'Kárahnjúkar' Tag Archive

Sep 07 2007

‘Glacial Rivers Reduce Pollution on Earth’ by Gudmundur Páll Ólafsson


Glacial rivers are not only the lifeblood of Iceland, but also of the whole planet.

River water contains sediment in suspension and various substances in solution; glacial rivers, especially, carry a large amount of sediment which increases as the atmosphere grows warmer.

River of Life

Rivers of Life

Glacial rivers carry the sediment out to sea, where it takes on a new and important role in binding the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) with calcium (Ca) and converting it into calcite and other carbonate minerals, immensely important in the ocean ecosystems of the world. Thus glacial rivers reduce pollution on Earth. This effect is greatest in recently formed volcanic territory such as Iceland, and the binding effect increases with rising atmospheric temperature.

Glacial rivers bind this gas which, along with some other gases, causes global warming and threatens the future of life of Earth.

When a glacial river is harnessed to generate electricity, this important function, and the binding of the greenhouse gas CO2, is diminished. What they generate is not GREEN ENERGY, as the advocates of hydro-power plants and heavy industry maintain, but BLACK ENERGY.

Dams and reservoirs hinder the function of glacial sediment in the oceans, and hence hydro-electric power plants that harness glacial rivers are far more harmful than has hitherto been believed. Read More

Jul 21 2007

Slanderous Athygli Get a Well Deserved Hit


Athygli

‘Iceland is bleeding’
.

Athygli, the public relations company of the National Power Company (Landsvirkjun) woke up this morning to find that during the night a splash of paint had been directed at their offices. A spokesman of the company said the words ‘Iceland Bleeds’ had been written on the house and that he suspected that Saving Iceland was behind this because his company was on a certain “deathlist” on www.savingiceland.org. We can only assume that he means ‘The Nature Killers’ section on this website.

Why would Athygli be on the list of companies responsible for the murder of Icelandic nature? Read More

Jul 02 2007

Role of River-Suspended Material in the Global Carbon Cycle


Sigurdur R. Gislason, Eric H. Oelkers, and Árni Snorrason

Geological Society of America
Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 2006)
Article: pp. 49–52
Volume 34, Issue 1 (January 2006)
Article: pp. 49–52

Abstract:

1. Institute of Earth Science, University of Iceland, Sturlugata 7, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland, 2. Géochimie et Biogéochimie Experimentale—LMTG/Université Paul Sabatier, 14 rue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France, 3. National Energy Authority, Grensásvegi 9, 108 Reykjavík, Iceland

The reaction of Ca derived from silicate weathering with CO2 in the world’s oceans to form carbonate minerals is a critical step in long-term climate moderation. Ca is delivered to the oceans primarily via rivers, where it is transported either as dissolved species or within suspended material. The relative importance for climate moderation of riverine dissolved Ca vs. suspended Ca transport stems from the total Ca flux and its climate dependence. Data in the literature suggest that, within uncertainty, global riverine dissolved Ca flux is equal to suspended material Ca flux. To determine how these fluxes depend on temperature and rainfall, a 40 yr field study was performed on 4 catchments in northeastern Iceland: Jökulsá á Fjöllum at Grímsstadir, Jökulsá á Dal at Brú, Jökulsá á Dal at Hjardarhagi, and Jökulsá í Fljótsdal at Hóll. Suspended material Ca flux depends more on seasonal and annual temperatures and rainfall variation than does dissolved Ca flux in all four catchments. For example, the average difference between the annual maximum and minimum daily suspended Ca flux for the Jökulsá á Dal at Brú is four orders of magnitude, whereas the difference for dissolved Ca flux is only approximately one order of magnitude. Similarly, the annual dissolved Ca flux for this river varies by a factor of 2.6, whereas its annual suspended Ca flux varies by a factor of 7.1. Because suspended material Ca flux is more dependent on climate, it provides a stronger negative feedback for stabilizing Earth’s temperature through the greenhouse effect. Read More

Apr 24 2007

Icelandic Government Begs ALCOA Not to Rock the Boat as Landsvirkjun do Not Deliver on Time


Aluminium production in Reydarfjördur begins... using energy from the national domestic grid!

Aluminium production in Reydarfjördur begins using energy from the national domestic grid!

As Saving Iceland and others pointed out a long time ago Landsvirkjun have proven not to be able to deliver energy to ALCOA on 1 April 2007, as specified in their contract with the multinational.

This is highly embarrassing for the Icelandic government and Landsvirkjun, especially as the general elections are coming and the contract they signed with ALCOA specifies that if the energy will not be available on time the Icelandic taxpayer will have to pay penalties to ALCOA.

Apparently the government have begged ALCOA not to mention any penalty payments before the general elections on 12 May. Some weeks ago we had the questionable pleasure to listen to denials in the press that these penalties were ever written into the contract! Yet again, this shows the level of lying that ALCOA and the Icelandic government are ready to stoop to.

Obviously, it is in the interest of ALCOA that the corrupt government which gave them the wilderness of Kárahnjúkar for free, will stay in power.

Aluminium was tapped from the first pot in the new aluminum smelter last weekend. The production process began mid-April.

However, there was a low key ceremony 1 April where the Icelandic PM and other dignitaries cut the red ribbon in the factory (above). But clearly the aluminium lobby felt that making too much of the occasion might backfire PR wise in view of the embarrassing fact that the energy was not coming from Kárahnjúkar, not to speak of the defeat ALCAN experienced in the Hafnarfjordur referendum the night before!

According to mbl.is, 40 pots are expected to be put into operation during this first stage and the smelter will be running 336 pots, its full capacity amount, by the end of the year when the construction of the smelter has been completed.

The smelter in Reydarfjördur has the potential to produce 356,000 tons of aluminum per year. The smelter currently uses 100 megawatts of electricity from the national electricity system, but will need 590 megawatts from the dams in Kárahnjúkar once electricity production begins there… later this year… That is; when Landsvirkjun and Impregilo have scrambled through the last tunnels at what ever the economical and human cost.

Until then, the smelter will not be fully operational and the Icelandic taxpayer will have to foot the bill when ALCOA needs more energy to stay on production schedule (after the elections one can presume!)

For the time being ALCOA hold their breath…

But what about when it comes to the final billing from the “most litigious company in history”, Impregilo?

How much is it going to cost the Icelandic taxpayer when Impregilo have worked out all the delays caused by the deliberately highly inaccurate calculations from Landsvirkjun?

To quote our own SOS: “The Kárahnjúkar project stands as a typical blueprint for international multi-billion-dollar megaprojects where promoters self-servingly misinform parliaments, the public and the media in order to get projects approved and built. The formula for approval is a cocktail of underestimated costs, overestimated revenues, undervalued environmental impacts and overvalued economic development effects.”

If we were not talking about Western Europe’s banana republic, then Icelandic politicians and technocrats who are responsible for this disastrous mess, would be made to answer for their actions in court… But of course, as every one in Iceland knows, they have already rigged the courts with their own family members and party lackeys! Read More

Mar 30 2007

Countdown to the Hafnarfjordur Referendum…


Iceland’s path as either a wild green masterpiece or a mid-Atlantic industrially polluted backwater is to reach a significant junction tomorow, Saturday the 31st of March. Residents of Hafnarfjordur, SW of Reykjavik, will vote on whether they want their Alcan (Canadian Aluminium) smelter expanded into by far the biggest aluminium smelter seen in Iceland to date.

The smelter, which lies in the vicinity of Hafnarfjordur, in Straumsvik, currently has a capacity of being able to produce 180,000 metric tonnes of aluminium per year (mtpy.) Alcan wishes to turn this into an unbelievably massive 460,000 mtpy smelter.

Iceland’s current largest smelter asside from this, being built in Reydarfjordur, can produce a gigantic 322,000 mtpy of aluminium and is to be powered by damming the Central-Eastern of Icelands: the infamous Karahnjukar project.

If the smelter in Hafnarfjordur is to be enlarged then we will be facing the destruction of Iceland’s Central Southern Highlands – Langisjor, Kerlingarfjoll, Thjorsarver, the nether region of Thjorsa not to mention the geothermal fields in Reykjanes and so much more.

To anyone who has the opportunity to vote in this referendum, please vote to keep Iceland a wild and green masterpiece.

Feb 04 2007

Smokestacks in a White Wilderness Divide Iceland – New York Times


NY Times puts the spotlight on Kárahnjúkar
Alcoa is building an aluminum smelter in eastern Iceland, part of a project that is reshaping the wilderness. But a coalition of groups says Iceland is sacrificing its most precious asset — its pristine land — to foreign industry.

 

The New York Times

By SARAH LYALL

NORTH OF VATNAJOKULL GLACIER, Iceland — In the depths of winter there is almost nothing to see here but snow and rock: snow across the uneven, unearthly landscape, snow on the mist-shrouded mountains, snow stretching to what looks like the edge of the world.

But tucked into Iceland’s central highlands, where the Karahnjukar mountain meets two powerful rivers flowing north from Europe’s largest glacier, a nearly completed jigsaw of dams, tunnels and reservoirs has begun to reshape the wilderness.

This is the $3 billion Karahnjukar Hydropower Project, a sprawling enterprise to harness the rivers for electricity that will be used for a single purpose: to fuel a new aluminum smelter owned by Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminum company. It has been the focus of the angriest and most divisive battle in recent Icelandic history. Read More

Dec 25 2006
2 Comments

Christmas Victory for Trinidadian anti-smelter movement


In his Christmas year-end review, Trinidadian Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced that he is to scrap his plans to build an Alcoa Aluminium smelter by the towns of Chatam and Cap de Ville, where local residents have fiercely campaigned against the government’s smelter plan. Read More

Dec 06 2006

2006 Protest Camp at Snæfell, Kárahnjúkar and Reyðarfjörður


2006 Protest Camp
Snaefell camp 

 

Nov 18 2006

Aluminium Smelter Protesters Climb Cranes On-Site


illegal worksite

Over a dozen protesters of the Reydarfjördur aluminum smelter in east Iceland entered the building site this morning, and two of those have climbed 70-meter high building cranes, on which they have attached banners with slogans. The banner reads “ILLEGAL WORKSITE (ÓLÖGLEGT VINNUSVÆÐI) referring to the judgment of the Icelandic High Court which was still valid at the time of the action. RUV (Icelandic National Broadcast Service) reported that the banner read ‘Illegal Action’. Some would say there was quite a difference there. This was never corrected in spite of promises to do so. How convenient for ALCOA…

 

illegal worksite cu 

Just in case…
Ó-L-Ö-G-L-E-G-T
V-I-N-N-U-S-V-Æ-Ð-I! Read More

Nov 17 2006

Norsk Hydro Join the Aluminium Feeding Frenzy with 600.000 Tons


Reykjavik newspaper ‘Bladid’ reports that Norwegian oil and aluminium company Hydro (or Norsk Hydro as they are known in Iceland) and the Icelandic government met yesterday to discuss the possibility of building a 600,000 ton smelter in Iceland within the next eight years. The company’s representatives met with Iceland’s Minister of Industries Jón Sigurdsson yesterday to present their ideas, as Bladid reports.

However, Sigurdsson denied on Icelandic State Radio that the smelter plan was ever mentioned in the talks… How shady everything has become in the little aluminium republic. Read More

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