Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Japan decides against a centralised waste dump plan for research reactors’ nuclear wastes

NRA drops consolidation initiative for unwanted nuclear fuel after butting heads with JAEA, Japan Times, 6 Mar 18, KYODO  

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has given up on its proposal to gather and store redundant nuclear material from throughout Japan at one common facility run by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

The watchdog had been discussing the idea with the state-backed JAEA but failed to reach a deal due largely to disagreements on cost, the sources said.

Most of the nuclear material targeted by the initiative is small quantities of fuel at around 1,200 universities, hospitals and other places. The owners of the material often try to get rid of it in order to avoid the accompanying safety and maintenance issues.…….

An NRA survey covering the 1,800 holders of relatively small amounts of nuclear material showed that 1,100 of them, or about 80 percent, hope to transfer the fuel elsewhere because they have no use for it.

About half of the 210 holders of larger amounts of fuel similarly said they did not plan to use the material in the future due partly to the introduction of potential substitutes. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/04/national/nra-drops-consolidation-initiative-unwanted-nuclear-fuel-butting-heads-jaea/#.Wp71ZR1ubGg

 

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March 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

“In Denial” – the so-called environmentalists who promote nuclear power.

Pro-nuclear environmentalists’ in denial about power/weapons connections, Energy Post  by Jim Green 

Claims by self-styled ‘pro-nuclear environmentalists’ that “nuclear energy prevents the spread of nuclear weapons” and “peace is furthered when a nation embraces nuclear power” do not withstand scrutiny, writes Jim Green, editor of the Nuclear Monitor newsletter. Green looks at the conclusions of some studies which, he says, downplay the troubling connections between nuclear power and weapons. Courtesy Nuclear Monitor.

As discussed previously in Energy Post, nuclear industry bodies (such as the US Nuclear Energy Institute) and supporters (such as former US energy secretary Ernest Moniz) are openly acknowledging the connections between nuclear power and weapons ‒ connections they have denied for decades. Those connections are evident in most of the weapons states, in numerous countries that have pursued but not built weapons, and in potential future weapons states such as Saudi Arabia.

Ideally, acknowledgement of power/weapons connections would lead to redoubled efforts to build a firewall between civilian and military nuclear programs ‒ strengthened safeguards, curbs on enrichment and reprocessing, and so on.

But that’s not how this debate in playing out. Industry insiders and supporters drawing attention to the connections are quite comfortable about them ‒ they just want increased subsidies and support for their ailing civilian nuclear industries and argue that ‘national security’ and ‘national defense’ will be undermined if that support is not forthcoming.

Some continue to deny the power/weapons connections even though the connections are plain for all to see and are now being acknowledged by a growing number of nuclear insiders and supporters. The most prominent of these are self-styled ‘pro-nuclear environmentalists’.

One such person is Ben Heard from the Australian pro-nuclear lobby group ‘Bright New World‘. Heard claims that nuclear power promotes peace and uses the two Koreas to illustrate his argument: “The South is a user and exporter of nuclear power, signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, and possesses zero nuclear warheads. The North has zero nuclear power reactors, is not a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, and is developing and testing nuclear weapons.”

Likewise, Michael Shellenberger, founder of the U.S. pro-nuclear lobby group ‘Environmental Progress’, claims that: “One of [Friends of the Earth]-Greenpeace’s biggest lies about nuclear energy is that it leads to weapons. Korea demonstrates that the opposite is true: North Korea has a nuclear bomb and no nuclear energy, while South Korea has nuclear energy and no bomb.”

Heard and Shellenberger ignore the fact that North Korea uses what is calls an ‘experimental power reactor’ (based on the UK Magnox power reactor design) to produce plutonium for weapons. They ignore the fact that North Korea acquired enrichment technology from Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan network, who stole the blueprints from URENCO, the consortium that provides enrichment services for the nuclear power industry. They ignore the fact that North Korea’s reprocessing plant is based on the design of the Eurochemic plant in Belgium, which provided reprocessing services for the nuclear power industry.

Heard and Shellenberger also ignore South Korea’s history of covertly pursuing nuclear weapons, a history entwined with the country’s development of nuclear power. For example, the nuclear power program provided (and still provides) a rationale for South Korea’s pursuit of reprocessing technology.

Nicholas Miller’s article in International Security

Echoing Shellenberger’s claim that “nuclear energy prevents the spread of nuclear weapons”, Heard writes: “Peace is furthered when a nation embraces nuclear power, because it makes that nation empirically less likely to embark on a nuclear weapons program. That is the finding of a 2017 study published in the peer-reviewed journal International Security.” However, the claim isn’t true, and it isn’t supported by the International Security journal article, written by Nicholas Miller from Dartmouth College.

“The annual probability of starting a weapons program is more than twice as high in countries with nuclear energy programs, if one defines an energy program as having an operating power reactor or one under construction” ………..

All the logistic regression models in the world don’t alter the fact that nuclear power/weapons connections are multifaceted, repeatedly demonstrated, disturbing and dangerous:

  • Nuclear power programs were involved in the successful pursuit of weapons in four countries (France, India, Pakistan, South Africa) according to Miller (and India and North Korea could be added to that list) and have provided many other countries with a latent weapons capability.
  • Power programs have provided ongoing support for weapons programs to a greater or lesser degree in seven of the nine current weapons states (the exceptions being Israel and North Korea).
  • The direct use of power reactors to produce plutonium for weapons in all or all-but-one of the declared weapons states (and possibly other countries, e.g. India and Pakistan).
  • The use of power reactors to produce tritium for weapons in the US (and possibly other countries, e.g. India).
  • Power programs (or real or feigned interest in nuclear power) legitimising enrichment and reprocessing programs that have fed proliferation.
  • Power programs (or real or feigned interest in nuclear power) legitimising research (reactor) programs which can lead (and have led) to weapons proliferation.
  • And last but not least, the training of experts for nuclear power programs whose expertise can be (and has been) used in weapons programs…….. https://energypost.eu/pro-nuclear-environmentalists-in-denial-about-power-weapons-connections/

March 6, 2018 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, General News, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Major superannuation funds etc invest in nuclear weapons

Your retirement plan probably funds nuclear weapons — here are the top 20 biggest companies and their investors https://www.businessinsider.com.au/nuclear-weapons-work-retirement-plan-list-ranking-2018-3?r=US&IR=T

March 6, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Graph of the Day: And the states with the lowest emissions are … — RenewEconomy

South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory contribute a combined total of just 6.3% to the nation’s total scope 1 emissions. Can you guess the common denominator?

via Graph of the Day: And the states with the lowest emissions are … — RenewEconomy

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Delving Further into Uncharted Territory: Arctic Sea Ice Greatly Weakened at Start of Spring 2018 — robertscribbler

The story of Arctic sea ice is one of short term complexity overlying an inexorable long term trend of decline. It has thus been difficult for sea ice monitors to forecast seasonal ice growth and retreat, despite a larger and significant warming of the Arctic. (New ice has formed north of Greenland following a massive […]

via Delving Further into Uncharted Territory: Arctic Sea Ice Greatly Weakened at Start of Spring 2018 — robertscribbler

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hundreds of French Police Smash Geological Nuclear Dump Protest Camp at Bure —

Hundreds of French police smash nuclear dump protest camp, raid support house and arrest opponents by Jack Cohen-Joppa, for the Nuclear Resister http://www.nukeresister.org/2018/02/22/hundreds-of-french-police-smash-nuclear-dump-protest-camp-raid-support-house-and-arrest-opponents/ Before dawn on the morning of February 22, hundreds of French police in riot gear and equipped with trucks, bulldozers, helicopters and drones, evicted dozens of nuclear waste dump opponents who had […]

via Hundreds of French Police Smash Geological Nuclear Dump Protest Camp at Bure —

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russian Convicted Of Spying For Britain’s MI6 Intel Agency Critically Ill After Exposure To Unknown Substance In Salisbury England — Mining Awareness +

“Reports suggest Col Skripal had recently gone to police claiming he was fearing for his life“, according to “The Telegraph” [1]. No one seems to know yet what would make him a target at this time. Was he actively working on a case of some sort? Or is it Putin’s warning to people that he […]

via Russian Convicted Of Spying For Britain’s MI6 Intel Agency Critically Ill After Exposure To Unknown Substance In Salisbury England — Mining Awareness +

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Uranium Dioxides and Debris Fragments Released to the Environment with Cesium-Rich Microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

January 29, 2018 Trace U was released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) during the meltdowns, but the speciation of the released components of the nuclear fuel remains unknown. We report, for the first time, the atomic-scale characteristics of nanofragments of the nuclear fuels that were released from the FDNPP into the […]

via Uranium Dioxides and Debris Fragments Released to the Environment with Cesium-Rich Microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant — Fukushima 311 Watchdogs

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Worse news for Australia as India taps solar, Beijing bans coal — RenewEconomy

As the Indian government commits to funding development of some of the world’s largest solar PV parks, and China commits to cutting coal use in its capital by 2020, the Abbott government’s fossil-fuel powered plan for Australia’s economic future look more and more shaky.

via Worse news for Australia as India taps solar, Beijing bans coal — RenewEconomy

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A 2GW solar farm – for farmers: India launches “world’s largest” solar park — RenewEconomy

India’s newly inaugurated Pavagada Solar Park looks at farmers as key partners, and also key beneficiaries of the world-leading 2GW project.

via A 2GW solar farm – for farmers: India launches “world’s largest” solar park — RenewEconomy

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The myth about South Australia’s high electricity prices — RenewEconomy

The myth that SA renewables are responsible for their high electricity prices keeps on keeping on. So here’s another reason why it should be debunked.

via The myth about South Australia’s high electricity prices — RenewEconomy

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment