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Nuclear Energy: 1/25 of 324
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Radiation hotspot in Kashiwa following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Photo: Abasaa via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Fukushima court ruling holds 'reckless' Tepco and government liable

Shaun Burnie / Asia Times

2ist March 2017

A Japanese court has found the government and Tepco culpable for the Fukushima nuclear disaster for failing to act on clear warnings of the dangers of seismic shocks, writes Shaun Burnie. The ruling is sending a shockwave through Japan's 'nuclear village' and may end all prospects of any mass restart of reactors. more...
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) photograph of a plutonium-americium 'hot particle', the width of a human hair, found in the Esk estuary mud flats near Sellafield, producing about 150,000 Bq of alpha radiation and 500,000 Bq of beta radiation. Photo: Cu

Killer 'hot particle': Sellafield coast 'like Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones'

Chris Busby

20th March 2017

The discovery of a tiny but deadly radioactive 'hot particle' in mud from the Esk estuary near Sellafield has highlighted the dangers the nuclear site poses to residents and visitors, writes Chris Busby. Independent measures of radiation show far higher levels that those of regulators, similar to readings in the Chernobyl and Fukushima exclusion zones. Local villages should be evacuated. more...
Fukushima: the third IAEA mission to review Japan's plans and work to decommission the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, February 2015, Tokyo, Japan. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Terminal decline? Fukushima anniversary marks nuclear industry's deepening crisis

Jim Green / Nuclear Monitor

10th March 2017

With the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster falling tomorrow, nuclear lobbyists are arguing over solutions to the existential crisis facing nuclear power, writes Jim Green. Some favour a multinational consolidation of large conventional reactor designs, while others back technological innovation and 'small modular reactors'. But in truth, both approaches are doomed to failure. more...
EDF's 4x900MW Nuclear power plant at Dampierre-en-Burly, commissioned in 1980, will soon turn from a money machine into a monstrous financial drain. Photo: Pymouss via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA).

EDF facing bankruptcy as decommissioning time for France's ageing nuclear fleet nears

Paul Dorfman

16th March 2017

Soon EDF will have to start the biggest, most complex and costliest nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management programme on earth, writes Paul Dorfman. But whereas Germany has set aside €38 billion to decommission 17 nuclear reactors, France has set aside only €23 billion to decommission its 58 reactors. When the real costs come in, they could easily bankrupt the company. more...
IAEA technicians examine Unit 4 of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, the only one of four reactors to be stabilised - because it was  defuelled at the time of the earthquake and tsunami. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fukushima catastrophe unfolds ... key facts and figures for an unhappy sixth anniversary

L'ACROnique de Fukushima & Hervé Courtois

10th March 2017

The 2011 Fukushima catastrophe is an ongoing disaster whose end only gets more remote as time passes. The government is desperate to get evacuees back into their homes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but the problems on the ground, and in the breached reactor vessels, are only getting more serious and costly, as unbelievable volumes of radiation contaminate land, air and ocean. more...
The nuclear dream is turning into a nightmare! EDF's Cattenom 5.5 GW nuclear plant in Lorraine, France, built on the border with Luxembourg. Photo: Matthieu Nioufs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

'Picking losers' - UK must not risk taxpayers' billions on failed nuclear dream

David Toke

27th February 2017

With the world's leading nuclear corporations facing bankruptcy due to ever escalating costs, 'unconstructable' reactor designs and financing risks, there's an easy way to finance the UK's new nuclear power stations, writes David Toke: pin the cost onto taxpayers. As for schools, hospitals, pensions, housing, social care and other public services, who needs 'em? more...
EURATOM was once a symbol of Europe's nuclear future. But it's true role may be to supervise the sector's decline. Photo: Euratom Inspectors inspecting URENCO, Almelo, Netherlands, 13 October 2015. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

The nuclear fallout from 'Brexatom': threat, opportunity, or plain bonkers?

Pete Roche

24th February 2017

The UK's inability to import radio-isotopes for cancer therapy is just the latest outcome of the UK's decision to leave EURATOM to hit the headlines, writes Pete Roche. It may also put a brake on the UK's plans to build new nuclear plants, and import and export nuclear fuel and wastes. The UK's exit from the treaty, as a strongly pro-nuclear state, could also mark an EU-wide anti-nuclear swing. more...
The Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria, next to which the 3-reactor Moorside nuclear project is planned. Photo: Bellona Foundation via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Keep UK taxpayers off the hook for Moorside nuclear black hole!

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

14th February 2017

The main company due to build UK's 'flagship' nuclear power project at Moorside in Cumbria is on the ropes, writes Doug Parr, thanks to its multi-billion dollar nuclear losses on in the US. The obvious solution, (almost) all our politicians insist, is to ignore cheaper, faster, cleaner renewables, and make the taxpayer pick up the cost of yet another nuclear white elephant. more...
Artist's impression of the Moorside nuclear complex, built on a green field site next to the Sellafield nuclear complex. Image: Nugen.

Not just Toshiba - the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere

Jim Green

3rd February 2017

Global nuclear power capacity grew slightly in 2016, writes Jim Green, but it was more a dead cat bounce than the promised 'nuclear renaissance'. The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of the crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the industry's poor outlook: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. more...

Neighbouring countries concerned about the risk of a Belgian Nuclear meltdown

Nick Meynen

19th January, 2017

On 10 January 2017 a new emergency plan was presented in a commission in Belgium's Parliament. The evacuation perimeter was conveniently halved to 10km to avoid an evacuation of Belgium's second and third cities in case of a meltdown. The plan has been called totally inadequate. NICK MEYNEN reports more...
The disastrous Okiluoto 3 EPR reactor under construction in Finland. The project is taking twice as long to complete, and costing twice as much, as promised. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Time and money run out for nuclear revival

Paul Brown

17th January 2017

The nuclear industry faces an uncertain future as the reactor building boom is struck by unexpected costs, serious technical problems, and long, expensive delays, writes Paul Brown. Meanwhile renewables like wind and solar are offering investors an enviable combination of falling cost, low risk, fast build times, predictable returns and minimal long term liabilities. more...
The Sizewell B nuclear plant rises above RSPB's Minsmere nature reserve. Now, where's Sizewell C's 1,600 m3 a day of extra mains water demand going to come from? Photo: Tony Sutton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Sizewell C consultation: EDF 'forgets' to mention 600,000 m3 a year of mains water

Peter Lux

23rd January 2017

In its second consultation for the EDF's planned Sizewell C nuclear power station there's a strange omission, writes Peter Lux: that the plant would use 1,600 m3 of mains water a day, adding to stresses on important local wetlands like RSPB's Minsmere reserve. The omission is not just strange - it's also illegal and could make the entire exercise invalid. more...

Nuclear Energy: 1/25 of 324
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VC Summer Nuclear Station Unit 1 in South Carolina, showing the Reactor and Turbine Buildings. An AP1000 Toshiba / Westinghouse reactor is under construction, much delayed, on the same site. Photo: SCE&G via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Long-promised nuclear revival has run out of steam

Paul Brown

4th January 2017

A legacy of lies and covered-up accidents has left nuclear energy with a serious credibility gap, writes Paul Brown. But poor safety is only the beginning of the industry's problems. With 'new improved' reactor designs all running late and way over budget, any nuclear revival can only be sustained at massive, unaffordable taxpayer cost. more...
A closeup of the fireball and mushroom cloud from the Upshot-Knothole Grable atomic bomb test in Nevada, 25th May 1953. The 1950's and '60's bomb tests, we can now calculate, caused uncounted millions of cancer deaths. Photo: Federal Government of the Uni

The 'Genetics' letter, the Euratom suicide clause, and the death of the nuclear industry

Chris Busby

15th December 2016

The Lifetime Study of Japanese A-bomb survivors is a monumental fraud which deliberately excludes controls for being 'too healthy', writes Chris Busby. Put them back in, and you find that low levels of radiation cause over 100 times more cancer than they are 'meant' to, creating a silent global massacre of the innocent. Under the Euratom treaty, the entire nuclear industry must now be 'rejustified'. more...
The £740 million box: the 27 metre high Evaporator D module being lifted vertically into place from the horizontal, transportation position. Photo: Sallafield Sites.

Nuclear plundering of the public purse - the Sellafield and Moorside billions

Martin Forwood

13th December 2016

While the government is cutting vital public expenditure across the board there's one industry for which no costs are too great, writes Martin Forwood. The price of an 'evaporator' at the Sellafield nuclear complex is escalating towards £1 billion, while billions more of taxpayer finance are being lined up to finance cooling systems, power lines and transport links for the adjacent Moorside new-build nuclear power plant. more...
EDF's Cruas nuclear complex in  Rhône-Alpes, France, where two reactors have been out of action this autumn due to safety concerns. Photo: jan buchholtz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

French taxpayers face huge nuclear bill as EDF financial crisis deepens

Paul Brown

8th December 2016

Nuclear giant EDF could be heading towards bankruptcy, writes Paul Brown, as it faces a perfect storm of under-estimated costs for decommissioning, waste disposal and Hinkley C. Meanwhile income from power sales is lagging behind costs, and 17 of its reactors are off-line for safety tests. Yet French and UK governments are turning a blind eye to the looming financial crisis. more...
Flaring at the Scott Township fracking well, Pennsylvania. Photo: WCN 24/7 via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Climate? What climate? IEA backs fossil-fuelled future

Oliver Tickell

30th November 2016

The International Energy Agency's latest World Energy Outlook is calling for increased investment in new oil and gas, writes Oliver Tickell, while minimising the fast-growing and ever lower-cost contribution to world energy supply of renewables like wind and solar. more...
To stop any more of these, we must attack the scientific deception that underlies the industry. Nuclear power station, Wylfa, Wales. Photo: Jeremy WILLIAMS via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Stopping Europe's nuclear industry in its tracks: here's how

Christopher Busby

28th November 2016

Article 6 of the Euratom Treaty provides for nuclear industry practices to be rejustified in the light of new scientific evidence of harm to health, writes Chris Busby. We now have that evidence, in particular that radiation exposure even at very low levels causes severe and heritable genetic damage to people and entire families. Now, we must use the law to protect our health from radiation! more...
The Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, UK, seen from Drigg Beach. Photo: Ashley Coates via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

AP1000 reactor design is dangerous and not fit for purpose

Peter Roche

21st November 2016

Three new reactors are planned for the Moorside site next to Europe's biggest nuclear complex at Sellafield, writes Peter Roche, with a combined capacity of 3.8GW. But a new report for Radiation Free Lakeland shows that the chosen AP1000 reactor design, for all its claimed 'advanced passive' safety features, is not fit for purpose - and should be rejected as unsafe by UK regulators. more...
The Deepwater Horizon fire, 21st April 2010. Photo: Deepwater Horizon Response via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Avoiding catastrophe: the lessons of Deepwater Horizon

Earl Boebert

8th November 2016

We must coldly examine how inherently dangerous systems work and how they fail, writes Earl Boebert, and then apply those insights to reducing the risk of failure through systems design, regulation, and education. That examination must apply the most modern and effective analytic tools. To do otherwise is to almost guarantee a repeat catastrophe. more...
Breath of a Woodwose. Original drawing by Bill Rogers via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Beast of Beckermet against the nuclear menace? a Lakeland story for All Hallow's Eve

Marianne Birkby

31st October 2016

As the nuclear juggernaut drives the destruction of the Cumbria coast at Sellafield with nuclear waste dumps, boreholes, dredged-out rivers and a massive new nuclear power station, Marianne Birkby recalls ancient legends of the Woodwose, the Green Man, and the Beast of Beckermet. Can these forces of untamed nature be called upon to combat the growing nuclear menace? more...
Abandoned, and going nowhere: Japan's the Monju 'fast' nuclear reactor. Photo: Nuclear Fuel and Power Reactor Development Corporation (PNC) / IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Japan abandons Monju fast reactor: the slow death of a nuclear dream

Dr Jim Green

6th October 2016

'Fast breeder' reactors are promoted by nuclear enthusiasts as the clean, green energy technology of the future, writes Jim Green. But all the evidence tells us they are a catastrophic failure: complex, expensive, unreliable and accident-prone. Is Japan's decision to abandon its Monju reactor the latest nail in the coffin of a dead technology? Or the final stake through its rotten heart? more...
Wall to wall solar panels on industrial buildings in Birmingham, UK, where the Aurora report was published this week. Photo: h080 via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Cheap as chips! 'Negligible' cost of integrating big solar into UK grid

Oliver Tickell

4th October 2016

A new study shows that the cost of 'integrating' the variable power output of large scale solar PV is surprisingly affordable, writes Oliver Tickell, at just a few pence per unit. Costs will fall further as more wind power, batteries and ever-cheaper solar drive the transition to a 100% renewable power system. more...
Among the 28 EDF nuclear power stations at risk: Sizewell B in Suffolk, England. Photo: Simon James via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants 'at risk of catastrophic failure'

Oliver Tickell

29th September 2016

A new report finds that 28 nuclear reactors, 18 of them EDF plants in France and one at Sizewell in the UK, are at risk of failure 'including core meltdown' due to flaws in safety-critical components in reactor vessels and steam generators, writes Oliver Tickell. The news comes as EDF credit is downgraded due to a growing cash flow crisis and its decision to press on with Hinkley C. more...
Aerial view of the completed Hinkley C project. Artists impression by EDF Energy.

Nuclear and fracking: the economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

Peter Strachan & Alex Russell

27th September 2016

With its choice of Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion nuclear boondoggle - its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government's energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan & Alex Russell. It must urgently reconsider this folly and embrace the renewable energy transition. more...

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