nuclear power

The Nuclear Industry Is In Financial Meltdown

Ian Fairlie
| 9th June 2017
Most British politicians - waking up after a General Election which sent a strong message that the UK electorate don't want railroading by its leaders - sail along blissfully innocent of nuclear's impending denouement, not only in the rest of the world but in the UK too, writes IAN FAIRLIE

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A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Dr Ian Fairlie
| 29th September 2014
When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.

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Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

Three in every four nuclear power builds worldwide are running late

Oliver Tickell
| 19th September 2014
A review of the 66 nuclear reactors 'under construction' worldwide shows that 49 are running behind schedule, including all five in the US and most in China. The long and unpredictable build times of nuclear plants, and the extra costs that ensue, are a compelling reason not to depend on the technology for either power or to mitigate climate change.

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After the Fujushima catastrophe, this rice was grown nearby by IAEA to test methods of soil decontamination. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr.

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome

Gregory McGann
| 18th September 2014
Research on the biological effects of radiation near the Fukushima nuclear disaster site finds a powerful response in rice seedlings, writes Gregory McCann. The discovery will do nothing to boost consumer confidence in resumed rice exports from the Fukushima region.

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Has the BBC forgotten its commitment to impartial journalism? Photo: BBC handbook 1963, by Gordon Joly via Flickr.

The BBC, Friends of the Earth and nuclear power

Neil Crumpton
| 16th September 2014
At first it looked like a journalistic coup, writes Neil Crumpton - the BBC's 'scoop' that FOE was no longer opposed to nuclear power. Except that FOE remains firmly anti-nuclear as it has been for decades. The spotlight must now be turned on the BBC itself, and its little-known but shocking links to the nuclear industry

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San Onofre Beach State Park, California. In the background, a nuclear power station. Two of the three generating units are now closed. Photo: Luke Jones via Flickr.

Nuclear power - insanity at taxpayers' and consumers' expense

Ralph Nader
| 12th September 2014
Nuclear power exists for one reason only, writes Ralph Nader - government support. Without the taxpayer subsidies, accident liability waivers and exploited consumers, nuclear power wouldn't exist. And even with all the above, it can barely hold on. It's time to end the nuclear boondoggle for once and for all.

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Diablo Canyon in California lies in a seismically active zone totally unsuitable for a nuclear power plant. Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission via Flickr.

Earthquake risk makes California's Diablo Canyon a Fukushima in waiting

Karl Grossman
| 27th August 2014
A newly-exposed report by Diablo Canyon's lead nuclear inspector shows that the twin reactors are unsafe, writes Karl Grossman. An earthquake on nearby geological faults could trigger a Fukushima-scale accident causing 10,000 early fatalities. The owner's response? Apply to extend the site's operation for another 20 years.

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The Vale of Mordor - or is the Sellafield 'atom factory' in Cumbria, UK? Photo: tim_d via Flickr.

Bombs Ahoy! Why the UK is desperate for nuclear power

Oliver Tickell
| 26th August 2014
On the face of it, the UK government's obsession with nuclear power defies reason. It's very expensive, inflexible, creates 'existential' threats and imposes enormous 'long tail' liabilities tens of thousands of years into the future. But there is a simple explanation: it's all to maintain the UK's status as a nuclear WMD state.

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Scheduled for completion in 2009, the Olkiluoto-3 nuclear plant is still under construction, and Areva is no longer projecting a completion date. Costs are running at roughly triple initial estimates. Photo: BBC World Service via Flickr.

The nuclear industry today: declining, but not (yet) dying

Jonathon Porritt
| 25th August 2014
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report provides an account of an industry in decline, writes Jonathon Porritt - with rising operating costs and an ever-shrinking share of world energy production, while the sector loses the race for investment and new generating capacity to fast growing renewable energy technologies.

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The Dounreay nuclear plant in Caithness, Scotland, is one of those that have provoked an increase in childhood leukemia. Photo: Paul Wordingham via Flickr.

Nuclear power stations cause childhood leukemia - and here's the proof

Ian Fairlie
| 23rd August 2014
Controversy has been raging for decades over the link between nuclear power stations and childhood leukemia. But as with tobacco and lung cancer, it's all about hiding the truth, writes Ian Fairlie. Combining data from four countries shows, with high statistical significance, that radioactive releases from nuclear plants are the cause of the excess leukemia cases.

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Sign for the Inkay uranium mining operation in southern Kazakhstan. Photo: Mheidegger via Wikimedia Commons.

Kazakhstan's nuclear power plans - the mysteries only deepen

Komila Nabiyeva
| 19th August 2014
Russia has announced that it will build the first thermal nuclear power station in Kazakhstan, the world's largest uranium producer, writes Komila Nabiyeva. But where in that vast country will it be located? Who will own and operate it? How many reactors are planned? Who will get the power? And will it ever actually happen?

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Rosetta approaching its destination after a 6 billion km journey. Image: ESA.

Rosetta shows - we can keep space plutonium-free!

Karl Grossman
| 5th August 2014
Deep space missions have previously run on nuclear power, writes Karl Grossman - and have twice showered Earth with radioactive debris. But the ESA's Rosetta probe, about to reach its destination, is 100% solar-powered - showing that space can be nuclear-free.

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IAEA Experts at Unit 4 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, 17th April 2013, as part of a mission to review Japan's plans to decommission the facility. Photo: IAEA Imagebank.

Fukushima - we need health studies now!

Joseph Mangano
Janette Sherman
| 2nd August 2014
A massive health crisis is following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, write Joseph Mangano & Janette Sherman - not just in Japan but around the world. But the health impacts remains woefully under-studied. Scientists must wake up and undertake serious research without delay.

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The mushroom cloud above Nagasaki, 9th August 1945. The 'Fat Man' bomb contained just 6.2kg of plutonium 239 and delivered a 21 kt blast. Photo: Charles Levy / Wikimedia Commons.

Nuclear power undermines nuclear security

Dr David Lowry
| 2nd May 2014
Opponents of nuclear power rightly focus on issues of cost, operational danger and waste disposal, writes David Lowry. But they should not forget the towering 'elephant in the room' - nuclear security and the risk of proliferation and terrorist attacks.

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Chernobyl Zone 75, Pripyat, Ukraine. Photo: kvitlauk via Flickr.com.

Chernobyl - the biting wind, the silent scream

Barys Piatrovich
| 26th April 2014
Barys Piatrovich recalls the tension of unknowing during the days that followed the Chernobyl disaster. Today, barely any of the evacuees are still alive. Dispersed throughout the country, they died alone and unnoticed, statistically insignificant.

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Angels of nuclear death. Image: Abode of Chaos via Flickr.com.

Chernobyl - how many died?

Jim Green - Nuclear Monitor
| 26th April 2014
It was 28 years ago today that Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine ruptured and ignited, sending a massive plume of radiation across Europe. Jim Green assesses the scientific evidence for how many people died as a result of the catastrophe.

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