nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Navajo’s continuing cancer danger from uranium mines

Navajos will continue to be exposed to uranium and its decay products, radon and radium. This means that they are at great risk for bone, liver, breast, and lung cancer, among other health problems….

Uranium Mines Still Pose Serious Health Threat on Navajo Land, Web Wire 12 April 12,  In 2010, a Navajo cattle rancher named Larry Gordy discovered an abandoned uranium mine in the middle of his grazing land in Cameron, AZ, according to the New York Times. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) visited the site and found dangerously high levels of uranium, but the agency has yet to begin the clean-up.

The EPA found that the radioactivity there measured one million counts per minute, meaning that two days there would expose a person to more external radiation than the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers safe for an entire year. A dose would lead directly to malignant tumors and other health problems. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | health, indigenous issues, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

In the world of birds, radiation is more damaging to females

the tertiary sex ratio (here defined as the proportion of males among adults) was skewed towards an excess of males across 48 different bird species. This finding is in accordance with lower adult survival rates in females compared to males previously reported for barn swallows in contaminated areas around Chernobyl …..

Female barn swallows suffer differentially from the mortality costs of radiation, with male adult survival being reduced by 24%, while female survival is reduced by 57% in contaminated areas compared to controls 

Elevated Mortality among Birds in Chernobyl as Judged from Skewed Age and Sex Ratios PLoS One 13 April 12, “….Radiation has negative effects on survival of animals including humans, although the generality of this claim is poorly documented under low-dose field conditions.

Because females may suffer disproportionately from the effects of radiation on survival due to differences in sex roles during reproduction, radiation-induced mortality may result in
male-skewed adult sex ratios. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | environment, Reference | Leave a comment

The bitter history of Malaysia’s Bukit Merah rare earths project

Some of the surviving residents of Bukit Merah are still plagued with severe health problems. Until this very day, the Malaysian authorities refuse to acknowledge that the radioactive waste was responsible for the sudden escalation of health problems among the residents

Today, the government is the official custodian of this repository in Bukit Merah. This site in Bukit Merah is declared as a restricted and dangerous dump site for radioactive materials but a curtain of official silence has descended on it. Has the government not learnt from Bukit Merah?

The Lynas project is likely to be a replay of the ARE fiasco but on a much larger scale.

The benefits gained by Malaysia from the Lynas investment are very little relative to the risks involved. Whilst the profits of the project go to Lynas (untaxed) and the few Malaysian companies that are involved in the construction of and the provision of supplies to the Gebeng rare earth plant, the radioactive waste will remain in
Malaysian soil for hundreds of years.

Lynas issue: Not learning from bitter experience —The Malaysian Insider,  Richard Pendragon, April 12, 2012 “……..Bukit Merah The history of the rare earth industry in Malaysia is little known to most Malaysians. Most Malaysians in fact think that the Lynas project in Pahang is the first time Malaysia has been associated with this industry.
Few Malaysians actually know that there was a rare earth plant in Bukit Merah, Perak, which has been closed some 10 or more years ago, following a ruling by the High Court of Malaysia that the company involved was in negligence, and that the radioactive waste generated by the plant was dangerous and had to be removed and secured in a safe
place away from people for hundreds of years.

The evidence of the hazardous legacy of this rare earth plant is still present in our midst as a reminder to every one of the risks involved. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | environment, history, Malaysia, Reference, Uranium, wastes | 2 Comments

Demand for the scrapping of Kudankulam nuclear plant project

Scrap Kudankulam nuclear plant project: Swami Agnivesh
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/scrap-kudankulam-nuclear-plant-project-swami-agnivesh/articleshow/12641010.cms12 APR, 2012,   THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Demanding that the Centre immediately scrap the Kudankulam Nuclear power project, activist Swami Agnivesh today demanded that a high-level panel should visit the KNPP site to address fears of locals there.

“I demand that the government scrap the plant and initiate an
alternative source of clean energy. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

The danger of nuclear powered drones, and plutonium for spacecraft

The Deadly Folly of Nuclear Power Overhead HUFFINGTON POST, Karl Grossman: 04/12/2012  The crash last week of a U.S. drone on the Seychelles Islands– the second crash of a U.S. drone on Seychelles in four months — underlines the deadly folly of a plan of U.S. national laboratory scientists and the Northrop Grumman Corp. for nuclear-powered drones. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, safety, technology, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Unacceptable risks of thorium

Lynas issue: Not learning from bitter experience —The Malaysian Insider,  Richard Pendragon, April 12, 2012 “…..Unacceptable risks of thorium “No monetary returns of whatever Foreign Direct Investment and its spinoffs can outweigh possible radiation and/or other health risks,
which can wreak harm on our citizens, perhaps for as long as the half-lives of some of the extremely toxic radionuclide waste products —which in some cases might be ‘forever’!”

Dr David KL Quek, President, Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), May 26, 2011 One of the most contentious issues with the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant is the thorium (Th) by-product. Exposure to Thorium can cause cancer posing serious risks to workers at the LAMP and surrounding communities. Studies have shown that inhaling thorium dust causes an increased risk of developing lung cancer, and cancer of the pancreas. Bone cancer risk is also increased because thorium may be stored in bone. Thorium has a half life of 14 billion years and is easily transported and spread through wind and water.

Lynas will be processing 10 times the amount of ore compared to the ARE. Despite Lynas’ public proclamation of “Zero Harm” commitment there is no foolproof containment measures for such toxic residue for workers onsite at the LAMP. It should be noted that the ores that Chinese miners were exposed to in Bayun Obo Rare-Earth and Iron Mine
contained 400 ppm of thorium. The rare earth oxide concentrates that will be arriving shortly at Kuantan port will have 1600 ppm of thorium. The US Public Health Service (1990) reports that the natural background level in soil is typically 6 ppm of thorium.
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/lynas-issue-not-learning-from-bitter-experience-richard-pendragon

April 13, 2012 Posted by | environment, Malaysia, Uranium | Leave a comment

The multi $trillion nightmare of ‘nuclear decommissioning’

The Nuclear Powers of Japan and United Kingdom Enformable, 13 April 12,”…….so far, the true cost and impact of the Fukushima disaster has been massively and criminally downplayed and delayed.

Fukushima has resulted in vast areas of Japan, including some parts of Tokyo becoming so contaminated that the comparisons of the samples taken would show the Soviets would have evacuated and the Americans would designate the area as a hazardous radiological area if part of any US facility.

The fact of the matter remains, nuclear power is a money pit of an unrivaled parallel; whether building, operating, waiting to be transferred while waiting in spent fuel pools, waiting to be transferred to permanent storage in non-existent facilities, or smoldering as the case at the crippled Fukushima reactors.

Even the rosiest estimates for the decontamination and remediation, if such a thing is even possible, involve a multi-decade, multi-trillion dollar nightmare….. http://enformable.com/2012/04/uk-and-japanese-agree-to-act-in-unison-on-nuclear-interests/

April 13, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Florida rebellion of ratepayers against “Nuclear Cost Recovery”

Florida AARP joins suit to overturn nuclear fees to utilities, Tampa Bay Times, By Ivan Penn, Times    April 13, 2012 Florida’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit senior organization joined a lawsuit Thursday to overturn a state law that requires utility customers to pay in advance for new nuclear plants.

In opposing the advance nuclear fee, the Florida AARP said many of its members already face difficulty meeting rising utility costs on their low and fixed incomes. To add fees for proposed nuclear plants that might never get built, the organization said, is an undue burden. “During this period of economic hardship, the rising cost to provide current electric utility service is severe enough to raise alarm,” the AARP stated in a brief to the Florida Supreme Court.

The AARP submitted the brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, an advocate for energy efficiency and clean energy…..
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/florida-aarp-joins-suit-to-overturn-nuclear-fees-to-utilities/1224791

The new Florida reactor projects are clearly in trouble, plagued with cost overruns and expensive delays. This increases the likelihood that the projects will not be completed, 

Officials: Backlash Spreading in Florida Against “Nuclear Cost Recovery” Financing Scheme for Proposed Reactors Unlikely to Ever Be Built Market Watch,  JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — No Refund Rip-off for Consumers: Bipartisan Filings in Legal Challenge Before the Florida Supreme Court and Growing Local Opposition Spells Big Trouble For Tapping Ratepayers for 4 Nuclear Reactors That Are Unneeded, Unaffordable and Unsafe.

Florida ratepayers are not rolling over for the major utilities that want to pick their wallets in advance for new nuclear reactors that may never actually be constructed.

State and local officials made it clear today that bipartisan opposition continues to grow in Florida to the controversial use of so-called “nuclear cost recovery” (NCR) to force ratepayers in the state to pay in advance for costs associated with four Progress Energy
of Florida (PEF) and Florida Power & Light (FPL) nuclear reactors that are increasingly unlikely to ever be built. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Iran’s plea for trust in nuclear talks

In the upcoming talks, we hope that all sides will return to the negotiating table as equals with mutual respect; that all sides will be committed to comprehensive, long-term dialogue aimed at resolving all parties’ outstanding concerns; and, most important, that all sides make genuine efforts to reestablish confidence and trust.

Iran: We do not want nuclear weapons Washington Post, By Ali Akbar Salehi,  April 12 Ali Akbar Salehi is foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Forty-five years ago, the United States sold my country a research reactor as well as weapons-grade uranium as its fuel. Not long afterward, America agreed to help Iran set up the full nuclear fuel cycle along with atomic power plants. The U.S. argument was that nuclear power would provide for the growing needs of our economy and free our remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals.

That rationale has not changed. Still, after the Islamic Revolution in our country in 1979, all
understandings with the United States in the nuclear field unraveled. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

USA States reaping the benefits of renewable energy progress

A spotlight on renewable success, Climate Spectator,  13 Apr 2012, Richard Caperton Center for American Progress New Jersey, Texas, and California have very different energy profiles. They use different types of energy to power their economy. They have
different types of utility systems. And they have different expectations of their energy system.
But these states share one important trait: They’re reaping the benefits of renewable energy. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Demand for nuclear weapons in Kim Jong-Il’s will

Kim Jong-Il’s will demands WMDs, The Telegraph, AFP April 13, 2012 KIM Jong-Il’s will urges North Korea to develop weapons of mass destruction, a top defector has said. A top North Korean defector yesterday said he had obtained the last will and testament of Kim Jong-Il.

“Keep in mind that constantly developing and keeping nuclear (weapons), long-range missiles and biochemical weapons is the way to keep peace on the Korean peninsula, and never drop your guard,” the will said, according to Japanese weekly tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How the Stuxnet computer worm was introduced into Iran’s nuclear plant

Stuxnet delivered to Iranian nuclear plant on thumb drive, CNET News, 12 April 12,  Citing U.S. intelligence sources, ISSSource says an infected memory stick was used to hit the facility with the worm that severely damaged Iran’s nuclear program.

by Daniel Terdiman  April 12, 2012 An Iranian double agent working for Israel used a standard thumb drive carrying a deadly payload to infect Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility with the highly destructive Stuxnet computer worm, according to a story by ISSSource.  Stuxnet quickly propagated throughout Natanz    – knocking that facility offline and at least temporarily crippling Iran’s nuclear program — once a user did nothing more than click on a Windows icon. The worm was discovered nearly two years ago.
ISSSource’s report yesterday was based on sources inside the U.S. intelligence community.
These sources, who requested anonymity because of their close proximity to investigations, said a saboteur at the Natanz nuclear facility, probably a member of an Iranian dissident group, used a memory stick to infect the machines there. They said using a person on the ground would greatly increase the probability of computer infection, as opposed to passively waiting for the software to spread through the computer facility. “Iranian double agents” would have helped to target the most vulnerable spots in the system,” one source said. In October 2010, Iran’s intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi said an unspecified number of “nuclear spies” were arrested in connection with Stuxnet.33 virus.

As CNET first reported in August 2010, Stuxnet, as a worm intended to hit critical infrastructure companies, wasn’t meant to remove data from Natanz. Rather, it left a back door that was meant to be accessed remotely to allow outsiders to stealthily control the plant…… http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-57413329-52/stuxnet-delivered-to-iranian-nuclear-plant-on-thumb-drive/

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Iran, technology | Leave a comment

More unusual wear found in San Onofre nuclear plant

Additional tube wear found at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant on California coast Washington Post, By Associated Press, April 12 LOS ANGELES — The operator of an idled nuclear plant on the California coast announced Thursday that more unusual wear has been found on tubing that carries radioactive water, the latest disclosure in an ongoing mystery involving the plant’s steam generators.
Southern California Edison said in a statement that investigators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station found additional wear in its Unit 2 generators that is similar to degradation in its sister reactor, Unit 3, though at a lower level…….

The new findings show “all of the generators are exhibiting the same kind of wear, though the wear in unit 3 is more excessive than in Unit 2,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks said.

The twin-reactor plant has been shut down for more than two months while federal regulators and company officials try to find out why tubing designed to withstand many years of use under high pressure has been quickly wearing away……..
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/additional-tube-wear-found-at-troubled-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-on-california-coast/2012/04/12/gIQAWEx8CT_story.html

April 13, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Developing nuclear weapons together – Japan and UK

UK and Japan agree to act in unison on nuclear interests Enformable, 13 April 12, For the first time in history, Japan has agreed to develop weapons with a country other than the United States, proclaiming the agreement will strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, including joint weapons development. Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Japan, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s messy situation – the economics of new nuclear reactors

Japan, the nation who cannot even restart its own reactors or bring the Fukushima disaster to a close, will be allowed, no encouraged, to sell the UK its own technology right back, and presumably for a profit.

The Nuclear Powers of Japan and United Kingdom Enformable, 13 April 12,  “……The history of nuclear energy economics in the UK is equally complex. The once-mighty UK nuclear fleet, which at the beginning of the 1990s generated over 25% of the nations power, has fallen hard in more recent years.   Continue reading

April 13, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

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