The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Citizens protest at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

 Downwinders call for Pilgrim Nuke protest today NRC Inspectors on site for two weeks  NOVEMBER 28, 2016 BY CAPECODTODAY STAFF Plymouth, MA-Twenty Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors are coming to Plymouth for the next two weeks to conduct their final phase of a special inspection to determine if Entergy’s degrading Pilgrim nuclear reactor on the shores of Cape Cod Bay should be closed.  Citizens from across the area will gather at the gates of Pilgrim nuclear reactor to demand the NRC do their job and protect the public and the environment by revoking the operating license of Pilgrim now.  The NRC has stated their goal is to “arrest declining performance”, however, that does not appear to be happening.  Diane Turco, director of Cape Downwinders explains, “In 2014, the NRC determined Pilgrim was one of the 9 worst operating reactors.  So they increased oversight. In 2015, Pilgrim was one of the 5 worst operating reactors and more oversight.  In 2016, Pilgrim was one of the worst operating reactors in the U.S.  More oversight. How many inspections does it take to shut a dangerous nuclear reactor that threatens over 5 million people?  The twenty member special inspection team should figure that out this week.  If the NRC is doing its job, the operating license will be revoked.”….

November 30, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Canadian navy investigates underwater ‘find’ – it is not the Missing Cold War nuclear bomb

Missing Cold War nuclear bomb remains a mystery after Canadian navy investigates object found by diver, Telegraph,   26 NOVEMBER 2016 
ACold War nuclear bomb is still missing after it turned out a diver’s underwater discovery was not the atomic weapon weapon as first thought.

The mystery of a “missing nuke” in Canada has baffled historians for more than half a century.

Ever since an American B-36 Bomber crashed near British Columbia during a secret training mission in 1950, the nuclear bomb on boardhas never been found. Earlier this month, a commercial diver raised hopes that the Mark IV bomb had been discovered after he stumbled across an object in the waters off Canada’s west coast. ……Along with assistance from the diver, the HMCS Yellowknife investigated the wreckage, only to determine that the object was just a piece of steel machinery……

November 28, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Lessons for South Africa, in Vietnam pulling the plug on nuclear power plans

SA – listen to your scientists on new nuclear energy deals  Biz News,  David Fig, 25 Nov 16  According to David Fig, an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town, nuclear energy is unnecessary for South Africa’s progress as a developing nation. It swallows up too many resources in return for too little electricity, the waste is a nightmare and the alternatives are cheaper, cleaner and ultimately, more cost-effective. 

He draws on the recent journey of Vietnam to illustrate how that thriving nation has stepped away from the nuclear abyss in the current economic climate, improving its long-term prospects. The territory he doesn’t really explore is our domestic political culture and climate, which previous contributors to Biznews have argued is the real reason behind what amounts to a simmering long-term intention to go big on nuclear.

That is; there are potential and (perhaps even current) crooked financial incentives for our politicians to want to pull the Russian nuclear deal off ice. And these have nothing to do with ignoring the scientific advice on the matter – it doesn’t even come into play. How can we not think otherwise in the aftermath of the useless and hugely costly Arms Deal, with all its attendant dirty dealings? – Chris Bateman……..

According to Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based energy analyst:

Vietnam is only the latest in a long list of countries, including more recently Chile and Indonesia, that have postponed indefinitely or abandoned entirely their plans for nuclear new-build.

Vietnam’s decision is for outright cancellation of a contract for two reactors which were to be part of a sequence of purchases. But South Africa is not being as decisive. Yet South Africa is realising that it must at least postpone its nuclear plans. In its latest Integrated Resources Plan 2016, one option is to delay completion of the first reactor until 2037.

A postponement would mean that South Africa wouldn’t need to start building new nuclear plants until the mid-2020s. The country’s energy provider Eskom, however, is still bent on initiating the procurement process very soon………

Lessons for South Africa

Nuclear energy is unnecessary for the country’s progress as a developing nation. It swallows up too many resources for too little electricity in return. The nuclear fuel and the waste have to be safeguarded for many millennia, and the reactors have to be operated safely. Accidents contaminate huge areas and affect millions of people.

There are a number of safer and cleaner renewable alternatives, especially solar and wind. If Vietnam is brave and shrewd enough to step away from the nuclear abyss, so can South Africa. Instead of postponement of nuclear procurement, South Africa should reject this technology outright.

The country’s Integrated Resources Plan decides on the ratio of different power sources in the total energy mix. South Africa needs to listen more clearly to its scientists. And it could learn some useful lessons from Vietnam’s approach.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

South East Asian countries shifting focus to renewable energy and away from nuclear power

ASEAN’s Nuclear Power Race: Winding Down For Renewable Energy? – Analysis  As the world’s fastest-growing economic region, Southeast Asia’s energy demand will increase to drive this growth. While Vietnam’s push towards nuclear energy may have started a regional race to develop nuclear power, this may slow down somewhat now that Hanoi has decided to freeze it. ASEAN should shift its focus to developing renewable energy.

By Cung Vu*    On November 22, 2016, the National Assembly of Vietnam ratified their government’s decision to hold off the building of its nuclear reactor. Cost was cited as the main reason. Another possible factor could be the unfolding lessons from the event of Fukushima, and the safety and security of nuclear reactors in cases of intentional attacks such as cyberattacks or terrorism still need to be assessed.

This is good news for the region. A possible regional nuclear energy race would now be avoided, and Vietnam’s neighbours would not have to brace themselves for a potential nuclear fallout. The region should now focus on developing renewable energy to meet its energy demand…….

ASEAN Power Grid

To meet electricity demand to stimulate economic growth, ASEAN needs to have a reliable and cheap source of electricity. ASEAN plans to construct a bilateral cross-border power grid, then expand to a sub-regional and finally to a total integrated regional system. This would serve to meet the electricity demand as well as to provide access to some of the 50% of the population which currently has no electricity……

November 26, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Seaweed causes shutdown of nuclear reactor

Torness nuclear reactor shut down over seaweed concern  A reactor at the Torness Nuclear Power Station in East Lothian has been shut down because of seaweed.

Reactor one was shut down just before 09:00 when the seaweed began to threaten a cooling water inlet at the power plant near Dunbar.

DF Energy said there was never any risk to safety at the facility but added the shut down was “unusual.”

The reactor is not expected to resume production on Tuesday.

November 23, 2016 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

Unease amongst world leaders over Donald Trump’s nuclear policies, and appointments

trump-worldWorld leaders anxious for Trump’s nuclear policy, The Hill, Questions are swirling about whether President-elect Donald Trump will follow through on suggestions during the campaign that he might allow other countries to develop nuclear weapons.

November 21, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New Nuclear Power Is Simply Not Competitive

scrutiny-on-costsLet’s Be Honest — New Nuclear Power Is Not Competitive  November 17th, 2016 by   [graphs] The Before the Flood website recently published a great article about why nuclear power is now a dead end. It was based on solid research and a deep plus broad understanding of the fast-changing energy industry.

As the article noted, nuclear power has been growing only in China. Even in China, though, the growth targets announced a few years ago keep getting undermined by nuclear’s lack of competitiveness, and China is all but certain to dramatically cut its long-term plans.

Nuclear power is nonsensical for new electricity capacity for a handful of reasons. It’s extremely expensive, it’s inflexible, it’s extremely slow to build, and it’s economically and environmentally risky.

Unfortunately, the nuclear lobby is still influential and keeps pushing its agenda despite nuclear power’s lack of competitiveness. I received word that the Before the Flood team got some backlash from nuclear fans after publishing the article, despite the realistic and insightful nature of the summary.

There seem to be remaining science-fiction technology enthusiasts who are simply enamored by the idea of an energy dense, centralized nuclear world, but that idea is disconnected from reality. At least, it is disconnected from any market-competitive reality.

If you look at the facts, new nuclear is about 2–5 times as expensive as solar and wind, is irreparably inflexible (a huge handicap in a 21st century grid), and comes with a financial threat that the private insurance sector won’t touch without massive, massive subsidies and risk protection from the government or ratepayers.

The bottom line: new nuclear makes no sense today.

Frankly, we primarily stopped writing about nuclear since everyone in the industry should know by now it is an industry entering its retirement stage. However, because of the interest (and backlash) the Before the Flood article raised, I decided it was worth communicating this point one more time.

Unless you want to pay 2–5 times as much for electricity, put your country at dramatic economic risk, and increase the number of blackouts in your region, drop the nuclear fantasy and jump into the 21st century.

If you are interested in implementing quick and strong climate solutions, Kelly Rigg’s closing statement in the Before the Flood article is right on point: “in the time it takes to plan and build a single new nuclear plant we could build thousands of new solar and wind plants” … for much cheaper.

Related: Leonardo DiCaprio Gives Us Hope In “Before The Flood”

November 21, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Governor Cuomo’s $7.6 billion nuclear bailout excessive. New York would do better with renewable energy

Renewable energy best power source,,  Mark A. Dunlea, November 16, 2016 
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to sell his $7.6 billion corporate welfare gift for a few old nuclear power plants as good for the climate (“Nuke subsidy is questioned,” Oct. 28).

Cuomo is going to tax us on our electric bills to benefit one wealthy company — Exelon Corp. The present owners want to shut down these Vietnam-era clunkers as too old and expensive.

Nuclear power is a dirty and dangerous way to produce electricity, especially compared to solar and wind. Renewable energy also is far more cost-effective in creating jobs.

The claim that nukes are carbon-free ignores the life cycle of the plants. The mining and processing of the radioactive uranium fuel has a major carbon footprint. The toxic waste must be safely stored for tens of thousands of years — far longer that human civilization has existed.

When the New York Independent System Operator looked at the planned deactivation of one of these nuclear plants, it found the power wasn’t needed. What is needed is a clean renewable energy future as quickly as possible to give us a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The governor’s $7.6 billion nuke bailout is much greater than the funding provided for renewable energy. While Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard includes off-shore wind, he has not yet committed to purchasing electricity from offshore wind even though the best site in the United States is off of Long Island. In effect, that means Cuomo hasn’t made a long-term commitment to offshore wind.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency would mean cheaper energy, a healthier environment and more jobs.

November 18, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Donald Trump appointees will be fans of oil, gas, and nuclear industries

Oil, gas and nuclear industries anticipate friendly Trump DOE WyoFile, by Umair Irfan    NOVEMBER 15, 2016 A Donald Trump appointee at the Forrestal Building bodes well for oil, natural gas and nuclear power, but renewables will remain robust contenders, analysts say.

Drillers and nuclear energy advocates are excited about the prospect of new Republican leadership at the Department of Energy in hopes of policies that could extend a lifeline to threatened nuclear power plants and boost oil and gas developers struggling with low fuel prices……..

federal policy can only do so much to push back against global market forces.

“President Trump may be surprised to find there’s a global oil glut underway that severely constrains whether or not it’s economically sensible to attract more investment,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program.

The nuclear energy industry is also optimistic about a Trump presidency, as a number of existing nuclear power plants are slated for early retirement.

“During the campaign, Mr. Trump spoke out on the need to build more nuclear plants and expand the nation’s overall energy supply,” said Maria Korsnick, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s incoming president and CEO, in a statement. “We encourage President-elect Trump to continue advancing his support for nuclear energy to maintain our nation’s leadership in nuclear technology and its indispensable role in our critical energy infrastructure and environmental interests.”…….

Renewables, on the other hand, may not get support for new large-scale installations through DOE loan guarantees, but enough momentum has built up for wind and solar power over the past eight years that those industries will still grow without DOE backing.

Wind energy prices have declined 41 percent, and solar photovoltaic costs have fallen 64 percent since 2008. Wind and solar also received a crucial extension for their tax credits late last year.

Though Trump has railed against renewables, particularly wind energy, many Republican-leaning states, like Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa, strongly support them. “If [Trump] wants to do away with it, he’ll have to get a bill through Congress, and he’ll do it over my dead body,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told Yahoo News in August.

“That is an area that has enjoyed bipartisan support,” said Dan Reicher, who led DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under President Clinton and served as an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. “Energy efficiency has also tended to be fairly bipartisan.”……

November 16, 2016 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

Trump translates into climate confusion at Marrakesh

Jennifer Hewett, 13 Nov 16 A Trump White House ensures the mood at the international climate change conference in Marrakesh this week is dominated by confusion and apprehension about US intentions…. (subscribers only)

November 14, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The world moves closer to WW III with climate change and Donald Trump

President Trump?, ALTERNATING CURRENTS Jim Reeves, Visalia1 November 9, 2016“………Elections have consequences, and we don’t have a clue what they will be this time around. If President Trump delivers on the things he said as candidate Trump, we may have just taken the first steps to WW III.

I have been afraid for some time now that climate change would lead to global war by the end of the 21st century. Now I’m concerned we’ve moved that date up to the middle of the century, or even sooner. The unraveling of the tapestry that has held the world merely on the brink of nuclear war since 1945, and Trump’s idea that climate change is a Chinese hoax, could cause us to ignore the increasing stresses from unrest, displacement, famine and drought, until it’s too late.

At some point, possibly in India and Pakistan, political failures and social unrest due to millions of displaced people (and the absence of a strong, respected political leadership in the United States) could lead to an actual nuclear war. North Korea might decide to nuke Japan.  Israel might decide the United States is an unreliable partner, and that it needs to take the ultimate sanction against Iran. Instability around the world will increase as the planet warms, and the United States may be increasingly impotent to do anything about it.  Global flashpoints will become conflagrations.  Our only leverage will be nuclear, and that’s not really an option.

All this might come to pass because half the people in this country ignored the endless examples of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States, and believed the easily and repeatadly disproved lies about Hillary Clinton. It makes me think Isaac Assimov was correct when he said “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” We’ve now reached a point where enough people have decided a hukster con-man is the better choice for President than is a woman with a stellar track record of public service and experience second to none in the international arena.

Half this country has gone insane. President Donald Trump. To follow President Barrack Obama. It’s like we just have to see if the gun is loaded, so we point it at our foot and pull the trigger. I wonder if we’ll bleed to death?

I hope my nightmares are unfounded. I hope President Trump surprises us all. I’m not confident that either is true.

November 12, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Trump Faces Battle to Undo Iran Nuclear Deal

Leaders in Europe and Russia committed to agreement with Tehran could dilute president-elect’s vow to dismantle it …(subscribers only)

November 12, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

USA election clouds the U.N. climate conference in n Marrakech, Morocco

logo Paris climate1The two-week conference begins Monday on the eve of the U.S. presidential election, which USA election 2016threatens to doom U.S. participation in global climate agreements if GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump wins. He disputes man-made climate change and has promised to “cancel” or at least “renegotiate” the global agreement.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton supports the Paris deal and the U.N. climate process.

PARIS AGREEMENT Deal takes force under cloud of U.S. election Jean Chemnick, E&E News reporterClimateWire: Friday, November 4, 2016 The landmark Paris Agreement enters into force today as U.S. voters prepare to choose between a candidate who supports the climate deal and one who has said he would cancel it.

The agreement reached by nearly 200 countries outside the French capital last December has taken effect more than three years before its framers expected it to, after nations rushed to submit their ratification documents in just 10 months.

John Morton, director for energy and climate change at the National Security Council, said negotiators will assemble in Marrakech, Morocco, next week for the first U.N. conference since Paris “with a tremendous amount of positive momentum.” Continue reading

November 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Top Nuclear Negotiators of US, China Meet in Beijing

Top Nuclear Negotiators of US, China Meet in Beijing  1 Nov 16The top nuclear negotiators of the U.S. and China met in Beijing on Monday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear program.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and sources in Beijing confirmed on Tuesday that China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei met his U.S. counterpart Joseph Yun to exchange their views on North Korea and related issues.

The discussion is believed to have occurred to mediate Washington and Beijing’s positions regarding Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions before the South Korean and U.S. nuclear envoys meet in Seoul on Tuesday. Monday’s talks were meaningful in that it was the first official meeting between the top U.S. and Chinese nuclear negotiators since Yun’s appointment.

Yun has been accompanying U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken on his trip to Japan, South Korea and China. He is said to have met Wu at his last stop in Beijing to discuss sensitive issues such as the import ban of North Korean coal by China.

November 4, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Alert issued at nuclear plant in South Alabama NOVEMBER 1, 2016, BY   CLANTON, Ala.-The Alabama Emergency Management Agency has been advised that an incident classified as an “Alert” has been declared at the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Electric Generating Plant near Dothan. The Governor has been notified & briefed on the status of the plant.

According to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency,  there has been no radiation release.   No protective actions are required at this time for the public’s health and safety.

The AEMA will monitor changes or developments in the situation.

We’ll provide any updates on as well as the WHNT News 19 Mobile app and WHNT News 19.

November 4, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment