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Nuclear power? It’s of zero use to Australia’s emissions plan


I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power is too costly, too slow, so it’s zero use to Australia’s emissions plan, EXCELLENT GRAPHS Guardian, Greg Jericho  18 Oct 21, With a 20-year development timeline, nuclear plants won’t be built soon enough to stop temperatures rising above 2C. So why are we wasting precious time debating them?

The catch-22 of nuclear power in Australia is that you would only consider it if you wanted to reduce emissions because of climate change, but if you agree climate change is real and we need to reduce emissions, you would not consider nuclear power.

Currently Australia burns a lot of coal – more than other comparable economies with nuclear power.

Even worse, Victoria relies greatly on the dirtiest and least-efficient brown coal.

But if you think climate change is a load of bunk then, as current head of charging with ChargeFox, Evan Beaver, puts it in his excellent blog post on the issue, “we might as well burn all the coal we have. And we have a lot.”

But if you do agree climate change is real then what we need to do is reduce emissions as fast as possible. As I noted last month, at a certain point there will be so much CO2 in the atmosphere that we won’t be able to limit temperatures rising above either 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels, no matter when we get to net zero afterwards.

Projected cumulative emissions between 2021 and 2050

6,161Gt is the carbon budget to stay below 2C; 3,521Gt is the carbon budget for 1.5C

We must cut emissions fast – at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, and probably by about 75% if we want to limit temperature rises to less than 1.5C.

Nuclear power is of zero use on that score.

We know this because nuclear power has already been examined a lot.

One excellent study was in 2006 under the Howard government, by Ziggy Switkowski. It noted that “the earliest that nuclear electricity could be delivered to the grid would be 10 years, with 15 years more probable”.

Alright then. Firstly, not even the National party is insane enough to make nuclear power an election promise.

So let’s assume if the Coalition wins next year’s election, but announces a move to legalise nuclear power, that even with the best intentions, given the task of getting the votes, it’d be lucky for that to happen until the end of 2022.

Now all that has to happen is choose the type of reactor, and oh, pick a spot (have fun).

Ignore the coming election in 2025 and assume everything gets in place by 2024 (not a hope, but hey, let’s play pretend). That means at best we’re looking at 2035 but more likely 2040 before the first nuclear plant comes on line.

That is already too late to help prevent temperatures reaching 2C, and by then an overwhelming amount of our electricity will already be generated by renewables.

That means the need for such a plant is gone. Markets know this, which is why no one will ever invest in such a plant here.

The CSIRO’s latest “GenCost” report suggests the capital costs of small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants by 2030 and even out to 2050 will be greater than renewables, including solar thermal plants.

But perhaps rather surprising is that nuclear becomes even less viable when the CSIRO projects the world getting to net zero by 2050.

The reason is that, under such a scenario, the push for renewables accelerates so greatly that the development of nuclear power effectively stalls, meaning Australia would have to be a leading investor in new plants – thus paying the first mover costs.

As the CSIRO notes, “a major source of discomfort” for nuclear stakeholders is that the high cost estimate of nuclear power “is of theoretical value only” because “a nuclear SMR plant is not planned to be built in Australia anytime soon”………………….


I have no problems with nuclear power. But the only way it would be viable is with an extremely high carbon price. I say bring that on!

Except a high carbon price makes renewables an even better investment, and thus nuclear less needed.

And even a high carbon price won’t get enough nuclear plants built soon enough to prevent temperatures rising above 2C.

Nuclear power: too costly, and too slow. https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2021/oct/19/nuclear-power-too-costly-too-slow-so-its-zero-use-to-australias-emissions-plan

October 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says

China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says

China tested a space vehicle for possible reuse, not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as reported by the Financial Times, ministry saysAnalysts blame speculation over the ‘China threat’ on a lack of transparency, while playing down chances Beijing will launch nuclear weapons into space
SCMP

Minnie Chan  18 Oct 21 China has denied reports that it recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, saying it was only carrying out routine test flights in a bid to recycle spacecraft to reduce exploration costs.

“This was a routine test of a space vehicle to verify the technology of their reusability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing in Beijing on Monday.

The launched object “was not a missile” with a military purpose, but “a space vehicle” for civilian aims, he emphasised….. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3152791/china-did-not-test-hypersonic-nuclear-missile-foreign-ministry

October 19, 2021 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The U.S. doesn’t need more nuclear weapons to counter China’s new missile silos

The U.S. doesn’t need more nuclear weapons to counter China’s new missile silos

Our current nuclear arsenal is more than enough for whatever Beijing is building.  WP, 18 Oct 21
, By Edward GeistEdward Geist is a policy researcher at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

The discovery of what appear to be hundreds of new missile silos under construction in China has inspired arguments that imply the United States needs more nuclear weapons. Matthew Kroenig, a Defense Department adviser during the Trump administration, suggested in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that “the Pentagon should study whether it can meet its deterrence requirements with existing stockpile numbers” in case “an increase … is necessary.”……….

But there’s little reason for the United States to worry much about whatever the Chinese military is building in these silos — and plenty of alternatives to building more nuclear weapons for dealing with it. The current U.S. nuclear arsenal was designed to guarantee deterrence even in the case of surprises such as this one. The nuclear weapons the United States already has should be adequate to counter the threat posed by new Chinese missiles even under very pessimistic assumptions. And if U.S. officials eventually decide they have to target the Chinese silos, nonnuclear weapons and sensors would provide a more credible deterrent than building additional nuclear weapons would……………………………………………….

deploying more nuclear weapons might not be necessary. If a “shell game” is China’s aim, the United States could use remote sensing or other intelligence means to ascertain where the actual missiles are located. This could enable planners to avoid targeting empty silos and minimize the needed weapons.A real game-changer, however, would be a conventional weapon that could kill a silo without using a nuclear warhead. Such weapons were researched extensively during the late Cold War. They weren’t achieved with 20th-century technology, but progress in fields such as machine vision, terminal guidance and geospatial mapping may make them feasible in the not-distant future.A nonnuclear option would give a U.S. president a much easier choice for countering the silos. Such weapons would not violate the nuclear taboo or risk the hard-to-predict collateral damage of nuclear detonations……….   https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/10/18/china-silos-missiles-nuclear

October 19, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

From Nuclear Regulatory Commission to nuclear energy company – another example of the revolving door


Former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Kristine L. Svinicki to Join Southern Company Board of Directors, Yahoo Finance , October 18, 2021,

ATLANTA, PRNewswire/ — The Board of Directors of Southern Company today announced the election of Kristine L. Svinicki as an independent director, effective Oct. 17, 2021.

As the longest serving member in the history of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Kristine brings to Southern Company a wealth of experience advising energy policy at the federal and state levels,” said Southern Company chairman, president and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Kristine’s knowledge of and expertise in nuclear technologies will be invaluable as we pursue the full range of energy resources………..https://finance.yahoo.com/news/former-u-nuclear-regulatory-commission-124500695.html

October 19, 2021 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s Carbon Goal Is Based on Restarting 30 Nuclear Reactors   


Japan’s Carbon Goal Is Based on Restarting 30 Nuclear Reactors    
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-17/amari-says-japan-s-carbon-goal-based-on-restarting-30-reactors
By Isabel Reynolds, 17 October 2021  Japan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 is based on the assumption it will restart 30 of its nuclear reactors, a top ruling party executive said. 

Akira Amari, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, made the remarks Sunday in a televised debate broadcast by NHK ahead of the Oct. 31 general election. 

Much of Japan’s nuclear capacity has been offline since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and Amari said only nine reactors are currently in service. Surveys generally show the electorate is against restarting the plants. 

The LDP has also been promoting the idea of building small modular reactors, saying they are safer than Japan’s existing atomic plants. Amari said Japan was in a particularly difficult situation in meeting carbon targets, because it has no power links with other countries and doesn’t have reliable prevailing winds. 

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirms release of Fukushima wastewater to start in 2023


Release of Fukushima wastewater to proceed: Kishida, The Guardian, TOKYO, 18 Oct 21,

New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that there can be no delay to plans to release contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into the sea, despite opposition from fishers and neighboring countries.

Kishida, who made his first trip to the plant on Sunday since becoming prime minister last month, said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific Ocean was safe……

Researchers have used snakes fitted with tracking devices and dosimeters to measure radiation levels in the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered triple meltdowns in March 2011……

More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

The government and TEPCO in April said that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities, which say it would undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s northeast coast was rocked by a magnitude 9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.   More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

The government and TEPCO in April said that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities, which say it would undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s northeast coast was rocked by a magnitude 9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

Japan has requested help from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that the discharge meets global safety standards, including treating the wastewater so its radioactivity levels are below legal limits.   https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/10/19/2003766372

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Why the U.S. let Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan off the hook 

Former Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed in 2005 that Dutch authorities wanted to arrest Khan in 1975 and again in 1986 but that on each occasion the Central Intelligence Agency advised against taking such action. According to Lubbers, the CIA conveyed the message: “Give us all the information, but don’t arrest him.”

After Khan was tried in absentia and sentenced to four years in prison in 1983 for stealing uranium enrichment secrets from the Netherlands, files held by an Amsterdam court were mysteriously lost, with the main judge suspecting the CIA’s hand in their disappearance.

When an appeals court overturned Khan’s conviction on a technicality, the Netherlands — a key U.S. ally during the Cold War — declined to seek a retrial, effectively letting Khan off the hook. As the Financial Times put it, the Dutch “abandoned prosecution of the most consequential crime committed on their territory since the second world war.

Why the U.S. let Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan off the hook  https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Why-the-U.S.-let-Pakistan-nuclear-scientist-A.Q.-Khan-off-the-hook

Decision could still come back to haunt Washington

Brahma Chellaney, October 18, 2021  Brahma Chellaney Is A Geostrategist And Author Of Nine Books, Including “Asian Juggernaut: The Rise Of China, India And Japan.”

The incredible story of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Netherlands-trained Pakistani metallurgist who — with impunity — ran an illicit global nuclear-smuggling network for a quarter-century would make for a captivating thriller.

A key plotline would surely be the mystery of why Khan, who died on Oct. 10 from complications caused by COVID-19, was never indicted by the U.S. for stealing nuclear secrets from the West. Khan played a pivotal role in  helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapons and then selling crucial know-how to three U.S.-labeled “rogue states” — Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Former Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed in 2005 that Dutch authorities wanted to arrest Khan in 1975 and again in 1986 but that on each occasion the Central Intelligence Agency advised against taking such action. According to Lubbers, the CIA conveyed the message: “Give us all the information, but don’t arrest him.”

After Khan was tried in absentia and sentenced to four years in prison in 1983 for stealing uranium enrichment secrets from the Netherlands, files held by an Amsterdam court were mysteriously lost, with the main judge suspecting the CIA’s hand in their disappearance.

When an appeals court overturned Khan’s conviction on a technicality, the Netherlands — a key U.S. ally during the Cold War — declined to seek a retrial, effectively letting Khan off the hook. As the Financial Times put it, the Dutch “abandoned prosecution of the most consequential crime committed on their territory since the second world war.”

Geopolitics partly explains why the CIA wanted to protect Khan.

While the U.S. and India are close partners today, at the time Dutch authorities were seeking to arrest Khan, the U.S. was not averse to the idea of Pakistan developing a nuclear-weapons capability to balance India, which had conducted its first nuclear test in 1974. For years, the U.S. simply turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s covert nuclear-weapons development.

American concerns, however, were stirred when Khan began selling nuclear items to other renegade states. U.S. pressure compelled Pakistan to open investigations into Khan’s activities in 2003 after Iran and Libya admitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Pakistan-linked black marketeers supplied them with the components they needed to advance their nuclear research.

In 2004, Khan appeared on national television asking for forgiveness, saying he had acted entirely on his own in passing on nuclear secrets to other countries. “I take full responsibility for my actions,” Khan said, “and seek your pardon.”

After this orchestrated confession, Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf, citing Khan’s status as a national hero, pardoned him. Musharraf also barred U.S. or IAEA investigators from questioning Khan. Oddly, Washington went along with this charade, which extended to Khan’s ostensible house detention.

Investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, in their acclaimed 2007 book Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons, concluded that Khan was the fall guy. “The covert trade in doomsday technology was not the work of one man, but the foreign policy of a nation and supervised by Pakistan’s ruling military clique,” Levy and Scott-Clark wrote, adding that Pakistan’s generals have long maintained a nexus with terrorist groups.

The military’s collusion with Khan was underscored by the use of an army plane in 2000 to transport centrifuges to Pyongyang. In return, Pakistan received North Korean ballistic missile technology, helping it to build its first intermediate-range, nuclear-capable missile, Ghauri.

While most technology transfers appeared to be state-sanctioned, Khan likely sold some nuclear items for personal profit.

Still, despite exaggerated Western media reports then, no evidence has surfaced to indicate that the Pakistani transfers significantly contributed to advancing the Iranian, North Korean and Libyan nuclear programs. North Korea, the only recipient to cross the nuclear threshold, has long relied on plutonium, which the Khan network did not traffic.

Pakistan’s own nuclear weaponization benefited decisively from clandestine transfers from China, another archrival of India. Such transfers began in 1982, when, as Khan admitted, China supplied the blueprint for one of the nuclear bombs it had tested, as well as enough weapons-grade uranium for two atomic weapons.

Yet the U.S., just as it has not penalized China for its continuing nuclear and missile transfers to Pakistan, chose not to indict the rogue Pakistani scientist that spearheaded an international smuggling enterprise. Washington, however, has indicted a number of other individuals — including as recently as last year — for conspiring to smuggle nuclear goods to Pakistan.

America’s shielding of Khan, a nuclear jihadist committed to payback for real and imagined injustices against Muslims, was doubly ironic because it set the stage for Pakistan’s emergence as an epicenter for terrorism, with its own nuclear weapons acting as enough of a deterrent to retaliation by another state.

Indeed, through its humiliating Afghanistan defeat at the hands of the Taliban, America has tasted the bitter fruits of the Pakistani generals’ cross-border use of jihadist proxies from behind their protective nuclear shield.

The U.S. maintains contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons if they risk falling into terrorist hands. But if a 9/11 style terrorist attack with a crude nuclear device were to occur anywhere in the world, the trail of devastation would likely lead back to Pakistan.

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Pakistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Clyde nuclear base emergency staff to strike from tomorrow over safety fears


Clyde nuclear base emergency staff to strike from tomorrow over safety fears, Herald Scotland, By Martin Williams  @Martin1Williams, Senior News Reporter  18 Oct 21,
 EMERGENCY workers at the home of Britain’s nuclear weapons on the Clyde are set to strike over “major safety concerns” after managers slashed firefighter numbers.

Action has been previously been given the go-ahead following a ballot of workers after managers proceeded with cuts to eight posts from the specialist fire safety crew at HM Naval Base Clyde, a reduction in strength of 15 per cent, with the a union describing it as an “an accident waiting to happen”.

Unite members working for outsourcing services firm Capita Business Services will now start strike action from Tuesday in a dispute over cuts to fire and rescue crew levels, and a lack of consultation………………

Workers believe the cuts impair the abilities of the onsite fire crews to do their jobs properly, particularly, in relation to incidents that would involve wearing breathing apparatus.

Capita has previously stated that they intend to mitigate safety risks due to the cuts through an investment in new technology to reduce fire risk”.

But workers have said they are not aware of any new technology which would address ongoing safety concerns……………………………   https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/19655524.clyde-nuclear-base-emergency-staff-strike-tomorrow-safety-fears/

October 19, 2021 Posted by | employment, safety, UK | Leave a comment

October 18 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “James Hansen Says Nuclear Power Is Answer To Climate. Is He Right?” • We have a climate guru like Hansen saying that the only answer can be the “development and deployment of modern nuclear power.” He believes that without it, we will need natural gas. But is he right? Michael E Mann’s new […]

October 18 Energy News — geoharvey

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear news to 18 October

The past week has seen a bigger than usual burst of news items about small nuclear reactors (SMRs) – with  numerous claims about how SMRs are going to be the focus of a nuclear revival that will combat climate change. In country after country, political leaders announce SMRs  as a central part of their climate policy, even reversing policies to phase out nuclear power. France is the leading example. There’s even a very interesting logic that goes like this: 
‘Big nuclear power reactors are unsustainable: therefore small nuclear reactors will be sustainable” –  as they say in all those police shows on TV – copy that!


Pandemic 
Coronavirus around the world.

The climate disaster is here.  Climate. Earth is already becoming unlivable. Will governments act to stop this disaster from getting worse?


Some bits of good news.–  Solar-Powered Desalination Device Will Turn Sea Water Into Fresh Water For 400,000 People.  World’s First Totally-Green Tractor Set to Plow Down European Farming Emissions

New push for nuclear energy in Australia, but does it really stand the test? Pro nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ – Ian Lowe. Nuclear power is too expensive for AustraliaCollapse of the nuclear industry‘s ”golden hope”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvpmGP8P6Mk

‘It makes us sick’: remote NT community wants answers about uranium in its water supply.

INTERNATIONAL.

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Epidemiology – research on baby teeth gives valuable information on health effects of ionising radiation.

What Does Building A Nuclear Power Station Mean for CO2 Emissions As We Near COP26 ?

Crypto currency and nuclear power – a worrying partnership.

Smoke from nuclear war would devastate ozone layer, alter climate.

The scale of global e-waste .

Vale Sister Megan Rice – an anti-nuclear hero. Libbe HaLevy’s interview with Sister Megan Rice 2019.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_cguuNy-3U

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism.

Catholic Archbishop at UN urges immorality of nuclear weapons, and of militarising space.

Patients lack knowledge on radiation in medical imaging,

JAPANNuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push. Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid . Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean.

CHINA. US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea.

EUROPE. European Commission urges member states to speed up solar energy deployment .

USA.

FRANCE

UK. 

INDIA. India, China and the new missile silos.

BELGIUM. Belgium’s Energy Minister calls for the government to speed up plan to shut down nuclear reactors.

GERMANYNuclear power is not sustainable energy – German environment ministry.

NEW ZEALANDKeep space for peace – opposition to New Zealand’s space industry and its military connections.

PHILIPPINES. AUKUS and the Philippines – sleepwalking into military-nuclear entanglements. 

AUSTRALIA. AUKUS nuclear submarines deal must be abandoned.     Australia’s nuclear submarines are looking more and more like a mirage

 

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Epidemiology – research on baby teeth gives valuable information on health effects of ionising radiation


Baby Teeth Hold Key to Illinois, Michigan Nuclear Reactor Radiation Exposure – Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano – NH #538   
http://nuclearhotseat.com/2021/10/14/illinois-michigan-nuclear-reactor-radiation-studied-in-baby-teeth/?fbclid=IwAR268TYnERFMNoEuCYGlk2xbsH_-sq0XESbzxOuMmaEdeDB44TzG4s2CPfg

by Libbe HaLevy | Oct 14, 2021 |  

Listen to This Week’s Featured Interview:


Baby teeth
 were studied in the 1950’s and 60’s to determine childhood exposure to radioactive strontium 90 from atmospheric nuclear bomb tests.  The results from what was called theTooth Fairy Project led to U.S. President Kennedy and Russia’s Premier Khrushchev creating the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, known as the Atmospheric Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Now, a cache of more than 100,000 teeth not used in that initial study has just recently been discovered.  These teeth will be compared with baby teeth from communities in Illinois and Michigan near nuclear reactors.  The more recent teeth are being collected now by epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP) to determine through data analysis if radiation releases from nuclear reactors pose health problem.


  • Mangano
     is a health researcher who has served RPHP since 1989.  He is author or co-author of 33 medical journal articles on radiation health, and is the author of the books Low Level Radiation and Immune System Damage: An Atomic Era Legacy (1998) and Radioactive Baby Teeth: The Cancer Link (2008). He managed the study of Strontium-90 in baby teeth, and now manages the citizen-based radiation monitoring programs near the Indian Point NY and Oyster Creek NJ nuclear plants.

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Japan’s new PM won’t delay release of contaminated water into ocean

Lying by omission. In that accumulated radioactive water on Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant site, tritium is only one of the 64 radionuclides present, as the ALPS filtering system did not work fully to remove ALL radionuclides from that water.

Contaminated wastewater, which has built up at the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant, is set to be released into the Pacific Ocean starting next year.

Fumio Kishida said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific was safe

Japan’s new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has said that there can be no delay to plans to release contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea, despite opposition from fishers and neighbouring countries.

Kishida, who made his first trip to the plant at the weekend since becoming prime minister last month, said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific Ocean was safe.

The wastewater, which is pumped up from reactor basements and treated to remove all but one radioactive material, has built up at the site since the plant suffered a triple meltdown in March 2011.

“I felt strongly that the water issue is a crucial one that should not be pushed back,” Kishida told reporters after being shown around by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power.

More than one million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and Tepco has warned that space will run out late next year.

The government and Tepco said in April that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities which say it will undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s north-east coast was rocked by a magnitude-9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.

Neighbouring South Korea, which still bans seafood imports from the region, has repeatedly voiced concern, claiming that discharging the water represented a “grave threat” to the marine environment.

The South Korean Olympic committee made separate catering arrangements for the country’s athletes during the Tokyo Olympics amid concern they could be served food from Fukushima, even though produce from the region undergoes rigorous safety checks.

Japan’s government says releasing the water is the most realistic option and will enable workers at the site to proceed with decommissioning the plant – a costly operation that is expected to take about 40 years.

“We will provide explanations about safety from a scientific viewpoint and transparency in order to address people’s concerns,” Kishida said.

Japan has requested help from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the discharge meets global safety standards, including treating the wastewater so its radioactivity levels are below legal limits.

Tepco’s Advanced Liquid Processing System reduces radioactive substances in the water to safe levels, but the system is unable to filter out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Experts say tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, is only harmful to humans in very large doses, while government and Tepco officials have pointed out that working nuclear plants routinely dilute and release tritium into the ocean.

Kishida, who supports the restart of nuclear reactors that were idled after the Fukushima meltdown, offered flowers and prayed at a monument to the disaster in Namie, one of several communities near the plant that were declared no-go zones after the disaster. Some residents have since returned to their homes after evacuation orders were lifted.

Kishida has said that nuclear power must be part of Japan’s energy mix if it is to become carbon neutral by 2050. But he has yet to confirm if he will attend the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow early next month, with Japanese media reports suggesting he won’t decide until after lower house elections are held at the end of this month.

Boris Johnson encouraged Kishida to attend the summit during a phone call last week, adding that Britain was considering lifting import restrictions on Fukushima produce that were introduced while it was a member of the European Union, according to the Kyodo news agency.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/18/fukushima-japans-new-pm-wont-delay-release-of-contaminated-water-into-ocean?fbclid=IwAR3fHQfhxnQ2-VX_5Ojj8NrvcnIxhbRxU2VPxQd6IOQUfsGQ_YctGV7uYQA

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility

Radioactive microparticles related to the Woolsey Fire in Simi Valley, CA  SCience Direct, MarcoKaltofenaMaggieGundersenbArnieGundersenb    Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Dept. of Physics, Fairewinds Energy Education, 8 October 2021. 

Highlights

Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires.

Three hundred sixty samples of soil, dust and ash were collected in the immediate aftermath of the Los Angeles (CA, USA) Woolsey fire in 2018.

Radioactive contamination from the partially-burned former Santa Susanna nuclear research facility was found in the fire zone.

A limited number of widely scattered locations had evidence of radioactive microparticles originating at the research facility.

X-ray data showed that ashes from the fire could spread site contaminants to distant, but widely spaced, locations.

Abstract

In November 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned north of Los Angeles, CA, USA, potentially remobilizing radioactive contaminants at the former Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a shuttered nuclear research facility contaminated by chemical and radiochemical releases. Wildfire in radiologically contaminated zones is a global concern; contaminated areas around Chernobyl, Fukushima, Los Alamos, and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site have all experienced wildfires. Three weeks after the Woolsey Fire was controlled, sampling of dusts, ashes, and surface soils (n = 360) began and were analyzed by alpha- and beta-radiation counting. Samples were collected up to a 16 km radius from the perimeter of the laboratory. Controls and samples with activities 1σ greater than background were also examined by alpha and/or gamma spectroscopy or Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis. Of the 360 samples collected, 97% showed activities at or close to site-specific background levels. However, offsite samples collected in publicly-accessible areas nearest to the SSFL site perimeter had the highest alpha-emitting radionuclides radium, thorium, and uranium activities, indicating site-related radioactive material has escaped the confines of the laboratory. 

In two geographically-separated locations, one as far away as 15 km, radioactive microparticles containing percent-concentrations of thorium were detected in ashes and dusts that were likely related to deposition from the Woolsey fire. These offsite radioactive microparticles were colocated with alpha and beta activity maxima. Data did not support a finding of widespread deposition of radioactive particles. However, two radioactive deposition hotspots and significant offsite contamination were detected near the site perimeter……………………………

4. Conclusions

A significant majority of samples (97% of 360 samples) collected in the study zone registered radioactivity levels that matched existing area background levels. Nevertheless, some ashes and dusts collected from the Woolsey Fire zone in the fire’s immediate aftermath contained high activities of radioactive isotopes associated with the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL). The data show that Woolsey Fire ash did, in fact, spread SSFL-related radioactive microparticles, and the impacts were confined to areas closest to SSFL and at least three other scattered locations in the greater Simi Valley area. Alpha and beta counting, high-resolution alpha and gamma spectroscopy, and X-ray microanalysis using SEM/EDS confirmed the presence of radioactive microparticles in the Woolsey Fire-related ashes and dusts.

Most of the fire-impacted samples found near the SSFL site’s perimeter were on lands accessible to the public. There were, however, scattered localized areas of increased radioactivity due to the presence of radioactive microparticles in ash and recently-settled dusts collected just after the Woolsey fire. These radioactive outliers were found in Thousand Oaks, CA, and Simi Valley, CA, about 15 and 5 km distant from SSFL, respectively. The Thousand Oaks samples had alpha count rates up to 19 times background, and X-ray spectroscopy (SEM) identified alpha-emitting thorium as the source of this excess radioactivity. Excessive alpha radiation in small particles is of particular interest because of the relatively high risk of inhalation-related long-term biological damage from internal alpha emitters compared to external radiation.

The nuclides identified as the sources of excess radioactivity in impacted samples were predominately isotopes of radium, uranium, and thorium. These have naturally-occurring sources, but these isotopes are also contaminants of concern at SSFL and were detected at generally increasing activities as the distance from SSFL decreased. In addition, the number of radioactive microparticles per gram of particulate matter also increased strongly with decreasing distance from SSFL. These data demonstrate that fire and/or other processes have spread SSFL contamination beyond the facility boundary………..

……https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0265931X21002277?dgcid=coauthor

October 18, 2021 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Bizarre twists in USA’s war on Julian Assange and Wikileaks

Britain’s Guantanamo: is Julian Assange a terrorist?  https://www.michaelwest.com.au/britains-guantanamo-is-julian-assange-a-terrorist/ By Gary Lord|October 18, 2021  

As Julian Assange prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, journalist Gary Lord, explores the latest bizarre twists in the US effort to extradite the Wikileaks founder and the silence of global media.

Julian Assange likes to say that censorship is “always an opportunity” that should be welcomed because it indicates that “there is something worth looking at”. He also says that it is a sign of weakness because it “reveals a fear of reform”. 

So it’s interesting that recent bombshell stories about Assange himself are being censored by global media giants. As the WikiLeaks founder prepares to face a British court for possibly the last time on October 27, threatened with up to 175 years detention in a US supermax prison, perhaps this media censorship is something worth looking at?

wo major stories have emerged since a UK judge ruled against Assange’s extradition to the United States (on health grounds only) at the start of this year.

Firstly, Icelandic media revealed in June that the US prosecution’s prize witness, a convicted pedophile and fraudster who has since been jailed, had withdrawn his testimony against Assange. 

Sigurdur Thordarson, who worked for Wikileaks in 2010 but embezzled over $50,000 from the organization, admitted to fabricat­ing key accusati­ons in the US indict­ment. This important story was almost totally ignored by global media.

Secondly, some 30 anonymous US officials recently confirmed that CIA boss Mike Pompeo, US President Donald Trump, and other staff “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration actively discussed assassinating Julian Assange, and even enlisted UK government support to shoot out airplane tyres if required. 

The US government officially designated WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in order to provide legal cover for any violent action, with “sketches” including possible shootouts with Russian agents on the streets of inner London.

The USA’s FAIR media watch group investigated the extraordinary lack of media coverage this astonishing revelation received, noting that “BBC News, one of the most-read news outlets in the world, appears to have covered the story just once — in the Somali-language section of the BBC website”.

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other major media outlets totally ignored it. The Guardian published just two articles about it; by comparison, they devoted 16 articles to alleged Russian government attempts to murder Alexei Navalny.

Sadly, this media censorship of Assange is not new, even if it does appear to be reaching new heights of absurdity. Another widely ignored story is the relentless and invasive spying on Assange and his visitors – including lawyers, family and journalists – while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy. 

A Spanish court is currently investigating allegations that UC Global, the company that supposedly provided “security” at the behest of the Ecuadorian government, was secretly working for the CIA as a client of former Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Donald Trump. 

Max Blumenthal first reported back in May 2020 that these spies also discussed plots to kidnap or poison Assange.

A “fix” or media apathy?

How to explain the widespread lack of mainstream media interest in such shocking news stories which could easily be given front page importance? 

Are we to assume that “the fix is in”? Is this part of a deliberate effort to suppress public support for Assange, ahead of his inevitable extradition? If so, who is behind it, and what does it say about the politicisation of the British court system, never mind global media organisations? If not, how else can we understand it?

It’s well known that Assange fell out with many of his old media partners following the 2010 Cablegate publications, but most of those journalists still argue that the Australian should not be extradited for the “crime” of journalism. 

Editorials in the Guardian, New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers have called for the US extradition case to be dropped. But the media fraternity’s “support” for Assange has never extended to a full-blown campaign, such as we saw when (for example) Peter Greste was jailed.

In fact, there has been a remarkable lack of Western media interest in Assange’s court case – coupled with smearslies and poor reporting – for over a decade.

Italian journalist Sefania Maurizi, who has worked closely with WikiLeaks for many years, appears to be the only journalist who bothered to lodge Freedom of Information requests about the Assange case with the British and Swedish governments. 

A “non-state hostile intelligence service”

She discovered that the Crown Prosecuting Service, which was then controlled by Sir Keir Starmer (now UK Labour Party leader), advised Swedish prosecutors not to come and question Assange in London, and not to “get cold feet” and close the case. “Please do not think this case is being dealt with as just another extradition,” they wrote – then they deleted all their emails!

In Australia, lawyer Kellie Tranter has been putting Aussie journos to shame by lodging her own FOI applications and sharing the results. Maurizi also has FOI applications lodged with the Australian and US governments, but they have been stalled for years with no explanation.

Assange and WikiLeaks still enjoy huge public support around the world. So why don’t big media organisations want more online clicks from readers digging into these amazing stories?

A clue may come from the CIA’s determination to get WikiLeaks officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service”. This legal designation would surely make media reporting on WikiLeaks the subject of increased government attention and maybe even censorship.

All the AUKUS countries have now adopted extreme new “anti-terror” laws that include Orwellian restrictions on the media. Maybe it’s time for AUKUS journalists to ask whether WikiLeaks is also officially designated a “non-state hostile intelligence service” in Canberra and London?

Is it possible that Julian Assange – who has been held in “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay” since 11 April 2019 – has been secretly defined as some new form of “information terrorist“? And if so, would our media today even be allowed to report it? Gary Lord is the author of Julian Assange biography “Wikileaks: a True History

October 18, 2021 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

America’s paralysis on nuclear waste, as radioactive trash continues to accumulate.

San Onofre closed nuclear station – stranded waste containers


GAO urges Congress to tackle nuclear waste storage impasse

‘The ghost of Yucca still stalks the policy debate and … there hasn’t been enough sustained pressure to find solutions’
By TERI SFORZA | tsforza@scng.com | Orange County Register, October 17, 2021 Who’s to blame for the paralysis that strands millions of pounds of radioactive waste at reactor sites all over the nation, and will cost taxpayers some $40 billion — and perhaps a lot more?

Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says. And Congress must fix it.

In a dispassionate but merciless examination of the string of follies that has put the federal government nearly a quarter-century behind accepting waste from commercial reactors like the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station — where 3.6 million pounds of waste must sit for years or possibly decades — the GAO chronicled the weeds that have choked the effort, then hacked through them to clear a path forward.

“Commercial spent nuclear fuel is extremely dangerous if not managed properly,” the report said. “About 86,000 metric tons of this fuel is stored on-site at 75 operating or shutdown nuclear power plants in 33 states, an amount that grows by about 2,000 metric tons each year.”

The radioisotopes produced in a reactor can remain hazardous from a few days to many thousands of years, the GAO said.

“The longer it takes the federal government to resolve the current impasse and develop a solution for the permanent disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel, the greater the potential risk to the environment and public health, or of security incidents associated with temporary on-site storage,” the report said. “(T)he safety of long-term dry cask storage is unknown, and the risks, such as environmental and health risks, of on-site storage increase the longer the fuel is stored there.”

Attempted sabotage and theft of radioactive material are also potential security risks, the report said…………….

How to fix

Obama assembled a Blue Ribbon Commission that laid out a path forward in 2012, and it’s largely the path that the GAO urges lawmakers to embrace now. It recommends that Congress:

  • Amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to allow the DOE to implement a new, consent-based process for siting temporary storage and permanent geologic disposal facilities.
  • Restructure the Nuclear Waste Fund, which has about $43 billion in it to ensure reliable and sufficient funding.
  • Create an independent board or similar mechanism to provide political insulation for a nuclear waste disposal program, as well as continuity of leadership.
  • Direct DOE to develop a temporary waste management strategy that includes plans for the transportation, interim storage and permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel.
  • It’s not as if officials don’t know what to do with nuclear waste. In 1957, the National Academy of Sciences concluded that disposal in a geologic formation was the safest way to isolate nuclear waste. Myriad studies in the decades since have reached the same conclusion…………………………..  https://www.ocregister.com/2021/10/17/gao-urges-congress-to-tackle-nuclear-waste-storage-impasse/

October 18, 2021 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment