Newsletter I 2024

January 1th to 6th

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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.

1 January 1977 (INES 5) NPP Beloyarsk, USSR

2 January 1958 (INES 4) Nuclear factory Mayak, USSR

3 January 1961 (INES 4 | NAMS 2,9) SL-1, NRTS Idaho Falls, USA

4 January 1986 (INES 4) Nuclear factory Sequoyah, USA

5 January 1976 (INES 3) NPP Jaslovské Bohunice, SVK

6 January 2016 (North Korea's 4th nuclear weapons test) Punggye-ri, PRK

6 January 1981 (INES 3) Nuclear factory La Hague, FRA

13 January 1977 (INES ? Class.?) NPP Gundremmingen, GER

17 January 1966 (Broken Arrow) B-52 Palomares, E.S.P

18 January 2012 (INES 2) NPP Cattenom, FRA

20 January 1965 (INES 4 | NAMS 3,7) Nuclear factory LLNL, Livermore, USA

21 January 2002 (INES 2) NPP Flamanville, FRA

21 January 1969 (INES 5 | NAMS 1,6) VAKL Lucens, CHE

21 January 1968 (Broken Arrow) B-52 Thule Airport, Greenland, DNK

24 January 1961 (Broken Arrow) B-52 Goldsboro, NC, USA

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

 


6. January


 

GreeceRankingblack market

Economic ranking of countries:

The bankrupt Greeks in first place

Greece's economy was named by The Economist. How can that be when the black market is booming and billions of taxpayers' money is being lost?

What a surprise: the former bankrupt state of Greece was named the “best economy of the year” for 2023 by the British business magazine Economist. The paper examined 35 OECD countries, and Greece scored particularly well with its low core inflation of just 3,4 percent. In addition, the shares rose by 43 percent. Germany, on the other hand, landed in 27th place.

It is the second year in a row that Greece has been ranked number one by the Economist. Because the country is growing rapidly. In 2021, the Greek economy grew by a whopping 8,4 percent, in 2022 it was 5,6 percent, and in 2023 it was still 2,4 percent.

[...] However, it is not easy to measure the Greek economy correctly statistically because the black market is huge. Greece's central bank chief Yannis Stournaras recently calculated it: only around 2022 billion euros in private income were declared to the tax authorities in 80 - but private consumption reached 140 billion euros. So 60 billion euros were not taxed, meaning the state lost 18 billion euros, around 30 percent of the taxes paid.

Stournaras therefore wants to ensure that payments can only be made digitally in Greece so that every transaction is recorded...

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GuatemalaLand rightsIndigenous people

Mining in Guatemala Indigenous people are allowed to have a say in land use

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has granted land rights to an indigenous people in Guatemala. The verdict could have a signal effect for all of Latin America.

The needs of states, companies and the population are often contradictory. If ideas about the use of land differ greatly, in Latin America the population is rarely right.

Things have now turned out differently in Guatemala. After a lengthy legal battle, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has granted the Q'eqchi' people of the Izabal region of northern Guatemala rights to the land they have inhabited and cultivated since the 19th century.

[...] The verdict now says:

The State of Guatemala is responsible for the violation of the rights to recognition of legal personality, personal integrity, access to information, property and the exercise of political rights.

Inadequacies in Guatemalan law meant that there was insufficient consultation with the indigenous population and no recognition of their collective ownership rights before mining activities began.

[...] On January 14th, the new president of Guatemala will be inaugurated. Bernardo Arévalo, known as an anti-corruption fighter, has already campaigned for more indigenous rights during the election campaign.

Now he has the opportunity to implement his campaign themes sooner than expected...

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Agriculture | Subsidies | Farmers' uprising | Pawn catcher

Farmers' uprising: Are the protests fundamentally justified?

Agricultural diesel subsidies are gradually being phased out. Large companies continue to make profits. Things are different for small farms.

Coercion, breach of the peace, damage to property, interference with road traffic - the list of offenses in the context of the farmers' protests is getting longer and longer. When Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck (Greens) was prevented from going ashore by hundreds of farmers at a ferry pier in Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday, this was condemned by the farmers' association as well as by the Green Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir.

[...] Airlines continue to benefit

It should not be the case that farmers are treated differently than, for example, Lufthansa, which does not have to pay kerosene tax. Just like them, the agricultural and food industries also face international competition.

Instead of making savings for farmers, savings in company car privileges should also be seriously examined: the tax privilege could be capped at a certain level of fuel consumption. Nursing services, which generally travel in small cars, would then continue to benefit from this.

[...] Small farms in particular are giving up

There are still 258.700 agricultural businesses in this country, 40.000 fewer farms than in 2010. The trend is towards large farms.

Small farms with an area of ​​less than 100 hectares in particular are giving up: the number of animal owners with tethered stables alone has shrunk from 82.500 to just 35.100 over the last ten years - a decline of almost 60 percent...

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farmersprotest actionRight-wing extremists

Views in online networks

Authorities warn against infiltration of farmers' protests by extremists

According to a media report, right-wingers and lateral thinkers are trying to use the protests for their own purposes. The BKA and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution registered calls for mobilization from their ranks, among other things, for “subversive riots”.

According to a report, in connection with the planned farmers' protests next week, German security authorities are observing various calls for mobilization and expressions of solidarity from right-wing extremists, New Right groups and the lateral thinker scene. According to "Welt am Sonntag", this was the result of a query with the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the constitutional protection authorities of the federal states. The calls are particularly common in online networks.

The BKA registered numerous calls for mobilization. These include calls for a “general strike” and “subversive riots” as well as for an “infiltration” of the demonstrations. The right-wing extremist party »Der III. According to the police, "Away" speaks of a possible farmers' revolt. AfD members and party officials would act as event registrants or would be scheduled to speak. There is also a call from the new right-wing initiative “One Percent”...

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The mushroom cloud stands for atomic or hydrogen bombs, also in the context of tests6 January 2016 (North Korea's 4th nuclear weapons test) Punggye-ri, PRK

Wikipedia

North Korean nuclear weapons program

On January 6, 2016, the government of North Korea announced that a successful test of a hydrogen bomb had been carried out for the first time. Seismic signals indicating a nuclear weapon explosion have been measured by Chinese and US earthquake monitors near the Punggye Ri nuclear weapons test site. However, the level of seismic activity expected from a hydrogen bomb does not match the measured values, since the explosive power of a hydrogen bomb is normally many times higher than that of a fission bomb. Rather, experts assume it is a fission bomb boosted using hydrogen. The People's Republic of China, which has often supported North Korean positions in the past, condemned the test in clear terms. At the request of the USA and Japan, the United Nations Security Council then convened an emergency meeting. On January 10, 2016, a U.S. B-52 bomber flew over South Korea, which was seen internationally as a reaffirmation of the U.S.-South Korean military alliance and a warning to North Korea not to escalate the situation too much... 

Punggye-ri (Proving Grounds)

List of nuclear weapons tests 
 

Atomwaffen A - Z

North Korea

...To date, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests: in 2006, 2009, 2013, twice in 2016 and most recently in September 2017. North Korea claimed on January 6, 2016 that the country had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb for the first time...

Punggye-ri

Nuclear test site, North Korea

All of North Korea's six previous nuclear tests (2006-2017) were conducted at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site (also known as Hwaderi). The facility is located in the mountains north of Hamgyeong Province in the northeast of the country under Mount Mantap. At the end of April 2018, North Korea decommissioned the nuclear test site and detonated significant parts in front of gathered press on May 24, 2018, following a summit agreement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to promote peace between the two parts of Korea...

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INES Category 4 "Accident"6 January 1986 (INES 4) Nuclear factory Sequoyah in Gore, OK, USA

Wikipedia

List of Accidents in Nuclear Facilities#1980s_Years

At the nuclear  Uranium conversion plant Sequoyah by Kerr McGee In Gore, Oklahoma, an overfilled cylinder containing uranium hexafluoride burst after being heated to unacceptable levels. While filling uranium hexafluoride into a transport cylinder intended for this purpose, it was noticed that too much had been filled into the cylinder due to incorrect calibration of a scale. The attempt to empty the cylinder back to a normal level initially failed because the uranium hexafluoride in the container had cooled and solidified. To enable further decanting, heating of the cylinder was instructed to liquefy the material again. During the heating process, the overfilled cylinder ruptured and uranyl fluoride and hydrofluoric acid were released by reacting with the humidity. One worker died from inhaling hydrofluoric acid, and 100 workers and residents had to be hospitalized.
 

Wikipedia en

Sequoyah Fuels Corp

Sequoyah Fuels Corporation owned and operated a uranium processing plant near Gore, Oklahoma. The company was founded in 1983 as a subsidiary of Kerr McGee founded. In 1988 it was sold to General Atomics.

The 1986 Sequoyah Corporation fuel release in Oklahoma

On January 4, 1986, a tank rupture occurred at the Sequoyah plant, killing 26-year-old worker James Harrison and requiring 37 of the 42 workers on site to be hospitalized...

Another accident involving the release of UF6 occurred in 1992. The plant ceased production in 1993 and was decommissioned.

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

AtomkraftwerkePlag

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...
 

Youtube

Uranium economy: Facilities for processing uranium

All uranium and plutonium factories produce radioactive nuclear waste: uranium processing, enrichment and reprocessing plants, whether in Hanford, La Hague, Sellafield, Mayak, Tokaimura or anywhere in the world, all have the same problem: With every processing step More and more extremely toxic and highly radioactive waste is being produced ...

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INES Category 3 "Serious Incident"6 January 1981 (INES 3) Nuclear factory La Hague, FRA

In La Hague there was a fire disaster in a waste storage facility with graphite elements and uranium metal, and a worker was exposed to increased radiation. (Cost approx. US$5,4 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

La Hague (France)

A study published by the European Parliament in 2001 lists events from 1989 to 2000. Eight incidents were described in more detail...

See in the EU study from 2001 on the Pages 112 and 113

Graphite elements burned for 24 hours in a waste silo. The maximum level of measured air contamination, 700 Bq/m3, was reached 10 hours after the fire started. The activity released is mainly due to cesium-137 and -134 (137Cs and 134Cs) and is between 740 GBq and 1.850 GBq, i.e. 10 times the annual limit. The annual limit for the entire La Hague site is 74 GBq for cesium-137.

Strontium-90 (90Sr) was detected in stormwater and the permissible limit for surface contamination was reached 6 km from the site. One worker received the annual permissible dose of 50 mSv in one day.

An off-site health impact study has not been conducted...

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

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...
 

Slowly but surely, all the relevant info on disruptions in the nuclear industry is coming out Wikipedia away!

Wikipedia

Reprocessing plant_La_Hague#malfunctions,_accidents

In 1981 there was a catastrophic fire in a waste storage facility for graphite elements and uranium metal (INES level 3), which worried many people ...
 

Youtube

Uranium economy: Facilities for processing uranium

Reprocessing plants turn a few tons of nuclear waste into many tons of nuclear waste

All uranium and plutonium factories produce radioactive nuclear waste: uranium processing, enrichment and reprocessing plants, whether in Hanford, La Hague, Sellafield, Mayak, Tokaimura or anywhere in the world, all have the same problem: With every processing step More and more extremely toxic and highly radioactive waste is being produced ...

 


5. January


 

FoodPlasticBisphenol A

Plastic chemicals are found in almost all foods

Study detects the “substances of particular concern” bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates in almost all food samples. We live in the Plastocene.

We are increasingly living not only in the virtual or digital world, but also in a plastic world with our bodies. Decades ago, the Kinks wrote a song about the Plastic Man (1969), who is made entirely of plastic and has no brain. In fact, plastic is spreading everywhere on earth, especially in the form of microplastics, penetrating the bodies, hearts and brains of all living beings, where it accumulates. With the entry into the Anthropocene we also entered the Plastocene. A new, often barely visible layer of sediment is forming around the earth: in the air, in the water, in the soil. We become cyborgs and at the same time hybrid bodies. The question is how long it will take the attack on life to permanently change or damage it.

That may sound exaggerated, but we are not only carnivores and herbivores, but also plastic eaters. It is practically impossible to protect children and infants from ingesting micro- and nanoplastic particles, especially since they absorb them in the uterus before they are even born...

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Citizen's Income | Arithmetic artist Lindner | money laundering

Method for adjusting for inflation

Lindner wants to have the calculation of citizens' money checked

In the debate about citizens' benefits, the finance minister has long been advocating that work should always be more worthwhile than giving up a job. Now Christian Lindner has made a suggestion that should help.

According to Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner, the method for calculating citizens' allowance should be reviewed. Due to inflation expectations, the standard rate of citizen's money rose sharply on January 1st, the FDP politician told the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten". "Therefore, the calculation method must be checked so that inflation is not overestimated."

The Social Association of Germany (SoVD) clearly contradicted Lindner's demand. "We only agree with Christian Lindner on one point: the standard rates actually need to be checked because they are still too low," said SoVD board chairwoman Michaela Engelmeier to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Although many people felt that the increase in citizens' money was too high, the relevant period for the recalculation was "in the peak phase" of inflation. "The high price level for consumer goods has never recovered since then, only the increase in prices has slowed." ...

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EmissionsLNGPort

LNG boom in the USA:

A dirty business

The liquefied natural gas industry brings jobs to Louisiana - and destroys the environment and people's health. German companies are also involved.

[...] Three different terminals are already in operation in Cameron, with up to a dozen more being planned. If the expansion is not stopped, Travis Dardar sees little future for this area. In addition to the disruption to fishing, residents in the region around Cameron are exposed to increasing emissions from the many plants. These release formaldehyde, benzene and other carcinogenic substances.

Venture Global, the operator of the Calcasieu Canal terminal, has violated legal emissions standards more than 18 times in just under 150 months. Using so-called “flares”, the liquefaction plants visibly burn off unused material using high flames. Residents in the immediate vicinity of the facilities complain of respiratory problems...

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AfDright-wing extremistParty ban

AfD ban: brilliant sham debate

A ban on the AfD is not seriously sought by civil society, says Leo Fischer

Should the AfD be banned? There is currently a brilliant pseudo-debate about this. In three federal states, the party, which has become more right-wing radical with each renewal, can expect election results of 30 percent or more. In three countries, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution classifies it as definitely right-wing extremist. The ideological closeness of German right-wing terrorists in recent years to this party has been widely documented. The arguments for a ban are weighty.

It's not a sham debate because, as Merz claims, you "can't simply ban" a party that gets 30 percent in polls. It is a sham debate because no one seriously intends to ban the AfD. This lies in the paradoxical justification practice of the highest courts, as shown in the NPD ban proceedings: the NPD was too small to be banned, the AfD, on the other hand, is too big. A right-wing radical party that is sawing away at the foundations of the state would have to be just the right size! There were too many undercover agents in the NPD, while the AfD, on the other hand, provides essential personnel for the security authorities.

Nobody in the CDU wants to ban the AfD because they are setting themselves up to be the AfD light, the alternative of the alternative: they copy their topics, but make them presentable, mainstream right-wing discourses and ideologically push the social democratic parties into a corner . The CDU needs the AfD as an ideological engine for issues. The SPD and the Greens, on the other hand, would implode with a ban in the current mood - corresponding proposals are therefore just thought experiments, gestural anti-fascism...

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Federal Constitutional CourtBasic LawRule of Law

The sharpest sword of the rule of law

Some politicians are debating a proposal to ban the AfD. The Federal Constitutional Court fundamentally outlined the requirements for a party ban in the 2017 NPD ruling. The hurdles are high. 

A political party can only be banned in the Federal Republic by the Federal Constitutional Court. The federal government, the Bundestag or the Bundesrat can submit the application for such a ban. For parties that are only organized in one federal state, also the respective state government.

Whether such a ban is submitted is initially a political decision. Such an application has legal success if the party that is to be banned is actually unconstitutional.

The Basic Law states the prerequisites for this: "Parties which, based on their goals or the behavior of their supporters, aim to impair or eliminate the free democratic basic order or endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany are unconstitutional," says Article 21 , paragraph 2...

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If money laundering is suspected, the processing time is 108 days

Backlog in Lindner authority:

More than 160.000 open money laundering reports

Germany's anti-money laundering authority has 164.597 suspicious activity reports open. A new leader and a new law from Finance Minister Lindner should actually prevent this.

It is a central component in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing: the Financial Intelligence Unit, or FIU for short. If there is a smell of money laundering, banks, savings banks, notaries and jewelry dealers must report this to the FIU via a suspicious transaction report. Internal documents that ZDF was able to view front-on now show: The authority currently has 164.597 reports related to money laundering that have not been fully processed - i.e. still open. Another huge backlog.

Germany is considered a money laundering paradise. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of euros are laundered in this country every year.

[...] The internal documents also show that the authority often works far too slowly. Of the more than 164.000 reports, 113.560 have been waiting for more than 90 days to be finalized - that's more than two thirds. The average processing time for all completed reports relating to money laundering is currently 108 days. In many cases, suspicious money may have been passed on long ago...

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Emissions tradingFederal Environment AgencyClimate and Transformation Fund

New record revenue in emissions trading: over 18 billion euros for climate protection

Revenues from European and national emissions trading increase by 40 percent.

Revenue from the European and national emissions trading systems in Germany rose to a new high of over 2023 billion euros in 18. Compared to the previous record year of 2022 with revenue of 13 billion euros, this is growth of around 40 percent. This is reported by the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) in the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). The proceeds flow entirely into the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF), which as a financing instrument makes a central contribution to achieving Germany's energy and climate policy goals...

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INES Category 3 "Serious Incident"5 January 1976 (INES 3) NPP Jaslovské Bohunice, SVK

Two workers suffocated due to carbon dioxide escaping from the reactor cooling system of a KS 150 in the Bohunice nuclear power plant. (Costs ?)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

Wikipedia

Bohunice nuclear power plant

On January 5, 1976, radioactively contaminated coolant leaked into the reactor hall. The fuel elements were usually changed under full operation. After replacing a fuel element, it became detached in the pressure tube, shot up out of the reactor into the reactor hall and smashed on the crane standing above the reactor. The pressurized carbon dioxide used as coolant flowed through the open channel into the reactor space. Although the operating team managed to seal the open channel with the loading crane, two employees could not save themselves in time and suffocated.

[...] the incident in 1976 is listed as a serious incident (INES 3).
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

CzechiaSlovakia - Bohunice

In the former Czechoslovakia, energy policy since the 1950s has envisaged the use and expansion of nuclear power. The first gas-cooled reactor, which was put into operation in Jaslovské Bohunice (today's Slovakia) in 1972, failed in 1976 due to two serious accidents. As a result, Soviet light water reactor types were adopted, and Czech industry became involved as a supplier in the production of most reactor components in Eastern Europe.

In today's Czech Republic, six reactors provide electricity: two in Temelín near České Budějovice and four in Dukovany near Brno...

 


4. January


 

FossilConvertDividend

Fossil energies

Climate destruction – and lavish profits

The new year is also a new year of distributions for shareholders. Investors in the five major oil companies can look forward to an incredible $100 billion. The money would go to the victims of the climate crisis.

At the UN Climate Change Conference a few weeks ago, almost 200 countries launched a new aid fund for countries affected by climate change for the first time. Those who caused climate change should pay in and thus pay for losses and damage in poorer countries. The idea is that after droughts, forest fires or floods, initial aid programs and reconstruction could be paid for in the future. By mid-December, Germany, Great Britain and the United Arab Emirates had pledged around 700 million dollars (640 million euros).

But after the floods in the Ahr Valley alone, the federal government paid 30 billion (!) euros in reconstruction aid - just for a single region in an already rich country.

In contrast, there are payouts from the five largest listed oil companies in the world – BP, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil and TotalEnergies – also known as the “Big Five”. Your shareholders will be rewarded with around 100 billion US dollars (90 billion euros) this year. The dividend payments in 2022 were similarly high, reports the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The payments come after two years of exorbitantly high profits for major oil and gas companies. One reason is the war in Ukraine, which resulted in particularly high prices for gas and oil throughout Europe...

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Castor transports from Jülich to Ahaus

BUND about nuclear waste trips through NRW:

“Stop Castor transports”

The planned nuclear waste transports are dangerous and unnecessary, say Kerstin Ciesla and Matthias Eickhoff. A word of power is needed from the very top.

taz: Ms. Ciesla, Mr. Eickhoff, environmental associations and anti-nuclear initiatives have been protesting in North Rhine-Westphalia for months against the Castor transports planned this year from Jülich in the Rhineland to Ahaus in Münsterland. Why?

Kerstin Ciesla: Because the transports are dangerous. It's about highly radioactive nuclear waste from the reactor of the former Jülich Nuclear Research Center, which is to be driven almost every week for two years on more than 170 kilometers along highways through the most densely populated regions of North Rhine-Westphalia - for example through the Düsseldorf airport tunnel or via the dilapidated 'Berliner Brücke' of the A59 in the middle of my hometown of Duisburg. Any damage to the castors could lead to the release of radioactivity.

Matthew Eickhoff: In addition, the nuclear waste in the Ahaus interim storage facility is not a bit safer than in Jülich.

You have to explain that.

Eickhoff: The Ahaus interim storage facility is almost 40 years old. It no longer meets today's safety standards. It is not protected against plane crashes, for example. In addition, in contrast to Jülich, there is no 'hot cell' in which defective Castor containers could be repaired. In addition, the permit for the Ahaus interim storage facility expires in 2036 - and the first Jülich Castor containers will reach the end of their 2032-year lifespan as early as 40. This means: Anyone who carts nuclear waste to Ahaus today can also apply for it to be removed - back to Jülich or wherever...

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Nuclear lobbyPromisesNuclear debate

nuclear energy

Authority chief König sees the new nuclear debate as the result of ignorance

The outgoing President of the Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management, König, has criticized the discussion in Germany about a return to nuclear energy.

König told the German Press Agency that there had been phases of great promises from nuclear energy again and again. The fact that they are currently being adopted again so uncritically is evidence of a rapid loss of knowledge among the population and politics. Declarations that electricity prices will fall with nuclear energy or that the problems with nuclear waste will solve themselves are populist slogans. König emphasized that he hoped that society would be wise enough not to repeat old mistakes. The head of the authority is retiring at the end of the month.

Just a few days ago, the CEO of the Eon Group, Birnbaum, declared that a revival of nuclear power in Germany was no longer technically possible. Among others, the CDU chairman Merz, CSU boss Söder and the FDP parliamentary group leader Dürr have repeatedly spoken out in favor of building new nuclear power plants.

 

IMHO

The nuclear lobbyists Dürr, Merzthutjanix and the little flag in the wind Kini Jödler cannot claim ignorance in their favour. They know exactly what they are doing ...

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India builds Reprocessing plant in Kalpakkam

Indian Prime Minister inaugurates demonstration reprocessing plant

The Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing (DFRP) Demonstration Plant is a precursor to large-scale fast reactor fuel reprocessing facilities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the DFRP at the Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam on January 2.

According to India's Ministry of Atomic Energy, the plant, which cost INR 400 million (approximately USD 48 million - INR 1 million is equivalent to USD 10 million) to develop, is the world's first industrial-scale plant to use both carbide - as well as oxide fuels from fast reactors can be processed. The Indian-designed facility will serve as a precursor to large-scale commercial fast reactor fuel reprocessing plants...

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

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FossilNatural gasLobby

Fossil politics:

The natural gas connection

Since reunification, Germany has doubled its imports of climate-damaging natural gas. A look at the machinations of the lobbies.

BERLIN taz | Tim Kehler is the managing director of Zukunft Gas – and therefore the top lobbyist for the German natural gas industry. The major energy companies are members of the association: Shell, Total, Wintershall Dea, Evonik, EnBW, Equinor, Uniper and the Gazprom subsidiary Wingas. 70 German municipal utilities also pay membership fees.

“Germany is expected to emit a total of 217 million tons of carbon dioxide this year without endangering the global climate. “But this amount was already used up by March 28th,” said Timm Kehler in 2018. This means that the remaining German budget was used up almost a week earlier than in the previous year. “Every gram saved counts,” said Kehler. “Because every target missed today, we have to make up for it tomorrow with twice as much effort.” Every year, the gas lobbyist not only announced the “CO2 Action Day” - exactly on the German “Remaining Budget” day.

With campaigns like “Every gram counts,” Zukunft Gas has convinced the public that gas is climate-friendly. Natural gas power plants can actually be more harmful to the climate than coal-fired power plants...

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Electricity priceFederal budgetnetwork charges

No subsidy for network fees

Electricity is only cheap on the exchange and from the roof

The network authority and large electricity producers are predicting rising electricity prices for 2024, especially for millions of households. However, cheap electricity is still available in Germany, even in increasing quantities - but out of reach for most customers.

The days of cheap energy are over, said the President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, around Christmas. With the image of a passing age, the head of the authority wants to place the cancellation of the 5,5 billion euro subsidy for network fees in a larger context and somehow make it plausible.

With the elimination of the billion-dollar subsidy, the traffic light coalition can close a third of the 17 billion deficit that is looming for the 2024 federal budget. Since the beginning of the year, the network costs have fallen entirely on electricity customers. Accordingly, the network levy per kilowatt hour increases from 3,12 to 6,43 cents, more than double. This is also net, with 19 percent VAT added to it.

Müller puts the annual additional costs for an average four-person household at 120 euros. But for many it won't be that expensive...

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JapanEarthquakeTsunamiNuclear Village

Fukushima 2.0?

Almost all of Japan's nuclear power plants are built near the coast - which poses a safety risk from tsunamis in the event of an earthquake

Japan is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world; there will always be earthquakes there with more or less severe consequences, the Anti Nuclear Committee states on the occasion of the current events on the Japanese west coast. It is all the more incomprehensible that, especially in Japan, after several years of caution, nuclear power is once again increasingly being used.

Fukushima was hardly known to anyone before a severe seaquake struck about 160 km away on March 11, 2011, resulting in a tsunami and a nuclear catastrophe that will last for many years. “With consequences that are likely to be lasting. Just like the further costs for decontamination, dismantling and incalculable environmental damage,” states Manfred Doppler from the Anti Nuclear Committee and he adds; “Fukushima didn’t happen, it’s still happening!”...

 


3. January


 

Israel's right-wing extremists ministers and international law

Gaza war

EU chief diplomat Borrell calls statements from the Israeli government “inflammatory”

Parts of the Netanyahu government advocate Israeli repopulation of the Gaza Strip after the war against Hamas. There is clear criticism of this - now also with sharp words from the EU.

EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell has sharply criticized statements from the Israeli government about the possible expulsion of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. The statements were “inflammatory and irresponsible.”

The Israeli ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich had slandered the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip with their statements and called for a plan for their emigration, Borrell wrote on Platform X.

“Forced relocations are strictly prohibited as a serious violation of international humanitarian law and words count,” said Borrell. Criticism has also come from the federal government as well as the governments of the USA and France...

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ArmamentsNATOPatriot missiles

Production in Germany:

NATO buys 1.000 Patriot missiles

In view of the war in Ukraine, NATO wants to strengthen its air defense: To this end, the alliance is purchasing up to 1.000 German-made Patriot missiles.

Against the backdrop of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, NATO has signed a contract with the German arms manufacturer Comlog for up to 1.000 Patriot air defense missiles. The company in Schrobenhausen, Upper Bavaria, is expected to supply, among other things, rockets, spare parts and test systems. NATO's joint procurement agency announced this on Wednesday...

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Turkey | WarshipsMine clearance

Blockade of deminers

Erdogan prevents British ships from passing through Ukraine

Britain donates two Royal Navy minesweepers to Ukraine. Now the handover of the ships is failing due to the Turkish blockade. Ankara prohibits warships from crossing the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, citing international agreements as the basis for this.

Turkey blocks the handover of two mine-clearing ships to Ukraine. The government in Ankara announced that it would not allow the two ships donated to Ukraine by the British Navy to pass through its waters to the Black Sea. This violates international agreements on crossing the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, which belong to Turkey, during wartime...

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Energy transition | DenmarkNorwayelectricity imports

Energy transition: Where Germany gets most of its electricity from

Energy and climate – compact: New green electricity record in 2023. Wind power on the rise, coal-fired power plants on the decline. Where most electricity imports come from.

[...] In detail, the exchange with France was almost balanced, as the ISE figures show. Only 0,4 billion kilowatt hours more were purchased from across the Rhine than were delivered there. There can therefore be no question of the often assumed dependence on French nuclear power plants.

A lot of electricity from Norwegian hydropower was introduced

The net electricity import from Norway's hydroelectric power plants was significantly larger at 4,5 billion kilowatt hours. There was also a particularly large net inflow from Denmark at 10,3 billion kilowatt hours...

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PhotovoltaicsStorage | Battery

NRW's largest photovoltaic roof system is being built in Ennepetal

Siegfried Jacob Metallwerke recycles metals such as copper, bronze, aluminum, zinc and brass. The energy-intensive company is currently building the largest roof system for photovoltaics in North Rhine-Westphalia with almost 22.000 solar modules.

For project manager Andreas Fedderwitz, almost everything is going according to plan. The solar modules were ordered from China very early on. Despite some difficulties with deliveries, everything arrived on time. From May onwards, the solar modules could be installed on the roofs; whatever the wind and weather, up to 25 people could be on the roofs at the same time. Everything was installed in October.

Solar field the size of six football fields

Further work follows, such as laying the power lines, a total of around 2,5 kilometers. The 21.708 power modules could theoretically supply around a quarter of the households in the town of Ennepetal with electricity, assuming the sun would always shine.

[...] XXL battery stores solar power

So much electricity is generated on the roofs of the Siegfried Jacob Metallwerke that the company cannot use it all. 35 percent is enough for personal use, the rest is given away. This has the advantage for operations that energy costs are significantly reduced. A huge battery that can temporarily store the solar power also contributes to this...

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INES Category 4 "Accident" 3 January 1961 (INES 4 | NAMS 2,9) NRTS Idaho Falls, USA

In this accident in what was essentially the first Small Modular Reactor (SMR), killed 3 people and released TBq radioactive radiation wurden released (Cost approx. US$26 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

Wikipedia

The accident can be found in the Wikipedia entry "Idaho National Laboratory" in this one paragraph:

The Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One (SL-1) was a particularly low-power reactor intended to supply electrical energy and heat to remote United States Army stations such as radar stations in the Arctic. In an accident on January 3, 1961, three people, the reactor's operating personnel, were killed. Radioactive iodine escaped from the reactor building and contaminated the surrounding area with 50-100 times the natural contamination; even 80 km away in the direction of the wind, the radiation level was twice the normal...

List of accidents in nuclear facilities #1960s

At the National Reactor Testing Station Idaho, the experimental SL-1 reactor suffered a critical steam explosion and heavy release of radioactive material incident, killing the three operating crew members. With the exception of iodine-131, the spread of the radiation was limited to an area of ​​12.000 m². Within a radius of 30 km around the reactor, the contamination of vegetation by iodine-131 was about 100 times the natural radiation intensity. Even 80 km away, the load on the vegetation was twice as high...

... The rescue team could not find either a fire or the victims at first, but they found radiation levels of about 10 mSv/h inside the reactor building. When appropriate protective equipment arrived, a team entered the reactor building and found one dead and another member of the three-man crew still alive. According to a US Atomic Energy Commission report, 22 rescuers received an equivalent dose in the range of 30 to 270 mSv. The reactor was dismantled and the 12 ton reactor core and pressure vessel were buried a few months later...

Nuclear power accidents by country#United_States

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

 


2. January


 

SwedenTemperatures | Ice Age

Europe's north is shaking:

Ice age in Sweden: minus 41,6 degrees

Bitter cold in northern Europe: Sweden and Finland have recorded their coldest days of the winter so far. In northern Sweden the temperature fell to minus 41,6 degrees.

The far north of Europe started the new year with freezing temperatures. In northern Sweden, temperatures below minus 2021 degrees Celsius were measured for the first time since the end of 40, as the Swedish Meteorological Institute SMHI announced. In some places, such as Umeå, it was colder than it had been in twelve years...

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Uranium miningWismut | crooks

Mining rehabilitation Wismut-Halde:

Decades-long dispute over the consequences of uranium mining continues

A carp once brought the village of Gauern into the headlines. The fish looked magnificent on the outside, but inside it had shockingly high uranium levels. This was reported in national newspapers at the time, including the MDR THÜRINGEN JOURNAL. Since then, over 20 years have passed. But at the beginning of 2024 the following applies once again: new year, old worries.

Gauern is now in the Greiz district. In the 1950s it was a place in what was then the uranium mining area of ​​eastern Thuringia. The bright ore for the Russian nuclear program - it didn't bring the GDR a single penny until 1953. Because uranium extraction was initially a reparation payment for the damage caused by the Second World War in the Soviet Union.

Gauern was one of the places in Thuringia where the Soviet-German stock corporation Wismut (SDAG Wismut) became active. Two thirds of the village was sacrificed for uranium mining.

A ridge near the village causes uncertainty

Today it looks as if a forested ridge extends into the town. This is the Gauern dump. Some facts about them are recorded in an official data sheet. For example, during the period of operation from 1954 to 1967, mining waste was piled up to a height of 37 meters...

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Climate changewater temperature | browning

Phenomenon also in Germany

Water of many lakes changes color

Many species of fish need cooler water and high oxygen levels. But due to global warming, the water temperature is also rising in many places, the waters are becoming murkier and browning is occurring. This significantly reduces the oxygen content of the cooler deep water - bad for trout, salmon and char.

Climate change is also having a major impact on life in lakes. Fish adapted to colder water areas can be affected in two ways, as a research team has discovered: directly through warming of the water and indirectly through increasing cloudiness of the water, known as browning. Many lakes are becoming browner as a result of global warming because more organic material is created in them and is carried in from surrounding soil - for example during heavy rain. The phenomenon can already be clearly observed in countries such as Sweden and also in some regions of Germany...

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AfD wins Survey in Saxony

State election in Saxony:

AfD is well ahead of the CDU in surveys, SPD has to worry about gaining ground

Just a month ago, the CDU and AfD were tied. According to election surveys, the AfD could now become the strongest force in Saxony with 37 percent. The SPD is at three percent.

According to an election survey, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) is ahead of the CDU in Saxony. In the survey by the Civey opinion research institute and the Sächsische Zeitung, the AfD received 37 percent and the CDU 33 percent. A month ago, the two parties were tied in the same poll.

The SPD is currently at three percent and has to worry about entering the state parliament, the FDP has one percent. The Greens with seven percent and the Left with eight percent are also far behind the AfD and CDU...

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Super richGreenhouse gases | Climate tax

Climate: The ball is in the court of the one percent of the super-rich

The 80 million richest people* cause the same amount of greenhouse gases as four billion poorer people. Fair taxes are needed.

In 2019, the richest percent of the world's population produced as many climate-damaging greenhouse gases as the five billion people who make up the poorer two-thirds. To be more precise, one billionaire causes as much greenhouse gases as a million people combined through increased consumption, more frequent air travel, luxury villas, mega yachts and private jets...

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Lingen fuel element factoryFramatome | Rosatom | ANF

Rosatom gains a foothold in Emsland

The Lower Saxony state government publishes the application for the expansion of the fuel element factory in Lingen. Rosatom is involved.

BERLIN taz | Although the last nuclear power plants in Germany were shut down in 2023, one sector of the nuclear industry is booming: the production of nuclear fuel elements. In Lingen, Lower Saxony, the fuel element factory run by Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF) wants to expand operations. ANF ​​is a wholly owned subsidiary of the French company Framatome.

Hexagonal fuel elements are to become a new business area. So far, ANF has specialized in square fuel assemblies. Russian-designed nuclear power plants, so-called VVER reactors, require hexagonal fuel elements. They exist in Armenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Finland, Iran and China. From January 4th, the ANF's application for approval of the expansion will be available in Lingen, the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment and on the Internet.

[...] Matthias Eickhoff from the “Münsterland Action Alliance Against Nuclear Facilities” reminds us that after the Russian attack on Ukraine, Rosatom took over the technical management of the military-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. “Approval by German authorities for the expansion of the Lingen nuclear factory with the participation of the Russian nuclear company Rosatom ultimately legitimizes the occupation of Zaporizhzhia, about which everyone is rightly so outraged,” Eickhoff told the taz.

He criticizes the “double talk” from the Environment Ministry in Hanover: “Officially they are completely against the plans of Framatome and Rosatom, but in fact these dangerous nuclear plans are being actively pushed forward by the Green Environment Minister in Lower Saxony through the early interpretation of the documents during the Christmas season.” A demonstration in front of the Lingen fuel element factory has been announced for January 20th.

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INES Category 4 "Accident"2 January 1958 (INES 4) Nuclear factory Mayak, USSR

Three people were killed and a worker was seriously injured in an accident at the Mayak complex. (Costs ?)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

Wikipedia

Mayak, January 2, 1958

After a criticality experiment, the uranium solution should be transferred to geometrically safe containers. To save time, the experimenters bypassed the standard decanting procedure because they assumed the remaining solution was far subcritical. However, due to the changed geometry during decanting, the presence of people was sufficient to reflect enough neutrons for the solution to immediately become critical. The solution exploded and three workers received radiation doses of about 60 gray and died after five to six days. A worker 3 meters away received 6 Gray, survived the acute radiation sickness, but suffered from serious secondary illnesses...
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

The Mayak plutonium factory 

Mayak is located 15 kilometers east of the city of Kyshtym in Chelyabinsk Oblast on the eastern side of the Southern Urals and was an important part of Stalin's plans from 1945 to quickly produce weapons-grade plutonium and to catch up with the Soviet Union in nuclear weapons.

[...] In Mayak, in addition to two reprocessing plants and a factory for the production of metallic plutonium, ten reactors for plutonium production were built...

More than 230 incidents have occurred in Mayak since 1945...

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...
 

Youtube

Uranium economy: Facilities for processing uranium

Reprocessing plants turn a few tons of nuclear waste into many tons of nuclear waste

All uranium and plutonium factories produce radioactive nuclear waste: uranium processing, enrichment and reprocessing plants, whether in Hanford, La Hague, Sellafield, Mayak, Tokaimura or anywhere in the world, all have the same problem: With every processing step More and more extremely toxic and highly radioactive waste is being produced ...

 


1. January


 

BudgetArmaments | Civil protection

Budget 2024: rearmament instead of civil protection

So far, the 2024 federal budget includes further cuts in civil security and disaster relief

The 2024 federal budget will be a budget of cuts, including in disaster protection. The fact that the corresponding budgets may be reduced less than planned in the first draft of the traffic light coalition from last June does not change this. At the same time, the cuts primarily affect the majority of citizens and the area of ​​social services. They are not undisputed even within the traffic light coalition. This is shown, among other things, by the debate about the stricter sanctions on citizens' money announced by Social Affairs Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD), which are intended to bring a few more savings - and those in view of the current flood situation.

[...] The traffic light coalition wanted to cut funding for the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) next year by 49 million euros or 20 percent, according to its first budget draft for this year. The THW should receive 42 million euros, almost ten percent less. There had already been funding cuts of around a fifth for the THW and a quarter for the BBK in the 2023 budget. After the devastating flood in the Ahr Valley in July 2021, all parties promised to significantly expand disaster protection...

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Climate change | High waterHeavy rain

Preview of 2024

Energy and climate in traffic light jams

In 2024, the traffic light coalition will have to work through a large number of postponed legislative proposals. These not only concern the accelerated expansion of renewables, but also better protection of the climate and nature.

Around Christmas, the storm "Zoltan" raged over Germany, followed by endless rain. Dikes gave way, places were trapped or had to be evacuated. Half of Lower Saxony is still under water and more rain is on the way.

Two months ago, storm “Viktor” caused the worst Baltic Sea storm flooding since 20 on the night of October 21th to 1872st. The damage to coasts, beaches, flood facilities, harbors and boats in Germany is now estimated at around 200 million euros.

As with hot days, the same applies to extreme precipitation: a single flood cannot be explained by climate change. This is also emphasized by the “Monitoring Report 2023” on the German climate adaptation strategy published in November. Atmospheric conditions and general weather conditions that favor floods show too much variability for this.

However, the report presented by the Federal Environment Agency also states: With global warming, the atmosphere can store more water vapor, i.e. absorb more moisture, and the potential for heavy rain increases. In addition, westerly winds could increase in winter in the future - these are exactly the weather conditions that brought us "Viktor" and "Zoltan"...

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Japan | EarthquakeNoto Peninsula

Natural disaster

Severe earthquake in Japan – first tsunami wave hits land

The earth shook on a peninsula in Japan. A first tsunami wave with a height of at least 1,20 meters has already come ashore there - there are warnings about more on the north coast.

A magnitude 7,6 earthquake struck the Japanese main island of Honshu. The epicenter was in Noto, a peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture in the central north of the country. The earth shook at around 16:10 p.m. local time, which was 8:10 a.m. German time.

The national meteorological agency issued a warning of tsunami waves up to three meters high along the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. The prefectures affected are Ishikawa, Niigata and Toyama.

According to broadcaster NHK, a wave at least 1,2 meters high has already arrived in the port of Wajima at the northern end of the peninsula. In Toyama, at the southern end, the wave was still 0,8 meters high. It is unclear whether and where further waves will follow...

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Dryness | Drinking waterBarcelona

Water shortage in Spain:

A city is left high and dry

After months of drought, Barcelona is running out of drinking water. Residents are encouraged to save. If necessary, tankers will have to bring the water from March.

Samuel Rayes has the future right in front of his eyes: From his office, the head of the Catalan water authority looks over Barcelona's skyline to the harbor. If there is not enough rain by spring, tankers will dock there to supply the metropolis with a population of one and a half million people with drinking water. Two ships could sail from Tarragona, Palma or Marseille to Barcelona and pump 60.000 cubic meters of water into the pipes from the port, a third of the daily requirement. An expensive, complex procedure, but preparations for it are underway. “We have to be prepared for anything,” says Reyes.

After 40 months of drought, drinking water is becoming scarce in Barcelona. The reservoirs in the interior of the country, from which the city normally gets its drinking water, are only 17 percent full. The seawater desalination plant at Prat de Llobregat - the largest in Europe that produces only drinking water - has been running at full speed for a year and a half, but its capacity is limited...

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Recycling | PlasticTetra pakdeposit

Deposit on milk drinks in single-use plastic bottles from 2024

German environmental aid is calling for expansion to include beverage cartons.

  • Success for the environment, resources and recycling: From January 1, 2024, a deposit of 25 cents will be charged on milk drinks in disposable plastic bottles
  • Beverage cartons are not affected - with fatal consequences: 34 percent are disposed of incorrectly or end up in the environment
  • DUH is calling on Environment Minister Lemke to also include beverage cartons in the deposit requirement and to promote reusable use through an additional single-use tax

From January 1, 2024, a nationwide deposit of 25 cents will also apply to milk, mixed milk drinks and other drinkable milk products in disposable plastic bottles. Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) welcomes this as an important step to protect the environment and resources and to strengthen recycling. At the same time, the environmental and consumer protection association still sees a significant gap in the deposit regulations and is calling on Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke to make quick improvements. A disposable deposit should also be introduced on beverage cartons, such as those from the market leader Tetra Pak...

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INES Category 5 "Serious Accident"1 January 1977 (INES 5) Beloyarsk, USSR

A partial core meltdown occurred in Unit 2 and repairs took more than a year... (Cost approx. US$3500 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

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

Wikipedia

Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant#Incidents Unit 2

In Unit 1977, in 2, half of the fuel assemblies in the active zone were destroyed...

List of accidents in nuclear facilities #1970s

In an accident, 50% of the fuel passages of Unit 2 of the Beloyarsk NPP, a pressure tube reactor similar to the RBMK, melted. The repair took about a year. The staff was exposed to high levels of radiation.

Nuclear power accidents by country#Russia

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

AtomkraftwerkePlag

Beloyarsk (Russia) 

From 1964 to 1979 there was a series of events in which fuel ducts at Beloyarsk-1 were destroyed and workers were exposed to increased radiation. In 1977, 50% of the fuel in Beloyarsk-2 melted; the personnel were exposed to high levels of radioactivity. The repair work took about a year. The incident was classified as a serious INES level 5 accident. In a fire that broke out due to a falling cover plate on December 31, 1978, eight people suffered an increased dose of radiation...

Various incidents during breeder operation were also reported in the 1990s ...

 


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Energy transitionPopulism | Electricity production costs

Surprise of the year 2023

The necessary change needs more support

Some parties have sacrificed the high willingness of many people to invest in a renewable heat supply following the energy crisis at the altar of their own profile. The transformation must become a success story for people.

The past crisis-ridden year brought many unexpected things. But a positive and a negative surprise as well as a ghost debate stand out for me.

The really positive surprise for me was the clear will of the federal government or the Federal Ministry of Economics as well as the EU to want to advance and accelerate the expansion of renewable energies.

Energy transition is government policy

The measures adopted based on this attitude are diverse and numerous. When it comes to wind energy, the changes range from the requirements for the federal states to designate areas for wind energy, to better municipal participation in the system yield, to the redesign of the way in which species protection issues are dealt with, so that, for example, the species protection assessment takes place when the area is designated and not just at the project level.

Once all of this has made its way into administrative action, the foundations have been laid for significantly faster expansion. At the end of the year, approved wind turbines with a combined nominal output of 7.000 megawatts were accepted in the tenders. Although this is not yet enough to achieve the desired target of over 12.000 megawatts, it is significantly more than in the past five years, when an average of only 2.680 megawatts were awarded.

For photovoltaics, the expansion target of 9.000 megawatts was already exceeded by 10.000 megawatts at the end of September. And that before the im Solar package one The desired improvements for balcony modules, roof systems or the communal building supply were decided.

But there have also been significant improvements in the expansion of renewable energy at the EU level with the emergency regulation, which was extended again this month until June 2025, and the amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive, which are or have already been converted into longer-term regulations in Germany.

As the outcome of the COP 28 climate summit in Dubai shows, the rapid switch from fossil fuels to renewable energies is one of the keys to preventing global warming from increasing to levels that are intolerable for people, nature and the environment. It is therefore encouraging that we in Germany already consume more than half of our electricity from renewable sources.

The other two important consumption sectors, heat and mobility, are unfortunately lagging behind. The building sector in particular, with its long investment cycles and high investment requirements, remains a problem child. Without a turnaround, the climate protection goals for 2030 and 2045 will be unattainable.

Heating law: Low point of the debate

The negative surprise of the year for me was the discussion about the Building Energy Act, the so-called heating law.

Yes, the Federal Ministry of Economics has the social mood and the social explosiveness of the topic completely misjudged, that was also a negative surprise.

But what was really negative in the public debates was the unjustifiable actions of the Union's leadership.

Even at the top of the party, the CDU and CSU were not above spreading half-truths, untruths or outright lies together with the spring press against their better judgment. The level of contributions was subterranean, populist and led to a further brutalization of public discussion.

As a result, many homeowners were and are unsure about which heating system will be suitable for their house in the future. The installation of heat pumps suffered a significant setback and new gas and oil heating systems received an unexpected boost. The high willingness of many people to invest in a renewable heat supply after the energy crisis was sacrificed at the altar of their own profile.

That the FDP as a government party is committed to this Union level connected while at the same time the party chairman and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner spoke about his private heat pump is happy, tops it all off.

With a view to the local elections in all East German states, the state elections in Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia and the European elections and especially the AfD's poll numbers, I would be very happy to be surprised by a change of course by the FDP next year.

If we do not If we want to lose large parts of the population to the right-wing extremists and right-wing populists, we have to make the transformation of our economy to climate neutrality a success story for the people. A cleverly designed, decentralized and citizen-oriented energy transition in all sectors can be such a story.

There are already enough good examples. For this we need a lot of private capital, but also targeted and powerful investments by the state in our country's public and social infrastructure - schools, railways, bridges, social housing. Otherwise no company or private individual will invest money to compensate for the investment backlog of the last decades.

Ray of hope solar power – ghost debate nuclear power

The German and global ones show what lever the right government framework can provide for private investments Expansion figures for photovoltaics. By the end of the year, solar power systems with a nominal output of more than 14.000 megawatts are expected to have been newly installed in Germany.

This alone can produce around half of the electricity that was lost due to the closure of the last three nuclear power plants. If the photovoltaic expansion continues like this, we will probably have completely replaced these three nuclear power plants in terms of the amount of energy produced in autumn 2025 - only through the increase in solar power.

If you add the newly installed wind power, this point in time moves even further forward. For the first time since 2017, the expansion of wind power will exceed the 3.000 megawatt threshold. Today's systems have clearly larger hub heights and rotor diameter in relation to the rated power of a turbine. This expansion alone produces about the same amount of electricity as a nuclear power plant.

Nevertheless, relying on nuclear energy, as some are now calling for - see the draft for the new CDU basic program - doesn't help.

Photovoltaics and wind energy are already unrivaled in price. With a combination of wind and solar power plus storage, it costs around four cents globally to supply one kilowatt hour of electricity.

In contrast, the costs of nuclear power plants are continually rising, four to ten times higher for both those under construction and those planned. There are plenty of examples here. The costs for the French nuclear power plant, which is still not finished, have increased Flamanville increased from the original three billion euros to around 20 billion. The Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland, after 18 years of construction, it cost eleven billion euros instead of the planned three billion.

Unfulfillable climate protection promise

And the Chinese partner company is at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Great Britain due to skyrocketing construction costs just got out. The French state-owned company EDF and British electricity customers will now have to bear the estimated 33 billion euros alone. The state-guaranteed electricity price is currently estimated at at least 15 cents per kilowatt hour including inflation adjustment. That's almost four times as much as a renewable solution.

And even the dream of small modular nuclear power plants just bursting. Nuclear power plants can only be built with extremely high government subsidies or guarantees.

Due to the nuclear industry's very good lobbying at the climate summit in Dubai, 22 countries have one there Statement publishedto triple their nuclear power capacity by 2050. How this is supposed to happen remains a mystery.

The number of nuclear power plants has remained more or less constant since the late 1980s and since 2010 decreased slightly. Since the planning and construction of these power plants can easily take 20 to 30 years, the target year can no longer be achieved. This means that nuclear power comes far too late as an effective climate protection measure.

On the other hand, solar modules are being installed around the world every week, generating roughly the same amount of electricity as a nuclear power plant. 20 years ago it took a year. And this development has not yet come to an end. In just a few years, so much photovoltaics will be added every day.

Tripling the installed capacity of renewable energy by 2030, which includes 120 states in Dubai have committed, is easily achievable due to the rapid expansion of solar power alone. Likewise, the installation of wind turbines will develop exponentially worldwide, making a rapid move away from fossil fuels possible.

These are at least good prospects in gloomy times. Even though we are still in a very comfortable situation in Germany compared to many other countries, we must not close our eyes to the crises around us. We as a state, society and individuals must live up to our privileged position and support, enable and finance the necessary change as we each can.

 


Current news+  Background knowledge Top

 

Background knowledge

**

The map of the nuclear world

If we do not properly dispose of our radioactive waste from the last 80 years, this toxic and radioactive nuclear waste will endanger our descendants for the next X generations...

The “Internal Search”

with the search terms

Energy transitionPopulism | Electricity production costs

brought the following results, among others:
 

December 10, 2023 - The “War on Christmas,” an imported fairy tale

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December 9, 2023 - Definitive end to “cheap” nuclear power in France

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September 23, 2021 - The bullshit bingo of the energy transition

 


The search engine Ecosia is planting trees!

Search word = energy transition - populism - electricity production costs

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

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

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

 


Wikipedia

Energy transition

Energiewende is the German-language term for the transition from the unsustainable use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy to a sustainable energy supply using renewable energies. The term was culturally received after the Öko-Institut's book Energy Transition - Growth and Prosperity without Oil and Uranium, published in 1980, and was partly adopted as a loanword into other languages ​​(for example "The German Energiewende" or "A Energiewende alemã").

The aim of the energy transition is to minimize the ecological, social and health problems caused by the conventional energy industry and to fully internalize the resulting external costs, which have so far hardly been priced into the energy market. In view of global warming, which is largely caused by humans, the decarbonization of the energy industry by ending the use of fossil fuels such as crude oil, coal and natural gas is particularly important today. The finite nature of fossil fuels and the dangers of nuclear energy are also important reasons for the energy transition. Solving the global energy problem is considered the central challenge of the 21st century...

 

Populism

Social scientists assign several attributes to the term populism (from the Latin populus 'people'). What is characteristic is a choice of topics and rhetoric that is linked to political intentions and is aimed at popular sentiment. On the one hand, it is about creating certain moods, and on the other hand, it is about exploiting and reinforcing existing moods for one's own political purposes. Populism often manifests itself in a specific political style and serves as a strategy for acquiring power. It has recently appeared more frequently in research as a component of individual ideologies...

 

Electricity production costs

In the energy industry, levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) refers to the costs that are necessary for converting energy from another form of energy into electrical power. They are stated, for example, in euros or dollars per megawatt hour. The electricity production costs result from the capital costs (including the financing costs of borrowed capital), the fixed and variable operating costs, if applicable the fuel costs and costs for emission rights as well as the desired return on capital over the operating period. The distribution of the electrical energy generated is not included...

 


YouTube

Search word = energy transition - populism - electricity production costs

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

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

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

Will open in a new window! - YouTube channel "Reaktorpleite" 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 LII 2023 - December 24th to 31st

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