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In brief

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#731
29/07/2011
Article

Philippines may rechannel its nuclear budget.
The Philippines government is considering rechannelling the US$100 million budget allotted to its nuclear energy development programme in the light of the Fukushima disaster. "Since the budget has been approved, the Department of Energy is currently studying what to do next. Whether we push through or delay or use the budget for more urgent matters. We are in discussion internally," Energy undersecretary Jay Layug has been quoted as saying. He noted that at this stage the country doesn't have any plans for nuclear other than to study it as an option. At the moment, he said, the DoE would be focusing on renewable energy development. "Renewable energy is the priority right now and not nuclear, we're looking at additional capacities through coal and natural gas plants," he said.

Nuclear Engineering International, News 22 July 2011


Chinese experimental fast reactor connected to grid.
On July 21, exactly one year after achieving first criticality, the head of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), declared that the Chinese Experimental Fast Reactor's (CEFR's) had successfully achieved grid connection. The sodium-cooled, pool-type fast reactor has been constructed with some Russian assistance at the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIEA), near Beijing, which undertakes fundamental research on nuclear science and technology. The reactor has a thermal capacity of 65 MW and can produce 20 MW in electrical power. The CEFR was built by Russia's OKBM Afrikantov in collaboration with OKB Gidropress, NIKIET and Kurchatov Institute. The unit was connected to the grid at 40% capacity.

Beyond the pilot plant, China once planned a 600 MWe commercial scale version by 2020 and a 1500 MWe version in 2030 but these ambitious ideas have been overtaken by the import of ready-developed Russian designs. In October 2009, an agreement was signed by CIAE and China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation (CNEIC) with AtomStroyExport to start pre-project and design works for a commercial nuclear power plant with two BN-800 reactors with construction to start in August 2011, probably at a coastal site (well, if they don't know that by now, the chance of starting constructing next month –August- is not that high).

In April 2010, a joint venture company was established for the construction of China's first commercial-scale fast neutron reactor, near the inland city of Sanming in Fujian province. The joint venture - Sanming Nuclear Power Co Ltd - was established by CNNC, Fujian Investment and Development Corp and the municipal government of Sanming city. CNNC holds a majority stake in the venture.

World Nuclear News, 21 July 2011


U.S.–India: quarrel on liability law.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recommended that India "engage" with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the nation's civilian atomic liability law "fully conforms" with international accords, The Hindu newspaper reported July 19. Indian government sources said they would reject any hint that the domestic rule must be modified on the recommendation of the IAEA. The Vienna, Austria-based organization does not have the authority to make such recommendations, they said. India holds that its nuclear liability regulations are in compliance with the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, though the United States contends the law allows a scope of actions that the convention does not.

New Delhi's law limits nuclear reactor operator financial culpability following an atomic accident to roughly US$320 million and allows lawsuits against suppliers of nuclear materials, technology and services. Officials in New Delhi insist the international convention cannot prohibit Indian courts from permitting private lawsuits to be filed by individuals injured in a nuclear incident.

The liability law has led a number of U.S. nuclear firms to reconsider their initial enthusiasm for engaging in atomic commerce with energy-hungry India following the signing of a 2008 agreement between Washington and New Delhi. The Indian government wants to see its liability law enacted before the end of 2011.
Global Security Newswire, 20 July 2011


Canada, Saskatchewan: 820 km walk to ban nuclear waste storage.
Native / First Nations people in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada, one of the big uranium mining areas of the world, are organizing a 820-km-march from the small Northern community of Pinehouse to the capital of the province, Regina, beginning on July 27, 2011.

They are, besides raising awareness about the issue of nuclear waste and its dangers, collecting signatures for a petition to the Provincial Government to ban nuclear waste and its transportation in the province. This petition can only be signed by Saskatchewan residents (thus, it is not attached).

The First Nations and Metis / Native People are working together with environmentalist groups etc. from Southern Saskatchewan, i.e. Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan; there, you can find all details and documents re: the March, the petition etc.:  www.cleangreensask.ca

Contact: Committee for Future Generations, P.O. Box 155, Beauval, Saskatchewan, S0M 0G0 Canada
Email: [email protected]


Walk away from uranium mining. Footprints for Peace, an international grassroots group that organises walks, bike rides and runs around the world, invites families and people of all ages, background and cultures to come and support traditional owners in their opposition to uranium mining in Western Australia by taking part in the “Walk away from uranium mining” that begins in Wiluna on August 19 and finishes in Perth on October 28. "We will demonstrate that we have the choice to walk away from this costly, toxic industry — which produces radioactive waste and weapons usable material — in favour of renewable energy options." Footprints for Peace are working together with the Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA) to organise this grassroots awareness-raising and action-based campaign. Everyone is welcome to join the walk for a few hours, a day, a few weeks or the whole way. Even if you cannot walk we still require financial assistance, drivers, kitchen crew members, media liaison volunteers, video operators and photographers, musicians, artists, singers and general support for daily events, such as camp set up and pack up, food shopping and water collection. The walkers will cover a distance of 20 to 25 kilometres a day, with a rest day every five days……… The walk’s conclusion in Perth will coincide with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. There we will deliver our well-supported and strong message that it is time to shut down the nuclear industry’s plans to expand in Western Australia and the rest of Australia.

For more information please visit: http://nuclearfreefuture.com/
GreenLeft (Aus.) 23 July 2011


New EU rules for nuclear waste open the door to dumping in Russia.
On July 19, European countries agreed to develop plans to address the ever-growing problem of nuclear waste. However, the EU also agreed to continue the dangerous practice of transporting radioactive material across great distances to storage plants outside EU borders.

EU ministers rubber stamped new rules obliging governments to publish plans by 2015 detailing their preferred options to store or reprocess radioactive waste from nuclear reactors. Some countries that generate nuclear waste, such as Bulgaria, Slovakia and Spain, had so far been reluctant to put together comprehensive plans.

Despite pressure from the European Commission to block exports, the new rules will allow Hungary and Bulgaria, countries that currently have agreements for the export of nuclear waste to Russia, to continue transferring radioactive material.

Greenpeace EU nuclear policy adviser Jan Haverkamp said: “European governments have adopted an out of sight, out of mind approach to radioactive waste, but all they are doing is dumping the long-term problem on someone else and putting Europeans at risk by allowing dangerous waste convoys. Only countries that face the unsolvable problem of radioactive waste head-on by ending their reliance on nuclear power can stop the vicious circle of waste that shifts responsibility to the next generations.”
Greenpeace press release, 19 July 2011


Sellafield: No prosecutions for organ harvesting.
Recent correspondence has revealed that no one will be prosecuted over the body hacking scandal carried out by the nuclear industry for over 40 years in collusion with government, hospitals, coroners and doctors.

From 1960 to 1991, body parts were taken without consent from 64 former Sellafield workers and 12 workers from nuclear sites in Springfields, Capenhurst, Dounreay and Aldermaston. The liver was removed in all cases and one or both lungs in all but one incident. Vertebrae, sternum, ribs, lymph nodes, spleen, kidneys and fermur were also stripped in the majority of cases. Brains, tongues, hearts and testes were also taken on the advice of the medical officer at Sellafield.

Correspondence from Cumbria Constabulary has been seen which says that despite the findings of the Redfern Inquiry (into the scandal; see Nuclear Monitor 721, 17 December 2010)  that the relationship between the nuclear industry and fellow bodysnatching conspirators was "too close" no one will be prosecuted as it is not "in the public interest".

Extract from a letter sent by ‘Special Operations’ - Cumbria Constabulary: "the issues you raise which I have listed below;
1. That specific people and institutions have breached the Human Tissue Act and that this should be investigated.
2. That an investigation into whether there was any unlawful corruption of the coronial processes had taken place
3. The stipends made to mortuary attendants are also of particular concern.
This was a Government led review which involved both the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Ministry of Justice. As such any requirement on the police to investigate identified breaches as outlined above would be made by the Government. No such request has been made". (end quotation Cumbria Constabulary correspondence)
Well, surprise, surprise: No such request is likely to be made.
http://101-uses-for-a-nuclear-power-station.blogspot.com/2011/07/dodgy-h...