Saturday, August 27, 2016

Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey (PDF Download Available) | Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power

ABSTRACT – This article screens 103 lifecycle studies of greenhouse gas-equivalent emissions for nuclear power plants to identify a subset of the most current, original, and transparent studies. It begins by briefly detailing the separate components of the nuclear fuel cycle before explaining the methodology of the survey and exploring the variance of lifecycle estimates. It calculates that while the range of emissions for nuclear energy over the lifetime of a plant, reported from qualified studies examined, is from 1.4 g of carbon dioxide equivalent per kWh (g CO2e/kWh) to 288 g CO2e/kWh, the mean value is 66 g CO2e/kWh. The article then explains some of the factors responsible for the disparity in lifecycle estimates, in particular identifying errors in both the lowest estimates (not comprehensive) and the highest estimates (failure to consider co-products). It should be noted that nuclear power is not directly emitting greenhouse gas emissions, but rather that lifecycle emissions occur through plant construction, operation, uranium mining and milling, and plant decommissioning.

Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey (PDF Download Available)

Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power: A Critical Global Assessment of ... - Benjamin K. Sovacool - Google Books

whats up: #BustTheMyth – nukes are NOT carbon-free, clean, safe, green, or affordable!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Study Casts Doubt on the Future of Nuclear Power - EcoWatch

While it's been touted by some energy experts as a so-called "bridge" to help slash carbon emissions, a new study suggests that a commitment to nuclear power may in fact be a path towards climate failure.

For their study, researchers at the University of Sussex and the Vienna School of International Studies grouped European countries by levels of nuclear energy usage and plans, and compared their progress with part of the European Union's 2020 Strategy.

That 10-year strategy, proposed in 2010, calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by least 20 percent compared to 1990 levels and increasing the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20 percent. The researchers found that "progress in both carbon emissions reduction and in adoption of renewables appears to be inversely related to the strength of continuing nuclear commitments..."

more: New Study Casts Doubt on the Future of Nuclear Power - EcoWatch

whats up: #BustTheMyth – nukes are NOT carbon-free, clean, safe, green, or affordable!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Say No to These Three Uranium Mines at Grand Canyon


The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is preparing to issue permits to allow the operation of three uranium mines in greater Grand Canyon watershed. Of course, this would benefit Energy Fuels Resources, Inc., the mining company that's requesting the permits. But what do the rest of us get? Radioactive pollution that threatens human health, wildlife, and ground and surface water.  

Allowing private companies to profit at the expense of public health and the environment is just wrong -- and we can't let it happen.  

Uranium mining creates fine dust containing radioactive particles, lead and arsenic. Because the dust is so fine, it travels far from mines into our waterways, recreation sites and communities. It can increase the risk of lung cancer, birth defects and kidney disease. Uranium mining exacts other costs as well: The federal government has spent billions trying to clean up old uranium mines, and the costs continue to mount. 

The Center for Biological Diversity has been working to end all uranium mining in the greater Grand Canyon region. Stopping these three mines is a very important part of that greater goal, and we need your help to make it happen. 

Please take action below -- tell the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality that you oppose the operation of the Canyon, AZ1 and EZ uranium mines.  

And if you can, join us on Tuesday, Aug. 30 in Flagstaff at Sinagua Middle School to voice your opposition to the issuance of new permits that will allow toxic uranium mining to continue on the rim of Grand Canyon. If you plan to attend, RSVP to Katie Davis.

SIGN NOW: Say No to These Three Uranium Mines at Grand Canyon

Thursday, August 18, 2016

what next: regarding today's edition

"regarding today's edition"

currently on sabbatical

Happy 2019!

Robert Cherwink’s Daily • #RCDaily #ECO | #RCDaily #ECO ::: WEEKLY edition
The #OcNukeDaily • #OccupyNuclear | The #OcNuke Weekly • #OccupyNuclear

PUBLISHING SCHEDULE IS ERRATIC DUE TO MY MEDICAL CONDITION... i am trying to update the #OcNukeDaily at least once per week at this point, along with the #OcNuke Weekly once or twice a month.

UPDATE 27 NOVEMBER 2018: still dealing with the neck and shoulder problems, bad discs and worsening arthritis. now, on top of that, i ended up having to have hand surgery this past August due to a skin infection. the wound healed well, but the whole episode has seriously complicated the arthrisit in my dominant hand. So: i am having to stick with the reduced schedule.

UPDATE 17 NOVEMBER 2017: a quick update on my medical situation: i met with my surgeon yesterday, and he wants to try a course of injections for my neck rather that perform surgery at this point. the muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders have literally pulled my shoulder out of place so that i have been having some serious difficulty with my right arm; also, we have discovered that there are 4 bad disks instead of only 3 – hopefully this therapy will work and no surgery needed!  

UPDATE – 18 AUGUST: i had hoped to restart, but find that i need to postpone all publications for awhile.

F Y I ::: {note of 31 JULY} :::  i am having a hellish time with my long-injured neck and a week-long headache, so not much time online. All issues are postponed ~ stay tuned!
#RCDaily #ECO ::: WEEKLY edition
The #OcNukeDaily • #OccupyNuclear
The #OcNuke Weekly

• Support "whats up," #OcNukeDaily & #OccupyNuclear at
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you can't nuke global warming!

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originally posted at what next: regarding today's edition

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste? | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste?

Robert Alvarez
In addition to generating electricity, US nuclear power plants are now major radioactive waste management operations, storing concentrations of radioactivity that dwarf those generated by the country's nuclear weapons program. Because the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository remains in limbo, and other permanent storage plans are in their infancy, these wastes are likely to remain in interim storage at commercial reactor sites for the indefinite future. This reality raises one issue of particular concern—how to store the high-burnup nuclear fuel used by most US utilities. An Energy Department expert panel has raised questions that suggest neither government regulators nor the utilities operating commercial nuclear power plants understand the potential impact of used high-burnup fuel on storage and transport of used nuclear fuel, and, ultimately, on the cost of nuclear waste management.
Spent nuclear power fuel accumulated over the past 50 years is bound up in more than 241,000 long rectangular assemblies containing tens of millions of fuel rods. The rods, in turn, contain trillions of small, irradiated uranium pellets. After bombardment with neutrons in the reactor core, about 5 to 6 percent of the pellets are converted to a myriad of radioactive elements with half-lives ranging from seconds to millions of years. Standing within a meter of a typical spent nuclear fuel assembly guarantees a lethal radiation dose in minutes. 
Heat from the radioactive decay in spent nuclear fuel is also a principal safety concern. Several hours after a full reactor core is offloaded, it can initially give off enough heat from radioactive decay to match the energy capacity of a steel mill furnace. This is hot enough to melt and ignite the fuel’s reactive zirconium cladding and destabilize a geological disposal site it is placed in. By 100 years, decay heat and radioactivity drop substantially but still remain dangerous. For these reasons, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) informed the Congress in 2013 that spent nuclear fuel is “considered one of the most hazardous substances on Earth...”
more: Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste? | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

What's wrong with nuclear power? | Wise International

There are many good reasons to oppose the use of nuclear energy. Nuclear power installations are vulnerable for accidents, incidents and attacks. Radioactive material can be disseminated. Radiation is harmfull and can, even in small quantities, be lethal. Contamination with radioactive material can make entire regions uninhabitable for thousands of years. 
Even during 'normal operation' nuclear power stations (and other installations) disseminate radioactive materials. The nuclear fuel chain is complicated and in every step transport is needed. These transports are in itself vulnerable for accidents, incidents and theft. Radioactive material in the 'wrong hands' leads to a horror-scenario. The use of nuclear power leads to the production of large quantities of dangerous radioactive waste. Although the nuclear industry has been seeking for solutions for more than 6 decades now there is still no country in the world that has found a scientific sound way to deal with its radioactive waste. 
It does not take much to build a nuclear weapon ones you have access to the material, knowledge and infrastructure provided by the 'civil nuclear fuel chain'. 
Nuclear power plants are extremely expensive and hard to finance. Only when supported by public money a nuclear power station is build. In almost all countries risks and non-direct costs are passed on to the government (the public, the taxpayers); longterm management of the waste, security of the nuclear power plant, costs of transport for instance. It is impossible to insure your nuclear facility on the private market. So in all cases it is the government again who guarantees the compensation for accident-related costs -  which is in itself again impossible. The Fukushima disaster in Japan is estimated to costs at least $143 billion. The nuclear disaster in Japan has tragically demonstrated how unsafe nuclear power can be. The chance that a major accident happens is maybe slim but the consequences are devastating. 
A nuclear power station itself does not emit greenhouse gasses like CO2. Yet nuclear power contributes to climate change; with every step in the whole fuel chain, needed to in the end generate electricity, many energy is used. For instance, the extraction of uranium and the enrichment of uranium are extreme energy-intensive processes. Life-cycle analysis of the whole fuel chain clearly shows the contribution of nuclear power to climate change. 

What's wrong with nuclear power? | Wise International

whats up: #BustTheMyth – nukes are NOT carbon-free, clean, safe, green, or affordable!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nuclear Hotseat #268 – Australia: Nuke Waste Dump to the World? Dave Sweeney –

This Week’s Featured Interview:

Dave Sweeney has been active in the uranium mining and nuclear debate for two decades through his work with the media, trade unions and environment groups on mining, resource and indigenous issues. He works as a national nuclear campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation and holds a vision of a nuclear free Australia that is positive about its future and honest about its past.

LISTEN: Nuclear Hotseat #268 – Australia: Nuke Waste Dump to the World? Dave Sweeney –

Monday, August 8, 2016

A bittersweet Clean Energy Standard in NY

By now you may have heard that New York State adopted a “Clean Energy Standard” last Monday, one that finally puts a requirement on utilities to buy renewable energy, but one that also requires that we all pay to subsidize unprofitable nuclear power plants. The nuclear portion of the policy will cost New Yorkers over $7 billion, and it locks in these escalating nuclear subsidies for 12 years. The policy is designed to ensure that nuclear plants on the brink of closure will not close, and that they will be insulated from competition from energy efficiency and renewables.
It was a bittersweet day for us at Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) because we have fought hard over the last two years for that renewable energy mandate on utilities, and we also fought tooth and nail against that nuclear bailout. We are glad to see New York joining other states in an enforceable renewable energy policy, but we are outraged that our “Clean Energy Standard” got hijacked by nuclear corporations and that our Governor and the New York Public Service Commission rammed through the nuclear bailout over the objections of environmentalists, consumer advocates, elected officials and the business community.

We were also disappointed that the Commission did not heed the strong demands coming from all over the state for enforceable energy efficiency targets, nor did it commit to a certain amount of offshore wind development. Instead, they kicked those decisions down the road to another time...

more: A bittersweet Clean Energy Standard in NY

whats up: #BustTheMyth – nukes are NOT carbon-free, clean, safe, green, or affordable!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

You Might be Operating an Unsafe Reactor If… - All Things Nuclear

There are currently two empty positions on the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). If comedian Jeff Foxworthy were nominated and confirmed to become a Commissioner, you wonder how he would finish the nuclear safety equivalent of his “redneck” routine?
You might be operating an unsafe reactor if …
This Ending Intentionally Blank
The NRC, at least during the last decade of the 20th century and so far in this 21st century, has never seen an unsafe reactor. Not once.
The NRC often claims they would shut down an unsafe reactor. Perhaps they would. But they’ve not spotted an unsafe reactor in nearly three decades. They suspected they saw an unsafe reactor about 15 years ago, but changed their mind(s).
So, it’s not that the NRC would fail to shut down an unsafe reactor. But it’s been so long since they spotted one, they seem to have forgotten what they look like...

more: You Might be Operating an Unsafe Reactor If… - All Things Nuclear

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Nuclear Hotseat #267: INDIAN POINT Film – Former NRC Chair Jaczko, Director Meeropol

This Week’s Featured Interviews:

Filmmaker, subject and activists converged at the Los Angeles run of the documentary, INDIAN POINT, an exploration of nuclear issues seen through the lens of the two aging nuclear reactors located only 25 miles from New York City.
  • We talk with director Ivy Meeropol about what led her to devote four years of her life to making the film.
  • Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Dr. Gregory Jaczko, who was forced out of the agency, attended the screening and took part in the audience Q&A afterwards.  INDIAN POINT recasts Dr. Jaczko as hero… and he was.
  • Interviews with activists who attended the screening from Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and Japan.

LISTEN: Nuclear Hotseat #267: INDIAN POINT Film – Former NRC Chair Jaczko, Director Meeropol

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New York Just Proved Why Bailing Out Nuclear Power Is a Bad Idea | GreenWorld

Yesterday, New York became the first state to adopt a policy to subsidize aging, uncompetitive nuclear reactors. The state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utility companies, passed a Clean Energy Standard that combines a 50% renewable energy standard by 2030 with massive subsidies to prop up uneconomical reactors. (You can download the whole PSC order here.)
Prepare yourself for loud celebrations from the nuclear industry, heaping praise on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and calling for other states to emulate the Empire State with lucrative incentives to insulate the nuclear industry from competition and to postpone closures of uneconomical reactors.
We hate to throw water on the parade, but the move actually proves what a bad idea it is to throw subsidies at nuclear power. Let’s jump to the punch line, then we can fill in the blanks: New York just committed to spending twice as much money propping up old nuclear reactors than on new renewable energy, to get 2-3 times less energy from nuclear as renewables in the end.
Spend more, get less electricity, get more carbon emissions–and get a lot of radioactive waste.
Basically all of the $7.6 billion in nuclear subsidies will leave New Yorkers’ bank accounts and go to companies headquartered in Chicago and Paris: Exelon and Electricite de France, which jointly own the company that will own all of the bailed-out reactors. The money will produce not one more job for unemployed New Yorkers, put not one more solar panel on a roof, provide not one more dollar of economic development. And by soaking up so much of New Yorkers’ energy dollars, the subsidies could prevent them from investing in energy efficiency and renewables...
more: New York Just Proved Why Bailing Out Nuclear Power Is a Bad Idea | GreenWorld