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IN BRIEF

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#638
18/11/2005
Article

Sortir Silenced.

(November 18, 2005) The French anti nuclear network "Sortir du nucléaire" is in possession of a secret EDF document that states that the EPR reactor would not withstand the impact an airplane crash. This information is of extreme interest and importance because, to date, the French government and nuclear utilities (EDF, Areva) have insisted that the EPR is "the only reactor in the world that could resist an airplane crash".

Since November 3, a national debate on the EPR reactor has commenced in France and will continue for four months. Sortir du nucléaire has written a text that should be made public but the French government petitioned the "Public Debate Commission" to censor this text because it contains six lines mentioning the famous secret document!

Some newspapers, like Le Monde, have briefly commented on this issue but most of the French population remain unaware of the full facts. Sortir du nucléaire is still trying to let the public know...

Source: Sortir du nucléaire by e-mail, November 17, 2005

 

Japan could cut CO2 emissions by 70%.

(November 18, 2005) Japan's carbon dioxide emissions can be cut by 70 percent by 2050 without adding nuclear power plants if energy efficiency were to be improved and natural energy generation increased according to the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Junichi Fujino, a researcher at the Institute said that alternatives are "worth trying for future generations' sake". Wise words…
The Japan Times, November 15, 2005; Kyodo News, November 9, 2005

Australian terror suspects at nuclear facility.

(November 18, 2005) Documents released to a Sydney court allege that three of the 18 terror suspects recently arrested in Sydney and Melbourne had previously been stopped by police near the Lucas Heights nuclear facility outside Sydney. The three were questioned by police at the time. The gate lock to a reactor reservoir was also found to have been recently cut. The men are charged with conspiring to manufacture explosives for a terrorist attack and of belong to a terrorist organization.
The Guardian, November 14, 2005

Britain EU's windiest.

(November 18, 2005) An indepth investigation into Britain's wind resources has revealed that the UK has the best wind in Europe because it blows year-round and peaks when demand for electricity is at its greatest - during the day and in winter months. The government study assessed national wind patterns and how they might affect the output of wind farms by collecting the hourly wind-speed records of 66 meteorological stations since 1970. So much for the claims of nuclear proponents that wind power is unreliable and intermittent. Energy minister Malcolm Wicks said, "This new research is a nail in the coffin of some of the exaggerated myths peddled by opponents of wind power."
The Independent, November 14, 2005

India to join ITER.

(November 18, 2005) A high level meeting of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor's (ITER) Preparatory Committee on November 8, to which India was invited to observe, has invited the country to officially request inclusion into the program - a move seen as a mere formality. The United States had committed to helping India join the project in the July 18 joint Indo-US statement. New Delhi is also thought to be interested in joining the US-led Generation IV reactor program, seeking to end its isolation in the area of nuclear research.
The Indian Express, November 8, 2005

Al-Qaeda nuclear bomb website.

(November 18, 2005) Terrorism experts have warned that an Al-Qaeda Arabic language website containing detailed instructions on how to make nuclear, "dirty" and biological bombs, which has received 57,000 hits and received hundreds of readers' inquiries, could boost the organization's appeal to would-be assassins. The 80-page illustrated manual was posted on October 6 and is divided into nine lessons headed "The Nuclear bomb of Jihad and the Way to Enrich uranium". The website informs the reader of effective alternative materials to uranium, like radium that are available on the market, and also explains how to make simpler bombs.

Chief of the German BND foreign intelligence agency told ARV television that it was unlikely that terrorists would be able to steal or produce a nuclear bomb at the present time but warned that a dirty bomb attack would be within their capabilities.
Reuters, November 9, 2005; The Sunday Times, November 6, 2005

EDF claims Britons favor new nuclear.

(November 18, 2005) A survey carried out by MORI on behalf of EDF Energy, the UK subsidiary of the French utility, has according to the utility shown that 55% of those questioned agreed that old nuclear power plants should be replaced with a mix of nuclear power and renewable sources such as wind power. Also that nearly four out of ten agreed that new plants to be built on the same sites as old ones - which might indicate that six out of ten did not agree… This poll is said to be giving a boost to the nuclear industry and its supporters in government but that is undoubtedly because of the interesting manner in which some of its results have been presented. The same poll also showed that 76% of the people surveyed believed that nuclear plants are vulnerable to terrorist attack, more than half thought that nuclear energy causes dangerous pollution and 57% supported the relaxation of building regulations to make building wind farms easier while making it easier to build nuclear power stations was more controversial. Wind farms were also found to be the most popular means of energy generation with 72% support for onshore farms and 78% for offshore. So much for the overwhelming support then…
MORI WEBSITE, November 7, 2005; The Telegraph, November 6, 2005

Scottish farms still contaminated after Chernobyl.

(November 18, 2005) Eleven farms covering 11,300 hectares in Ayrshire, Scotland, are still considered too contaminated by the Chernobyl accident over 19 years ago for their sheep to be considered safe to eat. Caesium-137 levels in the animals exceed the safety limit of 1000 Becquerels of radioactivity per kilogram, preventing farmers from being able to slaughter the animals for food. High levels of caesium-137 have also been detected in Highland deer and grouse in the past. Scottish National Party chairman, Bruce Crawford MSP said that under the circumstances it was "ludicrous" that the UK government is considering new nuclear plants and that we should learn from past mistakes instead of repeating them.Sunday Herald, November 6, 2005