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bananas

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Concealed study shows Hungary's nuclear deal with Russia causing massive losses - paper

http://www.portfolio.hu/en/economy/concealed_study_shows_hungarys_nuclear_deal_with_russia_causing_massive_losses_paper.27340.html

Concealed study shows Hungary's nuclear deal with Russia causing massive losses - paper
February 7, 2014, 2:10 pm

Hungary’s government does not want to disclose the detailed estimates for the Paks nuclear reactor construction project because these forecast rising electricity prices and massive losses, local daily Népszabadság reported on Friday.


Changing agenda

The newspaper reminded that the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant was oddly taken off the agenda of a meeting of Parliament’s Commission on Sustainable Development on 10 December, as the government majority argued the discussion of the matter was not timely. Then members of the commission received an invitation for a meeting on 16 December that said they would be informed about measures to be made to maintain the capacities of the Paks NPP.

<snip>

The paper said the cancellation has to do with the assumption that "revealing MVM’s figures would have caused disturbance even among governing party MPs before the final vote on bill of the Orbán-Putin agreement."

Bad deal?

It added the report for the MVM does not paint a positive picture on the project because "in case of a 2,000 billion forint investment cost - if the state-owned energy company finances it from its own resources - would result in a producer price of 22 forint per kilowatt hour in the new blocks. At HUF 3,000 billion this would lead to a HUF 33 per kWh electricity price, which is obviously unacceptable in view of the HUF 16 per kWh free market price."

According to the cited study, if capital costs did not exceed HUF 3,000 bn and the interest expenses and related costs of the development (network development, new reserve block, etc.) were to be paid by taxpayers, the production price would still come in at HUF 25/kWh. This would boost local electricity prices by more than 10% and - including the accompanying investments - cause losses to the tune of HUF 1,000 billion.

<snip>


via http://www.nucpros.com/content/concealed-study-shows-hungarys-nuclear-deal-russia-causing-massive-losses-paper
and http://nuclear-news.net/2014/02/09/hungarys-govt-kept-secret-report-showing-massive-losses-from-nuclear-deal-with-russia/

Kids Read To Sheltered Cats And Everyone's Heart Collectively Melts



Kids Read To Sheltered Cats And Everyone's Heart Collectively Melts
By Erin Chack @ErinChack

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, P.A., has a program called "Book Buddies" where children volunteer to read to sheltered cats. And it just might be too cute for the internet to handle. Via http://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/1xd1ww/my_local_rescue_has_a_program_called_book_buddies/


http://www.reddit.com/r/aww/comments/1xd1ww/my_local_rescue_has_a_program_called_book_buddies/

My local rescue has a program called Book Buddies where kids read to sheltered cats to sooth them (i.imgur.com)
submitted 1 day ago by dagorlad
1027 comments
[hr]
This is at Berks Animal Rescue League in Berks County, PA.


Iran moves to cooperate in U.N. nuclear bomb probe

Source: Reuters

The U.N. nuclear agency said on Sunday that Iran had agreed to start addressing suspicions that it may have worked on designing an atomic weapon, a potential breakthrough in a long-stalled investigation into Tehran's atomic activities.

<snip>

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had agreed during talks in Tehran to take seven new practical measures within three months under a November transparency deal with the IAEA meant to help allay concern about the nuclear programme.

For the first time, one of them specifically dealt with an issue that is part of the U.N. nuclear agency's inquiry into what it calls the possible military dimensions to Iran's atomic activities. Iran has repeatedly denied any such ambitions.

It said Iran would provide "information and explanations for the agency to assess Iran's stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators".

<snip>

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/09/uk-iran-nuclear-iaea-idUKBREA1707T20140209

Flappy Bird creator says popular game will fly no more

Source: Reuters

The developer of Flappy Bird, currently the most popular free mobile game on Apple App Store and Google's Android Play store, has announced that he is taking the game down at midnight (1700 GMT) on Sunday.

Nguyen Ha Dong, a Hanoi-based game developer, announced the grounding of the addictive game in a Tweet at 1900 GMT on Saturday in which he also apologised to Flappy Bird players.

"22 hours from now, I will take 'Flappy Bird' down," Dong said adding: "It is not anything related to legal issues."

"I cannot take this anymore," he wrote.

Flappy Bird has caused a sensation after rising out of obscurity to become one of the most downloaded mobile games on both Apple and Google's online stores.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/09/vietnam-flappybird-idUSL3N0LE05720140209

Japan Gets Its Very Own Fox News

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-06/japan-gets-its-very-own-fox-news.html

Japan Gets Its Very Own Fox News
By William Pesek Feb 6, 2014

You know your reputation in North Asia has hit rock bottom when a dictator who recently executed his uncle thinks you’re dangerous. Kim Jong Un’s comparison of Shinzo Abe to Adolf Hitler should prompt a moment of solemn reflection for Japan’s leader.

<snip>

South Korea is equally enraged by Abe’s questionable grasp of history. Last September in Seoul, President Park Geun Hye snapped at U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel when he encouraged her to improve ties with Abe’s Japan, a fellow U.S. ally. “If Germany had continued to say things that inflicted pain, while acting as if all was well, would European integration have been possible?” Park asked Hagel. “I think the answer is no.” Park reportedly lectured Hagel about Abe’s “total absence of sincerity.”

<snip>

Late last year, as Abe was rushing a chilling government secrecy bill into law, he was also packing the board of governors of NHK -- akin to a Japanese BBC -- with like-minded conservatives. The 12-member board is appointed by parliament, but influenced heavily by the prime minister’s wish list. Among Abe’s picks were novelist Naoki Hyakuta (who sparked a firestorm this week by claiming that the brutal Nanjing Massacre never happened); Michiko Hasegawa, who says women’s place in society is at home raising kids; and Director-General Katsuto Momii, who’s now Japan’s answer to Fox News honcho Roger Ailes.

<snip>

“We cannot say left when the government says right,” Momii told reporters, arguing that it’s “only natural” for the network to follow official government narratives.

Actually, no, it’s not. The media in a democracy exists to police governments, even those largely footing the bill. Instead Abe now has his own Fox News-like propaganda arm to propagate and reinforce his views. And the costs of this mindset are already becoming apparent.

<snip>

TEPCO to review "massive" radiation data due to improper measurement

Source: Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday that it will review a "massive" amount of radiation data it has collected at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant because readings may be lower than actual figures due to improper measurement.

"We are very sorry, but we found cases in which beta radiation readings turned out to be wrong when the radioactivity concentration of a sample was high," TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told a press conference. Beta ray-emitting radioactive materials include strontium-90.

The announcement follows TEPCO's finding released Thursday that a groundwater sample taken from a well at the plant last July contained a record-high 5 million becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium-90.

<snip>

Read more: http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2014/02/270302.html

Japanese Broadcast Official: We Didn’t Commit War Crimes, the U.S. Just Made That Up

Source: Time

In the clearest signal yet of U.S. unhappiness with the rightward tilt of Japan’s political leadership — and by extension, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — the U.S. embassy in Tokyo has strongly condemned charges by a top official at Japan’s national public broadcaster that Americans fabricated war crimes against Japanese leaders during World War II in order to cover up American atrocities.

“These suggestions are preposterous. We hope that people in positions of responsibility in Japan and elsewhere would seek to avoid comments that inflame tensions in the region,” an embassy spokesman told TIME early on Friday.

The charges were made this week by Naoki Hyakuta, a nationalist writer and close friend of Abe, who was recently appointed to the board of governors of the Japan Broadcasting Corp., commonly known as NHK.

In campaign speeches on behalf of a far-right candidate for the governorship of Tokyo, Hyakuta claimed that the infamous Nanjing Massacre in 1937 never occurred, and that Americans staged the postwar trials of Japanese leaders to cover up U.S. war crimes. He said those crimes included the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the mass firebombings of Tokyo.

<snip>

Read more: http://world.time.com/2014/02/07/japanese-nhk-officials-world-war-ii/

Exelon may shut down nuclear plants

Source: Utility Dive

Dive Brief:

Some of Exelon's ten nuclear plants are unprofitable and the company may shut them down, company officials said in a conference call with analysts. A decision is expected by the end of the year.

The Chicago-based company contends that its roughly 19,000 MW of nuclear plants have been hurt by low power prices caused by subsidized wind generation and low natural gas prices. Exelon will push for policies to end renewable subsidies and lead to more coal plant retirements.

Exelon expects about 5,200 MW of coal plants in the Eastern Interconnect to retire by 2017, including about 2,700 MW in PJM.

Dive Insight:

Like other generators, Exelon has been saying for several years that they expect power prices to rebound. That hasn't happened yet, but the company believes a pending wave of coal plant shutdowns will be a pick-me-up for the market.

Read more: http://www.utilitydive.com/news/exelon-may-shut-down-nuclear-plants/224999/

Waxman speaks in support of proposed carbon emissions rule

Source: UPI

A proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting power plants’ carbon emissions got a big thumbs-up from environmentalist Rep. Henry Waxman Thursday at a rally outside the EPA building.

The California lawmaker and top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee spoke in support of the rule to set emissions limits on coal-fired plants outside the EPA headquarters as the agency heard public comments inside the building.

<snip>

Waxman, who has said he will retire when his term ends this year, is a well-known environmental activist in the House. In 2013 he formed the Safe Climate Caucus with 34 other representatives to address climate change issues.

<snip>

Waxman was joined on Thursday by Elena Rios, president of the National Hispanic Medical Association, who spoke about the public health dangers of climate change.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/02/07/Waxman-speaks-in-support-of-proposed-carbon-emissions-rule/8561391723025/ph2/

Judge rules drivers can flash lights to warn of police presence

Source: Atlanat Journal-Constitution

The judge says not allowing drivers to flash their lights in warning violates First Amendment rights.

US District Judge Henry Autrey in St. Louis wrote, "Detaining, ticketing, or arresting someone for the content of their speech is illegal."

The suit came after Michael Elli was given a ticket in Ellisville, Missouri when he flashed his lights to warn drivers about police ahead.

The charges were dropped but that didn’t stop the ACLU from filing a lawsuit over the incident.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/judge-rules-drivers-can-flash-lights-warn-police-p/ndGXF/
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