Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Nuclear wastes – deliberately left to our grandchildren – theme for February 2021

The nuclear lobby has found the perfect solution to shutting down reactors and dealing with radioactive trash now accumulating.  The answer is so simple – Do Nothing, really.

You just extend the operating licenses of old, cracked, tired nuclear reactors for many more decades –  100 years is the recommnded time, now.

That way, all today’s so-called ”responsible” authorities absolve themselves of all responsibility for those problem and outcomes.  And – it’s so much cheaper than taking responsibility!

February 5, 2021 Posted by | Christina themes | Leave a comment

Kimba radioactive trash Bill stagnates in the Senate, as Right-wing media extols nuclear power

Resources Minister Keith Pitt  and Australia’s nuclear schills must be getting a bit desperate.  The National Radioactive Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 keeps on not getting itself discussed in the Senate.

This could be because (a) it’s likely to be defeated, or (b) if passed, there will be a successful court action opposing it, or (c) the plan would not meet the required international safety standards.

I’m betting on (d) – the Senators just don’t know wotthell to do about it.

Meanwhile Australia’s the prevailing media, the Murdochracy,and commercial media is in a frenzy, in their anxiety about Australia’s huge need to embrace nuclear technology.

‘Extremely hypocritical’ for Greens to oppose nuclear power, Sky News, 18 February
The NT, with our abundance of Uranium, should be the Saudi Arabia of nuclear energy’ -Hepburn Advocate  19 February

Why we need to flick the switch and embrace nuclear power -THE AUSTRALIAN  23 February 

Coalition MPs in drive for nuclear energy – The Australian, 17 February
Nuclear power on National Party agenda for tackling emissions through Clean Energy Finance rules – Canberra Times, 22 February

February 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump | Leave a comment

NuScale’s small nuclear reactor dream – dead on arrival?

Even with new technology, we will need to mine uranium—a process that has leached radioactive waste into waterways—and find somewhere to put the spent fuel. (The current practice, which persists at Trojan and will be employed at NuScale’s plants, is to hold waste on-site. This is intended to be a temporary measure, but every attempt to find a permanent disposal site has been stalled by geological constraints and local opposition.)

NuScale was making “an end run around [voters] in their quest for corporate profit.” He also noted the company’s ties to the Fluor Corporation. Fluor has invested $9.9 million in campaign contributions over the past 30 years, with nearly two-thirds going toward Republican candidates. (Fluor is currently under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission due to allegedly sloppy accounting practices.)

A decade ago, NuScale suggested it might have a plant in operation by 2018. Now construction won’t begin until 2025 at the earliest. The plant at Idaho National Laboratory won’t be fully operational until 2030.

in order to make advanced reactors accessible within the next few decades—even relatively simple reactors, like NuScale’s—the government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies …… the nuclear dream looks dead on arrival….

Biden’s Other Nuclear Option, Smaller nuclear reactors might be the bridge to a carbon-free economy. But are they worth it? Mother Jones, 22 Feb 21, BOYCE UPHOLT    ”………..

Four years after it opened, the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island facility in Pennsylvania spooked the nation, and Oregon, like many states, put a moratorium on new nuclear plants. ……
In 2007, an engineer at Oregon State University named José Reyes began to resurrect it by imagining a reactor that would be “very, very different.” By shrinking and simplifying the standard nuclear reactor, Reyes believes he has created a technology that can generate power more safely at a fraction of the price. Last August, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a final safety report for Reyes’ design, recommending its certification. Construction on the first reactor could begin as soon as 2025. That puts NuScale, the company Reyes co-founded, at the front of the race toward “advanced nuclear” power

Donald Trump’s Department of Energy was “all in” on advanced nuclear, as a press release put it, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into research and development. President Joe Biden is a fan, too. As part of his plan to shift the United States to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, he has targeted further investment in small modular nuclear reactors like NuScale’s.

But are these investments worth the money—and the risks? New designs or not, nuclear plants face daunting issues of waste disposal, public opposition, and, most of all, staggering costs. We must ramp up our fight against climate change. But whether nuclear is a real part of the solution—or just a long-shot bid to keep a troubled industry alive—is a debate that will come to the fore in the short window we have to overhaul the nation’s energy portfolio.

Few issues divide us as cleanly as nuclear power. According to a 2019 Pew Research Center poll, 49 percent of Americans support opening new plants, while 49 percent are opposed.

The popular argument against nuclear power can be summed up in a few names: Chernobyl. Fukushima. Three Mile Island. Nuclear dread is palpable. Some formerly pro-nuclear countries, like Germany, began phasing out plants in the wake of the 2011 disaster in Japan. The dangers begin well before nuclear fuel arrives at a plant, and persist long afterward; the rods that fuel today’s plants remain radioactive for millennia after their use. How to ethically store this waste remains a Gordian knot nobody has figured out how to cut.

The argument in favor of nuclear power boils down to the urgent need to combat climate change.  [Ed,  but nuclear does not  really combat climate change.]

But if nuclear power is going to help us mitigate climate change, a lot more reactors need to come online, and soon. Eleven nuclear reactors in the United States have been retired since 2012, and eight more will be closed by 2025. (When nuclear plants are retired, utility companies tend to ramp up production at coal- or natural gas–fired plants, a step in the wrong direction for those concerned about lowering emissions.) Since 1970, the construction of the average US plant has wound up costing nearly three-and-a-half times more than the initial projections. Developers have broken ground on just four new reactor sites since Three Mile Island. Two were abandoned after $9 billion was.. sunk into construction; two others, in Georgia, are five years behind schedule. The public is focused on risks, but “nuclear power is not doing well around the world right now for one reason—economics,” says Allison Macfarlane, a former commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Continue reading

February 23, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

What would go into the Chalk River Mound? — Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area

December 2020 Canadian taxpayers are paying a consortium (Canadian National Energy Alliance) contracted by the federal government in 2015, billions of dollars to reduce Canada’s $16 billion nuclear liabilities quickly and cheaply. The consortium is proposing to construct a giant mound for one million tons of radioactive waste beside the Ottawa River upstream of Ottawa-Gatineau. […]

What would go into the Chalk River Mound? — Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area

 

There is considerable secrecy about what would go into the mound; the information that follows has been  derived from the proponent’s final environmental impact statement (EIS) (December 2020) which lists a partial inventory of radionuclides that would go into the gigantic five-to-seven story radioactive mound (aka the “NSDF”). The EIS and supporting documents also contain inventories of non-radioactive hazardous materials that would go into the dump.

Here is what the consortium says it is planning to put into the Chalk River mound (according to the final EIS and supporting documents)

1)  Long-lived radioactive materials

Twenty-five out of the 30 radionuclides listed in Table 3.3.1-2: NSDF Reference Inventory and Licensed Inventory are long-lived, with half-lives ranging from four centuries to more than four billion years.

To take just one example, the man-made radionuclide, Neptunium-237, has a half-life of 2 million years such that, after 2 million years have elapsed, half of the material will still be radioactive. At the time of emplacement in the mound, the neptunium-237 will be giving off 17 million ( check, 1.74 x 10 to the 7th) radioactive disintegrations each second, second after second.

The mound would contain 80 tonnes of Uranium and 6.6 tonnes of thorium-232.

2) Four isotopes of plutonium, one of the most deadly radioactive materials known, if inhaled or ingested.

John Gofman MD, PhD, a Manhattan Project scientist and former director of biomedical research at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, stated that even one-millionth of a gram of plutonium inhaled into the lung, will cause lung cancer within 20 years. Sir Brian Flowers, author of the UK Royal Commission Report on Nuclear Energy and the Environment, wrote that a few thousands of a gram, inhaled into the lungs, will cause death within a few years because of massive fibrosis of the lungs, and that a few millionths of a gram will cause lung cancer with almost 100% certainty.

The four isotopes of plutonium listed in the NSDF reference inventory are Plutonium-239, Plutonium-240, Plutonium-2441 and Plutonium-242. According to Table 3.3.1-2 (NSDF Reference Inventory and Licensed Inventory) from the EIS, The two isotopes 239 and 240 combined will have an activity of 87 billion Bq when they are emplaced in the dump. This means that they will be giving off 87 billion radioactive disintegrations each second, second after second.

3) Fissionable materials 

Fissionable materials can be used to make nuclear weapons.

The mound would contain “special fissionable materials” listed in this table (avove) extracted from an EIS supporting document, Waste Acceptance Criteria, Version 4, (November 2020) Continue reading

February 23, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Coca-Cola Amatil commits to 100pct renewables by 2025, zero emissions by 2040 — RenewEconomy

Coca-Cola Amatil signs on to switch its Australian beverage facilities to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025, aiming for net zero emissions by 2040. The post Coca-Cola Amatil commits to 100pct renewables by 2025, zero emissions by 2040 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Coca-Cola Amatil commits to 100pct renewables by 2025, zero emissions by 2040 — RenewEconomy

February 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Texas GOP Attacks AOC With False Claims … For Trying To Help Texans, Americans, And The World” • Texas’ GOP Chair, Allen West, rather than working to help Texans in a time of dire need, decided to switch the issue. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised $2 million for Texans, so he attacked her and […]

February 22 Energy News — geoharvey

February 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

To 22 February, Covid-19, climate, and nuclear news

Coronavrus update:

Climate;  disinformation is rampant.   –we have allowed governments around the world to throw away the time when we could have stopped the endless killer heat waves, fires, rising seas, superstorms, dying coral, dying everything. We let governments from Monarchies to Oligarchies to alleged Democracies endanger life on this planet, including our kids future.

If we can’t change that, we really are doomed.” – Alex Smith, Radio Ecoshock.

Nuclear – it is disappointing to me to listen to interviews with Bill Gates-  he is not questioned on his statements pushing nuclear power for climate. It seems that being a billionaire entrepreneur qualifies him for a kind of reverent belief and trust . Meanwhile, a real climate expert , Michael Mann, has just published an authoritative book on the subject.

Hunting for good news – but it’s tricky. Lots of good news on things like individuals being kind to homeless people. But there’s a dearth of news about public, government, action to provide homes for the homeless.

AUSTRALIA.

Wise warning to Australian government to withdraw embarrassing Nuclear Waste Dump Bill.

Nothing clean about nuclear, coal or gas – Australian Conservation Foundation.  Australian Liberal National Coalition enthusiastic for nuclear power.  Nationals add nuclear enthusiasm to the government’s energy bill.   Australia a renewables leader – or the ‘‘Saudi Arabia of nuclear energy”– Queensland neeeds job-supplying, clean, renewable energy, NOT antiquated nuclear powerNews Corpse fervently promoting nuclear power to Australia.

 Solar, storage to take over from Ranger uranium mine.  Mediation continuing over rehabilitation of Range uranium mine.

‘Clean coal’ is nothing but a marketing scam: Energy experts.

Federal energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor wants to include dirty energy in Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

INTERNATIONAL

Nuclear lobby planning to take over the U.N Climate Change Conference.

Living longterm in radioactively contaminated areas damages our health.

On nuclear power as climate solution, Bill Gates shows alarming ignoranceBill Gates’undemocratic approach to climate crisis.  New books on climate change; Michael Mann versus (nuclear promoter) Bill Gates.

The “negaWatt” – the best energy is the energy you don’t use.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Wise warning to Australian government to withdraw embarrassing Nuclear Waste Dump Bill

Peter Remta, 21 Feb 21, to Senator Slade Brockman

I am aware that the Waste Management Amendment (Site Specification, Community Fund and Other Measures) Bill 2020 has been listed in the Senate’s order of business for Tuesday 23 February but with respect suggest that this a completely futile exercise on the part of your government and the responsible minister

The bill will not be passed because of the unwavering opposition by the crossbench and any preceding debate could be extremely embarrassing for your government because of the untoward and disingenuous information previously put out by Pitt and his department and its agencies being raised by the opposing senators

If Pitt then falls back on the existing legislation he will be subject to administrative and judicial and now because of the High Court decision earlier this month in the New Acland Coal case(1) will be completely stopped with his proposals if the opposing community at Kimba start their legal action since their situation is one real and not just apprehend bias as in that case

Should that litigation ensue then practically all written material held by the government in all its guises will be fully disclosed through the litigation procedure of discovery

From my limited personal knowledge of some of that material it will prove extremely embarrassing and your government will not be able to claim any privilege to prevent its disclosure

This is the view of several senior lawyers including some retired superior court judges but ask the attorney should you have any doubts

Perhaps the most pertinent aspect of the whole situation is the proposal for Kimba will in any event fail to get any of the necessary licences as ARPANSA is already being criticised for not carrying out its proper regulatory functions with respect to ANSTO and as a result the licence applications will be subject to an overseas peer review which will completely remove the licensing process from your government and its agencies

In any case ANSTO is already under a cloud due to its dismal performance and awkward responses at the Senate estimates hearing on 29 October 2020 which will I understand be subject to further extensive questioning and explanations

Please bear in mind that I was the source of the information for the questioning senators and the further questions to be asked due to the complete inadequacy of the responses by ANSTO to the notified questions(2)

I therefore suggest that you and Dean Smith as the government whips withdraw the bill before it becomes a further embarrassment to your government in a possible election year

With kind regards

Peter Remta

(1).    Oakey Coal Action Alliance Inv v. New Acland Coal Pty Ltd & Ors

High Court Case No.B34/2020

(2).    SENATE ECONOMICS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE Estimates

Hansard  THURSDAY  29 OCTOBER 2020

Senator Abetz pages 11 to 13 and Senator Carr pages 5 to 11

February 22, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics | Leave a comment

Haines proposes $483m Local Power Agency to help communities buy in to wind and solar — RenewEconomy

Independent MP Helen Haines introduces legislation to establish a new Australian Local Power Agency to support community ownership of renewable energy. The post Haines proposes $483m Local Power Agency to help communities buy in to wind and solar appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Haines proposes $483m Local Power Agency to help communities buy in to wind and solar — RenewEconomy

February 22, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima – radioactive water into the sea – a nightmare for fishermen

A decade after the Fukushima meltdown, this Japanese region faces a new nightmare — radioactive water in the sea, ABC, By North Asia correspondent Jake Sturmer and Yumi Asada in Fukushima, Japan, 21 Feb 21, 

I won’t lie — I was a little nervous heading inside the destroyed nuclear plant at the centre of Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident.

It was a rare opportunity to look at how the clean-up effort was going 10 years on.

But weighing on my mind as I headed inside and took a look around was that this was of the most radioactive places on earth right now.

I’ve been inside Fukushima’s no-go zones, where the radiation levels are so high it’s unliveable and overgrown weeds entangle anything in their way — from abandoned homes, cars and even vending machines.

It is always an eerie experience seeing entire towns frozen in time and the stories from those who once called it home are equally chilling.

This is the first time I’ve been in the place responsible for it……..

It’s been 10 years since Japan’s worst nuclear accident, which was triggered by the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the country and a massive tsunami that wiped out everything in its path.

Yet the aftershocks from the devastating March 11 disaster continue to rattle these parts — the most recent occurring only a week ago.

Japan’s nuclear disaster site is still a hive of activity

When the tsunami hit the nuclear plant in 2011, it cut power and consequently cooling to three operational reactors.

At that point, only flooding the reactors with seawater could have cooled them quickly enough to avoid a meltdown.

But that decision was delayed because of fears it would permanently destroy the reactors.

By the time the government ordered the seawater to be used, it was too late. The nuclear fuel overheated and melted down.

Some of the reactors exploded and the twisted wreckage of the blast is still exposed today.

When I arrived at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, I was given a radiation dosimeter and handed a plastic bag containing gloves, a mask and three pairs of socks.

I had been given specific instructions to put on one after the other.

The idea was to prevent any radioactive material from getting onto my pants — if it does, the officials jokingly told me, I’ll have to leave them there.

Once I’m ready, I follow an official through a maze-like path to the Whole Body Counter room.

That’s where I have a scan that measures the existing radiation levels inside my body so they can check how much I have been exposed to throughout the day.

It’s a bustling hive of activity — there are thousands of workers here and as we pass by many say ‘otsukaresama deshita’, a Japanese phrase that loosely translates to ‘thank you for your service’.

We’re accompanied and guided by several officials from the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)……….

The long process of removing 800 tones of radioactive fuel

TEPCO has spent the last 10 years trying to cool and stabilise the three reactors so that they can eventually start to remove the molten fuel debris that sits inside them.

As we pull up to the destroyed reactors, which contain more than 800 tonnes of highly radioactive molten nuclear fuel, we can see many workers in full protective equipment heavily involved in the decontamination effort.

In the space of just a few steps, radiation levels spike from 80 microsieverts an hour to 100. At the same time, my radiation alarm goes off to tell me I’ve accumulated 0.02 millisieverts of radiation while at the plant.

It’s about the same as a chest x-ray and nothing to be worried about at this stage — but our minders tell us we shouldn’t spend too much more time here.

It’s estimated the full clean-up effort will take another 30-40 years, though some experts feel this is optimistic.

The company was hoping to start removal of the highly radioactive debris this year, but the coronavirus pandemic will prevent that from happening.

“We are planning to remove the fuel debris from Unit 2 using a robot arm and the plan was to make the arm and carry out a performance test in the UK,” TEPCO’s Yoshinori Takahashi told me.

“But because of the coronavirus, the manufacturing process and testing has been delayed.”

The delay could be up to 12 months. But that is not the most pressing issue facing TEPCO.

How do you remove a million tonnes of contaminated water?

All of the water that touches the highly radioactive molten fuel also becomes contaminated.

The water is processed to remove more than 60 different types of radioactive materials from it, but the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) doesn’t completely purify the water.

The radioactive element, tritium, remains inside all of the stored water, albeit at “low” levels, according to TEPCO.

Currently, 1.2 million tonnes of contaminated water is stored in more than 1,000 tanks spanning the entire power plant facility. But by the end of next year, the tanks and the site will be full.

The Japanese government is now weighing up what to do next.

A panel of experts has recommended disposing of it in the ocean as the most practical option as opposed to releasing it into the air, which TEPCO said would be more difficult to monitor.

Mr Takahashi said tritium was a weak form of radiation and that the water would be released in such limited quantities over such a long period that it would be safe.

But for those who make their living from the part of the ocean where TEPCO is proposing to dump its contaminated water, they fear the damage this poses to their reputation.

That includes Haruo Ono, who has been fishing in Fukushima’s waters for 50 years.

Fisherman worried about what water release will mean for their livelihoods

Although most fishermen are receiving compensation payments from TEPCO to cover their revenue shortfalls, he fears that if contaminated water is released into the ocean, it will finish off the industry for good.

“They say it’s OK to release tritium, but what do consumers think? We can’t sell fish because the consumers say no,” he said.

The 70-year-old is opposed to the scheme and says he’s hoping to watch the decommissioning first-hand over the next 30-40 years…………… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-21/a-tour-inside-fukushimas-nuclear-plant-10-years-after-accident/13158976

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

News Corpse fervently promoting nuclear power to Australia

From THE AUSTRALIAN, 17 Feb 21,  ‘‘Think of the deaths that could have been avoided, since installing solar panels and wind turbines is a surprisingly dangerous exercise. The death toll from solar power per unit of energy supplied is more than five times as high as the death toll from nuclear, according to estimates from Cambridge House in Canada. By the same measure, nuclear power is 1000 times safer than coal and 400 times safer than natural gas. Yet still Albanese persists with the lame excuse that nuclear power is too dangerous to consider.”

Cambridge House doesn’t seem like a credible source for deaths in different power sources.

Cambridge House is a networking and “investment discovery” company that runs a mining and investment conference in North Americahttps://cambridgehouse.com/about

Maybe not the most reliable source of info, journalist at The Australian.

Some excellent scientists did, in fact, do meticulous studies, and documented illnesses,deaths, birth defects resulting from the Chernobyl disaster.  The Russian government happily collaborated with the West in a successful campaign to discredit those scientists.  Most notably Alexey V. Yablokov – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl:_Consequences_of_the_Catastrophe_for_People_and_the_Environment

I wrote on the work of Wladimir Wertelecki, who documented birth defects in Belarus –  unfortunate title – but bear with it –  “A baby that has no head is a baby that has no head.”  https://noelwauchope.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/a-baby-that-has-no-head-is-a-baby-that-has-no-head/
From Sky News, 21 Feb 21,  “Broadcaster Michael McLaren says Australia has wasted “decades with silly moratoriums” on nuclear energy and that “we may well pay the price” for doing so.  “There is a growing sense of urgency now about which technology can provide the reliable baseload power Australia needs if coal is to go,” Mr McLaren said. “It is an issue of sovereignty and national security”.

 

February 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media | Leave a comment

New books on climate change; Michael Mann versus (nuclear promoter) Bill Gates

Let’s not forget that Bill Gates recommends tax-payer support for new small nuclear reactors, and just happens to be promoting his own cnuclear  company TerraPower
The rise of the climate dude  New Statesman , 17 Feb 21, 
Bill Gates’s faith in a technological fix for climate change is typical of privileged men who think they can swoop in and solve the problems others have spent decades trying to fix.

………   How to Avoid a Climate Disaster provides a run-through of all the reasons we need to act on climate change and achieve net zero emissions. Gates insists this will be difficult and expensive to do, but that new and existing technologies can get us there. “I don’t have a solution to the politics of climate change,” he writes, but he acknowledges the importance of “developing new policies so we can demonstrate and deploy those inventions in the market as fast as possible”.
Alongside Gates’s book comes The New Climate War, by Michael Mann, a well-known American climate scientist. Mann is the genuine article. He started in the field in the early 1990s as a graduate student at Yale University and has never left it. He is less than convinced by Gates’s relatively late conversion to the climate cause.Gates is a classic example of a “first-time climate dude”, believes Mann. This phenomenon is “the tendency for members of a particular, privileged demographic group (primarily middle-aged, almost exclusively white men) to think they can just swoop in… and solve the great problems that others have spent decades unable to crack”. The result is a mess, “consisting of fatally bad takes and misguided framing couched in deeply condescending mansplaining”.

Such doom-mongering fires up Mann. In the “new climate war”, he heads an army that discounts the prospect of failure. “The climate crisis is very real,” he says. “But it is not unsolvable. And it’s not too late to act.” The opposition is no longer the climate deniers of yesteryear, but a more insidious group: “doomsayers” and “defeatists” who push “climate doom porn” and the idea that “climate change is just too big a problem for us to solve”, says Mann. They also peddle the other “Ds”: “disinformation, deceit, divisiveness, deflection, delay”.
That two high-profile books on climate change have been published within a week of each other proves the subject has reached the top of the mainstream agenda. Together, Mann and Gates offer a rounded view of the climate debate, but Mann’s book is the more readable. His prose rattles along, entertaining and horrifying us in equal measure as he exposes scientists, politicians, the conservative media and other supposed experts who have slowed climate action by caring more about the interests of big industry.
Gates, on the other hand, can be irksome. He’s never afraid to name drop, so the book is littered with phrases such as, “I met with François Hollande, who was the president of France,” or, “Warren Buffett and I were talking…” And he loves nothing more than reminding us how much he is investing in fighting climate change. “I’ve put more than $1bn into approaches that I hope will help the world get to zero,” he casually notes.
Mann is correct the world needs to speed up its adoption of existing solutions, end its love affair with fossil fuels and “call out false solutions for what they are”. However, framing climate action as a “war” is more questionable. Mann suggests some of his colleagues are in denial because they dismiss his notion that they are fighting with powerful interests. “The dismissiveness of soothing myths and appeasement didn’t serve us well in World War II, and it won’t serve us well here either,” he says. That may be true, but war can encourage people to retreat further into their own views, meaning greater destruction and a slower pace of change.
….. Gates should pay more attention to Mann’s conclusion that technological innovation is only a part of the solution, and not even necessarily the biggest one. Systemic change “incentivised by appropriate government policy”, and intergovernmental agreements matched with the belief that “there is still time to create a better future” should form the basis of all climate plans.  https://www.newstatesman.com/bill-gates-avoid-climate-disaster-michael-mann-new-climate-war-review

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

South Africa: an example of how nuclear waste costs are passed on to grandchildren taxpayers

Questions we should therefore all be asking of government, the Department of Energy, the nuclear regulator, Nersa, Nuclear Waste Disposal Institute, Necsa, Eskom and the South African nuclear sector are: 

  • Who should bear the cost of nuclear plant decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste – the polluter, the customer or the taxpayer? 
  • Where are the real asset-based funds set aside within Eskom and Necsa for future decommissioning and long-term storage and disposal of high-level nuclear waste? 
  • Does the “polluter pays” principle apply in practice, or will the customer and taxpayer end up paying twice through government bailouts? 

One can only guess who may end up bearing the real decommissioning, high-level waste storage, disposal and final repository costs in due course – perhaps not the polluter at all, but our children’s children as taxpayers in the next generation. 

South African taxpayers exposed to high-level nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning liabilities, Daily Maverick, By Chris Yelland• 21 February 2021  

Citizens and taxpayers in South Africa continue to labour under the misguided belief that Eskom and the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (Necsa) make real funding provisions monthly, over the operating life of their nuclear reactors, to cover the costs of decommissioning and disposal of high-level nuclear waste from their nuclear plants, in terms of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Page 69 of the 8th National Report prepared by the Department of Energy and the SA National Nuclear Regulator,  and presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in August 2019 in terms of South Africa’s obligations  to the Convention on Nuclear Safety, states in respect of Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station:

“Financial provision for decommissioning (as well as spent fuel management) continues to be accumulated on a monthly basis since commercial operation of the installation began in 1984. The financial provision is reflected in the annual financial statements of Eskom. These financial statements are audited in accordance with South African national legislation.

“In terms of decommissioning financial plans, the amount of decommissioning and spent fuel provision made each month is determined by the present value of future estimated cash flows. These financial plans are reviewed regularly and adjusted annually, and informed by the South African inflation rate.”

However, the problem with these fine words to the IAEA is that they are misleading, perhaps deliberately so, and that the so-called provision is actually something of a “Potemkin village” to placate and impress the IAEA and the public that all is well and under control.

In fact, no real money, securities or investments of any kind have actually been set aside monthly, annually or at stage and in any fund during operation of South Africa’s nuclear facilities as provision for decommissioning, long-term storage and final disposal of high-level nuclear waste, and/or the construction and operation of a high-level nuclear waste repository. Continue reading

February 21, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fukushima spillage raises questions about threat of future earthquakes — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A road in Nihonmatsu has been blocked by a landslide on Feb. 14 following a 7.3-magnitude earthquake the day before in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture. Feb.16,2021 The occurrence of a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in the waters off of Fukushima on Feb. 13 is prompting growing concerns about the safety of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, as […]

Fukushima spillage raises questions about threat of future earthquakes — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water leaks indicate new damage at Fukushima nuclear plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

Radioactive cooling water levels inside the wreckage of Fukushima Daiichi units is falling in a least two units. This indicates that new damage from the recent 7.3 M earthquake has created drainage routes for more radioactive contamination to escape to the offsite environment. This Sept. 4, 2017, aerial file photo shows Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power […]

Water leaks indicate new damage at Fukushima nuclear plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Water levels at Fukushima reactor containers falling after quake — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

A Tepco employee wearing a protective suit and mask gives lectures in front of No. 3 reactor building at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, in February 2019. February 20, 2021 Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. has said that the water levels in the containment vessels for the […]

Water levels at Fukushima reactor containers falling after quake — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

February 21, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment