— Why Diablo Canyon MUST retire — Mothers for Peace SLO

From Mothers for Peace SLO

DIABLO CANYON MUST RETIRE

There’s a misguided effort being pushed forward by some well-intentioned people who have joined the Nuclear Power Fan Club. These people truly believe that nuclear power will save the planet from climate disaster, and there’s a lot of money to be made.

The newly released Stanford/MIT study recommends exploring the extension of Diablo Canyon’s license to operate in order to combat climate change, but it completely ignores important conditions at Diablo Canyon: 

1. Diablo Canyon is situated at the nexus of at least 13 earthquake faults. Two of these, the Hosgri Fault and the Shoreline Fault, are classified by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) as “major” and “active.” Keeping Diablo Canyon operating beyond its planned closure is playing Russian roulette.

2. The Unit 1 reactor vessel was manufactured in 1967. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported it as “embrittled” several years ago. This reactor vessel has not had a mandated ultrasonic examination in more than twenty years. If Unit 1’s reactor had to be shut down in an emergency, there’s a chance that it could shatter like a glass of boiling water suddenly plunged into ice, resulting in unimaginable consequences. 

3. Seasoned, highly skilled workers are retiring and moving on, resulting in loss of institutional knowledge about the unique idiosyncrasies of Diablo Canyon. The effect is already being felt, according to information provided to Mothers for Peace by an unnamed employee. 

4. Underground pipes were installed at Diablo Canyon in the 1970s. These pipes are subject to high pressure and cannot be inspected. A severe earthquake is all it would take to interrupt the vital cooling water to the plant. Much maintenance at Diablo Canyon has been deferred because closure is imminent. This facility is OLD. These and other components are ready to retire. 

5. The spent fuel pools are overcrowded to at least three times their original capacity. A “beyond design” earthquake (think Fukushima) could crack the pools, cause water to leak out, and the spent fuel could spontaneously ignite – the most unimaginable catastrophe possible. This is a “low probability, high risk” scenario, and it’s not considered by the NRC in spent fuel pool safety analysis because “it won’t happen.” We hope not.

6. There is exactly enough space on the dry cask storage pad to accommodate 138 spent fuel casks containing highly radioactive fuel rods that will be stored after closure in 2025. If the lifetime of the nuclear plant were extended, a whole new dry cask facility would have to be permitted and constructed to accommodate the additional toxic waste. With no federal repository for high level nuclear waste, it’s going to be stored on our fragile coastline into the foreseeable future. 

7. There is no guarantee of “steady baseload power” from a 40-year-old nuclear power plant. Unit 2’s failed main generator was replaced for nearly $100 million in 2019, but failed again in 2020, working only 30% of that year and narrowly squeaking by during the peak load energy crunches. The complex and costly repairs of aging systems are likely to multiply in the ensuing years.

One must also consider Climate Impacts and Habitat Loss from Diablo Canyon’s Operation:

1. Diablo Canyon circulates 2.5 BILLION gallons of seawater through its piping every 24 hours in a once-through-cooling (OTC) system. Diablo Canyon’s cooling system is responsible for 80% of the loss of marine life on the California Coast. OTC is no longer allowed in California, but the State Lands Commission extended the land leases to 2024 and 2025 to coincide with Diablo Canyon’s operating licenses. With rapid worldwide depletion of fisheries and aquatic biodiversity, it is unacceptable to allow decimation of marine life in order to produce approximately 8% of California’s energy. Would the Lands Commission allow another exemption and sacrifice ocean life for Diablo Canyon’s operation?  

2. The seawater intake structure is vulnerable to rising levels of ocean water brought on by global climate change. This is the water that cools the plant. During seawater’s circulation through the facility, it warms by 19°F before being discharged back into the ocean, contributing to ocean warming. Think about it: 2.5 billion gallons every single day for 40 or more years. The math and the impacts are almost incalculable.

3. Nuclear plants emit huge amounts of heat from nuclear reactions into the atmosphere 24/7. Where does the heat go? Global warming. 

4. When uranium is mined, milled, enriched, and transported to nuclear plants, there is a spike in CO2 emissions. 

5. Uranium mining has decimated some 27,000 square miles of Navajo (Diné) land spread across Utah, New Mexico and Arizona which is home to more than 250,000 people. Many Navajo people have died from kidney failure and cancer, conditions linked to uranium contamination. And new research from the CDC shows uranium in the bodies of babies born now.

6. When a nuclear plant is built, hundreds of millions of tons of concrete are also manufactured. And when the plant is dismantled, this same concrete, plus steel, electrical wiring, plumbing, and radiologically contaminated material must be hauled away. All of it contributes to climate change. 

We can do better. People of the Central Coast have put up with living in a nuclear evacuation zone for the past 40 years. Nuclear power is dirty. It’s dangerous. Don’t buy the hype.

https://mothersforpeace.org/diablo-canyon-must-retire/

– Buffet and Gates plan Wyoming nuclear reactor with claims of ‘clean’; Gov. Gordon ignores waste and emissions

The candidate reactor sites are the Wyodak plant near Gillette in coal-rich northeastern Wyoming, the Naughton plant near Kemmerer in southwestern Wyoming, the Jim Bridger plant outside Rock Springs in southwestern Wyoming and the Dave Johnston plant near Glenrock in uranium-rich east-central Wyoming.

…Wyoming is the top uranium-mining state, and the reactor would use uranium from “in situ” mines that extract the heavy metal from networks of water wells on the high plains, officials said.

…Proposals to store nuclear waste in Wyoming have failed to pass the state Legislature in recent decades. While some waste would need to be stored on site, the plant isn’t going to be a way to “solve the nation’s waste problems,” Gordon said.

From the Associated Press,

From RT
6 June, 2021

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have chosen a top U.S. coal-producing state as the location for a new kind of nuclear reactor, using Natrium as its power source.

The natrium power plant, with an anticipated cost of $1 billion, will repurpose a coal plant for its operations in Wyoming, with the exact location to be announced by the end of 2021. The partners hope this will help the U.S. on its way to a carbon-zero future. 

The development consists of a 345-megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with molten salt-based energy storage that could boost the system’s power output to 500MW during peak power demand. This would provide enough energy to power as many as 400,000 homes.

he project will be overseen by TerraPower and Pacificorp, founded by Gates and Buffett respectively. TerraPower has been key in exploring the potential of Natrium power as the US energy department awarded the company $80 million in funding last year to demonstrate the potential power of this chemical.

We think Natrium will be a game-changer for the energy industry,” Gates stated of the project.  

President and CEO of TerraPower, Chris Levesque, adds “We need this kind of clean energy on the grid in the 2030s.”

Some experts are critiquing the plans, warning that advanced reactors may present a higher risk than their conventional counterparts. Reactor fuel needs to be enriched at a higher rate than conventional fuel, making the supply chain a potential target for groups trying to build a crude nuclear weapon.

However, advanced nuclear reactors have simpler designs than typical reactors, making them easier to build, more fuel-efficient, cheaper, and safer. 

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon believes “This is our fastest and clearest course to becoming carbon negative,” stating, “Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy.”

The project is expected to provide on-demand, no-carbon energy, as well as providing hundreds of short and long-term jobs in construction and plant operations. This will give a much-needed boost to Wyoming’s job sector following two decades of coal plant closures. 

While two out of every three nuclear power reactors globally are scheduled for retirement in the near future, the U.S. is still investing heavily in nuclear power. For example, the Vogtle nuclear power plant in Georgia is expected to commence commercial operation in November 2021, at an estimated cost of $28 billion. It seems that despite a movement away from nuclear power in recent years we cannot overlook its potential as a global energy leader. 

Following a decade of decline after major disasters such as Fukushima in 2011, which obliterated Japan’s nuclear power program, two countries, Belarus and the United Arab Emirates have recently commissioned new nuclear power plants. In addition, Japan is aiming to reintroduce nuclear capacities, with at least 5 safety-upgraded reactors expected to be recommissioned by 2025. 

The Middle East and South Asia are expected to boost their nuclear power production by the end of the decade, with Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, China, and India all investing in nuclear reactors. This has sent uranium stocks up since late 2020, with two leading US-listed uranium miners, Uranium Energy Corp. and Cameco Corporation, both experiencing a steady climb.

Despite the recent decline in nuclear power, plans to invest in the recommissioning of existing reactors and develop new ones suggest that nuclear energy is not yet dead. Further, if Gates and Buffett are successful in developing their Natrium advanced reactor is could lead the way for future projects.

rt.com/business/525808-buffett-gates-nuclear-plant-natrium/

apnews.com/article/bill-gates-wyoming-technology-environment-and-nature-government-and-politics-c647adc5f4a447eaef1c4ec28464e153

— A nuclear bomb is still ticking in Ukraine: coal blockade organizers warn government that all Russian coal supplies may be blocked

The blockade is by members of the Ukrainian government and allied militias who are ultranationalist, racist, and have a pathological hatred of Russia and all things Russian. The reality is that Russia is not waging war against Ukraine, as even Ukrainian military leaders have admitted.

Approximately 40% of Ukraine’s electric grid runs on coal. The county is already in an energy emergency. Ukraine’s 19 nuclear reactors rely on grid power for cooling. If the grid goes down partially or completely, if there is no back up power, Ukraine could experience up to 6 X Fukushima.

The United States has waged a destabilization campaign against Ukraine  since the end of World War II, nurturing neo-Nazi elements in the society. Asst. Sec. of State Victoria Nuland admitted the U.S. has spent $5 billion in this effort. The U.S. supported the Maidan coup d’etat in 2014, and continues aiding, arming, training, and advising the military, the militias, and the government in the war it wages against East Ukraine, where a majority of residents are ethnic Russians. Germany, the UK, and France are also responsible for this horrific situation. These countries must stop their financial, military, and moral support for the Kiev regime.

For news on Russia and Ukraine not on the corporate media,  http://www.globalresearch.ca/indepthreport/ukraine-report

From Sputnik News

March 11, 2017

The organizers of the trade blockade in eastern Ukraine threaten to block all coal imports from Russia.

KIEV (Sputnik) — The organizers of the trade blockade in eastern Ukraine said Friday that they would block all coal imports from Russia beginning from April 2 in case Kiev failed to reach agreements on coal shipments from other countries by that time.

“We give the government time by April 2 to sign the contracts on coal supplies with countries which do not conduct warfare against Ukraine. We give the government time by April 2 to reconsider its trade policy with the aggressor country of Russia,” the blockade’s main organizer, Anatoliy Vynohrodsky, told reporters.

He added that beginning from April 2 the observation stations of the blockade organizers, which are to be established along all the railway transition posts, will begin the blockade’s active phase.

“First of all we will not let coal from Russia pass,” Vynohrodsky pointed out.

Vynohrodsky noted that concerning other supplies from Russia, the blockade organizers would “consult with the Ukrainian people.”In late January, a group of former participants of Ukraine’s military operation in Donbas, including several lawmakers, blocked traffic on several segments of freight rail lines running from the territories uncontrolled by Kiev. The blockade led to irregularities in supplies of anthracite coal from Donbass, leading to power shortages in Ukraine and prompting Kiev to declare an energy emergency.

Kiev’s authorities criticized the actions of the blockade organizers saying that coal shipments from Donbass were legal as coal producing plants located there had been paying taxes to the Ukrainian State Treasury Service. However, no efforts have been undertaken by the Kiev authorities to lift the blockage.

In January 2015, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a statement designating Russia as an aggressor country, as Kiev considered Russia being a party to the military conflict in Donbass. No evidence supporting this statement was provided.

Moscow denounced the statement. Russia repeatedly said it was not part to the Ukrainian conflict, had not provided military equipment to Donbass militia and was interested in the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201703111051470737-donbass-blockade-block-russia/

— Vietnam likely to abandon nuclear program

From Sputnik

November 21, 2016

Vietnam may completely abandon its nuclear program during its legislative session, a senior diplomat from one the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) told RIA Novosti Monday.

BANGKOK, November 21 (Sputnik) — Vietnam’s National Assembly is currently deciding on the future of the state’s nuclear program, with the final vote expected at the close of the session on Tuesday. Vietnam has been making moves to suspend nuclear projects in the country, scrapping Russian and Japanese-backed projects over recent weeks. “The decision to suspend the nuclear energy development program has already been taken. Right now the formal wording is being decided on, whether this will be a delay to the schedule of the program or a total rejection of nuclear energy. It appears that the latter is probable,” the diplomat, who had previously served in Vietnam, said.

Global economic turmoil, as well as falling growth rates inside the country, have prompted the Vietnamese government to reconsider its priorities in the energy mix, according to the diplomat, who stressed that this is the official position and is likely to be true.

Russia planned to supply two units for a power plant project in the southern Ninh Thuan province. Its launch was planned for 2020 before Vietnam asked to move the start of construction to that year. In early November, the Vietnamese government announced its decision to withdraw from the contract due to a tight fiscal situation. Vietnam is the latest in a line of several countries to suspend nuclear development in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident, which led to an ongoing collapse in uranium prices and skepticism in the nuclear industry.

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201611211047666991-vietnam-nuclear-program/