nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Japan’s anniversary – a year of nuclear-free, and with renewable energy increasing

Japan-happythe people’s dedication to energy efficiency – the cheapest and quickest way to reduce costs and carbon emissions – has led to a reduction in electricity demand equal to 13 nuclear reactors. At the same time, citizens are installing thousands of micro solar PV every month.

 Happy nuclear free birthday to the people of Japan http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/one-year-nuclear-free-Japan/blog/50594/  by Kendra Ulrich – 15 September, 2014 Every birthday is special – but today Japan is celebrating something unique. Japan has been nuclear-free for one year.

Nuclear-free – a phrase that in its simplicity carries a devastating message for the worldwide nuclear industry, and an inspiring lesson for people across the globe. The future can indeed be free of the threat of another Fukushima disaster.

One year ago today, the last commercial nuclear reactor operating in Japan was shutdown. It joined the other 47 nuclear reactors that had been idled for most of the period since the devastating Fukushima catastrophe in March 2011.

Japan is the world’s third largest economy, with 130 million people, and with the largest number of nuclear power plants after the United States and France.

Except none have operated for 12 months. And, not only were there were no electricity blackouts, but Japan came in second worldwide for installing solar PV in 2013 (only China installed more). This was a massive and rapid expansion.

In fact, the total collective time when Japan’s 48 reactors have not been operating amounts to 152 years – over a century and a half when they generated zero electricity. (One reason why nuclear reactors are not built by the market but subsidized by the state and/or foisted onto ratepayers.)

What sort of industry can believe it still has a future when all of its nuclear assets stop generating, on average, for three and half years?

An industry that for decades has sucked billions from taxpayers and has defied logical justification, whether it be judged on economic, environmental, security or human health grounds.

And in Japan, the nuclear industry has collapsed. Continue reading

September 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Belgium struggles with the problem of old, dangerous nuclear reactors

nukes-sad-Belgium’s nuclear reactors are phasing themselves out http://m.greenpeace.org/international/en/High/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/belgiums-nuclear-reactors-are-phasing-themsel/blog/50589/#.VBRe2697tK4.twitter   tby Eloi Glorieux – On Wednesday 10 September 2014, Greenpeace activists in Brussels visited the politicians currently negotiating a new federal governmental agreement about the country’s nuclear power supply. We were there to make it clear that nuclear power is not only dangerous but also unreliable.

Belgium’s over-dependence on nuclear power has resulted in a potentially severe energy supply problem. Politicians are now panicking and confusing the cause of the problem with the solution…..

This is the impression we get from the government negotiations currently taking place in Belgium. A cartoon summarized it this way:

So finally we will extend the lifetime of the oldest reactors!”

“Oh, but why not extend the lifetime of the younger reactors?”

“Because they are obsolete!”

Indeed,the party leaders negotiating the new agreement said they intend to extend the lifetime of two 40-year-old reactors, Doel 1 and 2. Only a few months ago, the previous government had confirmed that all nuclear reactors reaching the age of 40 would be phased out, with the exception of the Tihange 1 reactor, which can remain open for 50 years.

The politicians are changing the phase-out policy because of the forced shut down of three other reactors. Two, Doel 3 and Tihange 2, were off line nearly a year between 2012 and 2013, due to the discovery of thousands of cracks in the reactors’ steel containment vessels. They were shut down again in March 2014, and so far it appears they may never restart again.

To add to the woes of politicians and the nuclear industry, sabotage on 5 Aug. by an unidentified member of staff severely damaged the steam turbine of the Doel 4 reactor, causing its automatic shut down. Nobody knows when it will be able to restart, but it will certainly not be before the end of the year.

Three reactors down, four to go…

This brings us to the Doel 1 and 2 reactors, which, according to the Belgian nuclear phase-out law, must be decommissioned at the age of 40 in 2015. However, because no one expected that 3000 MW of electricity from Doel 3, Doel 4 and Tihange 2 would be unavailable, the grid operator has said it cannot guarantee the security of electricity supply at all times during the next two winters.

This has inspired the politicians to reconsider the nuclear phase-out law and to grant lifetime extensions to Doel 1 and 2.

In order to convince the party leaders and future ministers of the new government not to make this mistake, Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance of the building where the negotiations were taking place.

Before they were able to enter the building, and in front of massive media attention, the politicians listened to us. Our talks were short but to the point and most of the politicians were open to our arguments:

  • The reason for the potential electricity supply problem is Belgium’s excessive dependency (55%) on unreliable nuclear power.
  • A political decision to extend the lifetime of two old reactors will not mitigate this acute supply problem. It will take at least a year to implement the necessary safety upgrades, and to order and fabricate new fuel for them.
  • Extending the legally fixed phase-out calendar will undermine investment in real climate solutions such as energy efficiency and renewables.

The negotiators later emphasized to the press that they had not yet taken a final decision on the lifetime extension. Watch this space. Eloi Glorieux is Senior Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Belgium.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Radiologists call to drastically radiation exposure of children

medical-radiationCall to Reduce Radiation Exposure of Children Indian Express, VELLORE, 14 Sept 14 : The focus of the 12th Annual conference of the Indian Society of Pediatric Radiology (ISPR) held at the Christian Medical College (CMC) on Friday, was to ensure reduction to radiation exposure of children through new technologies.By Express News Service……CMC director Dr. Sunil Thomas Chandy in his speech, said that the science of pediatrics and child health requires a different dosage of radiation and drugs.

The need for exposing children to drastically reduced radiation levels has assumed importance even as the new branch of pediatric radiology was developing with a new thrust. He also predicted that pediatric radiology would compete with adult sciences in radiology in future……http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Call-to-Reduce-Radiation-Exposure-of-Children/2014/09/14/article2430734.ece

September 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UK military chiefs want Trident nuclear weapons moved to USA, if Scots win independence

Trident-nuclear-submarineflag-UKSend British nukes to US if Scotland votes Yes say military chiefs BRITAIN’S independent nuclear deterrent should be moved to the United States if Scotland gains its independence next week, senior military figures have said. Sunday Express, By: Marco Giannangeli, September 14, 2014 BRITAIN’S independent nuclear deterrent should be moved to the Unites States if Scotland gains its independence next week, senior military figures have said.

Speaking to the Sunday Express they said the plan would ensure that our four Trident missile-carrying Vanguard submarines would not remain in the hands of a Non-Nato foreign country and deprive Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond of any “leverage” in post -independence negotiations.

The call, which one senior US politician last night said would be “overwhelmingly supported” in Congress, comes only two days after Ministry of Defence chiefs finally green-lighted an impact assessment study on Britain’s defence in the event of a Yes vote on Thursday.

Last night Whitehall sources confirmed they were “very alive” to the US option, though, officially, the Ministry of Defence refused to confirm it was making any provisions for independence.

Speaking last night, Air Commodore Andrew Lambert, now attached to the UK National Defence Association, said: “The great leverage that Alex Salmond currently has over the British Government is the location of our nuclear defence base at Faslane. If the vote is Yes, we should move heaven and earth to move all our submarines out of Faslane as quickly as possible…….

A recent report by the Royal United Services Institute think tank  estimated that recreating the facilities to house Britain’s nuclear deterrent south of the border would cost around £3bn and take up to ten years. But the costs of “renting space” in the US would be relatively small.

Last night Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, chair of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security said the move would command overwhelming support in the United States.

“I emphatically think this is a good idea,’ he said………http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/510636/Nuclear-weapons-should-move-to-US-if-Scotland-independent

September 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Des milliers danger dans le transport des déchets nucléaires

En vadrouille sur les routes du nucléaire http://fabrice-nicolino.com/index.php/?p=1779  le 14 septembre 2014  par Charlie Hebdo le 3 septembre 2014

Faut bien dégager les déchets nucléaires, pas vrai ? Un rapport officiel chiffre à 777 000 par an les transports de matières radioactives en France. À Drancy comme ailleurs, il vaut mieux croire les mensonges sur la sécurité.

Hé ben, pas grave. Lundi 23 décembre 2013, cadeau anticipé de Noël pour les habitants de Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis) : un wagon déraille en pleine gare de triage. Le menu problème, c’est qu’il est chargé de déchets nucléaires. Tête du maire UDI de Drancy, Jean-Christophe Lagarde : « Qu’on n’attende pas qu’il y ait des morts pour que ces wagons dégagent ! ». Et d’ajouter qu’en cas d’accident grave, « trente mille personnes sont en danger de mort ».

Et c’est d’autant moins grave que la préfecture de Saint-Denis affirme aussitôt qu’il s’agit d’un simple incident technique, sans conséquence sur la sécurité : « Tous les relevés de radioactivité effectués par les pompiers sont négatifs ». Sauf  que quinze jours plus tard, l’Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN) annonce avoir retrouvé des traces de radioactivité dans le wagon accidenté. D’où vient-elle ? Mystère et boule de gomme. Les « colis » de déchets nucléaires sont intacts, et supposément étanches. On n’en saura jamais plus.

L’ASN, agence publique créée par une loi de 2006 est en charge de la sécurité collective, et publie sans arrêt des rapports. Le tout dernier, qui date de quelques jours, mérite le détour (1). On y apprend en sursautant que 777 000 transports de matières radioactives ont lieu chaque année en France. Pas de panique, pas encore. Il s’agit d’un fourre-tout géant qui mêle produits radio-pharmaceutiques  envoyés dans les hostos, convoyage d’appareils de détection du plomb, et tout ce qui touche bien sûr à l’industrie nucléaire proprement dite.

Au total, la bagatelle de 430 000 transports – 55 % du total – concerne la détection du plomb dans les peintures. L’industrie nucléaire ne représente « que » 12 % des 980 000 colis et 3 % de la totalité des transports, dont 60 % par la route et 30 % par une combinaison route, mer et rail. Le tout implique évidemment des milliers de possibilités d’accidents comme celui de Drancy. L’uranium naturel piqué au Niger débarque ainsi à Sète, celui volé ailleurs au Havre, les centrales nucléaires envoient leurs innombrables déchets à La Hague, le nitrate d’uranyle rejoint Pierrelatte, le MOX – un combustible – file de Marcoule, etc.

Une évidence saute aux yeux : l’enquête de l’ASN est biaisée, car elle repose essentiellement sur un questionnaire adressé « à un grand nombre de détenteurs ou de transporteurs de substances radioactives ». En français précis, « un grand nombre » ne signifie pas grand-chose. Et les autres ? Et les oublis, volontaires ou non, dans les réponses ? Une approximation précédente du Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA) fixait à 400 000 le nombre de « colis » radioactifs annuels circulant en France, soit moins de la moitié des chiffres de l’ASN.

Les problèmes ne s’arrêtent pas là. Pour la CriiRad (http://www.criirad.org), le grand labo (vraiment) indépendant, les estimations de l’ASN ne sont pas seulement sous-évaluées. Dès le 30 mai 2012, dans un courrier adressé à Marisol Touraine, ministre de la Santé, la CriiRad réclamait « la baisse des limites réglementaires », et rappelait que, selon ses mesures, les cheminots sont exposés « à leur insu, à des flux de rayonnements gamma et de neutrons tout à fait inacceptables ».

Et bien entendu, pas question d’ennuyer si peu que ce soit le grand pouvoir caché qu’est l’armée française. On apprend en janvier 2012 (2) qu’un accident pour le coup renversant s’est produit le 9 juin 2010. Un semi-remorque de transport de munitions nucléaires termine alors un voyage de 600 km sur les routes de France, qui l’a conduit par Bourges, Lyon, Mâcon, Orange. Juste avant d’entrer dans la base militaire d’Istres (Bouches-du-Rhône), le camion, qui roulait à 72 km/h, au lieu d’une limite imposée de 30 km/h, se couche sur la route. Trois soldats sont blessés. Des officiers de sécurité nucléaire et du renseignement militaire bouclent la zone et empêchent la diffusion de la nouvelle, qui sera connue fortuitement, 15 mois plus tard.

Y a-t-il une morale ? Oui, il faut dare-dare changer de planète. Si on trouve.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Kevin Rudd calls for China and USA to co-operate on climate change

Rudd,-KevinKevin Rudd warns of climate change consequences at US forum, SMH September 12, 2014 –  National political reporter There is still time for China to curb its carbon emissions to give the planet a “reasonable future”, Australia’s former prime minister Kevin Rudd has said.

And Mr Rudd has proposed a “transformation” of the US-China relationship, arguing the two should co-lead a “new strategic deal” aimed at resolving tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Mr Rudd said while it was a “very hard call” for China to curb its emissions the “mathematics and science” of the planet demanded action and warned of huge consequences, including extreme weather events and the loss of arable land, if there is no change.

Mr Rudd made the comments appearing alongside former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson to discuss “Asia and the World Order” at a forum in New York.

“Climate change threatens all of us, it threatens China, it threatens America and it threatens Australia,” he warned.

The former Labor leader – who in 2007 declared climate change “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” – told the audience that if the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere exceeded 450ppm (parts per million), “four thousand humourless guys in white coats” have concluded that we run a “huge risk of irreversible climate change”.

He outlined the former Labor government’s success in introducing a carbon tax but said the conservatives were about to repeal it in Australia.  Prime Minister Tony Abbott successfully unwound Labor’s carbon price in July.

Mr Rudd said the Chinese view that the Western economies had unfairly been allowed to grow its economies until they were “drunk” on “energy and cheap carbon” was legitimate. But he said “mathematics dictates” there is a “finite quantum” of greenhouse gases humans can pump into the air.

“Based on that, our friends in China need to work on what ultimately becomes China’s own carbon ceiling, now that’s hard stuff, because China is late in the development curve,” he said.

“But if China gets this right, then the planet’s got a reasonable future, if it doesn’t get this right, I don’t think we’ve begun to think through the broad implications for the planet and the world about going past 450ppm,” he said.

He warned that drifting pollution from China across Japan, Korea and the United States would open up new foreign policy challenges………

Mr Rudd envisioned the package comprising the removal of nuclear weapons from the north, a form of “political coexistence between the two sides of the peninsula” and an American troop withdrawal from the Chinese border.

“You might say that’s all too hard, three of four years ago it was too hard but I think smart people in both capitals begin to think about this,” he said.

Mr Rudd said while he understood Washington’s “preoccupation with the Middle East” the world should not underestimate the significance of a non-English speaking and non-democratic economy set to overtake America’s as the world’s biggest.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/kevin-rudd-warns-of-climate-change-consequences-at-us-forum-20140912-10fy66.html#ixzz3DEvbrgfx

September 13, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Invitation a signer la declaration dénonçant la main-mise des multinationales sur le sommet sur le climat de l’ONU 

sign-thisSeptember 10, 2014 by globalforest http://focusweb.org/content/sign-statement-denounce-corporate-takeover-climate-summit

Nous appelons toutes les organisations, tous les mouvements sociaux, tous les groupes et mouvements pour la justice climatique à se joindre à nous pour cet appel à l’action et à signer la déclaration jointe.

Le 23 Septembre, le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies Ban Ki-moon organise un sommet sur le climat à New York, en présence des chefs d’Etat, des multinationales et de quelques représentants de la société civile triés sur le volet. Ce Sommet, organisé en grande pompe, ne propose que des engagements volontaires en termes de réduction d’émissions et des initiatives basés sur des mécanismes de marché ou de partenariats public-privé destructifs, telles que REDD +, les projets d’agriculture intelligente face au climat (climate smart agriculture) ou encore l’initiative Énergie durable pour tous (SE4All – Sustainable energy for all). Ce sont toutes des fausses solutions de ce qui est présenté comme une « économie verte », des propositions qui visent à marchandiser davantage la vie et la nature, pour en tirer plus de profits. Nous, les mouvements sociaux signataires de cette déclaration, qui représentons, tous ensemble, plus de 200 millions de personnes à travers le monde, nous dénonçons la main-mise du secteur privé sur l’ONU et sur le processus de négociations sur le climat : nous appelons à un profond changement de système. Le changement climatique est le résultat d’un système économique injuste. Pour faire face à la crise, il faut s’attaquer aux causes structurelles et changer le système qui les génère. Pour éviter le chaos climatique, proposons de véritables solutions et attaquons-nous à l’inaction des gouvernements qui sont subordonnés aux intérêts des multinationales polluantes. Il est essentiel d’unifier et renforcer nos luttes économiques, sociales et écologistes, et de concentrer nos énergies sur la transformation du système capitaliste.

Pour signer la déclaration, envoyer le nom de votre organisation à  espaceclimat@gmail.com

Si vous souhaitez que le nom de votre organisation soit inclus dans la déclaration qui sera communiquée aux médias, merci de répondre avant le 14 Septembre 2014.

September 11, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Summary of Masao Yoshida’s testimony about the Fukushima nuclear calamity

Yoshida Interviews / Strong words on Fukushima N-crisis from TEPCO’s manager on the ground  Fukushima Emergency what can we do?September 10, 2014 The Yomiuri Shimbun learned on Aug. 29 the full details of remarks made by the late Masao Yoshida, former plant manager for Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, to the government’s investigation committee on the nuclear accident at the plant. The following is a summary of Yoshida’s account of what happened at the plant for the five days immediately after the March 11, 2011, disaster.

March 11: Wrong impression about reactor water level
After the tsunami struck, Yoshida was shocked to face the unprecedented situation of a total power outage. The personal handy-phone system (PHS) at the plant had stopped working, and reports he received from within the plant were too confusing to grasp exactly what was happening. Yoshida regretted immensely not realizing that the isolation condenser (IC) at the No. 1 reactor had stopped working.
Total power outage
Investigation committee : What did you think to do after receiving a report that the plant had lost all AC power sources?
Masao Yoshida : “To be honest, I was stunned. I thought the situation was grave. There was a strong possibility of this escalating into a severe accident, so we would have to start making preparations, I thought. My first thought was, “It’s a calamity…….
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001553303   http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/yoshida-interviews-strong-words-on.html

September 11, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

World governments out of step with public opinion as they back fossil fuels and nuclear

renewable-blinkers-onWhile governments back fossil fuels and nuclear, popular renewables boom, Ecologist  Paul Brown 6th September 2014  Consumers around the world want their electricity to come from renewable sources, writes Paul Brown. Yet governments from the UK to Australia are defying the popular will as they push for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The good news? Renewable energy is surging ahead regardless Public support for renewable energies across the world continues to grow, particularly in more advanced economies – with solar power being especially popular.

At the same time, the policies of the governments in most of these richer countries do not mirror public opinion as many continue to develop fossil fuels, which do not command such popular support.

An example is the UK, where the government wants to exploit gas reserves by the controversial method of fracking – fracturing rock to allow the gas to reach the ground surface. The Conservative government is also promising to cut down on subsidies for onshore wind farms and to build nuclear power stations.

According to the public attitudes report published this month by the British government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, 36% of the population supports the plan to build new nuclear stations, and only 24% support shale gas extraction by fracking.

Huge popular support for renewable energy

In contrast, 79% of the public is in favour of renewable energies to provide electricity. The UK has plentiful renewable energy and is exploiting several different types.

Solar panels are the most popular form, with 82% of the public supporting their widespread use on the roofs of private houses and, more recently, solar farms in fields in the countryside.

Other high scores for renewables were offshore wind (72% in favour), onshore wind (67%), wave and tidal (73%), and biomass (60%) – even though all need public subsidy to compete with fossil fuels.

Despite the government’s public support for nuclear, there has been no start on a new station because a subsidy offered by the government is being investigated as potentially illegal under European Union competition legislation.

Fracking is still at the exploratory stage and requires years of investment before any power could be produced.

Renewables’ massive growth

Meanwhile, renewables keep on growing……..http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2534207/while_governments_back_fossil_fuels_and_nuclear_popular_renewables_boom.html

September 11, 2014 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

Meeting between USA and Russia over Nuclear Arms Treaty

diplomacy-not-bombsUS and Russia to Meet Over Nuclear Arms Treaty The treaty for the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles signed by Gorbachev and Reagan is under threat. http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/US-and-Russia-to-Meet-Over-Nuclear-Arms-Treaty-20140908-0023.html

Top ranking United States and Russian officials are due to meet on Thursday to discuss a 1987 arms control treaty.

The treaty, which put a block on Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces has been questioned in recent months with the Ukraine crisis, and NATO threats on Russia.

“We believe that this is an important agreement and that it should be properly executed,” Interfax new agency quoted Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department, as saying of the treaty.

He said talks on compliance with the treaty would take place this week involving Rose Gottemoeller, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.

The original treaty has put a ban on nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500-5,500 km.

Last month, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov had said his nation was committed to the treaty, but President Putin had previously questioned if it is in Russia’s best interests.

Moscow has also said that U.S. use of armed drones amounted to a violation of the treaty.

September 9, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Ralph Nader remnds us of nuclear power’s insanities

Nader,-RalphNuclear Power’s Insanities – Taxpayer-Guaranteed, Dissident Voice by Ralph Nader / September 5th, 2014 The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) – the corporate lobbyist in Washington, D.C. for the disintegrating atomic power industry – doesn’t have to worry about repercussions from the negative impacts of nuclear power. For nuclear power is a government/taxpayer-guaranteed boondoggle whose staggering costs, incurred and deferred, are absorbed by American taxpayers via a supine government regulatory and subsidy apparatus.

So if you go to work at the NEI and you read about the absence of any permanent radioactive waste storage site, no problem, the government/taxpayers are responsible for transporting and safeguarding that lethal garbage for centuries.

If your reactors experience ever larger cost over-runs and delays, as is now happening with two new reactors in South Carolina, no problem, the supine state regulatory commissions will just pass the bill on to consumers, despite the fact that consumers receive no electricity from these unfinished plants.

text-my-money-2If these plants, and two others in Georgia under construction, experience financial squeezes from Wall Street, no problem, a supine Congress has already passed ample taxpayer loan guarantees that make Uncle Sam (you the taxpayer) bear the cost of the risk.

If there were to be an accident such as the one that happened in Fukushima, Japan, no problem, under the Price-Anderson Act, the government/taxpayers bear the cost of the vast amount of damage from any nuclear power plant meltdown. To put this cost into perspective, a report by the Atomic Energy Commission about fifty years ago estimated that a class nine meltdown could make an area “the size of Pennsylvania” uninhabitable.

Why do we stand for such a doomsday technology all over America that is uneconomic, uninsurable, unsafe, unnecessary (it can’t compete with energy conservation and renewable energies), unevacuable (try evacuating the greater New York City area from a disaster at the two Indian Point plants 30 miles from Manhattan) and unprotectable (either from sabotage or earthquake)?

David Freeman, the famous energy engineer and lawyer, who has run four giant utilities (the Tennessee Valley Authority, the SMUD complex – where he closed the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant – the New York Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) sums up the history of nuclear power this way: “Nuclear power, promoted as too cheap to meter, turned out to be too expensive to use, the road to nuclear proliferation, and the creator of radioactive trash that has no place to go.” Right wing conservative/libertarians call it extreme “crony capitalism.”

Nuclear power plants are shutting down. ……..http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/09/nuclear-powers-insanities-taxpayer-guaranteed/

September 8, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan’s nuclear past shown in photography, in London

Photographs by Nadav Kander reveal Kazakhstan’s nuclear past FT Magazine,  By Jack Farchy, 5 Sept 14 
The devastating consequences of the Soviet Union’s nuclear past are slowly being uncovered – particularly in Kazakhstan

The name Kurchatov is not immediately recognisable in the way that Hiroshima or Chernobyl are. The small town on the steppes of northeastern Kazakhstan didn’t appear on maps until the 1990s. Before that, it was marked only as “Final Stop” at the end of the railway line. Yet here, from the 1940s to the 1980s, Soviet scientists carried out 456 nuclear tests with a combined power 2,500 times that of the Hiroshima bomb.

Kurchatov was one of several dozen “closed cities” located throughout the Soviet Union where crucial military and strategic industries were sited. Nicknamed “post boxes” because they were known only for their postcodes (Kurchatov’s was Semipalatinsk-21), movement in and out of the cities was restricted, and entry was forbidden to foreigners. Officially, Russians only learnt of their existence in 1986.

It was Lavrenti Beria, the ruthless head of Stalin’s secret police, who chose the location in the depths of Siberia for the Soviet Union’s nuclear testing programme and ordered the town of Kurchatov to be built – using gulag labour – to house its scientists. The first Soviet nuclear bomb, nicknamed “Joe-1” by the Americans, was tested just 40 miles from Kurchatov in 1949, under Beria’s supervision.

But while Beria casually described the area as “uninhabited”, in fact there were more than a million people living within 100 miles of the site. Over the next four decades, Soviet researchers used Kurchatov as a base to hone the science of nuclear weapons and from the innocuously named “Dispensary No. 4” studied their effects on the population.

During a test of one particularly powerful bomb, in 1953, the authorities evacuated villagers and livestock, according to a recent academic study based on interviews with local citizens. When the villagers returned, they found their dogs and cats had lost their fur and their chickens had died. But not everyone was evacuated: the Soviet scientists left a group of 40 men behind as human guinea pigs.

The results of their research – like everything else about Kurchatov – were a closely guarded secret during Soviet times. But since then, a grim stream of reports has emerged: in the years of most intensive testing, infant mortality increased to four times the level of the rest of the Soviet Union and for decades afterwards rates of cancer in the region were several times higher than in the rest of Kazakhstan. Today, residents still have a life expectancy that is several years lower than in the rest of the country.

The story of Tuleutai Suleimenov, who was born in 1941 in Semipalatinsk, the nearest major city to the test site, is not an uncommon one. His father and one of his sisters died of cancer, while two other sisters were both scarred by the effects of the blasts. Unlike his neighbours, however, Suleimenov went on to become Kazakhstan’s first foreign minister, giving him a central role in dismantling the newly born country’s nuclear weapons.

……..Kander, who says he sneaked into Priozersk with the help of local contacts, was fascinated by the “combination of beauty and destruction” he found in the former secret cities in Kazakhstan. “The cold war and the relentless quest for nuclear armaments created many of the ruins that we see here,” he says. “They now stand as monuments to the near ruin of mankind.”

Slideshow photographs: Nadav Kander/Courtesy Flowers Gallery

Nadav Kander, ‘Dust’, is at Flowers Gallery, 82 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DP, from September 10 to October 11. ‘Dust’ is published by Hatje Cantz, RRP£60. Jack Farchy is the FT’s Moscow and central Asia correspondent http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b90f2762-330d-11e4-93c6-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

September 8, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New York nuclear bomb threat – a cruel hoax

Heartless prank caller threatens 1 World Trade Center with nuclear bomb http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/prank-caller-threatens-freedom-tower-nuclear-bomb-article-1.1930215 The caller phoned in the threat to the city’s 911 system around 7 p.m. Friday, claiming a device was placed next to the building near Vesey St. in lower Manhattan. BY   NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, September 6, 2014, 

A callous prank caller threatened to destroy 1 World Trade Center with a nuclear bomb Friday night — six days before the 13th anniversary of 9/11.

The caller phoned in the threat to the city’s 911 system at about 7 p.m., claiming the device was placed next to the building near Vesey St. in lower Manhattan.

Port Authority police and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force raced over, but found nothing, law enforcement sources said.

The call was traced to Brooklyn, but no arrests had been made Friday evening, sources said.

Thousands will be flocking to 1 World Trade Center, as well as the 9/11 Museum and Memorial, on Thursday as the city marks the 13th anniversary of the terror attack on the World Trade Center and remembers the nearly 3,000 people who died there.

September 8, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Weapons manufacturers profit as the world becomes more dangerous

weapons1

 

King Solomon’s Horse Tanks, Rudy Martinka, 7 Sept 14   “…….ISIS is using the weapons and dollars captured in Northern Iraq that were supplied by the US to be used to defend Iraq.

The US supplied armaments to Afghanistan rebels to combat the Russian invasion. Osama Bin Laden learned how to use these weapons.

The European and USA manufacturers of weapons have been selling armaments to the Middle East in exchange for oil.

The nuclear bomb technology stolen from the US after WWII is now a threat to the entire world especially if it is ever obtained by extreme terrorists or nations with ideologies to destroy perceived enemies even if they purposely kill themselves in the act…….King Solomon profited in the short term by trading arms same as many countries are doing today…….As for King Solomon, I wonder what he would have to say about the wisdom of US foreign aid in regards to our present policy to supply men and arms in the Middle East supposedly as a defense for the US. While at the same time having absolutely no control of US borders and visas in spite of a potential threat of a nuclear dirty bomb…….http://rudymartinka.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/king-solomons-horse-tanks/

September 8, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

3 Persistent Big Lies from the nuclear industry

liar-nuclear1Nuclear industry still engages in Big Lies http://www.dnj.com/story/opinion/readers/2014/09/07/guest-column-nuclear-industry-still-engages-big-lies/15135385/Kathleen Ferris  September 6, 2014  The article by Duane W. Gang in Sunday’s DNJ, “TVA makes $4.5 billion bet on nuclear future,” states only a few arguments of environmentalists against more nuclear reactions, yet it repeats the Big Lie that nuclear energy is clean because power plants don’t emit greenhouse gases.

Let’s examine that statement. How much fossil fuel energy do you suppose was required to transport tons of material for the construction of Watts Bar 2 since the 1970s? How much fossil fuel energy to build the reactor? How much more to mine and transport the uranium for fuel? How much to operate the plant for the many years it will function? (We know from Fukushima what happens if the power goes out.) And finally, how much energy will be needed to decommission the plant and to haul the waste to Tennessee landfills?

Another Big Lie told by the officials of the nuclear industry is that nuclear energy is safe. In fact, reactors must routinely emit radiation in order to operate “safely”. Studies have shown that cancer and childhood leukemia increase in areas where nuclear power is produced and decrease when plants close down. How safe is that? Not to mention the high-level radioactive waste, deadly stuff with nowhere to go.

Have we learned nothing from the disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima? Huge swaths of land in Russia and Japan will be uninhabitable for thousands of years. The results are death and horrendous genetic damage. Chernobyl happened because the aged plant was operated long after it should have been shut down. In this country, we have over a hundred old reactors operating on licenses that were extended decades beyond their expected life-span. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has never turned down an application for license renewal, only required that some retrofitting be done first. How safe is that?

In Japan, the rate of thyroid cancer in children has skyrocketed and food supplies have been contaminated. Fukushima continues to spew millions of gallons of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, poisoning our seafood.

If you believe it can’t happen here, consider this: the reactor at Diablo Canyon in California sits on a major earthquake fault. Given the eastward flow of winds, a disaster there could contaminate the continent. Closer to home, Browns Ferry plant near Huntsville has three old reactors, same design as Fukushima, located in a tornado alley. The F5 tornado that destroyed much of Tuscaloosa in 2011 narrowly missed Browns Ferry, which lost power for several days. A direct hit could have wiped out Middle and East Tennessee.

You think the new reactors will be safer? Actually, the new Watts Bar 2 is built on an antiquated containment design from the 1960s. It relies on 3 million pounds of chipped ice hanging in baskets surrounding the reactor to allow a thinner (“egg shell”) containment vessel. This design is especially vulnerable to releasing massive amounts of radiation if coolant is lost.

The third Big Lie of the nuclear industry, suggested in the DNJ article, is that nuclear power is good for the economy because it provides jobs. Think about it. Right now 3,100 workers are constructing the new reactor at Watts Bar 2. If the project really is finished by 2015, those jobs will be terminated. Only a few more people will be needed to operate the plant.

If TVA had employed the same number of people to construct solar panels, the jobs would be on-going and the environment would have been free of radiation. Instead, what the Gannett reporter failed to tell, is that the board of directors voted at the last TVA meeting to reduce funding for energy efficiency (including renewable energy) by 25 percent and to raise rates on electricity for TVA customers. How much sense does that make?

September 8, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

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