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UK nuclear lobby tries to involve children, as it promotes Hinkley project

Bridgwater Mercury 14th Feb 2019 , MORE than 70 children from local primary schools headed to Hinkley C last week for the official naming ceremony of three enormous tunnel boring machines.

The competition gave 215 primary schools from across Somerset the
opportunity to name the three 1,200 tonne tunnel boring machines that will
soon begin the construction of the new power station’s water inlet and
outfall tunnels. After arriving safely at the construction site by sea and
road, the trio of tunnelling machines will soon be removing 370,000 cubic
metres of earth to enable 3.3 kilometres of tunnels to be built underneath
the seabed. The tunnels will carry seawater to cool the two reactors, the
first of which will see first operation in 2025.


February 18, 2019 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear power: Surviving on secrecy and misinformation Mowdud Rahman and Debasish Sarker, 2 Feb 2018
While countries like Germany, Belgium, France, and Japan are trying to find an escape route from nuclear power, Bangladesh is taking two steps back. Although the 2,400-MW Rooppur nuclear power project has already garnered some support, there are critical issues that need to be addressed for the country’s safety and security. We need to establish whether the claims of cheap electricity, people’s acceptance, risk-free waste management and use of safe technology are simply rhetoric or not. We also need to draw a careful line between fact and propaganda.

Technology is not the answer

Technology is ever-changing, ever-developing. Thus, the glorification of the “third generation plus” reactor for Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) must be challenged.

Russian company Rosatom won the bid to construct the plant in Bangladesh and is now trying to sell us on “post-Fukushima technology”. But can the same company guarantee that there will not be a thing such as “post-Rooppur technology”?

4,000 lives were lost in Chernobyl. Till date, USD 188 billion has been devoted towards cleaning up Fukushima. That too in a country renowned for its technological advancement. Right now, third-generation technology might be the latest one, but surely it’s not the last. When the Fukushima disaster happened, it had the most advanced technology yet, but that did not avert disaster.

Advanced technology could be their selling point, but it does not truly diminish any of our concerns. In fact, the question we should all be asking is: why is such “safe” technology in such dire need of the protection of the indemnity law—the Nuclear Power Plant Act 2015—in the case of any accidental loss of anyone related?

Radiation leaks are also very common in nuclear power plants, but the concerned authorities have always managed to shrug off the problem. That’s how this industry is still surviving. Only last October, the IRSN, France’s public authority on nuclear safety and security, identified a cloud of radioactive isotope ruthenium-106 in European territory originating from a Russian nuclear facility. But Russia’s nuclear agency has refused to accept responsibility (The Guardian, November 21, 2017).

In India, on the other hand, 1,733 scientists and employees who used to work in nuclear establishments and related facilities died between 1995 to 2010. Most of the victims were below 50 years of age (Rediff, October 4, 2010). However, there was neither any fact-finding committee nor any public disclosure about such a large number of untimely deaths in so-called “safe” nuclear facilities. The government of India has formed three committees so far for auditing the safety and security standards of nuclear power plants, but the recommendations, which require millions of dollars, are yet to be implemented.

Too expensive to matter?

The once-rhetorical claim made by the nuclear industry of making electricity “too cheap to matter” has already proven wrong and turned into a case of “too expensive to matter.” In fact, it matters so much that the world’s largest nuclear builder, Westinghouse, filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last year (The Guardian, March 29, 2017). And according to the latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR), the French state-owned nuclear builder and service company AREVA had accumulated USD 12.3 billion in losses over the past six years and was at last bailed out by the government with a cash injection worth USD 5.3 billion and subsequently broken up.

Such extravagant expenditure is not new for the nuclear industry. Rather it has been surviving on state-sponsorship since its inception. But now the price of this arrangement is felt so heavily by some countries that they have decided to pull the plug on it. For example, Vietnam decided to backtrack from nuclear power projects even after its deals with Russia and Japan—not because of baseless fears, but because the costs were escalating at such a rate that within just seven years the projected costs doubled (Reuters, November 22, 2016).

Costs rising exponentially is nothing new. The construction of 75 nuclear reactors was started in the US between 1966 and 1976. In each of these cases, the actual construction cost was found to be 300 percent higher on average than the estimated cost at the beginning (Ramana M V, 2009). Similarly, the construction of the 1,600 MW Flamanville nuclear power plant has already required three times the predicted cost till date and is yet to be completed (Reuters, December 4, 2012).

Bangladesh’s Rooppur power plant is no exception. Even before construction started, the project cost increased from USD 4 billion to USD 12.65 billion within just three years of the time frame (WNISR 2017). As the contract with Russia is not a fixed price contract, but a cost plus one, the vendor retains every right to come up with a revised budget in coming days. 90 percent of its required budget is being taken from Russia on credit at an interest rate of the Intercontinental Exchange London Interbank Offered Rate plus 1.75 percent, which is not only going to increase national debt, but also impose a great threat on our economy as a whole. Worrying still, the government has not disclosed the estimated price per unit of electricity from this plant after accounting for fuel cost, waste management and disposal cost, and decommissioning cost.

Rhetorical claim

While the government is touting the international standards and guidelines that will be abided, in reality, without public participation and public disclosure of the much needed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and without asserting the guideline of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), these claims are nothing but sheer rhetoric.

In Bangladesh, a 300-800 metre area surrounding the nuclear reactor is being considered as “Exclusion Zone” or “Sanitary Protection Zone”and it is being claimed that people are safe outside this 800-metre parameter. But according to IAEA safety standard guidelines, there are in fact two safety zones—the Precautionary Action Zone, which has a five-kilometre radius and where it is recommended to have evacuation facilities for an emergency evacuation within 15 minutes; and the Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone, which has a 30-kilometre radius and where it is recommended to have evacuation facilities for an emergency evacuation within an hour.

The people of Pabna, Bheramara, Lalpur, Kushtia, and Ishwardi all live within 30 kilometres of the proposed Rooppur nuclear power reactor. Has the government informed them of emergency evacuation? Is there any plan compliant with international safety and security standards to build the infrastructure required to evacuate millions of people within hours? Would it be possible to arrange its construction within the next few years?

Nuclear waste management is another concerning issue, which needs special infrastructure as well as separate budget allocation. But nothing is on the scene except a draft agreement to take back the spent nuclear fuel to Russia (Dhaka Tribune, March 18, 2017). Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. Russia can take back the spent fuel, reprocess it for fast breeder reactors, but it has to give it back the nuclear waste back to Bangladesh because according to the law of the Russian Federation, disposal of foreign nuclear waste is not possible in Russia (, January 15, 2018). What assurance do we have that Russia will change their law for the sake of Bangladesh and do this costly disposal free of cost? Or is Bangladesh going to be the next destination for the disposal of the Russian nuclear industry’s waste from all over the world?

Alternatives are cheap

The top-heavy, wasteful, authoritarian world of nuclear power is being challenged by the innovative, low-cost, democratic world of renewables. Rational societies are reaping the latter’s benefits. Germany has decided to close down all of its nuclear reactors by 2022 and replace those with solar and wind power. With the plummeting cost of renewables, they are winning (, January 15, 2018). They exported 53.7 TWh of electricity in 2016, setting a new record and are going on to become the biggest net power exporter in Europe (WNISR 2017). Renewables were the largest contributor to their power mix.

In India, solar and wind electricity is now being produced at costs below BDT 3.5 per unit and they have already set a target to install a combined 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind power plant by 2022 (

In Bangladesh, on the other hand, renewable energy and imported power were presented as substitutes for each other in the Power Sector Master Plan 2016 (PSMP–2016). In the whole energy mix, only 15 percent of the electricity generation target has been fixed for renewable energy or imported power capacity addition. The renewable energy based generation is shown as 7 TWh—a mere 3 percent of the total demand by 2041. The PSMP–2016 also estimated 3.6 GW of potential renewable-energy-based power generation all together. This is in sharp contrast to recent research with predicted that, only from wind power alone, Bangladesh has the potential to generate 20 GW of electricity (Saifullah et al, 2016).

Globally and locally, scholars from across different disciplines are working on developing better frameworks, methods and models of renewable energy. A group of scientists from Stanford University working  extensively on clean energy, last year found that by 2050, a 100 percent renewable-energy-based solution for Bangladesh is not only possible, but is also the most economical option. According to their research, per unit electricity cost would be BDT 5.6 from renewables at the 2014 USD rate, which would save BDT 2,000 per person per year by 2050 (Jacobson et al, 2017).

The rationalisation for nuclear power hinges on a high initial cost for future benefit, but if we take into account its costly waste management, the need for decommissioning as well as loan repayment, Rooppur is little less than a future burden. Disregarding proper procedure and public consultation, the Bangladeshi government is not only constructing the 2,400 MW Rooppur nuclear power plant, but is also planning to install more such plants with a capacity of 4,800 MW across the country by 2041. Rooppur nuclear plant is not the technological milestone that it is portrayed to be. After all, how can imported technology and foreign dependency be a landmark or our nation’s scientific community? Without dealing with the contentious issues surrounding Rooppur, the plant may turn out to be the cause of endless misery for Bangladesh in the days to come.

Mowdud Rahman is an engineer and Energy Technology Researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay).

Debasish Sarker is an engineer and PhD Researcher on Nuclear Safety at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Germany.

February 2, 2019 Posted by | ASIA, Education | Leave a comment

Rosatom announces scholarships for Indian students in nuclear energy studies 

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi, 21 Jan 19  Rosatom, the Russian agency for atomic energy, has announced scholarships for Indian students in the arena of nuclear energy, according to a statement on Monday.

January 22, 2019 Posted by | Education, Russia | Leave a comment

University of Manchester partners with Chinese government agency

Birmingham joins China’s nuclear regulator for safe and clean energy research Dec 2018 University of Birmingham experts are partnering with Chinese nuclear regulators in helping develop cleaner, safer and more sustainable civil atomic energy.

The University has signed an agreement with the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre (NSC), Ministry of Ecology and Environment to work on collaborative education and research in nuclear policy, safety and regulation, as well as the environmental impact and assessment of nuclear radiation.

Following an earlier visit of a University of Birmingham team to NSC headquarters in Beijing, a senior delegation headed by Deputy-Director General CHAI Guohang visited Birmingham to further develop the collaboration and sign the agreement. The visit was attended by a representative from the Chinese Embassy in London.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the University of Birmingham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield commented: “The University of Birmingham is delighted to partner with NSC, to work together in the research and education of civil nuclear safety, policy and regulation. This is such an important area for both our countries as we develop civil nuclear power as a key part of clean and sustainable energy production.

“We are very proud of the University’s accomplishments in having the largest and longest continually-running civil nuclear education programmes in the UK, matched by a diverse research capability, and with influence on the development of UK nuclear energy policy. We look forward to working with NSC to continue the development of safe and efficient civil nuclear system in UK and China.”

As the nuclear regulator of China, NSC affiliates directly to the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and provides all-round support and assurance in safety regulation and administration of China’s civil nuclear facilities and radiation protection.

In the development of civil nuclear power in China to meet its increasing energy demand, NSC is actively forming a wide range of collaborations with high level domestic and internal partners, including with IAEA and the UKs ONR.

The NSC Deputy-Director General Mr CHAI Guohang said: “As one of the top 100 world universities, the University of Birmingham strength in nuclear science and engineering, its work in nuclear policy and its long standing achievements in civil nuclear education and research are well-known. For these reasons we chose Birmingham as our first international university partner. We believe our collaboration will deliver successful and mutually beneficial results.”

December 20, 2018 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

Tepco as nuclear educator?


TEPCO center in Fukushima educates public on nuke disaster


November 29, 2018 TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. will open a center here on Nov. 30 to educate the public about the 2011 nuclear disaster and the ongoing decommissioning process in a facility that formerly promoted nuclear power……

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

Frazer Nash nuclear helps nuclear lobby to infiltrate academia

November 8, 2018 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

University of California being used by the nuclear weapons industry

October 25, 2018 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons join the other cruel killing methods now pitched as games – entertainment

The Nukes of ‘Fallout 76’ Are Where Power Fantasies Hit a Breaking Point, Waypoint, 16 Oct 18  Postscript is Cameron Kunzelman’s weekly column about endings, apocalypses, deaths, bosses, and all sorts of other finalities.The nuclear blast has cast a long shadow over the 20th century. When the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, annihilating somewhere in the range 200,000 human beings in the blast and the aftermath, the new era was inaugurated. That era was defined by the fact that a single bomb dropped from a plane or delivered via an intercontinental ballistic missile could destroy an entire city, poison the land, and assure that target of the nuclear attack was harmed on a fundamental level. They were a way of projecting that a nuclear power like the United States or the Soviet Union would be able to wound an enemy so profoundly that the enemy could never recover. They were the ultimate existential threat.

I say “were” because I am talking historically, but they remain a viable political option. This is perhaps why the recently-deleted tweet from Gamespot was so strange and troubling. It said this: “This is what a nuke looks like going off in Fallout 76, and it’s pretty @#%$^@ epic!”…….

I am not surprised that nuclear devastation is being pitched as a gameplay feature in a video game. I don’t see it as being substantially different from all of the other horrors that we have made fun through the interactive power of video games. Our main mode of engaging with beings in video games remains killing them with blades, guns, and the protagonist’s own hands. I am not morally outraged by this. Instead, the frivolity of it, its “epic” implementation, just makes me feel so tired.

When the detonation of a nuclear weapon is made into a game mechanic and declared “pretty @#%$^@ epic,” I see this simply as a symptom of how insulated games are from the world at large. While films have all the same ways of depicting violence that games have, I have a hard time thinking of a non-satirical film that revels in the absolute annihilation of nuclear war. Dr. Strangelove points out how inept the leaders of the Cold War were, but it obviously does not see the detonation of a nuclear weapon as a fun or optimal output.

Our biggest video games have made executions, stabbings, headshots, and eviscerations completely ordinary. A year without any of those things would be a shocking anomaly, a true blow to the entertainment economy, and it would mean that most of our most profitable game franchises did not release an entry. And now nuclear weapons have been absorbed into this system that sees everything as a potential mechanic and a way of entertaining and maintaining players. In Fallout 76, detonating a nuclear device is just a way to generate more gameplay. From what we’ve seen of the game so far, it is robbed of any significance beyond its mechanical function. ……..

All of our blockbuster games tend toward making the player feel powerful. They want to be fun, to embrace the player, to allow them to feel like they have agency in relation to the world around them. As far as I can tell, there is nothing than will not be sacrificed or compromised in the drive to accomplish that goal. Our biggest games, like the Fallout games, are simply after their players feeling strong. Anything that keeps players from feeling strong must be minimized……..

No matter who you are, no matter how powerful you think you are, the reality is that nuclear war will either destroy you or make your life unlivable in its current shape. This reality is fundamentally at odds with how the design of blockbuster video games work. That means that taking nuclear weapons seriously in a blockbuster game is impossible……..

The problem with video games and nuclear weapons doesn’t have anything to do with nuclear weapons themselves. They are simply a human evil, the ultimate symbol of what kind of nightmare we are willing to bring to bear on one another in our quest for dominance and violence. The problem in the relationship between video games and nuclear weapons is video games.

Unlike our friends over at Motherboard, there is not a part of me that finds joy in the adoption of nuclear weapons as yet another thing that is horribly violent and played for laughs in a game. It is impossible for me to think about nuclear weapons without thinking about the shadows blasted into stone at Hiroshima. I think about the rotting flesh of The Day After. I think about the unfathomable human cost of nuclear weapons, which includes the cancers grown under the aegis of environmental drift of radioactive particles………

October 18, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, culture and arts, Education | Leave a comment

Just another example of the nuclear lobby infiltrating education

Teenager bags nuclear apprenticeship spot, Leigh Journal 15 Oct 18  A TEENAGER is celebrating after being appointed as a nuclear service’s first apprentice. ….. The 18-year-old Wigan and Leigh College student impressed bosses at INS in his interview to get the job. …… 
Leigh College has developed partnerships with engineering companies such as Sellafield Ltd, MBDA Missile Systems and HUSCO International. …….

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Education | Leave a comment

Exelon teaching kids about nuclear power – conflict of interest?

Exelon welcomes community to learn about nuclear power, Watertown Daily Times By DEBRA J. GROOM

“This is cool,” he said.

Dominick, 6, a first-grader at Hastings-Mallory Elementary School, visited the Exelon Generation nuclear plant site Tuesday with his grandmother Diane Giamartino as part of the annual Community Information Night. Nearly 200 people showed up to learn more about what the company does at its three Oswego nuclear plants and the different types of jobs available in the nuclear industry.

There were two buildings filled with “cool” things to see, according to Dominick.

In the first building, visitors could watch a 3D printer turn out these spinning toys that Dominick and other children could take home. The small plastic devices were made of one piece of plastic, but had parts that would spin in different directions……..

Dominick saw even more “cool” stuff in the other Exelon building — especially the nuclear plant control room simulator used by employees. The control room is the brain of the plant, a place filled with various lights and readings on a huge control-room board that supervisors, senior reactor operators and reactor operators keep their eyes tuned to 24 hours a day to ensure all systems in the plant are operating correctly.

Jill Lyon, speaking for Exelon, said the Community Information Nights have been held since 2014 to help area residents learn more about what goes on at the plants.

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Education, USA | Leave a comment

Canada’s  Nuclear Waste Management Organization is educating youth

NWMO introducing nuclear waste plan education to youth   Kincardine News, 9 Aug 18, With summer winding down, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization is concluding a busy few months of activities engaging with area youth……. “We want to foster and support opportunities for young people in South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss. Our local youth have a lot to offer, and as we engage with them as part of Canada’s plan we hope to strengthen the impact they will have on their communities.”…….

Youth engagement is a big priority for this multi-generational, infrastructure project. The NWMO has provided numerous investments in STEM Education Initiatives for youth at local schools and libraries. ……

Elementary and high schools in South Bruce and Huron-Kinloss were treated to an energy and nuclear power discussion with University of Calgary Professor Dr. Jason Donev, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) also made stops to talk about radiation and their role as Canada’s independent nuclear regulator.

Local youth have highlighted their desire to seek out information on social media, specifically on Instagram.

Already established on Facebook since October 2017, the NWMO recently launched on Instagram (follow @nwmocanada) with content highlighting its activities, and is working toward digital products that will help introduce Canada’s plan to the next generation.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Canada, Education | Leave a comment

China and UK to work together on promoting the nuclear industry to universities etc

Energy Live News 29th June 2018 , China’s largest nuclear power producer has signed a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) with the UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research
Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to help deepen its links with Britain’s supply

CGN, the developer of the Bradwell B project, hopes to develop its
expertise and knowledge, as well as improve commercial and academic
connections. The wide-ranging deal includes working out how UK businesses
and universities can prepare themselves to participate in the project and
how these organisations can add value to CGN’s nuclear operations in
China and elsewhere.

July 2, 2018 Posted by | China, Education, UK | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry has co-opted academia in Cumbria

In Cumbria 21st June 2018, More needs to be done to ensure communities not only see but feel the benefits of investment in Cumbria’s nuclear sector, industry figures have been told. Rick Wylie, the Samuel Lindow Academic Director for the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) based at Westlakes Science and Technology Park, laid down the challenge at the third warm-up arm-up event to September’s Cumbria Nuclear Conference, hosted by Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

Mr Wylie stressed the important work the nuclear industry had already done to support communities and the aspirations of young people and adults, by supporting projects such as the new Whitehaven Academy and Well Whitehaven. But, in a speech at Castle Green Hotel in Kendal on Thursday night, he said: “Nuclear investment needs to have wider public value. It is not just about money, it is about ensuring people not just see but feel the benefits of it.

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Education, UK | Leave a comment

Japan High School Peace Envoys Keen to Deliver Voices of Hibakusha

   Tokyo,  (Jiji Press), 7 June 18, –Japanese “high school peace ambassadors” on Thursday expressed their hopes to convey the voices of hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors, for nuclear abolition to the world, and spread peace across the globe.
The high school students, who took part in a campaign to collect signatures with the aim of abolishing nuclear weapons, have been selected as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for 2018.
At an event in Tokyo on Thursday to report the peace ambassador activities, Konami Funai, 17, a high school third-grader from Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, spoke about her visit to the secretariat of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in March.
“It made me even prouder of our activities,” she said, referring to the nomination as a Nobel prize candidate. But Funai added that even if they win the prize, it would not be their goal. “I’ll patiently continue to call for nuclear abolition.”
The high school peace ambassadors were nominated a Nobel Peace Prize candidate by the Norwegian committee, after Japanese lawmakers recommended them for the award with the campaign marking its 20th anniversary this year.

June 8, 2018 Posted by | Education, Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby gearing up to convert youth to the nuclear faith

Investing in Youth: IAEA, International Youth Nuclear Congress Sign Agreement, 

To motivate young people to study and opt for careers in nuclear science and technology, the IAEA and the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) have agreed to strengthen their collaboration. An  agreement, signed on 28 February, calls for joint work in various outreach initiatives related to climate change, innovation and knowledge transfer in nuclear technologies.

The agreement adds to the IAEA’s list of practical arrangements the IAEA has with various universities, research institutes, governments and international organizations that help boost the number of young people opting for careers in nuclear science.

“This partnership will increase the IAEA’s engagement with young professionals to ensure their participation in collaborative activities and events,” said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy. “This includes side events at major international conferences, workshops and related IAEA activities targeting professional development.”……..

March 14, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Education | Leave a comment