The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Police raid headquarters of Newsweek

NYPD officers raid Newsweek headquarters, By Keith J. Kelly January 18, 2018 About two dozen NYPD offficers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the offices of Newsweek and its parent company, IBT Media, on Thursday.

IBT Media was co-founded by Jonathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. The IRS placed a $1.2 million federal tax lien against Uzac in December 2017.

The agents were said to be photographing servers in the offices, but not downloading any files at the offices on 7 Hanover Square, according to sources.

They appeared to be photographing the serial numbers on the machines, said a source.

In the past, IBT has been linked to a Christian church founded by Korean American evangelist David Jang and Olivet University, a university in California that Jang’s followers founded.

NYPD and the IRS had not responded to a call by press time. The Manhattan DA declined to comment.


January 19, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Forgotten Guinea Pigs:  The Downwinder’s Story “The greatest irony of our atmospheric testing program is that the only victims of U.S. nuclear arms since 
World War II have been our own people.”
  —  “The Forgotten Guinea Pigs: A Report on Health Effects of Low-Level Radiation Sustained As a Result of the Nuclear Weapons Testing Program Conductedby the United States Government”

Having lost their right to life, liberty and the ability to pursue (or live) happily due to the negligent and deceptive behaviors of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Downwinders (victims of atomic fallout) had to force the U.S. government to take responsibility for the consequences of America’s nuclear testing program.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan broadcaster issues a false missile alert

Japan Broadcaster Joins Hawaii in Issuing False Missile Alert, Bloomberg, By Gareth Allan, 

  • Error days after U.S. state caused panic with similar mistake
  • NHK apologizes on evening broadcast for erroneous warning

Japanese national broadcaster NHK issued a false alert about a North Korean missile launch, adding to questions about the reliability of early-warning systems after a similar incident in Hawaii.

 The broadcaster issued a “J-Alert” at 6:55 p.m. Tuesday via its app and website, urging people people to take cover inside buildings or underground. NHK corrected the error at 7:00 p.m. While its television channels didn’t cover the initial alert, an apology was subsequently issued on its scheduled evening news program, as well as on its website……

January 17, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

False alarm incident shows unpreparedness of Hawaii (and elsewhere?) for a nuclear attack

Missile-alert error reveals uncertainty about how to react, Hanford Sentinel, By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press, 15 Jan 18

    • HONOLULU (AP) — When Jonathan Scheuer got an alert on his phone of a ballistic missile headed for Hawaii, he and his family didn’t know what to do. They went to their guest bedroom, then decided it would be safer on the ground floor of their Honolulu home.

“What do we do?” he wondered. “Where do we go?”

People should immediately seek shelter in a building “or other substantial structure,” once an attack-warning siren sounds, according to guidance the state distributed previously. The state recommends having 14-day survival kit of food and water.

 Residents and tourists alike remained rattled after the mistaken alert was blasted out to cellphones across the islands with a warning to seek immediate shelter and the ominous statement: “This is not a drill.”

“Clearly there is a massive gap between letting people know something’s coming and having something for them to do,” Scheuer said Sunday. “Nobody knew what to do.”……..

The blunder that caused more than a million people in Hawaii to fear that they were about to be struck by a nuclear missile fed skepticism about the government’s ability to keep them informed in a real emergency.

“My confidence in our so-called leaders’ ability to disseminate this vital information has certainly been tarnished,” said Patrick Day, who sprang from bed when the alert was issued Saturday morning. “I would have to think twice before acting on any future advisory.”……

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear And Shale Are Wrecking Britain

Impact4All 11th Jan 2018, ‘Nuclear And Shale Are Wrecking Britain’, Says Top UK Solar Boss.
Jeremy Leggett is the founder of Solar Century, an international solar
solutions company, and chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a
financial-sector think-tank warning of carbon-fuel asset-stranding risk to
the capital markets.

Here, he tells Alicia Buller why he hopes the ‘great
renewable energy transition will help bring truth to the fore’. As a
businessperson I know that that I could – rightly – be sent to jail for
telling a single lie to my stakeholders. The first VW executive just been
jailed ­– rightly – for telling one big lie as part of an
institutionalised fraud.

Yet politicians, particularly rightist populist
politicians, tell lies on an almost daily basis, backed and echoed by
like-minded media organs such as the Daily Mail, and there is no meaningful
recourse for civil society, as things stand. That pains me and I want to
see it changed.

My hope is that the unfolding of the great global energy
transition, with its many intrinsic social benefits, will help in that
wider process of societal recasting, bringing community, equality, and
truth to the fore.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste can cause high radiation levels and raise temperature levels.

Energy Business Review 12th Jan 2018,…..waste generated from nuclear activity can pose a
significant risk to the environment if it is not properly handled. The vast
amount of nuclear waste created by power plants can lead to high radiation
and raise temperature levels.

In recent years, many concerns have been raised over the disposal of radioactive waste and harmful radiations fromthe nuclear plants. The transmission of this radiation can cause a
potential damage to the surrounding atmosphere.

The cost of managing the nuclear waste is also high. The damage that could be caused by mishandling
of nuclear waste came into focus after the occurrence of Fukushima nuclear
disaster in Japan in 2011. Spent fuel rods were found to be one of the
major causes of the radioactive emission for the accident that took place
at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan.

The nuclear accident is considered as the second worst nuclear disaster in the
world. The Kyshtym nuclear disaster also occurred as a result of a
radioactive contamination accident that took place on 29 September 1957 at
Mayak, a plutonium manufacturing facility Russia for nuclear fuel
reprocessing plant of the Soviet Union. A failure of the cooling system
used for one of the tanks containing about 70–80 tons of liquid
radioactive waste had led to the accident. The event resulted in hundreds
of deaths of the people staying in nearby villages to the production site.

The various types of nuclear waste include uranium tailings, transuranic
(TRU) waste, low-level nuclear waste, intermediate-level waste, high-level
waste and spent fuel rods.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Taishan nuclear plant incident indicates China’s nuclear safety risks

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 12th Jan 2018, A recent incident in the nearby Taishan nuclear plant hints at lax quality control that has delayed the project and could pose safety risks, warns international expert Mycle Schneider who fears cost-cutting is also leaving nuclear plants vulnerable to natural disasters and terrorist attack.

January 15, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

DOE’s compensation scheme for coal and nuclear is dead – Now what?

 Environmental Defense Fund, By Natalie Karas  January 12, 2018 In a January 8 Order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) swiftly dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed out-of-market compensation scheme for coal and nuclear units.  DOE’s proposal would have provided guaranteed profits to coal and nuclear plants, despite the fact that these aging units are losing out to more efficient and affordable resources.  Instead, FERC took a more measured approach, asking all regional market operators to submit additional information on resiliency issues within 60 days, and providing interested parties an opportunity to respond to those submittals within 30 days.  Here’s what we can expect next.

A robust process

The Commission has reasserted its independence and refused to be influenced by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry’s poorly-reasoned proposal, and DOE’s demand that FERC act swiftly without an adequate record.  FERC’s order makes clear that while it may take future action on resilience, it will only do so after a complete record and vetting of the issues……..

January 15, 2018 Posted by | general | 2 Comments

Exhibition honours 60 years of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

Telegraph & Argus 11th Jan 2018, A NEW temporary exhibition is set to open in Bradford to mark 60 years
since the start of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The Peace
Museum, in Piece Hall Yard, has worked closely with CND Yorkshire to amass
many items that have been used in protests over the years. The extensive
collection includes posters, placards, banners and badges. One of the
highlights of the exhibition is a copy of the original design for the
symbol for CND, created by the artist and peace campaigner Gerald Holtom in

January 13, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Westinghouse saved – nuclear industry must not be allowed to go belly up?

Radiation Free Lakeland 5th Jan 2018, As we predicted Westinghouse has been bailed out by an asset management
company. The nuclear industry will not under any circumstances, apart from huge public outcry and condemnation, be allowed to go belly up.

This means that Westinghouse in Preston will be hoping to gear up to supply all new nuclear reactors here (and overseas ….even Africa is being coerced into nuclear power) with fuel and other nuclear materials.

This is a scandal and it is happening in a small village called Salwick, Nr Preston, Fair Trade Town! Nuclear waste from fuel manufacturing is dumped into the Ribble, Clifton Marsh landfill and to our DNA with, according to nurses we have spoken to, ever increasing childhood cancers in the Preston area. All eyes are directed to fracking in Preston while the nuclear industry is killing
people right now. Fracking is bad….this is badder on a much bigger scale.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

General Electric cutting back on energy division, especially nuclear

Clock Ticks for French Workers as GE Confronts Bloated Legacy, Bloomberg, By Ania Nussbaum,January 5, 2018, 

  • CEO Flannery holds fire on job cuts in France due to pledges
  • Amid parliamentary probe, unions say posts will eventually go

French workers were spared in General Electric Co.’s decision to axe thousands of jobs, but they won’t be protected for long.

The beleaguered U.S. industrial company is seeking to trim its bloated power division just two years after acquiring French rival Alstom SA’s turbine-making operations. Yet cutting jobs in France wasn’t part of GE’s plan unveiled last month to eliminate 12,000 positions worldwide.

Instead, French workers were shielded by guarantees offered by former Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt to clinch the $10 billion takeover. As he sought crucial French government backing for the deal, Immelt pledged to not only maintain existing employment levels, but add 1,000 net jobs by the end of 2018.

Now, the Alstom bet is looking increasingly ill-timed. The outlook for power activity has soured and GE’s new CEO, John Flannery, is fighting to reverse a deep slump in shares by cutting $1 billion of costs at the unit. Under pressure from investors, he’s narrowing the Boston-based company’s focus and selling assets. French labor groups say the moves have made French job cuts inevitable, since GE’s pledge only lasts through the end of this year.

 “It’s going to hurt” starting in 2019, Helene Gonon, the CFE-CGC union representative at a GE site in Belfort, said by phone. “The life is slowly being sucked out of our plants.”

Slashing Workforce

GE is cutting back after swallowing Alstom’s energy business in 2015…….

January 7, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New Jersey’s flawed legislation – a gift to the nuclear lobby, and its fan Governor Christie

Will NJ Lawmakers Give Governor Christie a Nuclear Goodbye Gift? NRDC,  The state’s electric customers may be forced to pay a bigger utility bill to keep something they already have. The New Jersey legislature is expected to begin voting this week to give Chris Christie—the governor with the nation’s lowest approval rating—and his buddies at the state’s largest utility a $300 million annual gift: support for two thriving nuclear plants, piled on the backs of all New Jersey taxpayers.

Sound ridiculous? Of course. But by all accounts, the bill flying through Trenton in the waning days of the Christie administration and the lame-duck legislature almost certainly will become law before the new governor, Phil Murphy, takes office on January 16.

Does this make sense anywhere but in the New Jersey legislature?

It’s true that the electricity produced at the Salem and Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Stations in Salem County can’t compete with cheaper options like natural gas and pollution-free alternatives like wind and solar power. Aging nuclear plants are expensive to run everywhere these days. But even the president of the company that owns the plants, PSEG, admits the plants along the Delaware River in the southwestern part of the state aren’t in financial distress—and won’t be for at least two years.

That gives New Jersey plenty of time to decide whether to prop up the plants, and if so, to narrowly tailor such support to a limited time period. The flawed legislation under consideration establishes subsidies for at least three years, with no mechanism to prevent them from continuing forever. What’s more, the plants would qualify for a bailout based on projected—not actual—costs, and if they make money, there’s no requirement to return the profits to customers. There is no need to rush an overly generous bill through to earn Christie’s signature, especially when the incoming governor says he’s going to look closely at the plants as part of his clean energy plan……

January 3, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – not so unrealistic

Nuclear disarmament unrealistic? So is keeping the bombs and surviving, By Margaret Beavis
As we look back on the past year, one issue that abruptly came into focus was nuclear weapons. On the one hand, North Korea aggressively tested new weapons and both Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump threatened catastrophe; on the other, we have a new United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and a Nobel peace prize to the Australian-founded organisation the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons.How will these two extremes meet?

Let’s start with the “ugly”. We are assured that nuclear weapons keep us safe, but with almost 15,000 in existence and more than 4000 deployed, the reverse is true. To say they will never be used is magical thinking, the stuff of fairy stories. It is only a matter of time. There have been many near misses, due to human or technical error, where only luck has stopped a nuclear launch. This luck cannot hold indefinitely.

The extent of destruction is so vast it’s difficult to contemplate. The fears of the 1950s and ’60s have given way to a sort of collective denial. But the horrors of the past are just a pale shadow of what lies ahead, with current weapons 30 to 50 times more powerful than those used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

No response will be possible. All hospitals and health workers will be destroyed. The thermonuclear blast will be followed by a massive firestorm, reaching temperatures of 800 degrees. All oxygen within a radius of 25 kilometres will be consumed, killing anyone who survives the fire.

After the blast, the soot in the atmosphere will create a decade-long nuclear winter, damaging crop yields and resulting in global famine. Careful modelling has found up to 2 billion lives will be put at risk from starvation.

Jong-un and Trump are unequivocally “bad”, way beyond the Twitter use of the word. They have horrified millions with their immature brinkmanship, name-calling and threats. Not since the Cuban missile crisis has there been such public concern.

The United States blames North Korea for acquiring these weapons yet, given the fate of Iraq and Libya, it’s unsurprising that the North feels it needs them. Clearly, as long as these weapons are regarded as legitimate, nations will try to acquire them. Indeed, the US is spending $US1.2 trillion($A1.5 trillion) to update its nuclear arsenal.

It’s appalling that North Korea has them yet, in many ways, inevitable given the nuclear-armed states’ abject failure to honour their undertakings to disarm under the non-proliferation treaty.

So where is the “good” in all this? The new UN treaty finally places nuclear weapons on the same footing as biological and chemical weapons. Stigmatising these weapons and holding governments to account is a critical next step in restarting the disarmament process. One-hundred-and-twenty-two countries voted in favour of this treaty and, once 50 countries sign and ratify it, it will become international law. Fifty-six countries have signed so far.

Once it is international law, using these weapons will constitute a war crime. Major divestment and a shift in how the public and the military view these weapons will follow. There needs to be serious negotiations, with an agreed, verifiable, balanced, stepwise reduction in stockpiles, with a specific timetable. No one is saying the new treaty is a magic wand. All this will take time and extensive diplomacy.

In Australia, the government continues to cling to the belief that nuclear weapons make us safer. By legitimising these weapons, it ultimately encourages proliferation. Japan, South KoreaSaudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are all considering becoming nuclear-armed.

We are at a turning point. New Zealand, Thailand and the Philippines were among the first to sign the treaty, and all remain US allies.

People say nuclear disarmament is unrealistic, but what is truly unrealistic is to pretend our luck will continue to hold, and that these appalling weapons will never be used. The humanitarian impacts are too great, and the risks too high. The treaty offers a new impetus and renewed hope for a safer world. It’s high time for our government to acknowledge this, and sign it.

Dr Margaret Beavis, a GP, is a board member of ICAN (Australia) and the Medical Association for Prevention of War.

January 1, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

In 1986 UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher demanded nuclear emergency plans

Thatcher demanded nuclear plans after ‘shambles’ Chernobyl response,  The Scotsman, PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS, 29 DEC 17, Margaret Thatcher demanded the government draw up new contingency plans for a major nuclear incident after the response to the Chernobyl disaster was branded a “farce” and a “shambles”.

Classified government papers released today reveal concern in the weeks following the disaster that failings in the government’s response could give ammunition to opponents of nuclear power and snarl proposed new power stations.

 Ministers had agreed to the construction of a second nuclear reactor at Sizewell in Suffolk at the time of the disaster but the decision had not been made public.

Margaret Thatcher demanded the government draw up new contingency plans for a major nuclear incident after the response to the Chernobyl disaster was branded a “farce” and a “shambles”.

Classified government papers released today reveal concern in the weeks following the disaster that failings in the government’s response could give ammunition to opponents of nuclear power and snarl proposed new power stations.

 Ministers had agreed to the construction of a second nuclear reactor at Sizewell in Suffolk at the time of the disaster but the decision had not been made public……..

On 16 May, the prime minister received a damning assessment of the government’s response from her policy adviser on energy, John Wybrew. On 16 May, the prime minister received a damning assessment of the government’s response from her policy adviser on energy, John Wybrew.

December 30, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Germany has broken another renewable energy record

Ecowatch 27th Dec 2017, Germany has broken another renewable energy record, with clean power
providing a third of of the country’s electricity in 2017. Preliminary data
from the Association of Energy and Water Industries show that renewable
electricity generation grew to a record 33 percent this year, up from 29
percent in 2016. “The figures show impressively that there is already an
accelerated shift in power generation from CO2-intensive to low-carbon and
almost CO2-free energy sources,” Stefan Kapferer, the chairman of the
association, said. “The energy industry is clearly on course with regard
to energy and climate targets: our industry is able to reduce CO2 emissions
by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990.” Onshore and offshore wind power
has now surpassed natural gas, nuclear, and hard coal as the second largest
electricity source, with a 16 percent slice of Germany’s power mix.

December 30, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment