His current book lists just two clients: Bechtel Infrastructure (Australia) Pty Ltd and G4S Custodial Services Pty Ltd.
Internationally, Bechtel has worked on a variety of substantial projects in the nuclear fuel cycle. Examples include:
Advanced Mixed Waste, Idaho, USA
Chernobyl Shelter and Confinement, Ukraine
Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Ohio, USA
Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, Washington, USA
Horizon Wylfa Newydd, Isle of Anglesey, Wales, UK
Reagan Test Site, Marshall Islands
Savannah River Remediation, South Carolina, USA
Sellafield Pile Fuel Cladding Silo Retrieval, England
U.S. Nuclear Security Enterprise, Texas and Tennessee, USA
Uranium Processing Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA
Watts Bar Completion, Tennessee, USA
Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, Nevada, USA http://www.dpc.sa.gov.au/documents/rendition/B18707
Solar Power Is Not Merely Least Expensive https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/29/solar-power-not-merely-least-expensive/ December 29th, 2016 by George Harvey
We’ve seen a lot of commentary on the fact that utility-scale solar power has become the least expensive source of electricity in many places. There is more than that to be found in the data in Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis, Version 10.0, however, and what it tells us is that solar and wind power have benefits apart from the simple facts that their costs are low.
We have always needed a variety of power sources. Conventional baseload power provided by coal-burning and nuclear plants lacks flexibility and is, in fact, a really bad match for grid demand. Baseload generation cannot be ramped up or down as demand changes, and this is one reason why such power plants never provided all of our electricity. There always had to be other, more flexible generating facilities available.
The greatest need for power is often on warm, sunny afternoons, when air conditioners are running in work spaces, stores, and homes, in addition to normal human activities. These have been the times when peaking plants could make their money. With high demand, come the high prices they need to be profitable.
As solar photovoltaics (PV) have come on the market in quantity, however, sunny afternoons suddenly bring the sun as a competing power source. The early evening, after the sun has gone down, is still potentially a time of high demand, when solar power does not cut into the use of fossil-fuel peaking plants. This situation, however, is clearly coming to an end.
According to Lazard, the levelized cost of utility-scale solar power with storage is $92 per megawatt-hour (MWh). This means that solar-plus-storage can be highly competitive, even after dark, with natural gas peaking plants, which have levelized costs ranging from $165 to $217 per MWh. It is even competitive to a degree with gas-powered reciprocating engines, whose costs are from $68 to $101 per MWh.
There is more to this story, however. It happens that wind power is usually strongest when the sun is not shining brightly, and solar power output is often highest when the wind does not blow much. A storage system that is charged by the sun could be charged by the wind when the sun does not shine. This means that a solar-plus-storage system can be made more valuable by storing excess power from wind as needed.
The fact that power from solar-plus-storage is becoming relatively inexpensive makes it likely that the combination will increasingly be used instead of peaking plants using fossil fuels. This will increase production of batteries, and it will increase research and development into storage technologies. And these changes imply further reductions in costs.
The declines in costs of energy storage have already been impressive. Tesla lithium-ion batteries are delivering about double the amount of electricity that they had been providing when they were first introduced, and their cost has not increased appreciably. This implies that the cost of the electricity from them has been roughly halved. Other battery technologies have alsoseen exciting developments. For example the ViZn flow battery shows a number of improvements over earlier designs at considerably lower costs. Salt water batteries, such as those from Aquion Energy, also come to mind. As fast as the price of electricity from solar PVs has been dropping, we should not be surprised if the costs of solar-plus-storage or wind-plus-storage drop considerably faster.
There are other advantages implicit in adding storage to the power supply. One is that the power can be ramped up or down much faster than it can be with conventional approaches to equipment. Power demands on batteries and some other storage solutions can be ramped up or down in fractions of a second.
Indeed, the storage component moves us into a situation where solar and wind, with support from other types of renewable energy, can take on larger baseload power systems. Clearly, if utility-scale solar + storage = $92/MWh, it will always be less expensive than the $97 to $136 per MWh cost of nuclear power. It is competitive with power from coal. The only fossil fuel remaining in Lazard’s analysis that is clearly less expensive than solar-plus-storage is combined cycle natural gas, with a cost range of $48 to $78 MWh, and we have no guarantees those prices will last. And remember, this is not solar power alone, but solar with energy storage.
We seem to be moving into a new age, and it is not merely an age when the sun and wind provide the least expensive power we have. It is an age when the sun and the wind may replace baseload power altogether, not only as the least expensive solution, but as the best general solution. And we might come to that faster than we dreamed possible.
The “New Nuclear” lobby is kicking off its New Nuclear propaganda for 2017 with its favourite tactic – FILM.
They started this method with great success in 2013 with a very glossy and quite seductive advertisement calld “Pandora’s Promise” That has now been rehashed many times, e.g on Youtube. It pretends to be a documentary about c limate change, but is really a hymn to new nuclear “Generation IV” technology, especially Small Nuclear Reac
tors, and to endless consumption of electricity.
Then came the even more sophisticated and glossier television series, “Twisting the Dragon’s Tail”, a subtle nuclear advertisement promotion that featured Australia quite strongly. Cleverly introducing the negative aspects of the nuclear industry, it finishes with that same message for boundless energy consumption via New Nuclear.
These so-called “independent documentaries” are quite lavishly and expensively produced. Who pays for them? That is a well-kept secret. Do presenters like Derek Muller (Dragon’s Tail) understand how they are being used?
“The New Fire” is currently under production, using, as those other ads did, very capable media professionals. We have no idea who is behind this project, but, with billionaires now in the Small Nuclear Reactor business, we can suspect those in the nuclear front group “Breakthrough Energy Coalition”
Thee theme of this 2017 nuclear advertisement will be that “only via new nuclear power can the world be saved from climate change” It will focus on the new smart young people who reject the boring old people’s anxiety about nuclear power.
THE NEW FIRE – “is an independent documentary that will introduce audiences to young nuclear engineers who are developing next-generation reactors which they hope will provide clean and safe solutions to the world’s future energy needs. Could these audacious innovators be the agents of change the world has been waiting for? With unprecedented access to key people, places and events, award-winning filmmaker David Schumacher has traveled the globe to capture a powerful, eye-opening story that needs to be told now—before it’s too late.”
Will America’s Nuclear Weapons Always Be Safe From Hackers? The future arsenal will be networked, presenting unique security challenges for the U.S. Air Force. The Atlantic,
Reuters PATRICK TUCKER 31 DEC 16,
Investors wipe $6.6 billion off Toshiba’s market value http://www.wfmz.com/news/investors-wipe-66-billion-off-toshibas-market-value/238091402
Losses over last 3 trading sessions total 42% By: SHERISSE PHAM Dec 30, 2016 HONG KONG (CNNMoney) – Toshiba’s dreams of becoming a nuclear energy leader have turned into a nightmare.
Radiation from Fukushima has now officially entered the food chain, can it be fixed?
Fukushima, as you may recall, was an accident at a Japanese nuclear complex back in 2011. A combination of an earthquake and a tsunami damaged the facility, allowing radioactive water to pour into the ocean. In fact, ABC news reported that — “The 2011 quake of magnitude-9 was the strongest quake ever recorded in Japan, and it generated a tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.”
Since then, there have been various plans to stabilize the situation, but all have failed. Robots sent in to find the cores have failed. The National Post wrote that — “It takes two years to build them. Each operator trains for a month before picking up their controls. And they get fried by radiation after working…
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6.3 magnitude earthquake in Ibaraki, near Fukushima, on Dec. 28, 2016. Over 6,500 quakes felt across Japan in 2016
Earthquake rocks Japan near Fukushima nuclear power plant on December 28, 2016.
The 6.3 magnitude quake struck Japan’s Kanto region, the Japanese Meteorological Agency says.
It’s an area that neighbours the Tōhoku region, where Fukushima Power Plant had a disastrous meltdown in 2011.
English language news site The Japan News said the jolt was powerful enough to be felt in the region, part of Honshu Island.
While Japan’s NHK news agency said the tremors were felt throughout “wide areas” of the east coast, though the epicentre was not at sea.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is still decommissioning Fukushima’s ruined reactors, said they were investigating the impact of the quake there.
“At the moment, we have not confirmed the impact of the earthquake on our main power facilities (including nuclear power plants),” the statement read.
Latest earthquakes in Japan:
The quake struck Ibaraki Prefecture at 9.38pm local time (12.38pm UK…
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Steve Dale Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 27 Dec 16
Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA
HERE IS THE ANSWER –
“There is a very small quantity of Australian owned radioactive waste currently stored in the UK. We anticipate that this will be returned to Australia in due course in line with contractual commitments. The location of any storage and disposal facilities for this waste will be a matter for the Australian authorities.
Any shipment of radioactive material out of the UK will comply with all relevant international laws and use ships which meet national and international requirements.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/
Bob Hawke pushes nuclear power at Woodford Folk Festival north of Brisbane BY MEGAN KINNINMENT ABC NEWS WED DEC 28 Former prime minister Bob Hawke’s assertion that nuclear power is the salvation for a planet ravaged by global warming divided the crowd at the Woodford Folk Festival, north of Brisbane today. But it was his assertion that Australia should take on the world’s nuclear waste that had the crowd most worked up, prompting several calls of “no thanks” from the audience.
Last night, pop singer Paul Kelly said Mr Hawke was a hard act to follow after he had the crowd singing along to Waltzing Matilda at the festival’s opening ceremony.
But today’s address under the big top did not meet with universal acclaim.
“The time has come when we’ve got to think big if we’re going to face the big issues of our time,” Mr Hawke told those assembled.
“We’re going to have to be prepared to think about changes that are quite radical.”
That comment was greeted with a round of applause.
Then he began to elaborate, advocating nuclear power.
“Nuclear power would be a win for the environment and an essential part of the attacking that must be made on this grievous and dangerous global warming,” he said.
“It would be a win for the global environment and a win for Australia.”…..Mr Hawke said Australia would benefit financially from the transaction and could use profits towards ending Indigenous poverty. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-28/we-must-embrace-nuclear-power-bob-hawke-divides-audience/8151346?pfmredir=sm
British and Australian governments wash their hands of radioactive contamination of Aboriginal lands
Margaret Henry Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 30 Dec 16 In the UK parliament in January 2016, they were asked if the Government will issue an apology to the indigenous people of Australia for British nuclear tests carried out on their land in the 1950s and 1960s.
“In 1968, Australia signed an agreement with the UK confirming that the clean-up of all test sites had been completed satisfactorily. As announced to the House on 10 December 1993,(Official Report, column 421), the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as a contribution to the cost of the further clean-up of the Maralinga site. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. The Government now regards the matter as closed.” https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/
Why is Australia not fully behind efforts to prohibit nuclear weapons? http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/why-is-australia-not-fully-behind-efforts-to-prohibit-nuclear-weapons-20161229-gtjhd6.html, Sue Wareham It’s about time for some good news. Heaven knows, we need it after 2016’s litany of human failures to find peace between ourselves and with our struggling planet. But as a Christmas gift of historic proportions, the UN – which is to say its member states – has taken the most promising action in decades to lead us towards the elimination of the world’s worst weapons. Late on December 23 in New York, the UN General Assembly resolved by a strong majority to begin talks in March on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.
To realise the full significance of this, consider the fact that other weapons of mass destruction – chemical weapons, biological weapons, landmines, cluster bombs – have all been prohibited by their respective treaties, and the threats posed by these weapons dramatically reduced as a result. But for nuclear weapons, which literally threaten life on Earth, there is currently no equivalent.
One might have expected that our Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, who likes spruiking Australia’s commitment to a “rules-based international order”, would welcome the imminent closure of this legal anomaly. On the contrary, however, Australia has been leading the charge to undermine the process.
Australia claims that the ban treaty process has not taken into account the security needs of “all nations” (for which read the US), a curious claim given that our ally stands out as more vulnerable than most to a nuclear weapons attack. In any event, is she really suggesting that the security needs claimed by the nine nuclear-armed nations outweigh the right of the other 187 of us to be rid of this diabolical threat?
That’s a bit like cutting President Bashar al-Assad some slack over his alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria because he has “security needs”. Weapons of mass destruction are not somehow more acceptable because a handful of nations claim that they, and only they, must have them. But, the ban treaty critics say, nuclear weapons are different, and the countries with the weapons will just thumb their collective noses at it.
Not according to a letter in October from the US mission to NATO to its European allies, urging that they oppose the treaty. With an air of desperation to sabotage the whole thing, the US stated that efforts to delegitimise nuclear weapons are at odds with its policy of nuclear deterrence, including extended deterrence for its allies (such as NATO members and Australia). Further, horror of horrors, it “could make it impossible to undertake nuclear planning or training”. Well, yes, that’s the general idea, to delegitimise every aspect of nuclear weapons possession and planning; and all indications are that that goal will be achieved, regardless of who signs the treaty. So much for the toothless tiger notion.
Nevertheless, Australia presses on with its defence of US nuclear weapons, including their possible use on our behalf, not veering from its chosen “progressive” approach to disarmament. This consists of a number of steps that have progressed more slowly over decades than a drunken snail.
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has languished since it was completed in 1996, with little prospect of ever coming into force, and the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty has been moribund for even longer. In other words, we are told that a stagnant business-as-usual agenda is the way to go, even as 15,000-plus nuclear weapons – 1800 of them still on hair-trigger alert – continue to threaten human suffering of the most grotesque proportions, and all warnings point to increasing risk of their use.
Australia will have to decide very quickly whether we support the majority of nations that have come to their senses and are about to outlaw nuclear weapons, or the Trumps and Putins of this world with their chilling Cold War-style ravings. For a nation that boasts commitment to a “rules-based international order”, the choice hardly seems difficult.
The reality of moving one big step closer to stigmatising, prohibiting and eliminating the most destructive, inhumane, indiscriminate devices ever created is cause for celebration. However, there is another cause for celebration, and that is the capacity of civil society – without which the nuclear weapons ban would not be happening – to mobilise, organise, work with supportive governments and set the agenda for a better world. As the politics of violence, division and hatred loom large on many fronts, such capacity is desperately needed for the huge challenges ahead.
Dr Sue Wareham is a board member of ICAN (Australia), the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
Toshiba’s nuclear power hopes in meltdown The Australian, REBECCA SMITH, KOSAKU NARIOKA, The Wall Street Journal, December 30, 2016 Toshiba seemed poised to profit from a global nuclear power revival when it paid $US5.4 billion to win a bidding war for Westinghouse Electric in 2006.
Today, that bet threatens to sink the venerable Japanese conglomerate, as cost overruns and missed deadlines on nuclear-reactor projects around the world have forced it to warn investors that it may soon have to report billions of dollars in losses.
Toshiba lost a fifth of its market value on Wednesday and its stock fell another 15 per cent early yesterday in Tokyo as panicked investors rushed to sell shares. The news of the nuclear writedowns came just as Toshiba was beginning to emerge from an earlier accounting scandal……
Westinghouse’s woes help explain why the nuclear industry has seen its dreams of global growth sputter. Until recently, the company was regarded as the industry’s front-runner, the only nuclear supplier to have landed contracts for its next-generation reactor in both the US and China.
But a series of missteps and unexpected problems have snarled nuclear projects by Westinghouse and rivals including Areva and General Electric.
Fifty-four reactors are under construction in 13 nations, and 33 are badly delayed, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, an independent annual assessment. Blunders have afflicted projects regardless of location, reactor design or construction consortiums.
To lower costs and speed construction times, Westinghouse and its competitors came up with cookie-cutter plant designs in which major sections would be built as modules in factories and then hauled to plant sites for final assembly. Gone was the customisation that added expense.
But the strategy appears to have backfired. “Supply-chain issues just moved from the plant sites to the factories. It didn’t solve the basic issue of quality control,” said Mycle Schneider, a nuclear expert based in Paris. And cookie-cutter designs meant flaws got replicated.
In France, Areva is trying to get to the bottom of a scandal involving falsified records for critical components that have wound up in nuclear plants there and in other countries, including the US. The problems appear to stretch back decades and to have gone unnoticed despite supposedly strict government supervision. Areva has said it is co-operating with investigators from France and other nations.
“There’s a world-wide problem with managing these megaprojects,” said Edwin Lyman, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC. “Managers grossly underestimated the time and cost of construction.”………
It isn’t clear if Toshiba’s difficulties would have an impact on the eight reactors it is trying to complete in the US and China, but its disclosure suggests the situation is worse than previously understood.
In the US, Westinghouse was providing reactor components for nuclear plants in Georgia and South Carolina being built by utilities Southern and SCANA.
At the site of Southern’s Vogtle 3&4 reactors going up in rural Georgia, there have been rumours of financial problems for months, said Will Salters, business manager for the union IBEW Local 1579.
He said the site now employs about 500 of his electricians but the union recently received notice that there would be a hiring freeze pending a review.
“We’ve been hearing for months they were broke and had to meet certain milestones by Southern to get paid,” Mr Salters said……
Toshiba is already on a Tokyo Stock Exchange watchlist because of the accounting scandal that forced it to take a $US1.3bn writedown for its nuclear business in November 2015.
At the time, it acknowledged that it had overstated its profit for seven years. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/toshibas-nuclear-power-hopes-in-meltdown/news-story/1ba4929c61e94f528062d1aa44ab1b30
FUKUSHIMA FEARS – Powerful earthquake hits nuclear power plant region in Japan http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/747904/Fukushima-nuclear-power-plant-Japan-earthquake-Tokyo-Electric-Power-Company
AN earthquake in Fukushima has put the city’s nuclear power plant owners on alert.
Japan’s NHK news agency said the tremors were felt throughout “wide areas” of the east coast, though the epicentre was not at sea, meaning a tsunami is unlikely.
The Japan News said it was powerful enough to be felt in the same region as the nuclear plant, which is part of Honshu Island.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is still decommissioning Fukushima’s ruined reactors, is investigating any impact of the quake there. The firm said in a statement: “At the moment, we have not confirmed the impact of the earthquake on our main power facilities (including nuclear power plants).”
The quake struck Ibaraki Prefecture at 9.38pm local time (12.38pm UK time). There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.
There was a 7.3 magnitude earthquake which hit Fukushima last month.
Japan has a long history of powerful earthquakes and sits within the world’s most active volcano and earthquake zone in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
The zone is home to 90 percent of earthquakes and 81 percent of the most powerful quakes on earth.
It comes after a series of large quakes hit the US near the Nevada-California state line, sparking fears that the long-feared Big One was coming.
Wind power is equivalent to six nuclear power plants during Swedish storm http://www.mining.com/wind-power-equivalent-six-nuclear-power-plants-swedish-storm/ Michael Allan McCrae 28 Dec 16, A hurricane-strength storm that swept through Sweden this week generated record wind power that topped at 5.7 million kWh during single hour, which is 0.5 million more than the previous record, says energy company Bixia (news release in Swedish).
Over the past three days wind power accounted for 26 percent of total electricity consumption, almost as much as six nuclear power plants, says Anders Enqvist, Director of Risk Management at Bixia.
Sweden currently has three nuclear plants with ten nuclear reactors in commercial operation, making it the only country in the world that has more than one reactor per million inhabitants, says the Swedish Institute.
In 2015 Sweden added 200 more wind turbines. More wind blows in Sweden during the winter.