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Anxiety about nuclear weapons transport paused for 2 hours

Herald 16th July 2018 , AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a freight train carrying nuclear
material ran a stop signal near to Kingussie on Friday night. The service
was carrying spent fuel from the Dounreay Power Station to the
decommissioning site at Sellafield, Cumbria. It came to a stop after
travelling past a red light before being moved to a “position of safety” by
concerned officials. Direct Rail Services (DRS), the company which handles
shipments between the two sites on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning
Authority (NDA), said they understand there was no risk of collision due to
the error.

However, concerns have been raised as to why a train loaded with
radioactive material was allowed to sit there for almost two hours. An
investigation has since been launched into the circumstances of the
“highly-disturbing” incident. DRS has been transporting spent fuel between
the two sites for a number of years. The material is taken from Dounreay to
Georgemas Junction and loaded on to the train to Carlisle and then onto
Sellafield.

Tor Justad, chairperson of the Highlands Against Nuclear
Transport group, said: “We’ve been campaigning for these shipments to be
stopped and for the material to be kept on site. Storing nuclear material
is hazardous enough but it’s when you go to transport it that accidents can
happen. And obviously an incident like this is highly-disturbing. We know
that low-level radiation is emitted from these canisters so to hear that
the train was sitting at Kingussie for hours is concerning.”
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16356092.investigation-launched-after-train-carrying-nuclear-material-ran-stop-signal-at-kingussie/

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July 18, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

European Court of Justice’s ruling gives high-risk nuclear technology with billion-dollar subsidies an unfair competitive advantage.

Rebecca Harms MEP 12th July 2018 ,Rebecca Harms , spokeswoman for the Greens / EFA Group in the European
Parliament , comments on the European Court of Justice’s ruling that the EU
Commission’s decision to grant aid to the United Kingdom for the
construction of a nuclear reactor at the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant
is legitimate .

“The Euratom Treaty is a relic of the past and gives the
high-risk nuclear technology with billion-dollar subsidies an unfair
competitive advantage. The Euratom Treaty does not match the European
requirements for clean energy and fair competition. We must end the
distortion of competition in the European energy market, reform the Euratom
Treaty and rely on the energy transition. ”

Here you will find the report ”
Pathways to a Euratom Reform ” on behalf of the Greens / EFA Group.
http://rebecca-harms.de/post/zitat-von-rebecca-harms-zur-entscheidung-des-europaeischen-gerichtshof-gruenes-licht-fuer-hinkley-point-subventionen-euratom-vertrag-zu-geben-36732

July 18, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

66% of UK voters support onshore wind power

Independent 16th July 2018 , Two-thirds of British people think the government should ditch the policies
that have all but killed off the UK’s onshore wind industry, according to a
new poll.

Since new rules governing the construction of onshore turbines
were introduced following the election in 2015, planning applications for
new wind farms have plummeted by 94 per cent. As the government struggles
to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions targets, experts have criticised
the effective ban on technology that is widely considered the UK’s cheapest
new power source.

Aside from the environmental and industry arguments for
promoting onshore wind, the technology has considerable support from the
British public, as the government’s own data on public attitudes to
renewable energy have shown. Now, a new opinion poll by YouGov has revealed
66 per cent of voters would support a change in policy that allowed onshore
wind farms to be built in places where they have local backing. Current
policies were initially introduced following a Conservative promise to
“halt the spread of onshore wind farms” which “often fail to gain public
support”.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/onshore-wind-ban-lift-voters-renewable-energy-renewableuk-yougov-a8449381.html

July 18, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Russia’s huge nuclear submarine on show in Finland as Trump arrives for summit with Putin

Putin to show off huge nuclear submarine just south of Helsinki as summit with Trump sails up  Barents Observer The Oscar-II class vessel is similar to the Kursk that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000. By Thomas Nilsen, July 11, 2018 

The Russian navy on Wednesday confirms the participation of “Orel” nuclear powered submarine sailing together with the convoy of Northern Fleet warships en route from Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula towards St. Petersburg.

“The first group includes the large anti-submarine ship “Severomorsk” and the nuclear submarine missile cruiser “Orel”, the press service of the Northern Fleet says in a noteposted on the Defense Ministry’s portal Wednesday evening.

Also, the recently modernized missile cruiser “Marshal Ustinov” and the brand new frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” are sailing in the same navy group, as previously reported by the Barents Observer.

The Russian warships are Wednesday evening in Skagerrak south of Norway and will during the next 24 hours pass through Storebælt in Denmark. The route continues south of Bornholm, then north along the east side of the Swedish island of Gotland before turning east into the Gulf of Finland.

Arrival in the Gulf of Finland is expected within a few days, the Northern Fleet writes.

This means Putin will have one of his navy’s largest nuclear-powered submarines sailing just south of Helsinki either a day or two before the summit, or about the same time as the historical meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump takes place on July 16th.

The ships are sailing towards Kronstadt outside St. Petersburg where they will participate in the annual Navy Parade taking place on July 29th……..  https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2018/07/large-russian-nuclear-submarine-sails-scandinavian-waters, 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Cool down nuclear plan because renewables are better bet – advisers tell UK government

 https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jul/10/nuclear-renewables-are-better-bet-ministers-told  ministers told Government advisers say UK should back just one more new nuclear power station in the next few years, Guardian,  Adam Vaughan, 15 July 18

Government advisers have told ministers to back only a single new nuclear power station after Hinkley Point C in the next few years, because renewable energy sources could prove a safer investment.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) said the government should cool down plans for a nuclear new build programme that envisage as many as six plants being built.

The commission, launched by George Osborne in 2015, said that a decade ago it would have been unthinkable that renewables could be affordable and play a major role in electricity generation. But the sector had undergone a “quiet revolution” as costs fell, it said. 

Sir John Armitt, the NIC’s chairman, said: “They [the government] say full speed. We’re suggesting it’s not necessary to rush ahead with nuclear. Because during the next 10 years we should get a lot more certainty about just how far we can rely on renewables.”

He argued that wind and solar could deliver the same generating capacity as nuclear for the same price, and would be a better choice because there was less risk. “One thing we’ve all learnt is these big nuclear programmes can be pretty challenging, quite risky – they will be to some degree on the government’s balance sheet,” he said.

I don’t think anybody’s pretending you can take forward a new nuclear power station without some form of government underwriting or support. Whereas the amount required to subsidise renewables is continually coming down.”

Renewables were a “golden opportunity” to make the UK greener and make energy affordable, he added.

Armitt said he was agnostic about whether the next power station was the one Hitachi wanted to build in Wales, or one EDF Energy hoped to build in Suffolk. The government is in the process of negotiating a deal with Hitachi to enable the project at Wylfa on Anglesey to go ahead.

But the NIC’s report was unequivocal. It said: “Government should not agree support for more than one nuclear power station beyond Hinkley Point C before 2025.”

Armitt said: “By that point we should be in better position on storage technology and presumably [will] continue to see a drop in price on renewables.”

The NIC said that by 2030 a minimum of 50% of power should come from renewables, up from about 30% today.

New figures released by energy analytics firm EnAppSys show renewables have already overtaken nuclear for electricity generation. Wind, solar and biomass power stations supplied 28.1% of power across April, May and June, with nuclear at 22.5%, the third quarter in a row that renewables have outstripped nuclear.

But Armitt said he was hopeful that, as an independent adviser to ministers, his recommendations would fall on receptive ears. “We’ve seen how long it took to negotiate Hinkley – does the government really want to have to keep going through those sort of negotiations?” he said.

Separate research commissioned by the NIC and published on Tuesday found that nuclear and renewables could meet climate targets for comparable costs.

Aurora Energy Research concluded that, regardless of which technology was pursued, the power sector would have to reach zero emissions by 2050 to hit legally binding carbon goals.

In a statement, EDF Energy said it believed “in having as much renewable power as practically possible and is making major investments in renewables. However, having too much of one energy type creates risks to security of supply and increases costs.”

 

July 16, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK’s Ministry of Defence secretive about safety ratings for the Trident nuclear weapons system

Trident nuclear safety ratings kept secret by MoD, Herald Scotland, Rob Edwards , 14 July 18

THE Ministry of Defence has refused to reveal official safety ratings for the Trident nuclear weapons system and nuclear-powered submarines on the Clyde, citing “national security”.

The annual ratings, and the reports that justified them, were published for ten years by the MoD, uncovering a series of concerns about spending cutbacks, staff shortages and accidents. But now ministers have clamped down and decided that they can’t release any findings at all on security grounds.

Experts have accused the MoD of trying to evade public scrutiny, hide “cock-up and incompetence” and endanger public safety. But the MoD has insisted that the secrecy had not prevented independent assessment of the nuclear programme, which met “all the required standards”.

Safety during the refurbishment, transportation and storage of Trident nuclear warheads, along with the operation of the UK reactor-powered submarine fleet based at Faslane near Helensburgh, is regulated by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). Unlike the civil nuclear power industry, which is overseen by the independent Office for Nuclear Regulation, DNSR is part of the MoD.

After a prolonged freedom of information battle, the MoD started publishing DNSR annual reports from 2005. They were released over ten years until 2014-2015, highlighting issues as “regulatory risks” 86 times, including 13 rated as high priority, 50 as medium priority and 23 as low priority.

…… In November 2018 the Sunday Herald revealed that the MoD had abruptly decided to stop publishing the annual DNSR reports to protect national security. Last week the defence minister, Guto Bebb, went further, refusing to give any indication of even the headline summaries of the reports covering the last three years…….The Scottish National Party attacked the MoD’s secrecy. “This is simply not good enough and the MoD have a bad track record on transparency,” said the party’s defence spokesperson, Stewart McDonald MP.

“Safety and security are paramount when it comes to anything nuclear – and we need to be confident that is always the case.”

The independent nuclear engineer, John Large, described national security as a “flimsy excuse” for hiding nuclear safety issues. He suggested that the four Vanguard submarines that carry Trident warheads will all have to be brought into dock for unplanned overhauls because of problems with the ageing reactors that drive them.

“There is good reason to believe that both human resource and technical issues are continuing to impact on the reliability and full strength deployment of both the hunter-killer and Vanguard nuclear-powered submarines,” he said.

“The suppression of if and how the Royal Navy is reaching its nuclear safety targets is of great concern because within the MoD’s hierarchal review structure there is no opportunity for independent assessment. In effect, the buck stops short of a faceless admiral, whose primary duty of providing the nuclear deterrent overrides the safety of the public at large.”…..

Professor Andy Stirling, a nuclear expert from the University of Sussex, warned that secrecy could hide public dangers. “The British military nuclear establishment is increasingly seeking to escape public scrutiny and democratic accountability,” he said.

“The MoD is using the trump card of security to quash reasonable questions. History shows how dangerous this state of affairs can be, and how essential it is to achieve healthy transparency.”

……… Nuclear safety risks identified in reports by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator2014-15: five risks – shortage of engineers “the principal threat to the delivery of nuclear safety”

2013-14: eight risks – sustainability of the necessary nuclear skill set “remains fragile”

2012-13: eight risks – ageing nuclear submarines require attention “to ensure maintenance of adequate safety performance”

2011: eight risks – “lack of adequate resource to deliver the defence nuclear programmes safely”

2010: eight risks – danger of accidents “progressively worse” because of “painful” spending cutbacks

2009: nine risks – spending cuts meant that it was no longer possible to ensure that nuclear activities “remain safe”

2008: nine risks – some areas “barely resourced” to deliver nuclear safety

2007: 11 risks – “potentially significant risks” at nuclear sites across the UK

2006: 11 risks – “crew fatigue” could cause hazards during the road transport of nuclear weapons

2005: nine risks – “slow progress in implementing the regulation framework for the nuclear weapons programme” http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/16355206.trident-nuclear-safety-ratings-kept-secret-by-mod/

July 16, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s academic and government experts now agree that renewable energy, not nuclear power, is Britain’s future

Telegraph 15th July 2018 , Support for renewable energy is no longer the preserve of eco-warriors, nor
the enemy of the sceptical pragmatist. Experts from academia and government
agree that after years of heavy subsidy, renewable energy is close to
paying its own way.

“Few would have imagined that by 2018 we would be
talking about a subsidy-free future for renewables,” admits Mateusz Wronski
of Aurora Energy Research. “Yet this is where we have arrived – and our
research highlights clearly the enormous prize and potential in the market,
not only in Great Britain but across Europe.”

Aurora broke ranks with traditional energy rhetoric earlier this year by publishing data showing
that new renewable energy projects are now the cheapest source of
electricity in the market and hold the promise of a multi-billion-pound
investment boom for Britain. “The subsidy-free revolution is here, and it’s
big. This is a £60bn investment opportunity in north-west Europe alone,”
Wronski says, with Britain poised to gain far more than any other country
from the coming revolution.

A rapid shift in the economics of energy has
brought renewables to the brink of a major tipping point only a few years
away. Britain could begin to host onshore wind and solar projects without
the need for subsidies from the early 2020s, to unlock about £20bn of
investment between now and 2030. At the end of the next decade, offshore
wind will follow suit.

Last week, the renewable agenda found a fresh ally.
Sir John Armitt, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission,
made the most hard-headed case for renewable energy yet. In the first ever
independent assessment of Britain’s infrastructure needs, the commission
dealt a blow to the Government’s nuclear ambitions by warning ministers
against striking a deal for more than one follow-up to the Hinkley Point C
project before 2025.

Instead, government should focus its efforts on
rolling out more renewable power. The pace of the zero-subsidy roll-out
could become quicker if developers are allowed to enter their “zero” bids
into the flurry of auctions held by National Grid throughout the year to
guarantee generation and an optimal frequency for the grid. By taking part
in the subsidy auctions, wind developers would soon be able to cast a bid
at or below the cost of wholesale power prices, which would effectively
mean zero added costs to bills. This would provide certainty to investors,
lower the project’s risk and reduce the cost of capital needed to bring the
projects to life. In turn, consumers would be in line for lower bills.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/07/15/wind-change-reshape-energy-landscape-renewables-start-pay-way/

July 16, 2018 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima residents visit north Wales to warn people against nuclear power

What Fukushima disaster victims want to tell people of North Wales about new reactor plans, Daily Post , 15 July 18

Visitors from the stricken region have been in Anglesey and Gwynedd,

Victims of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan visited North Wales to warn people against building new reactors at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd.

Horizon Nuclear Power’s plans to build the £12bn Wylfa Newydd have been formally accepted for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate.

A period of consultation is now taking place while talks are held with the Westminster Government, which also recently revealed plans to build another reactor at Trawsfynydd.

Yesterday morning, two farmers and a journalist from Fukushima visited Anglesey to share their first-hand experiences of the nuclear …….Farmer Satoshi Nemoto said: “The nuclear accident has kept farmers throwing away their products. Dairy farmers have been forced to kill cows or leave them behind in sheds. Farmer Satoshi Nemoto said: “The nuclear accident has kept farmers throwing away their products. Dairy farmers have been forced to kill cows or leave them behind in sheds.    Fellow farmer Isao Baba from Namie, 10km from the disaster site, said he still can’t return home to what is called the “Difficult to Return Zone”. ……https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/what-fukushima-disaster-victims-want-14907594

July 16, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Malformed insects found around Swiss nuclear power plants

Abnormal bugs found around Swiss nuclear power plants http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2018/7/11/abnormal-bugs-found-around-swiss-nuclear-power-plants.html  A new study, believed to be the first to investigate health effects on insects near operating nuclear power plants, has found a highly significant twofold increase in morphological malformations on true bugs in the 5 km vicinity of three Swiss nuclear power stations.

The study — Morphological Abnormalities in True Bugs (Heteroptera) near Swiss Nuclear Power Stations — was conducted by Alfred Körblein, a physicist and authority on the health impacts of low-dose radiation, and Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, who has studied and painted insects affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident. (You can read more about Hesse-Honegger’s work here.) Earlier studies on wildlife around Chernobyl and Fukushima found large and highly statistically significant incidences of radiation-induced mutation rates.  Due to its ecological design, however, the Swiss study cannot answer the question whether the effect is caused by radiation from nuclear power plants. However, given the results, the researchers are calling for future studies to confirm their findings. Read the study.

July 16, 2018 Posted by | environment, Reference, Switzerland | Leave a comment

European court dismissed Austria’s arguments against UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear project

Nucnet 12th July 2018 , Europe’s second highest court has rejected Austrian objections to the
planned Hinkley Point C nuclear station in southwest England, saying
British government aid offered to the project did not violate EU rules.

The European Commission approved the project in October 2014, saying it did not
see any competition issues, but a previous Austrian government took issue
with the decision and filed a case with the General Court in 2015, arguing
that it contradicted EU policy of supporting renewable energy.

Luxembourg has also challenged the approval, backed by a group of more than 20
academics, politicians and renewable energy officials who say it distorts
competition and flouts rules on government subsidies. But the court noted
in its decision today that the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Poland,
Romania, Slovakia and the UK intervened in support of the EC.

The General Court dismissed Austria’s arguments against the project. The court said:
“The General Court confirms the decision by which the Commission approved
the aid provided by the UK in favour of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power
station,” judges said. The judges said Britain has the right to choose
between the different energy sources.
https://www.nucnet.org/all-the-news/2018/07/12/european-court-dismisses-austria-s-objections-to-hinkley-point-c

July 16, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, legal | Leave a comment

British residents will be locked into very high electricity costs, as govt takes a £16 billion stake in Wylfa nuclear station

London Economic 4th July 2018 After weeks of discussions over the risks of investing in large-scale
energy projects, the British government proposed to become an equal
investment partner in the new Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant. Under a
tripartite financing structure, London is going to take a £16 billion
stake in the plant, signalling that it has learned its lessons from past
failures. Both in Wales and further east in Europe, a public stake plays a
critical role in facilitating large-scale, low carbon energy projects.

Any discussion of the planned Wylfa Newydd project is obliged to give a cursory
nod to Hinkley Point C, the first and only nuclear power station to be
built in the UK since 1995. When complete, Hinkley Point will produce the
most expensive electricity compared to all power stations bar none.
Globally.

The irony is that this is largely due not to the installation
costs (admittedly somewhat higher than competition) but to its financing
model. The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts frets that with
“estimated costs to the consumer having risen five-fold” since the
project’s go-ahead, the deal struck on Hinkley Point locks Brits into
footing the bill for the government’s lack of nous when negotiating the
‘strike price’ for electricity produced at the facility.
https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/opinion/splitting-the-financial-atom-how-public-backing-produces-cheaper-nuclear-power/04/07/

July 7, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

USA to send f B61 guided nuclear gravity bombs to NATO bases in European countries, including Turkey. 

US to send next-generation nuclear weapons to Turkey: Russian report  http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-to-send-next-generation-nuclear-weapons-to-turkey-russian-report-13407  Nerdun Hacıoğlu – MOSCOW 6 July 18 

Russian state media claimed on July 2 that the United States is preparing to send the next generation of B61 guided nuclear gravity bombs to NATO bases in European countries, including Turkey.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) and the U.S. Air Force completed two non-nuclear system qualification flight tests of the B61-12 gravity bomb on June 9 at Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, according to a June 29 statement by DOE/NNSA.

The test, which was reportedly the first of its kind, was aimed at extending the B61 bomb’s service life by adapting it to next generation aircraft, including B-2A Spirit Bomber.

“The B61-12 LEP will consolidate and replace the existing B61 bomb variants in the [U.S.] nuclear stockpile. The first production unit is on schedule for completion in fiscal year 2020,” the statement said.

Russia’s state-run RIA news agency claimed on July 2 that the nuclear bomb will also be adapted to the F-35 aircrafts.

“The United States continues to invest in weapons of mass destruction. The NATO bases in Turkey, Germany and Italy will receive the new bombs in 2020,” Russian nuclear expert Alexandr Jilin was quoted as saying by the agency.

The United States has a total of 150 nuclear weapons in five NATO member countries, including Turkey, according to a report on worldwide nuclear arms prepared by the Turkish Parliament in October 2017.

Among those weapons, B61 type bombs are still in the İncirlik air base in the southern Turkish province of Adana.

According to data from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), the number of B61s in Turkey is estimated to be nearly 50.

U.S. officials neither confirm nor deny reports about NATO’s nuclear weapons in Turkey.

July 7, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

French MPs warn of nuclear power safety failings 

 https://www.thelocal.fr/20180706/french-mps-warn-of-nuclear-power-safety-failings news.france@thelocal.com
@thelocalfrance   

A French parliamentary inquiry has flagged up “failings” in the defences of the country’s nuclear power plants, days after activists crashed a drone into a facility to underscore safety concerns.
“When you look for failings you find them, and some are more concerning than others,” said Barbara Pompili, a lawmaker from the governing Republic on the Move party.
France is the world’s most nuclear-dependent country, with 58 reactors providing 75 percent of its electricity.
Environmentalist group Greenpeace has carried out a string of break-ins at nuclear facilities in recent years to prove its claim that they are vulnerable to accidents and terror attacks.

In the latest stunt Tuesday, it flew a drone mocked up as Superman into an ageing plant in Bugey, about 25 kilometres (16 miles) outside the southeastern city of Lyon.
The drone crashed into a building housing a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel, one of the most radioactive areas at the site.
The cross-party commission tasked with looking into nuclear safety spent five months interviewing experts and visiting facilities, including in Japan where they reviewed measures taken after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
The lawmakers said the number of safety incidents in France “has risen steadily”.
They cited in particular last year’s temporary shutdown of the four reactors at a plant in Tricastin in the southeast, seen as prone to flooding in the event of an earthquake, and a blast at a facility at Flamanville in the north.
The report recommended 33 steps to improve nuclear safety, including boosting police numbers at atomic plants and reducing the number of subcontractors in the industry.

We cannot verify’
President Emmanuel Macron has been noncommittal about a pledge by his Socialist predecessor Francois Hollande to drastically reduce the share of nuclear power in France’s energy mix.
Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said in November that meeting Hollande’s targets would be “difficult” and that a rushed move to bolster the share of renewables could jeopardise power supplies.
Anti-nuclear campaigners argue that older plants, like the 39-year-old Bugey facility, were not built to withstand an attack from the likes of the Islamic State group or Al-Qaeda.

Greenpeace has said the pools for storing spent fuel are particularly vulnerable.
The parliamentary report demanded that the government provide a timetable for dismantling older plants.
It also questioned the safety of a plan to store nuclear waste deep underground in the northeastern village of Bure and called for the number of subcontractors in the nuclear industry to be kept to a minimum, “to improve control over the operation of the sites”.
State energy utility EDF said the report contained “a number of errors” and said it would respond by mid-July.
The MPs for their part complained that many of the questions they put to the state and EDF went unanswered, with both invoking national security concerns.
“We have the feeling that a lot of work is being done to protect the plants but we cannot verify it,” Pompili said.

July 7, 2018 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Dangerous Levels of Radiation in a Bay near Bulgarian Resort Chernomorets 

https://www.novinite.com/articles/190950/Dangerous+Levels+of+Radiation+in+a+Bay+near+Bulgarian+Resort+Chernomorets July 6, 2018, 

A new warning for dangerous levels of radiation in the Vromos Bay near Chernomorets was issued by the health authorities. In Bulgarian and English, a new plate warns that the sandy strip is dangerous, a BBC report showed.

Radiation contamination is high – in individual areas up to 50 times the norm. However, access to the beach is not prohibited, the risk of using it is the responsibility of the people on holiday.

Ore mined decades ago from the nearby Rosen mine were high in uranium. Part of the waste water is discharged into the bay.

“The difference in the content of radionuclides in the sand and in the soil along the sand strip in relation to this terrain compared to the other terrains we are exploring all along the Black Sea is here between 5 and 50 times.” The life of these radioisotope elements until decay is considerable, it exceeds 90-100 years, “explained Verginia Tsanova – Deputy Director, RZI – Burgas.

The effect of staying for a long time on the sand is not immediate, but it can be seen in years, warn health authorities. Small children also risk swallowing sand.

“It has a carcinogenic effect, and it leads to genetic mutations in the genital cells, from there to the offspring, which is extremely dangerous for young people and for pregnant women,” Tsanova added.

Verginia Tsanova stressed that there is no way to ban the use of the beach. “It’s people’s choice, we just have to warn them,” she said.

The beach is without a concessionaire and is preferred by families with children.

Source: Dnevnik

July 7, 2018 Posted by | Bulgaria, environment | Leave a comment

Frannce govt calls for improvements in the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants

FT 6th July 2018 , A French government commission has called for improvements in the safety of
the country’s nuclear power plants, including their ability to withstand
terrorist attack, putting further pressure on state-backed power utility
EDF.

The parliamentary commission set up to look at the safety and security
of nuclear installations in France said, in a report published on Thursday,
that the fleet remain vulnerable to accident and attack. The report comes
at a time of heightened political pressure for heavily indebted EDF, which
operates France’s nuclear fleet and faces a multi-billion euro bill to
extend the life of ageing plants.

Although an EPR is now coming online in
China, EDF is waiting for its Flamanville plant in France, which is seven
years late and €7bn over budget, to start up. A recently discovered
problem with weldings has increased uncertainty. EDF’s EPR projects in
Finland and at Hinkley Point, south-west England, are also running late and
over budget.

According to the parliamentary report, the NGO Greenpeace has,
over the last 30 years, “conducted 14 intrusion attempts in order to
demonstrate the vulnerability” of the French nuclear sites. The commission
put forward 33 suggestions to improve the situation – including reducing
reliance on subcontractors, putting more police on the ground at nuclear
sites, reconsidering waste disposal methods, being clearer on the timeline
for shutting down plants and strengthening the powers of the French nuclear
regulator, the ASN.
https://www.ft.com/content/347980d2-8067-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d

July 7, 2018 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment