- “…………Instead of a long article about what transpired in 2014 and what may be ahead, I’m going to offer readers three items… that have made a deep impression on me recently; these are “must watch” items for anyone interested in helping our species avoid peril from environmental degradation
- The deteriorating status of things at the destroyed nuclear plant at Fukushima, Japan…you have an obligation, really, to be aware of conditions there
- [There is a] very real and present threat from the… highly radioactive… destroyed cores of the reactors, as well as things like the storage of contaminated water in hastily-built, rusting containers
- This is serious stuff… an actual meltdown of the reactors — real China Syndrome stuff — as had been assumed would never likely happen in a modern reactor
- The situation is exponentially more dire than Chernobyl
- [Workers must] remove the rods for safe containment without having them contact one another and trigger a fire, the consequences of which would be unimaginable — We’re talking mass extinction around the world, especially in the northern hemisphere
- Most people have forgotten the situation and think of it only as a local Japanese problem
- It’s only a matter of time before another earthquake or tidal wave triggers such an event
Kevin Kamps, nuclear waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Hotseat, Dec 9, 2014 (at 37:00 in): “If the meltdown is bad enough, that’s going to burn its way right through the foundations of the containment — like we’ve seen at Fukushima Daiichi.” http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-exponentially-more-dire-than-chernobyl-deteriorating-plant-threatens-mass-extinction-around-world/5420579
Report: US Unprepared To Handle Nuclear Disaster The Daily Caller, JONAH BENNETT, 19 DEC 14 According to a watchdog agency, the U.S. government is woefully under-prepared for handing a nuclear attack or natural disaster because of a basic lack of coordination and medical resources, The Washington Times reports.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, obtained by The Associated Press before being released to the public, has blasted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for not keeping track of disaster efforts and not availing itself of all the information necessary to make good decisions in the event of catastrophes.
“This report makes clear that there are some areas of our country’s preparedness that need strengthening up,” said Sen. Bob Casey, who co-chairs the Senate Caucus on Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism.
FEMA’s dearth of information has left the agency dangerously in the dark, and the situation hasn’t improved since Superstorm Sandy hit large parts of the eastern seaboard in 2012, causing significant damage in New Jersey, from which the state is still recovering. Instead of taking the lead and coordinating efforts between different federal agencies, both FEMA and the Energy Department failed to effectively communicate during Sandy and received strong criticism for the 182 deaths and $65 billion dollars worth of damage which followed the storm.
More generally, the GAO noted that assuming a nuclear attack struck tomorrow, it would take at least five years for the agency to even formulate a strategy to detect unsafe radiation levels. It would take longer still — between five and ten years — to come up with an adequate medical response. According to GAO, FEMA needs to do a much better job at leading cooperation and setting objectives with clear deadlines and clear costs…………http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/19/report-us-unprepared-to-handle-nuclear-disaster/
Obama Increases Allowable Levels of Radiation in Drinking Water “Dramatically”http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-increases-allowable-levels-of-radiation-in-drinking-water-dramatically/5420787
In Time for Massive New Dumping of Daiichi Radiation
The Nuclear Industry calls this their “new normal,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
The EPA has issued radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs which allows more radiation than any American has ever been exposed to. Within the guides, are instructions for evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.”
Wouldn’t the massive break down of reactor number one at Fukushima be considered a ‘radiological emergency?”
Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, made the comment Dec. 12 about dumping radioactive waste into the ocean.
The US governments PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period. Many experts are expecting elevated cancer rates due to these “allowable” levels of radiation exposure.
The PAGs are the work of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator was only approved by the Senate a few months ago.
It is suggested that these PAGs have been in the works for over two years and are just recently available for public view.
PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said:
“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then [the] EPA is in for a long, dirty slog.”
“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”
India comes up with a global nuclear power insurance plan, to solve USA companies’ liability problem
India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan BY TOMMY WILKES AND SANJEEV MIGLANI NEW DELHI Fri Dec 19, 2014 (Reuters) - India is offering to set up an insurance pool to indemnify global nuclear suppliers against liability in the case of a nuclear accident, in a bid to unblock billions of dollars in trade held up by concerns over exposure to risk.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is hoping the plan will be enough to convince major U.S. companies such as General Electric to enter the Indian market ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit at the end of next month.
Under a 2010 nuclear liability law, nuclear equipment suppliers are liable for damages from an accident, which companies say is a sharp deviation from international norms that put the onus on the operator to maintain safety.
From the 1950s, when the United States was the only exporter of nuclear reactors, liability has been channeled to plant operators across the world.
India’s national law grew out of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, the world’s deadliest industrial accident, at a factory owned by U.S. multinational Union Carbide Corp which Indian families are still pursuing for compensation………..
GE-Hitachi, an alliance between the U.S. and Japanese firms, Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Company and France’s Areva received a green light to build two reactors each. They have yet to begin construction several years later, according to India’s Department of Atomic Energy…………..
State-run reinsurer GIC Re is preparing a proposal to build a “nuclear insurance pool” that would indemnify the third-party suppliers against liabilities they would face in the case of an accident.
Under the plan, insurance would be bought by the companies contracted to build the nuclear reactors who would then recoup the cost by charging more for their services. Alternatively, state-run operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) would take out insurance on behalf of these companies………..
Moves to win over the Americans coincide with Russia’s push to build more nuclear reactors in India……..http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/12/19/us-india-nuclear-exclusive-idINKBN0JX1I020141219
DoE Announces $12.5B in Loans for Advanced Nuclear, Energy Collective Katherine Tweed December 17, 2014 The U.S. Department of Energy issued a loan guarantee solicitation for $12.5 billion on Wednesday for innovative nuclear energy projects.
The solicitation comes on top of $8 billion for advanced fossil energy projects last December, $4 billion for renewables issued earlier this year and $6.5 billion for two nuclear reactors in February, the first new nuclear to be built in the U.S. in about 30 years……………
“DOE will look favorably on Eligible Projects that will have a catalytic effect on the commercial deployment of future Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects,” the solicitation states.
The first deadline for Part I applications is March 18, 2015, followed by rolling deadlines approximately every six months.http://theenergycollective.com/katherinetweed/2170051/doe-announces-125b-loans-advanced-nuclear
6 tons of contaminated water leak at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant Fox News 19 Dec 14 As many as six tons of radioactive water has leaked into the ground at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said this week.
Crews were transporting the water to storage tanks when it leaked from pipes at the plant’s reactor building number one Wednesday.
The water had been scrubbed in an advanced liquid processing system, theJapan Times reported, citing TEPCo. It seeped into the ground, officials said, and did not flow into the sea because there was no nearby drainage ditch……….
Wednesday’s leak occurred on the same day a team of experts from South Korea spent three hours at the plant, looking into the safety of Japanese fishery products. The group was informed of measures to keep the nuclear crisis under control, but apparently were not made aware of the leak, the Times reported.
The team inquired about the types of radioactive materials in the water and the results of radiation checks on local seawater, according to Japan’s Fisheries Agency.
In September last year, South Korea banned imports of fishery products from Fukushima and seven other areas due to recurring water leaks at the Fukushima plant. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/12/19/6-tons-contaminated-water-leak-at-japan-fukushima-nuclear-plant/
Kawauchi will have radioactive waste incinerator http://www.fukushima-is-still-news.com/2014/11/kawauchi-will-have-radioactive-waste-incinerator.html November 26, 2014 Radioactive waste incinerator built in Fukushima http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141126_27.html
A facility to incinerate radioactive debris and other waste is ready to open in a village near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Environment Ministry had been building the temporary incineration facility in the village of Kawauchi since May.
Officials and village delegates marked the completion of the work in a ceremony on Wednesday.
The facility is designed to burn 7 tons of waste per day while removing radioactive cesium.
Ministry officials plan to put the facility into full operation in early January following test runs.
The government lifted an evacuation order for part of Kawauchi last month. But about 1,700 tons of debris and other waste stored in the village remain to be disposed of.
Village Mayor Yuko Endo said some residents are worried about radiation and an unsafe living environment. He said he hopes the incineration facility will help ease their concern.
The Environment Ministry says Kawauchi is the first municipality in Futaba County to have an incineration facility. It says it plans to build similar facilities in other municipalities in the county where Fukushima Daiichi is located.
Utah nixes nuclear waste storage facility 12/27/2012 http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/12/utah-nixes-nuclear-waste-storage-facility.html Plans to park radioactive waste at a storage facility in Utah have been officially called off, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Utility companies behind the proposed project have asked the NRC to cancel the license request, after Utahns from across the political spectrum and by wide margins came out publicly against the proposal. The 100-acre storage facility would have been situated in the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation, near a bomb testing facility and 45 miles from Salt Lake City. The cash-hungry Goshutes hoped the $3 billion project would have spurred economic development on the reservation.
Japan set for nuclear showdown http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/12/japan-set-for-nuclear-showdown.html 12/27/2012 Days after Japan’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party was swept back to power in a landslide, millions of the country’s citizens have signed an online petition demanding the government phase out nuclear power generation. The petition has received 8 million signatures, while hundreds have taken to the streets to demonstrate against nuclear power, the AFP reports. Meanwhile, on Dec. 27, the LDP set to work dismantling the previous government’s plan to rid the country of nuclear power by 2040. The LDP’s victory on December 16 brought the party back to power after a rare three-year hiatus in its status as the majority party.
A “capacity market” auction undertaken this week by National Grid has ended with a price of £19.40 per kilowatt (kW) being agreed as a subsidy.
EDF, the owner of the UK’s existing nuclear fleet, is one of the major provisional winners but other “big six” firms such as E.ON, npower and SSE have also succeeded……………….
EDF’s nuclear fleet is also providing 16% of the capacity. This will also be a bonus for Centrica which owns 20% of this EDF-operated business. Centrica has also had two gas stations included. 45% comes from gas fired plants and less than half a percent by those promising demand side reduction………….http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/dec/19/uk-energy-auction-coal-nuclear-generation
Iran honoring nuclear deal with Western powers, IAEA report shows Jerusalem Post, 19 Dec 14, Iran has continued to meet commitments under an interim nuclear agreement with six world powers, a confidential UN agency report showed, though Tehran temporarily halted conversion work that makes higher-grade uranium less suitable for bombs.
The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), seen by Reuters, said Iran was not enriching uranium above a fissile concentration of 5 percent, far below the 90 percent level needed for atomic arms. It also said Iran had not made “any further advances” to its activities at two enrichment facilities and an unfinished heavy water reactor.
Under last year’s accord between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China and Britain, the Islamic Republic halted its most sensitive nuclear activity and took other steps in exchange for some easing of economic sanctions…………http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-honoring-nuclear-deal-with-Western-powers-IAEA-report-shows-385206
The WU-14 flights are just the latest installment of Chinese military systems revealed to the world through tests and roll-outs. Other examples in recent memory include China’s anti-satellite test (ASAT) in 2007, its ballistic missile defence (BMD) tests in 2010, 2013 and 2014, as well as its unveiling of the J-20 stealth fighter in 2010. This is not to mention its flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in 2013, test of the intercontinental ballistic missile DF-31A in 2014 and recent revelations regarding the DF-41.
The level of sophistication and deployment of many of these systems remains to be seen. Still, these roll-outs indicate that China is shifting from transparency based on intent to one rooted in capabilities.
t first glance, Beijing’s approach towards conventional and nuclear deterrence may appear distinct and static. China’s conventional deterrence is based on war-fighting, counter-force, asymmetry and pre-emption. This is contrasted with its nuclear deterrence posture, which has for decades been founded on non-war-fighting, counter-value, asymmetry and no-first-use. It is often taken for granted that these two deterrence postures are isolated, with their only real point of intersection being asymmetry. Yet, there are indications that China’s conventional and nuclear deterrence are far less independent and fixed than its rhetoric suggests.
This stems from at least five factors:
- China’s Second Artillery has been responsible for both its conventional and nuclear missiles since the early 1990s. The potential for crossover between these two domains has only grown since that time, particularly in light of its training of personnel and advances in missile technology in recent years.
- China’s conventional and nuclear command and control centres are reportedly co-located. This means that an attack, whether through advanced conventional systems or cyber-attacks, while intending to negate conventional command and control centres, could also threaten China’s nuclear command and control, thus leading to escalation.
- China’s system of tunnels leaves gaps in the understanding of its nuclear and conventional forces. While there has been debate about the potential trove of nuclear warheads within China’s Great Wall Engineering project, the issue is less one of quantity than of overall inability to account for location, systems and practices that some Chinese experts maintain verify nuclear posture…………………
Toshiba in talks to sell portion of Westinghouse nuclear unit http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2012/12/toshiba-in-talks-to-sell-westinghouse-nuclear-unit.html 12/27/2012Toshiba Corp. (NASDAQ: TOSBF) is currently in talks with three unnamed parties as it seeks to sell up to 16 percent of its stake in the Westinghouse Electric Co. nuclear power unit, the Wall Street Journal reports. The conglomerate is mulling three “very good offers,” Toshiba President Norio Sasaki said, and remains optimistic about its nuclear reactor business despite uncertainty about the future of nuclear power in Japan in the wake of Fukushima. Toshiba paid about $4.2 billion for 77 percent of Westinghouse six years ago and has since sold 10 percent of the company to Kazakhstan’s state-owned NAC Kazatomprom JSC. Toshiba will retain at least 51 percent ownership of the company, said Mr. Sasaki.
The co-signatories “support the broad conclusions drawn in the article ‘Key role for nuclear energy in global biodiversity conservation’, published in Conservation Biology.” The open letter states: “Brook and Bradshaw argue that the full gamut of electricity-generation sources − including nuclear power − must be deployed to replace the burning of fossil fuels, if we are to have any chance of mitigating severe climate change.”
So, here’s my open letter in response to the open letter initiated by Brook and Bradshaw:
– – –
Dear conservation scientists, Continue reading
DIA: North Korea Planned Attacks on US Nuclear Plants, Washington Free Beacon 18 Dec 14 Bill Gertz Five commando units trained for strikes, sabotage North Korea dispatched covert commando teams to the United States in the 1990s to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in a conflict, according to a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report. The DIA report, dated Sept. 13, 2004, reveals that five units of covert commandos were trained for the attacks inside the country.
According to the report, the “Reconnaissance Bureau, North Korea, had agents in place to attack American nuclear power plants.”
The document states that the North Korean Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, the ministry in charge of the military, “established five liaison offices in the early 1990s, to train and infiltrate operatives into the United States to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in case of hostilities.”…….
Disclosure of the report, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, comes amid threats by presumed North Korean agents to conduct September 11-style terrorist attacks against U.S. movie theaters……….http://freebeacon.com/national-security/dia-north-korea-planned-attacks-on-us-nuclear-plants/
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