Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

2022: The year of eco-consumerism!  — #ActNow for a Sustainable future for humanity & the planet! — ACT NOW! — Barbara Crane Navarro

SAY NO TO ALL PALM OIL PRODUCTS! SAY NO TO THE DEVASTATION CAUSED BY GOLD MINING! SAY NO TO ALL PRODUCTS FROM DEFORESTATION! ACT NOW FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE! At the end of each year, as it is well known, the trends of the new year are written and listed. Similar lists have started to […]

2022: The year of eco-consumerism!  — #ActNow for a Sustainable future for humanity & the planet! — ACT NOW! — Barbara Crane Navarro

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 13 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Geoengineering – First It Was About Messing With The Atmosphere. Now It’s About Hacking The Ocean” • A new 300-page report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for scientific investigation into a number of ways of geoengineering the ocean so it can sequester more carbon dioxide. [CleanTechnica] Report (National […]

December 13 Energy News — geoharvey

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What’s next for Julian Assange? and for media freedom?

If the United States is able to be successful in the prosecution of Julian Assange, it will set a very dangerous precedent for anybody publishing any material in the public interest that exposes US military secrets.”.

A UK court has cleared Julian Assange’s extradition to the US. Here’s what happens next

The 50-year-old Australian founded the WikiLeaks website in 2006 and has been held in detention since 2019 as a lengthy legal process continues over espionage charges. SBS,  By Alexander Britton, 14 Dec 21

Attempts to see WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange face criminal charges in a United States court moved a step closer after Washington recently won an appeal over his extradition.

But the legal battle is far from over, with the legal wrangling set to continue into 2022 as Assange’s team pledged to have the case heard at the United Kingdom’s highest court.

Who is Julian Assange and why is he wanted by the US?

Julian Assange is a 50-year-old Australian who founded WikiLeaks, a site that publishes leaked materials from a variety of sources.

Set up in 2006, the site is widely known for its release of footage showing a 2007 US airstrike in Baghdad that killed journalists and civilians titled Collateral Murder

He is wanted by the US for alleged violations of the country’s Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010.

Should he be convicted, the maximum jail term could be 175 years……………………

Why does the case raise media freedom concerns?

Assange’s case has “dangerous implications for the future of journalism”, the secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire said.

They believe he has been targeted for his contributions to journalism and is facing “possible life imprisonment for publishing information in the public interest”.

This view is shared by MEAA Media federal president Marcus Strom who told SBS News: “This is an attempt by the United States to set a precedent, to intimidate the coverage of national security journalism.

“If the United States is able to be successful in the prosecution of Julian Assange, it will set a very dangerous precedent for anybody publishing any material in the public interest that exposes US military secrets.”………………………………

How have 11 years in detention impacted his health?

Assange’s legal team have raised concerns that the prolonged legal case has had a highly detrimental impact on his physical and mental health.

His fiancée Stella Moris told the UK’s Mail on Sunday that Assange had a mini-stroke during the October appeal, leaving him with memory loss and signs of neurological damage.

She was quoted by the paper as saying: “I believe this constant chess game, battle after battle, the extreme stress, is what caused Julian’s stroke on October 27.”

Doctors for Assange, a group set up in 2019, referred to Assange’s health as being in a “dire state” due to “his prolonged psychological torture”, while Nils Melzer, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, said he was “crushed as a person”. 

What has the reaction been in Australia and around the world?

Pressure has been placed on the Australian government to intervene in Assange’s case. Senator Rex Patrick urged Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to make a case to the US Secretary of State while in isolation in the country, and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said Prime Minister Scott Morrison needed to pick up the phone and “end this lunacy”.

Newspaper editorials have also made the case for Canberra to discuss the matter with counterparts in Washington and London, and international bodies have pushed for Assange’s release.

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote: “Prime Minister Scott Morrison should encourage Mr Biden to free Mr Assange. There is a strong humanitarian and pragmatic case to look for a way out of this Kafkaesque nightmare”.

Anthony Bellanger, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, said the ruling was a “major blow”.

Others calling for his release have included Amnesty International, who said the “indictment poses a grave threat to press freedom both in the United States and abroad”.

What could happen now?

Following the successful appeal from the US, the judges ruled the case should return to Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a district judge to formally send it to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

But Ms Moris has said lawyers will push for the case to be referred up to the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court.

His legal team have also suggested New Zealand act as a peacemaker between the various parties in the case.

The group, including New Zealand-based lawyer Craig Tuck, want Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to make representations to US President Joe Biden or UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end the “politically motivated prosecution”.

“This is something our prime minister could address by picking up the phone to president Biden or prime minister Johnson and saying, ‘Hey, enough’s enough. Let’s bury the hatchet and not in Julian’s head’,” Mr Tuck told Radio NZ.

With additional reporting from AFP and AAP.  https://www.sbs.com.au/news/a-british-court-has-cleared-julian-assange-s-extradition-to-the-us-here-s-what-happens-next/03d8802e-798d-46fd-9359-eb70a052c30b

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Safety Concerns Mount Over Damaged Fuel Rods at China’s Taishan Nuclear Plant

The second EPR reactor at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant is about to enter into commercial operation.

Safety Concerns Mount Over Damaged Fuel Rods at China’s Taishan Nuclear Plant
A French whistleblower claims that the real number of damaged fuel rods exceeds the figure acknowledged by officials, and that there may be issues with other reactors of the same design.  By Jesse Turland  The Diplomat December 11, 2021
 On November 28 Radio France International Chinese published claims by a whistleblower contradicting official statements downplaying the extent of damage to fuel rods at the Taishan 1 Nuclear Reactor in Taishan, Guangdong province.

The whistleblower, who works at a French nuclear energy company, warned that more than 70 fuel rods were damaged, 14 times the figure acknowledged by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in June, when it stated “about five” rods were damaged. Additionally, the whistleblower claimed the damage may be linked to a “design flaw.”

Under pressure from public activism, France’s nuclear energy regulator, Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), yesterday announced it would halt the development of the EPR reactor at Flamanville in Normandy, which uses the same design as Taishan, pending inquiries into the malfunctions at Taishan.

There is still a lot of work to be done on the [Flamanville] site before start-up operations, and feedback from the experience of the Taishan 1 EPR deviation must take place,” said ASN deputy general manager Julien Collet yesterday.

Located 110 kilometers south of Guangzhou, Taishan is the site of the world’s first reactors of the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR) design to commence operation. Its two reactors are capable of generating 1,750 Megawatts electric (Mwe) each.

According to the whistleblower, the problem of the Taishan EPR reactor is “a not-very-successful hydraulic system at the bottom of the vessel which gives an uneven distribution of power in the assemblies. A transverse current is created in the core and causes the assemblies to move, especially those at the periphery.”

The whistleblower’s claims were relayed by Bruno Chareyron, director of the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD), a Paris-based NGO established in 1986 to monitor radioactive leaks in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

According to the whistleblower, the problem of the Taishan EPR reactor is “a not-very-successful hydraulic system at the bottom of the vessel which gives an uneven distribution of power in the assemblies. A transverse current is created in the core and causes the assemblies to move, especially those at the periphery.”

The whistleblower’s claims were relayed by Bruno Chareyron, director of the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD), a Paris-based NGO established in 1986 to monitor radioactive leaks in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

There are at least three consequences. One is the fact that due to the damage to the nuclear fuel, a significant amount of radioactive substances migrate across the cladding of the rods and is go into the water of the primary circuit,” according to Chareyron.

“So radioactive gases like krypton and xenon are accumulating in the water inside the pressure vessel… Those gases are collected into tanks and those tanks are opened to the atmosphere normally every two months. But with fuel rod damage, some of the gases released have half-lives of years, like Krypton 85.”

He continued: “[The] second problem is the impact on the people working in the plant. Because if you have such damage in the core of the reactor, you contaminate the water inside the pressure vessel, but some of this contamination will stay inside the tubes, the pipes, the pumps.

“So when the operators have to conduct maintenance, they receive much more radiation than if the cladding fitted properly.”

Finally, “The third problem is if the fuel assemblies are a little bit broken, it means that you may reach a situation when, for example, in case of an earthquake, you cannot insert the control rods into the fuel assemblies because the assemblies are damaged,” Chareyron said…………….                                       

Jesse Turland

Jesse Turland holds a degree in Chinese language and Asian Studies from the University of Melbourne and writes about contemporary Chinese society.  https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/safety-concerns-mount-over-damaged-fuel-rods-at-chinas-taishan-nuclear-plant/

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prominent Indian activist Medha Patkar urges Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister to close down Kudankulam nuclear power station.


Medha Patkar urges Stalin to close nuclear plant at Kudankulam  
https://www.dtnext.in/News/TamilNadu/2021/12/14043718/1333730/Medha-Patkar-urges-Stalin-to-close-nuclear-plant-at-.vpf

 Dec 14,2021    Noted activist Medha Patkar met Chief Minister M. K. Stalin in Chennai on Monday and urged him to shut down the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Chennai: “Radiation causes serious impact on human beings as well as aquatic species, and when there are over four nuclear plants (at Koodankulam nuclear plants) close to the sea, it is even more destructive,” said social activist Medha Patkar, while discussing environmental issues in Tamil Nadu, at Chennai press club on Monday.

Even as the opposition to the two units of nuclear power plants was continuing, they have started the construction of 3, 4, 5 and 6 units. In this situation, they are planning to begin the seventh and eighth unit and reprocessing plant said the national convener of the National Alliance of People’s Movement.Chennai: “Radiation causes serious impact on human beings as well as aquatic species, and when there are over four nuclear plants (at Koodankulam nuclear plants) close to the sea, it is even more destructive,” said social activist Medha Patkar, while discussing environmental issues in Tamil Nadu, at Chennai press club on Monday.


Even as the opposition to the two units of nuclear power plants was continuing, they have started the construction of 3, 4, 5 and 6 units. In this situation, they are planning to begin the seventh and eighth unit and reprocessing plant said the national convener of the National Alliance of People’s Movement.

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia is offering to USA and NATO an alternative way out of the present Ukraine crisis

Moscow Says It’s Offering US, NATO Alternative to New Cuban Missile Crisis-Style Scenario, Sputnik News,  Ilya Tsukanov, 14 Dec 21, Tensions between Russia and the US-led military bloc have escalated dramatically in recent weeks amid Western claims that Moscow may be preparing to invade Ukraine. Russian officials have dismissed the claims, warning that Kiev that may be getting ready to try to resolve the frozen civil conflict in eastern Ukraine by force.Russia is offering the United States and NATO an alternative to a new Cuban Missile Crisis-style scenario, and is prepared to continue constructive dialogue with Washington on Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

”We are offering an alternative [to a repeat of a Cuban Missile Crisis-style event] – the non-deployment of these kinds of weapons near our borders, the withdrawal of forces and assets which destabilise the situation, a rejection of provocative measures, including various drills. But we need guarantees, and the guarantees must be legal,” Ryabkov told Sputnik during a press briefing in Moscow on Friday.

“It’s necessary to avoid a new missile crisis in Europe before it’s too late, before the appearance of medium- and short-range missiles in these territories. This is unacceptable and is a direct route to escalating the confrontation,” the diplomat warned.Ryabkov said he couldn’t understand the actions of the US and its European allies in this area, stressing that their behaviour has done nothing to strengthen their own security. “It’s ridiculous to suggest that their missiles are aimed at countering a limited rocket threat from the opposite direction,” he said.

The diplomat stressed that Russia will continue to use all available resources to push forward with dialogue with NATO on security issues, and to “make maximum use of any opportunities to build up common sense in this area.”Ryabkov said this dialogue will include a proposal on the reciprocal verifiable moratorium on the development of new ground-to-ground missile systems banned under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the US unilaterally walked out on in 2019.

Russia ‘Alarmed’ by NATO’s Eastward Expansion

He also commented indirectly on recent statements by US and NATO officials about Ukraine’s prospects of joining NATO, saying such a development would be unacceptable for Russia.

“I take all the signals on this subject as part of a larger picture which is very alarming for us. Once again: there should not be any further eastward expansion of NATO. Even in the absence of such expansion, there should be no absorption of nearby territory in the military and military-technical sense, as is currently taking place, to the detriment of Russia’s security interests,” Ryabkov said………….

Despite the recent rhetoric, Ryabkov expressed hope that the majority of the Washington establishment is not in favour of war with Russia, with the possible exception of Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who recently urged the Biden administration not to “rule out first use nuclear action” against Russia in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine…….. https://sputniknews.com/20211210/moscow-offering-us-nato-alternative-to-new-cuban-missile-crisis-scenario-foreign-ministry-says-1091417821.html

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What do nuclear submarines do with nuclear waste?

André Kupferschmid   https://www.quora.com/Electrical EngineerUpdated Sep 26 What do nuclear submarines do with nuclear waste?

Either they are stored in long-term storage facilities or the Russian method is chosen:

By 1993, the Soviet Union had deliberately sunk 18 reactors in the sea, 6 of them still with fuel rods. Still in 2003 an old nuclear submarine (November class) with two reactors sank during towing. It still lies there today with 800 kg of nuclear fuel on board.

The Soviet Union had built 248 nuclear submarines with a total of 468 reactors. However, there was no money left for safe storage after decommissioning (see picture below). That is why the G8 countries decided in 2002 on a 20-billion-dollar program against the proliferation of weapons and materials of mass destruction. Most of it went to Russia.

And while the G7 (after exclusion of Russia) is now spending a lot of money on long-term storage, Russia is doing what it does best: Building new nuclear submarines!

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Look Up: A movie about climate change that is actually good

Don’t Look Up: A movie about climate change that is actually good

The new star-studded film captures a feeling every climate advocate knows: banging your head against a wall and getting nowhere. And it’s funny to boot.

December 14, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment