Newsletter XIV 2024

March 31st to April 6th

***


  2024 2023 2022 2021
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

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.

3 April 1960 (INES 4) NPP WTR-2 reactor, Waltz Mill, USA

6 April 1993 (INES 4 | NAMS 4,8) Nuclear factory Tomsk 7, RUS

7 April 1989 (Broken ArrowSubmarine K-278 Komsomolets sunk south of Bear Island, USSR

8 April 1968 (Broken ArrowSubmarine K-129 sunk 2900 km nw Hawaii, USSR

10 April 2003 (INES 3 | NAMS 3,9) NPP Paks, HUN

April 10th to May 15st, 1967 (INES ? Class.?Nuclear factory Mayak, USSR

10 April 1963 USS Thresher Submarine SSN-593 sunk 350 km off Cape Cod, USA

12 April 1970 (Broken ArrowSubmarine K-8 sunk in Bay of Biscay, USSR

19 April 2005 (INES 3) Nuclear factory Windscale/Sellafield, GBR

21 April 1957 (INES 4) Nuclear factory Mayak, USSR

26 April 1986 (INES 7 | NAMS 8) NPP Chernobyl, USSR

28 April 2011 (INES ? Class.?) NPP Asco, ESP

 

We are always looking for up-to-date information. Anyone who can help, please send a message to:
nuclear-world@reaktorpleite.de

 


6. April


 

Mexico | South America | Ecuador

International criticism after storming of Mexico's embassy in Quito

Several South American countries accuse the Ecuadorian government of violating international law. She had previously stormed the Mexican embassy.

The Organization of American States (OAS) has criticized the arrest of Ecuador's former vice president Jorge Glas at the Mexican embassy in Quito. Several national governments in South America also condemned the action.

“The General Secretariat rejects any action that violates the inviolability of diplomatic missions,” the OAS said. "We express our solidarity with the victims of the inappropriate operation at the Mexican embassy in Ecuador." The arrest in an embassy violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, according to which the premises of a diplomatic mission are inviolable.

The day before, Ecuadorian security forces entered the Mexican embassy in Quito and arrested Glas there. Ecuador had previously asked Mexico for permission to enter the representation, but this was refused...

*

GreensUniversityTübingenPalmer

Boris Palmer on local elections in Tübingen

“I’m taking the issues away from the AfD”

Less AfD than in Tübingen is hardly possible: the party is not even putting together a list of candidates for the local elections in June. Mayor Boris Palmer told SPIEGEL that this weakness was his success.

While the far-right party in Baden-Württemberg recently reached 16 percent in surveys, the university town of Tübingen remains an AfD-free island. As has now been revealed, not even a list of candidates was drawn up for the local elections on June 9th. The mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer, also sees this as a success of his policies, which are populist and quite controversial. “My approach is shrinking the AfD,” the former Green now told SPIEGEL.

He was repeatedly accused of paving the way for the right-wingers and giving them a voice, says Palmer. But obviously that's not true. He specifically focuses on issues such as migration or security and thus deprives the AfD of the “resonance space”. A thesis that many in the Tübingen municipal council with its 40 members would contradict.

The eco-stronghold traditionally chooses green

One main reason for the weakness of the Blue Party in Tübingen can be found elsewhere: the city with around 90.000 residents has long been a green eco-stronghold. “The academic university environment is a bad place for the AfD,” says Palmer. A good income, a high level of education and the corresponding social structure are reflected in the election results...

*

Mexico | Ecuador | Inviolability of the mission building

Diplomatic crisis: Police in Ecuador storm Mexican embassy and arrest politicians

Former vice president forcibly removed from embassy. Mexico breaks off relations. What follows the scandal?

After the storming of its embassy in Quito, the Mexican government broke off diplomatic relations with Ecuador. On Friday evening, the Ecuadorian police forcibly entered the country's representation to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas.

Glas had applied for political asylum at the embassy, ​​according to the Mexican government. Mexican diplomats were also attacked and injured in the attack on the embassy building, which is protected under international law.

Mexico grants asylum, Ecuador responds

Jorge Glas, who has twice been convicted of corruption, had claimed to be the victim of a politically motivated investigation by the Ecuadorian attorney general. On Friday afternoon, the Mexican government under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador granted him political asylum.

López Obrador, a representative of the Latin American left, was an ally of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who left office in 2017. Correa commented on the decision of his country's right-wing government in clear terms:

What Noboa's government did is unprecedented in Latin American history. Not even in the worst dictatorships was a country's embassy desecrated. We do not live in a constitutional state, but in a state of barbarism, with an improvised man who mistakes the homeland for one of his banana plantations. We hold Daniel Noboa responsible for the safety and physical and psychological integrity of former Vice President Jorge Glas. We apologize to Mexico, its people and its government, and offer them our eternal admiration. Hasta la Victoria siempre!
Rafael Correa

Relations between Mexico and Ecuador were already strained before the attack on the embassy. López Obrador accused right-wing Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa of winning October's election by creating "a climate of fear"...

*

Russia | War economy

Putin is ruining his country

The economic situation in Russia is bad – and is getting worse. Even a victory in Ukraine would do nothing for the Russian economy.

Russia is the largest country in the world, but has almost no inhabitants, relatively speaking. Around 144 million people are spread over an area of ​​17 million square kilometers. That's 8,5 Russians per square kilometer. Just for comparison: In Germany, 236,6 residents have to share one square kilometer.

You would think that there would be enough space for chickens in empty Russia. Instead, an “egg crisis” broke out this winter and became a state affair because an angry pensioner complained to President Putin on television. Eggs had become 61 percent more expensive or had disappeared completely from supermarket shelves.

[...] In 2021, before the war against Ukraine, Russians had to pay an average of 73 rubles for a dollar. At the moment it is around 92 rubles, which corresponds to a loss in value of 26 percent.

Even more difficult: workers are becoming scarce. Private companies, including chicken farms, are losing their employees to the state. Although Putin has so far refrained from general mobilization, around 330.000 additional men are believed to have been drafted to strengthen the regular army. Many will not return. By the end of March, 436.750 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded in the war, Ukraine reported. The USA assumes around 300.000 Russian victims.

[...] Russia's prospects are bleak because Putin has no economic exit strategy. For the economy it doesn't matter whether he wins or loses. Even if Russia were to win the Ukraine war, which we hope won't happen, Putin would need a lot of soldiers to permanently occupy the neighboring country. At the same time, Russia would have to continue to arm itself because NATO is now also investing in its defense. The Russian war economy will never end - but the country is too poor for that.

*

weapons shipments | killing

Israel-Gaza war

Nancy Pelosi calls for a stop to US arms sales to Israel

She is one of the most influential US Democrats: Nancy Pelosi, along with dozens of other MPs, appeals to the US government to stop sending weapons to Israel - and to investigate the deaths of the international aid workers.

US Representative Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House of Representatives and important ally of US President Joe Biden, is calling for a stop to US arms sales to Israel. She joined 36 other congressional Democrats on Friday in signing a letter to Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken that said: "Given the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustified “Approve arms transfers.” Signatories include MPs Barbara Lee, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

[...] The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has a similar opinion. "The Israeli government has admitted mistakes," said Guterres on Friday. "But the essential problem is not who made the mistakes, but rather the military strategy and the procedures that enable these mistakes to be repeated over and over again."

Independent investigations and meaningful, measurable changes on the ground are now needed, said Guterres. "196 humanitarian workers were killed and we want to know why each one was killed."

*

INES Category 4 "Accident"6 April 1993 (INES 4 | NAMS 4,8) Nuclear factory Tomsk 7, RUS

 In 1993, a radioactive accident occurred in Seversk when a tank exploded and large amounts of radioactive particles (3500 Tbq) contaminated the surrounding area.
(Costs approx. 51 million US$)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

AtomkraftwerkePlag

Seversk, Tomsk-7, former Soviet Union 1993

On April 6, 1993, overpressure occurred in a tank containing a solution of 8.773 kg of uranium and 310 g of plutonium, which then exploded. "Radioactive particles thrown into the atmosphere contaminated an area of ​​over 120 square kilometers. Numerous villages had to be evacuated and are permanently uninhabitable. People in the region are still suffering from the consequences today. Many show the same symptoms as the victims of Chernobyl and Mayak: Cancer, blood diseases, genetic damage."

“Disposal” of nuclear waste and investigation reports

33 million cubic meters of liquid radioactive waste were simply pressed into the ground - in water-bearing layers. Near the River Tom, radioactivity is up to 30 times higher than normal background radiation. "In addition, elevated concentrations of cobalt-58, chromium-51, zinc-65 and "lots of plutonium were found in the soil." The concentration of cesium-137 in the groundwater is as high as in the irradiated Chernobyl." As in Chernobyl, the local authorities and the population were only informed late. No protective measures were taken against radiation; people were simply sent home.

Three days after the serious nuclear accident, then President Boris Yeltsin ordered a safety inspection of the plant, which did not take place until October 1993 and the results of which were also 'disposed of'. "On November 1st, the deputy head of nuclear supervision, Yuri Zubkov, signed the report, of which there are only five copies. They disappeared into the drawers of the state nuclear mafia...
 

Wikipedia de

Tomsk Nuclear Engineering Plant

On April 6, 1993, an explosion in the reprocessing plant, which was primarily used for the production of weapons-grade plutonium, released large quantities of mainly short-lived radioactive substances (according to the IAEA, the relatively highly radiotoxic ruthenium as well as niobium and zirconium, but also smaller ones Quantities of other types of nuclide such as plutonium). The accident occurred while cleaning a reaction vessel with nitric acid. As a result, 120 square kilometers in the Seversk region were contaminated. The accident was classified as Level 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale and was described by TIME magazine as “one of the world's worst nuclear disasters”...

 


5. April


 

CORRECTIV

Czech parliamentarian confirms: Up to one million euros of Russian money is said to have flowed through Poland

“The money to the agents within EU politics – including from the AfD – reached the Czech Republic via Poland. It was definitely many hundreds of thousands of euros, up to a million.” says the chairman of the parliamentary security committee, Pavel Žáček, to CORRECTIV.

The money from Russia to right-wing politicians in Europe is said to have flowed through Poland. Pavel Žáček from the liberal-conservative party (ODS) and chairman of the parliamentary security committee in the Czech Republic told CORRECTIV: “The money to the agents within EU politics – including from the AfD – reached the Czech Republic via Poland. It was definitely many hundreds of thousands of euros, up to a million.”

Last week, the Czech government added the pro-Russian information portal Voice of Europe to the sanctions list. In this context, the Spiegel and the Czech newspaper Denik K reported, citing intelligence circles, that money from Russia was said to have flowed through Voice of Europe to right-wing politicians in Europe, including politicians from the AfD.

Tape recordings are said to incriminate AfD member of the Bundestag Petr Bystron. Bystron is in second place on the AfD candidate list for the European elections behind Maximilian Krah. Both pro-Russian politicians had given Voice of Europe interviews in the past and met with the Ukrainian oligarch and Putin supporter Viktor Medvedchuk, who is said to be behind Voice of Europe, as Denik N reported...

*

Israel | Netanyahu

Israel's military in Gaza:

The excessive war

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is stubborn in the Gaza war. Despite all solidarity, Germany is not obliged to give up its own values.

The Israeli government has largely squandered the support it enjoyed in Europe and North America. Even in Germany there is hardly anyone left who wants to stand behind Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and say: Let the bombing continue, Gaza deserves it no other way.

Netanyahu clearly does not feel that he owes anything to those who have always stood up for his country's interests. Rather, he trusts that his impertinence and stubbornness towards allies will actually benefit him domestically and will continue to be seen as a strength at home: Show them, Bibi, slap their soft-spoken well-meaning in their faces! Let Germany, let the USA sing their diplomatic songs, we have to fight for ourselves here anyway.

Israel's right to exist is not in question for the Federal Republic. It has to stay that way, the reasons are all known. Until now, this meant that the Federal Republic's support for Israel's security was not in question, which included all kinds of arms deliveries. It does not have to stay like this. Netanyahu is heading towards nowhere in the Gaza war. Nothing should be left of Gaza, nothing is worth the lives of the people there, and he shows no willingness to compromise for a shared future with the Palestinians. This security policy is not worth supporting – not anymore...

*

Democracy | AfD event | Counter-demo

AfD event in Schortens: Party wants to ban counter-demonstrations

The city of Schortens has invited people to a democracy festival on the forecourt of the community center - parallel to an information evening by the AfD district association. The party now wants to ban such counter-events.

The AfD Friesland district association has submitted an urgent application to the Oldenburg administrative court "to prohibit the city of Schortens, the Friesland district and all municipalities belonging to the district from holding such a counter-event against the AfD event," as the AfD announced on Facebook. According to the AfD district association, the city of Schortens is violating its legal duty of neutrality by using the event to position itself politically in the EU election campaign.

Schortens' Mayor: The festival is not a counter-event

The festival in the town of Schortens in the Friesland district is scheduled to take place on May 11th, while the AfD is hosting an election campaign event in the community center. The mayor of Schortens, Gerhard Böhling (independent), told NDR Lower Saxony that the festival was not an official counter-event. Together with the other municipalities in Friesland and the district, we will promote diversity and democracy with music, food and drinks. Böhling is calm about the lawsuit: He doesn't think the AfD will be successful with it, he told NDR Lower Saxony...

*

Anti-Semitism | Youth organizations | Palestine Congress

“Against glorification of terror and anti-Semitism”:

Young party members protest against the Palestine Congress in Berlin

Israel haters are planning a Palestine congress in a week. The youth organizations of the SPD, Union, FDP and Greens are now calling for a joint protest.

There is further protest against the “Palestine Congress” planned for April 12th to 14th in Berlin. The youth organizations of the SPD, Union, FDP and Greens as well as the Young Forum of the German-Israeli Society and the Jewish Student Union (JSUD) are calling for resistance against the congress of Israel haters.

In a joint statement, they call on federal politicians, the city of Berlin and a broad civil society to “speak out against the anti-Semitism and the glorification of terror that threaten to emanate from the 'Congress'.” In the spirit of “Never again is now,” this means that anyone who supports peaceful coexistence in the Middle East must oppose the congress, because the organizers want Israel’s destruction.

They want to promote anti-Semitic terror and further anti-Israel radicalization.
Youth organizations in their joint statement.

“The spread of anti-Semitic hatred and the trivialization of the Hamas terror of October 7th” are to be expected from the congress, according to the statement, which is available to the Tagesspiegel. The youth organizations warn that groups and people took part in the event "who agitate against the existence of Israel, describe the October 7th massacre as a legitimate act of resistance or Hamas as a guerrilla group and freedom fighters and speak out against peaceful coexistence"...

*

Gaza | Aid organization | Drone attack

Attack on World Central Kitchen

Israel fires two officers after killing international aid workers

A World Central Kitchen team was killed by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip, and now the army is taking action. The military also describes a whole series of errors.

After seven employees of the non-governmental organization (NGO) World Central Kitchen (WCK) in the Gaza Strip were killed in an Israeli attack, Israel's military is now firing two high-ranking officers. Three other officers are also reprimanded. This emerges from a statement from the Israeli army at the conclusion of the investigation into the incident, which SPIEGEL has received.

“The fire support brigade commander, an officer with the rank of major, is relieved of his post. The brigade's chief of staff, an officer with the rank of colonel in the reserve, is dismissed from his post," it says about the dismissals. In addition, the brigade commander, the commander of the 162nd Division and the commander of the Southern Command are formally reprimanded.

An investigation showed that serious mistakes were made during the air raid and that there were violations of common operational regulations. The Israeli soldiers mistakenly assumed that their drone strike in the Gaza Strip was targeting vehicles carrying armed Hamas fighters. Instead, a convoy from the aid organization World Central Kitchen was hit...

*

Solar energy on open spaces and agrivoltaics as protection against storms

New studies on the expansion of photovoltaic systems on open spaces in Germany

In Germany, there is significantly more space available for the expansion of ground-mounted photovoltaic systems than, according to current estimates, needed for a completely renewable electricity system.

Ground-mounted photovoltaics (PV) are solar modules that, unlike roof-mounted solar modules, are installed in open spaces such as parking lots, industrial facilities or over agricultural land. Loud Overview study by the Öko-Institut 287 gigawatts of solar energy could be installed on shoulders, above parking lots, and on industrial and commercial areas alone. This is significantly more than the target of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) of 200 gigawatts of open-space PV systems by 2040. Agricultural land with lower yields would then only have to be used to a very small extent.

In addition, almost 5.000 GW would be available if technical potential was exploited that creates synergies with moorland, water bodies or other high-quality agricultural areas. The latter, so-called Agri-PV systems, combine the agricultural use of land with the production of solar energy. For this purpose, solar panels are installed over agricultural land, which enables both electricity generation and agriculture to be carried out. These systems could simultaneously offer reliable protection against hail damage and sunburn, particularly for permanent crops such as grapes or fruit trees, making expensive and maintenance-intensive protective devices such as sun and hail protection nets unnecessary...

*

EU Commission | Subsidies | Dumping

Dumping threatens the solar industry:

EU targets China

The commission is investigating two companies on suspicion of illegal subsidies. The German solar industry rejects anti-dumping duties.

BRUSSELS/BERLIN taz | After the departure of important manufacturers, the German solar industry is threatened with the next blow: a trade conflict between the EU and China could make modules and preliminary products significantly more expensive. A hint: The EU Commission leaves on suspicion of dumping against Chinese solar manufacturers.

It is based on a new regulation on subsidies from third countries, which only came into force in July 2023. The suspicion: Thanks to generous government funding from China, the two companies were able to make a significantly cheaper offer than the competition - and thus distort the market.

[...] The Commission's actions indicate a change in its attitude towards Chinese solar manufacturers, which could lead to a trade conflict. This development could, for example, result in the expansion of anti-dumping duties. From the perspective of the German solar industry, such measures to protect its own market would have far-reaching consequences. “In principle, the Federal Association of the Solar Industry rejects protectionist measures because they endanger the energy transition,” said a spokeswoman for the association.

[...] Meyer Burger, currently the largest manufacturer in Germany, has already drawn conclusions and terminated the employees at its factory in Freiberg, Saxony. The company wants to invest in the USA. There it can count on generous funding from US President Joe Biden's subsidy program.
 

IMHO

If such action against China really makes sense, then the EU Commission should extend the procedure to the United States, because Joe Biden's "generous support through the subsidy program" is causing very similar problems for Europe.

 


4. April


 

PFAS | Poison of eternity | Clothing

Outdoor clothing contaminated with chemicals:

Toxic children's jackets on the market

According to tests, there are dangerous “forever chemicals” in outdoor clothing. NGOs criticize their use because there are alternatives.

BERLIN taz | April is here, parents are unpacking waterproof outdoor jackets for their children from the closet. To make them water-repellent, they often contain PFAS, i.e. per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances. These carbon-fluorine compounds are called “forever chemicals” because they are not only partly toxic, but also difficult to break down.

However, they are often used for weatherproof outdoor clothing. It is estimated that over 10.000 PFAS compounds are currently on the market. They are used in countless products, including weatherproof clothing and Teflon, for their water, grease and dirt repellent properties and heat resistance.

Now a series of tests by 14 environmental protection groups from four continents, including the German Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), shows that almost two thirds of the outdoor jackets for children examined contain PFAS - they were detected in 35 of 56 items of clothing tested. Of the jackets examined, 32 were purchased in seven EU countries, including Germany. In 16 cases EU limit values ​​were exceeded.

“Dangerous chemicals have no place in consumer products. It is absolutely irresponsible that even textiles for children, who are particularly physically vulnerable, contain substances that are harmful to their health,” says BUND managing director Antje von Broock. In the BUND test, at least 25 samples were PFAS-free – “with similarly functional designs,” as the organization writes. So there are safe alternatives with similar properties. In particular, the jackets tested from Central Europe and Scandinavia were largely PFAS-free...

*

Hydrogen | Photovoltaics | Battery | Heat-exchanger  | Fuel cell

Decarbonization of industry: Hydrogen power plant at Fraunhofer IWU demonstrates climate-neutral factory operations

Chemnitz - The Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Chemnitz plays a central role in researching efficient hydrogen technologies. The H2 projects there aim to build a successful H2 economy in Germany. The new H2 power plant is intended to gain important know-how for small and medium-sized companies.

[...] The institute's own photovoltaic system supplies green electricity, which the electrolyzer of the H2 power plant uses to generate hydrogen. For this purpose, water is treated in a special system and then stored in a tank. The hydrogen produced is compressed to up to 300 bar by a compressor and stored in bundles of bottles. If the research factory needs electricity when the sun is not shining, the stored hydrogen is converted into electricity in the fuel cell system. In order to additionally use the waste heat generated by the fuel cell, a heat exchanger is used. The electrical energy produced in the fuel cell and not immediately consumed can be stored in an additional battery storage system as needed. All of these components can be found in a compact structure directly behind the research factory...

*

Uranium enrichment | nuclear programme

The pitfalls of uranium enrichment

From the world of centrifuges

The high enrichment of uranium is not only used to produce nuclear weapons, as in Iran, but also to operate newly developed small reactors.

Iran's nuclear program is rushing from one record to the next. The focus is not on the generation of electrical power, but on the processing of uranium to achieve ever higher enrichment of the fissile isotope U235. In natural uranium it only makes up 0,7 percent.

To operate conventional nuclear power plants, three percent to five percent of the isotope in the fuel elements is required. This low enrichment (LEU: low enriched uranium) is achieved most effectively with gas centrifuges. Iran currently has 11.000 of these devices with varying performance, which are operated in three enrichment plants. Their further expansion is progressing quickly.

Is it an irony of history or an inevitable product of the internal logic of nuclear technology? In parallel with Iran, the USA is making considerable efforts on (almost) the same issue.

Using the same technical process and the same centrifuges, uranium can be enriched further and further until a concentration of U235 suitable for bombs is reached, which is usually set at 90 percent. On the way there are intermediate steps of 20 percent enrichment (HALEU: high-assay low-enriched uranium) and 60 percent enrichment (HEU: highly enriched uranium). Iran is currently producing as much uranium with these higher levels of enrichment as it can, even though they are completely unnecessary for its commercial nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

The USA has 487 tons of unused HEU, of which 361 tons are available for nuclear weapons, according to the International Panel on Fissile Materials (IPFM), an independent group of arms control experts that evaluates states' reports to the IAEA. Russia is even hoarding 680 tons. This shows what the disarmament treaties were ultimately worth. Nothing was thrown away. “The nuclear-weapon states still have enough fissile material in their weapons stockpiles for tens of thousands of nuclear weapons,” states IPFM.

*

Nuclear lobby | Nuclear propulsion

Maritime Nuclear Energy Organization founded

A new international membership organization - the Nuclear Energy Maritime Organization (NEMO) - has been launched to bring together actors involved in all aspects of floating nuclear power and nuclear mobility.

NEMO is based in London, UK and aims to provide its members with a platform to network and establish a functional link between regulators to promote development and share best practices.

[...] Membership in NEMO is open to companies that have a close connection to the nuclear power industry and meet the organization's membership criteria, which include a commitment to sustainability, innovation and excellence.

The founding members of NEMO are: HD KSOE and JEIL Partners Ltd from South Korea, Lloyd's Register and Core Power from the UK, BWXT Advanced Technologies LLC, TerraPower and Westinghouse from the USA, Onomichi Dockyard from Japan, the VARD Group from Norway, Bureau Veritas from France and RINA from Italy.

*

Israel | War Crimes | Gaza

Oops, a war crime: West outraged because aid workers killed by Israel were not Palestinians

Israel's genocide against the Palestinians is obviously not a problem for the West. He still supports him with weapons. But now even the USA was outraged: Israel's killing machine hit foreign helpers, that's not possible. Welcome to liberal democratic racism.

An indignant “Oops” went through the Western media these days. Israel's army made sure of this with a clearly targeted attack on humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip. This is part of a continuous odyssey of deadly attacks on helpers and other civilians from babies to old people, which the West of Values ​​has so far dismissed with: It can happen. Only this time it wasn't primarily Palestinians or "Arabs" who were killed, but also members of Western states.

Democratic racism

There it is again, this liberal-democratic racism. What is true for some does not necessarily apply to others. Israel's war crimes, some of which are filmed by leaders and soldiers, posted on social media and publicly applauded, are not a problem as long as the state continues to commit them against the underprivileged. This was the case long before October 7th.

[...] Struggle for sovereignty of interpretation

However, it is not expected that this current “Oops” will last particularly long. After all, there are also strict hierarchies in the West of values. The capital masters and their political sponsors have always been more equal than ordinary wage earners. Then an NGO employee who works at the risk of his life will, in doubt, have only himself to blame if Western military values ​​​​kill him.

The billionaire investor Warren Buffett, now over 90 years old, once rightly said: “There is class warfare and my class is winning.” That’s what it’s all about...

*

United States | Presidential election | Dictatorship | imperialism

The Third World War – in slow motion?

The three great powers are behaving irrationally. The USA in particular is walking blindly into chaos. Imperial Decline in the Age of War and Climate Crisis. Guest essay.

I have been describing our world as it is for almost 23 years as a journalist on the media platform TomDispatch. I've written my way through three and a half presidencies - God help us, it could be four in November!

Life in the imperial state 

I have viewed America's endless catastrophic wars this century from a great distance. I've seen the recent US military budget reach almost $900 billion and undoubtedly heading towards the "cool" $XNUMX trillion mark in the coming years, while years ago the entire "national security" budget (although "insecurity" a better word would be) rose to well over a trillion dollars.

[...] In fact, in this century, while fighting pointless or unwinnable wars across much of the world, my country slowly but surely began to decline, or (if you don't mind another metaphor) to come apart at the seams burst.

And it doesn't seem to want to end, does it? Just realize that 32 years after the United States became the last superpower on planet Earth, this country, amid devastating political chaos, could actually re-elect a man who plans to lead a coming American "dictatorship"...

 


3. April


 

Turkey | mayor | electoral victory

Local elections in Türkiye

Pro-Kurdish politician becomes mayor after protests

In Turkey, a pro-Kurdish politician was excluded from the mayor's office despite his election victory. Now the Supreme Electoral Authority has reversed its decision.

Following protests, Turkey's supreme electoral authority has reversed its decision to exclude a pro-Kurdish politician from his mayoralty. The authority gave DEM politician Abdullah Zeydan the mandate for the mayor's office in Van in eastern Turkey, thereby upholding his party's objection, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

[...] People protested against the decision in many Turkish cities, also because the incident was reminiscent of the dismissals of pro-Kurdish local politicians in the past. In the 2019 local elections, the pro-Kurdish party under the name HDP won 65 mayoral positions - but the government in Ankara had the majority of politicians removed from office due to terrorism allegations and replaced by receivers.

*

Climate protectionSpeed limit | Minister of transport

“With a speed limit of 100, we could achieve the climate goals this year”

An ongoing issue, but no solution: This is how Transport Minister Volker Wissing assesses the debate about the speed limit. It is not effective due to a lack of acceptance among the population. Now a scientist contradicts him.

Politicians and experts have been discussing a speed limit on German motorways for years. According to the latest statements by Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP), it is an ongoing issue, but not a solution for climate protection.

[...] A nationwide speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour on motorways, 80 on country roads and 30 in towns is not accepted in Germany, says Transport Minister Wissing. “People don’t want that.”

However, a 2023 ADAC survey among its members showed: 54 percent of ADAC members are in favor of a general speed limit. In a survey conducted by Civey on behalf of “T-Online” last year, two thirds of those surveyed said they were in favor of a speed limit. A limit of 130 km/h performed best. However, 32 percent of those surveyed were in favor of unlimited speed...

*

road trafficSpeed ​​limit

Traffic calming in cities:

Slowly but surely

After two years at 30 km/h, Lyon draws a positive conclusion. The number of traffic victims decreased after the speed limit.

PARIS taz | The traffic chaos that opponents of the 30 km/h speed limit had predicted in Lyon (and other major French cities) did not happen. Mayor Grégory Doucet was able to confirm this at the end of March, two years after the introduction of speed limits in his city and more than 30 surrounding municipalities.

The interim results of the measure as part of an overall traffic calming plan are “positive” and “encouraging”: “We have made our city safer by reducing the speed to (maximum) 30 km/h practically everywhere, adapting the streets and local police “We used them to ensure that the rules were respected,” says Doucet happily.

[...] “In Lyon we have had 35 percent fewer accidents with injuries and 39 percent fewer serious injuries in four years.” The number of traffic victims who had to be taken to hospital fell by 21 percent and the number of deaths by half (54 percent). The aim is for no one to die in traffic accidents in Lyon by 2050.

A dozen speed traps and the police are supposed to ensure this with increased checks...

*

Great BritainEPR | EmiratesSizewell C NPP

Nuclear energy: United Arab Emirates want to invest in European power plants

Building new nuclear reactors is expensive. The UAE is therefore being ensnared as possible investors, as Great Britain is doing. The example of the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) intends to enter the European energy sector. According to a report by Reuters, they are particularly interested in nuclear power plants in Great Britain, in which they want to invest.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Company (ENEC) aims to become an international player in the field of nuclear energy. The company wants to invest in facilities and infrastructure in various countries through minority investments without managing or operating them.

[...]The UAE's share of total foreign direct investment in the UK was 2021 percent in 0,4. According to the government in London, the UAE remains a relatively small investor in the country.

However, the region is increasingly seen as an important partner for Britain and other Western governments on major infrastructure and energy projects. The background is the increasing geopolitical tensions with China and the war in Ukraine, which is restricting investments from Russia.

*

Taiwan | Earthquake

Earthquake in Taiwan:

Strongest tremors in 25 years

At least seven people were killed, houses were damaged and train traffic came to a standstill. The quake was felt as far away as China.

TAIPEI ap | The strongest earthquake in a quarter of a century occurred in Taiwan on Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. (local time). At least seven people were killed, the national fire authority said. The casualties were reported in Hualien county, the center of the quake. At least 700 other people were injured and buildings and highways were damaged. Train service was suspended across the entire island of 23 million people, as was subway service in the capital Taipei.

[...] Hualien was last hit by a deadly earthquake in 2018. The most violent earthquake in recent memory in Taiwan occurred on September 21, 1999 with a magnitude of 7,7 and resulted in 2.400 deaths and around 100.000 injuries.

*

INES Category 4 "Accident"3 April 1960 (INES 4) NPP WTR-2 reactor, Waltz Mill, USA

WTR-2 reactor meltdown accident at Westinghouse's Waltz Mill site.
(Cost approx. US$38 million)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

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

Wikipedia en

Westinghouse_TR-2#1960_accident

On Sunday evening, April 3, 1960, the reactor experienced a partial meltdown. A fuel element melted and released the radioactive gaseous fission products krypton and xenon. The overheating and subsequent damage to the fuel assembly is said to have been caused by a local lack of sufficient coolant flow. The accident was rated 4 on the international nuclear event scale, meaning an accident with local consequences.

The AEC's first notification of the accident came through a telephone call from Westinghouse to the AEC New York Operations Office. In a subsequent letter report, Westinghouse stated: "High activity in the primary coolant and high radiation levels at the site led to the shutdown of the WTR and the evacuation of the site at approximately 20:50 p.m. on April 3, 1960. There is evidence that the high levels caused by a fuel element failure."...

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

 


2. April


 

Climate change | heat wavesWeather extremes

Researchers are sounding the alarm

Heat waves are becoming more intense worldwide

Man-made climate change is causing temperatures to rise. It's not just the number of heat waves that are increasing worldwide. Weather extremes are also increasingly lasting longer and slower - "with more devastating impacts on natural and social systems," a new study shows.

Large heat waves last longer and move increasingly slowly over land areas. This is what Chinese and US scientists have concluded from the analysis of meteorological observation data from 1979 to 2020. Using computer simulations based on the data, the researchers also show that the man-made increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere plays a significant role in this development.

"Longer-lasting and slower-moving large, continuous heat waves will have more devastating effects on natural and social systems in the future if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise," writes Ming Luo's group from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou in the journal Science Advances "...

*

Uranium transport | SanctionsUS nuclear power plants

Violation of sanctions?

Apparently uranium on board: Customs arrests freighter from Russia in Rostock

A ship has been stuck in the Rostock seaport since the beginning of March. First because of technical problems, but then customs came into play. It's about the cargo - the freighter came from Russia.

[...] According to research by the “Ostsee Zeitung" The ship was on its way to the USA and was loaded with, among other things, birch wood and enriched uranium for US nuclear power plants. This information was confirmed by several sources, the newspaper wrote. The total value of the freight is around 40 million euros. The affected ship is listed in the fleet of a shipping company that operates branches and offices in Canada, the USA, Russia (St. Petersburg) and Ukraine (Odessa), among others.

The EU imposed massive sanctions on Russia in response to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, but there is no EU ban on uranium imports. The restrictive measures apply to a total of more than 1700 people and over 400 facilities. Steel, steel products and iron, gold and diamonds, including jewelry, cement, asphalt, wood, paper, synthetic rubber and plastics, are not allowed to be imported.

*

U.S. government | Small Modular Reactor | Safety

Mini reactors:

US government relies on nuclear power for data centers

In order to promote compact reactors, the US Secretary of Energy wants to reduce the approval hurdles and thus the costs. 

[...] The US government wants to support the development of the SMRs as much as possible, as Granholm emphasizes. She currently sees two major difficulties in building compact reactors: on the one hand, obtaining the necessary permits is time-consuming, and on the other hand, the costs are high. They are currently trying to find a way to reduce costs without neglecting safety.

No SMR has been built yet 

Despite all the euphoria, it should not be forgotten that building the SMRs is anything but a small task. Even in the USA, none of the new compact reactors have been built yet because the construction costs cannot be covered by electricity sales. The German-Canadian company wants to be the first project Dual Fluid is building an experimental reactor in Rwanda. The Russian one currently comes closest to the idea of ​​SMRs Akademik Lomonosov.

Even if the technology were ready for the market, a few years of development time would still have to be taken into account. However, this can hardly be reconciled with the rapidly growing demand for electricity.

*

United States | Climate policy | Palisades

USA invests in nuclear power

The US government is giving the power plant operator Holtec a loan of over 1,5 billion dollars. To achieve this, a decommissioned nuclear power plant should be brought back online.

WASHINGTON taz | The Biden government wants to continue investing in nuclear power in the future. Just last week, the US Department of Energy announced that it had offered the operating company a loan of more than $1,5 billion to restart a decommissioned nuclear power plant in Michigan.

If the nuclear power plant meets the bureaucratic and high safety regulations, it would be the first time in US history that a nuclear power plant that has already been decommissioned would go back online.

[...] The nuclear power plant, which will be decommissioned in 2022, is located directly on Lake Michigan. The 800-megawatt power plant was supposed to be dismantled and dismantled after it was decommissioned a few years ago. But now the U-turn.

The attempt to restart the power plant is part of US President Joe Biden's climate policy. Its government wants to stick to nuclear energy in order to achieve ambitious climate goals and cover the country's growing electricity needs.

Like many of the more than 50 nuclear power plants in the U.S., the plant known as Palisades was built during the heyday of nuclear energy in the late 1960s...

*

Meyer Burger | Solar Panels | Solar industry

Initiative against second solar exodus

But another solar ray of hope

A Saxon district administrator wants to save the closed production at the photovoltaic group Meyer Burger in Freiberg. Competitive module production in Europe is possible, say solar experts.

The end of solar module production by the Swiss company Meyer Burger in Freiberg, Saxony, announced last week, shocked many supporters of the energy transition. It was actually intended to become the core of a new leading German solar production company.

But politicians like the district administrator in the Central Saxony district, Dirk Neubauer, and experts from the industry do not want to give up hope that Germany as a location can hold its own against the currently overwhelming competition from China. A new initiative should even make it possible to resume production in Freiberg...

 


1. April


 

Peace Movement | Easter March | Ready for war

The number of participants in the Easter marches is increasing: a sign against the increasing threat of war

Europe in pre-war times, as politicians make clear. Isn't it time for opponents of war to propagate revolutionary defeatism? A comment.

"More participants in this year's Easter marches," reported the organizers of the nationwide demonstrations for peace and disarmament. In Berlin in particular, the number of participants increased significantly compared to the previous year.

The reasons for this are certainly not easy to determine, as different military conflicts are discussed. However, it can be assumed that Germany's war capability, which was emphasized by all sides in these weeks, was also a reason for the resistance.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) speaks of a war with Russia in a few years. The Focus sees a growing threat of war after Vladimir Putin's election as Russian President and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk sees Europe in the pre-war period.

NATO war against Russia is being prepared 

It must be emphasized that Pistorius, Focus and Tusk are not warning about war. They are preparing the population to be able to fight war again. These are not just phrases, scenarios have long been developed as to how this European one is being prepared.

[...] But it should never be forgotten that there are similar warmongers in Russia and Belarus and that everything should be done there to support those who refuse to go to war and even sabotage the war preparations.

For a revolutionary defeatism 

We can also see that we live in pre-war times today in the many small and large gestures in everyday political life. An SPD real politician like Rolf Mützenich just mentions the term “freezing the conflict” and the campaign against the alleged defeatists immediately begins, with the Greens, alongside the FDP, being particularly loud.

Now the term defeatism is a common relic of militarism. He referred to everyone who did not want to go to war with those in power, wherever they were. Actually, defeatist should be an award and there should be a campaign for revolutionary defeatism...

*

Israel | Netanyahu | Ultra-Orthodox

Protests against Netanyahu:

Israel is burning for a new government

The largest demonstrations since the start of the war gathered in Jerusalem over the weekend. How long can Prime Minister Netanyahu last?

JERUSALEM taz | Israel's protest movement is back: On Sunday evening, tens of thousands of participants called for new elections and negotiations with Hamas in the largest demonstration since the start of the war in front of the parliament in Jerusalem. “We are one step from the abyss,” shouted Moshe Radman, one of the organizers, from the speaker’s stage. “The people who really threaten us are Prime Minister Netanyahu and his extremist allies. There will be no peace with them. The hostages will not come back with them.” Many of those present set up tents. They plan to camp in front of the Knesset for four days.

[...] What could be more dangerous for Netanyahu could be an internal dispute. After the decades-old exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jews from military service expired on Monday night, the coalition is facing a breaking point. Tens of thousands of so-called Haredim would now have to be officially drafted into the army, something Netanyahu's strictly religious coalition partners from the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties are unlikely to support.

Israeli society could change everything

“Netanyahu has made himself dependent on the ultra-Orthodox,” says Shuki Friedman of the Jerusalem think tank Jewish Peoples Policy Institute. “If they leave the coalition, the government will collapse.” That is why the ultra-Orthodox have achieved many of their political goals in the past, including state support for their religious education system.

The end of the exemption could fundamentally change Israeli society because it would bring tens of thousands of strict religious people living in isolation into contact with the majority of society. Today, the ultra-Orthodox, known as Haredim, make up more than 13 percent of the population...

*

Coal exit | Climate justice | environmental degradation

Coal phase-out in Rhineland and Lusatia:

Greens celebrate shutdown

Germany wants to get out of coal. There is still disagreement about the end date. Seven power plant blocks in Germany went offline at Easter.

BERLIN afp/dpa | The Green Party politician Kathrin Henneberger welcomed the shutdown of 15 lignite and hard coal power plants on Easter Monday as a “great success for climate justice”. The shutdown of the plants “is done in the knowledge of the historical and global responsibility for achieving our climate goals,” she explained on Sunday.

The phase-out of hard coal also means an end to imports from regions where the mining of hard coal has been associated with serious human rights violations and environmental destruction for decades. In Colombia, for example, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities are most affected, which, in addition to forced relocations and water shortages, are also affected by the health consequences of the mines...

*

Ukraine War | war service | war-weary

Ukrainians are increasingly war-weary and willing to negotiate

In Europe, in contrast to those in power, according to a survey, only 10 percent believe that Ukraine will win. In Ukraine, 54 percent understand conscientious objectors.

The governments of NATO countries continue to adhere to the position that Ukraine must win the war or not lose, but under no circumstances should it begin negotiations now. This means that the Ukrainians must continue to fight and must mobilize new soldiers to hold the front. Kiev has not made any progress here since the defeat of the offensive last year, although the soldiers on the front and their families are pushing for rotation and anger is growing against those who are avoiding military service or who have already fled abroad.

The new mobilization law has been postponed for months. More than 4000 amendments were submitted; no one wants to be held responsible if hundreds of thousands more men are conscripted, including by force. Originally there was talk of 500.000 soldiers being needed, but the military leadership now said that perhaps “only” 300.000 were needed. It is clear that mobilization under coercion and violence will cause a rift in society. The national unity that has so far been laboriously maintained against the Russian enemy is likely to crumble and an open battle between Zelensky's political competitors and his Servant of the People party will break out.

[...] When the war supporters say that it is not the supporters but the Ukrainians who have to decide whether and when they want to enter into negotiations, then the question arises who do they mean: the government or the citizens?

*

Turkey | Local elections

Türkiye: Hundreds of soldiers brought to small villages to vote

Soldiers were driven to the polling stations in buses. The goal: a victory for President Erdogan's party.

mdb. An international delegation of 120 election observers, including members of the “Zurich-Amde/Diyarbakir Bridge Building Committee”, stayed in southeastern Turkey over Easter and observed the local elections. The delegation consisted of non-professional election observers. She wants to prepare a detailed report in the next few days. Infosperber publishes its first information here.

An independent delegation of politicians, journalists, researchers and activists from Switzerland and other countries observed the local elections in southeast Turkey. The opposition parties had feared that fair and free elections were at risk in the Kurdish-majority areas. This assumption has been confirmed. The independent election observers found various violations:

Thousands of soldiers were transferred to contested electoral districts. The results of 2023 should be tilted in favor of the governing party. Convoys of buses carrying soldiers to polling stations could be seen in several places. In smaller villages like Hamzali, 100 km northeast of Diyarbakir, where 630 people live, 366 soldiers, police, prison guards and paramilitaries were newly registered as voters. In Igdir, observers saw lists showing 798 soldiers registered as voters in two simple four-story houses...

 


31. March


 

Elections in the Turkey 

Turkish opposition wins local elections according to preliminary results

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's party has lost local elections, according to preliminary results. The CHP victory in Istanbul is particularly painful for the president.

According to preliminary results, the largest opposition party CHP has clearly won the local elections in Turkey. In the two largest Turkish cities, Istanbul and Ankara, the incumbent CHP mayors declared themselves election winners after almost all votes were counted. "We won the election," said Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who received around 51 percent of the vote according to preliminary results, according to the state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu. Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş said: "The elections are over, we will continue to serve Ankara."

İmamoğlu is considered a possible challenger to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey's next presidential election. The local elections were therefore seen as an important test of sentiment for both Erdoğan and the CHP.

According to the state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu, 90 percent of the votes have been counted so far. According to the partial results, the CHP won nationwide in most of Turkey's 81 provinces, including Anatolia and the major cities of Izmir and Antalya. According to Anadolu, the AKP also recorded losses in some provincial capitals that it had dominated for a long time...

*

Climate Crisis | Ukraine warTurning point

Parallels between war and climate:

Crisis? You're joking

A change of perspective reveals parallels with the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis. The Germans don't understand both topics.

Anyone who lies in bed with a fever realizes that small deviations can really blow you away. Two degrees Celsius more for my body is killing me, two degrees Celsius more for the earth's atmosphere is a catastrophe. Only a nasty little “m” makes all the difference between climate protection and climate pollution. And whether the UN Security Council meets or the Uncertainty Council is decided by the upshift key.

I noticed how small changes shift perspective when I recently read a text by the British historian Timothy Garton Ash. After the Munich Security Conference, he wrote a short essay on the Ukraine war in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Tenor: “The Germans, like so many Europeans, haven’t really understood what has actually been going on for the past two years.”

As I read, I couldn't help but replace the term "war" with "climate crisis" and the "two years" with "twenty years." And Ash's text read like an accurate description of what is currently (not) happening in relation to the multiple crises of climate, biodiversity and plastic waste.

[...] Ash quotes the Czech Prime Minister: “The one sacrifice we can all make is to reduce our own comfort zone.”

Of course: be careful with war metaphors in the climate crisis, with talk of a war economy and total mobilization. But I would like to hear a Federal Chancellor proclaim a “turning point” for the climate and biodiversity. And the investments for this are set at two percent of GDP.

Because the reports are similar there too. The same newspaper says: “A gap of 56 billion euros”. This refers to military spending, which will amount to 2024 billion, 52 percent of the federal budget in 11. Not meant, but at least as underfunded: the budget for the economy and climate protection with 11 billion or 2,3 percent of the budget.

To speak to Ash: The Germans didn't really understand what was going on.

*

Armament | Ready for war

Armament business model: Dissent in the unions

Prosperity and security through more weapons production? A call from trade union circles warns against illusions. Even within our own ranks.

“We have to gear up for prosperity,” wrote a professor of macroeconomics in a guest article for Der Spiegel a few days ago. "Germany is currently unable to defend itself and the economy is limping. The state should make a virtue of this necessity and stimulate growth by spending on armaments," continued Moritz Schularick.

Strengthening the security and defense industry?

The IG Metall board would probably not put it quite like that. In a joint position paper in February of this year, the union, the SPD Economic Forum and the Federal Association of the German Security and Defense Industry (BDSV) called for "an industrial policy concept to strengthen the security and defense industry."

An “industrial policy agenda” is needed to “strengthen Germany, its industry and the jobs there as well as the capabilities and sovereignty of the Bundeswehr.” In this context, Jürgen Kerner, second chairman of IG Metall, emphasized that 2024 would be “the year of decision for the defense technology industry in Germany”.

Against rearmament and war: A warning call

But these tones are not without controversy in the unions. The call "Trade unions against rearmament and war! Capability for peace instead of capability for war!" More than 4.500 members of various unions have now signed - including IG Metall members who belong to or lead works councils.

They fear that the military business model will increase the risk of war in the long term - and that important investments in the civilian sector will be missed if the "war capability" desired by Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is prioritized...

*

friend | enemyRelationship

Get out of the enemy trap

"Enmity leads to blindness and madness"

Russia's war against Ukraine, the global rise of right-wing populist forces - images of enemies are being created everywhere that are ultimately intended to justify violence. The psychologist and theologian Stefan Seidel, on the other hand, calls for “de-enemies.” 

ntv.de: Why does a difference of opinion always turn into hostility?

Stefan Seidel: We have somewhat forgotten how to deal with diversity, otherness, other opinions or positions socially or in smaller contexts. Also in the sense that mediation, dialogue and compromise are possible. This has been our experience in recent years and has become more and more severe. Then you quickly retreat into your own bubble and categorically separate yourself from the other person. This is difficult and is also due to a larger development: the zeitgeist. We live in times of intensifying crises, both global and economic, which, so to speak, limit the scope of individual mental maneuvers.

[...] But what exactly do I do?

From a practical point of view, it helps to establish relationships with specific people on the other side. The antidote to war and violence is actually relationships, as Martin Buber described it. We live from the relationship I and you, very fundamentally and elementary, but also up to the higher levels of social coexistence. We must try to maintain and live these relationships because if we destroy the relationship, we will end up destroying ourselves. In this respect it is about elementary self-preservation. When you focus your empathy not just on your own group, but on everyone, you develop a sense of belonging. This helps to overcome the division mentally. These tools and conflict resolution strategies from psychological peace research often go a long way. They require a certain level of risk. There are always these moving examples, especially in hot conflict areas such as the Middle East, where, for example, Israeli and Palestinian parents who each lost children in this conflict have come together. In the Parents Circle initiative, grieving Israelis and Palestinians say: We want to end this senseless bloodshed between our peoples here and now, we are living it now and are not waiting for a distant peace treaty. This is deeply moving and gives an idea of ​​what other forces can prevail and have an impact if you rely on it.

*

World populationFertility | Births

Birth rates are falling almost everywhere:

The world population will soon shrink

If fewer children are born, it is a sign of prosperity and equality. As a result, the global economy will shrink.

Women are having fewer and fewer children. Is this good or bad news? In 1960, an average of around 5 children were born per woman worldwide; currently it is 2,2 - and the trend continues downwards. In a few decades the world population will shrink because at least 2,1 children per woman are needed for the generations to remain stable.

The number of children per woman is falling so rapidly because dramatic change is taking place in the Global South. In just a few decades, fertility rates have more than halved in many countries. Example India: In 1960 a woman had on average 6 children, now it is 2. Iranian women even had 1960 children in 7,3 and today have 1,69. The situation is similar in Bangladesh: there the fertility rate fell from 6,8 to 1,95 children.

However, there are still countries that have very high birth rates. Over 6 children per woman are still recorded in Niger, Chad, Congo and Somalia - all of which are particularly poor and unstable countries.

In most countries in the Global South, however, what the rich industrialized countries have been experiencing since the late 19th century is repeated: As wealth increases, families become smaller. In Germany, only 1,36 children were born per woman...

*

DependenceLobbyCorruption

New nuclear reactors: Why Ukraine is relying on energy insecurity

The war has brought the energy supply in Ukraine into crisis. But the focus is still on fossil-nuclear power plants. A classification.

Before Hans-Josef Fell will explain how fossil energy dependence is used as a political weapon (the Ukraine war shows this) so that global uncertainties are created and an energy transition can avert these negative effects (but a different path is taken in Ukraine) , a brief overview of the energy crisis in Ukraine since Russia's invasion in February 2022.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine shook Ukraine's energy sector to an unprecedented extent, as Moscow attacked energy infrastructure with missiles, drones, explosives and artillery.

The Russian airstrikes immediately destroyed two dozen major fuel depots and refining facilities.

Before the invasion, Russia and Belarus together supplied more than half of the fuel used in Ukraine. When these supplies failed and domestic refining capacity was destroyed, the country entered a fossil fuel crisis.

The Ukrainian electricity industry suffered the most from war-related losses. The occupation of the eastern territories since February 24, 2022 meant that Ukraine increasingly lost access to energy capacity.

Particularly significant was the loss of control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in March 2022, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, which accounted for 44 percent of Ukraine's nuclear power capacity before the conflict.

Russian troops seized the power plant immediately after the invasion. The shelling of the power plant increased the nuclear security risks in a threatening way...

The horrific Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has cast energy security in a new light. Anyone who believed and perhaps still believes that only oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power could offer a secure energy supply because this energy is reliable in contrast to weather and season-dependent renewable energies was seriously mistaken.

[...] Worse, through our purchase of oil, natural gas, coal and even uranium to generate electricity in the EU, we are financing Islamist terrorist regimes and the Russian war in Ukraine. The attacks by the Yemeni terrorist group Houthi on transport ships in the Red Sea and by other terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel are also largely financed by our oil and gas consumption.

[...] Instead, however, we see that disinformation with lobby influence and corruption from fossil and nuclear energy companies continue to exert great influence on governments.

How similar the pictures are. In the EU, too, as in Ukraine, the large oil, gas, coal and nuclear companies still have the decisive influence on the governments' energy policy, even if large parts of the population in Europe and also in Ukraine have long been the big ones have recognized the advantages of renewable energies.

Therefore, the lobbying and corruption influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear companies must finally be ended throughout Europe and beyond.

 


Current news+  Background knowledge Top

 

Current news+

 

Nuclear phase-out | Power generation | WNISR

Electricity from nuclear power is falling worldwide:

It's not just Germany that is getting out

The share of nuclear power in electricity generation is falling worldwide. Some countries are building new nuclear power plants. In many others, however, nuclear power is not an issue.

GÖTTINGEN taz | With their ongoing criticism of Germany's nuclear phase-out, which was completed a year ago, the CDU and CSU, FDP and business associations are bringing out the heavy rhetorical artillery. The exit was “a dramatic mistake,” said FDP Vice President Wolfgang Kubicki. The CDU Economic Council saw this as a “great danger for Germany as a business location”. And CDU parliamentary group deputy Jens Spahn spoke of “a black day for climate protection” on the occasion of the shutdown of the last nuclear power plants.

What is particularly popular among local nuclear apologists, however, is the reference to an alleged special approach to energy policy in the Federal Republic. Markus Jerger, chairman of the Federal Association of Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) until 2023, claimed that Germany was “one of the very few nations in the world that are phasing out, while other countries are investing heavily in nuclear power.” The question arises, said Jerger, “why we act against every calculation”.

But is nuclear power really on the rise again?

Electricity generation from nuclear energy is stagnating worldwide, as one shows Team led by nuclear expert Mycle Schneider created and recently published “World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023“ (wnisr2023-v5.pdf). While the absolute amount of electricity generated in nuclear power plants worldwide has remained essentially unchanged, its share of the global electricity mix fell to 2022 percent in 9,2, the lowest value in around 40 years. The peak was 1996 percent in 17,5.

Nuclear power plants in 32 states

Nuclear power plants (nuclear power plants) operate in 32 countries. According to WNISR figures, there are currently 415 nuclear reactors in operation. The leader is the USA with 94 reactors, followed by China and France, both with 56 units. Russia (36), Japan (12), South Korea (25) and India (20) are also in the front field.

In 2023, five new reactor blocks came online. Five reactors were shut down in 2023, including the last German plants Emsland, Isar-2 and Neckarwestheim-2. The output balance of the five decommissioned and five new nuclear power plants is negative by one gigawatt.

In the last 20 years, between 2004 and 2023, more nuclear power plants have been decommissioned than new ones have been put into operation. In addition, almost half of the new reactors - 49 of 102 - have come online in China. Outside China, this results in a negative balance of 51 blocks, a significant drop. In the last four years, from 2020 to 2023, 31 reactors were built worldwide, including 20 in China and 11 by the Russian nuclear industry, mainly in third countries - for example in Bangladesh, India and Turkey. Nothing else, anywhere.

In the European Union (EU), 12 of the 27 member states operate nuclear reactors. In the past 30 years, just two nuclear power plants have been built, the so-called third-generation pressurized water reactors (EPR) Olkiluoto-3 in Finland and Flamanville-3 in France. The Finnish reactor went online after 17 years of construction, and the French reactor is still not delivering a kilowatt hour even 17 years after construction began. There is another construction site in Slovakia: construction of Mochovce-4 began in 1985. The reactor is scheduled to go into operation this year.

Highest share of nuclear power in France

Makes up the largest percentage share of the electricity mix worldwide nuclear energy in France even without Flamanville-3. In 2023 it was 65 percent. The newest reactor went online in 1999 and the average age is 38,6 years. In recent summers, half of the French nuclear power plant fleet was shut down due to technical defects, inspections, repairs, or because the rivers did not carry enough water to cool the reactors.

Some EU member states have announced plans to expand nuclear energy. Belgium plans to postpone the final stage of the agreed exit in response to the energy policy turmoil resulting from Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. Instead of 2025, two of the five remaining reactors are not scheduled to go offline until 2035.

Poland intends to restart a nuclear program, officially to phase out coal. The first of six reactors is scheduled to go online in 2033, a completely unrealistic schedule according to experts. Two additional reactor blocks of Russian design are to be built in Hungary, and Romania is planning a mini nuclear power plant using US technology. Sweden operates a total of six reactors, which together cover around 30 percent of the country's electricity production.

Nuclear phase-out in Spain and Switzerland 

The first nuclear power plant called Akkuyu has been built in Turkey since 2015 - financed and built by the Russian state-owned company Rosatom. Great Britain also continues to rely on nuclear power. Nine reactor blocks are currently still in operation and 36 are being dismantled. There are currently two new EPR reactors under construction (Hinkley Point C-1 and -2), and two more planned for the Sizewell C site.

In addition to Belgium, Switzerland and Spain are currently planning to phase out nuclear energy: The four reactors in Switzerland (share of the electricity mix 36,4 percent, average age 48 years) are allowed to run until their age-related end, but cannot be replaced by new ones . There is no date for the shutdown. The seven Spanish reactors are to be gradually taken offline by 2035, with the first shutdown planned for 2027.

Incidentally, the nuclear phase-out in Germany is not yet complete. The six research reactors currently in operation can continue to operate. The fuel assembly plant in Lingen and the uranium enrichment plant in Gronau, which supply nuclear power plants in many countries with fresh “fuel,” also have unlimited operating licenses.

 


Current news+  Background knowledge Top

 

Background knowledge

The map of the nuclear world

A decentralized, sustainable power supply with sun, wind, water and geothermal energy etc. can be achieved in just a few years...

*

The “Internal Search”

Nuclear phase-out | Power generation | WNISR

December 21, 2023 - Plan for new 1000 nuclear power plants by 2050? Nuclear power fantasy fails due to desolate industry

September 29, 2023 - Renewable energies cover more than half of electricity consumption

July 3, 2023 - Quaschning explains: Electricity price zones

April 21, 2023 - Nuclear power: On the decline worldwide

March 17, 2023 - BEE analysis: Nuclear power plants are irrelevant for security of supply and counterproductive for the energy transition

 

World Nuclear Industry Status Report

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2023

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

Page 44 - Figure 1 - Development of national nuclear energy programs, 1954-2022

  • Between 1996 and 1997, power reactors were in operation in 32 countries. It took another 23 years to reach a new high of 33 countries.
  • Four countries (Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan and Lithuania) have abandoned their nuclear programs.
  • Thirteen of the 32 nuclear countries have active reactor construction programs.
  • Nineteen of these countries are not currently building reactors; Of these, seven countries are either phasing out nuclear energy, refraining from building new reactors or refraining from expanding the program. Some of these strategies, such as those in the Netherlands and Sweden, are currently being revised. Even if political changes in some countries reopen the door for the construction of new nuclear power plants, actual work on site would still be many years away.

Figure 1 National Nuclear Power Programs

In 2022, the world's nuclear fleet generated 2.546 terawatt hours (TWh or billion kilowatt hours) of electricity. After a decline in 2020, nuclear production rose 3,9 percent in 2021, but remained just below 2019 levels and fell 2022 percent in 4. China produced more nuclear power than France for the third year in a row, with an increase of 3 percent (up from 11 percent in 2021), remaining the second largest nuclear power producer behind the United States. Outside China, nuclear power production fell 5 percent to its lowest level since the mid-1990s.

Nuclear energy's share of global gross commercial electricity generation in 2022 fell to 9,2 percent - the lowest in four decades and over 45 percent below the peak of 17,5 percent in 1996.

Nuclear energy's main competitors, non-hydro renewables, increased their gross electricity production by 14,7 percent, and their share of global gross electricity production increased by 1,6 percentage points to 14,4 percent.

In 2020, in a global economic environment impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, fossil fuel consumption in the energy sector fell: oil by 9,7 percent, coal by 4,2 percent and natural gas by 2,3 percent. In 2021, the trend was reversed: oil (+8,9%) and coal (+8,5%) increased significantly, while natural gas-based electricity consumption only increased by 2,3%. In 2022, oil consumption for electricity generation remained relatively stable (-0,7%), while coal and gas increased slightly by 1%.

In 2022, nuclear commercial primary energy consumption fell by 4,7 percent, its share of world consumption fell slightly to 4 percent; it has been at this level since approximately 2014. In the European Union (EU), primary nuclear energy consumption has fallen by 17 percent. Renewable energies excluding hydropower, which primarily include solar and wind energy as well as biofuels, continued their growth with an increase of 13 percent and reached a share of 7,5 percent of primary energy. Although the share of renewable energies excluding hydropower is now 1,9 times larger than the share of nuclear energy, both figures illustrate how modest the current contribution of both technologies remains in the global context.

In 2022, eight countries increased the share of nuclear energy in their respective electricity mixes, including one new country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - compared to six countries in 2021 - while thirteen decreased the share and twelve at a constant level remained (change of less than one percentage point). In addition to the United Arab Emirates, seven countries (China, Czech Republic, Finland, India, South Korea, Pakistan and Russia) achieved their highest nuclear power production to date. China, Finland, Pakistan, South Korea and the UAE commissioned new reactors during the year, while the Czech Republic and Russia saw only small increases (less than 1 percent) and India slowly increased the output of Kakrapar-3, which began in January 2021 went online but did not begin commercial operations until June 2023.

**

The search engine Ecosia is planting trees!

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

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Risiko Atomkraft

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Uralte Reaktoren

*

Wikipedia

Nuclear phase-out

The political decision by a state to stop operating nuclear power plants and forego the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity is referred to as a nuclear phase-out, also known as nuclear power phase-out or nuclear renunciation. Italy and Germany have so far completely phased out the production of nuclear energy, and other countries such as Spain and Taiwan have announced or initiated a nuclear phase-out. Other countries have backed away from exit plans, including Japan and Sweden. Austria did not put its completed Zwentendorf nuclear power plant into operation in 1978 after a referendum, and other states canceled nuclear programs, some of which were well advanced.

The nuclear phase-out is a partial aspect of the energy transition, which aims to convert the energy supply to renewable energies...

*

Energy charts

The page for interactive graphics on electricity production and exchange electricity prices from the Fraunhofer Institute

Net public electricity generation in Germany (month March 2024)

Energy Charts March 2024 - Opens in a new window! - Public net electricity generation in Germany (periods and other variables can be freely selected, the default is March 2024) - https://www.energy-charts.info/charts/power/chart.htm?l=de&c=DE&interval=month&month= 03

*

YouTube

Search:

Risk of nuclear power

Renewable energies
 

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 of atoms*

 


Back to:

Newsletter XIII 2024 - March 24th to 30th

Newspaper article 2024

 


For work on 'THTR Rundbrief','reaktorpleite.de' and'Map of the nuclear world' we need up-to-date information, energetic, fresh colleagues and donations. If anyone can help, please send a message to: info@reaktorpleite.de

Donation appeal

- The THTR circular is published by the 'BI Environmental Protection Hamm' and is financed by donations.

- The THTR circular has meanwhile become a much-noticed information medium. However, there are ongoing costs due to the expansion of the website and the printing of additional information sheets.

- The THTR circular researches and reports in detail. In order for us to be able to do that, we depend on donations. We are happy about every donation!

Donation account: BI environmental protection Hamm

Purpose: THTR circular

IBAN: DE31 4105 0095 0000 0394 79

BIC: WELADED1HAM

 


Current news+ Background knowledge Top

***