Countdown to Nuclear Ruin at Paducah EcoWatch May 22, 2013 by Geoffrey Sea Disaster is about to strike in western Kentucky, a full-blown nuclear catastrophe involving hundreds of tons of enriched uranium tainted with plutonium, technetium, arsenic, beryllium and a toxic chemical brew. But this nuke calamity will be no fluke. It’s been foreseen, planned, even programmed, the result of an atomic extortion game played out between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the most failed American experiment in privatization, the company that has run the Paducah plant into the poisoned ground, USEC Inc.
As now scheduled, main power to the gargantuan gaseous diffusion uranium plant at Paducah, Kentucky, will be cut at midnight on May 31, just nine days from now—cut because USEC has terminated its power contract with TVA as of that time [“USEC Ceases Buying Power,” Paducah Sun, April 19, page 1] and because DOE can’t pick up the bill.
DOE is five months away from the start of 2014 spending authority, needed to fund clean power-down at Paducah. Meanwhile, USEC’s total market capitalization has declined to about $45 million, not enough to meet minimum listing requirements for the New York Stock Exchange, pay off the company’s staggering debts or retain its operating licenses under financial capacity requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Read more »
eventually, someone in America would think of the idea of shutting down nuclear plants, at least till there’s a way to permanently solve the wastes problem
Flaws in the NRC’s review to date, the attorneys general said, include that it has not given adequate consideration to two alternatives:
— A rule saying that after five years cooling in specially constructed pools, the waste would have to be moved to hardened concrete and steel casks on plant grounds. That would leave much less radioactive material in spent fuel pools that have been described as more vulnerable to earthquakes or terrorist attacks.
— “The alternative of not allowing further production of spent fuel until the NRC determines that there is a safe and environmentally acceptable permanent waste repository to receive the additional spent fuel.” Not allowing further production of spent fuel would mean shutting down the entire U.S. nuclear industry.
Federal Nuclear Waste Rules Need To Be Improved, Attorneys General Petition NRC http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/federal-nuclear-waste-rules_n_3328495.html?utm_hp_ref=green AP By By DAVE GRAM : 05/23/2013 MONTPELIER, Vt. — Attorneys general in Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut announced Thursday they are petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a more thorough environmental review of storage of highly radioactive nuclear waste at plant sites. Read more »
Graph of the Day: Solar grid parity in 102 countries http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-solar-grid-parity-in-102-countries-39133 By Giles Parkinson on 24 May 2013 Here’s an interesting graph used by Suntech’s Stuart Wenham (sourced from Applied Materials) during a presentation at the Solar 2013 conference in Melbourne on Thursday. It highlights the extent of “grid parity” for solar PV across the world – it is now in 102 countries.
This definition of “grid parity” is the cost of rooftop solar versus the cost of electricity sourced from the grid – this is sometimes known as “socket parity”. Most of the countries – though not all – are those with good solar resources and relatively high electricity pricesAustralia reached “socket parity” several years ago.
Wenham says that solar PV will fall a further 50 per cent in costs up to 2020 – see our story today. He says that solar PV at a utility level will also challenge fossil fuels – as it already does in those with high gas and diesel costs, and will offer the cheapest avenue to countries which have little electricity infrastructure.
VIDEO Hanford officials hid leak evidence from advisory panel http://www.king5.com/news/investigators/Hanford-officials-hid-leak-evidence-from-advisory-panel-208417861.html
‘Amazing’: Plutonium leak at U.S. nuclear site hidden from public — Official: “A very deliberate cover up… I will use the word that we were lied to” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/amazing-plutonium-leak-at-u-s-nuclear-site-hidden-from-public-official-a-very-deliberate-cover-up-i-will-use-the-word-that-we-were-lied-to-video
Title: Hanford officials hid leak evidence from advisory panel
Source: KING 5
Author: SUSANNAH FRAME
Date: May 21, 2013
A government-chartered advisory panel was told last September that materials spotted outside the inner wall of a tank holding radioactive waste at the Hanford Site were possibly the result of a “carbonate buildup,” “cross-contamination” or “rainwater leakage.” [...]
On Aug. 13, the results were sent to multiple [Washington River Protection Solutions] officials showing measurable amounts of Cesium-137 and Strontium-90, two highly radioactive elements that are a byproduct of nuclear fission. Trace amounts of Plutonium 239/240 and Americium-241 were also detected.
A reference to the results in a Leak Assessment Report made public on Nov. 7 says the materials were registering 800,000 dpm (disintegrations per minute), a high level of radioactivity that had never been found in that portion of the tank before. [...]
“This was a very deliberate cover up and I will use the word that we were lied to. There’s no two ways about it, we were lied to,” said state Rep. [Gerry] Pollet. [...]
Anchor: “Susannah, amazing stuff, thank you.”
VIDEO Solar Powered Wheelchair Wins Award http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=3758 25 May 13 A team from University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science recently won first place in a 2012 World Cerebral Palsy Day competition for their solar powered wheelchair design.
We first reported on solar wheelchairs back in 2010, when Haidar Taleb had just begun a journey to take him across the United Arab Emirates.
Inspired by roofs on convertible cars, the lightweight solar panels on the U.Va. team’s wheelchair are retractable and don’t significantly add to its length, width, height or weight when stored. A system of hinges on both sides of the chair controls the deployment of the solar panels. The three panels have a conversion efficiency of 15% and a capacity of 160 watts. When fully deployed, the custom solar panels cover an area of over one square meter. The wheelchair can operate for more than 4.5 hours at a speed of 8 kilometres per hour on a fully charged lead acid deep cycle battery, a range increase of more than 40 percent over batteries alone. At a speed of 1.6 km/h and suitable light exposure, the wheelchair and can run “indefinitely”; without needing to utilise battery power.
Built with lightweight materials, while the system may look fragile, it has been designed to operate under conditions more extreme than would be experienced in normal use. The panels and retractable mechanisms account for less than 15% of the completed wheelchair’s unoccupied weight.
Anyone with enough physical dexterity to use a joystick can operate the chair; including retracting and deploying the solar panels. In addition to standard features common to this type of wheelchair, USB power outlets are provided that can power a wide range of small devices.
In a wonderful display of generosity, the team will use their prize money to perform some final tweaks to the chair give it the individual in Turkey who submitted the initial suggestion for a solar-powered wheelchair.
The remaining prize money will be returned to United Cerebral Palsy in support of future World CP Day competitions.
Public hearing on MP’s Chukta nuclear power project cancelled
http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/public-hearing-on-mp-s-chukta-nuclear-power-project-cancelled-113052401095_1.html Led by Ramon Magsaysay award winner Dr Sandeep Pandey and others prominent activists of the state, locals of as many as 38 villages restricted Mandla district administration to organise a public hearing on controversial Chutka nuclear power project.
According to activists, more than 4,000 villagers reached the hearing site at Chutka and stalled the process before it could take place. ”The public hearing meeting has been cancelled today,” said a government spokesperson but refused to give details on next schedule.
According to the protesters, agitation against the 1,400 MW Chutka nuclear power project (450 km east from Bhopal) was boiling up. They are likely to intensify agitation against land acquisition process launched by state government. Read more »
Russia Approves Subsidy Program to Boost Renewable-Energy Output http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-24/russia-approves-subsidy-program-to-boost-renewable-energy-output.html By Marc Roca - May 23, 2013 Russia approved an incentive program to boost renewable-energy production, targeting almost 6 gigawatts of new capacity by 2020 and its first solar parks.
The government yesterday signed a decree that includes measures to support wind, photovoltaic and small hydropower projects across the country, Dmitry Babanskiy, a spokesman for the Energy Ministry, said today by e-mail.
The measures will increase the proportion of renewable energy to 2.5 percent of power generation by 2020 from 0.8 percent now, he said.
Michigan state Senate says Ontario nuclear waste site ‘raises serious concerns’ The Star, 24 May 13The proposed site, a Senate resolution notes, is less than 1.6 kilometres from the Lake Huron shoreline and “upstream from the main drinking water intakes for southeast Michigan.” State senators in Michigan say that a planned nuclear waste disposal site near Kincardine, Ont., “raises serious concerns.”
The concern is expressed in a resolution passed Tuesday by the Senate.
The senate also proposes that the public comment period on the proposal, which wraps up Friday, should be extended.
Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood, who introduced the resolution, said that it will be submitted to the formal comment process on the waste site.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) proposes to construct the facility at the Bruce nuclear station beside Lake Huron….. The proposed site’s proximity to the lake caught the attention of the Michigan senators.
The resolution, which carried without dissent on a voice vote, notes that Michigan rules prohibit low-level nuclear waste from being stored within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of the lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes system bordering Michigan.
“We encourage Canada to consider similar siting criteria,” the resolution says.
The proposed site, the resolution notes, is less than a mile (1.6 kilometres) from the Lake Huron shoreline and “upstream from the main drinking water intakes for southeast Michigan.”….. http://www.thestar.com/business/economy/2013/05/23/michigan_senate_says_ontario_nuclear_waste_site_raises_serious_concerns.html
DNR Won’t Test For Most Radiation at Bridgeton Landfill http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/05/23/dnr-wont-test-for-most-radiation-at-bridgeton-landfill/ May 23, 2013 BRIDGETON, MO (KMOX) - A court-approved plan to dig up parts of a burning Bridgeton landfill and cap it with plastic continues Thursday.
Bridgeton resident and mother of three young children Dawn Chapman says the Missouri Department of Natural Resources told her by telephone no testing is being done for “alpha and beta radiation,” despite the fire’s proximity to buried nuclear waste.
“I don’t want my children exposed to any of this radiation,” she said. “You know, you can say it may or may not be above the ground but the point is it’s not supposed to be there. Children are not supposed to be inhaling radiation coming out of the landfill fire.”
State officials confirm to KMOX they are only testing for “gamma” radiation, not alpha and beta. The reason given is that alpha and beta monitoring requires different equipment and lab work which lasts weeks.
Radiation leak reported day after incident at Ibaraki laboratory, Global Post, 24 May 13Radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere Thursday outside the controlled area at one of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear physics laboratories in Ibaraki Prefecture, the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s secretariat said early Saturday morning.
Fifty-five researchers and others who were engaged in experiments and other work at the laboratory may have been exposed to radiation as a result of inhaling the substances, but none were taken to hospital, the government body said. Four have so far undergone checkups and the highest radiation dose detected was 1.7 millisievert.
No impact from the radiation is expected beyond the premises of the accelerator laboratory in Tokaimura….. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130524/radiation-leak-reported-day-after-incident-at-ibaraki-
The plane truth about flying revealed BY:BY KATE SCHNEIDER, The Australian, May 24, 2013“…….How much radiation are passengers exposed to during a flight?People travelling in aircraft may be exposed to more ionising radiation than they would be exposed to on the ground. That’s because when you’re flying between 7000 and 12,000 metres (the typical cruising altitude of a commercial aircraft), the Earth’s atmosphere provides less protection from cosmic radiation.
To put this into perspective, during a seven-hour flight from New York to London travellers receive about the same dose of radiation as a chest X-ray; and from New York to Tokyo, two chest X-rays, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.Passengers receive the same dose of radiation as a chest X-ray on a flight from New York to Tokyo. ….. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/news/the-plane-truth-about-flying-revealed/story-e6frg8ro-1226649790296
JAPAN NUCLEAR REACTOR ATOP ACTIVE FAULT: REGULATOR, Yahoo 7 News, May 23, 2013TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that one reactor was sitting directly above an active tectonic fault, effectively ruling out a restart forever.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it had approved a report from experts which found a crack in the Earth’s crust lying underneath the reactor at a plant in Tsuruga, western Japan, was active. ”There is a need for us to take the report seriously,” NRA chairman
Shunichi Tanaka said.
It is the first time the newly-minted NRA has made such a ruling. It is still investigating possibly-active faults under five other
reactors. A second reactor at Tsuruga, which sits 300 metres (328 yards) away, is not one of this number.
The final decision on a restart rests with the government, who are expected to be asked by plant operator Japan Atomic Power to overrule
Observers say despite its pro-nuclear stance, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is unlikely to risk public ire by backing the
operator, meaning the reactor would become the first to be permanently shuttered since the Fukushima disaster……
Tepco: M6 quake caused leak at Fukushima Daiichi — Water coming from pipe of Units 5, 6 http://enenews.com/m6-quake-caused-leak-at-fukushima-daiichi-water-coming-from-pipe-of-units-5-6
Title: Earthquake Occurred on May 18, 2013 (Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations) (Follow-up Information No.2)
Source: Tepco Press Release
Date: May 20, 2013
h/t Anonymous tip
This is a follow-up report on the statuses of Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations after the earthquake occurred in the offshore of Fukushima Prefecture (M5.9) at around 2:48 PM on May 18.
At around 4:10 PM in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, a TEPCO employee found water dropping from an overflow pipe of Units 5-6 RO treated water tank (D7 tank) where the leakage was found yesterday on the site patrol after the earthquake. [...]
Regarding the treated water dropping from an overflow pipe of Units 5-6 RO treated water tank, the leakage area is estimated to be about 2 m x about 2 m and the leakage amount is estimated to be about 4 liters. [...]
The water dropping is assumed to be caused by the earthquake occurred at around 2:48 PM today since the treated water tank was at full capacity from yesterday. [...]
See also: Strong M6 quake hits near Fukushima nuclear plant — Intensity 5+ on JMA scale — Officials: “No reports of damage so far”
Nuclear futures: renewables blossom in Germany’s post-nuclear vision .http://theconversation.com/nuclear-futures-renewables-blossom-in-germanys-post-nuclear-vision-14364 Erik Gawel, Sebastian Strunz 22 May 2013, When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan was hit by a tsunami in March 2011, the disaster had a profound effect on German energy policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel reasoned that “Fukushima has forever changed the way we define risk in Germany.”
Three days after the news of meltdown in three of Fukushima’s reactors, Chancellor Merkel drew a line under German nuclear power. The seven oldest nuclear power plants in Germany were immediately taken off the grid, and two months later the government made this permanent. The remaining German nuclear power plants, it was decided, would be shut down by 2022.
This decision was a spectacular policy U-turn, as the same conservative government had only recently overturned an earlier attempt to ban nuclear power in Germany. In 2010, Chancellor Merkel’s coalition had argued that nuclear power was a “bridge technology” ecessary to pave the way towards a carbon-free energy system. The prolonged use of nuclear power would be indispensable in order to guarantee security of supply, it was claimed.
This raises two questions: did removing seven power plants endanger the security of supply to the German national grid? And what convincing long-term strategy is there in place to manage the shift to carbon-free energy without nuclear power? Read more »
(i cludes video)Nuclear Secrets: How America Helped Pakistan Get the Bomb http://www.corbettreport.com/nuclear-secrets-how-america-helped-pakistan-get-the-bomb/ by James Corbett BoilingFrogsPost.com May 21, 2013 In this series of Eyeopener reports, we have been exploring the whistleblowers in the national intelligence establishment of the United States that have put their careers (and in some cases even their lives) on the line to shine a spotlight on the fraud, corruption and treason in the highest positions of power in the land. From the abuses of the NSA in its war against the American citizenry to the shocking details of Homeland Security informants participating in murders in Mexico with the full complicity of their government handlers, there is sadly no shortage of stories to explore. Perhaps one of the most unsettling stories, however, concerns what has been for the past half century regarded as one of the primary security threats not just to the United States but to the entire planet: nuclear proliferation.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani national, was working at a centrifuge production facility in the Netherlands in 1974 when he first offered his services to the Pakistani government to offer them help with their nuclear program. After convincing them to develop a uranium-based bomb, he began stealing nuclear designs from the Dutch company he was working for. What followed was a three decade affair in which Khan and the nuclear network he developed not only successfully helped Pakistan acquire the knowledge, equipment and materials to build their own bomb, but allegedly helped to proliferate that technology to Iran, Libya and North Korea as well.
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