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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Trump preoccupied with the idea of nuclear annihilation, but knows little about nuclear weapons

Trump Thinks About Nuclear Annihilation a Lot, But Doesn’t Know Much About It, New York, By Margaret Hartmann, 20 Aug 17  “…… Trump has been publicly discussing his vivid fears about nuclear weapons for decades, predating any serious talk of him running for president. These comments suggest that Trump thinks about nuclear annihilation far more than the average American – but he simultaneously has a particularly weak understanding of how the strategy surrounding them works. That’s created the frightening mix that was on display last week: it appears that Trump is well aware of the awesome threat posed by nuclear weapons, but he thinks it can be addressed like a problem in the board room (of a reality TV show)……..

A month before Trump was inaugurated, Mother Jones looked at Trump’s many public remarks about nuclear war and noted that he’s often spoken as if he thinks nuclear war is inevitable…….

as the New York Daily News reports, over the years he has actually laid out what he believes is the path to our salvation. Unsurprisingly, it involves Trump singlehandedly saving humanity with his superior negotiation skills……

His greatest dream is to personally do something about the problem and, characteristically, Donald Trump thinks he has an answer to nuclear armament: Let him negotiate arms agreements – he who can talk people into selling $100 million properties to him for $13 million. Negotiations is an art, he says and I have a gift for it.

The idea that he would ever be allowed to got into a room alone and negotiate for the United States, let alone be successful in disarming the world, seems the naive musing of an optimistic, deluded young man who has never lost at anything he has tried. But he believes that through years of making his views known and through supporting candidaes who share his views, it could someday happen.

Later that year a Washington Post piece noted that Trump hoped to “perhaps one day fulfill his fantasy of becoming the U.S. negotiator on nuclear arms limitation talks with the Soviets.”

“It’s something that somebody should do that knows how to negotiate and not the kind of representatives that I have seen in the past.”

He could learn about missiles, quickly, he says.

“It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles … I think I know most of it anyway. You’re talking about just getting updated on a situation …

The problem, in addition to Trump’s overestimation of his negotiating skills, is that it doesn’t seem he’s devoted much effort to learning anything about missiles, or nuclear strategy in general. During the campaign he repeatedly demonstrated a lack of familiarity with some very basic concepts surrounding nuclear weapons.

During a Republican primary debate, Trump could not answer a question about his “priority among our nuclear triad” (the nation’s land-, sea-, and air-based systems for delivering nuclear weapons). It was clear from the context of the question that it was about maintaining our aging weapons systems, but Trump answered, “Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing. That is so powerful and so important.”

…….. Several times during the campaign, Trump suggested that Japan and South Korea should get their own nuclear weapons if they aren’t willing to pay the full cost of having U.S. military personnel stationed in their country. In a May 2016 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Trump described the situation like a business negotiation.

“They have to pay. And you know what? I’m prepared to walk, and if they have to defend themselves against North Korea – we have a maniac over there,” Trump said. “In my opinion, if they don’t take care of us properly, if they don’t respect us enough to take care of us properly, then you know what’s going to happen Wolf? Very simple: they’re going to have to defend themselves.”

There’s little evidence that being president has expanded Trump’s understanding of nuclear issues. In the midst of last week’s war of words with Kim Jong-un, Trump offered Americans the false assurance that he’s fixed up the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the past six months – though with well over 4,000 nuclear warheads, insufficient fire power against North Korea is certainly not a concern.

And despite access to the world’s top nuclear experts, the New York Timesreported that Trump’s improvised threat to Kim Jong-un last week was the result of his believe that he alone understands how to deal with the dictator…….. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/trump-thinks-about-nukes-a-lot-doesnt-know-much-about-them.html

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Britain is well able to have low-carbon energy without nuclear power

Tom Burke’s Blog 16th Aug 2017, There is a very broad National consensus about what we want our energy
policy to do, what the goal of British Energy Policy should be. It should
be affordable, it should be secure and it should be low-carbon, in
delivering the service that people want. I don’t know anybody who
doesn’t agree that that trilemma is what we are trying to do.

And there is no doubt at all that it can be delivered in the UK, in a way that does
not involve nuclear power, and if we were to do that it would be cheaper
and more secure than doing it in the way that we are currently trying to do
it.

We don’t have a problem with technology, we actually have more
technology than we can begin to use, and we certainly don’t have a
problem with the economics of using low-carbon technologies, or a variety
of low-carbon technologies.

All the problems we have with getting to the goal, are political problems. They are problems about getting the politics
right, not about getting the technologies or the economics right. As we
look at that project in the context of what’s going on in the world, as
we look around at what is happening in the world, it is very clear that all
over the world we are now engaged in a transition, in the so-called energy
transition, as we move to a low-carbon economy to make sure that climate
change doesn’t destroy civilisation.

And as we make that transition, we must make sure that it is a “just transition”. It’s not just as shift
of technology it is also a shift of people’s livelihoods and communities,
and we must take those communities and those livelihood with us as we make
that transition.  http://tomburke.co.uk/2017/08/16/no-need-for-nuclear-the-renewables-are-here-conway-hall-london-17-june-2017/

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Waste of money and time with no nuclear reactors happening

Money and time wasted and no new reactor designs to show for it http://www.beyondnuclear.org/home/2017/8/15/money-and-time-wasted-and-no-new-reactor-designs-to-show-for.html

The majority of pro-nuclear boosters appear finally to have swallowed a dose of reality — and have ceased clinging to the idea that “new nuclear power plants” and even “new reactor designs” will be the energy answer of the near future. The error- and omission-filled pro-new-nuclear propaganda piece, Pandora’s Promise, was out of date almost as soon as it was released. Even its producers and stars have jumped ship and instead now clamor to keep old, economically failing and technically deteriorating nuclear plants going, just to justify a continued existence.

In a telling piece of research — A retrospective analysis of funding and focus in US advanced fission innovation — by Abdulla et al, a look was taken at how US spending has affected nuclear power development and new reactor design. Unsurprisingly, the authors noted that:

“despite spending $2 billion since the late 1990s—no advanced design is ready for deployment. Even if the program had been well designed, it still would have been insufficient to demonstrate even one non-light water technology. It has violated much of the wisdom about the effective execution of innovative programs: annual funding varies fourfold, priorities are ephemeral, incumbent technologies and fuels are prized over innovation, and infrastructure spending consumes half the budget. Absent substantial changes, the possibility of US-designed advanced reactors playing a role in decarbonization by mid-century is low.” [emphasis added.]

As the authors also explained in their conclusion:

“In this paper, we do not seek to present a comprehensive diagnosis of the problems facing nuclear energy innovation in the US. Rather, we have reconstructed NE’s budget history and evaluated how close the office has come to achieving its advanced reactor mission. Our research shows that, as currently structured, NE has neither the funding levels nor the programmatic focus that it needs to deliver on its mission of developing and demonstrating one or two advanced reactor designs by mid-century. This comes despite multiple strategy roadmaps and billions of dollars of appropriations.”

The only reasonable conclusion to draw is that enough money and time has already been wasted on a failed technology that has zero role to play in our energy present or future.

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Former TVA chairman David Freeman calls for solar power

Look to solar energy, Post and Courier, S. David Freeman, Former TVA chairman, 20 Aug 17 

Perhaps we should thank the Lord that the nuclear meltdown by Santee Cooper was just financial. Based on their performance in trying to build the two reactors, one must be somewhat concerned whether, if they completed them, they would operate reliably and safely.

There is a lesson to be learned from this experience but surely the first thought should not be to spend good money because a bad judgment was made. The lesson to be learned is that the world of electricity has changed and solar power is cheaper than nuclear power.

Santee Cooper should accept this basic fact and go back to its original mission of low-cost electricity, which today means solar and wind backed by storage and used efficiently.

 Nuclear is not a religion that one believes in. It is one way of making electricity that has turned out to be more expensive than alternatives that are now available.

Selling Santee Cooper to get the money to complete the nukes would be like a gambler who had lost a lot of money and took out a mortgage on his house to “win” back his loses. For the sake of the consumer who will pay — don’t do it.http://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/letter-look-to-solar-energy/article_d56e8544-81e6-11e7-9f4f-a7d76bb5420d.html

 

 

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby none too happy about Trump’s lack of action to further nuclear power

Trump administration’s nuclear energy plans hanging on by a thread,  – The Washington Times  August 20, 2017

The next generation of U.S. nuclear power, which the Trump administration views as a key part of the nation’s energy supply, is hanging on by a thread as two key projects have run into serious trouble and are raising doubts about the viability of new nuclear facilities moving forward.

Utilities in South Carolina late last month stopped construction at V.C. Summer, scrapping plans to build two reactors near Columbia and ending a 10-year project that was expected to provide something of a blueprint for future cutting-edge nuclear plants.

At the same time, Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear project also has hit roadblocks, with costs expected to reach at least $25 billion. Original projections were about $14 billion, and the facility already is years behind schedule.

Vogtle supporters reportedly have asked the Trump administration for financial help in finishing the project, and some analysts say federal intervention looks to be the only way new nuclear reactors can be completed in the current economic climate.

No nuclear reactors have been built in the U.S. in more than 30 years, though the fuel source still provides more than 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. Both Summer and Vogtle were envisioned as much more efficient, safer plants than those built decades ago, but specialists say the first-of-their-kind nature of the facilities has led to massive cost overruns and construction delays.

Both Summer and Vogtle were envisioned as much more efficient, safer plants than those built decades ago, but specialists say the first-of-their-kind nature of the facilities has led to massive cost overruns and construction delays.

 Moving forward, the administration likely will have to step in and provide funds to get such projects up and running, said Michael Schwartz, former senior vice president at Duke Energy and a Princeton professor.

“What we call the first of a kind is a lot more expensive,” Mr. Schwartz said. “We need to buy down the cost of the first-of-a-kind plants to levels that are commercially viable The only source of that buy-down, really, is the United States government.”

There seems to be some support in Congress for, at the very least, extending existing programs aimed at helping Summer and Vogtle.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said last week that Congress should extend production tax credits for new nuclear facilities. The House already has passed such legislation, and Mr. Graham said the Senate should do the same to ensure billions of dollars aren’t wasted on nuclear plants that never materialize…….http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/20/trump-administrations-nuclear-energy-plans-hanging/

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

DIMONA NUKE WORKERS ASK COURTS’ PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO MEDIA

YONAH JEREMY BOB, AUGUST 20, 2017   Israel states their work is a matter of national security, but the scientists claim their right to fight for better working conditions…..http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Dimona-nuke-workers-ask-courts-permission-to-speak-to-media-502969

August 21, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Killer avalanches

Hundreds of people are dead after the Sierra Leone landslide. Here’s how it happened. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/08/15/hundreds-of-people-are-dead-after-the-sierra-leone-landslide-heres-how-it-happened/

 August 15

DR Congo landslide kills scores in northeast  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/dr-congo-landslide-kills-dozens-northeast-170817100001637.html

 

Landslide in northern India leaves 46 dead  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/08/landslide-north-india-leaves-46-dead-170814050147858.html

August 19, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The 3 types of American climate denialists – the axis of climate evil

The Axis of Climate Evil, NYT,  AUG. 11, 2017, “It’s Not Your Imagination: Summers Are Getting Hotter.” So read a recent headline in The Times, highlighting a decade-by-decade statistical analysis by climate expert James Hansen. “Most summers,” the analysis concluded, “are now either hot or extremely hot compared with the mid-20th century.”

August 16, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Review of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan: nuclear phaseout is essential

Editorial.Phasing out nuclear power a must for Japan’s new energy plan, Asahi Shimbun, August 14, 2017, The industry ministry has opened discussions for reviewing Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan, which defines a grand framework for how the country will consume, and cover the demand for, electric power, heat and other forms of energy.

Industry minister Hiroshige Seko has said the core part of the plan will remain basically unchanged. Minor adjustments alone, however, would simply not suffice under current circumstances.

The ongoing edition of the plan is questionable in many respects, including in the way it defines nuclear energy as a mainstay power source despite broad public opposition to restarts of nuclear reactors.

A big wave of change is occurring on a global scale. For example, there are moves, mostly in advanced industrialized nations, for pulling the plug on nuclear power. There is also a trend for moving from coal-fired thermal power generation, given that the Paris Agreement has now taken effect for fighting global warming. Renewable energy options, such as wind and solar power, are spreading rapidly.

Japan should also redraw the image of its future self. First and foremost, a phase-out of nuclear power should define the foundation of the country’s new future perspective…….

nuclear energy is falling out of favor with the times both in Japan and abroad following the Fukushima disaster. For example, the public has grown more skeptical about the use of nuclear power, and the costs of implementing required safety measures have soared.

The question of how to dispose of radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors remains unlikely to be solved any time soon in most of the countries that have such reactors, including Japan. Efforts are spreading, mostly in advanced nations, for seeking to scrap all, or a considerable part, of a national fleet of nuclear reactors.

The forthcoming edition of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan should no longer define atomic energy as a mainstay source of power. Minimizing dependency on nuclear power should be designated a priority issue instead of being left as a hollow promise. Discussions should be made on what efforts are necessary for achieving that goal, and a road map should be presented in a concrete manner.

PHASE OUT NUCLEAR, FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING

Intensive power-saving efforts, combined with a substantial growth in renewable energy options, will represent a solution to the question of how to phase out nuclear power and fight global warming at the same time. It has been pointed out that such measures are costly and have other disadvantages, but possibilities have been opening up for them in recent years………

Renewable energy sources have already replaced thermal energy and nuclear energy as the leading destinations of global investments into the electric power sector.

Japan should quickly switch its energy policy instead of turning its back on the international trend. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708140020.html

August 16, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Proposed Sizewell C nuclear station is completely untenable, as the Hinkley C debacle shows

Shut Down Sizewell 13th Aug 2017, It might seem strange for us to focus on Hinkley Point in Somerset for our
front page story, but what happens at Hinkley will almost certainly have a
direct impact on what happens at the nuclear power station at Sizewell in
Suffolk in the years to come.

This Campaign has always maintained that a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, including the proposed
Sizewell C, is completely untenable and with all that is happening at
Hinkley Point, it now seems to be increasingly the case. The new nuclear
power station: Hinkley Point C, is now subject to a ‘full review’
following a statement from its developer Électricité de France (EdF) that
it expects the project to be years late and billions of Euros over budget.
The anticipated completion date has already been extended from 2025 to
2027, and the cost, shared with China State Nuclear Company (CGN), is
already likely to increase by up to 3bn Euros.

The latest forecasts reveal that Hinkley Point C could cost energy bill payers in the UK £50bn over
the life of the project, compared to the original estimate in 2013, of
£6bn. The National Audit Office in the UK has labelled the HInkley plans
as ‘risky and expensive’ and it has urged the Government to have an
alternative plan in place in case the project is delayed or cancelled.

This at a time when offshore wind power will be up to 50% cheaper than nuclear,
and certainly far safer and far better for the environment. Technological
advances, including larger more efficient turbines and economies of scale
in manufacturing, have resulted in the cost of offshore wind power tumbling
to an all-time low. It is anticipated that the guaranteed price is expected
to be so low, that it could be free of subsidy altogether. Millions are now
being invested in battery power, which is making wind and solar energy
storage a reality across the world. Technological advances have resulted in
production being doubled in Western Europe, paving the way for a green
energy revolution that will consign nuclear power to the economic and
environmental scrapheap.  http://www.shutdown-sizewell.org.uk/how-the-failures-at-hinkley-c-may-impact-on-the-plans-for-sizewell-c/

August 16, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Could Hiroshima suffer a SECOND nuclear holocaust? Japan moving missile defences in

FEARS have been raised that Hiroshima could become the first city in history to be hit with a nuclear bomb TWICE, as North Korea prepares to launch missiles into the waters of the US territory of Guam.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Cumbria being bribed to accept nuclear wastes and the now despised Moorside project

Radiation Free Lakeland 10th Aug 2017, The Whitehaven News reports today on the worst kept secret that Toshiba is financially torpedoing. Still not to worry eh, there are still slush funds
aplenty to greenwash the increasingly despised Moorside plan.

Apart from NuGen (100% Toshiba) the other two sponsors are the Copeland Community Fund
( this fund doles out the £millions Cumbria is bribed with to continue to
accept nuclear wastes) and United Utilities (in cahoots with the nuclear
industryand currently under fire for polluting West Cumbria’s water
supply).

The nuclear fanatics are calling for the government to “step
in” and “save Moorside”- are they joking? Successive governments have
never stepped away from throwing public money at the expanding nuclear
nightmare.
https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/nugens-parent-company-loses-millions-no-worries-though-plenty-of-slush-funds-for-greenwashing-moorside/

August 12, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Uncertainties swirl around Britain’s Moorside nuclear project – NuGen looks like becoming very OldGen

Beyond Nuclear 10th Aug 2017, The fact that the alleged nuclear revival has evaporated into the ether is
being trumpeted as breaking news. But there was never a nuclear revival —
only “plans” and “aspirations” built on quicksand.

The collapse of the South Carolina nuclear new build project at V.C. Summer had been seen
coming since it’s first glimmer on paper — by groups such as Southern
Alliance For Clean Energy, relegated, as are many of us, to anti-nuclear
Cassandras.

The same reactor design — the untested AP 1000 — is planned
for a site next to the Sellafield reprocessing facility in the UK. But with
the implosion of Toshiba under the weight of the Westinghouse financial
collapse, that project is under serious threat.

The site is owned and operated by the rashly named consortium, NuGen. But as the sign at the site
indicates, there is nothing happening there right now as NuGen partners
scamper for the exits and the South Koreans — who have forsaken nuclear
power at home — mull sticking it on others overseas.

If the South Koreans switch out the AP 1000 for their own reactor design at the Moorside NuGen
site, it will become very old Gen indeed, with likely many more years of
delay. By that time, nuclear energy will have become 100% redundant, as
renewables, combined with energy efficiency, will have completely taken
over.

As Martin Forwood of Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment
commented in a recent press release: “The latest news of the plug being
pulled on the half-built AP1000 reactors in the US and the fall from grace
on the Tokyo Stock Exchange of NuGen’s sole investor Toshiba will further
add to the increasing uncertainties swirling around in the Moorside
mists”.

http://www.beyondnuclear.org/international-whats-new/2017/8/10/no-future-for-nuclear-is-not-breaking-news-it-was-ever-thus.html

August 12, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New technical document to investigate radioactive materials – IAEA

IAEA 10th Aug 2017, When nuclear or radioactive material is encountered out of regulatory
control, it is crucial that nuclear forensic investigators learn about the
material’s origin and history. To do so, they look at details in the
characteristics of the material – known as nuclear forensic signatures
– as these reveal important clues about this information.

To help experts make reliable conclusions about nuclear forensic signatures, the IAEA in
August 2017 published a new technical document that highlight novel
analytical techniques used by experts around the world.
https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/new-iaea-document-helps-nuclear-security-experts-investigate-the-origin-and-history-of-nuclear-or-radioactive-material

August 12, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Trump administration’s mixed messages on North Korea

,BBC 12 Aug 17, At a time when nuclear war with North Korea seems a possible – if distant – threat, you’d think everyone would want the US administration to be on the same page.

But in recent weeks, statements from President Trump and his top officials appear to directly contradict each other.

President Trump’s latest outburst – that the US military was “locked and loaded”ready to deal with North Korea – came just hours after his Defence Secretary Jim Mattis attempted to cool tensions by saying that diplomatic efforts were succeeding.

Here are some of the other mixed messages we’ve heard since North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test on 28 July…….http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40903061

August 12, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment