Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Ionising radiation – the forgotten health disaster – theme for October 21

Today, it is fashionable to ingore the topic of ionising radiation. Indeed, as Australia moves towards proudly(?) becoming a part of the global nuclear chain, with the government’s rather vague plan to get nuclear submarines, the last thing anybody wants to talk about is nuclear radiation.

Australia has a sad history of prioritsing ”defence” and ”industry” over health. So, we ignored the health effects of atomic bomb tgests in the 1950s and 60s – the ”black rain” that fell on Aboriginal people (heck our government pretended that those people were not even there!). We ignored the health of uranium miners, and of the environment around uranium mines (still toxic to this day) In the interests of the uranium industry, to this day, it seems bad form for an Australian to talk about ionising radiation.

At the same time, Australia is in a panic over tiny viruses that can cause ill-health very quickly. It seems OK to ignore tiny radioactive particles that can cause illness and death decades later – especially as they affect children and women more than they affect men. Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults (little girls are twice as sensitive as boys) and fetuses are thousands of times more sensitive – one X ray to the pregnant abdomen doubles the incidence of leukemia in the childHelen Caldicott,)

Worldwide, in the interests of the nuclear industry, and their paid politicians, there has been a concerted effort to NOT do the necessary laboratory and epidemiological research to clearly show the effects of nuclear activities on human health. One glaring example is that in what little research is encouraged, they’ll study the effcts of external radiation, – such as the waves of radioactive particles hitting people from an explosion – (e.g. Hiroshima, Fukushima) , but not the effects of longlasting internal radiation, – that is, of radioactive particles breathed in, or swallowed.

Today the big thing is – Wow – Australia’s going to ?grow up – join the global nuclear push! It is timely now to remember that slow global threat of ionising radiation. As Helen Caldicott has put it – ‘‘Recommending nuclear power as a solution to climate change is like recommending smoking as a solution to obesity’

October 1, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Christina themes | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ Ian Lowe

Nuclear argument has ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’ CLARE PEDDIE, The Advertiser p.21 Sat 16 October
Scientist and author Professor Ian Lowe 

The costs of solar and wind are still coming down, while it requires optimism bordering on delusion to see any realistic prospect of nuclear electricity becoming competitive,” 

AUSTRALIA makes more money selling cheese than uranium, according to the author of a new book on the nuclear industry who says those pushing to expand it need a reality check.

 Professor Ian Lowe, an adjunct professor at Flinders University, says he wants to inject cold hard facts into the hot nuclear power debate. Professor Lowe said nuclear power was too costly for Australia, because it was four times more expensive than renewable energy and came with the problem of long term radioactive waste storage. “The costs of solar and wind are still coming down, while it requires optimism bordering on delusion to see any realistic prospect of nuclear electricity becoming competitive,” 

Professor Lowe said. Launching his new book Long Half-life, The Nuclear Industry in Australia, he also referred to the chapter on the SA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, for which Professor Lowe was a member of the expert advisory committee and gave evidence to the citizens’ jury. “While the process followed by the royal commission was clearly best practice and its report was an exceptionally thorough document, its most contentious recommendation (on SA becoming a repository for the world’s nuclear waste) failed to achieve the level of social consent needed,” he said. 

To put Australia’s nuclear industry in perspective, he said uranium accounted for 1 per cent of mineral exports, ranking with such metals as tin and tantalum. Export figures for 2019-20 were 7195 tonnes valued at $688m for uranium compared to almost 158,000 tonnes of cheese, worth about $995m. “(Nuclear) safeguards arrangements have more holes than Swiss cheese and Scientist and author Professor Ian Lowe radioactive waste is more unsavoury than an old gorgonzola, (so) I’d rather we supported cheese,” he said

October 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, spinbuster, uranium | Leave a comment

Senate Inquiry quizzes Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency on infrastructure needs for nuclear submarines.

Nuclear agencies say it’s too early to know what infrastructure is needed to support submarine program

Rex Patrick says it’s ‘beyond comprehension’ Australia could build a nuclear-powered fleet without a domestic industry to support it, Guardian, Tory Shepherd, Fri 15 Oct 2021

Nuclear agencies say it is too early to speculate what legislative and infrastructure changes need to be made to support a nuclear-submarine project.

A senate economics committee inquiry into naval shipbuilding has been running for two years, but a public hearing on Friday was the first since the federal government announced its intention to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.

Independent senator Rex Patrick called the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to appear. The agencies were quizzed over what nuclear infrastructure and industry would be needed to support the project, and what laws would need to be changed – however, they took most of those questions on notice.

Ansto did confirm it was consulted in March about the plan to buy nuclear-powered submarines, about six months ahead of September’s surprise announcement.

“Initial conversations started in March and we had a number of consultations between then and the announcement,” chief executive officer Shaun Jenkinson said.

Arpansa chief executive officer Carl-Magnus Larsson said his agency was briefed on the plan at the end of June or beginning of July.

The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has said there are no plans to develop a civil nuclear industry to support building submarines. He and defence say the nuclear reactors – which will be procured from the United States or the United Kingdom as part of the Aukus agreement – will not need refuelling, and therefore a domestic industry is not necessary.

Ahead of the inquiry, Patrick said: “It’s just unimaginable, it’s beyond comprehension that someone could suggest we’d be operating a nuclear operator in a submarine in a hands-off manner.

“I also want to understand what safety regime they understand to be necessary for this to be carried out,” he added.

Labor senator Kim Carr said there would have to be “extensive onshore facilities” to train people in case there’s an emergency, or a malfunction.

“I’d be interested to know how this can be done without the development of the various sustainment industries.”

“We’d need to have intensive training of all personnel to understand the linkages between the reactor and all the other bits of the boat,” he said.

“You can’t just drop it in. It’s not like a battery in a mobile phone, everything’s connected to everything else.”……….https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/15/inquiry-to-question-whether-australia-needs-nuclear-industry-to-support-submarine-program

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inquiry to question whether Australia needs nuclear industry to support submarine program

Inquiry to question whether Australia needs nuclear industry to support submarine program

Nuclear agencies will face questions over whether Australia needs an atomic industry to support a planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet at an inquiry into naval shipbuilding on Friday.

The Senate economics committee inquiry has been running for two years, but this will be the first public hearing since the federal government announced its intention to acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines.

Independent senator Rex Patrick has called the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to appear.

 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/15/inquiry-to-question-whether-australia-needs-nuclear-industry-to-support-submarine-program

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uncertain delivery date for nuclear submarines. Australia’s existing fleet still in use in 2050?

Nuclear submarines’ uncertain delivery date means ageing Collins class could be in use until , could be more than 50 years old by the time the Aukus deal delivers Australia’s nuclear fleet. Guardian, Daniel Hurst and Tory Shepherd
Fri 15 Oct 2021 

Australia’s navy chief has left the door open to keeping some of the existing Collins-class submarines in the water until 2050, amid uncertainty about the exact schedule for acquiring new nuclear-propelled submarines.

The government is already planning to extend the life of the six Collins class submarines by 10 years, with the extensive refitting work set to cost between $3.5bn and $6bn.

But the navy chief, V-Adm Michael Noonan, indicated on Friday that a “potential” option was to refit them a second time to further extend their life.

Given the first Collins-class submarines were commissioned in the late 1990s, that option could see them used until they are about 50 years old…….

The South Australian senator Rex Patrick accused the government of being “extremely reckless” with national security amid the latest revelations…….

At a shipbuilding committee hearing on Friday – the first since the $90bn French deal was dumped – senators explored concerns about Australia facing a “capability gap” while it waited for the new submarines to be ready……….

Labor – which has backed the Aukus plan – said the evidence raised many questions for the government, including whether the Collins class submarines would be able to withstand multiple upgrades of this type.

Labor’s defence spokesperson, Brendan O’Connor, asked: “If enhanced submarine capability is critical to our national security, why would we still have 50-year-old Collins Class vessels in 2050?”……..

The Australian government has set up a taskforce, with 89 members and growing, whose job over the next year and a half is to work with the US and the UK on “identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia”……..

It remains unclear precisely how much the Australian government will have to pay to settle contracts with France’s Naval Group and another defence contractor, Lockheed Martin………….. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/15/nuclear-submarines-uncertain-delivery-date-means-ageing-collins-class-could-be-in-use-until-2050

October 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Morrison agrees to go to Glasgow, Nationals to decide Australia’s climate policies — RenewEconomy

Morrison bows to pressure and will go to Glasgow, but the Nationals will decide this weekend what policies Morrison will be allowed to pack. The post Morrison agrees to go to Glasgow, Nationals to decide Australia’s climate policies appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Morrison agrees to go to Glasgow, Nationals to decide Australia’s climate policies — RenewEconomy

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Coal-o-phile Dundee”: Morrison’s climate denial outed in massive Times Square billboard — RenewEconomy

“That’s not climate denial, this is climate denial”. Australia’s climate policies exposed to the world in parody billboard in Times Square. The post “Coal-o-phile Dundee”: Morrison’s climate denial outed in massive Times Square billboard appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Coal-o-phile Dundee”: Morrison’s climate denial outed in massive Times Square billboard — RenewEconomy

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW draws up map for massive 8GW renewable energy zone in New England — RenewEconomy

The NSW government has drawn up the proposed map of the New England renewable energy zone, which will host 8GW of wind, solar and storage. The post NSW draws up map for massive 8GW renewable energy zone in New England appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW draws up map for massive 8GW renewable energy zone in New England — RenewEconomy

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vestas pledges zero waste for wind turbines, Vattenfall bans landfills for blades — RenewEconomy

Vestas promises to make wind turbines fully recyclable, while Vattenfall bans used turbine blades from landfill. The post Vestas pledges zero waste for wind turbines, Vattenfall bans landfills for blades appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Vestas pledges zero waste for wind turbines, Vattenfall bans landfills for blades — RenewEconomy

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

ON OCTOBER 14, 2021 BY MARIANNEWILDART   The Following Extract is from The Ecologist’s Nuclear Dossier of 2006 – What Has CONveniently Been Unlearnt About Nuclear New Build Since Then? Quite a Lot!

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

Many thanks to The Ecologist for their 2006 Nuclear Dossier written by Jon Hughes – the following extract relates to CO2 emissions from construction – which although mind numbingly enormous are the least worst thing about nuclear.

“Think nuclear power and you probably think of small amounts of highly radioactive material, safely encased in vast concrete bunkers, generating an endless and constant supply of clean electricity. Yes it’s expensive and clearly there is a problem with nuclear waste, but if it is the answer to climate change then why not?”Stop Hinkley C – then…..

and now…the largest concrete pour in the UK ever is just the beginning – Stopping Hinkley C is more important than ever.

BUILDING A NUCLEAR POWER STATION

During construction climate change is the only thing nuclear power fuels – to the tune of 20 million tonnes of C02 for each reactor

Once a decision has been taken to build a nuclear power station, the question of location arises. Firm foundations are required for a building that has to surpass an ‘Acts of God’ insurance policy for at least 100 years. It also pays for it to be built close to a plentiful water supply, as it requires 30 million gallons daily to act as a coolant to stop generators overheating and prevent catastrophic meltdown. This is a fundamental problem. Sea levels are predicted to rise by half a metre by the end of the century, according to the the ultra-cautious International Panel on Climate Change. It could be less, but it could easily be more. Such a rise threatens every coastline in Britain and around the world, as it brings with it unpredictable weather patterns.

Late last year, a confidential report from Nirex, the then government agency on radioactive waste management, warned that all the UK’s current reactor sites are at risk of flooding or erosion under such conditions. If the Greenland and Western Antarctic ice sheets start melting away, as some experts now predict, sea levels could eventually increase by as much as 12 metres.

Given this, it would not be possible to construct new reactors on old sites, which has been viewed as the ideal option. The ‘piggy backing’ would have circumvented the need for new planning permissions and a public inquiry. As it is, new sites will have to be developed further inland.

To find the right location, geological surveys are undertaken to assess the long-term viability of the land, and answer questions like will it buckle in the event of a long-term drought or sink in the event of an excessive wet period…………………….

It can be assumed from the EPR that scheduled build time for any new reactor will be set at an ambitious five years.


(One year in, Olikuoloto is nine months behind schedule.) During the construction period, greenhouse gases will be spewing into the atmosphere, fuelling nothing other than
climate change. Much of the £2bn it is conservatively estimated a nuclear power station will cost is spent on sourcing the raw materials, their manufacture and their supply, all of which are processes that use energy and cause C02 emissions to rise. If the UK government opts to keep nuclear power supplying 20 per cent of the country’s energy needs, then it is probable
that 10 such reactors would have to be built. (Worldwide, 80 new reactors are envisaged.) This is environmental damage that can’t be repaired, and will only intensify the process of climate change now.  https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2021/10/14/what-does-building-a-nuclear-power-station-mean-for-co2-emissions-as-we-near-cop26/

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NSW flags tighter rules on where wind and solar farms can be built — RenewEconomy

Proposed planning amendments seek to limit solar and wind farm development within 10km of certain NSW regional city centres, or within 5km of residential land. The post NSW flags tighter rules on where wind and solar farms can be built appeared first on RenewEconomy.

NSW flags tighter rules on where wind and solar farms can be built — RenewEconomy

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There are Much More Powerful Greenhouse Gases than CO2 and EDF’s Nuclear Reactors are Spewing Them Out (Apart from Toxic Radioactive Emissions!!)

EdF finally admit that operational nuclear power station discharges of Sulfur hexafluoride gas make massive contributions to Global warming/Climate change Flamanville nuclear power plant has exceeded the threshold for discharging SF6. In nine months, the quantity of SF6, the most powerful greenhouse gas, released by the Flamanville nuclear power plant in La Manche, has already […]

There are Much More Powerful Greenhouse Gases than CO2 and EDF’s Nuclear Reactors are Spewing Them Out (Apart from Toxic Radioactive Emissions!!) — RADIATION FREE LAKELAND

There are Much More Powerful Greenhouse Gases than CO2 and EDF’s Nuclear Reactors are Spewing Them Out (Apart from Toxic Radioactive Emissions!!)  https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2021/10/15/there-are-much-more-powerful-greenhouse-gases-than-co2-and-edfs-nuclear-reactors-are-spewing-them-out-apart-from-toxic-radioactive-emissions/

ON OCTOBER 15, 2021 BY MARIANNEWILDARTEdF finally admit that operational nuclear power station discharges of Sulfur hexafluoride gas make massive contributions to Global warming/Climate change

Flamanville nuclear power plant has exceeded the threshold for discharging SF6. In nine months, the quantity of SF6, the most powerful greenhouse gas, released by the Flamanville nuclear power plant in La Manche, has already exceeded the annual declaration threshold. This threshold was reached on September 27, 2021, as confirmed by EDF on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

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The Flamanville nuclear power plant (Manche) declared a “significant environmental event” after having emitted a cumulative quantity of SF6, the most powerful greenhouse gas, above the declaration threshold, we learned from EdF on Thursday October 14th.

“On September 27, 2021, the cumulative annual quantity of SF6 gas emissions reached 100.37 kg, exceeding the declaration threshold of 100 kg,” said EDF in a press release posted on the plant’s website. SF6, targeted as early as 1997 by the Kyoto Protocol on the climate, has a warming potential 23,000 times that of CO2 and remains in the atmosphere for up to 3,000 years. It is the most potent of greenhouse gases, even though it represents a small part of it.

The campaign group Sortir du Nuclear criticized EdFs pollution, saying : “Letting 100 kg of this gas escape is like emitting more than 2 million kg of C02 into the atmosphere. In just nine months, the Flamanville site has already exceeded (the 100 kg threshold). And the year is not over. Each year, each of the 18 nuclear power plants in France has this right to pollution and thus actively contributes to global warming, not to mention refrigerant leaks.”

Sortir de Nuclear further states that until 2018, EDF did not report any of these emissions. Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) gas “is used to ensure the electrical isolation of high voltage equipment. On the Flamanville site, SF6 gas is used as insulation for the energy evacuation stations and the supply stations for auxiliary transformers “, stated EDF.

Ouest France 14th Oct 2021
https://www.ouest-france.fr/normandie/flamanville-50340/la-centrale-nucleaire-de-flamanville-a-depasse-le-seuil-de-rejet-d-un-puissant-gaz-a-effet-de-serre-4ef83064-2cdc-11ec-9285-f388b2ea32b0

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism

William told Newscast’s Adam Fleming he had “absolutely no interest” in going as high as space, adding there was a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of space flights.

Prince William: Saving Earth should come before space tourism  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-5890307816 

By George Bowden, 15 Oct 21,
BBC New
s   Prince William has suggested entrepreneurs should focus on saving Earth rather than engaging in space tourism.

The Duke of Cambridge said great brains and minds should be “trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live”.

He also warned about a rise in “climate anxiety” among younger generations.

William spoke to the BBC’s Newscast ahead of the first Earthshot Prize to reward those trying to save the planet.

The prize’s name is a reference to the “moonshot” ambition of 1960s America, which saw then-President John F Kennedy pledge to get a man on the moon within a decade.

Speaking about the current space race and the drive to promote space tourism, William said: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”I think that ultimately is what sold it for me – that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”

On Wednesday, Hollywood actor William Shatner became the oldest person to go to space as he blasted off aboard the Blue Origin sub-orbital capsule developed by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk are also building up space businesses.

He warned there was “a rise in climate anxiety” among young people who whose “futures are basically threatened the whole time”.

“It’s very unnerving and it’s very, you know, anxiety making,” he said.

The father-of-three challenged adults to channel their inner child to “remember how much it meant to be outdoors and what we’re robbing those future generations of”.

William also said his father, Prince Charles, had a “rough ride” when warning about climate change, adding: “It’s been a hard road for him.”

He said Charles, inspired by his father, the late Duke of Edinburgh, “talked about climate change a lot more, very early on, before anyone else thought it was a topic”.

The duke added that “it would be an absolute disaster if [Prince] George is sat here talking” about saving the planet in 30 year’s time.

Five winners of the Earthshot Prize, each receiving £1m, will be announced in a ceremony later this month.
William told Newscast’s Adam Fleming he had “absolutely no interest” in going as high as space, adding there was a “fundamental question” over the carbon cost of space flights.

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid 

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid   https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14440765

By TSUYOSHI KAWAMURA/ Staff Writer

September 15, 2021  
The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could be forced to reconsider the plant’s decommissioning process after lethal radiation levels equivalent to those of melted nuclear fuel were detected near one of the lids covering a reactor.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sept. 14 that a radiation reading near the surface of the lid of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel was 1.2 sieverts per hour, higher than the level previously assumed.

The discovery came on Sept. 9 during a study by the NRA and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant.

TEPCO plans to insert a robotic arm into the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel from its side in a trial planned for the second half of 2022 to retrieve pieces of melted nuclear fuel.

“We will consider what we can do during the trial on the basis of the detection of the concentration of contamination” in the upper area of the containment vessel, a TEPCO official said.

The round concrete lid, called the shield plug, is 12 meters in diameter and about 60 centimeters thick.

The shield plug consists of three lids placed on top of each other to block extremely high radiation emanating from the reactor core.

Each lid weighs 150 tons.

When operators work on the decommissioning, the shield plug will be removed to allow for the entry into the containment vessel.

The NRA said a huge amount of radioactive cesium that was released during the meltdown of the No. 2 reactor in March 2011 remained between the uppermost lid and middle lid.

In the Sept. 9 study, workers bored two holes measuring 7 cm deep each on the surface of the uppermost lid to measure radiation doses there by deploying remotely controlled robots.

One radiation reading was 1.2 sieverts per hour at a location 4 cm down from the surface in a hole near the center of the lid.Prior to the study, the NRA estimated that the dose from a contamination source that existed beneath the lid was more than 10 sieverts per hour, a level lethal to humans if exposed to it for about an hour.

But the finding suggested that the actual dose would likely be dozens of sieverts per hour, thus far more dangerous.

While it is expected to be a huge challenge to dismantle the lids, TEPCO has yet to decide what to do with them during the decades-long cleanup work.

The NRA also mentioned the possibility that radioactive cesium is also concentrated between the middle lid and the lowermost lid.

But there is no way at the moment to confirm whether that is the case, according to NRA officials

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Exposed: French nuclear companies dumping radioactive waste in Siberia. Activists call on EU not to count nuclear energy as sustainable .

For the French nuclear industry to resume this kind of irresponsible overseas dumping is proof that there is no sustainable solution to the ever-growing problem of radioactive waste. Giving dangerous nuclear energy a green label in the EU taxonomy will make the waste problem worse, and actively divert investments away from real solutions like energy savings, energy storage and renewables.

A key principle of the taxonomy is that any activity must “do no significant harm” to the environment in order to be included as “sustainable”. The European Commission will open a public consultation in the coming weeks on the issue of whether nuclear energy should be included in the taxonomy. 

Exposed: French nuclear companies dumping radioactive waste in Siberia    https://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/issues/climate-energy/45879/french-nuclear-companies-exposed-dumping-radioactive-waste-siberia/?fbclid=IwAR0FmZuQKuuQgWaAPthDXShxwc1s7_3Q4zwARV0xR2yfZL2EnvGj0nU5xX4Greenpeace European Unit 12/10/2021  Activists call on EU not to count nuclear energy as sustainable  

Paris / Brussels, 12 October 2021 – Greenpeace activists today laid fifteen metal drums featuring a radioactive symbol in front of the headquarters of Orano, a French nuclear fuel company, in protest against the dumping of French nuclear waste at an unsafe site in Seversk, Siberia. The protest comes as a new investigation by Greenpeace France has revealed that exports of nuclear waste to Russia have restarted after an eleven-year hiatus. [1]

New satellite images from Seversk show thousands of barrels lying outdoors exposed to the elements. The practice of exporting radioactive waste from the EU to a third country is subject to strict conditions, including the safety and proper management of the destination facility. [2]

The revelations that exports of French nuclear waste to Russia have restarted come shortly after ministers from ten EU countries, including France, wrote an op-ed in several European newspapers calling for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU’s guidelines for green investments, the “EU taxonomy”. [3] 

Roger Spautz, nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace France and Luxembourg , said: “For the French nuclear industry to resume this kind of irresponsible overseas dumping is proof that there is no sustainable solution to the ever-growing problem of radioactive waste. Giving dangerous nuclear energy a green label in the EU taxonomy will make the waste problem worse, and actively divert investments away from real solutions like energy savings, energy storage and renewables.

A key principle of the taxonomy is that any activity must “do no significant harm” to the environment in order to be included as “sustainable”. The European Commission will open a public consultation in the coming weeks on the issue of whether nuclear energy should be included in the taxonomy. 

President Emmanuel Macron is also expected to announce funding today for so-called “small modular nuclear reactors” as part of his “France 2030” investment package. 

Investigation

The investigation by Greenpeace France reveals that, in January and February 2021, the nuclear fuel company Orano shipped hundreds of tonnes of spent uranium to Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear energy firm.

Activists in the port of Le Havre, Normandy, witnessed the loading of radioactive material onto a ship bound for St. Petersburg. From there, the waste continued by train to a dumping facility in the city of Seversk, Siberia, formerly known as Tomsk-7. Greenpeace has seen no evidence that the management of the Seversk site has improved since 2010, when Orano (then named Areva) admitted that environmental concerns were a factor in its decision to cease exporting uranium there. [4]

Orano confirmed the new shipments in an email to Greenpeace France. EDF, France’s largest nuclear energy provider, also signed a similar deal with Rosatom in 2018, but does not appear to have carried out any such shipments yet. Both companies are largely owned by the French state.

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The scale of global e-waste — The Earthbound Report

The scale of global e-waste — The Earthbound Report
The scale of global e-waste  
https://earthbound.report/2021/10/14/the-scale-of-global-e-waste/byJEREMY WILLIAMSOctober 14, 2021

Today is International e-waste day, which aims to raise awareness of waste electronics. It’s a growing problem, as more people buy phones, laptops and other gadgets, and as they are replaced at a faster rate.

If you average the problem across the global population, 7.6kg of e-waste is created every year for every person on the planet – though of course there are inequalities within that. The UK is among the worst in the world, creating 23kg of e-waste per person per year – second only to Norway. That’s something we need to take some responsibility for, not least because e-waste so often becomes an environmental justice issue.

There are system-wide things we should be doing here to encourage a circular economy. Repair standards are one of those, as I wrote about last week with the ten year smartphone initiative. Rules to prevent planned obsolescence, as France has pioneered. At the personal level, we should try to make things last, repair where we can, and ensure that our gadgets are recycled properly.

MusicMagpie, which re-sells secondhand electronics, has created a series of visuals to help explore the scale of e-waste

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment