U.S. fines GE Hitachi nuclear unit over flawed reactor design http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/23/usa-nuclear-ge-idUSL2N0KX2H820140123 WASHINGTON Thu Jan 23, 2014 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday said that General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC has agreed to pay $2.7 million to resolve allegations that it made false claims to U.S. regulators about a nuclear reactor component.
GE Hitachi, headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, is a subsidiary of the conglomerate General Electric Co and partially owned by Japan’s Hitachi Ltd.
The company allegedly made false statements to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy between 2007 and 2012 about the advanced nuclear Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR), known as the steam dryer.
The settlement made no determination of liability on the company’s behalf. The NRC requires that applicants for nuclear reactor design certification show that vibrations caused by the steam dryer will not result in damage to a nuclear plant.
The government alleged that GE Hitachi concealed known flaws in its analysis of the steam dryer, falsely represented that it had properly analyzed the dryer, and had verified the accuracy of its modeling using reliable data.
“Transparency and honesty are absolutely critical when dealing with issues relating to the design of a nuclear reactor,” said Stuart Delery, assistant attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
The lawsuit is captioned United States ex rel. Dandy v. General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC, General Electric Company, 7:12-cv-009 (E.D.N.C.)
Trial of anti-nuclear activists ends with unusual sentence National Catholic reporter Megan Fincher | Dec. 30, 2013 KANSAS CITY, MO. Defense attorney Henry Stoever meekly approached the bench of Presiding Judge Ardie Bland Dec. 13, complaining that security had refused to let him bring certain pieces of evidence into the courthouse: a full-sized wooden door with a banner proclaiming, “Open the door to a nuclear weapons free world!”, as well as an array of picket signs.
Stoever was representing eight nuclear protesters on this unlucky trial date, and Bland, who had sentenced other nuclear activists to jail just two years prior, was the inauspicious icing on the cake.
Bland’s eyebrows rose at Stoever’s odd request and the packed courthouse tensed for the inevitable ridicule.
“Well, I permit it!” Bland said.
With that statement, Bland set the tone for the next three hours, as protest songs, jokes about national security and even the elderly reveries of Oblate Fr. Carl Kabat, 80, and Franciscan Fr. Jerome Zawada, 76, were permitted in the Kansas City municipal courtroom.
The eight activists were pleading not guilty to charges of trespassing onto the relocated National Nuclear Security Administration’s Kansas City Plant July 13……..
On July 13, around 80 people gathered outside the plant’s new location, including priests, sisters, Catholic Workers and local activists. They came to protest nuclear weapons stockpiling, as well as the environmental destruction and exorbitant cost of the plant’s relocation. Twenty-four people were arrested after they walked through a full-sized wooden door (the same door that Stoever ultimately hefted into the courtroom) and onto plant property…….
the courtroom was assailed with Louis Armstrong loudly singing: “I’m gonna lay down my sword and shield/Down by the riverside/Ain’t gonna study war no more.”
People in the gallery glanced at one another in surprise, and when Bland did not tell Stoever to turn off the video, the courtroom filled with whispers, and then outright laughter.,,,,,,,,,
Bland announced the sentence, shocking the courtroom.
“I want each one of you to write a one-page, single-spaced essay on each of the following six topics,” Bland said. “Your responses will be attached to the court record, which is a public record. They will exist as long as Kansas City exists. My way will give you a chance to say what you want to say.”…… http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice/trial-anti-nuclear-activists-ends-unusual-sentence#.UsJK3aW9kiU.facebook
Posted on: 1:07 pm, December 23, 2013, by Matt Knight
A group of sailors who served in relief efforts aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan following the deadly tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 will file a new lawsuit against Japanese power company TEPCO.
The sailor claim they suffer from a variety of illnesses triggered by radiation poisoning from fallout they were exposed to from the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plants, according toFox News.
The plaintiffs claim the power company delayed telling the Navy the tsunami had caused a nuclear meltdown, sending huge amounts of contaminated water into the sea and, ultimately, into the ship’s water system.
Sailors stationed aboard the USS Essex have also joined the group filing suit.
an Francisco Attorney Charles Bonner, who is representing allegedly cancer-stricken sailors, initially filed a federal suit in the Southern District of California more than a year ago on behalf of a dozen sailors. The lawsuit was initially dismissed, when the court ruled that any ruling would hinge on interpreting communication between the Japanese and U.S. governments, which could violate the separation of powers. But Bonner is amending the suit to add new allegations that would fall under the court’s jurisdiction. And the number of plaintives has more than quadrupled as more service members come forward with radiation-related illnesses, he said.
“They went in to help with rescue efforts,” said Bonner, who plans to refile the suit on Jan. 6. “They did not go in prepared to deal with radiation containment.”
The plaintiffs don’t blame the U.S. Navy, which they believe acted in good faith, Bonner said. It was the plant’s operators who sat on the meltdown information during the crucial hours following the March 11, 2011 disaster, he said.
TEPCO officials did not respond to requests for comment. But a recent admission before members of the Japanese press on Dec. 12 during a meeting at the Tokyo Press Club, former Prime Minister Naoto Jan said the first meltdown occurred five hours after the tsunami, not the next day as reported at the time.
Bonner alleges that the statement means that the Japanese government knew radiation was being leaked and did not inform the U.S. Navy.
The EC warned of the risk of a “subsidy race” between member states and Joaquín Almunia, vice-president for competition policy, described the aid package as a complex measure of an unprecedented nature and scale……The British government has always denied that the financial support is a subsidy ……
there has been speculation in Brussels that the commission has made up its mind that the Hinkley move is in effect an unfair subsidy, with the only question being what kind of changes or sanctions it may demand or impose on Britain.
Günther Oettinger, the European union’s energy commissioner, warned last month that the 35-year subsidy regime “may be a problem” while earlier describing the UK nuclear project in an unguarded moment as “Soviet” in style. The financial support for EDF and its Chinese partners includes a £10bn loan guarantee plus an inflation-linked “strike price” of £92.50 per megawatt hour for 35 years – twice the current price for electricity in Britain…….http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/18/hinkley-point-c-nuclear-subsidy-european-commission
We can win this case. The judge is interested in what happened. (So are we, so should you be). The radiation risk model and internal exposures, especially to Uranium is the key;
Cancer, Nuclear Weapons and Dirty Tricks http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/12/20/cancer-nuclear-weapons-and-dirty-tricks/ by CHRIS BUSBY
The United Kingdom Veterans of the Atomic Atmospheric Testing in the Pacific and Australia have always maintained that they suffered harm, including cancer and leukemia. The government has consistently denied this.
Its argument is that except for very few of them, no-one received a radiation ‘dose’ significantly different from natural background. This was recently affirmed by the new Minister when she refused to concede that the test veterans were any different from any other ex-servicemen.
There have been two challenges. Continue reading
Critics slam nuclear plant at NRC hearing, Seacoastonline Relicensing of facility opposed By Nick B. Reid firstname.lastname@example.org December 20, 2013 HAMPTON — More than 20 members of the public criticized Seabrook Station’s application for relicensing Wednesday at a public hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…..
Doug Bogen, executive director of the Exeter-based Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, encouraged the NRC to think long range, noting that no nuclear power plant in the country has operated more than 43 years. He said it was “premature” to even consider relicensing the plant nearly 20 years before its current license expires, adding, “It doesn’t pass the credibility test to assume you can project 20, 30, 40 years into the future,” ……
After the comment period ran overtime by more than 40 minutes, the session was cut short, with 20 percent of those signed up to speak left without a chance to voice their opinions. The crowd at the Best Western Plus in downtown Hampton numbered more than 100 in the early going of the four-hour meeting.
The eight-member panel of NRC representatives, which included David Lew, the federal agencies deputy regional administrator, heard the concerns expressed by the audience and in some cases agreed with issues brought up by scientists in the crowd……http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131220/NEWS/312200341/-1/NEWSMAP
An Taisce loses bid in UK High Court to block nuclear plant plans http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/1220/494160-taisce-nuclear-appeal/, 20 December 2013 An Taisce has lost its bid in London’s High Court to overturn plans for a new nuclear power station on the west coast of England.
An Taisce brought a challenge over the legality of the decision in March by the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to grant development consent for the project at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which is around 150 miles from Ireland.
Its lawyers told Mrs Justice Patterson that there was a failure to undertake “transboundary consultation” with the Irish people beforehand as required by the European Commission’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.
Mrs Justice Patterson found against An Taisce’s claim, and refused leave for Judicial Review.
An Taisce Policy Director James Nix commented: “We are studying the judgment with our legal team and considering our options.”
Company held liable for uranium clean up costs on Navajo Nation http://www.daily-times.com/four_corners-news/ci_24745579/company-held-liable-uranium-clean-up-costs-navajo
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper decided last Thursday that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is liable for billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs, including uranium mines and mills that were once operated on the Navajo Nation by the Kerr-McGee Corp. However, Anadarko officials say the decision is not final and have indicated they will appeal. Continue reading
Judge dismisses sailor radiation case UTS San Diego Door open for follow-on lawsuit; attorney says he will refile with more plaintiffs
By Jeanette Steele.DEC. 17, 2013 A San Diego federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. sailors were exposed to dangerous radiation during the humanitarian response to the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
But Judge Janis L. Sammartino left the door open for a follow-on lawsuit, and the attorney representing several sailors from the San Diego-based aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan said he intends to refile. The judge dismissed the case Nov. 26 on jurisdictional grounds, saying that it was beyond her authority to determine whether the Japanese government had perpetrated a fraud on its American counterpart.
The defendant in the December 2012 case was Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The lawsuit argued that power company officials lied about the amount of leakage from the damaged plant, in concert with the government of Japan. It says the Navy used those reports in its own calculations about the safety of U.S. sailors in the relief effort, called Operation Tomodachi……http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/17/reagan-radiation-lawsuit-dismissed-tomodachi
HC rejects PIL for jobs for land losers in Nuclear plant TNN | Dec 15, 2013, AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has turned down a PIL demanding jobs for families whose land had been taken over for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kakrapar in south Gujarat. The court rejected the PIL on the ground that the petition was filed 24 years after the project took off and nearly 40 years after the land was acquired.
Residents of Moticher and Unchamata villageshad filed the PIL and sought the high court’s direction to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to give jobs to members of the families whose land was acquired for the project in 1976. They cited a resolution passed in 1989 that the project-affected families will be benefited by granting members jobs in the plant. ………http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/HC-rejects-PIL-for-jobs-for-land-losers-in-Nuclear-plant/articleshow/27419606.cms
In the wider context the deal is important because the nuclear industry’s revival in democracies depends on it being classed as a low carbon generator, which can benefit from carbon credits and other subsidies in the same way as renewables. This has already been ruled out in most democratic countries outside Europe.
Without state aid the large capital expenditure needed to build nuclear plants is hard to find from the private sector, and the time it takes to build reactors makes the return on capital long-term. Two stations being built in Finland and France are both up to seven years late and construction budgets have already doubled. They are the same design as the reactors intended for Britain.
‘Illegal UK state aid’ probe hits nuclear plans Eco Business, 14 Dec 13, An EU investigation into the UK’s financial support for new nuclear power stations is dividing Europe, with critics saying London is flouting EU rules by offering illegal subsidies.A full-scale investigation is being launched into whether Britain’s deal with French nuclear giant EDF, backed with money from Chinese nuclear generators, to build new stations at Hinkley Point in the west of England, is illegal state aid.
The investigation by the European Commission is a serious blow to the nuclear industry in Europe and across the western world, because it delays any expansion of the industry for at least a year and may possibly permanently damage its prospects. Continue reading
Another 20 Navy Sailors: USS Ronald Reagan crew with thyroid cancers, leukemia, brain tumors, bleeding, blindness after Fukushima disaster — Young kids developing problems — Gov’t and Tepco involved in major conspiracy (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/another-20-navy-sailors-uss-ronald-reagan-crew-with-thyroid-cancer-leukemia-brain-tumors-bleeding-blindness-children-becoming-sick-after-responding-to-311-crisis-japan-govt-and-tepc
Nuclear Hotseat #129, Dec. 10, 2013:
Charles Bonner, attorney representing sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan: They’re not only going to the rescue by jumping into the water and rescuing people out of the water, but they were drinking desalinated sea water, bathing in it, until finally the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan alarmed people that they were encountering high levels of radiation. As a result of this exposure, the 51 sailors that we represent right now have come down with a host of medical problems, including cancers and leukemias, all kinds of gynecological problems [...] people who are going blind, pilots who had perfect eyesight but now have tumors on the brain. These service men and women are young people 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever (inaudible) any of these kinds of illnesses before…
Bonner: These sailors had none of these kind of medical problems, now they have back pains, memory loss, severe anxiety. They have testicular cancer, they have thyroid cancers, they have leukemias, they have a host of problems, rectal and gynecological bleeding, a host of problems that they did not have before [...] And it’s only been 3 years since they went in. [...] The Japanese government is in a major conspiracy with Tepco to hide and conceal the true facts….
Bonner: We’ll be adding approximately 20 sailors, bringing the total number in the lawsuit to 70 to 75…
Bonner: 21 and 22 year-olds who are just beginning to start their lives, start their families, and many have little children and now they’re sick. They are going constantly to the doctors, their children are sick — we even have small children as some of our plaintiffs, because they too have developed problems.
Full interview available here
NUCLEAR INDUSTRY BUSINESSMAN WITHDRAWS LIBEL SUIT AGAINST FREELANCER HTTPS://EN.RSF.ORG/JAPAN-NUCLEAR-INDUSTRY-BUSINESSMAN-16-08-2013,45056.HTML 16 AUGUST 2013. Reporters Without Borders welcomes the decision by Shiro Shirakawa, the head of the nuclear security systems company New Tech, to withdraw a libel suit against freelance journalist Minoru Tanaka. A Tokyo court has accepted the withdrawal, announced on 12 August.
“This libel suit was an attempt by an influential member of Japan’s nuclear industrial complex, known as the ‘nuclear village,’ to harass and intimidate Tanaka into silence and self-censorship,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We are pleased that it did not work but we continue to be concerned for other journalists who try to cover the sensitive issue of Japan’s nuclear industry. There are still too many cases of reporters being pressured or censored when they try to provide information about the Fukushima disaster and its aftermath.
“The damages award Tanaka was facing if found guilty of libelling Shirakawa was clearly out of all proportion. We urge the courts to reject such ‘gag suits’ or ‘SLAPPs’ if they continue to be filed, and to propose proportionate alternatives such as the publication of a response.”
Shirakawa sued Tanaka, 52, over a December 2011 article for the weekly Shukan Kinyobiheadlined “The last big fixer, Shiro Shirakawa, gets his share of the TEPCO nuclear cake” – TEPCO being the owner of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant that suffered meltdowns after a tsunami in March 2011.
Using information in the public domain, the article accused Shirakawa of making a lot of money by acting as an intermediary between TEPCO, construction companies, politicians such as the leading parliamentarian Kamei Shizuka, and even clandestine organizations.
Ever since the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster, freelance journalists who cover the nuclear industry have had their access to information restricted and have, for example, been prevented from covering anti-nuclear demonstrations. Reporters Without Borders issued several press releases condemning the judicial harassment of Tanaka, who was sued for 67 million yen (600,000 euros) in damages.
The Guardian and other media groups had intervened in the case at an earlier stage to argue that open justice would be damaged if relevant material was not released.
There is due to be a pre-inquest review on Friday to prepare for further hearings if there is to be no public inquiry.
Alexander Litvinenko inquest: high court halts lifting of secrecy order http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/27/alexander-litvinenko-inquest-secrecy-order William Hague successfuly argues that airing secret documents about former KGB spy would harm national security Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent theguardian.com, Wednesday 27 November 2013 Lawyers for the Foreign Office have succeeded in overturning a coroner’s ruling that secret documents should be released for the inquest into the death of the former Russian dissident and KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko.
In a unanimous decision, three judges at the high court accepted that the foreign secretary, William Hague, should not have to reveal material relating to the 2006 poisoning of Litvinenko on the grounds that it would be a risk to national security.
Litvinenko, 43, consumed radioactive polonium-210 while drinking tea during a meeting with former Russian security colleagues at the Millennium hotel in Grosvenor Square, central London. He died three weeks later.
In May this year, the assistant coroner Sir Robert Owen agreed to exclude material from the inquest that suggested Russian state agencies were involved in Litvinenko’s death. He also agreed to keep secret evidence that considered whether or not the UK authorities could have prevented Litvinenko’s 2006 murder.
- But he said summaries of other documents should be disclosed despite an application by the Foreign Office that they should all be subject to a public interest immunity (PII) certificate. The coroner ruled that disclosure was necessary for a “fair and meaningful” inquest. Continue reading
Water board delays Rapid City uranium mine hearing http://www.seattlepi.com/news/science/article/Water-board-delays-Rapid-City-uranium-mine-hearing-5010884.php, November 25, 2013 PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A second state panel has delayed hearings on a proposed uranium mine in the Black Hills until two federal agencies decide on the project.
The South Dakota Water Management Board on Monday postponed its second week of hearings scheduled for the week of Dec. 9 in Rapid City.
The Board of Minerals and Environment earlier delayed its second round of hearings on Powertech Uranium Corp.’s application for a mine near Edgemont.
Both state boards say they’ll reschedule after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Environmental Protection Agency rule on the project and establish financial surety. The Water Management Board says the delay was in response to a request from Powertech and other parties. The panel must decide whether to grant water rights permits and a groundwater discharge plan.
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