George Osborne has hailed the new Hinkley nuclear station as good value for consumers. How he has come to this conclusion is a mystery given the financial data.
The agreement with the Chinese and French also sets up a wider UK partnership to develop new nuclear power stations at Sizewell and Bradwell. While they have reached Strategic Investment Agreements for all three plants, only Hinkley has a target date – it is supposed to start generating in 2025.
Apparently, the Bradwell project is also planned to include a Chinese-designed reactor. BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed says the final investment decision, which should largely be a formality, by EDF and CGN will now be taken in the next few weeks.
Is this good value for consumers? It will add £17 billion to the deficit or national debt depending on what line it’s parked on and impose £2 billion a year on household bills for a very long time, meanwhile, supporting Chinese and French state industries to pay for their pensioners and deficits. Let’s be clear, they would not be investing if there wasn’t a profit to be made.
Hinkley would be the most expensive power station in the world, costing a minimum of £24.5 billion project.
Stop Hinkley Spokesperson Allan Jeffrey said: “This is an extraordinarily bad deal, locking consumers into high prices (in fact double) until almost 2060. Worse still, it will use up most of the money available to subsidise non-fossil fuel energy leaving almost nothing available for renewables at a time when their costs are plummeting”.
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) started off its press release in July by stating the intended measures of huge subsidy cuts were “to deal with a projected over-allocation of renewable energy subsidies.”. Sold by the government as a measure to reduce energy costs on hard working families – cynically, this subsidy has simply been moved to the nuclear deal. So we get nuclear instead of renewable at a far worse cost and considerably greater risk.
UK Security sources are so concerned about this deal, that unusually, they have gone public and expressed alarm at giving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) such intimate access to Britain’s energy infrastructure, warning the “UK could be rushing into an agreement with Beijing without considering the threats”.
“There is a big division between the money men and the security side,” a security source told the Times. “The Treasury is in the lead and it isn’t listening to anyone — they see China as an opportunity, but we see the threat.”
Osborne simply dispensed with any concerns as advised by security officials, despite critics claiming it could enable China to use “trapdoors or backdoors” which could allow them to gain control of the nuclear power plant in the event of an international dispute.
“No one else in Europe would cut this deal. America wouldn’t dream of letting China have such a part in its critical national infrastructure,” said government advisor Paul Dorfman of University College London’s Energy Institute. “The idea the UK is prepared to do so is, frankly, astounding,” he added.
daily alternative | alternative news – Britain’s Nuclear Deterrent, Nuclear Power Debacle
Argentine and Brazilian Doctors Name Larvicide as Potential Cause of Microcephaly
A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.
The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The Physicians added that the Pyriproxyfen is manufactured by Sumitomo Chemical, a Japanese “strategic partner” of Monsanto. Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor of mosquito larvae, which alters the development process from larva to pupa to adult, thus generating malformations in developing mosquitoes and killing or disabling them. It acts as an insect juvenile hormone or juvenoid, and has the effect of inhibiting the development of adult insect characteristics (for example, wings and mature external genitalia) and reproductive development. It is an endocrine disruptor and is teratogenic (causes birth defects), according to the Physicians.
The Physicians commented: “Malformations detected in thousands of children from pregnant women living in areas where the Brazilian state added Pyriproxyfen to drinking water are not a coincidence, even though the Ministry of Health places a direct blame on the Zika virus for this damage.”
They also noted that Zika has traditionally been held to be a relatively benign disease that has never before been associated with birth defects, even in areas where it infects 75% of the population.
Since 2014, the insecticide Pyriproxyfen has been use to kill mosquitos in water tanks in Brazil
Larvicide the most likely culprit in birth defects
Pyriproxyfen is a relatively new introduction to the Brazilian environment; the microcephaly increase is a relatively new phenomenon. So the larvicide seems a plausible causative factor in microcephaly – far more so than GM mosquitoes, which some have blamed for the Zika epidemic and thus for the birth defects. There is no sound evidence to support the notion promoted by some sources that GM mosquitoes can cause Zika, which in turn can cause microcephaly. In fact, out of 404 confirmed microcephaly cases in Brazil, only 17 (4.2%) tested positive for the Zika virus.
Brazilian health experts agree Pyriproxyfen is chief suspect
The Argentine Physicians’ report, which also addresses the Dengue fever epidemic in Brazil, concurs with the findings of a separate report on the Zika outbreak by the Brazilian doctors’ and public health researchers’ organisation, Abrasco.
Abrasco also names Pyriproxyfen as a likely cause of the microcephaly. It condemns the strategy of chemical control of Zika-carrying mosquitoes, which it says is contaminating the environment as well as people and is not decreasing the numbers of mosquitoes. Abrasco suggests that this strategy is in fact driven by the commercial interests of the chemical industry, which it says is deeply integrated into the Latin American ministries of health, as well as the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organisation.
Abrasco names the British GM insect company Oxitec as part of the corporate lobby that is distorting the facts about Zika to suit its own profit-making agenda. Oxitec sells GM mosquitoes engineered for sterility and markets them as a disease-combatting product – a strategy condemned by the Argentine Physicians as “a total failure, except for the company supplying mosquitoes”.
The poor suffer most
Both the Brazilian and Argentine doctors’ and researchers’ associations agree that poverty is a key neglected factor in the Zika epidemic. Abrasco condemned the Brazilian government for its “deliberate concealment” of economic and social causes: “In Argentina and across America the poorest populations with the least access to sanitation and safe water suffer most from the outbreak.” The Argentine Physicians agreed, stating, “The basis of the progress of the disease lies in inequality and poverty.”
Abrasco added that the disease is closely linked to environmental degradation: floods caused by logging and the massive use of herbicides on (GM) herbicide-tolerant soy crops – in short, “the impacts of extractive industries”.
The notion that environmental degradation may a factor in the spread of Zika finds backing in the view of Dino Martins, PhD, a Kenyan entomologist. Martins said that “the explosion of mosquitoes in urban areas, which is driving the Zika crisis” is caused by “a lack of natural diversity that would otherwise keep mosquito populations under control, and the proliferation of waste and lack of disposal in some areas which provide artificial habitat for breeding mosquitoes”.
daily alternative | alternative news – Argentine and Brazilian Doctors Name Larvicide as Potential Cause of Microcephaly
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