23 July 2015
BELOW IS A REPRINT OF A STILL VERY TIMELY AND PERTINENT POST
FRANCE SENDS ITS “MIXED OXIDE (MOX)” HOT NUCLEAR WASTE TO JAPAN
21 Apr 2013
AREVA- S.A. said on 18 Apr 2013 that it has engaged two (2) British ships to transport Mixed Oxide (MOX) hot nuclear waste to Japan. The MOX shipment will go round the Cape of Good Hope (So Africa – long regarded by sailors as the world’s most treacherous waters), to the SW Pacific Ocean, and on to Japan’s Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). Looks like AREVA S.A. (little Sister to Electricite de France – EDF), gets to do its “dirty-work” to protect the reputation of the French State-Owned Corporation with 58 NPPs– games politicians play!
“AREVA- S.A.” IS A FRENCH BASED WORLD-CLASS CORPORATION, headquartered in Paris, France. It is essentially a NPP, and nuclear fuel purveyor. In a broader sense, it represents the political will of France to colonize the world by meeting their energy needs, and imposing their technology and logistical support for many years. Japan had similar ambitions until the dream blew up at Fukushima, Dai No.1 NPP about two years ago. On 28 Jan 2010, AREVA S.A. announced a major re-organization of its nuclear and renewable operations. Its activities are now divided into four (4) Business Groups:
- Mining-Front End: combines operations related to uranium exploration and mining, uranium conversion, enrichment, and the design, and fabrication of uranium fuel for nuclear reactors.
- Reactors and Services: designs and builds NPPs, naval propulsion reactors, research reactors, and manufactures/sells related equipment.
- Back End: manages all operations in the back-end of the nuclear cycle, from used nuclear fuel recycling, to the dismantling and value development of nuclear facilities.
- Renewable Energies: Including four (4) renewable energies: wind energy, bio-energy, solar power, and hydrogen/ energy storage.
For a comprehensive article about France’s nuclear politics/national policy, etc. read: http://energymaters.com/?m=20120104
FRANCE SUFFERED A MOX PROCESSING PLANT FIRE OF UNTOLD CONSEQUENCES NEAR NIMES on 12 Sep 2011. For a good description of “MOX Processing” see: http://energymaters.com/?m=20110912. Evidently, their “lesson learned” was: Don’t! – Ship it elsewhere.
Recall the French hot-nuclear waste shipments by rail to Germany? See: http://energymaters.com/?m=201111 dated 26 Nov 2011. Germany finally said: Halt! -Verboten and won’t have any more of it.
THIS TIME THE MOX SHIPMENT IS BOUND FOR JAPAN BY SEA to Kansai Electric Power Co. -“Takahama” NPP) – west of Tokyo). AREVA- S.A. said in a statement on 18 Apr 2013, that the HMS Pacific Heron and the HMS Pacific Egret (both of British Nuclear Shipping Co. PNTL) had left the port of Cherbourg (in Northern France) loaded with highly radioactive MOX nuclear fuel, and plans to reach Japanese waters after 15 Jun 2013.
WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT: THOSE WHO INSIST ON CREATING NUCLEAR WASTE (FRANCE STILL DOES! – BIG TIME) SHOULD FEEL A RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MESS, RATHER THAN SHIPPING IT ELSEWHERE
PROBLEM IS: MOX CONTAINS ABOUT 6% – 10% PLUTONIUM, and it is perceived as a national security threat, so “special precautions” will be taken taken during transportation (go figure what those will be). The shipment is certain to be controversial in Japan, where public opposition to nuclear power, and reactor restarts, remains strong two (2) years after the Fukushima tragedy which prompted the shutdown of all Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors until there were none left operating by May 2012, thus leaving the country without atomic power for the first time since 1970; As a result, Japan has had to import fossil fuels to run power stations, pushing it into a record trade deficit; But…
ALAS ! “BACK TO THE FUTURE” IN JAPANESE POLITICS. In 2013, the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, returned to power and has said it will “reassess the previous government’s decision to abandon atomic power”. For now, only two (2) NPPs at Kansai Electric’s Ohi plant (near Takahama) are the only ones operating in Japan, naturally…
JAPAN’S BUSINESS LOBBY WAS SUPPORTIVE OF OF THE RE-START DECISION. Last 16 Jun 2012, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren’s said: “We welcome this decision, which was based on the government’s efforts to ensure safety and the understanding of local authorities toward restarts. The restart of nuclear power plants will contribute to the stable supply of electricity and help control the risk of rising prices. We hope other nuclear plants will restart as well, premised on the assurance of safety and understanding of local communities.” Perhaps the re-processing and or use of MOX in their reactors was the real intention for the Ohi-NPP re-start.
BAD DECISION! – For the people of Japan. Any reactor using MOX as fuel incurs the risk that in a catastrophic “blowup” (such as the one that occurred in Fukushima), Plutonium in granular or powder form will become airborne, become a true people killer, and remain so for millennia. See: http://energymaters.com/?p=876 , But then, Kansai considers its Ohi NPP indispensable – see: http://energymaters.com/?p=552. The rub is that the Ohi NPP has not even instituted the Fukushima safety improvements! Japanese Nuclear Industry, and its powerful Business Lobby are heartless, and in our opinion, very penny-wise, and pound foolish.
WHY DO BRITISH SHIPS TRANSPORT THE FRENCH MOX NUCLEAR WASTE? Because that is one of their businesses. Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL) is controlled by International Nuclear Services (INS), a United Kingdom company involved in the management and transportation of nuclear fuels, and based in Rinsley, UK. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UKGovernment. “Oh!- what a tangled web we weave: When first we practise to deceive!” – now if one of their transport ships loaded with nuclear waste, were stranded on your shores, “who you going to call?- Ghostbusters!” Seriously, who are you going to file legal suit against, and where? Remember the British Petroleum (BP) humongous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico some 3 years ago? Well…it is still being litigated while all the protagonists point fingers at one another. SEE! It’s madness with a method, contrived by very skillful merchants of death, in a very litigious country still controlled by the Uranium and Oil Cartel Lobby. Notice that after having been denied approval by Parliament on the building of eight (8) NPPs in the UK, they have returned to the PR charge again- big-time! “We have no choice but to build NPPs” (They all say that!). Like hell they don’t! But they just want to keep on doing what is highly profitable for a very few, and to hell with humanity.
GREAT BRITAIN ALSO HAD A BAD MOX EXPERIENCE AT SELLAFIELD on the NW English coast (Border with Ireland), and decided to close the facility on Aug 2011. Yeah! The British NDA was managing that too. It is evident that MOX fuel reprocessing is both dangerous, and a “nasty” job whose time (technically speaking) may not be here yet. Both France and GB tried, and failed. Now it will be up to Japan, and they are a four-time looser. Ref: http://energymaters.com/?m=20110807
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STORY BECAUSE IT DEMONSTRATES THAT THE ACHILLES HEEL OF THE URANIUM NUKE INDUSTRY IS STILL: HOW TO DISPOSE OF ALL THE PERSISTENT POISONS (Transuranics) THEY PRODUCE. IF THEY KNEW HOW, THEY WOULD.
REMEMBER: We “Tell it like it is” and connect the points. That is why we keep this journal.
Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)
UPDATE 23 Jul 2015 WITH PERTINENT COMMENTS
P.S. TWO SHIPS LEFT FRANCE destined for Japan, but ONLY ONE ARRIVED. What happened to the second one?. Reportedly both ships took a very dangerous and circuitous route to Japan that took them nearly three months; and navigating through the Marianas trench (the deepest point of the ocean in the world). WAS THE SECOND SHIP WHICH DID NOT REACH JAPAN, SCUTTLED IN THE DEEP? , or it, and its contents dumped slowly into the sea? If that took place, it would mark a devious and low decision of unfathomable consequences; orchestrated by France, and executed by HMS (UK) naval vessels with UK governmental consent. We remember the arrival of the larger ship to the Japanese coast was a very guarded affair. Why was such secrecy necessary? Then again, Japan continues to unabashedly dump nuclear perdition into the sea at Fukushima Dai no.1 NPP. Folks, We are just connecting the dots. …Many would say: they just don’t care!, in Texas we would say: they just don’t give a shit!
On (or about) 21 July 2015, France announced its government had passed a law to reduce their nuclear dependency. Why? The French Government owns both Areva and Electricitie de France (EDF); so, why is a new law required? Perhaps in France Areva/EDF, are the“tail that wags the dog”. The same thing happened in GB, where parliament had vetoed further NPP construction in the UK; yet they went ahead with eight more NPPs. YES! HUGE NUCLEAR AND OTHER ENERGY CARTELS ARE THAT POWERFUL! In our opinion the time is ripe for France, UK, Finland, China, and other nations to recognize the folly of their EPR enterprise (it appears China did so long ago), and cut their losses, while investing in green energy generation as the most long term lucrative way to remedy the worlds’ energy problems without further poisoning of our seas, air, and land, and creating new industries. Most of the rest of our world is transitioning to green energy very successfully; and so could they.
Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)