Superman crashes into a French nuclear power plant

A Superman-shaped drone piloted by Greenpeace activists flew over a nuclear power plant near Lyon on Tuesday morning before crashing into a "vulnerable" building in the atomic complex, according to the environmental NGO.

The EDF energy group confirmed the overflight "of the Bugey nuclear power plant" in Saint-Vulbas (Ain) but excluded any impact on the safety of the facilities.

This "highly symbolic" action announced by Greenpeace was aimed at demonstrating the "vulnerability" of spent fuel storage pools. In a video released by the NGO, a small Superman is seen flying and crashing without anyone doing anything about it against a building of this type in the premises of the EDF power station in Saint-Vulbas.

"After putting it in the no-fly zone, the activists deliberately slammed it into the wall of the used fuel storage pond, next to reactor 2. This action demonstrates once again the extreme vulnerability of this type of building, which is the which contains the highest radioactivity in a nuclear power plant, "the NGO said in a statement.

"This action is highly symbolic: it shows that spent fuel storage pools are very easily accessible, this time by air, and therefore eminently vulnerable to the risk of external attacks," adds Yannick Rousselet, in charge of the nuclear campaign for Greenpeace France.

Although the Greenpeace action did not generate any damage to the plant or had any impact on the safety of the plant, it is a crime foreseen in the defense code, which will lead to a complaint, said the securities.

A handful of years ago, in 2014, in France, drones were frequently seen flying over nuclear facilities. It was never known who they were or what their intention was.

At least seven nuclear plants were flown over. The artifacts were not neutralized because they did not pose a direct threat to the security of the facilities. All the incidents took place around 9 pm on the Penly (northwest) and Golfech (southwest) power plants.

Alert of a nuclear collapse: The US is "asleep at the wheel" of its industry

The results of the research, which has been published in the National Academy of Science of the USA under the title "US nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge" -'The nuclear power of the USA: the opportunity low in carbon that vanishes' -, are based on the analysis to which 99 nuclear reactors controlled by 30 companies in 30 states of the country were subjected.

As of 2017 there are 34 reactors that have been closed when they reach their useful life, and only two are being built. And this at a time when it is more pressing than ever to tackle the issue of climate change, warns the report.
The nuclear reactor fleet in the United States is made up of large light-water nuclear reactors ('LWR', for its acronym in English). During the last three decades, 20% of the energy generated by the United States has come from these reactors, now outdated and whose maintenance and reconditioning are excessively expensive. Especially if compared to natural gas, much cheaper.

"We are asleep at the wheel on a very, very dangerous highway (...) We really need to open our eyes and study the situation," says Ahmed Abdullah, a professor at the School of Strategy and Global Policy at the University of California at San Diego. one of the authors of the report.

The rest of the researchers warn that the boom in the US industry, which is very polluting, could lead to a significant number of nuclear power plants closing down over the next few years. They explain that the country is at a serious crossroads: either completely abandon nuclear energy or adopt the next generation of small modular reactors, more efficient and whose cost is considerably lower.
The authors of the study warn that this dilemma has been reached not because of the shortcomings of the United States in technical matters, but because of lack of will.

Because of how the energy market is set up, researchers are not convinced that nuclear power will be competitive in the future. At the same time that efforts are being made to improve the capacity of the electric batteries that are used to store solar and wind energy, natural gas is also being promoted a lot.
As of 2018, fossil fuels are responsible for 32% of the energy consumed by the United States. So, in case the collapse of the US nuclear industry ends up being a reality, researchers doubt that the benefits of renewable energy will be enough to fill the gap.

Hence, the conclusions of the report are so clear and premonitory: "It should be of great concern to those who are concerned about climate change that, because of predictable problems that have a solution, the United States has all of them to lose its nuclear power and , therefore, a reef of renewable and low carbon energy in the decades to come ".

Russia and Rwanda plan to cooperate in civilian use of atomic energy

The Russian state corporation Rosatom and the Rwandan Ministry of Infrastructure signed a memorandum on cooperation in the civil use of atomic energy, Rosatom said.

Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolai Spasski and Rwanda's Ambassador to Russia, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, signed their documents at the bottom of the document.

"The memorandum is the first document signed by both countries on the civilian use of nuclear energy, laying the basis for cooperation in various sectors, developing the nuclear infrastructure of the Republic of Rwanda, developing programs to better inform the population about nuclear technologies and to organize the use of isotopes and radiation technologies in industry, agriculture and medicine, "the statement said.
Mixed working groups will be created to determine joint joint projects, and an intergovernmental framework agreement will be prepared as a next step, it says.