This is a trial series.
Greenpeace activists in France blockade a uranium cargo headed for Russia.
Dumping radioactive waste in Russia
Greenpeace activists in France blockaded a rail cargo of uranium waste from leaving Tricastin, France, headed for Russia yesterday, French and German news reported. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, it was reported yesterday, has said as many as 217 workers may have been exposed to radioactivity at the Bruce nuclear power station in late November and is investigating the incident. The case would be the largest exposure in Canada, according to Stensil.
Obama nuclear energy plans
In the US, Obama's announcement yesterday that the administration will finance $8.3 billion for two new nuclear reactors has traveled in international news. Reuters (New York Times, West Australian) reported that the move was designed to help advance climate legislation in Congress. The reactors would be built by Southern Company, costing an estimated $8.8 billion, and will be in the state of Georgia, to start production by 2016 and 2017. "Even though we've not broken ground on a ... new nuclear power plant in 30 years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions," President Obama said. "To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we'll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It's that simple."
However, the report said the stalled climate bill still may not come to fruition. Obama still faces major opposition to a cap and trade system that would incentivize low carbon energy. Jim Riccio of Greenpeace was quoted saying "unfortunately, the president is setting up the American taxpayer for the next corporate bailout," adding that the Congressional Budget Office has already determined the loans stand a greater than 50 percent chance of default. "It is a dirty and dangerous distraction from the clean energy future the president promised America" the LA Times quoted Riccio saying. Riccio was on television in the US, on ABC, NBC and BBC news.
In a potentially "fresh blow to landmark legislation to cut carbon emissions" in the US, AFP reported, three major US companies said yesterday they are leaving a coalition that was pushing for action on climate change. The companies, said to be supporting legislation for a "green economy" - ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar Inc, (though not exactly "green" industries) - are now claiming proposed laws would be unfair to them.
Australia-China coal hypocrisy
An article in the New York Times questioned how a deal for Australia to supply China with coal for 20 years squares with the Copenhagen accord. Yang Ailun of Greenpeace China said "it is hypocritical for Australia to on the one hand blame China for climate change and on the other hand try so hard to sell more coal to China." The deal, she said "will only lock China further up in its unhealthy dependency on coal." Friends of the Earth called it "drives another nail into the coffin of climate change."
Photo: © Pierre Gleizes / Greenpeace; three Greenpeace activists, chained to the Tricastin nuclear plant gate block the departure of a train transporting nuclear waste in Pierrelatte, Drôme (France). A second team of Greenpeace activists were attached to a concrete cone fixed to the railway line a short distance away. Greenpeace is calling for a moratorium on the export of nuclear waste.