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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Call for closure of Indian Point Nuclear Station while radioactive leak is investigated

Environmental group wants Indian Point nuclear power plant closed during probe after radioactive water leak  BY   NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, February 8, 2016, Environmental watchdogs are calling for the Indian Point nuclear power plant to shut down while investigators try to determine how an apparent overflow spilled highly radioactive water into an underground well.

“Indian Point had seven different malfunctions since May of 2015 . . . the next one could be a catastrophe,” Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper, said Sunday. “The stakes are just too high,” said Gallay, whose group is dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and the drinking water supply of 9 million city and Hudson Valley residents.

INDIAN POINT NUCLEAR FACILITY OPERATOR REPORTS ‘ALARMING LEVELS’ OF RADIOACTIVITY IN GROUNDWATER

Entergy Corp., which runs the plant, said three monitoring wells out of several dozen at Indian Point showed elevated levels of tritium after the leak, which was discovered Friday………

Gov. Cuomo ordered the state health and environmental conservation commissioners to investigate the incident.

“This is not the first such release of radioactive water at Indian Point, nor is this the first time that Indian Point has experienced significant failure in its operation and maintenance,” Cuomo said in a letter to acting Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.

“This failure continues to demonstrate that Indian Point cannot continue to operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment,” the governor’s letter said.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the leak was caused by a drain that overflowed while workers were transferring water containing high levels of radioactive contamination.

If you are the 45-year-old Indian Point nuclear power plant, you malfunction — it’s just what you do,” said Gallay. “This plant isn’t safe anymore.”

Cuomo and his administration have asked federal officials not to extend the license of the Indian Point plants, noting that there is no effective safety and evacuation plan for the more than 20 million people who live within 50 miles of the site.

The nuclear plant located roughly 35 miles north of the city has a history of groundwater contamination.

A federal oversight agency issued a report after about 100,000 gallons of tritium-tainted water entered the groundwater supply in 2009, and elevated levels of tritium also were found in two monitoring wells at the plant in 2014. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/water-leak-ny-nuclear-plant-raises-call-shut-article-1.2523487?cid=bitly

February 10, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear plant near New York leaks waste into three wells

Nuclear plant near New York leaks waste into three wells – making the water 65,000 per cent more radioactive than normal 

  • Indian Point nuclear power plant has leaked water contaminated with ‘alarming’ radioactive tritium into groundwater below facility
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo has launched an investigation after learning about the levels of radioactivity at three monitoring wells
  • Cuomo said the first concern is for ‘the health and safety of residents’
  • Plant’s operator, Entergy Corp, said the tritium likely reached the ground at Indian Point during recent work at the site
  • Entergy said contaminated water has not migrated off the site and poses no public health risk
  • One well showed a nearly 65,000 per cent spike in radioactivity

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3435606/New-York-Governor-orders-probe-nuclear-plant-alarming-radioactivity-increasing-nearly-65-000-cent-contaminated-water-leaked-facility.html

February 10, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

NRC conducting ‘Special inspection’ at River Bend nuclear station

‘Special inspection’ underway at River Bend power plant http://www.wbrz.com/news/special-inspection-underway-at-river-bend-power-plant/ February 08, 2016 By: Hunter Robinson ST. FRANCISVILLE – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced they’ve begun a special inspection at the River Bend Station nuclear power plant following an unplanned shutdown of the reactor Jan. 9th.

According to a press released issued Monday, a lightning strike caused a “momentary surge” at the plant’s offsite power supply, forcing the shutdown. The NRC will be investigating onsite for a week and publish the results within the next 45 days.

This isn’t the plant’s first trouble with unplanned shutdowns. There were inspections following an unplanned shutdown of the reactor Christmas Day 2014  and another about three months later.

February 10, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

No need to rush for risky nuclear power while other climate options are better

The key to understand is that we have options in the transition to a low carbon economy and there’s no need to resort to the riskiest first. Indeed, the clean energy sector can be a economic bonanza: according to the Department of Energy, the U.S. solar workforce has increased 123 percentsince 2010 – and this is the third consecutive year of about 20 percent annual jobs growth in this sector.

There’s no need to continue to subsidize risky, proliferation-prone nuclear technology in a fight against climate change

globalnukeNODon’t go nuclear on climate change just yet, The Hill, 9 Feb 16  “……A better understanding of the climate sensitivity to carbon emissions is crucial in making sensible policy decisions between the two types of risks at hand: the societal risks of from the man-made component of climate change versus the societal risks of any proposed solutions. No one wants the cure to be worse than the disease.

Could innovative new nuclear reactors like small modular reactors or the molten-salt concept solve the cost, proliferation, waste and safety concerns that plague the current generation, and so be part of the low-carbon solution? While “new-nuclear” should certainly be aggressively researched even supporters argue it will be 15 to 20 years before the technology is mature enough for commercialization. And licensing issues in bringing the power online would entail significant changes at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy and the International Atomic Energy Agency……..
 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports that many nuclear suppliers have said that “without Price-Anderson coverage, they would not participate in the nuclear industry”. ……

So do we just sit on our hands until we have more precise values for the climate sensitivity parameter? Certainly not – the large uncertainty of climate projections should not be an excuse for inaction. Quite apart from the issue of temperature increase due to carbon dioxide, there’s the additional problem of ocean acidification: Carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean to make an acid which can degrade the ability of many marine organisms to make and maintain their shells and skeletons. Regardless of the temperature increase due to carbon emissions, ocean acidification could have potentially serious consequences for the entire marine ecosystem – and the humans that depend on it.

Luckily, there are several carbon mitigation strategies with few, if any, negative side-effects and these could be implemented right away while climate scientists work to refine their climate sensitivity estimates. For instance, a McKinsey study concluded that,“Energy efficiency offers a vast low-cost energy resource for the American economy….[A] holistic approach…is estimated to reduce end-use energy consumption in 2020 by…roughly 23 percent of the projected demand, potentially abating up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases annually”.

Residential and commercial buildings consume roughly 40 percent of the nation’s energy budget and there is enormous scope for making current and future building more efficient. Put another way, implementing strict energy efficiency standards alone could more than obviate the need for the 20 percent contribution nuclear power makes to the nation’s electricity budget.

Similarly, government policies could help boost the use of carbon capture and renewable energy sources like wind, hydro and solar which have few negative side effects and many upsides. Specifically, government policies could be tailored to help address the technological challengesfacing renewables: scale-up, storage, transmission, and backup capacity issues.

The key to understand is that we have options in the transition to a low carbon economy and there’s no need to resort to the riskiest first. Indeed, the clean energy sector can be a economic bonanza: according to the Department of Energy, the U.S. solar workforce has increased 123 percentsince 2010 – and this is the third consecutive year of about 20 percent annual jobs growth in this sector.

There’s no need to continue to subsidize risky, proliferation-prone 1960’s nuclear technology in a fight against climate change…….http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/268696-dont-go-nuclear-on-climate-change-just-yet

February 10, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Corruption and legal violations in the Central African Republic mining sector: international list of companies responsible

This list shows in a very efficient way which companies intervene in the mining sector in CAR and how most of them violate their obligations toward the state, having corrupted its officials through “bonuses”, paid most of the time in cash…..https://wikileaks.org/car-mining/#bonus

February 8, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The World Sports Alliance (WSA): how the UN was indirectly implicated in a mining corruption scheme

These documents show the schemes used by a fake international organisation supported by the UN and numerous states in order to corrupt local elites and steal the natural resources of impoverished states and their populations. https://wikileaks.org/car-mining/#wsa

February 8, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Hinkley nuclear project – one crisis after another

Hinkley Point nuclear power station lurches into another crisis after director of £18bn project quits, This Is Money By EMILY DAVIES FOR THE DAILY MAIL 4 February 2016 Hinkley Point nuclear power station lurched into another crisis after the director of the £18bn project quit……..His resignation comes just days after EDF delayed giving approval to construction of Hinkley Point C as it struggles to find the billions of pounds to finance the deal.

Hinkley Point, in Somerset, has been beset with delays and cost overruns since 2010. EDF agreed a subsidy deal over Hinkley Point in 2013 and currently has a 66.5 per cent stake in the project, after Chinese utility CGN took a 33.5 per cent stake in the project.

But EDF has £28bn net debt and needs to find an estimated £41bn to extend the lifespan of 58 French nuclear plants. The company is said to be pressuring the French government, which owns 85 per cent of EDF, to take some of its stake in Hinkley Point.

And this week it emerged that the power station could be further put off, as five French union members on EDF’s 18-seat board came out in opposition of the project.  http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3430400/Hinkley-Point-nuclear-power-station-lurches-crisis-director-18bn-project-quits.html#ixzz3zKCwnvD2

February 8, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear radioactive trash – a global problem?

planet-polluted

Does Germany’s nuclear waste headache warrant a global fix?  New Scientist, 3 February 2016 ARE nations duty-bound to deal with their own nuclear waste, or do we need a transnational solution? It is a pertinent question. Germany, despite decisively ditching nuclear power five years ago, still can’t decide what to do with the leftovers.

Anti-nuclear activists there are vowing to block the return of spent fuel from the country’s reactors, being reprocessed in France and the UK. They have also boycotted a parliamentary commission scheduled to report later this year on a final resting place for plutonium-rich waste, which needs keeping out of harm’s way for tens of thousands of years (see “Radioactive waste dogs Germany despite abandoning nuclear power“).

Their campaign may succeed, but only temporarily by dodging the big issue and saddling other countries with German waste……https://www.newscientist.com/article/2076103-does-germanys-nuclear-waste-headache-warrant-a-global-fix/

February 5, 2016 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

USA’s deadlocked policy on North Korea’s Nuclear Test

Deadlock: North Korea’s Nuclear Test and US Policy, CounterPunch by MEL GURTOV , FEBRUARY 4, 2016  North Korea continues to rattle the cages of both friend and foe.  Despite near-universal condemnation of its fourth nuclear test and a deplorable human rights record, Kim Jong-un defiantly disregards the major powers and the United Nations.  And now, adding insult to injury, the UN Secretary-General reports that North Korea has notified various UN agencies of its intention to launch a satellite, apparently to test its ballistic missile technology.

Continued nuclear testing by North Korea is its way of demonstrating independence of action.  Nuclear weapons are the DPRK’s “insurance policy,” David Sanger writes – its last best hope for regime survival and legitimacy, and the most dramatic way to insist that the North’s interests should not be neglected.  All one has to do is, through North Korean blinkers, see what has happened in Iraq, Iran, and Libya, where dictators did not have a nuclear deterrent.  Two of them were invaded, and all had to surrender their nuclear-weapon capability.

The longstanding US approach to North Korea’s nuclear weapons is way off the mark.  The Obama administration’s strategy of “strategic patience” shows little attention to North Korean motivations. The US insistence that no change in policy is conceivable unless and until North Korea agrees to denuclearize ensures continuing tension, the danger of a disastrous miscalculation, and more and better North Korean nuclear weapons.  The immediate focus of US policy should be on trust building.

Increasing the severity of punishment, with threats of more to come, is representative of a failed policy. ……..

Serious engagement with North Korea remains the only realistic policy option for the United States and its allies. To be effective, however (i.e., meaningful to the other side), engagement must be undertaken strategically—as a calculated use of incentives with expectation of mutual rewards, namely in security and peace. And it should be undertaken in a spirit of mutual respect and with due regard for sensitivity in language and action.

Here are three elements of an engagement package:

First is revival of the Six-Party Talks without preconditions and with faithfulness to previous six-party and North-South Korea joint declaration…….

Second is creation of a Northeast Asia Security Dialogue Mechanism. ……

…..Third is significant new humanitarian assistance to North Korea.  …The same kind of steady, patient, and creative diplomacy that led to the nuclear deal with Iran is still possible in the North Korea case.  As the Under Secretary-General of the UN, Jeffrey Feltman, said, Iran shows that “diplomacy can work to address non-proliferation challenges.  There is strong international consensus on the need to work for peace, stability and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.  To achieve this goal, dialogue is the way forward.”

Mel Gurtov is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Perspective, an international affairs quarterly and blogs at In the Human Interest.  http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/04/deadlock-north-koreas-nuclear-test-and-us-policy/

February 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

France’s EDF begging for government support before committing to UK Hinkley nuclear project

France can’t build its own new nuclear power stations, let alone ours  He’s the only one of a Dad’s Army of pundits no longer on hand to commentate on the looming financial crisis, Spectator, 4 Feb 16  “…….signals from EDF of France — which has a two-thirds interest in this £18 billion project, alongside Chinese investors — are very worrying.

Having already spent £2 billion, the French state utility has deferred until at least the middle of this month a final commitment that was expected last week. Under pressure from unions and minority shareholders, and battered by falling wholesale electricity prices as well as endless delays and problems on its own nuclear new-build at Flamanville near Cherbourg, EDF is evidently begging for more support from its own government before committing such massive resources to solve a problem for ours.

…….the travails of Hinkley are reported to have ‘spooked’ Hitachi of Japan, which is in negotiations for another nuclear station at Wylfa Newydd in Anglesey……http://www.spectator.co.uk/2016/02/france-cant-build-its-own-new-nuclear-power-stations-let-alone-ours/

February 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

A botched email attack on nuclear scientists

The Former Federal Employee Who Tried to Launch a Cyberattack on Nuclear Scientists, The Atlantic He sent emails he thought were infected with viruses to Department of Energy employees involved in developing nuclear weapons. KAVEH WADDELL  , 3 Feb 16  A nuclear scientist formerly employed by the federal government admitted Tuesday that he tried to infect the computers of about 80 government employees whom he believed had access to nuclear materials and weapons.

According to court documents released by the Department of Justice, the scientist, Charles Eccleston, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted unauthorized access to a protected computer.

Until he was fired in 2011, Eccleston worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…….

 He sent an email containing what he thought was a malicious link to about 80 Department of Energy employees, advertising an upcoming nuclear conference in Washington, D.C. The link, which was received by employees in nuclear labs in Tennessee, New Mexico, California, and in the DOE headquarters in D.C., was harmless.

He was told he would be paid about $80,000 for his efforts. Instead, he was arrested by Philippine police and deported to the U.S. He signed a plea deal on Tuesday, affirming that the evidence the FBI gathered on him is accurate, and faces up to 30 months of prison time and up to $95,000 in fines. (He wasoriginally charged with four felonies.)

And those “top secret” NRC email addresses Eccleston sold for thousands of dollars? The FBI later realized they were all publicly available. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/fired-federal-employee-tried-to-launch-cyberattack-on-nuclear-scientists-computers/459894/

 

February 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

How Gorleben refused to be Germany’s nuclear dump 

By  GORLEBEN, GERMANY, 1. FEB (subscribers only) https://euobserver.com/beyond-brussels/132065

February 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

USA’s $30 billion new cruise nuclear missile makes no sense financially or strategically

bomb B61-12A Nuclear Weapon the U.S. Doesn’t Need, Bloomberg View  FEB 1, 2016   By 

 For a president who famously advocated for a world without nuclear weapons, Barack Obama has done a lot to keep the U.S. nuclear arsenal intact. That’s not a criticism — it was his promise that was naive, not his policy — but in one respect, his strategy is unnecessarily destabilizing.

The administration’s proposal to spend up to $30 billion to create a new nuclear cruise missile meant to be carried by the aging B-52 bomber makes no sense
. . Cruise missiles, which are smaller than land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles and fly farther than tactical bombs dropped by planes, are the wild card of the nuclear arsenal: Unlike ICBMs, they are very hard to spot by radar or satellite, and, even if detected, they’re indistinguishable from conventionally armed cruise missiles.

This is a problem because a successful deterrence strategy requires that both sides in a potential nuclear conflict have a pretty good idea of what the other would do. Three years ago, the U.K. decided not to develop a submarine-based nuclear-tipped cruise missile because it carries too great a risk of “miscalculation and unintended escalation.”…….

Today, with Russia a much-diminished nuclear threat and China little interested in challenging U.S. nuclear superiority, the need to overwhelm either nation’s air defenses is less of a priority. Meanwhile, lesser potential adversaries such as Iran and North Korea have limited capability to protect their airspace. And technological advances have made the nuclear submarine fleet vastly more capable of penetrating enemy anti-missile defenses.

So why the push for the new cruise weapon? In part, it’s the natural inclination of the military to trade up……

plans to upgrade the nuclear cruise missile would not make the U.S., or the world, any safer.

To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley atdavidshipley@bloomberg.nethttp://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-01/a-nuclear-weapon-the-u-s-doesn-t-need

February 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Growing concern sin Europe over restarting aging Belgium nuclear stations

Concerns mount over reactivation of aging Belgian nuclear stations http://www.theworldweekly.com/reader/view/newswire/2016-02-01/concerns-mount-over-reactivation-of-aging-belgian-nuclear-stations/6537

German environment minister Barbara Hendricks is due to meet Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon in Brussels on Monday to express concern over the reactivation of two nuclear reactors which were shut down in 2012 because of safety concerns. Officials from the Netherlands and Luxembourg have also requested meetings over the decision to reboot the reactors. As of 1pm Belgian time on Monday, over 722,000 people had signed a petition on Avaaz, an activist website, entitled ‘Belgium: Stop the next Chernobyl’.
“Now it’s not a nuclear incident but maybe tomorrow it is. These worries are serious and this is why we are here, to give maximum transparency,” Dutch environment minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told reporters on January 20 after inspecting the Doel plant, near the Dutch border.
 One of the reactors is part of the Doel plant; the other is part of the Tihange plant, which lies around an hour’s drive from Luxembourg and Germany. Both were taken offline in 2012, pending closer checks, after small cracks were found in their walls.
 Belgium’s nuclear watchdog approved their reactivation in December, and in mid-January it released a statement saying that tests had shown the cracks “do not pose an unacceptable safety risk”.
ays after being rebooted in December, the Doel reactor was shut down to fix a water leak. It has since been restarted again.
 Over the past two years a series of faults in non-nuclear parts of the two plants have led to temporary reactor shutdowns. In August 2014, for example, a different reactor at the Doel plant was taken offline because of an oil leak in the turbine hall.
 “There are concerns because of the age of the nuclear plant and the incidents that have been occurring,” Ms. van Haegen told reporters on January 20. But she added: “What the experts are telling me gives me the certainty at the moment that the Doel plant is safe.”

February 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

China’s envoy in North Korea to discuss nuclear issue

China’s nuclear envoy in North Korea amid sanctions push: KCNA, Reuters, 

SEOUL | BY JACK KIM 1 FEB 16 China’s envoy for the North Korean nuclear issue arrived in the capital, Pyongyang, on Tuesday, the North’s KCNA news agency reported, amid a push by the United States and South Korea for tougher sanctions on the North after its fourth nuclear test.

China’s Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei was expected to hold discussions with the North Koreans on the nuclear issue after his arrival there, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported from the North Korean capital.

Neither Kyodo nor KCNA gave further details……..

China disapproves of the North’s nuclear program and says it is making great efforts to achieve denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-china-idUSKCN0VB0TU

February 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

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