And the winner of the most egregiously error-riddled paragraph published in a presumably fact-checked newspaper op-ed this year: “According to some recent number crunching by the Breakthrough Institute, a centrist environmental think tank, phasing out Japan’s current nuclear generation capacity and replacing it with wind would require a 1.3-billion-acre wind farm, covering more than half the country’s total land mass. Going for solar instead would require a similar land area, and would in economic terms cost the country more than a trillion dollars. “ No, it’s not Charlie Sheen weighing into the energy debate. And no, there aren’t any typos. Sadly, this breathtaking collection of whoppers is by none other than Mark Lynas, author of the excellent book, Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet. I’m not quite certain what is more depressing that Lynas wrote this paragraph in the first place and has since reposted it at the Economist’s online nuclear debate (a debate that is, typically, poorly framed). Or that not one person at the LA Times, Economist, or McLatchy thought the numbers looked funny or self-contradictory enough to spend even 10 seconds on Google to fact-check them. Or that even two days later the head-exploding errors are still there.
Climate Progress 13th April 2011 more >>
Intelligence Squared is hosting a public debate on the nuclear issue in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that’s still unfolding in Japan, questions are being asked worldwide about the safety and legitimacy of nuclear power. Many nations are sticking with their nuclear commitments. Do viable alternatives exist? Can wind, solar and tidal power make up the shortfall? There’s no simple answer, and the issue continues to polarise opinion.
Ecologist 13th April 2011 more >>
By 2020 Centrica expect to have invested in at least a couple of new nukes with more building, and to be significantly reliant on their output (along with that of existing nukes) – far more so than industry average. Fellahs, is this wise ? Even your media outlet of choice, the comely Rowena Mason at the Telegraph, is wondering out loud whether the game is up.
Capitalist @ Work 13th April 2011 more >>
Paul Dorfman: Latest information from nuclear consulting engineer John Large tells us the six reactor cores held 487 tonnes of uranium (of which 95 tonnes includes 230kg of plutonium, an even nastier substance, from the Mox assemblies), with a further 1,838 tonnes of stored spent fuel, including 1,097 tonnes in the central pool store. There is no question there have been very significant and “ongoing” releases of this radioactive inventory. But even away from this disaster, facts about the industry’s cost and scope to meet Europe’s energy needs should be enough to give nuclear supporters pause. For instance, government figures state that a very ambitious new nuclear-build programme will give us only 4% of the energy we need. Electricity provides only 20% of our energy, and at its peak nuclear only provided 20% of electricity.
Guardian 13th April 2011 more >>
Monbiot: My request to Helen Caldicott was a simple one: I asked her to give me sources for the claims she had made about the effects of radiation. Helen had made a number of startling statements during a television debate, and I wanted to know whether or not they were correct. Scientific claims are only as good as their sources. Here are three examples of the questions I asked, and the answers she gave me.
Guardian 13th April 2011 more >>
A NUCLEAR power station is proving the preferred location for rare breeds this spring. A record number of bird species have been recorded at Oldbury Power Station, including the Spoonbill, of which there are only 50 pairs in the UK, and the Waxwing, which has less than 100 birds in the country.
Gloucestershire Gazette 13th April 2011 more >>
AT a time when the world’s eyes have been focussed on the worrying nuclear explosions in Japan, a Borders-based charity has unveiled plans to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 later this month. Scottish Borders Link of Chernobyl Children Lifeline was set up in 2001, and in the past ten years has raised £35,000 and brought 90 children over to the Borders from Belarus for an important health break to help them cope with the contamination in their own homeland.
Borders Telegraph 13th April 2011 more >>
A Corby firm is helping the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant contain the spread of radioactive material. Spraylat International is supplying a special coating to the Japanese plant which prevents the escape of contamination from objects sprayed with it.
Northants Evening Telegraph 13th April 2011 more >>
The crippled nuclear power plant at Fukushima in Japan might have survived last month’s natural disaster had the government not put faith in a flawed earthquake prediction system, a leading scientist has claimed. The Japanese authorities publish annual “hazard maps” to highlight parts of the country deemed at risk from major earthquakes, but there is no reliable scientific basis for the technique, the researcher said.
Guardian 14th April 2011 more >>
The operator of Japan’s tsunami-flooded nuclear power complex is seeking ways to pull damaged spent fuel rods out of a storage pool at one of its reactors, citing surging radiation and elevated temperatures as worrisome signs. The issue appeared most urgent at the No 4 reactor, which was shut down for maintenance at the time of the tsunami, with all the spent fuel rods moved from its core. Company officials said they were considering ways to remove the fuel rods for permanent storage, but must first devise ways to reduce radiation leaking from the pool.
AP 14th April 2011 more >>
Some of the spent nuclear fuel rods stored in the No. 4 reactor building of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi power plant were confirmed to be damaged, but most of them are believed to be in sound condition, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday. The firm known as TEPCO said its analysis of a 400-milliliter water sample taken Tuesday from the No. 4 unit’s spent nuclear fuel pool revealed the damage to some fuel rods in such a pool for the first time, as it detected higher-than-usual levels of radioactive iodine-131, cesium-134 and cesium-137. The No. 4 reactor, halted for a regular inspection before last month’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, had all of its 1,331 spent fuel rods and 204 unused fuel rods stored in the pool for the maintenance work and the fuel was feared to have sustained damage from overheating.
Kyodo News 14th April 2011 more >>
Residents and business owners forced to leave areas near the Fukushima Daiichi plant protest outside Tepco headquarters demanding immediate damages from the company at the centre of the nuclear crisis. About 20 people who have been evacuated from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi plant protested, calling for a quick decision on possible compensation. Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that Tepco and the government were considering placing a £15bn to £28bn cap on the company’s liabilities to avoid financial ruin in the face of compensation claims that could reach £80bn. The nuclear power company, which has lost three-quarters of its market value since the tsunami on 11 March, is Japan’s largest issuer of corporate bonds and its shares are widely held by financial institutions.
Guardian 13th April 2011 more >>
Scotsman 14th April 2011 more >>
Tokyo, Japan. Greenpeace radiation experts Jan Vande Putte and Rianne Teule answer questions from journalists following a press conference in Tokyo. Greenpeace announced results from extended radiation monitoring conducted in the greater Fukushima area: testing food and surface contamination, and have found radiation levels to be significant enough to call for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from high risk areas in Fukushima City and Koriyama.
Greenpeace Photos 11th April 2011 more >>
Greenpeace today labelled the Japanese government’s decision to rate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident INES level 7 – the same as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster – as woefully late, and again called on it to immediately step up protective measures for affected populations.
Greenpeace Press Release 12th April 2011 more >>
Operators of Japan’s damaged nuclear power plant admitted yesterday (WED) that they had not come up with a blueprint to end the nuclear crisis more than a month after it began. Radiation levels in the sea surrounding the nuclear power plant in northeast Japan were reported to have doubled to 23 times above the legal limit in the latest tests off nearby Minamisoma city. New data also revealed the first discovery of small amounts of strontium – one of the most harmful radioactive elements which has been linked with leukaemia – in the soil near the nuclear plant, although not at levels harmful to humans.
Telegraph 13th April 2011 more >>
While it is true many people in the immediate vicinity of Fukushima face radiation sickness or even death, especially those brave workers staying behind to stop the leaks, it is important for investors to rise above this global panic. First off it is important to keep in mind how unusual and horrific the events in Japan actually were. The aging Fukushima plant was exposed to the twin disasters of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and a once in a century tsunami. Although there are very few places in the world where such a scenario is even possible, alarmists are applying the concern globally, even to plants thousands of miles from an ocean or a seismic fault line.
Daily FX 13th April 2011 more >>
As the immediate threat from Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged nuclear reactors recedes, engineers and scientists are facing up to a clean-up process that could last for many decades, or even a century.
Nature 11th April 2011 more >>
Hitachi Chemical Co. and Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH may abandon factories largely unscathed by last month’s Japan earthquake and tsunami as engineers struggle to contain radiation spewing from a crippled nuclear plant.
Bloomberg 13th April 2011 more >>
Greenpeace activists closed Hydro-Qu bec’s head office on Ren -L vesque Boulevard in Montreal to call on Hydro-Qu bec to shut down its sole nuclear generating station, Gentilly-2, rather than rebuild it at a cost of $2 billion.
Greenpeace Canada 13th April 2011 more >>
One month after the Fukushima crisis began, Greenpeace Spain illuminated the country’s six nuclear reactors with haunting images demanding an end to nuclear power. Protestors projected a face reminiscent of The Scream by Edvard Munch on vapour rising from a cooling tower at the Cofrentes nuclear plant near Valencia. A message below the ghostly grimace read: “No more Fukushima.”
New Scientist 12th April 2011 more >>
The Metsamor power station is one of a mere handful of remaining nuclear reactors of its kind that were built without primary containment structures. All five of these first-generation water-moderated Soviet units are past or near their original retirement ages, but one salient fact sets Armenia’s reactor apart from the four in Russia. Metsamor lies on some of Earth’s most earthquake-prone terrain.
New Design World 14th April 2011 more >>
Government reactions to rapid PV installation growth in key European markets such as Germany and Italy, as well as reactions to installations in once- emerging markets such as the UK and Czech Republic have often been criticised by the PV industry. However, the knee-jerk reaction to the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan could potentially be a new and highly welcomed positive influence to the industry, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli.
PV Tech 13th April 2011 more >>