Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Unlike the Kimba/Hawker area, the 82 residents of quiet French village Bure are up in arms against nuclear waste dumping

Quiet no more, French village becomes centre of anti-nuclear protest, Reuters  Gilbert ReilhacLucien Libert, 19 Apr 18.

The 82 residents of the French village of Bure lived a quiet life until the government began testing the feasibility of storing nuclear waste there. Now Bure is rocked by protests as a final decision on the project looms.

For the past 20 years, French nuclear waste agency Andra has tested the stability of the clay of the northeastern village to see if it could hold radioactive waste for hundreds of thousands of years. Andra is preparing a formal request for next year to build the 25 billion euro ($31 billion) facility to hold waste from the reactors of state-owned utility EDF.

“Life will become unbearable here with the nuclear waste and all the demonstrators,” said Bure mayor Gerard Antoine, who breeds beef cattle.

Antoine approved the installation of Andra research facilities two decades ago but said he now regrets that decision and would say no if he were asked today.

Hundreds of demonstrators who built a camp nearby were kicked out by police in February but say they are there for the long run and will fight the project until the government changes its plans.

“We are heading straight for … a nuclear disaster, that’s why we’re against it,” said Jean-Marc Fleury, a local elected official with an environmentalist party.

Police are maintaining a heavy presence while protesters have regrouped in and around a house in the Bure village centre…..

For now, spent fuel from French nuclear reactors is stored in pools next to the reactors before it is shipped to state-owned nuclear fuel group Orano’s recycling plant in La Hague, western France.

But La Hague is not designed for long-term storage and France does not have a solution 40 years after investing heavily in nuclear energy. Other countries that use nuclear power face the same problem……..https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-nuclearpower-waste/quiet-no-more-french-village-becomes-centre-of-anti-nuclear-protest-idUKKBN1HP1S7

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April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Donald Trump says he’s ready to pull the plug on the summit meeting with Kim Jong Un

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with North Korea leader, Military Times, Matthew Pennington, The Associated Press , 19 Apr 18, WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that although he’s looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it’s “not going to be fruitful.”

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

JAPAN is lying to the world about nuclear-ravaged Fukushima’s recovery

RADIOACTIVE PIGS   Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels and blackmailing evacuees to return to radiated areas swarming with radioactive pigs and monkeys
Three reactors went into meltdown after the 2011 Japanese tsunami in the worst accident since Chernobyl, leaving an apocalyptic vision of ghost towns and overgrown wildernesses and scared residents refuse to return  Sun UK, By Patrick Knox  19th April 2018 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) supports summit between Trump and Kim

 The Latest on the United States and North Korea , WASHINGTON (AP) Chron — 19 Apr 18  The anti-nuclear weapons group that won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize says it’s “very supportive” of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after months of risky tensions between them.

Executive director Beatrice Fihn of ICAN says that mutual threats between the two leaders have made the risk of nuclear confrontation “really dangerously high.”

Speaking to reporters, Fihn said that if the summit in late May or early June makes progress on disarmament, “we’ll definitely applaud it … every step forward is positive.”    Overall, she reiterated ICAN’s support for a nuclear weapons ban treaty, saying, “It’s hard to see the world being able to solve one nuclear-armed state at this point in isolation from the other states.”…..https://www.chron.com/news/politics/article/The-Latest-US-says-it-s-maintaining-pressure-on-12847167.php

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Mars colonists can look forward to cancers, blindness and brain damage from space radiation

Two main types of radiation in space are extremely harmful to humans: protons spewed out by the sun and cosmic rays. These high-energy particles and the secondary radiation they create penetrate deep into cells, promoting chronic and sometimes deadly diseases such as cancer.

Cancer is a major risk of radiation exposure, but there are more immediate and surprising symptoms. Deep-space radiation might promote cataracts and impair eyesight

Animal-based experiments also suggest radiation could damage the nervous system, including the brain, which might impair astronauts’ focus and memory.

“You’re somehow losing cognitive ability,”

Mars colonists will get blasted with radiation levels 8 times higher than government limits — here’s what they’re up against https://www.businessinsider.com.au/mars-radiation-levels-spacex-nasa-exposure-2018-4?r=US&IR=T, DAVE MOSHER, SKYE GOULD, APR 20, 2017 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

KILLer Power: NASA keen to put even more cancer-causing radiation into space

Nasa to make announcement about nuclear power in space https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/nasa-announcement-nuclear-power-space-kilopower-reactor-a8312491.html  The ‘Kilopower’ project could be used to generate clean [?]  energy on the moon, Mars and further into the universe  Andrew Griffin @_andrew_griffin 

Nasa is to make a major announcement about its project to put nuclear power in space.

The agency has been working on “Kilopower” – a project to use a nuclear reactor to generate clean energy on the Moon, Mars and beyond – for some time. And now it will hold a press conference to reveal the latest results from its plans to unveil a new space exploration power system, it has said.

The conference will see the agency discuss the results of its latest experiments, it said in a release. It has been conducted from November 2017 through until March 2018, at the Nevada National Security Site or NNSS.

That site, deep in the Nevada desert, has long served as a testing ground for nuclear experiments. In the 1950s, for instance, it was used to detonate nuclear bombs that could be felt across the state and into Las Vegas.

Nasa hopes that Kilopower can use some of that same nuclear technology to provide energy for space explorers as they make their way through the solar system.  They will need energy for a wide variety of tasks, from generating the light, water and oxygen they need to conducting experiments and sending information back to Earth.

“That’s why NASA is conducting experiments on Kilopower, a new power source that could provide safe, efficient and plentiful energy for future robotic and human space exploration missions,” Nasa wrote in a statement in January.

“This pioneering space fission power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power — enough to run two average households — continuously for at least ten years. Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost.”

Using nuclear fission will allow astronauts to be able to generate energy wherever they are. If people on Mars, for instance, the amount of energy coming from the sun varies wildly; on Moon, the night lasts for 14 days.

“We want a power source that can handle extreme environments,” says Lee Mason, NASA’s principal technologist for power and energy storage. “Kilopower opens up the full surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside. On the Moon, Kilopower could be deployed to help search for resources in permanently shadowed craters

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Union of Concerned Scientists Statement on Thorium-fueled Reactors

    https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/nuclear_power/thorium-reactors-statement.pdf Some people advocate the use of thorium to fuel nuclear power plants. Thorium could be used in a variety of different types of reactors, including conventional light-water reactors, which are the type used in the United States. However, thorium cannot be used by itself to sustain a nuclear chain reaction: it must be used together with a fissile material such as enriched uranium, uranium-233, or plutonium.

 Nuclear reactors fueled with thorium and uranium do not provide any clear overall advantages over reactors fueled with uranium alone. All types of nuclear fuels, whether uranium- or thorium-based, generate large amounts of heat during reactor operation, and failing to effectively remove that heat will lead to serious safety problems, as was seen at Fukushima. The U.S. Department of Energy has concluded after a review that “the choice between uranium-based fuel and thorium-based fuel is seen basically as one of preference, with no fundamental difference in addressing the nuclear power issues [of waste management, proliferation risk, safety, security, economics, and sustainability].”1 However, the report also notes that “Since no infrastructure currently exists in the U.S. for thorium-based fuels, and the processing of thorium-based fuels is at a lower level of technical maturity when compared to processing of uranium-based fuels, costs and RD&D [research, development and deployment] requirements for using thorium are anticipated to be higher.”
Some people believe that liquid fluoride thorium reactors, which would use a high-temperature liquid fuel made of molten salt, would be significantly safer than current-generation reactors. However, such reactors have major flaws. There are serious safety issues associated with the retention of fission products in the fuel, and it is not clear these problems can be effectively resolved. Such reactors also present proliferation and nuclear terrorism risks because they involve the continuous separation, or “reprocessing,” of the fuel to remove fission products and to efficiently produce U-233, which is a nuclear weapon-usable material. Moreover, disposal of the used fuel has turned out to be a major challenge. Stabilization and disposal of the remains of the very small “Molten Salt Reactor Experiment” that operated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s has turned into the most technically challenging cleanup problem that Oak Ridge has faced, and the site has still not been cleaned up.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain urge Trump to stick to the Iran nuclear deal

Hundreds Of European MPs Urge U.S. To Support Iran Nuclear Deal https://www.rferl.org/a/hundreds-of-european-mps-urge-u-s-to-support-iran-nuclear-deal/29177578.html APRIL 19, 2018

Hundreds of lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain have called on their counterparts in the U.S. Congress to support the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, calling it a “major diplomatic breakthrough.”

The initiative came as U.S. President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to either improve or scrap the deal providing Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.

“We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear program, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically diminish the danger of a nuclear arms race,” reads a statement signed by some 500 MPs from the German, British, and French national parliaments and posted online on April 19.

Britain, Germany, and France are signatories to the nuclear accord, along with the United States, China, and Russia.

Trump accuses Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement and has called on European powers to “fix” what he says are the “terrible flaws” of the agreement. He wants new restrictions to be imposed on Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs.

“It is the U.S.’s and Europe’s interest to prevent nuclear proliferation in a volatile region and to maintain the transatlantic partnership as a reliable and credible driving force of world politics,” the European lawmakers said.

They wrote that abandoning the accord would result “in another source of devastating conflict in the Middle East and beyond,” would “diminish the value of any promises or threats made by our countries,” and would damage “our credibility as international partners in negotiation, and more generally, to diplomacy as a tool to achieve peace and ensure security.”

“We therefore urge you to stand by the coalition we have formed to keep Iran‘s nuclear threat at bay,” they added.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will both travel to Washington next week on separate official visits, in part to convince Trump not to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Frank interview with Dr Helen Caldicott

 Interview A conversation with Helen Caldicott From the forthcoming issue (May 2018)Taylor and Francis online, 17 Apr 18 
Dan Drollette Jr  For decades, anti-nuclear weapons campaigner Helen Caldicott (helencaldicott.com) has been educating people about the effects of nuclear weaponry and issuing rousing calls to action. A practicing pediatrician from Australia, Caldicott was the subject of an Oscar-winning short film, If You Love This Planet, and is the author of 12 books.In this Skype interview from her home in Sydney, Australia, the 79-year-old Caldicott doesn’t pull punches. For nearly six decades, she has been taking on the powers that be, in joyously feisty terms: She has said that the US Defense Department should be re-named the Killing Department and characterized Barack Obama as an “intelligent, lovely man, who failed the world” when it came to eliminating nuclear weapons. She considers the movie Dr Strangelove more of a documentary than a satire, labeled arms manufacturers “wicked,” and called American politicians “corporate prostitutes.”

And of the current president, Caldicott said: “We’ve got a man in charge who I think has never read a book, and who knows nothing about global politics, or his own country’s politics. Who operates with his own kind of sordid intuition. And he’s putting people in every department committed to destroying that department. He’s absolutely destroying the infrastructure of America.”

Noting that it was International Women’s Month, Caldicott had one thing to say to young women: “We need to take over, because we’re on the short course to annihilation, and we need to say to men ‘Look, stand aside, you need your bottom smacked.’ ”

Yet for someone who has spent a lifetime fighting vigorously against the specter of nuclear annihilation, Caldicott reveals that she is remarkably pessimistic about humanity’s chances. Caldicott said that she wants her tombstone to read: “She tried.”

Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

……..I noticed there seem to be a lot of people in the anti-nuclear weapons movement with medical backgrounds.

Helen Caldicott:

It’s a medical problem. And explaining the medical dangers of nuclear war was a very good way to teach people what the danger is, and to bring it home to their city. That approach was – and is – very powerful. During the 1980s, when I was one of the leaders of the nuclear weapons freeze movement and one of the founding presidents of PSR, we at PSR held symposia on the medical effects of nuclear war at various universities, all around the country. It started at Harvard, where we had George Kistiakowsky, a physicist who had been in the Manhattan Project as an explosives expert (https://www.manhattanprojectvoices.org/oral-histories/george-kistiakowskys-interview). It was quite wonderful.

Although afterwards, some journalists did say: “What are doctors talking about this for, this is a political issue.” And we said no, it’s a medical issue, because it will create the final medical epidemic of the human race……….

……  I think we’re actually in a much more dangerous situation than we were during the height of the Cold War, though no one’s really taking any notice. I mean, Dan Ellsberg went to 14 different publishers before Bloomsbury published his book. And my latest book, Sleepwalking to Armageddon, (https://thenewpress.com/books/sleepwalking-armageddon) is not selling very well at all. It seems like society is practicing psychic numbing and manic denial. We’re into clothes and food, and all sorts of things like that, while life on the planet just hangs in the balance………

Of course. America’s economy is built on killing. It’s the Killing Department, not the Defense Department. There’s no defense from nuclear weapons. It’s all run by voracious, wicked corporations, such as Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, General Dynamics, and the like. And many American politicians are corporate prostitutes. ……

Dan Drollette:

So you think that the military-industrial complex (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/eisenhower001.asp) that Eisenhower warned about 50-odd years ago in his farewell address is still alive and healthy?

Helen Caldicott:

Oh, it’s grown, and metastasized.  Continue reading

April 20, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Famed War Reporter Robert Fisk Reaches Syrian ‘Chemical Attack’ Site, Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”

Robert Fisk: There was no chlorine attack in Douma

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-17/famed-war-reporter-robert-fisk-reaches-syrian-chemical-attack-site-concludes-they by Tyler Durden 04/17/2018 

April 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Exelon Nuclear Corporation official – “No New Nuclear Plants To Be Built in the U.S”. 

Exelon Official: No New Nuclear Plants To Be Built in the U.S. Because of the plants’ size and security needs, the costs become prohibitive.U.S. News  By Alexa Lardieri, Staff WriterApril 16, 2018, 

A SENIOR OFFICIAL WITH America’s largest nuclear plant operating company is predicting a dim future for nuclear power in the U.S.

William Von Hoene, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Exelon, said last week that he doesn’t foresee any new nuclear plants being built in the United States due to their high operating costs.

“The fact is – and I don’t want my message to be misconstrued in this part – I don’t think we’re building any more nuclear plants in the United States. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen,” S&P Global quoted Van Hoene as saying at the annual U.S. Energy Association’s meeting in Washington, D.C. “I’m not arguing for the construction of new nuclear plants. They are too expensive to construct, relative to the world in which we now live.”………

“I think it’s very unlikely that absent some extraordinary change in environment or technology, that any nuclear plants beyond the Vogtle plant will be built in my lifetime, by any company,” S&P Global quoted Van Hoene as saying, referring to a plant currently under construction in Georgia.

Von Hoene says because of nuclear plants’ sizes and the security required to monitor them, the costs become prohibitive.https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2018-04-16/exelon-official-no-new-nuclear-plants-to-be-built-in-the-us

April 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | 1 Comment

Video: Indigenous rangers facing ‘nervous wait’ over funding

The federal government’s Indigenous ranger program
employs more than 700 workers across the country,
but the scheme is under threat.

By Rhiannon Elston

‘Sophia Walter from the Country Needs People campaign,
an alliance of 36 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations
and the Pew Charitable Trust,
has called on the minister to urgently deliver the promised funding extension.

‘“We know ranger groups around the country are getting nervous
with contracts ending in just two months,” she says. … ‘

www.sbs..com.au/news/indigenous-rangers-facing-nervous-wait-over-funding

April 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA township realises that it is stuck, perhaps for centuries, with radioactive nuclear trash

The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure. 

Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

With nuke plant shutting down, N.J. community inherits 1.7M pounds of waste WHYY By Catalina Jaramillo April 16, 2018 

As nuclear power plants around the country continue to shut down — 20 reactors are already on their way out, and several more are expected to follow — questions remain about what to do with the nuclear waste they leave behind.

The U.S. Department of Energy made the commitment to remove and dispose spent nuclear fuel from reactors starting in 1998, but a federal plan to store that waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada never came to fruition. And there are no plans in place for a permanent spent fuel repository.

Meanwhile, communities hosting nuclear plants — including Lacey Township, New Jersey — face an uncertain future. Exelon’s Oyster Creek nuclear generating station, the oldest operating in the country, will retire in October. The plant, which sits alongside Barnegat Bay, in Ocean County, has served as the town’s main economic driver for 50 years. Residents are anxious about what will happen next.

“Is it going to bring the town down? As far as empty houses, … lost business and things like that,” asked Richard Rom, community president of Pheasant Run, a senior complex with more than 400 residents. “I’m concerned.” ……..

Lacey is not only losing the economic benefits of hosting the nuclear plant. The township will be stuck with 753 metric tons of nuclear waste because the U.S. has no plan for its disposal.  Oyster Creek’s used nuclear fuel now goes to the plant’s spent fuel pool, a specially designed area where the fuel cools for five years. After that, it’s moved to dry cask storage in metal canisters safely contained within a massive concrete structure.

Gary Quinn, Lacey’s former mayor and a current committeeman, said the town never anticipated having to deal with the spent fuel, which stays radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years.

“When it was first built, it was never agreed upon that it would become a spent fuel storage facility — which … at this point in time appears to be what we’re facing,” Quinn said.

In the case of Oyster Creek, which by the end of 2018 will have approximately 1.66 million pounds of nuclear waste, that would work out to $11.2 million a year for Lacey Township. That’s exactly what the town could be losing in energy tax receipts.

But the bills, which have been referred to committees, have gained no traction……..

right now there’s no guarantee the town will get anything but the radioactive waste, which sits in a concrete structure, next to a parking lot, a few miles from the beach. …..https://whyy.org/articles/with-nuke-plant-shutting-down-n-j-community-inherits-1-7m-pounds-of-waste/

April 18, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Russia’s President Putin warns of global ‘chaos’ if West strikes Syria again

Russian President Vladimir Putin warns of global ‘chaos’ if West strikes Syria again, ABC News 16 Apr 18,   Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.

Key points:

  • Vladimir Putin said further attacks on Syria will bring “chaos” in world affairs
  • America accused Russia of blocking attempts to investigate Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities
  • New sanctions against Russia will target companies linked to Syria

In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Mr Putin and Mr Rouhani agreed the Western strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution in the seven-year Syria conflict, according to a Kremlin statement.

“Vladimir Putin, in particular, stressed that if such actions committed in violation of the UN Charter continue, then it will inevitably lead to chaos in international relations,” the Kremlin statement said.

The warnings come as US President Donald Trump’s aides announced plans for new economic sanctions against Russia for enabling the regime of Bashar al-Assad……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-16/russias-putin-warns-global-chaos-if-west-strikes-syria-again/9661662

April 16, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

New Mexico: informational tour to warn community against accepting nuclear waste from East Coast

New Mexico Political Report 11th April 2018 , Groups opposed to construction of a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
from the nation’s commercial reactors are on a tour this week to make sure people know what’s being proposed for southern New Mexico.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a proposal from Holtec International to build and transport the waste, now stored in casks at various nuclear power plants around the country, to southern New Mexico.

Don Hancock, director of the Southwest Research and Information Center’s nuclear-waste program, said New Mexico shouldn’t be the repository for 60
years’ worth of nuclear waste generated on the East Coast.
http://nmpoliticalreport.com/824292/groups-fight-nuclear-waste-storage-proposal-in-n

April 14, 2018 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment