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2019 For a clean nuclear-free climate – theme for January

It would be nice to just wish everyone a happy New Year. We can do that. And for the Earth, we can wish that the human species would stop polluting it.  We can say, along with Dr Pangloss  – “Everything for the best, in the best of all possible worlds”.

But, I’m afraid that we’re kidding ourselves, if we think that we can do any more than to slow the onset of climate change. “Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable”. Jem Bendell, A British Professor of Sustainability now says that nothing in our civilization is sustainable.  The emphasis must now also be on adaptation to climate change. Elizabeth May, Leader of Canada’s Green Party, has recently stressed, on Radio Ecoshock,   that not only grandchildren, and later generations will be affected, but today’s children will experience the social, and health disruptions of climate change.

The Power of One Green – Elizabeth May in 2018

As for the nuclear threat – it’s no wonder that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock stays now at 2 minutes to midnight, with aggressive leaders like Trump and Putin, with weapons’ companies and military brass salivating about new, advanced weapons, even space warfare.

Still, nations continue to sign up to the U.N. Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty. It’s a start.

For the “peaceful” nuclear industry – the good news is that it’s becoming  a failing economic disaster. It would die a faster death, if it were not so valuable to the nuclear weapons industry.   Colossal waste problems in USA, Japan, UK, are stalling plans for new reactors . Russia and China are not publicly divulging information on their wastes, but both are keen to export nuclear technology, rather than develop it at home.

The nuclear industry continues its lies about nuclear solving climate change -lies that are mindlessly regurgitated by the mainstream media. Media also faithfully parrot the promises of “new nukes” – the “Generation IV” nuclear designs that do not yet exist, and would be prohibitively expensive, requiring huge tax-payer subsidies..

Anyway, I promise to include some good news, some positive stories, in 2019, because, after all, good people continue to do good things. And, we just can’t afford to give up hope – as Greta Thunberg tells us “Look for action – then the hope will come”

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December 31, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 17 Comments

Climate change, global heating, is the greatest threat, and NUCLEAR IS A VERY DANGEROUS DISTRACTION – theme for Jan 19

William Perry, renowned for warning the world of the great threat of nuclear war,– has now convinced me that, in some ways, climate change is an even greater existential threat to the world. He points out that nuclear catastrophe can happen quickly, but that it’s possible to prevent it. But climate change is happening slowly, inexorably, and could be irreversible.

That doesn’t mean that nuclear-news is dropping its focus on working towards a nuclear-free world. It does mean that we will try to follow and publicise current news about global heating, its effects, and action to mitigate it. At the very least, a prominent post each day about climate change.

The nuclear industry is lobbying governments to subsidise nuclear power as “clean” “low carbon” – the solution to climate change. Either the nuclear industry has bribed journalists in the mainstream media, to spout this lie to the public. or journalists are simply too ignorant and lazy to check their facts.

Nuclear power is no use whatsoever against global warming, being in reality, highly carbon emissions intensive, and prohibitively expensive, even if it were any use.  It is also intrinsically connected to nuclear weapons, and produces unfixable radioactive trash.

But, from the climate point of view, what is arguably worse, is that the nuclear industry takes money, human energy, and attention, away from the real solutions –  energy efficiency and renewable energy.  It is, therefore, not only dangerous to life on this planet, but a very dangerous distraction away from what really needs to be done.

December 15, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 8 Comments

The nuclear industry, climate change, and the concept of ENOUGH – theme for December 2018

To the nuclear industry the concept of ENOUGH is anathema. If you saw their slick advertising film “Pandora’s Promise” you would note that their major theme is endless GROWTH that will perpetually require ENDLESS ENERGY.

The nuclear industry’s shills, and there are many of them, love to portray the anti-nuclear movement as wanting to send people back to living in a “dark ages” style.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Genuine environmentalists want all people to have a life of more light, of reasonable comfort and leisure time, of enough of the good things of this world, rather than of too much.

It’s time that governments, bankers, industry leaders woke up to the reality that the world economy is threatened by growth, by climate change, threatened by the accelerating destruction of this planet’s  air, water, land, and biodiversity. The destroyer is the growing human population and its growing consumption of ever more unnecessary products and unnecessary energy use.

It’s time that people stepped away from endless individualistic  consumption, and towards a reasonable life of more cooperation, of working less hours. It’s time to move from our suicidal consumer culture, to a conserver culture.

 

 

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 10 Comments

The ‘Consumer Society’ , Climate Change and the Nuclear Industry’s Role in Endless Consumption – theme for December 18

 

The nuclear industry is absolutely involved in the goal of promoting endless consumption of energy.

 

No problem that we are on a finite planet – because nuclear power is going to get us to a lovely life on Mars! (Never mind that a few poor saps will head off to their plutonium powered flight to death there) 

The point is – the human species can keep on its unbridled splurge of material expansion and energy use – because  – as the industry’s advertising film “Pandora’s promise” told us, – nuclear power will fuel the whole thing forever.

In some countries Christmas has been magically transformed from a religious remembrance to a pretty disgusting splurge on over-feasting and over-buying of stuff.

This year, we have an added reason to resist this nuclear-lobby-encouraged doctrine of endless consumption, endless energy use.

It’s climate change. The human race needs a simpler, smarter way of life, as we transition to a cleaner, energy efficient economy. That’s an imperative now, if the planet is to remain habitable.

We need also to resist the distraction of the nuclear lobby calling for tax-payer funding for pointless and irrelevant “new nukes”  – (that take funding away from really valuable initiatives in energy efficiency and truly clean fuels.)

Recent nuclear lobby advertising films – “Pandora’s Promise” and “The New Fire”:  – There’s lots of rhetoric in these films about small reactors that “you can roll … off the assembly line like Boeings”, factory-fabricated reactors that “can look a lot like Ikea furniture”, economies of scale once there is a mass market for small reactors, and mass-produced reactors leading to “a big transition to clean energy globally”. But first you would need to invest billions to set up the infrastructure to mass produce reactors ‒ and no-one has any intention of making that investment. And there’s no mass market for small reactors ‒ there is scarcely any market at all. -(Jim Green)

November 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 11 Comments

Solar and wind fuels emit no carbon, but “low carbon” nuclear fuel- it’s a lie! theme for November 18

Solar and wind energy both flow directly to the generating system.

Not only are these fuels carbon-free, but, unlike nuclear, they leave no wastes

Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.  BUT – Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

November 24, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, renewable | Leave a comment

Normalising nuclear – beware of this public opinion campaign – theme for October 2018

We need to explain and to start [nuclear] education at all levels, from kindergarten, school and university, to parliament and ministers. ”  said Mikhail Chudakov , deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA  “our efforts can shift the paradigm from gaining public acceptance of nuclear power to generating well-informed public demand for nuclear power. We must reinforce the benefits of nuclear power……..it will require enhanced international cooperation.”

A global campaign aims at normalising nuclear – getting people’s global acceptance that exposure to increased ionising radiation is OK, that nuclear is essential to save the climate

It beggars belief that the world can ignore Fukushima, Chernobyl, and other nuclear disasters and the growing toll of radiation-caused cancers and birth defects.  And can ignore the link with nuclear weapons and the radioactive wastes piling up. And can ignore the astronomic nuclear costs, and the economic success of renewable energy and energy.

But that is exactly what the nuclear lobby intends.  Starting with our little children at kindergarten, and moving up through the age groups, the nuclear industry will be handing out huge sums of money to the charlatans of propaganda, to spread their lying message.

We know the lies –   the major one for the public is the pretense that nuclear power combats climate change (when in reality, the entire nuclear fuel chain emits huge amounts of carbon.)

We need to think clearly – to not be impressed by the prestigious journals, the lofty scientific academics, the bought politicians, who have found it more comfortable to go along with nuclear lobby spin, than to really think about nuclear issues.

When you find the pro nuclear message in your schools, local councils, universities, libraries, hospitals – with cheerful, colourful, attractive stories –   ask yourself “Who paid for this?  Who gave my university the money for all this?

And don’t be too quick to rubbish us – the unpaid anti-nuclear bloggers and activists.  We are going to need all clear thinking people who are not dependent on corporate funding –  to also co-operate in a global campaign  – to get the truth out about the toxic nuclear industry

 

October 20, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, spinbuster | 1 Comment

The Nuclear Fuel “Low Carbon” Deception – theme for November 2018

Time to just blow this “zero carbon” “low carbon” nonsense out of the water.

The nuclear fuel chain emits carbon all the way through, and I find it extraordinary that journalists mindlessly parrot these lies from the nuclear lobby. Makes you wonder – do the mainstream journalists actually compose the stuff that they write, about nuclear power, or do they just copy the handouts from the industry?

 

Quite simply, nuclear industry leaders want to get financial help – subsidies, tax credits, from governments that have been duped into believing that nuclear power is “low” or even “zero” carbon.

The also want the “respectability”, public approval,  that comes from being seen as combatting climate change. (even though most were previously in the denying climate change camp).

Anyway – it’s common sense to see that nuclear power is quite a strong emitter of greenhouse gases.  Any thinking non-expert can see that. However, experts see it too. Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.

NUCLEAR POWER’S CARBON FOOTPRINT.  – an incomplete list  –  By Lisa Kasenow, quoted in Sayonara Nukes, by Dennis Riches
  1.  MINING – Uranium (or thorium )
  2. MILLING – Transportation to millworks, converting ore to “yellowcake” uranium
  3. CONVERSION – Construction of the uranium (U) conversion facility, transportation of yellowcake, conversion to UF6
  4. ENRICHMENT – Construction of the U enrichment facility, and the cylinders used to transportUF^, transportation of UF6 to the enrichment facility,enrichment. The Paducah, KY, plant uses 3040 megawatts of coal energy at peak power.
  5. FUEL PELLETS – Formation and transportation of uranium fuel pellets
  6. NUCLEAR POWER PLANT CONSTRUCTION (NPP) – Takes years and uses heavy construction equipment. Steel and concrete construction are carbon intensive.
  7. SUPPORTING INFRASTRUCTURE NPPs – Construction of roads, transmission lines, barge canals.
  8. GENERATORS – Heavy-duty diesel generators run the cooling system during routine maintenance, refuelling, other normal shutdowns, SCRAMs and power outages.
  9. WASTE STORAGE – Building Radioactive Waste (radwaste) storage facilities and storage containers. Transportation of radwaste, sometimes across the country or the ocean.
  10. WASTE PROCESSING – Building reprocessing plant, transportation of radwaste, reprocessing, building storage for then remaining radwaste.
  11. WASTE INCINERATION. – Building radwaste incineration facilities, transporting the waste to the incineration facility, incineration.
  12. WASTE VITRIFICATION – Building vitrification plants, transporting waste to theplant, vitrifyimng the waste (involves heating the materials to very high temperatures).
  13. MONITORING OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE -Carbon pollution generated by monitoring and guarding the waste for eternity.
  14. DECOMMISSIONING AND DECONTAMINATION – of NPPs, other reactors, enrichment facilities, and other support infrastructure.
  15. ACCIDENTS – Mitigation and clean-up efforts have a huge carbon footprint.
  16. DAMAGED REACTORS AND ACCIDENTS – Building sarcophagus structures, monitoring, securing and periodically re-entombing failed NPPs for eternity.

 

October 18, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 3 Comments

Nuclear Power and PUBLIC OPINION – theme for October 2018

You will note that this opinion poll graph  is from 2011.  Out of date? Yes.

The nuclear lobby is not keen on public opinion polling. And for good reason. This is the  most recent global polling, coming up with 62% of people worldwide. opposed to nuclear power.

BUT, if you search for graphs on public opinion and nuclear power – you will find many recent ones that appear to show that the nuclear industry is now popular.

The global nuclear lobby has been very careful, since 2011 to conduct polls with “loaded” wording – hence those many “favourable” graphs to be found on the internet.

Opinion polls depend on the wording, as well as on the sample size and constituency of the respondents. There are polls that focus on nuclear weapons as being distinct from “peaceful” nuclear power, polls that suggest that nuclear is essential for medicine. for climate change action, and so on.

Yes, there are communities that support nuclear power. That includes many communities where many depend on the industry for their livelihood.

The nuclear industry is in top gear, trying to win the hearts and minds of people.  But, it’s not succeeding.  Sadly, it is winning (through expensive lobbying and funding) the hearts and minds of politicians  – and of course, all those whose career depends on nuclear power.

Of course, even this poll was not totally accurate, in every detail.  There are gaps –   what do the people think, in totalitarian China, or Russia?

But, it must be a worry to the nuclear industry, that so many scientists, from so many disciplines –   medical, climate, environmental, radiological, now oppose nuclear power.  Not to mention the economists, who point out the costs of the total nuclear fuel chain.

In the coming months, the nuclear lobby will go all out to change public opinion. Their biggest push will be to downplay the health effects of ionising radiation, and to portray Fukushima nuclear meltdown as now solved – a healthy place to stage the 2020 Olympics.

The nuclear lobby will even push the idea that nuclear radiation is beneficial – even is a prevention and a treatment for various illnesses.

But it will be an uphill fight, for the global  trend is now to distrust the nuclear industry, and for good reason.

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 6 Comments

The World Must Stop Making Radioactive Trash

It’s such a simple idea  – so simple that our clever experts, politicians, academics, media can’t grasp it.

With religious fervour, the nuclear lobby tells us there’s nothing to worry about, as with the help of God, our descendants will cope with the toxic radioactive mess that nuclear activities are building up around the world.

Simple people think – “It would be best to bury deeply the toxic wastes that now exist, and to stop making any more”.

And they are right.


It’s like climate change –   do all the smart people think that their own children and grandchildren will thank them for making money, while pretending that they have no responsibility about this?

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 6 Comments

The Global Nuclear Waste Crisis – theme for September 18

It’s a crisis NOW. Already there are many hundreds of thousands of metric tones of radioactive trash piled up in the nuclear countries.  A crisis that rivals climate change. A crisis that means more sickness, more danger, more terrorism risks, more secrecy and security – heading to police states.

It’s time that the world faced up to it

It’s a massive and pressing problem in USA – because America was the first to develop nuclear power and nuclear weapons in a big way, – and because there is freedom of speech in USA so people know about the problem.

Anxiety about the nuclear waste problem is growing in Britain and France, and some European countries.

Russia undoubtedly has a massive radioactive waste problem, but you don’t get to hear about it in a totalitarian state.

And China? China has huge pollution problems from industry – but little public acknowledgment of its nuclear waste. Still there are protests –  nobody wants the waste in their backyard.

And smaller “non-nuclear” countries like Australia still face the radioactive horrors from uranium mining, and the threat of nuclear waste dumping.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 5 Comments

Climate change will kill nuclear power – theme for August 18

This month the world is experiencing unprecedented heatwaves right across Northern Hemisphere countries. And this pattern is predicted to be repeated in future years.  It’s already having a detrimental effect on the nuclear power industry.  France’s nuclear reactors are cutting back production, with cooling water restrictions due to raised river temperatures. Finland’s reactors have had to cut back, due to sea water being too warm for cooling reactors, and might need to be shut down.

That’s just one aspect of the the way in which climate change is going to kill nuclear power.

Nuclear power stations must have lots of cool water. They are a liability in times of drought, and of high temperatures. Indeed, the whole industry is, with uranium mining requiring much water, too.

Wildfires pose a particular threat to all nuclear facilities.

Most nuclear reactors are located on the coast, or near rivers, where they can be vulnerable to flooding –   and this danger increases as climate change brings sea level rise, and storm surges..

Apart from the increasing costs of nuclear construction, maintenance, and final dismantling, clean-up and waste disposal, the nuclear industry is facing more costs in increasingly desperate efforts to ward off the damage that climate change will do to it.

July 27, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 5 Comments

Climate change against nuclear power theme for August 2018

Nuclear power and sea level rise – All reactors on sea coasts endangered by sea level rise Over the next hundred years there will be significant sea rises, one meter or more, and many closed nuclear reactor sites could be flooded, including the stored nuclear waste. That could contaminate much of the coast lines for decades.

nuke-&-seaL

nuke-tapNuclear power and water shortage –  Climate Change is already bringing droughts and changed rainfall patterns.  Even if the vloume of rain might be the same, or greater, with the warming planet – it’s not much help if it falls in the oceans, or if it falls intermittently – in flooding torrents.

As water becomes scarcer, and more expensive, nuclear power becomes a very uneconomic way to use it.

 

Nuclear power and the heating planet  The discharge of nuclear power’s cooling nuke-hotwater brings about heat pollution of
rivers

As temperatures rise, nuclear reactors will more and more often be forced to shut down – adding to the already well known diseconomics of nuclear power

 

 

July 27, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 6 Comments

Generation IV nuclear reactors – no use against climate change – theme for July 18

The claim that new nuclear power will solve climate change is spurious. This ignores life-cycle CO2 emissions  Nuclear energy is not zero carbon.  Emissions from nuclear will increase significantly over the next few decades as high grade ore is depleted, and increasing amounts of fossil fuels are required to access, mine and mill low-grade ore.

The “Generation IV” demonstration plants projected for 2030-2040 will be too late, and there is no guarantee the pilots will be successful.

James Hansen states that 115 new reactor start-ups would be required each year to 2050 to replace fossil fuel electricity generation ‒ a total of about 4,000 reactors. Let’s assume that Generation IV reactors do the heavy lifting, and let’s generously assume that mass production of Generation IV reactors begins in 2030. That would necessitate about 200 reactor start-ups per year from 2030 to 2050 ‒ or four every week. Good luck with that.

Moreover, the assumption that mass production of Generation IV reactors might begin in or around 2030 is unrealistic.

… a US Government Accountability Office report on the status of small modular reactors (SMRs) and other ‘advanced’ reactor concepts in the US concluded: “Both light water SMRs and advanced reactors face additional challenges related to the time, cost, and uncertainty associated with developing, certifying or licensing, and deploying new reactor technology, with advanced reactor designs generally facing greater challenges than light water SMR designs. It is a multi-decade process …”

Renewables are much faster to roll out.

It gets even more ridiculous when the nuclear lobbyists tout Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. (SMRs) . If the large reactors are required in many thousands  – to be effective – how many millions of small ones would be needed?

And – don’t lets us forget. All nuclear reactors are themselves very vulnerable to the effects of climate change.  (from Jim Green, REneweconomy)

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes | 3 Comments

Don’t fall for the nuclear lobby lie about climate change – theme for July 18

Like the tobacco and asbestos industries before them, the nuclear lobby will ruthlessly promote any lie to keep their industry going.

Of course it’s all about getting tax-payer money.  How?  By promoting the lie that nuclear energy is a solution to climate change, so should get financial incentives from government.

Explode that lie, because:

  • The entire nuclear fuel chain releases greenhouse gases.  
  • The nuclear fuel chain is in itself a grave danger because  weather extremes with climate change could cause nuclear disasters.

climate and nuclear

 

Even if nuclear power were clean and greenhouse gas free, (which it’s not) it would not be ready in time to have any real effect on climate. It would require the very quick build of some 2000 large reactors  – or of millions of the much touted Small Modular Nuclear Reactors.

On this, the hypocrisy of nuclear front groups  is breath-taking. The Breakthrough Institute and UK’s Alvin Weinberg Foundation know perfectly well that their touted nuclear power is no solution to global warming.

 

June 25, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 8 Comments

‘Nuclear Summit” – what did it mean , (if anything?)- theme for June 18

U.S. President Donald Trump, and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un seem to have both achieved their goals at the much hyped ‘nuclear summit’ in Singapore on June 12.

Kim achieved a kind of international recognition as an equal world leader, without having to give up anything, in the showy but fairly meaningless negotiation that went on .

Trump achieved his over-riding aim –  having the eyes of the world on him, his endless craving for attention being satisfied, for the moment, anyway.

The body language is more interesting than the waffly document outcome. We saw Trump’s super-long super-strong handshake, and pats on Kim’s back –  signs of dominance. We saw Kim’s eyes move sideways – a little nervous shiftiness?

It all could have been worse. Trump could have chosen, instead of his effusive praise for Kim, to say there is “a special place in hell” for Kim, (as Trump recently said of USA’s ally, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau). And with Trump’s new and dangerously bellicose security adviser John Bolton, hovering about,  could have set off the “fire and fury” that he previously promised  North Korea.  I guess that Trump saved that for a later occasion, when he feels that he is not getting enough world attention.

The documented “commitments” include “security guarantees” for North Korea (what are they – no details?),  a new relationship between the two countries – (what does that mean?), efforts for peace – (what efforts ?)

The most interesting one, North Korea commits to work towards “complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” Not a word about  “complete, verifiable and irreversible”. As the Washington Post commented, that one is “empty blather” too. 

The fourth point is a weak statement on North Korea returning the remains of U.S. prisoners of war, from the Korean war.

Why on earth would Kim Jong Un want to give up his biggest bargaining chip – the ability to send nuclear weapons to neighbouring States, and even to the USA?  He saw what happened to Iraq and Libya. He can see how America is now backtracking from the nuclear agreement with Iran.

 

 

June 9, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, politics international | 8 Comments