CLIMATE. The worrying thing about climate change is not only that it’s happening so fast, but that it could now be seen as “normal”. The World Meteorological Organisation is telling us that the world climate is now in ‘uncharted territory’.
NUCLEAR. As climate change risks becoming “normalised”, so, too, does the Fukushima situation. As if the 6th anniversary is over – now we can all ‘move on’? Deadly nuclear radiation levels detected in Fukushima. 80% of families not going back to Fukushima after housing aid ends. Fukushima fishermen fight release of tainted water as tritium standoff continues. Yakuza gangsters thriving. And lots more…
New Study: Rapid Transition to Renewable Energy Helps Global Economy, Prevents Worst Climate Impacts
- March Climate Madness — Wildfires, Scorching Summer Heat Strike Central and Southwestern U.S. By Winter’s End
- North Korea nuclear program is ‘imminent’ threat says Rex Tillerson. Trump govt to review decades-old US aim of world without nuclear weapons. Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 introduced into US Congress. Sound reasons for USA not to replace Land-Based Nuclear Missiles.
- New York State lawmakers push for details on nuclear plant subsidies. Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York call to stop pro nuclear subsidies. American electricity consumers in Eastern States stand to lose $3.9 Billion because of aid to nuclear industry.
- Some US Republicans are worried about President Trump’s mental state.
JAPAN. Japan stages mass evacuation drills, following North Korean missile launches. Toshiba’s financial meltdown set off by nuclear power plans. Govt plans A Campaign to Tackle “Misinformation” about Radioactive Contamination. Japanese companies exploit refugees for Fukushima radioactive clean-up work.
NORTH KOREA. North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’ – warns U.N. Nuclear Inspector Yukiya Amano.
UK. Request by UN to Britain: Pause Hinkley Nuclear Plant Work for Environmental Assessment. As Toshiba’s $500m nuclear bankruptcy looms, Britain’s Moorside project could be doubtful. Campaign groups mobilise against UK’s Bradwell nuclear power project.
NORWAY. At Svanhovd another tiny measurement of radioactive iodine – ongoing release?
RUSSIA. Russia developing Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships in Syria.
PERU. Signals of Climate Change Visible as Record Fires Give Way to Massive Floods in Peru
SOUTH AFRICA. South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) organising anti nuclear petition
I scratch around for good news. There is plenty, on the renewable energy scene. And this: CO2 emissions from energy remain flat for third year running. Total number of global nuclear weapons has dropped.
Not so good news. Disaster looms over North Korea: how could this be stopped? US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, rejects negotiation with North Korea, and keeps journalists out. Tillerson considers a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
EUROPE. The very serious threat of sea level rise.
- Trump budget would boost nuclear weapons spending, slash diplomatic and aid programmes. Savage attack on the environment: the Trump budget. Trump’s budget attack on science.
- Ethics Groups Send Letter to US Attorney Preet Bharara Requesting Investigation of Trump; Within Days Preet was Fired Along with 45 Other US Attorneys. Rupert Murdoch to gain by Trump firing attorney Preet Bharara.
- Trump’s divide and conquer tactics produce a toxic White House environment.
- Republican senator slams Trump’s Nevada nuclear waste dump plan.
- Connecticut lawmakers want to call nuclear power “renewable”.
- Grandfather and granddaughter join forces prevent nuclear doom.
- Thorough research to be done on uranium health effects on Navajo Nation.
- Massive economic costs of climate change.
- Japanese Govt. and TEPCO Found Liable by Court for Fukushima Disaster.
- The illusion of normality at Fukushima. Six years after outbreak of crisis, Fukushima nuclear workers continue to face slander, discrimination: survey. Japanese school children who survived Fukushima meltdown are being subjected to ‘nuclear bullying, Singapore keeping in place Fukushima food import curbs. Olympics being hyped to portray Fukushima nuclear disaster as ‘now OK”
- TEPCO cancels robotic probe of reactor 1. Plan to tunnel under the reactor buildings to remove melted fuel.
- Toshiba might have to pay the buyer, to take failed nuclear unit off its hands.
RUSSIA. Russia Plans to Fuel Floating Nuclear Reactor(s) in St. Petersburg – Endangering the City of 5 Million, Before Towing It Around Scandinavia. Russia will pay Kenya to buy its nuclear technology.
TURKEY. Call for Turkey to get its own nuclear weapons.
FRANCE. Areva factory for nuclear parts gets poor report from regulator.
Japan and the sporting world are cheerfully preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will bring in 32.3 trillion yen. And goody – they’re going to have trans gender toilets! Forget about Fukushima. That’s all fixed up. But, actually, – No! Fukushima remains a lurking global catastrophe. Despite the propaganda, Fukushima nuclear clean-up is not under control.
- Attempts to use robots to find and assess the melted fuel within the reactors have failed: the robots died of heat and radiation.
- Over 1000 tanks around the nuclear station hold 900,000 tons of radioactive water, with the quantity soon expected to reach 1m tons.
- The costly “ice wall” around the No 1 reactor has not really worked, to prevent radioactive water getting into the groundwater.
- Fukushima laden with piles of radioactive soil that can’t be moved into storage
- 32,000 workers at Fukushima No. 1 got high radiation dose, Tepco data show.
Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees pressured to return to contaminated homes. About 40 percent of 42 local leaders along the coasts of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures doubt their areas will recover by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Link between the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and thyroid cancer in children?. Roaming, radioactive boars slow the return of Japan’s nuclear refugees. Financial crunch time looms for Fukushima’s ‘voluntary evacuees’.
(I’ve left out heaps. – especially on climate and renewable energy)
Nuclear lobbyists in disarray on what to do about the nuclear industry’s crisis.
USA. Trump brinkmanship as B-52 NUCLEAR BOMBERS sent to South Korea. Trump administration locks out the media, retreats into secrecy. EPA – USA’s Environment Punishing Agency Now – as Scott Pruitt promotes climate change denialism. The Trump and Congressional Republican Assault on Our Environment.
NORTH KOREA. Nuclear warning from North Korea.
JAPAN. Reasons for Japan to dump nuclear power more obvious now than ever.
The most significant article of the week comes from 3 very distinguished writers, in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in explaining how the USA’s military upgrade means a vast expansion of the killing power of the most numerous warhead in the US nuclear arsenal, with the ability to launch a”first strike”. Consequently, the Russians are gravely concerned, and are developing new sea-based weapons.
CLIMATE. With New El Nino Predicted, 3rd Hottest January on Record May be Cool Mark for 2017. Rapid spread of ocean acidification in the Arctic. Antarctic Sea Ice Hits New All-Time Record Low. Huge slabs of permafrost disintegrating in Northwest Canada. Famine Warning Issued in Four Countries Following Worst African Droughts in Decades. Experts gather at Vatican conference with call to avoid ‘biological extinction’.
EUROPE. Europe’s wild boars posing a radioactive problem
UK. Up to £219 billion to clean up the UK’s nuclear mess: autonomous robots to be developed. Britain’s Failing New Nuclear Programme. UK taxpayers up for tens of billions of pounds sterling as govt bends to pressure to build new nuclear reactors. Hinkley Point C – “risky and poor value for money” – House of Lords Committee. New Nuclear Reactors in Jeopardy because of Brexit? “Small Nuclear” lobby not very happy – says taxpayer funding is essential. Oil and gas boss appointed to run UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
JAPAN The spin begins- sanitising Fukushima for the Olympics. TEPCO blunders raise doubts on ability as nuke plant operator. Daunting obstacles to Fukushima cleanup, even as evacuees move back. Bribery scandal over Fukushima decontamination.
SOUTH KOREA. Amid Nuclear Reactor Radiation Fears, South Korea Abandons Japan Airport Flights.
Worker sneaked a gun into a nuclear power station. US Senators introduce Bill to promote easier licensing of nuclear reactors. Georgia Power Suspends Study for Nuclear Plant Near Columbus. America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) itself has nuclear safety culture problems.
Blissfully away from news, and from all matters digital, – I returned to find that the climate and environment politics are worse than ever in USA and Australia.
Meanwhile, on the nuclear scene, things would be farcical, if they were not so dangerous. Donald Trump wants to expand US nuclear arsenal, make it ‘top of the pack’. Australia’s own Dr Helen Caldicott set out all too clearly the grim situation at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex.
The farcical part is in the nuclear lobby’s pretense that theirs is a viable industry. As the giant Toshiba corporation nears bankruptcy, and nuclear power stations go down like dominoes in USA, it’s really only China where the industry still might save itself. And that’s dubious, too.
Global action is needed, NOW, to defeat the out-of-control Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Effect of air pollution might have masked mid-20th Century sea ice loss.
- Oh dear! Transatomic Power has been making false claims about Generation IV nuclear reactors.
- Squabble in West Texas over stranded nuclear wastes.
- Florida Supreme Court rejects nuclear expansion.
- Bexar County commissioners say no to nuclear waste shipments. On both sides o f USA-Canada border, opposition grows to transport of nuclear wastes.
- Fight building in Connecticut against subsidies for nuclear power.
- Link between nuclear power stations and cancer rates?
- New Mexico bill stalled – would have classed nuclear power as “renewable”
- USA confirms use of depleted uranium in Syria, despite its previous promises
- America’s nuclear weapons made workers very ill
- Trump’s associates and USA conservatives to wage war on environmentalists. Attacks on climate scientists will continue.
- Growing concern over Trump’s mental condition.
JAPAN. Almost six years on, Fukushima nuclear disaster still ongoing nightmare. Global nuclear catastrophe waits in the wings, as Japan plans for Olympics. Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees ‘pressured’ to return to contaminated homes, says Greenpeace. Nuclear station restart at Oi is approved – but local consent is needed. Toshiba’s c rippling burden of its overseas nuclear business.
SOUTH AFRICA. Court case to save South Africa from nuclear-industry caused bankruptcy.
FRANCE. Long closure of Flamanville nuclear reactor is costing EDF £1m a day.
INDIA. Solar power for 7,000 Railway Stations In India.
PAKISTAN. Pakistan and India have agreed to extend their bilateral nuclear safety agreement.
RUSSIA. Russia lessening its reliance on nuclear weapons.
ALGERIA. Algerian human rights agency to prosecute France for nuclear tests.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. Arab states might develop nuclear weapons? United Arab Emirates push for nuclear power
I don’t know which is the worst news this week – climate or nuclear. But I am going away for a week on a boat, WITH NO ACCESS TO ANYTHING DIGITAL. I can’t wait. I’m taking one of those old things we all used to use – A BOOK.
But I digress:
CLIMATE. I hardly know where to start. I think that the worst thing is connected with the collapse of journalism – as articles appear denouncing climate scientists as “frauds”. This, despite the 97 percent scientific consensus on climate change.
NUCLEAR. Remarkable apathy prevails, as nuclear weapons tensions hot up.
CLIMATE January sea ice volume is lowest on record, by a considerable margin. Global warming might accelerate, due to the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, “El Tío” (the uncle).
- Trump has no skills to negotiate foreign relations, but he can unleash nuclear war. Trump’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon and his obsession with war. Trump didn’t know what the New START nuclear treaty was, but wanted to get rid of it. Pentagon urges Trump to expand nuclear weapons, ready for “limited” atomic war.
- SOMETIMES there’s A BIT of good news at Hanford nuclear facility.
- Was the Nuclear Control Room Panel Fire at Quad Cities Caused By a Defective GE-Hitachi Switch?
- Risks in nuclear wastes being transported through Texas cities.
- USA Nuclear officials killed study on whether reactors posed cancer risk to nearby residents ‘The cancer rates have surged enormously due to high levels of radiation’
- US nuclear industry looks to Trump to change nuclear regulation rules.
- Florida Power and Light, and the costly nuclear mess it is in.
JAPAN. Toshiba’s nuclear dominoes collapsing . Hitachi to take a 70 billion yen hit after U.S nuclear project fails. Beyond nuclear power: Japan’s smart energy communities mushroom. Robot could not cope with the radiation levels inside damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor. Lost in translation: Fukushima readings are not new spikes, just the same “hot mess” that’s always been there. Fukushima nuclear disaster: Worker sues Tepco over cancer
UK. Blow to UK nuclear strategy as Toshiba considers pulling out of Cumbria plant Europe’s biggest nuclear construction project now hangs in the balance. Harmless radiation” – the message from Britain’s fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear
CANADA. Nuclear waste dump saga continues in Canada
CHINA. China more than doubled solar capacity in 2016
SOUTH AFRICA Civil society organisations call on President Jacob Zuma to scrap South Africa nuclear deal.
SOUTH KOREA. Seoul Administrative Court finds in favour of local residents, orders closure of nuclear facility.
PAKISTAN. Pakistan demands that India bring its nuclear programme under International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA)’s safeguards.
INDIA. Toshiba to withdraw from Indian nuclear projects
RUSSIA Russia finally admits to a nuclear reactor failure that it covered up for 2 months
- about his choice of Steve Bannon on the National Security Council – “Unsupervised by people who know what they’re doing. Trump and Bannon could bring the world closer to a nuclear holocaust.“
- Pentagon urges Trump to expand nuclear weapons, ready for “limited” atomic war.
- Thanks to Trump’s comments on climate change and nuclear arms we are once again close to nuclear war.
- USA intelligence agencies to study whether the Russian and Chinese leadership could survive a nuclear attack
- Dangerous steps by Russia and Trump on nuclear arms control
Meanwhile the global nuclear industry is in financial crisis. And Fukushima nuclear reactor radiation at highest level since 2011 meltdown.
Trump is having his impact on climate change news and action, too.
Joint Statements on Climate Change from National Academies of Science Around the World.
Antarctic Sea Ice Likely to Hit New All-Time Record Lows Over Coming Days.
Delays, ballooning costs, stall Next-Generation Nuclear Reactors
- Decision to leave Euratom leaves Britain’s nuclear industry floundering. Britain’s nuclear safety at risk as they pull out of Euratom. Fake charity (nuclear lobby) The Weinberg Foundation is whining about Britain leaving Euratom.
- British government now being urged to guarantee Moorside nuclear funding. Blow to UK nuclear strategy as Toshiba considers pulling out of Cumbria plant. Europe’s biggest nuclear construction project now hangs in the balance.
JAPAN. Radiation in Fukushima reactor containment vessel at deadly level: TEPCO. Fukushima nuclear disaster: Worker sues Tepco over cancer. Niigata governor Ryuichi Yoneyama stands firm against restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
Hitachi to take a 70 billion yen hit after U.S nuclear project fails. Toshiba’s financial woes continue – about to be sued by trust banks. Toshiba to withdraw from nuclear plant construction, chairman to quit.
IRAN. Iran tested ballistic missile, but did not breach nuclear agreement
USA. US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warns NKorea against nuclear attack . Fear of nuclear war leads Texans to build expensive bunkers. America’s EPA head announces pullout from a global pact to cut emissions. A Washington State judge uses doubt on climate change as legal cause to block a climate activist’s defense.
INDIA. Toshiba to withdraw from Indian nuclear projects.
SOUTH AFRICA Only government-owned nuclear companies have responded to Eskom on nuclear marketing.
GREENLAND. Greenland – environment future threatened by mining for uranium and rare earths.
Much as I hate joining the throng paying attention to that global narcissist, I must admit the fact that Donald Trump’s statements and actions are provoking reactions in America and around the world. On many important issues, such as torture, and religious discrimination, people are responding with alarm. Equally worrying are his policies on climate and nuclear matters, and his attacks on science and journalism.
I am reminded of a kindergarten teacher, explaining the real message of a child’s bad behaviour “How bad to I have to be before somebody stops me”
I did get some macabre amusement from this news item- Under Trump, nuclear lobby to dump the argument about climate change.
Thanks to Donald Trump, the Doomsday Clock ticks closer to apocalypse
Strong business case to go 100 % renewable – leading global companies
Sea level rise more rapid than expected.
EUROPE. Europe and northern hemisphere warming fast: Europe faces droughts, floods
- Linda Gunter busts the spin of America’s “new nuclear” salesmen.
- Yet more corruption in the nuclear industry.
- Donald Trump now repressing scientists. American scientists are now organizing their own march on Washington.
- Trump’s first White House website post – will scrap Climate Action Plan‘
- Despite nuclear tensions, Americans have continued to send humanitarian aid to North Korea.
- Across America’s heartland, Democrats and Republicans embrace renewable energy. Pope Francis has influenced USA Republicans to shift climate views.
- Largest Offshore Wind Project in America planned for New York
JAPAN. Plans to remove nuclear fuel at Fukushima N° 3 reactor delayed again. Radiation Measured 16μSv/h at Ground Level in Namie-cho, Fukushima. On February 14, Toshiba will reveal extent of U.S. nuclear business writedown.
UK. Another British nuclear mishap kept secret – the Scottish cold war nuclear submarine collision. Theresa May kept quiet, but SHE KNEW about the test missile mishap. With election coming, British government covered up serious missile test incident.Trident whistleblower tells RT he ‘witnessed 4 unreported missile test failures
PAKISTAN. Pakistan test-fires nuclear missile capable of hitting multiple targets
FRANCE. Closure of Fessenheim nuclear plant approved by EDF
SOUTH KOREA. South Koreans alarmed about nuclear weapons – uncertainty about Donald Trump.
CHILE. Chilean Wildfires are Worst to Ever Strike the Country
19 Jan 17 As I write, there’s a sort of an anxious lull in climate and nuclear news. Indeed, in other news, too. The media world seems to be waiting for the next event, on January 20, concerning a certain narcissistic American. I’ve decided to leave him out of this week’s newsletter.
The exception in all this is Fukushima. Not that you find anything about this in the mainstream media. However, the news is getting out in alternative, and some Japanese media: workers’ cancers: Thyroid Cancer Patient Group : Designation of radioactive waste lifted: Fukushima ‘voluntary’ evacuees: Fukushima foodstuffs.
As climate deniers move into White House – Guardian news focus on climate change.
- Proposed Energy Secretary Rick Perry – ignorant about nuclear security! Legal action against subsidising of America’s aging nuclear reactors. Despite shutdown of Indian Point nuclear plant, New York will invest billions in upgrading other nuclear stations. Testing a deep borehole as a potential way to bury highly radioactive nuclear trash.
- Obama’s Top Scientist Explains the Climate Challenge Northeast USA predicted to heat up faster than most of the rest of the world. Interfaith effort spreads the word about climate change.
- Solar energy now a bigger employer than Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas combined. World’s largest rooftop solar farm to be built on Tesla’s gigafactory.
JAPAN. Crash in Toshiba shares as nuclear financial crisis deepens. Shimane nuclear power plant found to have dangerous corroded holes in air ducts inside the No. 2 reactor. 7 Times More Leukemia in 2015 than 2014, 80% in Eastern Japan.
CHINA. Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited – Chinese President Xi Jinping.
BELGIUM. Netherlands, Luxemburg and Germany want Belgium’s dangerous nuclear reactors to be closed.
PAKISTAN. Pakistan vows nuclear retaliation if India attacks.
U K. Political row over proposed west Cumbria nuclear plant. Greens Party running anti nuclear platform in UK by-election. Prince Charles writes a book on climate change (That’s torn it: they won’t let HIM be king)
NORTH KOREA. North Korea may be preparing for a new missile test-launch.
UKRAINE. Russia stops agreement with Ukraine on nuclear power plant construction
SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia’s $US50bn clean energy plan focusses on solar and wind
A week away from Donald Trump taking over the USA Presidency, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how bad the repercussions of that will be, for climate action, nuclear safety, and the public good. If there happen to be some accidental unintended benefits for they public good, I doubt that these will compensate for the world’s most powerful nation being run by the lead bully boy for corporate America. Barack Obama retires graciously, claiming that “we did”. Perhaps more accurately “we tried”.
Record loss of sea ice in 2016-both Arctic and Antarctic.
Alexei Yablokov, grandfather of Russian environmentalism, dies at 83
CLIMATE NOAA– Atmospheric CO2 Increased by 2.77 Parts Per Million During 2016. Copernicus organisation says 2016 ‘hottest on record’ in new sign of global warming. Greenland Ice Melt might cause Atlantic Circulation to Collapse.
ENERGY Bleak future for nuclear revival, with solar and wind costs continuing to fall. Rapid rise in Global Photovoltaic Installation Market is predicted by Transparency Market Research.
- USA’s EPA ( Nuclear Industry Protection Agency) confirms dramatic increase in radiation will be permitted in drinking water
- USA nominee for secretary of defense disagrees with Donald Trump on nuclear weapons. US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson disagrees with Donald Trump on nuclear weapons.
- The F-35 may destabilize relations between the world’s two greatest nuclear powers — Russia and the US.
- Background to shutdown of Indian Point nuclear power plant. New York’s renewable energy sector is poised to take over from Indian Point nuclear power station New York nuclear subsidies an ‘existential threat’ to wholesale markets -Electric Power Supply Association.
- 17 USA nuclear reactors listed as having possibly flawed parts from AREVA’s Le Creusot forge. Former nuclear town degenerates into a stranded nuclear waste dump .
- Judge rules that Exxon Mobil Corp must hand over climate documents to Massachusetts.
- US Global Change Research Program recommends research into geoengineering for climate change action.
- 100 % renewable energy by 2050 – pledges General Motors. T
- Tesla starts mass production of solar battery cells.
CANADA. Canada’s government releases carbon pricing plan
UKRAINE. Giant solar farm to be built on Ukraine’s land contaminated by Chernobyl radiation.
NETHERLANDS. Trains 100% wind powered for Netherlands, by 2018.
FRANCE. France’s desperate move to save nuclear company AREVA.
RUSSIA. Alexei Yablokov, Russia’s environmental conscience, dies at 83 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo2cyS1YUqo
CHINA. China’s $493 billion plan for renewable energy.
TAIWAN. Taiwan will end nuclear power generation by 2025.
JAPAN. ‘Monju was not worth dying for’ – says wife of top nuclear official, who suicided. Toshiba’s $billions loss raise questions about costs for new nuclear power. Coral bleaching kills 70 percent of Japan’s biggest coral reef. Japanese Government hides contamination from Fukushima nuclear disaster while sending evacuees home .
NORTH KOREA. North Korea’s greatly increased plutonium stockpile
Here are my predictions for 2017 . They are not all that cheerful. But I am comforted by that fact that I usually predict most unreliably. I pronounced that Hillary Clinton would win the US presidency by a landslide.
But – here goes, anyway :
CLIMATE news. The anthropocene is here with a vengeance, and will be evidenced by continued weather extremes – droughts in Africa, India and other places, floods elsewhere, the continued creeping sea level rise, affecting island nations, and low-lying ones, like Bangladesh. Most worrying of all, the continuance of extraordinary changes in temperature in the Arctic, with effects on ocean currents.
With climate-denying politicians in power, at the national level, action on climate change will be stalled, to some degree. However, at the level of states, local councils, and cities, increased adoption of renewable energy will mean that meaningful climate action goes on with renewed vigour. At the grassroots level, more homes and businesses will adopt solar and wind technologies, as well as smart energy conservation – a trend already apparent in Australia, and parts of Europe and USA, as well as in developing countries, where off-grid energy becomes a boon to millions. Public disillusion with climate denying leaders will rise.
NUCLEAR news. The world will limp on, avoiding nuclear war by a whisker, especially in relation to India and Pakistan. However, there will be encouraging developments in the international nuclear disarmament movement, with an impressive conference in March.
In America, more nuclear power stations will close, due to their diseconomics. Nuclear power development in China will continue to slow down, for reasons of cost, water shortage, and even public opposition. India’s growing solar energy success will threaten its nuclear development. Britain, however, will be a focus, as France, China, South Korea, even Russia will push desperately for Hinkley, Moorside, Bradwell nuclear projects, which will have to be subsidised by taxpayers.
Fukushima will continue to be a running sore with no cure in sight, while Japan and the world happily look forward to the 2020 Olympics.
The nuclear waste problem will continue to dog USA, and efforts to even trial new solutions like deep bore drilling will meet public opposition, even without any radioactive trash. Some countries, e.g. France, with existing nuclear power stations will look to closing them down. At the same time, there’ll be a continuing frenzy to try to market nuclear power to non nuclear countries.
The proponents of “New Nuclear”, particularly of Thorium and of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors will continue to pretend that they help Big Nuclear by supposedly dealing with the waste problem. But in reality, they’ll be rejoicing at the plight of Big Nuclear, and toting their still non existent new gimmicks to governments. In particular, they’ll want America to weaken its safety regulations.
Above all, the nuclear lobbyists and publicists will hammer their lie that nuclear power can stop climate change. Not only is that not true, but also, that claim becomes increasingly irrelevant as climate change races ahead. – simply no time for that “solution” anyway.
But that won’t stop the “New Nuclear” lobby. They’ll bring out a film – THE NEW FIRE glossy, expensively made, sophisticated – to push the new gee whiz nuclear kids on the block. Their various front groups, e.g Weinberg Next Nuclear , “Breakthrough Energy Coalition” and Australia’s “Bright New World” will continue to pose as charities, and gain tax exempt status.
I’d love to think that journalists and academics will see through the spin. But I am not optimistic, following a year when spin brought Brexit and Donald Trump’s rise. (Even if Trump gets bored, and chucks the job in to run a personal media circus, the USA will still be run by climate denying Republicans. )
Journalists and academics will continue to spout the nuclear lies – about low dose ionising radiation being OK , and above all, keep hammering the message of nuclear being “clean” and “low carbon” . They know where the money is. The public at large will believe them, despite the efforts of the anti nuclear movement, and of a few brave, outspoken journalists and academics.
2016 brought a new word – the Anthropocene. It has been the year in which many of us realised that the planet has been irrevocably changed- by the human species. Of the wide-ranging effects of human activities,climate change is the one that has now become the most terrible threat. People around the world are trying to change our destructive ways: individuals, town councils, city mayors, states, and, to a much lesser degree, national governments work to conserve energy and promote renewable energy generation.
Countering that, the polluting industries have used their think tank front groups, and mainstream media, to confuse the public, and deny the science.
In November 196 countries participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, to develop agendas for carrying out the the Paris Agreement of 2015. But international action was hampered by the presence of fossil fuel companies, and even more, by the election of climate sceptic Donald Trump to the USA presidency.
The nuclear disarmament movement was boosted on October 27, when—by a vote of 123 for, 38 against, and 16 abstaining—the First Committee of the UN agreed “to convene in 2017 a United Nations conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons.”
Nuclear power issues focussed on both the decline of the nuclear power industry, and the desperate efforts of the industry to survive. Notably in Britain, a clearly uneconomic pro nuclear programme has been pushed, with the gigantic Hinkley white elephant in the lead. In America, subsidising of nuclear power is a contentious issue.
Meanwhile. nuclear countries, unable to make the nuclear industry profitable, and unable to deal with its toxic wastes, have persisted in their marketing drive to export nuclear technology. The target countries are many, but South East Asia is a prime example. That campaign for SE Asia suffered a setback when South Australians rejected an ill-advised government push to commercially import nuclear wastes – a plan that was intended to solve the problem for new nuclear stations in South East Asia.
Within the nuclear lobby, a quiet battle has gone on between the conventional Big Nuclear Reactor industry, and the campaigners for Small Nuclear Reactors. The latter reactors do not exist, but their hype is everywhere, particularly led by Bill Gates and various nuclear front groups. Unfortunately, Gates has bought into the nuclear lobby’s deception about nuclear fixing climate change.
So – we end the year with climate change not just looming, but already here, endangering us and other species. The extraordinary attention given to Donald Trump and his impact on global climate and nuclear policy leaves us with very worrying questions.
Not really. For USA and world politics, most observers are aghast at the team of billionaires that Donald Trump is picking for his administration. In particular, the consequences for climate action look dire.
On the nuclear scene, the facade of success is being maintained by the industry, especially in the UK. where the global industry’s big hope, Hinkley C nuclear project, struggles on. Behind the scenes, the “new Small Nuclear” proponents, often led by Bill Gates, quietly sabotage the “conventional Big Nukes” , and promote small nuclear reactors as “clean”. More about that later.
Julia Gillard on the need for education funding.
Increasing threat of computer hacking on nuclear plants.
UK. Pro nuclear UK Prime Minister Theresa May heading towards quiet public subsidising of new nuclear stations, South Korea might join the throng marketing their costly nuclear reactors to Britain. Engie, (formerly GDF Suez) might pull out of UK nuclear power plan at Moorside in Cumbria. Confusion in , and opposition to, Bradwell’s Chinese-built nuclear plant plans. Anglesey UK: economy stagnates during the struggle to find finance for Wylfa Newydd New Nuclear.
FRANCE. French Nuclear Industry in Chaos. Financially strapped French company AREVA gets a lifeline. EDF in dire financial straits, too. Global review of nuclear reactors, following news of cover-up of AREVA’s manufacturing flaws. Nuclear worker convicted of terrorism conspiracy – had worked for 3 years while under investigation!
- American scientists making backups of climate data: fears that Trump will destroy climate files.
- USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission gives 30 yr old Fermi 2 nuclear plant 20-year operating license renewal.
- Rising costs for Vogtle Nuclear Reactors– Georgia Public Service Commissioners to Decide on Who Pays.
- USA nuclear regulators investigating potential risks linked to falsified French nuclear documents.
- Rick Perry who aimed to abolish Dept of Energy (DOE) – to be named by Trump as DOE Secretary! Nuclear industry confident that Rick Perry as Energy Secretary will boost their industry.
- Nuclear energy should be classed as “renewable”– says Arizona utility regulator.
JAPAN. Japanese government to provide $8.5 billion for a UK nuclear power plant project in Wales. Fukushima evacuee poll finds kids in eight Yokohama-area households had experienced bullying. More Evacuees Sue Govt, TEPCO over Fukushima N-Accident.
CHINA. China again flies nuclear-capable bomber over South China Sea
TAIWAN. Taiwan to hold off on plans for problematic Japanese food imports
GERMANY. Germany’s parliament approves nuclear waste deal with industry
- Father Christmas will most likely be homeless in a couple of years. Alarm among scientists at ‘Extraordinarily hot’ Arctic temperatures. Problem of carbon release as permafrost melts.
- For 2016, Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations are Rising at the Fastest Rate Ever Seen.
- Climate Change will lead to uncontrollable migration.
- The climate-water conflict – climate change increases risk of nuclear war.
- Insurance companies losing ability to manage risks, as climate change brings extreme weather events.
FRANCE. EDF’s financial crisis will leave french taxpayers with a huge nuclear bill. Suspected falsifying of documents: French prosecutors investigate Areva’s Le Creusot nuclear foundry. France launches investigation of Fessenheim nuclear power plant.
- President elect Trump: his Cabinet and Climate. Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team
- Donald Trump’s team want Energy Department to save the failing nuclear industry.
- North Dakota pipeline protestors get support from US military veterans.
- Entergy’s troubled Palisades nuclear power plant for early shutdown.
- Dozens of canisters of radioactive waste to be repackaged at USA’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Roof collapse at USA’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – more nuclear safety worries.
- US Navy to build a new facility for stranded radioactive nuclear wastes.
- Landmark case on climate change looming for USA government.
JAPAN. Japan to increase loan to Fukushima operator Tepco to $123 billion. Mitsubishi Heavy makes huge and risky investment in AREVA nuclear. Plan to build Monju nuclear reprocessing successor to Recycle Plutonium Stocks
UK. NUGEN Partner ENGIE Wants OUT of Nuclear
RUSSIA. Russia’s new ‘drone submarine’ with range of 6,200 miles.
GERMANY. German legal case sets precedent for limiting the greed of nuclear and coal companies.
BELARUS. Belarus radiation tragedy of Chernobyl is only just developing.
AFRICA. Climate change could render Sudan ‘uninhabitable.
BULGARIA. Bulgaria pays compensation damages to Russia, for scrapping Belene nuclear plant
INDIA India’s push for solar energy is gaining steam
IRAN. Iranian president won’t let Trump ruin the US–Iran nuclear deal
Media attention continues to focus on Donald Trump. He seems happy in the spotlight, even if the revelations are about his conflicts of interest, and the unsuitability of officials that he’s appointing. Trump himself hardly matters, really, as the Republicans will be in charge in the White House, Congress and Senate, and are dominated by anti-science, climate deniers, and hawkish militarists.
Meanwhile the impacts of climate change continue, and their repercussions for society, and world security are becoming realised. Uncontrollable climate change could be triggered by Arctic ice melt. Military experts warn on refugee crises and need to combat climate change. With Temperatures Hitting 1.2 C Hotter than Pre-Industrial, Drought Now Spans the Globe. Biggest-Ever Coral Die-Off Reported on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Pope Francis urges national leaders not to wreck the climate change pact.
People power, not Trump, has killed the Trans Pacific Partnership.
JAPAN. Fukushima Daiichi to cost TEPCO $170 billion. Radioactive Waste from Fukushima Plant Water Piling Up with No Final Destination. Fukushima Evacuees Still Unable to Go Home Over 5 Years after Earthquake, Nuclear Accident. Fukushima aftershock renews public concern about restarting Kansai’s aging nuclear reactors.
USA. Time that lawmakers limited the power of American President to start using nuclear weapons. Clearwater takes legal action against New York over subsidy to nuclear power stations. Hanford’s nuclear site ‘the most toxic place in America’. Climate change in action – California’s six-year drought has killed 102 Million Trees.
SOUTH EAST ASIA. Very dubious market for nuclear power in South East Asia.
UK. The AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design is not fit for purpose: several safety flaws. Nuclear reactor graphite cores cracking: Hinkley Point B and Hunterston B.
FRANCE. Electricite de France (EDF) – what a nuclear mess!
RUSSIA. Russia kept secret about an explosion at a nuclear power plant.
UKRAINE. Chernobyl nuclear reactor now encased in steel tomb.
NORTH KOREA. New sanctions on North Korea in reaction to its latest nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
GERMANY. Legal ruling to come, on Germany’s nuclear exit.
SWITZERLAND. Swiss reject hasty exit from nuclear power, but not by a huge vote.
CANADA. No need for a nuclear reactor to produce medical isotopes: Canada shows the way.
SWEDEN. Sweden ditching taxes on solar energy, to promote fast investment in renewables.
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