nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Powerful earthquake hits Japan

flag-japanPowerful quake rocks Japan, 6- out of 7 on intensity scale — Officials warn of strong aftershocks, around 50 so far — Helicopters find “more extensive damage than earlier thought” — Major roads collapsed, buildings flattened — Witnesses: “Strongest ever felt… Shaking was enormous” (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/powerful-quake-rocks-japan-6-7-intensity-scale-officials-warn-landslides-strong-aftershocks-50-helicopters-find-extensive-damage-earlier-thought-major-roads-collapsed-buildings-flattened?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Reuters: 6.8 [quake] jolted central Japan on Saturday evening… felt in the capital Tokyo 180 km away…  an advanced party of Japan’s military had been sent… “the tremor was too strong to stand,” said… an NHK employee.

AP: Helicopter surveys on Sunday showed more extensive damage than earlier thought from an overnight earthquake… footage showed buildings in various states of collapse, some flattened and others leaning… and deep cracks in the roads… The quake was followed by more than 45 aftershocks… [Officials] urged residents to watch out for landslides.

Voice of America: A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake… halted high-speed train service, caused several major roads to collapse and shut down others because of landslides.

Xinhua: Nagano prefecture government has enforced the disaster relief law… [Officials] warned of possible strong aftershocks… the government has set up a disaster relief office.

AP: One of the strongest ever felt in recent years by residents… Ryo Nishino, a restaurant owner… “never experienced a quake that shook so hard… shaking was enormous.”… The earthquake was felt across much of northern Japan… the Meteorological Agency… warned of further aftershocks.

ABC Australia: 21 aftershocks in the 90 minutes following the quake [and] tremors continued… “an aftershock registering upper 5 could occur in the coming week,” an agency official said… The quake was felt in wide areas from [including] Tohoku in north-eastern Japan… train systems in… Tohoku, Yamagata, Akita, Joetsu and Nagano… temporarily stopped.

AFP: Footage showed flattened wooden houses… “It’s quite a strong earthquake for an inland one,” an official at the Japanese agency told a midnight press conference. “We are worried about the extent of damage to houses and buildings,” he said… police and municipal officials said they were still scrambling to collect information as they were operating in the dark… The meteorological agency warned strong aftershocks could still occur in the coming week.

NHKJapanese officials warn of quake aftershocks — Officials at Japan’s Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on the alert for aftershocks in the days ahead after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake… The tremor registered intensities of 6-minus on the Japanese scale of 7.

Fox News: Fukushima is about 155 miles northeast of where Saturday’s earthquake occurred.

Video: NHK here | CBS here | Fox News here

November 23, 2014 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Radioactive release to air resulting from fire at Dounreay nuclear power station.

text-radiationDounreay nuclear plant fire led to ‘unauthorised’ radioactivity release Investigation identifies ‘unacceptable practices by staff’ relating to 7 October fire at site being decommissioned , Guardian, Terry Macalister, 22 Nov 14 
 Dounreay nuclear power station. The reactor stopped operating in 1994 and is more than halfway through decommissioning.  A fire at the Dounreay nuclear plant in the north of Scotland resulted in an “unauthorised”release of radioactivity, an investigation has found.

The nuclear plant has been censured by safety regulators after admitting human error led to the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.

The criticism comes just weeks after another nuclear plant, Sellafield in Cumbria, was also tackled by the safety regulator over its management of asbestos while pictures emerged of badly corroded storage ponds there.

Environmentalists said the problems highlighted dangers from building a new generation of nuclear plants which however well designed would be vulnerable to human fallibility………

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), controlled by a consortium involving the engineering group Babcock, is involved in a £1.6bn contract to dismantle Dounreay, a prototype “fast reactor” built to experiment with nuclear fission in the 1950s and 60s……….

Dounreay-nuclear-power-st-0

John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said the problems at Dounreay were disturbing. “Until we can clone enough popes to staff all the world’s nuclear reactor control rooms, there will always be a fallible human component in nuclear power stations. This worrying news demonstrates why it’s important to remember that even a reactor design which looks safe on paper can never completely design out the actions of human beings. Its why renewable energy always scores better on safety, because far less can go wrong.”

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities Secretariat, the local government voice on nuclear issues, described the Dounreay incident as “alarming” and called for more information.

“To hear that critical staff were not fully conversant in fire safety procedures and that a release of tritium occurred; putting into danger staff and the wider public; is quite disgraceful at such a sensitive nuclear site like Dounreay,” said councillor Mark Hackett, the NFLA’s chair.

The nuclear industry has had a difficult week after Areva, one of the companies involved in the management of Sellafield, issued a profit warning and said it might need a cash injection……..http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/21/dounreay-nuclear-plant-fire-radioactivity

November 22, 2014 Posted by | incidents, UK | 1 Comment

St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant flooding raises safety problems

Flooding at St. Lucie nuclear plant prompts more oversight from regulators TCPALM, Will Greenlee, Nov 21, 2014 ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stepping up oversight of one of two units at Florida Power & Light Co.’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant after about 50,000 gallons of water entered a reactor auxiliary building during heavy rains in January, according to the NRC.

The incident at the nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island occurred Jan. 9, when more than 7 inches of rain fell on the site, a report states. A blocked storm drain system played a role.

“During the event, stormwater entered the reactor auxiliary building … through degraded electrical conduits that were later found not to have internal flood seals,” a report states………50,000 gallons is about the amount held by a 25-by-45-foot swimming pool with an average depth of 6 feet…….http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/flooding-at-st-lucie-nuclear-plant-prompts-more-oversight-from-regulators_24283175

November 22, 2014 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Yet another safety bungle in South Korea’s nuclear power

safety-symbol-Smflag-S-KoreaBungling Nuclear Safety – Fire at Kori Nuclear Power Plant Goes Undetected for Over an Hour  Employees couldn’t hear audio alarm, couldn’t see visual alarm, Business Korea, 19 NOVEMBER 2014 Jung Yeon-jin

A fire occurred in the nuclear fuel storage facilities of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant located in Kijang County, Busan City, but none of the workers was aware of it for over an hour.

According to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation, the fire occurred at 4:26 p.m., Nov. 11, at Kori Power Plant Unit 4, burning up a waste dryer along with some gloves and towels. It is assumed that the dryer overheated and started the fire while drying wet gloves……….

Power Plant Attempts to Cover Up Reactor Shutdown

But this fire is only the latest incident at the Kori Nuclear Power Station this year.

This past summer was a busy time for Kori Nuclear Power Plant, as Unit 2 was shut off because of heavy rainfall. On Aug. 25, a localized torrential downpour of over 100 mm per hour in Busan City resulted in rainwater infiltrating one of its annexes, and the corporation had to close the facilities.

At that time, the corporation covered up the incident by saying, “We shut down the facilities just in case, and this has nothing to do with the safety of the power station.” However, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission’s following report read, “The manual shutdown of the reactor was because of the malfunctioning of four of the circulation water pumps, attributable to the heavy rain.”

………….: http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/7378/bungling-nuclear-safety-fire-kori-nuclear-power-plant-goes-undetected-over-hour#sthash.QmrLnwNv.dpuf

November 22, 2014 Posted by | incidents, South Korea | Leave a comment

Wyoming in-situ uranium mining company fined for 2 radioactive spills

$5,000 fine for uranium spills at new Wyoming mine http://www.kulr8.com/story/27356303/5000-fine-for-uranium-spills-at-new-wyoming-mine Nov 11, 2014 By MEAD GRUVERAssociated Press CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – A company has agreed to pay a $5,000 state penalty for spilling uranium solution at a newly opened uranium mine in Wyoming.

Two spills occurred at the Nichols Ranch in-situ mine between Casper and Gillette last summer. Casper-based Uranerz Energy Corporation started production at the mine in April and announced its first shipment of yellowcake uranium in September.

In-situ mining involves pumping chemicals underground to release uranium into a solution that is pumped to the surface.

Department of Environmental Quality officials say over 20,000 gallons of uranium-bearing liquid spilled from a pipeline July 17. A second pipeline spill of 12,000 gallons occurred Sept. 8.

Department Director Todd Parfitt and Uranerz Vice President Michael Thomas signed the penalty agreement Nov. 3. Thomas didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

November 12, 2014 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Unidentified attackers kill 5 nuclear engineers near Damascus

murder-15 nuclear engineers murdered near Damascus: monitor Agence France Presse, Daily Star, Lebanon 9 Nov 14  BEIRUT: Unknown assailants killed five nuclear engineers Sunday while they were on a bus just north of Damascus, near the research center where they worked, a monitor said on Sunday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports, was unable however to say how they were killed or supply their nationalities.

“Unidentified attackers murdered five nuclear energy engineers who worked in the scientific research centre near the neighbourhood of Barzeh, northern Damascus,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman………. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Nov-09/276996-5-nuclear-engineers-murdered-near-damascus-monitor.ashx#ixzz3IhMal9A0

November 10, 2014 Posted by | incidents, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a comment

Drone flights still happening over France’s nuclear power plants

safety-symbol-Smflag-franceFrench nuclear power plant drone flights continue, model plane fans freed  Golfech nuclear plant on the edge of the Garonne river between Agen and Toulouse Reuters/Regis Duvignau By RFI  8 Nov 14 

The mysterious drone flights over French nuclear power stations continued on Thursday night but the authorities were no closer finding who is responsible after the release of two model plane enthusiasts arrested on Wednesday…….

the public prosecutor announced on Friday that they were just modelling enthusiasts who wanted to film a boat they had made on the lake next to the plant.

As many as five flights have taken place on the same night, leading to speculation that they are part of an organised campaign but anti-nuclear groups have denied responsibility and no-one else has confessed.

Officials did not admit publicly the flights were taking place until 24 days after the first on 5 October and are anxious to calm public fears over security. http://www.english.rfi.fr/environment/20141107-french-nuclear-power-plant-drone-flights-continue-model-plane-fans-freed

November 8, 2014 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Again, mystery drone aircraft fly over France’s nuclear power plants

France records at least 15 mystery drone flyovers of nuclear power plants, ABC News 3 Nov 2014, A drone has flown over a nuclear plant in central France for the second time in two days, a source close to the case says. The unmanned flying machine went over the plant in Dampierre-en-Burly on Sunday evening, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

The power station had already been flown over on Friday evening.

Authorities are scratching their heads over the number of unidentified drones spotted over nuclear plants across France over the past month, and a probe has been launched to try and find out exactly who is piloting the remote-controlled machines.

They have counted at least 15 flyovers, sparking questions over the security of nuclear plants in France, which relies heavily on atomic energy for electricity……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-04/french-nuclear-plant-hit-by-another-mystery-drone-flyover/5864836

November 4, 2014 Posted by | France, incidents | 1 Comment

Uranium hexafluoride leak at Honeywell uranium plant, USA

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAU.S. nuclear regulators probing leak at Honeywell uranium plant BY LEWIS KRAUSKOPF Tue Oct 28, 2014 Oct 28 (Reuters) – U.S. nuclear regulators are investigating a leak of uranium hexafluoride that occurred on Sunday at an Illinois plant operated by Honeywell International Inc where union workers have been locked out.

Honeywell confirmed the Sunday evening leak at its Metropolis, Illinois plant, saying it was due to an equipment failure. There were no injuries and no reason to believe anyone was endangered by the leak, according to Honeywell.

An inspector from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission started an investigation at the plant on Tuesday, said NRC spokesman Roger Hannah.

“At this point we’re still in a fact-finding mode,” Hannah said. “We haven’t come to any conclusions about whether processesweren’t followed.” He said the investigation could take a few days to a week. Honeywell’s Metropolis plant is the only U.S. facility that converts uranium oxide into to uranium hexafluoride, or UF6, which is then enriched to be used as fuel in nuclear power plants.

Uranium hexafluoride is radioactive, and if released into the air can be chemically toxic……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/honeywell-intl-uranium-idUSL1N0SN0ZX20141028

October 29, 2014 Posted by | incidents, USA | 1 Comment

Radiation samples falsified to make Hunters Point look clean

liar-nuclear1Contractor Submitted False Radiation Data at Hunters Point, NBC Bay Area  In an internal report uncovered by the Investigative Unit, Tetra Tech says it provided the Navy false soil samples while working on the radiological cleanup of the Hunters Point shipyard By Vicky NguyenLiz Wagner and Felipe Escamilla Monday, Oct 13, 2014 

A Navy contractor tasked with cleaning radioactive soil at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco admitted in an internal report obtained exclusively by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit that it mishandled soil samples and submitted false data.

Tetra Tech, a multinational engineering, construction and environmental corporation details in an April 2014 report how it was caught submitting false soil samples to the Navy in an apparent effort to declare the soil free of radiological contamination when it may not have been. The Pasadena-based company is a $2.7 billion per year business that has won more than $300 million worth of contracts for cleanup work at Hunters Point………

“If the Navy had not caught this,” Bowers said, “there would be very, very high levels of contaminated soil, radioactive soil in the ground, where the plans are in place to build homes for the general public to live in, with yards for children to play in.”

Bowers is one of four radiation specialists who blew the whistle on Tetra Tech’s practices and are now suing the company for retaliation, claiming they were fired after questioning the company’s actions. Bowers first spoke with the Investigative Unit earlier this year saying the cleanup of Hunters Point had been compromised and that Tetra Tech cut corners on safety to save money……..http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Contractor-Submitted-False-Radiation-Data-at-Hunters-Point-279025911.html

October 15, 2014 Posted by | incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Security officer shoots dead three colleagues guarding Kalpakkam nuclear power plant

murder-1flag-india3 CISF personnel shot dead by colleague at Kalpakkam atomic plant in Tamil Nadu , TNN | Oct 8, 2014, CHENNAI: Three Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel guarding the atomic power plant at Kalpakkam near Chennai were killed and two others were injured when one of their colleagues opened fire on them on Wednesday morning.

Police said the incident happened inside the barracks where the security personnel were taking rest early in the morning. The reason for the attack was not known, police said.

The accused, head constable Vijay Pratap Singh, was nabbed and handed over to police……..The CISF head constable used a 9mm carbon rifle to attack his colleagues.

CISF senior officers have rushed to the scene. Further investigations are on. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-CISF-personnel-shot-dead-by-colleague-at-Kalpakkam-atomic-plant-in-Tamil-Nadu/articleshow/44679818.cms

October 10, 2014 Posted by | incidents, India | Leave a comment

Fire on ship carrying radioactive wastes leads to drift, and evacuation of oil rig

safety-symbol1flag-ScotlandIt is a serious incident and I think we need to review how we regulate the transportation of nuclear waste in our waters”

WWF Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and SNP MSP Rob Gibson have raised concerns about radioactive waste being transported by sea.

Oil rig evacuated after ship carrying radioactive waste drifts BBC News Highlands and Islands 8 Oct 14 An oil platform has been evacuated after a ship carrying radioactive material caught fire and began drifting in the Moray Firth. Continue reading

October 10, 2014 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

IN UK 2 important nuclear power stations could be out of action for 2014

Two nuclear power stations could be out of action until December, says EDF

Heysham 1 and Hartlepool reactors are offline as Britain’s electricity system struggles with retirement of old plants   The GuardianThursday 4 September 2014 Two nuclear stations that play a vital role helping to keep Britain’s already fragile electricity system intact could be out of action till the end of the year, EDF Energy said on Thursday.

The ongoing problems at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool reactors, taken offline last month, forced Centrica, a 20% owner of the atomic fleet with EDF, to issue a profit warning………The power outages following the discovery of a fault on a boiler “spine” at Heysham 1 have already led the National Grid to fast-forward an emergency plan to obtain more electricity from other providers to meet a possible shortfall…….http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/04/nuclear-power-stations-out-december-edf

September 6, 2014 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

400-Kg Control Console Fell Into Fukushima Fuel Pool

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

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

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

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

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

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