- 1 Reactor history
- 2 Reactor Types
- 3 Existing Nuclear
- 3.1 IPCC
- 3.2 IEA
- 3.3 economics
- 3.4 technology
- 3.5 US
- 3.6 France
- 3.7 Finland
- 3.8 Belgium
- 3.9 Germany
- 3.10 China
- 3.11 Japan
- 3.12 India
- 3.13 Russia
- 3.14 Switzerland
- 3.15 UK
- 3.16 Kenya
- 4 New Nuclear Reactor Technologies
- 5 Safety
- 6 Sustainability
- 7 Nuclear waste
- 8 CO2 emissions / LCOE
- 9 Lifetime
- 10 Decommissioning
- 11 proliferation
- 12 public
- 13 (Mis)information
Why did the US abandon a lead in reactor design? Cheryl Rofer; Physics Today; 7 Aug 2015
- Sometime in the late 1960s, a great shakeup occurred in nuclear reactor research. [T]he Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory at that time ... was suddenly dissolved. ... The key player was Milton Shaw, who directed the Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) Reactor Development and Testing Division (RDTD) at that time. Shaw refocused the US civil nuclear program toward a single goal of the liquid-metal fast breeder reactor, making a number of strategic mistakes that have had long-term safety consequences for the industry.
Nuclear Reactor Wikipedia
Nuclear power IET
- An introduction to nuclear power technologies
- A wide range of nuclear issues, ranging from the use of nuclear power in the UK, decommissioning of nuclear power stations, the nuclear fuel cycle, a glossary of nuclear terms, and the decay rate of Uranium238.
- Introduction to the various types of nuclear reactors worldwide and information on prototype designs
- Many different reactor systems have been proposed and some of these have been developed to prototype and commercial scale. Six types of reactor (Magnox, AGR, PWR, BWR, CANDU and RBMK) have emerged as the designs used to produce commercial electricity around the world. A further reactor type, the so-called fast reactor, has been developed to full-scale demonstration stage. These various reactor types will now be described, together with current developments and some prototype designs.
What is a nuclear reactor? Overview of common reactor types
- Summary of predominantly UK sold-fuel reactor types
Generation II reactor Wikipedia
Nuclear Power IPCC Working Group III: Mitigation
- Present Situation
- Nuclear Economics
- Waste Disposal
- Nuclear fission is a mature technology that has been in use for more than 50 years. The latest designs for nuclear power plants build on this experience to offer enhanced safety and performance, and are ready for wider deployment over the next few years. There is great potential for new developments in nuclear energy technology to enhance nuclear’s role in a sustainable energy future. Nevertheless, important barriers to a rapid expansion of nuclear energy remain. Governments need to set clear and consistent policies on nuclear to encourage private sector investment. Gaining greater public acceptance will also be key, and this will be helped by early implementation of plans for geological disposal of radioactive waste, as well as continued safe and effective operation of nuclear plants.
ROADMAP OVERVIEW AND ROLE OF NUCLEAR IN IEA SCENARIOS Cecilia Tam; IEA; 2014
- Since the release in 2010 of Technology Roadmap: Nuclear Energy (IEA/NEA, 2010), a number of events have had a significant impact on the global energy sector and on the outlook for nuclear energy. They include the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident in March 2011, the global financial and economic crises that hit many industrialised countries during the period 2008-10 and failings in both electricity and CO2 markets. Despite these additional challenges, nuclear energy still remains a proven low-carbon source of base-load electricity, and many countries have reaffirmed the importance of nuclear energy within their countries’ energy strategies.
- To achieve the goal of limiting global temperature increases to just 2 degrees Celsius (°C) by the end of the century, a halving of global energy-related emissions by 2050 will be needed. A wide range of low-carbon energy technologies will be needed to support this transition, including nuclear energy.
Technology Roadmap - Nuclear Energy IEA; 2015
- Current trends in energy supply and use are unsustainable. Without decisive action, energy related emissions of carbon dioxide will nearly double by 2050 and increased fossil energy demand will heighten concerns over the security of supplies. We can change our current path, but this will take an energy revolution in which low carbon energy technologies will have a crucial role to play. Energy efficiency, many types of renewable energy, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and new transport technologies will all require widespread deployment if we are to sharply reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
After Hinkley - how to contract for the rest of the nuclear programme Dieter Helm; April 2016
- Whilst a great deal of attention has focussed on the project to build twin European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPR) at Hinkley, less has been paid to what happens next. There are ambitious plans for another twin EPR reactor at Sizewell, and other types of reactors at Moorside, Wyfra and at Bradwell. Together they amount to over 10 GWs. There is a considerable consensus that whatever the right contractual framework for the first new nuclear reactor Hinkley, it is not necessarily the best model for what might follow. Yet almost nothing yet has been proposed as to how to do it differently. Whilst neutral on whether more nuclear should be built, this paper suggests how, if more are to be built, they could be done. It focuses on the policy contexts, the underlying nuclear strategy, the cost of capital and the role of the government in financing.
New paradigms for the nuclear energy sector Dan Yurman; energy post; 5 May 2016
- A wave of innovation is sweeping across the nuclear sector – so much so that it is difficult for financiers to pick winners at this stage. But the biggest innovation in nuclear energy may come in the form of a new investment paradigm that involves private investors much more than in the past
Trump Team’s Asking for Ways to Keep Nuclear Power Alive Mark Chediak, Catherine Traywick; Bloomberg; 9 Dec 2016
- President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers are looking at ways in which the U.S. government could help nuclear power generators being forced out of the electricity market by cheaper natural gas and renewable resources. In a document obtained by Bloomberg, Trump’s transition team asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent the shutdown of plants. Advisers also asked the agency whether there were statutory restrictions in resuming work on Yucca Mountain, a proposed federal depository for nuclear waste in Nevada that was abandoned by the Obama administration.
This New Fuel could make nuclear power safer and cheaper Richard Martin; MIT Technology Review; 31st Mar 2016
- Lightbridge has developed a metallic fuel for nuclear reactors that it claims will tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges, but safety questions remain
MOX Battle: Mixed Oxide Nuclear Fuel Raises Safety Questions John Matson; Scientific American; 25 Mar 2011
- One of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi reactors contains a blend of uranium and plutonium fuel that may soon find use in the U.S. Does it pose more risks than standard uranium fuel?
Can our need for a carbon-free future override our fears of nuclear energy? Debbie Carlson; The Guardian; 12 Sep 2016
- Unlike coal and natural gas plants that emit carbon emissions while producing electricity, nuclear generates none. So why aren’t more states getting onboard?
- Indian Point nuclear plant called "disaster waiting to happen"
- New York's Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant Is Leaking, But You Shouldn't Freak Out
TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 achieves commercial operation Ed Marcum; Knoxville News Sentinel; 19 Oct 2016
- TVA began construction of the Unit 2 reactor in 1973, but stopped in 1985 because power demand had slowed, but costs associated with nuclear plants rose. TVA resumed work on the reactor in 2007 after deciding that it could be completed at a cost of $2.5 billion. However, TVA announced a revised budget and schedule in 2012, when the federal utility determined the project was $1.5 billion to $21 billion over budget and about three years behind schedule.TVA re-estimated that cost at nearly $4.5 billion with commercial operation to begin by June of this year. Since then, TVA managed to keep the project close to the new budget and schedule, although in February, the TVA board authorized an additional $200 million after flood prevention steps required after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident added to the initial cost.
The First U.S. Nuclear Plant In 20 Years Goes Online Zainab Calcuttawala; Oilprice; 19 Oct 2016
- Roughly 650,000 homes in Tennessee will be powered by the first nuclear power generator to enter into commercial operation in the United States in 20 years, according to a new report by The Hill. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 2 reactor will produce 1,150 megawatts of power, the company’s announcement on Wednesday said. The Nuclear Energy Institute counts Watts Bar 2, which formally connected to Tennessee’s power grid in June, as the 100th nuclear power reactor to operate in the United States.
Multiple milestones for Vogtle 3 and 4 World Nuclear News; 29 Mar 2016
Final Clean Power Plan Drops Support For Existing Nuclear Plants Jeff McMahon; Forbes; 3 Aug 2015
Nuclear Power in Finland Wikipedia
Belgium to give iodine pills to entire population in case of nuclear disaster Jess Staufenberg; Independent; 29 Apr 2016
- 'We know they don't really have a grip on the terrorist situation in Belgium,' a Green Party MEP has said
Vattenfall sues Germany over phase-out policy World Nuclear News; 16 Oct 2016
- Swedish utility Vattenfall is suing Germany at the Washington-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over the closure of the Brunsbüttel and Krümmel nuclear power plants. The move follows the German government's decision to withdraw from nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Vattenfall spokesman Magnus Kryssare declined to confirm German media reports that the Swedish company is seeking €4.7 billion ($6 billion) in damages.
Swedish Utility Suing Germany Over Closure Of Brunsbüttel & Krümmel Nuclear Power Plants Glenn Meyers; Cleantechnica; 17 Oct 2016
Nuclear Power in China Wikipedia
Fourth Ningde unit connected to grid World Nuclear News; 31 Mar 2016
- Unit 4 at the Ningde nuclear power plant in China's Fujian province has been connected to the electricity grid, China General Nuclear (CGN) announced yesterday. The 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 11.02pm on 29 March, CGN said. Work on the nuclear island at Ningde 4 officially began in September 2010. The dome of its reactor building was successfully lowered into place in May 2012. Four Chinese-designed CPR-1000 units have been built as Phase I of the Ningde plant, near Fuding city. Work on the first unit started in February 2008, with construction of units 2 and 3 beginning in November 2008 and January 2010, respectively. Unit 1 began commercial operation in April 2013, while unit 2 began supplying electricity to the grid in January 2014. Unit 3 came online in June 2015.
Grid connection for Hongyanhe 4 World Nuclear News; 1 Apr 2016
- Unit 4 of the Hongyanhe nuclear power plant in China's Liaoning province today began supplying electricity to the grid. The reactor is expected to enter commercial operation later this year. The 1087 MWe CPR-1000 pressurized water reactor was connected to the grid at 9.52am today, China General Nuclear (CGN) said. Its grid connection came just two days after the connection of unit 4 at CGN's Ningde plant in Fujian province. Construction of Phase I of the Hongyanhe plant, comprising four CPR-1000 pressurized water reactors, began in August 2009. Units 1 and 2 have been in commercial operation since June 2013 and May 2014, respectively, while unit 3 entered commercial operation last August.
The nuclear option Nature (editorial) 4 May 2016
- China is vigorously promoting nuclear energy, but its pursuit of reprocessing is misguided.
Shikoku moves closer to Ikata 3 restart 4 Mar 2016
Japanese institute sees 19 reactor restarts by March 2018 World Nuclear News; 28 Jul 2016
- Seven Japanese nuclear power reactors are likely to be in operation by the end of next March and 12 more one year later, according to an estimate by the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ).
India budgets to boost nuclear projects 1 Mar 2016
- extra 30 billion rupees ($442 million) to boost nuclear power generation projects over the next 15-20 years
- India has 21 nuclear power plants in operation, with six under construction, and plans for further construction of both indigenous pressurized heavy water reactors and projects with overseas partners. In April 2015 the government gave its approval in principle for new nuclear plants at ten sites in nine states: indigenous PHWRs at Gorakhpur in Haryana's Fatehabad; Chutka and Bhimpur in Madhya Pradesh; Kaiga in Karnataka; and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan; and plants with foreign cooperation at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu (VVER); Jaitapur in Maharashtra (EPR); Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat (AP1000); Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh (ESBWR) and Haripur in West Bengal (VVER). Two 600 MWe fast breeder reactors are also proposed at Kalpakkam.
- In January, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and French president Francois Hollande said that the two countries are on course to finalize a deal on the construction of six EPR units at Jaitapur by the end of the year. The same month, the Indian cabinet confirmed that commercial negotiations between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Westinghouse on the construction of six AP1000 units at Mithi Virdi in India were also on course to be finalized this year.
A future energy giant? India's thorium-based nuclear plans phys.org; 1 Oct 2010
Russia plans start-up of first Gen-III+ unit this summer World Nuclear News; 30 Mar 2016
- ASE Group has announced plans for Russia to connect its first Generation-III+ nuclear power unit to the grid this summer. The first fuel assembly was loaded at unit 1 of the Novovoronezh II nuclear power plant in western Russia on 24 March at 3.28am, while the "active phase" of the loading process began the following day. Novovoronezh 6 is a Generation-III+ VVER 1200/392M pressurised water reactor (PWR) unit with a design net capacity of 1114 MWe. It is the first of two units at Novovoronezh II - the lead project for the deployment of the AES-2006 design incorporating a Gidropress-designed PWR, an evolutionary development from the VVER-1000. Construction of Novovoronezh II units 1 and 2, also known as Novovoronezh units 6 and 7, began in June 2008 and July 2009, respectively. The original Novovoronezh site nearby already hosts three operating reactors and two that are being decommissioned.
Poll finds support for nuclear phaseout Urs Geiser; swissinfo.ch; 21 Oct 2016
- A proposal to decommission Switzerland’s nuclear power plants by 2029 has the backing of a majority of citizens, according to a survey conducted seven weeks ahead of a nationwide vote. Despite this, pollsters believe the initiative is likely to be defeated on November 27.
Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom Wikipedia
Nuclear Options Euan Mearns; Energy Matters; 4 Aug 2016
- With Hinkley Point C and nuclear new-build in the UK very much in the public eye, I have found the range of nuclear options being discussed rather confusing. This post provides an overview of the 6 main reactor designs that are vying for the global market today focussing on the large, >1 GW Generation III reactors. While the post focusses on the UK, the part on generic designs should be of interest to all readers.
Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield will show viewers the reality of atomic power Daily Mirror; 23 Jul 2015
- Physicist Jim Al-Khalili will present Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield and aim to tell the story of the country's often controversial nuclear industry
First look at new Moorside nuclear plant Andrew Clarke; Times & Star; 27 Apr 2016
- This is the first glimpse of what the new £10 billion Moorside nuclear power station could look like. NuGen - the firm behind the plans for Moorside - has published the artist's impression ahead of 28 public events being held across the county to give people the chance to have their say. Plans for the three-reactor site on land next to Sellafield - and its associated accommodation and transport links - are likely to have widespread impacts.
STOP MOORSIDE: "BIGGEST NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT IN EUROPE" Marianne Birkby; 38 Degrees
NuGen confirms Toshiba commitment to Moorside World Nuclear News; 14 Feb 2017
- Toshiba Corp is committed to Moorside despite announcing today it would reduce its exposure to reactor construction projects outside Japan, the head of its UK joint venture, NuGeneration, has said. The Japanese electronics conglomerate reported a net loss of JPY390 billion ($3.4 billion) in the year to March 2017 and said it would book a JPY712.5 billion ($6.3 billion) loss on its US nuclear unit.
- NuGen, of which Toshiba owns 60% and France's Engie 40%, plans to build a nuclear power plant of up to 3.8 GWe gross capacity at the site in West Cumbria, using AP1000 nuclear reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. Toshiba, which bought Westinghouse in 2006, warned in December last year that it might have to write off "several billion" dollars because of the purchase in 2015 of US construction firm CB&I Stone & Webster.
UK to start approval process for Chinese nuclear reactor at Bradwell Nina Chestney; Reuters; 10 Jan 2017
- The British government has asked nuclear regulators to start the process for approving a Chinese-designed reactor for a proposed plant in Britain, expected to be one of the first new plants in decades. General Nuclear Services (GNS), an industrial partnership between French utility EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corporation(CGN), hopes to use the design at a new nuclear station planned to be built in Bradwell, Essex. CGN intends to make a number of investments in Britain's nuclear power sector, most notably the new Hinkley Point C project in southwest England which was approved by the government last September.
IAEA approves Kenya nuclear power application 25 Apr 2016
operations / plant safety
I Work In A Nuclear Power Plant: 5 Insane Realities Ryan Menzies; Cracked; 8 Sep 2015
- Thanks to the documentary The Simpsons, most of us think that nuclear power plants belch out poisonous gas, pour fish-mutating slime into our rivers, and are ready to melt down at the slightest provocation. We're barely exaggerating here -- multiple generations today owe all their knowledge on the subject to a wacky cartoon, and those fears might define the energy production of the world. We had a sneaking suspicion that there might be more going on behind the scenes at these plants, and infiltrating them to investigate probably isn't an option. So we talked to Alex, an engineer at a nuclear plant in the Midwest. He told us that ...
Nuclear power plants vulnerable to hacking attack in 'nightmare scenario', UN warns Ben Kentish; Independent; 16 Dec 2016
- Experts fear 'Fukushima-style' disaster as terrorists use new technology to attempt attacks
Comparing Nuclear Accident Risks With Those From Other Energy Sources OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
- Safety from Gen I to Gen III, defence in depth, estimation of risk probabilities
The Generation Game: Why Nuclear Energy Isn’t Getting Safer Duncan Gere; How We Get To Next; 4 Feb 2016
- history of nuclear energy, generations of reactors, we are not building latest gen
Nuclear energy: safe, clean, nothing to fear despite fear-mongering American Council on Science and Health; 10 Aug 2015
- criticises The Lancet for claiming that evidence from Hiroshima & Nagasaki is relevant to civilian nuclear accidents
Are Safer Reactors Possible? Charles Barton; The Energy Collective; 17 Jun 2011
- tritium - and Canadian exposure - Plutonium, underground reactors, oklo
Rise in wildfires may resurrect Chernobyl’s radiation New Scientist; 9 Feb 2015
- Nikolaos Evangeliou at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and colleagues have analysed the impact of forest fires in the region, and calculated their future frequency and intensity. To do so they fed satellite images of real fires in 2002, 2008 and 2010, and measurements of radioactive caesium-137 deposited on the area, to models of air movements and fires. They estimate that of the 85 petabecquerels of radioactive caesium released by the Chernobyl accident, between 2 and 8 PBq still lurk in the upper layer of soil in the exclusion zone. In another ecosystem this might gradually fall with erosion or the removal of vegetation. But in these abandoned forests, says Evangeliou, “trees pick up the radioactive ions, then dead leaves return it to the soil”. The team calculates that the three fires released from 2 to 8 per cent of the caesium, some 0.5 PBq, in smoke. This was distributed over eastern Europe, and detected as far south as Turkey and as far west as Italy and Scandinavia. “The simulation probably underestimates the potential risks,” says Ian Fairlie, former head of the UK government’s radiation risk committee, who has studied the health impacts of Chernobyl. That’s because the estimate depends on the half-life the team assumed for Cs-137, he says, and some investigators believe it is longer. The team’s calculated release would have given people in the nearby Ukrainian capital, Kiev, an average dose of 10 microsieverts of radiation – 1 per cent of the permitted yearly dose. “This is very small,” says Tim Mousseau of the University of South Carolina at Columbia, a co-author of the study. “But these fires serve as a warning of where these contaminants can go. Should there be a larger fire, quite a bit more could end up on populated areas.”
Health effects of the Chernobyl accident: an overview World Health Organisation: Ionizing Radiation; Apr 2006
- According to UNSCEAR (2000), 134 liquidators received radiation doses high enough to be diagnosed with acute radiation sickness (ARS). Among them, 28 persons died in 1986 due to ARS. Other liquidators have since died but their deaths could not necessarily be attributed to radiation exposure.
- The Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4 000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240 000 liquidators; 116 000 evacuees and the 270 000 residents of the SCZs). Since more than 120 000 people in these three groups may eventually die of cancer, the additional cancer deaths from radiation exposure correspond to 3-4% above the normal incidence of cancers from all causes.
- Projections concerning cancer deaths among the five million residents of areas with radioactive caesium deposition of 37 kBq/m2 in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine are much less certain because they are exposed to doses slightly above natural background radiation levels. Predictions, generally based on the LNT model, suggest that up to 5 000 additional cancer deaths may occur in this population from radiation exposure, or about 0.6% of the cancer deaths expected in this population due to other causes. Again, these numbers only provide an indication of the likely impact of the accident because of the important uncertainties listed above.
Radiation's Complications: Pinning Health Problems on a Nuclear Disaster Isn't So Easy Charles Q. Choi; Scientific American; 18 Mar 2011
- Radioactive fallout seems like the obvious culprit behind the negative medical consequences that arose after the explosion at Chernobyl, but it's hard to measure even the dosage those contaminated received, let alone link it to medical problems
In Dead Zone of Chernobyl, Animal Kingdom Thrives MIKE HALE; New York Times; 18 Oct 2011
Cameras reveal the secret lives of Chernobyl's wildlife Mark Kinver, Environment reporter; BBC; 26 Apr 2015
- Automatic cameras in the Ukrainian side of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have provided an insight into the previously unseen secret lives of wildlife that have made the contaminated landscape their home.
Radioactive Wolves PBS; 19 Oct 2011
- In 1986 a nuclear meltdown at the infamous Chernobyl power plant in present-day Ukraine left miles of land in radioactive ruins. Residents living in areas most contaminated by the disaster were evacuated and relocated by government order, and a no-man’s land of our own making was left to its own devices. In the ensuing 25 years, forests, marshes, fields and rivers reclaimed the land, reversing the effects of hundreds of years of human development. And surprisingly, this exclusion zone, or “dead zone,” has become a kind of post-nuclear Eden, populated by beaver and bison, horses and birds, fish and falcons – and ruled by wolves.
- Access to the zone is now permitted, at least on a limited basis, and scientists are monitoring the surviving wildlife in the area, trying to learn how the various species are coping with the invisible blight of radiation. As the top predators in this new wilderness, wolves best reflect the condition of the entire ecosystem because if the wolves are doing well, the populations of their prey must also be doing well. Accordingly, a key long-term study of the wolves has been initiated to determine their health, their range, and their numbers.
Do Animals in Chernobyl’s Fallout Zone Glow? Mary Mycio; Slate; ; Jan 2013? (from URL)
- The scientific debate about Europe’s unlikeliest wildlife sanctuary. With discussion of Moller and Mousseau's claims
Moller & Mousseau
Birds prefer to breed in sites with low radioactivity in Chernobyl A.P Møller, T.A Mousseau; Proceedings of the Royal Society / Biological Sciences; 7 Jun 2007
- Low-level radioactive contamination may affect choice of breeding site and life-history decisions if (i) radioactivity directly affects body condition or (ii) it affects resource abundance that then secondarily influences reproductive decisions. We tested the effects of radioactive contamination on nest-site choice and reproduction in a community of hole nesting birds by putting up nest boxes in areas differing in levels of background radiation. Great tit Parus major and pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca significantly avoided nest boxes in heavily contaminated areas, with a stronger effect in flycatchers than in tits. These preferences could not be attributed to variation in habitat quality or resource abundance, as determined by analyses of habitat use and the relationship between radiation and life-history characters. Likewise, none of these effects could be attributed to individuals of a specific age breeding in the most contaminated areas. Laying date and clutch size were not significantly related to dose rate in either species. Hatching success was depressed by elevated radioactive contamination, interacting with habitat in the great tit and with laying date in the pied flycatcher. Interspecific differences in effects of radiation on nest-site choice suggest that species respond in a species-specific manner to radiation, perhaps related to differences in migratory habits. We suggest that individual body condition rather than secondary effects of radiation on resource abundance account for the effects on nest box use and hatching success.
Chernobyl-based birds avoid radioactive nests Catherine Brahic; New Scientist; 28 Mar 2007
Chernobyl 'not a wildlife haven' Mark Kinver, Science and nature reporter; BBC; 14 Aug 2007
- The idea that the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has created a wildlife haven is not scientifically justified, a study says.
Condition, reproduction and survival of barn swallows from Chernobyl A. P. MØLLER, T. A. MOUSSEAU, G. MILINEVSKY, A. PEKLO, E. PYSANETS, T. SZÉP; Journal of Animal Ecology; 17 Oct 2005
Despite Mutations, Chernobyl Wildlife Is Thriving Kate Ravilious; National Geographic; 26 Apr 2006
- But while wildlife seems to be proliferating in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, not everyone is convinced that these plants and animals are healthy.
- Moller and Mousseau have shown that certain species in the area have a higher rate of genetic abnormalities than normal.
- "We find an elevated frequency of partial albinism in barn swallows, meaning they have tufts of white feathers," Mousseau said.
- Late last year Moller and Mousseau published a paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology showing that reproductive rates and annual survival rates are much lower in the Chernobyl birds than in control populations.
- "In Italy around 40 percent of the barn swallows return each year, whereas the annual survival rate is 15 percent or less for Chernobyl," Mousseau said.
Chernobyl 'shows insect decline' Victoria Gill, Science reporter; BBC News; 18 Mar 2009
- According to researchers working in the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl, there is a "strong signal of decline associated with the contamination". The team found that bumblebees, butterflies, grasshoppers, dragonflies and spiders were affected. They report their findings in the journal Biology Letters. Professor Timothy Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US, and Dr Anders Moller from the University of Paris-Sud worked together on the project. The two researchers previously published findings that low-level radiation in the area has a negative impact on bird populations.
At Chernobyl and Fukushima, radioactivity has seriously harmed wildlife Timothy A. Mousseau; The Conversation; 25 Apr 2016
- in the past decade population biologists have made considerable progress in documenting how radioactivity affects plants, animals and microbes. My colleagues and I have analyzed these impacts at Chernobyl, Fukushima and naturally radioactive regions of the planet. Our studies provide new fundamental insights about consequences of chronic, multigenerational exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation. Most importantly, we have found that individual organisms are injured by radiation in a variety of ways. The cumulative effects of these injuries result in lower population sizes and reduced biodiversity in high-radiation areas.
Scientific meltdown at Chernobyl? Brendan Borrell, Scientific American blog; 24 Mar 2009
- Twenty years after the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine, radiation is still hammering the region's insect, spider, and bird populations. At least that's what Reuters and the BBC reported last week based on a paper published in the journal Biology Letters by ecologists Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina and Anders Møller of the University of Paris-Sud. For the past 10 years, the duo has been running transects through the region counting wildlife and measuring radiation levels with dosimeters. "We wanted to ask the question: Are there more or fewer animals in the contaminated areas," Moller told Reuters. "Clearly there were fewer." But at least one scientist formerly associated with the team is questioning the new research. Sergey Gaschak, a researcher at the Chernobyl Center in Ukraine, told the BBC that he drew "opposite conclusions" from the same data the group collected on birds. This might seem like little more than blunt criticism, but I knew that Møller's research ethics had previously been called into question.
The Effects of Fukushima Linger After Five Years - But Not From Radiation Richard Martin; MIT Technology Review; 10 Mar 2016
Is Fukushima's exclusion zone doing more harm than radiation? Rupert Wingfield-Hayes; BBC; 10 Mar 2016
The world has forgotten the real victims of Fukushima Michael Hanlon; Daily Telegraph; 21 Feb 2012
- A natural disaster that cost the lives of thousands of people was ignored in favour of a nuclear 'disaster’ that never was, argues Michael Hanlon.
Global fallout: Did Fukushima scupper nuclear power? Richard Black, Environment correspondent; BBC News; 10 Mar 2012
Five Years Later, Cutting Through the Fukushima Myths Andrew Karam; Popular Mechanics; 11 Mar 2016
- March 11, 2011 was a day of unimaginable tragedy in northern Japan, a tragedy exacerbated by the reactor meltdowns and release of contamination. But the nuclear part of this horrible day was, if the longest-lasting, certainly the least lethal event. Yet it's the part that still engenders so much fear. With the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima accident upon us this month, let's take a look at where things stand today with recovering from this calamity, and what might be happening next.
- graphics and tables from atmc.jp
Is Fukushima's nuclear nightmare over? Don’t count on it Chris Busby; RT; 12 Mar 2016
Fukushima evacuations were not worth the money, study says WILLIAM HOLLINGWORTH; The Japan Times; 14 Mar 2016
- The costs of evacuating residents from near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and the dislocation the people experienced were greater than their expected gain in longevity, a British study has found. ... at best evacuees could expect to live eight months longer, but that some might gain only one extra day of life.
No matter what BBC says: Fukushima disaster is killing people Chris Busby; The Ecologist; 14 Mar 2016
post-Fukushima reactor safety improvements
- On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan and was followed by a 45-foot tsunami, resulting in extensive damage to the nuclear power reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility. The NRC has taken significant action to enhance the safety of reactors in the United States based on the lessons learned from this accident. This page is intended to serve as a navigation hub to follow the NRC's progress in implementing the many different lessons-learned activities.
US Nuclear Energy Industry Even Safer Since Fukushima Nuclear Energy Institute; 1 Mar 2016
- Leaders from the U.S. and Japanese nuclear energy industry last week detailed the many ways that safety has been enhanced in both countries in the five years since the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. The U.S. nuclear industry has invested more than $4 billion and devoted thousands of person-hours to put in place new responses to extreme events, Nuclear Energy Institute Chief Operating Officer Maria Korsnick said at an NEI-sponsored briefing, “Fukushima Daiichi Five Years Later: A Progress Report.”
Turkey Point: Miami’s oceanfront nuclear power plant is leaking
- TRIDENT submariners were guilty of a “prolonged and repeated failure” which resulted in 20 workers being exposed to radiation at the Faslane nuclear base, according to an internal investigation by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The damning indictment is published in MoD documents seen by the Sunday Herald that also expose a series of radiation blunders on Trident submarines docked at the Clyde naval port. They reveal how safety procedures were flouted when visitors were not given radiation badges, a contaminated sponge was taken from a submarine, and another worker was irradiated. The documents, just released a full two years after a Freedom of Information request, conclude that submariners showed a “lack of understanding of the magnitude of the hazards”.
Will We Run Out of Uranium? Charles Barton; The Energy Collective; 7 Feb 2010
- Barton estimates U reserves and compares with MacKay
Sustaining the Wind Part 3 – Is Uranium Exhaustible? NNadir; Brave New Climate;
Uranium from seawater
see also Pollution
Uranium From Seawater Could Keep Our Lights On for 13,000 Years Futurism; 23 Apr 2016
- The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a more cost-efficient material to harvest uranium from the ocean. This development has experts looking into seawater uranium as a potential energy source. the DOE team has developed new adsorbents that brought the costs of seawater uranium extraction down by three to four times and in just five years. The team created braids of polyethylene fibers that contain amidoxime, a chemical species that binds uranium. Tests show the new material has the ability to hold more than 6 grams of uranium per kilogram of adsorbent in 56 days of submersion in natural seawater.
Advances in extracting uranium from seawater announced in special issue Oak Ridge National Laboratory; 21 Apr 2016
- The oceans hold more than four billion tons of uranium—enough to meet global energy needs for the next 10,000 years if only we could capture the element from seawater to fuel nuclear power plants. Major advances in this area have been published by the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
- Uranium from terrestrial sources can last for approximately 100 years, according to Erich Schneider of the University of Texas–Austin
Uranium Extraction from Seawater Takes a Major Step Forward Jennifer Hackett; Scientific American; 1 Jul 2016
- Earth’s oceans hold four billion tons of the element used to power nuclear plants
- The earth's oceans hold enough uranium to power all the world's major cities for thousands of years—if we can extract it. A project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy is making notable advances in this quest: scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a material that can effectively pull uranium out of seawater. The material builds on work by researchers in Japan and consists of braided polyethylene fibers coated with the chemical amidoxime. In seawater, amidoxime attracts and binds uranium dioxide to the surface of the braids, which can be on the order of 15 centimeters in diameter and run multiple meters in length depending on where they are deployed. Later, an acidic treatment recovers the uranium in the form of uranyl ions, a product that requires processing and enrichment before becoming fuel. The procedure was described in a special report this spring in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
CO2 emissions / LCOE
- surveys various sources
- median 12 g(CO2e)/kWh for nuclear GHG emissions
- 16g CO2/kWh
- 3.7 - 12 - 110 g/kWh
- The study was heavily criticized, such as a rebuttal by researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute. With further criticism from Sevior and Flitney who issued the following statement:
- We compared the predicted energy cost [using Storm van Leeuwen's study] of Uranium mining and milling for Ranger, Olympic Dam and Rössing to the energy consumption as reported. All are significantly over predicted (5 PJ, 60 PJ and 69 PJ vs 0.8 PJ, 5 PJ and 1 PJ respectively). [...]
- The energy consumption is predicted to be so large that is comparable to the energy consumption of a particular sub-section of the economy. In the case of Rössing, the over prediction is larger than the energy consumption of the entire country of Namibia.
Point Refuted a Thousand Times: “Nuclear is not low-carbon” Luke Weston; Energy Reality Project;
- The meme that nuclear energy is bad because it has poor whole-of-lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, or poor EROEI, that are not comparable to wind energy, hydroelectricity and other climate-change-friendly energy technologies, but are in fact comparable to greenhouse-gas-intensive fossil fuel combustion is perhaps one of the oldest, most comprehensively debunked PRATT concerning arguments that emerged during the resurgence of public debate in the early 2000s about the importance of nuclear energy.
- If you find any anti-nuclear energy activist who makes this claim, and you trace its roots back to the source (in the rare cases where they’re trying to be remotely credible and are actually citing reference material), in 99% of cases you’ll find that this argument originates from exactly the same place: just one pair of authors and their non-peer-reviewed website.
- Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Phillip Smith’s original essay “Nuclear power – the energy balance“, which is where all this stuff originates from, has never been published in a scientific journal or subjected to any kind of formal peer-review process. In fact, it has only ever been published on the authors’ own website.
- Their work has been widely debunked and discredited for many years, with some of the more egregious errors and assumptions discussed here:
Valuing the greenhouse gas emissions from nuclear power: A critical survey Benjamin K. Sovacool; Energy Policy; 2008
- I heard it takes more energy to build a nuclear power plant than you ever get back from it... is that true?
- No, of course not! Why would France and Finland and Sweden build so many power plants if that were true? They could just use the energy directly. The energy cost of uranium enrichment is described in my book, along with figures for the amount of concrete and steel used in the materials of the power station. The exact figures vary from country to country, but as a ballpark figure the carbon footprint of enrichment, building, decommisioning, and waste management is about 20 grams CO2 per kWh (compare with coal power stations at 1000 g CO2 per kWh) and raw petrol and gas at about 250 grams per kWh. Nuclear power stations produce at least ten times as much energy as it takes to make them, make their fuel, and decommision them.
- Advanced Nuclear Summit
Nuclear Decommissioning Wikipedia
Nuclear Provision: explaining the cost of cleaning up Britain's nuclear legacy Nuclear Decommissioning Authority; updated: 1 Sep 2016
- The 2016 forecast is that future clean-up across the UK will cost around £117 billion spread across the next 120 years or so. This is broadly unchanged from the previous year’s estimate. However, forecasts for work that will be carried over the next century are inevitably uncertain: the future is impossible to predict. It will be a number of years, for example, before many site programmes resolve exactly how the work will be delivered and identify suitable technologies. In recognition of this uncertainty, the NDA publishes a range of estimates that could potentially be realistic. Based on the best data now available, different assumptions could produce figures somewhere between £95 billion and £219 billion.
- 73.1% Sellafield
UK's nuclear clean-up cost estimate dips to $154 billion World Nuclear News; 15 Jul 2016
- he Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body of the British Department of Energy and Climate Change, formed by the Energy Act 2004. It evolved from the Coal and Nuclear Liabilities Unit of the Department of Trade and Industry. It came into existence during late 2004, and took on its main functions on 1 April 2005. Its purpose is to deliver the decommissioning and clean-up of the UK’s civil nuclear legacy in a safe and cost-effective manner, and where possible to accelerate programmes of work that reduce hazard. The NDA does not directly manage the UK's nuclear sites. It oversees the work through contracts with specially designed companies known as site licence companies. The NDA determines the overall strategy and priorities for managing decommissioning. Although the NDA itself only employs 300 staff, its annual budget is £3.2 billion. The vast majority of the NDA budget is spent through contracts with site licence companies, who also sub contract to other companies which provide special services. The NDA aims to do this by introducing innovation and contractor expertise through a series of competitions similar to the model that has been used in the United States.
Blowing-Up The Myths Around Nuclear Power And Terrorism Geoff Russell; New Matilda; 21 Apr 2016
- Nuclear weapons and nuclear power are not the same thing. Even the much feared ‘dirty bomb’ is less of a challenge than many would have you think
reactor grade Pu
Reactor-Grade Plutonium Can be Used to Make Powerful and Reliable Nuclear Weapons: Separated plutonium in the fuel cycle must be protected as if it were nuclear weapons Richard L. Garwin, Senior Fellow for Science and Technology; Council on Foreign Relations, New York; 26 Aug 1998
- As access to technology advances throughout the world, the barrier to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists or nations is more and more the barrier to weapon-usable fissionable material -- traditionally high-enriched uranium or "weapon-grade" plutonium. Even a modest nuclear weapon delivered by aircraft, missile, ship, or truck can threaten the lives of 100,000 people. Therefore it is important to understand whether reactor-grade plutonium from the nuclear fuel cycle -- typically 65% fissile (by thermal neutrons) compared with 93% fissile for weapon-grade material -- can readily be used to create nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the answer is that it can be so used. The conclusion, therefore, is that separated reactor-grade plutonium must be guarded in just the same way as if it were weapon-grade plutonium if it is not to contribute greatly to the spread and possible use of nuclear weaponry.
Global security experts warn of dirty bomb interest Rachel Wittel; WBIR; 27 Mar 2016
- (WBIR) Less than a week after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, authorities are investigating whether the suicide bombers were involved in the secret videotaping of a Belgian nuclear scientist. Investigators found a camera with hours of footage while searching the apartment of a suspect in the Paris terror attacks last fall. “Those terrorists had an intention of apparently either sabotaging a nuclear plant or acquiring nuclear material," Dean Rice, Global Fellow for UT's Institute for Nuclear Security, said. "The only reason they would acquire nuclear material would be to use it as a terror device as a dirty bomb.” A dirty bomb isn't a weapon meant to kill masses of people like a nuclear bomb would. “It’s an area denial and economic impact weapon," Howard Hall, UT Governor’s chair for nuclear security, said. “What it does is it terrifies the public. There’s a great deal of fear in our culture over radiation, and so, that fear is what radiological dispersal device, or the dirty bomb as they’re called, play on.”
Risk expert: Why radiation fears are often exaggerated Alison George; New Scientist; 23 Mar 2011
- David Speigelhalter
- What is it about nuclear energy that makes people particularly fearful?
- There has been a lot of research on this. Nuclear radiation ticks all the boxes for increasing the fear factor. It is invisible, an unknowable quantity. People don’t feel in control of it, and they don’t understand it. They feel it is imposed upon them and that it is unnatural. It has the dread quality of causing cancer and birth defects. Nuclear power has been staggeringly safe, but that doesn’t stop people being anxious about it, just as airplanes and trains are an amazingly safe way to travel but people still worry far more about plane crashes than car crashes.
Germany’s ‘Energiewende’ as a model for Australian climate policy? Graham Palmer, Energy Matters; June 2014
- history of anti-nuclear movements in Germany & Australia
Energy solutions in a changing climate Iida Ruishalme; Thoughtscapism; 6 Mar 2015
- Many people respect the views of the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) on the state of the climate – at least roughly half of the global population perceives global warming as a threat. Most of them whole-heartedly acknowledge that we need to take action to mitigate climate change. The odd thing is, though, that a great many seem to ignore a significant portion of what the IPCC is saying when it comes to climate solutions.
It’s time for environmentalists to give nuclear a fair go Barry W. Brook, Corey Bradshaw; The Conversation; 15 Dec 2014
- Should nuclear energy be part of Australia’s (and many other countries') future energy mix? We think so, particularly as part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent dangerous climate change. But there are other reasons for supporting nuclear technology. In a paper recently published in Conservation Biology, we show that an energy mix including nuclear power has lowest impact on wildlife and ecosystems — which is what we need given the dire state of the world’s biodiversity. In response, we have gathered signatures of 66 leading conservation scientists from 14 countries in an open letter asking that the environmental community: weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources using objective evidence and pragmatic trade-offs, rather than simply relying on idealistic perceptions of what is ‘green’.
David MacKay’s foreword to COP21 edition of Climate Gamble J. M. Korhonen; Climate Gamble; 18 May 2016
- Professor Sir David J C MacKay, famous for his excellent book “Sustainable Energy: Without hot air,” very kindly provided the following foreword for our COP21 edition of Climate Gamble.
Sarah Spath Sarah Spath; Mothers for Nuclear; 8 Jun 2016
- I believe in sustainability. It angers me to think that poor decisions that we make today for convenience, frugality, or some political pat on the back to corporations are destroying our environment. We use nature as a credit card with no spending limit and overdraft the environment to live a plush existence with little concern for the eventual consequences.
Hansen & Co
- Press Conference to take place on Thursday, December 3 at 14:00 in the Gallery of Solutions – Media Stage – Air and Space Museum, Paris, Le Bourget
- Four of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel, will issue a stark challenge to world leaders and environmental campaigners attending the COP21 climate summit at a scheduled press conference in Paris on December 3.
- Dr. James Hansen, Dr. Tom Wigley, Dr. Ken Caldeira and Dr. Kerry Emanuel will present research showing the increasing urgency of fully decarbonizing the world economy. However, they will also show that renewables alone cannot realistically meet the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C, and that a major expansion of nuclear power is essential to avoid dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system this century. (1)
Shellenberger - TED
How fear of nuclear power is hurting the environment Michael Shellenberger TED; Jun 2016
Media And Progressives Turn On Bernie Over Nuclear Power Andrew Follett, Energy and Environmental Reporter; The Daily Caller; 4th Apr 2016
- The same progressives and media elites who typically fawn over presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders are now attacking him for his opposition to nuclear power, which they claim is an essential tool in the fight against global warming.
- Sanders’s plan to phase out all of America’s nuclear reactors, which currently provide 20 percent U.S. electricity, is a “serious defect” in his global warming plans, progressive website Mother Jones published last week. Other media critics such as Slate andUSA Today have slammed Sanders for his anti-nuclear stance in the last month, claiming getting rid of nuclear power would do more harm than good.
- Scientists are also lining up to oppose Sanders’s plan. Despite environmental opposition, most scientists and engineers agree nuclear power is actually great for the environment.
People’s Fission - A supporter's plea for Bernie Sanders to change his mind and embrace nuclear energy LEIGH PHILLIPS; New Republic; 14 Apr 2016
- One of the main reasons that lefties like me don’t just back Bernie Sanders, but have an uncommon amount of trust in him, is his dogged, unflappable, remarkably un-politician-like hyperconsistency. For 40 years, he has stuck to the same script on campaign finance, on the billionaire class (even referring to “the richest one-half of one percent” way back in 1971, long before Occupy Wall Street), on the death penalty, on workers’ rights. In 1983, he was fighting for LGBT civil rights when Reagan administration officials still regularly subjected gays, lesbians, and people with AIDS to hate-filled ridicule. He opposed a dodgy trade deal with Panama long before the Panama Papers were leaked. On issue after issue, he’s been on the right side of history, years ahead of schedule.
- But there’s one issue on which Sanders has been hyperconsistently wrong. One yuuuuge-ly important, planet-saving, tiny little thing. It’s his irrational, evidence-free opposition to nuclear energy.
- Sanders—along with much of the left—needs to take another look at this issue. Because with his democratic-socialist, public-sector ethic, Sanders may just be the only candidate who could actually deliver the sort of mass build-out of nuclear power that the world desperately needs if we are to stave off catastrophic climate change. And even if he doesn’t become president, an informed change of heart on nuclear could convince many of his fans to follow suit.
- Thorium is just another idea being pushed by the nuclear industry.
- Thorium as a nuclear fuel has been a failure
- We know that it will take at least thirty years to build a thorium reactor.
- Thorium reactors still need uranium or plutonium. This is a proliferation risk.
- Using thorium would require a resumption of reprocessing in the United States
- There’s no point to developing thorium reactors because it will still produce radiation.
- Molten salt will explode on contact with air and water.
- All radiation is dangerous at any dose level.
- Radiation is a silent threat that is difficult to detect.
- All radioactive material is dangerous, and a long half life means it is really dangerous.
- radioactivity lasts forever
- Nuclear energy equals nuclear weapons
- The world will never change and accept energy from thorium.
HERE'S YOUR GO-TO SOURCE FOR DEBUNKING ALL THE FUKUSHIMA FABLES (SARAH KEARTES, Earth Touch news network; 25 Feb 2016)
- lots of links
IRRADIATED The hidden legacy of 70 years of atomic weaponry: At least 33,480 Americans dead Will the nation’s new nuclear age yield more unwanted fallout?
‘Emission free’ nuclear power is more greenwash Justin McKeating; Greenpeace blog
what you get searching Google images for Fukushima Refutations to Anti-Nuclear Memes; facebook
'Hot Water': Film Review Frank Scheck; The Hollywood Reporter; 16 Mar 2016
- The doc features extensive commentary by scientists and academics who testify to the negative long-term effects, including Dr. Helen Caldicott, who has devoted much of her career to opposing nuclear power. Another party heard from is former congressman and environmental activist Dennis Kucinich, who happens to be married to the film's co-producer, Elizabeth Kucinich.
- But the array of talking heads, impressive and convincing as they are, don't have the impact of the personal stories included, such as the moving accounts by the members of a Native American South Dakota clan who have suffered abnormally high cancer rates (the director actually steps out from behind the camera to comfort one tearful subject). Comments are often blunt and to the point, such as when one testifier declares, "Water killed my mother."
- We hear about such things as the contamination of livestock, resulting in tainted meat; high levels of cancers and birth defects among people living in affected areas; and the huge costs of clean-ups, which are inevitably passed on to the public.