nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Hinkley Point replacement nuclear reactors may be ruled unsafe

Hinkley Point’s replacement reactors face ‘unsafe’ ruling Adam Sage Paris, April 17 2015 David Cameron’s £16 billion plan to buy a new generation of French-made nuclear reactors is fresh turmoil following an official warning that a key component could be unsafe.

The British Office for Nuclear Regulation has been told by its French counterpart that tests have revealed a ‘serious anomaly’ with a similar reactor under construction in northern France. The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) said the steel lid and bottom of the reactor vessel appeared to be weak, and risked cracking up …….http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/utilities/article4414718.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2015_04_17

April 18, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Escalating danger in Indian Ocean as China to sell submarines to Pakistan

Xi’s Submarine Sale Raises Indian Ocean Nuclear Clash Risk Bloombeg 17 Apr 15 Soon a brash naval captain may pose a bigger risk of triggering a nuclear crisis between India and Pakistan than a religious terrorist.

China is likely to conclude a sale of eight conventional submarines during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad on April 20, more than doubling Pakistan’s fleet. Analysts say it may be the first step in helping Pakistan gain the ability to fire nuclear weapons at sea, keeping pace with rival India.

The submarine sale will add to tensions in regional waters as Prime Minister Narendra Modi bulks up India’s navy to prevent China from gaining a foothold in the area. Xi’s visit, the first by a Chinese head of state to Pakistan since 2006, will also outline investments in gas pipelines, highways and rail links that will give China access to the Arabian Sea, in part through territory claimed by India.

 While Pakistan’s efforts are still “embryonic,” its naval commanders want to follow Israel’s example of equipping conventional submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles, Iskander Rehman of the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based policy research group, said in a March 9 report. Nuclear weapons at sea pose a greater risk than stationary land-based arsenals because they are submerged and harder to detect.

“We are now entering a new era whereby naval interactions will occur under a perpetual nuclear shadow,” Rehman said by phone. “My main concern is less the risk of nuclear terrorism, but rather the dangers tied to naval friction within a newly nuclearized maritime domain.”…….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-16/xi-s-submarine-sale-raises-risk-of-nuclear-clash-in-indian-ocean

April 18, 2015 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

Increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation, with Canada-India uranium sales deal

Canada-India uranium deal will spur proliferation, experts warn Arms control experts say Canada sends the wrong signal to countries that play by the rules By Evan Dyer, CBC News 17 Apr 15 India test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile Thursday, just hours after signing a deal to buy 3,000 tons of Canadian uranium.The Agni-III missile, which has a range of over 3,000 kilometres, was fired from the Indian army’s test range on Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal. India declared the test a success…….While the terms of this week’s deal are not public, the nuclear cooperation agreement, first announced in 2010 and finalized in 2013, includes assurances that India use Canadian material for civilian purposes only……..

some nuclear proliferation experts say India has been able to make such a deal without abiding by the rules set out for most other countries that abide by the international non-proliferation regime. And they warn that countries the West has been attempting to bring into the rules-based system — such as Iran — will be less inclined to submit when they see the rules don’t apply to India.

Canadian technology used to gain bomb…..Of particular concern to the rest of the world was that India developed its bomb using nuclear material from a reactor it had acquired from Canada ostensibly for civilian use……..

Some experts fear Canada appears to be selling India uranium with fewer controls and conditions than it typically demands from NNPT member countries that do play by the rules.

“Normally there’s some sort of tracking and accounting system so that Canada would be receiving information from India very specifically about what Canada-sourced material is being used for,” says Trevor Findlay, a senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Managing the Atom project.

“In this case, because the agreement [to buy the uranium] is secret, we have no idea whether that’s in place, and it probably isn’t because the Indians have been pushing against that,” he told The Current.

Findlay and other experts warn that the special treatment for India shows other governments a country can ignore the rules, build the bomb, tough it out for a few decades and emerge on the other side as an accepted nuclear weapons power.

Already, Pakistan says the deals give India a strategic advantage, and Pakistan has blocked preliminary talks on the most important arms control initiative in years: a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty that would ban future production of weapons-grade material.http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-india-uranium-deal-will-spur-proliferation-experts-warn-1.3036540

April 18, 2015 Posted by | Canada, India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Economic advantages: the feasibility of going 100% renewable energy

renewable-energy-world-SmThe adoption of targets for 100% renewables by 2050 could deliver combined energy savings of more than $500 billion a year to the major economies of the EU, the US and China, and create millions of new jobs, a new study has found. The study, released this week by New Climate Institute and commissioned by Climate Action Network, also found that if all countries took action on renewables at this scale, global warming would not cross the 2°C threshold beyond which scientists predict would result in dangerous and irreversible changes to the earth’s climate.
when City staff examined their options last year, they discovered something that seemed remarkable, especially in Texas: renewable energy was cheaper than non-renewable. By January 2017, all electricity within the city’s service area will come from wind and solar power.
NuClear News, April 15  A report written by the French Environment and Energy Agency (Ademe) has concluded that supplying the nation’s electricity demand with renewables by 2050 would cost about the same as the plan currently favoured by the President and the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, which is to meet France’s power needs with 50% nuclear, 40% renewables, and 10% fossil fuel by 2050. (1)
Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy. The city of 600,000 on Canada’s west coast aims to use only green energy sources for electricity, and also for heating and cooling and transportation. Cities and urban areas are responsible for 70-75% of global CO2 emissions and that’s where “real action on climate will happen” said Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul, South Korea at the ICLEI World Congress 2015, the triennial sustainability summit of local governments where Vancouver made the announcement. (2)

Continue reading

April 18, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Surge in renewable energy trade n Europe

Renewable energy surge revives Europe’s power trade FRANKFURT/LONDON | BY VERA ECKERT AND NINA CHESTNEY(Reuters) 17 Apr 15 – The rise of renewable energy is delivering a boost to Europe’s declining power market as traders get busy in short term deals to juggle unpredictable supplies of wind and solar.

Exchanges show more trade as suppliers buy and sell power closer to when demand will appear, to meet their delivery obligations, because electricity cannot be stored effectively. New players are also attracted by lower capital requirements and risks.

“As the percentage of renewables generation increases, the need for short-term adjustments will grow, reflecting the limited precision of forecasts for wind and solar generation in comparison to schedules of conventional thermal plants,” said Bonn-based independent energy consultant Thomas Niedrig.

“Over the last five years, (spot) volumes jumped by 25 percent, making the spot sector a growth star in difficult times,” UK research company Prospex said in a study………

German government data shows renewables capacity almost quadrupled from 2003 to 2014 and renewables now account for 26 percent of total electricity generation………

The market leader is the Nordic countries’ Nord Pool Spot, followed by EPEX Spot, Italy’s GME, Spain’s OMIE and N2EX in Britain, according to Prospex.

EPEX last December introduced a German auction for 15 minute intraday power, held at 3pm in the afternoon of the previous day as a tool to concentrate liquidity.

A number of big trading houses already active in EPEX Spot’s short term market, among them Geneva’s Vitol SA, Noble Clean Fuels Ltd. and Total Gas & Power, signed up for it in 2015, it said.

But there is also money to be made by smaller operators.

“Whereas previously intraday trading was largely the preserve of utilities…now it’s definitely very much in vogue and seen as a profitable activity, especially with the flexibility of not being tied to assets,” said Chris Panton, senior analyst at Energy Fundamentals, a London based investment and advisory firm……http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/17/us-europe-power-trading-idUSKBN0N814H20150417

April 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

When USA Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite

exclamation-That Time The US Accidentally Nuked Britain’s First Satellite, Gizmodo 
KARL SMALLWOOD – TODAYIFOUNDOUT.COM 16 APRIL 2015“……..The satellite in question was the Ariel-1, which was developed as a joint-venture between the United States and Britain, with Britain designing and building the core systems of the satellite and NASA launching it into orbit via a Thor-Delta rocket……..
According to NASA, the instruments aboard Ariel-1 were intended to help “contribute to the current knowledge of the ionosphere” and its relationship with the Sun. More specifically, scientists were curious about how the ionosphere, a part of the Earth’s atmosphere made of particles charged by radiation from the Sun, worked. (For more on the ionosphere, see: Why Do Radio Signals Travel Farther at Night than in the Day?) As it turned out, as Ariel-1 was happily free-falling around the Earth, the US military had decided to detonate an experimental 1.4 megaton nuclear weapon named Starfish-Prime in the upper atmosphere as part of Project Fish Bowl. The explosion, which happened on the other side of the planet to Ariel-1, sent a wave of additional radiation around the Earth that ultimately damaged some of the systems on Ariel-1, particularly its solar panels, ultimately killing it and about 1/3 of the rest of the satellites in low-Earth orbit at the time. This famously included the Telstar satellite, which was the first commercial communication relay satellite designed to transmit signals across the Atlantic.

The Telstar actually wasn’t in orbit at the time of the explosion, being put there the day after the Starfish-Prime detonation. However, the additional radiation created by the explosion took years to dissipate and was not anticipated by the designers of this particular satellite. The immediate result being the degradation of Telstar’s systems, particularly the failure of several transistors in the command system, causing it to stop working just a few months after being placed in orbit.As to the purpose of the Starfish-Prime explosion, according to James Fleming, a history professor who combed through previously top-secret files and recordings concerning the blast, the US military were working with scientist James Van Allen to see if nuclear explosions could influence the existing belts of radiation around the Earth…….
He forgot to mention the obligatory, FOR SCIENCE!!!

Bonus Facts:

At around the same time the US was planning to send actual nuclear bombs into orbit, British scientists were similarly experimenting with explosives by attaching grenades to suborbital rockets to run atmospheric pressure tests; once again demonstrating that no matter where they’re from or what tools are available, scientists just really like to blow things up.
The Starfish explosion was actually supposed to have happened on June 20th, but the rocket carrying it failed at about 30,000 feet. Once this happened, the self-destruct on the nuclear warhead was initiated and it broke apart, raining its radioactive innards down on Johnston and Sand Islands, as well as in the ocean around them.
Britain’s first astronaut, Helen Sharman, was sent into space in 1991. All in all, 21 other nationsbeat Britain to the punch in terms of sending a representative of their country into space, including Afghanistan (Abdul Ahad Mohmand), Mongolia (Jügderdemidiin Gürragchaa) and Vietnam (Phạm Tuân).
The effects of Starfish-Prime weren’t just limited to low orbit. The electromagnetic pulse created by the blast ended up being much larger than expected and, in Hawaii some 900 or so miles away from the blast, the pulse ended up knocking out a few hundred street lights and damaged the telephone system. Needless to say, a similar blast in today’s digital society would have caused drastically more damage.

Karl Smallwood writes for the wildly popular interesting fact website TodayIFoundOut.com.  http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/04/that-time-the-us-accidentally-nuked-britains-first-satellite/

April 18, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

South Miami’s Underline project threatened by nuclear power expansion

FPL’S NUCLEAR EXPANSION PLAN COULD RUIN THE UNDERLINE. Miami New Times BY JESSICA WEISS  APRIL 17, 2015 Biking along a tranquil, green path in South Miami sounds pretty enjoyable. Next to a series of massive, ten-story nuclear power transmission lines? Not so much

That’s a real possibility facing the Underline, a project to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail from the Miami River to the Dadeland South Station into a ten-mile urban trail and green space. A design is in the works, and construction is set to begin next year.

But part of the area dedicated to the Underline is also the possible home of new transmission lines for two nuclear reactors being proposed for Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station by Florida Power & Light. The new reactors would require the construction of massive poles to transmit energy to consumers. And they’d be located on South Dixie Highway from Pinecrest to downtown Miami, within the 125 acres of new green space where the Underline is supposed to run.

“There’s a definite tension between these transmission lines and a beautiful experience on a bike path,” says Meg Daly, the founder of Friends of the Underline…….

Since Daly hatched the idea for the vertical park in 2012, the Underline project has advanced rapidly, receiving funding from the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, and South Miami; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and other groups. In March, Friends of the Underline tapped the codesigner of Manhattan’s popular High Line, James Corner Field Operations, to design the Underline master plan. This week, a series of public meetings are being held to collect public feedback about the design of the space.

“There is so much need in our community for spaces for biking and walking,” Daly says. “Bikes, cars, and pedestrians need to coexist. That is part of a future vision of a walkable, bikeable city.”

Lawmakers, scientists, environmentalists, and citizens have expressed a number of other concerns about expanding nuclear power along Biscayne Bay, including the future impact of sea-level rise, the project’s high costs, and the amount of water used by nuclear power. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado joined other local leaders this week to blast the project.

But the plan has already passed through local and state levels, and FPL is pursuing a federal license……http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/fpls-nuclear-expansion-plan-could-ruin-the-underline-7573012

April 18, 2015 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

Six months later,radiation accident in East Idaho acknowledged

Radiation accident in East Idaho acknowledged six months after it occurred BY LUKE RAMSETH (Idaho Falls) Post RegisterApril 16, 2015 An October radiation accident at a waste processing facility on the U.S. Department of Energy’s desert site west of Idaho Falls drew concern this week, largely because it took nearly six months for either the DOE or contractor to publicly disclose the incident.

The accident happened Oct. 23 at the New Waste Calcining Facility, operated by contractor CH2M-WG Idaho, or CWI. It resulted in a small internal radioactive contamination of one worker and a weeks-long work stoppage for a portion of the facility, while an investigation and decontamination effort took place.

It was not until last week that DOE disclosed what happened. DOE officials made a 14-slide PowerPoint presentation to the Idaho National Laboratory Site Environmental Management Citizens Advisory Board’s meeting in Pocatello.

“It was the first time I had heard of it,” Advisory Board Chairman Herb Bohrer said this week.

Kerry Martin, the INL oversight regional manager for Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality, said Wednesday she also had not heard of the incident until last week, which she called “amazing.”……..http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/04/16/3754095/radiation-accident-in-eastern.html

April 18, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Strange and extreme tissue damage in dead dolphins near Fukushima

Japan Scientist: “I’ve never seen this before” — White lungs found in dolphins that died during mass stranding near Fukushima — Interruption of blood supply leading to death of tissue — Disease has been text ionisinglinked to radiation exposurehttp://enenews.com/dead-dolphins-washed-fukushima-entirely-white-lungs-head-scientist-ive-never-before-interruption-blood-supply-leading-tissue-death-disease-linked-radiation-exposure-large-spike-after-chernoby?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Asahi Shimbun, Apr 11, 2015 (emphasis added):

  • Google Translate: Ibaraki Prefecture… for a large amount of dolphin which was launched on the shore… the National Science Museum… investigated… researchers rushed from national museums and university laboratory, about 30 people were the anatomy of the 17 animals in the field. [According to Yuko Tajima] who led the investigation… “the lungs of most of the 17… was pure white ischemic state, visceral signs of overall clean and disease and infections were observed”… Lungs white state, that has never seen before.
  • Systran: The National Science Museum… investigated circumstance and cause etc concerning the mass dolphin which is launched to the seashore of Ibaraki prefecture… the researchers ran from the museum and the university laboratory… approximately 30 people dissected 17… [Yuko Tajima] of the National Science Museum which directed investigation research worker [said] “the most lung 17 was state with true white, but as for the internal organs being clean”… The lung true white as for state, says… have not seen.

Fukushima Diary, Apr 12, 2015: According to National Science Museum, most of the inspected 17 dolphins had their lungs in ischaemia state… The chief of the researching team stated “Most of the lungs looked entirely white”… internal organs were generally clean without any symptoms of disease or infection, but most of the lungs were in ischaemia state. She said “I have never seen such a state”.

Wikipedia: Ischemia is a vascular disease involving an interruption in the arterial blood supply to a tissue, organ, or extremity that, if untreated, can lead to tissue death.

Many reports have been published on the links between ischemia and radiation exposure:

  • “It has been shown that the ionizing radiation in small doses under certain conditions can be considered as one of starting mechanisms of… IHD [ischemic heart disease].” –Source
  • “Radiation risks on non-cancer effects has been revealed in the [Chernobyl] liquidators… Recently, the statistically significant dose risk of ischemic heart disease… was published.” –Source
  • “Incidence of and mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD) have been studied in a cohort of 12210 workers [at] Mayak nuclear facility… there was statistically significant increasing trend in IHD incidence with total external gamma dose.” –Source
  • “Numerous studies have been published concerning non cancer diseases in liquidators… Risk of ischemic heart disease… seems increased.” –Source
  • “In 1990 the International Chernobyl Project has been carried out under the aegis of the IAEA… It is known that the international experts who had taken part in the International Chernobyl Project were aware of the report by the Minster of the Ministry of Health Care of Belarus delivered at an informal meeting arranged by the IAEA… The Belorussian Minister reported about… the worsening of the general health state of the affected population… “Among adults in 1988 there was a two- to fourfold increase, in comparison with preceding years, in the number of persons suffering from… ischemic heart diseases” –Source
  • “In a study on a Russian cohort of 61,000 Chernobyl emergency workers… a statistically significant risk of ischemic heart disease was observed.” –Source

See also: Japan Times: Over 150 dolphins wash ashore at multiple locations — 50 miles from Fukushima border — Could be largest mass stranding ever reported in nation’s history — Govt’ Expert: “The dolphins may have had psychological problems… We don’t see any immediate signs of cancer” (VIDEO)

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, oceans | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission puts the nuclear industry’s interests ahead of safety concerns

NRC-jpgIn the U.S. it comes down to the NRC, says Macdonald, because it sets the level of risk that is acceptable. “The utilities are only going to do what the NRC dictates. So it’s really NRC’s responsibility to assess whether this represents a danger to integrity of pressure vessels,” he says.

NRC Opposes European Moves to Tighten Nuclear Safety Post-Fukushima By Spectrum, Peter Fairley 14
Apr 2015 
Nuclear power plants’ reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) (at right – yellow marks suggesting c—the massive steel pressure vessel 1jars that hold a nuclear plant’s fissioning fuel—face incessant abuse from their radioactive contents. And they must be built with extra toughness to withstand pressure and temperature swings in the event of a loss-of-cooling accident like the one that occurred at Fukushima in 2011. As the triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi showed, the next layer of defense against a nuclear release—the so-called containment vessels—can not be counted on to actually contain molten nuclear fuel that breaches the RPV.

Nuclear safety authorities have recently discovered weaknesses in several RPVs, and their contrasting responses suggest that the ultimate lessons from Fukushima are still sinking into international nuclear power culture—especially in the United States, where the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is resisting calls to mandate tougher inspection of RPVs.

Broadly speaking, European regulators have ordered operators to do more to improve safety post-Fukushima than the NRC has. France, for example, is mandating four times as much investment than the U.S. in upgrades such as reinforced bunkers, back-up power, and emergency cooling systems,according to industry estimates cited by Bloomberg Business nuclear safety correspondent Jonathan Tirone.

In February, U.S. diplomats worked to defeat a European initiative to strengthen the Convention on Nuclear Safety, created after the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown. The Europeans wanted the currently voluntary treaty to set mandatory safety standards—a proposal that the United States apparently judged too threatening for U.S. nuclear operators struggling to compete amidst a glut of cheap power generated from natural gas. “The U.S. …worried that the proposal would have required shutting down their plants,” according to Mark Hibbs, senior associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Continue reading

April 17, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Radiation has wreaked havoc with Fukushima’s birds

No birdsong in Fukishima: ‘Dramatic’ decline of birds linked to radiation from 2011 disaster

  • Researchers find that bird species are continuing to drop in Fukushima
  • The barn swallow, for example, dropped from hundreds to dozens
  • This is despite radiation levels in the region starting to fall
  • And comparing it to Chernobyl could reveal what the future holds

By JONATHAN O’CALLAGHAN FOR MAILONLINE, 16 April 2015

bird barn swallowBird numbers have dramatically declined in Fukushima, research has revealed Scientists analysed 57 species in the region and found that the majority of populations had diminished as a result of the nuclear accident. They found that one breed in particular had plummeted from several hundred before the 2011 disaster to just a few dozen today.

The research, published in the Journal of Ornithology, was carried out by scientists at the University of South Carolina including biologist Dr Tim Mousseau.

They showed that the situation has steadily worsened since the disaster on 11 March 2011………

And while background radiation has declined in the region in recent years, the negative effects of the accident on birds are actually increasing.

‘The relationship between radiation and numbers started off negative the first summer, but the strength of the relationship has actually increased each year,’ Dr Mousseau said.‘So now we see this really striking drop-off in numbers of birds as well as numbers of species of birds.

‘So both the biodiversity and the abundance are showing dramatic impacts in these areas with higher radiation levels, even as the levels are declining.’…….http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3041695/No-birdsong-Fukishima-Dramatic-decline-birds-linked-radiation-2011-disaster.html

April 17, 2015 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

New Film ‘Nuclear Power in the Age of Fukushima’ – studies New York’s Indian Point facility

FilmNew Film on Indian Point Explores ‘Nuclear Power in the Age of Fukushima’ http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/04/16/new-film-indian-point-explores-nuclear-power-age-fukushima Film alleges former nuke commission chair was ousted by pro-industry forces who thought he was being ‘too aggressive’ in his efforts to protect the public. by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

A new documentary, premiering Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival, provides a glimpse inside the aging nuclear plant known as Indian Point—as well as a slew of new arguments against nuclear power.

The 94-minute film, titled Indian Point and directed by Ivy Meeropol, features unprecedented footage of the three-unit nuclear power plant station, which was designed in the 1950s and sits in Buchanan, New York, just 35 miles up the Hudson River from Times Square.

In an interview, Meeropol said the film is “about one aging and controversial nuclear power plant in the age of Fukushima. The story is told from both inside and outside the plant, through characters who care deeply about its future.”

It delves specifically into the story of Gregory Jaczko, who was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when Japan’s Fukushima power plant suffered a major meltdown in 2013. The film alleges that Jaczko—an advocate of tightening safety controls at America’s aging nuclear facilities after the Fukushima disaster (his was the only dissenting vote on plans to build the first American nuclear plant in 30 years)—was ousted from the NRC by pro-industry forces who thought he was being “too aggressive” in his efforts to protect the public.

When asked by IndieWire what she wants people to think about after seeing the movie, Meeropol responded: “That there are consequences to our insatiable demands for energy and there are no easy answers for how to capture that energy safely. But even more pressing, since we are currently using nuclear power across the country and the globe, nuclear power plants must be regulated, and we need to be certain that our regulatory bodies are not compromised by their relationships with industry.”

The Daily Beast describes Indian Point as “a cautionary tale about a technology once seen as an abundant and non-polluting energy source, but with downsides that could make oil spills and electrical brownouts seem as minor as a fender bender.”

Just this week, the Disaster Accountability Project, a nonprofit organization that monitors responses to nuclear emergencies, called on the NRC to establish a 50-mile disaster warning zone for Indian Point. Currently, the NRC requires communities located within 10 miles of nuclear power plants to develop emergency plans.

But the Wall Street Journal reports that the NRC, “in response to the Disaster Accountability Project’s recommendations, said that the current 10-mile zone for emergency planning is appropriate and that plans in those areas will provide adequate protection to the public in a nuclear accident.”

Meeropol and Jaczko will participate in a Q&A following the film’s premiere on Friday evening.

April 17, 2015 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

The very real danger of huge gas pipeline close to New York Nuclear Power Plant

reactor--Indian-PointDoing the Unthinkable: Giant Gas Pipeline to Flank a New York Nuclear Power Plant Wednesday, 15 April 2015 00:00By Ellen Cantarow, Truthout | News Analysis A very large gas pipeline will soon skirt the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC), an aging nuclear power plant that stands in the town of Cortlandt in Westchester County, New York, 30 miles north of Manhattan. The federal agencies that have permitted the project have bowed to two corporations – the pipeline’s owner, Spectra Energy, and Entergy, which bought the Indian Point complex in 2001 from its former owner.

A hazards assessment by a former employee of one of the plant’s prior owners, replete with errors, was the basis for the go-ahead. A dearth of mainstream press coverage leaves ignorant the population that stands to be most impacted by a nuclear catastrophe, which experts say could be triggered by a potential pipeline rupture. I urge Truthout’s audience to read an earlier article by Alison Rose Levy, which includes details I haven’t space to recap here.

Since 2011, Spectra Corporation, owner of the 1,129-mile Algonquin Pipeline, which runs from Texas to Beverly, Massachusetts, where it connects with another pipeline running into Canada, has sought to expand the pipeline in order to transport fracked gas north from Pennsylvania. Spectra, one of the largest natural gas infrastructure companies in North America, calls the planned enlargements “The Algonquin Incremental Market Project” (AIM).

AIM includes a two-mile section of 42-inch pipe carrying gas under very high pressures. It is this pipeline segment that will flank IPEC, which stands in a seismic zone. The nuclear complex has a derelict history. In 2001, The New York Timesreported that “the plant has encountered a string of accidents and mishaps since it went into operation on June 26, 1973.” The IPEC has also been on the federal list of the nation’s worst nuclear power plants………

David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer who graduated from college a few months after the March 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, has done accident training at many nuclear plants, and has also worked as a technology instructor for the NRC. “Nuclear power plants,” he told Truthout, “are pretty robust. It takes many things to go wrong for a disaster to occur like Fukushima. But a natural gas pipeline poses a threat that could challenge all of them. The biggest threat would be if the pipeline release took out the power supply of the plant. That was the big problem with Fukushima. The tsunami water took out the power and left the plant with no power [but] a few batteries.”

Industry-Compliant Agencies

Blanch, who has worked with the NRC since its inception in 1974, said it is “an agency that has a symbiotic relationship with the industry … If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission imposes [stringent] safety regulations on the industry, it could impact the economic viability of the industry and also the Nuclear Regulatory Commission itself.” He said he became aware of the commission’s industry tilt when he worked as an engineering manager for Northeast Utilities, identified “a serious safety concern” and “saw where the NRC was not really concerned about safety, but more concerned about their survival.” He added, “They will provide an illusion of action; they will take very visible action against small problems, but when it comes to the big problems, they fail to take any action because of its economic impact on the industry.”……..

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30234-doing-the-unthinkable-giant-gas-pipeline-to-flank-a-new-york-nuclear-power-plant

 

April 17, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Efforts by India’s government to shut down Greenpeace

India government trying to shut us down: Greenpeace ABC 16 Apr 15 Greenpeace believes the Indian government has blocked donations from being deposited in its bank accounts, both locally and internationally.

greenpeace IndiaGREENPEACE INDIA accused the government Tuesday of preventing local donors from funding its
activities, saying the move was aimed at shutting down its operations in the country.

The latest allegation comes less than a week after the right-wing government suspended the environmental watchdog’s foreign funding licence and blocked several of its bank accounts, citing violations of rules governing international financial transactions.

Following the ban, Greenpeace said, many donors even in India were unable to deposit money into the group’s local accounts. It said it suspected the accounts had been blocked by the government.

The group described the fresh step as an all-out attack by the government to “suppress democracy and silence those with an alternative vision of development”. The government has also blocked our domestic accounts and is now preventing ordinary Indians from supporting our work for clean air, healthy forests, pesticide-free food and a liveable environment,” Samit Aich, executive director of Greenpeace India, said in a statement………http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2015/04/15/4217058.htm

April 17, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

Computer hackers targeting nuclear power plants

hackerHackers have ‘begun targeting nuclear power plants,’ cyber warfare expert warns Jerusalem Post, By YAAKOV LAPPIN 4/16/2015 Computer hackers have begun targeting electric and nuclear power plants around the world, as well as other critical infrastructure sites in increasingly audacious attacks, a senior Israeli cyber security expert warned on Thursday. Col. (res.) Dr. Gabi Siboni, director of the Cyber Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) inTel Aviv, said the recent “major infiltration of Sony Pictures and news that Home Depot and Target were victims of cyber attacks affecting millions of customers is the least of the world’s worries.”
“The disruption and possible infiltration of critical infrastructure is the most severe form of cyber attack. Such attacks on airplanes or air traffic control towers, for instance, means that hackers could cause accidents, or even paralyze entire flight systems. As of now, this area of capabilities is the exclusive domain of developed states. I strongly believe however, that the next 9/11 will happen without suicide bombers aboard the plane with box-cutters but will occur because of a cyber incident perpetrated by a terror organization.”………

“Cyber-attacks are not the exclusive domain of the private sector. Cyber aggression is widely utilized and has become a basic weapon used in international conflicts. Countries are responsible for attacks on most national infrastructure, and governments across the western world have understood that they must allocate resources not only to purchase new tanks and aerial defense systems but also in defensive cyber infrastructure,” Siboni said………http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hackers-have-begun-targeting-nuclear-power-plants-cyber-warfare-expert-warns-398300

April 17, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | 2 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 969 other followers