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30 UK civil society organisations call on Britain to sign UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Nuclear Ban 17th April 2018 , In advance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Preparatory Committee which
meets in Geneva from April 23rd over 30 UK civil society organisations have
co-signed a letter to Boris Johnson, challenging the government to take its
disarmament responsibilities seriously and in particular to participate in
the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).
http://www.nuclearban.scot/challenge-to-uk-to-participate-in-nuke-ban-treaty/

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April 20, 2018 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. Supreme Court considers forcing changes to reduce Savannah nuclear sites leaking into the river.

The State 18th April 2018 ,Four decades after radiation leaked from a landfill for nuclear waste near
Barnwell, unsafe levels of radioactive pollution continue to contaminate
groundwater near the site, as well as a creek that flows toward the
Savannah River. Now, after 13 years of legal battles between the landfill’s
operator and environmentalists, the S.C. Supreme Court is considering
whether to force changes that would make the site less likely to leak
radioactive contaminants, landfill critics say. http://www.thestate.com/latest-news/article209093444.html

April 20, 2018 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Helen Caldicott speaks frankly about the media, nuclear weapons, future prospects

 Interview A conversation with Helen Caldicott From the forthcoming issue (May 2018)Taylor and Francis online, 17 Apr 18
 “…………Helen Caldicott:

Yeah, though I think the election was about racism and the fact that CNN and Foxput Trump on for free for hours and hours and hours, because it sold a lot of Viagra and hemorrhoid cream. And they acknowledged that. They said he’s good for business.

There was one occasion when CNN and Fox were looking at an empty stage for about half an hour waiting for him to appear, and there’s Bernie Sanders with an audience of tens of thousands and they never paid any attention to that. Now that’s evil. The networks put Trump in. Not the Russians, whose role was minor in comparison – bad as it was.

Why don’t people write about that? It’s so obvious.

Dan Drollette:

Do you have any suggestions about what could be done …

Helen Caldicott:

Well the media should not be used just to sell stuff. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the media itself has become a product, and no longer a public service. And the person who’s led this approach is Rupert Murdoch, of News Corporation [parent company of Fox News]. I keep wishing that he would shuffle off this mortal coil, but his mother lived to 101.

Dan Drollette:

Speaking of the media, Ira Helfand said that he feels that there is a strong prejudice in the media towards the idea that nuclear weapons are here to stay. In his words, there is a “dogma among some elements of the press” that even talking about eliminating nuclear weapons is unrealistic. And he said it’s a perception he’s always fighting. Do you think that that’s true?

Helen Caldicott:

I do. And more than that, I think that there’s an attitude that my nuclear stockpile has to be bigger than yours; I even wrote a book called Missile Envy, a la Freud. And

the generals in the Pentagon hated it, but they all had a copy on their book shelf.

And it really is very sexual: They talk about missile erectors, soft lay downs, deep penetration, hard lines and soft lines. And they talk about this like this in front of women, with no sense of embarrassment at all. The missiles are penile surrogates.

Some of the jokes in the movie Dr. Strangelove were not much of an exaggeration. After Dan Ellsberg saw it, he said it was like a documentary. It wasn’t fiction.

It would be hilarious except it’s scary as hell.

Dan Drollette:

Speaking of movies, you were 19 years old when you saw On the Beach. Considering that this is International Women’s month, do you have any suggestions you’d like to make to any 19-year-old women out there?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes, they should watch my film, If You Love This Planet(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FjgBBQFmGs). It is 30 minutes long, it was made by the Canadian Film Board, and it won an Oscar for short documentary. But it says everything that anyone needs to know. The haircuts are different because it was made about 30 years ago, but that film cracks people’s psychic numbing.

Dan Drollette:

So you want them to watch films like that, and become more aware of what the issues are?

Helen Caldicott:

If they want to survive they have to know what the story is. And then they have to use their democracy. They have to vote, and they have to run for Congress. And one thing that heartens me is that very many women at the moment are running for Congress. Because in 1978, I started what’s called the Women’s Party for Survival. Because I noticed that although 52 percent of us are women and we have the nurturing hormones, and we have no power. The organization has changed names a few times, but it encourages and helps women run for Congress. And it’s quite powerful.

Dan Drollette:

Okay. Just a couple more questions. What do you think are the prospects for the future? Do you think there’s a lot more nuclear saber-rattling lately? Are things getting worse?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes. And I don’t think … I’d never say this in public, but I don’t think we’re going to make it, Dan.

Dan Drollette:

Seriously?

Helen Caldicott:

My prognosis is grim.

Dan Drollette:

Seriously? I would like to put you on the record for this, if that’s okay.

Helen Caldicott:

(pause) Yeah, okay. That’s my prognosis as a physician, and as someone who really knows about the subject inside-out and back-to-front.

Dan Drollette:

I just want to repeat that. Your prognosis is that we’re not going to make it?

Helen Caldicott:

Yep.

Dan Drollette:

Wow.

Helen Caldicott:

Well, certainly from global warming, but I’m now talking about nuclear holocaust. And I don’t … In fact if you look at the record and the number of mistakes that have been made and errors, I actually don’t know how or why we are still here. Looking at it as a physician, collating all the data, etcetera, I don’t actually understand how we are still here.

Dan Drollette:

You’re thinking of all those mistakes? Flights of geese that were mistaken as incoming flights of B-52 bombers? The accidental dropping of bombs off Palomares in Spain and other places? The belligerent tweets and whatnot by people like Trump? That’s the kind of thing that you’re thinking about?

Helen Caldicott:

Yes. And there are so many other examples. I’ve put some of them in one of my books, The New Nuclear Danger: George Bush’s Military Industrial Complex. For example, in 1995, America launched a weather satellite from Norway. They had informed the Kremlin that this was going to happen but the Kremlin lost the data, because the Russians are pretty hopeless when you deal with them. So often they have interviewed me and then the camera didn’t work, so they had to do it again.

So, the Kremlin lost the data, they saw this missile go up, and they thought: “America’s launched a weapon from a Trident just off the coast.” And for the first time ever, the [Russian nuclear] football was opened.

Yeltsin was in charge – a hardened alcoholic – and he had three generals over his shoulder, he had three minutes to decide whether or not to launch, and the generals were advising him to launch. And at the last minute, about three seconds before it was going to hit, it veered off in another direction and they closed the football.

Now that is not the only situation. There have been many such situations, but they don’t really get reported. But this is what’s going on a lot. How is it that we’re still here? They only have seconds to decide.

Dan Drollette:

Is it a sudden burst of rationality at the last minute? Luck?

Helen Caldicott:

Luck. It’s pure, pure luck. Especially when you consider that America won’t rule out a first-strike policy: the idea that you can decapitate Moscow and take out all their nuclear missiles, so what the Russians saw on their radar was in line with an American attack.

And the Russians don’t want to lose a nuclear war, because they’ve got the same mentality. So they’ve got a system called the “Dead Hand” – essentially a system based in a deep underground bunker in the Ural Mountains that allows them to launch a missile that tells their other missiles to launch before the American missiles can land. In other words, it was an automatic system that would allow the Russians to strike back with nuclear weapons even if the Kremlin leadership was decapitated. One of the Russian who oversaw and designed the installation of the system later revealed it to the Western press.

Dan Drollette:

It sounds a lot like the plot-line of the imaginary “Doomsday Machine” in Dr. Strangelove.

Helen Caldicott:

Yeah, but this is for real. Let me send you information about it; I’ve got it somewhere here on my bookshelf. The author came to Australia, and he was such a lovely man. And I took him out to my daughter’s and he stayed there, and he just fell in love with Australia and the surfing beaches and the lifestyle.

[Editor’s note: Nearly a decade after the Dead Hand system was installed, Russian military specialist Col. Valery Yarynich shared details with Bruce Blair of the Brookings Institution; with Blair’s help, Yarynich published a book about it in 2003, titled C3: Nuclear Command, Control, Cooperation. When Yarynich was asked by a reporter why he chose to speak so openly and candidly to the West, Yarynich informed him that “it was utter stupidity to keep the Dead Hand secret; such a retaliatory system was useful as a deterrent only if your adversary knew about it.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/valery-varynich-the-man-who-told-of-the-soviets-doomsday-machine/2012/12/20/147f3644-4613-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html)]

Dan Drollette:

Okay, sounds good. Before we sign off, I do have to ask you: Do you ever get discouraged? And if so, how do you deal with it?

Helen Caldicott:

Well, I’m going to be 80 this year. And I was going to write one more book, called Why Men Kill and Why Women Let Them. But I think I won’t write it.

I actually personally have been a bit depressed, and I think it’s because when I look at the world and what is happening, it’s very, very, very grim. Trump is dismembering the infrastructure of America. There are terrible things happening around the world, and I just think we’re out of control.

Previously, I’d always felt that I should educate people and take action, and that I must practice global preventive medicine.

When I wrote If You Love This Planet back in 1991 – a book about global warming, toxic pollution, deforestation, overpopulation, the whole thing – I had a sort of notion that everyone would read it and they would stop global warming and everything. But, of course they didn’t… You have to get the majority of people to understand where things are, so that they can use their democracy to change things. But if you’ve got an uneducated population on everything, then our society really is sleepwalking on its way to Armageddon.

Though I do take heart from what happened in the ‘80s. Within five years, 80 percent of Americans were opposed to the notion of nuclear war. Now that was the second American revolution. It was peaceful, sagacious, and it was a revolution of thinking, it was really amazing. And it laid the groundwork for some amazing things; the movement helped lead Reagan meeting with Gorbachev. Two mere mortals met over a weekend, and they almost agreed to abolish nuclear weapons. So it’s not impossible.

Dan Drollette:

So hopefully we can get a reprise of the ‘80s kind of thing?

Helen Caldicott:

Well, hopefully you’ve got leaders who will lead, and who are inspirational, and who can corral this technical jargon down to lay language so that ordinary people can understand that their lives and the lives of their children are in great danger.

Dan Drollette:

Were there any last comments that you wanted to make before I sign off?

Helen Caldicott:

If you want me to be really frank, I sometimes feel that my life has been a failure. That we almost did get to a point to eliminate nuclear weapons, but it hasn’t happened. So, I want on my tombstone the words: “She tried.”

And while getting the number of nuclear weapons down from 70,000 to 15,000 is good, we have to go farther. And we can’t settle for half-measures, like getting the number down to 1,000 nuclear weapons – even 1,000 bombs dropping on 100 cities would cause nuclear winter and the end of our life on Earth. So, we need to get our data straight. One thousand bombs on 100 cities equals annihilation. Counting the numbers is just silly. It’s like saying: “How many metastases of a melanoma do you need before you die” sort of thing.

Dan Drollette:

We have to remove all of them?

Helen Caldicott:

If you have only one, you know it will metastasize again. The whole idea of keeping any sort of stockpile is just crazy. The whole thinking is so masculine – a “mine’s bigger than yours” sort of thing. It goes right back to that, still. And that’s why 52 percent of the population, which are women, will have to step into their power and stop being so pathetic. Stop being wimps.

So often, I’ll give a talk in America and people will crowd around, and a man will make a suggestion, and I’ll say, “You know that’s a great suggestion, you should run for Congress” and he’ll say “Yeah.” But when a similar situation happens with a woman, she literally takes two steps backwards and says “Who, me?”

And that’s the problem. We’ve got to be like a lioness, and protect her cubs. We’ve got to tap into that ferocity and that nurturing instinct.

We’re on the short course to annihilation, and we need to say to men: “Look, stand aside, you need your bottom smacked. We’re taking over.” https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/MBkXvHtz5QyAfikSM8Cv/full

    April 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

    Union of Concerned Scientists Statement on Thorium-fueled Reactors

      https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/nuclear_power/thorium-reactors-statement.pdf Some people advocate the use of thorium to fuel nuclear power plants. Thorium could be used in a variety of different types of reactors, including conventional light-water reactors, which are the type used in the United States. However, thorium cannot be used by itself to sustain a nuclear chain reaction: it must be used together with a fissile material such as enriched uranium, uranium-233, or plutonium.

     Nuclear reactors fueled with thorium and uranium do not provide any clear overall advantages over reactors fueled with uranium alone. All types of nuclear fuels, whether uranium- or thorium-based, generate large amounts of heat during reactor operation, and failing to effectively remove that heat will lead to serious safety problems, as was seen at Fukushima. The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded after a review that “the choice between uranium-based fuel and thorium-based fuel is seen basically as one of preference, with no fundamental difference in addressing the nuclear power issues [of waste management, proliferation risk, safety, security, economics, and sustainability].”1 However, the report also notes that “Since no infrastructure currently exists in the U.S. for thorium-based fuels, and the processing of thorium-based fuels is at a lower level of technical maturity when compared to processing of uranium-based fuels, costs and RD&D [research, development and deployment] requirements for using thorium are anticipated to be higher.”
    Some people believe that liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which would use a high-temperature liquid fuel made of molten salt, would be significantly safer than current-generation reactors. However, such reactors have major flaws. There are serious safety issues associated with the retention of fission products in the fuel, and it is not clear these problems can be effectively resolved. Such reactors also present proliferation and nuclear terrorism risks because they involve the continuous separation, or “reprocessing,” of the fuel to remove fission products and to efficiently produce U-233, which is a nuclear weapon-usable material. Moreover, disposal of the used fuel has turned out to be a major challenge. Stabilization and disposal of the remains of the very small “Molten Salt Reactor Experiment” that operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up.

    April 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, thorium | Leave a comment

    ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION FROM LOW-MASS STARS COULD RENDER PLANETS UNINHABITABLE

    Astrobiology Magazine, By Amanda Doyle – Apr 19, 2018

    April 20, 2018 Posted by | radiation | Leave a comment

    America’s Nuclear Posture Reviews (NPR) – inconsistencies, limitations, and questions unanswered

    What is US nuclear policy, exactly? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Adam Mount, Abigail Stowe-Thurston 19 Apr 18,  The US Nuclear Posture Reviews (NPR) are the nation’s primary statements of nuclear weapons policy, and each has been debated closely. However, the 2018 NPR is unusual in that it has been subject not only to debate about the rectitude of its policies, but also about what those policies actually are. Even as press accountsclaim that the review provides for significant, even alarming changes to US policy, four notable experts, writing in Real Clear Defense, recently assured us that the document is “clearly in the mainstream of U.S. nuclear policy.” These widely divergent accounts are not merely a function of incomplete information or expertise, but also due to the fact that statements by the NPR authors and other senior defense officials reveal inconsistencies on several subjects—including the circumstances in which the US would consider using nuclear weapons, the capability of existing forces, and the necessity and mission of two proposed nuclear options.
    ………there remain serious questions about the administration’s commitment to basic tenets of US nuclear weapons policy. For example, does the administration accept mutual vulnerability with Russia? Does it understand strategic stability as a product of a strategic relationship—one the United States could threaten with its actions—or simply as the ability to deter adversaries? If the United States seeks superiority over other nuclear powers, as the president has suggested, it could influence the answers to those questions and could potentially represent a revolutionary shift in US nuclear policy.A survey of the statements of senior officials and associated authors of the NPR reveal significant inconsistencies on central elements of US policy—including on the definition of non-nuclear strategic attacks, the capability of existing forces, and the necessity and mission of the newly proposed systems……….

    The question of whether the United States would respond to a major cyberattack with nuclear weapons has been the subject of considerable concern and debate. In January, days after the draft NPR was leaked, the New York Times cited three anonymous current and former senior government officials confirming that a large cyberattack against the United States could elicit a nuclear response.

    The leaked draft of the review stated, “…the President will have an expanding range of limited and graduated options to credibly deter Russian nuclear and non-nuclear strategic attacks, which could now include attacks against U.S. [Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications], in space and cyber space.” Following significant public concern, this sentence was revised and the clause “in space and cyber space” stricken from the final version of the NPR released in February. Nevertheless, the fact that it was included in the leaked draft indicates that the authors initially intended the category of “non-nuclear strategic attacks” to include a scenario in which the United States would retaliate against a major cyberattack.

    Though the published document does not explicitly include cyberattacks as an example of “extreme circumstances,” it does not explicitly exclude the possibility of a nuclear response to a cyberattack………..  https://thebulletin.org/what-us-nuclear-policy-exactly11709

    April 20, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    First Western journalist to reach and report on Douma site – Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”

    Robert Fisk: There was no chlorine attack in Douma

    Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed” https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-17/famed-war-reporter-robert-fisk-reaches-syrian-chemical-attack-site-concludes-they by Tyler Durden 04/17/2018 

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Syria | Leave a comment

    Bushfires near Australia’s nuclear reactor are still dangerous

    Firefighters Warn NSW Is “Not Out Of The Woods” On Third Day Of Bushfires, Pedestrian. 16 Apr 18   More than 250 firefighters continue to battle bushfires in NSW’s southwest, which has spread more than 2,400 hectares since Saturday afternoon.

    The blaze, which is believed to have originated in the vicinity of Casula, was fanned further by strong winds on Sunday.

    More than 500 firefighters from the Rural Fire ServiceFire & Rescue NSW and the Australian Defence Force attempted to contain the blaze over the weekend with help from volunteers and 11 water-bombing helicopters.

    The fire tore trough Holsworthy military range, and while approaching suburban areas, has been staved off. Several residents report fighting off embers with hoses and water buckets.

    The fire was downgraded from “emergency level” to “watch and act” on 5.30pm Sunday, then again downgraded to “advice” around 2am Monday.

    While lower wind conditions are expected to help with containing the fire, RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers warned that the high temperatures remain an issue.

    Still quite a difficult day ahead (on Monday),” Rogers told the Nine Network“I think we’ve got a long way to go before we’re out of the woods.”

    There’s also a risk that winds could also pick up to 35km/h later today.

    The RFS is currently advising residents in Pleasure PointSandy PointAlfords PointBarden Ridge  [ie; Lucas Heights] Voyager PointIllawongMenai & Bangor to “remain vigilant throughout the day and keep themselves up to date by checking the NSW RFS website……..https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/firefighters-warning-nsw-bushfires/

    AUSTRALIA is struggling to contain a growing bushfire that is racing towards a nuclear reactor, amid fears that the blaze could expand beyond their controlBy OLI SMITH Apr 16, 2018 

    Apocalyptic blaze surrounding nuclear reactor sets off emergency

    More than 500 Australia firefighters are struggling to tackle a massive bushfire, with several residents urged to seek shelters as evacuation is now “too late”.

    Scenes of the blaze, which started yesterday, have been described as “apocalyptic” after the fire ripped through nearly 2,500 hectares of land close to the suburbs of Sydney.

    Firefighters failed to stop the out-of-control blaze from burning through a major military base – and a nuclear reactor is the next at-risk location.

    The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) said it was concerned that flying embers could spark even more blazes……

    The unseasonably hot Autumn in south-eastern Australia has been blamed for worsening the bushfire after record temperatures for April.

    Shane Fitzsimmons, of the RFS, warned that strong 60km per hour winds are expected to push towards residential homes.

    He said that the country’s largest army barracks at Holsworthy, where stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and explosive materials are kept, had been hit by the fire.

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, safety | Leave a comment

    Communities that hosted nuclear reactors now stuck with stranded radioactive trash

    The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure. 

    Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

    With nuke plant shutting down, N.J. community inherits 1.7M pounds of waste WHYY By Catalina Jaramillo April 16, 2018 

    As nuclear power plants around the country continue to shut down — 20 reactors are already on their way out, and several more are expected to follow — questions remain about what to do with the nuclear waste they leave behind.

    The U.S. Department of Energy made the commitment to remove and dispose spent nuclear fuel from reactors starting in 1998, but a federal plan to store that waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada never came to fruition. And there are no plans in place for a permanent spent fuel repository.

    Meanwhile, communities hosting nuclear plants — including Lacey Township, New Jersey — face an uncertain future. Exelon’s Oyster Creek nuclear generating station, the oldest operating in the country, will retire in October. The plant, which sits alongside Barnegat Bay, in Ocean County, has served as the town’s main economic driver for 50 years. Residents are anxious about what will happen next.

    “Is it going to bring the town down? As far as empty houses, … lost business and things like that,” asked Richard Rom, community president of Pheasant Run, a senior complex with more than 400 residents. “I’m concerned.” ……..

    Lacey is not only losing the economic benefits of hosting the nuclear plant. The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure.

    Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

    “When it was first built, it was never agreed upon that it would become a spent fuel storage facility — which … at this point in time appears to be what we’re facing,” Quinn said.

    In the case of Oyster Creek, which by the end of 2018 will have approximately 1.66 million pounds of nuclear waste, that would work out to $11.2 million a year for Lacey Township. That’s exactly what the town could be losing in energy tax receipts.

    But the bills, which have been referred to committees, have gained no traction……..

    right now there’s no guarantee the town will get anything but the radioactive waste, which sits in a concrete structure, next to a parking lot, a few miles from the beach. …..https://whyy.org/articles/with-nuke-plant-shutting-down-n-j-community-inherits-1-7m-pounds-of-waste/

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

    “No New Nuclear Plants To Be Built in the U.S” – says top Exelon official

    Exelon Official: No New Nuclear Plants To Be Built in the U.S. Because of the plants’ size and security needs, the costs become prohibitive.U.S. News  By Alexa Lardieri, Staff WriterApril 16, 2018, 

    A SENIOR OFFICIAL WITH America’s largest nuclear plant operating company is predicting a dim future for nuclear power in the U.S.

    William Von Hoene, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Exelon, said last week that he doesn’t foresee any new nuclear plants being built in the United States due to their high operating costs.

    “The fact is – and I don’t want my message to be misconstrued in this part – I don’t think we’re building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen,” S&P Global quoted Van Hoene as saying at the annual U.S. Energy Association’s meeting in Washington, D.C. “I’m not arguing for the construction of new nuclear plants. They are too expensive to construct, relative to the world in which we now live.”………

    “I think it’s very unlikely that absent some extraordinary change in environment or technology, that any nuclear plants beyond the Vogtle plant will be built in my lifetime, by any company,” S&P Global quoted Van Hoene as saying, referring to a plant currently under construction in Georgia.

    Von Hoene says because of nuclear plants’ sizes and the security required to monitor them, the costs become prohibitive.https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-16/exelon-official-no-new-nuclear-plants-to-be-built-in-the-us

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

    Scared ex-Soviet general warns NUCLEAR war is INEVITABLE

    World War 3 IMMINENT! Scared ex-Soviet general warns NUCLEAR war is INEVITABLE

    A SCARED former Russian army general issued a harrowing warning that a nuclear war is “inevitable” and it is an “illusion” if leaders feel they can control a military conflict between the US and Russia.  Express UK By THOMAS HUNT, Apr 17, 2018   Former Russian general: Use of nuclear weapons is inevitable

    Evgeny Buzhinskiy, a retired Lieutenant-General, claimed the Cold War was rather comfortable in comparison to the current conflict and the West should be prepared because Vladimir Putin “will not accept defeat” if World War 3 started.

    Speaking to Channel 4 News, he said: “I think it’s worse than the Cold War, which we have been waging for 40 years after the Second World War.

    “In the Cold War time I was in the armed forces and I was quite comfortable I’d say.

    “There were definite duels and definite red lines – everybody knew what to do.There were no threats, no sanctions, no isolation, no cornering, no nothing.

    “There was just ideological confrontation, but people on both sides knew how far they could go.”

    The military veteran was then asked by the presenter whether rising tensions could lead to a third world war.

    The General responded: “Of course. I repeat, you cannot control military confrontation between Russia and the United States.

    Of course Russia cannot wage a war against the United States. For years, economically it cannot.

    “In the general purpose forces, we are a bit lagging behind the United States.

    “And of course, Russia will no accept any kind of defeat.

    “So the involvement of nuclear weapons is inevitable.”

    When asked if he is just trying to scare viewers, Mr Buzhinskiy said he was scared for the possible repercussions. He added: “I am scared myself because I have children and I have grandchildren so I am scared for their fate.”

    ……..https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/947171/World-War-3-Russia-news-nuclear-war-inevitable

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    France’s EDF faces handicap to exporting nuclear reactors, with flaws found in European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs)

    France’s nuclear plans under pressure, Petroleum Economist, 17 Apr 18

    Flaws found at a flagship reactor could curb EDF’s technology export ambitions

    Piping weld issues reported at Électricité de France’s Flamanville nuclear reactor project last week threaten to delay similar reactor builds across Finland and the UK, eroding confidence in the technology’s future role in western Europe’s energy mix.

    State-owned EDF admitted on 10 April that inspectors had found “quality deviations” on 150 welds in a system used to transport steam to turbines at the Flamanville European Pressurized Reactor (EPR), a third generation pressurised water reactor in northwestern France.

    Those inspections were prompted by an initial finding in February that 38 of 66 weldings on a secondary cooling circuit were not in line with standards, which were passed on at the time to France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).

    Because the ASN has already demanded that a study be completed into the initial problems by the second half of 2018, it’s likely the new discovery will exacerbate problems with the long-delayed plant’s timetable and costs—it is seven years behind schedule and €7bn ($8.6bn) over budget.

    The impact of the substandard weldings will also likely be felt further afield, particularly on timings for other long-delayed EPRs that the firm is currently building: Hinkley Point C in the UK, and Olkiluoto 3 in Finland.

    Construction of the first EPR in Olkiluoto started in 2005 and was initially set to be completed by 2009, but in October 2017, the project was again delayed to May 2019, when it is intended to become western Europe’s first new nuclear power station for 15 years. Meanwhile, construction is slated to start on the 3.2-gigawatt Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, southwest England, in 2019. The plant was first proposed in 2008 and is expected to take at least a decade to bring online, at a cost of £20.3bn ($28bn).

    “Repeated construction delays further undermine the credibility of nuclear power as a viable option for electricity generation in the context of urgency to combat climate change”, Mycle Schneider, lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, told Petroleum Economist. “Nuclear power turns out to be not only increasingly expensive, but far too slow to compete with other options.”

    Fukushima in focus

    Despite the delays, the need to ensure strict standards in a post-Fukushima environment was underlined by an incident last December at China’s Taishan1 reactor, which was constructed by China General Nuclear Power Corporation (GCN) with EDF. Taishan1’s deaerator, which removes oxygen and other gases from boiler feedwater circuits, cracked during performance testing due to defective welding.

    Safety issues have loomed over nuclear power’s future in western Europe since the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011, when a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake triggered a 46-foot tsunami that hit the plant, leading to the leakage of radioactive materials and shutdown of the plant. ……..

    On 31 March, the Belgian government confirmed that its future energy strategy included a plan to shut down all nuclear power plants by 2025, and Germany, Spain and Switzerland have also made plans to phase out nuclear power by the 2020s. Even President Emmanuel Macron’s French election campaign included a promise to cut nuclear power generation from 72% to 50%.

    “In a strict commercial sense, nuclear power is a tough proposition in western Europe. Unlike emerging economies and regions, demand is flat in the continent,” said Jane Nakano, a senior energy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “In mature markets it is tough to make a business case for massive projects that require huge upfront investment.” …….http://www.petroleum-economist.com/articles/low-carbon-energy/nuclear/2018/frances-nuclear-plans-under-pressure

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

    HBO miniseries will examine the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine

    Emily Watson, Stellan Skarsgard Join Jared Harris in HBO’s ‘Chernobyl’ Miniseries  The five-parter for HBO and Sky will examine the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/emily-watson-stellan-skarsgard-join-hbos-chernobyl-miniseries-1095463 – MARCH 19, 2018  by Etan VlessingEmily Watson and Stellan Skarsgard are headed to Chernobyl.

    The Breaking the Waves stars have boarded the five-part miniseries about the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine with Mad Men star Jared Harris, the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

    Chernobyl will see Watson play the role of a Soviet nuclear physicist looking to solve the mystery beyond the natural disaster, while Skarsgard will perform the role of a Soviet-era bureaucrat in the energy ministry. Watson and Skarsgard co-starred in Lars Von Trier’s 1996 drama Breaking the Waves, which earned Watson a best actress Oscar nomination.

    Harris was earlier announced to star as Valery Legasov, the Soviet scientist chosen by the Kremlin to investigate the accident. The Chernobyl project dramatizes the true story of one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and tells of the brave men and women who sacrificed to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.

    The limited series is described as a “a tale of lies and cowardice, of courage and conviction, of human failure and human nobility,” that will look closely at how and why the nuclear disaster happened as well as the heroes who fought and fell during that time.

    Craig Mazin (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) will write and Johan Renck (Breaking BadThe Walking Dead), will direct.Mazin will exec produce with Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones) and Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch), with Renck and Chris Fry (Humans) attached to co-exec produce.

    The project continues HBO’s investing in miniseries and limited series, and comes several months after the cabler struck a $250 million production partnership with Sky. The two had previously worked together on the Jude Law-starrer The Young Pope, which has been renewed for a second season.

    Watson is repped by UTA and Independent Talent Group, while Skarsgard is repped by ICM Partners and Curtis Brown Group.

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

    South Africa’s Director General of Energy says there’s no new nuclear build programme

    ENERGY DEPT: NO NEW NUCLEAR BUILD PROGRAMME, Eyewitness News,  Director General of Energy Thabane Zulu says the government doesn’t plan to spend any money on advancing its nuclear programme in this financial year. Lindsay  Dentlinger 17 Apr 18  CAPE TOWN The Department of Energy says there’s no new nuclear build programme.

    The R816 million allocated in 2018’s national budget is purely for the ongoing work of the country’s nuclear institutions.

    Members of Parliament’s energy committee on Tuesday sought clarity around the future of the country’s nuclear programme, but committee chairperson Fikile Majola says Minister Jeff Radebe should rather be called to do the explaining.

    The Director General of Energy Thabane Zulu says the government doesn’t plan to spend any money on advancing its nuclear programme in this financial year.

    He can’t say when the department will be ready to submit the long-awaited, updated Integrated Resource Plan to Cabinet, which will outline the country’s energy needs……http://ewn.co.za/2018/04/17/energy-dept-no-new-nuclear-build-programme

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

    UK government will need to lift the bribes for communities to accept nuclear wastes

    Derby Telegraph 16th April 2018 , Why fears have been raised that Derbyshire might end up hosting a nuclear
    waste facility. “It was an area suggested for such a facility around 25
    years ago.” A geological formation in Derbyshire could be considered for a
    nuclear waste facility, it is feared.

    The Government is scouring the UK for
    a suitable location for a new £12 billion geological disposal facility
    (GDF). Cumbria was being lined up to to store an estimated 750,000 cubic
    metres of radioactive material produced by 50 years of nuclear power and
    defence activity – but its county council rejected the idea in 2013,
    forcing the Government to search for a new location.

    Now a neighbouring council has discussed hosting the nuclear waste dumping facility in a
    sedimentary basin known as the Widmerpool Gulf – which extends across
    Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. A response to a Government
    package of incentives designed to get communities to agree to ‘host’ a
    storage complex has been discussed by Leicestershire County Council,
    reports the Leicester Mercury.

    Any facility would look to bury waste at least 200 metres below ground somewhere in a geological area which
    stretches from the eastern fringes of Derby across the countryside to the
    south of Nottingham and on to the west of Melton Mowbray in north
    Leicestershire. Leicestershire County Council has said there are no
    specific proposals for a GDF in Leicestershire at this stage but it has
    asked for further information on the issue from the Department of Business,
    Energy and Industrial Strategy.

    The council’s head of planning LonekWojtulewicz said: “The underlying principle is these sort of facilities
    will only come forward if communities are prepared to accept them.” The
    Government has said £1 million a year could be offered to a community
    willing to host a GDF rising to £2.5 million as a scheme progresses.

    https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/local-news/fears-been-raised-derbyshire-might-1461024

    April 18, 2018 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment