The week in climate and nuclear news

With the whole world in the grip of anxiety about coronavirus, and preoccupied with responding to the pandemic, climate scientists and activists ponder the opportunity to develop a green economy when it is over.  And indeed, the global climate, and the world’s biodiversity are right now benefiting from the lockdown response.  But, alas, the signs are already there, that, in recovering from the health crisis, governments are more likely to promote polluting industries and consumer spending, and to relax environmental safeguards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XhzBSMBpuY It’s too early to tell.

As for the nuclear lobby, it continues to battle bravely on, with propaganda about nuclear’s role in diagnosing COVID 19, and with promoting small nuclear reactors. Despite the nuclear industry’s present urgent problem with Coronavirus and staffing– or perhaps because of this, it is heavily promoting “clean”, “safe”, “cheap” nuclear power to Africa.

A bit of good news – Reports Find Social Restrictions Are Working to Curb New COVID-19 Cases From Italy to Seattle

AUSTRALIA

NUCLEAR.    Josephite South Australia Reconciliation Circle’s advice to the Senate Inquiry on Radioactive Waste Bill.   A flawed process- National Radioactive Waste Management- Submission from David Noonan.  Bob Phelps’ submission: There is no valid case for the planned national nuclear waste facility at Kimba.  Conservation Council of Western Australia stresses importance of submissions to strengthen environmental protection – especially to keep anti nuclear provisions.

CLIMATE. Coronavirus action: Australia’s moment to change course for a clean environment, slowing global heating. Calls for Morrison to end fossil fuel stimulus, redirect funds to clean tech. Big win for fossil fuels as regulators seek 12 month delay on 5-minute rule change.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Australia renewables hit 50% of main grid’s net demand on Easter Saturday. Why Australia needs to aim for at least 75% renewables by 2030Cleantech startups get a boost with ARENA funding for EnergyLab.   W.A. to lead way in transition to distributed, renewable and equitable grid. New wind farm begins generating in Victoria. Australia’s clean energy transition delayed due to outdated electricity market design.  AEMO declares system strength shortfall in Queensland after wind, solar curtailed.

INTERNATIONAL

The coronavirus pandemic, like other global catastrophes, reveals the limitations of nationalism.

Climate change could cause sudden biodiversity losses worldwide.

Ordinary people can beat the nuclear establishment: it’s been done before.

New START treaty must be extended, a U.S. – Russia nuclear arms race an intolerable threat to the whole world.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation in a Deadlock.

Nuclear fusion, too hot, too costly? And not ready before 2050.

UKRAINE. Chernobyl wildfires now ‘close’ to exploded nuclear reactor.  What is causing the Chernobyl Wildfires? Year on Year, mostly in the Summer. Fukushima forests future? CRIIRAD monitoring Kiev nuclear risk of Chernobyl radioactive plumes #Strontium90 #Plutonium #Cesium137/134.  Satellite Imagery of Chernobyl Fires April 8 and 9 2020 – NASA.  Ukrainian firefighters continue to struggle with Chernobyl are fires, amid radiation fears. As at 5 April, radiation levels in Chernobyl area were 16 times above normal, due to forest fires.   The unsafety of Ukraine’s nuclear reactors: Ukrainian Association of Veterans of Atomic Energy and Industry fear “another Chernobyl”.

USA.

UK. Who has the UK nuclear button while Johnson is ill? No comment.    David Lowry: Covid-19 spread shows up vulnerability at heart of nuclear programmes. With coronavirus problem, Hinkley Point C nuclear project should be paused.  Sellafield nuclear construction stalled – pause in construction extended to April 27. Call to stop construction at Hinkley Point C nuclear project, due to coronavirus risk.

More delay in planning application for UK’s Wylfa Newydd nuclear project.  Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) call for more stringent safety measures, and the closure of EDF’s old nuclear reactors.     Microbes in nuclear fuel ponds slow down the decommissioning process. University boffins discuss the eternal problem of nuclear wastes.  U.S. taxpayers might cough up for a private company’s new “Small Nuclear” space travel gimmick.

JAPAN. To help future generations, Fukushima mothers have become radiation scientists’.

SOUTH KOREA. The Carbon Brief Profile: South Korea.

INDIA. India’s dangerous nuclear triad.

BOSNIA. Bosnia might need international arbitration over Croatia’s nuclear waste dump plan near the border.

PAKISTAN. Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons, even defensively used, could usher in a larger nuclear war.

RUSSIA. Russia wants to extend New START nuclear weapons treaty, but the U.S. has not revealed its plans.  Russia gambles on safety and cost, in extending life of fast breeder reactor.

BANGLADESH. Russia evacuates some employees from Bangladesh nuclear site.

VIETNAM. 277,700 Vietnamese support “Appeal of the Hibakusha “ – call to eliminate nuclear weapons.

SWEDEN.  Sweden’s wind power on the way to putting nuclear out of business.

ISRAEL. USA has helped Israel to develop a mighty armory of nuclear missiles.

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