nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

‘Just Moms St Louis’ lobby for cleanup of Westlake Landfill nuclear waste problem

Citizen group prays for fix to Westlake Landfill nuclear waste problem, Sean Franklin , KSDK September 24, 2017,  ST. LOUIS – A citizen group that wants to clean up the West Lake Landfill prayed for a solution to what they claim could be a nuclear waste disaster.

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September 25, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Call to stop United States nuclear corporate welfare – in bailing out nuclear power stations


No corporate welfare: States shouldn’t bail out nuclear plants, Savannah Now,  September 23, 2017
By  
DAVID WILLIAMS
“…..There is no denying that more than half of America’s nuclear power plants face a financial crisis. Collectively, these plants lose nearly $3 billion a year. They simply haven’t been able to compete with power plants that run on cheap natural gas.

In desperation, nuclear operators are begging state legislatures for subsidies to keep their plants running. They’re hoping to lure lawmakers into bailing them out by promising zero-emissions energy production.

State legislators should reject their requests. Nuclear subsidies cost taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars and offer little to no economic or environmental benefits.

Nuclear plants in several states already receive taxpayer-funded subsidies. In July, an Illinois federal judge upheld state legislation that funnels $230 million per year to Chicago-based Exelon to keep its nuclear facilities operating. The same month in New York, a federal judge dismissed a consumer lawsuit against a $480 million annual handout to three nuclear plants.

Subsidy proponents say additional bailouts are needed to prevent plant closures. They claim that if plants go offline, utilities will have to raise electricity rates. They’re wrong.

Nuclear bailouts don’t protect consumers from energy price increases; they facilitate them. Nuclear subsidies are expected to raise New Yorkers’ electric bills by $3.4 billion within the first five years. The Illinois program constitutes the biggest energy rate hike in U.S. history — projected to cost residents and businesses $16.4 billion.

The same goes for other states. Under a proposed subsidy in Ohio, consumers would see their electric bills climb 5 percent per year. Consumers in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast would have to pay $3.9 billion more per year if nuclear plants in the area received similar backing.

Bailout proponents also raise the specter of job losses. While nuclear facilities do provide local jobs — Exelon employs 5,900 people at its plants in Illinois —subsidy programs just rob Peter to pay Paul. The downsides of propping up an inefficient sector outweigh any economic benefits. An analysis of the Illinois subsidies found they would cost the state 43,000 jobs by 2030 and $14.7 billion in economic output.

Natural gas firms create jobs and grow the economy without picking taxpayers’ pockets. According to the American Petroleum Institute, in Illinois the natural gas industry supported nearly 150,000 jobs and contributed $18 billion to the state economy in 2015. The numbers are higher still for New York, where natural gas is responsible for 152,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in economic output.

Unlike nuclear subsidies that jack up monthly energy bills, natural gas saves consumers billions. And, also according to the aforementioned API report, electricity prices in Ohio have dropped 50 percent since 2008 thanks to affordable natural gas. Last year, thanks to the continued natural gas boom, Americans spent just 4 percent of their household budgets on energy costs — the lowest share ever……http://savannahnow.com/opinion/column/2017-09-23/no-corporate-welfare-states-shouldn-t-bail-out-nuclear-plants

September 25, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Dozens of Japanese towns choosing decentralised solar energy, with microgrids

Quiet energy revolution underway in Japan as dozens of towns go off the grid, Japan Times BY AARON SHELDRICK AND OSAMU TSUKIMORI  REUTERS, 24 Sept 17,  A Miyagi city’s efforts to rebuild its electrical power system after 3/11 mark a quiet shift away from Japan’s old utility model and toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission.

After losing three-quarters of its homes and 1,100 people in the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the city of Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture turned to the government’s “national resilience program,” with ¥3.72 trillion in funding for this fiscal year, to rebuild.

 The city of 40,000 chose to construct microgrids and decentralized renewable power generation to create a self-sustaining system in Tohoku capable of producing an average of 25 percent of its electricity without the need of the region’s power utility.

The city’s steps illustrate a massive yet little known effort to take dozens of the nation’s towns and communities off the power grid and make them partly self-sufficient in generating electricity…….https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/24/national/quiet-energy-revolution-underway-japan-dozens-towns-go-off-grid/#.Wcg4L_MjHGh

September 25, 2017 Posted by | decentralised, Japan | Leave a comment

New find points to Hitler’s project towards a nuclear bomb

Discovery of radioactive metal points to ‘success’ of Nazi atomic bomb programme http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/radioactive-nazi-atom-bomb-bernd-th-lmann-germany-amateur-treasure-hunter-a7963521.html

Oranienburg was reportedly the location of Adolf Hitler’s secret uranium enrichment facility  Fiona Keating An amateur treasure hunter in Germany has stumbled upon what could be radioactive material from a secret research facility dating back to World War II.

64-year-old Bernd Thälmann was exploring the ground in Oranienburg, north-east Germany, with his metal detector when it gave an unusual ‘bleep’.

After bringing the mysterious object home, the pensioner alerted the authorities about his discovery of a shiny lump of metal.

Police discovered the find was radioactive, leading to the evacuation of 15 residents from several houses by emergency services.  Specialists in hazmat suits searched Mr Thälmann’s home and removed the suspicious object in a lead-lined container which was then placed inside a protective suitcase.
Mr Thälmann is now being investigated for being in possession of “unauthorised radioactive substances”, according to the Berlin Courier.

German authorities have revealed that the area of Oranienburg was the location of Adolf Hitler’s secret uranium enrichment facility.

The research centre was tasked with enriching uranium oxide imported from South America, to make weapons-grade plutonium. The ultimate aim was to create a Nazi atomic bomb.

According to police, Mr Thälmann was intent on retracing his steps to find more hard evidence of the mysterious Nazi-era site. The amateur archaeologist was proving uncooperative, according to authorities.

A police statement revealed that “the finder refuses to provide information on the exact location.” An investigation was launched, with the radioactive find part of a criminal investigation, according to AFP.

Britain and the United States have long possessed information regarding the Nazi’s plans to make atomic bombs.

 

September 25, 2017 Posted by | Germany, history | Leave a comment

South Korea’s nuclear phaseout might put a damper on its nuclear export plans

Nuclear phase-out puts burden on S. Korea’s export drive By Kim Eun-jung  SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) –– South Korea’s nuclear phase-out policy may create a boom for the renewable energy initiative and allay public safety concerns, but it may also send an unwanted signal to the outside world that could hurt the country’s push to expand into the global atomic power generation market.

Since taking office in May, President Moon Jae-in has scrapped plans for new nuclear power plants and vowed not to extend the life cycles of 24 existing reactors, in a bid to end decades of reliance on the controversial energy source.

The latest move was aimed at addressing safety concerns after the 2011 Fukushima disaster and is in line with actions taken by other advanced economies that are turning to renewable energy sources, including the U.S., France and Germany.

This drastic turn from past administrations’ pro-nuclear policies, however, raises questions over South Korea’s status in the global nuclear market, which has seen spike in competition with the rise of state-backed Russian and Chinese companies in recent years.

Seoul policymakers have pledged continued support for overseas projects separate from its domestic energy policy, but industry insiders worry that less enthusiasm for nuclear power could shrink investment in advanced nuclear technologies and give South Korea less bargaining power on the global stage…….http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/business/2017/09/22/0503000000AEN20170922008800320.html

September 25, 2017 Posted by | marketing, South Korea | Leave a comment

Labour would consider scrapping plans for Hinkley Point C nuclear plant

BBC 22nd Sept 2017, Labour would consider scrapping the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, if it
won power. Critics of the deal have warned of escalating costs, including
in the so-called “strike price” – the guaranteed amount that consumers will
pay for the electricity generated. The UK government has guaranteed EDF a
fixed price for the electricity it produces for 35 years.

Asked whether Britain’s new nuclear power station should go ahead, Mr Corbyn said: “You
have to look at the strike price, you have to look at the long term
implications of it. “The government has not yet concluded on that.”
However, asked whether he would pull the plug if Labour came to power after
the station had been built, he said: “If it’s already built and in
operation then of course not.”But I do want to see, I must say, a much
greater diversity of energy generation.”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41359590

September 25, 2017 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Sellafield nuclear processes trashing the River Hehen, home to endangered fresh water pearl mussels.

Scisco Media 23rd Sept 2017, The domestic supply of fresh water from Ennerdale to West Cumbrians is to
cease by 2022. This is (so the official narrative goes) to safeguard water levels on the River Ehen flowing from Ennerdale Water that provides a “delicate habitat” for one of the last populations of endangered fresh water pearl mussels.

The enormous sums of money and effort to save the pearl mussels are meaningless while the integrity of the River Ehen is
being trashed by the nuclear industry. The volumes of fresh water abstraction from the River Ehen by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for Sellafield’s cooling and processing is staggering (remember they take
four million gallons daily from Wastwater as well as other sources too).
https://sciscomedia.co.uk/nuclear-contamination-drinking-water/

September 25, 2017 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Safety of Los Alamos Nuclear Lab again in question, after 2 more reported incidents

2 more reported incidents at LANL puts safety back into question  http://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/2-more-reported-incidents-at-lanl-puts-safety-back-into-question/4612207/ KOB.com Web StaffSeptember 23, 2017  ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Workers at Los Alamos National Labs violated safety measures twice last month, according to our partners at the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Both incidents were detailed in a recent report by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

In the first incident, according to the report, workers mishandled plutonium metals. The second incident occurred just 11 days later, when nearly a dozen workers were exposed to particles that caused radioactive contamination to at least one worker.

Safety has become a serious concern at the labs in recent months. In June KOB reported that a watchdog group said key safety inspectors had quit out of frustration

September 25, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

September 24 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Wind, other renewable energy sources are the answer to climate change” • America’s wind energy industry feels the pain inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. Wind companies have pledged $1 million to Habitat for Humanity to help Texas communities recover from the disaster. But wind power helps in other ways that are important. [Houston Chronicle]

West Texas wind farm (Photo: Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

¶ “They Voted For Trump. Obama’s Solar Panels Saved Them From Irma’s Wrath.” • Hurricane Irma knocked out the power while residents Titusville, Florida, sheltered in the Apollo Elementary School. But Classroom 408 had electricity, thanks to an economic stimulus program set in motion by President Barack Obama. [Daily Beast]

Science and Technology:

¶ The world’s periglacial zones, home to nearly all of the world’s permafrost, will “almost completely disappear” by the year 2100 even in the most optimistic of scenarios about…

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September 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 23 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “US Solar Industry Could Be Devastated By Today’s Tariffs Ruling – May Lead To Crushing Tariffs” • The US International Trade Commission granted a petition for relief from cheaper imported solar panels by two bankrupt US manufacturers. But the remedy will likely mean tariffs that are job-crushing for solar installers. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array

¶ “Are Hurricanes Winds of Change for Insurers’ Climate Risk?” • The insurance industry faces a long-term challenge as climate change makes natural disasters more severe. The Trump administration’s push to ax some of the tools insurers need to prepare for disasters could force companies to take a more public position on climate change. [Bloomberg BNA]

¶ “Taking back full control of your home energy needs” • Eaton, a maker of power management solutions, recently partnered with Manchester City Football Club on a research project. They found that 10% of football…

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September 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Half-way to Catastrophe — Global Hothouse Extinction to be Triggered by or Before 2100 Without Rapid Emissions Cuts

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR: It’s not all of humankind that is responsible for the great danger we face, It’s particular members of the species. The fossil fuel companies in America and Europe fooled most of us into thinking that unlimited coal and oil burning was safe. Are we just as guilty as Rex Tillerson and the other energy industry leaders who lied to us, or does our ignorance and gullibility make our behavior excusable? Perhaps. However, continuing to believe Rex Tillerson’s Exxon-Mobil deceit with so many scientists and independent voices calling out the warning is criminal negligence.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation at their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Monday, April 16, 2012. Exxon is teaming up with Russian oil giant Rosneft to develop oil and natural gas fields in Russia and North America.The companies…

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September 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chiba court recognizes nuke disaster evacuees’ ‘loss of hometown’ for first time

chiba court victory 23 sept 2017.pngLawyers for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking damages from the government and TEPCO for residents who evacuated to Chiba Prefecture following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster hold up banners reading “Government not liable,” left, and “TEPCO must pay portion of compensation,” right, in front of the Chiba District Court on Sept. 22, 2017.

 

When on Sept. 22 the Chiba District Court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to pay some 376 million yen in damages to a group of Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees, it gave concrete recognition to the evacuees’ loss — of hometowns, jobs and personal relationships — for the first time.

Six and a half years after the disaster, even in areas where evacuation orders have been lifted, the reconstruction of the communities that once thrived there is still a distant prospect. However, though it absolved the government of legal liability, this court ruling — the second in a slew of class action suits filed against TEPCO and the government — can be said to be a breakthrough far exceeding previous compensation levels.

“The Maebashi District Court (in March) recognized the responsibility of both the government and TEPCO, but this ended up feeling like a victory in name only, with no ‘reward.’ But it can be said that the Chiba (District Court) decision finally reaped ‘rewards,”’ commented lawyer Katsuyoshi Suzuki, lead counsel of the plaintiffs’ legal team in the Maebashi court case, who was at a gathering in Chiba awaiting the Sept. 22 ruling.

The Maebashi District Court awarded a total of some 460 million yen in damages. However, based on “interim guidelines” set for TEPCO by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation in August 2011 to ensure swift payouts, it was decided that TEPCO had already paid about 420 million yen. As such, a total of only 38.55 million yen was awarded to 62 of the 137 plaintiffs. Complaints followed that voices of the evacuees decrying their psychological pain had not been heard.

However, in the Chiba case, TEPCO was ordered to pay 42 out of the 45 plaintiffs a total of roughly 376 million yen, even after some 650 million yen was judged as already having been paid by the company under the “interim guidelines.” It was pointed out that the guidelines only set a minimum baseline for compensation, and upon considering the individual cases, the court granted the large damages award.

What stood out was that the court explicitly recognized the payout as compensation for the loss of hometowns, jobs and personal relationships suffered by the nuclear disaster evacuees. The majority of the plaintiffs in the Chiba case were residents of designated evacuation zones, and claimed they lost their livelihoods, relationships and local customs to the nuclear disaster, and were stripped of their right to live a peaceful life. They had sought 20 million yen in compensation each, saying that the interim guidelines did not accurately reflect the pain of losing their hometowns.

Concerning communities where the evacuation orders had been lifted by this spring, including the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, TEPCO cited falling radiation levels and infrastructure restoration as evidence that the plaintiffs’ claim that they lost their hometowns permanently was false. As such, TEPCO argued that their current compensation standards were sufficient.

However, even in areas where evacuation orders have been lifted, only roughly 10 percent of former residents have returned. The court decision stated, “(The plaintiffs) have lost their close connections to their local communities over a substantial period of time. Simply lifting evacuation orders will not immediately relieve this suffering,” awarding 36 of the plaintiffs an average of some 3 million yen each. Nevertheless, some of the plaintiffs are not satisfied by the results.

“Our lives were disrupted,” said Michiko Saito, 56, who evacuated from the Odaka district of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, to Yachimata, Chiba Prefecture. “Even if the money is returned to us, we will never get our hometowns back.”

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170923/p2a/00m/0na/018000c

September 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Over 30µSv / h Along Side of Recently Fukushima Reopened Route 144

 

Via Oz Yo

Over 30μSv/h was read along side the recently-reopened Route 114 in Fukushima, September 20, 2017. It is insane for the government to give its green light for people to use that road.
6.5 years mean nothing here. Nothing at all.

route national 144 reopen 7 sept 2017

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear watchdog chief holds final press conference before stepping down

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Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Shunichi Tanaka held his final press conference in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Sept. 20 before officially stepping down from his role.

Reflecting on his five-year term in office, Tanaka said, “I tried to maintain independence and transparency,” adding that, “I have absolutely no doubt that I’ve made judgments from a scientific and impartial standpoint, and taken actions based on (the NRA’s) philosophies. This is something that I am proud of.”

However, he also stated that, “The distrust of the public who experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 is an issue that cannot be easily rectified.”

Tanaka became the first chairman of the NRA at the same time the organization was established in September 2012, having previously served as the deputy director general of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute and acting chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission.

During his time as NRA chairman, he led efforts to draw up new regulatory standards based on the lessons learned from the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disaster, and carried out nuclear power plant screening.

Originally hailing from Fukushima Prefecture, Tanaka says he is planning to live in the prefectural village of Iitate after stepping down as NRA head. “It would be great if I could contribute to the recovery of Fukushima (using my experience at the NRA),” Tanaka said.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170921/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

September 23, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco promises legal safety vow as it seeks to restart reactors

Promises are meant to be broken

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The head of Tepco Electric Power company Holdings Inc. promised Wednesday to institute a safety pledge as requested by nuclear regulator, as the company seeks clearance to reactivate undamaged, idle reactors located far from its plant crippled by natural disaster in 2011.

has been calling for the company to make such a pledge part of its legally binding reactor safety program because it operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the site of a major nuclear disaster in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami.

President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told the regulator on Wednesday that will stipulate a pledge to build “safety culture” in its program developed for ensuring safe operation of the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors at the company’s power station in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of coast.

promise will pave the way for the regulator’s safety clearance for the two units — boiling-water reactors that are the same type as the ones that experienced meltdowns in the disaster.

The regulator will soon compile a draft document for the two units that will serve as certification that the utility has satisfied new stricter safety requirements implemented since the nuclear disaster.

It will then consult the economy, trade and industry minister, who oversees the nuclear industry, to confirm that is fit to be an operator. It will also solicit comments from the public before formally giving safety clearance.

Even if the reactors clear the safety checks, local governments in the area on which the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant sits remain cautious about their resumption.

Niigata Gov. Ryuichi Yoneyama, for example, has said it will take “around three to four years” for the utility to win the required local consent for a restart.

said last week was “qualified” as a nuclear plant operator, but that it wanted the utility to express its resolve to ensure safety in a legal document, not just in words.

Safety programs drawn up for reactors need to be approved by the regulator and if it finds a grave violation, it can demand a halt to nuclear power operations from the utility.

“We intend to tackle the unending mission of improving the safety of nuclear power and to complete the decommissioning and compensation of the Fukushima Daiichi complex,” Kobayakawa said at the regulator’s meeting on Wednesday. “We will also make efforts to maintain qualification” as operator of nuclear reactors, he said.

The Nos. 6 and 7 units at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are the newest among the seven units at the plant. The complex is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants with a combined output capacity of 8.2 million kilowatts.

For a reactor to be restarted, it first needs to clear the safety requirements introduced in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. filed for safety assessments of the two units in .

, which is facing massive compensation payments and other costs in the aftermath of one of the world’s worst nuclear crises, has been desperate to resume operation of its idled reactors so it can reduce spending on costly fossil fuel imports for non-nuclear thermal power generation.

While some reactors run by other utilities have resumed operations in by satisfying the new safety regulations, has been under close scrutiny by regulators on whether it is qualified to once again operate a nuclear power plant.

http://m.4-traders.com/TOKYO-ELECTRIC-POWER-COMP-6491247/news/Tokyo-Electric-Power-Tepco-promises-legal-safety-vow-as-it-seeks-to-restart-reactors-25144769/

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September 23, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment