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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Ukraine’s huge Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in danger

flag-UkraineUkrainian nuclear plant vulnerable to Kiev’s artillery strikes – Greenpeace expert  Rt.com August 31, 2014 Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is vulnerable to ‘direct bombardment’ in Ukraine if caught in the conflict, a Greenpeace nuclear energy expert told a German newspaper, claiming that its nuclear reactors are not protected from armor-piercing weapons.

Greenpeace nuclear expert Tobias Münchmeyer revealed his concerns over the six-reactor Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Ukraine to Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. He said the plant was insufficiently protected against a direct bombardment and that 1.2-meter thick reinforced concrete shells surrounding each reactor are strong enough to withstand only a small aircraft crash.

“There are many armor-piercing weapons in the region, which could penetrate these protective covers,”Münchmeyer said, as cited by Deutsche Welle on Saturday.

Zaprozhia-nuclear-plant-Ukr

The Soviet design reactors at Zaporizhia are largely dependent on Russian expertise and spare parts, the expert also said.

Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant (NPP) not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe and also the fifth largest NPP in the world. It is situated on the bank of the Kakhovka water reservoir on the Dnieper River. This is some 200 kilometers from the warzone in Donetsk region……..http://rt.com/news/184004-greenpeace-zaporizhia-npp-danger/

September 1, 2014 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Western leaders very worried about Ukraine’s nuclear reactors

fear
flag-UkraineThe West’s Collective Angst About Ukraine’s Crisis-Zone Nuclear Reactors
 http://www.worldcrunch.com/ukraine-winter/the-west-039-s-collective-angst-about-ukraine-039-s-crisis-zone-nuclear-reactors/nuclear-risks-chernobyl-crimea-zaporizhia-malaysia-airlines/c20s16883/#.VAQSlNddUnk     Markus Balser (2014-08-30) BERLIN — For many in Ukraine the city of Enerhodar is known simply as “Atomic City.” It was founded a couple of decades ago to accommodate a power station, and the city with its 50,000 inhabitants in southeastern Ukraine is known today as one of the country’s main energy suppliers. The six reactor blocks of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station spread out over many hundreds of meters along the banks of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper River. The power station is not just responsible for most of Ukraine’s electricity, but it is also the city’s biggest employer and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
ukrainemap
Atomic City’s dimensions were always suspect to critics of atomic energy, but these days even professionals in the nuclear sector are a bit uneasy about Zaporizhia. That’s because the power station is located just 124 miles from the part of Ukraine occupied by separatists, meaning the reactors are located in one of Europe’s most dangerous regions. Continue reading

September 1, 2014 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

How USA helped Israel’s nuclear weapons programme – newly revealed

Atomic-Bomb-Smflag-IsraelNewly declassified documents reveal how U.S. agreed to Israel’s nuclear program  Documents reveal contacts between Washington and Jerusalem in late 1960s, when some Americans believed the nuclear option would not deter Arab leaders but would trigger an atom bomb race.

HAARETZ, By  | Aug. 30, 2014 The Obama administration this week declassified papers, after 45 years of top-secret status, documenting contacts between Jerusalem and Washington over American agreement to the existence of an Israeli nuclear option. The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which is in charge of approving declassification, had for decades consistently refused to declassify these secrets of the Israeli nuclear program.

The documents outline how the American administration worked ahead of the meeting between President Richard Nixon and Prime Minister Golda Meir at the White House in September 1969, as officials came to terms with a three-part Israeli refusal – to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty; to agree to American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility; and to condition delivery of fighter jets on Israel’s agreement to give up nuclear weaponry in exchange for strategic ground-to-ground Jericho missiles “capable of reaching the Arab capitals” although “not all the Arab capitals.”

The officials – cabinet secretaries and senior advisers who wrote the documents – withdrew step after step from an ambitious plan to block Israeli nuclearization, until they finally acceded, in internal correspondence – the content of the conversation between Nixon and Meir is still classified – to recognition of Israel as a threshold nuclear state.

In fact, according to the American documents, the Nixon administration defined a double threshold for Israel’s move from a “technical option” to a “possessor” of nuclear weapons…………

The Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that, in talks with Rabin, it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”

The contradiction in this stance, according to the Americans, was that Israel “would need a nuclear force that is publicly known and, by and large, invulnerable, i.e., having a second-strike capability. Israel is now building such a force – the hardened silos of the Jericho missiles.”………

According to the documents, the Nixon administration believed that Israel’s acquisition of nuclear weapons would spur the Arab countries to acquire their own such weapons within 10 years, through private contracts with scientists and engineers in Europe. Moreover, “deeply rooted in the Arab psyche is the concept that a settlement will be possible only when there is some parity in strength with Israel. A ‘kamikaze’ strike at the Dimona facilities cannot be ruled out,” the document states.

The Nixon advisers concluded that, all things considered, “we cannot force the Israelis to destroy design data and components, much less the technical knowledge in people’s minds, nor the existing talent for rapid improvisation.” Thus, Davies wrote in July, two months before the Nixon-Meir meeting, the lesser evil would be to agree for Israel to “retain its ‘technical option’” to produce nuclear weapons.

“If the Israelis show a disposition to meet us on the nuclear issue but are adamant on the Jericho missiles, we can drop back to a position of insisting on non-deployment of missiles and an undertaking by the Israelis to keep any further production secret,” Davies added.

The strategic consideration, mixed with political considerations, was persuasive. The draft of Meir’s unconditional surrender – formulated in the Pentagon without her knowledge in her first month in office – was shelved, and the ambiguity option was born and lived in secret documents until the Obama administration made them public, for reasons (or unintentionally) of their own. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.613221

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Refueling crane console dropped into Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 spent fuel pool

exclamation-Smflag-japanWorkers drop refueling crane console into Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 spent fuel pool  Enformable,  29 Aug 2014 The workers were carrying out operations to remove debris with a large remote controlled crane.  At the time of the accident, workers were manipulating the control console for the refueling machine, a piece of equipment that weighs almost a thousand pounds.At the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, workers accidentally dropped a large piece of debris into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool on Friday, a little after noon.

TEPCO is working to check the 566 spent fuel assemblies in the Unit 3 spent fuel pool to see if any of them have been damaged by the most recent accident.  According to decommissioning plans, the utility is scheduled to start removing spent fuel rods from the Unit 3 spent fuel pool in the first half of 2015 at the earliest.Tokyo Electric, who is in charge of cleanup operations at Fukushima Daiichi, told reporters that they have not detected any change in radiation levels around the spent fuel pool after the accident.

This is not the first time that debris and large objects have been accidentally dropped, pulled, or pushed into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool.  Between 2012 and 2013, TEPCO workers used the remote control cranes to remove debris from atop the Unit 3 reactor building, and multiple instances were recorded where operators moving cranes via remote control knocked debris into the spent fuel pool or dislodged other materials on the roof.

In February 2013, workers accidentally knocked the 1.5 ton fuel handling machine mast into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool, and it was later found to have come to rest on top of the spent fuel racks after it narrowly avoided damaging the liner of the spent fuel pool.

The post Workers drop refueling crane console into Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 spent fuel pool appeared first on Enformable.

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s touching religious faith in future arrival of a solution to wastes of


any-fool-would-know

 

the only sane action is to stop making radioactive trash

waste-parks-site-usaFlag-USANuclear Waste Is Allowed Above Ground Indefinitely NYT, By AUG. 29, 2014 As the country struggles to find a place to bury spent nuclear fuel, theNuclear Regulatory Commission has decided that nuclear waste from power plants can be stored above ground in containers that can be maintained and guarded indefinitely.

The decision, in a unanimous vote of the commission on Tuesday, means that new nuclear plants can be built and old ones can expand their operations despite the lack of a long-term plan for disposing of the waste.

Waste Confidence 1

The chairwoman of the commission, who voted with the majority but dissented on certain aspects, said Friday that the vote risked allowing Congress to ignore the long-term problem.

“If you make the assumption that there will be some kind of institution that will exist, like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, that will assure material stays safe for hundreds or thousands of years, there’s not much impetus for Congress to want to deal with this issue,” the chairwoman, Allison M. Macfarlane, said Friday. “Personally, I think that we can’t say with any certainty what the future will look like. We’re pretty damned poor at predicting the future.”………

The commission approved a generic environmental impact statement, under which nuclear activities can continue, but did not address the impact to the environment if the stored nuclear waste were abandoned, which would leave it vulnerable to attack or allow the containers to break down.

Ms. Macfarlane said it was wrong to predict institutional control indefinitely. “Best not to say anything about something so uncertain,” she said, “and just to work with what we can know for sure.”

For decades the commission has allowed nuclear plants to operate under what it called its waste confidence rule, which said that although there was no repository, there would most likely be one by the time it was needed, and in the interim, the storage of the highly radioactive waste in spent fuel pools or in dry casks would suffice. But in June 2012, a court ruled that the commission had not done its homework in studying whether the waste could be stored on an interim basis. As a result, the commission froze much of its licensing activity two years ago.

On Tuesday, however, the commission approved a finding by its staff that waste could be stored — as opposed to disposed of — indefinitely. The vote was 4-0.

Some nuclear opponents say the issue is certain to wind up back in court. At the Natural Resources Defense Council, Geoffrey H. Fettus, the lead lawyer in the original case, said in a statement: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to analyze the long-term environmental consequences of indefinite storage of highly toxic and radioactive nuclear waste; the risks of which are apparent to any observer of history over the past 50 years. The commission failed to follow the express directions of the court.”……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/30/us/spent-nuclear-fuel-is-allowed-to-be-stored-above-ground.html?_r=0

September 1, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

400-Kg Control Console Fell Into Fukushima Fuel Pool

exclamation-Smflag-japanTepco Says 400-Kg Control Console Fell Into Fukushima Fuel Pool Bloomberg, By Emi Urabe and Peter Langan  Aug 29, 2014 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) said it’s detected no change in radiation levels in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor building after a 400 kilogram piece of equipment slipped from a crane and fell back into a pool holding spent uranium fuel rods.

The accident happened at around 12:45 p.m. today as the company was attempting to move what it described as a crane control console, according to a statement on its website.

The console, which is about a meter wide and 1.6 meters high, was blown into the pool on March 14, 2011, when the No. 3 reactor building exploded following an earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima plant.

Today, the utility known as Tepco was attempting to move the device as part of its cleanup at the site, said spokesman Hiroshi Itagaki. …….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-29/tepco-says-400-kg-control-console-fell-into-fukushima-fuel-pool.html

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

More delays for Finland’s nuclear white elephant Olkiluoto 3

reactor-Olkiluoto_14HELSINKI, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor will be delayed until late 2018, construction consortium Areva-Siemens said, prompting a disgruntled statement from its client Teollisuuden Voima (TVO).

Areva-Siemens said the construction of plants, which started in 2005, would not be completed before mid-2016, and that operations were not expected to start until late 2018…….Olkiluoto 3, which will be Finland’s fifth nuclear reactor, was originally due to start operating as early as 2009, but it has been hit by repeated delays and soaring costs.

TVO and Areva have traded accusations about who is to blame for delays and extra costs, and the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) arbitration court is processing a dispute on cost overruns between the consortium and TVO……..http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL5N0R20CV20140901

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s spookily empty towns

Three years later, Fukushima radiation leaves towns eerily empty CBS News, Aug 29, 2014 EDTFUTABA, Japan – Every time Shuichi Saito goes home, he has to suit up to protect himself from radiation.

“We’re allowed in 15 times a year,” Saito told CBS News, on a trip back to his home near where a typhoon caused the Fukishima nuclear plant to leak dangerous amounts of radiation three years ago. “But, as my home and grounds deteriorate, as the weeds take over, it’s depressing.”

Aug 29, 2014 10:20 PM EDT

FUTABA, Japan – Every time Shuichi Saito goes home, he has to suit up to protect himself from radiation.

“We’re allowed in 15 times a year,” Saito told CBS News, on a trip back to his home near where a typhoon caused the Fukishima nuclear plant to leak dangerous amounts of radiation three years ago. “But, as my home and grounds deteriorate, as the weeds take over, it’s depressing.”

Japan still doesn’t have enough room to store the millions of tons of radioactive soil that has been scraped up. Today, bags of the toxic waste are stacked along roadways………http://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-years-later-fukushima-radiation-leaves-towns-eerily-empty/

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear deal is not certain, between India and Japan

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2flag-indiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s Japan visit may not seal civil nuclear deal Economic Times, Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau Aug 30, 2014, NEW DELHI: The India-Japan civilian nuclear deal may not be sealed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip toJapan that begins on Saturday although discussions are on to bridge the core differences between the two sides over the proposed treaty, officials familiar with the matter told ET.

Negotiations are on over Japan’s insistence on tougher safeguards and “no nuclear test” clause in the bilateral agreement, said officials, who did not wish to be identified. Modi will give a personal assurance to his counterpart Shinzo Abe to assuage Japanese concerns, particularly over nuclear tests, and pave the way for a breakthrough in the near future, an official said. It was earlier hoped that the deal, negotiations for which were launched by the previous UPA government, would be clinched during Modi’s trip. However, it is not yet clear whether the logjam will be broken during this trip……..http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-30/news/53387773_1_india-and-japan-india-japan-japan-visit

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power programme – is it safe?

Doubts over India’€™s ability to handle nuclear power expansion, SMH,  August 31, 2014  South Asia correspondent at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald New Delhi: With an agreement to allow the sale of Australian uranium to India expected this week, Indian scientists are questioning India’s ability to manage a rapid expansion of its nuclear power industry.

“Nuclear security and safety is a pressing concern in this country,” said Happymon Jacob, who teaches arms control and disarmament at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“India insists that enough security is in place, but my argument is that we need to look deeper, and when you look deeper you see that the regulation of nuclear materials is in the hands of government – and not in the hands of a totally independent regulator,” Dr Jacob said.

With India’s nuclear capabilities hidden beneath layers of secrecy since its first successful nuclear tests in 1974 and a subsequent round of tests in 1998, Dr Jacob said, there have been several attempts to establish an independent regulator of the nuclear power industry……….

if we are going to learn the lessons of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, then we have to ensure there is a means for independent verification of what is occurring and of what could go wrong,” Dr Jacob said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will arrive in Mumbai on Thursday  for his first bilateral meeting with India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The meeting will take place the day after Mr Modi’s return from Japan where he is expected to a sign a massive $90 billion nuclear trade pact to allow Japanese nuclear power companies to build  plants in India………http://www.smh.com.au/world/doubts-over-india128153s-ability-to-handle-nuclear-power-expansion-20140830-10aggo.html

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation is one part of process that is killing off ocean life

please keep an eye out for the upcoming book on Fukushima entitled: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization (2014). It should be published within the next month or so and is an anthology of articles by a wide variety of independent-minded journalists and scholars of unique talent written in order bring into sharper focus the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Some of the proceeds from the book will be donated to help children refugees who are still suffering in temporary housing situations in the Fukushima area.

How Badly Is Fukushima Radiation Damaging the Pacific Ocean? Richard Wilcox, PhD, 1 Sept 14

Although its heart is rich in pearls and ores 
The Sea complains upon a thousand shores
– Alexander Smith (1)

I watched some wonderful movies over the summer with “ocean” themes and one was with Robert Redford calledAll is Lost. The entertainment value was good but it also made a statement about Man’s interference with Nature and how nature can strike back. I love films like All is LostMaster and Commander, in which the imperial navy visits the Galapagos Islands and “Kon Tiki,” a story about a 4,000 mile trek across the ocean, because they show the unspeakable beauty and power of the world’s great oceans. Can humans actually destroy them?

Over the past year we’ve read many news stories about mass die-offs of marine species in the Pacific Ocean and other regions. One hypothesis in the alternative media is that the massive radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is the cause. Others blame over-fishing, pollution or climatic events.

My opinion is that if the die-offs are unusual and “man made” then it is a combination of factors, but Fukushima is probably one of them. The Earth is under many human threats — we are an industrious species — Fukushima is doing the ocean only harm, and following that logic, at a minimum the health of local species and perhaps wider ecosystems are being affected in a reverse synergy whereby organisms have surpassed the limits they can endure. …….

Continue reading

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Legal action against Fukushima Prefecture and Japan’s government

justiceflag-japanFukushima families sue prefecture, government for radiation exposure during meltdown crisis Japan Times 1 Sept 14 FUKUSHIMA – A group of parents and children who were residing in Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear disaster unfolded in March 2011 is suing the central and prefectural governments for failing to take sufficient steps to protect children from radiation exposure during the crisis.

The 88 plaintiffs are demanding ¥100,000 each in compensation, according to the lawsuit filed Friday at the Fukushima District Court.

In a written complaint, they said the central and prefectural governments failed to promptly release accurate data on airborne radiation levels after the nuclear crisis, neglecting their duty to prevent residential radiation exposure as much as possible, and exposing children to radiation……http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/30/national/fukushima-families-sue-prefecture-government-for-radiation-exposure-during-meltdown-crisis/#.VAVeS9ddUnk

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Protest building in Wales, against NATO militarism

‘No to NATO’: Hundreds march against militarism, nuclear weapons at Wales summit Rt.com August 30, 2014  Some 400 people have joined a protest camp in Newport to protest against NATO. The march comes ahead of next week’s military summit that will see 60 world leaders descend on the area and is already causing considerable disruption to locals.

Nuclear NATO – no, thanks!” or “Iraq, Ukraine – no more wars” read the numerous placards as about 400 protesters took in a march on Saturday against the upcoming NATO summit. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said that they expect Saturday’s march to be a “major demonstration” and local officials have said a number of roads will be affected by the march, which began at 2 pm local time.

The campaigners are organizing a week of marches and meetings against NATO as well as a “peace camp” and a Counter Summit to take place on the campsite on Sunday. The NATO summit is to run at the Celtic Manor resort on the outskirts of Newport on the 4th and 5th September. There will be representatives from a number of groups at the protests including “No to NATO,” the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the Stop the War Coalition and South West against Nuclear (SWAN).

More than 20,000 protesters from around the world are expected to attend the demonstrations in what is being billed as Wales’ biggest protest in a generation.

At least 20,000 protesters, who are gathering in Newport, objecting to everything NATO stands for have accumulated by Saturday, Harry Fear, RT’s correspondent at the scene, said.

Protesters here “associate NATO in their words with imperialism, warring, global in equality and austerity.”

He also said there is a huge policing “operation going on in South Wales to secure the NATO meetings and to facilitate these very significant demonstrations.”……..http://rt.com/uk/183940-nato-summit-protest-march/

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Unwise for Japan to restart its nuclear reactors

Should Japan Restart Its Nuclear Reactors? TruthOut , 29 August 2014 10:51By Arnie GundersenThe Mark News | Op-Ed Only luck and real courage at 14 nuclear reactors on Japan’s Pacific coast overcame the technical failures of nuclear power and prevented the nation from being destroyed by radiation.

The untold story of March 11, 2011 is how close Japan came to three more spent fuel pool fires at Fukushima Daiichi and four meltdowns at Fukushima Daini.

When the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific coast caused a seismic shock wave that reverberated throughout northern Japan, the country’s nuclear plants shut down automatically, as planned, preventing any further nuclear chain reactions.

Therein lies nuclear power’s fatal flaw, because an automatic shutdown does not stop the ongoing heat generated inside each nuclear reactor……..http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25882-should-japan-restart-its-nuclear-reactors

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan’s “anti hate speech” rule could be used to target anti-nuclear protesters

Abe NUCLEAR FASCISMAnti-nuclear protesters fear that restrictions on hate speech will also target them August 31, 2014 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN As anti-nuclear demonstrators rallied in front of the Diet building on Aug. 30, many were troubled by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s discussions on restricting hate speech, fearing that a clampdown could also be used to silence their dissent.

“We do not interrupt traffic. We do not break through the cordon of police, either. Our demonstrations are different from just generating noise or making hate speeches. The government should hear the voices of the public,” said Tsuyoshi Mizuno, 67, a taxi driver from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Mizuno has participated in the weekly anti-nuclear demonstrations around the Diet building and the nearby prime minister’s office since the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The protesters’ concerns apparently stemmed from the discussions held by a project team of the LDP on Aug. 28, which met for the first time.

The team was set up in response to a request from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to consider possible measures to restrict hate speech, prompted byrecent demonstrations in Tokyo and Osaka and across the country where racial invectives were made against ethnic Koreans living in Japan……….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201408310014

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

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