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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Radiation exposure leads to one cancer, and to another one, later on

cancer_cellsLink between radiation exposure and first and second cancers exposed by researchers http://www.naturalnews.com/044750_radiation_exposure_cancer_tumors.html, April 17, 2014 by: David Gutierre (NaturalNews) Large-scale population studies of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have confirmed that radiation exposure can lead to multiple cancers that manifest separately over the course of years or decades — a finding with implications not just in cases of nuclear accidents or attacks but also for radiation-based cancer treatments.

The landmark study was conducted by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the National Cancer Institute, and published in the journal Cancer Research in September 2010. It found that the risk of developing a second cancer from radiation exposure was nearly identical to the risk of developing a first.

“Our findings suggest that cancer survivors with a history of radiation exposure should continue to be carefully monitored for second cancers,” said researcher Christopher I. Li, MD, PhD.
Certain organs more vulnerable

Radiation causes cancer when it damages the DNA of a cell but does not kill that cell outright. If the cell is unable to repair itself, it will continue to produce other mutated cells every time it divides. Eventually, this cluster of mutated cells may progress into clinical cancer.

Although the link between radiation and cancer is undisputed, researchers have been unsure to what degree a single radiation exposure can produce more than one cancer. To answer this question, researchers analyzed data from the Life Span Study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors who had been followed from 1950 through 2002. Out of 10,031 people who survived a primary cancer, 1,088 eventually developed another form of cancer unrelated to the first (a “second primary cancer”).

The researchers found that the rate of second cancers among primary cancer survivors was nearly identical to the rate of primary cancers among radiation survivors as a whole.

“We found that radiation exposure increased the risks of first and second cancers to a similar degree,” Li said. “People exposed to radiation who developed cancer also had a high risk of developing a second cancer, and the risk was similar for both solid tumors and leukemias in both men and women, regardless of age at exposure or duration between first and second primary cancers.”

The most common first and second cancers to develop as a result of radiation were of the stomach, lungs, liver and female breast. Primary cancer survivors were also particularly prone to cancers of the colon, thyroid, bladder and blood. All these organs are known to be especially sensitive to radiation.

The study’s findings have obvious implications for the long-term care of people exposed to large amounts of radiation, whether through workplace exposure or through a nuclear accident such as at the Fukushima power plant in Japan.

“We greatly appreciate having the opportunity to conduct this unique research with our Japanese colleagues who, through innumerable publications, have truly transformed the tragedy of the atomic bombings to fundamental scientific advancements that have impacted radiation protection standards and policies worldwide,” Li said.

Implications for medicine

But the findings also have major implications for modern medicine, which is responsible for nearly half of all total radiation exposure experienced by the U.S. population, and well over half of the non-natural exposure experienced by most regular citizens.

In a presentation at the Clatterbridge Course on Radiobiology and Radiobiological Modelling in Radiotherapy in March 2013, cancer researcher Geoff Lawrence acknowledged that numerous studies suggest that radiation treatment for cancer can lead to the development of new cancers, often decades later.

“If irradiated at a young age, the lifetime risk is much higher than for those irradiated when older, and the risk is higher for females,” Lawrence said.

April 18, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, radiation | Leave a comment

Radioactive trash from fracking is just booming

Radioactive Waste Booms With Fracking as New Rules Mulled, Bloomberg,  By Alex Nussbaum  Apr 16, 2014 Oilfields are spinning off thousands of tons of low-level radioactive trash as the U.S. drilling boom leads to a surge in illegal dumping and states debate how much landfills can safely take.

wastes-from-fracking

State regulators are caught between environmental and public health groups demanding more regulation and the industry, which says it’s already taking proper precautions. As scientists debate the impact of small amounts of radiation on cancer risks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says there’s not enough evidence to say what level is safe.

Left to police the waste, state governments are increasing their scrutiny of well operators. Pennsylvania and West Virginia are revising limits for acceptable radiation levels and strengthening disposal rules. North Dakota’s doing the same, after finding piles of garbage bags filled with radioactive debris in an abandoned building this year. “We have many more wells, producing at an accelerating rate, and for each of them there’s a higher volume of waste,” said Avner Vengosh, a professor of geochemistry at Duke University in Durham,North Carolina, who’s studied the issue. Without proper handling, “we are actually building up a legacy of radioactivity in hundreds of points where people have had leaks or spills around the country.”

Source: North Dakota Dept of Health via Bloomberg

On Feb. 28, North Dakota officials found hundreds of irradiated “filter socks” — used…Read More

The waste is a byproduct of the drilling renaissance that has brought U.S. oil and natural gas production to its highest levels in three decades — while also unlocking naturally occurring radium from rock formations far underground…….

Radium Contamination

The issue is shale rock, the dense formations found to hold immense reserves of gas and oil. Shale often contains higher levels of radium — a chemical element used in industrial X-ray diagnostics and cancer treatments — than traditional oil fields, Vengosh said.

Freeing gas and oil is a water-intensive process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which drill bits cut thousands of feet through shale fields to make way for high-pressure water streams that pulverize the rock. The process displaces radium-tinged subterranean water that comes up through the wells, where it can taint soil and surface equipment. Radiation levels can build up in sludges at the bottom of tanks, pipeline scale and other material that comes in extended contact with wastewater.

Buried Waste

Some states allow the contaminated material to be buried at the drill site. Some is hauled away, with varying requirements for tracking the waste. Some ends up in roadside ditches, garbage dumpsters or is taken to landfills in violation of local rules, said Scott Radig, director of the North Dakota Health Department’s Division of Waste Management.

In that state’s Bakken oilfields, “it’s a wink-and-a-nod situation,” said Darrell Dorgan, a spokesman for the North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition, a group lobbying for stricter rules. “There’s hundreds of thousands of square miles in northwestern North Dakota and a lot of it is isolated. Nobody’s looking at where all of it is going.”…….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-15/radioactive-waste-booms-with-oil-as-new-rules-mulled.html

April 18, 2014 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

$Millions spent on Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) “just gone”

military-industrial-complexIrresponsible spending on nuclear weapons infrastructure http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/203685-irresponsible-spending-on-nuclear-weapons-infrastructure By Eric Tamerlani 17 April 14 Hundreds of millions of tax dollars have been wasted on U.S. nuclear weapons infrastructure—again. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) wasted about $600 million on the design of the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The waste was confirmed by Bruce Held, NNSA administrator. In an April 8 House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Held said that half of the $1.2 billion spent on designing the UPF is “just gone.”

Responsible for maintaining the nuclear weapons arsenal and laboratories that support the arsenal, NNSA is a federal civilian contracting agency that oversees major construction contracts. A major contract is defined by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as having a value over $750 million.

NNSA’s major contracts are on GAO’s “High Risk List,” susceptible to fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement. When it comes to big construction jobs, NNSA seems to have more money than sense. To their credit, NNSA has improved on managing projects less than $750 million; several smaller projects were completed on time and on budget. Unfortunately, the UPF is among the latest examples of NNSA’s failure to responsibly manage large contracts.

Half the money spent on designing the facility is gone with nothing to show for it. The start of UPF’s construction has been delayed by at least 10 years. According to Held, the facility may not be finished until 2038—“well after most people who are today working at Oak Ridge would be long retired.” Each representative and senator on the Appropriations Energy and Water subcommittees should wonder how a federal agency with several major contracts could let one project slip so perilously out of control. When mismanagement leads to exorbitant waste and abuse of the taxpayer, it is time to take a closer look. Rep. Rogers was right: it is awful.

Nuclear weapons facilities have operated on an assumption that government objectives are better met by the skill and expertise of private industry. Facilities would be owned by the government, and industry would be contracted to operate the facilities. That relationship has worked in some other functions of the Energy Department, particularly the Office of Science, but the model seems to have failed the UPF project.

The management and operating contractor for the UPF was Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Y-12 (B&W), which has since been replaced on the project. NNSA would oversee B&W as the private contractor carried out the majority of the work to design and build the UPF. B&W was free to achieve the NNSA’s performance goals as they saw fit, which is in line with the thinking that government defers to the expertise of industry.

In the process, B&W subcontracted UPF’s design to four other companies and then failed to consolidate or supervise the subcontractors’ work. This led to an untenable design which was scrapped and over half a billion tax dollars were paid to a handful of companies for nothing the government could use. More rigorous performance standards for contractors have since been put in place. However, more can be done. A peer review process could be used at NNSA. Private engineers and managers from other contractors across the nuclear weapons complex could critique each other’s plans, under NNSA direction, before embarking on large construction projects. This would provide assessment of projects from companies that work for NNSA but are not working on the project being considered.

Additionally Congress could place the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in charge of supervising all major NNSA construction projects until NNSA has a better track record with the GAO. The Corps has helped other parts of the government with fledgling construction responsibilities and they could teach the NNSA a thing or two.

The Friends Committee on National Legislation opposes all nuclear weapons and the facilities that support their modernization. However, you don’t have to be a Quaker or pacifist to realize the millions our government throws down the drain on the UPF and other mismanaged projects at NNSA is poor public policy.

Demanding accountability from federal contractors, requiring independent performance evaluation from across the complex, and supplementing industry expertise with the Army Corps of Engineers protects taxpayers from waste and abuse and certifies the NNSA can be effective at overseeing large projects that it delegates to industry.

Tamerlani is the program assistant for Nuclear Disarmament at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

April 18, 2014 Posted by | politics, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Secret deals trapping Turkey into buying Japanese nuclear technology

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2  Why would the Western authorities allow a country like Turkey to have nuclear plants?  

Because it can trap such a nation under secret deals of the colluding powers, expanding and stabilizing their profit-oriented status quo guaranteed by the magic words “national security”

Japanese Nuclear Plants For Sale http://www.opednews.com/articles/Japanese-Nuclear-Plants-Fo-by-Hiroyuki-Hamada-Fukushima-Meltdown_Government-Industry-Collusion_Government-Transparency_National-Security-140417-354.html?show=votes

By   17 April 14 I don’t understand why people are not talking about this but here it goes.  Japan has been working hard to export nuclear plants.  That’s odd, right?  After what happened in Fukushima?  I mean who would want it?  And if you want it, would you get it from Japan?

Here is an interesting fact.  Japan has accumulated at least 4000 nuclear warheads’ worth of plutonium, and in fact, it used to export plutonium to England where it was used to make nuclear weapons (1).  And that is actually an enormous feat for a nation with a peace constitution that bans wars as a means of conflict resolution, and for a nation with multiple regulations guarding against exporting weapons, which of course stipulate anything nuclear as a big no.  What I’m trying to say is that Japan has been very very dishonest about its nuclear policies. The numbers and the facts, which have become available after the accident, state that the nuclear energy has not been as efficient as what has been claimed, while the safety measures and potential risks have not been the primary concerns.  In fact some of us now believe that the primary reason why Japan acquired nuclear energy at the first place was to acquire bomb- making capability, along with the lucrative deals guaranteed by the western nuclear authorities (2).

Last year, one of the Japanese parliament members demanded detailed info regarding the export of the nuclear plant to Vietnam.  Many of us were stunned to see the disclosed papers completely filled with black rectangles, the contents were pretty much all censored due to national-security concerns (3).

Now, why would anyone want a nuclear plant from Japan? Continue reading

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Japan, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

IAEA says Iran has made drastic cuts in its stock of highly enriched uranium

flag-IranIran slashes nuclear stock, says UN http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=968784  April 18, 2014 Iran has cut its stock of highly-enriched uranium by 75 per cent, a new report by the UN’s nuclear watchdog has revealed.

The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) showed Tehran remained in compliance with a November interim deal made with world powers, drawn up as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to Iran’s controversial nuclear drive.

Under the agreement, Iran pledged to ‘dilute’ half of its highly-enriched uranium by mid-April, with the rest to be converted by mid-July.

The IAEA report also said that progress on a plant in Tehran that will be used for the conversion of low-enriched uranium had been delayed, but that Iran had said this will not prevent it from fulfilling its part of the deal by the July 20 deadline.

Diplomats who saw the document told AFP everything was in order.

The international community was ‘keeping an eye’ on progress at the conversion plant in Tehran, one of the diplomats added.

Under the November deal, Iran agreed to freeze parts of its nuclear activities, including limiting enrichment. Enriching uranium can be part of a peaceful atomic drive but can also produce weapons-grade material for a bomb.

Tehran has consistently said its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, while the West believes it has a military dimension.

Iran and six world powers – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — will next meet on May 13 in a bid to draw up a lasting accord and end the decade-old standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

2014 A leap ahead for renewable energy businesses?

solar-panels-and-moneyClean energy: Is a boom coming in 2014?, Christian Science Monitor, 16 April 14 Clean energy is off to a strong start in 2014, with global investment rising as prices for wind and solar power continue to drop. Renewables still hold a small share of total energy mixes, but clean-energy growth is picking up momentum.

By Staff writer / April 16, 2014 he first quarter of 2014 may ease any worries about clean energy’s future. After two years of annual declines, investments in clean energy worldwide jumped 9 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released Wednesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), a London-based energy analysis firm. Solar power led the way with a 23 percent increase, more than offsetting a 16 percent decline in wind power. All told, investors spent $47.7 billion on renewables and energy efficiency in the first three months of this year.

Global investment in renewable energy is up, technology costs continue to drop precipitously, and markets are expanding into emerging economies in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The industry still has a long way to go, and many say a shift to cleaner energy is happening too slowly to offset the downsides of carbon-heavy fuels. Even so, the broad, global outlook for renewables is bright, and deployment of the technology verges on rapid acceleration.

It is too early to say definitively that 2013 was the low point for clean energy investment worldwide and that 2014 will show a rebound, but the first-quarter numbers are encouraging,” Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said in a statement Wednesday.

The bulk of the gains came in the form of small-scale solar installations, like residential rooftop solar panels. It suggests that falling prices and new financing options are quickly eroding the barriers to entry that long discouraged consumers from home solar. The cost of a rooftop solar array has dropped from nearly $7 per watt in 2008 to $4 or less in 2013, according to an April report by McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm.

Clean-energy growth isn’t limited to the world’s developed economies. Brazil saw the biggest investment gain, jumping 211 percent year-over-year to $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014, according to BNEF. Investment grew 82 percent to $2.4 billion in the Middle East and Africa.

“In Q1, we saw two of the top four asset finance deals happening in Indonesia and Kenya,” Mr. Liebreich said in a statement……..http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0416/Clean-energy-Is-a-boom-coming-in-2014

April 18, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

UK’s surviving atomic test veterans cautiously welcome David Cameron’s statement

Thorpe St Andrew nuclear test veteran speaks of defect fears, after PM gives flag-UKhope to families, Norwich Evening News 24, 17 April 14

“………Veterans say they were made ill as a result of being exposed to radiation during the tests, and have been battling for recognition and compensation for years.

 Fewer than 3,000 veterans survive and while welcoming Mr Cameron’s pledge, Mr Freeman said: “We are concerned it’s just an election ploy. Tony Blair said something similar in opposition, then did nothing when he was elected.”

Mr Freeman, a father-of-three and grandfather-of-eight, said his ninth grandchild was expected next month, but added: “I’ve got grandchildren who suffer from deafness and one was born with one kidney. With another grandchild due, we are all worried that everything is going to be OK, as you can never tell.”

Nuclear test campaigners say Mr Cameron’s pledge is the closest they have been to formal recognition of the suffering caused by the South Pacific explosions. The meeting between Mr Cameron and Tory MP John Baron last week was the first time the veterans had their case put forward to any prime minister.

Mr Baron, patron of the British Nuclear Test Veterans’ Association, told the PM descendants had 10 times the normal rate of birth defects, their wives had elevated rates of ­miscarriage, and no other veterans’ group had suffered harm which spread down the generations. France, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China and even the Isle of Man ­recognise and compensate test veterans. The MoD has always insisted no harm befell the men.

Are you a veteran of nuclear testing living in the Norwich area? Email reporter David Bale at david.bale2@archant.co.uk http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/thorpe_st_andrew_nuclear_test_veteran_speaks_of_defect_fears_after_pm_gives_hope_to_families_1_3562535

April 18, 2014 Posted by | health, social effects, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Obama does what he can to promoter solar energy

Obama to challenge private companies to boost solar power use WP, By  and ,   April 16 E-mail the writers

President Obama will challenge companies Thursday to expand their use of solar power, part of his ongoing effort to leverage the power of his office to achieve goals that have been stymied by Congress. The new initiative comes as the White House is hosting a Solar Summit aimed at highlighting successful efforts on the local level to speed the deployment of solar energy…….

“Now is the time for solar,” said Anya Schoolman, executive director of theCommunity Power Network, a Washington-based nonprofit group that helps communities build renewable energy projects. She will be honored at the summit Thursday.

“The costs are affordable, in reach of middle America and above. We know how to do it now, we know how to scale it, and we kind of just need people to let it go and encourage it,” she said.

In an effort to make it easier for state, local and tribal governments to expand their solar portfolios, the Energy Department is launching a $15 million-dollar “Solar Market Pathways” program………

States are starting novel ways to help commercial tenants access solar energy. In Connecticut, the state set up a green bank with taxpayer dollars. When a building owner wants to access capital for solar projects, the state puts a tax lien on the building and gives the owner a loan that must be paid back over 20 years, said Jessica Bailey of theConnecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.

Rhone Resch, president and chief executive of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group, said solar is no longer an “afterthought” in the renewable energy conversation, accounting for nearly 30 percent of new electric in 2013.

“Without question, the Obama administration has been the most solar-friendly ever,” Resch said.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/obama-to-challenge-private-companies-to-boost-solar-power-use/2014/04/16/76bd2b20-c5a3-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html

April 18, 2014 Posted by | politics, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear companies switch to more lucrative business – closing down reactors

OPG, Westinghouse forge nuclear alliance OPG and Westinghouse will join forces to bid for nuclear projects around the globe  Toronto Star, By:  Business reporter,   Apr 16 2014

Ontario Power Generation will join forces with Westinghouse to bid for nuclear projects around the globe, the companies announced Wednesday.

The news comes the same week that the Ontario government set up a panel headed by TD Bank chairman Ed Clark to consider privatization – or other strategies – for provincial assets.

OPG is 100 per cent owned by the province.

“Under the agreement, the companies will consider a diversity of nuclear projects including refurbishment, maintenance and outage services, decommissioning and remediation of existing nuclear power plants, and new nuclear power plants,” OPG said a release.

money-in-wastes-2

Westinghouse will work directly with Canadian Nuclear Partners, a subsidiary of OPG headed by Pierre Tremblay….http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/04/16/opg_westinghouse_forge_nuclear_alliance.html

April 17, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan’s government deceives evacuees to return before radiation readings disclosed

flag-japanRadiation study on evacuation zones kept undisclosed for 6 monthhttp://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140416/radiation-study-evacuation-zones-kept-undisclosed-6-mo The  government kept undisclosed for six months a report on an individual radiation dose study in areas around the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, including a district recently released from an evacuation order.

The study, covering the city of Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Iitate, showed that the radiation level in many areas is still beyond 1 millisievert per year — a level the government is seeking to achieve at contaminated lands in the long term.

The government lifted an evacuation order imposed on the Miyakoji district in Tamura on April 1, but the content of the interim report, compiled in October, was not conveyed to the citizens or the local governments before the action was taken.

The government explained the content to local governments later, while the report was posted on the website of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Monday. It also plans to release a final report on Friday. A government team tasked with supporting people affected by the crisis said it did not initially plan to release the interim report but decided to make it public because of the “high attention among residents.”

The team decided to conduct the radiation level study at 43 points in Tamura, Kawauchi and Iitate last July, hoping to address concerns among evacuees seeking to return to their homes.

The study showed that radiation levels measured by individual dosimeters tend to be about 70 percent of those estimated from air dose. Twenty-seven points were also found to be above 1 millisievert per year.

The outcome has raised concerns among the residents that have already returned to their homes.

A 65-year-old man living at his home in the Miyakoji district said, “It was premature to lift the evacuation order. We’ve been deceived.”

The 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant and some areas beyond have been subject to evacuation orders in the wake of the nuclear crisis that began in March 2011.

The Miyakoji district became the first area excluded from the 20-km zone following decontamination and infrastructure restoration efforts.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Czechs’ nuclear expansion plan goes out with a whimper

logo-NO-nuclear-SmCzechs pull plug on nuclear expansion, The Economist Apr 16th 2014 by B.C. | PRAGUE More than five years of international intrigue went out with a whimper on April 10th as Czech utility company ČEZ officially cancelled the planned expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant (120 km south of Prague in the South Bohemia region)—the project undone by a collapse in market electricity prices and hard-learned lessons from a botched state energy scheme in years past.

The plan had called for adding two reactors to the existing two at Temelín (a second Czech nuclear plant, Dukovany, operates four reactors). The price tag was an estimated $15 billion, and the project made less and less sense as the wholesale price of electricity fell. Prices are now less than half what they were when bidding on the contract began in 2009. For much of that time the tender process was viewed through a cold war lens with the two final bidders being the American firm Westinghouse (now a division of the Japanese conglomerate Toshiba) and a consortium leadby Russia’s state-owned Atomstroyexport. The American and Russian ambassadors openly lobbied on behalf of their favoured firms and the companies themselves tried to outdo one another by signing highly contingent contracts with local suppliers to sweeten their offers…….

“There is absolutely no appetite from the state to get involved in something new like this now,” said David Marek, chief economist with Patria Finance, a Prague-based investment bank……..  the widespread perception that the Temelín project was doomed to be a financial failure, saw ČEZ stock surge on the announcement that the nuclear project was cancelled. Such are power politics. http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/04/power-plant-failures

April 17, 2014 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

3 French nuclear plants fail safety test

safety-symbol-Smflag-franceFrench nuclear watchdog singles out 3 plants for safety shortfall   By Michel Rose PARIS, April 16 (Reuters) - France’s nuclear watchdog singled out three of EDF’s 19 nuclear power stations for having a below-average safety performance in its annual safety report, which also asked for more enforcement powers such as the ability to impose fines….. There were 127 level-1 incidents on the 7-level International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) in France in 2013, ASN said, and two level-2 incidents.

Level-1 incidents are minor procedural infringements and level-2 incidents can refer to cases of minor exposure to radiation…….

The watchdog also mentioned shortfalls in terms of radiation protection at Cattenom near the German border and in terms of impact on the environment at Belleville in the Loire valley, Chooz near Belgium, and Chinon.

Chevet said the ASN needed a more graduated array of sanction powers on operators such as EDF.

The watchdog can at anytime stop operations at a nuclear plant if it considers it presents a danger for the public and can also issue public warnings, but Chevet said an ability to impose fines for each day of safety breaches would be useful.

“We clearly lack intermediary sanction tools, for when shortfalls last for one, two, three years, but don’t require a shutdown of the plant,” he said.

The presentation to parliament of a much-delayed energy transition bill planned in July could be the opportunity to introduce such powers, he added. (Reporting by Michel Rose. Editing by Jane Merriman) http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/04/16/france-nuclear-safety-idINL6N0N74K120140416

April 17, 2014 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

$4billion boost to renewable energy and energy efficiency in USA

sunFlag-USAUS Plans New $4 Billion Renewables Support Program http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4266  17 April 14 The USA’s Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that could make as much as USD $4 billion in loan guarantees available.

  “Through our existing renewable energy loan guarantees, the Department’s Loan Programs Office helped launch the U.S. utility-scale solar industry and other clean energy technologies that are now contributing to our clean energy portfolio,” said Secretary Ernest Moniz. “We want to replicate that success by focusing on technologies that are on the edge of commercial-scale deployment today.”
  
The five key technology areas of interest to the DoE are : advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities and efficiency improvements.
  
The Department’s Loan Programs Office has been no slouch in supporting renewables and energy efficiency; with more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments supporting dozens of projects throughout the nation. 
   
Among the beneficiary projects was the Caithness Shepherds Flat wind project, an 845 MW wind farm located in eastern Oregon. The Department of Energy provided a $1.3 billion partial loan guarantee that was crucial to the project’s success. Another project to benefit was the Agua Caliente Solar project, a 290-megawatt solar panel based power station Yuma County, Arizona. The Department of Energy provided a USD $967 million loan guarantee for this project.
  
Before the latest program is rolled out, the Department is inviting public comment; which will be considered in defining the scope of the final solicitation. The draft solicitation can be viewed here.
   
The DoE’s Loan Programs enables the body to work with private companies and financiers to mitigate the financing risks associated with clean energy projects, “and thereby encourage their development on a broader and much-needed scale.”

April 17, 2014 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Investors wary of South Dakota uranium mining project, and with good reason

Uranium Mine In The Black Hills Gets Federal Approval. Azarga Mining Is Elated. But Shareholders? They Still Look More Like Bagholders. http://theconstantcommoner.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/uranium-mine-in-black-hills-gets.html

     Yesterday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave Azarga Uranium Corporation (PWE.TO–it still carries its symbol and trades as if it’s Powertech, the company that will soon be absorbed by Azarga) its approval to go ahead and start its in situ mining venture in the southern Black Hills.  That brought the requisite cheers from the company and some brassy projections about its outlook.  I don’t normally follow penny stocks, which I think are the most laughable component of the stock market, but the brouhaha over Azarga/Powertch’s plans to extract uranium here in the Hills has caught everybody’s attention, and with good reason.  The company plans to inject water into the ground, dissolve the uranium that’s down there, pump it to the surface where the uranium will be harvested, then release the water and all its contaminants back into the ground.  The company says it’s safe, the NRC says its safe, and a lot of people living in the immediate area seem excited about the prospect of a little economic development.  But just as  its pending merger with Azarga didn’t particularly excite Powertech investors when announced earlier this year, yesterday’s NRC news fell on a generally apathetic trading community…….

Continue reading

April 17, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Action of S Louis County women prods EPA into testing for radiation

see-this.wayEPA to test for radiation at West Lake Landfill http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/2014/04/16/epa-radiation-testing-west-lake-landfill/7797061/Allison Sylte, KSDK7:28 p.m. CDT April 16, 2014 BRIDGETON, Mo. (KSDK) –The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to test for radiation outside the West Lake Landfill.

This news comes after a group of neighbors announced that if the EPA wasn’t going to do it, they were going to test for radiation themselves.

A lawyer donated $16,000 to help them buy a “mobile radiation detector.”

The EPA insists the radioactive waste at West Lake is not a threat to the surrounding area. Testing will begin in less than six months.

The community group is holding an informational meeting Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Union Hall on Hollenburg Drive in Bridgeton.

April 17, 2014 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

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