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Tokyo’s growing nuclear radiation danger

radiation-warningflag-japanTokyo should no longer be inhabited,’ Japanese doctor warns residents regarding radiation http://www.naturalnews.com/046112_radiation_fukushima_tokyo.html 25 July 14 (NaturalNews)In an essay addressed to his colleagues, Japanese doctor Shigeru Mita has explained why he recently moved away from Tokyo to restart his practice in western Japan: He believes that Tokyo is no longer safe to inhabit due to radioactive contamination caused by the March 11, 2011, meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The essay, titled “Why did I leave Tokyo?” was published in the newsletter of the Association of Doctors in Kodaira, metropolitan Tokyo.
Soil tests prove contamination

Dr. Mita opens his essay by contextualizing his decision to leave, noting that he had a long history as a doctor in Tokyo.

“I closed the clinic in March 2014, which had served the community of Kodaira for more than 50 years, since my father’s generation, and I have started a new Mita clinic in Okayama-city on April 21,” he wrote.

Dr. Mita notes that, for the past 10 years, he had been working to persuade the municipal government of Tokyo to stock iodine pills to distribute to the population in the case of a nuclear accident. Dr. Mita’s concern had been that an earthquake might trigger a meltdown at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant. All of his requests were rejected, however, under the excuse that there was no reason to expect such an accident.

When the disaster did occur — albeit at a different plant than Dr. Mita had feared — Tokyo did not act to protect its population, and still has taken no measures. Yet, based on soil surveys, Dr. Mita noted, “It is clear that Eastern Japan and Metropolitan Tokyo have been contaminated with radiation.”Dr. Mita compares radioactive contamination of the soil (measured in becquerels per kilogram, Bq/kg) in various parts of Tokyo with that observed in various portions of Europe following the Chernobyl disaster.

Prior to 2011, Shinjuku (the region of Tokyo that houses the municipal government) tested at only 0.5-1.5 Bq/kg. Today, levels at nearby Kodaira are at 200-300 Bq/kg.

“Within the 23 districts of Metropolitan Tokyo, contamination in the east part is 1000-4000 Bq/kg and the west part is 300-1000 Bq/kg,” Dr. Mita wrote.

For comparison, Kiev (capital of the Ukraine) has soil tested at 500 Bq/kg (Cs-137 only). Following the Chernobyl accident, West Germany and Italy reported levels of 90-100 Bq/kg, and both experienced measurable health effects on their populations.

Dr. Mita notes that the radiation situation in Tokyo is getting worse, not better, due to urban practices of concentrating solid waste in small areas such as municipal dumps and sewage plants. That is why, he says, radiation levels in Tokyo riverbeds have actually been increasing over the prior two years.

“Tokyo should no longer be inhabited, and… those who insist on living in Tokyo must take regular breaks in safer areas,” Dr. Mita writes. “Issues such as depopulation and state decline continue to burden the lives of second and third generation Ukrainians and Belarusians today, and I fear that this may be the future of Eastern Japan.”Patients showing radiation-induced sickness

Dr. Mita’s essay also chronicles the many cases he has observed of patients presenting with radiation-induced health problems. He notes that, since 2011, he has observed while blood cell counts declining in children under the age of 10, including in children under one year old. In all of these cases, symptoms typically improve if the children move to western Japan. He has similarly observed persistent respiratory symptoms that improve in patients who move away.

Other patients have shown symptoms including “nosebleed, hair loss, lack of energy, subcutaneous bleeding, visible urinary hemorrhage, skin inflammations, coughs and various other non-specific symptoms.” He also notes high occurrences of rheumatic muscle symptoms similar to those observed following the Chernobyl disaster.

“Ever since 3.11, everybody living in Eastern Japan including Tokyo is a victim, and everybody is involved,” he wrote.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.save-children-from-radiation.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

July 26, 2014 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Time that Nuclear Regulatory Commission paid more attention to external nuclear safety threats

safety-symbol1Flag-USANuclear Plants Should Focus on Risks Posed by External Events, Study Says NYT. By  JULY 24, 2014 Engineers at American nuclear plants have been much better at calculating the risk of an internal problem that would lead to an accident than they have at figuring the probability and consequences of accidents caused by events outside a plant, a report released Thursday by the National Academy of Science said.

Accidents that American reactors are designed to withstand, like a major pipe break, are “stylized” and do not reflect the bigger source of risk, which is external, according to the study. That conclusion is one of the major lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, which began after an earthquake at sea caused a tsunami.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission calculates which problems are most likely and most troublesome, and aims to find components or systems that should be improved. B. John Garrick, a nuclear engineering consultant and vice chairman of the two-year study, said that engineers had more experience calculating the probability of failure in a valve or a pipe than in predicting earthquakes or floods. Better predictions of such events were possible, he said.

The study, ordered by Congress after the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi’s reactors, said that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the American nuclear industry should focus on the main sources of risk: accidents set off by “extreme external events,” like earthquakes or floods; multiple human or equipment failures; and “violations of operational protocols.”……….

In addition, the study said that safety officials should take into account the reduced capacity and maneuverability of outsiders to help a nuclear plant in trouble after a major earthquake or flood.

The United States should study costs not currently accounted for in making cost-benefit analyses about safety, like the expense of decontaminating areas distant from the plant, which the authors said was another lesson of Fukushima.

Psychological and social costs of evacuation or “sheltering in place,” meaning the confinement of people to homes, should also be considered, the study said, and so should decision-making about resettling people who had been evacuated because of the release of radioactive material.

And if two reactors at the same site had an accident at the same time, the study said that staffing might be inadequate for an event of long duration.

Congress also asked the academy to study the safety of spent-fuel storage,an area of concern since the Japanese accident. In the Fukushima accident, American officials became convinced — mistakenly — that water had drained or boiled from a pool of spent fuel and they urged Americans in Japan to stay 50 miles away. But the academy has not finished that part of its study.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/us/nuclear-plants-should-focus-on-risks-posed-by-external-events-study-says.html?_r=0

July 26, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

New Nuclear Waste Confidence Rule (same nonsense under a new name?)

any-fool-would-know

 

 

the only sane thing is to stop making the stuff

Waste Confidence Final Rule Now Before the Commission http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2014/07/24/waste-confidence-final-rule-now-before-the-commission/  July 24, 2014 Andy Imboden Communications Branch Chief Waste Confidence Directorate

 Waste Confidence 1

After thousands of public comments, dozens of meetings and hundreds of written pages, the NRC Commissioners are now deliberating the draft final rule and draft generic environmental impact statement on the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel – what used to be called “waste confidence.”

Under NRC procedures, and in support of our agency’s transparency and openness goals, we are making three documents including the draft final rule and environmental impact statement available – you can find them on the NRC’swaste confidence webpage:

  • A staff paper, SECY-14-0072: Final Rule: Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel;
  • A draft Federal Register notice on the final rule; and
  • A draft NUREG-2157: Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel – Final Report (GEIS).

To be clear, the draft final rule and draft GEIS are not yet final and are not for public comment. NUREG-2157 includes a lengthy Appendix D that summarizes and responds to more than 33,000 written comments we received when the draft GEIS and proposed rule were published for comment last year. They are “draft final” documents because they need Commission approval before they become final agency action. The Commission may approve, modify, or disapprove them.

Some important points to remember: The final Continued Storage rule represents a generic finding on the environmental impacts of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor. It does not license or approve any storage facility or any nuclear power reactors. The facilities are licensed – or licenses are renewed – based on site-specific application reviews.

The rule is to be used as a part of the overall environmental review for new reactor license applications, current reactor renewal applications, and spent fuel storage facility license reviews in these site-specific proceedings. The GEIS serves as the regulatory basis for the rule, and does not replace the staff’s comprehensive environmental review in individual licensing proceedings.

The name change from “waste confidence” to “continued storage” is just one way the new rule differs from previous versions, including the 2010 version that was struck down by the D.C. Circuit U.S. Appeals Court. (That ruling two years ago prompted the current rulemaking effort.) The name change and other changes are in part due to public comment, and are further explained in the staff paper and the Federal Register notice. The latter also includes an extensive question-and-answer section about the staff’s review and conclusions.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

UK will pay communities just to “think about” hosting nuclear wastes

bribery-1flag-UKCommunities could be paid £40m for considering nuclear waste dump   The Guardian, Thursday 24 July 2014  Renewed effort to find site for underground disposal site will not allow veto for any one level of local government Local communities could be paid over £40m by government for simply considering the building of an underground nuclear waste disposal facility in their area, ministers announced on Thursday.

The renewed effort to find a permanent solution for the UK’s growing stockpile of nuclear waste comes after Cumbria council vetoed a proposed waste dump site in January 2013. But the new approach will not allow any one level of local government to veto future site decisions.

The plan allows for communities to get up to £1m a year for about five years whilst local consultations take place. If the community moves to accepting exploratory drilling, which would take five to 15 years, they would get up to £2.5m a year, meaning a total of over £40m before a decision is taken on whether or not to build the waste burial facility.

Additional and much higher community investment would follow a decision to build the facility. There is no cap on the number of communities that could apply for local consultation.

The Liberal Democrat energy secretary, Ed Davey, said: “Geological disposal provides the secure, long-term solution we need to deal with the radioactive waste we have been creating for more than 60 years.

“Building and running a geological disposal facility will be a multi-billion pound infrastructure project, which will bring significant economic benefits to a community.” He said the new process was “based on a fundamental principle of listening to people”.

But the plan was immediately attacked by the president of the LibDems, Tim Farron, who is a Cumbrian MP. “The geological disposal facility should not be foisted on a community without their wholehearted support. The mooted plans to remove the veto for local councils against a nuclear repository is undemocratic and makes an absolute mockery of the idea of localism.”

Anti-nuclear campaigners dismissed the “no-strings-attached” payments to local communities as “bribes”.

Oscar-wastesFollowing the government’s failure to persuade Cumbria to accept a deep nuclear waste disposal site, the new plan represents another return to the drawing board. Ministers have been trying without success to find a suitable site for over two decades.

David Cameron said in 2007: “The problems of nuclear waste have not been dealt with and they have got to be dealt with to make any new investment possible.” However, the government has already given the green light for a new EDF nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset…………http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/24/communities-could-be-paid-40m-for-considering-nuclear-waste-dump

July 26, 2014 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Belarus’ new nuclear reactors bypass regulations and international conventions

safety-symbol-SmBelarus anti-nuclear activist fears for ‘another Chernobyl’ on her doorstep  theguardian.com, Friday 25 July 2014 Tatyana Novikova says new Russian-funded nuclear power plant bypassed official planning regulations and violates international conventions

In 2009, Tatyana Novikova bought a wooden house near the border between Belarus and Lithuania. She chose the area carefully, she says. It’s next to a lake, untouched by industry and – crucially for the mathematician who worked on contamination models in the aftermath of Chernobyl – unaffected by the fallout from the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.

But six months after she bought her dream home, Belarus announced that a new nuclear power station, financed by Russia, would be built nearby in Ostrovets.

“I’m completely devastated,” says Novikova, who says the government bypassed official planning regulations, ignored safety concerns and failed to carry out an adequate environmental impact assessment for the plant.

Her experience with Chernobyl, when radioactive contamination forced around 350,000 people to leave their homes and led to an unknown number of deaths, have left her cautious about nuclear power and distrustful of government safety promises.

“Another Chernobyl cannot happen,” she says.

Novikova has appealed to international environmental authorities to try to stop the NPP project, without any success. In the meantime authorities have already started work on construction.

“The problem is that [Belarusian president Alexander] Lukashenko does not give his citizens a voice,” she says.

In a country which does not tolerate activism or public protest – the annual Chernobyl anniversary marches she organises often end in arrests – Novikova has taken her opposition abroad.

She is in London to raise awareness about the issue and hopes to spur the EU to put pressure on Belarus, as the plant would be 60km from Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

text-Please-NoteA group of Belarusian activists, including the theatre company Belarus Free Theatre, have launched a petition against the power station – and have won support from some high-profile figures:

sign-thisAnother Chernobyl?! No thanks! Join me – sign petition to block dodgy new nuclear plant in Belarus http://chn.ge/1pNrmGO 

The petition cites several problems with the plant:

  • Construction was started before design plans were in place, and before a license had been issued
  • The design is experimental and has not been properly tested
  • An assessment by more that 50 independent experts found gaping holes in the government’s environmental impact assessment

Novikova says the plans flaunt international regulations; Belarus is a signatory of the Espoo and Aarhus conventions, which specify environmental protections and monitor requirements such as public consultations over construction projects.

She approached the Aarhus committee in Maastricht in June, asking them to prevent the power plant because Belarus had violated the convention by not obtaining official planning permission. The committee came back to her with bad news; they would only issue what she calls a “caution of a caution” to Belarus, believing the government wouldn’t listen anyway. …….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/belarus-anti-nuclear-chernobyl-on-her-doorstep

July 26, 2014 Posted by | ACTION, Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

UK blockade of Devonport Dockyard by anti nuclear protestors

protestflag-UKAnti-nuclear protesters blockade Devonport Dockyard By Plymouth Herald  July 25, 2014
Two people have been arrested after chaining themselves to a car in a three-hour, rush-hour protest at Devonport Dockyard. Traffic was badly delayed as people were left unable to turn into the Camel’s Head gate entrance at the dockyard from 6am, to 9am today.

Anti-nuclear protesters this morning set up a blockade at Devonport Dockyard. A number of people blocked the entrance to the yard at Camels Head with a car parked across the road – two people chained themselves to the vehicle.

The protesters are from the anti-nuclear group Trident Ploughshares which objects to work done on nuclear submarines at the yard.

The groups’ long-running campaign at the yard most recently included every member attending Charles Cross police station to demand yard bosses be arrested for war crimes.

At six o’clock this morning, a group of local people from Plymouth, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and beyond blocked the main entrance.

Theo Simon, an anti-nuclear campaigner and former Devonport resident said: “When we see things like with Israel in Gaza, we want our government to stand up for international law and humanitarian law. But it’s harder for Britain to condemn other peoples’ war crimes if we are prepared to commit one ourselves.

“That is exactly what is happening here in Devon – they are working on a weapon of mass destruction, which can never be used. “It is a terrible waste of resources, a waste of people’s skills, and a real danger to the future of our children in Devon and across the planet.”

Mother of two, Nikki Clarke said: “I’m here today because I believe the work that goes on here in refitting Britain’s Nuclear weapons system is immoral and dangerous….. http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Anti-nuclear-protesters-blockade-Devonport/story-21937166-detail/story.html#ixzz38YVLq8Dh

July 26, 2014 Posted by | opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Russian firms to star in nuclear materials, nuclear weapons sales festival in London

Russian-Bearflag-UKDiary: Russians selling nuclear weapons expertise in Westminster? What’s not to like? Reception at Westminster Abbey, gala dinner in Kensington, maybe even a night of top-flight football at the Crabble. Business as usual for Alexander, Lyudmila and comrades, you might say 

Will there be a resounding silence in September at the World Nuclear Association symposium and exhibition in Central Hall, Westminster?

The world’s nuclear industries will be strutting their stuff: 700 business and leaders from 30 countries discussing such issues as the fuel cycle front-end (no, me neither), the security of nuclear fuel supplies, financing new builds, and uranium resources. There will be a reception at Westminster Abbey and a gala dinner at the Natural History Museum.

And, to crown it all, a discussion panel. That is due to feature Alexander Lokshin, deputy director general of Rosatom, the organisation that controls Russia’s nuclear weapons companies, research institutes and safety agencies; and Lyudmila Zalimskaya of Tenex, which exports the country’s nuclear materials, such as enriched uranium, and is big in the Emirates and China. So far 34 Russian delegates have booked (last year there were 70), but it’s early days. “We have not been told that they will not be allowed to come,” says an organiser. So, business as usual. Maybe…….http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/24/stephen-bates-diary-tenex-crabble

July 26, 2014 Posted by | marketing, Russia, UK | Leave a comment

USA Senate report: nuclear materials vulnerable to theft

CriminalFlag-USAU.S. Nuclear Material Vulnerable to Theft, Panel Fears http://blogs.rollcall.com/five-by-five/u-s-nuclear-material-vulnerable-to-theft-panel-fears/?dcz= By Tim Starks  July 25, 2014 The Senate Appropriations Committee is perturbed at a whole host of things contributing to large quantities of nuclear and radiological materials — including in the United States — being “still unsecure and vulnerable to theft.”

That’s the word from John M. Donnelly, writing for CQ.com subscribers. He details how the panel, in its fiscal 2015 Energy-Water bill committee report, restores nuclear non-proliferation funding and chides the administration for abandoning a 2025 goal of securing 2,900 buildings, such at medical facilities and universities, where there is “little or no security.”

Also from the committee report, by this author for the Energy Xtra blog, is another nuclear-related buildings issue: the fact that the National Nuclear Security Administration is sitting on 450 unused facilities, and has a maintenance backlog that has made some of the buildings still being used dangerous.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear power plants not prepared for big accidents

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USANuclear plants ill-prepared for worst-case scenarios, report says, LA Times,  By MAYA SRIKRISHNAN, 25 JULY 14  THe current approaches for regulating nuclear plant safety in the U.S. are “clearly inadequate” for preventing meltdowns and “mitigating their consequences,” according to a report released Thursday.

U.S. safety regulations traditionally ensure that plants are designed to withstand ordinary equipment failures, power losses and the loss of ability to cool the reactor core — the part of a plant where the nuclear reactions take place. But this is not enough, according to the report by the National Academy of Sciences.

“To what extent are they proactive versus reactive?” said Najmedin Meshkati, an engineering professor at USC who worked on the report. “Complacency and hubris are the worst enemies to nuclear safety.”

The U.S. nuclear industry should prepare for unlikely, worst-case scenarios when designing, building and regulating plants, the report recommends.

That is the big lesson the industry should take away from the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan, the report says. Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, solar storms and situations that seem rare are precisely the events that triggered the world’s three major nuclear disasters: Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

The report said the accident at Fukushima — caused by an earthquake, which knocked out power, and a tsunami, which inundated the plant — should not have come as a surprise………..

Officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said they were reviewing the report and would provide detailed comments later. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nuclear-safety-20140724-story.html

July 26, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Hot weather forcing Sweden to cut nuclear reactors’ output

nuke-hotflag-SwedenSweden’s nuclear plants forced to cut output due to warm weather Planet Ark,  24-Jul-14  Balazs Koranyi Sweden’s top nuclear power generators have been forced to cut output because of exceptionally warm weather in Scandinavia, and their output could be reduced for over a week, their operators said on Wednesday.

Oskarshamn, part of Germany’s E.ON and Forsmark, operated by Swedish utility Vattenfall have both cut output because warm sea water temperatures are limiting their ability to cool down.

“For each degree above 23 decrees Celsius in the cooling water, each unit has to decrease power by 3 percent,” Forsmark said in a market message. “It is uncertain how long this will last, but according to meteorologists, the warm weather will last for at least 11 more days.”

Temperatures exceeded 30 degrees in the southern part of Scandinavia this week, hitting their highest level in years…….http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/71927

July 26, 2014 Posted by | climate change, Sweden | Leave a comment

Shut down Indian point nuclear plant for summer – say environmental regulators

nuke-hotFlag-USANew York environment regulators seek summer shutdown at Indian Point Planet Ark, : 22-Jul-14 Scott DiSavino  New York state environmental regulators are proposing shutting the giant Indian Point nuclear power plant to protect fish in the Hudson River during summer months, when demand for electricity for air-conditioning is greatest…………The DEC said in an email that the proposal, which will be discussed in a public meeting on Tuesday, is similar to what Consolidated Edison Inc did when it owned the reactors and is consistent with the practice of other facilities on the Hudson……

The DEC proposal is the latest salvo in a lengthy battle between Entergy Corp, which owns Indian Point and wants to keep the plant operating for another 20 years, and state environmental regulators, who are seeking to protect fish and other aquatic life.

Indian Point withdraws up to 2.5 billion gallons of water per day from the Hudson to cool equipment, and then discharges that water back into the river  warmer than before.

Environmental groups and the DEC have long argued that Indian Point’s water intake system kills about a billion fish, fish eggs and larvae each year, and the plant should install cooling towers to reduce the use of river water by recycling it…….Before the NRC can grant new licenses, the state must approve water permits. http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/71913

July 26, 2014 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Washington opposition to transport of intensely radioactive liquid waste from Chalk River

radiation-truckFlag-USAChalk River nuclear shipments opposed in Washington, Ottawa Citizen, IAN MACLEOD  July 25, 2014 A New York congressman says the proposed trucking of intensely radioactive liquid waste from Chalk River to the United States could cause a “mobile Chernobyl” in the event of a spill while crossing the border at Buffalo.

Representative Brian Higgins brought the issue to the floor of the House Thursday, calling on the Department of Energy to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) before the contentious shipments are allowed to proceed.

“An EIS provides a roadmap to make informed decisions on proposals and is especially warranted given the volatile substance and significant impact area involved in this case,” Higgins said in a statement.

“Without a comprehensive review and plan, they are setting us up for a mobile Chernobyl,” a reference to the 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine.

The exact route of the proposed shipments is secret, but one of the most direct would cross the Peace Bridge linking Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo.

Higgins, a Democrat representing western New York State, also has written to Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz warning that a major contamination on or near the bridge would have dire health and economic consequences. The Buffalo-Niagara region, “sits along two Great Lakes which represent the largest fresh water supply in the world and serves as the centre point of a 500-mile (800-kilometre) radius that includes approximately 55 per cent of the U.S. population and 62 per cent of the Canadian population.

“It is the responsibility of the Department of Energy and all relevant agencies involved in the process to thoroughly assess the safety of this action.”

The planned armed convoys of trucks are to haul specially-designed steel casks containing 23,000 litres of highly-radioactive liquid to the Savannah River Site nuclear complex in Aiken, South Carolina for down-blending into low-enriched uranium fuel feedstock for U.S. commercial power reactors.

Based on U.S. government documents, it would take at least 179 shipments to move the entire contents over the course of at least a few years. U.S. federal budgetary estimates suggest the shipments would begin next year. None would take place in winter.

If approved by regulators on both sides of the border, it would be the first time authorities have trucked highly-enriched uranium (HEU) in a liquid solution. That has prompted nuclear safety advocacy groups to sound the alarm for greater government scrutiny. They say the weapons-grade HEU should be denatured and the liquid waste disposed of in Canada………

A crucial consideration is understanding the liquid’s unique material characteristics. It is now securely stored in a fortified, in-ground tank at Chalk River and carefully monitored, mixed and warmed to prevent the HEU particles from solidifying and – in a worst-case scenario – potentially achieving a self-sustaining chain reaction of fissioning atoms called criticality.

The energy and heat from such a chain reaction could potentially rupture the tank, release the solution into the environment and endanger anyone nearby. http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/chalk-river-nuclear-shipments-opposed-in-washington

July 26, 2014 Posted by | Uranium, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

New TV series “Manhattan” explores the age of nuclear power, nuclear weapons

Flag-USANew series ‘Manhattan’ to explore implications of nuclear age NEWS 3 JULY 25, 2014, BY ,  “……MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE SECRET RACE TO CREATE THE FIRST NUCLEAR WEAPONS BEFORE OUR ENEMIES.

Every Sunday night, tune in to WREG as ‘Manhatten’ takes you back to the Cold War and the race for atomic and nuclear weapons.

“At its heart, this is not a show about nuclear physics or even history. This is a show about the complications in the lives of people doing their very best to try and get by in a really complicated circumstance,” said series creator Sam Shaw.

In today’s society, there’s another race involving nuclear material: how to get rid of it, and who should be responsible.

Mississippi is one of several states proposing a nuclear waste facility.

It would store and recycle the dangerous material in the southern part of the state. While the project would bring in lots of cash, environmentalists are worried about the dangers that come with it.

Actor John Benjamin Hickey says the concern shows how much America changed in the last 70 years when nobody even knew about the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

“The fact that we could build a town in the middle of the country and no one knew what we were doing is an interesting look back at our not-so-distant history,” said Hickey.

The set in Santa Fe is actually 45 minutes from Los Alamos where the Manhattan project took place, and before it was turned into a television set, it was a real hospital where some of the scientists, their families and the troops were treated if they had medical emergencies.

Environmentalist fear future emergencies due to possible nuclear waste plant in Mississippi.

The show also focuses on the secrets governments keep, and that’s something producer and director Thomas Schlamme says is still happening…..

“We were just reading the paper today about Wikileaks and Edward Snowden and the NSA and transparency and what you should know and whenever you talk about those things, it leads right back here to the desert in 1943 where all this took place,” said Schlamme.

Series star Daniel Stern also feels the show brings to light questions everyone should at least consider.http://wreg.com/2014/07/25/new-series-manhattan-to-explore-implications-of-nuclear-age/

July 26, 2014 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Belarus anti nuclear critic presses on, despite harassment

Belarus anti-nuclear activist fears for ‘another Chernobyl’ on her doorstep theguardian.com, Friday 25 July 2014 “…………The proposed new plant in Belarus will be funded by Russia. Belarus’s official cost estimate is 9.4 billion US dollars, with one third of this to be spent by 2015. Its reactors would be constructed by the Russian company AtomEnergoMash.

Novikova is critical of the EU for not clamping down on nuclear power in the wake of the Fukishima nuclear disaster of 2011, and points out that some countries are steering away from nuclear energy. “Germany is phasing out of nuclear power; it produced 50% of all electricity generation from more renewable sources last year. The Italians said no in their nuclear referendum.”

Like many Belarusian activists, Novikova has faced severe harassment. She was detained in her own home in Minsk during anti-nuclear protests. Her elderly mother has received prank calls which the police confirmed came from the KGB. In Russia, she was arrested and jailed for five days for trying to hand in an environmental petition to the Russian embassy.

She was also was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011, and can’t tell if she was contaminated from radiation exposure from Chernobyl. The WHO says the disaster will cause 50,000 new cases of the cancer among young people living in the worst-affected region. Increased rates ofthyroid cancer are also being reported in Japan, post-Fukushima.

But she refuses to dwell on her own problems: “I’m still alive. Mine is not the worst case of persecution of people.”

“What should I do? Stop my fight? I lost my health, now I have lost my house,” she says. “Why should I run from this problem? I could go to the US or Europe, but it won’t change if I run – maybe I will, if my life will be in danger. Nobody knows. Right now, I have an opportunity to do something.”http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/belarus-anti-nuclear-chernobyl-on-her-doorstep

July 26, 2014 Posted by | Belarus, civil liberties | Leave a comment

UK government’s approach to nuclear waste disposal ?bullying and bribing

Communities could be paid £40m for considering nuclear waste dump   The Guardian, Thursday 24 July 2014 “……..The government said the new approach to waste disposal will involve two years of work to come up with a “more sophisticated” process by which the views of local communities affect decision taking, but it said the ability of a council to veto had gone.

“All levels of local government must be involved but we are keen that no one level has an absolute veto,” said a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

She said the new plan would give communities access to independent advice. “We hope putting in place these actions will mean volunteer communities will understand better what it is all about,” she said. “One of the lessons from our [Cumbria] experience and experience internationally is that the immediate reaction is negative, because ‘nuclear must be bad’, but once people to get to dig into the detail they get more positive.”

Construction of the underground waste dump, sited between 250m and 1000m down, will then take 10-15 years, meaning it could be almost 2050 before any waste is buried.

Germany, Sweden, Finland and the US are currently considering deep geological disposal for nuclear waste. The UK currently has around 600,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste, enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall six times over. Waste from any new nuclear plants will be more concentrated and current government projection for new reactors would mean another two more Albert Halls’ worth.

The UK underground waste site is estimated to cost £12bn, more than the £9bn Olympic Games in London in 2012. The government says the sum is already accounted for in spending plans of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Despite extensive previous geological examination, a new national screening process will take place to identify suitable regions, but it will not pinpoint a site.

The chair of the campaign group Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA), councillor Mark Hackett, said: “NFLA welcomes the new policy of carrying out a national geological screening exercise, rather than assuming waste can be buried near Cumbria where the geology has been shown to be unsuitable. We also welcome the idea of assisting communities to obtain independent third party expertise………

Craig Bennett, at Friends of the Earth, said: “We’re still not even close to figuring out an adequate solution for the nuclear industry’s legacy of toxic radioactive waste. The fact that the government is now having to offer bribes to communities to even talk to them, while making it clear they will override their views anyway, makes it crystal clear that this is a technology of the past, not the future. UK governments have wasted immense amounts of money and political effort on nuclear power down the years. If even half of that had been put into renewables and energy efficiency, we’d all be in a much better place”.

Greenpeace UK’s Louise Hutchins said: “This is a bullying and bribing approach by a government that is getting desperate about solving this problem. First David Cameron reneged on his promise [on nuclear waste], now he’s resorting to bribing reluctant communities.”http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/24/communities-could-be-paid-40m-for-considering-nuclear-waste-dump

July 26, 2014 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

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