The reactor itself is still too contaminated for workers to approach. Removal of radioactive materials there will only begin once the new confinement structure has been finished.
Chernobyl arch faces €265m funding gap ahead of disaster’s 29th anniversary, Arthur Neslen, Guardian 24 Apr 15 World must plug funding gap for massive 100-metre steel arch being built to contain remaining radioactive waste at the site. A massive engineering project to make the Chernobyl nuclear power plant safe is facing a €265m (£190m) funding shortfall.
Next week a conference held by Germany in London will call on countries to make up the gap, but the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said it may have to ask its shareholders to make up the shortfall if donations dry up.
This Sunday marks the 29th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, when a power surge blew the roof off a reactor, spewing radioactive clouds across Russia, and eastern Europe.
A makeshift sarcophagus built in the explosion’s aftermath was supposed to protect the environment from radiation for at least 30 years. But it has since developed cracks.
The project to build a new radiation container had been due for completion this year but the deadline slipped to November 2017, as costs mushroomed from an initial estimate of €800m (£572m) to more than €2.15bn today.
Over 40 governments and the European commission have committed to help a Chernobyl Shelter Fund tasked with sealing off the 100 tonnes of uranium and one tonne of plutonium that remain within the site.
“If countries recognise the nature of the problem in Chernobyl and its importance for human security in Ukraine and ecological security in Europe, there is a hope that the gap could be closed at the donor conference on April 29,” Anton Usov, an EBRD spokesman told the Guardian. “Verbally the donors are committed to contribute more funds.”
The bank believes there is a broad understanding among nations of the threat that radioactive dust on the site still poses to Kiev, around 70km away……..
The reactor itself is still too contaminated for workers to approach. Removal of radioactive materials there will only begin once the new confinement structure has been finished. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/24/chernobyl-arch-faces-265m-funding-gap-ahead-of-disasters-29th-anniversary
Report says 32 million people in Japan are exposed to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster (PRWEB UK) 11 March 2015 Geneva: Approximately 32 million people in Japan are affected by the radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, according to the 2015 Fukushima Report now available from Green Cross. This includes people who were exposed to radiation or other stress factors resulting from the accident, and who are consequently at potential risk from both long and short-term consequences.
The 2015 Fukushima Report is available for download in English at http://www.greencross.ch/en/news-info-en/case-studies/fukushima-report.html. Continue reading
Only now, 29 years after the nuclear catastrophe, are Chernobyl reactors 1, 2 and 3 to be finally shut
Final shutdown work authorized at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Rt.com April 10, 2015 The Chernobyl nuclear power plant has officially launched the decommissioning and dismantling of its first three units. The move to fully shutdown the plant comes 29 years after it became site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Though the Unit 4 reactor had been rendered inoperative in the 1986 meltdown, the first three continued to work for years after the devastating accident. Unit 2, 1 and 3 were put off the line in 1991, 1996 and 2000, respectively.Work will now be carried out to bring the three units into a “conserved” state in several stages, the first of which will take at least ten years, according to a statement on the plant’s website.……..A Chernobyl site operator said last year when the project was announced that its aim was to bring the three units “to a condition that ensures safe, controlled storage of radioactive substances and sources of ionizing radiation within them.”
A giant radiation shield is also currently being built around the site of the wrecked Unit 4 reactor as part of an effort to contain the radiation the site continues to leak. ……..http://rt.com/news/248737-shutdown-chernobyl-power-plant/
Alexey V. Yablokov
Of the few microorganisms that have been studied, all underwent rapid changes in the areas heavily contaminated by Chernobyl. Organisms such as tuberculosis bacilli; hepatitis, herpes, and tobacco mosaic viruses; cytomegalovirus; and soil micromycetes and bacteria were activated in various ways.
The ultimate long-term consequences for the Chernobyl microbiologic biota may be worse than what we know today. Compared to humans and other mammals, the profound changes that take place among these small live organisms with rapid reproductive turnover do not bode well for the health and survival of other species.
One gram of soil contains some 2,500,000,000 microorganisms (bacteria,microfungi, and protozoa). Up to 3 kg of the mass of an adult human body is made up of bacteria, viruses, and microfungi. In spite of the fact that these represent such important and fundamentally live ecosystems there are only scarce data on the various microbiological consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe.
Several incidences of increased morbidity owing to certain infectious diseases may be due to increased virulence of microbial populations as a result of Chernobyl irradiation.
“Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”
by Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko
NY Academy of Sciences, Volume 1181, 2009.
5,000 Slavic language studies reviews, over 1,400 cited.
Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly It wasn’t just people, animals and trees that were affected by radiation exposure at Chernobyl, but also the decomposers: insects, microbes, and fungi By Rachel Nuwer smithsonian.com March 14, 2014 Nearly 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl plant exploded and caused an unprecedented nuclear disaster. The effects of that catastrophe, however, are still felt today. Although no people live in the extensive exclusion zones around the epicenter, animals and plants still show signs of radiation poisoning.
Birds around Chernobyl have significantly smaller brains that those living in non-radiation poisoned areas; trees there grow slower; and fewer spiders and insects—including bees, butterflies and grasshoppers—live there. Additionally, game animals such as wild boar caught outside of the exclusion zone—including some bagged as far away as Germany—continue to show abnormal and dangerous levels of radiation.
However, there are even more fundamental issues going on in the environment. According to a new study published in Oecologia, decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil. Issues with such a basic-level process, the authors of the study think, could have compounding effects for the entire ecosystem. Continue reading
The project is to build what is called a New Safe Confinement – in effect, a giant cover, a kind of dome, to fit over the building that houses the reactor that exploded on 26 April, 1986.
The radiation immediately above the reactor is still far too intense for the new enclosure to be built exactly where it is needed – anyone working there can only stay very briefly. So adjacent land has been cleared and then decontaminated – a massive task in itself – to allow the new structure to be assembled before being manoeuvred into position.
Sealed future Large enough to accommodate a couple of Boeing 747s or the Stade de France in Paris, and almost tall enough to hold St Paul’s Cathedral in London, the giant cover stands on a system of massive rails.
When complete, it will weigh an extraordinary 31,000 tonnes. Over several days, it will be rolled along its special track so as to just slide over the reactor building – a very tight fit – in order to seal it in.
There is still a 30km exclusion zone around the Chernobyl site
The task is “of a complexity and uniqueness we have never faced before”, according to Vince Novak, who runs the nuclear safety department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has led the international drive to make Chernobyl less dangerous.
“Until this project is in place, we will not be safe,” he said during a media visit to the site.
“The ultimate objective is to protect the environment, contain the threat and deal with the radioactive material inside.”
This material is a nightmare mix of more than 100 tonnes of uranium, one tonne of plutonium, and other highly radioactive elements, formed into a previously-unseen lava-like mass.
Added to that are several thousand tonnes of sand and boron dropped on to the site by emergency workers at the time.
Vast quantities of radioactive liquids and dust are also present inside a reactor building that has itself long been in danger of collapse. In the months following the accident – when the reactor exploded and burned for 10 days – the authorities attempted to smother the building in an emergency “sarcophagus” of concrete and steel.
But this was only ever intended to be a temporary fix and has needed urgent repairs to try to keep it stable and intact………http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31939778
Note that the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is just to the west of the present combat zone in the eastern region of the Ukraine, and not far north of the Crimea, which is now part of the Russian Federation. It is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. It is also right on the banks of the Dnieper River, which empties into the Black Sea, which in turn empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Failure of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant will massively radioactively contaminate the Dnieper River, which will then flow into the Black Sea and radioactively contaminate the Black Sea, which then flows into the Mediterranean Sea, etc. You see the problem.
Just northeast of Odessa is another, the South Ukraine nuclear power plant.
Many armchair analysts, including commentators such as Paul Craig Roberts, have publicly advocated, or come very close to doing so, that Vladimir Putin send his military racing across the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, in a blitzkrieg from the Russian border all the way toTransnistria, on the border between Moldova and the Ukraine, in order to incorporate that swath of territory into the Russian Federation, and present NATO and the regime in Kiev with a military fait accompli.
In my view, Putin has not done that because no military operation is ever as simple as it appears on paper; what can go wrong frequently does go wrong. And there are always unexpected complications.
Chernobyl Radiation Still Blows Across Europe http://www.earthweek.com/2015/ew150220/ew150220b.html Lingering fallout in the soil around Ukraine’s crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant is still spreading over parts of Europe when local wildfires lift the contamination into the atmosphere.
Nearly 30 years after arguably the world’s worst nuclear accident, a new study led by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research used satellite images from 2002, 2008 and 2010 to detect three fires in the forests of Ukraine and Belarus near Chernobyl.
The findings were then compared with measurements of radioactive cesium-137 deposited on the area, and fed into models of air movements and fires.
Smoke from the fires was found to have carried between 2 and 8 percent of the cesium-137 in the soil as far south as Turkey and as far west as Italy and Scandinavia.
Even though the contamination was at nearly insignificant levels by the time it reached those areas, the researchers said better forest management and construction of fire breaks could help cut down on the Chernobyl area fires.
But they say the radiation seems to be inhibiting the decay of leaf litter on the ground that can help spark the blazes. The contamination may have killed off the key insects and microorganisms that promote natural breakdown of the leaves.
Strong effects of ionizing radiation from Chernobyl on mutation rates, Scientific Reports, Anders Pape Møller& Timothy A. Mousseau Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 8363doi:10.1038/srep08363 Received 25 September 2014 Accepted 16 December 2014 Published 10 February 2015
In this paper we use a meta-analysis to examine the relationship between radiation and mutation rates in Chernobyl across 45 published studies, covering 30 species. Overall effect size of radiation on mutation rates estimated as Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient was very large (E = 0.67; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.59 to 0.73), accounting for 44.3% of the total variance in an unstructured random-effects model. Fail-safe calculations reflecting the number of unpublished null results needed to eliminate this average effect size showed the extreme robustness of this finding (Rosenberg’s method: 4135 at p = 0.05). Indirect tests did not provide any evidence of publication bias.
The effect of radiation on mutations varied among taxa, with plants showing a larger effect than animals. Humans were shown to have intermediate sensitivity of mutations to radiation compared to other species. Effect size did not decrease over time, providing no evidence for an improvement in environmental conditions.
The surprisingly high mean effect size suggests a strong impact of radioactive contamination on individual fitness in current and future generations, with potentially significant population-level consequences, even beyond the area contaminated with radioactive material………http://www.nature.com/srep/2015/150210/srep08363/full/srep08363.html
USA and Russia should not ignore Mikhail Gorbachev’s warning on the nuclear war danger of the Ukraine crisis
Gorbachev issues new warning of nuclear war over Ukraine http://www.dw.de/gorbachev-issues-new-warning-of-nuclear-war-over-ukraine/a-18182899 9 Jan 15 Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that the crisis in Ukraine could lead to a major war, or even a nuclear war. In an interview with a German magazine, he criticized both Russia and the West. In an interview with the German weekly news magazine Spiegel, 83-year-old former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said the crisis in Ukraine could lead to large-scale war in Europe or even a nuclear war. “We won’t survive if someone loses their nerves in the current tension.”
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate decried the “loss of trust” between Russia and the West as “catastrophic,” and said ties must be “defrosted.” Gorbachev accused the West and NATO of destroying the structure of European security by expanding its alliance. “No head of the Kremlin can ignore such a thing,” he said, adding that the US was unfortunately starting to establish a “mega empire.”
The man seen as a key player in the reunification of former East and West Germany in 1990 also accused Germany of interfering in Ukraine’s crisis, saying, “The new Germany wants its hands in every pie. There seems to be a lot of people who want to be involved in a new division of Europe. “Germany has already tried to expand its influence of power towards the East – in the Second World War. Does it really need another lesson?”
He said Western attempts to disempower Russian President Vladimir Putin and destabilize Russia were “very stupid and extremely dangerous.” He defended the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula last year, but criticized the Russian leader’s authoritarian style of leadership. He said Russia needed free elections and “the participation of the people in free elections.
“It is simply not acceptable when someone such as the anti-corruption blogger and politician Alexei Navalny is under house arrest for speaking out.”
Recent warnings Gorbachev has warned of a nuclear war on a number of occasions in recent months. In an article for the Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published on December 11, he warned: “The situation in Europe and the world is extremely alarming … the result of the events that took place in the last months is a catastrophic loss of trust in international relation,” which could lead to war. He urged Russia and the US as well as Russia and the EU to hold talks “without preconditions” and without fear of “losing face.”
“We must think of the future,” the former leader said.
The ministers are expected to discuss the possibility of a summit of the four countries’ leaders in Kazakhstan, which Ukraine had suggested take place on January 15.
Regarding the fragile four-month-old ceasefire between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, which has been broken on a number of occasions, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter S
What’s profitable for the nuclear industry in the US and Japan is toxic for the EU, particularly its more environmental and anti-nuclear member-nations including Germany and Austria, which will have no choice but to accept this legal precedent for continent-wide fracking and a revival of nuclear power.
Ukraine Energy Wars Are Leading To A Fukushima-Chernobyl Debacle In Europe
By Yoichi Shimatsu. Rense1-5-15
|full article at http://www.rense.com/general96/ukraineenenerg.html|
|Clashes over energy in Ukraine between the West and Russia could prompt another Chernobyl-type accident or a catastrophe on the order of a Fukushima that will complete the nuclear devastation of the Northern Hemisphere. As news media fixate on conflicts over pipelines that supply Europe with Russian gas, another energy war is erupting over control of Ukraine’s nuclear-power industry, which generates half that nation’s electricity.Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuk’s campaign for “energy independence” from Russian-sourced natural gas and nuclear fuel is not a study in cost control, economic security or even national sovereignty. His corporate-giveaway policies are actually a concession to Western energy interests in return for their influence over the EU, which can provide loans to avert an imminent default on Kiev’s debt to the IMF and World Bank. With an annual budget shortfall of $15 billion and a currency collapse, Ukraine is staggering under external sovereign debt estimated at between $140 and $200 billion.
The IMF and World Bank have halted further transfers of loan tranches to Kiev, which is now unable to make payments on its gas imports from Russia. Kiev policymakers are therefore desperately looking to expand their nuclear industry. Unfortunately two recent accidents at its largest nuclear-power plant highlight the serious risks to a nation still grappling with the long-term effects of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. ……….
Preface by Washington’s Blog: Investigative journalism requires asking questions in the face of potential cover-ups. Guest writer George Eliason is asking question, and admitting both that (1) the reports are unconfirmed and (2) he doesn’t have the necessary expertise to render an authoritative opinion on this issue.
By George Eliason, an American journalist living in Ukraine.
Over the last week more publications including Zero Hedge have started reporting on the possibility of a still developing nuclear problem at the largest nuclear plant in Europe. This news has been widely circulated in Eastern Europe over the last few weeks.
The problem in Ukraine has been and remains verification. Ukrainian sources have not been forthcoming. When this first occurred I was contacted through a 2nd party and told directly after the officially reported transformer incident a radiation spike was observed in Crimea which is 140km away from Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. This spike was small against background radiation but noticeable on a geiger counter. I was also given hacked files of the emergency conversation that happened at the plant that day. They are included at the bottom of the article. The closeness to what is coming to light makes them too close to be ignored………
Ukraine reported an incident (non-nuclear) which was a transformer short circuiting, not an accident which is used for radiological issues. This was carried across the nuclear industry forums that talked about it. The case was closed on that basis.
As reported at Zero Hedge–Two days ago we reported of the odd coincidence of a 2nd emergency shutdown at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear reactor – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – following our earlier fears of disinformation. Today, we get information of a leaked report sourced from three different place – unconfirmed for now (but RT is trying to verify) – that Ukrainian nuclear scientists misled the public and a radioactive leak has been detected – citing the country’s emergency services claiming that levels of radiation are 16.3 times the legally permitted norm.
What does 16.3 times allowable (legal) mean? In a pre-Fukashima world if any nuclear plant in the US were to report 1X allowable radiation/ steam (contamination) release every major publication in the country would be focused on that event.
Allowable release at nuclear power plants falls under a Zero tolerance policy. At Zaporozhye power plant background radiation before the event registered at 10-12 counts per minute on a geiger counter. At 50 counts it does not cause an alarm but is something to monitor.
At 100 counts the threshold for alarm is reached and radiological personal protective gear might be warranted. Zaporozhye is well beyond that threshold now………..
What We Know about Zaporozhye
We now know that radiation was released and reports of a steam blow off are starting to surface. Unfortunately this is in line with information I was told about a fire in the cooling system and a contaminated side steam pipe burst inside the containment (their word sarcophagus). We know people that have left the area have reported that iodine tablets are being handed out to people that live close to the plant.
We know that the plant shut down all social media for plant workers so they would not talk about the incident. This was a highly unusual move for a transformer problem.
A second reactor(#6) has been shutdown at the same plant and restarted at the same plant on December 28th or has it. This linked document shows that unit #6 is still down on December 29th.
A third at South Ukraine Nuclear Power plant which has been testing Westinghouse fuel assemblies is in an abnormally long shutdown. Normal is 30-40 days. This is predicted at 120 days.
This is not the first time this year Zaporozhye had unscheduled shutdowns.
In the spring Pravy Sektor tried unsuccessfully to storm nuclear power plants 3 times. Later the government of Ukraine ordered that they guard nuclear material, nuclear facilities, and even nuclear waste through their troops in the Ukrainian National Guard.
As surreal as it sounds Poroshenko’s government put the terrorists that tried to take nuclear plants by force in charge…………http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/12/largest-nuclear-plant-europe-located-ukraine-suffered-major-accident.html
‘Second Chernobyl’ may be underway in Ukraine. Bobby 1’s Blog 30 dec 14 Denis Pushilin, a pro-separatist leader in southeast Ukraine, has said the Ukraine faces a ‘second Chornobyl’ due to Ukraine’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse for its Soviet-built nuclear power plants.
He said radiation has increased to 14 times the acceptable norm at the Zaporizhia nuclear plant. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and the fifth largest in the world.
The Russian news agency Interfax reported that in a statement on December 28, Pushilin said Ukraine faces “a second Chornobyl” due to Kyiv’s decision to use nuclear fuel supplied by Westinghouse — a reference to the deadly 1986 nuclear power plant accident that spead radioactivity over parts of Europe.
Pushilin said that “currently the level of radiation is 14 times higher than the acceptable norm” in the area around the Zaporizhzhya plant and that the problem started November 28 “after an unsuccessful attempt to replace rods in the Russian-made third block (reactor) with the product of the American company Western house.”……….
it seems that all 6 reactors will have their fuel rods replaced with Westinghouse fuel at some point. Crimea is nearby Zaporizhia, and it is now part of Russia. Irradiation of Russian citizens, especially due to a switch in fuel supplier from Russia to Westinghouse, would add even more tension to the Ukraine crisis, which is already threatening to lead to global nuclear war.
The reason Ukraine is switching to Westinghouse fuel is political. Russia has already agreed to supply its fuel to Ukraine, and there are no sanctions involved. Ukraine has become a vassal state to the West after the coup earlier this year. It is being used as a pawn, and a place to deploy missiles near the Russian border, in an encirclement strategy by the US and NATO.
In 2012, during a routine inspection, Energoatom reported that Westinghouse’s assemblies had structural damage. It had to swap those for Russian-made fuel assemblies, which the utility estimated cost it $170 million.
After a suit threatened by Energoatom, Westinghouse tried to make good on its deal and produced modified fuel rods for the Russian built VVER-440 reactors. These, too, were found defective………..http://optimalprediction.com/wp/second-chernobyl-may-be-underway-in-ukraine/
Oliver Stone Says Ukrainian Coup Was Directed by CIA http://sputniknews.com/art_living/20141231/1016415810.html US film maker claims he is currently engaged in production of a documentary about Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. WASHINGTON, December 31 (Sputnik) – US filmmaker Oliver Stone is currently engaged in production of a documentary about Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country following the February coup, according to the post on his Facebook page published Tuesday.
“[I] Interviewed Viktor Yanukovych 4 hours in Moscow for new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians. He [Yanukovych] was the legitimate President of Ukraine until he suddenly wasn’t on February 22 of this year. Details to follow in the documentary,” Stone said.
According to the renowned filmmaker, in the aftermath of the coup, “the West has maintained the dominant narrative of ‘Russia in Crimea’ whereas the true narrative is ‘USA in Ukraine.’ The truth is not being aired in the West. It’s a surreal perversion of history that’s going on once again, as in Bush pre-Iraq ‘WMD’ [Weapons of Mass Destruction] campaign.”
Stone also said that the shooters, who killed killed 14 police officers, wounded some 85, and killed 45 protesting civilians during the clashes in Kiev, were outside “third party agitators.”
“Many witnesses, including Yanukovych and police officials, believe these foreign elements were introduced by pro-Western factions with CIA fingerprints on it,” he stated.
Stone concluded by expressing hope that the truth about the Ukrainian coup would come out in the West soon “in time to stop further insanity.”
Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted late February following mass rallies in Kiev, triggered by the president’s refusal to sign a European Union association agreement. Yanukovych fled the country for Russia, while the protests led to the violent unrest in Ukraine, that dramatically escalated in mid-April, when Kiev launched a military operation against independence supporters in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
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