Two Belgian nuclear power plant workers have joined ISIS leading to fears the jihadis have the intelligence to cause a meltdown disaster. Belgian security services are fearful that ISIS operatives may have been looking to target a nuclear plant as it emerged two workers from a plant in Doel fled to Syria to join ISIS. One of the men, reportedly known as Ilyass Boughalab, is believed to have been killed in Syria, while the second served a short prison sentence in Belgium for terror-related offences in 2014. With an extensive understanding of nuclear facilities, the convict’s short jail sentence has raised further questioned of the Belgian security services as well as fears he may have passed on important knowledge about the site’s to the terrorist group.
Daily Mail 27th March 2016 read more »
A security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear site was killed but the local prosecutor on Saturday ruled out any militant link. The Charleroi prosecutor’s office also denied media reports that his security pass had been stolen and been de-activated as soon as investigators raised the alarm, public broadcaster VTM said. The office declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. Le Soir newspaper said the man was a guard at Belgium’s national radioactive elements institute at Fleurus, to the south of Brussels.
Reuters 26th March 2016 read more »
A security guard who worked at a Belgian nuclear medical research facility was murdered two days after the Brussels bombings, it emerged yesterday (Saturday), deepening fears that Islamist terror cells are plotting attacks against nuclear installations. Didier Prospero, a guard with the G4S security company, was shot dead at his home in the Froidchapelle district of Brussels on less than 24 hours after Belgian authorities stripped several workers of their security passes at two nuclear plants this week. The circumstances of 45-year-old Mr Prospero’s death remained murky last night, with conflicting reports over whether or not the murder was linked to terrorism, or if his work security pass had been stolen.
Telegraph 27th March 2016 read more »
This is the first picture of the tragic security worker who was shot dead in Belgium. Belgian media reported that security guard Didier Prospero was murdered and his access badge for the Doel nuclear plant was stolen – sparking fears that terror thugs had planned to attack the site.
Mirror 26th March 2016 read more »
With Brussels still reeling in the aftermath of the deadly bombings this week, the murder of a nuclear power plant security guard and the theft of his badge has compounded fears that Belgium’s two sprawling nuclear plants could be vulnerable to attacks.
Vice 26th March 2016 read more »
Britain’s nuclear plants are a target for terrorists such as Islamic State militants, it has been claimed. The warning comes from the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s 2016-20 strategic plan document. It also warns of the growing threat posed by hackers, alongside espionage from rival powers. There are growing fears of an attack on Britain’s 15 operational reactors that provide a fifth of the UK’s electricity.
Mirror 26th March 2016 read more »
NEXT week President Obama will welcome world leaders to Washington for his fourth Nuclear Security Summit, a biennial event he initiated to mobilize global action to prevent terrorists from acquiring atomic bombs. Republican-controlled Congress that is pushing the most ambitious arms control project in recent memory. Inexplicably, President Obama is the one resisting. last year Congress authorized and appropriated funding for initial research and development of low-enriched uranium fuel for America’s naval reactors. This project could be a game-changer, since the United States is the world’s biggest user of bomb-grade naval fuel. Simply by signaling an intention to convert to safer fuel if feasible, the United States would put substantial pressure on Russia to follow suit, and would reduce Iran’s justification for seeking highly enriched uranium. That would seem like a no-brainer addition to the president’s laudable nonproliferation agenda, which helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize. Instead, the president has opposed it. When Congress initiated the program in the 2016 fiscal year, the White House objected on the ground that funding was to be taken from an existing Energy Department nonproliferation account. This was an odd objection, given the plan’s undeniable nonproliferation intent, but bureaucrats guard their budgets vigilantly. Eventually, the president acquiesced to the first-year funding as part of larger legislation.
New York Times 25th March 2016 read more »
On March 31, Chinese President Xi Jinping will be among world leaders attending the fourth and last Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., where they will try to strengthen nuclear security to deal with the evolving threat of nuclear terrorism. Such efforts are badly needed, in light of the facts that there have been approximately 20 documented cases of theft or loss of highly enriched uranium or plutonium (although more may have occurred) since the early 1990s,and that there are nearly 2,000 metric tons of dangerous nuclear materials scattered across hundreds of sites around the globe.
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 24th March 2016 read more »
Renewables – Geothermal
SCOTLAND’S coldest city could generate large amounts of heat from the earth. A “fracking free” plan to drill a deep geothermal well below Aberdeen has the potential to cushion the economic blow from the crisis in the North Sea. A government-funded report suggests that a demonstration scheme – tapping into high temperatures found miles underground to heat local homes and businesses – could help position the region as a global energy hub and highlight the potential from this form of energy for the rest of the UK. Report author Iain Stewart, professor of geoscience communication at Plymouth University, said Scotland could do more with the geothermal resources on its doorstep as part of a push for clean, renewable energy. Stewart’s study into the feasibility of installing a deep geothermal single well (DGSW) at the new site of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), at a cost of £1.5m-£2.5m, concludes that it represents a unique opportunity. He said it would supply low-carbon heat to the AECC and nearby homes, be a catalyst for deep geothermal energy in Scotland by acting as a showcase project, work as an educational tool to raise public awareness, and help develop crossover skills with the oil and gas industry. The project does not require fracking and so it is more likely to be acceptable to the public than some other geothermal projects involving “stimulation techniques”. Aberdeen is one of five areas where geothermal feasibility studies have been backed by the Scottish government. The others are Guardbridge in Fife, Polkemmet in West Lothian, Hartwood in North Lanarkshire, and Hill of Banchory in Aberdeenshire. Heat is estimated to account for more than half of Scotland’s total energy use and to be responsible for nearly 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. The government believes that geothermal energy could cut the estimated £2.6bn a year spent on heating by householders and businesses.
Times 27th March 2016 read more »