United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Colombo District candidate Udaya Gammanpilla says the UPFA has lost the 2015 Parliamentary election.While the official results of most districts are yet to be released, Gammanpilla said in his official Facebook account that the UPFA is expected to end with victory in only 9 electoral districts against the UNP’s 11 and TNA’s 3. While thanking the public for their support, Gammanpilla said that the struggle to protect the country will continue despite the electoral defeat. (Colombo Gazette) “Although no party has secured the majority in the parliament the UNP will form a minority government. I have secured approximately 200,000 preferential votes to rank second in Colombo District,” he added.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Steven Chua, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 21, 2014 12:27 pm MDT VANCOUVER – Port Metro Vancouver approved Thursday construction of a controversial coal-shipping facility on the Fraser River, over concerns from local medical health officers and area residents about air quality and the environment.Fraser Surrey Docks was granted a permit to build the facility to handle four-million metric tonnes of coal from the U.S. Midwest each year.Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations at the port authority, said the decision was not made lightly.“We have required extensive analysis,” said Xotta.The permit decision brings to an end a process that has dragged on for almost two years.Concerns focus mainly on the effects of coal dust on air quality and the impact on the region. Global climate change also came into play in the drawn-out debate.Fraser Surrey Docks hired SNC Lavalin to review the proposal, and the resulting report concluded there would be no significant adverse effects to the environment or people’s health.But in a letter last November to the company, the chief medical health officers for the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health authorities dismissed the report’s findings.Dr. Paul Van Buynder and Dr. Patricia Daly said it “does not meet even the basic requirements of a health impact assessment.”Xotta said subsequent reviews were done, and a third-party assessment of all those reports has now been carried out by an environmental consultant.Van Buynder said Thursday that he only just received the latest assessment and will have to review the document.He said he was pleased Port Metro Vancouver understood additional information was needed to make an accurate health assessment.But he said he was “disappointed” that the port did not take public health officials up on an offer to be involved.“We were pleased early this year when they identified the fact that the information they received was inadequate to guarantee the protection of human health, but extremely disappointed that since that time they have engaged in a non-transparent process, excluding health experts,” Van Buynder said.Health officers cannot challenge the permit, but Van Buynder said that if activity from Fraser Surrey Docks is found to harm humans, medical officers can order operations shut down.The project will be built in Surrey, but the city is withholding its support until it reviews the latest report.Acting mayor Linda Hepner echoed complaints that the port did not seek input from health authorities for the latest review.“I cannot understand why Port Metro Vancouver, having heard from Fraser Health that this was a concern, why they wouldn’t have engaged at least Fraser Health,” she said.The project will also be watched closely by Metro Vancouver, which regulates air quality in the region. Fraser Surrey Docks will need an air permit from the district.Allan Neilson, the general manager of planning, policy and environment, said the district may ticket, fine or take the company to court if it is not complying with regulations.“We can’t shut down their operations, but we would look to enforce unauthorized discharges of items into the atmosphere,” he said.Members of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors have been critical of the coal terminal, he said, but the ultimate permit decision rests with the director of air quality, who is separate from the council.That means that politics probably won’t affect the chances of the company getting authorization, he said.The B.C. Chamber of Commerce welcomed the facility’s approval, saying the $15-million project will create 25 direct jobs and 25 indirect jobs.Every day, a coal train hauling 125 cars will arrive at the docks from the American Midwest to be transferred onto two barges bound for carriers waiting at Texada Island.From there it will be shipped to Asia. Port authority OKs controversial coal-shipping facility in Metro Vancouver
Upon the approval of the construction license for the spent nuclear fuel repository at Olkiluoto, Finland is now the most advanced country in the world in spent nuclear fuel repository planning and implementation, according to Saanio & Riekkola (S&R). “Finland’s parliamentary decision confirms the commitment to a world leading nuclear waste management program. It also says something about the values of this Nordic state which other nuclear powered countries will now keenly observe”, says Fionán O’Carroll, Project Manager for International Operations at S&R.ONKALO, the underground rock characterisation facility situated at Olkiluoto, Finland, will be a part of the first spent nuclear fuel repository worldwide. The application for the Olkiluoto construction license was submitted on December 28, 2012 by Posiva, the organisation responsible for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel in Finland. If the project continues to progress according to schedule, the disposal operations at Olkiluoto will begin in early 2020s and the final closure of the facility will be in the 2120s. The total estimated cost of the project is €3.3 billion euros.Spent nuclear fuel will remain radioactive and harmful for over 100,000 years and so a primary task of the project was to conduct extensive planning and safety analysis. This way the safety of humans and the environment could be ensured for thousands of generations to come. S&R became involved in the early stages of the project in the 1980s providing expertise on site selection, rock engineering, layout-design and cost estimates for the project and in the 2000s providing the expertise in long-term safety and production of the safety case for the construction license application. After several decades of design planning and long-term safety analysis, S&R is proud to see the deep geological repository project advance to the next level.According to the Finnish legislation and regulations, the responsibility for waste management and decommissioning of nuclear power plants is with the waste generators themselves. In 1988, a fund was established for collecting nuclear waste management costs under the Nuclear Energy Act. Waste generators pay into this fund annually according to the fund target. There is no set fee per kWh like in other countries, rather, the fund is being recalculated systematically every year based on the liability of waste producers.In Finland, spent nuclear fuel is currently being stored in spent fuel pools. In the future as the project progresses the spent nuclear fuel will be disposed in the deep geological repository. The spent nuclear fuel will be encapsulated and deposited deep in the bedrock of Olkiluoto and the repository will be backfilled.Finland’s nuclear waste management program is now the most advanced in the world. The safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel is highly important since nuclear power will be central to future global energy needs. “Nuclear new build countries and those still developing nuclear regulations stand to benefit hugely from following the Finnish example. Creating a national nuclear waste management program is a long term commitment”, O’Carroll adds.S&R is the world leading specialist in the most demanding nuclear waste management projects. It works on both low and intermediate level waste and spent nuclear fuel projects globally and has actively assisted Finland’s nuclear waste management program since 1979.