An illustrated report on Chernobyl yesterday and today, 30 April 2012 http://greensmps.org.au/sites/default/files/chernobylltfs_0.pdf
There are two compelling reasons why this tragedy must not be forgotten. First, if we forget Chornobyl, we increase the risk of more such technological and environmental disasters in the future. Second, more than seven million of our fellow human beings do not have the luxury of forgetting.
They are still suffering, every day, as a result of what happened… Indeed, the legacy of Chernobyl will be with us, and with our descendants, for generations to come.” - Kofi Annann, UN Secretary General April 2000 …..
This ‘Let the Facts Speak’ publication was produced by the office of Scott Ludlam,
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia to commemorate the 26th anniversary
of the Chernobyl disaster, in April 2012. It is the second in a series of reports on the
true face of the nuclear industry.
Fukushma the Japanese Chernobyl’…a year later and politics still ‘trump’ safety…UK Progressive, JEANINE MOLLOF | APRIL 29, 2012 The Japanese Prime Minister Declares Nuclear Plant Safe… Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declared that nuclear units 3 & 4 at the Ohi Nuclear Plant were safe for operation.
Prime Minister Noda based this declaration on ‘stress tests’ which were nothing more than computer simulations. The computer simulations merely estimate any given reactor’s ability to withstand large earthquakes and/or tsunamis, allegedly like last year’s Fukushima disaster. No other studies, expert testimony or other considerations were mentioned. Unfortunately, for Japan—and the world—Noda couldn’t be more wrong. Continue reading
The upshot of these events is an intensified focus on energy efficiency and renewables, two solutions that hold promise of bridging the supply-demand gap in the years ahead while simultaneously reducing the current heavy reliance on fossil fueled generation.
At the same time, new investments in smart grid technologies to manage demand and integrate renewable power supplies into the grid are increasing rapidly.
Backfilling Nuclear Shutdowns With Efficiency And Renewables In Japan, Germany And California? Think Progress, Apr 29, 2012 by James Newcomb, via the Rocky Mountain Institute Electric utilities and policymakers in Japan and Germany have been scrambling for months to find ways to compensate for nuclear power plants shut down in the aftermath of Fukushima.
In both instances, fossil fuels are part of the stopgap solution to offset the declines in nuclear generation in the short term, but longer-term energy policies are shifting definitively toward efficiency and renewables. Now, the unexpected and indefinite shutdown of both units at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California has raised questions about California’s short-term electricity supply options and long-term contingency plans. Continue reading
VIDEO http://www.fairewinds.org/content/gundersen-kpbs-discusses-developing-san-onofre-situation Arnie Gundersen on KPBS TV Discusses Developing San Onofre Situation A leak discovered earlier this year in a steam generator pipe at the San Onofre nuclear plant has lead to two unanimous City Council decisions to send letters of concern to the NRC. Fairewind’s Arnie Gundersen presented at both council meetings. In this video Gundersen talks with KPBS’s Peggy Pico about the steam generator leak, the city council decisions and the licensing status of San Onofre.
“Here’s a tip: when your nuclear reactor is springing leaks and radioactive pipes are deteriorating 20 times faster than they should, it’s a big deal, and no amount of nuclear spin by Edison or the NRC can hide that fact,”
Study Claims Flaws Caused Nuclear Leak Laguna Beach Independent, Rita Robinson | April 29, 2012 Changes at the San Onofre nuclear power plant that “crammed” 400 additional tubes into one generator required drilling that allegedly weakened the generator’s foundation, according to a study by the nuclear watchdog group Friends of the Earth.
The weakened foundation along with removing a support piece called the “stay cylinder,” designed to prevent vibration, caused the tubes to rub against other apparatus and resulted in radiation leaks, said the report, issued earlier this month. Continue reading
Both studies should help decide if California’s two active nuclear plants are safe enough to operate into the 2040s
San Onofre’s Seismic Study to Play Role in Nuclear Plant’s Future The nuclear generating station has been offline since January. Southern California Edison is considering whether to re-license or shut down San Onofre after 2022. Poway Patch, April 27, 2012 Operators of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are about to embark on a costly study on earthquake risk that could determine the future of the plant, it was reported Friday. Continue reading
Fukushma the Japanese Chernobyl’…a year later and politics still ‘trump’ safety…UK Progressive, JEANINE MOLLOF | APRIL 29, 2012“……Fukushima—revolving door … The problems of Fukushima are endemic to the nuclear industry at large, where executives are frequently selected from government or business ranks rather than the scientific community. Fukushima was no exception.
In a WikiLeaks revelation—cables sent from the US Embassy in Vienna to Washington DC cited Tomihiro Tanguchi’s weak leadership as head of Safety and Security for the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA). Complaints mounted concerning Taniguchi’s
incompetence and negligence especially with regards to the Japanese nuclear industry—eighteen months before the Fukushima disaster.
“For the past 10 years, the Department has suffered tremendously because of (deputy director general) Taniguchi’s weak management and leadership skills,” said one despatch on Dec 1, 2009.
“Taniguchi has been a weak manager and advocate, particularly with respect to confronting Japan’s own safety practices, and he is a particular disappointment to the United States for his unloved-step-child treatment of the Office of Nuclear Security,” said another, which was sent on July 7, 2009…..
There is increasing recognition in the business world that investing in new nuclear power stations is commercially risky.
This report describes five major types of risk for any investor considering putting money into new nuclear plants, with particular emphasis on the situation in the UK: Continue reading
Japan’s last operational nuclear reactor to go offline, New Scientist, 28 April 2012 JAPAN will take its last operational nuclear reactor offline next weekend, but the country may not be nuclear-free for long.
Since the earthquake and tsunami devastated the country’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility on 11 March last year, all but one of Japan’s 54 reactors have been taken offline for routine maintenance or safety checks. With public opposition to nuclear power strong, none has yet restarted.
Japan’s last operational reactor, on the northern island of Hokkaido – will go offline on 5 May….. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan this week floated a plan to restart the Ikata reactor in Ehime Prefecture (pictured), but there are doubts about whether any plants should restart before a new safety watchdog is set up.
All reactors off by spring — a once unthinkable scenario, Japan Times, By MIZUHO AOKI As the crisis continues at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and thousands of people remain evacuated due to radiation fears, public sentiment has turned against allowing reactors idled for regular checks at power stations nationwide to be restarted.
To ease public safety concerns, the government ordered stress tests be carried out on all reactors. ….the overall sentiment against atomic power is gaining traction. The clock is ticking on the 54 reactors nationwide http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20110719i1.html
India developing radar-destroying Anti-Radiation Missile, DNA, Apr 29, 2012, After the success of Agni-V project, India is developing an Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) which can hugely multiply the strike capabilities by destroying the enemy’s advance warning system. Continue reading
“they’ve basically been doing industry’s bidding. So they tried to get rid of Jaczko.”
Why is safety a divisive issue for Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Los Angeles Times, 29 April 12 NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko has found himself on the losing side of 4-1 votes that usually end up favoring less stringent regulations for the industry. He’s also been the target of a congressman’s attacks. By Michael Hiltzik
April 29, 2012 “…… the bill of particulars Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) put out in December in support of a concerted, albeit unsuccessful, campaign to drive Jaczko from his job. Continue reading
TEPCO’s ‘malpractices’ included:
• falsification of inspection records over many years;
• covering up data about cracks in water circulation pumps and pipes which are critical for reactor cooling;
• failure to report cracks in reactor core shrouds (stainless steel cylinders surrounding the reactor core), steam dryers, access hole covers, and components associated with jet pumps (which circulate cooling water inside the reactor);
• in 1991 and 1992, tests of the leak rate of a Fukushima reactor containment vessel were faked by surreptitiously injecting compressed air into the containment building;
• written records of cracks in neutron-measuring equipment at Fukushima were deleted by contractor Hitachi at TEPCO’s request; and
• eight TEPCO reactors were still operating although required repairs
had not been carried out.”
Fukushma the Japanese Chernobyl’…a year later and politics still ‘trump’ safety…UK Progressive, JEANINE MOLLOF | APRIL 29, 2012 ”……….TEPCO’s history of fraud…on top of a flawed Mark 1 design… The operator responsible for Fukushima Daiichi, namely TEPCO has a history of fraud allegations. In 2002, five TEPCO executives resigned over allegations they falsified nuclear plant safety records. Five reactors were shut down as a result.
In 2006 the Japanese government discovered false water coolant temperature readings at Fukushima Daiichi in 1985 and 1988 and ordered TEPCO to re-inspect past data. Continue reading
Asia is steadily becoming increasingly militarised
arms spending by Asian nations will this year for the first time overtake that of European countries. China, Japan, India, South Korea and Australia accounted for more than 80 per cent of total Asian defence spending
While there is recognition of the devastating consequences of any use of nuclear weapons, [in The Lowy report recommendations] there does not appear to be enunciation of the logical goal of getting rid of the weapons.
Asia: Dangers Of Extended Nuclear Deterrence – Analysis, Eurasia Review, By Neena Bhandari, April 28, 2012 With India and Pakistan testing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles this April, close on the heels of North Korea’s unsuccessful test launch of a long-range rocket, a new report by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute for International Policy says it is Asian strategic mistrust that is holding back nuclear disarmament.
According to Lowy’s international security programme director Rory Medcalf, who is also principal editor of the report titled Disarming Doubt: The Future of Extended Nuclear Deterrence in East Asia, the nuclear disarmament push in Asia had stalled, owing to the region’s tangle of strategic mistrust. Continue reading
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