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Authorities deceive the public on radiation from Fukushima Daiichi

Dr Yamashita is only one among a host of politicians, bureaucrats, experts and advertising and media consultants who support the post-3.11 safety mantra of anshin (secure 安心), anzen (safe 安全), fukkō (recovery 復 興). Through public meetings, media channels, education manuals and workshops,54 local citizens in Fukushima Prefecture were inundated with optimistic and reassuring messages.
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At the same time, to reduce ‘radiophobia’ and anxiety, while focusing on the psychological impact from stress, health risks from radiation exposures have been trivialised and/or normalised for the general public.
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This approach is backed up by international nuclear-related agencies. As stipulated on 28 May 1959 in the ‘WHA12-40’ agreement, the WHO is mandated to report all data on health effects from radiation exposures to the IAEA, which controls publication.
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Nevertheless, it is no longer possible to ignore a significant body of research, including 20 years of scientific studies compiled in Belarus and Ukraine that show serious depopulation, ongoing illnesses and state decline.

Informal Labour, Local Citizens and the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Crisis: Responses to Neoliberal Disaster Management Adam Broinowski {extensive footnotes and references on original]  September 2018, “……… (Official Medicine: The (Il)logic of Radiation Dosimetry On what basis have these policies on radiation from Fukushima Daiichi been made? Instead of containing contamination, the authorities have mounted a concerted campaign to convince the public that it is safe to live with radiation in areas that should be considered uninhabitable and unusable according to internationally accepted standards. To do so, they have concealed from public knowledge the material conditions of radiation contamination so as to facilitate the return of the evacuee population to ‘normalcy’, or life as it was before 3.11. This position has been further supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which stated annual doses of up to 20 mSv/y are safe for the total population including women and children.43 The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Scientific Commission on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) also asserted that there were no ‘immediate’ radiation related illnesses or deaths (genpatsu kanren shi 原発 関連死) and declared the major health impact to be psychological.

While the central and prefectural governments have repeatedly reassured the public since the beginning of the disaster that there is no immediate health risk, in May 2011 access to official statistics for cancer-related illnesses (including leukaemia) in Fukushima and southern Miyagi prefectures was shut down. On 6 December 2013, the Special Secrets Protection Law (Tokutei Himitsu Hogo Hō 特定秘密保護法) aimed at restricting government employees and experts from giving journalists access to information deemed sensitive to national security was passed (effective December 2014). Passed at the same time was the Cancer Registration Law (Gan Tōroku Hō 癌登録法), which made it illegal to share medical data or information on radiation-related issues including evaluation of medical data obtained through screenings, and denied public access to certain medical records, with violations punishable with a 2 million yen fine or 5–10 years’ imprisonment. In January 2014, the IAEA, UNSCEAR and Fukushima Prefecture and Fukushima Medical University (FMU) signed a confidentiality agreement to control medical data on radiation. All medical personnel (hospitals) must submit data (mortality, morbidity, general illnesses from radiation exposures) to a central repository run by the FMU and IAEA.44 It is likely this data has been collected in the large Fukushima Centre for Environmental Creation, which opened in Minami-Sōma in late 2015 to communicate ‘accurate information on radiation to the public and dispel anxiety’. This official position contrasts with the results of the first round of the Fukushima Health Management Survey (October 2011 – April 2015) of 370,000 young people (under 18 at the time of the disaster) in Fukushima prefecture since 3.11, as mandated in the Children and Disaster Victims Support Act (June 2012).45 The survey report admitted that paediatric thyroid cancers were ‘several tens of times larger’ (suitei sareru yūbyōsū ni kurabete sūjūbai no ōdā de ōi 推定される有病数に比べて数十倍の オーダーで多い) than the amount estimated.46 By 30 September 2015, as part of the second-round screening (April 2014–March 2016) to be conducted once every two years until the age of 20 and once every five years after 20, there were 15 additional confirmed thyroid cancers coming to a total of 152 malignant or suspected paediatric thyroid cancer cases with 115 surgically confirmed and 37 awaiting surgical confirmation. Almost all have been papillary thyroid cancer with only three as poorly differentiated thyroid cancer (these are no less dangerous). By June 2016, this had increased to 173 confirmed (131) or suspected (42) paediatric thyroid cancer cases.47

The National Cancer Research Center also estimated an increase of childhood thyroid cancer by 61 times, from the 2010 national average of 1–3 per million to 1 in 3,000 children. Continue reading

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September 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | 3 Comments

Peaceful agreement between North and South Korea – but little of substance on denuclearization

North Korea agrees to dismantle nuclear site if U.S. takes steps too

At inter-Korean summit, little of substance on denuclearization https://thebulletin.org/2018/09/at-inter-korean-summit-little-of-substance-on-denuclearization/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20Email&utm_campaign=September21

By Elisabeth Eaves, September 19, 2018 The leaders of North and South Korea met again this week, ostensibly with a goal of moving the peninsula they share towards denuclearization. Unfortunately they don’t seem to have done so, says Bulletin columnist Duyeon Kim, who followed the summit from Seoul. She shared her analysis with CNN.

“I hate to pour cold water on the situation, but … we have to wait and see what details come out of Moon’s meeting with Trump,” she told CNN anchor Kristie Lu Stout. Moon and US President Donald Trump are expected to speak next week.

The joint statement the Korean leaders issued on Wednesday was short on specifics and new information, Duyeon Kim says—which was as expected. North Korea said it would dismantle a missile engine-test facility and launch pad, a promise it had already made in June. It also said it was willing to dismantle the country’s Yongbyon nuclear complex—if the United States took unspecified “corresponding” measures first.

“Based on the joint statements and the press conference—what is known to us publicly—it does not move the ball forward at all,” Duyeon Kim told CNN. “We’re still in the same place.”

This is the third summit between the North’s hereditary dictator, Kim Jong-un, and the South’s elected President Moon Jae-in. Moon has become a sort of peace broker between the North and the United States, whose leaders were threatening each other with destruction just last year, and many observers still hope he will be able to bring them together.

Earlier, Duyeon Kim shared her expectations for this week’s summit with the BBC, available on this Twitter video thread. As she notes, North Korea and the United States have yet to agree on a definition of “denuclearization.”

September 22, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

UN is being pressed by Iran and Israel – each wanting action against the other

Iran and Israel call each other nuclear threats, ask U.N. to take action, Bozorgmehr SharafedinDan WilliamsLONDON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) 21 Sept 18,  – Iran asked the United Nations to condemn what it described as Israeli nuclear threats against it on Thursday, while Israel said it was stepping up security around its atomic sites as a precaution against threats from Tehran and its regional allies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a visit to a secretive Israeli atomic reactor in August to warn the country’s enemies that it has the means to destroy them, in what appeared to be a reference to its assumed nuclear arsenal.

“The United Nations’ members should not turn a blind eye to these threats and must take firms actions to eliminate all Israeli nuclear weapons,” Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gholamali Khoshrou said in letters to the U.N. secretary general and the security council, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency. Khoshrou asked the United Nations to force Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and bring its nuclear program under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a U.N. atomic watchdog.

The director general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission said on Tuesday that Iran and Syria posed significant proliferation threats to the region and called for U.N. action at the 62nd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency now taking place in Vienna.

………Israel, which is outside the NPT, neither confirms nor denies having a nuclear arsenal, a decades-old “ambiguity” policy. It is trying to lobby world powers to follow the United States in withdrawing from the 2015 deal with Iran that capped the Islamic Republic’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting of sanctions. The Israelis say the agreement does not do enough to denying their arch-foe the means to eventually build a bomb. Tehran, which is a signatory to the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), denies wanting to so…….. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-israel/iran-and-israel-call-each-other-nuclear-threats-ask-u-n-to-take-action-idUSKCN1M00ML

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September 22, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Electricity being restored to Brunswick nuclear power station in North Carolina flooded area

Utility begins restoring power to only nuclear plant to shut down during Hurricane Florence https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/utility-begins-restoring-power-to-only-nuclear-plant-to-shut-down-during-hurricane-florence, by Josh Siegel September 20, 2018 Utility company Duke Energy is restoring power at Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina after the site closed because of Hurricane Florence, with one reactor in service and the other set to restart soon.

Shannon Brushe, a Duke spokeswoman, confirmed to the Washington Examiner that it returned power Thursday to one of two units at the 1,978-megawatt Brunswick nuclear plant near Wilmington.

Duke had shut down the two reactors as a precaution before Florence hit. It was the only nuclear plant to close in either North or South Carolina because of the storm.

 Over the weekend, Duke workers had limited access to the Brunswick plant because of flooding.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the plant was completely surrounded by water, with no way in or out of the facility.

Duke issued an emergency alert to the nuclear watchdog commission on Saturday, called an “unusual event” notice, which is the lowest emergency alert that the power plant is required to issue.

Roads in and out of the power plant’s 1,200-acre campus were impassable, making it impossible to relieve the Duke Energy and federal NRC staff stationed at the plant to ride out Hurricane Florence.

But a NRC spokesperson told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that there is now “adequate access to the plant and no other concerns related to flooding at the Brunsw

As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, 114,000 Duke customers — most of them in North Carolina — remained without power.

September 22, 2018 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

The danger in transporting nuclear wastes to just a “temporary” nuclear morgue

Activists rally against nuclear waste transport 
Staff Writer,Greenfield Recorder  September 21, 2018 GREENFIELD — In a lot of ways it was like a party, celebrating the accomplishments of the past few years: The closures of the Vermont and Rowe nuclear plants. ……..The theme of the night? The high-level nuclear power plant waste being stored in Rowe and Vernon, Vt., must go — but only once the right and final safe place for it is decided.

“I haven’t bothered you for three or four years at this point,” leader of CAN and Rowe resident Deb Katz said. “But we’ve come back to our community to say: We need to be involved again. And I wish it wasn’t so.”

Katz and CAN just begun a tour of New England, and after spending their first two nights in Vermont, they came to Greenfield Thursday. On Friday, they will take the tour to the Statehouse on Beacon Hill.

Currently, the anti-nuclear activists are rallying against a bill that could allow for the high-level nuclear waste in Rowe and Vernon, Vt., to be shipped in canisters across the country to Texas or New Mexico. It would place the waste in what CAN is calling “parking lots” that are seen as more temporary holdings than anything else, but could be pitched as helping tthe economy in these regions in the Southwest of the country.

“Why shouldn’t we just say ‘yes, wow. Thank you so much’? The trouble is this is a really bad idea,” Katz said. “We all want the waste off the site, but we want it done right. And we want it done once.” ………

At the moment there isn’t a distinct solution on where to move the high-level nuclear waste, but Katz and fellow lead organizer Chris Williams of Vermont advovated for more science to figure out the best solution to storing waste that remains toxic for thousands of years.

“It took a lot of hard science to create this mess,” Williams said. “To get rid of this stuff properly, we’re going to have to apply real science and not just political expediency.”

The goal is to look to scientists to find the place for “deep geological storage,” Williams said.

Preaching to find a better, scientific solution was organizer and activist Kerstin Rudek from the Peoples Initiative, based out of Germany, where her neighbors have faced similar issues.

“It’s an international thing,” Rudek said, pointing to the lack of answers of what to do with the nuclear waste and the need for answers. “It’s not just a local thing.”

The meeting, which Williams described as a “little more lively than your usual nuclear waste meeting,” also included the speaker Leona Morgan, from the Navajo Nation and an Albuquerque, N.M. resident.

“It’s great news when we hear a nuclear power plant has been shut down, but it makes me nervous because it makes the push for these false solutions even harder,” Morgan said.

She described the political climate in New Mexico as pitching to residents that moving the nuclear waste there would be good for their economy, creating jobs, but ignoring the will of the residents who might be affected by it most.

“I’m here tonight to tell you we don’t want it,” Morgan said. “We don’t want this waste.”………

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:  jsolomon@recorder.com  413-772-0261, ext. 264     https://www.recorder.com/Anti-nuclear-group-CAN-advocated-for-one-final-location-for-waste-at-tour-event-at-Hawks—Reed-20333471

September 21, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Exploding Michael Shellenberger’s extraordinary sales pitch for nuclear weapons

Nuclear power’s weapons link: Cause to limit, not boost exports https://thebulletin.org/2018/09/nuclear-powers-weapons-link-cause-to-limit-not-boost-exports/By Victor GilinskyHenry Sokolski, September 20, 2018 The criticism that supporters of US nuclear exports have found most difficult to counter has been that their wares give an importing country a big leg up on getting a bomb. For decades the exporters’ response has been to pretend this was not so. Now comes Michael Shellenberger, a prominent nuclear power advocate, who casts all this aside. Yes, he writes, there is a strong link between nuclear electricity and weapons, and in fact most countries that built nuclear power plants did so with weapons at least partly in mind. But this is not so much a confession as a sales pitch. He thinks the weapons potential of nuclear power plants actually prevents war—the weapons shadow cast by nuclear plants itself deters enemies—and that this attribute should be exploited as a sales advantage by US nuclear exporters.

Shellenberger’s assessment of the nuclear power-weapons link is important rhetorically because it comes from the nuclear side of the house. He has been celebrated by the nuclear industry and the conservative press as one of the new breed, “pro-technology,” environmental activists who joined the nuclear ranks and are not afraid to do battle with their colleagues over nuclear power. So, his admission about the closeness of civilian and military nuclear technology—realistically what lawyers call a declaration against interest—carries a certain weight and may convince people who have up to now resisted the notion.

But Shellenberger goes on. He was always a bit unrestrained in his advocacy of nuclear power, and in speaking of nuclear weapons he surpasses himself. In an earlier piece, he presents an anecdotal case on why nuclear weapons were a cure-all for world conflict.

He said if only “weak” France had nuclear weapons in 1940 then “strong” Germany would not have attacked. But what if Germany was the one with the bomb?

He also points to India and Pakistan: They had three large wars before they armed themselves with nuclear weapons but none afterwards, only “border skirmishes” with relatively low casualties. And if such conflicts got out of hand and led to nuclear weapon use, well, not to worry—Shellenberger cites an academic “expert” who claims that the nuclear conflict would surely be contained at the “tactical” level. In truth, of course, no one has any idea.

That the presence of nuclear weapons has reduced the frequency of war is an arguable proposition. But one only has to consider the experience of the Cuban Missile Crisis to realize it comes at the price of gambling on nuclear war. Most people have forgotten about them, but our nuclear forces are still on alert, and their use is not ruled out. The “experts” speak of deployment for deterrence only, but deterrence is predicated on use in certain circumstances.

All these inescapable uncertainties apparently got swept away in Shellenberger’s mind by the “Eureka” moment he describes in the latest article: Based on a paper by a couple of political science professors, he asserts that a nuclear power program itself provides a significant level of “deterrence-related” benefits—“a bomb isn’t even required.” He says that when he thought of this, he almost fell off his chair. Why, he wondered, was this fact “not being promoted as one of nuclear power’s many benefits?”

One reason is that it’s a ridiculous proposal based on half-baked ideas.

But there is a serious side to this too. Unfortunately, his views, foolish as they are, are not so different from primitive views privately held in high official and semi-official nuclear circles. It is useful to bring them out of hiding, and we have to thank Shellenberger for that.

Take the Bush Administration’s 2005 nuclear deal with India. It tore a gaping hole in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and yet was described as promoting nonproliferation. Is there anyone so foolish as to believe that hypocrisy? Or to doubt that India’s interest in the arrangement was mainly fortifying its nuclear weapons? And wasn’t the notion of supporting India as a strategic foil to China at the core of US interest?

Consider also the current administration’s efforts to negotiate a nuclear agreement with Saudi Arabia to facilitate nuclear exports to that country. One doesn’t even have to speculate about the Saudis’ interest in bombs—the Crown Prince famously made that clear. And from the US side, it is also clear that a reason to put nuclear technology in the hands of the Saudis is to frighten Iran.

The immediate nuclear issue now is what controls, if any, our government should impose on the proposed US-Saudi nuclear cooperative agreement. The sensible course from the security point of view, which Secretary of State Pompeo has publicly backed, is to make sure Saudi Arabia will not have the capacity to produce nuclear explosives—a controlling condition called the gold standard. But the Saudis are pushing back on that—for obvious reasons—and their supporters in the administration would like to relax the export controls that would apply, in part to get the business but also to have another stick to shake at Iran.

We should have none of this. It has been settled US policy for decades that we don’t want more countries with nuclear weapons or countries threatening to make them. Where we haven’t been consistent in applying that policy regarding nuclear power exports, we need to make corrections, not by exporting more, but less.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cost of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear power project is becoming a big worry to law-makers

Cost of Georgia nuclear plant draws scrutiny from lawmakers, https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cost-of-georgia-nuclear-plant-draws-scrutiny-from-lawmakers  Financial Post, The Associated Press, Ben Nadler, 21 Sept 18, ATLANTA — A group of ranking Georgia lawmakers is sounding the alarm about cost overruns from construction at a nuclear power plant near Augusta.

The two additional reactors being built at Plant Vogtle, approximately 30 miles (50 kilometres) south of Augusta, are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. The lawmakers said they want a “cost cap” established to protect Georgians from getting gouged on their electricity bills.

In August, the plant’s owners, which include Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power Corporation and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, learned that the plant would require an additional $2.3 billion, bringing the total cost estimate to $27 billion.

That new overage initiated a clause in the ownership agreement where ninety per cent of ownership must agree to move forward. A down vote from any one of those organizations would mean the multibillion-dollar project is abandoned.

Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, pledged that its shareholders would absorb its share of the costs. That leaves Oglethorpe Power and MEAG with a decision: pay up or pull out.

The letter lawmakers sent Wednesday was signed by 20 members of the Georgia General Assembly, including Rep. Terry England, chairman of the House appropriations committee, and Sen. Butch Miller, president pro tempore of the Senate. It said that unlike Georgia Power, the other organizations “don’t have the luxury of shareholders to absorb these additional costs and will have to increase rates even higher.”

They asked the owners to “ensure prior to voting in support of moving forward … that a cost cap is established to protect all Georgia electric ratepayers from this and future overruns.”

But Gov. Nathan Deal took a different stance. A day before the lawmaker’s letter was sent, Deal sent a letter to Oglethorpe Power encouraging completion of the project.

“Given the project’s critical economic impact to the State of Georgia, I strongly encourage (the project’s) co-owners to continue work and complete the construction,” Deal said. “I am counting on the project co-owners to follow through on the commitments you made to the citizens of Georgia, ratepayers and myself.”

The plug was pulled on a similar project in neighbouring South Carolina in July 2017 when the V.C. Summer plant was abandoned after going billions of dollars over.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Iran Says Israel Must Be Forced to Join  Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)

Reacting to Nuclear Violation Claim, Iran Says Israel Must Be Forced to Join NPT, Sputnuk News, 21 Sept 18   Iran’s permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a biting response to his Israeli counterpart’s claim that Iran and Syria posed “significant proliferation threats” to the Middle East and the world.

Iranian IAEA Ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi urged the international community to pressure Israel to sign onto Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), saying that doing so would be the only way to bring peace to the Middle East.

Speaking at the 62nd Annual Session of the ongoing IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Gharibabadi charged Israel with threatening its neighbors, pointed to its possession of nuclear weapons, and chastised the IAEA for giving in to Israeli pressure and not following up on what he said were the country’s “dangerous” nuclear activities.

According to the ambassador, little progress has been made on nuclear disarmament, one of the NPT’s major stated objectives, in the fifty years since the treaty was signed. Gharibabadi also pointed to the Middle East Nuclear Weapon Freeze Zone idea, a UN project dating back to 1970s aimed at prohibiting nuclear weapons in the region, and how this proposal too has suffered from a “lack of political will.”

Gharibabadi’s remarks came on the heels of comments at the conference by Israel Atomic Energy Commission chairman Ze’ev Snir, who also called on the international community to take action against alleged Iranian and Syrian nuclear activities……..

srael, which has a policy of neither admitting or denying the existence of a nuclear weapons program, is presently believed to be the only country in the Middle East to possess nuclear weapons, with estimates that it has anywhere between 80 and 400 warheads deliverable by a variety of air, sub and missile platforms.

Iran, an NPT signatory under observance by the IAEA over compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, is barred from the creation of nuclear weapons. The fate of the 2015 deal, which was signed by the Iran, the United States, Russia, China, and several European countries, was put into question after Washington withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and vowed to impose unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic…….. https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809211068234829-iran-responds-to-israeli-nuclear-claims/ 

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

French court orders EDF to release risk analysis about Hinkley nuclear project. It’s not too late to stop it.

N2NP 19th Sept 2018 A court in Paris has ordered French utility EDF to release a risk analysis
report to the group’s works council (CEE) concerning its Hinkley Point C
nuclear project. The appeals court in Paris said the firm must communicate
the report within a month and must consult the CEE regarding the project
within two months.

In 2016, EDF refused to release all documents required
by the council for it to be able to issue its advice on the project,
triggering CEE’s legal action. The CEE say EDF failure to give elected
representatives of the staff objective, precise and complete information on
the technical and financial issues raised by the Hinkley project meant they
had not been able “to give a reasoned opinion on this project“.

Commenting on the news, Steve Thomas Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy at
Greenwich University and author of ‘Time to Cancel Hinkley?’ said:
“Some senior EDF management and some EDF trade unions have long been
concerned about EDF’s participation in the Hinkley Point C project.

The 3-year old report the EDF Central Works Council (CCE) has won access to
will show that EDF is well aware of these risks. The continuing delays and
cost overruns (more than 3 times over budget and 8 years late) at
Hinkley’s reference plant, Flamanville, significantly worse than when the
report was written, illustrate graphically the scale of the risk.

The Works Council see Hinkley as a financially risky project that will divert EDF’s
scarce finances away from the strategically more important task of
upgrading and life-extending EDF’s fleet of 58 reactors, many of which
are at or near the end of the 40-year design life.”

Stop Hinkley spokesperson, Roy Pumfrey says: “Even the long standing nuclear advocate,
former International Energy Agency boss, Nobuaki Tanaka, says nuclear power
can’t compete with renewables. He says it’s ‘ridiculously
expensive’ and ‘utterly uncompetitive’ Electricity consumers would
almost certainly still be able to make savings if the project were halted
now and the south-west were given the chance to develop sustainable energy
industries. Full construction start is still a year or more away so not too
late to stop it.”

http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/news/campaign-update/paris-court-ruling-on-hinkley-point-c-risks/

September 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, France, Legal, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s fleet of nuclear submarines: infrastructure supporting it is no longer “fit for purpose”

‘Ticking time bomb!’ UK warning as nuclear bases ‘NOT FIT for purpose’https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1020963/uk-nuclear-submarines-ministry-of-defence-MoD

THE INFRASTRUCTURE for supporting the Royal Navy’s fleet of nuclear submarines is no longer “fit for purpose”, MPs have warned.  Sep 21, 2018 The Commons Public Accounts Committee said past decisions to delay maintenance at the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) 13 nuclear sites around the UK had created a “ticking time bomb”.

The warning came after the National Audit Office disclosed earlier this year that the MoD’s “Nuclear Enterprise” programme was facing a £2.9 billion “affordability gap”.

The committee chair Meg Hillier said that with the MoD already facing “challenges” over the delivery of its new aircraft carriers and a potential £20 billion shortfall in its equipment programme, there were “serious questions” over its ability to meet its national security commitments.

Over the next 10 years, the MoD is expected to spend £51 billion on the Nuclear Enterprise – maintaining and replacing the submarine fleet, including the Vanguard submarines which carry the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent…..

he MoD had deferred work on dismantling old submarines which had been taken out of service on “affordability grounds” and there was now a backlog of 20 vessels waiting to be disposed of, including nine which still contained nuclear fuel.

To date, the UK has never completely disposed of an old nuclear submarine and while work has begun on the first, it is not due to be finished until the mid-2020s.

The committee said work on de-fuelling the next submarine was due to begin around the same time, and that the disposals programme was expected to last “at least a couple of decades”.

Ms Hillier said: “I am particularly concerned that the infrastructure available to support the Nuclear Enterprise is not fit for purpose.

“The MoD admits that while it has previously put off dismantling submarines on grounds of cost, this is no longer acceptable on grounds of safety and reputation. The MoD needs to get on top of this quickly.”

September 21, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

As flooding recedes around Brunswick nuclear power station, NRC considers when it can restart

Beyond Nuclear 20th Sept 2018 , The two-unit coastal Brunswick nuclear power station in South Port, NC was
powered down to zero power shortly in advance of the September 14th arrival
Hurricane Florence with Category 1 winds (sustained < 75 mph), storm surge
and torrential rainfall. Operators maintained the Brunswick units in “hot
standby” (reactor cooling water at 212O F and capable of steam powering
onsite turbines for emergency electricity) to provide an added measure of
power supply for reactor safety and cooling systems in the event of loss of
offsite power and backup emergency diesel generators.

However, throughout the storm, Duke Energy reported that the nuclear power station was in
“stable” condition and never lost offsite electricity power from the
grid providing primary power to safety systems and cooling.

A low-level emergency was declared September 15th when the reactor site was completely
surrounded by rising flood waters making it inaccessible by road. Two
shifts of workers were already housed onsite and supplied in advance for
the storm’s duration. Offsite access by road to the Brunswick units was
restored on September 18th and the “Unusual event” emergency was
terminated.

The continued flooding has damaged many of the bridges and
roads within the ten-mile radius that encompasses the radiological
evacuation planning zone for the Brunswick nuclear power station. As the
flooding recedes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will
assess the damage to the infrastructure and will provide its recommendation
to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) before Brunswick is allowed
to restart.
http://www.beyondnuclear.org/nuclear-reactors-whatsnew/2018/9/20/brunswick-nuclear-plant-remains-shut-down-following-hurrican.html

September 21, 2018 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

“I’ll fight tooth and nail” to salvage Moorside nuclear power project – says NuGen chief

NuGen chief vows to “fight tooth and nail” to salvage Moorside nuclear power project, News and Star , 21 Sept 18,  Tom Samson makes impassioned pledge at the second Cumbria Nuclear Conference  The boss of NuGen has vowed to “fight tooth and nail” to salvage the £15 billion Moorside nuclear power station in an impassioned speech to industry leaders gathered in Cumbria.

Tom Samson, chief executive of the company set to develop the plant in West Cumbria, also told around 150 delegates at the second Cumbria Nuclear Conference at Carlisle Racecourse on Friday, that he was fully behind using the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model to fund the “transformational” project.

In his first public address since NuGen made more than 70 staff redundant because of delays to a deal between current owners Toshiba and prospective buyers Kepco, he warned that the threat of winding up the company was “very real”.

With Toshiba’s exit from NuGen definite, Mr Samson stressed it was crunch time for a project that has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Cumbria and generate around seven per cent of the UK’s energy needs.

“My commitment to Cumbria is that I will fight tooth and nail to find a solution, and indeed a sustainable solution, we can depend upon with real determination to avoid a wind up of NuGen,” he said at the conference, hosted by Carlisle MP John Stevenson. “The deal with Kepco may still come to fruition, but we cannot just wait for them to make a decision. It is essential that this project (Moorside) goes ahead and we therefore have to consider alternative ways forward.”

Kepco is understood to have a deal for NuGen on the table but will not sign on the dotted line until it has undertaken a study in to the risks and profitability of applying RAB model to finance Moorside, which allows government regulators to ensure stable returns and finance through government support.

Delays to the deal led Toshiba to strip Kepco of “preferred bidder” status in August. Toshiba is now understood to be in talks with a number of other investors including Brookfield Asset Management, which bought Westinghouse from Toshiba at the beginning of the year for $4.6 billion.

But Mr Samson expressed his support for deploying the RAB model to finance NuGen, although he was keen to stress no firm decisions had been made on whether it would be used.

“I am convinced that the model which is now being proposed by the Government could provide NuGen with a viable path forward which puts NuGen in control of its own future,” he said……….

A recent report from the NIC recommended delivering just one more nuclear power station after Hinkley Point C – namely the Horizon Nuclear Power project at Wylfa Newydd – before pausing for around 10 years to gather evidence on how competitive renewable energy and battery storage projects are in comparison.

Mr Samson said NuGen was “deeply shocked” at the suggestion, which could further damage efforts to progress Moorside, and accused the NIC of failing to recognise the complexity of new nuclear projects and their vital contribution to providing a stable source of energy……….

The event – organised by John Stevenson MP to encourage greater collaboration in the nuclear sector – was sponsored by WYG, UCLan, NuGen and the Centre of Nuclear Excellence.  http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/business/NuGen-chief-vows-to-fight-tooth-and-nail-to-salvage-Moorside-nuclear-power-project-df430793-5e25-42dc-b1ea-ff67886b4f06-ds

September 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Engie warns on profit following Belgian nuclear outages

Engie warns on profit following Belgian nuclear outages, Bate Felix

  • Engie recurring net seen at low end of forecast
  • * Belgian reactor outages extended over concrete problems
  • * Shares recover following the profit warning (Adds Engie statement on earnings)
  • By Bate Felix PARIS, Sept 21 (Reuters) – French gas and power group Engie warned on Friday that the extended outages at its Belgian nuclear plants would push its 2018 net recurring income to the low end of its 2.45 billion-2.65 billion euros ($2.9 billion-$3.1 billion) forecast range.

It said the longer outages would result in a shortfall of around 250 million euros in core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and net recurring income……….

It said the longer outages would result in a shortfall of around 250 million euros in core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) and net recurring income.

……..Engie said earlier that following the discovery of problems with the concrete in some of the nuclear plants operated by its Belgian unit Electrabel, it had decided to prolong the outages at its Tihange 2 and 3 reactors.

 Tihange 2 will now restart on June 1, 2019 instead of Oct. 31, 2018 while Tihange 3 will restart on March 2, 2019 instead of on Sept. 30, 2018.

Belgium’s nuclear power regulator said this week it had detected concrete degradation in two bunkers adjoining Electrabel reactor buildings……..https://www.reuters.com/article/belgium-nuclearpower/update-1-engie-extends-outages-belgiums-tihange-nuclear-reactors-idUSL8N1W72O4

September 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority partnering with Japan Atomic Energy Agency

Whitehaven News 20th Sept 2018 , The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has joined forces with the Japan
Atomic Energy Agency to share expertise in nuclear decommissioning and
radioactive waste management. The NDA – which is responsible for cleaning
up and decommissioning 17 sites in the UK including Sellafield in Cumbria
– has signed an agreement that will see skills, knowledge, research,
information and technology exchanged with the JAEA, Japan’s research and
development institute for nuclear energy.

JAEA’s work includes undertaking research and development work to support the decommissioning
and environmental restoration of TEPCO’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi
Nuclear Power station. It is also aiding the decommissioning of the Monju
fast breeder reactor and the Tokai Reprocessing Plant.
http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk/news/business/NDA-joins-forces-with-Japan-Atomic-Energy-Agency-98721037-4777-4322-a8fc-22b18d0c979e-ds

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Japan, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Scottish peace campaigners pressing big financial institutions to divest from nuclear weapons

The National 20th Sept 2018 ,PEACE campaigners are urging Scots to force the hand of the country’s biggest institutions in a war against nuclear weapons as a bombshell report
is launched. With data drawn from annual results, official statements and
freedom of information reports, the paper reveals the extent to which major
Scottish bodies help fund the making of nuclear weapons.

Billed as a way to help “eliminate” the big-money devices, the document has been produced by
the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in conjunction with
similar organisations. It calls on bank customers, students and pension
holders to press major institutions into divesting their funds from
companies involved in the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

These include Royal Bank of Scotland and the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme
(SLGPS), the largest fund of its kind in the country. It also claims that
success could help sink Trident, arguing: “If we can persuade Scottish
financial institutions to divest from nuclear weapons producers, this will
incentivise those companies to end their involvement with Trident and other
nuclear weapons programmes.”
http://www.thenational.scot/news/16889880.scots-urged-to-put-pressure-on-institutions-funding-nuclear-arms/

September 21, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment