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Safety and security preparations for remote Prevek as floating nuclear power plant enters East Siberian Sea

As floating nuclear power plant enters East Siberian Sea, emergency services in Pevek make a last check Final preparations in the remote Arctic town that will host the floating nuclear installation. Barents Observer, By  Atle Staalesen, September 06, 2019, 

The «Akademik Lomonosov» on the 6th September passed the Sannikov Strait south of the New Siberian Islands and made it into the East Siberian Sea. The floating installation now has only about 3 days left of its extensive voyage across the Northern Sea Route.

According to the Northern Sea Route Administration, the installation and its accompanying vessels are due to arrive in Pevek on the 9th of September.

The «Akademik Lomonosov» on 23rd August set out of the Kola Bay after more than a year of preparations in Murmansk. Towed by icebreaker «Dikson» and accompanied by support ships «Yasnyy» and «Kapitan Martyshkin», the floating power plant had course for the Barents Sea and subsequently made it through the Kara Sea and Laptev Sea.

The voyage from Murmansk to Pevek is about 4,700 km long.

Is Pevek ready?

The formerly desolate town with a population of about 4,200 has been under preparations for years. Visits by federal officials and inspectors have been numerous…….

According to the ministry, a special fire- and rescue department is under construction on site. When completed, the unit can ultimately serve as base for a bigger Arctic rescue center.

On site are also a big number of representatives of nuclear power company Rosatom that be the ones that run the plant…….

Outsourced security

Also law-enforcement authorities are on site preparing to keep an eye on the new strategic object. It is Rosgvardia, the Russian National Guard, that has been commissioned to protect the power plant and its surroundings.

According to the security service, the formation of guarding units were in late August about to be completed and training was ongoing in cooperation with representatives of Rosatom.

Rosgvardia has decided to outsource the protection of the «Akademik Lomonosov» to what it calls «sub-units of non-governmental security.»  The decision to outsource the job has been taken by Rosgvardia Director Viktor Zolotov, the security service informs.

Big risks

The «Akademik Lomonosov» has two KLT40S reactors and will provide heat and electricity to Pevek for the next 12 years. After that, it will have to be towed back either to Rosatomflot’s base in Murmansk, or to a shipyard like in Severodvinsk for unloading the spent nuclear fuel and carry out other maintenance work.

Environmentalists have criticized the project and warned against possible major risks.

Environmental organization Greenpeace has described the project as a “nuclear Titanic” or a “Chernobyl on ice”.  «We are sure it has been built not to cover the needs of Chukotka, but as a working model for possible foreign customers,» says Rashid Alimov, nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace in Moscow told the Barents Observer.
«We think floating nuclear plants are simply a too risky and too expensive way of producing electricity.» https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic-industry-and-energy/2019/09/floating-nuclear-power-plant-enters-east-siberian-sea-emergency
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September 7, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Who will clean up America’s nuclear wastes in Greenland?

Maine Voices: Long-buried U.S. nuclear waste would complicate any bid for Greenland https://www.pressherald.com/2019/08/24/maine-voices-long-buried-u-s-nuclear-waste-would-complicate-trumps-bid-for-greenland/

Would the U.S. or Denmark be responsible for cleaning up over 47,000 gallons of Cold War-era radioactive waste?

August 26, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Massive wildfires are burning across the world- July was hottest month ever

August 24, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Brazil, climate change | 1 Comment

Safety concerns about floating nuclear reactors, and Rosatom admits that electricity from small floating nuclear reactors is more expensive.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, business and costs, Russia, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change

Iceland holds funeral for first glacier lost to climate change

Nation commemorates the once huge Okjokull glacier with plaque that warns action is needed to prevent climate change  Guardian Agence France-Presse 19 Aug 2019 ,

August 20, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September if temps increase 2 degrees

Arctic could be iceless in September if temps increase 2 degrees, Science Daily 

Date:
August 13, 2019
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study.

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati.

The study by an international team of researchers was published in Nature Communications.

“The target is the sensitivity of sea ice to temperature,” said Won Chang, a study co-author and UC assistant professor of mathematics.

“What is the minimum global temperature change that eliminates all arctic sea ice in September? What’s the tipping point?”

The study predicted that the Arctic Ocean could be completely ice-free in September with as little as 2 degrees Celsius of temperature change. Limiting warming to 2 degrees is the stated goal of the 2009 Paris Agreement, the international effort to curb carbon emissions to address warming. The Trump Administration withdrew the United States as a participant in 2017……..

The less summer sea ice the Arctic has, the longer it takes for the Arctic Ocean to ice back over for the polar winter. That could spell bad news for Arctic wildlife such as seals and polar bears that rely on sea ice to raise pups and hunt them, respectively.

The researchers applied the new statistical method to climate model projections of the 21st century. Using the climate models, the authors found at least a 6% probability that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will disappear with warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. At 2 degrees, the likelihood increases to 28%…….https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190813160526.htm

August 15, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Barents Observer report on Russian nuclear reactors in the Arctic

Nuclear fuel carrier “Serebryanka” remains inside closed-off waters near missile explosion site, Barents Observer, By Thomas Nilsen. August 09, 2019      “………Barents Observer report 

The Barents Observer has recently published an overview (pdf) listing the increasing number of reactors in the Russian Arctic. The paper is part of Barents Observer’s analytical popular science studies on developments in the Euro-Arctic Region.

According to the list there are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plants.

Looking 15 years ahead, the number of ships, including submarines, and installations powered by reactors is estimated to increase to 74 with a total of 94 reactors, maybe as many as 114. Additional to new icebreakers and submarines already under construction, Russia is brushing dust of older Soviet ideas of utilizing nuclear-power for different kind of Arctic shelf industrial developments, like oil- and gas exploration, mining and research.  “By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet,” the paper reads.

Also, existing icebreakers and submarines get life-time prolongation. The average age of the Northern Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarines has never been older than today. Several of the submarines built in the 1980s will continue to sail the Barents Sea and under the Arctic ice-cap until the late 2020s.   https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2019/08/severodvinsk-authorities-confirm-mysterious-brief-radiation-spike-after-missile

 

August 10, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Anxiety over Russian nuclear power plant afloat in Arctic

August 10, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia’s planned dangerous expansion into the Arctic with nuclear icebreakers, Rosatom in control, increasing climate change

Russia to build two more nuclear icebreakers   https://bellona.org/news/arctic/2019-08-russia-to-build-two-more-nuclear-icebreakers

Russia has said it will build two new nuclear icebreakers in a bid to make a rapidly melting trade route through the Arctic accessible to shipping traffic on a year round basis.  August 7, 2019 by Charles Digges

August 8, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Unprecedented wildfires in the Arctic release huge CO2 to the atmosphere

Telegraph 27th July 2019 An unprecedented outbreak of wildfires in the Arctic has sent smoke across Eurasia and released more carbon dioxide in two months than the Czech
Republic or Belgium does in a year.

As 44C heatwaves struck Europe,
scientists observed more than 100 long-lasting, intense fires in the Arctic
in June, the hottest month on record, and are seeing even more in July,
according to Mark Parrington of the European Centre for Medium-Range
Weather Forecasts.

Mostly in Alaska and Russia, the infernos have
collectively released more than 120 million tonnes of CO2, more than the
annual output of most countries. It is the most carbon emitted since
satellite monitoring began in the early 2000s. This will further exacerbate
climate change and has sent smoke pouring toward more populated parts of
the world. Pollutants can persist more than a month in the atmosphere and
spread thousands of kilometres.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/07/27/climate-change-warning-arctic-circle-burning-record-rate-forest/

July 29, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Huge Arctic fires have now emitted a record-breaking amount of CO2

Huge Arctic fires have now emitted a record-breaking amount of CO2, 25 July 2019  By Adam VaughanHuge wildfires are continuing to burn across the Arctic, and have now released more carbon dioxide in 2019 than in any year since satellite records began nearly two decades ago.

Temperatures have been well above average in the region, and fires erupted in boreal peatlands across Siberia around 9 June. Normally the fires would last a few days, but this year some vegetation and peatland has been ablaze for a month and a half.

The result is the rapid release … (subscribers only)  https://www.newscientist.com/article/2211013-huge-arctic-fires-have-now-emitted-a-record-breaking-amount-of-co2/#ixzz5v1ZsBrij

July 29, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Nuclear Waste In The Arctic

  https://www.rferl.org/a/nuclear-waste-in-arctic-ocean/30052061.html

July 13, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, Russia, wastes | 2 Comments

Russia’s nuclear power station for the Arctic- a floating Chernobyl?

Russia plans to tow a nuclear power station to the Arctic. Critics dub it a ‘floating Chernobyl’, By Mary Ilyushina, CNN, June 29, 2019  Murmansk, Russia (CNN)Next month, a floating nuclear power plant called the Akademik Lomonosov will be towed via the Northern Sea Route to its final destination in the Far East, after almost two decades in construction.

July 1, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear wastes and other poisons are being released by melting Arctic ice

June 20, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

$70 trillion cost predicted, as Arctic permafrost thaws

Melting permafrost in Arctic will have $70tn climate impact – study  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/23/melting-permafrost-in-arctic-will-have-70tn-climate-impact-study  Jonathan Watts, Global environment editor  @jonathanwatts, 23 Apr 2019 

Study shows how destabilised natural systems will worsen man-made problem The release of methane and carbon dioxide from thawing permafrost will accelerate global warming and add up to $70tn (£54tn) to the world’s climate bill, according to the most advanced study yet of the economic consequences of a melting Arctic.

If countries fail to improve on their Paris agreement commitments, this feedback mechanism, combined with a loss of heat-deflecting white ice, will cause a near 5% amplification of global warming and its associated costs, says the paper, which was published on Tuesday in Nature Communications.

The authors say their study is the first to calculate the economic impact of permafrost melt and reduced albedo – a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed – based on the most advanced computer models of what is likely to happen in the Arctic as temperatures rise. It shows how destabilised natural systems will worsen the problem caused by man-made emissions, making it more difficult and expensive to solve.

They assessed known stocks of frozen organic matter in the ground up to 3 metres deep at multiple points across the Arctic. These were run through the world’s most advanced simulation software in the US and at the UK Met Office to predict how much gas will be released at different levels of warming. Even with supercomputers, the number crunching took weeks because the vast geography and complex climate interactions of the Arctic throw up multiple variables. The researchers then applied previous economic impact models to assess the likely costs.

The authors say their study is the first to calculate the economic impact of permafrost melt and reduced albedo – a measure of how much light that hits a surface is reflected without being absorbed – based on the most advanced computer models of what is likely to happen in the Arctic as temperatures rise. It shows how destabilised natural systems will worsen the problem caused by man-made emissions, making it more difficult and expensive to solve.

They assessed known stocks of frozen organic matter in the ground up to 3 metres deep at multiple points across the Arctic. These were run through the world’s most advanced simulation software in the US and at the UK Met Office to predict how much gas will be released at different levels of warming. Even with supercomputers, the number crunching took weeks because the vast geography and complex climate interactions of the Arctic throw up multiple variables. The researchers then applied previous economic impact models to assess the likely costs.

It would also add to global inequalitybecause most of the economic burden – equivalent to almost the entire world’s current annual GDP – is likely to be borne by countries in warmer poorer regions such as India and Africa, which are most vulnerable to a rise in temperatures.

It would also add to global inequality because most of the economic burden – equivalent to almost the entire world’s current annual GDP – is likely to be borne by countries in warmer poorer regions such as India and Africa, which are most vulnerable to a rise in temperatures.

April 25, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment