nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Transition to renewable energy – theme for January 2017

This transition is well underway. Renewable energy is becoming ever cheaper.  It is now the time to consider whether perhaps renewable energy should not be so cheap.  This is the age-old debate between quantity and quality.  Should the world have so much more renewable energy, or so much better renewable energy?  But then perhaps it can have both.

energy-transition

The whole point of renewable energy is that it is clean. And, for sure, the major fuels – sun and wind – are undoubtedly clean. However, renewable energy does require some components – rare earths – that certainly have a dirty radioactive  history, and may still have a dirty radioactive present.

rare-earths-pollution-ChinaTwo notorious historic examples of pollution from the production of rare earths are the Bukit Merah  project in Malaysia , and China’s project in Inner Mongolia

China is now controlling   rare earths’ production in a cleaner way.  but it would be naïve and simplistic to assume that its pollution problems have completely gone away.

 

3 main approaches are being taken to this problem:

rare-earth-recyclingDesign for recycling
. This is particularly appropriate for wind turbines.

Reduction in consumption of rare earths . This is not applicable to renewable energy, but rather to the rampant and wasteful  consumption of modern electronic gadgets –  often unnecessary, all too often a part of our throwaway culture. http://chinawaterrisk.org/resources/analysis-reviews/can-we-build-a-clean-smart-future-on-toxic-rare-earths/

Design for green technologies that don’t require rare earths

clean-technology Of course, like all modern industrial technologies, mining and manufacture and transport  of renewables do mean environmental disturbance.  But this is a balancing act, considering the environmental benefits of renewable energy.

The nuclear lobby pretends that renewable energy is environmentally dirty. In the 21st Century, it is vital that we acknowledge environmental problems, including that fact of radioactive waste from rare earths, and make sure that the production processes are clean, even if this adds to their cost.

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January 14, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

The world moves to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency – theme for January 2017

renewable_energyIt seems impossible for petrol heads coal and gas heads, and especially nuke-heads to get their heads around this – BUT – renewable energy and energy efficency ARE HAPPENING  – world -wide, in both big ways, and small ways.

It must be tough, when you’re addicted to such a complex , complicated, and expensive technology as nuclear power – as well as addicted to the money you get from being involved in this business –  it must be tough to consider the reality that the fuels for solar and wind energy are FREE, and so is the energy conservation from good design in energy efficiency.energy-efficiency

 

 

 

As Dr Helen Caldicott pointed out, long ago, if they could put a blanket around the sun and sell holes, they would.

The out-dated energy systems of the past – nuclear,coal, gas, are looking more
and more like unwieldy and costly dinosaurs, as the world wakes up to the diversity and flexibility of 21st Century clean energy systems.

The nuclear lobby now tries its last ditch promotional pipe-dream – Small Nuclear Reactors – that in fact would rely on the continuation of the old big ones.

 

January 7, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | 2 Comments

The future belongs to clean renewable energy, not dirty nuclear power – theme for January 2017

Solar panels bring cheap energy to India

No wonder that the nuclear lobby is in a panic to spread its spin all over the world. Their lies, about curing climate change with  Small Nuclear and Big Nuclear, remain lies, no matter how fervently the nuclear industry and its media acolytes repeat them.

The nuclear panic is on, because genuinely clean energy, (and energy conservation), are developing so fast, ever cheaper and more efficient, that it’s becoming evident that New Nuclear doesn’t stand a chance.

Renewable energy is inexorably becoming cheaper, even without subsidies. Wind energy is the cheapest form of new electricity generation available today. Solar power is on the way to beating even wind.  Compared to nuclear, both forms are fast to set up, and provide many more and cleaner, jobs.

The media usually ignore decentralised renewable energy. Yet small solar and wind systems are already becoming the dominant form of new energy production. (It’s quite laughable to see the Small Modular Nuclear Reactor  (SMR) lobby pushing their propaganda all over, while literally millions of solar rooftop panels go up every day. )

This month, this website will bring a focus onto the fast-growing renewable energy movement.

In 2017 the nuclear lobby lies should not prevail.

In a world where a jury acquitted O J Simpson of a double murder, and a nation elected Donald Trump for President, it is more important than ever, for lies and dishonest spin top be exposed.

December 26, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear history from the archives – theme for December 2016

text-from-the-archivesThe start was America’s Manhattan project – developing the atomic bomb. Then came the horror of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Then came – the shock and guilt, and the attempt to turn the nuclear project into something good – “atoms for peace’ “electricity too cheap to meter”.

Of course the costing for “cheap” nuclear energy did not include the health and environmental toll of uranium mining, which, as always, was to be paid by indigenous people. Costing also did not include the virtually eternal toll of the cleaup of radioactive trash. And of course, there would be no accidents, (no Chalk River, Rocky Flats, Windscale, Mayak, Lenin icebreaker, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Tomsk, Hanford, Fukushima Daiichi)

Meanwhile, the military-industrial complex continued its production of nuclear weapons. Other countries adopted the “peaceful nuke”, so that they could develop nuclear weapons. The nuclear arms race was underway.

skull nuclear world

FROM THE ARCHIVES   For this month, each week we’ll be posting an item from the past. Lest we forget.

The press release was drafted ahead of Operation Buffalo at Maralinga, during which troops were ordered to crawl through areas hit by fallout. It was not meant to be made public


Top secret document reveals British troops were knowingly exposed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests
mirror.co.uk, by Susie Boniface, 2 Jan 2011
, British troops WERE knowingly exposed to radiation during nuclear fallout tests, a top-secret document has finally proved. Continue reading

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, history | 3 Comments

From the archives – for December 16 – a look back at nuclear history

text-from-the-archivesToday, journalism is in  a sorry mess. Yet still, there are courageous examples of investigative journalism –  such as the McClatchy report on nuclear workers’ health.   All too often, revealing and informative reports on nuclear matters are forgotten, as celebrity sex scandals and sport dominate the mass media.

This month we will remember and refresh stories from our archives.  It’s important that, while we look at current events, these events are illuminated by knowledge of their history.  Especially today, as the nuclear industry struggles desperately to survive – and to portray itself as “clean, green and of course, peaceful”, the truth of its dirty history must be remembered.

history-pics

November 26, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, history | Leave a comment

Stranded nuclear wastes- what to do with the nuclear industry’s toxic poo? – theme for October 16

stranded

Stranded nuclear wastes. At the beginning of the nuclear industry’s career, it seems that they never thought about this. For decades the nuclear industry, governments, media were apparently oblivious of the the fact that these wonderful new “peaceful” nuclear reactors excreted toxic and very long lasting droppings.

Now, especially in America, the truth is becoming apparent.  In Russia, the government owned industry claims that it has the problem solved, and touts its nuclear technology for sale, with  a promise to “look after” the droppings.   In China, with its appalling reputation for mismanagement of industrial excreta, the problem is barely, or never mentioned.  Japan is in turmoil about it.  They’re busy getting ready for the “clean” 2020 Olympic Games, and busy pretending that Fukushima is fine.

How can the Americans compete in marketing nukes to the “developing world” – Asia, Africa and the Middle East?

Well, there’s the distraction of the new young geewhiz guys and gals promoting the as yet non existent LEGO toy nukes, with the deception that these will the wastes problem.

But, the well subsidised and well connected American nuclear lobby has  come up with  a new idea  – send the toxic poo to Australia.  It was always a colony anyway. Now Australia can become a Nuclear Colony –   radioactive trash toilet to the world.  This is being kept pretty much a secret from the Australians – comfortable in their laid-back, beer swilling, footy loving culture.  Except in one economically disadvantaged State – South Australia. Here, they are being promised a bonanza, streets paved with gold. (Except of course, for the indigenous people, on whose land the poo will surely be dumped)

 

October 8, 2016 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's themes, wastes | 5 Comments

STRANDED NUCLEAR WASTES – theme for October 2016

You’ve heard of “stranded assets”, for example – things like coal mines that are no longer economic, and the owners can’t sell them.

That’s bad enough. But what about STRANDED WASTES?  This is the horrible reality already going on in America – the land that pioneered the (?) great nuclear power industry.  They are already stuck with radioactive trash in its various forms – liquid and solid.

They’ve even got legislation to try to unravel who’s responsible for the toxic trash –  H.R.5632 – Stranded Nuclear Waste Accountability Act of 2016

The nuclear lobby bravely puts up its latest gimmicky ideas for nuclear reactors that should “eat the wastes” . But even those reactors would still leave highly toxic radioactive trash, and the experiments in nuclear reprocessing are turning out to be super expensive duds, such as Japan’s Monju project.

Why on earth would we keep on making radioactive trash, in view of this pressing problem?

stranded-asset

 

September 24, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, wastes | 2 Comments

Indigenous Fight Against Nuclear Colonialism – theme for July 16

Indigenous Fight Against Nuclear Colonialism

Indigenous people protest EPA’s nuclear plans

July 9, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Christina's themes, indigenous issues | 1 Comment

Indigenous people and the nuclear industry – theme for July 16

uranium-mineIndigenous people continue to bear the brunt of nuclear toxicity. It started with uranium mining – of course, on indigenous land in rural areas, in USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Australia, Germany , India,  and of course to provide nuclear weapons material.

Then came the nuclear bomb tests – on remote rural indigenous lands and islands

map atomic bomb tests

Indigenous peoples either stayed on their polluted lands, as uranium mining continued, or were removed from bomb tests sites, unable to return.
Nevada_Test_Site_cratersAlgeria bomb siteEnewetak-atoll-Cactus-dome

Book Maralinga Anangu Story

 

 

 

 

This Radioactive pollution remains today, from uranium mining in many countries – but always on or close to indigenous lands. The nuclear bomb test sites remain too radioactive for the indigenous people to return home.

Mayak Russia

Uranium mining and milling, nuclear bomb tests and radioactive wastes ...

Russia is secretive about its nuclear wastes. They used to dump it in oceans, as  did the French and others. Russia is notorious for its extremely polluted remote area at Mayak, where the rural people suffer the health legacy to this day

The “developed” world realises that something must be done with the growing amounts of radioactive trash.waste on indigenous

Where to dump it?  That’s a “developed society” no brainer – ON INDIGENOUS LAND, of course.  There’s now a movement to export radioactive trash to remote rural areas, such as the Aboriginal lands of Australia

Next week we will look at the indigenous fight against the nuclear industry

 

June 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

Contradictions in the nuclear marketing frenzy – theme for June 2016

One contradiction is the increasing recognition that nuclear power is uneconomic, and could even bankrupt the sellers. It’s doubtful that the sellers will really make money out of it, especially Russia, funding so many other countries’ nuclear set ups.  Still, we know why, really. It’s all part of the irrational battle to be Topp, to have that geopolitical presence and advantage in other countries.

Russia-USA marketing

An obvious contradiction is the way in which both Russia and the West agonise about nuclear terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation, while enthusiastically marketing nuclear technology to all and sundry. Never mind if it’s to an unstable Middle Eastern or East Asian regime, with a high  risk of both terrorism and nuclear weapons development.

Another contradiction is the pretense going on that Big nuclear reactors and Small nuclear reactors are being happily promoted at the same time.   The “conventional” big reactor companies. Toshiba Westinghouse, Rosatom, AREVA etc are determined to sell their stuff, and no way want to let the “new little” nuclear reactors take over the market. You can see this battle going on in Britain, with the “little nukes” lobbying away, and getting themselves set up as a “charity” for goodness’ sake!

How long will it be before the world recognises that the commercial nuclear empire is crumbling.  We don’t need their toxic expensive product. Meanwhile renewable energy gets ever cheaper, fast to set up, versatile, and attractive to the public.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, marketing | Leave a comment

Once more with fervour – nuclear marketing: theme for June 2016

The nuclear lobby is playing a high stakes gamble – marketing nuclear power with renewed fervour. It’s a gamble, because they’ve gotta sell it off fast, before the next radioactive catastrophe.

INTERNAL Nuclear Marketing is going on like crazy, especially in the USA, They’re still toting nuclear as a climate change action – a patently false story.  They push that for Big Nuclear, and then they push a new set of lies for New Little Nuclear

Emperor's New Clothes 3

EXTERNAL Nuclear marketing. Any country that already has this unsafe, uneconomic, trash-producing technology is mad keen to salvage the drastic financial nuclear situation – by flogging their nuclear technology off to other countries.

marketig-nukes

June 1, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, marketing | Leave a comment

Ethics and nuclear power – theme for May 2016

I have been managing this site for 9 years. With viewers, the most popular posts and pages have been on ETHICS. Isn’t that extraordinary, in this world where money, growth, and material consumption are generally seen as the top priorities!

There is nothing ethical about the nuclear industry. It began with making weapons of mass murder, and with uranium mining poisoning indigenouss lands. Then came all the lies about ‘peaceful nuclear ‘ (always still a front for nuclear weaponry)

doomsday's pic copy

 

Today, the economically failing nuclear industry tries to save itself with big lies – about climate change, about Chernobyl and Fukushima being “OK”, about ionising radiation being harmless.

Human society now faces big ethical dilemmas. Will it succumb to the blandishments of this immoral nuclear industry?

The public interest in subjects about ethics gives me hope that the world will say “NO” to nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and endless growth and consumption.

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | 2 Comments

ETHICS and NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY- theme for May 2016

The unethical nature of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the entire nuclear fuel cycle is becoming more obvious, as its history unfolds. On grounds of nuclear weapons spread, unsolved wastes problem, health and environment, effects on indigenous and poor peoples, injustice to today’s and future generations – and even the sheer financial costs for now and the future – it is clear that “atoms for peace” is a false and unethical enterprise.

Given the mounting negative evidence about the nuclear industry, it is concerning that so many world political, scientific and economic leaders continue to promote the industry. Sir Mark Oliphant, (below) one of the founders of the atomic bomb, was one who had the courage to change his mind, and to speak out against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Why is it so rare for ‘important’ people to face up to the evil nature of the whole nuclear fuel cycle? It’s not just money. Is it that so much of their reputation, their work has already been invested in nuclear? just too much effort to change track

Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who said For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

Rather than pause to think about the whole picture, they concentrate on their own important actions. Again like Macbeth ” Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.”

(Image from MACBETH IS A BAD, BAD MAN design by Dave Shanker&Danilo Groppa, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Macbeth – Webquest)

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Coal and nuclear – the ugliest twins of global warming and environmental damage theme for April 2016

dirty-nuclear

The nuclear industry proudly touts itself as the solution to climate change. But nothing could be further from the truth.  The full nuclear fuel chain emits large amounts of Co2 and other greenhouse emissions. In the coming decades, indirect carbon dioxide emissions from nuclear power plants will increase considerably, because high-grade resources of uranium are exhausted and much more fossil energy will have to be used to mine uranium. In view of this trend, nuclear power plants will no longer have an emissions advantage over modern gas-fired power plants, let alone in comparison to the advantages offered by increased energy efficiency or greater use of renewable energies.

Even when they pretend that nuclear power would cut emissions, the industry itself is well aware that the thousands of reactors needed to have any real impact could not be up and running for many decades – way too late for combatting the global warming process.

That situation suits the fossil fuel industries perfectly. Coal can keep on being mined – “in the meantime”, and nuclear power can take over many decades later, when the coal runs out.

Fossil fuel and nuclear industries are large centralised operations. The much touted Small Modular Nuclear Reactors are supposed to be “decentralised”, but in fact are produced in, and totally dependent on, the same centralised grandiose way as the “conventional” big reactors.

The nuclear industry is very comfortable indeed, with the continuance of dirty fossil fuel industries, aiming for a smooth transition later on, when it can get its dirty industry up and running – meanwhile posing as the world’s saviour from climate chnage.

April 8, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes | 2 Comments

Coal and nuclear – in it together promoting global warming. Theme for April 16

coal and nuclear

It’s really hard to estimate the full carbon footprint of the nuclear industry . Greenhouse gases are emitted in all stages of the lifecycle of a nuclear reactor: construction, operation, fuel production, dismantling and waste disposal. Leaving out any of these five stages will bias estimates towards lower values. The last two contributions, dismantling and waste disposal are particularly difficult to estimate. Not many commercial reactors have been fully decommissioned.

The ever repeated claim that nuclear power is emissions-free is simply not true. 

Without subsidies for coal and nuclear The free market would choose the path to the most cost effective and cleanest sources of energy which would include wind, solar, small-scale hydro, geothermal, energy efficiency, tidal, and certainly not nuclear or “clean coal.”

The fossil fuel and nuclear industries are in this public deception together. Indeed, nuclear power is in itself a fossil fuel industry, depending on mining uranium (or thorium, which is then converted to uranium).  The coal industry is confident of continuing for several decades, and then handing over to the nuclear industry, as coal runs out. The nuclear industry is happy about this, because it takes decades to get reactors set up and running.

Where these two toxic industries are also in agreement is in the aim to slow down, preferable stifle, the development of clean, and cheaper renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar power.

They also like the scenario promoted in the nuclear advertising film “Pandora’s Promise”  – that is the endless growth of energy use. Coal and nuclear advocates do not like the idea of energy efficiency, energy conservation.

March 22, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes | 1 Comment