The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Russia’s underwater nuclear graveyard – a great place for fishing?

Russia’s Arctic nuclear dump may become promising fishing area

Thousands of containers with radioactive waste were dumped in the Kara Sea during Soviet times. Now, Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishing believes it’s a good idea to start fishing. By Thomas Nilsen March 15, 2018

“We shall present soon a program on development of promising fishing in the Kara Sea,” said Sergey Golovanov at the 5th international conference of fishing in the Arctic, organized in Murmansk this week. He is quoted by news agency TASS.

Golovanov is head of the Science and Education Department with the Federal Agency for Fisheries and has a background from PINDRO, the Marine research institute in Murmansk.

According to Gulovanov, the Kara Sea’s advantage for the fishing industry is that it is a shelf sea, it does not border any territorial waters of other nations. “This is why Russia can have own fishing regulations there,” he said according to TASS.

In 2013, a Norwegian-Russian joint study expedition to the dump-site of K-27 concluded that it is feasible to lift the ill-fated submarine from the seabed. Although dumped 30 years ago, the hull of the submarine is intact.

Several other areas of the Kara Sea were also visited by the science expedition.

Nuclear weapons testing

Additional to the nuclear waste dumped across the Kara Sea, the waters are also next to the Soviet Union’s largest testing area for nuclear weapons. At Novaya Zemlya, 79 nuclear- and hydrogen bombs where detonated in the atmosphere between 1955 and 1962. In the period from 1963 to 1990 another 35 warheads were tested in tunnels under ground. Today, most of Novaya Zemlya is closed off miitary area.

At the conference in Murmansk, nothing was said about the Kara Sea being the main dumping ground for nuclear waste during Soviet times. No other oceans worldwide have more dumped radioactive waste than Russia’s Arctic Kara Sea.

Here, there, everywhere

17 ships and barges loaded with radioactive waste are dumped here. So are 17,000 containers with radioactive waste. Even worse, along the east coast of Novaya Zemlya is 16 nuclear reactors dumped, six of them with spent uranium fuel still on board.

With the breakup of the Soviet Union, both the military Northern Fleet and the civilian icebreakers stopped dumping waste at sea.

Entire nuclear sub dumped in 1982

On shallow waters in the Stepovogo Bay on the southeast coast of Novaya Zemlya, an entire nuclear-powered submarine, the K-27, was dumped in 1982.

The submarine had then been laid-up for more than 15 years after one of the two troublesome reactors suffered a severe leakage of radioactive gasses and inadequate cooling causing extensive fuel element failures.

Dumping the entire submarine at sea was done in what the Soviet reactor engineers and scientists believed would be a safe way to avoid leakages of radionuclides into the marine environment.

The two on board reactors are liquid-metal cooled and contain spent nuclear fuel, 800 kilograms of uranium to be precise.

Both Russian and Norwegian radiation experts have repeatedly warned that failing to lift the submarine eventually one day will cause leakages of radioactivity into the Kara Sea. A worst-case scenario has even pointed to the danger of an uncontrolled chain reaction that could be triggered inside the reactor in case sea water one day starts to leak in through the protecting cover that today isolates the compartment holding the two reactors.

In 2013, a Norwegian-Russian joint study expedition to the dump-site of K-27 concluded that it is feasible to lift the ill-fated submarine from the seabed. Although dumped 30 years ago, the hull of the submarine is intact.

Several other areas of the Kara Sea were also visited by the science expedition.

Nuclear weapons testing

Additional to the nuclear waste dumped across the Kara Sea, the waters are also next to the Soviet Union’s largest testing area for nuclear weapons. At Novaya Zemlya, 79 nuclear- and hydrogen bombs where detonated in the atmosphere between 1955 and 1962. In the period from 1963 to 1990 another 35 warheads were tested in tunnels under ground. Today, most of Novaya Zemlya is closed off miitary area.


March 17, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Heavy guarding for Ukraine’s spent nuclear fuel dump near Chernobyl

Nuclear waste storage facility near Ukraine’s Chernobyl to be heavily guarded: report
KIEV, March 15 (Xinhua) — The Ukrainian government has included the facility for nuclear waste near the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant into a list of heavily guarded objects, local media reported Thursday, citing a government decree.

The decree, which was adopted by the cabinet earlier this week, envisages that the central spent fuel storage facility (CSFSF) will be guarded by the officers of the National Guard of Ukraine.

The building of the CSFSF, which will store spent nuclear fuel from three Ukrainian nuclear power plants, is currently underway at the 30-km-radius exclusion zone around the plant.

The construction of the facility has started in November 2017 and its first stage is due to be completed in 2019.

The building of the CSFSF is aimed at boosting Ukraine’s capabilities in managing and storing its nuclear waste. Currently, the East European country relies heavily on Russia for storing spent fuel from its power plants.

Ukraine generates over half of its electricity from nuclear energy. Currently, 15 reactors in four nuclear power plants are operating in the East European country.

The Chernobyl plant, located some 130 km from Kiev, witnessed one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history on April 26, 1986.

The blasts at the No. 4 reactor spread radiation across Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other European countries.

March 17, 2018 Posted by | Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

British nuclear submarine joins American naval exercises under Arctic ice

Britain Sends Nuclear Sub Under Arctic Ice As Tensions With Russia Heat Up, Sputnik News, 16 Mar 18,     One British and two US nuclear submarines are taking part in a joint naval exercise currently underway in the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean.

Armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish heavy torpedoes, the HMS Trenchant is the first British nuclear sub to be deployed under the Arctic ice in a decade.

It joined a pair of the US Navy’s fast attack submarines the USS Hartford and USS Connecticut, both of which surfaced in the Arctic Circle on March 10 as part of the multinational maritime Ice Exercise 2018……..


March 17, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s NuScale, and UK firms trying to sell Small Modular Nuclear Reactors to France

France considers developing mini nuclear reactors, eyes cost Euro News ,  15/03/2018 PARIS  – The French nuclear industry is considering developing Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), but will have to ensure these miniaturised generators are not only technically feasible but also financially viable, executives said.


March 17, 2018 Posted by | France, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Now revealed: Queen Elizabeth’s speech for World War 3 is ready

Queen Elizabeth’s WWIII speech revealed, AS RELATIONS between the UK and Russia plummet and talk of a new Cold War spreads, these are the chilling words we hope are never said., 15 Mar 18, Alexis Carey QUEEN Elizabeth has a pre-written speech prepared for the outbreak of World War 3.

And as tensions between the UK and Russia continue to escalate, some believe the threat of nuclear war is more real than it has been since the Cold War.

The current crisis began on March 4, when former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench in Salisbury, England.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said they had been poisoned by a nerve agent called Novichok, one of the world’s deadliest.

While the pair remain in hospital, their prognosis is grim.

Novichok has been made in Russia for many years, and Ms May said it was “highly likely” Russia was involved in the poisoning. She demanded that Russia explain what happened, but when the country didn’t comply, she said: “There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter — and for threatening the lives of other British citizens.”

As a result, the government has ordered 23 Russian diplomats to leave UK soil by next Wednesday, which is the UK’s biggest removal of foreign representatives in three decades.

UK government ministers and members of the Royal Family will also not attend the World Cup in Russia in June in a further show of retaliation.

As the dispute grows, UK media have republished Queen Elizabeth’s speech, which she will deliver if a nuclear war is ever declared.

The monarch’s speech was initially written in 1983 during the peak of the Cold War.

It had previously been kept a strict secret under the National Archives’ 30-year rule.

The sombre speech was written as if it was delivered at midday on Friday, March 4, 1983 — and while some aspects are now outdated, such as the reference to Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Andrew serving in the Royal navy, the majority remains relevant.

The speech begins by referencing Queen Elizabeth’s recent Christmas message, before detailing her childhood during World War II.

It goes on to encourage British citizens to “fight off the new evil”.

The speech was previously published by the BBC and has been reproduced here in full:



March 17, 2018 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK Labour in tune with young people’s enthusiasm for renewable energy: Tories are tone deaf

Dave Toke’s Blog 14th March 2018, How Labour can really put the wind up the Tories. Labour is well placed to
embarrass the Tories by attacking the Government’s war on the onshore
wind industry in the UK.

Despite onshore wind now being the cheapest widely
available electricity source the Government is actively sabotaging the
industry by refusing to allow long term contracts to be issued to wind
developers.  Meanwhile large subsidies are being offered to gas, coal and
nuclear power stations.

Under the last Labour Government incentives were
given to build up a large increase in onshore wind power, which now
supplies around a tenth of UK’s electricity supply, with offshore wind
and solar farms now supplying around another ten per cent of UK

But right wing English Tory pressure has prevented any move
towards enabling long term contracts to be issued so that new windfarms can
be financed. Meanwhile the UK risks becoming increasingly dependent on
supplies of gas from places like Russia and Qatar.

The Labour frontbench is beginning to realise that young people in particular want to see green
energy being given a chance, and, for example, John McDonnell has recently
attacked the Tories for failing to doing anything to revive support for the
feed-in tariff scheme that helped people install solar panels on their

But attention ought also to be turned to promoting onshore
windfarms. Doing so would embarrass the Government and also sow division
inside the Tory ranks. More practically, it would offer hope to people who
are working in the industry that they might have a future.

Places like Grimsby are benefitting from offshore wind projects which are still being
built, but onshore wind factories are being closed down, the latest being
the Glasgow based Gaia Wind. The Minister of State for Energy, Claire
Perry, has, in recent months, been making some encouraging noises about
providing some ‘contracts for differences’, but appears to lack the
required political clout to do much that changes anything, especially to
overcome the vocal hostility of the climate-and-wind sceptical group of
Tory MPs.


March 17, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste containers: the problem of corrosion in copper canisters

The court said no to the application because it considered that there were problems with the copper canister that had to be resolved now and not later. 

the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is to carry out an expert peer review of a Canadian research programme on microbiologically influenced corrosion of canisters that will be used to dispose of used nuclear fuel.

The Copper Corrosion Conundrum  No2Nuclear Power

The Swedish Environmental Court has rejected the Nuclear Waste Company SKB’s license application for a final repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark, Sweden. This is a huge triumph for safety and environment – and for the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG), the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), and critical scientists. Now it is up to the Swedish government to make a final decision.

The Environmental Court took into consideration viewpoints from all parties in the case, including scientists who have raised concerns about disposing spent nuclear fuel in copper canisters. During the legal proceedings, the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG) and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) presented the shortcomings of this method of disposal. For many years, the environmental organisations have been arguing that the Nuclear Waste Company SKB need to listen to critical scientists, and investigate alternative disposal methods, especially the possibility of developing a very deep boreholes disposal system. (1) Johan Swahn, Director at MKG said:

“Several independent researchers have criticized both the applied method and the selected site. There is a solid documentation base for the Environmental Court’s decision. It is hard to believe the Swedish Government’s conclusions will be any different from the Court’s.”

MKG has made an unofficial translation into English of the Environmental Court opinion. (2)

The court said no to the application because it considered that there were problems with the copper canister that had to be resolved now and not later. The translation shows the courts judicial argumentation and why it decided not to accept the regulator – the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority’s (SSM’s) opinion that the problems with the integrity of the copper canister were not serious and could likely be solved at a later stage in the decision-making process. The court is quite clear in its statement and argumentation:

“The Land and Environmental Court finds that the environmental impact assessment meets the requirements of the Environmental Code and can therefore be approved. All in all, the investigation meets the high standards set out in the Environmental Code, except in one respect, the safety of the canister.” (Emphasis added)

“The investigation shows that there are uncertainties, or risks, regarding how much certain forms of corrosion and other processes can impair the ability of the canister to contain the nuclear waste in the long term. Overall, these uncertainties about the canister are significant and have not been fully taken into account in the conclusions of SKB’s safety analysis. The Land and Environmental Court considers that there is some leeway for accepting further uncertainties. The uncertainties surrounding certain forms of corrosion and other processes are, however, of such gravity that the Court cannot, based on SKB’s safety analysis, conclude that the risk criterion in the Radiation Safety Authority’s regulations has been met. In the context of the comprehensive risk assessment required by the Environmental Code, the documentation presented to date does not provide sufficient support for concluding that the final repository will be safe in the long term.” (Emphasis added)

The court says that the application is only permissible if the nuclear waste company SKB:

“…produces evidence that the repository in the long term will meet the requirements of the Environmental Code, despite remaining uncertainties regarding how the protective capability of the canister may be affected by: a. corrosion due to reactions in oxygen-free water; b. pit corrosion due to reaction with sulphide, including the contribution of the sauna effect to pit corrosion; c. stress corrosion due to reaction with sulphide, including the contribution of the sauna effect to stress corrosion; d. hydrogen embrittlement; e. radioactive radiation impact on pit corrosion, stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement.”

The main difference between the court’s and the regulator’s decision-making was that the court decided to rely on a multitude of scientific sources and information and not only on the material provided by SKB. It had also been uncovered that the main corrosion expert at SSM did not want to say yes to the application at this time that may have influenced the court’s decision-making. In fact there appear to have been many dissenting voices in the regulator despite the regulator’s claim in the court that a united SSM stood behind its opinion.

The court underlines in its opinion that the Environmental Code requires that the repository should be shown to be safe at this stage in the decision-making process, i.e. before the government has its say. The court says that some uncertainties will always remain but it sees the possible copper canister problems as so serious that it is not clear that the regulator’s limits for release of radioactivity can be met. This is a reason to say no to the project unless it can be shown that the copper canister will work as intended. The copper canister has to provide isolation from the radioactivity in the spent nuclear fuel to humans and the environment for very long time-scales.

It is still unclear how the process will proceed. The community of Östhammar has cancelled the referendum on the repository, as there will be no question from the government in the near future. The government has set up a working group of civil servants to manage the government’s handling of the opinions delivered by the court and SSM. SKB has said that it is preparing documentation for the government to show that there are no problems with the canister. Whether the government thinks this will be enough remains to be seen. This is likely not what the court had in mind. The government would be wise to make a much broader review of the issue. There is a need for a thorough judicial review on the governmental level in order to override the court’s opinion. Otherwise the government’ decision may not survive an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court.

There are eminent corrosion experts who believe that copper is a bad choice as a canister material. There is also increasing experimental evidence that this is the case. The court’s decision shows the importance of democratic and open governance in environmental decisionmaking. It is important that the continued decision-making regarding the Swedish repository for spent nuclear is transparent and multi-faceted. (3)

Copper Canisters The canister has to enclose the nuclear waste for a very long; it is the final repository’s primary safety function. The canister has a 50 mm thick copper shell with an insert of cast iron. The canister must withstand corrosion and mechanical stress.

The investigation on the capability of the canister is extensive and involves complex technical and scientific issues. These include groundwater chemistry, corrosion processes, as well as creep and hydrogen embrittlement (this latter affects the mechanical strength of the canister). However, the parties taking part in the court proceedings disagreed on several issues crucial to the final repository’s long-term security.

The Land and Environmental Court considered the following uncertainties regarding the canister to be most important in the continued risk assessment:

  • 1. General corrosion due to reaction in oxygen-free water. The parties have different views on scientific issues surrounding this kind of corrosion. The Court found that there is considerable uncertainty on this topic that has not been taken account of in SKB’s safety analysis
  • .· 2. Local corrosion in the form of pit corrosion due to reaction with sulphide. The Court found that there is significant uncertainty regarding pit-corrosion due to reaction with sulphide. This uncertainty has not been included in the safety analysis. In addition, there is uncertainty about the sauna effect, which may have an amplifying effect on pit corrosion.
  • · 3. Local corrosion in the form of stress corrosion due to reaction with sulphide. The Court found that there is significant uncertainty regarding stress corrosion due to reaction with sulphide. This uncertainty has not been included in the safety analysis. In addition, there is uncertainty about the sauna effect, which may have an amplifying effect on stress corrosion.
  • · 4. Hydrogen embrittlement is a process that affects the mechanical strength of the canister. The Court found that significant uncertainty regarding hydrogen embrittlement remains. This uncertainty has not been taken account of in the safety analysis.
  •  · 5. The effect of ionizing radiation on pit corrosion, stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement. There is significant uncertainty regarding ionizing radiation impact on pit corrosion, stress corrosion and hydrogen sprays. This uncertainty has been included to a limited extent in the safety assessment.

Meanwhile, the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is to carry out an expert peer review of a Canadian research programme on microbiologically influenced corrosion of canisters that will be used to dispose of used nuclear fuel. The NNL has been contracted by Canada’s National Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) to review its work on the potential for corrosion of the copper-clad canisters. The NWMO is responsible for designing and implementing the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel under a plan known as Adaptive Phased Management. This requires used fuel to be contained and isolated in a deep geological repository, with a comprehensive process to select an informed and willing host for the project.

The used fuel will be isolated from the environment using a series of engineered barriers. Fuel elements comprise ceramic fuel pellets, which are themselves highly durable, contained inside corrosion-resistant zircaloy tubes to make fuel elements. Bundles of fuel elements are placed into large, durable copper-coated steel containers which are designed to contain and isolate used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository, essentially indefinitely. The canisters will be placed in so-called “buffer boxes” containing by bentonite clay, providing a fourth barrier.

World Nuclear News reports that although copper is highly resistant to corrosion, under anoxic conditions – that is, where no oxygen is present – sulphate-reducing bacteria have the potential to produce sulphide, which can lead to microbiologically induced corrosion (MIC) of copper. Waste management organisations and regulators therefore need to understand the levels of sulphide that will be present in a geological disposal facility, to understand its potential to migrate to the canister surface and the potential for it to cause copper corrosion, the NNL said.

The NWMO has been actively developing computer models that will be used to evaluate the potential for MIC once a disposal site has been selected, and has selected the NNL to carry out a peer review of its work because of the UK laboratory’s expertise in the biogeochemical processes that could affect repository performance and in developing computer modelling techniques that simulate the effects of sulphate-reducing bacteria. The work is linked closely with NNL’s participation in the European Commission Horizon-2020 MIND (Microbiology in Nuclear waste Disposal) project. (4


March 14, 2018 Posted by | Reference, Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion: If it all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is

The Guardian view on nuclear fusion: a moment of truth   Until recently the attractions and drawbacks of nuclear fusion reactors were largely theoretical. Within a decade this will not be the case 13 Mar 18

One of the cliches of nuclear power research is that a commercial fusion reactor is only ever a few decades away – and always will be. So claims that the technology is on the “brink of being realised” by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a private company should be viewed sceptically.

The MIT-led team say they have the “science, speed and scale” for a viable fusion reactor and believe it could be up and running within 15 years, just in time to combat climate change. [?] The MIT scientists are all serious people and perhaps they are within spitting distance of one of science’s holy grails. But no one should hold their breath.

Fusion technology promises an inexhaustible supply of clean, safe power. If it all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is. For decades scientists struggled to recreate a working sun in their laboratories – little surprise perhaps as they were attempting to fuse atomic nuclei in a superheated soup. Commercial fusion remains a dream. Yet in recent years the impossible became merely improbable and then, it felt almost overnight, technically feasible. For the last decade there has been a flurry of interest –and not a little incredulity –about claims, often made by companies backed by billionaires and run by bold physicists, that market-ready fusion reactors were just around the corner.

There are reasons to want to believe that fusion will one day be powering our lives. The main fuel is a heavy isotope of hydrogen called deuterium which can be extracted from water and therefore is in limitless supply – unlike the uraniumused in nuclear fission reactors. But fusion’s science is tricky and the breakthroughs rare. So far there has been no nuclear fusion reaction that has been triggered, continued and self-sustained. Neither has the plasma soup that exists at temperatures found in the stars been magnetically contained. Nor has any research group sparked a fusion reaction that has released more energy than it consumed, one of the main attractions of the technology. Perhaps the most successful fusion reactor has been the JET experiment, so far Europe’s largest fusion device, which ended up in the UK after the SAS stormed a hijacked German airliner in 1977 and Bonn backed the then prime minister Jim Callaghan’s request to host it. JET hasn’t even managed to break even, energy-wise. Its best ever result, in 1997, remains the gold standard for fusion power – but it achieved just 16 MW of output for 25 MW of input.

Hopes for fusion now rest with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter), a multi-national $20bn effort in France to show that the science can be made to work. Within a decade Iter aims to control a hydrogen bomb-sized atomic reaction for a few minutes. It is a vast undertaking. At its heart is a doughnut-shaped device known as a tokamak that weighs as much as three Eiffel towers. Iter’s size raises a question of how large a “carbon footprint” the site will leave. Like JET, Iter uses a fusion fuel which is a 50-50 mixture of deuterium and a rare hydrogen isotope known as tritium. To make Iter self-sustaining it will have to prove that tritium can be “bred”, a not inconsiderable feat. Iter will also test how “clean” a technology fusion really is. About 80% of a fusion reaction’s energy is released as subatomic particles known as neutrons, which will smash into the exposed reactor components and leave tonnes of radioactive waste. Just how much will be crucial in assessing whether fusion is a dirty process or not.

Iter’s worth is that it is a facility in the real world, where fusion’s promise can be tested. If it turns out to be better than expected then private investment is going to be needed to commercialise a fusion reactor. If it falls short then there must be a realistic rethink of fusion’s potential. After all, the money that has been poured into it could have been spent on cheap solar technology which would allow humanity to be powered by a fusion reactor that’s 150m kilometres away, called the sun.


March 14, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, technology | Leave a comment

Russia hopes to build nuclear reactors in Sudan (just the safest place?)

Sudan, Russia to sign accord to develop nuclear power: SUNA agency Reuters Staff, 13 Mar 18KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan will sign a“roadmap” with Russia to build nuclear power stations during a visit to Moscow by Khartoum’s electricity minister, state news agency SUNA said on Monday.

SUNA said Water Resources, Irrigation, and Electricity Minister Moataz Mousa, who left Khartoum on Monday, would meet the head of Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom. The trip comes four months after Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin he wanted to discuss nuclear power cooperation with Russia. SUNA quoted a spokesman for the ministry as saying the two sides would sign several memorandums of understanding including the roadmap“to implement a plan to develop nuclear (power) stations”. It did not elaborate.  Reporting by Omar Fahmy, editing by David Evans


March 14, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

France to commit 700 million euros to International Solar Alliance 

13 Mar 18
France will commit 700 million euros to the International Solar Alliance (ISA), President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday at the founding conference of the organization, reiterating the European country’s commitment to the alliance and clean energy.


March 14, 2018 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

UK renews process – geological screening for nuclear waste dump

Geological Screening, NO2 NuclearPower 14 Mar 18 On 30th January 2013, Cumbria County Council rejected the Government’s plans to undertake preliminary work on an underground radioactive waste dump. (See Cumbria Plan Dumped nuClear News No.47) The county and its western district councils Allerdale and Copeland were the only local authorities in the UK still involved in feasibility studies for a £12bn – £19bn disposal facility. So the rejection left the UK once again, without a plan for dealing with its nuclear waste legacy, let alone waste from proposed new reactors.

Then, in July 2014 the UK Government published a renewed process for siting a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) – the ‘Implementing Geological Disposal’ White Paper. (1)

The White Paper explained that certain ‘Initial Actions’ would have to happen before formal discussions between communities interested in hosting a GDF and the delivery body Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) could take place. (2)

These ‘Initial Actions’ included: · A National Geological Screening exercise; · The establishment of a policy framework for planning decisions in England; and · Development of a process of Working with Communities, including Community Engagement, Community Representation, Community Investment and the Test of Public Support…….


March 14, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Director general of Orano (formerly Areva) tries to convince French Assembly that nuclear fuel pools are not dangerous

National assembly 9th March 2018, [Machine Translation]
La Hague: the boss of Orano (ex-Areva) minimizes the risks in the event of a plane crash on spent fuel pools. According to
Philippe Knoche, a plane crash or rocket fire could not damage enough spentfuel storage tanks to dewater them. “I would like to take this example
because our opponents use it a lot …”
Thursday, before the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the safety and security of nuclear facilities, the director general of Orano (formerly Areva) Philippe Knoche tried to reassure the deputies on the resistance of the reprocessing site of La Hague. According to him, spent nuclear fuel storage pools are not vulnerable to falling or rocket fire.


March 12, 2018 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Latest in the AREVA nuclear soap opera: Areva to pay Finland’s TVO 450 mln euros

 Le Monde 10th March 2018, [Machine Translation] EPR: epilogue of the Finnish soap opera Areva. The nuclear group will pay hundreds of millions of euros in penalties for the
delay of ten years in the Olkiluoto reactor project.

Areva to pay Finland’s TVO 450 mln euros over nuclear reactor dispute  Reuters Staff  HELSINKI, March 11 (Reuters) – Finnish utility Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) said on Sunday it had agreed a settlement with French nuclear company Areva and Germany’s Siemens in the long-running dispute over cost overruns and delays on their EPR nuclear reactor project.

Areva-Siemens will pay TVO compensation of 450 million euros ($553.73 million), the Finnish company said in a statement.

TVO and Areva-Siemens were claiming billions of euros from each other due to the delays in the Olkiluoto 3 reactor project in southwest Finland. Its start was postponed last year to May 2019 – a decade later than planned.

$1 = 0.8127 euros Reporting by Tuomas Forsell


March 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, France, Legal | Leave a comment

Mikhail Gorbachev pleads for USA and Russia to Stop the Race to Nuclear War

Mikhail Gorbachev: The U.S. and Russia Must Stop the Race to Nuclear War  By MIKHAIL GORBACHEV  10 March 18 

Mikhail Gorbachev was the president of the Soviet Union and is the author of The New Russia.

When I became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, I felt during my very first meetings with people that what worried them the most was the problem of war and peace. Do everything in order to prevent war, they said.

By that time, the superpowers had accumulated mountains of weapons; military build-up plans called for “space combat stations,” “nuclear-powered lasers,” “kinetic space weapons” and similar inventions. Thank God, in the end none of them were built. What is more, negotiations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States opened the way to ending the nuclear arms race. We reached agreement with one of the most hawkish U.S. presidents, Ronald Reagan, to radically reduce the arsenals.

Today, those achievements are in jeopardy. More and more, defense planning looks like preparation for real war amid continued militarization of politics, thinking and rhetoric.

The National Security Strategy and Nuclear Posture Review published by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration in February orients U.S. foreign policy toward “political, economic, and military competitions around the world” and calls for the development of new, “more flexible” nuclear weapons. This means lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons even further.

Against this backdrop, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his recent address to the Federal Assembly, announced the development in Russia of several new types of weapons, including weapons that no country in the world yet possesses.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, published in Chicago, set the symbolic Doomsday Clock half a minute closer to “Midnight” in January. As the scientists see it, we are now within two minutes of a global catastrophe. The last time this level of danger was recorded in 1953.

The alarm that people feel today is fully justified.

How should we respond to this new round of militarization?

Above all, we must not give up; we must demand that world leaders return to the path of dialogue and negotiations.

The primary responsibility for ending the current dangerous deadlock lies with the leaders of the United States and Russia. This is a responsibility they must not evade, since the two powers’ arsenals are still outsize compared to those of other countries.

But we should not place all our hopes on the presidents. Two persons cannot undo all the roadblocks that it took years to pile up. We need dialog at all levels, including mobilization of the efforts of both nations’ expert communities. They represent an enormous pool of knowledge that should be used in the interest of peace.

Things have come to a point where we must ask: Where is the United Nations? Where is its Security Council, its Secretary General? Isn’t it time to convene an emergency session of the General Assembly or a meeting of the Security Council at the level of heads of state? I am convinced that the world is waiting for such an initiative.

There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of people both in Russia and in the United States will agree that war cannot be a solution to problems. Can weapons solve the problems of the environment, terrorism or poverty? Can they solve domestic economic problems?

We must remind the leaders of all nuclear powers of their commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to negotiate reductions and eventually the elimination of nuclear weapons. Their predecessors signed that obligation, and it was ratified by the highest levels of their government. A world without nuclear weapons: There can be no other final goal.

However dismal the current situation, however depressing and hopeless the atmosphere may seem, we must act to prevent the ultimate catastrophe. What we need is not the race to the abyss but a common victory over the demons of war.


March 10, 2018 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia keen to sell nuclear power to Ethiopia

Russia to help with Ethiopia’s nuclear energy ambitions, African News 
Source: Xinhua   2018-03-10 00:32:45
 ADDIS ABABA, March 9 (Xinhua) — Ethiopia and Russia agreed on Friday to boost cooperation in nuclear energy during a visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Speaking to local and international media, Lavrov said Russia will assist Ethiopia’s nuclear energy ambitions as part of efforts to strengthen political, economic and cultural ties between the two nations…..


March 9, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment