Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Hows easily Trump could set off a nuclear war with North Korea

Here’s how one crazed Trump tweet could set off a nuclear war with North Korea: Arms control expert  HTTPS://WWW.RAWSTORY.COM/2017/12/HERES-HOW-ONE-CRAZED-TRUMP-TWEET-COULD-SET-OFF-A-NUCLEAR-WAR-WITH-NORTH-KOREA-ARMS-CONTROL-EXPERT/   BRAD REED 11 DEC 2017 

Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert and a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, has written a terrifying war game scenario for the Washington Post in which he shows how one particularly ill-timed and ill-tempered tweet from President Donald Trump could set off a chain of events that would end in a nuclear war with North Korea.

In Lewis’ scenario, the trouble begins when North Korea shoots down a commercial South Korean aircraft that had strayed into North Korean airspace that it mistook for an American bomber.

In response to this, South Korea orders a limited missile strike against North Korea’s air defense battery to send a message aimed at deterring further attacks from Pyongyang.

Things quickly go haywire, however, Trump sends out an all-caps tweet in the wake of Seoul’s retaliatory strike that reads, “LITTLE ROCKET MAN WON’T BE AROUND MUCH LONGER!”

This leads the North to believe that Trump is planning an imminent invasion — and at that point, Pyongyang unloads its full nuclear arsenal at targets in Seoul, Tokyo, San Diego, Manhattan and, yes, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

It would be years before the U.S. government could provide an accounting of the toll,” writes Lewis in his conclusion. “The Pentagon would make almost no effort to tally the enormous numbers of civilians killed in North Korea by the massive conventional air campaign. But in the end, officials concluded, nearly 2 million Americans, South Koreans and Japanese had died in the completely avoidable nuclear war of 2019.”

Read the entire piece at this link.

Advertisements

December 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Trump to weaken nuclear rules , in order to sell nukes to Saudi Arabia

Trump Considers Easing Nuclear Rules for Saudi Project https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-12/trump-is-said-to-consider-easing-nuclear-rules-for-saudi-project By Jennifer Jacobs,  Ari Natter,and Jennifer A Dlouhy  

  • Westinghouse is looking for new markets after bankruptcy
  • Past deals barred uranium enrichment for overseas projects

The Trump administration is encouraging Saudi Arabia to consider bids by Westinghouse Electric Co. and other U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in that country and may allow the enrichment of uranium as part of that deal, according to three people familiar with the plans.

 Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited Saudi Arabia this month where the projects were discussed, according to two people. The people familiar asked not to be identified discussing the confidential negotiations.
Previous U.S. agreements have prohibited the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium, and that had scuttled negotiations to use U.S. technology in Saudi nuclear projects during the Obama administration. The administration is mulling easing that requirement now as a way to help Westinghouse and other companies win Saudi Arabian contracts, two people said.

A meeting to hammer out details of the nuclear cooperation agreement, known as a 123 Agreement for the section of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act that requires it, will be held at the White House Wednesday, two administration officials said.

A successful U.S. bid would help deliver on President Donald Trump’s promise to revive and revitalize the domestic nuclear industry, helping American companies edge out Russian and Chinese competitors to build new fleets around the world. Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Westinghouse, the nuclear technology pioneer that is part of Toshiba Corp., went bankrupt in March, after it hit delays with its AP1000 reactors at two U.S. plants. After it declared bankruptcy, Westinghouse — whose technology is used in more than half the world’s nuclear power plants — said it shifted its focus to expanding outside the U.S.

Winning contracts in Saudi Arabia could provide a new market that Westinghouse needs and provide at least a partial vindication for the investment in the AP1000 technology.

“Westinghouse is pleased that Saudi Arabia has decided to pursue nuclear energy,” Sarah Cassella, a spokeswoman, said in a emailed statement. “We are fully participating in their request for information and are pleased to provide the AP1000 plant, the industry’s most advanced technology.”

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said weakening the prohibition against enrichment and reprocessing, often referred to as “the gold standard,” is disturbing given what he said was Saudi Arabia’s “sub-par nuclear nonproliferation record.”

“We shouldn’t compromise our longstanding efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons in order to play favorites with certain companies or countries,” he said in an email, calling the idea “disturbing and counterproductive.”

— With assistance by Chris Martin

December 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The Greens will not stop until this mine is stopped’

The Plan to Stop Adani    ‘Invest in renewables, not fossil fuels.  greens.org.au/qld/stopadani   youtu.be/oSdFiGI1xWc

‘Adani intends to build the largest coal mine in Australia. ‘The Greens will not stop until this mine is stopped’

Newsletter of 11 December 2017,

This Newsletter: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/wgar-news/eLZwzcOUwM4

Quick Facts  ‘The Queensland Greens will:

    Veto the $1bn NAIF loan
    Scrap the $300m tax break from the Qld government
    Cancel Adani’s licence to operate in Qld
    Cancel Adani’s unlimited groundwater licence
    and more!’

‘The Adani Coal Mine threatens the survival of the Great Barrier Reef, 
will drain the Great Artesian Basin 
and clear 28,000 soccer fields of land.

‘The Greens are the only party running in the Queensland election fighting to stop Adani.  
‘Global warming kills people. 
Labor’s Adani mine will trash the Reef and wreck our future 
and it will supercharge droughts, bushfires and extreme weather.  

‘The killer Adani coal mine would pump 7.7 billion tonnes of carbon pollution over its life, 
which is almost ten times Australia’s current annual pollution. 
One Nation, Labor the LNP support this deadly mine.

‘Queensland Labor has just tried to veto giving Adani a $1 billion taxpayer funded loan. 
But not because Queenslanders have been asking Palaszczuk to for nearly a year …

‘Now the LNP says it won’t support the veto. 
‘The Greens are the only party that will stop the loan.  

‘Queensland Labor is still giving Adani a royalty tax break worth between $370 million to $700 million.

‘The Adani group has a shocking overseas track record of environmental destruction. 
‘Several Adani companies are under investigation for money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and fraud. 
Many Adani companies are registered in the Cayman Islands tax haven.

‘The Greens stand alongside thousands of other everyday Queenslanders 
who are fighting to Stop Adani and kick big corporations out of politics.  

How we can Stop Adani

The Greens would stop Adani. The Queensland government could do any of the following immediately:

    ‘Veto the $1bn loan from the federal government under the federal Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act 2015.  

    Scrap the $300m tax break from the Queensland government

    Back the Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners in their fight against Adani to defend their land rights

    Cancel Adani’s licence to operate in Queensland on the basis of its shocking environmental and track record overseas and allegations of fraud, money laundering and corruption.

    Cancel Adani’s unlimited groundwater licence

    Simply legislate to stop the mine’

‘There is no “fine” or compensation payable if the Queensland government takes any of the above steps.  
The above steps are completely consistent with the State government’s executive or legislative powers, 
and there is no “contract” which prevents the State from taking these steps.’

December 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Custodians ‘in dark’ over dump

The Northern Land Council failed to consult traditional land owners when it rejected a nuclear waste dump, court documents allege. (subscribers only) 
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/traditional-owners-not-consulted-as-nlc-abandoned-nuke-dump/news-story/94ff701569f80c179d2df820abed5874

December 12, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

ICAN leader urges nuclear powers to join the United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons

‘Prevent the end of us’: Nuclear powers urged to ban the bomb http://www.smh.com.au/world/prevent-the-end-of-us-nuclear-powers-urged-to-ban-the-bomb-20171210-h0279q.html, Gwladys Fouche, 11 Dec 17,

Oslo: The leader of the group that won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize has urged nuclear nations to adopt a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons in order to prevent “the end of us”.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was awarded the prize by a Nobel committee that cited the spread of nuclear weapons and the growing risk of an atomic war.

ICAN, which began in Melbourne, is a coalition of 468 grassroots non-governmental groups that campaigned for a UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 nations in July.

The treaty is not signed by – and would not apply to – any of the states that already have nuclear arms.

Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director, urged them to sign the agreement.

 “It provides a choice. A choice between the two endings: the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us,” she said in her speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo on Sunday.

“The United States, choose freedom over fear. Russia, choose disarmament over destruction. Britain, choose the rule of law over oppression,” she added, before urging France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel to do the same.

Israel is widely assumed to have nuclear weapons, although it neither confirms nor denies it.

“A moment of panic or carelessness, a misconstrued comment or bruised ego, could easily lead us unavoidably to the destruction of entire cities,” she added.

“A calculated military escalation could lead to the indiscriminate mass murder of civilians.”

Fihn delivered the Nobel lecture together with Setsuko Thurlow, an 85-year-old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing and now an ICAN campaigner.

Thurlow recalled on stage on Sunday some of her memories of the attack on August 6, 1945.

She was rescued from the rubble of a collapsed building about 1.8 kilometres from Ground Zero, she said. Most of her classmates were burnt alive.

“Processions of ghostly figures shuffled by. Grotesquely wounded people, they were bleeding, burnt, blackened and swollen,” she said.

“Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. The foul stench of burnt human flesh filled the air.”

The US, Britain and France sent second-rank diplomats to the Nobel ceremony, which Fihn earlier said was “some kind of protest”.

Hours before the prize was presented in Oslo, co-founder Dimity Hawkins said it was “gratifying to win a Nobel Peace Prize but we’ve still got to get ourselves to zero nukes”.

“The biggest prize will be to have all nations – including Australia – sign up to the nuclear weapons ban treaty which we helped bring about at the UN this year.” Reuters with Carolyn Webb

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Do not let the government spoil beautiful Flinders landscape and tourism with a nuclear waste dump!

Joy Engelman Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA, 10 Dec 17 The SA Govt seems intent on putting a radioactive waste dump into this sacred country…. please keep on saying that it’s not wanted, not welcome and a travesty of justice.

This landscape is sacred, serene and pure. Radioactive waste with it’s large repository, trucks and ‘keep out’ signs will change this beautiful landscape irrevocably and forever! You will not be able to visit this area…. tourists will stay away from the Flinders in droves as we won’t feel able to explore safely…. it’s bad enough on the western side running into Mt Beverly uranium mining trucks on the road…. they drive fast and furious and push you off the road…. they tear up the road during the wet times…. they act as if they own the place!

Do you want the same to happen to the eastern side of the Flinders? A multimillion dollar tourism industry will be decimated…. no! no-one wants to visit a radioactive waste repository – it isn’t a tourist attraction! Don’t be fooled by a few weak promises of work and dollars by a transient government official or corporate dude on a junket!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1021186047913052/

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA economy caught in the trap of $trillion militarism

The US Military Is the Biggest “Big Government” Entitlement Program on the Planet , December 10, 2017, By JP Sottile, Truthout |The US economy is caught in a trap. That trap is the Department of Defense: an increasingly sticky wicket that relies on an annual, trillion-dollar redistribution of government-collected wealth. In fact, it’s the biggest “big government” program on the planet, easily beating out China’s People’s Liberation Army in both size and cost. It is not only the “nation’s largest employer,” with 2.867 million people currently on the payroll, but it also provides government benefits to 2 million retirees and their family members. And it actively picks private sector winners by targeting billions of dollars to an elite group of profit-seeking contractors.
Continue reading

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Climatologist Katharine Hayhoe says that scientists must fight against the politicisation of science

Climate change, that’s just a money grab by scientist… right   Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe

Katherine Hayhoe: ‘The true threat is the delusion that our opinion of science somehow alters its reality’   Whilst the climate is changing rapidly, climatologist Katherine Hayhoe says that scientists have no option but to fight against the politicisation of science , Wired,  

In her 2009 book, co-authored with husband Andrew Farley, Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions, Katharine Hayhoe wrote: “Most Christians are not scientists, and it’s hard to say how many scientists are Christians. In our family, we are both.” The Texas Tech atmospheric physicist, who’s also an Evangelical Christian, has long been one of the most vocal evangelists for the environment. Hayhoe has been featured in the James Cameron-produced TV series Years of Living Dangerously and once nominated as one of the most influential people in the world by TIME. She talks to WIRED about president Trump, clean energy, and, of course, climate change.

Katherine Hayhoe on anti-science sentiment 

Most people don’t reject science wholesale because they actually have a problem with the science. The same equations of radiative transfer and non-linear fluid dynamics that explain how our stoves work or how airplanes fly provide the basis of our climate models, too. Rather, people selectively reject a specific set of scientific findings: those they perceive to be a threat to their ideology or worldview, and hence to their identity.

How can the reality of climate change be perceived as a threat? First, there’s the pragmatic aspect: six out of ten of the wealthiest corporations in the world either extract oil or create the cars that use them. And there’s no getting around it – to fix the climate, we have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels as quickly as we can. These companies have a significant financial stake in muddying the waters on the science and delaying action on climate as long as possible; because every year that carbon emissions continue, they make an additional profit. Climate change solutions threaten their bottom line.


On the responsibility of scientists

Climate scientists are like the physicians of the planet……. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/katherine-hayhoe-climate-change-clean-energy-interview

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | 2 Comments

Australian businesses are realising that climate change presents significant financial risks – and opportunities

Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention, SMH, Peter Hannam, 10 Dec 17 “……..Business shift

Companies, meanwhile, are beginning to look beyond the political cycle.

Sarah Barker, a special counsel for Minter Ellison Lawyers, said there had been “a noticeable shift in the approach of the business community to climate risk in the past 18 months”.

“Historically, the issue was largely viewed as a singularly ‘environmental’, ethical, non-financial issue – perhaps relevant to corporate social responsibility, but nothing more,” she said.

“Increasingly, Australian businesses are realising that climate change presents significant financial risks – and opportunities – and that they need to strategise around this issue in the same way as they would any other industry trend or economic risk factor.”

“Business has far less tolerance for climate change denialism than it did even a few years ago,” Barker added. “Their investors are concerned about it.  Their insurers are concerned about it.  Their customers are concerned about it……….”http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The long haul towards getting rid of nuclear weapons

A long road to abolishment of nuclear weapons,   http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-a-long-road-to-abolishment-of-nuclear-weapons-1.23115603   JONATHAN DOWN / Times Colonist DECEMBER 7, 2017 With the Doomsday Clock now set at 2.5 minutes to midnight, the key role of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in building the historic UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is more remarkable than ever.

On July 7, 122 United Nations member countries adopted the treaty, and 50 nations have signed it since Sept. 20. It is anticipated that by the end of 2018, the treaty will become international law.

Recognizing that the risk of nuclear war is even higher today than during the Cold War, the Nobel Committee is honouring ICAN’s work with the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded in Oslo on Sunday. Canadian peace campaigner and Hiroshima bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow, together with ICAN’s executive director Beatrice Fihn, will accept the prize.

However, although a Canadian activist will receive the Nobel in Oslo, Canada has turned its back on the treaty and refused to sign. Pressure from the United States is considered the main reason for this decision, which directly contradicts Canada’s international reputation as a supporter of nuclear disarmament. It also flouts the treaty’s vision of a world where nuclear weapons are stigmatized, prohibited and eventually eliminated.

 The idea of ICAN came from a 2007 meeting of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The humanitarian consequences of the use of any nuclear weapon had been the central focus of physician concern for many years. However, after years of government inaction on the part of both nuclear and non-nuclear nations, a decision was made to launch an international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons, and ICAN was born.

Run almost entirely by enthusiastic, highly motivated young people from different parts of the world, ICAN clearly understands that 21st-century threats such as terrorism, cyber-security, failed states and climate change can’t be solved with nuclear weapons. Inflammatory rhetoric threatening “fire and fury” moves the world ever closer to the catastrophe of a nuclear war. Rather than acting as a deterrent, the threat of nuclear weapons encourages nations such as North Korea to accelerate their efforts to acquire their own nuclear arsenal.

ICAN-affiliated organizations are found in more than a hundred countries, including Canada, and the Nobel prize is a tribute to the millions of activists such as Thurlow who have worked to abolish the worst weapons of mass destruction. Victoria-based Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network is affiliated with ICAN through member organizations, and several members participated in the negotiations leading up to the landmark treaty.

Canadians should be extremely proud of ICAN and the huge amount of work that has been done to advance the cause of global peace. We have a long way to go before nuclear weapons are finally abolished — but this year’s Nobel Peace Prize shows that the civil world is on the right track.

Jonathan Down is a pediatrician in Victoria and president-elect of Physicians for Global Survival, the Canadian affiliate of IPPNW. He is a member of the Vancouver Island Peace and Disarmament Network.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA increasingly isolated internationally, with Donald Trump’s menacing talk on North Korea

Donald Trump’s menacing talk on North Korea is leaving the US isolated https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/30/donald-trump-menacing-talk-north-korea-us-isolated

The US president seems oblivious to the consequences of war, and international support for his belligerence is weakening, Guardian, Simon Tisdall, 1 Dec 17, Donald Trump’s latest threat to destroy North Korea’s regime by force produced an angry response from Russia on Thursday. Yet elsewhere, the menacing talk from Washington was mostly met with uncomfortable silence.

While there is no shortage of international concern about Kim Jong-un’s latest, “breakthrough” missile test on Wednesday, Trump’s bellicose talk of war is rendering the US increasingly isolated.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, appeared to voice doubts shared by other countries when he claimed on Thursday that Trump was deliberately pushing Pyongyang towards military confrontation. “It seems they have done everything on purpose to make Kim lose control and make another desperate move,” he said. Continue reading

December 9, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

AGL resists govt pressure, goes for gas, wind, solar – not coal

AGL resists PM to ditch coal for cheaper gas, wind, solar power
AGL Energy has rejected Turnbull government pressure to extend the life of the coal-fired Liddell power station and instead revealed a $1.36 billion plan to replace it with electricity generated from gas, wind and solar…. (subscribers only) 
http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/agl-energy-unveils-14b-liddell-replacement-scheme-20171206-h0022p

December 9, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Southern California is burning

California’s Climate Emergency, Rolling Stone, By Fires continue to burn Southern California, and climate scientists have warned us for years that the region was entering a year-round fire regime In the hills above the Pacific Ocean, the world crossed a terrifying tipping point this week.

As holiday music plays on the radio, temperatures in Southern California have soared into the 80s, and bone-dry winds have fanned a summer-like wildfire outbreak. Southern California is under siege.

As the largest of this week’s fires skipped across California’s famed coastal highway 101 toward the beach, rare snowflakes were falling in Houston, all made possible by a truly extreme weather pattern that’s locked the jet stream into a highly amplified state. It’s difficult to find the words to adequately describe how weird this is. It’s rare that the dissonance of climate change is this visceral.

That one of California’s largest and most destructive wildfires is now burning largely out of control during what should be the peak of the state’s rainy season should shock us into lucidity. It’s December. This shouldn’t be happening.

The Thomas fire is the first wintertime megafire in California history. In a state known for its large fires, this one stands out. At 115,000 acres, it’s already bigger than the city of Atlanta. Hundreds of homes have already been destroyed, and the fire is still just 5 percent contained.

In its first several hours, the Thomas fire grew at a rate of one football field per second, expanding 30-fold, and engulfing entire neighborhoods in the dead of night. Hurricane force winds have produced harrowing conditions for firefighters. Faced with such impossible conditions, in some cases, all they could do is move people to safety, and stand and watch.

“We can’t control it,” firefighter and photographer Stuart Palley told me from a beach in Ventura. “In these situations, you can throw everything you’ve got at it, tanker planes dropping tens of thousands of gallons of flame retardant, thousands of firefighters, hundreds of engines, you can do everything man has in their mechanical toolbox to fight these fires and they’re just going to burn and do whatever the hell they want. We have to learn that.” As we spoke, another wall of flames crested a nearby ridge, reflecting its orange glow off the sea.

The Thomas fire isn’t the only one burning right now. At least six major fires threaten tens of thousands of homes and have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee in recent days. “California fires enter the heart of Los Angeles” read one New York Timesheadline, a statement so dire it could double as a plot synopsis in a nearby Hollywood movie studio. Million-dollar mansions in Bel Air were evacuated, and the 405 freeway, one of L.A.’s busiest, was transformed into a dystopian hellscape during the morning commute. Ralph Terrazas, the Los Angeles fire chief, called the conditions the worst he’s seen in his entire 31-year career. “There will be no ability to fight fires in these kinds of winds,” said Ken Pimlott, the state fire chief. Shortly after these statements, state officials sent an unprecedented push notification to nearly everyone in Southern California, ominously warning millions of people to “stay alert.”

For years, climate scientists have warned us that California was entering a year-round fire regime. For years, climate campaigners have been wondering what it would take to get people to wake up to the urgency of cutting fossil fuel emissions. For years, we’ve been tip-toeing as a civilization towards a point of no return.

That time is now.

The advent of uncontrollable wintertime megafires in California is a turning point in America’s struggle to contain the impacts of a rapidly changing climate. …….http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/southern-california-wildfires-climate-change-emergency-w513659

December 9, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Will wildfires finally change Rupert Murdoch’s climate stance?

The media-mogul’s Santa Monica vineyard was saved from wildfire destruction, but the world may yet burn thanks to his climate views, says Richard Schiffman New Scientist, By Richard Schiffman, 9 Dec 17 

A wildfire has ripped through one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in the US, damaging Rupert Murdoch’s $28.8 million vineyard estate in the Santa Monica mountains at the edge of Los Angeles.

The media-mogul’s palatial house was saved, thanks to firefighters who spent the afternoon and night battling the conflagration. Others weren’t so lucky. Hundreds of homes and scores of lives have been lost in both northern and southern California in a spate of recent wildfires that were fiercer and moved faster than any in recent memory.

Such fires are made more likely as the world warms. California has just had its hottest summer on record, and the recent wildfires came much later in the year than normal. We also know that seven of California’s 10 largest recorded wildfires have occurred in the last 14 years.

California isn’t alone. Wildfires are occurring with greater… subscribers only  https://www.newscientist.com/article/will-wildfires-finally-change-rupert-murdochs-climate-stance/

December 9, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors would produce much more expensive electricity than large reactors

Power from mini nuclear plants ‘would cost more than from large ones’
UK government study finds electricity would be nearly one-third pricier than it would from plants such as Hinkley Point C,
Guardian, Adam Vaughan, 7 Dec 17, Electricity from the first mini nuclear power stations in Britain would be likely to be more expensive than from large atomic plants such as Hinkley Point C, according to a government study.

Power from small modular reactors (SMRs) would cost nearly one-third more than conventional large ones in 2031, the report found, because of reduced economies of scale and the costs of deploying first-of-a-kind technology.

The analysis by the consultancy Atkins for the Department for Business, Energyand Industrial Strategy said there was “a great deal of uncertainty with regards to the economics” of the smaller reactors.

However, the authors said such reactors should be able to cut costs more quickly than large ones because they could be built and put into service in less time.

Advocates have argued that the reactors could be built in factories and achieve savings through their modular nature.

While the report covers the technology being used by several of the international companies seeking government support, it does not apply to the design being pushed by businesses including Rolls-Royce.

A government source said nuclear companies had told officials that the cost of the technology had come down since the report, which was finished in July last year but only published on Thursday.

As revealed by the Guardian earlier this week, ministers confirmed that SMR developers would receive £56m of public funding for research and development over three years. A further £86m was announced for work on nuclear fusion.

Greg Clark, the business secretary, said the backing would help the nuclear sector compete globally………

The government also defended Britain’s need for new nuclear power in the face of falling renewable costs.

Richard Harrington, the energy minister, said the record low subsidies recently awarded to offshore windfarms emphasised the challenge for the French, Korean, Chinese and Japanese companies building the UK’s new generation of nuclear plants to be competitive on price………

green groups and politicians accused the government of talking down renewables.

Doug Parr, the policy director at Greenpeace UK, said: “Instead of downplaying the rapid advancement of UK renewables, the government should concentrate on the export opportunities for this UK success story.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green party co-leader, called the UK’s energy policy a mess. “Ministers are ploughing huge sums of money into supporting overpriced nuclear, while retaining a de facto ban on onshore wind and failing to give solar the support the sector needs,” she said……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/power-mini-nuclear-plants-cost-more-hinkley-point-c

December 8, 2017 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment