Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Greenpeace France calls for a halt to Flamanville EPR nuclear project, to assess viability of EPR reactors

EDF announced this morning that the start-up of the Flamanville EPR, which has been under construction for 15 years, has been postponed by several months, to mid-2023. The cost of this project, already multiplied by 6, increases again.

This umpteenth slippage of EPR technology questions the positioning of certain presidential candidates who promote it irresponsibly and disconnected from the facts.

Greenpeace France is calling for a moratorium on the work of the Flamanville EPR, in order to conduct an
independent assessment of the viability of EPR nuclear reactors. The incident that led to the shutdown of the world’s first EPR in Taishan,China, nearly 6 months ago, remains unresolved to this day. Beyond the
setbacks of construction sites, the EPR technology therefore proves to be faulty even in operation.

 Greenpeace France 12th Jan 2022

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The detail in the European Commission’s draft for ”sustainable nuclear energy” makes nuclear energy unfeasible – even the nuke lobby hates it!

“The taxonomy reporting is annual, so there’s something impossible to match there, which means a major greenwashing risk”

The European Parliament, however, has a lower voting threshold and will be able to block the proposal by simple majority (i.e. at least 353 MEPs in Plenary).

‘Misunderstanding’ could block nuclear from claiming green EU label, industry warns  https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/news/misunderstanding-could-block-nuclear-from-claiming-green-eu-label-industry-warns/ By Kira Taylor | EURACTIV.com    Ambiguities and misunderstandings contained in a draft EU proposal could block nuclear power plants from claiming a green investment label under the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy, the industry has warned.  The European Commission is currently in the process of putting together a rulebook, known as the sustainable finance taxonomy, to define which investments can be labelled as climate-friendly in the EU.

As part of this, nuclear energy has tentatively been categorised as a “transitional” technology making a “substantial contribution to climate change mitigation” under draft EU plans circulated by the European Commission on 31 December.

To qualify for the transitional label, new nuclear plants must be built before 2045 and show detailed plans to have a disposal facility in place by 2050 for high-level radioactive waste.

However, issues with the draft criteria mean no nuclear power plant would currently be able to claim the coveted green label, the nuclear industry body Foratom told EURACTIV.

This is because of a requirement that power plants must fully apply “the best-available technology and accident-tolerant fuel” to qualify. That fuel is still in the research phase and is currently not available or licenced, Foratom says.

“As it currently stands, no nuclear entity is covered by the taxonomy because of this,” said Jessica Johnson, communications director at Foratom. “If the text does not change, then we do have problems, particularly in relation to accident tolerant fuels – they don’t exist on the market today,” she told EURACTIV.

Criteria based on a currently unavailable fuel “is obviously not acceptable,” Johnson said, adding however that this could simply be a “misunderstanding” by the European Commission.

Nuclear industry leaders expressed their concerns in a letter sent to the EU executive. “Given that Accident-Tolerant Fuels are still at the research phase we believe this requirement should be removed and instead limited to existing legislation and best available technologies.”

Ambiguous wording

Alongside this, the industry has flagged concerns about the draft’s wording regarding the types of nuclear power plants that could qualify.

According to Foratom, criteria for the operation and maintenance of nuclear plants is ambiguous as the proposal only seems to cover new build projects or those undergoing a lifetime extension, potentially excluding the normal operation and maintenance of existing plants.

“We think it’s just an oversight and more an issue of wording. But it is important that it’s clearly stated that the technical screening criteria cover operation and maintenance of existing power plants,” she said.

Foratom has also questioned a requirement for final repositories of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. Companies will only be able to claim the green EU investment label if they can show “a plan with detailed steps” to have them “in operation by 2050,” according to the draft.

While Foratom agrees that such repositories must be available, Johnson said the current wording could mean a plant built in the 2040s would need a final repository in place by 2050, despite not requiring it for decades.

“We don’t see a need to have a final repository lying idle for 20 to 30 years. It doesn’t make much sense to us,” she explained.

Also it shouldn’t be restricted just to final repositories. We shouldn’t be hampering innovation in other solutions because there is other innovation and research ongoing in terms of other solutions for high level waste and spent fuel,” she added.

Opposition

Environmental groups also have concerns about this part of the leaked draft – only for the opposite reason.

“If the nuclear plant is reported as taxonomy aligned from year one, but [its plan for disposing of high-level waste] fails by, say 2045, then that means the nuclear plant was not taxonomy aligned at all from year one,” explained Sebastien Godinot from WWF, the global conservation NGO.

“The taxonomy reporting is annual, so there’s something impossible to match there, which means a major greenwashing risk,” Godinot warned.

Some EU member states have vowed to oppose the inclusion of nuclear in the EU’s green finance taxonomy. “If the EU taxonomy includes nuclear energy, we are ready to challenge that in court,” Austria warned in November. The country has since repeated that threat.

Luxembourg, Denmark and Spain have also voiced their opposition to the proposal. But they currently have little support from other EU countries, which are either pro-nuclear or keeping silent on the matter.

Anti-nuclear countries are unlikely to have a sufficient majority to veto the Commission’s draft proposal, known as a “delegated act”. To block a delegated act, they would need at least 72% of EU member states in the EU Council (i.e. 20) representing at least 65% of the EU population.

The European Parliament, however, has a lower voting threshold and will be able to block the proposal by simple majority (i.e. at least 353 MEPs in Plenary).

This makes the Parliament more of a threat to the nuclear industry, even though Foratom is still confident about the outcome. “We don’t think that they would get the number of votes needed to achieve that simple majority. Nevertheless, we are keeping a very close eye on that,” Johnson told EURACTIV.

German conservative lawmaker Peter Liese also believes the Parliament won’t block the proposal. “If I had to make a bet, I’d still bet that the European Parliament wouldn’t end up blocking the delegated act, but I wouldn’t put a lot of money on it anymore,” he told the Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Some EU lawmakers will be hoping they can garner enough support to stop the Commission’s proposal. They include German Green MEP Michael Bloss, who launched a petition to try and increase citizen pressure on the European Commission.

“With this proposal, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is destroying the credibility of the European eco-label for financial investments. Including nuclear power and gas is an unprecedented labelling fraud, because nuclear power and gas are not sustainable energy sources,” Bloss told EURACTIV.

“There is now a lack of clarity for citizens who want to invest their money in sustainable, in the sense of green transformation. Where it says sustainable on it, it must also be sustainable in it, otherwise the entire regulatory framework loses its credibility,” he added.

The European Commission has given EU countries until 21 January to provide feedback on its plans and is expected to publish its proposal shortly after this month the deadline for experts to give feedback on divisive plans to allow some natural gas and nuclear energy projects to be labelled as sustainable investments.

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany’s admirable record in promoting renewable energy, as it leaves nuclear behind.

The nuclear shenanigans aren’t enough to take away Germany’s crown as a climate-forward country. The politics that sped up the nuclear phaseout also created room for a renewables boom. Starting with the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, Germany’s energy policy, known as energiewende, created some of the most generous subsidies for solar power. ………..

 Germany moved ahead with a plan to shut off nearly 50 per cent of its nuclear power plants, with the rest scheduled to close by the end of 2022. Some asked how a climate-forward country could lay waste to a source of zero-carbon power, [zero carbon? not so] especially when there’s a shortage of it. Others
pointed out that Germany’s renewables investments are for naught if it has to fill up the nuclear quota using dirty coal. Outrageous, right?

Not so fast, says Nikos Tsafos, an energy and climate analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s very easy to solve climate change if I’m not politically constrained.” Any sensible climate plan
requires that clean energy replaces dirty sources quickly, while at the same time efficiency measures cut the demand for energy overall.

That, in theory, would result in a smooth decline in emissions as laid out in scientific models. Reality, however, is anything but smooth. The transition will inevitably be shaped by human particularities.

The nuclear shenanigans aren’t enough to take away Germany’s crown as a climate-forward country. The politics that sped up the nuclear phaseout also created room for a renewables boom. Starting with the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2000, Germany’s energy policy, known as energiewende, created some of the most generous subsidies for solar power. These came in the form of guaranteed prices (or feed-in tariffs) for generating solar power. German taxpayers paid billions of euros to support a new technology. The demand created giant solar companies, including many in China, that progressively made the technology cheaper (with additional support in the form of Chinese subsidies) and thus more accessible to the rest of the world.

 Financial Post 11th Jan 2022

https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/renewables/germany-quitting-nuclear-doesnt-doom-the-energy-transition

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Guardian view on The Green Planet: verdant and necessary


The Guardian view on The Green Planet: verdant and necessary
Guardian
 editorial

David Attenborough’s new series takes aim at plant blindness, providing a vital service in the fight against global warming

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear incident at the EPR at Taishan (China)

Safety defect of the Taishan 1 EPR reactor, CRIIRAD asks the authorities to draw all the consequences on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bn5ZKQuM0the other EPRs including the one under construction in Flamanville. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1bn5ZKQuM0 4 dec 2021,

According to information sent to CRIIRAD by a whistleblower from the nuclear industry, a generic problem could jeopardize the safety of reactors in the EPR sector

The serious malfunctions at the level of the EPR reactor n°1 of the Taishan power plant (China) – revealed in June 2021 and having led to its early shutdown on July 30 – would be partly linked to a design problem of the EPR tank.

These same failures could then concern the other EPR reactors, starting with Taishan 2 (the only other EPR reactor in operation in the world to date) but also the reactors under construction: Flamanville 3 (France, Normandy), Olkiluoto (Finland) and the 2 EPRs at Hinkley Point in England.

The problems linked to the design of the EPR vessel in terms of hydraulics have been known to manufacturers since at least the end of the 2000s (model tests). The poor distribution of the primary liquid in the vessel would generate high levels of vibration of the nuclear fuel assemblies. These vibrations would have been observed as soon as Taishan 1 was commissioned in 2018.

The vibrations at the level of the reactor core would be the cause of the degradation of the sheaths of the nuclear fuel rods, thus causing leaks of radioactive rare gases, but also of radioactive isotopes of iodine and cesium. They would also have weakened the retaining grids of certain assemblies.

These leaks were noted by operators as early as October 2020 and have steadily worsened over the weeks. Given the risks this represents for workers, residents and nuclear safety, CRIIRAD believes that the Taishan 1 reactor should have been shut down well before July 30.

The damage to the nuclear fuel of the Taishan 1 reactor would be considerable. The whistleblower told CRIIRAD that 70 pencils are damaged belonging to about thirty different assemblies. Many retaining springs broke.

What about the French and Chinese Nuclear Safety Authorities? What do the French and Chinese Nuclear Safety Authorities know? CRIIRAD requests clarification and full transparency in an email sent to the French ASN on November 27, 2021: http://www.criirad.org/actualites/dos...

This more than worrying situation must absolutely be assessed and the results must be made public: nuclear safety and the protection of populations are at stake.
In view of the questions, CRIIRAD asks ASN if it considers the loading into the reactor of new fuel delivered to the Flamanville EPR to be acceptable?

At a time when France declares that it wants to relaunch its nuclear program, citizens deserve to be honestly informed of the possible failures of the EPR sector, and their protection must be guaranteed as an absolute priority vis-à-vis economic and financial interests.

For more information: http://www.criirad.org/Surete-nucleai

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A fifth French nuclear reactor affected by corrosion in safety system

Nuclear: a reactor at the Penly power plant also affected by a corrosion problem. This problem on a safety system has already been detected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down.

 Nuclear: a reactor at the Penly power plant also affected by a corrosion problem. This problem on a safety system has already been detected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down. A nuclear reactor at the Penly power plant (Seine-Maritime) is also affected by a corrosion problem on a safety system already detected or suspected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down, AFP told on Thursday. Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).

 Le Figaro 13th Jan 2021

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/nucleaire-un-reacteur-de-la-centrale-de-penly-concernee-aussi-par-un-probleme-de-corrosion-20220113

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear: economically unsustainable, inherently dangerous and absolutely unfeasible as a solution to climate change

 Nuclear: economically unsustainable, inherently dangerous and absolutely unfeasible as a solution to climate change.

A demolishing letter against those who postulate nuclear energy as part of the solution to the challenge
of climate change. The letter is signed by former top-level nuclear safety councils and regulatory authorities in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

For nuclear power to contribute in a relevant way to the generation of energy on a global scale, the signatories maintain, it would take up to more than 10,000 new reactors, something that is “unsustainable from a financial point of view.”

Furthermore, nuclear power is still “subject to too many unresolved technical and safety problems” and
does not respond to the urgency of the challenge we face (climate change), given the construction times of the plants.

 Energias Renovables 12th Jan 2022

https://www.energias-renovables.com/panorama/la-nuclear-economicamente-insostenible-intrinsecamente-peligrosa-y-20220111

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 14 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion:  ¶ “Some German Environmental Groups Overlook Coal’s Impact On Water While Focusing On Stopping Tesla” • Two groups are suing the German State Office for the Environment claiming that the tests for approval of the water supply for the gigafactory are not available. In my opinion, they are not pro-environment. They are just anti-Tesla. […]

January 14 Energy News — geoharvey

January 14, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is US extradition inevitable for Julian Assange? | The Stream

Aljazeera English, 14 January 2022, It’s been more than a decade since the website WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified documents and videos – some of which revealed possible US war crimes. Now WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has one more chance to appeal a UK ruling that would allow him to be extradited to the US.

Last month, a UK High Court ruled that Assange could be extradited to the US to face charges of hacking and violating the US Espionage Act. The ruling goes against a lower court that previously said harsh US prison conditions would endanger Assange given his worsening mental and physical health.

Assange’s legal team has since filed an appeal to Britain’s Supreme Court, but in order for the appeal to be considered, it must be deemed of “general public importance”.

n 2019, the Trump administration indicted Assange for violating the US Espionage Act on counts related to the WikiLeaks release of secret US military documents and diplomatic cables. The US argues the release of classified information put the lives of American allies in danger.

Twenty-four civil liberties and press freedom groups, including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, PEN America and Reporters Without Borders have called on the Biden administration to stop its prosecution against Assange. In a joint letter to the US Justice Department, they argue that Assange’s prosecution could set a precedent that would harm press freedom and the safety of journalists reporting on national security issues.

Assange spent seven years in refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and was eventually arrested in 2019. Last week, Assange’s supporters marked his 1,000th day of imprisonment at London’s Belmarsh high security prison.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll discuss the outlook for Assange’s case and its broader implications for press freedom worldwide.

January 14, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, legal, media | Leave a comment

In Western Australia, first Cameco’s Kintyre uranium project was disallowed, now Toro’s uranium project also rejected

Nuclear Free WA, K-A Garlick. Nuclear Free Community Campaigner

13 Jan 22 On Monday we got confirmation from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation that the  Wiluna uranium mine cannot be developed as their environmental approval expired on 9 January 2022 – having failed to “substantially commence” mining. 

Toro could apply to extend the approval but we are hopeful that any request would be rejected. In March 2020 Cameco’s Kintyre approval expired and their request to extend denied. This is a good precedent. We are also tracking the Yeelirrie project which is due to expire on 20 January 2022. We are looking forward to other opportunities to secure lasting protections against uranium mine proposals in WA. Stay posted. 

January 13, 2022 Posted by | politics, uranium, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Toro Energy misses deadline to start work at Wiluna uranium mine.

Toro Energy misses deadline to start work at Wiluna uranium mine  12 Jan 22, Conservationists have welcomed Toro Energy’s failure to substantially start mining at its controversial Wiluna uranium project before the State Government’s deadline. The divisive operation had been in the pipeline for several years, and was environmentally approved by the Barnett Government on January 9, 2017, and ruled mining must start within five years. This decision sparked controversy among conservationists, who were concerned about plans to store 50 million tonnes of radioactive mine waste near natural lakebeds. Mark McGowan’s Labor party was elected later that year and ruled out approving new uranium mines, but allowed pre-existing operations to continue under the previous government’s conditions.

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Federal Labor pledges climate resilience funding, Nationals pledge allegiance to coal — RenewEconomy

Pre-election campaigning hots up in Queensland, where the federal opposition leader has promised a new $200m a year fund to build climate resilience. The National’s, meanwhile, are all about coal. The post Federal Labor pledges climate resilience funding, Nationals pledge allegiance to coal appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Federal Labor pledges climate resilience funding, Nationals pledge allegiance to coal — RenewEconomy

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TANKS A LOT SCOTT! $3.5 billion for tanks to replace a fleet we purchased in 2007, which never saw battle.

January 13, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Norway Activists Protest After Docking Of US Nuclear Submarine In Tromso: Reports

Norway Activists Protest After Docking Of US Nuclear Submarine In Tromso: Reports,  https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/us-news/norway-activists-protest-after-docking-of-us-nuclear-submarine-in-tromso-reports-articleshow.html

Protest intensified in Norway as an American nuclear submarine has docked in Tromso– a city in northern Norway, news agency Sputnik reported.

By Ajeet Kumar 12 Jan 22,  Protest intensified in Norway as an American nuclear submarine has docked in Tromso, a city in northern Norway. According to a report by news agency Sputnik, the US nuclear submarine was docked on January 11, the second time in a year. The media report said that the submarine was loaded with arms and missiles and tasked with patrolling the northern waters. As the news of an American submarine docked in Tromso hit headlines of several national media outlets, hundreds of protesters marched towards the guarded gates of the Tonsnes harbour. The protestors termed the recent move of America “a destructive game between superpowers.”

US nuclear submarine arrival in Norway sparks strong reactions 

Hakon Elvenes, who represents the protestors, asserted the United States should not dock its submarine in Norway and added the act has a long “symbolic effect”. “This represents a dangerous mix of military and civilian purposes. It is a mixture that may be in conflict with international law, and which hasn’t been assessed well enough by the Norwegian authorities,” Sputnik quoted Elvenes as saying to the national broadcaster NRK. “There is always a risk that something can happen to any nuclear reactor, we have plenty of examples of that. And if something happens first, the consequences will be great,” added Hakon Elvenes.

Tension between two countries soar 

Meanwhile, Alberta Tennoe Bekkhus, who represent, the youth wing of the Reds Party argued that the recent action by the US will contribute to unnecessary provocations and further conflict. “The fact that we invite American forces in the way we do makes us more insecure. It contributes to unnecessary provocations and further conflict,” Sputnik quoted Bekkrus as saying. “The way NATO is doing now, I believe it makes the world more insecure. This puts Norway in a more dangerous situation,” she added.

It is worth mentioning that the tension between US and Scandinavian countries has soared in the past few years due to action taken by the US Naval forces. Earlier in November last year, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Norway’s new Defense Minister, Odd Roger Enoksen, in his first visit to the US since taking the position. According to AP, both said the commitment to NATO and the challenges posed by Russia would be topics high on the agenda during their meeting. The duo also discussed the recent activities of the US Navy in northern Norway and added the matter would be solved with discussions.

 

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK’s Nuclear Financing Bill – very strange logic – with £40 billion to £60 billion for a new nuclear power station seen as a good thing.

Last week Tim Farron MP sent the following reply to Radiation Free Lakeland when we urged him to vote NO to the public paying for new nuclear build in the Nuclear Financing Bill yesterday. Our MP’s opposition to new nuclear is heartening. But this opposition was not reflected in the vote of
458 for to 53 against (how many others opposed did not vote?) the Bill at third reading.

The Bill will now be considered in the House of Lords. This vote is truly shocking. Alan Brown MP said during the debate Government “has been very good at telling us about the mythical savings that will
accrue via the regulated asset base funding model introduced by this Bill—they are estimated at between £30 billion and £70 billion. What the Government are not so good at is telling us what money they want to commit for the likes of Sizewell C. In effect, they are telling us, ”Let’s save money for bill payers by signing up to a less bad deal for a new nuclear project.”

According to the impact assessment, the capital and financing cost is going to be in the region of £40 billion to £60 billion for a new nuclear power station.

It is a strange logic to tell us that £50 billion being added to our energy bills at the time of a cost of living energy crisis is somehow a good thing. By default, the Government are also confirming just how much of a stinking, rotten deal Hinkley Point C was for bill payers if we are saying that we can save that much money compared with the contracts for difference model for Hinkley C.”

 Radiation Free Lakeland 11th Jan 2022

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment