Archive for the ‘General’ Category

“Nuclear Renaissance” dead – as the Renewable Energy Revolution takes over

January 23, 2015
Meet the Renewable Energy Revolution The Nuclear “Renaissance” is Over, CounterPunch by LINDA PENTZ GUNTERJANUARY 22, 2013 The nuclear renaissance-that-never-was is over. As a brazen propaganda campaign — “if we say there is a nuclear renaissance then there is one” was pretty much all there was to it — it has belly-flopped into an empty swimming pool. Even the mainstream media is dismissing the notion now as a never-was-and-never-will-be mirage (although it meekly bought in for a long time before the evidence of the sham was incontrovertible.)

But like the old man in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the nuclear industry continues to claim that it is “not dead” yet and actually “getting better.”

Consequently, in a last ditch attempt to belie reality, the nuclear industry endeavors to reinvent itself with a steady parade of better nuclear mouse-traps. One day it’s the Small Modular Reactor! Then it’s the Answer to Climate Change! Or it’s got to be the Fast Integral Reactor!

But the nuclear industry is none of those things. It’s just over. It won’t go slowly and it won’t go quietly, and it won’t go without trying to suck up a whole lot more of our tax dollars. But go it will. And according to the venerable international investment bank, UBS, that exit will come sooner rather than later.

The bank is even telling its clients “it’s time to join the revolution,” reports REneweconomy, an Australian energy publication. The renewable energy revolution, that is. No mention of any “renaissance.”…….

Propping up nuclear industry: Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission may gouge public for $3 billion

January 23, 2015

Ohio’s Anti-Green Suicide EcoWatch  | January 20, 2015 Swing state Ohio is plunging ever deeper into the fossil/nuke abyss.

Its Public Utilities Commission may soon gouge the public for $3 billion(BILLION!) to subsidize two filthy 50-year-old coal burners and America’s most dangerous nuke.

Approval would seal Ohio’s death notice. None of those coal/nuke burners can compete with the rising revolution in renewable energy. Throughout the world, similar outmoded facilities are shutting down.

In 2001, Ohio deregulated its electric markets. But the state’s nuke owners demanded nearly $10 billion in “stranded cost” handouts so the obsolete Davis-Besse and Perry reactors on Lake Erie could allegedly compete with more efficient technologies.

Today, despite the huge subsidies, renewables and fracked gas have completely priced them out of the market. Davis-Besse—a Three Mile Island clone—is infamous worldwide for its horrific breakdowns, ……..

Davis-Besse is being run by owners who believe—with good reason—that they can get away with anything.

Perhaps that’s because, should it blow, FirstEnergy is shielded by federal law from virtually all liability for downwind financial, ecological and human health damage, which would be incalculable.

So now the company wants the public pay still more billions to keep Davis-Besse operating, no matter the consequences…….

Doomsday clock at 3 minutes to midnight- due to climate change, and nuclear tensions

January 23, 2015

It Is 3 Minutes To Midnight – Climate Change And Nuclear Tensions Push Doomsday Clock Hands Forward
“Extraordinary and Undeniable” Climate, Weapons Threats Cited for Movement; Doomsday Clock Adjustment is 1st in 3 Years and is Accompanied by Urgent Call for Action. WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Warning that “the probability of global catastrophe is very high” unless quick action is taken, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board today cited unchecked climate change and global nuclear weapons modernization as the basis for their decision to move the minute hand of the historic Doomsday Clock forward two minutes. The shift of the Doomsday Clock hands to three minutes to midnight is the first such adjustment to be made in three years.  The Board also outlined action steps that will need to be taken “very soon” in order to avert catastrophe.

The full statement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board — in consultation with its Board of Sponsors that includes 17 Nobel Prize laureates — is available online at   ………—climate-change-and-nuclear-tensions-push-doomsday-clock-hands-forward-300024348.html

Austria’s challenge to Hinkley project could be fatal for UK nuclear industry

January 23, 2015
UK nuclear ambitions dealt fatal blow by Austrian legal challenge, say Greens Lawyers say legal delays could prevent UK from realising its ambitions for new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point C by 2023. Plans for a new generation of nuclear reactors in the UK have been dealt a fatal blow by Austria’s decision to launch a legal challenge to the EU’s approval of a £17.6bn subsidy deal, according to the Green Party.

On Wednesday, the Guardian revealed that Austria will appeal the EU’s decision last year to approve the subsidy deal between the UK government and EDF for Hinkley Point C……….

“Given that Hinkley is a trailblazer for the new generation of nuclear and now looks like being held up for a long period of time, it will be extremely damaging – not just for nuclear but across the whole spectrum of industry,”

Nuclear power unpopular at home, so nations vie to sell it to China

January 23, 2015

Global nuclear majors target China By LYU CHANG(China Daily) As nuclear power plants continue to be phased out by many countries, foreign energy giants are pinning their hopes on China’s nuclear market, and its huge potential for growth.

International energy companies including Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, French energy giant EDF and Candu Energy Inc, a subsidiary of Canadian engineering giant SNC-Lavalin Inc, are all scrambling to invest in the country……

The global spread of Fukushima’s radioactive plume

January 23, 2015

Study: Fukushima plume spread worldwide, far exceeding the hundreds of miles mentioned previously — 100 Quadrillion becquerels of Cs-137 released tops Chernobyl — “Implicates radiological hazard at distances otherwise overlooked”

Published: January 21st, 2015
By    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (pdf), University of Florida……………See also:

View the study here

Nuclear power not really a solution to South Africa’s energy needs

January 23, 2015

SA’s long-term nuclear plan no solution to country’s short-term energy needs, Cape Business News, 21 Jan  15 “……According to Vice President of Talesun Energy, Arthur Chien, the recent signing of a nuclear power cooperation deal between South Africa and Russia, which has been touted by many as a potential energy solution, is not a solution as this is a long-term strategy for the country. He says it is crucial that renewable energy projects are fast-tracked nationally, in order to counter electricity shortages in the short-term.

Chien explains that the construction of a nuclear station can take anywhere from five to seven years, whereas a wind farm takes about six months and a solar farm would take only 16 weeks from start to finish depending on its size. …….

Chien adds that the health and environmental risks associated with nuclear power are also extremely high, especially for those who work in and live in close proximity to plants. ….

“An indication that South Africa is heading in the right direction to overcome the energy crisis by means of an environmentally friendly, safer and more economical way, includes the rollout of Kalkbult solar plant in the Northern Cape, a Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme project, which can already produce enough electricity to be consumed by approximately 33,000 households, lessening the carbon footprint in the area,”

Vermont can show USA the way out of nuclear power and into renewable energy

January 23, 2015

Vermont Is Kicking Its Nuclear Habit—and Showing How Your State Can Too

As states shut down their nuclear power plants, they need to ramp up other low-carbon sources of energy. January 22, 2015 By  Emily Gertz is TakePart’s associate editor for environment and wildlife. Can Vermont kick its nuclear energy addiction and retain its title as the United States’ greenest state? If so, it could pave the way to a renewable power future for other states that are also shuttering their aging nuclear power plants.

California, for instance, is now closing one of its two remaining nuclear power plants while seeking to obtain half its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. In New York, Gov. Mario Cuomo opposes relicensing the Indian Point Energy Center nuclear station……

so far, few if any environmental groups have switched sides [to a pro nuclear stance]. “Given its massive capital costs, technical complexity, and international security concerns, nuclear power is clearly not a practical alternative,” stated the Natural Resources Defense Council.

TEPCO executives won’t be charged over Fukushima nuclear disaster

January 23, 2015

TEPCO executives won’t face charges over Fukushima disaster, Japan prosecutors say ABC News 23 jan 15 Japanese prosecutors say three former Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) executives will not be charged over their handling of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, setting up a possible showdown with a rarely used citizen’s panel that could still force an indictment………

Public waiting for someone to be held accountable

A parliamentary report has said the Fukushima disaster was man-made, caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience”, but no one has been punished criminally.

There is a growing perception publicly that cosy ties between government, regulators and nuclear operators have insulated executives of plant operator TEPCO……..

US Senate refuses to accept human causes of climate change

January 23, 2015

US Senate refuses to accept humanity’s role in global climate change, again

Senators accept global warming is not a hoax but fail to recognise human activity is to blame, nearly 27 years after scientists laid out man’s role

The Guardian,  Republican and US senator James Inhofe: ‘Man can’t change climate’. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

, US environment correspondentIt is nearly 27 years now since a Nasa scientist testified before the US Senate that the agency was 99% certain that rising global temperatures were caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

And the Senate still has not got it – based on the results of three symbolic climate change votes on Wednesday night…….

Unless Senators are prepared to acknowledge the causes of climate change, it is likely they will remain unable and unwilling to do anything about it.

Democrats had planned the symbolic, “sense of the Senate” votes as a way of exposing the Republicans’ increasingly embarrassing climate change denial. Further climate votes will come up on Thursday……