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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The emergencies at North Anna Nuclear Power Station

Japan Nuclear Engineer: US reactor at risk of ‘supercriticality’ during recent emergency… “That’s something scary” — Damaged nuclear fuel rods and fuel fragments found at plant, conditions reported as “seriously degraded” (VIDEO)http://enenews.com/japan-nuclear-engineer-reactor-risk-supercriticality-during-recent-emergency-big-spike-neutron-flux-scary-fragments-nuclear-fuel-later-found-plant-conditions-reported-be-seriously-degraded-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Satoshi Sato, Nuclear Engineer, April 28, 2015 (emphasis added): “I don’t know if you remember, there was the earthquake in 2011 in Virginia. That was a big one… enough to cause vibration to the North Anna reactor resulting in a big spike of neutron flux — or reactor power… and somehow caused the additional radioactivity into the core. So that’s something scary, potentially resulting in a supercriticality.” (IEER: “The neutron spike accompanying a sudden supercriticality can lead to an explosion of the reactor core. It is this sort of event which occurred at the Chernobyl reactor”)

U.S. NRC Event Notification, Aug 29, 2011: EMERGENCY DECLARED… North Anna Power Station declared an Alert [“actual or potential substantial degradation of the level of safety”] due to significant seismic activity… This notification is to report… a condition existed which met the emergency plan criteria but was not declared… Design Basis Earthquake limits may have been exceeded.

U.S. NRC, 2012: Reactor trips at both North Anna 1 and 2, were caused by a “Power RangeHigh Negative Neutron Flux Rate”… four possible causes [were identified] (1) loss of power to the control rod motor generator sets, (2) a dropped control rod, (3) movement of the nuclear instrumentation detectors, and (4) core barrel movement… Analysis included a third-party evaluation of the potential response of the core nucleate boiling… [Physics Forum: “nucleate boiling… reduces the heat transfer capability of the coolant… which leads to even more boiling, etc, until the fuel becomes ‘dry’… the cladding will burn and/or fuel will will melt”]

U.S. NRC email, Sept 2011: RE: North Anna… At this point, it appears that the grippers for several of the control rods deenergized and dropped.

Westinghouse patent: A dropped rod… will initially result in a reduction in the total powergenerated by the core. The reactor will then attempt to meet the load… by increasing powerin the remainder of the core which could lead to local overheating elsewhere in the core.

ASEE 2003 Conference: If a critical reactor is over moderated… the reactor can rapidly reach and exceed the prompt critical condition… Chernobyl started at a low power level, which corresponded to a positive void coefficient.

North Anna Root Cause Evaluation, Oct 2011: The last power decreases prior to the trips were of sufficient magnitude and rate to generate the negative rate trip… Root Cause Evaluation Team has postulated that the major cause of the power oscillations was void defect created by bursts of bubbles… which caused the power increases which followed the power decreases… It is postulated that [as] the seismic waves shake… a large portion of the [fuel] cladding surface is suddenly in the nucleate boiling region [and] causes the bubble burst… [I]t may not be plausible to generate sufficient void to decrease the core power up to 10% [therefore it] can be concluded that the bubble burst theory alone does not explain the magnitude of change [in] Units 1 and 2.

Enformable, Oct 2011: “It is likely that the North Anna Operators are going to be shocked… when they open the reactor to attempt to refuel it, and find that they cannot retrieve the fuel”

3 years later >> Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sept 30, 2014: Dominion Virginia Power has foundtwo damaged nuclear fuel rods in its North Anna 2 power plant [NRC in 2011: “It is noteworthy that the power oscillations were more pronounced on Unit 2“]… 15 uranium fuel pellets came out of two rods… [CEO David Heacock said] rods rubbed against the support structure, cutting grooves in them and eventually causing their tops to crack off… “We have accounted for about eight of the pellets”… The failed fuel assembly had been used during three 18-month operating cycles at North Anna

U.S. NRC Event Notification Report, Sept 15, 2014: FAILED FUEL ASSEMBLY IDENTIFIED DURING CORE OFF-LOAD… North Anna Unit 2… Video inspection of the reactor vessel identified debris that has the potential to be fragments of fuel pellets resting on the core plate… this event is being reported [as an] event or condition that results in the condition of the nuclear plant, including its principle safety barriers, being seriously degraded.

Watch Sato’s press conference from last month here

May 27, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear safety worries as fires break out close to 3 nuclear power plants

safety-symbol1flag-franceFrench police investigate fires near three nuclear sites http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/05/12/uk-france-nuclear-fires-idUKKBN0NX1HD20150512 PARIS  French police are investigating fires that caused minor damage near three nuclear installations, state-owned utility EDF (EDF.PA) and atomic research agency CEA said on Tuesday.

Fires broke out on Monday morning at a weather station near EDF’s former Brennilis nuclear power station in Brittany and another near its Belleville nuclear plant on the Loire river, a spokeswoman said.

She said the fire had damaged equipment belonging to the IRSN nuclear research institute used to measure pollution and radioactivity at the weather stations, which are each about 1.5 kilometres away from the nuclear plants. “Police investigations are ongoing,” the EDF spokeswoman said.

Another fire was started on Monday evening at a weather station close to atomic research institute CEA’s Valduc site in Burgundy where nuclear weapons are manufactured and dismantled.

“There was the beginning of a fire, but it was quickly put out and there were no real consequences,” a CEA spokesman said, adding that a complaint had been filed with police.

The simultaneous incidents are reminiscent of drones that flew over French nuclear plants last year which raised safety concerns. [ID:nL5N0SR0DY] (Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Jason Neely)

May 13, 2015 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Alarm in New York following explosion at Indian Point Power Plant

New York Nuclear Scare After Explosion at Indian Point Power Plant New Yorkers contemplated the pros and cons of nuclear energy again Sunday after an explosion at Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester. By: Hana Levi Julian, Jewish Press  May 10th, 2015 “….The Indian Point nuclear power plant that provides 25 percent of the electric juice for the Big Apple and Westchester County went into “emergency response” late Saturday afternoon.

Billows of black smoke rose into the sky over the Indian Point nuclear power plant near Buchanan, New York.

A transformer failed, causing an explosion that ripped through the non-nuclear side of the plant.

The blaze was just 200 yards away from the building in which the reactor was located.

Firefighters who rushed to the scene were able to extinguish the flames, Entergy spokesperson Jerry Nappi told CNN, adding that one of the plant’s two reactor units automatically shut down.

No one was injured in the fire and there was “no threat to the public safety at any time. All Indian Point emergency systems worked as designed,” the facility said in a tweet.

But the fire had to be extinguished twice, because the flames re-ignited. Even so, the fire was out within half an hour.

Governor Andrew Cuomo received a briefing on site and told reporters, “These situations we take very seriously. This is a nuclear powered plant; it’s nothing to be trifled with.”http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-york-nuclear-scare-after-explosion-at-indian-point-power-plant/2015/05/10/

May 13, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Another shutdown at Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant Shuts Down Again, Patch.com  Exelon spokesperson says electrical disturbance responsible for latest scram. By PATRICIA A. MILLER (Patch Staff)May 8, 2015
The Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant in Lacey Township has shut down again, this time because of an electrical disturbance in the ”non-nuclear” part of the plant, spokesperson Suzanne D’Ambrosio said…….

he NRC ’s performance indicator for unplanned scrams for each 7,000 hours of operation changes from green to white if a nuclear plant has more than three unplanned shutdowns. Oyster Creek crossed the green/white threshold on July 11, 2014, when the plant had a fourth unplanned shutdown, the NRC has said.

Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States. It went online on Dec. 23, 1969. http://patch.com/new-jersey/lacey/oyster-creek-nuclear-plant-shuts-down-again-0 

May 9, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP

Gov’t: Radioactive release “orders of magnitude” worse than predicted at US nuclear dump — 370 Billion Bq of Plutonium equivalent may have escaped from WIPP drum during “thermal runaway” & multiple fires — For amount to be that high, a “significant number” of breached drums is expected (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/govt-actual-radioactive-release-nuke-dump-orders-magnitude-predicted-370-billion-bq-plutonium-equivalent-escaped-wipp-drum-significant-number-nuclear-waste-containers-expected-be-breached-amount?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Sante Fe New Mexican
, Apr 23, 2015 (emphasis added): The head of a team of federal investigators [said] he’s not certain whether more than one drum of nuclear waste contributed to contamination of [WIPP]… The reaction pushed temperatures inside the container to nearly 1,600 degrees, ripping open the drum and scattering radioactive material thatbreached not only the fortified room that held the waste, but WIPP itself, which was designed to never leak… [Officials] would not rule out minor seepage from other drums.

U.S. DOE Accident Investigation Report Phase 2, Radiological Release at WIPP, Apr 2015:

6.4.1 Analysis Summary

  • The radiological release… resulted from an exothermic reaction that led to a thermal runaway in drum 68660 [that] exhibited the following fire behaviorsExpanding flame front of material expelled from drum… Ignition of exposed combustibles… Propagation within the waste array by flame impingement… Melting and burning of exposed plastics.
  • The combustibles external to the waste containers were ignited… direct fire effectswere limited to Rows 8 through 18… there were multiple small fires that caused direct flame impingement on several waste packages… the fire… caused the migration of contamination throughout Panel 7 [and] significant fire damage.
  • A thermal runaway is characterized as a very rapid temperature rise within the container… [This] ultimately… led to failure of the lid… permitting a rapid release of combustible gases and combustible solids.

7.1 Accident Scenarios and Source Term Evaluation

  • Source term at Station A should be 10 to 100 times lower than the source term in Panel 7 Room 7… Station A source term is estimated [at] 0.1 plutonium equivalent curies (PE-Ci).
  • DOE-STD-5506-2007… recommends a bounding estimate of 1E^-4 ARF [0.0001 Airborne Release Fraction] for a drum over-pressurization without a fire… This release estimate, when applied to the… drum inventory of 2.84 PE-Ci, results in an initial source term released to the room of 2.8E^-4 PE-Ci [0.000284 PE-Ci]… less than 1 percent of the 0.1 PE-Ci source term at Station A.
  • The chemical reaction resulting in over-pressurization of the drum described above is similar to the… evaluation of a drum deflagration from hydrogen buildup from radiolysis which assumes burning of material expelled from the drum and a contained burning of material remaining within the drum… [The modeled] release estimate from a drum deflagration is about 3 percent of the 0.1 PE-Ci source term at Station A… the actual amount of material released as measured at Station A was larger than the amount predicted… by almost two orders of magnitude… For either the drum over-pressurization or drum deflagration scenarios discussed above, a much greater airborne source term is possible if the nitrate salts behaved as a combustible dust ignited in air or if a greater fraction of material were ejected and burned.
  • The 0.1 PE-Ci source term at Station A can be divided by the range of 0.01 to 0.05 LPFs [Leakpath Factor] to estimate the range of source terms initially released… This results in a range of 2 to 10 PE-Ci [74 to 370 billion Bq] airborne in the room… [I]nventory in drum 68660 [was] 2.84 PE-Ci.
  • If drum 68660 released a source term as modeled… a significant number of waste containers would be expected to be breached to cause the 2 to 10 PE-Ci source term estimate… Based on the above estimates… release fractions and deposition in the underground, indicated the release from drum 68660 alone was much larger than what would be modeled… [T]he source term evaluation, using conventional release modeling assumptions, could not conclusively affirm that container 68660 was the sole contributor to the release.

Watch the DOE’s presentation of the report here

May 6, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Forest fires threatening Chernobyl nuclear plant

wildfire-nukeForest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant – Ukraine Interior Ministry, Rt.com  April 29, 2015 The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened,” a statement on Avakov’s Facebook page says.

The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl’s installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area.”

Police and National Guard units are on high alert. Ukraine’s Prime Minister personally went to the affected area to oversee the firefighting. He says the situation is under control, “but this is the biggest fire since 1992.”

However, in comments to Russia’s Moscow Speaks radio, a representative of Greenpeace Russia said that the situation is much worse: “A very large, catastrophic forest fire is taking place in a 30-km zone around the Chernobyl power plant. We estimate the real area of the fire to be 10,000 hectares; this is based on satellite images. This hasn’t been officially acknowledged yet.”

The potential danger in this fire comes from the radioactive contaminants the burning plants have absorbed, ecologist Christopher Busby told RT. “Some of the materials that were contaminating that area would ahve been incorporated into the woods. In other words, they land on the ground in 1986 and they get absorbed into the trees and all the biosphere. And when it burns, they just become re-suspended. It’s like Chernobyl all over again. All of that material that fell on the ground will now be burned up into the air and will become available for people to breathe.”Christopher Busby is the scientific secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risks………http://rt.com/news/253897-chernobyl-fires-rage-ukraine/

April 30, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Drone supposedly containing radiation landed on Shinzo Abe’s roof

drone-1Drone containing radiation lands on Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s roof, Straight.com by Charlie Smith on April 22nd, 2015 Shortly after a Japanese court has approved restarting a shuttered nuclear power plant, an unmanned aerial vehicle landed on the roof of the prime minister’s home.

 The Guardian has reported that the small drone on Shinzo Abe’s residence had “traces of radiation”.

It has sparked discussions in Japan about the prospect of terrorists using drones to launch attacks during the 2020 Summer Games, which will be hosted in Tokyo.

The levels of radiation in this instance were not deemed harmful.

There’s no evidence at this point that the drone was placed there as a protest against Abe’s desire to restart nuclear reactors in Japan.

Public opinion is strongly against the use of nuclear power in Japan four years after a meltdown in Fukushima………

Tokyo police have reportedly revealed that there was a camera on the drone, which was decorated with a sticker carrying a symbol indicating it was radioactive.

“The police also said traces of radioactive cesium were detected on the roof near the drone, though it was unclear if they came from the drone,” the New York Timesreported. “Cesium is not usually found in nature, but large amounts of it were released into the atmosphere during the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.” http://www.straight.com/news/435371/drone-containing-radiation-lands-japanese-prime-minister-shinzo-abes-roof

April 23, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

DOE, National Nuclear Security Administration and the Nuclear Waste Partnership, all to blame for WIPP radiation leak

Report: Nuke dump radiation leak could have been prevented, KRQE News 13 
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press April 17, 2015, 
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – A radiation leak that forced the indefinite closure of the federal government’s only underground nuclear waste repository could have been prevented, a team of investigators said Thursday.

A combination of poor management, lapses in safety and a lack of proper procedures were outlined in a final report released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Accident Investigation Board. Officials reviewed the findings Thursday night during a community meeting in Carlsbad.

The investigators spent more than a year looking into the cause of the radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico.

Like a separate team of technical experts, they too found that a chemical reaction inside a drum of waste that had been packaged at Los Alamos National Laboratory forced the lid open, allowing radiation to escape. The contents included nitrate salt residues and organic cat litter that was used to soak up moisture in the waste.

Aside from lab managers, the report places blame on Energy Department headquarters, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Nuclear Waste Partnership, the contractor that manages the repository. It highlights numerous failures – from Los Alamos lab not having an adequate system for identifying and controlling hazards to federal nuclear officials not ensuring the existence of a “strong safety culture” at the lab.

Investigators found a failure by managers to resolve employee concerns that could have pointed out problems before the waste was shipped from Los Alamos to the repository.

Accident Investigation Board Chair Ted Wyka said during the town hall that some workers reported seeing foaming and yellowish smoke while repackaging waste. After short discussions with their supervisors, they went back to work on the assembly line.

That information did not make it up to lab managers, he said…….

The Energy Department and its contractors are facing $54 million in fines from the state of New Mexico for the failures that led to the mishap. Negotiations are ongoing, and the state has suggested more financial penalties are possible.

With the repository closed indefinitely, efforts to clean up decades of Cold War-era waste at federal facilities around the country are stalled. Federal officials say resuming full operations at the repository could take years and cost more than a half-billion dollars…….http://krqe.com/2015/04/17/report-nuke-dump-radiation-leak-could-have-been-prevented/

April 18, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

When USA Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite

exclamation-That Time The US Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite, Gizmodo 
KARL SMALLWOOD – TODAYIFOUNDOUT.COM 16 APRIL 2015“……..The satellite in question was the Ariel-1, which was developed as a joint-venture between the United States and Britain, with Britain designing and building the core systems of the satellite and NASA launching it into orbit via a Thor-Delta rocket……..
According to NASA, the instruments aboard Ariel-1 were intended to help “contribute to the current knowledge of the ionosphere” and its relationship with the Sun. More specifically, scientists were curious about how the ionosphere, a part of the Earth’s atmosphere made of particles charged by radiation from the Sun, worked. (For more on the ionosphere, see: Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?) As it turned out, as Ariel-1 was happily free-falling around the Earth, the US military had decided to detonate an experimental 1.4 megaton nuclear weapon named Starfish-Prime in the upper atmosphere as part of Project Fish Bowl. The explosion, which happened on the other side of the planet to Ariel-1, sent a wave of additional radiation around the Earth that ultimately damaged some of the systems on Ariel-1, particularly its solar panels, ultimately killing it and about 1/3 of the rest of the satellites in low-Earth orbit at the time. This famously included the Telstar satellite, which was the first commercial communication relay satellite designed to transmit signals across the Atlantic.

The Telstar actually wasn’t in orbit at the time of the explosion, being put there the day after the Starfish-Prime detonation. However, the additional radiation created by the explosion took years to dissipate and was not anticipated by the designers of this particular satellite. The immediate result being the degradation of Telstar’s systems, particularly the failure of several transistors in the command system, causing it to stop working just a few months after being placed in orbit.As to the purpose of the Starfish-Prime explosion, according to James Fleming, a history professor who combed through previously top-secret files and recordings concerning the blast, the US military were working with scientist James Van Allen to see if nuclear explosions could influence the existing belts of radiation around the Earth…….
He forgot to mention the obligatory, FOR SCIENCE!!!

Bonus Facts:

At around the same time the US was planning to send actual nuclear bombs into orbit, British scientists were similarly experimenting with explosives by attaching grenades to suborbital rockets to run atmospheric pressure tests; once again demonstrating that no matter where they’re from or what tools are available, scientists just really like to blow things up.
The Starfish explosion was actually supposed to have happened on June 20th, but the rocket carrying it failed at about 30,000 feet. Once this happened, the self-destruct on the nuclear warhead was initiated and it broke apart, raining its radioactive innards down on Johnston and Sand Islands, as well as in the ocean around them.
Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, was sent into space in 1991. All in all, 21 other nationsbeat Britain to the punch in terms of sending a representative of their country into space, including Afghanistan (Abdul Ahad Mohmand), Mongolia (Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa) and Vietnam (Phạm Tuân).
The effects of Starfish-Prime weren’t just limited to low orbit. The electromagnetic pulse created by the blast ended up being much larger than expected and, in Hawaii some 900 or so miles away from the blast, the pulse ended up knocking out a few hundred street lights and damaged the telephone system. Needless to say, a similar blast in today’s digital society would have caused drastically more damage.

Karl Smallwood writes for the wildly popular interesting fact website TodayIFoundOut.com.  http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/04/that-time-the-us-accidentally-nuked-britains-first-satellite/

April 18, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear submarine on fire – luckily it was unarmed

safety-symbol-Smflag_RussiaUnarmed Russian nuclear submarine catches fire in shipyard, Stuff.co NZ, THOMAS GROVE , April 8 2015 Firefighters struggled to put out a blaze on a nuclear submarine as it underwent repairs at a shipyard in Russia’s northern province of Arkhangelsk on Tuesday (Wednesday NZT), Russian news agencies reported.

The agencies quoted sources as saying there were no weapons on board. Nobody was hurt, they said, although RIA news agency said the dry dock where the vessel was being repaired may have to be submerged under water to help extinguish the blaze.

The Emergencies Ministry declined comment on the reports of the fire at the Zvyozdochka shipyard, where the agencies said the 155-metre-long (just over 500 feet) 949 Antei submarine was being repaired.

“There is a fire on the submarine. We are fighting the fire now,” a shipyard source told Interfax news agency………http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/67640388/unarmed-russian-nuclear-submarine-catches-fire-in-shipyard

April 10, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Shipping incident results in higher NRC oversight for Vogtle nuclear power plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission increases oversight for Plant Vogtle following shipping incident, Augusta Chronicle By Meg Mirshak Staff Writer April 1 2015 The oversight includes an additional inspection at the commercial power plant near Waynesboro, Ga. about 26 miles southeast of Augusta, according to a NRC news release…….The violation had “low-to-moderate safety significance,” and it posed a risk to the public because of concerns the closure system on the type of cask used could fail if involved in an accident during shipping, according to the letter. …….http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2015-03-31/nuclear-regulatory-commission-increases-oversight-plant-vogtle-following

April 3, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Torness nuclear power station has radiation leak

Radiation leak at Torness nuclear power station, Herald Scotland Rob Edwards Sunday 29 March 2015 An investigation is under way after a radiation leaked at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian, the Sunday Herald can reveal. According to the French state company that runs Torness, EDF Energy, radioactive tritium was discovered in water contained in part of the power station’s drainage system. The discovery was immediately reported to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)……

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, warned that Torness was “well into middle age and the cracks are literally beginning to show”.

He said: “This is the latest in a series of problems at Scotland’s two nuclear stations and shows that regulators need to be very vigilant if we are to avoid a serious release of radioactivity to the local environment while these plants continue to operate.”

The local liaison committee was told that reactors at Torness had to be unexpectedly shut down four times in 2014 because of a series of equipment faults. EDF Energy also operates a 39-year-old nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, where cracks and breakdowns were reported in October 2014.

Jason Rose, Scottish Green candidate for MP in East Lothian, thought that the number of leaks and shutdowns showed that Torness was well past its prime. “Those of us who have to live with a nuclear plant on our doorstep need assurances from EDF that more effort will be made to prevent these sorts of serious incidents,” he said.

“I remain extremely concerned that there will be no public scrutiny of plans to extend the operating life of the plant, and no effort by local or national government to prepare a smooth transition for workers and the economy. Local people should have a say in what happens next at Torness.”……http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/investigation-under-way-into-radiation-leak-at-torness-nuclear-power-station.121878992

March 30, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Web traffic for the UK’s nuclear weapons agency routed through Russian telecom by error

A network error routed traffic for the UK’s nuclear weapons agency through Russian telecom, The Verge By Russell Brandom March 13, 2015 
For the past week, something strange has been going on in the European internet. For five days, web traffic from Texas to certain addresses in the UK has been routed through Ukrainian and Russian telecoms, taking a detour thousands of miles out of the way. Network traffic often takes a circuitous route as a result of network congestion or interconnection difficulties, but neither one would be enough to account for these routes. Instead, this was the result of a bad route announced by Ukraine’s Vega telecom, inserting itself in between. “At this point, I have to believe this was an innocent mistake by Vega,” said Dyn’s Doug Madory, who first discovered the redirection, “but it’s concerning nonetheless.”
This phenomenon is known as “route hijacking,” and it’s a common security concern for network engineers and security researchers alike. It’s particularly disconcerting because of the sensitive nature of many of the sites involved. Among the dozens of sites involved was the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, which is tasked with managing and delivering the UK’s nuclear warheads, ……..

It’s still likely that the redirection was simply an innocent error, but it underscores the insecure nature of the global routing system. While much of the web has grown more wary of digital attack, routing is still based on trust, with networks freely announcing routes and friendly telecoms adopting them as a matter of habit. As a result, inefficient and potentially insecure routes like this one can linger for days without being corrected, without the parties involved ever being aware of them.

The full traceroute is below, with the Ukrainian telecom visible at line 11 and Russian interconnection at 12 and 13:…..http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/13/8208413/uk-nuclear-weapons-russia-traffic-redirect

March 14, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Crash in Bosnia of van carrying radioactive materials

Van transporting radioactive material crashes in Bosnia Rt.com 13 Mar 15, A van carrying radioactive isotope Iridium-192 has crashed in north Bosnia, local media reported. The vehicle ran off the road after colliding with a car.

The police blocked the area around the crash site. Bosnia’s nuclear safety agency reported that no radiation leak had been detected.

The van was transporting “apparatus with radioactive material” from the Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, the Banja Luka-based Nezavisne Novine newspaper reported.

After the collision, the van overturned. The radioactive material, however, which is in a solid state and poses no risk of large-scale contamination, remained contained, the authorities said……..

The driver of the car was killed in the crash, while the van driver and a passenger traveling with him survived.

Iridium-192 is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 73.83 days. It is also a strong gamma ray emitter and is commonly used as a gamma ray source in radiography and radiotherapy as a radiation source.

According to the UN, Iridium-192 is the isotope that most frequently goes missing when radioactive materials are used to make a dirty bomb.http://rt.com/news/240425-bosnia-herzegovina-nuclear-crash/

March 14, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, incidents | Leave a comment

Increasing number of nuclear safety incidents at Britain’s top secret Trident nuclear submarine base,

safety-symbol-Smflag-UKMore than 450 nuclear safety incidents reported at Britain’s Royal Navy submarine base  Mirror,  2 March 2015 By  The incidents took place between 2008/09 and 2013/14 at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, where the country’s nuclear armed Trident subs are housed

More than 450 “shocking” nuclear safety incidents have been reported at Britain’s top secret Trident nuclear submarine base, new figures show.

Up to 451 safety incidents happened between 2008/ 9 and 2013/14, which involved at least 71 fires and major equipment failures at the Faslane base.

In the last year alone the number of accidents has almost doubled from 68 in 2012/13 to 107 in the following year 2013/14.

The incidents happened at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, where Britain’s shadowy nuclear armed Trident submarines are based……. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/more-450-nuclear-safety-incidents-5261415

March 7, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

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