The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear power not worth the risks of accidents weapons and the wastes threats

Accidents, Waste and Weapons: Nuclear Power Isn’t Worth the Risks miningawareness  Mark DiesendorfUNSW Australia

The case for expanding nuclear energy is based on myths about its status, greenhouse gas emissions, proliferation, accidents, wastes and economics. Let’s take each in turn.

StatusNuclear is not, and has never been, a major energy force. Global annual nuclear energy generation peaked in 2006. Meanwhile its percentage contribution to global electricity generation has declined from its historic peak in 1993 of 17% to about 10% today. The only countries with significant growth are China, India, Russia and South Korea. In the rest of the world, retirements of ageing reactors are likely to outweigh new builds………

The next generation of reactorsSome generation IV reactors are potentially lower in life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, but these are not yet commercially available.

All are likely to be even more expensive than conventional reactors. The fast breeder reactor is even more complex, dangerous, expensive and conducive to weapons proliferation than conventional nuclear reactors. Despite several decades of expensive pilot and demonstration plants, fast breeders have not been successfully commercialised, and may never be.

Advocates try to justify the integral fast reactor and the thorium reactor on the fallacious grounds that they cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons explosives. However, if not operated according to the rules, the integral fast reactor can actually make it easier to extract weapons-grade plutonium and hence make bombs. To be useful as a nuclear fuel, thorium must first be converted to uranium-233, which can be fissioned either in a nuclear reactor or an atomic bomb, as the United States has demonstrated.

The small modular reactor (SMR) has been a dream of the nuclear industry for decades, amid hopes that future mass production could make its electricity cheaper than from existing large reactors. However, offsetting this is the economy of scale of large reactors. The Union of Concerned Scientists, which is not anti-nuclear, has serious safety and security concerns about SMRs.

Weapons proliferationNuclear proponents dismiss the danger that civil nuclear energy will drive the development of nuclear weapons, by saying that the nuclear industry is now under strong international oversight. This ignores the harsh reality that India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Africa have all used civil nuclear energy to help build their nuclear weapons. Furthermore, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Libya, South Korea and Taiwan all used civil nuclear energy to cloak their commencement of nuclear weapons programs, although fortunately all except Iran have now discontinued them.

Thus nuclear energy contributes to the number of countries with nuclear weapons, or the capacity to build them, and hence increases the probability of nuclear war……

August 1, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

California’s wildfire – a danger to buildings – later to nuclear reactors?

wildfire-nukeRapidly Spreading Wildfire North Of San Francisco Destroys Several Buildings, Forces 500 To Evacuate  Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown News  July 30, 2015 A rapidly spreading brushfire burning in parched timberland north of San Francisco has forced the evacuation of 500 people and destroyed several buildings less than 12 hours after it broke out, fire officials said on Thursday.

The blaze, named the “Rocky Fire,” is one of a string of wildfires threatening homes and scorching parched wilderness in the U.S. West, where several regions have endured sustained drought.

The Rocky Fire broke out Wednesday afternoon in Lake County, 110 miles (180 km) north of San Francisco. By early Thursday it had covered 3,000 acres (1,200 hectares), according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire)…….

July 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan’s Abe Government Risks Fukushima Victims’ Lives with “Forced Return” to Contaminated Areas

“Normalizing” Nuclear Catastrophe: Japan’s Abe Government Risks Fukushima Victims’ Lives with “Forced Return” to Contaminated Areas By Kendra Ulrich Global Research, July 30, 2015

Ecologist 29 July 2015 A massive decontamination exercise is under way in Iitate Village near Fukushima, writes Kendra Ulrich: step one in a plan to force 6,000 residents back into the evacuated zone in 2017. But as radiation levels remain stubbornly high, it looks like the real plan is to ‘normalize’ nuclear catastrophe, while making Iitate residents nuclear victims twice over – and this time, it’s deliberate.

The worst nuclear disaster in a generation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant – which began in March 2011 – is still very much an ongoing crisis that will not be solved for the many many decades.

Most of the massive radioactive releases were carried out to the Pacific Ocean by the prevailing winds at that time of year. But, on the nights of 15th and 16th March, the winds turned, carrying an enormous amount of radiation inland. Fukushima prefecture, especially to the northwest of the crippled reactor site, was heavily contaminated.

he Japanese government is undertaking decontamination efforts with the intention of lifting evacuation orders by March 2017.

But Greenpeace investigations have made a shocking discovery: in Iitate – one of the priority targets of the Abe Government’s plan – radiation dose levels are comparable to those inside the 30km exclusion zone around Chernobyl. Even more surprising, this was true even around homes that had already been supposedly ‘decontaminated’.

What on earth would motivate the Japanese Government to do such a thing to the tens of thousands of nuclear victims and decontamination workers?

Decontaminating Iitate – the 200 ‘village’

To answer that question, it is first important to understand a bit of background on ‘Iitate Village’. It is actually a 200 area of heavily forested hills, mountains, and lakes, interspersed with farm fields, and homes. It lies 28 – 47 km to the northwest of the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in the direct path of the heaviest on-land radioactive fallout.

Although the Abe Government has stated on its website that it is “decontaminating” Iitate – even going so far as to say on the Ministry of Environment website that 100% of the forest has already been decontaminated – you have to dig through several different pages to discover that they are only referring to about a quarter of the land area of Iitate.

In other words, of the 200 of Iitate Village only 56 are targeted for decontamination. Of that fraction, most of the focus has been on fields, 10-20 m strips of forest either side of public roads, and in the small immediate area around people’s houses.

Even the limited amount of targeted forest isn’t finished and will continue for at least another year or longer.

And what strikes you when you see it is not just the swarms of workers raking away at the woodland floor and trimming blades of grasses by hand in these first 10-20m of forest along the roads, but the extent of the vast mountains upon mountains of dense, lush forest stretching out behind them as far as the eye can see.

You feel sorry for them. You also admire their intensive effort, meticulous work, and commitment. They are working in sweltering heat, in protective clothing, boots, gloves masks and goggles; not even their eyes are visible. And they are doing intense physical labor for almost no impact.

Many of these workers are the residents of other impacted areas, like Minamisoma, who lost their jobs in farming, forestry, fishing or services due to the nuclear disaster. So many are working on their former home areas which are now heavily contaminated with radioactivity.

It’s surreal. And it’s heartbreaking

On March 27th 2011, Greenpeace radiation investigations in Iitate had revealed extremely high levels of contamination, which led our organisation to urgently recommend to the Japanese government the immediate evacuation of the more than 6,000 residents.

Until that point, the residents of Iitate had been told that evacuation was not required. Evacuation did not begin until April 22. And still, eight weeks after the start of the accident, in early June, over 1,200 people remained in Iitate. As a result, the people of Iitate were the most exposed to radiation of all citizens of Fukushima prefecture.

Iitate has since become an iconic area within the story of Fukushima: a constant reminder to the Japanese public and the international community that a major nuclear disaster is not confined to a small ‘emergency planning’ zone around the reactor site. The impacts are far reaching, destroy entire regions and communities, rip people from the fabric of their lives, and cannot be repaired.

Over four years after the triple reactor core meltdowns and exploded containment buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the majority of the Japanese public has remained opposed to any nuclear restart. The country has been completely nuclear-free for nearly two years, thanks in large part to significant public opposition, in spite of the massive pressure from nuclear utilities and the Abe government on local city governments.

However, these utilities are massively powerful and the Abe government is wholly in bed with them.


July 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Fukushima- The Real Story – a time bomb in quiescence

Fukushima Not Even Close To Being Under Control, Oil Price, By Sun, 28 June 2015 

“…………In late 2014, Helen Caldicott, M.D. gave a speech about Fukushima at Seattle Town Hall. Pirate Television recorded her speech

Dr. Helen Caldicott is co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and she is author/editor of Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, The New Press, September 2014. For over four decades Dr. Caldicott has been the embodiment of the anti-nuclear banner, and as such, many people around the world classify her as a “national treasure”. She’s truthful and honest and knowledgeable.

Fukushima is literally a time bomb in quiescence. Another powerful quake and all hell could break loose. Also, it is not even close to being under control. Rather, it is totally out of control. According to Dr. Caldicott, “It’s still possible that Tokyo may have to be evacuated, depending upon how things go.” Imagine that!

According to Japan Times as of March 11, 2015: “There have been quite a few accidents and problems at the Fukushima plant in the past year, and we need to face the reality that they are causing anxiety and anger among people in Fukushima, as explained by Shunichi Tanaka at the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Furthermore, Mr. Tanaka said, there are numerous risks that could cause various accidents and problems.”

Even more ominously, Seiichi Mizuno, a former member of Japan’s House of Councillors (Upper House of Parliament, 1995-2001) in March 2015 said: “The biggest problem is the melt-through of reactor cores… We have groundwater contamination… The idea that the contaminated water is somehow blocked in the harbor is especially absurd. It is leaking directly into the ocean. There’s evidence of more than 40 known hotspot areas where extremely contaminated water is flowing directly into the ocean… We face huge problems with no prospect of solution.”

At Fukushima, each reactor required one million gallons of water per minute for cooling, but when the tsunami hit, the backup diesel generators were drowned. Units 1, 2, and 3 had meltdowns within days. There were four hydrogen explosions. Thereafter, the melting cores burrowed into the container vessels, maybe into the earth.

According to Dr. Caldicott, “One hundred tons of terribly hot radioactive lava has already gone into the earth or somewhere within the container vessels, which are all cracked and broken.” Nobody really knows for sure where the hot radioactive lava resides. The scary unanswered question: Is it the China Syndrome?

Following the meltdown, the Japanese government did not inform people of the ambient levels of radiation that blew back onto the island. Unfortunately and mistakenly, people fled away from the reactors to the highest radiation levels on the island at the time.

As the disaster happened, enormous levels of radiation hit Tokyo. The highest radiation detected in the Tokyo Metro area was in Saitama with cesium radiation levels detected at 919,000 becquerel (Bq) per square meter, a level almost twice as high as Chernobyl’s “permanent dead zone evacuation limit of 500,000 Bq” (source: Radiation Defense Project). For that reason, Dr. Caldicott strongly advises against travel to Japan and recommends avoiding Japanese food.

Even so, post the Fukushima disaster, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed an agreement with Japan that the U.S. would continue importing Japanese foodstuff. Therefore, Dr. Caldicott suggests people not vote for Hillary Clinton. One reckless dangerous precedent is enough for her.

According to Arnie Gundersen, an energy advisor with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, as reported in The Canadian on August 15, 2011: “The US government has come up with a decision at the highest levels of the State Department, as well as other departments who made a decision to downplay Fukushima. In April, the month after the powerful tsunami and earthquake crippled Japan including its nuclear power plant, Hillary Clinton signed a pact with Japan that she agreed there is no problem with Japanese food supply and we will continue to buy them. So, we are not sampling food coming in from Japan.”

However, in stark contrast to the United States, in Europe Angela Merkel, PhD physics, University of Leipzig and current chancellor of Germany is shutting down all nuclear reactors because of Fukushima.

Maybe an advanced degree in physics makes the difference in how a leader approaches the nuclear power issue. It certainly looks that way when comparing/contrasting the two pantsuit-wearing leaders, Chancellor Merkel and former secretary of state Clinton.

After the Fukushima blow up, ambient levels of radiation in Washington State went up 40,000 times above normal, but according to Dr. Caldicott, the U.S. media does not cover the “ongoing Fukushima mess.” So, who would really know?

Dr. Caldicott ended her speech on Sept. 2014 by saying: “In Fukushima, it is not over. Every day, four hundred tons of highly radioactive water pours into the Pacific and heads towards the U.S. Because the radiation accumulates in fish, we get that too. The U.S. government is not testing the water, not testing the fish, and not testing the ambient air. Also, people in Japan are eating radiation every day.”

Furthermore, according to Dr. Caldicott: “Rainwater washes over the nuclear cores into the Pacific. There is no way they can get to those cores, men die, robots get fried. Fukushima will never be solved. Meanwhile, people are still living in highly radioactive areas.”

Fukushima will never be solved because “men die” and “robots get fried.” By the sounds of it, Fukushima is a perpetual radiation meltdown scenario that literally sets on the edge of a bottomless doomsday pit, in waiting to be nudged over.

July 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear deals between Russia andMiddle East countries

Russia signs nuclear deals with traditional U.S. allies in Middle East  Fox News The Russian government has signed major nuclear cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan since the start of this year, increasing its influence among traditional U.S. allies in the region.

In June, Russia closed a major deal on nuclear cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Since the end of the last decade the Saudis have been implementing plans to construct as many as 16 commercial nuclear power plants. The Saudis have signed agreements with other nuclear nations, including the United States, France, China and Argentina, to help construct the reactors.

Russia is now expected to play a sizable role in operating the nuclear plants, which are still to be built………

July 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Hole in nuclear containment wall not noticed ?for 30 years

1-inch hole found in secondary containment building wall at Hope Creek reactor By Bill Gallo Jr. | For  on July 29, 2015

LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — A 1-inch hole found in the wall of the Hope Creek nuclear reactor’s secondary containment building was likely made during original construction of the plant, officials said Wednesday.

But whether the hole was ever filled or has remained open since the facility was built in the early 1980s is being investigated……..Hope Creek and Salem 1 and Salem 2 comprise the second-largest commercial nuclear complex in the United States.

Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at bgallo@njadvancemedia.com

July 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

There are still about 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Terrorists only need to steal one

70 years after Hiroshima, nuclear weapons threaten us all,       Nuclear weapons are an austerity-free zone Nearly 70 years ago, on 6 August 1945, the US dropped “Little Boy”, the first nuclear weapon used in warfare, on Hiroshima.

“Two thirds of the buildings in the city were destroyed and perhaps 80,000 civilians were killed”, observes Eric Schlosser, in Gods of Metal, a frightening yet moving account of how three Catholic pacifists, including an 82 year-old nun, broke into Y12, a top security nuclear weapons base in Tennessee, known as the Fort Knox of Uranium, where material used in the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was processed.

“The amount of weapons-grade uranium needed to build a terrorist bomb with a similar explosive force”, Schlosser adds in his extremely timely short book, “could fit inside a small gym bag”.

Though there are treaties banning biological and chemical weapons, cluster bombs, and landmines, there is no such ban on nuclear weapons, even though their use would breach international agreements, not least the Geneva Conventions.

70 years after Hiroshima, despite all the rhetoric and genuflection (and negotiations with Iran) moves towards global nuclear disarmament are further away than ever. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The world faces many nuclear threats: these are the top 5

#TalkAboutIt: Top five nuclear threats the world faces, ABC News, 25 July 15  TalkAboutIt

By Steven Viney and Stephanie Juleff The fear of a nuclear war has decreased dramatically over the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War.

But several events — including 2011’s Fukushima meltdown, Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Islamic State’s pledge to obtain a nuclear weapon in 2015, and the recent Iran deal — have brought the nuclear-related threat back into public consciousness.

The diversity and unpredictability of these events only emphasise that the line between an intentional nuclear disaster and an atomic accident is blurry.

But is there still a real nuclear threat in 2015?

Here are five major modern-day nuclear threats according to the experts.

State vs state nuclear war (intentional)…….

State vs state nuclear war (unintentional)…

Nuclear terrorism……

Nuclear meltdown……

Nuclear waste storage…….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Jon Stewart demolishes US Republicans’ opposition to Iran nuclear deal

Jon Stewart Skewers GOP Over Iran Nuclear Deal Complaints (includes video) 

“Basically, you’re treating this critical international accord like some kind of bizarro iTunes user agreement.”

News Editor, The Huffington Post 23 July 15 “……..The Obama administration sent the nuclear agreement to Congress on Sunday, and as Stewart noted, many Republicans expressed their extreme unhappiness with it. Some, like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even called it a “historically bad” deal.

But is it as awful as they claim?

Stewart skewered Graham and others for baselessly criticizing the agreement, and for not offering any viable alternatives despite their grousing.

“You didn’t even read the deal?” Stewart said of Graham, who admitted to not having read the agreement. “Basically, you’re treating this critical international accord like some kind of bizarro iTunes user agreement. Blah, blah, blah, blah, just skip all the details.”

Watch the video above to see if Stewart was really able to keep mum about Trump throughout the whole segment. The comedian also offers details of an alternative deal with Iran.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Concerns that Saudi Arabia would go for nuclear weapons, if Iran did

Saudi Arabia’s contest for power with Iran could turn nuclear, Business Insider ANGUS MCDOWALL, 
Jul. 21, 2015, RIYADH (Reuters) – One likely Saudi Arabian response to the deal its biggest enemy Iran has struck with world powers is to accelerate its own nuclear power plans, creating an atomic infrastructure it could, one day, seek to weaponize.

But while it has recently made moves to advance its nuclear program, experts say it is uncertain whether it could realistically build an atomic bomb in secret or withstand the political pressure it would face if such plans were revealed.

“I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the bomb if Iran did. It’s just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn’t want one, but when India got it, so did they,…….

July 22, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Not realistic to mine uranium in Quebec

Quebec uranium mining not realistic for several years – BAPE,   20TH JULY 2015 BY: HENRY LAZENBY CREAMER MEDIA DEPUTY EDITOR Toronto ( – Uranium mining in Quebec is not feasible for several years still, owing to the exceedingly negative perception mining of the radio active element has among the province’s inhabitants, as a result of “numerous unanswered” questions regarding human health and ecosystem integrity, a committee tasked with holding public consultations on the subject has found. The public hearings office Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) committee reported that owing to scientific uncertainty and gaps in technological knowledge, uranium mining in the province was far from reaching social and political consensus.

July 22, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Mysteriuese Évacuation complète d’un village au Kazakhstan à cause d’une « maladie du sommeil mysteriuese

Évacuation complète d’un village au Kazakhstan à cause d’une « maladie du sommeil » qui fait rage Un village au Kazakhstan est en train d’être évacué tandis que des scientifiques ne comprennent pas la cause d’une mystérieuse maladie du sommeil.

Des douzaines de gens du village éloigné de Kalachi ont été victimes de l’affliction, dont plusieurs se sont évanouis à l’école, chez eux ou même sur leurs motos.

Quelques victimes sont restées inconscientes durant des jours et ont aussi souffert d’hallucinations, de maux de tête et de fatigue.

Le Astana Times a rapporté que le Vice-Premier Ministre du pays a dit que la combinaison de monoxyde de carbone et de gaz d’hydrocarbure à proximité d’une mine d’uranium étaient la cause.

Mais un expert a déclaré à Wired que, tandis que les symptômes correspondent à la théorie, la mine a été abandonnée dans les années 1990, donc les causes du monoxyde de carbone ne sont pas avérées.

D’autres experts enquêtent actuellement sur le taux de gaz qui s’échappe de la mine et qui peuvent potentiellement être à l’origine du problème. Cependant, le mystère demeure.

July 22, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby anxious about its image – trying to “engender optimism” about the industry

Nuclear magicianNuclear Communicatiion, by Suzanne Waldmann, The Energy Collective, 2 March 2015,”……. what, outside of simply providing information, can the industry do to shift people’s thoughts and feelings about nuclear?
A number of communicative tacks were floated at the CNA conference. One was better dialogue with communities, given the reasonable need communities have tofeel control over their destinies……Another option is to accelerate technological improvements. Famed climate scientist and nuclear supporter James Hansen told me that to accept nuclear power more broadly “the public needs to see things becoming safer.” ……..
there was a sense at the conference that the nuclear industry should be developing communication strategies to nudge a cultural shift amongst the public along at least one of two lines.

The first line is towards greater public pragmatism……….. the public health benefits of nuclear power ought to be foregrounded was an idea that percolated throughout the conference. ..

The second line is towards greater public optimism. Leslie Dewan testified that the spirit of the “Atoms for Peace” era—the exciting early days of atomic energy—is currently being rekindled among young nuclear engineers. How to rekindle that excitement about human ingenuity and transformative technology broadly across society is the most difficult question for nuclear communication. …..
How to engender a shift from a societal focus on risk to one on resilience and courage is perhaps the ultimate question for nuclear communication.

July 20, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Surprising countries where solar and wind are booming.

Renewable energy is taking off in both wealthy and developing economies.

Across the globe, renewable energy is expanding faster than fossil fuels. It’s even taking off in countries that may surprise you. &

July 15, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Secretive South Africa hides costs of nuclear build programme

SA remains tight-lipped over nuclear build costs, Business Day Live 
BY STAFF WRITER, JULY 14 2015, THE deputy director-general of nuclear energy‚ Zizamele Mbambo, made it clear on Tuesday that SA was forging ahead with its nuclear build programme‚ but kept mum on how the country’s new nuclear reactors would be financed….

To date, the government has signed intergovernmental agreements with China‚ France‚ Russia‚ the US and South Korea. Negotiations are under way to conclude agreements with Canada and Japan……..

Fifty trainees have been sent to China for Phase 1 nuclear training in April‚ and an additional 250 trainees will be sent to China this year.

Russia has offered 10 new scholarships for Master’s Degrees in Nuclear Technology‚ while South Korea has an existing programme to train South African students for Master’s Degrees in Nuclear Engineering.


France has put in place 14 bursaries for young people from previously disadvantaged groups. In addition‚ South African engineers already engaged in nuclear activities will pursue training in France.

July 15, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment


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