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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Korean nuclear worries take southward turn -Caught out by nuclear industry whistleblower

Nevertheless, public anxiety and criticism has spread rapidly, and is understandable. The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan is a scary recent memory. Additionally, the violations came to light only as a result of an inside tip, not through official inspections and protocols.

The China Post

Updated Sunday, November 11,

Once again, the Korean Peninsula is the focus of concern about nuclear developments. This time, however, attention is directed at South Korea’s nuclear power program, not North Korea’s primitive but alarming nuclear weapon development efforts.

The government of the Republic of Korea has shut down several nuclear reactors after safety certificates for some of their parts were found to be forged. Officials have been quick to minimize any potential danger resulting from the situation. The parts involved were fuses and switches, not components more directly engaged with radioactive material.

Nevertheless, public anxiety and criticism has spread rapidly, and is understandable. The Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan is a scary recent memory. Additionally, the violations came to light only as a result of an inside tip, not through official inspections and protocols.

Moreover, South Korea has given high priority to developing a global nuclear export industry. Several years ago, Korean firms won a $20 billion contract to build four nuclear reactors in the United Arab Emirates.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diplomats say US-backed Mideast nuclear talks called off over Arab-Israeli rifts

By GEORGE JAHN
Associated Press

Nov 10, 2:32 PM EST

VIENNA (AP) — Diplomats say proposed high-level talks between Israel and its Muslim neighbors on a Mideast free of weapons of mass destruction have been called off.

The diplomats said the U.S., one of the organizers, would likely make a formal announcement soon, stating that with tensions in the region high, “the time was not opportune” for such a gathering.

The meeting, to be held in Helsinki by year’s end, was on shaky ground since it was agreed to in 2010 by the 189 member nations of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The decision to scrap it cast doubt on the significance of the NPT conference and its attempts every five years to advance nonproliferation.

The diplomats demanded anonymity Saturday because they were not authorized to divulge the cancellation ahead of the formal announcement.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/UN_MIDEAST_NUCLEAR_TALKS?SITE=PAREA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA -The Navy has rejected an undersea expedition to site of the 1968 shipwreck.-But it will go ahead anyway!

U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Barry Bruner warned Boyne against undertaking any unauthorized dive of the wreck, citing the “Sunken Military Craft Act” law. “That law allows the Department of the Navy to make the determination on whether or not a requested dive might potentially disturb, remove or injure a sunken military craft,” U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brenda Malone says.

In May, an expedition team led by former U.S. naval officer Paul Boyne proposed to the U.S. Navy Heritage and History Command in Washington that it would send an undersea robot to resolve unanswered questions about the tragedy. After a summer of contentious correspondence, the Navy office denied the permit citing the lack of an archaeological plan for the investigation

(In response to USA TODAY inquiries made in June, Malone said the nuclear torpedoes and reactor that went down with the submarine are “monitored,” but she could not discuss further details.) The Navy has tested the water around the submarine for radioactive releases, at least as recently as 1998.

Boyne says the expedition team still plans a “recreational” investigation of the wreck, which rests in international waters at a location the U.S. Navy considers “secret,” according to Malone. “The absence of a permit for cultural preservation and archeological matters on lands of the U.S. does not affect this recreational dive in the middle of very international waters,” Boyne replied to the Navy in a letter sent Thursday.

Dan Vergano, USA TODAY

11:04AM EST November 10. 2012 -

The saga of the USS Scorpion continues as a submarine veterans group calls for a new investigation of the unexplained accidentthat sank the U.S. nuclear attack sub more than 40 years ago.

The Scorpion went down May 22, 1968, killing 99 men and foundering 11,220 feet underwater in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The sub carried two nuclear torpedoes and a nuclear reactor.

A Navy Court of Inquiry found that year that “the cause of the loss cannot be definitively ascertained,” leaving the sub’s demise a matter of controversy for decades. Last month, the U.S. Navy denied a proposal by marine disaster experts to investigate the shipwreck, triggering the latest call for finally determining what sank the USS Scorpion.

“One can hope that the Navy will listen to us,” says Thomas Conlon of the U.S. Submarine Veterans, a 13,800-member organization of former submarine servicemembers dedicated to memorializing lost submariners. The organization sent a letter Nov. 5 to the secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, with the “request that the United States Navy officially reopen the investigation of USS Scorpion (SSN 589).”

In May, an expedition team led by former U.S. naval officer Paul Boyne proposed to the U.S. Navy Heritage and History Command in Washington that it would send an undersea robot to resolve unanswered questions about the tragedy. After a summer of contentious correspondence, the Navy office denied the permit citing the lack of an archaeological plan for the investigation.

In a follow-up letter sent last week,

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Air Force ships Calif. radioactive waste to Idaho landfill

In letters to the health department, the Air Force contended that the McClellan soil was “technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials,” a term the federal EPA normally uses for residues from energy production and mining with trace radioactive elements – all of which fit Buttonwillow’s permit.

California regulators, however, accused the Air Force of massaging the truth.

 

According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, if significant radium is inhaled or ingested, it can increase the risk of diseases such as lymphoma, bone cancer and leukemia. While the concentrations in the McClellan soil are low, they are above limits the federal government has set to protect human health.

 

Stephen Woods, chief of the California Department of Public Health’s Division of Food, Drug and Radiation Safety, argued in a Nov. 4, 2011, letter that the dirt should be sent to “a licensed low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.” The Idaho facility where the soil is now going does not meet that criteria. Neither do any California waste disposal facilities.

 

“Hazardous waste landfills in low-income communities of color in California aren’t the right places for” nuclear waste, said Caroline Farrell, executive director of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment

 

 

November 9, 2012 | Katharine Mieszkowski and Matt Smith

After California regulators refused to allow the U.S. Air Force to label residue from radioactive aircraft instruments as “naturally occurring” – declaring it unsuitable for a Bakersfield-area dump – the military turned to Idaho with the same story.

There, military officials met with success. The Air Force is now sending radioactive waste from Sacramento County’s McClellan Air Force Base to a Grand View, Idaho, hazardous waste landfill.

This solution involved a bit of legal semantics rejected in California despite 10 months of Air Force lobbying: The military claimed radium dust left over from glow-in-the-dark aircraft instruments actually was naturally occurring, putting it the same relatively lax regulatory category as mine tailings, according to government memos obtained by California Watch through a public records request.

Larry Morgan, a health physicist with the California Department of Public Health, disagreed with that characterization. Radioactive paint does not “meet the definition” of naturally occurring waste, he wrote in a September 2011 memo.

The Idaho facility’s permit allows it to accept materials defined as natural without notifying state regulators, leaving the state’s hazardous waste manager in the dark.

“I’m not familiar with this particular waste stream. I intend to find out now that you’ve contacted me,” Robert Bullock, hazardous waste permits manager for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, said during an October interview.

The redefinition of the waste as natural might not even have been necessary, given Idaho’s different standards for waste containing trace amounts of radium.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NHK: “I’m really shocked” — Growths on both young daughters’ thyroids — I deeply regret making them stand outside for hours in high radiation (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/nhk-im-really-shocked-thyroid-growths-both-young-daughters-regret-letting-stand-hours-high-radiation-video

Published: November 10th, 2012 at 2:59 am ET 
By 

Title: Decontamination: Losing the Sheltering Trees
Source: NHK
Uploaded by: MissingSky101
Date: Nov 9, 2012

At 23:00 in

Narrator: Nobuhiro Monma received the results of his children’s physical examinations. Small but benign growths were discovered in their thyroid glands.

Nobuhiro Monma: This is the result of the thyroid exams. They found small lumps but there’s no need for a follow-up. I’m really shocked at what they found. I keep telling myself not to worry too much, but even if they’re benign it bothers me. [...]

 

Narrator: Monma and his family fled northwest to Fukushima City.

Monma: When we headed toward Fukushima we didn’t know that the radiation level was high there. Before they let usenter the evacuation site, we had to wait outside for 2 hours to be monitored for possible contamination. They say the level in Fukushima City was about 23 microsieverts [per hour] at that time, but we didn’t know that and kept the children outside for two hours. They must have absorbed large amounts of radioactive iodine. We covered them with blankets because they were cold, but we didn’t get them to wear masks. I deeply regret having them stay outdoors for 2 hour.

November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Estimated costs for fixing inoperable new security system at Los Alamos nuclear double

  • Article by: JERI CLAUSING , Associated Press 
  • Updated: November 9, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The estimate for fixing a new but inoperable $213 million security system at the nation’s nuclear bomb lab has doubled, officials with Los Alamos National Laboratory confirmed Friday.

Lab director Charles McMillan sent employees a memo this week saying it will cost an additional $41 million and take six months to fix the system, which has been under construction for seven years and was supposed to be complete this summer.

That is double what officials estimated a few weeks ago, when problems with the security system were first reported.

McMillan called performance on the project “unacceptable” and said it has damaged the lab’s credibility.

The revised estimates follow a review of the project by officials at the lab and the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency that oversees Los Alamos.

McMillan appointed a new team to oversee completion of the project, but said it remains in “suspended status” until officials figure out where to get money for the additional work.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chevron Oil says hit by Stuxnet – Spreading like wildfire? “I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished,”

But Chevron officials said the virus spread beyond Washington’s control. 

“I don’t think the US government even realised how far (the virus) had spread,” Mark Koelmel, who oversees earth-science research and development at Chevron, told the Wall Street Journal.

“I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished,” he added.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oman Tribune

NEW YORK -Oil giant Chevron was struck by the Stuxnet virus, a sophisticated cyber attack that tore through Iran’s nuclear facilities and is believed to have been launched by the US and Israel.

A Chevron spokesman said on Thursday that the virus had struck the oil giant in 2010 without causing any damage, confirming a report in the Wall Street Journal.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

India -Activists call IAEA review a white-wash

There are over 3,000 casual workers,who often become victim of such conditions, he said. “Thirty-six workers were exposed to dangerous tritium leaks. Out of them, 23 were contract workers,

 

They were not treated well. it is most unfortunate. We raised the issue in court but the workers were threatened by the authorities,”

Nov 10, 2012 - Narayan Bareth |

Though the safety inspection by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is going on in Rawatbhata Nuclear Power plants in Rajasthan, a group of peace activists questioned the impartiality of the inspection and said it was nothing than an eye wash. The peace workers said lack of independent regulation and secrecy plague the Indian nuclear industry. The union representing daily wages workers said the safety mechanism was not proper. But the atomic management denied such allegations and said India it has nothing to hide.
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) and People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) joined hands and said there should be some independent agency to audit the safety aspect of Indian nuclear plants. “What we heard is that the IAEA team is visiting reactors number 3 and 4, whereas the tritium leaks also happened in June in reactor number 5, in which 34 casual workers were exposed, said CNDP’s Praful Bidwai.

 


The PUCL’s Kavita Srivastva said casual workers were not provided health benefits. The casual workers are most vulnerable part of the nuclear industry, she said. The Anushkati DR Sharmik Sangh (ADSS), representing the casual workers, also echoed the same sentiments. The ADSS president, Mr Imran Khan, said the authorities ignored the safety aspect and it risks the workers health.

There are over 3,000 casual workers,who often become victim of such conditions, he said. “Thirty-six workers were exposed to dangerous tritium leaks. Out of them, 23 were contract workers, They were not treated well. it is most unfortunate. We raised the issue in court but the workers were threatened by the authorities,” said Mr Khan.

http://www.asianage.com/india/activists-call-iaea-review-eye-wash-797

November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate Change was a winning issue in USA election

Voters Chose Leaders Who Will Confront Climate Change http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-lehner/voters-chose-leaders-who-_b_2094688.html
Peter Lehner Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council  11/09/2012  This election was a resounding victory for climate action. Americans were presented with the clearest choice yet on global warming, and they chose the presidential candidate who confronted the climate threat, not the one who turned it into a punch line. Voters made the same choice in Congressional races across the country. They overwhelmingly favored leaders who called for more clean energy and other climate solutions.

Let’s be clear here. The issue of climate change appeared throughout this election. President Obama talked about it on the campaign trail, in his convention speech, and in his victory speech. And every time he discussed clean energy and energy efficiency, he was addressing climate change, because the way we power our economy will decide the fate of our climate.

Energy played a central role in this year’s campaigns. Candidates mentioned it frequently on the stump and it was among the top three topics discussed in ads . President Obama took these opportunities to talk about energy efficiency, renewable power, clean cars, and other low-carbon solutions that will defuse climate change and lead our country forward. Governor Romney simply offered more oil and gas drilling and coal-fired power.

Voters chose the clean energy future over the dirty past. Continue reading

November 10, 2012 Posted by | politics, USA, USA elections 2012 | Leave a comment

New diplomacy push for relations between Iran and the West

Iran, UN nuclear agency plan December talks Jerusalem Post,  By REUTERS11/09/2012  IAEA announces plans to hold nuke talks with Iran; diplomatic mission to be headed by Nackaerts, chief UN nuclear inspector. Iran will return to talks with the International Atomic
Energy Agency next month, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday, the latest push to seek a peaceful end to a dispute that has raised fears of a new Middle East war.

The IAEA announcement came days after US President Barack Obama’s re-election, which some analysts say may give fresh impetus to diplomatic efforts to end to a decade-old standoff with a country the West accuses of working towards nuclear weapons capability…..
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=291163

November 10, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Bonnie Raitt and thousands of others against Florida’s Nuclear Tax scam

“It’s a complete scam that Florida’s big power companies, FPL and Progress Energy, are allowed to charge their customers in advance for extremely costly nuclear reactors that may never even be built — with no refund if they abandon the projects. While their shareholders are guaranteed a nice rate of return, Florida’s families and businesses are forced to shoulder the risk. It’s time the Florida legislature gets rid of that bad, anti-consumer law. What Florida and our country needs to pursue instead is truly safe, clean and affordable energy. I’d love to come back on tour and see a lot more solar power in the Sunshine State.”   Bonnie Raitt

Floridians Take Action Opposing Nuclear Tax Clean Energy Footprints November 9th, 2012   Mandy Hancock  From the Florida Supreme Court to Bonnie Raitt concerts, Florida’s controversial “nuclear tax ” is getting a lot of attention. Continue reading

November 10, 2012 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Germany exported more power than ever despite nuclear phaseout.

Der Speigel

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012

Manager-magazin.de editor Nils-Viktor concern

Hamburg – Germany has so far this year exported as much electricity in neighboring countries like never before. This is clear from the preliminary figures from the Federation of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) present manager magazine online.

In the first three quarters of 2012 in the balance of 12.3 terawatt hours of electricity flowed across the borders. This corresponds to the output of two large power plants that supply electricity continuously during this time.

In the same period of the previous year was Germany Federal Statistics Office net importer of electricity. The deficit amounted to 0.2 TWh. In the year before the nuclear phase (2010), the export surplus from January to September inclusive, therefore, at 8.8 TWh.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Praise for Australia’s leadership on climate change and Kyoto Protocol

UN leader praises Australia’s climate lead  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/un-leader-praises-australias-climate-lead/story-e6frf7k6-1226514100428  AAP November 10, 2012, UN leader Ban Ki-moon has called for “urgent” action on measures to counter climate change, as he praised Australia for signing on to a new round of the Kyoto Protocol environmental protection treaty.

Ban called on other governments to follow Australia’s example and ”congratulates Prime Minister Gillard for her leadership,” said a UN spokesman, Farhan Haq.

“Addressing climate change is fundamental for achieving sustainable development. Urgent action is needed,” Ban was quoted as saying on Friday. ”The secretary general calls on all governments to take decisive steps against climate change at the upcoming Climate Change Conference” in Qatar, said the spokesman.

Australia, one of the world’s biggest per capita polluters, earlier announced that it was ready to join a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. So far, only the European Union and some smaller economies have signalled they are ready to agree new pledges.

Annual negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) start in Qatar on November 26.

November 10, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Sun and wind saving money, and the environment, in USA sports stadiums

Stadiums increase renewable energy use Pro sports facilities are using green energy sources to help the environment and their own bottom lines.  Nov. 9, 2012 ALISON BURDO, MEDILL NEWS SERVICE   WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) — Green is more than a team color for the Philadelphia Eagles. By the end of the year the team’s stadium, Lincoln Financial Field, will generate enough energy from 14 wind turbines and 11,000 solar panels to power every home game.

“One of the uses of such a high-profile enterprise is you can sometimes help show the way and lead by example,” said Eagles Vice President of Communications Rob Zeiger.

Construction of the wind turbines was to be completed this week. The 15-feet-tall structures were installed atop the north and south ends of the stadium, in direct view of the nearly 70,000 fans entering the “Linc” and the countless drivers passing the complex on I-95. Continue reading

November 10, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Cracks in nuclear facility add to South Korea’s nuclear scandal problem

Cracks at South Korean nuclear plant raise fresh safety concerns By K.J. Kwon, CNN November 9, 2012 Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- Tiny cracks have been found in tunnels at a nuclear plant in South Korea, increasing concerns about nuclear safety in the country following a recentscandal involving the use of unverified parts.
The reactor where the cracks were found will remain offline for weeks as regulators investigate the problem, putting extra strain on South Korea’s already stretched power supply going into the winter months…… the news could hurt South Korea’s efforts to export its
nuclear power technology to other countries.
The problems at the South Korean reactors come amid increased scrutiny of nuclear power worldwide following the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan during the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March 2011.
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/09/world/asia/south-korea-nuclear-reactor/index.html

November 10, 2012 Posted by | safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

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