The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Danger to Ukraine’s nuclear power stations, with attack on transmission towers

safety-symbol-Smflag-UkraineUkraine nuclear power plants ‘dangerously’ without power as towers feeding energy to Crimea blown up,  23 Nov, 2015 In an eerie reminder of a possible nuclear catastrophe, a senior Ukrainian energy official revealed that the attack on transmission towers that cut off the delivery of electricity from Ukraine to Crimea also created an emergency situation at nuclear power plants.

The apparent act of sabotage in Ukraine’s Kherson region forced an emergency power unloading at several Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which can be extremely dangerous, according to the first deputy director of Ukraine’s energy company Ukrenergo, Yuriy Katich.

Russia’s Crimea was forced to switch to autonomous reserve power after transmission towers in the adjacent Ukrainian region were blown up, causing a blackout. Meanwhile, the repairs were delayed by Right Sector and Crimean Tatar“activists” attempting to block crews from getting to the scene. None of the groups have accepted responsibility.

“All of these events have led to an additional emergency shutdown of the electrical network of two units at thermal power plants – the Dnieper and Uglegorskaya – and the emergency unloading by 500 MW of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. This includes Zaporozhskaya NPP and the South Ukrainian NPP. I want to stress that such emergency unloading of a nuclear plant – it is very dangerous,” 112. Ukraine online portal quoted Katich as saying………

November 25, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UK’s Hunterston nuclear reactor has cracks in bricks at core

Cracks in bricks at core of Hunterston nuclear reactor , BBC News 20 Nov 15  Cracks have been discovered in bricks which make up the core of one of two nuclear reactors at the Hunterston B power station in Ayrshire.

Operator EDF Energy said the cracks in three graphite bricks were found during planned maintenance on Reactor Three.

The firm insisted there were no safety implications and the finding had no impact on the operation of the reactor.

A similar issue – known as “keyway root cracking” was identified in Hunterston’s other reactor last year……….

‘Energy transition’

The core of the reactors is made up of thousands of graphite bricks.

The station began operating in 1976 and its working life has already been extended to 2023 – well beyond its planned closure date.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said the issue with cracks in both reactors emphasised the need “to embrace the clean energy transition”.

He said: “Despite the assurances given by the nuclear industry, with cracks now found in both reactors it’s clear the problem is spreading and that we can expect this facility to become even more unreliable in the future.

“News of more cracks in the country’s ageing fleet of nuclear power stations underscores why we’re right to be taking steps to harness cleaner, safer forms of energy.”

November 20, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Narrowly avoided accidental nuclear apocalypse in 1983 revealed

exclamation-SmTop Secret Documents Reveal A NATO Training Exercise Nearly Started A Nuclear Apocalypse With Russi The Huffington Post UK  |  By Thomas Tamblyn
A recently declassified document has revealed that in 1983, the United States and Russia were almost plunged into nuclear war and here’s the real kicker: It would have been completely by accident

The New York Times has, for the first time, shed light on these documents which reveal that in ’83 NATO was planning a massive nuclear-based military exercise.
 Unfortunately for the world, the USSR didn’t get that memo and so when it saw that most of the western world’s military were moving into high-alert it assumed that the training exercise was actually a cover for a genuine attack.

It is thought that the exercise could have, at some stages, brought the two countries closer to war than even the famous Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Codenamed Able Archer, the NYT reveals in its exposé of the training exercise that many NATO commanders were seemingly oblivious to the knife edge that they were creating.

Then US President Ronald Reagan rather eloquently described the situation as ‘Really scary’ after reading the briefing documents that summarised how perilously close the situation had become.

The document was finally declassified earlier this month, some 11-years after the request had been made by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Speaking to the NYT about the significance of the event archive director Thomas S. Blanton said: “Turns out, 1983 is a classic, like the Cuban missile crisis, where neither superpower intended to go nuclear, but the risk of inadvertence, miscalculation, misperception were just really high. Cuba led J.F.K. to the test ban. Nineteen eighty-three led Reagan to Reykjavik and almost to abolition.”

What might be the most terrifying piece of news is that before and during the exercise, the Soviets weren’t just using human judgement but were inputting some 40,000 scenarios into a supercomputer in an effort to try and assess how likely a nuclear strike actually was.

Ironically it was the then leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev who summed up the severity of the situation later in 1986:

“Never, perhaps, in the postwar decades has the situation in the world been as explosive and, hence, more difficult and unfavorable as in the first half of the 1980’s.”

November 12, 2015 Posted by | history, incidents, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Security escort rear-ends semi carrying nuclear weapon in US

exclamation-Sm US security forces apparently transporting a nuclear weapon suffered an embarrassing slip-up when an armoured escort rear-ended the main vehicle as the convoy sped through a truck stop.

To make matters worse, the high-speed prang occurred just as the bystander filming was being told off by federal police for capturing the incident.

Uploaded to YouTube overnight, the video shows the intimidating convoy of at least ten vehicles and the semi, as well as several helicopters, barrelling through an unnamed town on what looks to be a US interstate highway. Continue reading

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

Explosion and fire in (inactive) nuclear station in Belgium

Explosion rocks nuclear power plant in Belgium  1 Nov, 2015 An explosion occurred overnight at a nuclear power plant in Doel, northern Belgium, local media reported, adding that the blast caused a fire. The exact damage from the incident remains unknown.

The blast happened around 11pm local time on Saturday. The fire started in Reactor 1 of the plant, but was soon extinguished by personnel.

The explosion didn’t cause any threat to nature, Els De Clercq, spokeswoman from Belgian energy corporation Electrabel that runs the plant, told Het Laatste Nieuws. There was no fuel present at the time of the incident as the reactor had been shut due to its expired operational license.

Doel Nuclear Power Station, one of the two nuclear power plants in the country, is located near the town of Doel in east Flanders. The plant employs about 800 people.

According to the Nature journal and Columbia University in New York, the plant is in the most densely populated area of all nuclear power stations in the EU. About 9 million people live within a radius of 75km of the station.

November 2, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, incidents | Leave a comment

St Louis County becoming another USA radioactive Sacrifice Zone?

Flag-USASt. Louis Sacrifice Zone: Gov’t’s Secret ‘Catastrophic Event Plan’: Tons Radioactive Waste, 1000s Gallons Tainted Water-Spill, Fires, Before It’s News, October 29, 2015 Thousands of gallons of tainted water spilled Tuesday at the Bridgeton landfill near St. Louis, the second incident in days, as an underground fire could reach radioactive waste dump site in three to six months and seven churches have been set ablaze, increasing the development of another American sacrifice zone. Hundreds recently packed Bridgeton church, demanding to know why St. Louis County silently put an emergency plan for a potential “catastrophic event” at Bridgeton Landfill and adjacent West Lake landfill a year ago. Families are moving, becoming environmental refugees in their own country.

“We are not financially able to uproot our lives, but we’re forced to,” said Tonii Morris, who lives up the street from the Bridgeton landfill. “Staying here is not an option.”

Saturday, a fire broke out near an existing smoldering underground fire that is heading toward an old nuclear waste dump. A sewer pipe connecting Bridgeton Landfill to Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District treatment facilities overflowed, releasing thousands of gallons of sewage Tuesday. These come as churches in the same area are being burned. At least 20 families are no longer waiting for answers or repairs. They are refugees, among the first to be moving, or have moved.

landfill West Lake St Louis

“Tonnage of radiological waste at the Bridgeton-Westlake landfill exceeds Fukushima over 20 fold, and Chernobyl by 163 times. How diluted the Bridgeton nuclear waste is appears unknown,” says Mining Awareness Plus in a comprehensive report, Is the Missouri Landfill Fire a US Chernobyl or Fukushima in the Making?

Saturday afternoon, firefighters rushed to the landfill to extinguish a brush fire. The fire was caused by a faulty switch on an Ameren utility pole inside the landfill’s perimeter fence, Pattonville Fire Protection District’s Battalion Chief Ken Aydelott said. He said a switch overheated, causing hot metal to drop below and ignite the fire. The last small fire at the landfill was in February 2014.

At least 20 families plan to move soon due to the troubled landfills and conflicting reports, according to a questionnaire on a West Lake Facebook page that has grown by 10,000 members in the last month to over 17,000.

Despite officials saying the new leak of tainted water is contained, mothers from North Saint Louis County, outraged about their local landfill on the brink of a nuclear emergency, putting their families at risk, have taken to the streets in protest……..

October 31, 2015 Posted by | incidents, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Fire erupts within feet of USA radioactive trash dump

exclamation-Flag-USACBS: Fire erupts at another U.S. nuclear site near major city — Witness: Flames within feet of radioactive waste — TV: “You can see the smoke for miles… A big-time scare” — EPA emergency response specialists deployed (PHOTO & VIDEOS), Oct 24, 2015 (emphasis added): Brush fire at West Lake Landfill sparks concern —Smoke could be seen for miles as fire crews responded to a brush fire at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton Saturday… The fire was started by a faulty switch… inside the landfill’s perimeter. The switch overheated, causing hot metal to drop below and ignite a fire… Arearesidents and elected officials gathered near the scene of the fire Saturday to see if it would move into a restricted area where an underground fire is burning. Residents were concerned that the fire would reach area whereradioactive waste is buried

KTVI Transcript, Oct 24, 2015: You can see the smoke for miles… A big-time scare for residents out there tonight… Dawn Chapman, resident: “This fire came within feet of it,within feet of radioactive waste“…

CBS News, Oct 27, 2015: No one knows for sure what will happen if the fire comes into contact with it… some low-level radiation has moved into neighborhoods… But it’s not just the underground fire that is a concern – this weekend a grass fire erupted within some 75 yards of the radioactive waste. This region also sits near an earthquake fault line.

AP, Oct 26, 2015: On Saturday, a fire blamed on a faulty utility pole ignited brush on the West Lake Landfill’s grounds… [EPA official Mark] Hague said testing showed no immediateevidence residents were in peril.

St Louis Public Radio, Oct 27, 2015: Stoking many fears was [a] brush fire at the Bridgeton Landfill… which was first called in to the fire department by a resident. Some took that as asign that the landfill’s owner, Republic Services, does not have an adequate handle on the site… [EPA] sent a letter reprimanding Republic Services for the incident.

St. Louis American, Oct 25, 2015: Saturday’s fire supposedly resulted from a malfunctioning electrical switch… EPA emergency response specialists were deployed to the site of the fire, according to the EPA’s statement. “Personnel will be in the field today taking samples from the surrounding area to confirm there is not a release of contaminants,” it stated… “Pattonville Fire District conducted air monitoring during the event.” The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)… reviewed data from its monitors located near the landfills, “and the readings stayed consistent with background,” according to the EPA.

CBS St Louis, Oct 25, 2015: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster [said] “the fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is ever changing”… Koster says Saturday’s fire is a reminder flames can surface in unexpected places without warning.

See report from earlier this month here:  AP: Catastrophic event could release radioactive fallout over major U.S. metropolitan area — Gov’t issues emergency plan as fire burns near nuclear site — Senator: “What we have… could end up as Chernobyl” (VIDEO)

See last week’s reports from Las Vegas-area here: EPA data shows radiation spike in major US city soon after explosions at nuclear waste facility — AP: Drums of buried waste were blasted over site’s fence; Large crater reported (VIDEO)

Watch broadcasts: CBS News | KTVI

October 29, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

After explosions at nuclear waste facility, major USA cities record radiation spike

exclamation-Flag-USAEPA data shows radiation spike in major US city soon after explosions at nuclear waste facility nearby — AP: Drums of buried waste were blasted over site’s fence; Large crater reported — Emergency Official: US gov’t brought in “resources I’ve never even seen before, it was amazing” (VIDEO)

New York Times (AP), Oct 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Radioactive Dump That Burned in Nevada Had Past Troubles… State officials said this week they didn’t immediately know what blew up… A state fire inspector, Martin Azevedo, surveyed the site on Wednesday. His report, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, described moisture in the pit and “heavily corroded” 55-gallon drums in and around the 20-foot-by-30-foot craterDebris from the blast spread 190 feet. Two drums were found outside the fence line… Nevada state emergency management chief Caleb Cage said operating records for the damaged trenchweren’t immediately available… [Former Nevada Governor Robert List] expressed doubt that anyone will ever know what’s really underground at the site. “Good luck with that,” he said. “What we found when we did our investigation was they had very, very skimpy records about what was there.”

Vance Payne, Director of Emergency Management for Nye County, Oct 20, 2015 Board of County Commissioners meeting (at 1:18:45 in): Our federal partners from DOE [US Dept. of Energy] put to bearresources I’ve never even seen before, it was amazing. The effort was nothing short of herculean. There was overflights of aircraft with special monitoring equipment that was put in the air just as fast as they were able — when the weather cleared a little bit — and they did it on the ground. The CST team, the Civil Support Team, came down from Reno and they came down in a hurry — it was amazing how fast they moved their teams. They did ground testing, they did mid-level aerial testing, and they did high-level area testing over the towns of Amargosa and Beatty — as well as the entire transportation line north to south on Highway 95 and 373. So I can tell you that No. 1, it was amazing. I can tell you that a lot of effort was put into making sure that our county and communities were as safe as we could probably make them. This morning we’re getting additional reports coming in, and they’ll continue to come in on the testing over the next few weeks. No radioactive materials were detected anywhere on the ground or in the air.

KTNV Las Vegas, Oct 19, 2015 (at 0:45 in): Preliminary air quality tests say the air is fine — but Nye County officials aren’t trusting just that — more extensive surveys are being done, and those results could take days.

See also: “Nuclear fire” erupts at radioactive facility near major US city — Footage shows underground explosions, massive smoke plumes — AP: “Unknown amount of radioactive waste burned” — EPA sends emergency radiological team (VIDEO)

Watch: KTNV | County Commission

October 29, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power worker was learning how to make abomb

Scots nuclear power plant worker caught studying BOMB-MAKING websites at work , Daily Record, 27 Oct 15 THE staff member was marched off the premises at Hunterston B, West Kilbride, this morning after a shocked colleague raised the alarm. A WORKER at a Scots nuclear power plant has been caught studying bomb-making websites at work.

The staff member was marched off the premises at Hunterston B, West Kilbride, this morning after a shocked colleague raised the alarm.

Police are now investigating the worker accessing “inappropriate material” while working at the nuclear facility.

The man, who is believed to be a Muslim who moved recently from England, has worked at the North Ayrshire facility for around four weeks.

He was spotted by a fellow colleague on Monday, who reported his concerns to management.

The contractor works as a ‘special entry assistant’ at the power station, and his role involves him going into the heart of the plant to assist tradesmen.

He was allegedly seen viewing inappropriate websites on homemade explosives on a laptop computer, which he slammed shut after being spotted by a work mate.

When he arrived for work on Tuesday, he was escorted from the premises by security guards and plant owners EDF called in police.

A source at the plant said: “The guy has only worked here for a short time.

“He is a low-level employee, but has access to the reactor, where he basically helps out tradesmen working on it.”……..

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said the incident was being dealt with by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

No one from the CNC was available for comment.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | 1 Comment

All too many failures in nuclear power pipelines

safety-symbol1Nuclear Pipe Nightmares, UCS  director, Nuclear Safety Project October 27, 2015 Disaster by Design

If you had a dollar for every foot of pipe—or even just a quarter for every three inches of pipe—used in the nation’s nuclear power plants, you would probably not be reading this post. That chore would be delegated to one or more of your many minions.

Pipes at nuclear power plants carry cooling water to the reactor vessel and spent fuel pool, transport steam to the main turbine, provide hydrogen gas to cool the main generators, supply fuel and lubricating oil to the emergency diesel generators, maintain the fire sprinklers ready to extinguish fires, and numerous other vital functions. Given so many pipes, a success rate of 99.99%—remarkably similar to a failure rate of one broken pipe out of ten thousand pipes—would result in lots of piping failures.

The Electric Power Research Institute’s report revealed lots of piping failures at U.S. nuclear power plants between 1961 and 1997 (Fig. 1). The non-leaking failures are identified by inspections indicating that safety margins had been compromised, forcing the pipes to be replaced before they leak. The leaking failures are identified by puddles on the floor or other obvious signs, again forcing pipes to be replaced.

[excellent charts on original]

The Electric Power Research Institute’s report identified numerous reasons why pipes break (Fig. 2). MIC under corrosion stands for microbiologically induced corrosion—tiny little bugs that eat metal. Pipes can be designed wrong, installed wrong, or weakened via an array of methods during use.

[article goes on to describe pipe failures at:]

Dresden Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #65 described the January 25, 1994, …..

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

On August 14, 1984…..

Surry Nuclear Plant

On December 9, 1986,….

Mihama Nuclear Plant

A 22-inch diameter pipe in the condensate/feedwater system ruptured on August 9, 2004, at the Mihama nuclear plant in Japan …..

Oyster Creek and Dresden Nuclear Plants

Fission Stories #162…..

LaSalle Nuclear Plant

On May 27, 1985…..

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #29 described how 133,000 gallons drained from the condensate storage tank at the Oyster Creek nuclear plant in New Jersey in September 1996…..

Davis Besse Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #131 described the March 2002 discovery by workers at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio that a crack in a pipe allowing a control rod inside the reactor vessel to be connected to and manipulated by its electric motor outside the vessel had been leaking cooling water from the reactor for as long as six years……

Byron Nuclear Plant

On October 19, 2007, workers brushing away rust on the outer surface of a cooling water pipe at the Byron nuclear plant in Illinois poked a hole in it……

Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant

The NRC described a broken pipe at the Big Rock Point nuclear plant in their annual report to the U.S. Congress on abnormal occurrences in 1998…….

Safety by Intent

The table above from the Electric Power Research Institute indicates that 1,816 failures were identified by testing and inspection at U.S. nuclear power plants between 1961 and 1997 while 2,247 failures were found after pipes had leaked.

This data reinforce a theme too often appearing in nuclear safety posts to our All Things Nuclear blog—testing and inspection efforts are less effective than they need to be. Afederal regulation requires that plant owners have extensive testing and inspection programs that find and fix safety problems in a timely and effective manner. If compliance with this regulation were fact rather than fiction, the data should show more piping failures are found via tests and inspections than by puddles on the floor.

The NRC must figure out why testing and inspection efforts are violating federal safety regulations by failing to find and fix piping failures in a timely and effective manner.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Radioactive trash burning underground near major USA city

exclamation-SmFlag-USA“Nuclear fire” erupts at radioactive facility near major US city — Footage shows underground explosions, massive smoke plumes — AP: “Unknown amount of radioactive waste burned” — EPA sends emergency radiological team — Residents: “We were flat out lied to… Why didn’t they evacuate the town?” (VIDEO)

CBS Las Vegas, Oct 22, 2015 (emphasis added): Government officials are still looking into what may have caused a low-level radiological storage facility [~100 miles outside Las Vegas] to go up in flames… “We didn’t even hear about it when it happened, according to Cindy Craig, a resident.  “We weren’t even get told about it until the next day.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oct 21, 2015: Carol Johnston, owner of KC’s Outpost [in Beatty, Nevada]… said she was serving customers on a patio Sunday when she “heard a big boom” then looked up and saw a big puff of smoke. “Why didn’t they evacuate the town then?” she asked in a telephone interview Wednesday.

CBS Las Vegas, Oct 22, 2015: In the 40-second cellphone video… you can see the explosion in the shooting from the ground causing massive plumes of smoke. The explosion caused the facility to go up in flames.  State officials said the fire started inone of 22 covered trenches used to store low-level radioactive material

AP, Oct 19, 2015: EPA said the unknown amount of low-level radioactive waste that burned had been deposited… before 1992… [USGS previously] found high concentrations of radionuclides underground, the Nuclear Resource and Information Service said.

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oct 22, 2015: Fire Marshal Chief Peter Mulvihill said [it] “burned very hot“… Items buried in the low-level nuclear waste dump include… nuclear reactor crud

AP, Oct 21, 2015: Mulvihill said the fire burned unabated after starting Sunday during intense thunderstorms and flash flooding… Now, first-responders have backed off while investigators locate archived paperwork to determine what was buried in the burned trench… [I]ncident managers initially feared about 2,000 people in the sprawling rural area would need to be evacuated if radiation had been detected. Mulvihill told reporters that all but two employees left the… facility adjacent to the radioactive waste dump

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oct 20, 2015: “We don’t know exactly what caught fire. We’re not exactly sure what was burning in that pit,” Fire Marshal Chief Peter Mulvihill said… “there was some energetic burning” that blew a hole in the cover soil that caps trench No. 14, where low-level radioactive materials were buried.

AP,  Oct 19, 2015: [EPA] is sending a radiological emergency team to look for contamination… EPA spokesman Rusty Harris-Bishop says no dangerousgamma radiation has been detected… The fire eruptedSunday during heavy rain…

KSNV, Oct 20, 2015: [R]esidents are still concerned because of what was burning, and because they say they were “flat out lied to“… As the fire burned, the US 95 was closed for a 140 mile stretch for nearly 24 hours. People waiting in their cars say they were told a much different reason for the traffic jam. “They told us it was debris in the road,” one resident told News 3. “We found out it was a nuclear waste fire.”

KSNV, Oct 20, 2015: This small town voiced big concerns at Tuesday night’s town hall after a fire at a low-level radioactive waste dump… “We don’t find out about it in the city of Beatty until we watch the news the next morning. What if that was extremely hazardous?” [a resident] said. “I’m very, very upset about it.”… many questions remain including what exactly was burning?… “We have absolutely no idea… what it is” [Sheriff Sharon Wehrly] said…

Las Vegas Sun, Oct 23, 2015: Sunday’s nuclear fire… reportedly did not emit above-average doses of radiation.

Las Vegas Sun, Oct 22, 2015: Media buzzed with reports of a low-level nuclear fire… [T]he plume of smoke — determined by the… government to not be hazardous to public health — billowed… residents, though, were unaware of the details of the emergency situation.

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oct 19, 2015: Mulvihill said investigators would be taking a close and methodical look at the site “once it is safe to go down there.”… [The fire] was allowed to burn itself out over the course of about 12 hours… US Ecology officials said they created “an exclusion zone around the facility” at the request of state regulators… As part of their investigation, state officials said they will be looking at the [dump’s] overall stability

KTNV, Oct 22, 2015: You can see a column of white smoke… Then multiple underground explosions in trench 14 send more smoke spewing out. The ground erupts… We don’t know what these explosions kicked up into the air but we do know state leaders were well aware of the risks buried at the U.S. Ecology site… Minutes from legislative hearings detail concerns about “unknown contamination levels.”  The state expressed concern because it was not sure of the contamination levels or when a fissure might occur.

KTNV transcript, Oct 22, 2015 (at 2:20 in): “We’ve just learned… there are 2 new areas of land that are sinking from recent flooding at the site, and a crater where the fire broke out.”

Watch broadcasts: KTNV | NBC Las Vegas

October 26, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA, wastes | 1 Comment

Los Alamos National Laboratory has radioactive materials stolen

CriminalFlag-USARadioactive material keeps getting stolen from nuclear lab, feds say   Federal officials say workers have stolen radioactive materials from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico multiple times this year.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that the items were taken from an area that stores contaminated materials before they’re shipped elsewhere. A federal court filing says there have been 76 thefts by Los Alamos personnel in 2015.

An affidavit says lab officials contacted federal investigators on Sept. 30 to say a subcontractor’s employee had stolen items.

The day before, police responded to a call about a man throwing materials into bushes near the lab. Officers found several radioactive items, including a band saw that tested 500 times above the allowable limit for contamination.

A Los Alamos spokesman referred questions to the FBI, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.

October 24, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

50 years later, USA will clean up site of nuclear bomb’s crash in Spain

exclamation-SmFlag-USAflag SpainPalomares nuclear crash: US agrees Spanish coast clean-up 19 October 2015  Almost 50 years after four nuclear bombs fell on the Spanish coast after two US military planes collided, American officials have signed a deal to clean up contaminated land.

None of the bombs detonated in January 1966, but three fell around Palomares and a fourth was found on the sea bed.

Highly toxic plutonium was spread over a 200-hectare (490-acre) area.

On a visit to Madrid, Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to finalise a deal on disposing of contaminated soil.

Under the agreement in principle, signed by Mr Kerry and Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the US will remove the soil at Palomares to a site in the US.

Spanish media said the soil would be transported to a site in Nevada. The deal comes a few months before the 50th anniversary of the crash, one of the most serious nuclear incidents of the Cold War.

An earlier consignment of contaminated soil was shipped to a site in South Carolina shortly after the accident and buried in deep trenches.

But further analysis of soil in the area has been carried out in recent years, and the health of residents in the Palomares area is still being monitored.

      • On 17 January 1966, a US B-52 bomber carrying four 1.5 megaton bombs collided with a refuelling tanker some 31,000 feet above Palomares on Spain’s Mediterranean coast
      • The tanker crew and three people on board the bomber were killed
      • One bomb equipped with a parachute landed intact
      • Two bombs hit the ground at high speed, scattering plutonium
      • A fourth bomb landed five miles off shore and was later recovered by USS Petrel

“I looked up and saw this huge ball of fire, falling through the sky” – Spain waits for US to finish nuclear clean-up

October 23, 2015 Posted by | history, incidents, politics international, Spain, USA | Leave a comment

At least four Russian cruise missiles have crash-landed in Iran

exclamation-SmRussian missiles crash in Iran: what we know,
Vox World,  by  on October 8, 2015 

  • At least four Russian cruise missiles, headed for Syria, have reportedly crash-landed in Iran, Pentagon sources tell CNN and other outlets.
  • So far neither Russian nor Iranian sources have confirmed the incident, though Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency is carrying the story (but crediting CNN).
  • It is not known whether the missiles detonated or whether there are any casualties. Iran has enough empty space that it’s possible the missiles crashed harmlessly…….

October 10, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

Even routine sirens from nuclear station can cause social panic

RANDOM SIRENS ALARM NUCLEAR PLANT NEIGHBORS abc 13 eyewwitness News, , October 08, 2015  NEW HILL, NC — Annual maintenance. That’s Duke Energy’s explanation for warning sirens around the Harris Nuclear Power plant going off at seemingly random times over the past week. But no one seemed to know about it.
The first reports started popping up on social media last week.

Local police started getting calls. So did the Town of Apex. But no one could explain why the sirens were going on and off……”You can put a lot of people in panic if that siren goes off and there’s not really nothing going on at the nuclear plant,” Conley said. “People can go a little bananas when they don’t know what it’s meant for.” “It sounds like it’s in your back yard,” said Laura Taylor. “It’s really loud.”

Taylor lives in Apex, one of the surrounding towns and communities that has nuclear warning sirens scattered about. She says she heard the siren go off three times last week.
“It is concerning because you wonder what’s going on,” said Taylor. “Is it just some kind of malfunction or should we be more concerned?” As it turns out, it was neither………

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


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