Cutting-edge tech to scan Fukushima for nuclear fuel flops in front of reporters, Rt.com March 27, 2015 A presentation of state-of-the-art technology aimed to show the location of nuclear fuel molten debris at the crippled Fukushima plant in Japan ended in a flop, raising concerns about the $5 million project.
Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) tasked Japanese tech giant Toshiba to come up with a solution after the nuclear plant was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
After four years of research, Toshiba has developed a technology, which relies on muons in finding the nuclear fuel’s location.
Those tiny cosmic-ray subatomic particles are capable of going through almost anything except for the heavy elements like uranium and plutonium used for nuclear fuel.
The company plans to erect two tall walls right next to each reactor to shoot out muons through them to create an image of what’s inside – similar to medical X-rays.
Previously, the muons have been successfully used to scan volcanoes, ship’s cargoes and even the Egyptian pyramids.
But the technology’s presentation Friday turned into an epic fail as a programming glitch, which wasn’t fixed in time, prevented it from displaying any images of muons at all…….http://rt.com/news/244717-fukushima-muons-scan-toshiba/
Why on Earth Did the Feds Approve a High-Pressure Gas Pipeline Near a Nuke Plant? Nuclear safety expert: “We’re talking tens of millions of people who could be endangered.” By Alison Rose Levy / AlterNet March 27, 2015 A gas explosion leveled two buildings in New York’s East Village this past week, with two neighboring structures damaged, one still at risk for collapse, and 22 people injured, four of them severely. The fire raged from early afternoon into the next morning with more than 250 firefighters responding. Just over a year ago, a gas explosion leveled two buildings in Harlem, killing eight people. The National Transportation Safety Board has not yet released its conclusions as to what caused the Harlem fire.
While fires, explosions, plane crashes and others disasters are considered newsworthy, drawing people and the media to the scene, the quiet dramas of government policy, approval and planning that set the stage for—or can prevent—disastrous events are every bit as riveting……..
Since March 3, 2015, three high-risk conditions have begun converging north of the New York metro area: the aging Indian Point nuclear power plant; a high pressure, high-volume gas pipeline; and an authorization by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build a new segment of the pipeline in close proximity to the nuclear plant. In the few weeks since the authorization, apart from some felled trees in Yorktown Heights, there have been few visible signs that millions of New Yorkers may soon be living with the increased risk of a fiery, pipeline-triggered nuclear accident, 37 miles north of the City………http://www.alternet.org/environment/why-earth-did-feds-approve-high-pressure-gas-pipeline-near-nuke-plant
Radiation leak at Torness nuclear power station, Herald Scotland Rob Edwards Sunday 29 March 2015 An investigation is under way after a radiation leaked at the Torness nuclear power station in East Lothian, the Sunday Herald can reveal. According to the French state company that runs Torness, EDF Energy, radioactive tritium was discovered in water contained in part of the power station’s drainage system. The discovery was immediately reported to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the UK government’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)……
Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, warned that Torness was “well into middle age and the cracks are literally beginning to show”.
He said: “This is the latest in a series of problems at Scotland’s two nuclear stations and shows that regulators need to be very vigilant if we are to avoid a serious release of radioactivity to the local environment while these plants continue to operate.”
The local liaison committee was told that reactors at Torness had to be unexpectedly shut down four times in 2014 because of a series of equipment faults. EDF Energy also operates a 39-year-old nuclear power station at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, where cracks and breakdowns were reported in October 2014.
Jason Rose, Scottish Green candidate for MP in East Lothian, thought that the number of leaks and shutdowns showed that Torness was well past its prime. “Those of us who have to live with a nuclear plant on our doorstep need assurances from EDF that more effort will be made to prevent these sorts of serious incidents,” he said.
“I remain extremely concerned that there will be no public scrutiny of plans to extend the operating life of the plant, and no effort by local or national government to prepare a smooth transition for workers and the economy. Local people should have a say in what happens next at Torness.”……http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/investigation-under-way-into-radiation-leak-at-torness-nuclear-power-station.121878992
The case against the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant: Connie Kline By Other Voices http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/the_case_against_the_davis-bes.html March 29, 2015 Aggressively lobbied by FirstEnergy Corp. and passed by the General Assembly in May 2014, Senate Bill 310, along with wind-turbine restrictions, decimated Ohio’s 2008 renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards in order to force reliance on coal and nuclear power.
Not coincidentally, in August 2014, FirstEnergy filed a rate case which, according to the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, could cost ratepayers up to $3 billion over 15 years to “bail out” FirstEnergy’s old, failing, noncompetitive Sammis coal plant and Davis-Besse nuclear reactor. The utility is threatening to close both plants if the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio denies its application.
According to a recent Pew Charitable Trusts’ report, in 2012, Ohio was number 13 in the country for new wind capacity and private investment in wind; this has virtually ceased due to SB 310.
August and September 2014 polls showed that Ohioans overwhelmingly favor efficiency and renewable energy over coal and nuclear.
According to NOPEC, construction of the Perry and Davis-Besse reactors caused “electric rates in northern Ohio to soar, becoming the highest in the state and among the highest in the nation and cost ratepayers “approximately $9 billion.”
Forty-year-old Davis-Besse has been plagued by near-catastrophes since its inception.
● Because it was built in a flood plain, a 1972 Lake Erie storm caused massive flooding of the entire construction site including the pre-operational reactor.
● In October 1977, a relief valve stuck.
● Uranium fuel must be submerged in water (coolant) at all times to prevent a meltdown. In June 1985, Davis Besse had a loss-of-feedwater accident. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission closed the plant for a year.
● A June 1998 tornado caused loss of external electric power.
● In March 2002, neglected, leaking boric acid in the coolant water had eaten through more than seven inches of the steel reactor lid, leaving only a 3/16″ liner to prevent radiation release. The plant closed for two years, costing ratepayers $600 million. Davis-Besse was fined $33.5 million, the largest in NRC history.
● The corroded lid was replaced before restart in 2004, but in 2010, cracks were found in this new lid, forcing its replacement in 2011.
● To replace aging, deteriorating, damaged parts, an unprecedented four large cuts have been made through the Davis-Besse concrete shield building which prevents release of radiation. Starting in 2011, cracks and voids were discovered in the building’s concrete.
● Davis-Besse’s steam generators were replaced in 2011 and 2014. A new tubing alloy was used.
Unprotected exposure to used reactor fuel can kill a person in minutes, yet no disposal solution exists for this waste which must be isolated from humans and the environment virtually forever. Funding for the permanent, deep-geological radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada was canceled in 2011, making every reactor a de facto radioactive waste dump at the least environmentally suitable sites for potable water, in flood, erosion, and earthquake zones.
The industry claims that nuclear power does not contribute to climate change. In fact, the nuclear fuel cycle from mining and fabricating uranium to decommissioning reactors requires a significant amount of fossil fuel.
In January 2015, FirstEnergy commissioned a self-serving “study” by an industry group with a vested interest in the conclusion that Davis-Besse is economically beneficial. The study failed to consider energy efficiency or replacing Davis-Besse with renewable energy that typically provides more jobs per megawatt/hour than nuclear power. If Davis-Besse were truly a valuable asset, FirstEnergy wouldn’t be seeking up to $225 million a year in ratepayer subsidies to keep it operating.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nuclear power provides only 5 percent of Ohio’s generation. According to the World Nuclear Association, Davis-Besse’s lifetime capacity factor through 2012 was only 67.6 percent, one of the lowest in the country.
It’s time to stop throwing good money after bad and transition to safe, clean renewable energy. Davis-Besse should meet the fate of other U.S. reactors than have been permanently closed for safety and economic reasons.
Connie Kline, of Willoughby Hills, is former chairperson of the Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear Committee.
If the government is serious about crafting a new national nuclear waste solution that involves asking states to accept and store dangerous military and commercial radioactive material, the least it can do is deliver a pitch to the state it tried to force the waste upon all those years ago.
Obviously, Washington has learned some lessons from the Yucca Mountain Project, the boondoggle to end all boondoggles, one of the most cynical exercises in political power the country has ever seen. About three decades ago, what was supposed to be an objective, scientific exercise in selecting a permanent storage site for the country’s high-level nuclear waste became a rigged game. Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1987 to make Yucca Mountain, a ridge inside the Nevada Test Site about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, theonly site under study for the dump. Nevada had no political clout, so the rest of the country ganged up, scratched other potential locations from the list and said, “You’ll take our waste — and like it.” The legislation became known as the “Screw Nevada bill.”
US wants nuclear transparency, but not for its own bombs, The National Tony Karon March 29, 2015 Amid all of last week’s headlines parsing Iran’s nuclear infrastructure as the deadline for a potential deal with world powers drew near, it was easy to miss the item in the Science section of The New York Times. It was about the US hydrogen bomb programme.
The H-bomb, the paper reminded readers, is a thermonuclear device. Its destructive power is 1,000 times that of the bomb that instantly killed 80,000 people in Hiroshima in 1945. And it has long been a feature in the arsenals of nuclear-armed states.
The news peg was a memoir by one of the founders of the US H-bomb programme, Kenneth W Ford. But even though he cited publicly available material, US Department of Energy censors blocked the book.
Transparency, of course, has never been deemed a virtue in any nuclear weapons programme anywhere in the world. That said, Iran’s leaders might see the irony in being held to stringent transparency requirements while states with well-established nuclear-weapons capability are absolved of the equivalent accountability.
But the basic hypocrisy of the major world powers’ application of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is well-established. Five of the countries currently negotiating with Iran, which is an NPT signatory, are acknowledged to have nuclear weapons. The NPT requires signatories to submit their nuclear facilities to constant inspections to verify their commitment to refrain from building weapons. Meanwhile, the established nuclear weapons states are meant to negotiate their way to disarmament. But 45 years after they adopted the NPT, the established nuclear powers have not ended their addiction to nuclear weapons.
In that period, four non-signatories – India, Pakistan, Israel and South Africa – developed nuclear weapons, although post-apartheid South Africa signed the NPT and allowed the dismantling of its nukes. Meanwhile, a fifth country, North Korea, developed nuclear weapons after withdrawing from the NPT . So the negotiations with Iran are not aimed at keeping the Middle East free of nuclear weapons as much as to maintain America and Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the region.
But the censoring of Ford’s book reveals a deeper peril in America’s national conversation about nuclear weapons – or, more accurately, the absence of a national conversation about nuclear weapons………
In April 2009, president Obama made a historic speech in Prague committing to pursue a “a world without nuclear weapons”and to reduce the number of warheads in the US arsenal. But he also pledged, in light of continued nuclear capability by rival powers, to ensure that the US maintains an “effective arsenal”.
That commitment has now translated, according to the budget he submitted to Congress last month, into a massive modernisation scheme, which would cost $348 billion (Dh 1.28 trillion) over the next 10 years and as much as $1 trillion over a 30-year period.
Still, don’t expect to see much public debate over just what the US is building, and the circumstances in which it might conceivably decide – once again – to destroy a civilian population centre in a matter of minutes.
The world would be a much safer place if, as the NPT intended, efforts to stop new countries acquiring nuclear weapons were matched by the attempt to hold accountable those that already have them.
Tony Karon teaches in the graduate programme at the New School in New York http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/us-wants-nuclear-transparency-but-not-for-its-own-bombs#page2
What Dow Chemical’s Huge Wind Deal Says About Our Energy Landscape, Clean Technica March 27th, 2015 By Mira Inbar Recently, The Dow Chemical Company signed an agreement to purchase 200 MW of wind output from a wind farm under development by a subsidiary of Bordas Wind Energy in South Texas. The wind power will power the company’s Freeport, Texas manufacturing site.
Everything about this announcement is huge: Freeport is the largest integrated chemical manufacturing complex in the Western Hemisphere. The wind farm will encompass nearly 35,000 acres of land, and annually supply an amount of electricity that could power more than 55,000 Texas homes.
Dow is the first chemical company in the US to power a manufacturing site with renewable energy at this scale. Their decision to do so is a clear sign that the energy landscape in the United States continues to evolve and that companies today have far more choice when it comes to accessing sustainable sources of power than they did just a few years ago.
So, what does Dow’s huge wind deal say about our energy landscape and the future of power generation? Three things:
1. Accelerating technological innovation and deployment at scale is driving down the cost of renewable energy.,……..
2. Wind energy is a perfect hedge against fossil fuel cost volatility……..
3. Deals like this represent an efficient use of electricity markets……..
Earlier this year, Texas completed a ten-year, $6.8 billion effort to build a huge network of new high-voltage power lines to connect all corners of the state to a robust electricity market that has become one of the most efficient and transparent in the world. These new transmission lines create better access to the market for all forms of electricity generation and allow for more efficient real-time operations and trading. This visionary investment has fostered competition and innovation, giving manufacturing companies more choice in their electricity supply so that they can better manage their costs.
Access to a reliable supply of cost-effective energy is a key ingredient to revitalizing manufacturing in America. Powering manufacturing with renewable energy is just one smart move to secure a future of sustainability, growth, and huge long-term competitive advantage.
Mira Inbar is an independent consultant who works with energy and clean technology companies. She can be reached @mirainbar or firstname.lastname@example.org http://cleantechnica.com/2015/03/27/what-dow-chemical-huge-wind-deal-says-about-our-energy-landscape/
Mushahid Ullah Khan calls for tapping massive clean energy potential, Business Recorder, Sunday, 29 March 2015 SLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan has said that renewable energy, which is clean and environment-friendly, is future of Pakistan.
“Pakistan is abundantly replete with the renewable energy sources, which can help the country cope with deepening energy crises and pave the way for achieving sustainable development goals,” the minister underlined.
In a press statement issued here on Sunday in the context of the Earth Hour event observed across the world including Pakistan, he explained that renewable energy is generally defined as energy that comes from resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides,waves and geothermal heat.
Highlighting the importance of marking the Earth Hour, the minister Mushahid Ullah Khan said that the global Earth Hour event, in fact, calls for the global climate action by investing in renewable energy technologies to free the world including Pakistan of reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation, which are unclean, unreliable and not environment-friendly………
“Above all, harnessing the sun’s power is deemed to be an attractive alternative. For, it is a renewable resource, which leads no pollution. In contrast to conventional fuels, its use requires no need for refining, transporting and conveying fuels and power over long distances,” the minister said.http://www.brecorder.com/pakistan/politics-a-policy/235421-mushahid-ullah-khan-calls-for-tapping-massive-clean-energy-potential.html
Renewable Energy By 2030, Sunday Leader, By Camelia Nathaniel The power and energy sector is set for a dramatic change by the year 2030. According to reliable sources, the country will be heading towards the renewable energy sources, where resources such as coal and petroleum will become things of the past…….
There is speculation that the power sector will be operational under eight categories mainly renewable energy sources such as wind, biomass and even hitherto undeveloped low head hydropower. At present Sri Lanka relies heavily on coal, oil, and hydro power for its energy. Fossil fuels are non-renewable, that is, they draw on finite resources that will eventually dwindle, becoming too expensive or too environmentally damaging to retrieve. In contrast, the many types of renewable energy resources – such as wind and solar energy – are constantly replenished and will never run out…….
The grid and off grid energy systems are planned to ensure the access to electricity to 98% of the households by 2016. Together with economic benefits, renewable resources provide the advantage of achieving ecological efficiencies as minimizing pollution and mitigating adverse climatic factors through the provision of clean environment friendly energy.
The Sunday Leader reliably learns that by the 31st of this month the power and energy sector will make huge strides in the direction of renewable energy to fulfill the energy requirements of the country. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2015/03/29/renewable-energy-by-2030/
Unholy Alliance” between Saudi Arabia and Israel. A US-Iran Nuclear Deal Would Trigger Regional Political Re-alignments By Salman Rafi Sheikh Global Research, March 29, 2015 Any probable nuclear deal between the United States of America and Iran is likely to result in giving a new trajectory to their bi-lateral relations; however, it is not the US-Iran relations alone that would enter a new phase of political history. As a matter of fact, this deal is most likely to send political jolts across the entire Middle Eastern political landscape, with Saudi Arabia and Israel standing as the most sensitive areas to bear its shocks; and as such, are most likely to clutch their hands into an alliance against Iran, and by default, against the US ambitions as well.
It is not, however, to suggest that Saudia and Israel would essentially adopt an anti-US strategic posture. What is becoming evident is that these three states will be re-negotiating the terms of their mutual relations to meet changing geo-political realities in a more ‘composite’ manner. This strategic negotiation is not, however, to be manned by the US itself, nor would it be playing the role of a crucial “balancer” between regional players. The US, in the contrary, would itself be a party to this process, and as such, would be more concerned about maintaining its own relations with Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia than about merely assuring Israel and Saudia about the ‘harmless’ nature of the nuclear deal with Iran……..
The central issue between Saudia and USA on the one hand, and the US and Israel on the other hand, is not the deal itself; it is the place Iran would have in the future Middle East. …..http://www.globalresearch.ca/unholy-alliance-between-saudi-arabia-and-israel-a-us-iran-nuclear-deal-would-trigger-regional-political-re-alignments/5439349
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Catholic Church supports the efforts of scientists to study the causes and effects of climate change and insists governments and businesses must get serious about specific commitments for protecting the environment.But Pope Francis, like his predecessors, does not pretend to have a technical solution to the problem. However, he does feel a responsibility to remind Christians of their religious obligation to safeguard creation, beginning with human beings who are created in the image and likeness of God.
Clearing his calendar for a week in late March, Pope Francis rolled up his sleeves to put the final touches on an encyclical letter about the environment; building on what he and his predecessors have said, the document — planned for publication early in the summer — is expected to present ecology as the ultimate pro-life, pro-poor, pro-family issue.
For Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI, safeguarding creation is not simply about protecting plants and animals, or just about ensuring the air, water and land will support human life for generations to come. Those things are part of the task……….
36 years since Three Mile Island accident- 36 unpalatable nuclear industry facts.
USA. For the first time, Pentagon comes clean on Israel’s nuclear weapons. It’s official: wrong sort of kitty littercaused New Mexico Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) accident. USA to establish a new “independent” Nuclear Waste Administration.
Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. Obama executive order tags small modular reactors as clean energy – the only form of nuclear power to qualify. Dubious USA Bills for Small Nuclear Reactors, “education on nuclear”, and nuclear as “renewable”. St George city decides against getting electricity from NuScale’s Small Modular Nuclear Reactors. France’s AREVA nuclear company, itself in dire financial straits, is nevertheless advising NuScale on how to market SMRs. Small Nuclear Reactors turn out to have an equally Big Radioactive Waste problem. Cost of Small Nuclear Reactors is greater than cost of large ones
UK. Scotland got 50% of power from renewables in 2014.
Ukraine . Perilous risks to Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in escalating war
36 Years of TMI’s Lethal Lies….& Counting http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/27/three-mile-island-36-anniversary/ Harvey Wasserman | March 27, 2015/EcoWatch
The lies that killed people at Three Mile Island 36 years ago this weekend are still being told at Chernobyl, Fukushima, Diablo Canyon, Davis-Besse … and at TMI itself.
As the first major reactor accident that was made known to the public is sadly commemorated, and as the global nuclear industry collapses, let’s count just 36 tip-of-the iceberg ways the nuclear industry’s radioactive legacy continues to fester:
1. When about half of TMI’s fuel melted on March 28, 1979, the owners, industry and regulators all denied it, and continued to deny it until robotic cameras showed otherwise.
2. Early signs that such an accident could happen had already surfaced at the Davis-Besse reactor in Ohio, which was also manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox. TMI’s owners later sued Davis-Besse’s owners for not warning them about what had happened.
3. When TMI’s radiation poured into the atmosphere the industry had (and still has) no idea how much escaped, but denied it was of any significance even though stack monitors failed and dosimeters in the field indicated high releases (plant owners claimed they were “defective”). Only due to the work of the great Dr. Ernest Sternglass, recently departed, was public attention turned to the potential harm this radiation could do.
4. When animals nearby suffered mass mutations and death, the industry denied it. When the plague was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Baltimore News-American, the industry denied the damagecould be related to radiation.
5. Industry “experts” assured the public radiation doses to downwinders were similar to a single x-ray, but ignored well-established findings from Dr. Alice Stewart and others that a single x-ray to a pregnant woman could double the chances of childhood leukemia among her offspring.
6. Industry “experts” ignored the reality that radioactive fallout can come down in clumps rather than spread evenly, and scoffed at findings from neighborhood surveys done by Jane Lee, Mary Osbourne and others showing major outbreaks of cancer in certain downwind neighborhoods.
7. When humans nearby were born with Down’s Syndrome and other mutations, and then adults began dying, the industry denied it, then denied any connection to TMI, but then did pay at least $15 million in out-of-court settlements to affected families on condition they not speak about it in public.
8. When Chernobyl exploded in 1986, Soviet officials said nothing as massive clouds of radiation poured across Europe and into the jet stream that would carry it to the U.S. within 10 days.
9. The U.S. government did nothing of sufficient scale to monitor Chernobyl’s radiation as it came here, and did nothing to warn the public to avoid milk and other foods that might concentrate that radiation, and has repeated that behavior in the wake of Fukushima.
10. A massive bird die-off at the Pt. Reyes National Seashore came with the arrival of the Chernobyl cloud and was documented by resident ornithologist Dr. Dave DeSante, whose findings were ignored by the government; soon thereafter, DeSante lost his job.
11. Chernobyl’s radiation was tracked all across Europe where it continues to irradiate plants, animals and humans. The most credible study of Chernobyl’s human death toll put it at 985,000 in 2010.
12. Chernobyl still seethes with radiation, but the massive, hugely expensive movable sarcophagus meant to cover it is not yet in place.
13. When fire runs through the wooded areas around Chernobyl, massive quantities of radiation are re-released into the atmosphere.
14. Fifteen Soviet-era reactors remain operable in Ukraine, much of which is now a de facto war zone, raising serious doubts about what will happen to them and the rest of the downwind human race.
15. The Japanese government was repeatedly and passionately warned by thousands of citizens for more than 40 years that putting reactors in a tsunami zone surrounded by earthquake faults was not a good idea. They were dismissed as “alarmists” and repeatedly assured that the reactors at Fukushima and elsewhere around Japan could come to no harm.
16. Despite repeated public protests, when Fukushima Dai’ichi was built an 85-foot-high bluff was taken down so units 1 through 4 could operate more cheaply at sea level; as widely predicted, they were massively flooded on March 11, 2011.
17. Critical backup batteries meant to keep the reactor cores cool in case of melt-downs were placed in basements which were thoroughly flooded when the tsunami hit Fukushima. Workers later frantically took batteries from nearby parked cars to try to power up the stricken cooling systems and other critical components.
18. The exact whereabouts of the melted cores from Fukushima Units 1, 2 and 3 remain unknown.
19. After a half-century of industry assurances that American reactors could not explode, four General Electric reactors blew up at Fukushima.
20. By estimate of Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, some 30 times as much Cesium 137 has been released at Fukushima as was released during the bombing of Hiroshima.
21. Some 300 tons of radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every day.
22. Thousands of highly radioactive spent fuel rods remain scattered around the Fukushima site; thousands are also still suspended in damaged spent fuel pools 100 feet in the air atop weakened buildings above shattered, melted reactors.
23. A petition signed by more than 150,000 people demanding that Fukushima be taken over by the world community was submitted to the United Nations on November 7, 2013, but has yet to receive a response of any kind.
24. Fukushima is still owned and operated by Tokyo Electric Power, which built it despite massive public opposition and continues to mismanage it while turning the “clean up” into a profit center, with a labor force thoroughly infiltrated by organized crime.
25. Like Fukushima, California’s Diablo Canyon reactors were built despite huge public protests, and sit in a tsunami zone surrounded by earthquake faults whose potential seismic power exceeds Diablo’s structural capacities, according numerous experts, including NRC official Dr. Michael Peck, who worked at Diablo for the commission.
26. A continual stream of revelations indicate illegal collusion on safety and other issues at Diablo between its owners, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as the California Public Utilities Commission.
27. Diablo’s owners almost certainly violated regulatory requirements and the law in using components within the reactors that were not tested to meet seismic standards.
28. Earthquakes have already damaged at least two U.S. reactors, at Ohio’s Perry site and at North Anna, Virginia (that quake also damaged the Washington Monument in our nation’s capital).
29. Public money designated for use by PG&E to upgrade piping systems was diverted to executive bonuses, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 2010 unrepaired gas lines, which were known to have been deteriorating for a decade, blew up in San Bruno, killing eight people and doing millions of dollars in damage. Such a disaster at Diablo Canyon could kill countless thousands and do untold damage to the national economy and global ecology.
30. Diablo Canyon’s once-through cooling system violates state and federal water quality regulations by dumping huge quantities of hot, radioactive liquid into the Pacific, killing billions of marine creatures while unbalancing the ocean ecology and contributing to climate chaos.
31. Like most other old U.S. reactors, Ohio’s Davis-Besse is literally crumbling, with the concrete in its safety shield being pulverized by continual freezing, yielding ever-growing holes in the structure.
32. Like most other old U.S. reactors, Diablo Canyon, Davis-Besse, five reactors in Illinois and many more cannot compete in electricity markets against wind power, solar panels, other renewable sources or increased efficiency, and would shut down were it not for massive public subsidies.
33. Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission is being asked by FirstEnergy, Davis-Besse’s owner, for subsidies amounting to more than $3 billion to keep open that decrepit reactor, which opened in 1978, and the Sammis coal burner, which is even older.
34. Wisconsin’s Kewaunee reactor has shut for purely economic reasons despite being fully amortized and having no apparent outstanding maintenance or engineering crises.
35. California’s San Onofre reactors were shut in part due to violations of licensing requirements that are mirrored at both Diablo Canyon and Davis-Besse, where shut-downs could be required by law. Let’s hope …
36. As we commemorate this tragic anniversary, we must note that this list of reactor nightmares could go very very far past 36. But let’s hope it doesn’t take that many more years to realize the folly of this failed technology.
In honor of the many many victims of Three Mile Island, and of the great Dr. Sternglass and so many dedicated experts and activists, we must turn this sad litany into the action needed to shut down ALL the world’s reactors so we don’t have to experience this nightmare yet again.
The lives we save will be our own … and those of our children … and theirs …
Harvey Wasserman reported directly on TMI’s death toll from central Pennsylvania. He co-wrote KILLING OUR OWN: THE DISASTER OF AMERICA’S EXPERIENCE WITH ATOMIC RADIATION.
France’s Nuclear Decline Exposed as Areva Confronts Cash Crunch by Tara Patel, 27 Mar 15, (Bloomberg) – For decades France’s nuclear industry was seen as a source of economic strength, providing cheap power for factories, high-tech exports and tens of thousands of well-paid jobs. Today, it’s looking more like a liability.
Electricite de France SA, the world’s largest nuclear operator, must spend $63 billion over the next decade to keep the country’s aging fleet of 58 reactors running safely. More urgently, nuclear engineer Areva SA, touted as an export champion for a new atomic age, has lost billions from a project in Finland and investments in African uranium mines, raising the prospect of a state bailout…. The financial “sickness” at Areva could prove contagious to the whole nuclear industry, said Juan Camilo Rodriguez, an analyst at Alphavalue SAS…..
“The situation is difficult for Areva,” French Energy Minister Segolene Royal said Monday, just hours after the company shocked investors by saying losses for 2014 would be about 4.9 billion euros ($5.5 billion), more than its market capitalization……
Areva has been in a downward spiral since the meltdown at Fukushima’s atomic plant in Japan shook the global industry in 2011. The nuclear engineering company, which services existing reactors and supplies them with fuel, has lost about 75 percent of its value since as nations pulled back from atomic projects.
Last November, Areva’s credit rating was reduced to junk status by Standard & Poor’s after it abandoned financial targets. The company blamed its losses on construction of a new reactor on a Finnish island, delays in restarting Japanese plants and a worsening outlook for other export orders.
Before Fukushima, France’s atomic industry was readying for a nuclear energy renaissance. Former EDF Chief Executive Officer Pierre Gadonneix predicted France’s flagship reactor, the giant EPR model, would sell “like hotcakes” around the world.
Over Budget Fukushima ended the prospect of new reactors in many countries, including Italy and Switzerland, in addition to damping a number of potential export markets for Areva and EDF. Germany decided to shut all its nuclear reactors.
Not a single EPR has yet fired up as construction projects in France’s Normandy region as well as in Finland and China are behind schedule and mostly over budget…….
Against the backdrop of Areva’s financial uncertainty, a long-delayed law that would reduce France’s reliance on nuclear power is in the Senate. Prospects for Areva and EDF will be affected by the decision of lawmakers on whether to shut some reactors……http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-27/france-s-nuclear-decline-exposed-as-areva-confronts-cash-crunch
Mako Oshidori in Düsseldorf “The Hidden Truth about Fukushima”, Fukushima Voice version 2E 28 May 2014 On March 8th, 2014, comedienne/journalist Mako Oshidori gave a lecture, “The Hidden Truth About Fukushima” in Düsseldorf, Germany, organized by a citizen’s group, SAYONARA Genpatsu Düsseldorf. Translation of Mako Oshidori’s March 6th, 2014 press conference at the German IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) Symposium in Frankfurt can be found here.The lecture, given in Japanese with German interpretation, was transcribed and translated into English……Transcription by Takashi Mizuno Translation by @YuriHiranuma
Mako: I am the director of Free Press Corporation in Japan.
This organization was originally created after the earthquake. The media is controlled as I just mentioned. This alliance was created for the purpose of conveying accurate, fresh information without media control.
Mako: Actually, it was created shortly before the earthquake. It was sort of coincidental…..
I was invited to talk to you, but I am actually not active in the anti-nuclear power plant movement. What I do is conduct investigations. There are numerous issues in Japan that I investigate, from the nuclear accident to other medical issues such as Minamata disease and Asbestosis.
However, doctors and scientists attending the IPPNW conference, which ended yesterday, shared how they end up being labeled as anti-nuclear activists even though they don’t consider themselves to be as such, when they research and publicize facts inconvenient for promotion of nuclear power. There is a tremendous amount of pressure exerted when researching and writing up facts the nuclear lobby doesn’t like. Continue reading
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