nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Oh dear! Transatomic Power has been making false claims about Generation IV nuclear reactors

text-cat-questionIt’s interesting the way that, for dubious nuclear enterprises, they like to put a young woman at the top. Is this to make the nuclear image look young and trendy? Or is it so they she can cop the flak when it all goes wrong?

Below – Leslie Dewan – CEO of Transatomic Power

dewan-leslie-poisoned-chaliceNuclear Energy Startup Transatomic Backtracks on Key Promises The company, backed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, revised inflated assertions about its advanced reactor design after growing concerns prompted an MIT review. MIT Technology Review by James Temple  February 24, 2017 Nuclear energy startup Transatomic Power has backed away from bold claims for its advanced reactor technology after an informal review by MIT professors highlighted serious errors in the company’s calculations, MIT Technology Review has learned.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company, founded in 2011 by a pair of MIT students in the Nuclear Science & Engineering department, asserted that its molten salt reactor design could run on spent nuclear fuel from conventional reactors and generate energy far more efficiently than them. In a white paper published in March 2014, the company proclaimed its reactor “can generate up to 75 times more electricity per ton of mined uranium than a light-water reactor.”

Those lofty claims helped it raise millions in venture capital, secure a series of glowing media profiles (including in this publication), and draw a rock-star lineup of technical advisors. But in a paper on its site dated November 2016, the company downgraded “75 times” to “more than twice.” In addition, it now specifies that the design “does not reduce existing stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel,” or use them as its fuel source. The promise of recycling nuclear waste, which poses tricky storage and proliferation challenges, was a key initial promise of the company that captured considerable attention.

“In early 2016, we realized there was a problem with our initial analysis and started working to correct the error,” cofounder Leslie Dewan said in an e-mail response to an inquiry from MIT Technology Review.

The dramatic revisions followed an analysis in late 2015 by Kord Smith, a nuclear science and engineering professor at MIT and an expert in the physics of nuclear reactors.

At that point, there were growing doubts in the field about the company’s claims and at least some worries that any inflated claims could tarnish the reputation of MIT’s nuclear department, which has been closely associated with the company. Transatomic also has a three-year research agreement with the department, according to earlier press releases.

In reviewing the company’s white paper, Smith noticed immediate red flags. He relayed his concerns to his department head and the company, and subsequently conducted an informal review with two other professors.

“I said this is obviously incorrect based on basic physics,” Smith says. He asked the company to run a test, which ended up confirming that “their claims were completely untrue,” Smith says.

He notes that promising to increase the reactor’s fuel efficiency by 75 times is the rough equivalent of saying that, in a single step, you’d developed a car that could get 2,500 miles per gallon.

Ultimately, the company redid its analysis, and produced and posted a new white paper………

The company has raised at least $4.5 million from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Acadia Woods Partners, and Daniel Aegerter of Armada Investment AG. Venture capital veteran Ray Rothrock serves as chairman of the company.

Founders Fund didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry……https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603731/nuclear-energy-startup-transatomic-backtracks-on-key-promises/

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Squabble in West Texas over stranded nuclear wastes

strandedFlag-USAIn West Texas, spent fuel storage seeks a foothold, Edward Klump, E&E News reporter , Energywire: Friday, February 24, 2017 Waste Control Specialists LLC operates a facility licensed to dispose of low-level radioactive waste in Andrews County, Texas. The company is in the process of seeking a license for an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. …….

February 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Florida Supreme Court rejects nuclear expansion

judge-1http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article134769964.html The Associated Press TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 24 Feb 17  The Florida Supreme Court is upholding a lower court ruling that ordered a massive nuclear plant expansion to be redone to meet environmental and other concerns.

Justices in a brief-one page order on Friday rejected an appeal filed by Florida Power & Light.

Last year, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami reversed a 2014 decision by Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet to approve construction of two nuclear reactors by FPL at its Turkey Point plant near Homestead. The project, costing up to $18 billion, would add about 2,200 megawatts of electric power or enough to supply 750,000 homes.

A three-judge panel ruled the governor and Cabinet failed to account for environmental regulations meant to protect the Everglades and endangered birds that make their home in the wetlands.

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s associates and USA conservatives to wage war on environmentalists

Conservatives predict ‘real war’ with environmentalists http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050477  Amanda Reilly, E&E News reporter   Greenwire: Thursday, February 23, 2017 People who question the science of climate change today told conservative activists they were looking forward to using their bigger platform during the Trump administration to roll back U.S. EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a panel of prominent global warming skeptics said one of their top targets was the Obama administration’s 2009 endangerment finding, the basis for EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations.

“It’s going to be a real war with environmentalists, no question about that,” said Steve Milloy, who says he served on President Trump’s EPA transition but was not listed on the administration’s official landing team for the agency. “There’s going to be a lot of litigation. But we’re going to move EPA in the right direction.”

Milloy said “nothing’s made me prouder than the fact that Donald Trump is now president” because Republicans as a whole had been lukewarm in their support of climate skeptics prior to Trump, who once called climate change a Chinese hoax.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute sponsored the panel this morning in one of the side ballrooms at CPAC, happening outside Washington. Appearing on the panel with Milloy were James Delingpole and Tony Heller. All three have questioned whether human-caused climate change is occurring.

Delingpole, an executive editor at the Breitbart News Network, likened environmentalism to a religion and recycling advocates to a “cult.”  The environmental movement, he told the conservative audience, was full of “control freaks” looking for a scientific justification “to tax us, to regulate us, to control our lives.”

Heller, who also goes by the pseudonym Steven Goddard, accused the government of faking statistics to make people believe in “absurd” and “fake news” climate change.

He claimed that conservatives who don’t believe in climate change have been treated like women who were accused of being witches in the 1600s. “Right now, conservatives get blamed for every bad weather event and for climate change, right. It’s our fault,” he said. “But hundreds of years ago, it was witches who were blamed for it.”

‘Scumbags’

The treatment of people who don’t believe in man-made warming is about to change during the Trump administration, Delingpole said. “The people who portray people like us as selfish, greedy, nature-hating scumbags — no. They are the scumbags. We are the good guys,” Delingpole said. “Thank goodness, thanks to Donald Trump, the tide’s turned, and we are about to witness that.”

Along with questioning federal climate change science, panelists also said they were skeptical of EPA research on everything from air pollution to pesticides.  Milloy, who led a crusade against EPA’s risk assessment of secondhand smoke, said he hoped the Trump administration would completely end scientific research at the agency, accusing it of paying for “the science it wants.”

An agency “can’t be responsible for producing science and then regulating” based on that science, Milloy said.Being selected to EPA’s transition team was “a dream come true after fighting EPA for 25 years,” he said.

Conservatives are starting to see the fruits of the advice of that transition team, beginning with the confirmation of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator, he said.

Under the Trump administration, Milloy said, warming skeptics would get to participate in debates over killing President Obama’s key climate policies, including the endangerment finding, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2014.

“The endangerment finding needs to be repealed,” he said. “If it’s not, then President Trump is going to be forced to issue his own climate policy.”

John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, slammed the panel in a series of tweets.

“This is alt-reality, folks,” he said.

Twitter: @apeterka Email: areilly@eenews.net

February 25, 2017 Posted by | climate change, environment, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Wealthy Americans building ‘luxury’ underground nuclear bunkers

Nuclear shelter goes up market as the US gets nervous, http://www.afr.com/news/policy/defence/nuclear-shelter-goes-up-market-as-the-us-gets-nervous-20170219-gugigy Australian  Financial Review, 24 Feb 17 by Ben Rowen
bunker

On July 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy spoke to the American people of a need “new to our shores” for emergency preparedness, including fallout shelters. The bunkers of that era – brutalist, cement, with foldout beds and stockpiled food – were designed to protect families in the event that the Cold War turned hot.

It never did, but fears of cataclysm – nuclear and otherwise – are back. So are shelters, with a twist. Growing numbers of “preppers” hope to ride out various doomsday scenarios in luxury.

Rising S Bunkers, one of several companies that specialise in high-end shelters – its presidential model includes a gym, a workshop, a rec room, a greenhouse, and a car depot – says sales of its $US500,000-plus ($650,000) units increased 700 per cent last year. (This compares with a more modest 150 per cent increase across other Rising S units.) Bunker companies won’t disclose customers’ names, but Gary Lynch, Rising S’s chief executive, told me his clients include Hollywood actors and “highly recognisable sports stars”. Other luxury shelters are marketed to businesspeople, from bankers to Bill Gates, who is rumoured to have bunkers beneath his houses in Washington State and California.

Whereas Cold War shelters, by design, were near the home and easy to get to, a handful of bunker companies are building entire survival communities in remote locations. Some of them share literal foundations with Cold War buildings: One project, Vivos XPoint, involves refurbishing 575 munitions-storage bunkers in South Dakota; Vivos Europa One, in Germany, is a Soviet armoury turned luxury community with a subterranean swimming pool.

By contrast, Trident Lakes, a 700-acre, $US330 million development in Ector, Texas, an hour and a half north of Dallas, is being built from scratch. Marketed as a “5-star playground, equipped with defcon 1 preparedness”, it is the project of a group of investors who incorporated as Vintuary Holdings. According to James O’Connor, the CEO, Trident Lakes “is designed for enjoyment like any other resort”. (This pitch is rather different from its Cold War-era counterparts: A 1963 bunker advertisement from the Kelsey-Hayes company shows a family tucked under its home, with just rocking chairs for comfort.)

In some regards, the plans for Trident Lakes do resemble those for a resort.Amenities will include a hotel, an athletic centre, a golf course, and polo fields. The community is slated to have 600 condominiums, ranging in price from $US500,000 to $US1.5 million, each with a waterfront view (to which end, three lakes and 10 beaches will be carved out of farmland). Other features are more unusual: 90 per cent of each unit will be underground, armed security personnel will guard a wall surrounding the community, and there will be helipads for coming and going.

As of January, only one part of the project was under way: a 60-foot statue that will feature Poseidon, amid what is supposed to be a 55,000-square-foot fountain. By June, Vintuary plans to unveil the development’s entrance and the shells of six bunkers. If all goes according to schedule, the first units will be finished next year.

Jeff Schlegelmilch, the deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told me that the luxury-bunker trend is “not just a couple of fringe groups; there is real money behind it—hundreds of millions of dollars”. But why are wealthy people buying?

Some customers appear to be motivated by old anxieties, recently revived – the threat of nuclear war, or a national-debt default that leads to unrest. Others have newer fears: climate change, pandemics, terrorism, far-left and far-right extremism. The presidential election has brought new faces into the fold, namely liberals (who also contributed to a record number of background checks – an indicator of gun purchases – on Black Friday). “Typically our sales are going to conservatives, but now liberals are purchasing,” says Lynch, the Rising S CEO.

Violence ‘unfortunate trend’

Rob Kaneiss, Trident Lakes’ chief security officer and a former Navy seal, told me that violence “seems to be the unfortunate trend in the US”. He believes the community’s location will prove to be ideal under the circumstances. “Ector offers … a very rural area,” he said, “so the likelihood of having risks like that, in the absence of specific targeting, is extremely low.”

In case things do go south, Trident Lakes will offer “Navy seal Experience” self-defence training, and a vault for family DNA. The hope is that, down the line, scientists could use genetic material to replicate residents who were lost to catastrophe, thereby ensuring “family sustainability”. Where these scientists might come from isn’t clear, but for a group selling cataclysm, the gesture seems an oddly hopeful bet on the future.

February 25, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Cuomo’s costly nuclear plant bailout – financially and ethically wrong

taxpayer-bailout-exelonStop Cuomo’s costly nuclear plant bailout http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/stop-cuomo-costly-nuclear-plant-bailout-article-1.2980738 BY  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Friday, February 24, 2017, New Yorkers shouldn’t have to pay for energy they will never use. Which is why Gov. Cuomo should be consistent and close, along with Indian Point, three other outdated nuclear power plants near Rochester and Oswego.

Instead, he is taking $7.6 billion from New York ratepayers and giving it to a hugely profitable, Illinois-based energy company to keep the three plants open.

The governor says he needs the plants operational in order to meet his renewable energy goals, but that’s false. New York can meet its goals on time with wind, solar and hydroelectric power, a Stanford University study recently found. Cuomo should get on the same page as California and get serious about replacing nuclear power with safe, affordable and clean energy. It can be done.

A bailout of upstate nuclear power plants is going to be the largest transfer of wealth from government to a single corporation in New York’s history, and it runs counter to what energy experts are telling us about job growth potential from real renewables.

Most importantly, it flies in the face of pure common sense.

Exelon is the lucky recipient of our money. A Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion, it spent $430,000 on lobbying in New York in the past two years, including to obtain subsidies for its plants under the governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires half of the state’s eletricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2030.

Yet to prop up the plants, Cuomo has essentially levied a new tax that increases everyone’s utility bills, including local governments. For example, the City of New York will pay $208 million more over 12 years. The cities of Buffalo and Yonkers will pay over $3 million each.

Anyone who pays for electricity will be on the hook: residents, businesses, municipalities, hospitals, schools. Con Ed residential customers will see their bills go up by $700 million, Long Island by $500 million and Niagara Mohawk consumers by $465 million.

It all goes to Exelon.

It’s odd that Cuomo would plow money into these aging upstate plants at the very same time he’s moving to shutter the Indian Point plant near New York City out of concern for safety. Surely the governor is not saying the dangers posed to people and property upstate are less real than those downstate.

Here are five other reasons why the governor has this wrong.

One, nearly 800,000 New Yorkers are behind on their electric bills already. That number will surely increase when Exelon gets more of on our hard-earned money.

Two, it’s geographically skewed. The formula would force New York City, Long Island and some Westchester County customers to pay 60% of costs while using very little of the power generated upstate.

Three, only the governor, Public Service Commission and Exelon have seen this bailout “contract” with Exelon. Yet the decision is proceeding despite pleas from New Yorkers for public hearings and numerous attempts to obtain the document through the Freedom of Information Law.

Four, in New York, clean energy already provides more jobs than the nuclear industry by orders of magnitude — with the potential for astromical future growth. Statewide, estimates range from 85,000 to 180,000 jobs in clean energy, such as solar, wind, energy retrofits, heat pumps and other efficiencies, compared to 3,250 jobs at Indian Point and the other three nuclear plants combined.

Last — hardest to quantify but most important, at least to me — is the matter of moral leadership. Pope Francis has written on the state’s responsibility to promote the common good through dialogue and consensus-building. During his address to the U.S. Congress last year, he quoted from his encyclical “Laudato Si,” about care for the Earth, our common home: “ ‘We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology’; ‘to devise intelligent ways of . . . developing and limiting our power’; and to put technology ‘at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral.’ ”

Supporting aging nuclear plants won’t get us to the future he envisions. Only wholeheartedly embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy will.

Brisotti is pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal parish in Wyandanch, L.I.

February 25, 2017 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Promising new non toxic and long lasting solar power battery

This non-toxic battery lasts a decade, could be renewable energy’s missing piece Anthropocene, by  | Feb 23, 2017    “……Researchers at Harvard University have developed a new kind of low-cost battery that can run for more than 10 years with no maintenance. It is also non-toxic and inexpensive, to boot. The technology could make grid-scale renewable energy storage a reality, the researchers say in a paper published in the journal ACS Energy Letters…….

The new battery should be cheaper to produce than today’s devices. “And since the medium is noncorrosive, you can use cheaper materials to build the components of the batteries, like the tanks and pumps,” Gordon said in a press release.

The battery loses only 1 percent of its capacity after over 1,000 charge cycles, which is much longer than lithium batteries. The researchers also calculated that if the battery was charged and discharged completely once a day, “we would expect it to retain 50 percent of its energy storage capacity after 5,000 cycles, or about 14 years.” http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2017/02/low-cost-long-lasting-battery-to-store-solar-power/

February 25, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Attacks on climate scientists will continue

Climate scientists face harassment, threats and fears of ‘McCarthyist attacks’
Researchers will have to deal with attacks from a range of powerful foes in the coming years – and for many, it has already started “…….
The Texas Tech University professor Katharine Hayhoe, who has gathered a healthy following for her Facebook posts that mix climate science with evangelism, has opened her inbox to missives including “Nazi Bitch Whore Climatebecile” and a request that she “stop using Jesus to justify your wacko ideas about global warming”.

Threats and badgering of climate scientists peaked after the theft and release of the “Climategate” emails – a 2009 scandal that was painfully thin on scandal. But the organized effort to pry open cracks in the overwhelming edifice of proof that humans are slowly baking the planet never went away. Scientists are now concerned that the election of Donald Trump has revitalized those who believe climate researchers are cosseted fraudsters.

Mann said climate scientists “fear an era of McCarthyist attacks on our work and our integrity”. The odd unfulfilled threat may be perturbing but a more morale-sapping fear is that the White House and Congress will dig up and parade seemingly unflattering emails, sideline or scrap research and attempt to hush the scientific community…..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/22/climate-change-science-attacks-threats-trump

February 25, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Bexar County commissioners say no to nuclear waste shipments

radiation-truck On Tuesday, Bexar County became the first county in Texas to officially oppose having high-level nuclear waste pass through the county on its way to a West Texas waste site. (subscribers onlyhttp://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Bexar-County-commissioners-say-no-to-nuclear-10948737.php  By Brendan Gibbons, San Antonio Express-News February 21, 2017

February 25, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

FirstEnergy Corp. selling or closing all its nuclear power stations

nuclear-dominoesFirstEnergy Corp. to sell or close its nuclear power plants By John Funk, The Plain Dealer  February 22, 2017 AKRON, Ohio — FirstEnergy made it clear Wednesday that it is leaving the competitive power plant business, closing or selling all of its plants, including its nuclear plants, by the middle of next year.

The sale of the nuclear plants to another company would have little immediate impact on customer bills.

Closing the plants, which would probably take several years, would also have little impact on customer bills or power supplies….

The company’s acknowledgement Wednesday during a teleconference with financial analysts  that it plans to sell or close its three nuclear plants came 24 hours after an Ohio lawmaker revealed that the FirstEnergy is seeking what amounts to additional and unprecedented rate increases.

The money from these first-of-a-kind charges would be earmarked for Davis-Besse, located east of Toledo, Perry, located east of Cleveland, and Beaver Valley, northwest of Pittsburgh.

FirstEnergy is proposing that the state create a program awarding “Zero Emission Credits” to the three plants ……

If lawmakers approve the plan, consumers would see an estimated 5 percent increase in their monthly bills. Commercial and industrial customers would see bills increase by 5-to-9 percent to reflect the value of the millions of megawatts the nuclear plants generate.

The Zec program would give the company’s nuclear fleet an increase of about $300 million a year, maybe enough to offset the losses competitors running gas turbine power plants have inflicted. …….

Even if the state creates a Zec program to subsidize FirstEnergy’s nuclear plants, the company acknowledges that it intends to try to sell them because it no longer wants to operate in competitive markets……

The company’s background materials accompanying Wednesday’s financial report show that FirstEnergy Solutions has a total value of  $1.6 billion But the subsidiary carries a long-term debt of $3 billion.

The nuclear power plants are now valued at $900 million — with a debt of about $1.3 billion, the documents show.   …..

The new charges would be “non-bypassable,” meaning a customer could not avoid the ZEC charges by purchasing power from another supplier.

The Ohio Zecs would be similar to a program Illinois created last fall to assist nuclear plant owners there. Opponents immediately sued in federal court, claiming an unconstitutional subsidy because the state is deregulated and power prices are set on competitive markets.

A piecemeal state-by-state Zec program to bail out nuclear plants could pose a problem for PJM, said PJM’s top executive in an interview earlier this week. …….http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2017/02/firstenergy_corp_to_sell_or_cl.html

February 25, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Fight building in Connecticut against subsidies for nuclear power

text-my-money-2Connecticut girds for nuclear power debate as critics line up against Millstone support bill Independent generators say allowing the Dominion plant to bid into renewable energy solicitations would undermine competition. Utility Dive, 23 Feb 17  The bill to provide support for Connecticut’s sole nuclear power plant has yet to be drafted, but the opposition is already lining up.

Connecticut legislators are picking up where they left off last year and drafting a bill that would essentially make nuclear power a Class Irenewable resource, making it eligible to participate in state solicitations for renewable energy resources.renewable-lie

The nuclear plant is not named – indeed, the legislation is not even drafted – but there is only one nuclear plant in Connecticut, Dominion Energy’s 2,110 MW Millstone plant in Waterford.

Dominion has not been as vocal as other nuclear operators such as Exelon, which has for years said that it would have to close at least two of its nuclear plants in Illinois if it did not get some form of financial relief……

Nuclear subsidies and their discontents

As some have analysts have predicted, Illinois and New York’s success with ZECs has emboldened other states to follow suit.

In 2016, the Connecticut Senate passed SB 344, which would have allowed nuclear plants to bid into state RFPs as a renewable resource, but the bill did not make it through the state’s House of Representatives.

Legislators in the state are now drafting a bill, SB 106, that would take up those same issues again.

In its Feb. 7 testimony filed with Connecticut’s General Assembly, the Electric Power Supply Association, a trade group for independent generators, used SB 344 as the basis of its comments on the assumption that the bill will provide the “framework” for the new SB 106.

SB 344 would have expanded the definition of “renewable” so that nuclear power could bid into the state’s clean energy solicitation and be eligible to be awarded a 10-year power purchase agreement……..http://www.utilitydive.com/news/connecticut-girds-for-nuclear-power-debate-as-critics-line-up-against-mills/436685/

February 25, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear costs hit energy giant Southern Co.

nuclear-costsSkyrocketing costs bury Southern Co. Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter       Energywire: Thursday, February 23, 2017 The financial fallout of Toshiba Corp.’s nuclear construction business has now hit Southern Co.’s nuclear expansion project in Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta-based energy giant said its next-generation coal project in Mississippi still needs a couple of weeks before it is fully operational.

Those were just two of the major announcements from Southern as it reported its 2016 earnings yesterday. The company also filed a 900-plus-page annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and its Mississippi Power subsidiary submitted an economic viability analysis on the Kemper County energy facility………

There is much discussion over Vogtle’s [nuclear plant’s] cost and schedule after Toshiba said last week it would book a $6.3 billion write-down from its nuclear construction business, which is tied to Vogtle and a project in South Carolina.

Scana Corp.’s South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. announced its units at V.C. Summer were roughly eight months behind.

Executives also said they were reviewing all options on how to finish the reactors if Westinghouse cannot. Toshiba and Westinghouse have told Scana and Southern that they intend to see the projects through……http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050444

February 25, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Fear of terrorists smuggling nuclear weapons in marijuana – why the Mexico wall is needed, says GOP lawmaker

GOP lawmaker calls for Trump’s border wall, warns nuclear weapons may be hidden in marijuana Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks told CNN he worries about terrorists using bales of marijuana to smuggle nukes,  salon.com  Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks defended President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall by claiming it could prevent a nuclear weapon from being smuggled into the United States concealed in a bale of marijuana……..

Franks also failed to explain why presumed nuke-smugglers would choose to try to hide their weapon in something the U.S. Border Patrol is already looking for, although The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Franks’s suggestion is one that has been floated by at least one nuclear weapons expert and Democratic congressman in the past…….
David Kay of the International Atomic Energy Agency told “Frontline” in 1996 that concealing a nuclear weapon in a bale of weed would be his “preferred method” of nuke smuggling.

In 2014, he said that the militant group ISIS had operations running in Ciudad Juarez, a claim that a senior U.S. law enforcement official said had no basis in reality. As his website notes, he also raised the specter of Hezbollah smuggling marijuana nukes into the U.S. back in 2012……http://www.salon.com/2017/02/23/gop-lawmaker-calls-for-trumps-border-wall-warns-nuclear-weapons-may-be-hidden-in-marijuana/

February 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

New Mexico bill stalled – would have classed nuclear power as “renewable”

renewable-lie

Bill to label nuclear energy as renewable stalls A bill aimed at classifying nuclear power as a renewable energy source in New Mexico stalled Thursday afternoon in committee on a tie vote.

House Bill 406, sponsored by Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, would have amended the state’s Renewable Energy Act, which requires energy companies provide a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources…. New  Mexico Political Report 24 Feb 17 

Nuclear Is Renewable Energy? http://krwg.org/post/nuclear-renewable-energy
By CVNM •Santa Fe, N.M. 24 Feb 17  – Today, the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee debated Nuclear Energy as Renewable Energy (HB 406, Brown). The bill was tabled on a tied vote. CVNM Legislative Director Ben Shelton and CVNM Education Fund Western New Mexico Program Director Talia Boyd released the following statements:

“Nuclear energy is part of the problem, not the solution. Proposing to classify nuclear as renewable energy – as Governor Martinez did her in energy plan – disrespects the sacrifice Indigenous communities in western New Mexico have already made and continue to make with their health from the impacts of uranium mining,” says Ben Shelton, CVNM Legislative Director. “In addition, adding nuclear energy to the Renewable Energy Portfolio standard neutralizes its job creating potential because of nuclear assets already held by New Mexico’s two largest electric utilities – something our leaders should not consider a possibility.”

“My community in Gallup and Church Rock have witnessed our health, culture, families, and land be desecrated and sacrificed for uranium – an industry that many in our communities do not want, as demonstrated by a ban on uranium mining passed by the Navajo Nation in 2005,” says Talia Boyd, CVNM Education Fund Western New Mexico Organizer and member of the Diné Nation.

“Communities that have been living with the impacts of poor energy policy need to be at the table shaping our energy future by putting hardworking New Mexicans first with clean, renewable energy jobs, like wind and solar.”

February 24, 2017 Posted by | politics, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The link between nuclear power stations and cancer rates

radiation-causing-cancerA link between cancer rates and nuclear plants? http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/MP/20170221/NEWS/170229937  Joseph Mangano Executive Director Radiation and Public Health Project 02/21/17,SINCE THE TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS AT LIMERICK Began operating in the 1980s, the question of whether toxic radiation releases affected local cancer rates has persisted.

February 24, 2017 Posted by | health, Reference, USA | Leave a comment