Linda Pentz-Gunter: With the climate crisis upon us, it should be patently obvious that building new nuclear power plants anywhere is not an intelligent plan. Sea level rise is a certainty, and fires, flooding, storm surges, and earthquakes are likely to increase both in frequency and force. Building power plants that contain an inventory of long-lived lethally radioactive fuel in such an environment is insane. And then to build them on shorelines, as is currently happening at Hinkley, and is threatened for similar settings at Sizewell and possibly Wylfa — all of them in the UK— is irresponsible in the extreme. The covid-19 crisis almost certainly won’t be the last such Biblical-style plague to strike us. If we fail to learn our lesson this time around, we will be equally unprepared and again forced to quarantine ourselves and call workforces home. But while wind turbines will keep spinning and solar arrays will continue to collect sunlight without any help from us, workers cannot leave a nuclear power plant untended. Knowing this, why build an installation that cannot be safely abandoned? The answer, of course, is money. But not the industry’s money. Ours. We are the ones who will pay to keep nuclear plants running, and to build new ones. I recently sat in a room of 75 people — just before you couldn’t anymore — in Suffolk, England, listening to a series of eloquent presentations advocating for a halt to the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant there. The occasion was an event hosted by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities. The Sizewell C project, which would add two EPRs to the still operating Sizewell B reactor site, would tear through one of the richest, most preciously fragile and most diverse nature preserves in the country — Minsmere. And be built on a beach.
Beyond Nuclear 22nd March 2020 read more »
Nuclear Industry Effort to Exploit Coronavirus Crisis for Backdoor Bailout Decried as ‘Disaster Capitalism at its Worst’. “The nuclear industry begged for a bailout last fall and is now using coronavirus to try and brazenly grab more cash,” warned Friends of the Earth (USA). Friends of the Earth on Monday accused the nuclear power industry of exhibiting “disaster capitalism at its worst” after a lobbying group representing it reportedly asked the Trump administration for a 30% percent tax credit amid the coronavirus pandemic and pressed congressional lawmakers to include handouts in stimulus legislation making its way through the House and Senate.
Common Dreams 23rd March 2020 read more »
The huge disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has highlighted how much modern societies rely on electricity and how firm capacity, such as that provided by nuclear power, is a crucial element in ensuring supply, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said yesterday.
World Nuclear News 23rd March 2020 read more »