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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

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

Open pit uranium mine fire in Namibia

exclamation-SmFire at Namibia’s Rossing Uranium plant A fire has broken out at the product recovery plant of the Rio Tinto-owned Rossing Uranium mine in Namibia, the company confirmed on Friday. The Citizen, 13 Feb 15  “The origin and cause of the fire and possible damage to equipment or the final product recovery (FPR) building is currently being assessed,” the mine said in a statement on its website according to a Sapa correspondent. The mine is situated in the central Namib Desert, 60 kilometres east of the coastal tourism town of Swakopmund.

The fire broke out around midday on Thursday in the FPR plant of the open pit mine, where drums are filled with processed uranium, also called “yellow cake”.

Emergency response teams brought the fire under control…….The German language newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung reported that members of the fire brigade had to hand in their protective clothing to mining officials after the fire was extinguished and had to undergo urine tests……http://citizen.co.za/326132/fire-namibias-rossing-uranium-plant/

February 14, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Namibia | Leave a comment

Los Alamos scientist had plan to build nuclear weapons, and to bomb New York

exclamation-Flag-USAUS nuclear scientist secretly taped by FBI claiming he could bomb New York , Guardian, 29 Jan 15  Los Alamos scientist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni jailed for five years after also offering to build nuclear weapons for Venezuela A disgruntled, former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist promised to build 40 nuclear weapons for Venezuela and design a bomb targeted for New York City in exchange for “money and power,” according to secret FBI recordings released Wednesday.

In the recordings, Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni tells an agent posing as a Venezuelan official that the bombs would prevent the United States from invading the oil-rich nation and brags to his wife that the passing of secrets would make him wealthy.

“I’m going to be the boss with money and power,” the naturalized US citizen from Argentina is heard saying. “I’m not an American anymore. This is it.”

Mascheroni said his New York bomb wouldn’t kill anyone but would disable the city’s electrical system and help Venezuela become a nuclear superpower. It was not known how realistic his New York bombing idea was.

But he suggested that once Venezuela obtained a bomb, the country should explode it “to let the world know what we’ve got,” according to the recordings….The US government did not allege Venezuela sought US secrets…..http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jan/29/us-nuclear-scientist-secretly-taped-by-fbi-claiming-he-could-bomb-new-york

January 30, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Fatal accidents cause TEPCO to suspend decommissioning at Fukushima No. 1 power plant

Tepco suspends Fukushima No. 1 cleanup to probe fatal accidents Japan Times STAFF WRITER JAN 23, 2015 Tokyo Electric Power Co. has said it will suspend decommissioning work at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 power plant until it completes safety checks related to two fatal accidents at its facilities in the prefecture this week……http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/01/23/national/tepco-suspends-fukushima-no-1-cleanup-to-probe-fatal-accidents/#.VMWMHtKUcnm

January 26, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

When a B-52 crashed due to turbulence – carrying 2 nuclear bombs!

the weapons are found. Not entirely safe, but “…relatively intact…” according to the Air Force. It’s a scary sounding moderation to describe radioactive A-bombs lying around in the woods of the Eastern U.S. unattended.

[Read also: On this day in 1968 a B-52 crashed in Greenland with 4 hydrogen bombs]

exclamation- The nuclear nightmare of Savage Mountain: when a B-52 crashed due to turbulence. With two nukes, The Aviationist, Jan 15 2015 By Tom Demerly

This is true. And it’s terrifying. It reads like an Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy thriller. But it’s real. Continue reading

January 16, 2015 Posted by | history, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France’s government on high alert due to UFO’s over nuclear facilities

UFOs spotted over nuclear plants in France and Belgium Open Minds Alejandro Rojas January 15, 2015  
The French government is on high alert due to a large amount of UFO sightings over nuclear power plants since October, 2014. The latest sighting in France was just last week, and witnesses in Belgium spotted one in December. Most media outlets suspect that the objects are drones, but not all of the witnesses are convinced. If they are drones, the authorities say they do not know who they belong to. According to Austrian news site ORF.at, there were 18 separate occasions UFOs were seen flying over nuclear power plants in France between early October and early November. They say authorities suspect it is the coordinated effort of an unknown group.

ORF.at says the sightings have sparked a debate over nuclear power plant security. Greenpeace has accused the French government of downplaying the danger of these unknown over flights.

The latest incident was announced on January 3, 2015. The nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine, southeast of Paris, says two security guards saw “two flying objects.” In late December, an object flew over a nuclear power plant in Belgium. The power plant is in Doel, about 10 miles from Antwerp. The news site Spiegel Online, says that plant had been shut down four months ago reportedly due to sabotage. No further details have been released.

According to Speigel Online, Greenpeace again raised concerns that the plants “are not adequately protected from attacks by drones.”……….http://www.openminds.tv/ufos-spotted-nuclear-plants-france-belgium/31709

January 16, 2015 Posted by | France, incidents | 1 Comment

More worrying flights by drones, near France’s nuclear plant

drone-near-nuclear-plantCatch me if you can: More drones break into France’s nuclear air space Rt January 04, 2015  Two aircraft – presumably drones – were spotted flying over a French nuclear power plant on Saturday. The incident happened amid the country’s efforts aimed at detecting and intercepting such flying objects above nuclear facilities.

The latest intrusion happened at a nuclear power plant in Nogent-sur-Seine in north-central France, AFP reported on Sunday.”Around 6:40 p.m., site safety officers observed two flying objects that flew over the land reserve located on the perimeter of the nuclear plant,” a spokesman for the power station told AFP. The objects were believed to be drones, and the gendarmerie has been alerted………Drones that breach the highly-guarded plants’ area could potentially be used for gathering information that might pose a security threat: the unmanned flying objects can take pictures of film the nuclear facilities, collecting information, or even drop explosives to damage power or communications networks. http://rt.com/news/219775-france-drones-nuclear-plant/

January 5, 2015 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Oil leaking into Lake Michigan from Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman

Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman has been leaking oil into Lake Michigan. MLive By Julie Mack | jmack1@mlive.com on January 04, 2015 BRIDGMAN, MI — Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman has leaked an estimated 2,000 gallons of oil into Lake Michigan since Oct. 25, according to an event notification posted on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission website.

Plant officials notified the NRC, plus state and local officials, on Dec. 20 about the leak, which is from the Unit 2 main turbine lube oil cooler. …….

It wasn’t until Dec. 16 that it was determined a leak might exist and on Dec. 19, it was traced to one of four heat-exchange tanks, where hot oil runs through hundreds of tubes and is cooled by lake water in the tank……

The estimate of 2,000 gallons of oil leakage overall is based on a calculation that the leak began Oct. 26…..

In August, plant officials issued a report that 8,700 gallons of diesel fuel were suspected to have been released from a buried fuel oil tank, but later said there was no leak and the report resulted from “instrumentation error.”

The plant is located near Bridgman, 11 miles south of St. Joseph along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Unit 2 went into operation in 1978.

The plant is owned by American Electric Power and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, an AEP subsidiary.

Julie Mack covers K-12 education and writes a column for Kalamazoo Gazette. Email her at jmack1@mlive.com, call her at 269-350-0277 or follow her on Twitter at @kzjuliemack. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/01/cook_nuclear_plant_in_bridgman.html

January 5, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Computer worm uploaded into South Korean Nuclear Plants

computer-worm-nukeflag-S-KoreaHackers Uploaded a Worm to South Korean Nuclear Plants  Adam Clark Estes  http://gizmodo.com/hackers-uploaded-a-worm-to-south-korean-nuclear-plants-1676378891  30 Dec 14 Here’s a scary thing that happened: South Korean authorities found evidence that a worm was recently removed from devices connected to nuclear power facilities. The news comes a little over a week after the country’s nuclear plant operator received warnings on Twitter that its network had been compromised. Thankfully, the reactor controls were not infected.

The specific details of the low-risk worm remain unclear. South Korea’s Energy Ministry says that the malware probably ended up on the nuclear power facilities through an unauthorized USB device. The reactor controls of Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), the state-run utility affected, are not connected to any external networks. However, somewhat surprisingly, Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick told parliament that the worm was not connected to the other hacking incidents, a claim that “[drew] skepticism from some lawmakers,” according to Reuters. Either way, the worm and them hacks do not reflect well on the state of South Korea’s cybersecurity.

This is an especially worrisome attack in South Korea, since a third of the country’s power comes from nuclear reactors. Authorities have not ruled out the possibility that North Korea is to blame, and KHCP is beefing up its cybersecurity staff from 53 to 70. That still seems like a small number of people to guard 23 nuclear reactors, huh? [Reuters]

December 31, 2014 Posted by | incidents, South Korea | Leave a comment

Three South Korean workers died after accident at nuclear plant construction site

South Korea workers die at nuclear plant site, Sky News 27 Dec 14  Three South Korean workers have died after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea’s monopoly nuclear power company, which has come under recent threats by hackers.

The accident at the construction site in the southeastern city of Ulsan came as the state-run Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co was on high alert over a series of threats by hackers who claim they can disable the control systems of its plants.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/asiapacific/2014/12/27/south-korea-workers-die-at-nuclear-plant-site.html#sthash.ZUm6GETo.dpuf

December 27, 2014 Posted by | incidents, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea wants China’s help to investigate hacking attempts on nuclear power company

flag-S-KoreaKorea calls on China for help following hack attempt on nuclear power company IP address used in the hack traced to city on China-North Korea border. Ars Technica by  – Dec 24 2014

Last week, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, which runs South Korea’s 23 nuclear plants, suffered a security breach in which personnel records, public health monitoring data, and reactor designs were obtained from the company’s systems and posted online. The attacker, which linked to the materials on an anti-nuclear activist site, also threatened to release further information unless three of the company’s plants were shut down by tomorrow.

Now, Korean investigators have identified a Chinese IP address as the source of the attacks and are asking the Chinese government for assistance in the investigation.

According to a report in The Korea Times, the attacks were routed through three different VPN service providers in the US, Japan, and Korea. By obtaining these records, the initial IP address that launched the attack were traced to the city of Shenyang, which is on the China-North Korea border.An article from Australia’s ABC indicates that this city hosts one end of North Korea’s main Internet connection to the outside world, which was severed earlier this week.

A number of sources confirm that South Korea has asked for China’s assistance in the matter and quote an unnamed official as saying the country isn’t pointing the finger at its neighbor: “There is a possibility that the IP addresses in China are not the final source but used in a routing.” But suspicion isn’t directed at China itself; rather, it’s suspected that North Korean agents were using the Chinese city for their activities……..http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/12/korea-calls-on-china-for-help-following-theft-from-nuclear-power-company/

December 26, 2014 Posted by | incidents, South Korea | Leave a comment

Y-12 nuclear weapons plant has chemical spill, causing evacuation

Chemical spill at Y-12; building evacuated as part of emergency response http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local-news/chemical-spill-reported-at-y12-personnel-evacuated_18047765

Spill has been contained Frank Munger  Dec 16, 2014 OAK RIDGE — Federal spokesman Steven Wyatt confirmed that a chemical spill occurred Tuesday morning inside a building at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.

The building has been evacuated, but Wyatt could not immediately say how many people had been evacuated. He confirmed that the chemical involved was acetonitrile, a flammable and toxic solvent that can cause respiratory problems if breathed.

Wyatt said the building was the Purification Facility. He said the chemical had been contained in the “affected area.” All employees have been accounted for, with no injuries reported, he said.

The Purification Facility is known to be the facility where Fogbank — a classified substance used in some thermonuclear weapons — is produced. But Wyatt declined to say whether or not the spill was associated with that mission.

December 17, 2014 Posted by | incidents, USA | 4 Comments

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