AREVA, Atomstroyexport, Belene nuclear power station, BNP Parisbas, Bulgaria, Carrier, cost of nuclear, Danube, earthquake hazard, EIA, environment, EU, forced labor, France, Free Speech, Fukushima, Germany, Goldman Sachs, Japan, Mitsui, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear power plant, Nuclear Power Stations, nuclear reactors, nuclear safety, nuclear subsidies, Romania, Rosatom, Russia, RWE, state subsidies, taxes, Taxpayer, TEPCO, Toshiba, transboundary impacts, United Technologies, VVER, water
Reuters news from Friday had three titles about nuclear shakedowns, without calling them that, of course. Through international litigation, Russia managed to fleece Bulgaria of 620 million euros ($660 million)- forcing it to purchase unwanted nuclear reactor parts for the Belene nuclear power station project, which dates from the late 1980s when Bulgaria was a Russian-Soviet satellite-client state. Bulgaria decided that it did not want the nuclear power station, but is being forced to purchase the parts.
Interesting that a 2009 Wikileaks cable states that NEC (Bulgaria) “has sunk approximately 700 million euros into the project, while the Russians are not out of pocket and could walk away losing nothing. Meanwhile, cost estimates for Belene continue to creep up, running as high as eight billion euros,double the original price.” (See entire cable further down.)
Rarely reported is that Russian state owned Rosatom (including its many subsidiaries under other names, e.g. Atomstroyexport) remains one of the largest (perhaps the largest) nuclear energy companies in the world, along with French State owned Areva. Only Bellona seems to consistently report on them: “The Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom is one of the world’s largest nuclear companies, with operations not only in Russia, but in many countries around the world. The last years, Rosatom has been very active in trying to expand its operations, proposing and building nuclear power plants all around the world“. Read more here: http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2016-10-the-future-of-russian-nuclear-power-plants-rosatom-abroad
If there were more reporting of this sort of thing in mainstream news then there would be no excuse for undermining free speech in the US, as proposed in this US Congressional bill (do search for Russia in text): https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/6393/text If US media more frequently did its job, and if the US government would produce more news showing all of the bad things Russia does, like Russian government funded, or owned, news reports in English on the US, then there wouldn’t be as many Americans deceived into thinking that Putin is the savior of mankind. If the US government itself were not so implicated in bad things – also underreported by mainstream media- then we would have more time to point to the bad things that Russia does. Meanwhile, Russia is indeed winning the propaganda wars. And, in fact, we learned about the House bill 6393 from Russia media, rather than US media. But, did they report this? https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/russia-dissolves-non-profits-working-for-transparency-on-nuclear-and-environmental-issues/ Furthermore, people need to question any news source that presents one country as all bad and makes little to no mention of the bad other countries do. The same can be said of news sources that present one country as all good and the other countries as all bad. There is still enough free speech-freedom of the press to verify. It is actually easier to verify than ever before. Presenting the USA as all bad is simply the flip side of presenting the USA as all good. If news is not balanced it is clearly propaganda. Putin is a former Soviet KGB agent, whose grandfather was the cook of Lenin and Stalin. What does anyone expect? And, shame on the US government for so abusing its own people that they so willingly look up to a false “savior”. During the Cold War there were US Trotskyists (e.g. Bernie Sanders in the past) but, unlike France, Russia-style Stalinists were virtually non-existent.
We need to be grateful to Reuters for pointing to recent shakedowns by the nuclear industry, as well as to Bellona for its coverage. Besides updating on Russia’s shakedown of Bulgaria, Reuters has reported on the latest iteration of German utility RWE’s shakedown of the German taxpayer, and TEPCO’s $188 billion shakedown of the Japanese ratepayer or taxpayer. Health costs appear excluded.
“Russia’s Rosatom settles deal with Bulgaria over cancelled nuclear project Posted:Fri, 09 Dec 2016 07:32:29 -0500 SOFIA, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Russian company Rosatom announced on Friday it has received 620 million euros ($660 million) from Bulgarian energy firm NEK in compensation over a cancelled nuclear project.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/VhKUEabW874/bulgaria-nuclear-russia-idUSL5N1E42U1
Who else, besides Russia, has been involved at Belene and who may benefit from Bulgaria being forced to finish an unwanted nuclear project? RWE Germany and French State owned Areva. Mentioned in the past as possibly building another Bulgarian nuclear power station was Toshiba-owned Westinghouse (Japan)! And, in fact, there has been discussion of using the Russian parts to construct a nuclear power station at this second location (Kozluduy).
And, who else is reported by Reuters this Friday as doing additional shake-downs, though Reuters doesn’t call it this? RWE says that it will drop its shakedown lawsuit over the so-called early closing of its old nuclear power stations in Germany, if Germany will take care of RWE’s nuclear waste. And the Fukushima clean-up cost nuclear shakedown continues with costs having again risen – this time to an estimated $188 billion.
“UPDATE 1-German nuclear firms offer to forgo claims for deal on waste – letter Posted:Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:54:35 -0500 BERLIN, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Nuclear power firms have written a letter to Germany’s parliamentarians saying they are prepared to drop some of their numerous legal claims in exchange for handing the bill for nuclear waste storage to the government” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/2FtV3-GqGjU/germany-nuclear-idUSL5N1E457I
“UPDATE 2-Japan nearly doubles Fukushima disaster-related cost to $188 bln Posted:Fri, 09 Dec 2016 05:56:30 -0500 * Fukushima Daiichi decommission projection quadruples to Y8 trln (Recasts with details)” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/cTY8djrZu3g/tepco-fukushima-costs-idUSL4N1E417C
Who was involved in Fukushima construction but Toshiba! Furthermore, Fukushima operator TEPCO is related to Toshiba, as this important research web site explains: “The other root of Toshiba was the Tokyo Electric Company which was formed by Mitsui in 1890 in Tokyo to manufacture light bulbs. Tokyo Electric developed a working relationship with the General Electric Company (GE). GE aquired a share of equity and provided manufacturing technology.” http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/toshiba.htm. (GE nuclear is currently a Hitachi-GE consortium) Note that there is much more at the above web site which is probably the most important web site on Japanese conglomerates.
And, Toshiba and related companies are involved in clean-up of TEPCO’s nuclear disaster, as well. Thus, they contribute to making the mess and get paid for helping to clean it up. How can that be allowed?
Who else is mentioned in the wikileaks cable, below? French state-owned Areva, which is in the process of orchestrating a complicated New-Co spin-off and other machinations to get more bail-out monies.
The very existence of state-owned Areva and Rosatom is predicated upon their being state-owned entities. Both Russia and France can put full diplomatic and even military forced behind these companies (Rosatom and subsidiaries; Areva and subsidiaries). It certainly sounds like true fascism. Germany’s RWE benefitted from Nazi Germany and obviously Toshiba would have benefitted from Fascist Japan – especially the boost to heavy industry associated with military build-up. Heavy industry uses a lot of energy to produce its heavy equipment.
What’s more, Toshiba owns at least part of Carrier air conditioning which will get a big tax break so that some of it stays in the US, rather than moving to Mexico. That’s right, Trump is going to make Japan Great Again. And, Toshiba is tied to Goldman Sachs via Mitsui bank.
“Classified By: Amb. Nancy McEldowney for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
1. (C) Summary: Despite its status as Bulgaria’s highest
priority energy project, the Belene Nuclear Power Plant (NPP)
is foundering. Marred by cost over-runs, financing problems,
infighting between strategic partners, rumors of corruption,
and serious delays, the project is looking increasingly like
a lemon. The relationship between the government and the
project’s strategic investor, the German RWE, is one of
mutual buyer’s remorse. But with 700 million euros in sunk
costs, in addition to priceless political capital already
invested, the government is unlikely to walk away from the
project. End Summary.
2. (C) When Bulgarians talk about the Belene nuclear power
plant, they increasingly do so in hushed tones. Issues of
delays, financing woes, non-transparent horse-trading and
side deals, Russian influence, middle-man rent seeking, and
the interests of well-connected politicians and energy
oligarchs inevitably come up. Belene’s construction offered
the perfect chance for Bulgaria to decrease its independence
on Russian energy sources. But the Stanishev-led government,
indebted to Russia-connected energy oligarchs, let the
opportunity slip away. In 2006, Bulgaria chose Russian
company AtomStroyExport over a Skoda-led consortium as Belene
NPP’s main contractor. The tender was managed by former
Minister of Economy and Energy Rumen Ovcharov, a pro-Russia
energy maestro, who left office (but not political life) in
June 2007 after an energy-related corruption scandal. The
Belene deal lacked transparency and reeked of side deals
involving the proposed South Stream gas pipeline and the
long-term gas transit contract Ovcharov was negotiating with
Gazprom at the same time.
ONE OLD PROJECT GETS A NEW LIFE
3. (C) Belene was originally started in the 1980s, but was
abandoned in the early 1990s due to lack of funds. In 2005,
to make up for the European Commission’s decision to close
Bulgaria’s Kozluduy NPP reactors 1-4, the Bulgarian
government approved the construction of a new 2000 MWe plant
at Belene. (Note: Kozluduy units 1 and 2 were shut down due
to safety concerns in 2003, while units 3 and 4 were taken
off-line at the end of 2006, on the eve of Bulgaria’s EU
accession.) The Bulgarian National Electric Company (NEC)
hired WorleyParsons as the strategic architect engineer for
the financing and construction of the plant in 2005.
Belene,s two units (1 and 2) will be of the Russian A-92
design (third generation) with pressurized water reactor
(PWR), each producing 1000 MW electric power. The main
contractor of the project, AtomStroyExport, is working with
the main foreign contractor CARSIB Consortium (Areva and
Siemens). In December 2008 NEC and RWE (Germany) signed a
strategic investor agreement for the project with NEC
controlling 51 percent and RWE with 49 percent.
4. (C) Bulgarian company participation in the Belene
project is approximately 30 percent. (Note: Risk
Engineering is one Bulgarian-owned company involved in
Belene. It is owned by notorious Bulgarian energy oligarch
Bogomil Manchev, the “godfather” of the Bulgarian nuclear
sector. He has an ownership stake in 10 different firms and
is the sub-agent for hundreds of other firms). The French
bank PNB Paribus financed the pre-construction loan of 250
million Euros. Currently, teams are preparing the site for
new construction by tearing down old infrastructure from the
1980s. The plant’s construction is expected to begin in late
2009 or early 2010. Construction will be in two stages.
Unit 1 was originally planned to come on-line in 2014-2015
followed by Unit 2 in 2015-2016, according to the Belene NPP
Managing Director, Jordan Georgiev. These time frames are
now widely in doubt.
5. (C) Despite its due diligence, our contacts tell us
Belene,s strategic investor, RWE, is now experiencing regret
about its purchase. According to Bulgaria daily “Kapital’s”
leading energy journalist (and former Bulgarian energy
official) Galina Alexandrova (please strictly protect), RWE
SOFIA 00000069 002 OF 002
worries about the project’s lack of transparency and the need
to work with AtomStroyExport. RWE wants to enforce European
business practices, and is now demanding to review all
Belene-related agreements. RWE is reportedly negotiating
with Belgium’s Electrabel to join it as a subcontractor
(likely to be announced in mid-March) to help re-inforce
standard European business practices. RWE’s insistence on
reviewing all agreements is causing Bulgaria heartburn.
Delays of 3-5 years have already been announced, and Belene
is not expected to come on-line until 2016-2017. According
to Alexandrova, RWE realizes that working with Russian and
Bulgarian companies in the energy sector is a “poisonous
combination” for European investment. Transparency is
affecting financing. RWE (and Electrabel) want European
banks to finance their half of the project, hoping EU
restrictions and western lending standards would help with
transparency. However, with the current global financial
crisis, they believe finding a European bank will be
difficult and may reluctantly have to turn to Russia for the
6. (C) The Bulgarians are also experiencing buyer’s
remorse. Despite Russia’s offer to extend a loan of about
four billion Euros for the project, rumors abound that the
Russians do not have the money to finance the project and the
Bulgarians have been reluctant to take the money in any
event, for fear of being seen as “too close” to the Russians.
For their part, the Bulgarians at Belene are chafing at
RWE,s close scrutiny of all decisions and complain that this
approach is needlessly slowing the project. Our contacts say
that some Bulgarian officials are beginning to admit
privately that in Belene, they have bought “a lemon.”
NEC has sunk approximately 700 million euros into the project,
while the Russians are not out of pocket and could walk away
losing nothing. Meanwhile, cost estimates for Belene
continue to creep up, running as high as eight billion euros,
double the original price.
BELENE VS KOZLUDUY UNITS 7 & 8
7. (C) The rumors of trouble at Belene have resurrected the
idea of a competing project at Bulgaria’s only working
nuclear power plant, Kozluduy. Bulgarian Minister of Energy
and Economy Petar Dimitrov has been actively and publicly
courting Westinghouse to invest in a project to build two new
reactors at Kozluduy — units 7 and 8. Contacts say that the
existing infrastructure, powerlines connecting Kozluduy to
the national power grid, and a highly-skilled workforce close
by at currently-operating Kozludy 5 and 6 give Kozluduy 7 and
8 at least a one billion euro cost edge over Belene.
Westinghouse officials are cautiously interested, but only if
the Belene project is abandoned and Bulgarian government
financial support is put into Kozluduy. They want to avoid
being used simply to create a new sense of urgency to
8. (C) Comment: There is clearly something amiss at
Belene. Asked whether the project was in jeopardy, a senior
WorleyParsons official privately told us that while the
project was still likely to go forward, “countries walk away
from deals like this all the time.” With elections on the
horizon and 700 million euros in sunk costs, in addition to
priceless political capital already invested, the government
is unlikely to abandon the project any time soon. But it may
be on a very slow track.
BULGARIA’S BELENE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT – BUYERS REMORSE ON ALL SIDES EXCEPT RUSSIA’S
2009 February 17, 14:14 (Tuesday)
WTF is WorleyParsons? “WorleyParsons Limited is an Australian engineering company. It provides project delivery and consulting services to the resources and energy sectors, and complex process industries. WorleyParsons is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorleyParsons
E.ON. and RWE (along with Swedish Vattenfall) are currently suing Germany over the shuttering of their dangerous and decrepit nuclear reactors. They are clearly philosophical heirs to Nazi Germany. These companies, which prospered during, and contributed to the Third Reich, were not adequately punished, and have continued to cause death and destruction
RWE did very well for itself in Nazi Germany through taking over companies of a Jewish competitor: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/paul-silverberg-lost-all-to-the-nazis-including-rag-and-rew-to-rwe-thyssen-flick/ The military build-up required more energy consumption by energy-intensive heavy industries. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/03/19/german-uk-dutch-nuclear-enrichment-factory-urenco-in-new-mexico-failed-to-follow-protocol-meant-to-prevent-a-criticality-accident/comment-page-1/
Did Bulgaria ever sign more than this non-binding memorandum of understanding with Russia?https://web.archive.org/web/20120316132035/http://thesofiaecho.com/2010/12/02/1004103_shareholder-memoranda-to-build-bulgarias-belene-nuke-signed
Toshiba owns Westinghouse. Toshiba was involved in construction of Fukushima Daiichi units 1,2,3,5, and were apparently prime contractor for unit 3. Fukushima Daiichi units 1, 2 and 3 underwent full nuclear meltdown. In this document Toshiba admits to construction of Fukushima Daiichi [I]: http://eventos.ai.org.mx/futuroenergianuclear/ponencias/6_toshiba_abwr_technology.pdf
Toshiba is part of the Mitsui “Keiretsu” conglomerate group, which centers around the Sumitomo Mitsui bank. Sumitomo Mitsui has repeatedly invested in Goldman Sachs going back to at least 1986, when Sumitomo bought a 12.5 percent stake in Goldman Sachs. Hence, one might suspect that a friendship exists between the former Goldman Sachs managing directors-partners and Sumitomo Mitsui bankers, which has led to too many chances given to Energy Solutions at Fukushima – an admission that their ALPS system failed would look really bad for them. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/when-investment-bankers-deal-in-nuclear-waste-for-investment-profit-we-need-to-be-very-scared/
“Before World War II, Toshiba was a member of the Mitsui Group zaibatsu (family-controlled vertical monopoly). Today Toshiba is a member of the Mitsui keiretsu (a set of companies with interlocking business relationships and shareholdings), and still has preferential arrangements with Mitsui Bank and the other members of the keiretsu. Membership in a keiretsu has traditionally meant loyalty, both corporate and private, to other members of the keiretsu or allied keiretsu. This loyalty can extend as far as the beer the employees consume, which in Toshiba’s case is Asahi.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toshiba
“Makeup of the Mitsui Group
Companies currently associated with the Mitsui keiretsu include Mitsui & Co., Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, Japan Steel Works, Mitsui Chemicals, Mitsui Construction Co., Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsui-gold, Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd., Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. (MOECO), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Mitsui Petrochemical Industries Ltd, Mitsui-Soko, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, Oji Paper Company, Pacific Coast Recycling, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Taiheiyo Cement, Toray Industries, Toshiba Corporation, Tri-net Logistics Management, Mitsui Commodity Risk Management [MCRM].
Mitsui companies which are in the Nikkei 225
* Mitsui & Co.
* Mitsui Chemicals
* Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding
* Mitsui Fudosan
* Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd.
* Mitsui O.S.K. Lines
* Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group
* Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings
* Toray Industries
* Japan Steel Works
Other companies with close ties to the Mitsui Group
* Sagami Railway
* Tokyo Broadcasting System
* Kanebo (Kao Corporation)
* Oriental Land
* Toyota Group
* Komatsu Limited
* Sims Metal Management – Mitsui owns 18% share capital in the company and is represented on its board.
* IHH Healthcare Berhad – Mitsui owns 20.5% share capital in the company and is represented on its board” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsui
Toshiba is tied to Carrier (United Technologies):
In October 2014, Toshiba and United Technologies agreed a deal to expand their joint venture outside Japan
(Emphasis added throughout).