Saturday, 23 July 2011

Map of Nuclear sites in France

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Japanese lawyers oppose nukes

Lawyers join hands to stop nuclear power plants

Lawyers from around Japan are joining hands to take legal action to shutdown nuclear power plants.

Over 50 lawyers from 20 prefectures that host nuclear plants convened in Tokyo on Saturday.

They decided to file a lawsuit to stop the resumption of reactor 1 at the Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, which is about to be taken offline because of a malfunction. They will also file to prevent the restart of reactor 1 at the Takahama plant, which is undergoing regular inspections.

The lawyers intend to launch a procedure in autumn to stop the construction of the Oma plant in Aomori Prefecture. The project has been suspended since the March 11th disaster.

FUKUSHIMA vigil 28 July

SOUTH WEST AGAINST NUCLEAR is holding a vigil for FUKUSHIMA outside the West Somerset council offices (Killick Way, Williton TA4 4QA) on 28th JULY.

West Somerset Council will be meeting from 10 a.m. to decide whether the preliminary works for Hinkley C should start.

Also, a reminder that there will be a major non-violent demonstration against Hinkley C outside the proposed site for the new power station on Monday 3rd October from 7 a.m. More information at:

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Radioactive Waste geological disposal in Cumbria

In 1997 Nirex put forward a proposal called the Pangea Project, in order to get rid of British high level radioactive waste in Australia  The Australian parliament refused in 2000.

BNFL, Golder Associates and Swiss radioactive waste quango Nagra were all involved in the Pangea Project. They produced a promotional video:

This official short video outlines the need for "large flat, dry, remote areas" and rules out the idea of putting nuclear waste in areas where there is "high rainfall, permeable rocks, and mountains which would drive the water flow".

Funny how our government now seems to be happy to bury our highly radioactive waste in Cumbria, which has (yes you guessed it) high rainfall, permeable rocks, and mountains which would drive the water flow.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Pakistan is not capable of keeping nuclear arms safe says top nuclear physicist

Shubhajit Roy

Posted: Mon Jun 27 2011, 03:24 hrs Islamabad:

Pakistan’s establishment lacks the ability to keep its nuclear weapons safe, says one of the country’s top nuclear experts, pointing out that the weapons are guarded by personnel of the Pakistan Army which has been infiltrated for decades by radical elements.

Pervez A Hoodbhoy, who teaches nuclear physics at Islamabad’s government-run Quaid-e-Azam University, spoke to The Indian Express in Islamabad. His comments came amid growing concerns on the safety of nuclear weapons in Pakistan.

“It doesn’t matter whether Pakistan’s chief of army staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani swears on the Quran that he will make sure that nuclear weapons will be safe. The question is, does he have the power to do that?” said Hoodbhoy, 60, who has a PhD from MIT.

“It seems to me that the Pakistan Army is playing with fire. It knows that these nuclear weapons are ultimately in the hands of their own people and their own people have been affected by decades of radicalisation. They may claim that they have personnel reliability tests, but I don’t believe that answering questions on a form may indicate his intentions,” he said.

He dismissed Pakistan Interior (Home) Minister Rehman Malik’s recent assertion that the country’s nukes are 200 per cent safe. “Now Rehman Malik must be a genius to have come up with the figure of 200 per cent. How he arrives at that we have no idea, but that is what the Pakistan military wants us to believe and to unquestionably accept that the nuclear weapons have been provided security in Pakistan…which, personally I don’t believe,” he said.

“So to come up with wild figures, I don’t believe there is source of any reassurance to the people of Pakistan or to the thinking people. We have seen the infiltration of radicals into the ranks of the Army. Very recently, a brigadier and four majors have been arrested. And our brigadiers are in charge of missile regiments too. So where things could go, I don’t know.”

He said that the Pakistan establishment is in a “state of denial” in spite of the fact that there have been repeated attacks on the headquarters of the Army and the ISI.

The repeated assertion in Pakistan, he said, is that nuclear weapons have so many layers of security that it would be impossible to penetrate them. “But this is something that the world obviously questions,” he said, adding that the reason is no matter how many technical precautions you take, “ultimately, it is the people who handle the nuclear weapons, just as the people are responsible for the defence of the Army, Air Force and Navy bases”.

He referred to the recent attack on the Pakistan Navy airbase in Mehran, where a handful of people were “so well-informed by the insiders” that they managed to keep defenders at bay for over 18 hours, and destroyed two of Pakistan’s most valuable aircraft.

“So the worry that something similar may happen with the nuclear weapons crosses everybody’s mind… therefore, even if the strategic plans division says everything is fine, that does not reassure everybody.”

He said India and Pakistan “are locked in an arms race”, adding, “Pakistan is building as many nuclear weapons as it can. They have very little utility... they provide a cover under which (there is) yet another spurt of nuclear weapons production.”

An informal information platform for activists and scholars concerned about the dangers of Nuclearisation in South Asia

Scotland's Renewable Energy Project

Scotland could phase out all conventional fossil fuel and nuclear power stations by 2030, maintain a secure electricity supply, and generate revenue from renewable exports, according to new research by one of the world‟s leading energy consultants, Garrad Hassan.

“The Power of Scotland Secured”, (1) published by Friends of the Earth with backing from RSPB and WWF, sets out how Scotland could guarantee security of supply, while decarbonising half its total energy needs by 2030.

Friends of the Earth Scotland Chief Executive Duncan McLaren said: "We already know that renewables can grow to comfortably exceed our electricity demand by 2020. (2) What this report shows is that, contrary to popular myth, the variability of renewable power need not pose a threat to the reliability of our supply in Scotland. The transmission infrastructure required to keep the lights on at times of low renewables output will be easily justified by the value of exports which it will make possible at times of high output. Costs to consumers are unlikely to exceed those in other future scenarios.”

The report discusses the extensive use of electricity for heating, and it is assumed – in line with existing Scottish government targets - that just 11% of heat demand will be met from renewable sources by 2020, increasing to 40% by 2030. Using electric heat pumps to contribute to the renewable heat target would increase Scottish gross electricity consumption in 2030 by about 14% and would cut carbon emissions from heat by up to 60%. Heat pumps for heating can also be used to help smooth out demand thus helping manage daily peak demand. Given improved levels of insulation in line with energy saving targets, in winter there could be at least several hundred megawatts of deferrable electric heating demand in Scottish homes. However, unlike UK Government proposals which foresee the total electrification of heat by 2030 (3) this report discusses the role of anaerobic digestion, which the National Grid company says could provide almost half of UK domestic gas demand, and combined heat and power.

(1) The Power of Scotland Secured, report & summary, December 2010

(2) See for example Nuclear Free Local Authorities Briefing: Scotland‟s electricity needs, can they be met from renewable without recourse to nuclear? July 2010.

(3) See The All Electric Future, NuClear News No.24

Monday, 4 July 2011

Renewable Energy from the Mediterranean

The sea provides waves, marine currents and tides, all of which could produce energy. The saline gradient and the thermal gradient of the sea could also be used. These technologies are still at the experimental stage, although some countries like the UK, Norway, the US, Portugal, Canada and Japan are investing in research in them. Italian researchers have achieved a great deal in these fields and are well known internationally.

ENEA, Ente per le Nuove tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and the Environment) is the Italian Government sponsored research and development agency, originally set up to research atomic energy. Ever since the referendum 25 years ago, in which an overwhelming majority of Italians voted to shut down all nuclear power stations, ENEA has focussed on renewables. However, when Berlusconi announced a few years ago that he wanted to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations, ENEA funding was once again diverted away from renewables.

But Berlusconi did not get his own way. More than a million signatures were collected, enough for the people to demand a referendum on new nuclear. Despite all Berlusconi’s efforts to block the referendum, 57% of the Italian people voted and 97% of these voted against any form of new nuclear power.

As soon as the results of the referendum were made public, Vincenzo Artale, physicist and oceanographer for ENEA, called all the main Italian experts in the field of marine energy to come to a workshop in Rome, to discuss the prospects for the development of this energy sector.

“There are problems”, he said, “but 20 years ago the problems for wind turbines looked insurmountable”.

“We’re mapping the coast and the Italian seas with a grant of 500,000 euros from the Ministry of Economic Development. It’s not enough. The government should be investing a lot more,” he said. “Using wave and tidal power, countries like Scotland could produce enough energy for all their needs. In fact Scotland is working on under-sea barriers.”

Interviewer: “And in Italy Professor Artale?”

“The Mediterranean doesn’t have the same tidal energy as the north seas but there are optimum areas for exploiting tidal energy (which, unlike wind, is regular and energetically quantifiable. And waves. The Strait of Messina is a good place. There’s already a prototype turbine with vertical blades. It’s called Kobold (Italian technology, similar to wind turbine blades but planted horizontally deep in the sea, a good place to exploit tidal energy.)”

“A wind turbine blade 10 metres diameter produces the same energy as a sea turbine blade one metre diameter. The Strait of Boniface (between Sardinia and Corsica), the area of sea south of Sicily, a good part of the Terrenian sea, (between Italy, Sardinia and Sicily) the Ligurian sea (between Italy, Corsica and France) and the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Spanish government is installing an Italian prototype, are all good places to exploit marine energy.”

“To transform wave energy into electricity on the other hand, there is now a system called REWEC3 (resonant wave energy converter), a caisson breakwater that protects a port and, at the same time, converts wave energy into electrical power. Otherwise floating snakes that use the undulating oscillations of the sea could be used.”

Interviewer: “Where is this research being carried out in Italy?”

Artale “We at ENEA are providing all our know how, just like the CRN researchers, free to anyone who wants to use it. Then there are proactive universities like the ones in Messina, Reggio Calabria and Naples, but the University of Bologna, Milano and Torino are all involved in this research too. They developed the Kobold prototype, but worldwide there are lots of marine energy patents. Indonesia is developing marine energy.”

“But since our nuclear scientists now have time on their hands and marine energy research is in its infancy, we could really intensify our renewable technology research efforts, focussing on integrated forms of production, with platforms that exploit wind, sun and sea together. Meanwhile the European Community is already announcing funding specifically for marine energy.”

Interviewer “What impact do these technologies have on the environment?”

“The sites need to be assessed very carefully, just as they do for wind turbines and solar voltaics. Obviously we can’t start planting deep sea turbines right near to beaches. But as far as wildlife is concerned these types of technology have very low impact, far less than wind turbines. The REWEC3 caisson breakwaters are places where fish collect.

Eleonora Martini. Onde e Maree: Dal Mediterraneo l’energia rinnovabile del futuro.

Il Manifesto 17 June

translated by Angela Paine

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima

Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan.

Geological disposal of radioactive waste

PR STUNT - "Geology Seminar"

Friday, 24 June 2011

The best PR stunts are dressed up in expensive suits and paid for by the taxpayer. Monday's "geology seminar" at Whitehaven was a brilliant example of nasty spin from a government who wants new nukes and desperately needs to be seen to have 'solved' the nuclear waste problem.

Some have called for "more debate" but even if Cumbria's geology was perfect rather than leaky there are over 100 reasons why dumping high level nuclear waste in the ground is guaranteed to poison the land and us.

Here are just a few examples:

Repository is designed to be leaky
Rusting of the steel in the dump will create huge amounts of hydrogen which will have to be released undermining the so called "multi- barrier" system meant to protect people from leakage. (issues 14 and 15)

Digging underground will create fast pathways for leaks Rock would inevitably be damaged by digging to create huge caverns. The danger caused by this "excavation damage zone" is not understood. ( issue 27)

New data shows copper will corrode faster than assumed The NDA refer to a wall thickness of 5cm for the copper canisters holding high level wastes. Recent research shows that to achieve durability a wall thickness of one metre would be needed! (issue 39)

Nuclear Explosions in the Repository
The probability and impact of a "criticality" or mini nuclear explosion is not understood. ( issue 79)

NOTE- Issues Register from Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates Summary ( 10 pages)

Commentary (30 pages)