Nuclear Power news

Dr. Caldicott Tells of Fukushima Lethal Toll and Meeting Ronald Reagan

EcoWatch: The great Dr. Helen Caldicott graced the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show this week with her unique assessment of the health effects of Fukushima and the rest of the nuclear power industry. She tells us about what`s happening to the renewable industry in Australia, and why Dr. James Hansen needs to reassess his views on atomic energy. "Nuclear Power Plants are cancer factories and bomb factories ... because any country that has a nuclear reactor makes 500 pounds of plutonium a year and...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.







Read more [Reuters]

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.







Read more [Reuters]

Japan's nuclear restart unlikely this year, local vote expected in Dec

Reuters: As Japan pitches an unpopular nuclear restart to residents near Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai plant, local politicians say approval is unlikely until December, delaying an already fraught process to revive the country's idled reactors. More than three years after the nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima, the worst disaster since Chernobyl, Japan's nuclear plants remain offline nationwide even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes to restart reactors that meet new safety guidelines set by an independent...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Japan's nuclear restart unlikely this year, local vote expected in December

SATSUMASENDAI Japan (Reuters) - As Japan pitches an unpopular nuclear restart to residents near Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai plant, local politicians say approval is unlikely until December, delaying an already fraught process to revive the country's idled reactors.

Read more [Reuters]

French energy transition law to cut red tape on renewables

PARIS (Reuters) - France's much-delayed energy transition bill passed a key hurdle on Tuesday after a clear majority of the lower house of parliament adopted a text that skirts the key nuclear issue but includes simplification measures likely to boost renewables.

Read more [Reuters]

Companies call on EU leaders to back ambitious climate and energy policies

In the past, politicians have often been the ones pushing companies to become more conscious of health and safety issues. American politicians insisted that car companies install seatbelts. European politicians voted for hormone disrupting chemicals to be removed from children's rubber duckies.

Yet on the biggest issue of our generation, preventing climate change, it is companies showing leadership and trying to drag politicians into understanding what is best for us all; a clean planet where climate change has not become catastrophic.

Greenpeace applauds these 11 companies for embracing the future.

Unilever, IKEA, Philips, Eneco, Interface, Spar, ASN Bank, Heijmans, Swarovski, Actiam, and Zwitserleven understand that Europe's economic future relies on saving more energy using more renewable energy and (of course) immediately reducing greenhouse gases.

They are sending EU leaders a strong message before they meet at a decisive summit on 23-24 October. And they want some serious results from that meeting, as do we. They want an agreement on binding targets for the climate and energy package far more ambitious than what is being considered.

Here's the difference: EU leaders are discussing a 40% drop in European greenhouse gas emission, renewable energy making up at least 27% of overall energy use, and energy consumption being reduced by 30% through increased efficiency. These targets wouldn't be achieved until 2030.

In their statement, these companies ask for both renewable and energy efficiency to be boosted to at least 40%, a significant increase. Of course it's not as ambitious as Greenpeace wants, but these industry leaders are certainly heading in the right direction. And they're not just talking the talk.

They are walking the walk in their own businesses. Unilever has committed to ensuring that 40% of its energy use is from renewable sources by 2020. Philips is aiming for 100% renewable energy by the same year and Ikea wants to do even more by creating renewable energy on site. For instance, they’re building solar farms in Poland.

The company which is so big it has become a verb, Google has invested €2.5bn in Nest, a smart home energy company which improves energy efficiency.

These companies know that their continued success depends on making better use of energy, having more secure sources for it and using the latest technologies to access it.

The world's largest private bank UBS, agrees. Recently they advised their clients that solar power, electric cars and cheaper storage batteries are the future. Not outdated pipelines that leak into water tables all over the world, or expensive risky nuclear plants which never come in on budget and leave us with a painful legacy of waste which – decades later – nuclear operators still haven't figured out how to handle.

Yet our government followers (can we really call them 'leaders'?) line up to support polluting fossil fuel energy, much of which Europe pays to import from undemocratic, corrupt regimes. (Greenpeace's recent report "Tied down: Why Europe's energy giants want to keep us hooked on imported fossil fuels" explores that more closely.)

Europeans aren't waiting for their politicians to catch up. Farmers are running energy cooperatives with their neighbours. Apartment blocks are installing solar panels. Home owners have smart house devices that automatically turn off electricity and heat. More and more people are embracing the new technologies which help us cut our dependence on imported fossil fuels. Like these companies, people know that our very survival depends on it.

When these companies wrote in their statement; "Europe must use this opportunity to move towards a more sustainable future", they weren't referring to those already doing it, rather to the politicians who must catch up with them.

The summit is next week. There is still time to move your political leader to actually lead. Tweet them. Email them. Call them. Tell them to meet us in the future not pull us into the past.

Jorgo Riss is Director of the European Unit Greenpeace.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

The key to nuclear's future or an element of doubt?

CADARACHE France (Reuters) - Behind thick glass in a laboratory nestled in French woodland, a silvery molten metal swirls like a liquid mirror. But the material is no mere novelty; as dangerous as it is captivating, it could offer a solution to the nuclear power debate.







Read more [Reuters]

The key to nuclear's future or an element of doubt?

Reuters: Behind thick glass in a laboratory nestled in French woodland, a silvery molten metal swirls like a liquid mirror. But the material is no mere novelty; as dangerous as it is captivating, it could offer a solution to the nuclear power debate. For sodium, the sixth-most abundant element on the planet, is being held up as the key to one of several new types of nuclear reactor being developed as governments grapple with the problem of making atomic energy more environmentally friendly, safe and financially...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

As nuclear waste piles up, South Korea faces storage crisis

Reuters: Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast. A short film by a government advisory body carries a stark message: the nation faces a crisis over storing its spent nuclear fuel after running reactors for decades. The world's fifth-largest user of nuclear power has around 70 percent, or nearly 9,000 tonnes, of its used fuel stacked in temporary storage pools originally intended to hold it for five or six years, with some sites due...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

As nuclear waste piles up, South Korea faces storage crisis

SEOUL (Reuters) - Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast.

Read more [Reuters]

French MPs back cut to nuclear energy reliance

PARIS (Reuters) - A law which fixes a target of reducing French nuclear power production from 75 percent of the country's energy supplies to 50 percent by 2025 won approval from the lower house of parliament on Friday.

Read more [Reuters]

Japan pitches nuclear restart in tightly controlled townhalls

SATSUMASENDAI Japan (Reuters) - As part of a plan to restart its nuclear industry, Japan on Thursday began a controversial consultation process with local residents near idled reactors that was criticized for failing to give everyone in the region a say.







Read more [Reuters]

Reports: Germany mulls legal action over EU's nuclear Hinkley ruling

BusinessGreen: The Germany government is reportedly considering joining Austria in suing the European Commission for approving UK plans to help finance the £24.5bn construction of new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, Somerset. According to Montel, the German ministries of energy and environment are studying the contract between EDF and the UK to ensure it complies with state aid guidelines. After a lengthy investigation, the European Commission on Wednesday approved a modified UK plan to offer developer...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

The European Commission’s nuclear decision threatens our clean energy future

Yesterday's authorisation by the European Commission of massive subsidies for the UK's Hinkley Point C nuclear project is an enormous set-back for the country's development of a sustainable and clean energy future. Not only that, it may well stall the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency in large parts of Europe for the next decade.

Strong nuclear lobbies in countries like Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia are pinning their hopes for survival on the Hinkley project. The chance to funnel large sums from state coffers and consumers' pockets to these megalomaniac pet projects will cause frantic activity in those countries where old, centralised energy systems are still popular with politicians.

Plans for 19 new nuclear reactors in Europe are based in the east of the European Union. Excluding the 12 reactors planned in the UK, there are none so far in Western Europe. It's hard to believe that even multi-billion euro hand-outs could change the atmosphere in countries like Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, who are all phasing out their nuclear fleets.

There is a small risk that this will lead to new operating nuclear reactors. Nuclear power has priced itself out of the market in Europe with massive construction costs (5000 € / kWe or more). It's simply impossible to find sufficient financial backing unless countries are willing to sell themselves out completely to Russia's Rosatom and Vladimir Putin's financial and energy moguls, as Hungary and Finland are currently doing.

More disturbing is the threat of the discussion about energy efficiency and clean (and cheaper) renewable energy sources being pushed into the margins again. Europe needs to start urgently harvesting its abundant reserves of clean energy and plans for new nuclear reactors stand in the way.

The one non-nuclear country in the midst of it all, Austria, has announced it will fight the Commission decision in the European Court. It stands a good chance, because this deal breaks too many EU rules. As my colleague, Greenpeace EU legal adviser Andrea Carta, says:

"It's such a distortion of competition rules that the Commission has left itself exposed to legal challenges. There is absolutely no legal, moral or environmental justification in turning taxes into guaranteed profits for a nuclear power company whose only legacy will be a pile of radioactive waste."

Jan Haverkamp is nuclear expert consultant at Greenpeace Central and Eastern Europe


Read more [Greenpeace international]

EU approves Hinkley Point nuclear power station as costs raise by £8bn

Guardian: The European commission on Wednesday gave Britain the green light for a huge government subsidy that will open the way for the first atomic power stations to be built for nearly 20 years. The ruling was welcomed by ministers and the nuclear industry but Austria threatened legal action against it, while consumer champions said it could add more than £5bn a year to energy bills. A majority of commissioners agreed Britain was not breaking state aid rules, overcoming the last regulatory hurdle...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

First new British nuclear plant in decades wins EU funding fight

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A British plan to guarantee the price of power from its first new nuclear project in decades won European Union backing in a landmark ruling on Wednesday that now faces legal challenges.







Read more [Reuters]

First new British nuclear plant in decades wins EU funding fight

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A British plan to guarantee the price of power from its first new nuclear project in decades won European Union backing in a landmark ruling on Wednesday that threatens to trigger legal challenges.

Read more [Reuters]

The Swiss start-up tackling radiation threats

Entrepreneurs have helped develop a new system designed to detect radiological threats, which is being tested at ports across Europe. (SRF ECO, swissinfo.ch) Monitors hidden inside a van can single out freight containing substances such as uranium, plutonium, or radiological components for "dirty bombs”. These are weapons that combine radioactive material with conventional explosives. The information gathered allows operators to exclude the possibility of a detected plutonium source being a “ready-to-go” nuclear weapon. The system is the first of its type in the world to combine fast and thermal neutron detection. The technologies were tested at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research near Geneva. The MODES_SNM project – the result of pan-European research and development –unites specialists from a number of fields, ranging from customs to nuclear physics. It was funded by the European Commission and developed by a consortium that includes Swiss start-up Arktis ... Show more
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Nuclear workers kept in dark on Fukushima hazard pay

HIRONO (Reuters) - Almost a year after Japan pledged to double hazard pay at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, workers are still in the dark about how much extra they are getting paid, if anything, for cleaning up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Read more [Reuters]

Nuclear workers kept in dark on Fukushima hazard pay

HIRONO (Reuters) - Almost a year after Japan pledged to double hazard pay at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, workers are still in the dark about how much extra they are getting paid, if anything, for cleaning up the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.







Read more [Reuters]

Solar power market could hit 200GW milestone by year end

BusinessGreen: The worldwide solar power industry is set to add the equivalent of five large-scale nuclear power plants in the final quarter of 2014, potentially hitting the 200GW capacity mark by the year end, according to analysts. New research by NPD Solarbuzz published yesterday estimates that global PV installations in quarter four will exceed 19.5GW, taking the annual total to 50GW. As a sign of how strong the market is growing, the installations for the coming quarter alone are likely to surpass the entire...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Should the European Commission wear green goggles more often?

That's the question lawyers were arguing about in Luxembourg last week. It is a case where Greenpeace is challenging the approval of up to €1.6 billion in aid to Spain's coal industry.

Spain is a poster child for clean energy. It has revolutionised its power supply, pushing down harmful emissions, reducing the bill for fossil fuel imports and creating thousands of green jobs along the way — all in the space of a few years. Last year, wind power was Spain's top source of electricity.

But this success story is now under threat. The Spanish government is retroactively changing the rules and cutting back on support for renewables which it says cost too much. At the same time, it continues to defend its support of the country's uncompetitive coal industry which has swallowed over €24 billion in subsidies since 1990.

Our legal challenge relates to the latest major support scheme for coal, a Royal Decree euphemistically entitled "Restrictions to Guarantee Supply", which was adopted in 2010. At that time, mine workers in Castille and León were marching in protest against unpaid wages — a major worry for the socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who hails from the region.

The mines were already receiving direct subsidies, and EU rules prevented a further increase. Instead, the government decided to impose a "production obligation" on 10 power plants which run on Spanish coal, requiring them to continue buying and burning it. In return, the government promised up to €400 million a year in compensation to cover the higher cost of Spanish coal and the purchase of greenhouse gas emission allowances.

Under EU rules, State aid of this kind must be reviewed by the European Commission. The Spanish government argued that the scheme should be approved on the grounds that the 10 coal-fired power plants perform a "service of general economic interest" by keeping the lights on when the wind isn't blowing. They argued that the scheme also reduces Spain's dependence on imported energy.

Power companies that generate electricity from other sources — such as renewables, gas or imported coal — were up in arms. So were environmental organisations, including Greenpeace. They pointed out that, far from being at risk of blackouts, Spain's electricity system suffers from serious overcapacity. Many Spanish gas-fired power plants don't run at full capacity, because there is not enough demand for electricity — and they offer a much cleaner back-up solution than coal does.

Yet, after intensive lobbying by the Spanish government, the Commission approved the aid without opening an investigation. Its effect was immediate — Spain's National Energy Commission estimated that the scheme caused a 35% increase in carbon emissions from the electricity sector in 2011.

A number of power companies decided to sue the Commission before the EU's General Court. Greenpeace applied to join these cases. On Tuesday, the hearing was held in Castelnou Energia v Commission, with Greenpeace Spain intervening.

Castelnou argued some of its gas-fired plants have been put out of action due to unfair competition from subsidised coal. Greenpeace Spain — represented by high-caliber pro bono lawyers — focused on the negative environmental impact of the Spanish scheme. Under EU law the European Commission is required to take environmental requirements into account in all its activities, in order to promote sustainable development. This is called the "integration principle", and is found in Article 11 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). As we put it in court, the Commission should look at the world through "green goggles".

What does a scheme that orders power plants to burn more coal — and tells them not to worry about pollution as the government will pick up the bill — look like through green goggles? Quite brown, and hardly in line with the "polluter pays principle" — which is also enshrined in the same treaty. The Commission, we told the Court, should at least have opened an investigation to see whether "security of supply" could not be guaranteed in a greener way.

Non-governmental organisations like Greenpeace are only very rarely given an opportunity to argue before the EU courts. This case is therefore a special opportunity to challenge some three-quarters of energy subsidies in the EU that still go towards fossil fuels. Will the judges put on green goggles of their own and side with our case? Expect the ruling some time in mid-2015. The Spanish support scheme will have ended by then — it expires at the end of this year. Hopefully, the Spanish government will not attempt to renew it in some form, avoiding the need for further legal action.

At the same time, Greenpeace is trying to convince the Commission to put on green goggles in another case; the unprecedented State aid that the UK government wants to give to the Hinkley nuclear power plant. Let’s hope that the Commission will do the right thing, and will avoid facing more legal challenges, by us and by others.

Daniel Simons is Legal Counsel for Campaigns and Actions at Greenpeace International.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

United Kingdom: New cracks in Hunterston reactor

BBC: New cracks found in the core of the Hunterston-B nuclear reactor could threaten operator EDF's plans to extend the Scottish power station's life. Experts say fissures in two of the 3,000 graphite fuel bricks that make up its No 4 core are of a new type. These "Keyway root cracks" are said to be more serious than previously identified fractures. Safety rules stipulate that if the new problem gets above a certain threshold, the reactor would have to close. Hunterston-B came online in 1976,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

While politicians are deciding our energy future, let's tell them: Listen to people not the polluters!

In three short weeks, on the 23rd and 24th of October, Europe's political leaders will meet in Brussels to agree on a European energy policy that will last for decades to come.

These politicians are under pressure, especially after the climate summit in NYC. They know they have to do more than talk and wring their hands about global warming. Europeans are expecting them to act.

As winter approaches, President Putin is likely to continue threats to turn off the tap to Europe. The fossil fuel lobby is working hard to convince a political leader that, despite what is happening in Ukraine, and in my home country of Hungary (where the government is folding under Russian pressure), we should not upset the Russian government. The suggestion is: staying quiet will help us stay warm. And the safest bet is to ignore calls for more renewable energy.  

We know that the most secure energy is renewable energy, and every wind turbine we build cuts Europe's fossil fuel bill. The EU pays more than €400 billion every year, to buy more than half of its energy (53%) from abroad.

The cost of renewable energy continues to drop despite receiving smaller public subsidies than either the nuclear or fossil fuel sectors. According to leaked EU figures, in 2011 those industries soaked up a combined €60 billion in public subsidies in the EU – double the amount given to renewable energy producers in the same year.

Then you factor in the health costs of choosing fossil fuels. Air pollution from burning coal alone is costing Europeans €42.8 billion in annual health costs, while the unsolved problem of radioactive waste and nuclear decommissioning costs will continue to drain resources for generations. For instance, to extend the life of the French nuclear fleet to 50 years would, according to EDF, cost €55 billion.

Furthermore, we know that renewables provide jobs. By 2011 the renewable energy business in the EU had already created between 800,000 and 1.2 million jobs. (Commission staff working document 2014: Impact assessment for a 2030 climate and energy policy framework).

And then there is the low hanging fruit: energy efficiency. Every single country in Europe wants to use energy more efficiently. Who in their right mind would be against saving energy? I have never heard a politician say wasting energy is a good plan.

We want politicians to recognise that the people who voted for them have said what they want over and over, most recently by joining climate marches across the globe. Renewable energy = energy security.

We want to ensure that these politicians listen to the people who put them in the rooms of power, not just the fossil fuel and nuclear industries who are loudly knocking on the door. They are knocking on politicians' doors because they are scared. Their business model is outdated. They haven't invested in renewable energy when it is clearly the way of the future. Instead, the core of their business depends on importing dirty fossil fuels from volatile regimes and maintaining Europe's geopolitical vulnerability.

Greenpeace is calling on Europe's politicians to agree on a 45% share of renewables, 40% energy savings and 55% cut in domestic carbon emissions in their energy policy for 2030.

The next step towards the final agreement takes place on Monday October 6th in Milan, Italy. EU energy and environment ministers will prepare the ground for the big leaders' meeting two weeks later.

We want all those ministers to hear from their home countries before they arrive in Milan. We want our supporters to call on them to support more energy efficiency, more renewables and greater carbon cuts.

We want to remind them who they're working for.

Let's speak with one formidable, unavoidable voice for the future we want: renewables and efficiency are our greatest security.

If you live in Europe tweet your energy minister today! Tell him or her you want renewables and energy efficiency for a secure energy future.

Virag Kaufer is a European project coordinator, Energy at Greenpeace Hungary.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

CERN turns 60

Sixty years ago, scientists began to explore the secrets of the universe at the largest particle physics laboratory in the world: CERN in Geneva. (SRF, swisinfo.ch) The business of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is fundamental physics: what is the universe made of and how does it work? Following the Second World War, a group of scientists and public administrators on both sides of the Atlantic decided to set up a research centre as a way of fostering peace and unity. The founding convention for CERN was signed by 12 states, including Switzerland. Increasingly powerful accelerators at CERN have allowed researchers to explore new frontiers of energy. Some of this research work has dramatically improved our understanding of the laws of nature. One example is the discovery by Carlo Rubbia and Simon van der Meer of the particle carriers of the weak force. This is one of the four fundamental forces in the universe and causes beta decay, a form of radioactivity. Show more
Read more [Swissinfo.org: sci & tech]

Sweden's incoming coalition to set up energy commission

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's Social Democrats said Wednesday they had agreed with junior coalition partner the Green Party to set up an energy commission, offering hope of reconciling their opposing views on nuclear policy.

Read more [Reuters]

Dominion finds damaged fuel rods at Virginia nuclear plant

(Reuters) - Dominion Virginia Power has discovered two damaged nuclear fuel rods at its North Anna power plant, 90 miles (140 km) southwest of Washington, and has shut it down, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Read more [Reuters]

IEA: Solar could be largest power source by 2050

RTCC: By 2050 the sun could become the world’s largest source of electricity, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It has released two reports which it says show how solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal sources could provide 26% of the world’s electricity by mid-century. This would push solar ahead of fossil fuels, hydropower, nuclear and other forms of electricity generation. The IEA says a government-backed move to solar would negate the emission of six billion...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

U.S. Chamber: EPA using 'nuclear option' as everyday tool

Wyoming Business Report: An Affordable Energy Rally attended by both Wyoming U.S. senators and Gov. Matt Mead drew about 300 people in Gillette Thursday, though organizers expected as many as 1,000. The meeting was a rallying cry against proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. While environmentalists say such action is necessary to abort or slow global warming, many Wyoming and national leaders are saying the measure will slow economic growth while...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

That moment in New York City when the game of the climate movement changed

Who anticipated a turn-out like this? The largest political march in the US for over decade and it all took place in New York, home of the world's largest stock exchange, headquarters of international financial institutions and both dominated by coal and oil-fueled interests for over 20 years. And here we were, people of all kinds, standing up and marching for the climate on a Sunday afternoon. We kept in our hearts the struggles of past, present and future climate victims. Our hopes and feet carried us to a better world, one without fossil fuels and nuclear energy but powered by 100% clean and green energy for all by mid-century.

It was a powerful event that bared the determination of the people to influence political process. The people's climate march, solemn yet colorful, extended for several kilometers and tested our patience and endurance. I had to wait three hours before I could start marching. People from across the country walked and shared with me their concerns about the imminent catastrophic impacts of global warming. Workers, teachers, accountants, firemen, and students spread the message: to change everything we need everyone. Among them marched global citizen Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations. His courage was followed by a few ministers and celebrities; namely, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sting, and also Naomi Klein showed her vested interest. The march took us through the temple of consumption, New York's mid-town neighborhood. All traffic stood still. What an exceptional moment when a whole society's spirit soared. Goose-bumps included.

The next day I attended the opening of Climate Week NYC where company leaders, like Apple's Tim Cook, were taking part. The excitement from the Sunday was still lingering. The bosses of all kinds of companies detailed their march experience. Ban Ki-moon in particular still seemed taken by the positive contact with ordinary people the day before. He was talking at length about the march until he finally concluded that the heads of states need to listen to the people.

We cannot disagree with Ban, can we? That is why a handful of Greenpeace activists sidled to a remote location and produced a projection onto the side of the UN headquarters building reading 'listen to the people not the polluters'. Just like the people at the climate march, we demanded clear political actions: we want a future built on solutions; that is, clean and green energy. But if politicians continue supporting the old economic model that favors the polluters, our future will be dark and dirty. That future locks us into coal and oil and only gratifies businesses like Vattenfall, RWE and Shell. In team with nuclear energy leaders, they are trying to jam ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy whenever they can. The coming EU energy package for October is just one of the many occasions.

Last week, I felt alarmed when I had to witness the leaders of polluting companies lying about actively averting the process global warming. They supported a price on global carbon - the smokescreen of climate (in)action.

The Ban Ki-moon Summit has sent some important signals in support of the long-term goal of 100% renewable energy for all in a just transition period. A few political leaders pledged to achieve the 100% goal and a consolidation of companies voiced their commitment to get 100 companies to commit to 100% renewable energy in 2020! Were their actions inspired by the marching people? Many of the protesters wore shirts with that exact demand!

The last couple of days made one thing clear: people are standing up to express what future they want. They overcome frustration with action. In the UK and on the day of the Summit, a group of courageous people stopped a coal train from Russia and returned the dirty load to the sender. Even if the path is long and rocky at times, we will not be silent until the world we want to live in, one that makes life worthy and safe, has become a reality for all.

The speeches of US President Barack Obama and China's Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli featured the much anticipated words of admission that there is in fact a global responsibility and that they are prepared to take it forward. China added they intend to peak as soon as possible. I followed the speeches closely, reacting to fragments with joy and pain. Fine examples of leadership alternated with boneless pledges of commitment. So many promises were offered and no paths that will fulfill them. The time is now!

The movement needs to spread and grow. With the people's climate march on the back I am convinced our voices will be louder than those of the polluters.
Image Gallery.. 

Martin Kaiser is the International Climate Politics Coordinator at Greenpeace Germany.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

Nuclear Plants Across Emerging Nations Defy Japan Concern

Bloomberg: Three years after Japan closed all of its nuclear plants in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown and Germany decided to shut its industry, developing countries are leading the biggest construction boom in more than two decades. Almost two-thirds of the 70 reactors currently under construction worldwide, the most since 1989, are located in China, India, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Countries including Egypt, Bangladesh, Jordan and Vietnam are considering plans to build their first nuclear...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Japan: Food Contaminated by Fukushima Harms Animals Still

Nature World: Even several years after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, food contaminated from the meltdown is still harming animals, according to a new study. Specifically, butterflies eating food collected from cities around the site showed higher rates of death and disease. The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant released large amounts of radiation into the surrounding atmosphere. While no significant human health effects have been reported, scientists from the University of Rukyus in...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Hinkley nuclear reactor project gains EU approval, leak reveals

Guardian: British plans for a nuclear renaissance centred on a nuclear reactor in Somerset achieved a breakthrough when a nine-month European Union state aid investigation ended with a call for Brussels to approve the project. The EU’s competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia, had expressed scepticism that the Hinkley Point C scheme could satisfy the EU’s stringent state aid criteria after the UK government agreed to underwrite the project with a loan guarantee and a commitment on the price of the electricity...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

World leaders to gather at UN in shadow of Islamic State, Ebola crises

Reuters: World leaders gather in New York this week to tackle a host of crises: the violence Islamic State militants are wreaking in Iraq and Syria, the exponential spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa and deadlocked negotiations on Iran's nuclear program. There is little hope the 193-nation UN general assembly will achieve much in the annual five-day marathon of speeches. But on the sidelines, US officials plan to lobby allies for pledges of concrete military assistance to help defeat Islamic State,...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Second container possibly leaked at New Mexico nuclear dump

(Reuters) - A second container of plutonium-contaminated debris may have contributed to a radiation leak that has led to the indefinite suspension of operations at an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico, a U.S. Energy Department official said on Thursday.







Read more [Reuters]

Second container possibly leaked at New Mexico nuclear dump

Reuters: A second container of plutonium-contaminated debris may have contributed to a radiation leak that has led to the indefinite suspension of operations at an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico, a U.S. Energy Department official said on Thursday. Preliminary findings from an investigation of a Feb. 14 accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad that sent high levels of radiation into a salt mine half a mile (0.8 km) below ground where nuclear waste is stored suggested the culprit...
Read more [EcoEarth.info]

Developing world revives nuclear power prospects, but yet to commit

LONDON (Reuters) - Developing nations are leading a revival of interest in nuclear power, say atomic plant builders, but orders remain elusive as more safety features post-Fukushima have inflated investment costs.

Read more [Reuters]

Finnish government nods to Russia-backed nuclear plant, Greens quit

HELSINKI (Reuters) - The Finnish government has given conditional backing to an updated application from Finnish-Russian group Fennovoima to build a nuclear reactor in the north of the country, prompting the Greens to quit and weaken the ruling coalition.







Read more [Reuters]

Spain's Almaraz I nuclear power station stopped after pressure drop: regulator

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's 1,000-MW Almaraz I nuclear power station was automatically shut down late on Wednesday after the protection system was triggered by a pressure drop in the reactor, the Nuclear Security Council reported.







Read more [Reuters]

The following articles are automatically syndicated feeds from other sites.
 

XML feed