatican

Vatican Radio , 26 Sept 16 The Vatican told the United Nations on Monday “nuclear arms offer a false sense of security, and that the uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence is a tragic illusion.”

“Nuclear weapons cannot create for us a stable and secure world,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

He was speaking at an event marking the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

“Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of total annihilation,” the Vatican diplomat said. The full statement of Archbishop Auza can be found below……….http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/09/27/holy_see_peace_of_nuclear_deterrence_a_tragic_illusion/1260960

September 28, 2016 Posted by | Religion and ethics | Leave a comment