nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

China is building a 2nd base for nuclear missiles, still way behind USA and Russia


China is building a 2nd base for nuclear missiles, say analysts Al Jazeera, 28 July 21,

Researchers in the US say China is building 250 silos for nuclear missiles in ‘the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever’. 
Analysts at the Federation of American Scientists say China is building a second field of silos for launching nuclear missiles in a development that could constitute “the most significant expansion of the Chinese nuclear arsenal ever”.

The United States-based researchers made the discovery after analysing commercial satellite images, and said on Monday that the field – located near the city of Hami in Xinjiang province – may eventually include about 110 silos.

The new field is about 380km (236 miles) from a base near the city of Yumen in neighbouring Gansu province, where a separate group of researchers earlier this month found construction under way on 120 missile silos.

Altogether, the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force now appears to have 250 silos under construction at Hami, Yumen, as well as at a training ground near the city of Jilantai in Inner Mongolia, wrote the FAS’s Matt Korda and Hans Kristensen.

The number marks a significant increase, they said, given that China has for decades operated only 20 silos for its liquid fuel Df-5 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM)………

Korda and Kristensen noted, however, that even if China were to double or triple its nuclear stockpile it would still be a long way from near-parity with the stockpiles of Russia and the US, each of which have nuclear warhead stockpiles of close to 4,000.

Regardless of how many silos China ultimately intends to fill with ICBMs, this new missile complex represents a logical reaction to a dynamic arms competition in which multiple nuclear-armed players – including Russia, India, and the United States – are improving both their nuclear and conventional forces as well as missile defense capabilities,” they said…………

The US has repeatedly called on China to join it and Russia on a new arms control treaty.

Beijing has rejected the call, but said it would be happy to hold arms control talks if the US was willing to reduce the size of its nuclear arsenal to China’s level. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/7/28/china-is-building-a-second-missile-silo-field-say-us-researchers

July 29, 2021 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Egypt postpones nuclear power plant amid tensions with Russia.

Egypt postpones nuclear power plant amid tensions with Russia over Nile dam,

Egypt pauses El-Dabaa nuclear power plant project for two years amid tensions hanging over the relationship with Russia due to its recent position on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam crisis and its rapprochement with Ethiopia. George Mikhailuly 28, 2021

Egypt announced the postponement of the completion of the El-Dabaa nuclear plant project to 2030 instead of 2028. Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority spokesman Karim al-Adham confirmed in statements to the Egyptian economic newspaper Enterprise July 14 that El-Dabaa nuclear plant will not be completed before 2030 due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic…………. https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/07/egypt-postpones-nuclear-power-plant-amid-tensions-russia-over-nile-dam

July 29, 2021 Posted by | Egypt, politics international | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear news

It has been a funny week in the news, funny not as in ha ha, but as in weird.  The news here prioritised the Olympics. Oh goody, my countrymen and women won lovely medals, for doing sporty things, very fast.- so, extensive coverage of all that. 

You wouldn’t know that the host city, Tokyo, is now daily getting close to 2000 new cases of coronavirus. You wouldn’t know that megafires are torching U.S. Western  States, and North Eastern Siberia. Briefly mentioned – huge floods inEurope and China.  Oh, and by the way, I think that the pandemic is still on, world wide, with the highly infectious delta variant.
The second biggest story, after the glorious Olympics, has been the success of the billionaire space playboys – Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos. The media can’t wait until Elon Musk and Bill Gates do their next thing – missile envy bringing great things for the world,(though we”re not quite sure what things)

Moral Intelligence or Nuclear War.

The world’s climate catastrophe – there is little time left to act.  All We Can Save”: As Climate Disasters Wreck Our Planet, Women Leaders Are Key to Solving the Crisis.  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) preparing assessments for COP26.

Climate change, extreme weather, is taking its toll on the nuclear industry. The nuclear industry determined to influence climate talks before COP26.

Racism and the misguided efforts to expand nuclear energy around the world,

After the lab-leak theory, US-Chinese relations head downhill.

Progressive lawmakers join across the world in a Global Alliance For A Green New Deal.

Huge carbon emissions of space tourismSpace tourism: environmental vandalism for the super-rich . Climate change report: Jeff Bezos & the new wild west show. Jeff Bezos and the corporate colonisation of the stars. Perils to austronauts’ health – high radiation and low gravity.

Emerging technologies and nuclear stability. Small Nuclear Power Plants No Use in Climate Crisis. Bill Gates’ fast nuclear reactor ”Natrium’‘ – not so safe and a nuclear weapons proliferation risk.

Why Scientists Plant Sunflowers After Nuclear Disasters.

Energy-guzzling Bitcoin must be allied to dangerous costly nuclear power.

 ARCTIC. Environmental degradation, illness, international tensions – small nuclear reactors had bad results in the Arctic.  


JAPAN. 
Nuclear Games” expose Japanese government’s spin about the Olympic Games. The fantasy of the Olympic Games as ”recovery” from nuclear disaster, and from Covid-19. Softball match in Fukushima was intended to showcase ”recovery from nuclear disaster”, but that has fallen flat. Fukushima effect: Now, South Korea to check food at Olympics for nuclear radiation. 

 Safety blunders fuel Japan’s mistrust of nuclear power. Using snakes to monitor Fukushima radiation, Radioactive cesium found in honey produced near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. 

 New Analysis Shows Japan Would Accept U.S. No First Use of Nuclear Weapons Policy 

 Japanese govt’s new Basic Energy Plan will prioritise renewable energy. Japan’s cleaner energy vision marred by burden of nuclear power.

USA.  


PACIFIC ISLANDS
. Maohi Lives Matter’: Tahiti protesters condemn French nuclear testing legacy . Emmanuel Macron in French Polynesia – not likely to satisfy campaigners resentful of France’s nuclear tests legacy.

EUROPE, Floods threaten nuclear power stations: call for endangered reactors to be shut down.

UK. China’s nuclear power firm could be blocked from UK projects. The Green Jobs Taskforce. Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior aims to help workers to transition to renewable energy work. Facebook blocks users from Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)’s website. Villagers in England very apprehensive about government plans for a nuclear waste dump..

FRANCEMacron dithers on nuclear power investment as issue divides France. Despite the rain, France’s nuclear reactors are still threatened by global heating.

CHINA. China threatens Japan with nuclear war over intervention in Taiwan,

Problems at China’s nuclear power plant at Taishan are serious enough to warrant shutdown, French co-owner warns. China to activate molten salt nuclear reactor, but it’s not clear if they have solved its safety problems.

CANADA. Risk of cracks in pressure tubes of Canada’s ageing nuclear reactors – how long can they keep operating safely? Canada’s small nuclear reactor project is looking like just a pipe-dream. Moltex Energy’s nuclear pyroprocessing project with plutonium would produce weapons grade material and encourage weapons proliferation. Investigation of uranium miners’health to be carried out by pro nuclear bodies. City Council in Calgary not happy about ”rushed” agreement to own stranded nuclear wastes in Maine.

GERMANY. Do Germany and the Netherlands want to say goodbye to US nuclear weapons

NORTH KOREA. The tally of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

INDONESIA. Shoddy, shoddy, shoddy: How they built the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

ARCTIC. Environmental degradation, illness, international tensions – small nuclear reactors had bad results in the Arctic.  

AUSTRALIA Opposition to nuclear waste transport through the port of Whyalla, South Australia. 

.


July 27, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

”Nuclear Games” expose Japanese government’s spin about the Olympic Games.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely.”

Games for the young coincides with Tokyo Olympics, Saily News, 26 July 21,

Perhaps it was also a reflection of the longstanding cat-and-mouse game played by the world’s nine nuclear powers – the US, UK, France, China, Russia, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel – violating the Olympic ideals of peace and humanity with a resurgent nuclear arms race.

The coalition says Nuclear Games shines a light on nuclear issues which are deliberately downplayed by governments, including by Japan as it presents the Olympics with a virtually empty stadium because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Japan experienced nuclear bombings in 1945 and also suffered one of the world’s most devastating nuclear power accidents in 2011 and remains deeply affected by them.Tuesday, July 27, 2021 -Coinciding with the opening ceremony, a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), anti-nuclear activists and youth leaders launched Nuclear Games, an innovative film and online platform addressing nuclear history and the risks and impacts of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy……………..In a press release, the coalition of NGOs said that nuclear dangers and tensions are rising today. According to the Pentagon, the risk of nuclear war is growing. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock advanced this year to 100 seconds to midnight – closer to nuclear war even than during the Cuban Missile Crisis……

Nuclear Games was developed by interactive video books pioneer Docmine, a Swiss-based creative studio, with support from Basel Peace Office, Youth Fusion, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Switzerland and the World Future Council.

It is offered in English and German and aimed at non-usual suspects: people who don’t typically watch political documentaries or engage in anti-nuclear advocacy work, says the coalition.

“It will have particular resonance with younger viewers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the history it conveys of nuclear disasters, near misses, and ongoing threats and impacts.”

Joseph Gerson, President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau, told IDN: “In addition to appreciating the film’s pointing to the ongoing existential nuclear dangers on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombings, I am glad that the Games’ press release points to the hypocrisy of the Olympics being held midst the pandemic.”

He said the Japanese Government has cynically spent trillions of Yen to prepare for the Olympics and then insisted on holding them against the opposition of most people in Japan.

“With only a quarter of the Japanese population vaccinated against Covid-19, we should reflect on how many more Japanese people would be alive today and next year were those Yen, and others spent on building one of the world’s most advanced militaries, instead been devoted to developing and purchasing vaccines. I hope that Japanese voters will bear this in mind when it is election time this fall,” Gerson declared.

In the runup to July 23 opening ceremony, the Olympic torch relay was deliberately routed through Fukushima Prefecture, including the towns where the plant is located, and others nearby that were long abandoned in the wake of the disaster. Olympic baseball and softball competitions are also being held in a stadium in Fukushima Prefecture.

“This is government spin, deliberately minimizing and normalizing the disaster, and ignoring Fukushima’s ongoing impacts and threats to public safety,” said Dr Andreas Nidecker, MD, Basel Peace Office president and the originator of the Nuclear Games concept.

Billions will watch the Olympics and get the carefully crafted message that everything in Fukushima is fine, and that nuclear meltdowns are quickly lived down. But that’s dangerous denialism. We need a global education effort to promote basic literacy about nuclear dangers in order to make future nuclear disasters less likely,” he declared.  http://www.dailynews.lk/2021/07/27/features/254937/nuclear-games-young-coincides-tokyo-olympics

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The fantasy of the Olympic Games as ”recovery” from nuclear disaster, and from Covid-19

Before the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world, the Japanese government originally painted the 2020 Olympic Games as the “Recovery Olympics,” meant to showcase how the nation rebuilt in the decade following the cataclysmic triple disaster of 2011

“The government is now talking of an Olympics that could be a sign of humanity’s triumph over the pandemic, but vaccines have not yet been put into practical use, and the world has not yet been freed from the risk of infection,” he added. “There is no chance of success by trying to box in reality to meet the labels the government upholds. The idea of a ‘coronavirus Olympics’ may also likely end as a mere fantasy.”

Discontent over Fukushima nuclear disaster response casts shadow over Tokyo Olympics, Yahoo News, CATHERINE THORBECKE and ANTHONY TROTTER, Mon, July 26, 2021, Some 150 miles from Tokyo’s Olympic venues, calendars that line the walls of empty classrooms remain frozen on a date more than a decade in the past: March 11, 2011.

Images from an abandoned elementary school in Futaba, Japan, are an eerie reminder of the uneven recovery efforts 10 years after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a catastrophic tsunami and caused the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

About 164,000 people were forced to evacuate in the aftermath of the meltdown at the now-infamous Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Many never returned home.

As the Japanese government doggedly forges ahead with the delayed and beleaguered Olympic Games this year, some advocates say initial promises that the situation in Fukushima is “under control” are false. Some also say the “Recovery Olympics” branding exploits residents who feel forgotten, and cleanup of the Dai-ichi power plant will take decades longer than government estimates.

Japanese officials insist radiation levels in reopened parts of Fukushima prefecture — which is set to host baseball and softball for the Summer Games — are safe for visitors, and many independent monitors agree. But what many say is a lack of transparency has eroded public trust, and a new debate rages over the what to do with the more than 1 million tons of “treated” radioactive wastewater piling up in storage tanks at the damaged nuclear power plant.

Here is how the legacy of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe looms large over the Tokyo Olympics.

A ‘Made in Japan’ disaster

Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the chairman of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (a group mandated by Japanese legislators to examine what went wrong and make recommendations), told ABC News that recovery efforts are far from complete and a permanent plan for how to dispose of contaminated waste is not in place.

It has a long way to go,” Kurokawa told ABC News of Fukushima’s recovery. “It’s a very tragic thing — and there are just certain people that cannot go back.”

The issue is, what is the long-term prospectus of how to contain Fukushima Dai-ichi, and I’m not so sure TEPCO [Tokyo Electric Power Company] has a clear long-term plan of what to do,”

 Kurokawa added. “They’re doing at least their best effort, but I think cleaning up radioactivity is a mess, and particularly with Fukushima Dai-ichi’s issues.”

While the quasi-state-owned power firm that runs the embattled nuclear power plant has suggested a 30- to 40-year timeline for decommissioning, Kurokawa said conflicting research estimates it could take at least “100 years.”

In his team’s scathing report on what went wrong, delivered to Japanese lawmakers in the aftermath of the event, Kurokawa calls the nuclear catastrophe a “profoundly manmade disaster — that could and should have been foreseen and prevented.”

Kurokawa blasted cultural factors in the nation with the world’s third-largest gross domestic product that he says ultimately resulted in more suffering……….

The biggest issue from our point of view has been this historical lack of adequate transparency on the part of TEPCO and also the Japanese government,” Azby Brown, a researcher for the nuclear monitoring nonprofit organization Safecast, told ABC News, “and this is from the beginning and may actually predate the accident.”

“We see some similar things happening regarding the coronavirus response and even among the negotiations or the discussions regarding the Olympics and what measures will be taken to protect the safety of people who come here for that,” Brown added. “So, it’s all part of a similar phenomenon within Japanese institutions and bureaucracies and government.”

Recovery is far from reality’ ahead of so-called ‘Recovery Olympics’

Before the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world, the Japanese government originally painted the 2020 Olympic Games as the “Recovery Olympics,” meant to showcase how the nation rebuilt in the decade following the cataclysmic triple disaster of 2011

The global health crisis and mounting costs associated with hosting the international event during a once-in-a-century pandemic has led to dwindling public support for holding the games, but these concerns appear to have largely fallen on deaf ears. Many locals have expressed fears that it could lead to a surge in coronavirus cases as vaccination rates in Japan lag far behind its peers in the developed world.


For some residents or evacuees of Fukushima, however, hosting the Olympics at a cost of some $12.6 billion is a painful reminder of government-spending priorities.

“Some people feel abandoned not only by the government but also by the nation,” Kazuya Hirano, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, told ABC News. “They also feel used for the promotion of the government slogan, the ‘Recovery Olympics.'”

Hirano — whose research has focused on the continued social, political and health effects of the disaster — said that the government terminated financial support for evacuees in 2017, but most have not returned home.

“Reconstruction does not make much sense as most former Fukushima residents who were affected by the disaster have not returned or have no intention to return because they are worried about the radiation for their families as well as themselves,” Hirano said. “Most people have already settled in new places.


……..  ”for them to try to use this as a way to showcase recovery, it was a sketchy idea from the beginning and I think now it’s probably certainly backfired,” he said. “Instead, it will only highlight the problems and the lack of recovery.”……….


With “real, concrete things” still not adequately taken care of in Fukushima, Brown said many residents view the billions of dollars pumped into the Olympics as “just misspent funds.”

In his 2013 speech pitching Tokyo as a host city, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told members of the International Olympic Committee that the situation in Fukushima is “under control” and “has never done and will never do any damage to Tokyo.”

His words have drawn ire from Fukushima residents for years.

In July 2020, Katsunobu Sakurai — who was mayor of Minamiosama, Fukushima, at the time of the catastrophe — blasted the “Recovery Olympics” branding in an interview with the one of the country’s biggest newspapers.

“No matter how much you tout the games as a sign of recovery, the overall picture of only Tokyo prospering while the recovery of the disaster-hit areas in the Tohoku region remains undone will not change,” he told the Mainichi newspaper, referring to the region that is home to Fukushima. “I’ve been to Tokyo many times, and saw that there were more crane trucks at the construction site of the athletes’ village than in the disaster-hit areas.”

“It was obvious at a glance where the national government was placing its resources,” he added……..

While the government has assured visitors the designated areas in Fukushima are safe, some independent monitoring organizations, including Greenpeace Japan, have reported finding radioactive hotspots with readings that don’t align with figures released by the officials.

Kurokawa and Brown agreed that the risk of dangerous levels of radiation exposure in reopened areas of Fukushima is low, but residents’ trust in official statements also remains low…………………………………

The Japanese government has prepared for the Olympics while upholding the ‘disaster recovery’ label, even though a recovery is far from reality,” Sakurai said to the Mainichi newspaper in July 2020. “It is superficial to declare a recovery with no actual progress.”

“The government is now talking of an Olympics that could be a sign of humanity’s triumph over the pandemic, but vaccines have not yet been put into practical use, and the world has not yet been freed from the risk of infection,” he added. “There is no chance of success by trying to box in reality to meet the labels the government upholds. The idea of a ‘coronavirus Olympics’ may also likely end as a mere fantasy.” https://www.yahoo.com/gma/discontent-over-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-090220990.html


July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Floods threaten nuclear power stations: call for endangered reactors to be shut down.

Nuclear power plants threatened by floods, final shutdown required. In the wake of the devastating floods of recent days, the Munich Environmental Institute has called for endangered nuclear reactors in Europe to be shut down.

Due to the advancing climate crisis, the risk of operating nuclear power plants continues to increase. The flood situation in western Germany and the neighboring countries as a result of heavy rainfall is devastating.
The water levels in the rivers had risen quickly. People lost their livelihoods or their lives, their belongings have been destroyed.

 Sonnenseite 23rd July 2021

July 27, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Moltex Energy’s nuclear pyroprocessing project with plutonium would produce weapons grade material and encourage weapons proliferation

Will Canada remain a credible nonproliferation partner?  https://thebulletin.org/2021/07/will-canada-remain-a-credible-nonproliferation-partner/

By Susan O’DonnellGordon Edwards | July 26, 2021 


Susan O’Donnell
Susan O’Donnell is a researcher specializing in technology adoption and environmental issues at the University of New Brunswick.

Gordon Edwards
Gordon Edwards is a mathematician, physicist, nuclear consultant, and president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility,

The recent effort to persuade Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has stimulated a lively debate in the public sphere. At the same time, out of the spotlight, the start-up company Moltex Energy received a federal grant to develop a nuclear project in New Brunswick that experts say will undermine Canada’s credibility as a nonproliferation partner.

Moltex wants to extract plutonium from the thousands of used nuclear fuel bundles currently stored as “high-level radioactive waste” at the Point Lepreau reactor site on the Bay of Fundy. The idea is to use the plutonium as fuel for a new nuclear reactor, still in the design stage. If the project is successful, the entire package could be replicated and sold to other countries if the Government of Canada approves the sale.

The recent effort to persuade Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has stimulated a lively debate in the public sphere. At the same time, out of the spotlight, the start-up company Moltex Energy received a federal grant to develop a nuclear project in New Brunswick that experts say will undermine Canada’s credibility as a nonproliferation partner.

Moltex wants to extract plutonium from the thousands of used nuclear fuel bundles currently stored as “high-level radioactive waste” at the Point Lepreau reactor site on the Bay of Fundy. The idea is to use the plutonium as fuel for a new nuclear reactor, still in the design stage. If the project is successful, the entire package could be replicated and sold to other countries if the Government of Canada approves the sale.

On May 25, nine US nonproliferation experts sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing concern that by “backing spent-fuel reprocessing and plutonium extraction, the Government of Canada will undermine the global nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime that Canada has done so much to strengthen.”

The nine signatories to the letter include senior White House appointees and other US government advisers who worked under six US presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama; and who hold professorships at the Harvard Kennedy School, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, University of Texas at Austin, George Washington University, and Princeton University.

Plutonium is a human-made element created as a byproduct in every nuclear reactor. It’s a “Jekyll and Hyde” kind of material: on the one hand, it is the stuff that nuclear weapons are made from. On the other hand, it can be used as a nuclear fuel. The crucial question is, can you have one without the other?

India exploded its first nuclear weapon in 1974 using plutonium extracted from a “peaceful” Canadian nuclear reactor given as a gift many years earlier. In the months afterwards, it was discovered that South Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Argentina—all of them customers of Canadian nuclear technology—were well on the way to replicating India’s achievement. Swift action by the US and its allies prevented these countries from acquiring the necessary plutonium extraction facilities (called “reprocessing plants”). To this day, South Korea is not allowed to extract plutonium from used nuclear fuel on its own territory—a long-lasting political legacy of the 1974 Indian explosion and its aftermath—due to proliferation concerns.

Several years after the Indian explosion, the US Carter administration ended federal support for civil reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel in the US out of concern that it would contribute to the proliferation of nuclear weapons by making plutonium more available. At that time, Canada’s policy on reprocessing also changed to accord with the US policy—although no similar high-level announcement was made by the Canadian government.

Moltex is proposing to use a type of plutonium extraction technology called “pyroprocessing,” in which the solid used reactor fuel is converted to a liquid form, dissolved in a very hot bath of molten salt. What happens next is described by Moltex chairman and chief scientist Ian Scott in a recent article in Energy Intelligence. “We then—in a very, very simple process—extract the plutonium selectively from that molten metal. It’s literally a pot. You put the metal in, put salt in the top, mix them up, and the plutonium moves into the salt, and the salt’s our fuel. That’s it. … You tip the crucible and out pours the fuel for our reactor.”

The federal government recently supported the Moltex project with a $50.5-million grant, announced on March 18 by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc in Saint John.

At the event, LeBlanc and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs described the Moltex project as “recycling” nuclear waste, although in fact barely one-half of one per cent of the used nuclear fuel is potentially available for use as new reactor fuel. That leaves a lot of radioactive waste left over.

From an international perspective, the government grant to Moltex can be seen as Canada sending a signal—giving a green light to plutonium extraction and the reprocessing of used nuclear fuel.

The US experts’ primary concern is that other countries could point to Canada’s support of the Moltex program to help justify its own plutonium acquisition programs. That could undo years of efforts to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of countries that might want to join the ranks of unofficial nuclear weapons states such as Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. The Moltex project is especially irksome since its proposed pyroprocessing technology is very similar to the one that South Korea has been trying to deploy for almost 10 years.

In their letter, the American experts point out that Japan is currently the only nonnuclear-armed state that reprocesses spent nuclear fuel, a fact that is provoking both domestic and international controversy.

In a follow-up exchange, signatory Frank von Hippel of Princeton University explained that the international controversy is threefold: (1) The United States sees both a nuclear weapons proliferation danger from Japan’s plutonium stockpile and also a nuclear terrorism threat from the possible theft of separated plutonium; (2) China and South Korea see Japan’s plutonium stocks as a basis for a rapid nuclear weaponization; and (3) South Korea’s nuclear-energy R&D community is demanding that the US grant them the same right to separate plutonium as Japan enjoys.

Despite the alarm raised by the nine authors in their letter to Trudeau, they have received no reply from the government. The only response has come from the Moltex CEO Rory O’Sullivan. His reply to a Globe and Mail reporter is similar to his earlier rebuttal in The Hill Times published in his letter to the editor on April 5: the plutonium extracted in the Moltex facility would be “completely unsuitable for use in weapons.”

But the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stated that “Nuclear weapons can be fabricated using plutonium containing virtually any combination of plutonium isotopes.” All plutonium is of equal “sensitivity” for purposes of IAEA safeguards in nonnuclear weapon states.

Similarly, a 2009 report by nonproliferation experts from six US national laboratories concluded that pyroprocessing is about as susceptible to misuse for nuclear weapons as the original reprocessing technology used by the military, called PUREX.

In 2011, a US State Department official responsible for US nuclear cooperation agreements with other countries went further by stating that pyroprocessing is just as dangerous from a proliferation point of view as any other kind of plutonium extraction technology, saying: “frankly and positively that pyro-processing is reprocessing. Period. Full stop.”

And, despite years of effort, the IAEA has not yet developed an approach to effectively safeguard pyroprocessing to prevent diversion of plutonium for illicit uses.

Given that history has shown the dangers of promoting the greater availability of plutonium, why is the federal government supporting pyroprocessing?

It is clear the nuclear lobby wants it. In the industry’s report, “Feasibility of Small Modular Reactor Development and Deployment in Canada,” released in March, the reprocessing (which they call “recycling”) of spent nuclear fuel is presented as a key element of the industry’s future plans.

Important national and international issues are at stake, and conscientious Canadians should sit up and take notice. Parliamentarians of all parties owe it to their constituents to demand more accountability. To date however, there has been no democratic open debate or public consultation over the path Canada is charting with nuclear energy.

Countless Canadians have urged Canada to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that came into force at the end of January this year. Ironically, the government has rebuffed these efforts, claiming that it does not want to “undermine” Canada’s long-standing effort to achieve a Fissile Materials Cut-off Treaty. Such a treaty would, if it ever saw the light of day (which seems increasingly unlikely), stop the production of weapons usable materials such as highly enriched uranium and (you guessed it) plutonium.

So, the Emperor not only has no clothes, but his right hand doesn’t know what his left hand is doing.

July 27, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, Canada, Reference, reprocessing, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China’s nuclear power firm could be blocked from UK projects

China’s nuclear power firm could be blocked from UK projects

Ministers looking at ways to exclude state-owned China General Nuclear from future UK involvement Guardian, 
Jillian Ambrose Energy correspondent 26 July 21 China’s state-owned nuclear energy company could be blocked from building a nuclear reactor due to rising security concerns over Chinese involvement in critical national infrastructure.

Ministers are reportedly looking for ways to move ahead with plans for EDF Energy to build the £20bn Sizewell C nuclear plant on the Suffolk coast without China General Nuclear (CGN), which owns a one-fifth stake in the project.

Whitehall sources have confirmed the report, first published in the Financial Times, which has emerged amid deepening concerns over China’s security risk after the Huawei scandal last year.

CGN holds a minority stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset, as well as the Sizewell C project, but it hopes to use the pair as a springboard to building a Chinese-designed reactor at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex.

It has submitted its reactor design for scrutiny by the UK’s nuclear authorities, but industry sources have warned that even if CGN wins approval for its reactor, a Chinese nuclear plant within 30 miles of London would be “politically unpalatable”……… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/26/chinas-nuclear-power-firm-could-be-blocked-from-uk-projects

July 27, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) preparing assessments for COP26

Against a backdrop of fires and floods, researchers are meeting virtually to finalise a key climate science study. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is preparing the most comprehensive assessment on the state of global heating since 2013.

Over the next two weeks, the scientists will go through their findings line by line with representatives of 195
governments. Experts say the report will be a “wake-up call” to governments. It is expected that the short, 40-page Summary for Policymakers will play an important role in guiding global leaders who will come to Glasgow in November to deal with critical climate questions.

 BBC 26th July 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-57944015

July 27, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Villagers in England very apprehensive about government plans for a nuclear waste dump.

Theddlethorpe nuclear waste proposal worries villagersm People living in a Lincolnshire village will be “shell-shocked” at proposals to dispose of nuclear waste at a nearby site, a resident has said. BBCRadioactive Waste Management (RWM), a government agency, confirmed last week it was in “early discussions” with the county council about the move

One of the potential UK sites for the waste is at a former gas terminal in Theddlethorpe, near Mablethorpe.

Villager Brian Swift said news of the proposal had emerged “out of nowhere”.

RWM’s proposal for a Geological Disposal Facility could mean nuclear waste from the UK being stored underneath up to 1,000m of solid rock at Theddlethorpe until its radioactivity has naturally decayed.

Steve Reece, head of siting at RWM, said while the firm was talking to the county council to see if it was interested in joining a local working group, “absolutely no decisions have been taken at this stage”……….  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-57973015

July 27, 2021 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Let’s not talk about nuclear ships

You need a degree in physics to understand the subject of nuclear-powered
ships. The technical issues that come with nuclear power at sea are not
easy for an amateur, such as a generalist manager, to understand, and
unless you can chat about why Hyman Rickover didn’t want liquid salt
cooled reactors in 1952, why the positive void coefficient in an RBMK is so
large, and how you can get nuclear weapons out of a thorium reactor despite
the modern myth to the contrary, you don’t begin to understand which
projects are feasible and which are selling snake oil.

 Splash247 26th July 2021

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action — RenewEconomy

As countries prepare to return to international negotiations on climate, Australia will find itself lumped in the club of fossil fuelled rogues. The post Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Xi Jinping, Bolsonaro, Putin and Morrison: The four leaders resisting global climate action — RenewEconomy

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 26 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Powering Rural Economic Development With Renewables” • Electric cooperatives loom large in conversations about the US energy system’s past, present, and future, despite the fact that they serve only 13% of US electricity load. Importantly, they may have difficulties replacing their aging coal fleets with less costly wind and solar projects. [CleanTechnica] Transmission […]

July 26 Energy News — geoharvey

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The need for integrity in epidemiological research: investigation of uranium miners’health to be carried out by pro nuclear bodies

They want to show that it doesn’t cause cancer. I think they want to find that result.”

for years, the CNSC has served both as a regulator and promoter of the nuclear industry

“It is concerning that health standards are set by physicists and industries, based on financial and technological convenience, rather than by those educated in and committed to public health and safety.”


Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to Investigate Lung Cancer Rates Among Uranium Workers,
Mother Jones

What’s happened to 80,000 people who have worked in Canada’s mines and processing facilities?CHARLES MANDEL, 25 July 21, The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is leading a national study examining incidences of lung cancer in uranium workers from across the country.

The Canadian Uranium Workers Study (CANUWS) will examine health data from 80,000 past and present employees at Canada’s uranium mines, mills and processing and fabrication facilities. The study, which is now underway and set to end in 2023, is the largest examination of lung cancer in Canadian uranium workers to date.

Rachel Lane, one of the lead researchers on the new study, told Canada’s National Observer she believes it will reassure workers they face less risk than before from lung cancer arising from exposure to radon, ……..

The $800-million mining and milling uranium industry employs over 2,000 people—of whom more than half are residents of northern Saskatchewan—at mine sites. The researchers plan to examine causes of death in uranium workers from 1950 on and chart their cancer data from 1970 onwards, using research from previous studies.

The new study will build on the results of two historical studies: the Eldorado study and the Ontario Uranium Mine Workers Study, both of which found elevated risks of lung cancer in uranium workers. During numerous follow-ups ending in 2015, both studies found lung cancer among miners was still more prevalent than in the general population………….

deaths from lung cancer associated with radiation were historically higher for uranium workers than the general male population……….

In 2015, a follow-up to the 2007 Ontario Uranium Miner Cohort study was done. It examined approximately 28,546 male and 413 female uranium miners who had worked at least one week in the Elliot Lake and Bancroft regions or at the Agnew Lake Mine between 1954 and 1996.

The conclusion: “Significant elevations in lung cancer mortality and incidence, as well as silicosis and injury mortality were observed in comparison with the general Canadian population.”……….

Anne Leis, the department head of Community Health and Epidemiology at the University of Saskatchewan, will administer the project and analyze the data. Her colleague, Punam Pahwa, a professor of biostatistics, will lead the statistical analysis of the health data……….

Uranium mining companies Cameco, Orano, and BWXT are co-funding the study, contributing $60,000. The CNSC is providing $125,000, while the Saskatchewan government is kicking in $60,000, and the University of Saskatchewan is contributing $90,000 of in-kind funding.………… 

Concerns Over Possible Bias

While former employees and industry watchers applaud efforts to study the health of uranium workers, some are skeptical about the ability of CNSC to produce an unbiased report.

Jamie Kneen, communications and outreach coordinator at Mining Watch Canada, says it’s important to understand the longer-term impacts of radon on the miners. But he cautions that the peer review and oversight of the study must be carefully examined because it is being led by CNSC.Kneen contends that for years, the CNSC has served both as a regulator and promoter of the nuclear industry. “Their tendency has been to extend license periods and to give operators, whether it’s in the uranium industry or the nuclear power industry, more space, more time in terms of licensing and more leeway rather than the kind of tight supervision and oversight that the public probably would expect.”

Therefore, it’s a question of scrutinizing who’s doing the work and reviewing the study to ensure that it really is independent, according to Kneen. He notes that’s a difficult task given that the methodology around radiation is intricate and that not many people can decipher the technical details.

“So there’s a lot of potential for not necessarily deliberate manipulation, but for error to creep in and biases to creep in.”

Rod Gardiner, a former general foreman at the now-defunct Cluff Lake Mine in Saskatchewan, expresses his own concerns about the industry. Gardiner was at the mine for 33 years, working his way up to general foreman and acting mine manager.

He alleges management at Cluff Lake, which was owned by the multinational mining corporation Orano Group, consistently boasted that working in the mine was as safe as working in a supermarket and putting prices on soup cans. “That’s what they used to say, the company.”

He hopes a new study might answer questions about workers’ health. But others aren’t sure whether results will be trustworthy, primarily because the CNSC is partially funding and leading the study.

The CNSC’s work has been subject to just those kinds of complaints in the past.

Writing in the journal Canadian Family Physician in 2013, Dale Dewar and two other authors expressed concern over the CNSC’s ability to act independently of government and industry. The authors noted the former Conservative federal government fired the commission’s CEO when she applied safety guidelines to shut down the Chalk River reactor in Ontario.

The authors observed: “It is concerning that health standards are set by physicists and industries, based on financial and technological convenience, rather than by those educated in and committed to public health and safety.”

Dewar, a longtime general physician in northern Saskatchewan, recently told Canada’s National Observer: “They want to show that it doesn’t cause cancer. I think they want to find that result.”

Dewar expressed surprise that the CNSC has opted for a focused study when northerners have been asking for decades for a baseline health study to determine such things as whether or not there have been increases in autoimmune diseases or cancers that couldn’t be explained by diet, for example.

“I think not only is it virtually a sin that they’ve never done this, but I think it’s a really huge missed opportunity because if they had a study done like this, they would have researchers around the world trying to get information out of it.”…………

Compensation for Uranium Workers

Another, less discussed issue is compensation for uranium miners. In the United States, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) administered by the Department of Justice has awarded over US$2.4 billion in benefits to more than 37,000 claimants since its introduction in 1990. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2021/07/canadian-nuclear-safety-commission-to-investigate-lung-cancer-rates-among-uranium-workers/

July 26, 2021 Posted by | Canada, employment, health, spinbuster | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry determined to influence climate talks before COP26

Nuclear industry under fire for trying to influence climate talks ahead of COP26. The National By Rob Edwards  25 July 21, HE nuclear industry has come under fire for trying to influence international talks in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

Six people from the European Nuclear Society registered to attend UN negotiations in May and June. Two were from the UK Government’s Magnox Ltd, which is decommissioning nuclear plants, and one was from the US nuclear firm, Westinghouse.

There were also 12 representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN body charged with both promoting and regulating nuclear power, plus one from the Canadian Nuclear Association.

The nuclear industry was accused by environmentalists of “jumping on the bandwagon” of climate change. “The latest wheeze is to tell us that nuclear is the answer,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland.

“With renewables and energy efficiency cheaper, quicker and safer than nuclear, they have already lost this argument and should have no place at COP26. The nuclear industry’s disastrous history of cost and time over-runs show very clearly that what they offer would be too little, too expensive and far too late.”

Pete Roche, policy adviser to the Scottish Nuclear Free Local Authorities, said: “When you look at nuclear power you find it is hopelessly expensive, far too slow to be of any use and hugely problematic – producing dangerous waste and with a potential risk of a serious accident.”……….. https://www.thenational.scot/news/19466992.nuclear-industry-fire-trying-influence-climate-talks-ahead-cop26/

July 26, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, politics international | Leave a comment