France: Thousands of activists take the streets to demand ending the nuclear age.
On October 15, some 25,000 people took part in several anti-nuclear rallies, organized by the Reseau Sortir du nucléaire (Nuclear phase-out) federation, the largest one in Rennes with almost 20.000 participants. The demonstrators called on the government to halt all its military and civilian nuclear activities, and criticized Paris for continuing its nuclear policy. The protesters particularly called for the closure of Bugey nuclear plant in eastern France, which they say is susceptible to high risks of earthquake and flood. They also held a minute of silence in honor of the victims of Fukushima nuclear disaster in eastern Japan, and urged the French government to take lessons from Japan's tragedy and turn to renewable energies.
Website: Reseau Sortir du nucleaire.
Lithuania Formally Submits Visaginas Plans To EC.
The Lithuanian government has formally notified the European Commission of plans for a new nuclear power plant at Visaginas to be developed with Estonia, Latvia and Poland. This means that the coordination of the Project with the EU institutions starts. The 1,350-megawatt advanced boiling water reactor is scheduled to begin commercial operation around 2020, Lithuania's energy ministry said. According to the ministry the Visaginas unit is intended to help replace generation from the two 1,300-MW Ignalina reactors that have been shut down as part of Lithuania's European Union membership agreement.
"Visaginas NPP project is a strong step towards long term objectives of strengthening the security of supply and full integration of the Baltic States into European Energy market", according to the Visaginas press release. The information on Visaginas NPP was submitted according to European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) treaty (Article 41). This ensures that the developers of new nuclear facilities must notify the European Commission not later than three months before the first contracts are concluded with the suppliers or, if the work is to be carried out by the undertaking with its own resources, three months before the work begins.
NucNet, 14 October 2010 / Visaginas nuclear power plant project, press release, 10 October 2011
Indonesia: reactor plan delayed by Fukushima.
Indonesia’s National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) head Hudi Hastowo told journalists that the 11 March Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan had impacted government plans to construct the country’s first nuclear power plant in Tanjung Ular Muntok Cape region, West Bangka, stating, "After the major earthquake in Japan that hit Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused some radioactive leakage, the plan is now delayed whereas it was previously accepted by the public," Jakarta’s government-owned Antara news agency reported. Experts noted that the proposed Tanjung Ular Muntok nuclear power plant is situated in a seismically active region and that a repeat of the December 2004 tsunami that devastated the country could cause a catastrophic disaster. Indonesia currently has three nuclear research reactors – Kartini, Siwabessy and the Triga Mark II nuclear research facility. Plans for a nuclear power plant date back from the 1970s.
www.Oilprice.com, 18 October 2011
Atomic radiation is more harmful to women.
(October 20, 2011) Women as a group suffer significantly more from the impact of ionizing radiation than do men. Today Nuclear Information and Resource Service published a Briefing Paper that focuses on a dramatic fifty-percent greater incidence of cancer and fifty-percent greater rate of death from cancer among women, compared to the same radiation dose level to men. To be clear: males suffer cancer and cancer death from exposure to ionizing radiation; but gender difference in the level of harm has been to date under-reported.
The data leading to this conclusion originally was reported in the National Academy of Sciences 2006 report, "BEIR VII" which is the seventh report in a series on the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation. The greater vulnerability of females was not the focal point of that publication, and the concern has until now escaped notice.
NIRS is co-releasing the paper with activist groups in global "hot spots" including Japan (Green Action), Ukraine (Ecoclub) and Pennsylvania (Three Mile Island Alert). The paper is posted at: www.nirs.org/radiation/radhealth/radiationwomen.pdf
NIRS, 18 October 2011
Growth wind capacity vs nuclear.
2010 was a turning point in the global race to develop clean technology. It marked the first time that more new wind power generating capacity was installed in developing countries than in the rich world. China led the way, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), and now has the most wind generating capacity in the world, thanks to favorable government policies. A record capacity of 19 gigawatts (1 GW = 1000MW) was added in China last year, taking the total to more than 42GW. India also showed strong growth, in line with the government target of adding more than 10GW of new capacity by 2012, and there are industry estimates that 100GW is possible.
According to the IAEA PRIS reactor database in 2010 3720MW was connected and 130MW disconnected to the grid from nuclear reactors worldwide. So, just in China about 5times as much wind was connected to the grid as nuclear worldwide.
Guardian (UK), 18 October 2011 / PRIS: www.iaea.org/programmes/a2/
US: Crack in Davis Besse containment.
The Davis Besse nuclear plant was shut down years ago because of a hole discovered in a reactor. Now, a newly discovered 30-foot (about 9 meter) crack in the containment structure intended to protect the reactors from tornados and other potential threats raises new concerns about whether the reactor, now closed for maintenance, should ever be allowed to return to active status. “When a nuclear power plant that had a reactor with a hole in its head now has a 30 foot crack in its side, it is time to question whether the plant and the reactor are safe to operate,” said Rep. Ed Markey, the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member on the Energy and Commerce Committee. “This large crack in a critical containment structure is yet another chink in the armor for the nuclear industry’s sweeping claims of complete safety.”
The Davis Besse plant has experienced multiple problems during the last 20 years, including a close call in 2002 when a hole was discovered at the top of one reactor that nearly breached the pressurized reactor chamber. Problems with replacements to that reactor have caused subsequent shut-downs of the reactor. The crack in the containment dome was discovered during activities to replace the pressure chamber head.
Press release, Ed Markey, 14 October 2011, http://markey.house.gov/