Decoding Trump’s White House Energy Plan , Climate Central, By Bobby Magill , 20 Jan 17 Just as President Donald Trump took the oath of office and the White House scrubbed its website of Obama climate change information, it posted Trump’s “America First Energy Plan,” which is replete with misinformation and specious claims about climate and energy policy.
The White House’s new energy plan repackages Trump’s campaign promises to reignite America’s declining coal industry, kill the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan and exploit all of America’s fossil fuel reserves to achieve energy independence — an idea that ignores that America’s oil and gas is part of a truly global fossil fuels market.
Throughout his campaign, Trump expressed contempt
for the Obama administration’s climate policies, which were critical to the success of the Paris Climate Agreement — the international pact aiming to stop global warming from reaching what the world’s scientists agree are dangerous levels.
Obama’s climate and energy policies encouraged the development of low-carbon renewable sources and discouraged the use of coal for electricity as a way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.
Trump and his transition team called those policies job killers. He falsely claimed that Obama’s policies alone have forced the coal industry into decline. Coal has been on a long, steady decline since 2008 when natural gas was made cheap and abundant because of fracking. Natural gas overtook coal as America’s largest source of electricity for the first time in history in 2016.
The White House’s “America First Energy Plan” reflects those claims and Trump’s disdain for climate science and renewable energy. Here is a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the plan:
Energy is an essential part of American life and a staple of the world economy. The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil.
Few people question that energy is essential, but Trump’s statement that his administration is committed to low-cost energy and maximizing the use of American resources is seen by many as code for unfettered exploitation of oil, coal and natural gas in the U.S. Trump has called renewables “an expensive way of making the tree-huggers feel good about themselves,” and says a cheaper way to energy independence is through oil, gas and coal.
Fossil fuels are abundant in the U.S. thanks to fracking, which brought about the shale oil and gas boom of the past decade. But oil drilled in the U.S. isn’t necessarily staying in the U.S. and contributing to energy independence. Congress lifted a 40-year ban on oil experts a year ago, and now U.S. oil is being shipped all over the world, even as the U.S. is importing oil from Canada and the Middle East.
At the same time, the costs of renewables has been falling dramatically in recent years, and America’s largest oil refiner and carbon emitter — Texas — has become the nation’s leader in wind power production.
Trump’s skepticism of renewables contrasts starkly with Obama, who said that wind and solar power are a critical a component of energy independence. For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule. Lifting these restrictions will greatly help American workers, increasing wages by more than $30 billion over the next 7 years.
“Burdensome regulations” has long been Republican messaging for what they consider odious Obama-era climate policies and regulations that encourage the use of renewables and natural gas instead of fossil fuels to address climate change, or restrict the development of oil and gas on federally owned public lands and waters.
For example, one of Obama’s last-minute actions was to close off most of the Arctic Ocean off of Alaska’s North Coast for oil and gas development as a way to protect the seashore from oil spills and prevent more and more of the carbon pollution driving climate change. That followed a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands and the closure of large swaths of the Atlantic coast to future oil drilling.
Each of those moves angered fossil fuel boosters in the Republican Party and were motivated in part by Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which involved a variety of measures to help slash America’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Trump’s claim that lifting those and other restrictions would increase workers’ wages by more $30 billion wildly mischaracterizes the potential for workers to benefit from killing U.S. climate policy. The figure seems to come from a 2015 report by Louisiana State University banking professor Joseph R. Mason, which was released by the Institute for Energy Research, an oil-industry funded organization run by Trump’s energy transition team chief,Tom Pyle.
The report claims that $32 billion in annual worker wages over seven years would be earned if all of America’s public lands were opened to oil, gas and coal development — even the lands protected by law from energy development, including wilderness areas and national parks.
That means Trump is saying that if Yellowstone, the White House lawn, Yosemite Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains and Mt. Rushmore were opened to fracking, workers would reap billions in benefits.
Sound energy policy begins with the recognition that we have vast untapped domestic energy reserves right here in America. The Trump Administration will embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs and prosperity to millions of Americans. We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands that the American people own. We will use the revenues from energy production to rebuild our roads, schools, bridges and public infrastructure. Less expensive energy will be a big boost to American agriculture, as well.
“Sound” energy policy is a play on “sound science” in an effort to lend it legitimacy.
It is true that the U.S. has vast untapped domestic energy sources — and that includes renewables. While fracking and the shale oil and gas boom led to discoveries of millions of barrels of oil that were once thought too expensive to reach, renewables are some of America’s largest untapped sources of energy.
For example, America’s offshore wind power potential is so huge that if fully developed, offshore wind farms could produce four times the electricity currently generated in the U.S. today, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. America’s first offshore wind farm was completed in December, with more expected to be built over the next five years.
Trump’s estimated $50 trillion in untapped oil and gas reserves is a huge mischaracterization of the fossil fuels that can be developed in the U.S., said Mark Squillace, a professor of natural resources law at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
“The problem with numbers like this is that they do not tell the whole story,” Squillace said. “The United States certainly has vast oil and gas and coal reserves and if you just add them up and multiply by their market value you get a big number. But most of those reserves cannot be economically developed any time in the foreseeable future.”
He said the figure originates from Kathy Hartnett White, a Trump advisor affiliated with the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, who told Fox Business in June that the U.S. is sitting on $50 trillion of oil and gas, “but the government is stopping us from getting it.”…….
President Trump will refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water………….Trump’s energy policy says nothing about climate change, which will be made drasticly worse if the U.S. develops as much oil, gas and coal as Trump suggests.
America’s air and water have been kept clean over the past 40 years because of environmental laws enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump previously said he wants to abolish. Trump has appointed one of the EPA’s most ardent foes to head the agency — Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has sued the EPA 14 times and is involved in a lawsuit aiming to kill one of Obama’s most sweeping climate policies.
During his confirmation hearing, Pruitt said he wants states to have more control over how they are regulated by the EPA, suggesting that the federal laws protecting America’s air and water would be applied unevenly from state to state. Some states are much more vigilant in enforcing environmental regulations and have more resources than others,
Trump has said nothing about how a weakened EPA would accomplish his goal of keeping America’s air and water clean.http://www.climatecentral.org/news/decoding-trumps-white-house-energy-plan-21097
UAE gets licence to transport, store nuclear fuel, Gulf News 22 Jan 17
Nuclear fuel to be shipped from South Korea to the UAE before being transported to the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant “….t
he Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) announced on Sunday that it approved the licensing for transporting and storing nuclear fuel at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
The two licences have been granted to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nawah Energy Company respectively, with the former getting the licence to transport the nuclear fuel, and the latter getting the licence to store the nuclear fuel at the Barakah site…..
Ian Grant, Deputy Director General for Operations at FANR, explained that the nuclear fuel would be shipped in transport casks from South Korea to the UAE, and then loaded onto trucks to transport the fuel to the nuclear reactor site.
“The fuel assemblies are loaded into transport casks and shipped from the Republic of Korea, [afterwards they are] trucked by road from the UAE port to the Barakah site. The transport casks are unloaded, checked and opened. [The] fuel assemblies are inspected individually and moved to the storage locations.”……http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/environment/uae-gets-licence-to-transport-store-nuclear-fuel-1.1966008
Safety fears over EDF bid to permit doubling of nuclear reactor cracks The Herald, 22 Jan 17 THE nuclear industry is secretly bidding to relax safety standards to allow the doubling of the number of cracks in the radioactive cores of Scotland’s ageing reactors
EDF Energy is asking for the safety rules to be rewritten so that it can keep running its nuclear power stations at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian until they are at least 47 and 42 years old. They were originally designed to last 30 years.
Prolonged radiation bombardment causes the thousands of graphite bricks that make up reactor cores to crack, threatening a safe shutdown. But EDF is asking the UK government’s watchdog, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), to permit an increase in the proportion of cracked bricks from 10 to 20 per cent.
The revelation has sparked alarm from politicians and campaigners, who say that the industry is “gambling with public safety” and the public must be consulted. One leading expert argues that Hunterston should be immediately shut down
Hunterston started generating electricity in 1976. EDF currently plans to keep it operating until 2023, and the ONR is due to conclude a safety review of its future operation at the end of January
On January 13 EDF closed down one of Hunterston’s two reactors for planned maintenance, including inspections of cracking in the graphite core. The reactor is due to be restarted on February 10.
Torness was started up in 1988 and is currently planned to operate until 2030. The company, however, has said that it is hoping that the lives of both nuclear stations can be extended by a few more years.
EDF’s bid to relax safety standards at Hunterston and Torness is highlighted in a new report today for the Scottish Greens. It concludes that the risks from graphite cracking are serious and argues that an international convention demands that environmental risks must be assessed, alternative energy sources considered and the public consulted.
According to the report’s author, Edinburgh-based anti-nuclear campaigner and consultant, Peter Roche, Scotland doesn’t need nuclear electricity. “Despite the fact cracks are beginning in the graphite core of these reactors, increasing the risk for us all, the public has still not been asked for its opinion once,” he said……..
John Large, a consulting nuclear engineer, pointed out that the integrity of the graphite bricks was vital to nuclear safety. If they failed, they could block channels that enable control rods to be inserted to close down reactors and prevent them from overheating.
“Ageing problems like this serious cracking of the graphite bricks at the heart of each reactor are deeply worrying, so much so that these nuclear plants should now be permanently shut down,” he said.
Large accused EDF and the ONR of “false confidence” in believing they fully understood graphite cracking, which was difficult to predict. “The Hunterston B nuclear reactors now in their forty-first year of operation, should be immediately shut down,” he stated….
The company also argued that environmental impact assessments – and, by implication – public consultations were not required for life extensions at Hunterston and Torness..
ONR’s deputy chief inspector Mark Foy confirmed that EDF had asked for the proportion of graphite bricks allowed to be cracked to rise from 10 to 20 per cent. “That is provided to us in the form of a comprehensive justification, which we will assess to see whether we’re satisfied it’s safe to operate,” he said…….. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15039668.Safety_fears_over_EDF_bid_to_permit_doubling_of_nuclear_reactor_cracks/
Time to pull the plug on Pilgrim Brookline Wicked Local Jan 21, 2017
It is time to close Pilgrim nuke plant – now, not 2019. The plant’s abysmal safety record and the decision of the plant’s owner, Entergy Corp., to abandon the nuclear power business combine to raise overwhelming doubt about the wisdom of keeping the nuclear power plant operating one day longer than is absolutely necessary. Entergy’s plan to refuel the Pilgrim plant this year makes no sense in this environment. Our position on the nuke plant in Plymouth does not mean we are turning our backs on nuclear power. While we wish for the day when safe, renewable energy sources will light our homes and power our factories, we may well find that nuclear plays some role in our future energy mix. It is time, however, to turn off the reactor at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station and begin what is likely to be a contentious, lengthy and expensive – most likely more than $1 billion – decommissioning of the plant…….
Last year was not a good year at Pilgrim. Tagged by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission as one of the three most troublesome plants in the country, it experienced a series of failures in 2016 that further eroded confidence in safety at the plant. During a routine inspection on Dec. 1, NRC employees said they found nine violations – three reported by the company and six discovered during the inspection. Specifically, the NRC said Entergy did not “maintain equipment availability, challenge unusual conditions, use prudent decision-making.”
The real hit came from another NRC inspection conducted by a team of 20 inspectors over a period of three weeks in December. After the first week, one of the leaders on that team wrote an email that was accidently sent to a leader of Cape Downwinders, a citizens group that wants the Pilgrim plant closed.
That email said the plant staff appeared “overwhelmed by just trying to run the station” and that there was a “safety culture problem” at Pilgrim. Jackson’s preliminary findings included failure by the staff to properly fix broken equipment, a lack of required expertise among plant specialist, failure of some staff to understand their roles and responsibilities and a team of employees who appear to be struggling with keeping the plant running.
At the request of Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, the state’s congressionaL delegation and a score of state legislators and local officials, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it would hold a meeting in Plymouth to hear the concerns about Pilgrim. No date has been set for the meeting.
Entergy announced last April that is would refuel the Pilgrim reactor this spring. The common industry practice is to replace one-third of a reactor’s nuclear fuel every two years, and that usually costs roughly $40 million. There may be a more compelling way for Entergy to spend $40 million.
Decommissioning Pilgrim could take as long as 70 years. A special fund to pay for that decommissioning is robust because Boston Edison put money into it. Entergy has not done that, saying there was enough money in the fund to satisfy regulatory requirements. But Entergy is going to have to pay some portion of the cost of making the plant and its environs safe for other uses. Shut the plant down now and save that $40 million.
While we understand that Entergy may have obligations to supply electricity to the regional power grid through May 2019, but there are solutions to that, even if the company has to spend money on it. It is time for the company and public officials, particularly the NRC, to shut Pilgrim down. http://brookline.wickedlocal.com/opinion/20170121/our-opinion-time-to-pull-plug-on-pilgrim
Analysis – As nuclear loss grows, Toshiba needs chip investors, soon Reuters 22 JAN 17 TOKYO With mounting writedowns from its nuclear business, Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is looking to sell part of its core semiconductors business, a world No.2 in the flash memory chips used in smartphones.
But its rush to plug a hole in its U.S. nuclear business that Japanese media now estimate at as much as $6 billion may complicate any asset sale.
Toshiba, which warned last month of multi-billion dollar charges for U.S. nuclear project cost overruns, wants to boost its capital base by the end of the financial year in March.
Failure to offset the nuclear hit could wipe out already thin shareholder equity and push the company into negative net worth – jeopardising its role in public infrastructure projects and its place on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s ‘first section’, for larger companies.
Following a 2015 accounting scandal, the conglomerate is barred from raising fresh funding on equity markets. Selling assets, though, could help it win broader financial support from its main banks.
Toshiba could sell 20-30 percent of its chip business, according to media reports.
The business, worth more than $10 billion, is the world’s second largest after Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) in flash memory chips – and it’s Toshiba’s most profitable.
Operating profit is forecast at 130 billion yen (913.35 million pounds) for the year to end-March, accounting for the bulk of overall group profit, forecast at 180 billion yen. Those forecasts were made before its December warning of the U.S. nuclear charges.
People with knowledge of the matter said Toshiba has begun preparations to sell a minority stake in its chip business. One person said non-disclosure agreement forms have been sent to some private equity funds……..
As Toshiba has ruled out ceding control of the chips business, it may also seek state help, as other troubled Japanese technology companies have done in previous restructurings, the sources said.
Another person familiar with the matter said the state-run Development Bank of Japan is among several funds Toshiba may approach for possible investment in its chip business, though the bank could be put off by the size of investment needed.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Kentaro Hamada; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Ian Geoghegan) http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-toshiba-accounting-semiconductors-ana-idUKKBN156009
Russia, Kuwait Discuss Possible Construction of Nuclear Power Plant MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and Kuwait discussed possible construction of a nuclear power plant (NPP) as well as cooperation in the spheres of petroleum services and gas, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 broadcaster on Sunday…….https://sputniknews.com/business/201701221049880931-russia-kuwait-nuclear-power-plant/
Mining Awareness +
This Private Nuclear Waste “Interim” Storage Facility, i.e. Parking lot for high level nuclear waste, comment deadline is even more important since Doug Kimmelman, owner of private nuclear waste company EnergySolutions, was a Trump fundraiser and a large Trump donor ($285,000 to $335,000). EnergySolutions is trying to take-over its main competitor WCS, in clear violation of US Anti-Trust law and is being sued by the US government.
Private Nuclear Waste “Interim” Storage Facility Comment by Friday, 27 Jan. 2017, 11.59 PM Eastern Time(NY-Boston-DC-Atlanta, Miami, etc.) This is one minute till midnight; one minute till Saturday. Comment here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOE_FRDOC_0001-3256 Due Jan 27 2017, at 11:59 PM ET. ID: DOE_FRDOC_0001-3256. It is quick, painless, and can still be anonymous. It is important simply to have it in the record that there was opposition. If the current administration deletes the record, God will presumably still have it. You should also share…
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¶ “3 Ways Donald Trump’s Climate Approach Is A US Economic Disaster” • To be fair, we really don’t know what Donald Trump’s precise climate approach will be, but if he slows and obstructs climate action, allowing increased pollution and CO2 emissions from the out-of-date oil, coal, and gas industries, the economy will be hit, hard. [CleanTechnica]
Please click on the image to enlarge it.
¶ “Will Offshore Wind Continue To Grow Under Trump?” • Interest in off-shore wind power has been growing in the US. Prospects for an expansion of wind power in the United States may already be hitting a wall, however, as political resistance to new wind farms on the East Coast threatens to derail the growth of renewable energy. [Yahoo Finance]
Science and Technology:
¶ According to Phys.org, a new study published this week in the journal Science suggests that today’s…
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3 Ways Donald Trump’s Climate Approach Is A US Economic Disaster
January 21st, 2017 by Zachary Shahan
To be fair, we don’t yet know what Donald Trump’s precise climate approach will be, but it seems all but guaranteed that he will slow and obstruct climate action and will do a “great deal” to increase pollution and CO2 emissions from the out-of-date oil, coal, and gas industries.
This is idiotic not just because it puts all of human society at great risk, but also because it’s one of the worst economic moves a politician can make. I’ll run down three reasons why in the bulk of this article, but let’s first highlight some positive climate policy news from other economic and energy giants — India isn’t going to pull back its climate efforts no matter what Trump does (CleanTechnica exclusive) and China is already announcing that it’s willing to take the…
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NIIGATA — A female junior high school student who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture to northern Niigata Prefecture in the wake of the 2011 nuclear meltdown has stopped attending classes since mid-December last year due to bullying at school, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.
According to the Niigata Prefectural Board of Education and other sources, the bullying started at around the end of the first term in the 2016 school year. Several students at the school called her by her name attaching the word “germs” and made her play tag while treating her like a germ.
The student talked to her parents about the matter in mid-December and after being informed from the parents, the school learned about the bullying. The school then imposed guidance on the students who were involved in the case. The bullies and their parents apologized to the parents of the student. The student was also bullied at the elementary school she attended after evacuating from Fukushima Prefecture.
While some of the bullies knew that the student was an evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture, they are reportedly saying that the fact they attached the word “germs” to the student’s name and her being an evacuee are not related.
Large crane collapses at Takahama nuclear plant
A large crane has toppled onto a building storing nuclear fuel at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. Part of the building’s roof was damaged. There were no reported injuries.
Workers at the plant found on Friday night that the crane had half-collapsed onto the building next to the containment vessel of the No.2 reactor.
The crane is about 110 meters long. It buckled where it hit the edge of the roof and is lying across another building.
Officials at Kansai Electric Power Company say no one was injured. They confirmed damage to a facility collecting rainwater on the roof, but say they have detected no change to radiation levels in the surrounding area.
The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority says its inspectors have confirmed the falling crane caused wall panels inside the building to move. Workers are checking the building’s functions to prevent radioactive materials from leaking.
Kansai Electric officials say they believe strong winds likely toppled the crane. They are investigating whether there was any problem in its installation.
Weather officials had warned of strong winds in the prefecture at the time.
The Takahama plant’s operational chief, Masakazu Takashima, has apologized for the accident.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority in June last year approved the operation of the plant’s No.1 and No.2 reactors beyond the basic limit of 40 years.
The crane was reportedly being used for construction work on the containment vessel as part of safety measures for the operation extension.
A crane is seen collapsed over a reactor auxiliary building and another structure at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture, on Jan. 21, 2017. The No. 2 reactor is seen at top.
Crane falls on Takahama nuke plant buildings amid storm warning
TAKAHAMA, Fukui — A large crane fell on a reactor auxiliary building and a fuel handling building at the No. 2 reactor of the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture on the night of Jan. 20, damaging part of their roofs, Kansai Electric Power Co. said.
There were no injuries in the incident, nor were there any leakages of radiation to the outside environment, the power company said. A storm warning had been issued in the prefecture, with strong winds at a speed of about 15 meters per second (54 kilometers per hour) observed near the plant at the time of the incident, which occurred at around 9:50 p.m.
The 112.75-meter mobile crane, as well as three other similar cranes, was installed for work to refurbish plant facilities in accordance with the new safety standards introduced in the wake of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The collapsed crane was intended for work to install a new dome above the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel. After the incident, the framework of the collapsed crane was seen bent along the buildings on which it fell, and the metal rails on the edges of the roofs of the two affected buildings were damaged.
According to Kansai Electric Power Co., a worker at the plant’s central control room heard a loud sound and checked to find one of the four cranes collapsed. When a Kansai Electric employee visually checked the inside of the fuel handling building, where 259 nuclear fuel rods are stored in a pool, there were no objects that had fallen upon them. The utility said there were no effects from the accident on the fuel pool or the fuel rods.
“We are sorry for causing concern,” said Masakazu Takashima, a senior official at the Takahama plant at a press conference, suggesting that work involving large cranes would be suspended at the plant for the time being. With regards to the strong winds in the area at the time, he said, “We thought it would be all right after calculating the effects from the wind. However, we hadn’t taken wind direction into consideration.” Takashima said the cause of the incident had yet to be identified.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in June last year granted permission to extend the operation of the plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors, making them the country’s first reactors to be allowed to operate beyond 40 years.
According to the NRA, the management methods for protecting nuclear plant facilities are provided for by each plant’s safety code. Nuclear safety inspectors stationed at each plant monitor to see if work is in progress as specified by the safety code and conduct safety inspections four times a year. While no work was underway at the time of the crane collapse as it was during the night time, the NRA will investigate if work and equipment were properly managed in accordance with the rules as a storm warning had been issued in the prefecture at the time.
“We will check if the series of work involving the cranes had been properly managed to the effect that it wouldn’t affect nuclear reactor facilities,” said an NRA official.
Workers on Saturday examine a crane that collapsed onto a building that houses spent nuclear fuel at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture
Crane falls on building with spent nuclear fuel at Takahama plant
FUKUI – A crane collapsed Friday night at the Takahama nuclear power station in Fukui Prefecture, damaging a building housing spent fuel, the plant operator said Saturday.
No one was injured in the accident at around 9:50 p.m. near the No. 2 reactor building and nothing fell into the spent fuel pool, according to the operator, Kansai Electric Power Co.
The crane also damaged the roof of an adjacent building.
A wind warning was in effect in the area, and strong winds were blowing at the time, according to the utility.
The 112-meter crane had been used to prepare for safety-enhancement work in which a concrete dome will be placed over the No. 2 reactor building. Work was not being undertaken at the time of accident.
An official apologized for the accident at a news conference at the plant, saying the utility would re-examine the risk of crane accidents amid strong winds and investigate the cause of the incident.
There are 59 fuel assemblies in the pool, including spent ones, according to Kansai Electric.
The No. 2 reactor is one of two aging reactors at the plant, in operation for over 40 years. Safety-enhancement work for the facility is expected for completion in 2020.
In June last year, nuclear regulators approved the utility’s plan to extend the operation of the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period. It was the first such approval given under new safety regulation introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
The plant has two newer reactors. All four reactors are currently offline.
19 Jan 17 As I write, there’s a sort of an anxious lull in climate and nuclear news. Indeed, in other news, too. The media world seems to be waiting for the next event, on January 20, concerning a certain narcissistic American. I’ve decided to leave him out of this week’s newsletter.
The exception in all this is Fukushima. Not that you find anything about this in the mainstream media. However, the news is getting out in alternative, and some Japanese media: workers’ cancers: Thyroid Cancer Patient Group : Designation of radioactive waste lifted: Fukushima ‘voluntary’ evacuees: Fukushima foodstuffs.
As climate deniers move into White House – Guardian news focus on climate change.
JAPAN. Crash in Toshiba shares as nuclear financial crisis deepens. Shimane nuclear power plant found to have dangerous corroded holes in air ducts inside the No. 2 reactor. 7 Times More Leukemia in 2015 than 2014, 80% in Eastern Japan.
CHINA. Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited – Chinese President Xi Jinping.
BELGIUM. Netherlands, Luxemburg and Germany want Belgium’s dangerous nuclear reactors to be closed.
PAKISTAN. Pakistan vows nuclear retaliation if India attacks.
U K. Political row over proposed west Cumbria nuclear plant. Greens Party running anti nuclear platform in UK by-election. Prince Charles writes a book on climate change (That’s torn it: they won’t let HIM be king)
NORTH KOREA. North Korea may be preparing for a new missile test-launch.
UKRAINE. Russia stops agreement with Ukraine on nuclear power plant construction
SAUDI ARABIA. Saudi Arabia’s $US50bn clean energy plan focusses on solar and wind
http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/greenpeace-response-trump-scrubbing-climate-change-white-house-website/ 20 Jan 17 In response to news that the Trump administration has removed all mentions of climate change from the official White House website, Greenpeace spokesperson Travis Nichols said:
“We know Donald Trump and his proposed cabinet of millionaires are climate deniers. We’ve known that for years. It is no surprise that on day one they would proceed with their business plan of officially denying science for profit. It doesn’t change the science or the fact that the world wants a clean energy future. If there’s money to be made, Donald Trump will likely continue to officially deny climate change until the boiling seas swallow Mar-A-Lago whole.
That’s why we have to resist. More people believe in climate action than voted for Donald Trump, and we will continue to resist as long as the official White House policy is climate denial.”
It also appeared to remove any reference to combating climate change, a topic that had been featured prominently on the White House site under President Barack Obama. The page that once detailed the potential consequences of climate change and the Obama administration’s efforts to address it vanished on Friday just as President Trump was sworn in. It now redirected to a broken link: “The requested page ‘/energy/climate-change’ could not be found.”
In its place, listed among the top issues of the Trump administration, was a page entitled, “An America First Energy Plan.”
The incoming administration vows to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies” such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule. The first represents a variety of efforts Obama pursued to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, while the second is a rule issued by the EPA to protect not only the largest waterways but smaller tributaries that others believe should fall under the jurisdiction of states rather than the federal government.
The new White House site says that Trump would “refocus the EPA on its essential mission of protecting our air and water.”
It also says the incoming president will pursue “clean coal technology,” a reference to efforts to remove carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning plants and bury those emissions in the ground to use them to enhance oil recovery. The Obama Energy Department has already been funding a variety of projects in this area. Though, without nearby enhanced oil recovery projects, the technology is not economic. Trump’s White House site says the new administration would aim at “reviving America’s coal industry.”
Rick Perry asked about nuclear energy policy as energy secretary
Going nuclear: Perry poised to lead renewable energy push
BY MARK PERRY, 01/20/17 “……..This is where the new administration can make a difference. With Perry guiding the DOE, the agency can stimulate development of a new generation of small modular reactors and advanced nuclear plants.
Just last week, NuScale, an Oregon-based nuclear company, applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for safety certification of a small modular reactor (SMR) that it intends to develop for use in the United States and abroad.
This is the first request for certification of a new reactor design in many years and it could mark the start of the next step for advanced nuclear power…….
Perry is a strong supporter of nuclear power. He can play an invaluable role in pushing for action at the state and regional levels to keep existing nuclear plants online…… it takes new leadership and a renewed appreciation for the importance of nuclear power. Hopefully, Perry will soon provide that leadership as the head of the DOE”.