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Ohio’s House Bill 60 – bailing out nuclear power, will not save consumers money.

Savings from HB 6 nuclear bailout don’t add up, advocacy groups say, Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch, 9 Sep 20, 

Groups pushing for repeal of the bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear plants are challenging proponents of House Bill 6 who say the law will save consumers money. Instead, consumer and environmental groups say the legislation will add about $7 to a monthly bill.

Ohio environmentalists and consumer groups dispute the math that’s been used to justify the bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants.    They say House Bill 6, passed last summer, actually will increase the cost of the average monthly electric bill a family pays by about $7, not decrease it, as backers of the law say.

Efforts to repeal HB 6 have gained momentum since the indictment this summer of former House Speaker Larry Householder, who has been charged with four others in a $61 million federal bribery and racketeering scandal tied to the legislation.

“Supporters of House Bill 6 and those that are now arguing for no repeal or partial repeal are presenting similar cost savings information that is inaccurate and incomplete,” said Trish Demeter, chief of staff of the Ohio Environmental Council Action Fund……..

environmentalists and consumer groups said Wednesday that those numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Take energy efficiency, for example.

Those programs carried an average monthly fee of $3.36. The programs provide homeowners and small businesses with rebates and incentives to switch out aging appliances and upgrade old equipment that wastes energy.

Based on filings with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, utilities report savings of $2.65 for every dollar invested. That means average monthly savings of $7.71 per customer, resulting in cumulative savings of more than $7 billion since 2009.

When you account for the lost efficiency savings, consumers are much worse off,″ said Chris Neme, principal of Energy Futures Group, which has worked on energy efficiency programs.

Demeter said the $1.50-per-month fee to shore up the two coal plants is supposed to end in 2030, but utilities are allowed to defer costs to operate the plants, which can be recovered later from consumers.

“Millions upon millions more (will be) coming out of Ohioans’ pockets and going to into the coffers of Ohio utilities,” she said.

The groups are calling on the legislature to consider the true costs of the bill and then repeal it.

Demeter also said repeal of the bill is necessary to begin to restore the public trust in the legislative process that’s been hurt by the scandal.

“Not repealing the bill as soon as humanly possible is sending a message the legislature is not interested in restoring that trust,” she said.  https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200909/savings-from-hb-6-nuclear-bailout-donrsquot-add-up-advocacy-groups-say

mawilliams@dispatch.com

@BizMarkWillliams

September 10, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

EDF made exaggerated and unrealistic claims about local jobs to be provided by Sizewell nuclear power project

Ipswich Star 7th Sept 2020, Independent consultants have challenged the jobs and economic benefits that building a new twin reactor nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will bring – labelling the claims as “exaggerated” and “unrealistic”.

EDF Energy has said that Sizewell C will give the county’s economy a £125million a year boost and create 25,000 job opportunities during the 10-year construction period and 900 skilled jobs when the power plant is operational. But an independent review of EDF’s Economic Statement, assessing the impacts of Sizewell C on Suffolk’s economy, by research and analysis consultancy Development Economics – commissioned by the Stop Sizewell C campaign – has criticised key aspects of the research and evidence submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

EDF though insists its project will deliver investment, jobs, skills, education and training for decades to come. And it says its Economic Statement in its planning application is fully compliant with relevant national policy. Development Economics though claimed some aspects were “exaggerated” and “unrealistic”. It questioned EDF’s claim of up to “2,410 jobs for Suffolk residents”, saying this included people travelling from up to 90 minutes away, which covers large population centres in Norfolk and Essex.

It said these local workers will be the overwhelming source of lower skilled roles, expected to fill 90% of jobs in ‘Site Support’ –
cleaners, bus drivers and security guards – compared with only 8% ofroles in professional and management. At peak construction 76% of the workforce will come from further away still and will have to be accommodated in the area.

https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/sizewell-c-independent-economy-report-1-6824930

 

September 8, 2020 Posted by | employment, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

How to educate American children about nuclear weapons?

September 5, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Students unaware of nuclear weapons and the existential threat that they pose

Students Aren’t Learning About Nuclear Weapons. That’s a Major Problem.  AT TOP https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a33917558/nuclear-weapons-education-in-schools/   Popular Mechanics,  BY CAROLINE DELBERT, SEP 4, 2020  

  • Not enough young people have access to even the option of studying nuclear weapons dynamics, an industry report says.
  • Nuclear weapons development continues around the world.
  • The current nuclear risk workforce is aging out, with few interested in replacing them.
  • At the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, innovation advocate Sara Z. Kutchesfahani says the vast majority of U.S. students don’t learn about nuclear weapons in high school, or even in most relevant college coursework. Kutchesfahani says that low level of knowledge, combined with industry factors, means the nuclear workforce itself is about to hit a critical state.
  • Kutchesfahani is writing on behalf of an industry thinktank, N Square, a “funders collaborative” that advocates for nuclear threat reduction. She says the lack of flow of new, younger workers into the nuclear sector will create a dangerously unbalanced workforce demographic in an industry that will still need a lot of support for the foreseeable future. Even if nuclear weapons are never used, they must be maintained carefully. If they’re “disarmed” in the future, trained people must handle and dispose of or recycle them.
  • In the essay, Kutchesfahani likens nuclear weapons awareness and literacy to the idea of climate change awareness and curricula, because, she says, both are existential threats:

    “[I]f school boards, curriculum writers, and teachers and professors continue to ignore the topic of nuclear weapons and do not include it in class curricula, the public will continue to be unaware of the existential threat these devastating weapons pose to humanity, and the professional field will have difficulty sustaining itself.”
    Much of nuclear investment in 2020 is in energy—for better or worse, world powers are treating next-generation nuclear power like the next big thing and even using that as a way to underfund investment in wind, solar, hydro, and other sustainable forms of energy.

    But there has also been a new kind of nuclear warhead developed and now tested in 2020, a low-yield warhead launched from a submarine that, again, is publicly billed as a “deterrent” to other nations’ nuclear aggressions, particularly Russia.

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  • The fact remains that as long as there are nuclear weapons in play on the world stage, the world must realistically discuss them. That’s separate from politics, or even whether advocates are for or against nuclear weapons at all. If someone walked into your home while juggling flaming batons, you’d suddenly wish you had a flaming batons expert to help you decide what to do next.
Nuclear has a special stigma, but in STEM overall, younger people are increasingly drawn to nanotech and other cutting-edge, computation-heavy or technology-enabled fields over, say, the traditional field work of a working research biologist. Perhaps the same lessons could attract new talent into a variety of science fields, including nuclear defense studies.

September 5, 2020 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“The Good Energy Collective” – a new nuclear front group getting the nuclear lobby into USA government

 

US / New Policy Group Calls For Nuclear-Specific Staff In White House   https://www.nucnet.org/news/new-policy-group-calls-for-nuclear-specific-staff-in-white-house-8-4-2020 By David Dalton, 6 August 2020 

Advanced reactors ‘should get similar incentives to renewables’  A new policy research organisation has called on the next administration in the White House to establish a climate office and include a nuclear-specific staff position.
The US-based Good Energy Collective said the moves would be in line with recommendations in a plan put forward by Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, and the Evergreen Action group, established by staff of the Democratic governor of Washington, Jay Inslee. The Good Energy Collective urged the new administration to include advanced nuclear energy as a part of the climate response and set a clear mandate for adoption of the technology.

It said advanced nuclear energy should be integrated into climate legislation and incentives should be similar to those for renewables, including loan guarantees, production and investment tax credits, access to public land, and federal power purchase agreements.

The nuclear industry should create new business and finance models for new nuclear technologies and ensure a “robust commercialisation pathway” to bring advanced reactor designs to market.

“Nuclear energy will be needed to reach ambitious climate goals, but we must first reconstruct the technology for a new era complete with modern, socially-grounded approaches,” the Good Energy Collective said.

“Smart policies and better nuclear governance can help quickly shift the sector to a new, more sustainable pathway. Better governance will require a step-change by the administration, congress, and the nuclear industry.”

August 10, 2020 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Untrue: claims that the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War 2

Did the Atomic Bomb End the Pacific War?
The use of the atomic weapon must be seen as a continuation and a start: the nuclear continuation of the conventional terror bombing of Japanese civilians, and the start of a new “cold war.” Portside, August 2, 2020 Paul Ham

Many historians and most lay people still

believe the atomic destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the Pacific War.

They claim with varying intensity that the Japanese regime surrendered unconditionally in response to the nuclear attack; that the bomb saved a million or more Amercian servicemen; that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen chiefly for their value as military targets; and that the use of the weapon was, according to a post-war propaganda campaign aimed at soothing American consciences, ‘our least abhorrent   choice’.

The trouble is, not one of these claims is true.

That such denial of the facts has been allowed to persist for 75 years, that so many people believe this ‘revisionist’ line – revisionist because it was concocted after the war as a post-facto justification for the bomb – demonstrates the power of a government-sponsored rewrite of history over the minds of academics, journalists, citizens and presidents.

The uranium bomb dropped on Hiroshima, code-named ‘Little Boy’, landed on the city center, exploding above the main hospital and wiping out dozens of schools, killing 75,000 people, including tens of thousands of school children.

‘Fat Man’, the plutonium bomb used on Nagasaki, incinerated the largest Catholic community in Japan, obliterating the country’s biggest cathedral along with a residential district packed with schools and hospitals. Its missed its original target, the city center.

Zealous apologists for the bomb will have started picking holes: Hiroshima held troops? Yes, a few enfeebled battalions. Hiroshima had military factories? Most were on the outskirts of town, well clear of the bomb. Continue reading

August 6, 2020 Posted by | history, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Utah Taxpayers – NuScam nuclear power project costly and public kept in the dark

New Information Disclosed in Meeting Closed to Public Points to Major Budget Commitments, Delay Risks in UAMPS Power Project  https://utahtaxpayers.org/new-information-disclosed-in-meeting-closed-to-public-points-to-major-budget-commitments-delay-risks-in-uamps-nuclear-power-project/

by Tax Watchdog | Aug 4, 2020    “We Need Public Hearings and We Need Public Votes”: UTA Calls for Full Transparency and Accountability Ahead of September 14th Deadline; Parallels Seen to Ohio, Illinois and South Carolina Nuclear Controversies Where Public Was Kept in the Dark.

SALT LAKE CITY – August 4, 2020 – Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) and NuScale Power held an “online town hall meeting” on July 21st, but there was just one problem: due to a quirk in Utah’s open meeting laws, the town was not invited. Not only did UAMPS/NuScale fail to be transparent in terms of the meeting about their controversial small modular nuclear reactor plans, but they also failed to disclose new and troubling information that emerged during the behind-closed-doors virtual session, according to the nonprofit Utah Taxpayers Association (UTA). UTA and Peter Bradford, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) member, warned that potentially higher costs, project delays, and other risks could be costly for UAMPS members and ratepayers.

A total of 34 municipalities in Utah, Idaho, New Mexico and California (see full list below) are participating in the UAMPS small modular nuclear project. Ratepayers will be locked into more than $100 million in commitments by a September 14th deadline and billions of dollars of risks later on if UAMPS members do not opt out of the project. The need for openness is particularly important while the nuclear industry is currently facing major credibility problems with scandals in Ohio, Illinois, and South Carolina.

On July 21st, UAMPS and NuScale held a so-called “online town hall meeting,” which was not made open to the media under a special Utah exemption for UAMPS for open meeting requirements. A video copy of the UAMPS/NuScale event was acquired after the fact. (The timecodes shown below refer to various points in the video.)

Rusty Cannon, Vice President, Utah Taxpayers Association, said: “The UAMPS project will lock in 27 municipalities in Utah and several in surrounding states for a share of billions of dollars in costs and unclear risk in the pursuit of a cluster of small modular reactors (SMRs) touted by Oregon-based NuScale Power, which repeatedly has delayed timelines and increased costs associated with its SMRs.”

Cannon added: “This risky project with massive cost escalations is being conducted largely out of the public eye. Most recently the public was barred from a late July online ‘town hall meeting,’ the content of which has since come to light and which raises serious concerns about what has not been disclosed to the general public. The Utah Taxpayers Association urges elected officials involved with UAMPS to disclose all relevant information to the public so decisions can be made in the open and city officials can be held accountable. We are urging city councils in Utah that are subscribed to the project to vote in a public meeting before the September deadline to withdraw from the project.”

Also speaking at today’s news event was Peter Bradford, a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who served as chair of both the New York Public Service Commission and the Maine Public Utilities Commission. He has been an expert witness in many cases involving nuclear power economics, and he has taught Nuclear Power and Public Policy at the Vermont Law School as well as Energy Policy and Environmental Protection at the Yale School of the Environment.

Peter Bradford said: “There is the very real possibility of large rate increases to the customers in these communities due to inadequate safeguards in this project. It is difficult to understand the case for taking on this risk given the certainty of cheaper clean energy alternatives as clearly shown by recent purchases of firm combinations of renewables, energy efficiency plus storage elsewhere in the West. The cost of lack of transparency plus unwise and secretive deals has resulted in the nuclear energy industry becomingembroiled in multiple debacles. UAMPS members and ratepayers should   take heed and avoid making the same mistakes.”

Just what is UAMPS and NuScale failing to disclose to the public?

  • RAPIDLY ESCALATING CONSTRUCTION COSTS. NuScale’s website currently explains to the public: “The estimated construction cost for the first NuScale 684 MWe (net) plant is about $3 billion.” However, during the July 2020 “town hall,” UAMPS contractor Bob Squires (MPR Associates) calls the project a “roughly $5 billion nuclear power plant development project with first of a kind technology.” (3:47:24)  Even worse: NuScale’s 2020 Amended Budget & Plan of Finance projects a total cost of approximately $6.1 billion.
  • MAJOR MISSED DEADLINES. In 2008, NuScale explained: “With timely application for a combined construction and operating license (COL), a NuScale plant could be producing electricity by 2015-16.” In 2019, UAMPS publicly announced that the NuScale nuclear power plant would begin construction in 2023, “with the first 60 MW module becoming operational in 2026 [and] [o]ther modules would come on-line soon thereafter.” However, during the non-public July “town hall,” Glenn Neises, nuclear director, Burns & McDonnell, announced for the first time that completion is now projected for June 2030, and the first module is not expected to become operational until June 2029. (3:22:25) And things could get even worse. Warning of possible new delays, Neises said: “I’d also like to stress that this is the current schedule and expect it to change as we see changes in funding, engineering moves forward, and as licensing advances.” (3:22:25)
    • LOW-BALLED ENERGY PRICE. Doug Hunter, UAMPS CEO, said an undisclosed Economic Competitiveness Test (ECT) determined the UAMPS project power that could be generated would cost $55/MWh in 2018 dollars. (24:30) The UAMPS/NuScale estimate contrasts sharply with other independent utility projections (PacifiCorp’s estimate of $95/MWh  and Idaho Power’s estimate of $125/MWh). Doug Hunter confirms this in answering a question as to why large investor-owned utilities are not pursuing this project: “Right now they’re still relying on existing capacity, most of them, to fill in energy with renewables because that happens to be the lowest IRP.” (2:28:20)
    • DEPENDENCE ON UNPREDICTABLE FEDERAL SUBSIDIES. Mason Baker, UAMPS chief legal officer, admitted during the “town hall” that project organizers are now banking on a “massive increase” in the federal government’s contribution to UAMPS, a jump from $60 million to $1.4 billion. (48:30) UAMPS now acknowledges taxpayer subsidies are necessary to achieve the $55 per MW/h price point. (53:50) In effect, U.S. taxpayers are being asked to subsidize roughly 25 percent of the UAMPS SMR project to artificially hold down energy costs. However, taxpayer subsidies of this sort are both objectionable on their merits, entirely unpredictable as to passage, and subject to being withdrawn at any time.
    • The Utah Taxpayers Association also noted that no town or city of more than 100,000 has opted into the UAMPS SMR project, which has not been successful in securing investments in it by investor-owned utilities. It is not apparent that any UAMPS member so far opting into the SMR project has been able to afford to do its own independent financial evaluation of the project, and, instead, may be over relying on assurances from the promoter, NuScale. Committing a municipal government to a long-term contract of this magnitude could result in massive sunk costs and higher rates and taxes on citizens.
  • The following are the UAMPS members currently subscribed to the SMR project: Utah (Beaver City, Blanding, Bountiful, Brigham City, Enterprise, Ephraim City, Fairview City, Fillmore City, Heber City Light & Power, Holden Town, Hurricane City, Hyrum City, Kanosh Town, Kaysville City, Lehi, Logan City, Monroe City, Morgan City, Mt. Pleasant City, Murray City, Oak City, Paragonah Town, Parowan, Payson City, Santa Clara City, South Utah Valley Electric Service District, Spring City, Washington City, and Weber Basin Conservancy District); Idaho (Idaho Falls Power and Salmon River Electric Cooperative, Inc.); California (Lassen Municipal Utility District and Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative); and New Mexico (Los Alamos County). The total size of the subscriptions is 160.4 megawatts, with 133.4 megawatts going to the state of Utah.

    The Utah Taxpayers Association is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization that works to limit state and local taxes, making Utah an attractive place to live and do business.  www.utahtaxpayers.org


    Important note:
     The Utah Taxpayers Association has no position on nuclear energy.  The Association’s interest in this matter is limited to the extent to which public business of interest to ratepayers/taxpayers is conducted in an open and transparent manner in order to ensure maximum accountability to the public.

August 6, 2020 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did NOT save lives and shorten World War 2

This article disputes the “Stimson narrative”, – the story that the atomic bombing was necessary, and therefore acceptable.

What Europeans believe about Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and why it matters , Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists   Benoît Pelopidas  Benoît Pelopidas is the founder of the Nuclear Knowledges program at the Center for International Studies at Sciences Po in Paris (formerly chair of excellence in security studies).  Kjølv Egeland, Kjølv Egeland is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in Security Studies at Sciences Po, focusing on strategic narratives and global nuclear order. 

By Benoît PelopidasKjølv Egeland, August 3, 2020   Did the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shorten the war, and were they necessary to force the Japanese surrender? Many people believe the answer to both questions is yes: In dropping the Bomb, America chose the lesser of two evils.

Although historians have long challenged this narrative as wrong or misleading, a significant number of Europeans still believe it. That is the primary result of a recent survey of European views on nuclear affairs generally and the atomic bombings of Japan specifically. The survey, carried out in October 2019, involved approximately 7,000 respondents aged 18 and upward, carefully selected to ensure representative samples from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The survey also shows that those who believe the bombings were necessary and effective at significantly shortening the war are more likely to harbor skepticism toward nuclear disarmament than those who do not. That being said, European publics remain on the whole staunch in their support for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Even in nuclear-armed France and the United Kingdom, large majorities reject the idea that nuclear weapons could ever be used morally. Although others across the world may hold similar views, to date there has been no broad survey posing these questions in the United States or elsewhere. Future surveys could investigate whether the same pattern exists beyond Europe…………

it does not appear that the US executive spent much time deliberating whether atomic weapons should be used or not.  Discussions instead focused on how, when, and where they would be employed. ………….

According to declassified documents, the US military estimated in June 1945 that a full-scale invasion of the Japanese home islands, in the worst-case scenario, could be expected to incur up to 220,000 casualties—quite far from Stimson’s “over a million.” Moreover, of the 220,000 casualties, only 46,000 were projected as fatalities. The number of people killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on the other hand, was probably at least twice as high as the “over a hundred thousand Japanese” reported by Stimson in 1947………

the idea that the US government was faced with only two options in August 1945—full invasion or atomic bombing of Japanese population centers—has little basis in reality. Alternative courses of action, not mutually exclusive, would have included negotiations, a demonstration of the atomic bomb in an uninhabited area, continued strategic bombing short of the use of atomic weapons, continued economic blockade, and waiting for the Soviets to declare war against the Japanese empire. 

it is not clear that the atomic bombs were in fact responsible for the Japanese surrender. The Japanese war cabinet had over an extended period of time been divided between a “peace party,” which argued that Japan should seek an end to the war as quickly as possible, and a “war party,” which argued the war should be continued as Japan sought good offices from the Soviet Union to negotiate a peace deal with the United States and Britain. In the view of the acclaimed historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, who consulted primary sources in Japanese, it was the Soviet Union’s breach of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact and attack against Japan on August 9, 1945 that tipped the scale and forced the emperor’s decision to surrender the very next day (the final decision was formalized a few days later, following discussions within the Japanese executive). In the absence of the Soviet invasion, Hasegawa concludes, the two atomic bombs would “most likely not have prompted the Japanese to surrender, so long as they still had hope that Moscow would mediate.”

The historian John Dower concurs: The Soviet entry into war was more important than the atomic bombing in producing Japanese surrender. Once the Soviets intervened, the Japanese appear to have favored surrendering to Washington over allowing Moscow to conquer their country. At the same time, from the perspective of the Japanese government, the atomic bombings provided an opportunity to frame the Japanese military’s shattering defeat as a result not of its own incompetence, but as an outcome of the introduction of a new and revolutionary weapon by the enemy. In Dower’s words, the atomic bombings allowed the Japanese emperor to spin the capitulation as “nothing less than a magnanimous act that might save humanity itself from annihilation by an atrocious adversary.”

In fact, according to the US Air Force’s own review, finalized not long after the end of the war, Japan would likely have surrendered that same autumn even in the absence of atomic bombings or an invasion. Similarly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed skepticism about the use of atomic bombs both before and after the fact.

In summary, many of the central claims on which the official story about Hiroshima and Nagasaki is founded—that the atomic bombings were necessary to end the war, that they ended a conflict that otherwise would have slogged on, and that they saved a large number of American soldiers’ lives—appear to rest on shaky ground. While certain aspects of the story stand up to scrutiny, others have been proven plain wrong, and others remain contested by scholarship. But have people caught up with the historiography? 

European views on the atomic bombings of Japan. Asked to note their agreement or disagreement with the statement that “the atomic bombings of Japan in World War II shortened the war significantly,” 23 percent of respondents to the October 2019 survey “strongly” agreed, 29 percent “somewhat” agreed, 31 percent reported no opinion, 9 percent “somewhat” disagreed, and 8 percent “strongly” disagreed. In other words, while 52 percent of respondents expressed support for the idea that the war was significantly shortened by the atomic bombings, only 17 percent pushed back against that idea.

Regarding the question of whether “the atomic bombings of Japan in World War II were necessary to bring Japan to surrender,” the survey results were more balanced. 12 percent of respondents “strongly” agreed, 19 percent “somewhat” agreed, 33 percent reported no opinion, 15 percent “somewhat” disagreed, and 21 percent “strongly” disagreed.

On the statement, “The atomic bombings of Japan in World War II saved American soldiers’ lives,” 14 percent of respondents expressed that they “strongly” agreed, 25 percent that they “somewhat” agreed, 38 percent reported no opinion, 11 percent expressed that they “somewhat” disagreed, and 13 percent expressed that they “strongly” disagreed.

Finally, asked to note their agreement or disagreement with the statement that “the atomic bombings of Japan in World War II killed innocent civilians,” 71 percent of respondents to the 2019 survey “strongly” agreed, 14 percent “somewhat” agreed, 12 percent expressed no opinion, and less than 5 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” disagreed.

The results suggest that the Stimson narrative still holds sway among Europeans, but that support might be weakening over time. On each statement, older respondents were slightly more likely than younger respondents to express agreement with Stimson’s interpretation of the atomic bombings.

Finally, it bears mentioning that British respondents stand out among the nine European populations sampled as the greatest believers in the Stimson narrative. The results unfortunately do not give further insight into the causes of this tendency, but three mutually reinforcing hypotheses are plausible. First, the shared language of the United States and the United Kingdom allows narratives and talking points to travel relatively frictionless across borders. Second, the United Kingdom was directly involved in the building of the atomic bomb through the Manhattan Project and, by extension, partly responsible for the fates of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki……..

Attitudes toward nuclear disarmament. European publics have long offered strong support for arms control and the elimination of nuclear weapons. This pattern is further corroborated by the survey data, which show consistent support for nuclear disarmament.  ……..

The support for disarmament is robust and consistent: 81 percent of respondents who strongly agreed with the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons within 25 years also offered strong support for an agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons.  …….

However, there is clear relationship between degree of faith in the Stimson narrative and support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Respondents who said the atomic bombings shortened the war significantly, were necessary to bring about the Japanese surrender, or saved American soldiers’ lives were significantly more likely to believe that the abolition of nuclear weapons would “make the world less safe” compared to those who did not express such views. ………..

However, there is clear relationship between degree of faith in the Stimson narrative and support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Respondents who said the atomic bombings shortened the war significantly, were necessary to bring about the Japanese surrender, or saved American soldiers’ lives were significantly more likely to believe that the abolition of nuclear weapons would “make the world less safe” compared to those who did not express such views. ……….

It is the responsibility of scholars and educators to work against such epistemic vulnerability to expose citizens to the latest advances of knowledge so that they can independently form their political views.  https://thebulletin.org/2020/08/what-europeans-believe-about-hiroshima-and-nagasaki-and-why-it-matters/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=MondayNewsletter08032020&utm_content=NuclearRisk_WhatEuropeansBelieve_08032020#

 

August 4, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia gets anti-China propaganda, funded by USA, in cahoots with Falun Gong

Before becoming Australia’s Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds worked as a project director at Raytheon  (weapons manufacturer).

Propaganda Wars: US state department funds anti-China news outlet in Australia   https://www.michaelwest.com.au/propaganda-wars-us-state-department-funds-anti-china-news-outlet-in-australia/

by Marcus Reubenstein | Aug 4, 2020  Office bearers of US-backed Chinese language news service Decode China are linked with Falun Gong, the spiritual group that has spent millions backing Donald Trump through fake social media accounts. The same people are on the board of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations, raising scepticism about its ability to repair fractured relationships. Marcus Reubenstein investigates US state funding of anti-China media in Australia and links to global arms dealers via ASPI.

The US State Department is quietly funding a Chinese-language news service in Australia, a move more typically associated with China’s state media propagandists.

And two of the three office bearers of the news service, Decode China, are members of a taxpayer-funded independent board advising the Australian government on engagement with China.

Corporate records show Dr Wai Ling Yeung and Maree Ma became secretary and director, respectively, of Decode China Pty Ltd just eight weeks before Foreign Minister Marise Payne appointed them to the board of the National Foundation for Australia China Relations. The NFACR replaced the Australia China Council (ACC), which was set up by the Fraser government in 1978 and later chaired by former prime minister Gough Whitlam.

The retired Curtin University academic Dr Yeung is a vocal critic of the Chinese government, while Ma is the general manager of the Falun Gong-aligned, largely anti-Chinese government Vision Times newspaper. According to journalist and former Australian Falun Gong practitioner Ben HurleyVision Times is part of the apparatus of Falun Gong media in Australia, led by The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television.

The spiritual group Falun Gong is banned in China and there is substantial evidence that its mainland Chinese followers are harshly persecuted by the Chinese government.

However, former practitioners say it’s a dangerous cult, whose leaders claim to have the power of levitation and tell followers that aliens from other planets are responsible for interracial marriage and mixed-race children.

Falun Gong-aligned media affiliates in the US have been accused of pouring millions of dollars into fake social media accounts and Facebook advertising, since banned, supporting Donald Trump. A recent investigation by the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and Background Briefing programs revealed Falun Gong-affiliated media in the US have spent more than US$11.5 million in social media advertising to promote Trump.

ASPI lurking in the background Continue reading

August 4, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Looks as if 20 municipalities in Utah have been NuScammed for those not so small nuclear reactors

readers may wonder how UAMPS convinced some members to sign an “option” contract, which eventually converts to a “hell-or-high-water” contract, meaning that the buyer has no right, under any circumstances, to abandon the contract once construction, the Achilles heel of nuclear projects, is authorized.

July 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, marketing of nuclear, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation now calling nuclear projects “renewable”

July 28, 2020 Posted by | politics, politics international, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nucleargate in Ohio  Huge criminal racketeering conspiracy orchestrated reactor bailouts

Nucleargate in Ohio  Huge criminal racketeering conspiracy orchestrated reactor bailouts, https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/07/24/nucleargate-in-ohio/ By Linda Pentz Gunter, 24 Jul 20 

It’s been a bit of a Watergate week for nuclear power, with individuals in two states arrested for criminally defrauding the public to keep nuclear power alive. In Ohio, it was public officials, backed by nuclear company money, who illegally orchestrated a massive subsidy. In South Carolina, it was the arrest of an energy company official who has pled guilty to a $9 billion nuclear fraud. This week, we feature the Ohio story. Next week, it will be South Carolina’s turn.

If you were going to pull someone out of central casting to play a thuggish villain, you would choose Larry Householder. But he wouldn’t need any acting skills.

On July 21, Householder, along with four others, was arrested for his alleged involvement in what amounts to the biggest criminal racketeering conspiracy in Ohio history. Somehow it’s not a surprise that it revolved around pots of money to keep two aging and unaffordable nuclear power plants open.

While Householder may physically embody everyone’s idea of a gangster, it’s not his official profession. He is — and presumably that will soon be a “was” — the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

The scheme is laid bare in an 81-page criminal complaint. It was busted open by a year-long, detailed and covert investigation by the US Attorney’s office and the FBI, and involves the flow of $61 million of dark money directed toward activities that would ensure the passage of legislation in Ohio guaranteeing the bailout of the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear reactors to the tune of $1.5 billion. The subsidy is being funded via a surcharge on electricity customers.

The bill, known as HB6, also slashed mandates for wind and solar energy and eliminated energy efficiency requirements. It was, as David Roberts described it on Vox just after the bill passed in July 2019, “the worst piece of legislation in the 21st century” and “the most counterproductive and corrupt piece of state energy legislation I can recall in all my time covering this stuff.”

FirstEnergy Solutions, the then owner of the plants, had threatened their closure if the subsidy was not forthcoming.

That ultimatum set in motion a breathtaking sequence of criminal activities beginning in 2018, with the $61 million slush fund first used to bankroll political elections, then to ensure sufficient votes for the July 2019 passage of HB 6, and finally the sometimes violent suppression of citizen efforts to overturn it.

Millions of dollars went into the campaign war chests of 21 political candidates, in order to stack the House with friendly votes for the subsequent nuclear bailout bill. (Only one ended up voting against it.) The money also shored up Householder’s successful bid to regain the House Speakership.

The money also went into the personal pockets of the co-conspirators, although the exact amounts and their purposes are still being investigated.  As events unfold we may also learn whether votes in favor of HB6 were “bought” by Householder.

As the story is far from over, more arrests will almost certainly follow. And more news on this will continue to break. By necessity, this can only be a glimpse of the story so far.

The crimes with which Householder and four political advisors and lobbyists have been charged constitute  “a shameful betrayal of public trust,” said FBI special agent, Chris Hoffman during a July 21 press conference announcing the arrests and indictment.

It was also, “likely the largest bribery money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio,” said US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, David DeVillers at the same press conference, whose department led the investigation alongside the FBI.

But whose money was it?

The racketeering scheme that the justice department uncovered found a money trail of $61 million flowing from what they are required to call “Company A” in the indictment, into a 501(c)(4) fund named Generation Now. Generation Now has also been charged with racketeering conspiracy.

“Company A” is FirstEnergy, whose subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions (FES) was the then owner of the crumbling and uneconomical Davis-Besse and Perry reactors. (They are now owned by yet another spin-off, Energy Harbor).

Although FirstEnergy has been served with subpoenas, so far no one there has been named in the indictment. And while the company clearly handed out the $61 million, DeVillers said of the web of conspirators that “this enterprise went looking for someone to bribe them”.

Meanwhile, the money trail that led from FirstEnergy to Larry Householder’s pocket and others’ was deftly concealed. As DeVillers described it, the entire scheme was “created completely and utterly to hide where there donor came from and [who it] was.”

Generation Now, as a 501(c)(4), was not obliged to declare the source of its funding. If it had been, said DeVillers at the press conference, the criminal enterprise it operated could never have happened. Despite its name, DeVillers said, “make no mistake, this is Larry Householder’s 501(c)(4).”

And a Republican-led operation. Generation Now’s treasurer is D. Eric Lycan, a Lexington, KY attorney with ties to the Kentucky House Republican Leadership Caucus. In addition to the ad buys Generation Now made for FirstEnergy, it also made them for an entity called Strategic Media Placement, run by GOP operative, Rex Elass. As DeVillers told the media as he pointed to a rather simple flow chart displayed at the press conference, “the real one would have covered this whole wall.”

FBI special agent Hoffman lumped Householder and his cronies in with FBI usual suspects like “gangs, child sex trafficking and Chinese spies,” but said that “public corruption is actually the top criminal priority for the FBI.”

But it should not be the priority for the US Attorney’s office. DeVillers, a Republican and Trump appointee, could not suppress his anger as he told reporters that his district is already struggling with limited resources and “a massive overdose epidemic where you’ve got people dying of overdoses of fentanyl, people stacked up like cord wood at a coroner’s office, we’ve got violent crime sky-rocketing, we’ve got two Franklin County sheriff’s deputies shot this morning.”

And yet, he continued, “we have to take our resources away from those real victim cases and investigate and prosecute some politicians who just won’t do their damn job.”

Chinese spies were in fact part of the Generation Now misinformation campaign, a scare tactic used to derail efforts by a coalition called Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts (OACB), which launched a petition drive to repeal HB6.

A FirstEnergy/Householder front group ran scaremongering “yellow peril” ads to deter people from signing a petition that would have reversed the nuclear bailout bill, HB6

As petitioners took to the streets, attempting to gather enough signatures to get a repeal of HB6 onto a November ballot, a smear campaign suggested that, among other things, the petition gatherers were in the payroll of Chinese government operatives who were “quietly invading our American electric grid” and that if you signed the HB6 repeal petition, the Chinese government would be capturing “your name, your address, your signature”. National security would be at risk.

Most ludicrously, the Chinese scare ad, put together by Ohioans for Energy Security (in reality a front group funded by Generation Now) suggested China, and by definition the ballot petitioners, were “taking Ohio money,” which is precisely what the Householder racket was doing.

It worked. OACB eventually ran out of time and petition gatherers, with some having been bought off with a portion of the $61 million. In October 2019, OACB withdrew the initiative, which is when HB6 effectively became law. And it still is.

That’s the worst part of the news. Householder and others may pay a fine, or even see jail time, but the people of Ohio remain in danger. Davis-Besse and Perry are two of the most seriously degraded reactors in the country and should have been shut down long ago.

If Davis-Besse suffered a serious meltdown, there could be “1,400 peak early fatalities, 73,000 peak early injuries, 10,000 peak cancer deaths, and $84 billion in property damage,” according to Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps, citing a 1982 study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. With populations having soared since then, today’s figures would be far higher, he pointed out.

Likewise, the Perry plant’s numbers would be well above the 5,500 acute radiation deaths, 180,000 radiation injuries, 14,000 latent cancer fatalities, and $102 billion in property damage, cited in the 1982 study, should that reactor suffer a major accident.

The $1.5 billion subsidy, says Toledo public interest attorney, Terry Lodge, “didn’t go to ensure safe nuclear plant operations for the next five years, but instead was paid to investors as dividends once the FirstEnergy bailout was over.”

However, it looks unlikely that HB6 will be undone, despite the criminal machinations behind its passage. While Howard Learner, executive director of the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center, told the Toledo Blade that the Ohio bailout “should not remain in effect if obtained through bribery or other means”, it would have to be nullified by the legislature itself, an action for which there seems little political inclination.

One reason for that reluctance could be yet one more sinister discovery. Prior to the vote on HB6, a Trump operative, Bob Paduchik had pressured “at least five members of the Ohio House of Representatives,” to vote ‘yes’ on HR6, according to Politico. “The message is that if we have these plants shut down we can’t get Trump reelected,” one senior legislative source told Politico.

As DeVillers said: “We’re not done with this case.”

July 25, 2020 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The global scam: nuclear energy and the industry surrounding it

Nuclear energy and the industry surrounding it ‘is a complete scam’   https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/07/24/nuclear-energy-and-the-industry-surrounding-it-is-a-complete-scam/  

That’s the bold claim from Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, who told Energy Live News that the UK ‘has been one of the most incompetent countries in developing nuclear infrastructure’, Jonny Bairstow,   24 July 20
Nuclear energy and the industry surrounding it is a complete scam.

That’s the bold claim from Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, who told Energy Live News’ Editor Sumit Bose that both traditional nuclear infrastructure and emerging technologies such as small modular reactors (SMRs) were “unbelievably expensive” and said it was “preposterous” that the industry “still lays claim to such political attention”.

The renowned environmentalist said nuclear power plants can only be built with “massive” government subsidies at the cost of other energy sources which he suggested are much cheaper, safer and less environmentally damaging.

He stressed the only reason the nuclear civil industry still exists in the UK is to build the skills needed to maintain the nation’s military nuclear expertise and alleged that historically, the UK has been one of the most incompetent countries in developing nuclear energy.

He said: “I’m amazed that this industry still thinks it has a case to make, I mean it’s been talking about next-generation nuclear reactors for as long as I can remember, fusion power has always been precisely 40 years away, it was when I joined the green party in 1974 and you’ll be surprised to know Sumit, It’s now 30 years away – in 30 year’s time we’re not going to be worrying about these things at all.”

Mr. Porritt added that suggestions from opponents of renewable energy that clean technologies such as solar panels never achieve payback in terms of their climate impacts are “utter rubbish” and noted carbon payback is usually delivered around 18 months after a solar panel has been installed.

July 25, 2020 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

How Facebook fosters climate denial

‘Everybody’s entitled to their opinion – but not their own facts’: The spread of climate denial on FacebookThe arguments are that people can’t trust scientists, models, climate data. It’s all about building doubt and undermining public trust in climate science’, Independent Louise Boyle, New York @LouiseB_NY, 24 July 20, 

An article linking climate change to Earth’s solar orbit went viral last year, racking up 4.2million views on social media and widely shared on Facebook. It was the most-engaged with climate story in 2019, according to Brandwatch.

There was just one problem. It wasn’t true.

Facebook removed the article from Natural News, a far-right conspiracy outlet with 3 million followers, after it was reported.

But the spread of misinformation on the climate crisis by groups who reject climate science continues on Facebook and other social media platforms.

While tech giants have taken steps to remove, or label as false, potentially harmful misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a seeming acceptance of those who spread false theories on the climate crisis.

In August, an op-ed by two members of the CO2 Coalition, a pro-fossil fuel nonprofit with close ties to the Trump administration, was published in the Washington Examiner and subsequently posted to the group’s Facebook page.

The article, which claimed climate models are inaccurate and climate change has been greatly exaggerated, was initially tagged as “false” by five scientists from independent fact-checkers Climate Feedback who said it used “cherry-picked” evidence and deemed its scientific credibility “very low”.

Facebook doesn’t check content but outsources to dozens of third-party groups. A fact-checker’s false designation pushes a story lower in News Feed and significantly reduces the number of people who see it, according to Facebook policies.

The CO2 Coalition did not take the fact-checkers’ decision lying down, branding Climate Feedback “alarmists” and writing an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. They succeeded in having the false label removed.

Andy Stone, Facebook’s policy communications director, told the New York Times last week that all opinion content on the platform, including op-eds, has been exempt from fact-checking since 2016…………

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-crisis-denial-facebook-global-warming-denier-social-media-a9595546.html

July 25, 2020 Posted by | climate change, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The complexities and pitfalls of citizen science

One such tactic, which was witnessed after Fukushima, occurred through the reframing of radiation risks as simplistic and natural, unrelated to the specific risks associated with Fukushima. For instance, the government distributed pamphlets that explained that radiation naturally exists in our food, ch as the potassium levels present in bananas.

Yet such information is irrelevant to the hazards of internalizing fission products from a nuclear power plant. While bananas have naturally occurring potassium, it would require eating around 20 million bananas to get radiation poisoning.  On the other hand, each radionuclide released during nuclear meltdown events like Fukushima possesses specific biological signatures and presents particular risks when inhaled or ingested.

Being Clear-Eyed About Citizen Science in the Age of COVID-19, Sapiens MAXIME POLLERI / 15 JUL 2020 

“……..there are inherent political complexities involved when citizens or nongovernmental organizations step in and claim expertise in areas typically reserved for state agencies and experts. Like those entities, citizen science has its own potential pitfalls.

For one, corporate polluters or state agencies can potentially exploit citizen science, delegating the monitoring of contamination to the victims of a disaster. For instance, by the end of this year, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Agency plans to remove 80 percent of radiation monitoring posts in Fukushima, arguing that the radiation levels in many areas have stabilized themselves—owing also in part to the presence and efficiency of monitoring networks provided by citizens. This decision has been controversial, since problems of radioactive contamination persist in Fukushima. For instance, one of the main radioactive pollutants, Cesium-137, has a long lifespan and can emit radiation for nearly 300 years.

Retiring these posts will force citizen scientists to take on the burden of monitoring, shifting liability for ensuring safe living conditions onto the shoulders of the nuclear victims. In addition, the growing impact of citizen science can lead to reduced public expenditure, minimal government intervention, and risk privatization, meaning that risk becomes individual and private. Too much delegation to citizens runs the risk of creating societies where individuals have to take care of themselves in increasingly polluted environments, while interpreting complex data about controversial environmental dangers. And not every community can afford to purchase expensive monitoring devices or test food in a consistent manner.

Citizen scientists also risk reproducing forms of ignorance around certain hazards.   n post-Fukushima Japan, what is meant by the “science” of citizen science is often synonymous with a tracking and monitoring agenda, where individuals resort to the very same technologies and knowledge forms used by states, nuclear lobbies, or radiological protection agencies.

Yet many anthropologists and historians have argued that what we know (and don’t know) about the extent of radiation hazards and dangers was embedded in a culture of secrecy, denial, and propaganda that was shaped by the nuclear arms race of the Cold War. Considerations over international security and political stability were often prioritized over the safety of workers or citizens who had been exposed to radiation. As a result, some of the negative effects of radiation were downplayed through different tactics.

One such tactic, which was witnessed after Fukushima, occurred through the reframing of radiation risks as simplistic and natural, unrelated to the specific risks associated with Fukushima. For instance, the government distributed pamphlets that explained that radiation naturally exists in our food, ch as the potassium levels present in bananas.

Yet such information is irrelevant to the hazards of internalizing fission products from a nuclear power plant. While bananas have naturally occurring potassium, it would require eating around 20 million bananas to get radiation poisoning.  On the other hand, each radionuclide released during nuclear meltdown events like Fukushima possesses specific biological signatures and presents particular risks when inhaled or ingested. During my fieldwork in Fukushima, I witnessed that this legacy of misinformation was carried on by some citizens who unwittingly replicated these propagandist forms of knowledge by making similar naturalistic or overly simplistic comparisons.

As citizen science efforts grow, it is also critical to consider to what extent citizen involvement might put individuals at risk of adverse health effects. This is a tricky question when one considers that certain members of the population, like children, are more sensitive to radiation than others. In Fukushima, some Japanese parents have understandably opted to evacuate rather than rely on citizen science, arguing that doing so would expose their children to unacceptable levels of radiation and that forcing children to be responsible for their own safety is unethical.

Citizen scientists are hardly homogeneous groups, as mothers, farmers, and urban citizens do not experience hazards and recovery in the same way. In that regard, factors such as gender, employment, and social class strongly influence why people enter citizen science, how science is mobilized, and how data about a controversial hazard ends up being interpreted. For instance, people like Natsuo have used the results gathered by citizen science to highlight the dangers of living in Fukushima, while other citizen science organizations help bring people back to their beloved region. These conflicts can result in even more fragmented communities and conflicts within and around citizen science. ……

In Japanese, two words—shiru and wakaru—can be used for the verb “knowing.” Shiru means “to find out” or “to learn.” It implies a process of acquisition of knowledge and information. Wakaru, on the other hand, is closer to “understanding this knowledge.” Shiru comes before wakaru, and in a way, one can know but not necessarily understand. Wakaru consequently shows a greater and more personal level of comprehension often based on a given context.

For Masayuki, state institutional experts possessed shiru, but not wakaru. Having been directly affected by radioactive contamination, Masayuki strongly believed that the inhabitants of a place, the jūmin (literally, the people who resided) were best suited to manage their life in a post-Fukushima Japan.  https://www.sapiens.org/culture/fukushima-citizen-science/

 

July 15, 2020 Posted by | health, Japan, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment