Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Nuclear’s Resurrected Safety Lie of “Duck & Cover” – Bo Jacobs, Hiroshima Peace Institute – #345

Screen shot from the 1984 ABC-TV movie “The Day After” – Impact of atomic bomb detonation and resulting fireball on the human body. You can’t “duck and cover” from that.

This Week’s Featured Interview:

  • Bo Jacobs is a Professor at the Hiroshima Peace Institute and author of the recent article, “We Cannot Survive a Nuclear Apocalypse by Ducking and Covering.”  He discusses the recent spate of articles promoting the long-discredited “Duck and Cover” method for “surviving” a nuclear attack and analyzes the psychology behind this misleading bit of pro-nuclear propaganda.
  • Duck and Cover – see and hear the propaganda film we were talking about… 
  • And here’s the footage of the atomic canon being fired over the Nevada desert that Bo discussed.  The device exploded the same 15 kilotons as was dropped on Hiroshima…
(visit the page for videos)

Numnutz of the Week (for Outstanding Nuclear Boneheadedness):
Do you actually need any other explanation of why transporting highly radioactive nuclear reactor waste over the roads is not a good idea?  (HINT:  No other transport method is much better.)

The Missing Links:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Renewables Ready for Prime Time | Fairewinds Energy Education

Written by Grayson Webb, Edited by Maggie Gundersen

Our special thanks to each one of you who has donated to Fairewinds in 2017! You helped to set us off on the right foot for 2018 and we are so excited for all the projects we have in store for the new year. 

Thank you!
In a blow to the Coal and Nuclear Industries, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dismissed Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to further subsidize the ailing industries under the assumption that they allow for a more stable grid due to their ability to create large fuel reserves. It appears Mr. Perry has not been paying attention to the news (or early drafts of his report) because unlike coal and nuclear, renewable energies do help promote grid reliability. 
Let’s take a look at the Hornsdale Power Reserve Project in South Australia. This is the battery station that Tesla built after Elon Musk made a bet on Twitter with billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Musk bet that he would be able to install the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in South Australia within 100 days in order to fix their blackout problem, or he would supply it for free.
Early Concept of Hornsdale. Photo Source: Tesla
Fed by a wind farm, Hornsdale, with enough capacity to power 30,000 homes, is the world’s largest lithium-ion battery currently in existence (though maybe not for long!) and was completed within the 100 day time frame. On December 14th, only two weeks after the Hornsdale Project became operational, South Australia’s coal-fired Loy Yang power plant failed, and what normally would have caused a blackout was stopped in a record breaking 140 milliseconds as the Hornsdale battery noticed the power loss to the national grid and immediately pumped 100MW of electricity into the grid to cover the loss. 

"That's a record and the national operators were shocked at how quickly and efficiently the battery was able to deliver this type of energy into the market," State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis told 5AA radio. According to the Bloomberg story, plans for more battery stations like Hornsdale are already in the works for Australia. 

South Australia isn’t the only part of the world benefiting from renewable powered battery stations. Residents in Kauai, a small island that’s part of Hawaii, were reliant on polluting diesel generators. Fuel was expensive, so the island made the shift to renewables; but even then, with evening load demands, come dusk the generators would have to kick back on. Tesla became involved in March 2017 and built a battery station comprised of 272 batteries powered by 50,000 solar panels. This combined solar-and-storage plant provides enough energy to power 4,500 homes for 4-hours, greatly reducing the island’s fuel consumption at peak times. Kauai will be able to reduce its consumption of diesel fuel by 1.6 million gallons per year and plans to be 70% renewable by 2025.
Battery Storage in Kuaui. Photo Source: Tesla

While we have seen the cost of renewables plummet lower than ever: a report issued in late 2017 by the financial firm Lazard shows that it’s now cheaper to build and operate new renewables than to continue operating existing coal plants. Previously, the cost of the combination of battery storage paired with renewables has for the most part remained more expensive than fossil fuels, meaning it only made economic or practical sense in certain cases. 

Colorado has just started receiving new bids for a series of renewable energy plus battery storage projects planned for construction during the next several years. So far, the bids are already cheaper than 75% of Colorado’s current polluting coal-fired sources; in other words, it is cheaper to build and operate renewables with battery storage than to operate 75% of Colorado’s existing coal plants. This is a huge turning point for sustainable energy! As Arnie was quoted saying in Forbes, "We all know that the wind doesn't blow consistently and the sun doesn't shine every day, but the nuclear industry would have you believe that humankind is smart enough to develop techniques to store nuclear waste for a quarter of a million years, but at the same time human kind is so dumb we can't figure out a way to store solar electricity overnight. To me that doesn't make sense.” That’s why paring renewables with battery storage and having it be cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear power is a game changer for generating clean renewable electricity generation around the globe. This is the biggest death knell for the coal and nuclear industries yet. 
Energy News
Renewable energy has a lot of benefits besides reducing CO2 and pollution levels. Renewable energies create the good paying middle-class jobs that are currently in decline in the U.S. In fact, Solar technicians and wind turbine technicians are two of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. according to Bloomberg. Not only that but, the solar industry alone employs more people than the nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas industries combined! That doesn't even include the jobs in the wind sector. Worldwide, renewables employ close to 9.8 million people according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. The reign of nuclear and fossil fuels is thankfully winding down as renewable energy continues to rise, bringing us cleaner air and good paying jobs.
Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear on CCTV: 
Kevin Kamps, Nuclear Waste Watchdog of Beyond Nuclear, talked with Margaret Harrington, Host of Nuclear Free Future, about the federal plan to transfer 40 years of Vermont Yankee nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Kevin Kamps cites legal, scientific, and logistic reasons not to reopen Yucca Mountain or send Vermont Yankee's nuclear to an unsuitable site.
As a non-profit 501(c)3, our work at Fairewinds Energy Education is supported by grants and by many small individual donations from people like you from all around the world who believe in our work as much as we do. 

The Fairewinds Crew works hard to demystify nuclear power through education.
We at Fairewinds Energy Education would like to thank you for your ongoing support of our mission

Fairewinds Energy Education is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2008. Our mission is to educate the public about nuclear power and other energy issues. We have designed our website to be a hub for fact-based, undistorted nuclear energy information. Fairewinds’ website features podcasts and videos, in which we collaborate with experts in wide ranging fields to discuss nuclear energy issues.

On our website you’ll also find blog posts on current events, expert witness reports on nuclear safety issues, frequently asked questions (FAQs) about nuclear power, a nuclear book list, archives of our presentations, media coverage, newsletters, and much more. Thanks to our dedicated volunteer translators, our content is available in four languages.
Thanks to your support, we will keep you informed!

Fairewinds Energy Education
Burlington, VT

People just like you are defending us all against a toxic future - David Suzuki Foundation

When the first uranium mines opened on his grandfather’s trapline, elders tasked Marius with keeping watch on these companies that make “big bullets” (nuclear bombs). Youth tasked Candyce to protect their futures from nuclear waste burial. Along with other concerned people, they formed the Committee for Future Generations, to raise awareness throughout Saskatchewan and network globally.

What are the most significant issues?

Dene traditional knowledge is that the “black rock,” should stay underground — on pain of unleashing “demons” — and kept in its place by “Thunder Beings,” its continuously burning “sacred fire” acknowledged as a deity and never touched.

Promises of close monitoring pushed those ancient concerns aside. A case study done on the Environmental Quality Committee showed government and industry failed to take concerns seriously and omitted critical information.

After the uranium mines opened, the incidence of previously uncommon cancers and other rare diseases started to rise. Most people who worked in the mines suffered and died young of cancers. Physicians noting increases in diseases like lupus began asking for a baseline health study. That’s never been done. Cancer rates are at least one in seven people.

Studies on moose, caribou, fish and berries show these dangerous substances in foods people depend on. In communities around Lake Athabasca, where tailings from mines that fuelled Cold War nuclear weapons continue blowing and flowing into the lake, there are “limit fish intake” warnings on the docks. This may help limit the impact of heavy metals but doesn’t stop damage from ingested radionuclides. The World Health Organization admitted that even low doses of radiation exposure can lead to increase cancer risk.

Industry sets its own “as low as reasonably achievable” limits. Since the Fukushima meltdowns, many countries raised acceptable safety limits to accommodate additional global exposures.

When a physician asked for a baseline study at the October, 2012 Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission hearings for the relicensing of Rabbit Lake and McArthur River mines and the Key Lake uranium mill, the CNSC consulted Dr. James Irvine, northern medical health officer. He asked for a wellness study. It was funded with uranium mining companies Cameco and AREVA.

The Northern Health authority’s close relationship with the uranium mining companies — the Community Vitality Monitoring Partnership — is decades-long. Cameco funds a lot of community health care. It makes them look like good corporate citizens while masking the effects of the non-stop radionuclides and heavy metals they release into the environment…

more: People just like you are defending us all against a toxic future - David Suzuki Foundation


Founding members of the Committee For Future Generations – Marius Paul, Candyce Paul, Doreen Docken, Debbie Mihalicz, Sandra Cuffe and Max Morin.
Committee For Future Generations with ICAN in Australia for Walk Against Nuclear Waste, 2011

It was an honor to stand in the House yesterday... - Georgina Jolibois, MP Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River

It was an honor to stand in the House yesterday to commend the work of the Committee for Future Generations, which has succeeded in keeping nuclear waste out of all communities of northern Saskatchewan.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Uranium Miners Pushed Hard for a Comeback. They Got Their Wish.

The shuttered Pinenut uranium mine, bottom, near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah — Garry Holiday grew up among the abandoned mines that dot the Navajo Nation’s red landscape, remnants of a time when uranium helped cement America’s status as a nuclear superpower and fueled its nuclear energy program.

It left a toxic legacy. All but a few of the 500 abandoned mines still await cleanup. Mining tainted the local groundwater. Mr. Holiday’s father succumbed to respiratory disease after years of hacking the ore from the earth.

But now, emboldened by the Trump administration’s embrace of corporate interests, the uranium mining industry is renewing a push into the areas adjacent to Mr. Holiday’s Navajo Nation home: the Grand Canyon watershed to the west, where a new uranium mine is preparing to open, and the Bears Ears National Monument to the north.

The Trump administration is set to shrink Bears Ears by 85 percent next month, potentially opening more than a million acres to mining, drilling and other industrial activity. But even as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared last month that “there is no mine within Bears Ears,” there were more than 300 uranium mining claims inside the monument, according to data from Utah’s Bureau of Land Management office that was reviewed by The New York Times.

more: Uranium Miners Pushed Hard for a Comeback. They Got Their Wish. - The New York Times

Friday, January 12, 2018

California’s last nuclear plant to close after unanimous vote by regulators - San Francisco Chronicle

Protest at the Civic Center against nuclear power and the Diablo Canyon plant in April 1979

California’s last nuclear power plant — Diablo Canyon, whose contentious birth helped shape the modern environmental movement — will close in 2025, state utility regulators decided Thursday.

PG&E will, however, be able to shift onto its customers $241.2 million in costs related to shutting down the plant, including retaining its staff. PG&E estimated Thursday that customer bills would rise less than 0.5 percent on an annual basis as a result of the commission’s decision…

… “The decision undermines what should have been an inspiring model for the rest of the country and the world on best practices for planning for the closure of giant, expensive, and inflexible nuclear plants,” said Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the groups that negotiated the closure agreement with PG&E.

The commission, he said, did not seem to appreciate the amount of thought the negotiating partners, some of which had a long history of fighting PG&E, put into the details of their agreement.

“It was a joint proposal by numerous parties that have never agreed on anything,” Cavanagh said…

more: California’s last nuclear plant to close after unanimous vote by regulators - San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Global Nuclear Power in 2017 : Bankruptcies, Shutdowns, Abandoned Constructions Show A Deepening Crisis |

The Year 2017 for Global Nuclear Power in a nutshell: 4 reactor startups (12 less than scheduled), 3 shutdowns, 4 construction starts, 2 abandoned constructions, bankruptcy of Westinghouse, bailout and breakup of AREVA, significant financial and economic pressure on nuclear operators. Five new reactors entered long-term outage, and 3 were restarted. Globally, 405 reactors operating (1 less than a year ago), 52 under construction (3 less).

read: Global Nuclear Power in 2017 : Bankruptcies, Shutdowns, Abandoned Constructions Show A Deepening Crisis |

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Beyond Nuclear - NUCLEAR WEAPONS - Markey, Lieu Push No ‘First Strike’ Bill After Trump Taunts North Korea's Kim

Why Trump's North Korea tweet is so dangerously destabilizing - NY Daily News

U.S. Senator Ed Markey (Democrat-MA) and U.S. Representative Ted Lieu's (Democrat-CA) companion bills, H.R. 669 in the U.S. House, and S. 200 in the U.S. Senate, are entitled the "Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017."
Please urge your U.S. Rep. to support H.R. 669. You can phone your U.S. Rep.'s D.C. office via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. And you can look up your U.S. Rep.'s direct contact info. here, by entering your zip code, clicking the FIND YOUR REP BY ZIP button, and following the links.
Please urge both your U.S. Senators to support S. 200. You can phone your U.S. Sens.' D.C. offices via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. And you can look up your U.S. Sens.' direct contact info. here, by clicking on your state in the scroll down menu labeled "Find Your Senators" in the upper left hand side of the screen.

Beyond Nuclear - NUCLEAR WEAPONS - Markey, Lieu Push No ‘First Strike’ Bill After Trump Taunts North Korea's Kim

SEE ALSO: whats up: Take Action: Restrict First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 – Coalition Against Nukes | petitions

Tell FERC One More Time: Stop the $100+ Billion Nuclear-Coal Bailout!

Make Your Voice Heard!
– Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary, Rick Perry, has proposed an unprecedented bailout for nuclear and coal power plants that will raise people’s energy bills and undermine renewable energy.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is fast-tracking the DOE’s radical proposal and plan to adopt it in 60 days. Public comments were due October 23rd, exactly three weeks after the plan was announced, and we delivered over 11, 420 comments to FERC.
The proposal calls for subsidies for old, outdated, and very polluting nuclear and coal plants under the guise that they promote electric grid reliability.
FERC is taking a final round of public comments until November 7. And we need to deliver thousands more comments to them! Even if you already signed a petition or sent a comment, please do so again for this final round.
It is still important to voice our opposition and the time to act is NOW! And after that, pass it on to your friends and to your contacts on facebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.
Stay tuned for more actions to take as we build this campaign to save our 100% Clean Energy Future!
Nuclear Information and Resource Service | Facebook