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Next-generation nuclear reactors may not be safer: French watchdog

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/27/us-nuclear-future-france-idUSKBN0NI1WJ20150427

Next-generation nuclear reactors may not be safer: French watchdog
PARIS | By Geert De Clercq
Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:17pm EDT

The next generation of nuclear reactors being developed in countries such as France, Russia, China and Japan may not be safer than those being built today, French nuclear safety watchdog IRSN said on Monday.

In a study of six future reactor designs being worked on by the U.S.-led "Generation IV International Forum", the IRSN said only the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) model was far enough along in the development process to envisage building a prototype during the first half of this century.

But it could not say whether it would be safer than models currently being built for service.

"While it seems possible for SFR technology to guarantee a safety level at least equivalent to that targeted by generation III pressurised-water reactors, IRSN is unable to determine whether it could significantly exceed this level," it said.

<snip>

The agency also questioned the degree to which the reactor would be able to burn up "actinides", among the most dangerous by-products of nuclear fission.

4G advocates argue that SFRs would reduce the amount of nuclear waste and the need for deep storage, but the IRSN said this feature offered "only a very slight advantage", which would not be the deciding factor in the choice of future reactors.

<snip>

Cecil the Lion vs Cecil the Dragon.

I am outraged about Cecil the Lion.
And every time I hear Cecil, I think of Cecil the Dragon, from a well-loved childrens program.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beany_and_Cecil


Floating wind turbine of 7 MW anchored off Fukushima today

Source: SeeNews

A 7-MW MHI SeaAngel turbine was anchored on Wednesday off the Japanese coast under the Fukushima floating offshore wind farm demonstration project (Fukushima FORWARD).

The oil pressure drive-type floating wind turbine is expected to commence demonstration operation later in 2015, joining a 2-MW machine which has been online since November 2013. Next year, the third and last piece of the demonstration project will fall into place with the floating of a 5-MW Hitachi turbine.

Finally... The world's largest floating offshore wind turbine has just been anchored outside #Fukushima! #milestone pic.twitter.com/rowtsTyrDD
— Johan Sandberg (@JohanSSandberg) July 29, 2015


All in all, the project consortium will aim to expand the scheme to 1 GW by the end of the decade, when it will use a total of 140 floating offshore wind turbines, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said. The project is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

<snip>

Read more: http://renewables.seenews.com/news/floating-wind-turbine-of-7-mw-anchored-off-fukushima-today-486189

Virgin Galactic: 'Single human error' led to catastrophic crash, NTSB says

Source: Los Angeles Times

Federal safety officials Tuesday blamed the builder of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo for failing to anticipate the copilot error that caused the aircraft's disintegration during a test flight nine months ago.

The staff of the National Transportation Safety Board, at a meeting in Washington, initially listed the probable cause as copilot Michael Alsbury's premature unlocking of the space plane's "feather system," or movable tail.

<snip>

But after a discussion, the NTSB staff revised the probable cause, placing most of the blame on Scaled Composites, which had designed and built SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.

The NTSB blamed Scaled for failing to consider "that a single human error could result in a catastrophic hazard."

<snip>

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ntsb-virgin-20150727-story.html

A.P.J. Kalam, former president known as father of India's military missile program, dies at 83

Source: Associated Press

SHILLONG, India – Former Indian President A.P.J. Kalam has died at a hospital after collapsing while delivering a lecture in northeastern India.

The president from 2002 until 2007 was known as the father of the country's military missile program.

B. Warjri, chief secretary of Meghalaya state, said Kalam died Monday evening at a hospital. He was 83.

Kalam fell sick Monday while addressing the students of the Indian Institute of Management in the Meghalaya city of Shillong.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/07/27/apj-kalam-former-president-known-as-father-india-military-missile-program-dies/

Nuclear-Armed India, Pakistan on Edge After 12-Hour Gunbattle

Source: Reuters

A 12-hour gunbattle involving heavily-armed men dressed in military fatigues who seized a police station near the border with Pakistan ended Monday, Indian police said.

Three assailants were among nine people killed during the incident in the frontier state of Punjab.

The gunmen had pulled up at the police complex in a stolen car with automatic weapons blazing at about 5 a.m. (7:30 p.m. ET Sunday).

Any proof of links between Pakistan and the attackers would be sure to increase tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since both nations gained independence in 1947.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/nuclear-armed-india-pakistan-edge-after-12-hour-gunbattle-n398916

Organic Agriculture could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions

"Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/21/a-real-and-ready-solution-for-climate-change/

A Real and Ready Solution for Climate Change
by Joyce Nelson
July 21, 2015

<snip>

The U.S. Rodale Institute’s peer-reviewed study, Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change, is so hopeful and filled with common sense about the future that it’s a must-read for anyone needing some inspiration in these difficult times.

With regard to rising greenhouse gas emissions, their study states: “We suggest an obvious and immediately available solution – put the carbon back to work in the terrestrial carbon ‘sinks’ that are literally right beneath our feet. Excess carbon in the atmosphere is surely toxic to life, but we are, after all, carbon-based life forms, and returning stable carbon to the soil can support ecological abundance.”

Through using organic farming practices that maximize soil’s carbon-fixing capacities, not only can climate change be reversed, but soil itself can be restored. The study states: “Simply put, recent data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices.”

<snip>

The study even succinctly addresses the impending “need to feed nine billion people” – the standard talking-point always used by the GMO lobby to try to discredit organic agriculture’s crop yields. The Rodale Institute’s study of actual yields from real-world farming sites around the planet shows that organic farming “can outcompete conventional yields for almost all food crops studied including corn, wheat, rice, soybean and sunflower.”

The study also states: “Hunger and food access are not yield issues. They are economic and social issues which, in large part, are the result of inappropriate agricultural and development policies that have created, and continue to reinforce, rural hunger. We currently overproduce calories. In fact, we already produce enough calories to feed nine billion people. Hunger and food access are inequality issues that can be ameliorated, in part, by robust support for small-scale regenerative agriculture.”

<snip>

USS Reagan Sailors Sue for Nuclear Justice - July 2015 Update



USS Reagan Sailors Sue for Nuclear Justice
eon3
Published on Jul 21, 2015

Attorney Charles Bonner gives an update on his class action litigation on behalf of military personnel harmed by exposure to Fukushima fallout during an aid mission. The suit targets the plant operator and its manufacturers.

This is part 4 of a 5-part series based on, 'Taking Nuclear to Court in Japan, Korea and the USA,' a program co-sponsored by Project Censored, Fukushima Response, EON, and Sonoma Peace and Justice in Rohnert Park, CA on July 17, 2015.

Other speakers are part of a delegation of South Korean and Japanese activists on a West Coast tour.

Lee Jin Seop talks about his wife’s case and other lawsuits that have been filed in S. Korea, seeking to establish judicial accountability for the dangers of nuclear power, and compensation for the cancers it can cause.

Rev. Deasoo Lee has lectured on the dangers of nuclear power at the Shinano-machi Church in Tokyo.

Choi Seungkoo is the Secretary General of No Nukes Asia Action (NNAA), a Japanese nonprofit organization that recently filed the Reactor Suppliers Lawsuit to hold companies that profited from Fukushima’s nuclear operations responsible for the continuing nuclear disaster (GE, Hitachi, Toshiba). The suit has almost 4000 plaintiffs from Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Russia, the US, Canada, and Malaysia.


The lawsuit website is:
http://FukushimaRadiationVictims.net

Other websites listed at the end are:
http://FukushimaResponse.org
http://www.facebook.com/FukushimaResponseCampaign
http://eon3.net
http://shutdowndoc.tv

Calvert Cliffs 3 nuclear reactor COL withdrawn: good riddance!

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Calvert-Cliffs-3-COL-withdrawn-2107157.html

Calvert Cliffs 3 COL withdrawn
21 July 2015

Unistar Nuclear Energy's withdrawal of its combined construction and operation licence (COL) application for Calvert Cliffs unit 3 has been formally accepted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The EDF-owned company notified the NRC on 8 June that it wished to withdraw the COL application for the proposed US EPR reactor. The regulator had already suspended its review of the COL application at Unistar's request, after Areva Inc requested an indefinite suspension of the US EPR's design certification.

The withdrawal of the COL application, effective 17 July, was confirmed with the publication of a notice by NRC in the US Federal Register.

Unistar submitted the COL application for Calvert Cliffs 3 in Maryland in July 2007, but the application review had been on partial hold since 2010 when co-owner Constellation Energy withdrew from Unistar. Constellation's withdrawal left the company wholly owned by EDF of France, and US regulations prohibit wholly foreign-owned companies from obtaining operating licences for US nuclear plants.

<snip>


Successful Test of Beamed-Energy Space Launch Thruster

"Escape Dynamics’ recent tests demonstrated a full sequence of operation of an externally-powered propulsion system. Energy was drawn from the electric grid, converted into microwaves using a gyrotron, guided through a system of beam shaping mirrors, and beamed from an antenna to a thruster. Conversion of the microwave energy into thrust was performed using a thermal thruster with a highly efficient microwave-absorbing heat exchanger. The heat exchanger was designed to capture more than 90% of the incoming microwave energy and heat the propellant flowing through it towards the nozzle."


http://escapedynamics.com/beyondcombustion/

PRESS RELEASE (July 17, 2015)

Propulsion Technology Win: Successful Test Results of the World’s First Combustion Free, Externally-Powered, Space Launch Thruster

BROOMFIELD, CO – Escape Dynamics, Inc. announced successful tests of their thruster powered by beamed high power microwave energy, with performance greatly surpassing the limit of chemical combustion rockets. Specific Impulse (or Isp) is a measure of rocket or jet engine efficiency, much like miles-per-gallon for cars. While chemical rockets top out at around 460 seconds Isp, static thrust tests conducted in the company’s lab in Colorado using helium demonstrated an Isp above 500 seconds. Had hydrogen been used instead of helium, the specific impulse achieved would have been above the 600 seconds threshold required for single-stage-to-orbit operations of a launch vehicle, which is not possible with chemical rockets.

“Our recent tests are a major step forward in the continued advancement of our externally-powered high Isp thruster and validation of our efforts to change the manner of orbital launches” commented Richard F. Schaden, co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Escape Dynamics. Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, CEO/CTO indicated “We, for the first time, conclusively demonstrated that a new propulsion technology that goes beyond chemical rockets and that can be used for orbital launch works on a lab scale, and we are confident that we can take it to multi-megawatt scales and eventually introduce it into single-stage-to-orbit spaceplanes that will change the way we reach orbit.”

<snip>

Escape Dynamics’ recent tests demonstrated a full sequence of operation of an externally-powered propulsion system. Energy was drawn from the electric grid, converted into microwaves using a gyrotron, guided through a system of beam shaping mirrors, and beamed from an antenna to a thruster. Conversion of the microwave energy into thrust was performed using a thermal thruster with a highly efficient microwave-absorbing heat exchanger. The heat exchanger was designed to capture more than 90% of the incoming microwave energy and heat the propellant flowing through it towards the nozzle.

<snip>

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