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Ban lauds Nicaragua’s ‘forward-looking’ energy policy during day-long visit
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed Nicaragua’s âforward-lookingâ energy policy as he arrived on an official visit to discuss how the United Nations and the Central American nation can work together in promoting peace and sustainable development.
On Friendship Day, UN chief urges solidarity among human family
In the current time of mistrust and violence, with previously harmonious neighbours warring, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging all people to reach out to one another as friends and build long-term foundations for lasting peace.
The latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report: more bad news for nuclear power, good news for public safety
âThe nuclear share in the worldâs power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 2013.â
The sun is setting on nuclear power
This yearâs numbers for the nuclear industry are in and theyâre not good for the industry but good if you worry about the safety of people.
The annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report (âThe Independent Assessment of Nuclear Developments in the Worldâ) has just been released and has this to sayâ¦
The nuclear industry is in decline: The 388 operating reactors are 50 fewer than the peak in 2002, while the total installed capacity peaked in 2010 at 367 GW before declining to the current level, which is comparable to levels last seen two decades ago. [â¦] The nuclear share of the worldâs power generation declined steadily from a historic peak of 17.6 percent in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 20137. Nuclear powerâs share of global commercial primary energy production declined from the 2012 low of 4.5 percent, a level last seen in 1984, to a new low of 4.4 percent.
Fifty fewer reactors are operating right now, so at least all the people living in their vicinity are better off.
When this blog was started in 2008, all the talk from the nuclear industry and its supporters was of the forthcoming nuclear ârenaissanceâ â a boom in the construction of new nuclear reactors after years of stagnation.
The World Nuclear Associationâs upper âoutlook projectionâ envisaged 11,000 new nuclear reactors being built by the end of the century. That meant starting to build a new reactor every three days.
Six years later and the World Nuclear Industry Status Report proves what a wildly over-optimistic fantasy that wasâ¦
As of July 2014, 67 reactors were under construction (one more than in July 2013) with a total capacity of 64 GW. The average building time of the units under construction stands at 7 years. However:
â¢ Eight reactors have been listed as âunder constructionâ for more than 20 years, another for 12 years.
â¢ At least 49 have encountered construction delays, most of them significant (several months to several years). For the first time, major delaysâseveral months to over two yearsâhave been admitted on three quarters (21/28) of the construction projects in China.
â¢ For the remaining 18 reactor units, either construction began within the past five years or the reactors have not yet reached projected start-up dates, making it difficult or impossible to assess whether they are on schedule or not.
â¢ Two-thirds (43) of the units under construction are located in three countries: China, India and Russia.
The average construction time of the last 37 units that started up in nine countries since 2004 was 10 years with a large range from 3.8 to 36.3 years.
These days, youâre more likely to read a news article asking âwhatever happened to the nuclear renaissance?â than one singing its praises.
And what of nuclear power vs renewable energy? For years the nuclear industry and its boosters said renewable energy would never work on a large scale.
When solar and wind power started getting cheaper, more efficient and coming online faster and faster, that opinion changed to renewables and nuclear should work together as part of the global energy mix.
The report debunks that argument as well.
The report discusses baseload, which is the amount of electricity that âmust be served at all times of the dayâ. The old argument for nuclear and against renewables goes that nuclear reactors are on all the time and so can serve electricity all the time. Renewables on the other hand, it is said, are reliant on the sun shining and the wind blowing.
Over to the World Nuclear Industry Status Reportâ¦
[B]ig thermal plants running whenever theyâre available are replaced by cheaper-to-run portfolios of renewables, mostly variable renewables, that add up to âvirtual baseloadâ supplyâcollectively providing reliable electricity from a shifting mix of resources. This way of operating the grid is analogous to a symphony orchestra (as Rocky Mountain Instituteâs Clay Stranger puts it): no instrument plays all the time, but with a good score and conductor, beautiful music is continuously produced. This approach is unfamiliar to traditional utilities, but it works.
And so the reasons for nuclear powerâs continued existence evaporate. Itâs in decline and isnât building reactors fast enough to meet extravagant targets. Itâs being beaten all over the world by renewable energy, which is safer, cheaper, and easier and faster to build.
What trust there was in nuclear was smashed by the Fukushima disaster, with the industry doing little or nothing to try and claw it back.
The World Nuclear Industry Status Report shows that trying to rebuild that trust, as well as building new nuclear reactors, is utterly pointless.
[Image: The Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant. Construction started on the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in the 1980s but was subsequently stopped due to financial concerns. The project restarted in the 1990s and the first two towers (2 x 470MW) were finished and brought on-line in 1998 and 1999. The Slovak government insists in pursuing this project despite old technology and several security concerns. 09/05/2012 Â© Tomas Halasz / Greenpeace]
Rights to safe water, sanitation must not remain mirage for millions of Kenyans â UN expert
While Kenyans have rights to safe water and sanitation on paper, it is now time to turn the law into reality for the millions who do not enjoy these fundamental rights, an independent United Nations human rights expert said at the end of her mission to the country.
VIDEO: Port Authority and Airport Button-Up for “Halong”; Flights Canceled, Port Closed
Guam - As the island was busy preparing for Tropical Storm Halong last night and throughout the day, the Ports of Guam were also making arrangements for canceled flights and shipping vessels headed for Guam.
The Port Authority of Guam began preparations for securing docked vessels and closure of the Port last night after Governor Eddie Calvo placed the island in Condition of Readiness 2. Guam Homeland Security Acting Spokesperson Dee Cruz tells PNC that the Port does this in anticipation of COR 1.
“As of last night, Port Authority of Guam has closed. So the harbor master as well as the director closed the port. They went ahead and did all their standard operating procedures to get them ready for COR 1,” Cruz said.
Cruz explains that this also meant some vessels were advised to slow their approach to the island until weather conditions improved.
“That means to ensure that all the ships are away and safe. They donât want anything to happen to the ships that are in port as high seas and winds might do some damage so there are no ships that were turned away, itâs just that for the safety of those both on the ship and those on shore to have the ships roll out,” added Cruz.
These decisions are made together with the Port Authority General Manager, Harbor Master, as well as the US Coast Guard, she emphasized.
Meanwhile, all flights scheduled to leave and arrive the AB Won Pat International Airport were canceled by 10:30 am. The airport authority also reported that some flights headed for Guam had to turn back or were diverted to other nearby airports because of severe weather conditions.
Delta Airlines announced that flights scheduled to depart and arrive on Guam today were rescheduled to Thursday, July 31st. All these preparations were made within hours before Tropical Storm Halongâs estimated closest point of approach, which was at noon today.
By mid-morning, the entire island was drenched; flooding was reported throughout the island, making some roads impassable.
The governorâs office has sent out several press releases updating the island on storm conditions. Cruz reminds residents of phone numbers to call to report updates from their villages or areas, such as flooding, downed trees or power lines.
“They can call into the Joint Information Center at 478-0209 or 0210. Anytime weâre activated, we’re manned 24/7. Also they can log on to the Guam Homeland Security Facebook website and also the Eddie Baza Calvo website, weâre also updating the governorâs Facebook page as well,” she noted.
AUDIO: NWS Forecaster Derrick Williams - “The Worst Is Over”
Guam - National Weather Service forecaster Derrick William says “the worst is over,” Tropical Storm Halong is on its way out.
One “The Big Show with Travis Coffman” this afternoon, Williams said the heaviest rains have ended for Guam and Rota.
He expects light rain through the early evening hours, but he said “we should be out of COR 1 and out of the Tropical Storm Warning.”
HEAR the Travis Coffman’s interview with NWS forecaster Derrick Williams HERE>>>derrick william.mp3
As of 5:30pm Tropical Storm Halong was about 60 miles west of Guam and Rota and moving rapidly northwest. It may become a typhoon tomorrow, said Williams, but by then it will be well away from the Marianas.
However Williams also cautioned that as of this posting, Guam was still in Condition 1 and under a Tropical Storm Watch, and he advised residents to remain in doors and be careful on the roadways if you must venture out.
Williams also said flooding remains an issue. Guam got 10 inches of rain over the past 2 days, 11 inches in some places he said.
Typhoon Halong’s closest point of approach was just after noon today, as it passed through the Rota channel.
It was packing sustained winds of 65 miles per hour as it churned by.
NWS - 4:37pm UPDATE - Center of Tropical Storm Halong Moving Away From the Marianas
000 WTPQ81 PGUM 300637 HLSPQ1 URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED TROPICAL STORM HALONG (11W) LOCAL STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TIYAN GU 437 PM CHST WED JUL 30 2014 ...CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM HALONG MOVING AWAY FROM THE MARIANAS... .AREAS AFFECTED... THIS LOCAL STATEMENT PROVIDES IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR PEOPLE AND MARINE INTERESTS IN SELECT LOCATIONS AND COASTAL WATERS OF THE MARIANAS AND SURROUNDING WATERS OUT TO 40 NM. .WATCHES/WARNINGS... A TYPHOON WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...ROTA. FOR MARINE INTERESTS...A TYPHOON WARNING CONTINUES FOR PORTIONS OF ROTA WATERS OUT TO 40 NM. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS... GUAM. FOR MARINE INTERESTS...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING CONTINUES FOR PORTIONS OF GUAM WATERS OUT TO 40 NM. FLASH FLOOD WATCHES AND WARNING FOR GUAM...ROTA..TINIAN AND SAIPAN ARE CANCELLED. PLEASE CHECK THE LATEST PUBLIC AND MARINE FORECASTS FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT ADDITIONAL HAZARDS. .STORM INFORMATION... AT 1 PM CHST...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM HALONG (11W) WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 14.1N...LONGITUDE 144.9E...OR ABOUT 45 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF GUAM AND ABOUT 90 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SAIPAN. STORM MOTION WAS TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AT 9 MPH. STORM INTENSITY WAS 65 MPH. .SITUATION OVERVIEW... AS TROPICAL STORM HALONG BEGINS TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE MARIANAS... RADAR AND SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOW THE HEAVIEST SHOWERS AND STRONGEST WINDS ARE OCCURRING ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE SYSTEM. WINDS HAVE BEGUN TO DECREASE...BUT LARGE WAVES WILL CONTINUE ARRIVING TONIGHT AND TOMORROW. EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL ALSO CAUSE LOCALIZED FLOODING IN POOR DRAINAGE AND HIGHLY URBANIZED AREAS OF GUAM AND ROTA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. && .NEXT UPDATE... THE NEXT LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TIYAN AROUND 9 PM CHST...OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.
VIDEO: Tropical Storm Halong Tracks Through the Rota Channel, Leaves Minimal Damage in Its Wake
Guam- The island went into Condition of Readiness one this morning. Tropical storm Halong passed through the Rota channel just north of Guam at around noon today.
The island did receive some damaging tropical storm strength winds but by this evening the worst was already over. Nevertheless officials are cautioning residents to remain off the roads unless absolutely necessary throughout the night tonight as a lot of rain and some damaging winds are still expected to last until midnight.
”As of 8 am this morning the Governor along with Rear Admiral Payne has put the island in condition of readiness one,â said Guam Homeland Security Acting PIO Dee Cruz. Condition of Readiness one or COR1 means that the island can expect tropical storm strength winds within the next twelve hours and at about 11a.m. The center of tropical storm Halong was located just South of Rota in the Rota channel that separates the Northern tip of Guam from the island of Rota. Also as of 11am this morning the National Weather Service had already clocked some tropical storm strength winds in Tiyan. NWS Meteorologist Derrick Williams said, “We measured 36 knots gusts 46 knots and a tropical storm is defined as sustained winds of 34 knots or greater so we verify tropical storm force winds,â said Williams.
That translates to 40 mph winds with gusts up to 52 mph. A tropical storm is classified as having 39 to 54 mph winds. However, the 52 mph gusts were only at Tiyan in the center of the island while the Northern half was getting stronger winds. “Andersen wind sensor is not…it’s broken I suppose but I would suppose they’re getting a little bit stronger because they’re a little bit closer to the center,â said Williams. âSo you aren’t picking up from Andersen’s wind sensor?â asked PNC. âWe are it’s off and on so it’s not very reliable data. After the storm passes we’ll have time to re-assess all the sensors that are on the island,â said Williams.
NWS meteorologists weren’t expecting any typhoon strength winds on the island as Halong remained a tropical storm as it passed through the Rota channel. Williams said the eye was about 30 miles in diameter which is about the width of the Rota channel which meant that the northern half of Guam was definitely receiving some tropical storm strength winds. Also the buoy at Ritidian point measured 14 foot swells.
There was a lot of rain causing a lot of flooded roads throughout the low lying areas of Guam. In Tumon some cars were able to brave the floods successfully while others along some flooded stretches of Marine drive in Dededo stalled out and required towing. There were some downed trees here and there. One blocking Rt. 4 in Hagatna next to the Bank of Guam and another blocking part of the road in lower Tumon. A crew from the Hyatt hotel could be seen removing the tree. A light fixture in Tumon on San Vitores hill blocked one lane temporarily.
Although the destructive winds would be gone by this evening officials warned residents to stay indoors and off the roads. “What we want to inform the public is that even though the closest point of approach has passed we still have some damaging and destructive winds at the tail end of this storm so we still encourage folks to stay home until the Governor and Rear Admiral Payne have given the all clear for the island,â said Cruz.
National Weather Service officials say that although most of the destructive winds are gone there are still some damaging winds that could remain on Guam until around midnight.
VIDEO: Families Shelter at Island Schools as Halong Passes
Guam - The island’s shelters opened this morning at 5am but many of them still had space at the time of Typhoon Halong’s predicted closest point of approach around noon today.
Jacqueline Flores came to Astumbo Elementary School with her five children shortly after the shelter opened, it was there third time sheltering at the school.
Astumbo Shelter Managers Derick Santos and Anthony Cepeda told PNC 167 people had check into the shelter by 9:30am. At 11:30 the shelter was near its capacity of 380. Santos expressed frustration that he wasn’t able to open the shelter until this morning.
âThe winds are blowing hard,â he said while standing outside the school this morning. âWe should have opened sooner than this… putting a lot of people in harms way.
Leilani Tove, a mother of five, agrees.
âAll my kids were sleeping and we had to wake them up (and bring them over here.)â
Governor Eddie Calvo visited the shelter and said he was please that everything was ready but expressed some concern that the shelter was only half full a couple of hours before Halong’s expected time of approach.
âI wanna make sure that those that need shelters will have access to the shelters,â Calvo told PNC noting that the storm had picked up speed over night.
As of 11:30 am Machanaonao had reached capacity and closed, George Washington High School and a number of schools in the south still had plenty of space.
JIC #8A: Village by Village Damage Assessments Underway
JIC Release No. 8a - Storm update, July 30, 2014
Village by village: Assessments for recovery flowing in Governor, mayors work with agencies to respond to residentsâ needs
Guam remains in Condition of Readiness 1. Governor Calvo implores residents to remain indoors. The stormâs closest point of approach may have passed, but it is leaving behind the worst of the winds and rains. It is now more dangerous to be outside than it was during the closest point of approach.
Our mayors and vice mayors spent the past two days working around the clock helping residents and leading their villages. Governor Calvo is preparing to shift the attention and resources of the government from storm preparation to storm recovery.
These are the Governorâs goals:
1. Make sure families have homes to go back to.
2. Restore utilities and resume government operations.
3. Lead Guamâs quick bounce from the storm and get the message out that Guam is open for business.
Problems reported by village:
In order to reach these goals, there are fundamental recovery efforts that must happen. These include debris removal to open roads, relieving any sewage backup, repairing any streetlights and signs, and restoring power. The mayors of each village were asked to report damage in their villages following closest point of approach so that we all know where the problems are and how we can fix them. Hereâs the reports so far:
HAGATNA (Mayor John Cruz): There are reports of flooding by the river and a transformer sparking near Casa Ladera Apts.
AGAT (Mayor Carol Tayama): There are manholes overflowing at Bruce and Follard Streets; downed line from vegetation that fell on power lines.
ASAN (Mayor Margaret Blas): There were flooding on roads and barrels from nearby construction site were all scattered by the wind, blocking roads. The barrels were reported to the contractor to remove.
DEDEDO (Mayor Melissa Savares): There were several downed lines, including a power line that was taken down in Chalan Fanha. Another resident in GHURA 501 had a live wire that fell on their fence, creating a dangerous situation. The Dededo mayorâs office worked with GPA to address the problem.
PITI (Mayor Ben Gumataotao): There was a tree that fell on a power line along Marian Pilling Street.
NOTE: We are compiling further updates from the other villages. We will provide these updates as they become available.
Most villages are reporting: Power outages, impassable roads, flooding
Mayorsâ office staff are cleaning secondary roads but are relying on Guam Power Authority and Department of Public Works to clear debris that is blocking primary roads and remove vegetation leaning on power lines and causing outages.
Here are some tips if you see a downed line:
- DO NOT GO NEAR THE LINES.
- Call GPA at 475-1472/3/4 to report or comment on our Facebook posts and we at the âª#âJICâ¬ will report it to GPA. Please include specific information including village, location and time.
- Even if the line isn’t sparking it can still be “live” with a deadly amount of electricity. Keep people and pets at least 25 feet away from the line. Be very careful not to come in contact with anything the line may be touching. Especially avoid water, metal objects or even trees that are possibly touching the line.
- DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE THE WIRE. Wait for Guam Power crews to deal with the situation.