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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Exactly who is trumpeting nuclear power as a cure for climate change? – theme for June 21

Well, understandably, it starts with the nuclear industry itself, faced with the reality that now, the only real reason for its continued existence is nuclear weapons. It’s the nuclear power and the nuclear weapons companies.

It’s the global array of nuclear -associated agencies – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the rest of them, in each nuclear country.

And don’t forget those billionaire gurus – Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson – who use their wealth to promote their own businesses in new nuclear toys

So, don’t be surprised to hear nuclear power executives, nuclear physicists, nuclear engineers and chemists extolling the glory of nuclear power – their careers are in danger!

Their best argument ”Only we, with our superior technical knowledge are capable of having an opinion on this matter”

POLITICIANS. In the USA no President can to be elected without the backing of the nuclear industry. The same surely applies for political leaders in other nuclear nations. Many politicians depend on nuclear industry support, to get elected and stay there.

MEDIA. The nuclear lobby has done a great job of convincing many journalists that they can’t really understand matters nuclear. So, for journalists, the safest course is to just regurgitate the industry handouts. Those who do have confidence often know that their corporate employers have interests in the nuclear-and coal industries.

ACADEMIA. and RESEARCH. Many universities have been, to a degree, bought by the nuclear industry.

BANKS and other financial bodies invest in nuclear power, or, better still, nuclear weapons,

THE ARTS. As with corporations through the past century, nuclear corporations have funded all sorts of arts bodies, – so co-opting their support.

June 5, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes | 9 Comments

Repost of Sellafield nuclear accident Ireland report debunk (with unhacked [Again] shocking pictures)

…Prof Chris Busby first consulted the online NOAA Hy-Split atmospheric projection software with the same date as the EPA report and got a completely different scenario showing most of Ireland being covered with meandering waves of highly radioactive particles and gases….

REPOST due to the damning images being hacked from page again and again!! So here is the wayback link I retrieved the pics from if you find the pics missing; http://web.archive.org/web/20190827094936/https://nuclear-news.net/2019/08/27/a-report-corrects-sellafield-nuclear-damage-to-ireland-scenario-from-the-uk-espoo-brexit/

Introduction by Shaun McGee (aka arclight2011)

Published exclusive to nuclear-news.net (Creative Commons applies)

2 February 2018

The Irish Sellafield nuclear accident fallout projection report has some issues, in my opinion.
In December 2016 the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in Irish Media Sources a report on radioactive fallout from a “worse case” scenario.

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At the time, I was in contact with the Irish EPA concerning new evidence that shows a larger health effect from radiation sources and I was trying to challenge the pro nuclear bias that underestimated the health and environmental problems using mechanisms from the EURATOM nuclear treaty in Europe. I have to say that the Irish EPA were forthcoming in their many responses to my inquiries but eventually we reached a stale mate as the EPA claimed that the specific Isotopes relevant to the Euratom Treaty are not to be found in Ireland with the exception of Iodine 131 which they claimed was unlikely to be a health problem. They said that other fission (from a nuclear reactor) isotopes were not found on the island of Ireland.
The 2016 report from the Irish EPA (link) shows, what I think, is a minimal dispersion of radioactive fallout with little impact to health or the environment. However, there are other reports of fallout plumes from the Sellafield site that show much worse contamination than the 2016 EPA report posits and I requested Prof Chris Busby (who had been involved with Irish activists and government groups concerning Sellafield) to do a report (Full report below) on the problems that seemed to be highlighted with the Irish EPA report.
Prof Chris Busby first consulted the online NOAA Hy-Split atmospheric projection software with the same date as the EPA report and got a completely different scenario showing most of Ireland being covered with meandering waves of highly radioactive particles and gases. He then consulted 2 other reports, one of which the Irish Government commissioned that was completed by 2014 using the European gold standard software fallout projection model that showed a large plume covering large sways of Ireland (reaching the south west coast).
It would seem that the 2016 report completely runs counter to the 2014 and earlier report as well as the Hy-Split projection whilst using the same date as the 2016 Irish report.
So the issue of the types of accident that the Irish EPA thought to be worse case scenario. A direct hit by a Meteorite was seen to be plausible but if a meteorite hit sellafield then much of the nuclear site would be lofted high into the atmosphere and more evenly spread around the globe. This would fudge the numbers for plumes that are moving nearer the ground.
No where in the report was the more likely and and more dangerous scenario of terrorists attacking the spent fuel pools causing low altitude fallout over many weeks that would cause a larger pollution incident that would effect local countries to the UK border such as Ireland, Norway etc.In fact such concerns have been reported in main stream media sources as well as government/private think tanks.

Thanks to Prof Chris Busby for taking the time off his busy schedule to compile a response to the Irish EPA report on Sellafields projected damage to Ireland.

Please feel free to leave a comment belowif you agree or disagree with any of the points raised, a discussion about this issue needs to be had.

Shaun McGee (aka arclight2011)

………………………………………………………………………………..

Conclusion to report

The EPA 2016 report is unsafe and cannot be relied upon by the public, the media or administrators. The anonymous authors have shown extraordinary bias in every aspect of the report. They made elementary mistakes in their source term listing of isotopes, by including those which had short half-lives and will clearly not have been present in any significant concentration. They omitted a whole series of nuclides which are present in the tanks and the fuel pools. They choose a source term which is demonstrably too low based on available data, they choose a worst-case accident which involves only one HAST tank and only Caesium-137. They omit mentioning the spent fuel pools which are a highly likely site of a major coolant loss and subsequent fire or explosion. Their air modelling results are extremely unusual with implausibly narrow plumes, whilst a NOAA HYSPLIT model for the same day shows a completely different dispersion covering most of highly populated Ireland. Their surface contamination levels are 200 times lower than a previous computer model by Dr Taylor, which they must have had access to, and they fail to calculate the increased levels of cancer in the exposed population. This has been rectified here.

Historic releases from Sellafield to the Irish Sea have caused measurable increases in cancer and leukemia in coastal populations of Ireland. There is no doubt that the existence of Sellafield represents a potential catastrophic danger to the Irish Republic. A serious accident there could destroy the country and also most of Britain. As the Chernobyl accident effects showed, and the Fukushima accident effects will reveal (and in the case of Thyroid cancer have revealed) the ICRP risk model is unsafe for explaining or predicting health effects from such contamination. The Authors of the EPA 2016 report should be sanctioned in some way for producing such a travesty of the real picture, especially since they will have had access to the earlier study and modelling by Peter Taylor and the details of the COSYMA model employed by him.

Christopher Busby

August 17th 2017

Using recognised plume projection software for same day

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UK version given to Irish EPA for same day

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The health impact on Ireland of a severe accident at Sellafield.

A criticism of the report “Potential radiological impact on Ireland of postulated severe accidents at Sellafield” Anon. (Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland: September 2016) with a re-assessment of the range of health outcomes.

Christopher Busby PhD

There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld

Murphy’s Law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as:

Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy%27s_law]

Introduction

The nuclear complex at Sellafield in Cumbria, UK, has always represented a real danger to the Republic of Ireland. There has been and remains a chronic danger to the people of the East Coast of Ireland. First, radioactivity released from Sellafield under licence to the Irish Sea, particularly in the 1970s did not, as had been hoped, dilute and disperse in the sea, but instead became attached to sediment particles along the coasts and inlets of Ireland (e.g. Carlingford Lough, Drogheda) and the particles represented a cause of cancer and illnesses in coastal populations and those exposed through eating fish and shellfish. A court case (Herr and Ors. Vs BNFL) was supported by the Irish State and my organisation was funded by the Irish State for 3 years from 1998 to examine the contamination and health issue. Green Audit examined the cancer rates in small areas in North and mid Wales, and also in Ireland by distance from the contaminated coasts. Results were published in Busby 2006 and showed that there had been a significant 30% increase in cancer and leukemia in coastal populations of the Irish Sea [1]. The second issue of continuing interest is the danger of a serious accident at Sellafield at a time when the wind direction is from the East and airborne material passes across Ireland. This issue became more urgent and of interest to the Irish public after the Fukushima Daiichi reactor explosions and melt-downs in Japan in 2011. However, the potential outcome of such an accident had been part of a report by Peter Taylor [2] written in 1999 for McGuill and Company, the solicitors representing the Herr and Ors vs. BNFL case which was abandoned by the Irish State for reasons which remain unclear.

In September 2016, a report was produced by the EPA Office of Radiological Protection entitled Potential radiological impact on Ireland of postulated severe accidents at Sellafield. [3]. This anonymous report has serious shortcomings and errors which will be addressed here. A more realistic assessment of the potential impact of a serious accident at Sellafield on the Republic of Ireland will be presented here using the radiological risk models both of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP, [4]) and also the Model of the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR [5]).

2. The baseline assumptions of maximum release.

2.1 The EPA worst case.

The EPA report discussed some possible accidents involving releases of radionuclides. It examined some potential sources of radionuclides but not others. It chose a number of possible scenarios, but excluded others. In general terms (and referring to Murphy’s Law, appropriately in this case of Ireland) it could not assess accidents which are totally unforeseen. Therefore, also in general, we should consider a worst case-scenario in which most of the radioactivity inventory of the Sellafield site becomes airborne at a time when the weather patterns were most unfavourable for Ireland.

For example, in Busby 2007 [1] the Windscale reactor fire was examined in some detail. At the time of the fire, which continued for some days, the main releases were initially offshore towards Ireland. This is contrary to the discourse promoted by the British Radiological Protection Board in 1974. It is, however confirmed by Air Ministry historical data. But the point is that at the time a cold front laying North East to South West was moving from Ireland towards England across the Irish Sea. This meant the releases from the fire and heavy radioactive rain fell along the front. This rain fell on the Isle of Man, and historical mortality data show a large increase in the death rate after this event. There have also been reports of significant birth effects (Downs Syndrome cluster) in County Louth reported by the Irish GP Patricia Sheehan, who died in an automobile accident shortly after beginning to follow this up.

In order to estimate the effects of a worst case, initially there must be a choice of the source term, that is, the quantity and radionuclide identity of the material released to the atmosphere.

The EPA report decided that this could be modelled as the contents of one of the 21 High Active Storage Tanks (HAST). The true content of one of these is unknown, probably also to the operators BNFL. The estimate for the contents was taken from a report by Turvey and Hone [6]. This is shown in Table 1 below where I note a number of concerns. In Table 2 I provide examples of some hazardous radionuclides not listed in the EPA source term table. In Table 3 I copy the source terms used by the British 1976 Royal Commission (the Flowers Report) [7]. Note that all these estimates are for a single or multiple HAST tanks on the tank farm and exclude explosions of the spent fuel ponds which could dry up and suffer prompt criticality. This could result from a domino scenario (see below).

Table 1 EPA assumed release source term. (E-notation, thus 1 x 1014 is written 1 E+14_

Radio nuclideTotal activity BqHalf LifeComment
Zr-951.4 E+1564daysAll decayed away; almost none there
Nb-955.8 E+1435 daysDaughter of Zr-95; all decayed away; none there
Ru-1061.33 E+16366 daysAll decayed away; almost none there
Sb-1251.6 E+152.7 yearsAll decayed away; almost none there
Cs-1341.04 E+162.0 yearsAll decayed away; almost none there
Cs-1375.26 E+1730 yearsSignificant
Ce-1449.65 E+15284 daysAll decayed away; almost none there
Eu-1544.41 E+158.5yearsMinor significance now
Eu-1553.39 E+155 yearsMinor significance now
Sr-903.6 E+1728.8 yearsHighly Significant; DNA seeker
Am-2412.72 E+15432 yearsHighly Significant alpha; decays to Np-237 alpha; daughter of Plutonium-241
Cm-2424.57 E+13162 daysAll decayed away; almost none there
Cm-2431.92 E+1432 yearsHighly Significant alpha; decays to Plutonium-239, so there must be approximately the same or more Plutonium-239 (fissionable) in the mix

2.2 Concerns about the source term table of the EPA 2016 report

Table 1 gives the source terms employed by the EPA report. It lists 13 isotopes. The table is an astonishing example of bad science, produced either through bias or ignorance. Since the table is apparently taken from another report by Turvey and Hone 2000, we can perhaps blame them for the original mistakes. I have included a column showing the half-lives of their isotopes. The main concerns are as follows:


It is perfectly clear than all but four of the thirteen will have physically decayed away by 2016. For example, a half life of Zr-95 of 65 days, at 1980 would by now have had 36 x 365 days to decay. This is 202 half-lives. There would be virtually none left of the listed quantity.
A significant number of seriously hazardous radionuclides which must be in the tanks are not listed. In particular we have Plutonium-239, Plutonium- 238, Plutonium-241, Uranium and other actinide alpha emitters including Neptunium-237, Radium-226, Carbon-14 and Tritium.
The overall total activity tabulated the EPA report is about 4 times less than the quantity in a HAST tank given in the report of the UK Royal Commission 1976 (Flowers) and the 1977 Windscale Enquiry which totalled 1.8 x 1018 Becquerels of Caesium-137 plus 1.4 x 1018 Bq of Strontium-90 plus 1.1 x 1018 Bq of Ruthenium-106 [8].
Why did the EPA report reduce the quantities assumed by the earlier reports? Why did it omit the dangerous actinides Uranium, Plutonium and Neptunium with the exception of Americium-241? Why did it omit a whole range of other radionuclides like Tritium and Carbon-14?

Table 2 Some Missing isotopes from the EPA Source term with longer half-lives or present as daughters

IsotopeHalf Life
U-2384.5 E+9yAlpha
U-2357.1 E+8yAlpha
U-2342.4 E+5yAlpha
Th-2308 E+4yAlpha
Ra-2261599yAlpha
Pu-23886.4yAlpha
Pu-2392.4 E+4yAlpha
Pu-24114.4yDecays to Am-241 listed by EPA
Np-2372.1 E+6yAm-241 daughter
Mn-54312dActivation
Co-605.27yActivation
Y-9064hIn equilibrium with Sr-90
H-312.3yLife component; radioactive water
C-145730yLife component

Table 3 HAST tank content according to Windscale Enquiry 1977 and Royal Commission 1976

Isotope
Quantity(Bq)
Cs-137
1.8 E+18
Sr-90 + Y-90
2.8 E+18
Ru-106
1.1 E+18

2.3 The more accurate source terms for HAST tanks

Taylor 1999 [2] based his calculations on only Cs-137 and assumed a source term of 1 x 1018 Bq. Therefore, his results (which I will review below) should be adjusted by a factor of 1.8 on the basis of the Table 3 results, but particularly also modified upwards by the presence of the Sr-90/Y-90 and the actinides, the Plutonium, Uranium, Radium and Americium, which, though they are present in smaller quantities each carry a weighting of 20 due to their alpha biological effectiveness. Thus the quantity of 2.72 E+15 listed by EPA in Table 1 has the effect (in Sieverts) of 5.44 E+16 due to its alpha emission.

2.4 The spent fuel pools

In addition to HAST tank scenarios, there has been reported the existence [ 9: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2611216/leaked_sellafield_photos_reveal_massive_radioactive_release_threat.html%5D in a very dangerous state, a series of concrete spent fuel pools containing hundreds of tons of spent fuel. Loss of integrity of these tanks (drying up) would result in meltdown and prompt criticality with explosive distribution and burning of the spent fuel elements.

The approximate activity inventory of a spent fuel assembly for a Boiling Water Reactor is available from Alvarez 2014 [10] and the EIA for a Pressurized Water reactor fuel assembly from the Swedish Forsmark High Level Waste repository documents [11]. Therefore these are not exactly the same as the assemblies in the Sellafield pools. However, they will not be very different. The radioactive elements and their activity is given in Table 5 [Ref 5,6] .

Table 5 Approximate activity of an estimated 800 spent fuel assemblies in the Sellafield

per assyper 1000
nuclidehalflifecuriesBqBq
Am242m150y2.881.0656E+111.0656E+14
Am241430y3731.3801E+131.3801E+16
Am2437400y8.633.1931E+113.1931E+14
Cs1342.1y13104.847E+134.847E+16
Cs13730y241008.917E+148.917E+17
C145700y0.2177700000007.77E+12
Cd113m14y227008.399E+148.399E+17
Ce144284d17.36.401E+116.401E+14
Cm24329y5.552.0535E+112.0535E+14
Cm24418y9233.4151E+133.4151E+16
Cm2458500y9233.4151E+133.4151E+16
Cm2464700y0.0414800000001.48E+12
Eu1548.8y1927.104E+127.104E+15
H312.3y1053.885E+123.885E+15
Kr8511y11704.329E+134.329E+16
Np239400d8.633.1931E+113.1931E+14
Pm1472.62y21107.807E+137.807E+16
Pu23888y10203.774E+133.774E+16
Pu23924000y54.12.0017E+122.0017E+15
Pu24114y157005.809E+145.809E+17
Ru106376d903.33E+123.33E+15
Sb1252.77y1204.44E+124.44E+15
Sm15190y672.479E+122.479E+15
Sr9029.1y166006.142E+146.142E+17
U2384.4Bny0.0622200000002.22E+12
U23623My0.0725900000002.59E+12
U234244000y0.2488800000008.88E+12
U23272y0.013700000003.7E+11
Y9064h166006.142E+146.142E+17
Zr9315300000.351.295E+101.295E+13
1042013.8554E+153.8554E+18

Comparisons with releases from Chernobyl and Fukushima

Since all these numbers are meaningless without comparisons, Table 6 gives comparisons in terms of Cs-137, which has become a yardstick for releases, discharges and ground contamination in the last 50 years with three contamination events, Chernobyl, Fukushima and the 1950-1980 atmospheric nuclear tests. These are useful comparisons since in the cases of Chernobyl and the nuclear tests, we have evidence for the effects on human health, an issue which is discussed later.

Table 6. Contents of one HAST tank, the spent fuel pools at Sellafield with releases from Chernobyl, Fukushima and Atmospheric bomb tests.

Event/ contents
Cs-137 (Bq)
Reference
Atmospheric Nuclear weapons tests (Global)
5000 E+15
UNSCEAR 2000
Chernobyl
38 E+15
UNSCEAR, Busby 2013
Fukushima initial
37 E+15
Various, see Busby 2013
Fukushima contents
3000 E+15
Various, see Busby 2013
One Sellafield HAST Tank
1850 E+15
1977 Windscale Enquiry. 1976 Royal Commission (Flowers).
Sellafield Spent Fuel Pools
1000 E+15
Estimate based on photograph and Alvarez 2014
21 HAST Tanks
38850 E+15

Total Sellafield
40000E+15

Ireland EPA Source term
526 E+15
EPA 2016

A domino scenario

There are 21 HAST tanks which, from the 1976 Royal Commission report [2] and the 1977 Windscale enquiry [3] can be assumed to contain 50 Million Curies (1.8 x 1018 ) Becquerels of Caesium-137 plus 40 Million Curies (1.4 x 1018 Bq) of Strontium-90 plus 30 Million Curies of Ruthenium-106 (1.1 x 1018 Bq). In addition there are, of course plenty of otheradionuclides which can be added in (See Table 2). All initial scenarios involve an explosion of a single HAST tank. This would undoubtedly result in high level contamination of the whole Sellafield site, such that access of human personnel would be restricted because of the lethal radiation fields. This would affect the ability of personnel to maintain the security of the cooling systems for the other HAST tanks and the spent fuel pools. In the case of Fukushima, access to the damaged reactors and the areas surrounding them was impossible due to the lethal radiation levels. This domino effect is quite possible, having been the cause of the sequential explosions at Fukushima as one reactor after another lost cooling and melted down.

Modelling unlikely scenarios; the worst case source term

It should be noted that Uranium and Plutonium, together with other alpha emitters are not assumed to be present in the EPA source term which focuses exclusively on Cs-137. However, more than 98% of the mass of material in the spent fuel pools consists of Uranium and Plutonium, and loss of coolant there can result in prompt criticality following melt down and a Zirconium Magnesium fire. Thus a nuclear explosion as well as a radiolytic hydrogen explosion is a possibility. Since the EPA report was advertised as a worst case scenario, given Murphy’s Law, and Rumsfeld’s warning, such events should have been modelled, however the analysis shows them to have been vanishingly unlikely.

3. The baseline assumptions of exposure

3.1 The EPA dispersion model and assumptions

The EPA have employed an atmospheric dispersion model named RIMPUFF which I do not have access to. Their report chooses a specific day, 29th Nov 2010 when the wind was apparently Easterly and carried the dispersed radioactivity across Ireland. Their map of the air concentration dispersion is of interest and I copy it in Fig 1 below.

Fig 1 The EPA air modelling result for Nov 29th 2010. Caesium-137 in air (isolines 1 x 106 Bq.s/m3 and 1×107 Bq.s/m3 (hatched))

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(b) Caesium-137 Surface deposition (wet) (isoline 1 x 105 Bq/m2)

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The interesting feature of this model is that it shows an unrealistically narrow dispersion for the plume. In order to examine this issue further I ran the air modelling computer program of the US National Oceanographic and Aeronautic Agency NOAA HYSPLIT [12] for a number of releases from Sellafield on the same day as the EPA RIMPUFF result. NOAA HYSPLIT employs meteorological data from a number of sources and is generally accepted to be a gold-standard dispersion modelling program. None of the results I obtained were close to the results shown by the EPA report. In particular, my concern is that the very large population of Dublin is entirely spared in the EPA model, whereas in all the NOAA HYSPLIT air models I ran for that same day, Dublin was directly in the path of the release plume. I show a series of developing particle dispersion maps calculated by the HYSPLIT model for unit release at 10am on 29th November 2010 below in Fig 2. It is perfectly clear that the real plume will cross Dublin and contaminate most of Ireland.

Fig 2 (a) to (e) Sequential snapshots of position of particle plume from 24 h release beginning at 10am on 29th Nov 2010 as calculated by NOAA HYSPLIT.

  1. At 1400
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  1. 12 hrs later
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  1. 15 hrs later
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  1. 23 hours later
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(e)Time of arrival of radioactivity

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I have run several HYSPLIT model simulations with both short and longer releases. None of them give anything like the narrow plume presented by the EPA report and shown in Fig 1. It is certainly possible, given time and resources to make a comprehensive study of this issue, but for the purposes of this report it is sufficient to demonstrate that there are circumstances where the whole of the Republic of Ireland will be contaminated, and that the model employed by EPA 2016 is highly questionable.

3.2 Peter Taylor 1999

Between 1998 and 2001 Green Audit was commissioned to examine the health effects of the releases from Sellafield to the Irish Sea. At the same time, and in connection with the same case Herr and Ors vs. BNFL, Peter Taylor, a British Scientist working with the Oxford Environmental Group, which also included Gordon Thompson, made a study of the worst case scenario for a Sellafield accident and contamination of the Republic of Ireland. Taylor obtained a computer model COSYMA from the European Union and modelled a release only of Caesium 137, using 1 x 1018 Bq as a source term. Tables 3 to 6 suggest that this is conservative. The report was never published but was certainly shown to the Irish State, since the work was supported by it. It should therefore have been available to those creating the 2016 EPA report. Taylors Report [ref: A Major Accident Potential at Sellafield—The impact on Ireland, 48pp] was given to me by Dr Taylor. Taylor made several computer runs for different wind directions and Pasquil categories (a measure of turbulence) producing contamination maps and predictions of precipitation.. The program divides the release point into a number of sectors. For North Easterly airflow, and Pasquil category 1A Taylor’s results are shown in Fig 3 below. The level of contamination over the whole of southern Ireland including Dublin is predicted to be about 1 x 107 Bq./m2 . Taylor argues that the high levels of peat in Ireland will result in this Cs-137 remaining on the ground for a very long time. However, what we see here is a level of contamination of 10MBq/m2 for a source term of 1 x 1018 Bq.

Fig 3. (a) Contamination map generated for easterly airflow by Taylor 1999 using COSYMA program. Blue line represents boundary of contamination. (b) area contamination by distance from source.

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(3b) Contamination levels by distance from Sellafield (km)

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3. 3 Cs-137 contamination: comparing Taylor and EPA 2016

Continue reading

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

About the radiation leaks at Taishan nuclear power station. The public is always the last to know.

Climate Crisis + Regulatory Collusion = Nuclear Disaster, June 15, 2021

Leaks at Nuke in China , Fairewinds Energy Information, By The Fairewinds Crew

The French and Chinese nuclear reactor Taishan Unit 1 is leaking radioactivity! Named Taishan Units 1 and 2, the reactors are the first of their kind in China and are located in the Guangdong Province. Designed by Framatome Corporation in France, the reactors have created “an imminent radiological threat,” according to CNN.  Allegedly, governments in the West were not informed of these leaks until Framatome notified other nations on June 8, 2021. Moreover, it appears that Chinese authorities and Framatome may have known about issues at the reactor months before Western powers were notified. 

Yes, you read that correctly! The public is always the last to know!

According to the New York Times, small amounts of radioactive gases, likely from Taishan, were detected in Hong Kong during April at least 130 Kilometers (80 miles) from this Chinese reactor site.  

As of Tuesday, June 15th, this issue does not appear to be a meltdown like Fukushima, TMI, or Chernobyl. Repeat not! It seems that there have been one or more nuclear fuel failures at the Taishan Unit 1 plant in Southeast China.

What is a fuel failure? Each nuclear fuel rod consists of about 144 fuel pellets, depending upon the manufacturer. The fuel rod’s length is 12-feet long. It has a zircaloy metallic wrapper that extends around the fuel pellets and is welded at the top and bottom, thereby creating each fuel rod.

Yesterday, Arnie Gundersen, Chief Engineer for Fairewinds, was interviewed by Al Jazeera Media Network. He explains how nuclear fuel cladding may fail in the interview below: 

How does this distance to reactors compare for U.S. residents?

……. https://www.fairewinds.org/demystify/climate-crisis-regulatory-collusion-nuclear-disasters

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Tokyo Olympics

“There was a very clear political agenda by Shinzo Abe, to use the Olympics to rehabilitate the impression of both Fukushima and the nuclear disaster domestically and globally,”

“It’s hard for me to support the idea of using the Olympics to present a narrative of recovery, where so much recovery remains to be done.”

The Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Tokyo Olympics, Engineering and Technology, By Max Bernhard

 Wednesday, June 16, 2021  Before Covid-19 forced a delay, Japan’s government saw the ‘Recovery Olympics’ as a way to show the Fukushima nuclear disaster was under control. 10 years on, critics say many issues remain unresolved.

Members of the Japan women’s soccer team began the Olympic torch relay on 25 March this year, kicking off a four-month countdown to the Tokyo Summer Games after a year-long delay due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The brief opening ceremony – closed to the public and attended only by a small number of dignitaries – took place on a football pitch in J-Village. The sports complex lies just 20km south of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a triple nuclear meltdown in 2011. J-Village was used as a base for the thousands of clean-up workers tasked with decommissioning the plant.

Long before the pandemic forced Japan to delay the Games, then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pegged the sporting mega-event as a way to show that Japan had overcome the disaster and to promote reconstruction efforts in the region. Ten years on, questions over radiation in the area, its prospects for recovery, and the decommissioning of the reactor, as well as Japan’s overall energy policy, remain.

Abe’s successor Yoshihide Suga has said the Games would also be a sign of overcoming another tragedy. Going ahead with the event would be “proof that humanity has defeated the pandemic”, he said last year. But here, too, not everyone agrees. With less than two months to go until the official start of the Olympics, the Japanese government has recently extended its state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures until at least 20 June. While the number of new Covid-19 infections has been going down and cases remain relatively low in an international comparison, a stretched-out fourth wave has strained the country’s medical sector.

Meanwhile, Japan’s vaccination efforts have been significantly lagging behind other developed nations. Less than 3 per cent of the population have been fully vaccinated as of 27 May 2021 and polls show that most of the public wants the Games cancelled. Despite that, Suga has been iterating his commitment to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

To assure members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the event in Tokyo would be safe, then-Prime Minister Abe promised in his 2013 pitch to host the 2020 Games that the situation at the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant was “under control”.

Three years later, Junichiro Koizumi, a former prime minister and fellow member of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, called this promise a lie. “I think Abe understands the arguments on both sides of the debate, but he has chosen to believe the pro-nuclear lobby,” Koizumi, who became an outspoken critic of nuclear energy following the catastrophe, said at a press conference in Tokyo in September 2016.

“There was a very clear political agenda by Shinzo Abe, to use the Olympics to rehabilitate the impression of both Fukushima and the nuclear disaster domestically and globally,” says Sean Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace East Asia, who has surveyed radiation in Fukushima dozens of times since the nuclear meltdowns happened.

Following the disaster, Japan halted all its nuclear reactors. Since then, it has restarted only nine out of a possible 42 across five power plants, while more than 20 are set to be decommissioned. Before the 2011 disaster, Japan generated about a third of its energy from nuclear power, and there were plans to increase that to around 40 per cent. The Japanese government’s current energy policy plans for 30 to 35 reactors operating by 2030, meaning about 20 per cent of the country’s power would come from nuclear energy. That target is also part of the government’s plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the country by the end of the next decade. This target requires at least a further 21 reactors to be back online.

One of the major obstacles to those restarts is public opinion, says Burnie. “The perception of Fukushima is that because you have an accident, you can’t rehabilitate, you can’t bring people back to live there, it’s not safe, and the decommissioning of the plant will take many, many decades, or centuries longer,” he adds. “So trying to create a new image, a new perception of Fukushima on the nuclear issue is really important [to the Japanese government].”

Changing public perception played a significant role in the government’s decision to host events in Fukushima and to use the framework of the ‘Recovery Olympics’, Burnie says, adding that the desire of the prefectural government and general society in Fukushima to communicate their region’s recovery was also a factor. “I think it creates a sense of slight schizophrenia because people want to have some good news … the Olympics were seen as perhaps a positive.”

At the same time, there was widespread criticism because the significant investments into the Olympics were seen as taking resources away that could have gone towards the area’s general reconstruction. The entire cost of hosting the 2020 Games is projected to be more than $15bn (£10.6bn), including $2.8bn for the postponement and an estimated $900m for measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Tokyo Games are the most expensive to date, according to a 2020 University of Oxford study that looked at Olympic costs since 1960. “There are still tens of thousands of people displaced, people still living in emergency housing. Obviously, the whole radiological situation is still complex and hazardous. There were mixed feelings about it,” Burnie says.

A year ago, when international visitors to the Games were still considered a possibility, some questioned whether it was safe for athletes and spectators to visit sporting venues in Fukushima or even Japan in general. South Korea reportedly considered providing its own food for athletes out of radiation concerns, although the move was seen as political by some.

Levels of radiation in Japan have decreased thanks in part to a massive programme by the government to remove the top layer of soil in affected areas. The contaminated soil is stored in millions of black one-cubic-metre bags that are piled up on temporary open-air areas scattered across the prefecture before being transported to interim storage sites. As of April 2020, about 6.7 million of the black bags were still stored in Fukushima, according to the Ministry of Environment.  

While the plant’s operator managed to stabilise the damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, melted nuclear fuel buried deep into the ground below the plant is still to be located and removed – an endeavour that is projected to take at least four more decades. Meanwhile, in April, the government approved plans to gradually release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water into the sea…………………

at the end of 2019 Greenpeace conducted radiation measurements around J-Village, where the Olympic torch relay would later kick off, and found several hotspots.

Continue reading

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

INTERVIEW/ Daniel Ellsberg: Smart statesmen can make bad decisions leading to nuclear war

Asahi Shimbun, , By KOJI SONODA/ Correspondent, June 19, 2021  WASHINGTON—U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower seriously considered launching a nuclear attack against China during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958, according to a former Department of Defense official.

Daniel Ellsberg, 90, a nuclear policy expert who has disclosed a confidential document about the incident, said Eisenhower was prepared for possible nuclear retaliation from the Soviet Union.

In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on May 25, Ellsberg also expressed strong concerns about the current tensions between Washington and Beijing over the Taiwan Strait.

“We’re talking now about possibly intervening in the civil war between China and Taiwan with U.S. force,” Ellsberg said. “I felt that this study was particularly relevant now to public debate and consideration.”

Ellsberg is famed for his acquisition and exposure of the classified Pentagon Papers in 1971, which he created with other staff members at the U.S. Department of Defense for the Vietnam War.

At that time, Ellsberg made a copy of another top-secret document written and examined by Morton Halperin, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, in connection with the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis.

The secret document shows that Eisenhower and high-ranking military officers at a meeting were considering the use of tactical nuclear weaponry for a pre-emptive strike against mainland China.


Ellsberg, who was deeply engaged in compiling the U.S. nuclear war plan, said, “When we look at decision-making that led to catastrophe … there is a very strong tendency for people to think: ‘Well, that was long ago. Those people were dumb.’

“That’s absurd,” he continued. “The statesmen (then) were at least as smart people as the ones right now or in between. They made horribly unwise judgments.”

Ellsberg was quite concerned about the possibility of the current U.S.-China friction leading to an all-out war.

“Both sides would suffer very great costs,” he said. “If they are not stupid and foolish and reckless and crazy, they will not start a war … . But you know, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.”

Excerpts from the interview follow:……………………………………………………….

The Cuban Missile Crisis, in which I participated as a consultant right below the level of the White House, the executive committee of the National Security Council, I was reporting to them, and studied that for a great deal. I conclude that, contrary to their public statements, neither Kennedy nor Khrushchev had any intention of going to armed conflict. They were, in effect, bluffing.

They were threatening the others and intimidating the others, and were deploying in readiness for nuclear war, but they had no intention actually of carrying out a nuclear war. And nevertheless, as my book “Doomsday Machine” and other places show, they came within a hair’s breadth of an all-out nuclear war because of actions of subordinates who did not realize that their leaders were bluffing, and who were readying for nuclear war in a way that almost exploded into all-out nuclear war……………….

When we look at decision-making that led to catastrophe, like World War I, by almost all parties, or the decision-making in Japan in 1940-41, which looks inconceivably bad when you look at it, or the decision-making in Vietnam, or invasion of Iraq, or in 1958, there is a very strong tendency for people to think: “Well, that was long ago. Those people were dumb. They were naive. They were immature. We’re not like that now. Weren’t they strange and awful?” And so there’s no lesson to be learned for us. That’s absurd.

The statesmen in 1914 were at least as smart people as the ones right now or in between. They made horribly unwise judgments. And that is equally available to our decision-makers right now.  http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14373137

June 19, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Biden and Putin agree: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’


Biden and Putin agree: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’ DW,  17 June 21

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have concluded a high-stakes summit aimed at cooperation but dominated by deep disagreements.

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have ended their highly anticipated summit in Geneva.

The leaders’ first in-person meeting since Biden became president took place at a lakeside villa amid soaring tensions between their two countries.

As talks ended after less than the five hours either side thought they would need, Biden gave a thumbs up. Members of the US team said the meeting had been “quite successful.”

After the meeting, the two sides released a joint statement on one of the main topics of discussion, nuclear proliferation. The statement read, “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” 

DW Moscow correspondent Emily Sherwin said, “Biden managed to walk a fine line with Putin,” recognizing Russia’s desire to be seen as a major geopolitical power.

The joint US-Russian statement said progress on shared goals could be achieved, “even in periods of tension,” going on to state, “The United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust.”

The statement added that the countries “seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.” …………………… https://www.dw.com/en/biden-and-putin-agree-nuclear-war-cannot-be-won-and-must-never-be-fought/a-57921072

June 19, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. Space Force wants to use directed-energy weapons for space superiority,

The Space Force wants to use directed-energy weapons for space superiority,

https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/space/2021/06/16/the-space-force-wants-to-use-directed-energy-weapons-for-space-superiority/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=C4ISRNET%206.17&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Daily%20Brief

Nathan Strout, 17 June 21, WASHINGTON — The head of the Space Force acknowledged that the U.S. is developing the “appropriate” directed-energy systems to maintain American space superiority, although he declined to provide details in the unclassified setting of a June 16 congressional hearing.

Noting that directed-energy systems could be a possible defensive tool for American satellites, Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., asked Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond whether the United States was adequately developing a directed energy portfolio “to be an effective capability for space dominance.”

“Yes sir, we are,” Raymond responded, suggesting that they discuss the issue in more detail in a classified setting. “We have to be able to protect these capabilities that we rely so heavily on.”

n a statement to C4ISRNET, a Space Force spokesperson said, “General Raymond has stated many times that China and Russia have directed energy capabilities that are designed to damage or destroy our satellites. His response to Congressman James Langevin’s question was confirming that our architecture developments in the face of these threats are appropriate.”

The Missile Defense Agency has explored using space-based lasers to intercept ballistic missiles in the past, and other nations have fielded ground-based laser dazzling weapons that can blind on orbit sensors. However, the Space Force has been effectively mum on what weapon systems — conventional or directed energy — it is developing to protect its satellites or defeat enemy satellites. Raymond’s acknowledgement at the hearing might be the first time he’s publicly confirmed the directed energy systems are under development.

The government cited the development of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons by China and Russia as a justification for the creation of Space Command and the Space Force, and since their establishment military space leaders have been quick to criticize ASAT development and testing. U.S. Space Command’s Gen. James Dickinson has heavily criticized direct-ascent missile tests by Russia, which demonstrated the ability to take out satellites in low Earth orbit and the potential to cause dangerous space debris. Perhaps more concerning is a mysterious Russian satellite that has shown the ability to fire a projectile in space. Raymond refers to the spacecraft as an on-orbit weapon system.

Russia has made space a war-fighting domain by testing space-based and ground-based weapons intended to target and destroy satellites. This fact is inconsistent with Moscow’s public claims that Russia seeks to prevent conflict in space,” said Dickinson after a Russian ASAT test in December. “Space is critical to all nations. It is a shared interest to create the conditions for a safe, stable and operationally sustainable space environment.”

However, the Space Force — and the Air Force before it — have always been secretive about what ASAT weapons the U.S. military has or is developing. The one with the most public details is the Counter Communications System, a transportable system that can jam enemy satellites. And while the Air Force is developing laser weapons, it’s not clear what plans — if any — there are to attach them to space systems or direct them at enemy satellites. The U.S. also has missiles that can reach satellites in low Earth orbit.

Reports from the intelligence community and observers have highlighted the development of kinetic weapons — such as those mentioned above — as well as non-kinetic weapons — such as ground-based jammers or laser systems that can effectively blind satellite sensors — by nations deemed American adversaries.

In a report earlier this year, the Center for Strategic and International Studies suggested that the Space Force develop orbital laser weapons to defend American satellites. Titled “Defense Against the Dark Arts in Space,” the report lays out the various types of ASAT weapons and describes several ways the Space Force could defend against them. That includes passive defenses, like building a redundant space architecture that could survive the loss of one or even multiple satellites, and active defenses, such as satellite-mounted lasers that could blind incoming threats.

The U.S. has invested heavily in building passive defenses, such as a distributed architecture like the one described in the report, but it’s less forthcoming on its active defenses. Other nations are less secretive. Most notably, France has stated that it could equip its satellites with weapons — possibly lasers — to defend themselves from adversaries.

While Raymond’s brief comments didn’t give any insight into what the U.S. is developing in regards to directed energy systems for space, they didn’t rule out the types of weapons laid out in the CSIS report.

“It was a limited exchange, but the context of the statements and the statements themselves certainly leave the door open to nonkinetic defensive space capabilities of some kind,” said Todd Harrison, director of the CSIS Aerospace Security Project. “As we noted in our report, on-board electronic countermeasures, such as laser dazzlers and radar jammers, can be an effective way to defend satellites against certain types of kinetic attacks. And it has the advantage of protecting satellites without producing space debris, which is important to the long-term viability of the space domain for all users, not just the U.S. military.”

June 19, 2021 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Renewable energy consumption grew in 2020 as fossil fuels and nuclear shrank.

Sunrise brief: Renewable energy consumption grew in 2020 as fossil fuels and nuclear shrank, PV Magazine , 17 June 21,

Also on the rise: Black & Veatch unit sets financing for 137 MW Texas project, Rockefeller Foundation partners to fund distributed renewable projects in Africa, and DroneBase closes a funding round as it expands its solar presence.JUNE 16, 2021 DAVID WAGMAN  Consumption of renewable energy grew for the fifth year in a row in 2020, reaching a record high of 11.6 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu), or 12% of total U.S. energy consumption.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the data and said that renewable energy was the only source that increased in 2020 from 2019; fossil fuel and nuclear consumption declined.

Hydroelectric power accounted for about 22% of U.S. renewable energy consumption. Consumption has remained relatively flat since the 1970s, but fluctuates with seasonal rainfall and drought conditions.

Financing set for Texas solar project

Black & Veatch unit Diode Ventures said it reached financial close on the Grizzly Ridge Solar Project, a 137.7 MW solar project located in Hamilton County, Texas, southwest of Fort Worth. The project was co-developed with RKB Energy. Details of the financing were not disclosed.

Once complete, Grizzly Ridge will provide energy to the ERCOT North Zone, a growing economy and power market where there is high demand for all forms of electricity.

The project has an executed interconnection agreement with Brazos Electric Cooperative, the transmission service provider. The area will undergo an upgrade from 69 kV to 138 kV. Diode also is in discussions to add an on-site battery energy storage system to the project.

Rockefeller Foundation partners to bolster renewables

The International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and The Rockefeller Foundation announced a partnership to deploy $150 million of capital in blended finance to leverage up to $2 billion of private sector investment in distributed renewable energy.

The two will prioritize countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions, where both organizations have identified immediate opportunities.

By blending philanthropic and private investment funding, the Rockefeller Foundation and IFC hope to de-risk capital investment in distributed renewable projects in emerging markets and help to address global energy access needs.

An initial “rapid deployment” phase will distribute $30 million in blended concessional finance and grant capital to leverage an active pipeline of distributed renewable energy projects developed by IFC. The funding will go toward IFC’s prototype scaling mini-grid program in addition to distributed renewable energy generation, battery energy storage, and other clean energy technologies to facilitate access………. https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2021/06/16/sunrise-brief-renewable-energy-consumption-grew-in-2020-as-fossil-fuels-and-nuclear-shrank/

June 19, 2021 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Countering a love letter to the nuclear industry 

We’re not in the business of debating paid shills.

Countering a love letter to the nuclear industry  https://thecoastnews.com/commentary-countering-a-love-letter-to-the-nuclear-industry/by commentaryJune 18, 2021

By Bart Ziegler

In his May 27 commentary, “Correcting the record on SONGS,” Al Bates writes a love letter to the nuclear industry.   Bates fiercely defends the safety measures at San Onofre’s nuclear waste storage facilities. This impassioned defense comes from — you guessed it — a career man in the nuclear industry who took that nuclear engineering degree straight to San Onofre for a job starting in 1980.

We’re not in the business of debating paid shills.

But we stand by the point we made in April to the Encinitas Environmental Commission — that San Onofre needs a facility where nuclear waste canisters can be repaired and replaced without exposing the environment to deadly, radioactive contamination.

This month, to Protect Our Coast, we are bringing Southern California Edison and the California Coastal Commission to court to demand such a facility. Call it a Plan B. Find out how you can support this case by visiting our website.

While Bates and company are quick to obfuscate with technical hairsplitting, we present simple truths:

  • Edison is storing 3.6 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel just 100 feet from the ocean;
  • Sea levels are rising;
  • Climate change increases risks associated with nuclear waste storage;
  • Waste canisters at San Onofre are prone to corrosion and cracking;
  • No one has a plan to move the waste; and
  • Scientific information that Bates says we’re missing can be found on our website.

Learn more at www.samuellawrencefoundation.org.   Bart Ziegler is president of the Samuel Lawrence Foundation.

June 19, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

We don’t need costly, slow, nuclear power: solar, wind, tidal and wave power can amply do the job

WHEN I visited Orkney in the 1970s, it was deeply involved in the North
Sea Oil boom. The Flotta oil terminal is still operating but renewable
energy – mainly wind and some tidal – generates up to 120 percent of the
electricity needed by Orkney’s 22,000 inhabitants.

The European Marine Energy Centre based in Stromness is trialling 48 tidal and wave power
projects. These include the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, Orbital
Marine Power’s O2 which from the air looks like a giant 250ft long rowing
boat off the isle of Eday. Its 2MW capacity means it could generate enough
clean, predictable electricity to meet the demand of around 2,000 UK homes
and offset approximately 2,200 tonnes of CO2 production per year.

It is just one of countless schemes around the world testing the potential of
renewables other than wind and solar to power the world and save it from
climate change. At an earlier stage of development and planned for near
Liverpool is the £3billion TPGen24, the brainchild of engineer Stuart
Murphy. Its promotional video says: “There is more than enough energy in
the UK’s tidal waters to satisfy the entire needs of the country, if only
it could be captured.

Does Britain need nuclear power to turn us green?
Yes, says Professor Ian Fells, Technical Director of Penultimate Power UK
Ltd which builds compact nuclear High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Energy
Hubs.

NO Says Dale Vince Eco-entrepreneur Energy independence from clean,
green renewables is a prize well worth having – and perfectly feasible. We
have enough wind and sun to power this country many times over. Throw in
other sources, such as geothermal – heat from deep under the ground – and
marine power and there should be no need for the UK to waste £50billion a
year and rising on importing oil and gas.

Nuclear has many problems. It is hugely expensive. Nuclear power stations take 10 years to design, 10 years
to build and another 10 years to pay back their carbon debt. We don’t
have time. And at three times the cost of renewables, we don’t need to
pay for that. We can power the grid entirely from renewable energy, at a
fraction of the price in a fraction of the time and have real carbon
reductions almost straight away.

 Express 14th June 2021

https://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/1449592/Green-Britain-tide-turning-renewable-energy

June 19, 2021 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Tough when even a pro nuclear voice has to deplore the corruption in the nuclear industry

FirstEnergy Scandal Could Do Irreparable Harm To Nuclear Power. Forbes , 16 June 21,

Ohio’s Republican-dominated state legislature stood firm against its former speaker of the house: Rep. Larry Householder, who was indicted last July along with others for allegedly taking bribes to protect the state’s nuclear power industry. Two of the accused have already pled guilty. The beneficiary of the $1 billion state bailout, FirstEnergy FE-1.6% Corp., is reportedly in talks with prosecutors. 

Unfortunately for the nuclear industry, this event cannot be viewed in isolation: it will have a rippling effect that will no doubt jar an industry that is perpetually trying to regain its balance. Once the case fully comes to light, the fallout from it could be much worse than any preceding event — a reference to Three Mile Island and the San Onofre Nuclear Station in Southern California,

“FirstEnergy also admits it paid $250,000 to Generation Now in March of 2017″ when the alleged scheme began, says the Energy and Policy Institute. Altogether, the utility admits to paying $56.6 million. “Longstreth and Generation Now were both indicted alongside Householder last year, and have since pleaded guilty to participating in a racketeering conspiracy.”

Prosecutors allege that “Company A” is at the heart of the matter — an entity that everyone knows: FirstEnergy. It is now alleged to have taken monies from its regulated transmission and distribution units in multiple states and to have given it to this shadowy group called Generation Now. ………

At issue is an Ohio law calling for a $1.3 billion rescue package — a measure that essentially taxes every electricity consumer and then directs that money to bail out FirstEnergy’s nuclear operations. The $60 million alleged bribes also helped beat back a voter initiative that would have thrown out that law. 

The Damage Done

FirstEnergy, realizing this event has soiled its reputation, fired some key executives — ranging from the ethics officer to the chief executive officer, Charles Jones. Prosecutors alleged that Jones and Householder had 84 phone contacts between 2017 and 2019. While both men deny wrongdoing, FirstEnergy’s annual financial filings said that it was discussing a “deferred prosecution” — an agreement in which prosecutors grant amnesty if certain requirements are met. For starters, the utility would have to pay back customers for the monies it took from them and then misappropriated. 

“This is likely the largest bribery, money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio,” said then-U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, at the time of the indictments. “This was bribery, plain and simple. This was a quid pro quo. This was pay to play.” The prosecution alleges that the payments were tantamount to “bags of cash” that went unregulated and unreported. …..   

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

”Advanced” nuclear reactor designs – the latest version of nuclear wishful thinking



 Clean Technica 16th June 2021, Some nuclear energy developers are now promoting what they call “advanced” reactor designs as a solution. Unlike light-water reactors, these non-light-water designs rely on materials other than water for cooling, including liquid sodium, helium and molten salt.

Some developerscontend these reactors, which are still in the concept stage, will solve all the problems that plague light-water reactors and be ready for prime time by the end of the decade. The siren song of a cheap, safe and secure nuclear reactor in the offing has attracted the attention of Biden administration officials and some key members of Congress, who are looking for any and all ways to curb carbon emissions.

But are so-called advanced reactors merely the latest version of nuclear wishful thinking? A comprehensive Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis of non-light-water reactor concepts in development suggests they are. Published in mid-March, the 140-page report found that these designs are no better — and in some respects significantly worse — than the light-water reactors in operation today. The report, “Advanced” Isn’t
Always Better, assesses the pros and cons of three main types of non-light-water reactors: sodium-cooled fast reactors, high-temperature gas-cooled reactors and molten salt–fueled reactors.

It rates each type on three broad criteria: safety; nuclear proliferation and terrorism risks; and sustainability, which refers to how efficiently they use uranium and how much long-lived nuclear waste they generate.

 https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/16/when-it-comes-to-nuclear-power-advanced-isnt-always-better/

June 19, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology | Leave a comment

For the first time, drones autonomously attacked humans

For the First Time, Drones Autonomously Attacked Humans. This Is a Turning Point. Drone experts have long dreaded this moment.

Popular Mechanics, BY KYLE MIZOKAMIJUN 1, 2021  

  • Libyan forces reportedly used Kargu-2 drones to autonomously seek out and attack human targets.
  • This is the first recorded case of using a self-hunting drone against people.
  • Drone experts say this extremely dangerous development could be dangerous to people far beyond the traditional battlefield.

The world’s first recorded case of an autonomous drone attacking humans took place in March 2020, according to a United Nations (UN) security report detailing the ongoing Second Libyan Civil War. Libyan forces used the Turkish-made drones to “hunt down” and jam retreating enemy forces, preventing them from using their own drones.

The field report (via New Scientist) describes how the Haftar Affiliated Forces (HAF), loyal to Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, came under attack by drones from the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) forces. After a successful drive against HAF forces, the GNA launched drone attacks to press its advantage. From the report:

Logistics convoys and retreating HAF were subsequently hunted down and remotely engaged by the unmanned combat aerial vehicles or the lethal autonomous weapons systems such as the STM Kargu-2 (above) and other loitering munitions. The lethal autonomous weapons systems were programmed to attack targets without requiring data connectivity between the operator and the munition: in effect, a true “fire, forget and find” capability.

The report says Turkey supplied the drones to Libyan forces, which is a violation of a UN arms embargo slapped on combatants in the conflict.

…….. Drone experts have been dreading this moment while advocating for a ban on autonomous attack drones.  https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a36559508/drones-autonomously-attacked-humans-libya-united-nations-report/

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Libya, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Collaboration between Russia and Europe finally cleans up the most dangerous nuclear ship in the Arctic.

After 27 Years, Lepse No Longer Poses a Nuclear Threat to the Arctic,  High North News, PETER B. DANILOV 17 June 21, Last week, the Russian service ship Serebryanka delivered the last spent-fuel bundles from the Lepse floating maintenance base to an Atomflot storage site in Murmansk, completing the final stage of securing the nuclear waste……. To ensure the dismantling of the Lepse floating maintenance base, it was necessary to specially develop new technologies and equipment and make innovative decisions,” said FSUE Atomflot Director General Mustafa Kashka.

In July 2020, the Lepse floating maintenance base’s main batch of spent nuclear fuel was unloaded at the Nerpa shipyard. A total of 620 spent-fuel bundles were extracted and unloaded.

Lepse was regarded as the most dangerous nuclear vessel in the north and the Norwegian environmental NGO Bellona began the work of securing the spent nuclear fuel onboard the vessel in 1994.

……….. The project to dismantle and dispose of the Lepse Floating Maintenance Base is multilaterally implemented.

In 1996, the project was included in the EU’s TACIS program (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), which involved the allocation of funds for the inspection of the state of spent nuclear fuel.

Since 2008, the project has been carried out in the framework of a Grant Agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Rosatom, and JSC NFC Logistics Centre (the project’s customer and coordinator).

The EBRD has provided 54 million euros from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Fund (NDEP). https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/after-27-years-lepse-no-longer-poses-nuclear-threat-arctic

June 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, politics international, Russia, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran’s new president takes power

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran’s new president takes power, Dave Lawler   Axios, 17 June 21, The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.

Key quote: The official said it would be “concerning” if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran’s transition is due to take place. “If we don’t have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it’s going to be,” the official said.

Driving the news: Conservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a close ally to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, is the clear favorite to win Friday’s presidential election in Iran. No prominent members of the reformist camp were permitted to run, meaning the more moderate President Hassan Rouhani will almost certainly hand power to a hardliner.

  • Analysts and some diplomats involved in the negotiations have long said it would be easier to reach a deal with the outgoing administration than with a newly inaugurated government, particularly one led by Raisi.
  • Six rounds of talks have been held so far in Vienna, with the U.S. not in the room but negotiating indirectly through EU intermediaries.

State of play: Iran’s top negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, said this week that while a deal wouldn’t be possible in the current round of talks, Iran had no interest in “wasting time” and the elections wouldn’t be a factor………….https://www.axios.com/us-iran-nuclear-deal-talks-raisi-inauguration-ed00555e-db84-4d26-9e2b-1ad8b21f9fc5.html

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Julian Assange: Separating Fact from Fiction — Rise Up Times

Join Julian Assange’s father, and brother John and Gabriel Shipton, along with panelists Fidel Narvaez (former Ecuadorian consul at the embassy in London), John Kiriakou (CIA torture whistleblower) and Ray McGovern (former CIA analyst/presidential briefer) as they separate fact from fiction about Julian Assange on Sunday, June 13th.  Editor’s Note: John and Gabriel Shipton will […]

Julian Assange: Separating Fact from Fiction — Rise Up Times

June 19, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment