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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

UK may be forced to leave Euratom treaty on nuclear energy, due to Brexit

flag-UKBrexit ‘could trigger’ UK departure from nuclear energy treaty https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/27/brexit-could-trigger-uk-departure-from-nuclear-energy-treaty

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU could also force it to exit the Euratom treaty on nuclear energy, ENDS has learned, Guardian, José Rojo for ENDS, part of the Guardian Environment Network. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU could also force it to exit the Euratom Treaty on nuclear energy, ENDS has learned.

The Euratom Treaty, which applies to all EU member states, seeks to promote nuclear safety standards, investment and research within the bloc. Although it is governed by EU institutions, it has retained a separate legal identity since its adoption in 1957.

Brian Curtis, a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), told ENDS that his Committee had recently consulted the European Commission on whether Brexit would automatically lead to a UK exit of Euratom.

Curtis said the Commission had responded affirmatively, arguing that the Treaty of the European Union (TEU) applies to the Euratom Treaty under article 106 of the latter agreement. This would mean, it said, that the reference to ‘Union’ inTEU’s article 50 – which needs to be invoked by member states wishing to quit the bloc – would apply not only to the EU itself but to Euratom membership as well.

According to EESC, a Euratom withdrawal by the UK – which recently approved the controversial £18bn Hinkley C project – could have major strategic implications for the EU nuclear sector. “But anticipating specific outcomes at this stage is problematic,” the Committee added.

The Commission itself would not comment on the exchange, which took place as the EESC examined the EU’s latest nuclear plan.

The draft Nuclear Indicative Programme (PINC), which was unveiled in April, is the first to be published by the Commission since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.

The EESC is required by the Euratom Treaty to give its opinion on such plans before they are finalised. It released its opinion on the latest PINC last week, after adopting it at a plenary vote.

The document praises the Commission for its analysis of investment needs during the entire nuclear fuel cycle and its emphasis on funding for nuclear decommissioning.

However, the Committee adds that the 2016 PINC is half the length of thepreceding plan from 2007 and fails to address key issues faced by EU nuclear energy.

These, it says, include the competitiveness of nuclear amid changes to construction and capital costs, its investment needs in the context of the EU’s Energy Union goals and the speed at which new technologies may be rolled out.

EESC’s opinion was published two weeks ahead of a meeting of the European Nuclear Energy Forum, which will be attended by EU member states and European institutions in Bratislava on 3-4 October.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Both Russia and America Prepare for Nuclear War? (and this is ‘good for business’)

Dangerous Crossroads: Both Russia and America Prepare for Nuclear War? http://www.globalresearch.ca/dangerous-crossroads-both-russia-and-america-prepare-for-nuclear-war/5548074  By Prof Michel Chossudovsky Global Research, September 27, 2016 Barely acknowledged by the Western media. both Russia and America are “rearming” their nuclear weapons systems. While the US is committed to a multibillion dollar modernization project, Russia is largely involved in a “cost-effective” restructuring process which consists in decommissioning parts of its land-based ICBM arsenal (Topol) and replacing it with the more advanced Yars RS-24 system, developed in 2007. 

While a new arms race has “unofficially” been launched, the US modernization process pertains to the all three legs of the triad system, -i.e land based  airborne and submarine launched atomic missiles. It is also coupled with the development of the B61-12 tactical bomb to be deployed in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey.

Rest assured, the B61-12 is a “mini-nuke” with an explosive capacity of up to four Hiroshima bombs. It is   categorized as a “defensive” (peace-making) weapon for use in the conventional war theater. According to scientists on contract to the Pentagon, the B61-11 and 12 (bunker buster bombs with nuclear warheads) are “harmless to civilians because the explosion is underground”. 

The nuclear triad modernization project is at the expense of US tax payers. It requires the redirection of federal revenues from the financing of “civilian” expenditure categories (including health, education, infrastructure etc) to the “war economy”.  It’s all for a good cause: “peace and security”. 

missile-moneyWar is “Good for Business”

The multibillion dollar project is a financial bonanza for America’s major defense contractors including Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, which are also firm supporters of Hillary Clinton’s stance regarding a possible first strike nuclear attack against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

Reported by Defense News, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on September 26 called for the “need to modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad.” The project would require a major boost in defense expenditure.

Underscoring today’s “volatile security environment”, the multibillion dollar project is required, according to Carter, in view of threats largely emanating from Russia, China as well as North Korea:

Carter’s comments came during a visit to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, … Under the fiscal year 2017 budget request, Carter said, the department pledged $19 billion to the nuclear enterprise, part of $108 billion planned over the next five years. The department has also spent around $10 billion over the last two years, the secretary said in prepared comments. The “nuclear triad” references the three arms of the US strategic posture — land-based ICBMs, airborne weapons carried by bombers, and submarine-launched atomic missiles. All of those programs are entering an age where they need to be modernized.

Pentagon estimates have pegged the cost of modernizing the triad and all its accompanying requirements at the range of $350 to $450 billion over the next 10 years, with a large chunk of costs hitting in the mid-2020s, just as competing major modernization projects for both the Air Force and Navy come due.

Critics of both America’s nuclear strategy and Pentagon spending have attempted to find ways to change the modernization plan, perhaps by cancelling one leg of the triad entirely.But Carter made it clear in his speech that he feels such plans would put America at risk at a time when Russia, China and North Korea, among others, are looking to modernize their arsenals. (Defense News, September 26, 2016)

Carter casually dismissed the dangers of a no-win global war, which could evolve towards a “nuclear holocaust”, Ironically  ”… He also hit at critics of the nuclear program — which include former Secretary of Defense William Perry, [who ironically is] widely seen as a mentor for Carter — who argue that investing further into nuclear weapons will increase the risk of atomic catastrophe in the future. (Defense News, September 26, 2016)

Carter expressed his concern regarding Russia’s alleged “nuclear saber-rattling”.

Russia’s  ICBM System

Were Carter’s timely statements in response to Russia redeployment and restructuring of its ICBM system on its Western frontier,  which were announced on September 20?

Last week, the Russian news agency Tass confirmed that “The westernmost strategic missile force division in the Tver region will soon begin to be rearmed with the missile system Yars.”

It will be a sixth strategic missile division where the newest mobile ground-based missile complexes will replace the intercontinental ballistic missile Topol,” the press-service of the Strategic Missile Force quotes its commander Sergey Karakayev as saying.

According to the official, this year regiments in the Irktusk and Yoshkar-Ola divisions began to be rearmed. The re-armament of the Novosibirsk and Tagil divisions is nearing completion. Earlier, the Teikovo division was fully rearmed.

The final decision to rearm the strategic missile division in the Tver Region will be made after a command staff exercise there. The press-service said the exercises will be devoted to maneuvering along combat patrol routes.

In the near future the ICBM RS-24 Yars, alongside the previously commissioned monoblock warhead ballistic missile RS-12M2 Topol-M, will constitute the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile force.

The Yars ICBM RS-24 was developed in 2007 in response to the US Missile Shield. It is nothing new in Russia’s military arsenal. It is a high performance system equipped with thermonuclear capabilities.

What this report suggests is the restructuring of Russia’s strategic missile force and the replacement of the Topol system (which Moscow considers obsolete) with the Yars ICBM RS-24.

September 28, 2016 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK energy policy- economic and moral bankruptcy with nuclear and fracking

flag-UKNuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy, Ecologist, Peter Strachan & Alex Russell, 27th September 2016   With its choice of Hinkley Point C – a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle – its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government’s energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition

As Prime Minister Theresa May and EDF prepare to sign the Hinkley Point C contract, and Scotland sees the first shipment of fracking gas from the United States, it is perhaps timely to reflect on recent developments in UK energy policy.

Both new nuclear build and UK onshore shale gas and oil extraction fail key environmental, safety and economic tests.

The UK has recently committed to a nuclear renaissance, with Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) at Westminster, describingthe “dawning of a new age of nuclear”.

But by commissioning French and Chinese companies to build the first UK nuclear power station in a generation, the Hinkley Point C deal has come in for almost universal condemnation.

Theresa May clearly buckled under economic pressure from China and has backed nuclear power as the panacea to combat the electricity crunch that we face. Her questionable decision means the UK is committed to a long-term very expensive project that comes with national security and many other concerns.

Empty promises

In 2007 the Chief Executive of EDF’s UK arm effectively cooked his own goose by claiming that Brits would be cooking their Christmas turkeys using nuclear power generated from Hinkley Point C by 2017. Now EDF are claiming that they won’t go over budget, when the new power plant is delivered some time in 2025.

If ongoing experience in France and Finland is anything to go by, and with apparently few financial penalties in place for late delivery, there are serious doubts that the project can be completed in the revised timescale and on budget.

Turning to the financials, the costs of the project are just enormous. Some have claimed that Hinkley Point C will end up being the most expensive physical object ever built. The project is a £100 billion boondoggle. The construction costs alone are in the region of £18-£25 billion. Then there are the subsidies that will amount to a conservative £1 billion plus per year, for at least 35 years.

The deal penned is inflation linked at more than twice the cost of current wholesale electricity prices. The plant will then operate for a further 30 years. It has a potential life span of around 65 years and it will continue to be a drain on public finances even after the initial lucrative contract has expired.

Then try to add into the calculus the unstated decommissioning and radioactive waste management costs, and it soon becomes apparent these super-burdensome costs and risks are incalculable.

If Sellafield in Cumbria, England, is used as a baseline, such costs are just eye watering. Indeed, bucket loads of money amounting to tens of billions of pounds have already been spent, trying to make safe the UK’s nuclear legacy. Based on the available evidence one can only conclude that cheap and clean nuclear power is a myth.

Fuel poverty for future generations

In terms of what Hinkley Point C will mean for household budgets, it is estimated that it will push up individual electricity bills by around £50 per annum. But this is just the start of such price rises as Hinkley Point C is the first of a number of new nuclear projects.

It is only around 3 GW of a 16 GW plus plan. Electricity bills will spiral out of control, as they did a few years ago when there were regular inflation busting price increases. The new nuclear age described by Greg Clark will surely set us on a path to fuel poverty for decades.

Even if households and business can afford such future hideous electricity bills, it might be 2030 before we see the plant operational – more than a decade later than was initially planned. Its promise to generate up to 7% of the UK’s electricity demand will be delivered around a decade too late to meet the 2020 electricity crunch that the UK faces…….

Glittering prizes or fracking folly?……..

Can we have more renewables please?

Most people don’t realise that renewables now supply around 25% of UK electricity and in Scotland it is over 50 per cent. Their market share has grown rapidly in recent years, trebling between 2010 and 2015.

Renewables now supply more electricity to the national grid than nuclear power and coal. They are very popular with the general public, cost-effective, and can be deployed very quickly, compared to the nuclear and shale options just outlined. They are also cleaner energy sources, and given all of these positives should surely be deployed to address the looming electricity crunch that threatens the UK.

But for the past two years the renewables industry has been under attack by the Conservative government. Changes to financial support mechanisms and the planning regime are now bringing onshore wind to a standstill. Solar support is being killed off. And while there is much rhetoric around offshore wind, it is actually progressing at a snail’s pace.

The direct effect of Conservative government policy changes has led to many thousands of green jobs being lost.

Another emerging and detrimental effect has been to undermine local community initiatives. In addition to supplying much needed electricity and investment in local assets such as community halls, churches and youth projects, community owned renewable projects encourage energy conservation, and have wider and important public education benefits.

If ever we needed some sign of reprieve for UK renewables, it is now.

A call to action

Westminster must get back on course and harness the heat of the sun, and the (gale) force of our wind, and the power of our waves and tides. It should fully embrace the energy transition from fossil fuels and nuclear power, to a renewable energy future.

Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, gets it and is making huge strides with their ‘Energiewende‘ strategy. The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood also gets it, and to pinch a phrase from former First Minster Alex Salmond, we have the potential to become theSaudi Arabia of Renewables.

The future of humanity depends on an all-encompassing global acceptance of the replacement of fossil fuels and nuclear power by renewables. If there is still a perception that British moral values lead where the world follows then its status is at best precarious.

Theresa May and Greg Clark must step up to the plate and nail the renewables flag to the top of UK energy policy. Nuclear power and fossil fuels have no economic or moral right to a long-term place in UK energy policy.

 


 

Peter Strachan is Professor of Energy Policy, Robert Gordon University. He tweets@ProfStrachan.

Professor Alex Russell is Chair of the Oil Industry Finance Association.

Authors’ note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and not those of the Robert Gordon University or Affiliates.

This article was orginally published on EnergyPost.eu.  http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2988167/nuclear_and_fracking_the_economic_and_moral_bankruptcy_of_uk_energy_policy.html

September 28, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Russia’s nuclear marketing: sell nukes, then sell the clean-up, too!

Russian-BearMaking nuclear power plants safe after they shut down RBTH, September 24, 2016 ANDREI RETINGER,  The problems of dealing with spent nuclear fuel, radioactive waste and the decommissioning of nuclear facilities (experts call it “back end”) did not immediately become apparent to the countries developing their nuclear industries. But now the world market for back end services is booming and its value is estimated to total about $347 billion until 2030.

money-in-wastes-2

A number of nuclear facilities in the UK are scheduled for decommissioning, and all the 17 nuclear power plants that are still operating in Germany are due to close down by 2020. Japan must rehabilitate the areas after the accident at Fukushima, and the United States and Russia need to solve the problems of radioactive waste storage and reprocessing. Not all countries have the ability to solve these problems, but Russian technologies and facilities can come to their aid…..

in 2008, Russia was faced with a catastrophic situation because of the accumulation of radioactive waste and spent fuel remaining from the time of the creation of nuclear weapons and the Cold War. Storage sites were almost full and had not been provided with reliable insulation, creating a threat to people and the environment.

In this situation, Russia had no choice but to tackle the problem urgently. In 2007, it adopted a state program on nuclear and radiation safety, which was developed by the Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation. Then it approved a law on radioactive waste management, taking into account the latest standards and requirements………https://rbth.com/science_and_tech/2016/09/24/making-nuclear-power-plants-safe-after-they-shut-down_632711

September 26, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Professor Geraldine Thomas and nuclear scientific misconduct

a-cat-CANThis is part of a very important article, in which Dr Baverstock thoroughly refutes the claims that  Professor Geraldine Thomas’ made in  a BBC  interview, about Fukushima ionising radiation not being much to worry about. The BBC has since withdrawn her statements.

But that hasn’t stopped the South Australian government bringing Thomas out here to spin her stuff, in Thomas, Geraldinesupport of Weatherill’s push for SA as the global nuclear waste dump.


Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view.  The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect

baverstock-dr-keith‘This was quite clearly scientific misconduct’  by Dr Keith Baverstock, Fissiononline 23 Sept 16  .  I will take the BBC interview first. In this interview Thomas questions the whole basis of the Japanese response to the Fukushima accident in terms of its evacuation policy. Is one to imagine that those authorities and the Japanese scientific establishment are so stupid as not to recognise that there is no risk entailing living in those areas?

The internationally agreed public dose limit is 1 mSv per year in addition to approximately 2 mSv per year from natural background radiation.  The single measurement made in that television interview indicate 2.8 microsieverts per hour, which is close to 25 mSv per year. That includes the natural background doses o at that point the dose rate is at least 20 times the public dose limit.

Surely Thomas can recognise that this must demand serious consideration by the appropriate authorities as to the safety of those who would live there? However, to determine the safety or otherwise of living there it would be necessary to do a comprehensive survey of the area.  My guess is that five years after the deposition of the radioactivity there will be a high degree of variability in measurements: some may be less in the measurement made on the programme, but others more and perhaps considerably more. Furthermore, if one were looking at a situation, for example in the UK, one would have to ensure that the most exposed person could not receive more that 1 mSv per annum. Therefore promises arguments that being indoors for example would reduce the dose rate are not valid in the context of the radiological protection of the public in general.

Whether a special dispensation applies when determining the return of evacuees  to their homes is a question that I believe needs to be discussed, because as far as I’m aware the current situation in Japan is unique. Furthermore, we are not talking about a total dose of 20 mSv for someone who returns to live in this village.  In many such villages remedial measures to reduce the dose rate are being taken, but only for the main “living areas”.  Straying beyond these areas could lead to much higher doses, and eating natural produce, mushrooms etc,  to even higher doses.

In the light of these considerations, Thomas’ comments in the video were insulting to the intelligence of the Japanese authorities and their advisors, and extremely ill-judged from a professional radiological point of view.  The BBC was right to withdraw her comments as incorrect if that is indeed what they did.

Watching the video I am inclined to believe that Thomas is being disingenuous when she says she made a numeric al error when calculating the dose from the interviewer’s measurement. She made no attempt to do any kind of calculation: the figure she cited was something she clearly had in mond at the outset: she was delivering propaganda for the nuclear industry

That in the context in which the interview took place and the way in which she was introduced to the audience, is clearly scientific misconduct.  One must also say here that the ninterviewer must have been, for an experienced journalist, amazingly gullible to have allowed the interview to be broadcast………..   https://issuu.com/fission/docs/fissionline_44

Dr Keith Baverstock led the Radiation Programme at the World Health Organisation’s Regional Office for Europe from 1991 to 2003.

September 24, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, media, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

EDF’s shares down as nuclear reactor outages cut profits

AREVA EDF crumblingEDF Warns on Profit as Nuclear Plant Outages Increase  http://www.wsj.com/articles/edf-warns-on-profit-as-nuclear-plant-outages-increase-1474535674
Standard & Poor’s downgrade of EDF’s debt rating also weighs on share price
  By  INTI LANDAURO and WILLIAM HOROBIN Sept. 22, 2016

PARIS—State-controlled power utility Electricite de France cut its earnings outlook on expectations of lower nuclear output from an increase of plant outages, sending its share price down.

EDF, which last week got the go-ahead from the British government to build the £18 billion ($23.4 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the U.K., said it expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between €16.3 billion ($18.3 billion) and €16.6 billion.

It previously had forecast a range of €16.3 billion to €16.8 billion. The company had already lowered its nuclear output forecast in July, but had maintained its earnings target.

 EDF’s shares downThe French power company said it was forced to close down its nuclear reactor for longer period that planned to carry out inspections after the country’s nuclear safety authority requested to conduct tests on the quality of the steel in the reactors’ vessels.

The profit warning, which sent EDF’s shares down 1.8% to €10.62, is another blow for shareholders, who have seen the value of the company lose more than 20% this year. The utility, which already suffers from low electricity prices in its home country and losses of market share, has recently embarked on expensive new projects that are deemed a political priority.

The French government, which owns about 85% of EDF, pressured the company to take a majority stake in beleaguered nuclear reactor manufacturer Areva NP. The government also pushed EDF to make the final investment decision to build the Hinkley Project in the U.K.

Some senior EDF officials and labor unions worried about the project’s impact on the company’s net debt which already stood at €37 billion last year. One board member resigned over the issue in July as did Chief Financial Officer Thomas Piquemal in March.

The U.K. government’s approval of the Hinkley Point project prompted Standard & Poor’s to downgrade EDF’s debt rating to A- on Wednesday evening, further pressuring the share price on Thursday morning.

To help utility with such onerous projects, the French government has decided to inject €3 billion in new equity in EDF.

EDF’s revised profitability forecast takes into account a decision by the country’s top administrative court to allow the company to raise the regulated prices it charges to some of its customers, despite the opposition from the government.

Write to Inti Landauro at inti.landauro@wsj.com and William Horobin at William.Horobin@wsj.com

September 24, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) are pro nuclear spruikers

the BBC Science team’s involvement in a shocking display of bad science during the commemorations of the 2011 disaster in 2016 March this year. Even though there was outrage in the scientific community at the Fukushima video, it was some months before the BBC quietly took down the video.

the public that saw the biased Fukushima video were unaware of the wrong and dangerous information that was given.

Thomas, GeraldineThere are many other articles out there that show the BBC defending Geraldine Thomas (BBC Expert) after the complaints came in and rebuffs for that on fissionline magazine and this was also added pressure that forced the BBC to take the Fukushima video down. (Ed note: Geraldine Thomas is currently in Australia, extolling the benefits of the nuclear industry, and downplaying the health effects of ionising radiation) )


Sellafield – Contempt of Parliament – BBC News missed nuke-spruikersSmit. https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/sellafield-contempt-of-parliament-bbc-news-missed-it/
by arclight2011part2   The nuclear industry supported press, in rebuffing the BBC Panorama teams claims of safety issues and lies to Parliament, we see some counters to the safety concerns but no response to the well documented evidence of the head of the Sellafield consortium lying to the Parliamentary committee and covering up the grave incident of plutonium release (and its cost) in November 2014.

Tony Price lies to Parliament (from Panorama Documentary) [on original]

The Spokesperson for Sellafield can be seen on the video acting a bit surprised at the questioning and revelations the Panorama reporter revealed. He just denied that any “spin” (ie lies) were said during the Parliamentary committee and that is the last word we have on this explosive revelation of criminality from the nuclear industry.

It is most surprising that the BBC News office did not pick this up as we see on the BBC web site they are fully aware of the issue of contempt of parliamentary procedure;

“….Examples of contempt include giving false evidence to a parliamentary committee, ….The Commons has the power to order anyone who has committed a contempt of Parliament to appear at the Bar of the House and to punish the offender…..”2008 BBC

Since that report was uncovered, the nuclear industry and their PR and government connections have swayed the public and eased their fears. The BBC and Science Media Centre (SMC UK) (Also called Sense About Science) was crucial to doing this and at the same time minimising the environmental and health impacts of the 2011 Fukushima disaster that had caused a huge drop in investor interest in nuclear projects.

So in the last 5 years the BBC has produced many supportive documentaries and educational materials favouring nuclear energy (Since the SMC UK started to receive large corporate funding) . In fact at the end of last year, the BBC science department was involved with promoting Sellafield and largely  ignoring the many problems that existed there.

That was followed up by the BBC Science teams involvement in a shocking display of bad science during the commemorations of the 2011 disaster in 2016 March this year. Even though there was outrage in the scientific community at the Fukushima video, it was some months before the BBC quietly took down the video. Thereby, much of the public that saw the biased Fukushima video were unaware of the wrong and dangerous information that was given. Then just a couple of months ago a high profile visit to Sellafield by dignitaries was to underline the improvements and give Sellafield the all clear. Still other experts tried to combat the BBC and SMC UK PR management of all media regarding nuclear;

“The Ecologist, 12th August 2015 Dr David Lowry
Professor ‘Jim’ Al’Khalili’s ‘Inside Sellafield’ programme was a tour de force of pro-nuclear propaganda, writes David Lowry – understating the severity of accidents, concealing the role of the UK’s nuclear power stations in breeding military plutonium, and giving false reassurance over the unsolved problems of high level nuclear waste…”

The main thing for the BBC, government and nuclear industry was that the nuclear industry was still being perceived as above board and transparent. We saw a similar maneuver after the release of the Panorama Documentary on its You Tube site (Under BBC management orders?). The video was removed after just a few hours of being uploaded and after the link had been shared to an international social media audience. The video was put back up sometime later but after the interest had passed.

Although the media has largely ignored this story many experts have been commenting on the situation in Sellafield and there is a lot of well sourced data that bears the whistleblowers observations and claims (See source links below) . But it is the criminal manipulation of politicians during the Parliamentary committee process that demands our immediate attention. It undermines our Democracy.

Whilst discussing the issue of coverage, by the BBC, of the nuclear industry (with the exception of the excellent undercover investigative abilities of the BBC Panorama team) , I asked an experienced Science Media journalist and Author on how he viewed the BBC`s general coverage of nuclear matters over recent years and he had this to say;

“The BBC is guilty of a journalistic disgrace.” Karl Grossman, Professor of Journalism, State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, USA. [11th September 2016]

Meanwhile in the UK Paul Dorfman (Energy analyst spokesman for main stream UK media) said to me;

”Recent events reveal the ongoing national disgrace that is Sellafield, including the truly appalling state of the historic spent fuel ponds’….”
And Paul Dorfman was able to qualify his point through the excellent investigative work of the Panorama team. [11th September 2016]

In France an Energy systems engineer, well versed in La Hague (The French equivalent to Sellafield) and its impacts said this in response to a discussion on the Panorama revelations;

“….those plants, Sellafield and La Hague, would exterminate the whole world population in under 40 years, because there are tons of plutonium in Sellafield and tons in La Hague adding thousand times more than necessary to exterminate all animals through the world. The biggest aberration of history, the timing bomb for the global extinction, a potential aschimothusia .[“sacrifices” committed by force of a state ] …”  Xavier Nast 11 September 2016

Marianne Birkby confirmed to me the ongoing “legacy” of dangerous safety practices at Sellafield;

“…The state of the Sellafield ponds is described by the BBC as an “historic legacy” but the “legacy” is ongoing with every reactor that continues to burn nuclear fuel whose waste is sent to Sellafield for reprocessing. . The now infamous photographs of the shocking state of the Sellafield ponds that were given to Radiation Free Lakeland by a brave whistleblower are not “historic.” Those shocking photographs are a graphic illustration of the continuing madness of nuclear power….” Marianne Birkby, Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland 11 September 2016

Sources for this article (Not already linked above)

The BBC Panorama You Tube documentary linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ1i3HScYak

Dr Lowry  http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.ie/2016/09/inside-sellafield-and-military.html?spref=tw

Dr Ian Fairlie  response to the Panorama findings and historical summary on Sellafield here http://www.ianfairlie.org/news/bbc-panorama-programme-sellafield/

Critical scientific analysis of the BBC Science departments dangerous and insulting attempts of reporting on Fukushima (And the reason that the BBC had to take down the video, some months later. The comments on this video are enlightening and you can see both pro nuclear and anti nuclear people actually agreeing and making known their complaints to the BBC) – March 2016https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrgdAA5oiIA

Note from writer; There are many other articles out there that show the BBC defending Geraldine Thomas (BBC Expert) after the complaints came in and rebuffs for that on fissionline magazine and this was also added pressure that forced the BBC to take the Fukushima video down.. The whole story of BBC bias in Energy matters is too vast to cover here but I leave you with the above Key words and links (for the researcher) . The truth will out!!  – Shaun McGee

September 23, 2016 Posted by | media, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Another secret and dangerous trade deal – the Trade In Services Agreement

secret-dealsThe new TTIP? Meet TISA, the ‘secret privatisation pact that poses a threat to democracy’ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/ttip-trade-deal-new-what-is-tisa-privatisation-pact-secret-threat-to-democracy-a7216296.html

Government insists ‘public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal’

  • Ian Johnston
  • Wednesday 31 August 2016An international trade deal being negotiated in secret is a “turbo-charged privatisation pact” that poses a threat to democratic sovereignty and “the very concept of public services”, campaigners have warned.But this is not TTIP – the international agreement it appears campaigners in the European Union have managed to scupper over similar concerns – this is TISA, a deal backed by some of the world’s biggest corporations, such as Microsoft, Google, IBM, Walt Disney, Walmart, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase.

    Few people may have heard of the Trade In Services Agreement, but campaign group Global Justice Now warns in a new report: “Defeating TTIP may amount to a pyrrhic victory if we allow TISA to pass without challenge.”

    Like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TISA is being negotiated in secret, even though it could have a major impact on countries which sign up.

  • While TTIP is only between the EU and US, those behind TISA have global ambitions as it involves most of the world’s major economies – with the notable exceptions of China and Russia – in a group they call the “Really Good Friends of Services”.

    The Department for International Trade dismissed the idea that public services were at risk from TISA, adding that the UK was committed to securing an “ambitious” deal.

    But according to Global Justice Now’s report, the deal could “lock in privatisation of public services”; allow “casino capitalism” by undermining financial regulations designed to prevent a recurrence of the 2008 recession; threaten online privacy; damage efforts to fight climate change; and prevent developing countries from improving public services.

  • Nick Dearden, director of group, said: “This deal is a threat to the very concept of public services. It is a turbo-charged privatisation pact, based on the idea that rather than serving the public interest, governments must step out of the way and allow corporations to ‘get on with it’.

    “Of particular concern, we fear TISA will include clauses that will prevent governments taking public control of strategic services, and inhibit regulation of the very banks that created the financial crash.”

    He suggested pro-Brexit voters should be concerned at the potential loss of sovereignty.

    “Many people were persuaded to leave the EU on the grounds they would be ‘taking back control’ of our economic policy,” Mr Dearden said.

    “But if we sign up to TISA, our ability to control our economy – to regulate, to protect public services, to fight climate change – is massively reduced. In effect, we would be handing large swathes of policy-making to big business. “

  • The report says the widespread opposition to TTIP, a deal between only the EU and US, had not yet been repeated over TISA.

    “It is vital for elected representatives, campaigners and ordinary citizens to unite against this threat,” it adds.

    “TISA threatens public services. From postal services to the NHS, TISA could lock in privatisation and ensure that big multinationals increasingly call the shots on areas like health, education and basic utilities.”

    A so-called “ratchet” clause in the deal means that after a service – like trains or water or energy – is privatised, this is almost impossible to reverse even if it fails.

  • According to the report, a “standstill” clause also means “no new regulation can be passed that gives foreign companies worse treatment” than when TISA is passed.

    “Taken together, the standstill and ratchet clauses could make it much harder for a future government to renationalise the railways, a move backed by a majority of the British public,” it says.

    “Similarly, it could mean that the creeping privatisation of the NHS becomes more and more irreversible with greater involvement of companies from countries like the US. And forget taking control of the electricity system back from the big six energy firms.”

  • Migrant workers could be classified as “independent service suppliers”, the report says, meaning they would not be eligible for the minimum wage or be allowed to join a union.

    People going to another country may find their visa is tied to their job, so if they were sacked, they would be deported.

    “This sort of system of modern indentured labour is wide open to abuse by unscrupulous employers who may get away with illegal practices safe in the knowledge that they can threaten any employee with deportation if they complain,” the report says.

    “This sort of system is used in countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar and has resulted in working conditions that have been described as being close to slavery.”

    The global economic crash of 2008 was precipitated by the sale of complex financial products linked to unsafe “sub-prime” mortgages. The report says there is a danger the final TISA deal would “undermine efforts to regulate risky financial products” with a proposal that firms should be allowed to offer “any new financial service”.

  • “The danger is that TISA will deter governments from limiting the use of such ‘innovative’ financial products and leave us powerless to stop the next financial crisis,” it says.

    TISA could also potentially prevent governments from favouring renewable energy over fossil fuels – despite the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the health effects of air pollution.

    Private firms would also be allowed to move online data from one country to another under one proposal being considered. While the original country’s privacy laws would have to be respected, the report said it was “not clear how this will be … enforced”.

    While developed countries in Europe have established public services that would not be threatened unless a state’s government decided to open them up to private firms, the same is not true of many developing countries. If they signed up to the deal, it could effectively prevent them from setting up public institutions taken for granted in the West.

  • The TISA negotiations were held behind closed doors for about 18 months until they were publicly revealed by the global trade union group Public Services International (PSI). Information about some of the proposals has been also disclosed through Wikileaks and similar sites.

    Daniel Bertossa, PSI’s director of policy, said: “Anybody who’s interested in maintaining democratic control of national institutions should be very concerned about the Trade in Services Agreement that is being negotiated in secret.

    “It will remove large sections of national sovereignty and the ability of any government, including the UK Government, to regulate important service sectors [on issues] such as energy, such as transport, such as privacy. The Trade in Services Agreement is part of a radical project to limit governments’ sovereign right to regulate and freeze it almost in permanence in the interests of foreign corporations.”

    According to the European Commission, TISA is about “facilitating trade in services”.

    “The EU is the world’s largest exporter of services with tens of millions of jobs throughout Europe in the services sector. Opening up markets for services will mean more growth and jobs,” its website says.

  • The Independent has contacted “Team TISA”, a group of mainly American companies in favour of the deal, asking for a comment. On its website, it says: “Services are the fastest growing sector of the global economy and account for two thirds of global output, one third of global employment and nearly 20 per cent of global trade.

    “The TISA provides an opportunity to expand services trade among over 50 countries, covering nearly 70 per cent of global trade in services.

    “The potential expansion TISA provides will benefit not only global growth, but also US domestic growth.

    “As the world’s largest services exporter, with over $1.3 trillion (about £1 trillion) in annual cross-border and foreign-affiliate sales, the US will benefit tremendously from elimination of services barriers.”

    A Department for International Trade spokesperson said: “Public services are under no threat whatsoever from this deal or any other trade agreement. The UK remains committed to an ambitious Trade in Services Agreement.”

September 23, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

France: Public consultation on the draft decree on protection against the dangers of ionizing radiation  

Sean Arclight   Hervé Courtois   CRIIRAD calls to mobilize against the adoption of very high reference levels
to manage nuclear accidents and their consequences.

The French authorities are preparing to establish the zones management criteria contaminated following a nuclear accident (or after an attack affecting a nuclear installation). What level of radiation exposure, and thus risk, will be taken in reference to decide whether or not to hire a particular action to protect the population? Very concretely: to what level of risk you will be condemned to live in contaminated areas? At what level of risk can you expect to be compensated and rehoused in a healthy environment?

The French authorities have retained the levels of effective dose as high as possible: 100 mSv for the accident phase and 20 mSv / year for accidental post phase (while for the public, the maximum dose limit is typically 1 mSv / year and that this value is already at a high level of risk). More limitations are high, lower are the expenses related to the protection and compensation for damage. This choice is unfortunately consistent with the capping of compensation for victims of a major nuclear accident. Nuclear power is exempted from the application of the polluter pays principle: they are the victims who bear the health and economic consequences of the disaster.

This decision does not just happen. It is the fruit of 20 years of efforts of the nuclear lobby, and specifically the French nuclear lobby via the Trojan horse, the FNEC (1). The key idea is to convince people that can be done entirely live in contaminated areas. Just a bit of training and equipment to control their environment, food. These experts have just “forgot” the central problem of the deteriorating health status of people, especially children.

If you are shocked by the image of the Japanese children wear around their necks a dosimeter as a pendant, if it is not the future you want for your children, act!
1. Study Centre on the Protection of the evaluation in the field Nuclear: an association with 4 members (EDF, AREVA, CEA and IRSN) and has widely infiltrated the national and international decision-making and including the ICRP (Jacques Lochard, Director of the FNEC, is now vice chairman of the main committee)

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Marine has launched a consultation on the draft decree on the Directive 2013/59. Remember that France must transpose the Directive into French law by January 2018. This consultation is an opportunity to denounce the proposals which we find unacceptable and show already our requirements. We later learned of this consultation will end on 30 September.
Take part in the public consultation
and say NO to the obligation to live in contaminated areas!

> Learn more
> How to participate in the public consultation?

The Directive covers many topics which will be discussed further. Other actions will be implemented in the coming weeks. We already rely on your help to relay! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

September 23, 2016 Posted by | France, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Russia warns: if Hinkley nuclear project fails it will discredit the entire global nuclear industry

scrutiny-on-costsIllustration of Hinkley Point C nuclear station. Image: EDF Energy/PARussia issues Hinkley nuclear warning, climate news,network  September 19, 2016, by Terry Macalister  State-owned Russian nuclear corporation says the industry’s credibility is at risk if building the new UK power plant is delayed or runs over budget.

LONDON, 19 September, 2016 – A major nuclear developer has warned the French energy giant EDF that it must deliver the Hinkley Point project in the UK on time and on budget or risk damaging the credibility of the wider industry.

In an exclusive interview with Climate News Network, Kirill Komarov, first deputy chief executive of Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom, expressed fears that problems at other EDF schemes − such as Flamanville in France andOlkiluoto in Finland − could be repeated.

Rosatom believes the decision by the UK prime minister, Theresa May, to give the go-ahead to the first new nuclear reactors in Britain for over 20 years was a major step forward, but knows that the eyes of the world will now be on a good performance at the Hinkley power plant in southwest England.

Komarov said: “It’s a good signal that the government confirmed its commitment to nuclear. At the same time, record-high cost and the risks of possible delays and cost overruns might undermine the reputation of the sector.”

The Russian group, which is constructing nuclear reactors in China, India and the Middle East, believes its own prices are up to 30% lower than EDF’s…………

Rosatom believes the UK should be wary of the potential delays attached to the new European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) designs that are being trialled at Olkiluoto, Flamanville and soon at Hinkley.

The company also reckons that the 1600 megawatt capacities of EPRs may be too large for the needs of the modern world. It believes its own VVER-designed 1000-1200 MW reactors are more suitable, especially in developed countries where power demand is unlikely to grow too much, because of energy efficiency and demand reduction policies.

Rosatom is clearly keen to sell its reactors in the UK, which has relatively tight regulations and is seen by EDF and others as a good shop window for the world http://climatenewsnetwork.net/russia-issues-hinkley-nuclear-warning/

September 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

180 mishaps in UK nuclear waste transport vehicles

radiation-truckflag-UKUK nuclear weapons convoys ‘have had 180 mishaps in 16 years’  Vehicles carrying nuclear weapons have had collisions, breakdowns and brake failures, disarmament campaign says, Guardian, , 21 Sept 16Military convoys carrying nuclear weapons through Britain’s cities and towns have experienced 180 mishaps and incidents, including collisions, breakdowns and brake failures during the last 16 years, according to a report produced by a disarmament campaign.

The incidents catalogued in the report – based on official logs released under theFreedom of Information Act – include fuel leaks, overheated engines, clutch problems, and other mechanical faults in the convoys.

At other times, according to the report, the convoys went the wrong way, were diverted, and lost communications with commanders. The rate at which the incidents have occurred has risen in recent years, with 43 in the last three years.

In its report published on Wednesday, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) warns that a serious accident involving the convoys could spread radioactivity over cities, contaminating communities and increasing cancer risks.

The convoys pass through cities and towns between Scotland and southern England. However, an opinion poll commissioned by Ican shows that nearly two-thirds of British adults did not know that the military transports nuclear warheads on British roads, prompting the campaigners to argue that members of the public have not given their consent to the dangers they pose.

Materials for nuclear weapons are driven through or flown over 122 local councils in the UK, including densely-populated areas such as Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, according to Ministry of Defence data…….

The Ican report describes how nuclear warheads are carried in dark green, 44-tonne trucks between a bomb factory at Burghfield near Reading in Berkshire and a naval depot at Coulport on Loch Long near Glasgow, where they are loaded onto submarines.

The 900-mile round trips, usually spread over one or two days, are completed between two and six times a year, with the most recent onereported to have been completed this week.

According to Ican, the convoys – comprising up to 20 vehicles including police cars and a fire engine – use a variety of routes. One from Burghfield, where the warheads are assembled and maintained, goes along the M40, round Birmingham and past Preston on the M6, and then the M74 to Glasgow……..

Matt Hawkins, spokesman for Ican, said the report “painted a grim picture of the great risks posed by nuclear convoys”, adding that nuclear weapons “only add danger to our lives, exposing us all to the risk of radiation leaks or an attack by terrorists on one of these convoys”.

In 2003, following pressure from the Guardian, the MoD was forced to publish a list of accidents involving nuclear weapons between 1960 and 1991 after decades of secrecy. It showed that the weapons had been dropped, struck by other weapons and carried on a truck that slid down a hill and toppled overhttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/21/uk-nuclear-weapons-convoys-have-had-180-mishaps-in-16-years


September 22, 2016 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

UK Liberal Democrats oppose Hinkley nuclear plan – ‘very poor value for money’

text politicsflag-UKLib Dems vote to oppose Hinkley nuclear plant in emergency conference motion, Left Foot Forward, 
Adam Barnett 19 September, 2016   Project is ‘very poor value for money’ and we should use renewable energy instead, say members 
Liberal Democrats voted to oppose a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C today in an emergency policy motion at party conference.

The party agreed this morning that the new £18 billion plant in Somerset was ‘very poor value for money’ for consumers and proposed renewable energy instead.

The motion also noted that similar nuclear plants in France and Finland are both ‘years behind schedule and significantly over budget’.

It concludes:

‘Conference believes that construction of a new nuclear station at Hinkley Point is both entirely dependent on public subsidy and represents very poor value for money for UK consumers, and that therefore it should be opposed. 

Conference calls for a UK energy strategy resting on investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, storage and interconnection with European grids, thereby providing energy security, an end to fuel poverty and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the same time as creating jobs, exports and prosperity.’……..https://leftfootforward.org/2016/09/lib-dems-vote-to-oppose-hinkley-nuclear-plant-in-emergency-conference-motion/

September 22, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Finland ready to grasp a nuclear marketing opportunity in South Australia

nuclear-marketing-crapflag-FinlandFinland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia, The Advertiser Daniel Wills, Helsinki, Finland, The Advertiser September 21, 2016 OPERATORS of the world’s most advanced nuclear disposal facility want to export the technology to South Australia and form an alliance to help the state develop its own commercial facility to take waste from around the world.

At a briefing with Premier Jay Weatherill at Finland’s Onkalo nuclear waste disposal facility, Posiva Solutions Oy managing director Mika Pohjonen said his company would be willing to licence intellectual property and engineering solutions to SA if it were to proceed with expanding the local nuclear industry.

Posiva is a joint venture owned by two of Finland’s biggest energy companies — Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fortum Power and Heat. It is set to become the first organisation in the world to bury a canister of spent nuclear fuel when they begin inserting them into the bedrock from 2020. Mr Pohjonen said SA could hope to move from site selection to burying canisters within about 15 years, less than half the time taken by Finland, because the Scandinavians had already undertaken the slow work of proving the technology………

The Onkalo disposal site is about 10 times smaller than that conceived by SA’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission.……

Mr Weatherill will by the end of the year declare a formal State Government position to Parliament on expansion of the industry………

“The next major step is a threshold question about whether we maintain our prohibition against a facility for spent fuel or whether we take a step to explore it further.”-  Mr Weatherill said ….

weatherill-nuclear-dream

….http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/finlands-onkalo-nuclear-waste-disposal-facility-want-to-export-the-technology-to-south-australia/news-story/5b26cc6e0bf9f342bac97fa5ba81c444

September 22, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Finland, marketing | Leave a comment

European Court of Auditors see nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall

nuke-reactor-deadEU auditor sees nuclear decommissioning funds shortfall, Reuters,  By Alissa de Carbonnel, 20 Sept 16,  | BRUSSELS European Union plans for financing the decommissioning of nuclear plants in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia are inadequate and more resources need to be put aside, the European Court of Auditors said in a report.

The report criticizing costly delays and warning of technical hurdles ahead shines a spotlight on the challenges facing Germany and other nations within the bloc that are planning to retire their nuclear reactors.

The EU’s spending watchdog said the estimated cost of decommissioning the three Soviet-era plants closed more than a decade ago had risen 40 percent since 2010 to at least 5.7 billion euros ($6.4 billion) by 2015. That figure doubles if the cost of disposing spent fuel once and for all is included.

The EU auditors said while the bloc’s budget covered the vast majority of the costs of shutting down the reactors in the three member states, significant funding was still needed to take the plants offline completely.

They said the reactor buildings at Bulgaria’s Kozloduy, Lithuania’s Ignalina and Slovakia’s Bohunice had yet to be dismantled and no solution had been found for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel……..

The only repository for spent fuel being dug deep underground in Europe has been under construction in Finland for nearly 40 years and won’t be ready until after 2020…….

A working paper by the European Commission, seen by Reuters in February, showed the bloc was short of more than 118 billion euros needed to dismantle its nuclear plants. ($1 = 0.8945 euros)(Editing by David Clarke) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-nuclearpower-idUSKCN11Q12A

September 22, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, EUROPE | Leave a comment

China’s nuclear marketing plan gets a big boost from Theresa May’s decision to go ahead on Hinkley project

Buy-China-nukes-1British Project May Clear Way for China’s Nuclear Exports to the West VOA, Saibal Dasgupta, 20 Sept 16  BEIJING — 

There’s a whole lot more in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to allow a Chinese company to invest in the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant than mere business.

Chinese investment is limited to investing funds in the $24 billion project, which will use two French reactors supplied by Electricity de France. But the project could clear the way for Chinese involvement in a more crucial project at Bradwell, east England, which would allow China to export its nuclear technology to the Western world, analysts say.

China General Nuclear Corporation, the investor in Hinkley Point, already has signed a pre-feasibility agreement for the Bradwell project……..

Only a few developing countries like Pakistan are using Chinese reactors. These countries are not known to have the kind of strict regulatory control seen in the West.

The Bradwell B project could be a game changer. Getting regulatory approval in Britain for its reactors is crucial for China because it can open the doors for Chinese nuclear exports to the West……..

But there’s many a slip between May’s lip and China’s cup of hope. Britain already is in the midst of fierce debate with critics voicing concern about security issues. Critics question a provision in the contract that provides for a fixed electricity rate for 35 years at a time when energy prices are falling, and are expected to be much lower in the future……..

For Beijing, British approval for the Hinkley Point project is a major image booster, analysts say. Chinese business is seen in the West as an acquirer of property and trader of low-tech, unbranded goods, they point out…….http://www.voanews.com/a/british-project-china-nuclear-exports-west/3517485.html

September 21, 2016 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment