nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

France forced Polynesians to accept nuclear tests – they finally admit this!

Advertisements

May 25, 2019 Posted by | France, indigenous issues, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In UK Councillors to get briefing from nuclear panel – anyone can offer their land for nuclear waste dump!

Councillors to get briefing from nuclear panel    https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/17663707.councillors-to-get-briefing-from-nuclear-panel/
By John Connell  @JConnell35 Reporter 24 May 19,  NEW councillors appointed to Copeland council’s nuclear panel will receive their first briefing early next month.The Strategic Nuclear Energy team is one of the authority’s most important committees, working with the Government and companies including Sellafield.

The first meeting since borough council elections will be held on Tuesday June 4 and will see members given an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the committee.

Members will be discussing some huge issues in the coming months including the Government’s search for a host community for a nuclear waste store.

Anyone with a reasonably-sized patch of land can volunteer it as a contender for the multi-million Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), effectively kick-starting the process.

West Cumbria has also been rocked in recent months by the collapse of the Moorside nuclear investment deal, while Sellafield is moving into the decommissioning phase.

Coun David Moore, Portfolio holder for Nuclear and Corporate Services, said the briefing would be an opportunity for councillors who have not worked on the panel before or were completely new to local politics to get to grip with the scope of the committee’s important work.

He added: “Some of the councillors who will be there are first-time councillors, just about to dip a toe in the water. This meeting them will give them an overview and it will be a learning curve for them.

“We are key players in nuclear consultations. Not many councils have an equivalent of our committee. I have no equivalent to my role as nuclear portfolio-holder.”

May 25, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Comparing the radioactive pollution fron Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclea accidents

May 25, 2019 Posted by | health, Japan, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Design problems delay development of Russia’s High-Tech Nuclear Submarine

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Academics advise Labour that there’s no viable place for nuclear in renewable energy plans

Dave Toke’s Blog 24th May 2019 Academics tell Labour that their renewable energy plans don’t leave any room for nuclear power. Published below is a memorandum from the ‘Red Lion
Group’ of 12 academics, to the Labour Party Shadow Energy Secretary, which
sets out how Labour’s plans for renewable energy do not leave any room for
any new nuclear power (not even Hinkley C).

This means that Labour’s plans to give many £billions of state support for new nuclear power will merely replace cheaper renewable energy. The analysis was based on projections for
energy demand used by the Committee on Climate Change. Review of the CCC’s
projections of energy supply and demand. Letter to Shadow Energy Secretary
from 12 academics and policy analysts.

https://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2019/05/academics-tell-labour-that-their.html

May 25, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

EDF planning to restart troubled Hunterston and Dungeness B nuclear reactors

Energy Reporters 21st May 2019
The Hunterston B7 reactor is now scheduled to return to service on July 31

and B8 reactor, the least cracked at the site, on June 24. Centrica has a
20-per-cent interest in eight nuclear plants, mostly built in the 1960s and
1970s, which are controlled by EDF. Centrica said it was selling its stake
in February last year.

 But since then, Hunterston and Dungeness B in Kent
have been put out of action. EDF, which is also looking to sell some of its
interest in the nuclear hubs, said Dungeness B would “continue to produce
low-carbon electricity safely and reliably for many years to come”.
The reactor in Kent on the southern English coast was shut down late last
summer for regular inspections, which identified the need for repairs on
steam pipes. EDF said it was carrying out “additional inspections and
repairs [to] put the plant in a state to deliver best-ever performance
later this year”. The restart of the twin reactors was due for September
and October, according to the French firm.

https://www.energy-reporters.com/production/edf-extends-nuclear-plant-outages/

May 25, 2019 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

New research into plutonium workers’ internal radiation exposure.

May 23, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, employment, Reference, UK | 1 Comment

A nuclear accident in one of Switzerland’s old reactors would be devastating to the health of other European countries

What a Swiss nuclear disaster could do to Europe, Swissinfo.ch , By Susan Misicka, MAY 21, 2019 – If there were to be a serious accident at one of Switzerland’s nuclear reactors, many of the radiation victims would be residents of other countries.

A Swiss-led study has calculated the potential effect of nuclear meltdowns on the health of people living nearby. Its focus is on how meteorology and geography would influence the movement of a radioactive cloud.

For example, this clip [on original] illustrates how the weather conditions on January 19, 2017 would have shaped the aftermath of an accident at the Gösgen reactor between Bern and Zurich.

The study was led by Frédéric-Paul Piguet at Institut Biosphèreexternal link, an interdisciplinary research institute in Geneva. Piguet and his team examined the accident risk at Switzerland’s five nuclear power plants, which fall between Fukushima and Chernobyl in terms of size. This includes 50-year-old Beznau I in northern Switzerland, the oldest nuclear reactor in the world.

The research team used the weather conditions throughout 2017 to calculate the fallout of disasters at the Swiss reactors and concluded that 16-24 million Europeans would be affected by a nuclear meltdown in Switzerland, which itself has a population of 8.5 million. They reckoned that 12,500-31,100 people would die on account of cancer and heart problems caused by the radiation. On top of that, there would be additional health problems, including genetic maladies and sterility.

According to the study, wet weather would nearly double the number of severe radiation-related illnesses. In 2017, there were 36 such “bad weather” days. The study is being presented in detail on Tuesday in Bern……….  https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/worst-case-scenarios_what-a-swiss-nuclear-disaster-could-do-to-europe/44977606

May 23, 2019 Posted by | safety, Switzerland | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s spent nuclear fuel to be stored (Holtec’s in on this one, too)

May 23, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

Sweden: Vattenfall determined to close 2 aging nuclear reactors

A Tiny Hole at Sweden’s Oldest Atomic Plant Upends Nuclear Revival
Industry and lawmakers in Sweden want Vattenfall to reverse a decision to close two aging reactors.
Bloomberg, By Jesper Starn, May 20, 2019

A hole just a few millimeters deep at Sweden’s oldest nuclear plant is upending the debate about whether to revive the technology to ensure that the Nordic region’s biggest economy has enough power. 

Regulators assume such a small gap exists at the Ringhals-2 plant on the nation’s west coast because repairs to similar cavities were made earlier in the decade on about half of an area covering 700 square meters (7,535 square feet). The owner Vattenfall AB won’t carry out more costly repairs and its permit expires at the end of the year.

While the state-controlled power company doubts that further faults exist, it would rather scrap the plant than uproot the meter-thick slab of concrete surrounding the massive steel plates that make up the reactor containment……..

For the moment, Vattenfall isn’t budging on the decision it made in 2015 to wind down operations at the plant, which includes two reactors that  began operations in 1975 and 1976. Those reactors lack the independent core cooling systems required by the regulator for all nuclear plants to operate after 2020. Vattenfall invested 900 million kronor ($93 million) to upgrade two younger reactors at the site.

“I regard it as completely ruled out, both technically and financially,” to reverse the decision to close the Ringhals reactors, Torbjorn Wahlborg, the company’s head of generation, said in an interview.  “It would require such a big investment and long halts.”

At its peak, nuclear energy accounted for about half of the nation’s power. Hydroelectric plants covered the rest. Now it’s 40%  and wind parks being built in the north of the country are seen as a major future source. The problem is that the growth of wind has not been able to match the decline in capacity at reactors and  fossil-fuel plants and Sweden is already depending on imports to meet demand on cold winter days.

A Sifo poll from March show that two thirds of Swedes want to keep or build more reactors. 

 In 2016, five political parties formed a long-term energy agreement that lowered nuclear taxes enough to allow life-span extensions of six reactors built in the 1980s until the 2040s, while four older reactors would be shut. But the largest opposition party, the Moderates, is now threatening to abandon that agreement unless it’s renegotiated to be more supportive of nuclear power. It has the support of the Christian Democrats, which is also part of the accord.

The Liberals, which were not part of the deal, has also proposed to extend the lifespan of Ringhals 1 and 2, and may get support from the nationalist Sweden Democrats, which also wants to invest in nuclear. The Moderates and the Christian Democrats have called for a review to be made into the possibility to stop the closure of the two reactors.

Still, it would be an uphill battle to garner enough support for any new energy plan, as the remaining parties in the agreement together with the Left Party have a majority in parliament. It all hinges on the governing Social Democrats. It wants nuclear power to be gradually phased out, but is under pressure from Swedish industry to change its stance.

As Vattenfall is fully state-owned,  the government could adjust its directive to extend the life-span of the reactors. Lobby groups for the forest, metals, chemical and mining industry are calling for an investigation to see if this is possible. This would however be against the spirit of the original agreement, where market-based decisions was a key-part to get parties with opposing views to compromise on energy, according to the Swedish government. …… https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-20/swedish-nuclear-plant-s-tiny-hole-nobody-has-seen-halts-revival

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | politics, Sweden | Leave a comment

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property 

Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property   https://www.democracynow.org/2019/5/20/headlines/sweden_requests_detention_of_assange_as_wikileaks_accuses_us_of_illegally_seizing_his_property

MAY 20, 2019  Swedish authorities issued a request Monday for the detention in absentia of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is facing rape charges in Sweden and is currently serving jail time in Britain for skipping bail in 2012. Last week, Swedish prosecutors reopened a sexual assault investigation into Assange which was dropped in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcefully removed by British police last month.

Assange has denied the accusation, and his lawyer representing him in Sweden said he has not been able to get hold of his client to discuss the detention order.

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has previously said of Sweden’s case, “Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019 there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case. Its reopening will give Julian a chance to clear his name. This case has been mishandled throughout.” Assange must reportedly serve 25 weeks of his British prison sentence before he can be released. Assange now faces possible extradition to both Sweden and the United States, where he is wanted for the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq.

In related news, WikiLeaks is reporting that Ecuador will allow U.S. prosecutors to go through and take possession of Assange’s belongings left in their London embassy. Assange reportedly has two manuscripts at his former living quarters; his lawyers have called it an illegal seizure of property.

 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Climate change action is a top priority for UK’s moderate Conservatives

Guardian 19th May 2019 , Moderate Conservatives including Nicky Morgan and Amber Rudd are urging contenders for their party’s leadership to put the battle against the climate emergency at the forefront of the contest.

The 60-strong One Nation group of senior Tories, created as a bulwark against what they perceive as their party’s lurch to the right, is calling for the environment to form a central part of the leadership debate. The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/19/tories-urge-leadership-contenders-to-prioritise-climate-emergency

May 21, 2019 Posted by | climate change, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Outages extended at EDF’s Hunterston nuclear plant 

May 21, 2019 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

France’s Citizens’ Convention for the Climate

Times 20th May 2019 , France will enter new democratic territory next month when 150 randomly selected citizens will be asked to overhaul the country’s environmental policies, President Macron’s government announced yesterday.
The group will draw up plans on issues ranging from global warming to biodiversity which Mr Macron has pledged to implement, to put to a referendum or to turn into legislation that will go before parliament. The Citizens’ Convention
for the Climate is being organised in an attempt to meet yellow-vest protesters’ demands for MPs to be bypassed in a move towards direct democracy.

Yet the initiative is fraught with dangers for Mr Macron, who risks losing control of the political agenda. Some of his supporters fear that far from appeasing the campaigners, the process could inflame their  anger by reintroducing the fuel duty rises that ignited the protest movement in November.

May 21, 2019 Posted by | climate change, France, politics | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s present nuclear reactors – “time bombs” – at risk of another Chernobyl

Chernobyl (2019) S01 | Episode 01 | 1:23:45 | Opening Scene Suicide

One of the main risks stems from the use of ill-fitting US-made fuel rods. Some Ukrainian power plants are fueled by fuel rods produced by the US nuclear contractor Westinghouse. They are shaped differently than those produced in Russia, and incompatibilities have caused problems before.

“Westinghouse fuel was first used in Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2012, and even before the first fuel cycle was over it became evident they were not compatible, and the fuel assemblies had to be extracted,”

As Chernobyl nuclear disaster feeds TV drama, is Ukraine looking at a real-life re-run? Rt.com 19 May, 2019 This month, HBO has launched its new historical drama ‘Chernobyl’, looking back at one of the worst nuclear disasters in history – but for Ukrainians, it’s also a chilling reminder that history could repeat itself.

US cable giant HBO is reviving the 33-year-old memory of one of the worst – and the most infamous – nuclear incidents in the world. It overlays history with personal drama and intrigue in its fresh mini-series – but what the general viewer might not realize is that it’s too early for Ukraine to consign nuclear problems to history and fiction. The name ‘Chernobyl’ is being brought up again in reference to the woes plaguing Ukrainian atomic energy today.

Ukrainian nuclear power plants have become a “time bomb,” Rada member Sergey Shakhov recently said. Reactors – some of them near densely populated cities – are aging without proper oversight or funding, contracts with Russia are broken, and homegrown nuclear experts are fleeing to find better opportunities abroad.

Emergencies have plagued at least two major Ukrainian nuclear power plants, causing a series of stoppages in operations in the past three years. Some reactors at the Khmelnitsky power plant (located in a city with almost 40,000 inhabitants) had to be halted at least three times since July 2016. A main pump malfunction at the Zaporozhye power plant (close to the regional center and its 750,000+ inhabitants) forced one of its six reactors to stop in September 2018, triggering a local panic. Soon after that, two more reactors were consecutively stopped for planned repairs. They still remain halted, though one of them was supposed to be restarted early in 2019.

Those are just the instances which received attention in the media, revealed either by MPs or by nuclear plant operators.

The situation is an ecological disaster in the making, Shakhov warned in an interview to the TV channel NewsOne. Ukrainian nuclear power plants, he says, have become a “mini-Chernobyl.”

But how did a country that relies on nuclear power for 60 percent of its electricity allow its power plants to degrade so far?

Russia could help, but Kiev doesn’t want it

Ukrainian nuclear facilities were built in the Soviet Union, and for the past decades were maintained in collaboration with Russia. But after the 2014 coup, new Kiev authorities have made every effort to break up links with Moscow, including severing the nuclear cooperation agreement in 2017.

That deprived Ukraine of Russian expertise, something the aging reactors desperately need, says Stanislav Mitrakhovich, an expert on energy policy in the National Energy Security Fund (NESF) and in the Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation.

“Many power blocks are already quite old, their resources were already prolonged according to a special procedure, but this extension cannot be done infinitely. And it is not too easy to do without the help of the Russian specialist who were previously responsible for these tasks.”

Ukraine could come have up with a solution by itself, but “it should have started 10 years ago,” says Ukrainian political scientist Mikhail Pogrebinsky, the director of the Kiev Center of Political Research and Conflict Studies.

“Of course Kiev doesn’t have the money to repair and upgrade the reactors, but there are still ways to solve this. One of the most efficient ones lies in Moscow, in the Kurchatov nuclear research institute. But considering the relations, Ukraine won’t go there for help.”

The problem has fallen victim to Kiev’s politics. “Ukrainian authorities have been doing everything with political gain in mind, and that is one of the reasons things have been malfunctioning and additional risks were created for the reactors… Equipment has to be checked and maintained, and that, again, means cooperating with Russia,” says another Ukrainian political scientist, Aleksandr Dudchak.

The immediate danger

Despite the apocalyptic buzz, predicting a new Chernobyl is taking things too far, Ukrainian experts believe. The danger is no less real, however, even if it’s less dramatic in scale. The reactors might not be about to melt down and send a massive radioactive cloud billowing into the atmosphere, like Chernobyl did – instead, they will simply stop working, plunging large parts of Ukraine into a blackout.

The immediate danger

Despite the apocalyptic buzz, predicting a new Chernobyl is taking things too far, Ukrainian experts believe. The danger is no less real, however, even if it’s less dramatic in scale. The reactors might not be about to melt down and send a massive radioactive cloud billowing into the atmosphere, like Chernobyl did – instead, they will simply stop working, plunging large parts of Ukraine into a blackout.

“There is no money, there are no contracts, the contract with [Russian nuclear energy giant] Rosatom has been broken – this is a dead-end situation that Ukrainian authorities will have to solve, and solve without delay, because under certain conditions we could have energy shortages, within five to seven to 10 years.”

International financial institutions have been supporting Ukraine with funds, but amid the more pressing day-to-day needs and the rampant corruption of the Poroshenko presidency, their effect on the restoration of dilapidated power plants is yet to be seen.

Basic incompatibilities

One of the main risks stems from the use of ill-fitting US-made fuel rods. Some Ukrainian power plants are fueled by fuel rods produced by the US nuclear contractor Westinghouse. They are shaped differently than those produced in Russia, and incompatibilities have caused problems before.

“Westinghouse fuel was first used in Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2012, and even before the first fuel cycle was over it became evident they were not compatible, and the fuel assemblies had to be extracted,” Boris Martsinkevich, editor-in-chief of the Geoenergetics magazine, told RT.

Westinghouse fuel deliveries were restarted in 2015, and it’s unclear whether it’s been made more compatible with the Soviet-built equipment. If they were not, the fuel is “fully capable of halting the work of the nuclear power plants,” even though it won’t cause any mass hazardous incident.

Ukraine’s ailing economy, apart from directly depriving power plants of necessary maintenance and upgrade funds, has caused a ‘brain drain’ as collateral damage.

“Experts working at Ukrainian nuclear power plants are leaving. The situation in the country is unstable, and it’s been getting worse for five years… a lot of experts have moved out of the country, including to Russia and China, as well as other countries. Soon there’ll be no-one left to maintain the power plants,” Dudchak warns.

Irresponsible waste storage

Back when Ukraine was cooperating with Russia, Rosatom was contracted to take back and recycle spent fuel rods. Westinghouse doesn’t do that, so Kiev partnered with another US-based company – Holtec International – to build a shelter for the waste in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, effectively turning it into a radioactive dump……Westinghouse fuel deliveries were restarted in 2015, and it’s unclear whether it’s been made more compatible with the Soviet-built equipment. If they were not, the fuel is “fully capable of halting the work of the nuclear power plants,” even though it won’t cause any mass hazardous incident.

Ukraine’s ailing economy, apart from directly depriving power plants of necessary maintenance and upgrade funds, has caused a ‘brain drain’ as collateral damage.

“Experts working at Ukrainian nuclear power plants are leaving. The situation in the country is unstable, and it’s been getting worse for five years… a lot of experts have moved out of the country, including to Russia and China, as well as other countries. Soon there’ll be no-one left to maintain the power plants,” Dudchak warns……… https://www.rt.com/news/459661-ukraine-chernobyl-nuclear-blackout/

May 20, 2019 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment