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Nuclear incident in Belarus: Lithuanian authorities alert citizens

December 4, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, incidents | Leave a comment

Doubts on safety of extending life of France’s nuclear reactors: public consultation until 15 December

20Minutes 3rd Dec 2020, This Thursday and until January 15, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) is opening a public consultation on the conditions for the continued operation, beyond 40 years, of the 34 900 MWe (electric megawatt) reactors in France. The subject is very sensitive. “France has not prepared any alternatives so that the non-extension of these reactors can be an option”,  deplores Greenpeace.

The challenge then is that these reactors provide the same levels of safety as the EPRs, new generation reactors. Is it
possible ? Yves Marignac, at NegaWatt, like Roger Spautz, at Greenpeace, doubt it. Above all, they question the technical and financial capacities of EDF to carry out the adjustments requested by ASN to allow these extensions.

https://www.20minutes.fr/planete/2920535-20201203-nucleaire-prolongation-reacteurs-dela-40-ans-serieux
tion.wordpress.com/

December 4, 2020 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

UK’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Department rejects the claim that nuclear power is ”zero carbon”

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Department accept that nuclear is not a ‘zero carbon’ source of electricity– implications for EdF’s advertisement claims. TASC 30th November 2020

On the 15th October, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) wrote to BEIS pointing out that the nuclear power developer behind Hinkley Point C and the notional Sizewell C plants was justifying its TV ad claim that it is the ‘biggest producer of carbon free electricity’ by referencing a BEIS website in which the claim of ’zero carbon’ was made for renewables and nuclear.

In a response to TASC received on the 25th November, Director of Nuclear at BEIS, Stephen Speed who also co-chairs the BEIS/NGO nuclear forum acknowledged the error, stated, ‘….we agree with your argument that the environmental impact table of the Fuel Mix Disclosure report could cause confusion. I have asked for the report to be amended with a line that explains that the table relates only to generator emissions in the operational phase and does not include emissions related to the fuel supply chain or maintenance
activities.’

Despite the fact that TASC would still contest the assumption that even generator carbon emissions are zero, the concession
from BEIS is a good interim result. Commenting on the agreement to alter the information on the website, Pete Wilkinson, Chairman of TASC, said today, ‘This acknowledgement from BEIS is welcome and important. At a time when the future of nuclear power in the UK is in the balance, removing official support for the zero carbon claim changes the game, and  fundamentally exposes nuclear power’s climate change credentials as insignificant.

The word ‘zero’ can no longer be used when referencing nuclear power and carbon. ‘Moreover, it forces EdF to desist in making
the assertion which they had hitherto justified by pointing to a BEIS website which upheld their misplaced claim. ‘It may also, finally, force our local MP, Dr Therese Coffey, to drop the phrase as well. Incredibly for a Secretary of State, she has used the zero carbon claim in her response to the EdF planning application which the inspectorate will be examining next year and has refused to meet members of TASC on the grounds that our anti-nuclear views are ‘well known’. Such an attitude is rude, facile and possibly in breach of the Parliamentary Code.’

https://tasizewellc.org.uk/tasc-news/

December 3, 2020 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Armenia’s ticking time bomb – a decaying Soviet nuclear reactor

December 3, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear power is dead. Here’s why it’s pretending that it’s not

 

December 3, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Incidents at Belarus nuclear station have alarmed neighbouring Lithuania

Lithuania wary of incident at Belarus nuclear plant  https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/lithuania-weary-of-incident-at-belarus-nuclear-plant/   Benas Gerdžiūnas |   1 Dec 20LRT.lt/en  Lithuania has asked Belarus for clarification after its new nuclear plant located some 50 kilometres from the country’s capital suffered an incident just five days after launch.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in the opening of the plant on 6 November, where he said the launch of the Astravyets NPP was as “ordinary” as building a metro.

“Belarus is becoming a nuclear power,” he declared.

Several voltage-measuring transformers outside of the nuclear reactor exploded during an incident on 7 November, according to sources at TUT.by, an independent media outlet in Belarus.

On Monday, the Belarusian Energy Ministry said that “a need to replace the measuring equipment arose” during testing, without providing further details.

Lithuania’s State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) said the plant is still undergoing testing. However, “we have also received no information about the [planned] next steps to launch the plant”, VATESI told BNS in a written comment.

Lithuania has been one of the most ardent critics of the nuclear plant built by the Russian state atomic corporation Rosatom and funded by a loan from the Kremlin.

Vilnius says the plant is unsafe and was built in breach of international safety standards. Minsk denies all allegations.

In September, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland had sent a joint statement to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and contracting parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), calling on Belarus to start addressing nuclear safety issues without delay.

At the same time, the Russian company Rosatom is in talks with Belarus about the construction of a second nuclear power plant and a research reactor in the country, Rosatom chief Alexander Likhachev announced on Tuesday in a video statement.

In August, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed not to purchase electricity from the plant.

The Baltic states are gearing up to switch from the Russian-controlled BRELL electricity grid that also includes Belarus, and synchronise with the continental European system by 2025.

(Benas Gerdžiūnas, LRT.lt/en | Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Armenian paper urges use of a nuclear ”dirty bomb” on Azerbaijan

paper urges use of nuclear bomb on Azerbaijan, Writer urges Armenia to use nukes against Azerbaijani population, turn capital into ‘wasteland for next 5,000 years’ AA 2020 Vakkas Doğantekin   |01.12.0   ANKARA

An Armenian newspaper in the US published an opinion piece that urges the use of universally banned weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) against Azerbaijan and its civilian population.

The piece by Stepan Altounian called on the Armenian government to use any nuclear weapon available to turn the Azerbaijani capital Baku into a “wasteland for the next 5,000 years.”

“I, as probably all Armenians, was devastated but not necessarily surprised over the news that Armenia lost to the Azeris,” Altounian wrote, referring to Armenia’s Nov. 10 surrender to Azerbaijan in the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also known as Upper Karabakh.

Intense fighting that erupted on Sept. 27 ended weeks later when the Armenian occupiers retreated from territories internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In the controversial piece, endorsed and published by the Armenian media group Asbarez, Altounian asked “Where was the nuclear option?” at a time when governments and the UN are urging nuclear disarmament.

“Why not take the nuclear waste from Metzamor and manufacture dirty bombs?” he wrote. …….. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/azerbaijan-front-line/armenian-paper-urges-use-of-nuclear-bomb-on-azerbaijan/2062187

December 3, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Grid flexibility a better choice than nuclear – could save UK $millions

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

When even a right wing news medium like Forbes start questioning the ”wisdom” of nuclear development , that industry must be getting worried.

Ditch Nuclear And Save $860 Million With Grid Flexibility, U.K. Told, Forbes,   David Vetter Senior Contributor, 30 Nov 2, 

The U.K. could save money, reduce the risk of blackouts and more quickly achieve its carbon-cutting goals by abandoning plans to build more nuclear power facilities and instead invest in a flexible electricity grid, new analysis has found.

According to the report from Finnish energy tech firm Wärtsilä, the U.K. would stand to save $860 million per year if, instead of new nuclear power, the government backed grid flexibility measures, such as battery storage and thermal generation. That equates to a saving of about $33 dollars per British household per year. Crucially, the analysis revealed that even if energy generation was to remain the same as it is today, Britain could increase renewables’ share of that generation to 62% simply by adding more flexibility (renewables currently account for around 47% of electricity used, according to the government).

The Wärtsilä report is timely because, in a ten-point plan released earlier this month, prime minister Boris Johnson promised an additional $684 million for the nuclear sector, and the building of new large and small nuclear power stations. Notably, grid flexibility was not mentioned in the plan.

The report also raises questions about the necessity of the 3.2 gigawatt Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, under development in Somerset, southwest England, which has been dogged by controversy and delays since its inception. In addition to coming with all the usual challenges associated with nuclear fission—not least the storage of radioactive waste—the project is at least $3.6 billion over budget and has been the target of numerous lawsuits and both local and international complaints.

Speaking to Forbes.com, Ville Rimali, growth and development director at Wärtsilä Energy, explained why his firm determined that grid flexibility is a preferable alternative to nuclear, as Britain looks for a pathway to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Flexibility unlocks more renewable energy by balancing the intermittency of wind and solar power to ensure the power supply always matches demand,” Rimali said. “For example, when more power is generated than needed, you can store the surplus in batteries to be used later. The alternative is paying renewables to switch off, which is expensive and inefficient.”

“It’s a bit like running a bath where the volume of water and the size of the plug keep changing,” he explained. “The smaller the bathtub, the more likely the water is to overflow or run out. Flexibility is like having a bigger bathtub—you can pour more water in, without the risk of running out or overflowing.” ………

 investing in nuclear power could, according to Wärtsilä, entrench an inflexible grid while making renewables such as solar and wind less cost-effective.

“New nuclear sites will rely heavily on government subsidies, negatively impact market prices and ultimately weaken the business case for renewables and flexibility,” Rimali said………   https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidrvetter/2020/11/30/ditch-nuclear-and-save-860-million-with-grid-flexibility-uk-told/?sh=2733622b1975

December 1, 2020 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority doesn’t know how much the waste clean up wiill cost or when it will finish


David Lowry’s Blog 27th Nov 2020, The nuclear industry has perpetrated a lot of untruths in six decades of dissembling. But the brazen atomic assertion repeated endlessly in the1950s that atomic energy would produce power “too cheap to meter” ( originally said by the then chairman of the US Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Stauss, on 16 September 1954, speech to the US National Association of Science Writers when he opined: “It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter..”)
Parliament’s public spending watchdog body, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed on 27 November the huge costs escalations for dealing with the British nuclear waste stockpile, stating: “The cost of the long-term liability to decommission the UK’s civil nuclear sites now stands at £132 billion, though by its nature this estimate is inherently uncertain. Even the cost to take the Magnox sites to the care and maintenance stage of the decommissioning process is highly uncertain, with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) currently estimating that it will cost anything from £6.9 billion to £8.7 billion.”
The PAC goes on to explain that the timetable for completing this work is “similarly uncertain,” with a current estimate of anything from 12 to 15 years, adding “past experience tells us that these estimates could increase further.” The MPs believe that the efforts to produce a reliable estimate are “made more difficult by the historical legacy of decommissioning being an afterthought when the nuclear industry was established, and poor records of what hazardous materials are on the sites.
In this context, the NDA faces a considerable challenge to produce a reliable cost estimate. However, lack of knowledge about the sites was a significant factor in the failure of the Magnox procurement and original contract, which seriously damaged the NDA’s reputation and has now cost the taxpayer in excess of £140 million, and it continues to be a major barrier to making
progress.”

http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.com/2020/11/nuclear-dissembling-from-too-cheap-to.html

December 1, 2020 Posted by | politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

With independence, Scotland will remove allnuclear weapons from the Clyde

The National 29th Nov 2020, EVERY single nuclear weapon will be removed from the Clyde once Scotland
becomes independent, according to Ian Blackford. The SNP Westminster leader
was unequivocal as he opened the second day of his party’s conference via
video link from Skye.

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18907017.ian-blackford-desperate-tory-bid-prevent-independence-doomed/

December 1, 2020 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s beautiful Lake District – no “final solution” for the nuclear waste problem.

Radiation Free Lakeland 28th Nov 2020, Millom Rock and Deer Parks, This is a lovely description of a walk in an amazingly beautiful area.unbelievable it could be seriously considered as a nuclear waste dump. This quarry and surrounding area is being seriously considered by Radioactive Waste Management (a government quango) for the “disposal” of heat generating nuclear wastes.

In order to justify new nuclear build such as that at Hinkley Point, there needs to be a “final solution” for the
nuclear waste. This is no solution it is an excuse. A very dangerous excuse.

https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2020/11/28/millom-rock-deer-parks/

November 29, 2020 Posted by | environment, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

£132billion and counting – Britain’s nuclear decommissioning mess could take 120 years

Daily Mail 27th Nov 2020, The £132bn bill to make our nuclear sites safe: Decommissioning will cost a fortune and could take up to 120 years, report warns. The cost to current and future taxpayers is estimated at £132billion and more than a century of work will have a significant impact on those who live nearby, added the report. Just to get the sites to the care and maintenance stage of the process will cost up to £8.7 billion.
The PAC said past experience suggests the estimates will soon be out of date, with costs rising even higher. According to the report the NDA admits that it does not fully understand the condition of the sites, which include ten former Magnox power stations.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8991859/The-132bn-bill-make-nuclear-sites-safe-Decommissioning-cost-fortune.html

November 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

UK taxpayers foot huge bill for the incompetence of The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)

UK’s nuclear sites costing taxpayers ‘astronomical sums’, say MPs
Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame,  Guardian, 
Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarrington Fri 27 Nov 2020 The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

The NDA acknowledges that it still does not have full understanding of the condition of its sites, including 10 closed Magnox stations from Dungeness in Kent to Hunterston in Ayrshire, the MPs report said.

The NDA’s most recent estimate is that it will cost current and future generations of UK taxpayers £132bn to decommission the civil nuclear sites, with the work not being completed for another 120 years.

Since 2017, the NDA’s upper estimate of the cost of the 12-15-year programme just to get the sites to the ”‘care and maintenance” stage of the decommissioning process has increased by £3.1bn to £8.7bn. “Our past experience suggests these costs may increase further,” said the MPs’ report.

The lack of knowledge of the sites was a significant factor in the failure of a 2014 contract the NDA signed with a private sector company to decommission the Magnox sites. The government was forced to take back the contract in 2018 and the botched tender has now cost taxpayers £140m, the MPs found.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, deputy chair of the public accounts committee (PAC), said: “Although progress has been made since our [2018] report, incredibly, the NDA still doesn’t know even where we’re currently at, in terms of the state and safety of the UK’s disused nuclear sites. Without that, and after the Magnox contracting disaster, it is hard to have confidence in future plans or estimates.” ……….

The UK has eight operating nuclear power plants, with all but one due to retire in the next decade. Only one new plant is being built, at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and it is years behind schedule and billions over budget.

Despite recent speculation over another new plant being given the go-ahead at Sizewell in Suffolk, Boris Johnson failed to announce this in his green industrial revolution plan last week. The government’s new national infrastructure strategy, published on Wednesday, said: “The government is pursuing large-scale nuclear projects, subject to clear value for money for both consumers and taxpayers.”

In 2015, the government stripped another private consortium of a £9bn contract to clean up the nuclear waste site at Sellafield. The company had been heavily criticised for its executives’ expense claims which included a £714 bill for a “cat in a taxi”.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/27/uks-nuclear-sites-costing-taxpayers-astronomical-sums-say-mps#_=_

November 28, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, politics, UK | Leave a comment

New comic book investigates the dilemma about France’s nuclear wastes

Mediapart 26th Nov 2020, What to do with nuclear waste? Bury them. Or ? Where the population is reluctant to dispute. For example, in Meuse. But how to convince the last recalcitrant? By watering the municipalities with subsidies. What if they resist? There remains repression. This mind-boggling story is that of a new comic book investigative book: One hundred thousand years.

https://blogs.mediapart.fr/la-revue-dessinee/blog/251120/bure-ou-le-scandale-enfoui-des-dechets-nucleaires

November 28, 2020 Posted by | France, media, wastes | Leave a comment

Comprehensive research now shows that irradiated areas near Chernobyl have fewest mammals

Scientific American (accessed) 26th Nov 2020, More than 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear plant’s meltdown, an 18-mile
radius around the site remains almost entirely devoid of human
activity—creating a haven for wildlife. But scientists disagree over
lingering radiation’s effects on animal populations in this region, called
the Exclusion Zone.

A new analysis, based on estimating the actual doses
animals receive in various parts of the zone, supports the hypothesis that
areas with the most radiation have the fewest mammals. “The effects we
saw are consistent with conventional wisdom about radiation,” says
University of South Carolina biologist Timothy Mousseau, co-author of the
new study in Scientific Reports. “What’s surprising is that it took this
long to start looking at this in a rigorous, comprehensive way.”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/chernobyl-exclusion-zone-radiation-doses-reanalyzed/

November 28, 2020 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment