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Radhealth

Desperate times call for desperate propaganda. Accordingly, the declining nuclear power industry would have you believe that bananas are a teensy bit too radioactive for comfort. If you eat a banana a day, they say — or for that matter live in Denver, or fly in an airplane, or salt your food with Morton’s — then you are a high-risk taker who would be far safer just living contentedly next door to a nuclear power plant. We debunked these false arguments in our 2013 report, Pandora’s False Promises (see page 30 on bananas.) At the Cop23 Climate Talks last November in Bonn, a group calling itself, oxymoronically, Nuclear for Climate, hoped delegates would once again slip on their false banana propaganda and fall for their nonsensically unscientific notion that bananas are actually more dangerous than nuclear power plants! I am not making this up. They actually handed out bananas complete with a sticker that read: “This normal, everyday banana is more radioactive than living near a nuclear power plant for one year.” We’ve long contended that these pro-nuclear front groups treat the public like readily dupable dunderheads. But it’s they who are the dunderheads if they really think we would believe this piffle. Frankly, if this is all they’ve got, then the industry rhetoric is now on a par with its finances: in full bankruptcy.

Beyond Nuclear 20th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Uranium

It’s a tale almost as old as time, except that the “White Man” has not been around as long as that. But long enough to massacre, expel, plunder, desecrate, abandon, repeat. It’s the story Native Americans know all too well — a Trail of Tears that never really ended. Sacred places and burial sites disrespected, traditions ignored, the health and well-being of people dismissed, while the fundamental civil rights of indigenous populations in the United States continue to be trampled on by the US government and its friends in industry. It would be tempting to say that the current battle over resumption of uranium mining at the sacred Mount Taylor, which sits atop one of the richest known uranium ore reserves in the country, is just the latest in this long and shameful saga. But it is not alone. There are stories like this everywhere in Indian Country — Bears Ears would be just one more example.

Beyond Nuclear 20th May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

SMRs

Dominion Energy is to provide funding that could lead to commercialising the BWRX-300 small modular reactor (SMR), GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced today. The 300 MWe reactor is derived from GEH’s 1520 MWe Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) design.

World Nuclear News 21st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Floating Nuclear

A ceremony has been held to welcome the Akademik Lomonosov, Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, following its arrival at Atomflot’s berth in the port city of Murmansk in the far northwest part of the country. Fuel will be loaded in to the vessel’s two reactors prior to its delivery to Russia’s northernmost city of Pevek next year.

World Nuclear News 21st May 2018 read more »

Construction Index 21st May 2018 read more »

Reuters 21st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Fukushima

Japan is poised to FLOOD the Pacific with one million tons of radioactive water contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear plant. Storage space at the abandoned facility is running dangerously low as officials race to secure the nearly 160 tons of contaminated water produced at the plant per day. As space for tanks dwindles the Japanese government and the plant’s owner Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) may decide to dump treated water into the ocean.

Daily Mail 21st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Japan

Chugoku Electric Power Co. on May 22 took the first step toward the start of operations of the Shimane nuclear power plant’s new reactor, whose construction was halted following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The utility, based in Hiroshima, asked the Shimane prefectural government and the Matsue city government for their consent on applying to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) for safety screening of the No. 3 reactor. It marked the second time that a utility began the procedures toward the start of a new reactor that was under construction at the time the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima accident. The first was an Oma nuclear power plant reactor in Aomori Prefecture, which is currently under construction by the Electric Power Development Co., known as J Power. Construction of the Shimane nuclear power plant’s No. 3 reactor, with an output of 1.37 gigawatts, is nearing completion. If the series of procedures go smoothly, it could become the first new nuclear reactor in Japan that starts operation after the Fukushima disaster, which prompted toughened safety standards for nuclear plants. The Shimane nuclear plant in Matsue is the only nuclear plant in Japan that is located in a prefectural capital. Its reactors are boiling water reactors, the same as those at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Asahi Shimbun 22nd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Bulgaria

The Bulgarian cabinet has decided to revive the construction of the Belene nuclear power station, with China’s National Nuclear Corporation announcing its interest in investing in the controversial plant, on which construction first began in 1987, only to be discontinued three years later. Bulgaria has so far invested 3 billion leva in the project, but does not plan to spend a penny more, leaving it up to the market to do so. Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova announced in mid-May that by the end of 2018, a strategic investor for the power plant will be selected after parliamentary approval. However, it has since become clear that there is no government financial guarantee in place for the project, nor a commitment to buy the electricity produced.

Emerging Europe 22nd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Nuclear Weapons

Britain’s nuclear defence programme is projected to cost nearly £51bn over the next decade and there is a significant risk that the figure could increase further, according to Whitehall’s spending watchdog. The National Audit Office found that the Ministry of Defence faces a £2.9bn black hole in its finances as it seeks to produce and maintain the submarines that carry Trident missiles and their warheads. Auditors said the fragility of the programme could destabilise the entire MoD equipment plan unless the “affordability gap” was addressed. The findings will intensify the debate over the UK’s nuclear deterrent and whether it is worth the money. This year alone it will cost the government £5.2bn – 14% of the MoD’s budget.

Guardian 22nd May 2018 read more »

Independent 22nd May 2018 read more »

Telegraph 22nd May 2018 read more »

Mirror 22nd May 2018 read more »

With cyber-enhanced “hybrid warfare” beginning to redefine the battlefield, Spotlight asks whether the world’s most dangerous weapons can be compromised.

New Statesman 7th May 2018 read more »

Concerns have been raised about the readiness of council staff to deal with any potential accidents affecting nuclear warheads being transported through the Borders. Such convoys routinely go through the region carrying nuclear warheads from England to the nuclear submarine based at Faslane on the Clyde, but Scottish Borders Council is unprepared to tackle any possible emergencies that might befall them, according to Green Party Mid Scotland and Fife list MSP Mark Ruskell. He has asked local authorities including Scottish Borders Council whether they have completed risk assessments but was told they hadn’t. South Scotland Labour list MSP Claudia Beamish said: “My colleague Mark Ruskell highlighted that generic risk assessments are relied upon by local authorities and information on managing hazards is only provided to the public near the Clyde naval base but not to residents living near the route. “Military and civilian partnerships have to be well interlinked to ensure our emergency services and local authorities can respond to any accidents, yet it appears there is not a joined-up strategic plan and that they may not even be informed when a convoy is travelling.

Southern Reporter 21st May 2018 read more »

Safety mishaps during nuclear bomb convoys rise to record high.

Ferret 21st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Renewables – onshore wind

Construction work is set to begin on what is believed to be the UK’s first subsidy free onshore wind farm, after developer Energiekontor announced it has reached financial close on its 8.2MW Withernwick II extension project in Yorkshire. The company confirmed yesterday that it has secured a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with an unnamed consumer goods brand, allowing it to proceed with the project. The project represents a major milestone for the UK onshore wind energy market, which has faced a development hiatus over the past year following the government’s decision to block onshore projects from competing for clean energy price support contracts. A number of developers have responded by seeking PPA contracts with large corporate customers and Energiekontor believes the Withernwick II project is the first to make it to the construction phase without any form of government support.

Business Green 22nd May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018

Renewables – solar

Premier Inn has today announced it is to almost double its portfolio of rooftop solar arrays with the addition of a further 70 projects in the coming months. The hotel chain’s parent company Whitbread confirmed it has set its sights on developing the largest solar portfolio of any UK hotel chain, after signing a deal with renewables developer Anesco to take its solar rooftop installations from 88 currently to 158. The new installations will have a combined capacity of over 1.6MW, the company said, taking its total capacity to over 3MW – equivalent to the energy needed to power around 2.9million washing machine cycles. Whitbread said that once the project is completed solar panels will be fitted on over 20 per cent of Premier Inn hotels. The economics of solar installations are being further strengthened by falling energy storage costs and the latest contract for Anesco comes just days after it published projections suggesting it is on track to more than quadruple its operational battery portfolio by 2020, after its order book swelled to 380MW of storage capacity. The company opened the UK’s first utility scale energy storage unit in September 2014 and now has 29 operational sites with a number of other projects under development, including a giant 50MW installation in Hampshire that is due for completion later this year. The hope is that energy storage will play a key role in making unsubsidised solar projects a reality and advocates of the approach are increasingly confident the economics are starting to stack up.

Business Green 21st May 2018 read more »

Solar Power Portal 21st May 2018 read more »

E.On and Google are to bring their Sunroof platform to British households in the coming weeks as the companies hope to replicate the success of the solar modelling tool in Germany, where it has been used by more than 10,000 customers.

Solar Power Portal 21st May 2018 read more »

Posted: 22 May 2018