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In UK “deep disposal” is planned for the mounting, costly and forever problem of nuclear wastes

How To Solve Nuclear Energy’s Biggest Problem  https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/How-To-Solve-Nuclear-Energys-Biggest-Problem.html  By Haley Zaremba – Jan 22, 2020, Nuclear waste is a huge issue and it’s not going away any time soon–in fact, it’s not going away for millions of years. While most types of nuclear waste remain radioactive for mere tens of thousands of years, the half-life of Chlorine-36 is 300,000 years and neptunium-237 boasts a half-life of a whopping 2 million years.

All this radioactivity amounts to a huge amount of maintenance to ensure that our radioactive waste is being properly managed throughout its extraordinarily long shelf life and isn’t endangering anyone. And, it almost goes without saying, all this maintenance comes at a cost. In the United States, nuclear waste carries a particularly hefty cost.

Last year, in a hard-hitting expose on the nuclear industry’s toll on U.S. taxpayers, the Los Angeles Times reported that “almost 40 years after Congress decided the United States, and not private companies, would be responsible for storing radioactive waste, the cost of that effort has grown to $7.5 billion, and it’s about to get even pricier.” 

How much pricier? A lot. “With no place of its own to keep the waste, the government now says it expects to pay $35.5 billion to private companies as more and more nuclear plants shut down, unable to compete with cheaper natural gas and renewable energy sources. Storing spent fuel at an operating plant with staff and technology on hand can cost $300,000 a year. The price for a closed facility: more than $8 million, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.” 

With the United States as a poster child of what not to do with your nuclear waste, the United Kingdom is taking a much different tack. The UK is currently undertaking what the country’s Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) department says “will be one of the UK’s largest ever environmental projects.” This nuclear waste storage solution comes in the form of a geological disposal facility (GDF), a waste disposal method that involves burying nuclear waste deep, deep underground in a cocoon of backfill, most commonly comprised of bentonite-based cement. This type of cement is able to absorb shocks and is ideal for containing radioactive particles in case of any failure. The GDF system would also be at such a depth that it would be under the water table, minimizing any risk of contaminating the groundwater.

According to reporting from Engineering & Technology, nuclear waste is a mounting issue in Europe and in the UK in particular. “Under European law, all countries that create radioactive waste are obliged to find their own disposal solutions – shipping nuclear waste is not generally permitted except in some legacy agreements. However, when the first countries charged into nuclear energy generation (or nuclear weapons research), disposal of the radioactive waste was not a major consideration. For several of those countries, like the UK, that is now around 70 years ago, and the waste has been ‘stored’ rather than disposed of. It remains a problem.”

In fact, not only does it remain a problem, it is a mounting problem. As nuclear waste has been improperly or shortsightedly managed in the past, the current administration can no longer avoid dealing with the issue. In the past the UK used its Drigg Low-Level Waste Repository on the Cumbrian Coast to treat low and intermediate level waste, but now, thanks to coastal erosion, the facility will soon begin leeching radioactive materials into the sea, although that might not be quite as scary as it sounds.

Back in 2014, the Environment Agency raised concerns that coastal erosion could result in leakage from the site within 100 to 1,000 years, although it was counter-claimed that the levels of radioactivity after such a time would be low enough to be harmless,” Engineering & Technology writes. “This would definitely not be the case for high-level wastes, where radioactivity could remain a hazard into and beyond the next ice age, hence the need for longer-term disposal.” 

Where exactly will that longer-term disposal be based? That’s up for debate. And it won’t be an easy thing to decide, as the RWM says that they will need a community to volunteer to be involved in such a costly, lengthy, and potentially unpopular project. And it’s not just an issue for the current inhabitants of potential locations in the UK, but for many generations to come over the next tens of thousands of years of radioactivity

January 25, 2020 Posted by | UK, wastes | 1 Comment

Rolls Royce’s fantasy plan for so-called ‘mini’ nuclear reactors

January 25, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Sloppy safety and waste management at Electricite de France’s nuclear sites

Improve Nuclear Plant Maintenance Works, Watchdog Says, Francois de Beaupuy, Bloomberg News  (Bloomberg) 24 Jan 2020 — Electricite de France SA and its suppliers must improve maintenance operations at nuclear reactors and waste management because they have lost skills and become sloppy in recent years, the French nuclear safety authority said.

The warning reflects a string of incidents related to substandard manufacturing or installation of equipment at EDF and its suppliers. It underscores the difficulties the French nuclear giant faces in extending the lifetime of aging reactors and building new ones, prompting it to announce an action plan to revamp the industry’s skills.

“There’s a need to reinforce skills and some carelessness among some players in the industry,” Bernard Doroszczuk, chairman of Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, said at a press conference near Paris on Thursday. “There’s a lack of rigor in the oversight of safety by operators,” from manufacturing to welding to equipment tests “which must be corrected.”

Discussions are still going on with EDF regarding safety improvements, including ways to prevent or mitigate the impact outside its plants in case of a severe accident such as the meltdown of the radioactive fuel and its vessel, said Sylvie Cadet-Mercier, a commissioner of the regulator. A spokesman for the utility declined to comment…… https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/edf-must-improve-nuclear-plant-maintenance-works-watchdog-says-1.1378571

January 25, 2020 Posted by | France, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

In UK “big” nuclear power versus “small” (both unaffordable) at Wylfa

The global nuclear lobby might look like a unified force –  it’s anything but!.  The nuclear nations fight each other in desperately trying to flog off their unaffordable white elephant nuclear reactors to ‘developing’ countries, or to any sucker, really. .

The nuclear industry itself is divided –  the ‘conventional’ big nuclear reactors versus the (not yet existing) Small and Medium Nuclear Reactors (SMRs)

No plans’ for Wylfa mini nuclear power station according to developer, https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/no-plans-wylfa-mini-nuclear-17599188, By Owen Hughes, Business correspondent, 20 JAN 2020

Horizon Nuclear Power said its full focus is on delivering a full scale nuke plant.

Wylfa Newydd developer Horizon Nuclear Power says there are “no plans” to build mini reactors at its Anglesey site.

Rolls Royce is currently leading a consortium developing the technology for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) – supported by the UK Government. Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd has been tipped at a prime spot for one of the reactors and over the weekend Wylfa was also reported as a target location.

But Horizon has released a statement making clear the Wylfa site is not being put forward for this technology as they press on with the current plan for a full scale nuclear site.

A spokesman said: “There are no plans to deploy a Rolls Royce Small Modular Reactor at the Wylfa Newydd site.”

He added: “Activity on the Horizon project is currently suspended, but we’re working hard to establish the conditions for a restart using our tried and tested reactor design, which has already cleared the UK regulators’ assessment process.

Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom wants additional information before deciding whether to give planning permission for Wylfa Newydd.

She deferred the decision on the site in October.

If permission is granted then the next step will be securing funding to make the project happen.

When it comes to SMRs, Alan Woods, strategy and business development director for Rolls-Royce, said they were focusing on sites in Wales and the north of England. Modular reactors are smaller and, once the first is approved and built, manufacturers hope mass-production will lead to shorter construction times and lower costs for each unit.

The consortium will need to establish factories to produce the small modular reactors with the pre-fabricated modules transported to sites for construction.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | 1 Comment

Wildfires – drastic climate effects in Australia, but Europe is copping it, too

Wildfires show us how the climate emergency is already affecting Europe, Guardian, Imogen West-Knights We look at the devastation of Australia’s bushfires and don’t believe it could happen here. But it already is, 22 Jan 2020  “………  what we’re seeing in Australia. Since the fire season began there, in the middle of last year, 29 people have died, along with more than a billion animals, and an area comparable in size to the whole of England has been ablaze. It’s a vicious reminder that, for all the sophistication of the modern world, something as primitive as fire can still bring us to our knees. As shocking as the scale of the destruction has been, though, it’s easy to see it on our computer screens here on the other side of the world, in the middle of a British winter, and feel disconnected from it. We accept that the climate emergency is now truly upon us yet still feel that it’s mostly happening to other people, elsewhere.wildfires are increasingly a problem for everyone, including in the UK. Last August, there were almost five times as many of them around the world as there had been the previous August. In the EU, the number of wildfires in the first half of 2019 was three times the annual average for the previous decade. And while they used to be a serious problem only in hotter, southern European countries such as Portugal and Spain, now northern Europe is in trouble too.

The Swedish fires of 2018 were by far the most severe in the country’s history, burning an area almost twice as large as the worst previous wildfire, in 2014. In the UK, 2018 and 2019 were the worst two years on record for wildfires, particularly on moors in the north-west of England and parts of Scotland. One fire last year, at Marsden Moor in Yorkshire, destroyed almost three square miles of land. The damage is on a very different scale to the almost 30,000 square miles that have burned in Australia, of course, but this is still a development we can’t afford to ignore.

Aside from all the more immediate effects – the threat to humans, livestock and wildlife – the recent increase in wildfires has been linked to severe air quality problems. People living up to 62 miles (100km) downwind of fires in the Pennines in 2018 were exposed to toxic fumes. And as there is no sign of cooler weather in the years ahead, it is reasonable to expect more fires in 2020. The EU has now established a fleet of firefighting planes, and the European Forest Institute has warned that unless we take steps to protect the countryside – for instance, by planting less-flammable species and creating barriers to the spread of flames – emergency services won’t be able to prevent the rapid spread and firestorms that have characterised the Australian crisis.

This isn’t all because of the climate crisis – changes to land use and increased urbanisation over several decades are also factors. Weather patterns are noisy data, and it’s difficult to attribute any single wildfire to the climate crisis. The scientific consensus, however, is that it is increasing the intensity and frequency of fire-conducive weather across the world.

Even those fires that are eventually linked to human error, like a still-lit disposable barbecue, are increasingly likely due to warming temperatures. Hotter summers mean more barbecues lit in the first place. The climate crisis is going to change the way we behave in every aspect of our lives. And with the probability of another summer of extreme weather coming, we will need to adapt to new dangers that won’t just be on the other side of the planet but, quite literally, in our own backyards.

It’s not at all clear that we’re ready for what might be coming. There is still a cognitive jump yet to be made when those of us in Europe read about the fires in Australia, from mourning the destruction there to recognising that we face some version of the same threat. When we look at Australia, we’re not looking at the future that might await Europe. That future is already here.

• Imogen West-Knights is a writer and freelance journalist

 

January 23, 2020 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Swedish Parliament Rejects Proposal to Halt Nuclear Shutdown

Swedish Parliament Rejects Proposal to Halt Nuclear Shutdown, Bloomberg,  By Niclas Rolander, January 23, 2020,

A majority in the Swedish parliament rejected a proposal from the nationalist Sweden Democrats to stop Vattenfall AB’s plans to close two nuclear reactors, in a victory for the Social Democrat-led government.

The Sweden Democrats had support from three parties but failed to secure a majority. Its proposal to give the state-owned utility instructions to reverse its plans to wind down the Ringhals 1 reactor and to restart another reactor that was shuttered Dec. 30 lost by a single vote on Wednesday afternoon.

Vattenfall has repeatedly said it isn’t economically viable to keep running the two reactors, which were commissioned in 1975 and 1976, respectively. The company also operates two newer reactors at the plant, which produces a sixth of Sweden’s electricity, and is owned jointly with Germany’s Uniper SE, which holds a 29.6% stake through a subsidiary. ……. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-22/swedish-parliament-rejects-proposal-to-halt-nuclear-shutdown

January 23, 2020 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

Romania quits deal with China for new nuclear reactors

January 23, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Unsafety of Russia’s November-class submarines

Sailing These Russian Nuclear Submarines Was Basically A Suicide Mission, Safety was sacrificed for the sake of performance. National Interest, by Sebastien Roblin, 22 Jan 2020

Key Point: The November-class submarined expanded Soviet influence, but at a cost.

The United States launched the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, in 1954, revolutionizing undersea warfare. The Nautilus’s reactor allowed it operate underwater for months at a time, compared to the hours or days afforded conventional submarines. The following year, the Soviet Union began building its own nuclear submarine, the Project 627—known as the November class by NATO. The result was a boat with a few advantages compared to its American competition, but that also exhibited a disturbing tendency to catastrophic accidents that would prove characteristic of the burgeoning Soviet submarine fleet during the Cold War………

the power of the November class’s reactors was bought at the price of safety and reliability. A lack of radiation shielding resulted in frequent crew illness, and many of the boat suffered multiple reactor malfunctions over their lifetimes. This lack of reliability may explain why the Soviet Union dispatched conventional Foxtrot submarines instead of the November-class vessels during the Cuban Missile Crisis, despite the fact that the diesel boats needed to surface every few days, and for this reason were cornered and chased away by patrolling American ships.

In fact, the frequent, catastrophic disasters onboard the Project 627 boats seem almost like gruesome public service announcements for everything that could conceivably go wrong with nuclear submarines. Many of the accidents reflected not only technological flaws, but the weak safety culture of the Soviet Navy………..

This is just an accounting of major accidents on the November-class boats—more occurred on Echo- and Hotel-class submarines equipped with the same nuclear reactors. Submarine operations are, of course, inherently risky; the U.S. Navy also lost two submarines during the 1960s, though it hasn’t lost any since.

The November-class submarines may not have been particularly silent hunters, but they nonetheless marked a breakthrough in providing the Soviet submarine fleet global reach while operating submerged. They also provided painful lessons, paid in human lives lost or irreparably injured, in the risks inherent to exploiting nuclear power, and in the high price to be paid for technical errors and lax safety procedures. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/sailing-these-russian-nuclear-submarines-was-basically-suicide-mission-115661

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear region, Cumbria, has unusually high rates of certain cancers

NW Evening Mail 16th Jan 2020,   A WORRYING new report has found that Cumbria has the highest incidence rates of certain kinds of cancer in the North West. According to data collated by charity North West Cancer Research, the county ranks 11 per cent higher on key cancers than the national average. As part of the study, analysts assessed the impact of 25 key cancers across the North West and 37 cancers across Wales.
Of the cancers included in the project, the North West over-indexed on 14 cancers, highlighting stark contrasts between the national and regional pictures and demonstrating how those living across the region were more at risk of developing the disease.https://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/18165381.cumbria-highest-cancer-rates-region/

January 20, 2020 Posted by | health, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear’s swansong?

Is This The Death Knell For Nuclear? https://finance.yahoo.com/news/death-knell-nuclear-200000585.html  By Haley Zaremba – Jan 18, 2020 It’s nearly impossible to discuss climate change and the future of the energy industry without discussing nuclear energy.  Nuclear energy produces zero carbon emissions, [ ed.  not so!] it’s ultra-efficient, it’s already in widespread use, and could be scaled up to meet much more of our global energy needs with relative ease, but it is, and will likely always be, an extremely divisive solution.nuclear energy certainly has its fair share of drawbacks. It may not emit greenhouse gases, but what it does produce is deadly nuclear waste that remains radioactive for up to millions of years and we still don’t really know what to do with it other than hold onto it in ever-growing storage spaces. And then there are the horror stories that keep civilians and politicians alike wary if not outright antagonistic toward the technology. Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island loom large in our collective doomsday consciousness, and not without good reason.

We’re still dealing with the aftermath of these nuclear disasters. Japan is in many ways still reeling from 2011’s Fukushima nuclear disaster and recently even threatened to throw radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate into the air because they are running out of storage space for the wastewater they have been using to keep the damaged Fukushima reactors from overheating again. So yeah, nuclear isn’t perfect.

Because of all of these reasons, as well as financial burden, nuclear energy has been on the decline in much of the world (with some notable exceptions in the nuclear-friendly administrations in China and Russia). This is not new news. Now, however, Chatham House, the UK’s Royal Institution of International Affairs, has taken things a step further by taking the official stance that nuclear will never be a serious contender as a solution to catastrophic climate change. 

As paraphrased by environmental news site EcoWatch, the energy experts at Chatham House “agreed that despite continued enthusiasm from the industry, and from some politicians, the number of nuclear power stations under construction worldwide would not be enough to replace those closing down.” The consensus was that this is nuclear’s swan song, and we are now unequivocally entering the era of wind and solar power.

These conclusions were arrived at during a summit convened to discuss the findings of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2019, which concluded that “money spent on building and running nuclear power stations was diverting cash away from much better ways of tackling climate change.”

This echoes the sentiment of many other climate and energy experts, who have long been sounding the alarm bells that renewable energy is not being built up or invested in with nearly enough urgency. Last year the International Energy Agency announced that renewables growth has slumped, and that our current renewable growth rate of 18o GW of added renewable capacity per year is “only around 60 percent of the net additions needed each year to meet long-term climate goals”.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) did the math, calculating exactly how much renewable energy will need to be installed by 2030 if the world has any hope of meeting the goals set by the Paris climate agreement, and they found that “7.7TW of operational renewable capacity will be needed by 2030 if the world is to limit global warming to ‘well below’ 2C above pre-industrial levels, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement,” according to reporting by Wind Power Monthly. “However, at present, countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) amount to 3.2TW of renewable installations by 2030, up from 2.3TW currently deployed.”

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report succinctly sums up the situation while sounding the death knell for nuclear: “Stabilising the climate is urgent, nuclear power is slow. It meets no technical or operational need that these low-carbon competitors cannot meet better, cheaper, and faster.”

January 20, 2020 Posted by | climate change, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Belgium lawmakers narrowly agree to keep U.S. nuclear weapons, Belgian public overwhelmingly opposes this

Belgium debates phase-out of US nuclear weapons on its soil, By Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com Jan 17, 2020 It’s one of Belgium’s worst kept secrets. Lawmakers on Thursday (16 January) narrowly rejected a resolution asking for the removal of US nuclear weapons stationed in the country and joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

66 MPs voted in favour of the resolution while 74 rejected it.

Those in favour included the Socialists, Greens, centrists (cdH), the workers party (PVDA) and the francophone party DéFI. The 74 that voted against included the nationalist Flemish party N-VA, the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the far-right Vlaams Belang and both Flemish and francophone Liberals.

Just before the Christmas recess, the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved a motion calling for the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belgian territory and the accession of Belgium to the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The resolution was led by Flemish socialist John Crombez (sp.a).

With this resolution, the chamber requested the Belgian government “to draw up, as soon as possible, a roadmap aiming at the withdrawal of nuclear weapons on Belgian territory”.

The December resolution was voted in the absence of two liberal MPs, even though the text was already watered down.

According to Flemish daily De Morgen, the American ambassador to Belgium was “particularly worried” about the resolution before Thursday’s vote and a number of MPs were approached by the US embassy for a discussion.

The controversy was sparked by a debate to replace the US-made F-16 fighter aircraft in the Belgian army with American F-35s, a more advanced plane capable of carrying nuclear weapons…….

Although the Belgian government had so far adopted a policy of “to neither confirm, nor deny” their presence on Belgian soil, military officials have called it one of Belgium’s “most poorly kept secrets”.

According to De Morgenwhich obtained a leaked copy of the document before its final paragraph was replaced, the report stated:

“In the context of NATO, the United States is deploying around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe, in particular B61 free-bombs, which can be deployed by both US and Allied planes. These bombs are stored in six American and European bases: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Inçirlik in Turkey……..

Belgium, as a NATO country, so far has not supported the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

However, the resolution voted on Thursday was meant to change that. A public opinion poll conducted by YouGov in April 2019 found that 64% of Belgians believe that their government should sign the treaty, with only 17% opposed to signing. https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/belgium-debates-phase-out-of-us-nuclear-weapons-on-its-soil/

January 20, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anxiety in Belarus and Lithuania, over new Chernobyl-style nuclear power station

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

As building large nuclear stations stall in UK, sites are picked for ‘small] nuclear reactors

REVEALED: Sites for revolutionary mini nuclear power stations led by Rolls-Royce are set to be built in the North of England

  • Whitehall is planning new small nuclear power plants in Cumbria and Wales
  • Britain’s eight large-scale nuclear power plants are reaching their end of life
  • Plans to build a new generation of large-scale nuclear power stations are stalled
  • Officials hope these smaller power stations will be able to plug the potential gap 

Daily Mail, By NEIL CRAVEN FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY  19 January 2020 | The first of a new generation of revolutionary mini nuclear power stations is to be built in the North of England and North Wales by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

A number of existing licensed nuclear sites have already been informally discussed within Whitehall.

The sites under consideration include Moorside in Cumbria and Wylfa in North Wales, where plans for future large-scale reactor projects have recently been shelved/

Britain’s eight large-scale nuclear power plants are nearing the end of their collective lifespan, with most due to close by the end of the decade.

Now a consortium led by Rolls-Royce has tabled plans, subject to approval from regulators, to have the first small reactor plugged in by 2030, promising reliable, low-carbon electricity for decades to come.

It will be followed by up to 16 more mini reactors at other sites, with plans for all to be producing electricity.

It is understood that other locations being considered include Trawsfynydd in Snowdonia, North Wales…….

The pre-fabricated modules would then be transported to sites for construction. Officials have cautioned, though, that there could be public opposition in some areas to a nuclear facility being built nearby. ……..

Work at Wylfa by nuclear developer Horizon, owned by Japanese firm Hitachi, was suspended a year ago amid rising costs. Only months before, plans for a new nuclear power station at Moorside were scrapped after the Japanese giant Toshiba announced it was winding up the project.

A joint investment of £500 million between the Government and the Rolls-Royce consortium was proposed last summer. An initial award from the Government of £18 million was signed off in November, which the consortium will match.

One nuclear industry source said: ‘There is broad support for this programme from Government.’ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7903495/New-Rolls-Royce-mini-nuclear-power-stations-built-North.html

January 20, 2020 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | 1 Comment

V4 group and Austria disagree on nuclear power

Austria and V4 agree on everything but nuclear, by Vlagyiszlav Makszimov and Zuzana Gabrizova | EURACTIV.com, Jan 17, 2020 The leaders of the V4 group met on Thursday (16 January) in Prague’s renovated national museum to discuss migration, border security, competitiveness, enlargement and climate. The newly appointed Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, also in attendance, said he wanted to “fight” the “gaps” between Western and Eastern Europe.

“We want to live in a diverse Europe,” that is yet unified when it comes to the main goals, said Kurz after meeting Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday (12 January).

Kurz emphasised that the V4 as a group are the second most important partner for Austria after Germany, but admitted that his country, a net contributor to the bloc’s budget, has a different point of view from the Visegrád partners when it comes to the distribution of European funds.

In the context of talks on the future EU budget for 2021-2027, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are members of the so-called ‘Friends of cohesion’ group, while Austria and other rich countries are members of the so-called group of “frugal” countries.

“It is very important for Austria not to support nuclear energy but the funds should be allocated on development of renewable energy sources,” said Kurz.

discuss migration, border security, competitiveness, enlargement and climate. The newly appointed Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, also in attendance, said he wanted to “fight” the “gaps” between Western and Eastern Europe.

“We want to live in a diverse Europe,” that is yet unified when it comes to the main goals, said Kurz after meeting Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Tuesday (12 January).

Kurz emphasised that the V4 as a group are the second most important partner for Austria after Germany, but admitted that his country, a net contributor to the bloc’s budget, has a different point of view from the Visegrád partners when it comes to the distribution of European funds.

In the context of talks on the future EU budget for 2021-2027, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are members of the so-called ‘Friends of cohesion’ group, while Austria and other rich countries are members of the so-called group of “frugal” countries.

“It is very important for Austria not to support nuclear energy but the funds should be allocated on development of renewable energy sources,” said Kurz.

Hungarians and Slovaks are currently building new reactors to enlarge their existing power plants, a sore spot for the Austrian government that has previously pledged to fight the construction of new nuclear facilities in neighbouring countries “with all available political and legal means.” …… https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/austria-and-v4-agree-on-everything-but-nuclear/

January 20, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Legal action against Orano’s lying advertising about nuclear power solving climate change

 

Reporterre 16th Jan 2020  The Sortir du nuclear network is filing a complaint against an Orano advertising campaign, which presents nuclear energy as a solution against climate change. A false statement intended to boost investments in a declining sector, denounces the association.

https://reporterre.net/Le-nucleaire-bon-pour-le-climat-Orano-poursuivi-pour-publicite-mensongere

January 18, 2020 Posted by | France, spinbuster | Leave a comment