Newsletter XLIX 2023

December 3-9

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Current news+ Background knowledge

The PDF file "Nuclear Power Accidents" contains a number of other incidents from various areas of the nuclear industry. Some of the incidents were never published through official channels, so this information could only be made available to the public in a roundabout way. The list of incidents in the PDF file is therefore not 100 % identical with "INES and the disturbances in nuclear facilities", but represents an addition.

2 December 2009 (INES 2) Cruas, FRA

2 December 1949 (INES 4 | NAMS 3,8) Nuclear factory Hanford, USA

5 December 1965 (Broken Arrow) Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, USA

6 December 1972 (INES 3 | NAMS 1,6) Nuclear factory Sellafield, GBR

7 December 1975 (INES 3) NPP Greifswald, GDR

8 December 1955 (INES 3) Nuclear factory Windscale/Sellafield, GBR

10 December 1994 (INES 2 Class.?) NPP Pickering, ON, CAN

12 December 1952 (INES 5) NPP Chalk River, Ontario, CAN

16 December 1987 (INES 1) NPP Biblis A, GER

21 December 1972 (INES ? Class.?) Pawling, NY, USA

27 December 2009 (INES 1) NPP Fessenheim, FRA

27 December 1999 (INES 2) NPP Blayais, FRA

30 December 1958 (INES 4) Los Alamos, NM, USA

31 December 1978 (INES 4) NPP Beloyarsk, USSR, Rus

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We are looking for current information. If you can help, please send a message to: nuclear-world@reaktorpleite.de

 


9. December


 

Palestine | United StatesCeasefire | VetoSecurity Council

Aid organizations dismayed by US UN veto of ceasefire in Gaza

The US voted against a ceasefire in the UN Security Council on Friday. The criticism is getting louder and louder.

[...] At the beginning of the meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the adoption of the resolution. He said the people of Gaza are at risk of starvation and further famine, while at the same time having to move "like human pinballs, being flung back and forth between smaller and smaller parts of the south, without any of the things they need to survive." Philippe Lazzarini, head of the UN refugee agency UNRWA, said this week that his staff had to work in "unsustainable" humanitarian conditions, in places where women give birth without protection and injured people have to self-medicate open wounds, while 700 people are treated Shared toilet.

More than 130 of his employees were killed. And those who were still alive reported to work with their children so that they could die together, he wrote in a letter to the President of the UN Security Council before the vote. “If UNRWA collapses, humanitarian aid in Gaza will also collapse.”

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EU Parliament | QatargateCorruption

“What the hell is happening here?”

The “Qatargate” scandal broke out a year ago – now new details are coming to light. The Green MEP Hannah Neumann talks about the ego trips of the accused Eva Kaili, glamorous trips and ineffective rules of conduct.

SPIEGEL: A year ago, the "Qatargate" corruption scandal broke out, and Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili and other suspects ended up in custody. Now new documents show that the scandal went even deeper than expected. Did Qatar also try to bribe you?

Neumann: There are always countries that try to court MPs. And the Qataris didn't just pounce on Eva Kaili either. You spoke to many of us, including me. Great trips with the best flights and hotels, everything in the VIP area, plus the glamor of the Football World Cup. In this way they wanted to bring us closer to their own country - and apparently also buy our favor.

[...] SPIEGEL: When you were working with Kaili, did you have any idea that something might be wrong?

Neumann: Eva Kaili has particularly stood out for her proximity to Qatar - especially when there were tensions between Qatar and the other countries on the Arabian Peninsula. It went so far that I had the feeling that, as head of the delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula, I had to act in a balanced way so that we didn't appear unfair or one-sided overall. My demand – and that of Parliament – ​​was that the Gulf states should come closer together again instead of becoming further divided. But when you have people in your own delegation who are so partisan, it undermines a lot of things...

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CO2 emissions | CCS1,5 degrees | COP28

Fossil energies at the climate conference:

Underground idea

The future of fossil fuels is being debated at the climate conference in Dubai. Proponents of burning rely on technology.

1 Wait a minute, there is the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. Doesn't it already say that we are phasing out fossil fuels?

Unfortunately not. At least not explicitly. The agreement does not prescribe any measures, not even the most obvious ones. Instead, it sets temperature targets: global warming should end “well below 2 degrees” compared to pre-industrial levels, preferably at 1,5 degrees.

How governments do this is up to them. But: In order to comply with the 1,5 degree limit, emissions must fall dramatically. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they need to be roughly halved by 2030 in order to be practically zero by 2050. The combustion of fossil fuels is the main source of CO2 emissions. One could say: It basically follows from the Paris climate agreement that the use of coal, oil and gas must come to an end. However, there is still no international resolution from all countries declaring their willingness to do so - even after almost three decades of climate negotiations. That could change at the World Climate Conference in Dubai, which runs until next week. The topic will be discussed - but it is also the number one point of contention. Because not everyone draws the same conclusions from the Paris Agreement...

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France | EDFElectricity price

Definitive end to “cheap” nuclear power in France

Now the French government and the EDF group also have to admit that cheap nuclear power did not exist and will be even less in the future. The fairy-tale telling saddled the nuclear company with enormous debts and it had to be nationalized. Now nuclear power prices are to be increased by 67 percent for new buildings and service life extensions. But despite all the failures like the EPR in Flamanville, France and other countries want to triple nuclear power output by 2050, completely illusory.

The announcement by the French government and the beleaguered energy company “Électricité de France” (EDF) that they will soon massively increase electricity prices in the nuclear power country can actually only be seen as an admission that the fairy tale of supposedly cheap nuclear power is also shattered by reality in France. For years we have been drawing attention here to how absurd it is to talk about cheap nuclear power. Just because consumers' electricity bills don't reflect real prices doesn't mean that nuclear power is really cheap.

But the fairy tale is becoming more and more untenable. With the recent decision, it has definitely been moved into the realm of legend. The government has agreed with the world's second-largest electricity producer, which it had always controlled through a state shareholding majority of 84 percent, to increase the price of electricity from the nuclear reactors by 67 percent to 70 euros per megawatt hour (MWh). However, this increase will only come from 2026...

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World Climate Conference | COP28OPEC

“Disgusting!” – OPEC letter against turning away from fossil fuels causes outrage

At the climate conference in Dubai, politicians are struggling to take action against climate change. The focus is on fossil energies, and the Organization of Petroleum Producing States apparently does not want to accept any restrictions.

Are fossil fuels in danger or not? This is what the countries are wrestling with at the World Climate Conference in Dubai

, which ends on Tuesday. Headwinds come primarily from oil-producing countries such as Saudi Arabia. How strong the resistance is can now be seen in a letter to the OPEC states.

Secretary-General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Haitham Al-Ghais warns in the letter that pressure to target fossil fuels is increasing. There is talk of “politically motivated campaigns” against oil-rich countries “that endanger the prosperity and future of our people.”

“The inappropriate and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels could reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences,” it says. Therefore, any agreement at the World Climate Conference that would affect the further production and sale of oil, gas and coal should be prevented...

 


8. December


 

EU states | Atomic power | Climate neutral

EU states declare nuclear power to be a climate-neutral technology

Following the European Parliament last month, EU member states have also added nuclear power alongside renewable energy to the list of supported technologies in the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA).

In mid-March, the European Commission, the NZIA, presented its proposal for a new industrial law aimed at boosting the EU's domestic capacity to produce technologies considered essential to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Nuclear power was included in the list, but was not initially classified as “strategic” for achieving climate neutrality, such as renewable energies.

EU ministers corrected this on Thursday (December 7), adding nuclear power to the list of "strategic" technologies as part of their "general approach" to the NZIA - despite opposition from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg.

As a result, nuclear power will benefit from streamlined licensing procedures. A single point of contact in every EU country and the full digitalization of procedures will ensure that permits can be issued within nine to twelve months...

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BangladeshSea level | Corruption | Climate change

Rising sea levels in South Asia:

A country is drowning

The Sundarbans in the Bay of Bengal are the largest mangrove forests in the world. Rising sea levels threaten the ecosystem and local residents.

The Sonar Bangla Resort was certainly popular with tourists in the past: Located under palm trees, almost directly on the sea, the brightly painted bungalows grouped around a small pond guaranteed what is commonly understood as a “tropical feeling”. Today, a two and a half meter high dam made of clay and black and white sandbags divides the complex into two parts: the bungalows on the lake side have been destroyed. The only thing that reminds us of the palm trees are their stumps in the water. Tourists are no longer coming to the Sonar Bangla Resort on the Bay of Bengal, 75 kilometers southeast of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal.

“There was no other option, we had to build the new dam,” says Pramgan, a 29-year-old rice farmer who lives right next to the resort. There had certainly been floods in his childhood, “but what we have experienced in recent years is completely new.”

In the past, very strong cyclones raced towards the coast from the Indian Ocean and flooded the country. More than half a million people died in the great flood on the Bay of Bengal in 1970. When the Bangladesh cyclone made landfall in 1991, it killed 140.000 Indians and Bangladeshis. “Today, even smaller storms are enough to flood our fields and houses,” says Pramgan...

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The LeftMigration | Wagenknecht

The end of left-wing politics: “The working class doesn’t care about gender and climate”

Political scientist Ralph Ghadban says: Left parties have lost their core. Sahra Wagenknecht's new party is now at a high in the polls. There's a simple trick behind it, says Ghadban.

[...] “There is no real left anymore. The New Left cares about gender and climate, these are issues that the working class doesn’t care about,” said Ghadban. He himself is an “old ’68,” as he says. “The left used to stand for social issues, for the redistribution of wealth.” Parties like the SPD and the Greens have completely lost focus on this, the large popular parties are basically a uniformity.

[...] Sahra Wagenknecht, face and namesake of the New Party, repeatedly speaks out against gender and so-called wokeness in talk show appearances - but in favor of a restrictive migration policy. Immigration is overwhelming the country, she recently said during Markus Lanz's ZDF talk and put forward the idea that migrants without a claim to asylum should no longer be allowed to apply for social benefits. “It appeals to people who want an alternative but actually prefer not to vote for the AfD,” says Ralph Ghadban...

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Climate conferenceLobbyists | 1,5 degrees | COP28

Anything is still possible for the climate

The climate conference in Dubai is teeming with lobbyists from the oil and gas industry. This shows that for them - and the climate - for the first time, everything is at stake.

There are weeks when it just feels like tearing you apart. Last week was one of those. World leaders have been negotiating at the climate conference in Dubai for eight days. It is already the 28th conference of its kind. It has been eight years since the international community committed itself in Paris to limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, and if possible to just 1,5 degrees. Not enough has happened since then; The climate researcher Mojib Latif, for example, now considers the 1,5 degree target to be unattainable, as he explains in the SZ interview. But now it has to be concrete: Can the states agree to phase out coal, oil and gas - and of all places in the oil state of Dubai?

They actually have to agree on this, because otherwise it will hardly be possible to keep global warming within limits. But so far, some of those involved in Dubai have given the impression that their concern is less about limiting global warming and more about climate protection...

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Cooperation of FDP, CDU and AfD

Next dam burst in Thuringia

The FDP wants to push through an anti-wind power law with votes from the AfD and CDU. Sharp criticism comes from the Thuringian Left – and from business.

BERLIN taz | On Friday, the CDU and FDP could become repeat offenders in the Thuringian state parliament. Then parliament votes on a bill from the opposition - the FDP group in the state parliament wants to change the Thuringian Forest Act, the Liberals are bothered by the expansion of wind power. There are many indications that they will enforce the law against the red-red-green minority government with votes from the entire opposition - including with the consent of the right-wing extremist Thuringian AfD faction led by Björn Höcke.

Already in September, the CDU, FDP and AfD had jointly pushed through a reduction in the property transfer tax against the government coalition, which was four votes short of a majority in the state parliament. Now the FDP's initiative to change the Forest Act is on the agenda on Friday. Essentially it's about wind turbines in forest areas. They had already been banned in Thuringia. But the Federal Constitutional Court overturned the regulation in November 2022...

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Climate protectionEuropean Parliament | Building renovation

Building guidelines for climate protection

EU waives obligation to renovate

“Grandma’s little house is safe”: The EU has agreed on binding energy efficiency requirements for private residential properties. The forced renovation feared by millions of homeowners is now off the table.

In order for the European Union to become climate neutral by 2050, buildings with particularly poor energy efficiency should be renovated. Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU states have now agreed on stricter requirements.

However, according to the EU states, there will be no individual obligation to renovate private properties, which millions of homeowners in Germany fear. The project was particularly controversial because of the possible high costs for homeowners...

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Money for new nuclear power plants should come from climate fund

Nuclear power revival: Where Putin and Biden agree

Russian environmentalist says: Moscow and Washington are jointly pushing nuclear energy at COP28. Why? And what about environmental crimes in Ukraine? Guest post.

[...] AMY GOODMAN: Why do you think the US is promoting nuclear power now?

Vladimir Slivyak: It's about money for the Western nuclear industry. Investors have long stopped investing their money in nuclear power plants because they are risky, always exceed financing budgets and take a long time to build.

This has been quite an economic disaster in the past. So investors no longer want to invest money in this technology. And what governments are obviously planning to do is push for nuclear power in the climate negotiations here.

For one simple reason: to be able to use money from the climate fund to build new nuclear power plants. It's not about the climate. The main thing is to save the Western nuclear industry...

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INES Category 3 "Serious Incident"8 December 1955 (INES 3) Nuclear factory Windscale/Sellafield, GBR

A fire broke out in a silo for radioactive waste in building B247. (Cost approx. US$1300 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

This incident as well as several other releases of radioactivity are in Wikipedia no longer to be found.

Wikipedia

Sellafield # Incidents

Radiological releases

Between 1950 and 2000 there were 21 serious off-site incidents or accidents involving radiological releases that warranted classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale, one at Level 5, five at Level 4 and fifteen at Level 3. In addition, there were in intentional releases of plutonium and irradiated uranium oxide particles into the atmosphere known for extended periods in the 1950s and 1960s...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

Sellafield (formerly_Windscale), United Kingdom

There are comparable nuclear factories all over the world:

Uranium enrichment and reprocessing - facilities and sites

During reprocessing, the inventory of spent fuel elements can be separated from one another in a complex chemical process (PUREX). Separated uranium and plutonium can then be reused. As far as the theory...

 


7. December


 

Climate-damaging ones Subsidies im transport sector

The money is on the street

The traffic light coalition actually wanted to reduce climate-damaging subsidies. There is a lot of potential, particularly in the transport sector. But the FDP is slowing down.

[...] What the Greens wanted to sell as a success in the spring is also a bitter disappointment for the environmental associations. Wissing, whose area of ​​responsibility, the transport sector, is at the bottom when it comes to climate protection - Wissing, of all people, is being released from responsibility, summarizes the environmental protection organization Greenpeace. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) speaks of a “frontal attack on climate protection”. And the think tank Agora Verkehrswende speaks of a missed opportunity for climate protection in transport.

Because once again the elephant in the room is not being addressed. It's about reducing climate-damaging subsidies, which, according to experts, is unavoidable for the success of the transport transition. It is true that the Greens put every single environmentally harmful subsidy from the transport sector on the table during the negotiations, at least according to internal party circles.

But the SPD and FDP didn't want to know anything about it, even though the reduction of environmentally harmful financial aid and tax breaks even made it into the coalition agreement as a common goal...

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Bundeswehr | Federal Audit OfficeArmament spending

“The Bundeswehr is purchasing machine guns that it cannot use”

In the middle of the budget debate, the Federal Audit Office is severely criticizing the procurement of new rifles for the Bundeswehr.

At a time when the federal government has to save billions of euros in its budget, this criticism really hurts. The Federal Audit Office criticizes “wrong priorities” when purchasing new weapons by the Federal Ministry of Defense. “The Bundeswehr has been purchasing machine guns since 2014, the majority of which it will not be able to use as planned for years,” says a letter to the federal government, which is available to WirtschaftsWoche. According to the Court of Auditors, those responsible could have “easily bought the machine guns later” and procured other more urgent equipment more quickly...

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Hungary | lifetime extension

Hungary wants to extend the life of the Paks nuclear power plant by 20 years

The operator of the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary has informed the European Union of the country's intention to extend the life of the four units to 70 years.

Péter János Horváth, CEO of operator MVM Paksi Atomerömű Zrt, explained that the announcement of the extension plan had been submitted to the EU in accordance with Euratom regulations and "this marks the beginning of the approximately ten-year process" to extend the operating license for another 20 years.

The four existing units in Paks are VVER-440 reactors that were commissioned between 1982 and 1987 and generate about half of the country's electricity. Their lifespan was designed for 30 years, but was extended by 2005 years in 20, i.e. to 2032 to 2037...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Nuclear power loses, the nuclear one Electricity production is declining massively

Nuclear power is on the decline

A new report shows how much nuclear energy's share of global electricity production has fallen. Large and small nuclear power plants are unsuitable as climate savers because they come too late and are too expensive.

Nuclear power should help save the climate. This was announced by a new alliance of 22 countries at the UN climate summit in Dubai, including the USA, Canada, Great Britain and France.

The current development of this energy source is in stark contrast: in mid-2023, there were 407 reactors online worldwide, four fewer than a year earlier and 31 fewer than the peak of 438 in 2002.

The share of nuclear energy in global electricity generation even fell to its lowest level in around four decades in 2022, according to the independent "World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023" shows that renewable energies are far behind nuclear power in terms of expansion...

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Climate change | Oil companies | Record profits

Naomi Oreskes:

"They won't go down without a fight"

The oil companies foresaw climate change five decades ago. Science historian Naomi Oreskes has researched what the industry knew and how it publicly denied it. What does she think of the climate summit in the oil emirate of Dubai?

DIE ZEIT: Ms. Oreskes, 2023 is the hottest year ever measured. While emissions are higher than ever before, oil companies are reporting record profits. How do you see the world before the climate summit begins?

Naomi Oreskes: I see what the writer Amitav Ghosh calls "the great derangement". Say split personality if you prefer. Everything we know contradicts virtually everything we do. There is growing evidence linking global warming as a whole to extreme weather events that are killing people, destroying their homes and flooding entire communities. And yet more and more oil, more gas and more coal are being mined.

ZEIT: The COP 28 climate summit is now taking place in the oil-rich emirate of Dubai, chaired by Sultan Al Jaber, head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

Oresces: Did you know that there is a United Nations Framework Convention on Tobacco Control? It explicitly states that the tobacco industry is not allowed at the negotiating table because it has proven itself to be an untrustworthy partner...

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INES Category 3 "Serious Incident"7 December 1975 (INES 3) NPP Greifswald, GDR

 An electrical fault caused a fire in the main sump, destroying control lines and 5 main coolant pumps. (Cost approx. US$519 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

Greifswald/Lubmin (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania)

"It was like a miracle," said a safety engineer employed at the time, that "large parts of northern Germany, Denmark and Sweden" were not contaminated with radioactivity." A cable network caught fire due to an operating error. All protection systems failed: the emergency power supply, the emergency cooling system and the display devices in the control room. 11 pumps were no longer running, and it was only because the twelfth pump happened to be connected to the power supply of the functioning reactor 2 that there was enough cooling water available and a core meltdown was avoided. This near-meltdown was consistently kept secret by the GDR leadership until the fall of the Wall.

In "tagesschau.de" the date was given as December 7, 1975 and damages amounting to 519 million US dollars...
 

Wikipedia

Greifswald nuclear power plant

When an electrician at the Greifswald nuclear power plant wanted to show an apprentice how to bridge electrical circuits, he triggered a short circuit on the primary side of the Unit 1 transformer. The resulting arc caused a cable fire to break out. The fire in the main cable duct destroyed the power supply and control lines of 5 main coolant pumps (6 are operational for one block). A meltdown could have threatened because reactor 1 could no longer be properly cooled. However, the fire was quickly brought under control by the company fire brigade and the power supply to the pumps was provisionally restored.

The case was only made public after the fall of communism in 1989...

Nuclear power accidents by country#Germany'

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

 


6. December


 

Glyphosate | Monsanto | Resistance

Investigation in North America

Weeds are increasingly resistant to glyphosate

Glyphosate has revolutionized agriculture, but is controversial. Now an analysis shows: Over time, the product loses its purpose as a weed killer, at least where it is used particularly intensively.

Glyphosate is becoming less and less suitable as a miracle cure for weed-free agriculture with higher yields in many regions of North America. This is suggested by a study that appeared in the scientific journal “PNAS Nexus”. Accordingly, its effectiveness as a weed killer in the test fields there declined rapidly after just a few years because plants that were unwanted in agriculture developed resistance to the agent.

The authors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign evaluated data from several field trials over the past 25 years in the United States and Canada. During this time, the manufacturer Monsanto, which now belongs to the German Bayer Group, established the glyphosate business under the brand name Roundup...

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Guatemala defends himself against Corruption and conspiracy in Military and Justice

Guatemala before the change of power:

Justice under corrupt control

Even before he is sworn in, obstacles are being placed in the way of elected President Bernardo Arévalo. He will still take office in January.

HAMBURG taz | Even after more than sixty days of protests, the ability of Guatemala's indigenous authorities to mobilize remains unbroken. On Monday, tens of thousands protested around the Ministerio Público, the Attorney General's Office, and the Parliament in Guatemala City against the "Pact of the Corrupt" and its strategy to further weaken elected President Bernardo Arévalo.

On November 30th, Parliament passed the budget for 2024 and put several shackles on the president-elect. “This creates facts,” said Héctor Reyes, director of the human rights organization CalDH. The budget of the Ministerio Público, the Attorney General's Office, which is considered to be the center of corruption, has been set at a record sum of 3,664 billion quetzales, the equivalent of 431 million euros.

“This finances a special brigade with heavy weapons, high-tech equipment, listening systems and much more, which has turned the Ministerio into a state within the state,” criticizes Miguel Mörth. The German lawyer has lived in the capital of the Central American country for more than 30 years and, like Héctor Reyes, observes with concern the initiatives of the “Pact of the Corrupt,” which aim to make it more difficult for the elected president to govern...

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energy sources | WNISR | Electricity mix

Report on nuclear energy:

Nuclear power is on the decline worldwide

The share of nuclear energy in the global electricity mix fell to 9,2 percent last year. Meanwhile, investments are flowing into other energy sources.

FREIBURG taz | Global nuclear power generation fell by 2022 percent to 4 billion kilowatt hours (terawatt hours, TWh) in 2.546. This meant that nuclear fission only accounted for 9,2 percent of the global electricity mix - the lowest value in 40 years. Photovoltaics and wind power accounted for 11,7 percent in the same period.

These numbers come from the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023, which Paris-based nuclear energy consultant Mycle Schneider presented on Wednesday together with his international team. This year's 549-page data collection is the most detailed relevant document published annually...

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Renewables up, Greenhouse gas down, Transformation the economy takes place Greenwashing

Good news: A rapid global energy transition is possible

Rising emissions, gloomy outlook, COP28 disaster. But there is also reason for optimism. Why 100 percent renewables work in a short time. 

[...] Global climate diplomacy appears to be dead. The summits and the negotiations increasingly appear to be gigantic greenwashing events in which well-sounding climate alliances are founded by rich countries without anything of substance coming out of it.

At the same time, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, despite almost thirty international climate meetings at which repeated promises have been made to combat global warming. Today, carbon concentrations in the atmosphere have climbed to dangerous record levels, scientists warn.

[...] In view of this bad news regarding global climate protection and the Herculean task that would have to be overcome to prevent the worst, what is definitely positive news is increasingly being pushed into the background. Because a global energy transition to 100 percent renewable energy is possible and could be implemented quickly and at a rapid pace.

[...] Such industrial mobilization has already occurred historically in a similar form, at the beginning of industrialization or when the United States entered World War II and converted civilian industries into war industries overnight. Instead of cars, enormous quantities of tanks and fighter jets were produced in a short period of time...

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Ammonia | Hydrogen | CO2 emissions

Ammonia production:

Looking for a replacement for the Haber-Bosch process

If there were no industrially produced ammonia, there would not be eight billion people inhabiting the earth today, but significantly fewer. Because the substance serves as the basis for artificial fertilizers. But the energy-intensive production process urgently needs an update.

[...] However, the process, which is more than 100 years old, has not changed significantly since it was discovered - and that is a problem. Hydrogen and nitrogen are still allowed to react with each other on iron or ruthenium catalysts under extreme conditions: at up to 600 degrees Celsius and a pressure of more than 200 bar.

Ammonia production is extremely energy-intensive

Around 180 million tons of ammonia are produced in huge reactors every year, which requires more than one percent of the total energy generated worldwide. In addition, the production of ammonia has so far been inextricably linked to the extraction of fossil raw materials, because the required hydrogen is produced from coal or natural gas using steam reforming. The Haber-Bosch process releases 450 million tons of carbon dioxide every year...

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China | HTR PM | Shandong

China's demonstration HTR-PM enters commercial operation

The world’s first modular high temperature gas-cooled reactor nuclear power plant has entered commercial operation, China’s National Energy Administration has announced.

It follows a successful 168-hour demonstration run for the High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor - Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) in Shidao Bay (also known as Shidaowan), in Shandong Province, which is currently operating at 2×200 MWt power.

The HTR-PM features two small reactors (each of 250 MWt) that drive a single 210 MWe steam turbine. It uses helium as coolant and graphite as the moderator. Each reactor is loaded with more than 400.000 spherical fuel elements (‘pebbles’), each 60 mm in diameter and containing 7 g of fuel enriched to 8,5%. Each pebble has an outer layer of graphite and contains some 12.000 four-layer ceramic-coated fuel particles dispersed in a graphite matrix...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Cancer | Glyphosate | Monsanto

Weedkiller Roundup

$3,5 million fine – Bayer loses next glyphosate trial

The herbicide glyphosate is suspected of causing cancer. This will be expensive for the Bayer Group - now it has suffered another defeat in a US court. That should make investors nervous.

Bayer suffered another defeat in the glyphosate trials in the USA. A jury in Philadelphia on Tuesday ordered the company to pay $3,5 million to a woman who attributed her cancer to Bayer's weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate.

[...] According to Bayer, 52.000 of the total of around 165.000 lawsuits filed were still open. The company brought the lawsuits into its own hands when it took over the glyphosate developer Monsanto. Bayer had always rejected the allegations against the herbicide.

Huge reserves have been created for litigation

The use of glyphosate has been controversial worldwide for years. The drug is important for agriculture, but can have an impact on the environment and, according to the World Health Organization's Cancer Research Agency (WHO), is suspected of having a carcinogenic effect...

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INES Category 3 "Serious Incident"6 December 1972 (INES 3 | NAMS 1,6) Nuclear factory Sellafield, GBR

The processing of fuel elements that had been stored for too short a time resulted in a high iodine content and set 2,2 TBq Radioactivity free. (Cost approx. US$98 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

Slowly but surely, all the relevant information on disruptions in the nuclear industry from  Wikipedia away!

Wikipedia

Sellafield (formerly Windscale)

The complex was made famous by a catastrophic fire in 1957 and by frequent nuclear incidents, which is one of the reasons why it was renamed Sellafield. Up until the mid-1980s, large quantities of the nuclear waste generated in day-to-day operations were discharged in liquid form via a pipeline into the Irish Sea.

Sellafield # Incidents

Radiological releases

Between 1950 and 2000 there were 21 serious off-site incidents or accidents involving radiological releases that warranted classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale, one at Level 5, five at Level 4 and fifteen at Level 3. In addition, there were in intentional releases of plutonium and irradiated uranium oxide particles into the atmosphere known for extended periods in the 1950s and 1960s...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

Sellafield (formerly_Windscale), United Kingdom

There are comparable nuclear factories all over the world:

Uranium enrichment and reprocessing - facilities and sites

During reprocessing, the inventory of spent fuel elements can be separated from one another in a complex chemical process (PUREX). Separated uranium and plutonium can then be reused. As far as the theory...

 


5. December


 

Freedom of the press | Transparency | Prosecutor | Court documents

Freedom of the press in danger:

FragDenState in the prosecutor's crosshairs

The transparency platform FragDenStaat consciously took a legal risk by publishing court documents from ongoing proceedings. The Berlin public prosecutor's office is now investigating project manager Arne Semsrott - who is already launching a counterattack.

Since late summer, the Berlin public prosecutor's office has been investigating Arne Semsrott, project manager and editor-in-chief of FragDenStaat. These are official documents from ongoing criminal proceedings that the transparency initiative published in August. Although those affected agreed to the publication and personal information was blacked out, the public prosecutor's office considers the revelations to be illegal.

With the publication, the initiative intended to shed light on disproportionate investigative measures against activists of the “last generation”. One would actually think that uncovering grievances is part of everyday journalistic life - but the release of official documents from criminal proceedings is a criminal offense according to Section 353d No. 3 StGB...

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Fossil | Lobby | Climate conference | COP28

Used for oil, gas and coal

More than 2400 lobbyists are at the UN climate conference

An NGO analysis shows that there are more fossil lobbyists at the COP than representatives of the countries most vulnerable to global warming. The EU has also accredited employees of large corporations as part of its delegation.

According to data analysis by activists, at least 2456 lobbyists for coal, oil and gas are officially accredited at the World Climate Conference in Dubai - four times more than at the meeting in Egypt last year. The evaluation was published on Tuesday by the “Kick Big Polluters Out” coalition, which is supported by, among others, Global Witness, Transparency International, Greenpeace and the Climate Action Network. Publicly available data from the UN Climate Secretariat UNFCC were evaluated.

According to the analysis, the lobbyists received more access passes than all delegations from the ten countries most vulnerable to global warming...

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Reform | Transport transition | power politics

StVO reform failed for the time being

Federal Council stops paradigm shift in transport

The Union and the SPD are jointly slowing down the Greens and the municipalities: Because only power politics and not factual politics count, traffic safety and climate protection are falling by the wayside in Germany.

As one of its major reforms, the federal government set out to reform the Road Traffic Act (StVG) and the road traffic regulations (StVO) derived from it. Rightly so.

Because these regulations define public space and its rules of use. StVG and StVO are therefore seen as the key to the transport transition.

Although the amendment was agreed upon between the parties in the federal government and passed by the Bundestag, the reform effort has now failed in the Bundesrat. It appears this was no coincidence. At the same time, the SPD canceled the coalition in the city of Hanover with the Greens, explicitly stating that it could no longer support the transport transition projects...

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Climate protection | Climate conference | COP28

Double oomph for more climate protection

At the beginning of the climate conference in Dubai, climate protection was strengthened. Also from the German judiciary. A guest comment.

The local court is forcing the federal government to present effective emergency climate programs for transport and buildings as quickly as possible. Environmental associations such as Germanwatch and Deutsche Umwelthilfe, which have sued, are applauding the verdict.

And in Dubai, COP28 also began with good news. The fund for damage and losses caused by climate change in small island states, approved at COP27, comes into force immediately and has been made operational. The host country and Germany have pushed for this. The fund is currently filled with $400 million.

It's a double whammy for the climate. This is also absolutely necessary, because the industrialized countries in particular are lagging miles behind in their commitments to climate protection, even though they are precisely responsible for the climate crisis. A German person emits around 20 times more greenhouse gases than an Indian or African...

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CO2 emissions | Records | 1,5 degrees

New record high for CO2 emissions

Balance sheet for 2023 shows rising emissions and dwindling natural buffers

No trend reversal in sight: global carbon dioxide emissions will continue to increase in 2023, as the annual balance sheet of the Global Carbon Project shows. Accordingly, anthropogenic CO2 emissions will increase by 2022 percent to 1,1 billion tons compared to 36,8 - a new record. China and India are the main drivers of this trend. At the same time, deforestation, fires and El Niño are causing the natural buffering effect of vegetation to decrease. Oceans and land combined can only offset around half of our CO2 emissions.

Every year at the World Climate Conference, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) publishes its annual balance of carbon dioxide emissions and atmospheric CO2 levels - including now. While climate protection, compensation payments and a lack of progress are being discussed at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, global measurement data and models are providing facts. Even in the run-up to the conference, new records were set for atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, while the countries' National Commitments (NDC) submitted as part of the Paris Climate Agreement are closer to three degrees than 1,5 degrees...

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Disaster | World Climate Conference | COP28 | Carla Hinrichs

Climate talk at “Hard but fair”

Hinrichs: “We’re being ripped off”

The disaster fund that is being launched at the beginning of the World Climate Conference is “groundbreaking”, “phenomenal” and “historic”. That's what those who worked on it say. Carla Hinrichs from Last Generation thinks this is window dressing.

The World Climate Conference, which opened last Thursday in Dubai, started positively: the states agreed on a disaster fund from which climate damage will be financed. Germany paid $100 million, as did the United Arab Emirates, and other countries followed suit.

[...] climate activist Carla Hinrichs from the Last Generation can't do much with the fund. On “Hart aber fair” on ARD she clearly expresses her displeasure. "We are being fooled," she says: "We are being fooled by this conference, we are also being fooled by the international community, but especially by our own government, by its decision-makers, who now want to sell us that it is a big one A coup is when you put a hundred million - a hundred million - into the fund." For comparison: According to a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics, the floods in the Ahr Valley caused damage of more than 40 billion euros...

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Broken Arrow, on December 5, 1965, two B43 hydrogen bombs got out of control and sank off Japan5 December 1965 (Broken Arrow) Douglas A-4E Skyhawk, USA

 Wikipedia

1965 A-4 incident in the Philippine Sea

The A-4 crash in the Philippines in 1965 was a Broken Arrow incident in which a United States Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb) flew from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga into the sea off Japan fell. The plane, pilot and weapon were never recovered.

The accident

On December 5, 1965, 31 days after the Ticonderoga left U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in the Philippines, the fighter aircraft was thrown backwards over the side during a training exercise and fell from the No. 2 elevator while flying from Hangar Bay No 2 was rolled to elevator #2. The pilot, Lieutenant Douglas M. Webster, the aircraft, the Douglas A-4E BuNo 151022 of VA-56, and the B43 nuclear weapon were never recovered from the depth of 4.900 m (16.000 ft). The accident is said to have occurred 68 miles (59 nmi; 109 km) off Kikai Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan...

Number of weapons

Although most sources refer to a single weapon, a document from the Los Alamos National Lab indicates that there were two weapons.

revelation

It was only in 1989 that the US Department of Defense revealed the proximity of the lost one-megaton H-bomb to Japanese territory...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) 

 


4. December


 

Israel | Stock market | Speculation

Wave of short selling

Israel probes suspicious stock trading ahead of Hamas attack

Two US professors have found evidence that massive bets were made on financial markets on falling prices of Israeli stocks - shortly before the attacks from the Gaza Strip began. Did Hamas make millions like that?

Israeli authorities are investigating a report by US scientists that some investors may have known in advance about the radical Islamic group Hamas' plan to attack on October 7th. Research by law professors Robert Jackson Jr. of New York University and Joshua Mitts of Columbia University found that there was significant short-selling of stocks in the run-up to the attacks. These are usually highly speculative bets on falling prices. "Even days before the attacks, traders seemed to foresee the coming events," says a report by the scientists, in which they refer to short sales in the MSCI Israel ETF, an investment fund that primarily bundles shares of Israeli companies. According to data from the US regulator Finra, these short sales “suddenly and significantly skyrocketed” on October 2nd. 

Did Hamas make billions?

Short selling of Israeli securities has increased dramatically on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the 66-page report says...

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European Parliament | Corruption scandal | Qatargate

EU corruption scandal overwhelms judiciary:

The great uncertainty

A year after the EU's biggest corruption scandal, the Belgian justice system has no plan on how to move forward. All suspects were released.

BRUSSELS taz | The so-called Qatargate is becoming more and more mysterious a year after the spectacular investigations and house searches in which bundles of cash were found on prominent MEPs. The suspects are at large and the Belgian justice system appears to be overwhelmed.

Eva Kaili, who was once seen as the main person responsible and was quickly removed from her position as deputy speaker of the parliament, has long since been going in and out of Brussels and Strasbourg as if nothing had happened. The 45-year-old prominent Greek woman claims that she was the victim of a plot. The socialist MEP Marie Arena, who is considered an important informant, was also not prosecuted. The Belgian public prosecutor's office said they would not demand a waiver of immunity or make an arrest. That doesn't mean that the investigation has been stopped, according to Brussels. But so far they have largely come to nothing. Not a single deputy was brought to trial, Kaili and several other suspects had to be released from custody. Since the prominent investigating judge Michel Claise had to give up the case in the spring due to bias, the Belgian justice system has been treading water...
 

IMHO

The EU's opponents sit back and relax and once again don't need to do anything because the European Union is dismantling itself...

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France | EDF | Electricity price

France is increasing prices for nuclear power by over 60 percent and is relying on offshore wind energy

In France, the state-capped prices for nuclear power will be drastically increased in the future. The French state and the state energy supplier Electricité de France (EDF) have apparently agreed on this. At the same time, the contours of France's future energy policy are becoming clearer.

The French government completely nationalized the ailing energy supplier EDF in 2023 and will determine the fate of the company itself in the future. Despite high debts, EDF will have to finance the multi-billion-euro nuclear power plant life extension and the construction of new nuclear power plants in the future. The French government is also planning to expand offshore wind energy on a large scale; in 2025 alone, offshore wind farms with an output of 10.000 MW are to be put out to tender in France...

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Climate Protection Act | Higher Administrative Court | Instant program

Justice on climate protection law: “Lip service to climate protection is not enough”

After the Constitutional Court's climate decision, a court in Berlin ruled on environmental law. How should both decisions be classified? Lawyer Thomas Groß explains.

In this interview with Prof. Dr. Thomas Groß will discuss the recent decision of the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court (OVG) on the immediate programs for climate protection in transport and housing policy. The significance of this judgment is compared with the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) from 2021 known as the “climate judgment”.

Groß, who holds the chair for public law, European law and comparative law at the University of Osnabrück, highlights the differences between the two decisions and explains why the OVG ruling may have even greater effects...

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Armaments | Sipri | Military spending

Sipri report on the defense industry

This is how much sales the largest arms companies in the world make

US defense companies dominate the global arms market - but their sales are shrinking, according to a current study by the Sipri Institute. In the long term, however, the industry is likely to grow significantly.

The world's hundred largest arms companies generated $597 billion in sales of weapons and military services last year. This emerges from data that the Stockholm Institute for Peace Research Sipri has now published. Adjusted for inflation, the report shows a decline of 3,5 percent compared to 2021. Nevertheless, the industry giants' total sales in 2022 were still 14 percent higher than in 2015 - the year in which Sipri included Chinese companies in its report for the first time.

The decline is primarily due to the falling arms sales of large companies in the USA. In contrast, sales rose significantly in Asia and Oceania as well as the Middle East. According to the institute, outstanding orders and a sharp increase in new contracts indicate that global arms sales could rise significantly in the next few years...

 


3. December


 

Climate conference | CCS | Certificates | CO2 price

Climate conference in Dubai

The only true price for CO₂

The oil companies who are fighting at the climate conference to simply carry on as before have a suggestion: at some point we will simply get the carbon dioxide out of the air again. You should take them at their word – immediately.

Let's say you want to take out a loan. When the bank advisor asks you about security, you explain that it's no problem at all: you're planning to write a global bestseller soon that will easily put Harry Potter to shame. When the bank advisor looks incredulous, you add that you have already self-published a volume of poetry that has been very well received by your friends and acquaintances.

The CO₂ strategy of the major oil companies and states currently looks something like this, including the United Arab Emirates, which is currently attending the COP28 world climate conference. The Emirates want to invest $35 billion in clean technology over the next five years and at the same time $150 billion in further oil production by the state-owned company Adnoc. COP and Adnoc President Sultan Al Jaber wants to limit emissions, but not oil production.

With this claim - we will simply get the CO₂ out of the air - the oil companies are currently fighting for the survival of their business models, which are fatal for all of us. With Direct Air Capture (DAC) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), we simply fish the greenhouse molecules out of the air or exhaust gases, then we can continue burning oil and gas, or so the narrative goes...

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Chemicals | Bisphenol A

Handling Bisphenol A:

Doctors are calling for more precautions

56 medical professionals are calling for a different way of dealing with chemicals. They criticize the federal government's health protection.

BERLIN taz | Scientists criticize the federal government's handling of toxic chemicals. In an open letter to Environment Minister Steffi Lemke and Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (both Greens), 56 medical professionals express their “concern about the way in which the German regulatory authorities have handled bisphenol A and other bisphenols”. They accuse the ministries of hindering health care in the EU because they are doing too little to combat the excessive exposure of the population to bisphenol A in all member states. The chemical is used to make plastics and resins and can be found in numerous everyday products. It is suspected of damaging fertility, causing diabetes, cancer or behavioral disorders. The supervisory authorities criticized in the letter are primarily addressed to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). This rejects a new limit, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) set for bisphenol A in the spring as too high. The BfR doubts the methodology with which Efsa arrived at its new assessment; On the BfR website, the authority states that the studies were poorly selected, some were not valid and not meaningful. It therefore published its own limit value, which is up to 1.000 times higher than that of the Efsa...

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CO2 | World Climate ConferenceCOP28

Indigenous people are being pushed out

CO2 trading at the expense of Africans

At the UN climate conference in Dubai, Africans are trying to find a common position. Many of them see international CO2 trading as a pure rip-off of the West.

Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan expressed what is on the hearts of many African climate activists and environmentalists. The ideas currently being discussed about how to get climate change under control are “detrimental to Africa,” she emphasized in the week before the UN climate conference in Dubai. She particularly mentioned the CO2 trading programs, which are hotly debated internationally: "This means that foreign companies reap more than we do ourselves."

She encouraged her counterparts from neighboring countries to take a common position against this at the climate conference in the United Arab Emirates "so that we can find a common way to protect our environment." However, not for the benefit of large international corporations, but for the Africans themselves.

CO2 trading - that is the big solution idea that is being debated at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai these days. Above all, the oil-producing countries and large private corporations are advocates if they want to fulfill their voluntary commitment to not emit any more net CO2050 by 2. Because this enables them, if they do not save any emissions themselves, to support projects elsewhere in the world that avoid or reduce CO2. This means they can essentially make up for their own emissions...

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Climate change | Facts | IPCC

Facts about climate change:

Does the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sometimes make mistakes?

When negotiations take place at the World Climate Conference, facts are the basis. This is provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But how does it actually work? And how solid are its reports?

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) comes forward every few years with data, warnings and recommendations on climate change, it makes people sit up and take notice. His reports are the basis for political decisions and also for negotiations at the World Climate Conferences (COPs). This was also the case in Dubai this year.

[...] The IPCC, as a scientific and intergovernmental body, includes 195 states that send experts.

[...] In fact, the IPCC itself does not conduct research. However, he evaluates thousands of studies from all over the world and compiles the results in his reports. Hundreds of scientists are involved. They come from climate and marine research, but also from the fields of economics, statistics, social sciences and health. The core team consists of 30 to 40 researchers and experts.

Every five to six years, the IPCC publishes so-called Assessment Reports (AR), which provide comprehensive overviews of the state of research...

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AfD | Dissatisfaction | Changes

Why are more and more workers in Germany voting for the AfD?

Workers as AfD's core voters: An unexpected trend? A new study shows why more and more of them are voting for the right-wing populists.

Workers are one of the professional groups that particularly support the AfD. The party also gained significant support among workers in this year's state elections in Hesse. Here she was elected by 40 percent of workers, an increase of 16 percent. In the 2019 state elections in Brandenburg and Saxony, more than 40 percent of workers voted for the right-wing populists.

Party research has been discussing for some time whether the AfD's particular success makes it a new workers' party. It is largely undisputed that their election program cannot necessarily be described as worker-friendly. The fact that it is still above-average successful among workers is attributed, among other things, to the way it addresses discontent and protest...

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Wolfgang Neuss

100 years of Wolfgang Neuss

Today Wolfgang Neuss (1923-1989) would have been 100 years old: A tribute to the cabaret artist and actor.

[...] “On that day in the spring of 1943 when Professor Albert Hofmann discovered LSD in Basel, I shot myself in my left hand near the Belarusian town of Rzhev,” Neuss answered in the mid-80s when asked by journalists about the most important event in his life – and held out his index fingerless left hand to his colleague: “Symbol for art instead of war. Self-mutilation was and is a good peace movement!”.

[...] That this fresh, cheerful man with the drums and jack-of-all-trades of the media, the Disgrace of the nation No one really wanted to understand why he simply withdrew and remained silent. In doing so, he did nothing other than live out the protest he had previously shouted: the cute playboy and “Jaguar E” driver abstained from consumption, gave away his belongings and sat down on the meditation cushion of an empty two-room apartment instead of in the luxury penthouse. And he cured his 20-year orgies of pills and alcohol with cannabis: “I smoke the rope that would hang me,” he announced and never tired of praising hemp as medicine for the body and mind...

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Wind power | Subsidies | Electricity production

Offshore wind farm:

The wind farms have become too expensive

Inflation, cancellations, delivery bottlenecks: The expansion of wind power in the sea is making little progress. Europe is lacking urgently needed amounts of electricity, which is endangering the energy transition.

They are called Baltic Eagle, Gode Wind 3 or Nordlicht 1. Their location is off the island of Norderney, Rügen or Borkum. And they all have something in common: they don't yet produce any electricity. So far they are only on the list of future offshore wind projects in Germany. Once they are completed at some point, they should secure Germany's electricity supply.

[...] Of the planned 30 gigawatts of offshore electricity capacity in 2030, just 8,4 gigawatts are installed off the German coast. The EU figures differ somewhat further: the nine EU states and Great Britain want to build 120 gigawatts of offshore wind farms in the same period. Only 30 gigawatts have been achieved so far. 

[...] From Quaschning's point of view, there is enough money, after all, the state spends more than 60 billion euros every year on climate-damaging subsidies. He also thinks tax increases are one way. There are no alternatives to wind power at sea. “Wind power on land is only possible to a limited extent; photovoltaics do not deliver reliably in winter,” says Quaschning. “We are urgently dependent on the planned offshore wind power.” 

[...] Above all, the long period between the application and electricity production would have to be shortened. So that the calculation of Baltic Eagle, Gode Wind 3 or Nordlicht 1 is not outdated again after the development and construction period. And so that the wind farms can quickly do what they are intended for: generate electricity.

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Brazil | Glyphosate | Cancer

Brazil: More glyphosate leads to more deaths in children

As soy production increases, more and more pesticides are sprayed. More and more children are getting cancer, says a study.

Increasing soy cultivation in Brazil is associated with more deaths among children under the age of ten. The reason for this is the increased use of pesticides. This is suggested by a US study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The team led by Marin Skidmore from the University of Illinois examined the increase in cancer mortality among children under the age of ten in the Amazon region and in the Cerrado, which is characterized by wet savannas. Soy cultivation is becoming more and more widespread in these regions. In the period from 2008 to 2019, 123 children died here from acute lymphoblastic leukemia - the most common blood-based cancer in children. Many more children developed cancer.

[...] Health experts from around the world have long warned about the catastrophic effects of pesticides on the environment and human health. However - they admit - the causal connection between pesticides and chronic diseases is not easy to prove because symptoms usually only develop after many years and can be caused or promoted by a variety of factors.

 


Current news+  Background knowledge Top

 

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Autocrat | Democrat | Consequence

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:

The language of autocracy

Autocrats like Recep Tayyip Erdoğan use language that the heads of state of democracies seem unable to combat. When will the latter finally learn?

Autocratic leadership politicians have their own language, their own language style. Most of the time they speak loudly, angrily, provocatively and polarizingly in simple, generally understandable words. They hate dissenting ideas, the free press, the independent judiciary, same-sex marriage, refugees, foreigners, their opponents; and generate their following from this hostility. Autocrats understand each other's language and learn from each other.

A few months after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on his country's youth: "Don't be the youth of LGBT people, be the youth of the nation!", Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán declared: "We do not allow LGBTQ activists to enter our schools enter." The same Orbán is capable of saying in support of Erdoğan: "His opponent in the election was Soros." In doing so, he creates a common enemy, the anti-Semitic conspiracy narrative of alleged Jewish world domination.

If Donald Trump declares the media the "enemy of the people" during his term as US President, we will soon hear the same attribution on the other side of the world from the mouth of Sheich Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Autocrats use the common language when communicating with each other, just as they do in conflicts. In international relations, they quarrel not in the language of diplomacy that has become sophisticated over time, but in a crude manner that we can almost describe as "street jargon." When Turkey launched a military offensive in Syria, Trump sent Erdoğan a short letter saying: "Don't play the hard man. Don't be a fool!" The letter began with the following threat: "I don't want to be responsible for the destruction of the Turkish economy - but I will. I have already given you a small example in the Pastor Brunson case."

In fact, Trump threatened harsh sanctions when American pastor Andrew Brunson was arrested in Turkey in 2016 for alleged espionage. First, Erdoğan declared: "As long as I'm alive, you won't get this terrorist back." In response to Washington's threat that either the pastor would be released or Turkey would have to bear the consequences, Brunson was quickly transferred to the USA in 2018.

Similarly, in 2015, Vladimir Putin ordered immediate action against Turkey after it shot down a Russian fighter jet and refused to speak to Erdoğan by phone: "I won't speak to him again until he apologizes." When tourism companies canceled trips to Turkey and the import of some Turkish export goods to Russia was banned, Erdoğan was forced to apologize.

When the same Erdoğan claimed in 2017 that 680 German companies were supporting terrorism, Berlin issued a travel warning for Turkey and advised companies against investing there. Ankara then immediately explained that it had been a misunderstanding and withdrew the list.

“Erdoğan makes a historic announcement for Germany”

If you look at Erdoğan's recent visit to Berlin from this perspective, there is a glaring language problem on the German side. Erdoğan's statements about Hamas and Israel before the trip would inevitably trigger a crisis. But the federal government did not listen to appeals to postpone the visit. Clearly they didn't want to upset the Turkish president. It was believed that a crisis could be avoided by limiting the visit to one day, not allowing Erdoğan to watch the international football match between Germany and Turkey in the Berlin Olympic Stadium and banning rallies by his supporters. To ensure that tensions did not escalate at the press conference, journalists from both sides were only allowed one question. But Erdoğan's single answer was enough for his show. He managed to spread Hamas propaganda, which had been banned at rallies on the streets of Berlin, in the Chancellery there. And Erdoğan skillfully seized the opportunity presented to him to convey his message to his followers and the Islamic world. He took advantage of the fact that the repressive regime he had established in Turkey was not mentioned at all to portray himself as a defender of human rights. Even before he got back to Turkey, the local press, which was loyal to him, ran the headline: "Erdoğan makes a historic announcement for Germany"...

The Turkish press did not highlight the Federal President's critical statements, which were written in a diplomatic tone, or that Frank-Walter Steinmeier did not smile in the handshake photo, but rather that he had rolled out the red carpet for his guest. It was written that Chancellor Olaf Scholz had no response to Erdoğan's criticism. At the press conference, Erdoğan acted relaxed, as if it was a home game, even though it was an away game, just like the football game the next day. Erdoğan did not speak to his counterpart, but to the stands, and returned home with the demeanor of a victorious general, albeit without any tangible results. That could be enough to keep his supporters happy and win Turkey's approaching local elections.

It looks like the autocrats will continue to rule with their street jargon. As long as the democratic governments of Europe do not learn to deal with this language, which is spreading rapidly around the world and finding more and more buyers.

 


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Background knowledge

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The map of the nuclear world

Democracies around the world are being taken over by autocratic horror clowns ...

The “Internal Search”

with the search terms

Autocrat | Democrat | Consequence

brought the following results, among others:
 

September 15, 2023 - Betrayed by an official to neo-Nazis

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July 23, 2023 - Central and South America: Power elite torpedoes free elections

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June 17, 2022 - Press freedom dies with Julian Assange

 


The search engine Ecosia is planting trees!

Search word = autocrat

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Autokrat
 

Wikipedia

autocracy

In political science, autocracy or self-rule (ancient Greek αὐτοκράτεια autokráteia 'self-rule', from αὐτός autós 'self' and κρατεῖν krateín 'rule') is the name given to a form of rule in which an individual or group of people exercises uncontrolled political power and has no constitutional power is subject to moderate restrictions: a rule legitimized by the sole holder of power from his own perfection. In comparative government theory, autocracy is usually contrasted with democracy as an ideal concept. There are several concepts for systems in between, such as defective democracy and hybrid regimes. In contrast, the constitutional lawyer Karl Loewenstein distinguishes the constitutional state, in which several independent power holders are involved in the exercise of political power and control each other, as the ideal type opposite to autocracy. The term dictatorship, which has long been used as an antonym for democracy, is increasingly falling out of use in political science. According to Jürgen Hartmann, the term autocracy competes with terms with the same meaning as dictatorship and authoritarian system (or authoritarian regime), so these terms are also used synonymously in the literature.

An autocrat (ancient Greek αυτοκράτης autokrátes 'self-ruler') is therefore a sole or self-ruler who exercises the power of rule in a certain area on the basis of his own power and is not restricted in his power by anything or anyone. The term autocrat is also used colloquially for a self-important person (similar to despot, tyrant, dictator).

An autocracy in which unfree elections are held is sometimes called an electoral autocracy (“electoral authoritarianism”). Possible examples of electoral autocracies include Russia under Vladimir Putin, Hungary under Viktor Orbán, and Benin and Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

 


YouTube

Search word = autocrat

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Autokrat
 

extra 3 - April 29, 2022 - 1:53

Dependent on autocracies

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phoenix plus - April 13, 2023 - 29:32

"Erdoğan - From reformer to autocrat"
 

Will open in a new window! - YouTube channel "Reactor failure" playlist - radioactivity worldwide ... - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJI6AtdHGth3FZbWsyyMMoIw-mT1Psuc5Playlist - radioactivity worldwide ...

This playlist contains over 150 videos on the topic

 


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Newsletter XLVIII 2023 - November 26th to December 2nd

Newspaper article 2023

 


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