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Problem with valve causes shutdown of Fermi 2 nuclear plant in Michigan

Fermi 2 nuclear plant down after valve issue found https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/04/24/nuclear-plant-shutdown-fermi/34193387/, Monroe News 

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April 25, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UK government struggles to get community consent for nuclear waste dumping

GDF Watch 20th April 2018  Ministers have been told to drop their Local Authority ‘veto’ idea, and to focus on doing more to build community confidence and trust. That is the headline conclusion from a review of responses to the Working With Communities (WWC) consultation that have already been published. Although not a statistically representative sample of the responses submitted, the opinions come from all corners of society.

All the expert and public evidence received during the policy development phase said that giving any tier of local government a ‘veto’ over the process would undermine the policy and any concept of ‘community consent’.

Despite that near unanimous opinion, Ministers still decided to include proposals that would give local authorities the power to block the will of the community. There has been a consistent and broad-based push back to those proposals in the published consultation responses. GDFWatch believes a veto power would make a mockery of the Government’s own consent-based policy and mean the siting process would be DOA [dead on arrival]. Community and place-based organisations, while fully recognising the integral role of local authorities, were equally
critical of the proposal
http://www.gdfwatch.org.uk/2018/04/20/consultations-closed-what-now-summary-of-responses/

April 25, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Donald Trump has no strategy for following through after talks with Kim Jong Un

Under pressure to show results on North Korea, Trump the showman can’t stop raising the bar for success WP,  April 20 “……… In many regards, a first-ever summit between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader is perfectly suited to the ego of Trump, who thrilled supporters during the Republican National Convention in July 2016 when he declared, “I alone can fix it.”……..

……… analysts, however, cautioned that Trump has offered no clear strategy, failing to articulate what the United States is willing to give up to the North and how the administration intends to ratify Pyongyang’s compliance with any potential disarmament deal…….https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/under-pressure-to-show-results-on-north-korea-trump-the-showman-cant-stop-raising-the-bar-for-success/2018/04/20/3314b9e4-4496-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html?

April 21, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fears that Russia’s huge floating nuclear power could attract a terrorist attack

Express 19th April 2018 Russia moves huge floating nuclear power plant amid World Cup TERROR ATTACK
fears. RUSSIA is moving a huge floating nuclear power plant this week, amid
fears the site could become a target for terrorists as the World Cup
approaches.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/948677/Russia-nuclear-power-terror-world-cup-Akademik-Lomonoso


April 21, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

ICAN supports summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

The Latest on the United States and North Korea , WASHINGTON (AP) Chron — 19 Apr 18  The anti-nuclear weapons group that won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize says it’s “very supportive” of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after months of risky tensions between them.

Executive director Beatrice Fihn of ICAN says that mutual threats between the two leaders have made the risk of nuclear confrontation “really dangerously high.”

Speaking to reporters, Fihn said that if the summit in late May or early June makes progress on disarmament, “we’ll definitely applaud it … every step forward is positive.”    Overall, she reiterated ICAN’s support for a nuclear weapons ban treaty, saying, “It’s hard to see the world being able to solve one nuclear-armed state at this point in isolation from the other states.”…..https://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/The-Latest-US-says-it-s-maintaining-pressure-on-12847167.php

April 20, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – the world’s most financially radioactive energy project

Times 11th April 2018 , One Flamanville is quite enough: The 1,650 megawatt European pressurised
reactor is a mere six years late and three times over budget. And all the
more exciting for it being the prototype for an even bigger nuclear
disaster: the £20 billion, 3,200MW Hinkley Point C.

Still, forget about that for a sec. At least the French nuclear guinea pig is finally on its
home run, due to be loaded up with nuclear fuel in the last quarter of this
year. Always assuming one thing: that EDF can sort out the dodgy welding on
the cooling pipes and stuff.

Anyway, it’s another EDF success story, up
there with the carbon spots on the steel for Flamanville’s nuclear dome,
the ones that potentially weakened it. Or the lost safety records from its
Creusot Forge supplier. And it does make you think. It’s bad enough
Theresa May signing us up to the world’s most financially radioactive
energy project, without monthly reminders of EDF’s technical ineptitude.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/one-flamanville-is-quite-enough-d0xbq5l9d

April 14, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The whole nuclear fuel chain is fraught with danger

Grist 11th April 2018 , When it comes to nuclear power, the risks appear right from the beginning
of the process with uranium mining. And they continue to pop up throughout
the nuclear life cycle, from enrichment and reactor operation to the
radioactive waste at the end. It’s a process fraught with hazards. After
uranium ore is milled into yellow cake, it goes through an enrichment
process where centrifuges spin uranium to transform it into nuclear fuel.
Keep that fuel spinning longer, and it eventually turns into the stuff that
can level cities.
https://grist.org/article/nuclear-is-scary-lets-face-those-fears/

April 14, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fraught with problems – relationships between small and large nuclear adversaries

Relationships between highly asymmetric nuclear powers, The Strategist , 10 Apr 2018|Rod Lyon  The current tensions between Washington and Pyongyang aren’t just about history. Nor are they simply the result of personal frictions between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. At their core, they reflect the difficulties that typically attend adversarial relationships between two highly asymmetric nuclear powers……..

… If Brodie’s right, a North Korea equipped with ‘a relatively modest number’ of thermonuclear-tipped ICBMs can be almost as effective in deterring the much more amply-equipped US as the US is in deterring the much smaller North Korea. ………
A relationship of mutual nuclear vulnerability between one country with almost no equity in the international order and another with deep equity in the same order wouldn’t be stabilising. Diplomacy might yet find a solution to that problem. But if it doesn’t, we shouldn’t assume that a comfortable, long-term nuclear deterrence relationship will miraculously unfold as a simple, benign alternative.  https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/relationships-highly-asymmetric-nuclear-powers/

April 11, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Bechtel companies hoping to build nuclear power in Saudi Arabia

Bechtel in Talks Over Potential Role in Saudi Nuclear Program, Bloomberg, By Vivian Nereim, April 11, 2018,

  • Company also interested in futuristic planned city Neom
  • ‘This kind of work is right in our sweet spot’: Bechtel CEO

Bechtel Group Inc. is “very interested” in Saudi Arabia’s plans for a civilian nuclear program and is discussing potential roles for the company.

“This kind of work is right in our sweet spot,” Chief Executive Officer Brendan Bechtel said Tuesday in an interview in Riyadh, where the San Francisco-based engineering and construction company is celebrating its 75th anniversary of doing business in Saudi Arabia. “It’s going to be highly competitive and there are multiple solutions from different nation-states competing. The U.S. is going to need to be competitive to secure a role.”

…….One potential wrinkle is whether any agreement with Saudi Arabia would include a so-called gold-standard clause, which permits power generation but would bar the enrichment and reprocessing of nuclear fuel and waste. The United Arab Emirates has made such a concession, but the Trump administration has considered potential deals with the kingdom that don’t include the prohibition. The issue was further muddied in March when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom would develop a nuclear weapon if Iran did.

Bechtel is in discussions with the Saudi government’s King Abdullah  City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, and the tender process is “moving pretty fast,” Bechtel said. Saudi officials have said they expect to sign contracts to build the first two reactors by the end of 2018…..https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/bechtel-in-talks-over-potential-role-in-saudi-nuclear-program

April 11, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Former Prime Minister of Japan ,Naoto Kan draws crowds in France, speaking against nuclear power

Beyond Nuclear 8th April 2018, The former Japanese PM visits Flamanville and La Hague, and draws 400
locals to an inspiring evening event in Normandy, France.

Most of the time you don’t see former leaders of major world powers trudging along windy
clifftops as they listen to anti-nuclear activists hold forth. That is why
I find the odyssey of former Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, ever more
extraordinary. For a handful of years now he has been traveling around the
world speaking out in favor of an end to the use of nuclear power.

And he has been talking to us. Kan was in Normandy, France at the same time that
its president, Emmanuel Macron, was promoting his country’s deeply flawed
EPR reactors in India, an irony that was not lost on his audience. His
visit was hosted by two of the leading anti-nuclear organizations in the
region — CRILAN and Collectif anti-nucléaire Ouest. Kan came right to
Flamanville, the site of the French “flagship” EPR, the very one Macron
was flogging in India. Flamanville 3, now fast approaching hot testing, has
become a disaster of epic proportions in which nothing has gone right, from
a faulty concrete pour for the foundation to the flawed forging of
essential safety components. It is massively over-budget and years behind
schedule.  https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/04/08/naoto-kan-gets-a-closeup-view-of-nuclear-france/

April 11, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fighting back against Big Lies on climate change and the environment — and winning

Despite the firehose of disinformation, activists are winning by insisting on facts, evidence and science, Salon, AMANDA MARCOTTE, 04.09.2018 

In the age of Donald Trump, one could be forgiven for believing that truth has lost all value. As of March 1, Trump had reportedly told 2,436 public lies, an average of six a day during his 13 months in office. That number doesn’t even encompass the firehose of misinformation coming out of his administration, much less the right-wing media network that’s geared towards propagandizing on behalf of Dear Leader. It’s easy to despair, because it frequently seems there are no consequences for all this lying and that huge percentages of Americans have flatly decided they don’t care about facts any longer.

But when it comes to the issue of the environment, there’s reason to believe — at least for now — that there’s still some value to having the facts on your side. There are at least two reasons for this. Environmental laws, as written, still have high evidentiary standards that conservatives simply cannot ignore. Secondly, attorneys general in blue states are ready to put huge amounts of resources to make it difficult for corporate interests and their friends in the Trump administration to hide, deny or distort the facts to support their pro-pollution agenda.

At the end of March, environmentalists quietly scored another victory against efforts to conceal the truth about climate change, when a federal judge ruled against ExxonMobil in a transparency case. In 2016, in response to reporting that found ExxonMobil executives had hidden the truth about climate change from investors and customers for decades, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey opened investigations into the oil giant to find out whether the pattern of deceit was legally actionable. Exxon sued in retaliation, claiming the investigation was politically biased, and lost.

Exxon has run a scorched earth campaign to avoid answering our basic questions about the company’s awareness of climate change,” Healey told Salon in an emailed statement. “Massachusetts customers and investors deserve answers from Exxonabout what it has known about the impact of burning fossil fuels on its business and the planet, and whether it hid this information from the public.”

Attorneys general have been using a similar strategy against Scott Pruitt, Trump’s head of the Environmental Protection Agency, who has been notoriously secretive about his behavior, even installing a soundproof phone booth so he can talk to persons unknown without being overheard. But what he can’t do, said David Hayes, the executive director of the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, is run away from scientific facts when he’s confronted with them in court……..

Litigation against tobacco companies in the ’90s successfully drew public attention not just to the science, but to the industry’s efforts to hide it. The result was a rapid drop-off in rates of young people beginning to smoke. That rate started to fall in the ’90s and has since hit an all-time low.

 Right now, it seems there’s a similar situation brewing on the topic of climate change. It’s not just that environmentalists have the facts on their side, but they are also going to be able to show, as the lawsuits and investigations go down, that the Pruitt EPA and companies like ExxonMobil have actively been trying to hide the truth. Trying to cover something up often tends to backfire, making the public more interested in learning what facts were so alarming that someone felt the need to hide it in the first place.

Pruitt’s efforts at a cover-up stink of desperation. He’s trying to push scientists off the EPA’s advisory boards, which of course has resulted in a lawsuit, backed by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Working with Republican allies in Congress, he’s trying to limit the amount of scientific research the EPA is allowed to consider when crafting clean air regulations. Researchers are now afraid to use the phrase “climate change” when seeking government grants, for fear of triggering the censorious impulses of Pruitt and other Trump administration officials who are eager to keep the scientific truths from being known.

Trump officials and ExxonMobil executives wouldn’t be so afraid of the evidence on climate change unless they believed that truth still has the power to move the needle in both law and in public opinion. In the age of misinformation, it’s even more important to keep pushing to get the facts into the light. https://www.salon.com/2018/04/09/fighting-back-against-big-lies-on-climate-change-and-the-environment-and-winning/

April 11, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Forget Nuclear Power, – The Motley Fool – investing

Investors looking to cash in on growing energy consumption in China should focus on liquefied natural gas, not nuclear power.  Maxx Chatsko  (TMFBlacknGold)

Apr 9, 2018  China’s rise as an economic superpower has been a major investing theme over the last decade. Whether discussing the growth prospects for manufacturers of water heaters or smartphones, the world’s most populous country represents untapped potential that cannot be ignored. And the same can be said for the nation’s energy consumption………
However, the home-grown nature of China’s nuclear industry and poor market fundamentals for uranium result in very few opportunities for individual investors. That’s why those looking to cash in on rising energy demand in the market should focus on companies cashing in on liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of nuclear power.  ……….https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/04/09/forget-nuclear-power-these-3-stocks-are-key-to-chi.aspx

April 11, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

China and South Korea at odds over first step in nuclear crisis talks

SCMP, 07 April, 2018, Beijing wants to ensure it has a major role in reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear programme while Seoul prefers a process built around US talks with the two Koreas, the Posthas learned…….http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140694/platform-talks-north-korea-nuclear-crisis-divides-china

April 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

What if terrorists unleashed a dirty bomb, or even a small nuclear bomb, on a city?

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 21st Feb 2018, As seen by recent events such as the bombing in Manchester, UK, terrorism  can occur anywhere, at any time. So far, the terrorist incidents have been
relatively low-tech – such as improvised explosive devices detonating
inside pressure cookers, trucks driving down crowded sidewalks, or bombs
exploding in backpacks containing metal bolts and screws.

But what if terrorists were to build a dirty bomb that contained radioactive materials
instead of bits of metal shrapnel, and set it off in a major city? Or,
worse, what if they managed to build a fully functioning nuclear weapon,
cart it to the downtown of a city, and then detonate it – even a small,
rudimentary one that was much smaller than the atomic bomb dropped on
Hiroshima?

What would the social, economic, and political impacts of the
successful terrorist use of a nuclear weapon look like? What planning has
the international community done for such an event?
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00963402.2018.1436812

April 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

 The dramatic melting of Arctic icebergs – in pictures

April 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment