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

Solar and wind fuels emit no carbon, but “low carbon” nuclear fuel- it’s a lie! theme for November 18

Solar and wind energy both flow directly to the generating system

Not only are these fuels carbon-free, but, unlike nuclear, they leave no wastes

Only one step in that uranium-nuclear chain is low emission – though all nuclear lobbyists claim that this step is “no emission” – the reactor’s operation.  BUT – Carbon-14 is produced in coolant at boiling water reactors (BWRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is typically released to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide at BWRs, and methane at PWRs.

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November 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The cancer toll on nuclear workers: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

Nuclear fallout: $15.5 billion in compensation and counting

They built our atomic bombs; now they’re dying of cancer

Nearly 33,500 former nuclear site workers died due to radiation exposure- report

Nuclear Fallout: This story produced in partnership with ProPublica and the Santa Fe New Mexican. (Richly illustrated with photographs, videos, charts, documents interactive map) 
Wave 3, By Jamie Grey and Lee Zurik | November 12, 2018  
LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO (InvestigateTV) – Clear, plastic water bottles, with the caps all slightly twisted open, fill a small refrigerator under Gilbert Mondragon’s kitchen counter. The lids all loosened by his 4- and 6-year old daughters because, at just 38, Mondragon suffers from limited mobility and strength. He blames his conditions on years of exposure to chemicals and radiation at the facility that produced the world’s first atomic bomb: Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Gilbert Mondragon, 38, pulls the cap off a plastic water bottle that had been twisted open by his young daughters. He hasn’t the strength for those simple tasks anymore and blames his 20-year career at the Los Alamos National Lab. He quit this year because of his serious lung issues, which he suspects were caused by exposures at the nuclear facility. (InvestigateTV/Andy Miller)

Mondragon is hardly alone in his thinking; there are thousands more nuclear weapons workers who are sick or dead. The government too recognizes that workers have been harmed; the Department of Labor administers programs to compensate “the men and women who sacrificed so much for our country’s national security.”

But InvestigateTV found workers with medical issues struggling to get compensated from a program that has ballooned ten times original cost estimates. More than 6,000 workers from Los Alamos alone have filed to get money for their medical problems, with around 53 percent of claims approved.

The Los Alamos lab, the top-secret site for bomb design in 1943, has had numerous safety violations and evidence of improper monitoring, federal inspection reports show. Continue reading

November 13, 2018 Posted by | employment, health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

California fires – the “New Abnormal” if climate change goes on, unchecked

31 Dead In Devastating California Wildfires: Here’s What To Know | TIME

California Fires Could Be The ‘New Abnormal’ If Climate Change Continues A leading climate scientist says a worrying pattern helped light the match for the devastating California fires. 10 daily, 13 Nov 18 

The fires have devastated the state, killing 31 people so far.

It’s not looking likely the blaze will calm any time soon.

One of the reasons for the scale of destruction being visited on the state is a collection of environmental triggers brought about by climate change, according to Doctor Daniel Swain of UCLA…….He said due to rising temperatures and dryness similar fires could affect the state for many years to come.

“This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal, and this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years,” he said…..https://tendaily.com.au/news/world/a181112wih/california-fires-could-be-the-new-abnormal-if-climate-change-continues-apace-20181112

November 13, 2018 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Iran is keeping to the conditions of nuclear deal: latest U.N. report

The Latest: Nuclear watchdog: Iran stays within deal limitshttps://www.kansas.com/news/business/article221528430.html, The Associated Press, November 12, 2018 VIENNA  The Latest on U.N. nuclear watchdog’s new report on Iran :

The U.N. atomic watchdog says Iran continues to stay within the limitations set by the nuclear deal reached in 2015 with major powers, aimed at keeping Tehran from building nuclear weapons in exchange for incentives.

In a confidential quarterly report distributed to member states Monday and seen by The Associated Press, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has stayed with key limitations set in the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The issue has grown more complicated since the U.S. withdrew unilaterally in May from the deal and then re-imposed sanctions. Iran’s economy has been struggling ever since and its currency has plummeted in value.

The other signatories to the deal — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — are continuing to try and make it work.

The IAEA says the agency had access to all sites in Iran that it needed to visit and that inspectors confirmed Iran has kept within limits of heavy water and low-enriched uranium stockpiles.

November 13, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Consultant WYG takes £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside nuclear development.

WYG points finger at government for Toshiba nuclear decision, Building UK, By Dave Rogers12 November 2018  Consultant forced to take £3m loss on business it bought for Moorside development. Consultant WYG has criticised the government for not being clear enough in its support to build a nuclear power station in Cumbria.

Publishing its annual results in June, WYG said it was forced to book a £3.2m cost on closing a business that it bought because of the work it expected to be carried out at the Moorside plant.

Land and property firm North Associates was snapped up in 2015 but delays on the plant forced the firm to shut the Carlisle-based business in March.

Last week Toshiba said it would wind-up its NuGen business which had been slated to carry out work building the plant at Moorside……….

Toshiba spent 18 months trying to sell NuGen but failed to find a firm willing to invest in the nuclear project. It said winding up the company would cost it £125m.

Engie walked away from NuGen, leaving Toshiba to try and sell the vehicle after posting a $8.4bn (£6.4bn) loss for the year ending 31 March 2017.

South Korean state-owned Kepco was chosen as preferred bidder over China General Nuclear in December last year but lost its preferred status in August after protracted talks hit delays – including a change of chief executive and a new government in Seoul. https://www.building.co.uk/news/wyg-points-finger-at-government-for-toshiba-nuclear-decision/5096491.article

November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

How climate change is making deadly wildfires worse

Climate change is making wildfires more extreme. Here’s how

November 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

North Korea: its nuclear weapons “complete”, but not planning to get rid of them (why should they?)

North Korea not giving up its nuclear weapons any time soon, Chronicle, 12 NOV, 2018 “……..North Korea declared its nuclear force “complete” and halted missile and nuclear bomb testing earlier this year, but U.S. and South Korean negotiators have yet to elicit from Pyongyang a concrete declaration of the size or scope of the weapons programs, or a promise to stop deploying its existing arsenal.

North Korea has said it has closed its Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility. It also raised the possibility of shuttering more sites and allowing international inspections if Washington took “corresponding measures,” of which there has so far been no sign.

Last week, North Korea called off a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York, and state media said on Monday the resumption of some small-scale military drills by South Korea and the United States violated a recent agreement aimed at lowering tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The sites identified in the CSIS report are scattered in remote, mountainous areas across North Korea, and could be used to house ballistic missiles of various ranges, with the largest believed to be capable of striking anywhere in the United States……”https://www.chronicle.co.zw/north-korea-not-giving-up-its-nuclear-weapons-any-time-soon/

November 13, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Tell Ft.com solar air-conditioning is the answer to air-conditioning’s greenhouse gas problem

This article highlights Sir Richard Branson (a nuclear power proponent) and correctly reminds us of the carbon footprint if air-conditioning, if fuelled by fossil power. Important to India, Australia, and many other counties. Why didn’t Ft mention this?  – Solar air conditioning.

BUT – the logical alternative is renewable energy –  either by use of a total renewable energy electrical system, or just a solar air-conditioner.

FT 12th Oct 2018 Air Conditioning   A competition to find a breakthrough in air-conditioning technology has been launched with the backing of Sir Richard Branson and the Indian government, in an effort to avert the climate impact of the huge expected growth in the use of cooling systems.

The prize is intended to encourage inventors to find new ideas for indoor cooling that can be economically competitive against current technologies, while reducing energy consumption and the use of refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons that contribute to global warming.

There are about 1.2bn air-conditioning units installed worldwide today, and that number is forecast to rise to 4.5bn by 2050 as incomes rise and living standards improve in hot countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

If today’s technology is used for those units, they would by themselves emit enough greenhouse gases to raise global temperatures by 0.5C, according to Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy think-tank. The International Energy Agency has also sounded the alarm over air-conditioning, describing it as one of the most critical blind spots in international energy policy.
https://www.ft.com/content/1e056bde-e5ef-11e8-8a85-04b8afea6ea3

November 13, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Britain’s Wyfa nuclear power project – one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.

Dave Toke’s Blog 11th Nov 2018 ,Greg Clark looks likely to go down in history as the Minister who signs off
on a nuclear construction deal with Hitachi for the proposed Wylfa power plant that led to a stupendous loss for the taxpayer. That loss might be £20 billion or more.

Clark has apparently put no discernable effort into the objective of securing ‘subsidy’ free contracts for onshore wind and solar. However, he has been spending a lot of time concocting a plan to finance the Wylfa nuclear power plant that will, on the basis of past performance, generate huge losses for the public purse years down the line.

All the talk from BEIS (the energy ministry) is of the new ‘Regulated Asset Base’ (RAB) financing of nuclear power plant. Except that what’s really happening is not really an RAB model at all. It’s a piece of brownwash to obscure the reality of Government blank cheque to cover whatever it costs to build the nuclear plant. That’s because the whole plan hinges on the constructors being able to pass on cost-overruns onto the Government.

And that’s the point. Nuclear power stations being built in the west have almost always tended to have large cost overruns. Recent ones have ALL suffered horrendous cost overruns – in the USA (4), France (1) and Finland (1).

Yet, some otherwise sensible, financial analysts seem to ignore this fact as they extol the virtues of RAB financing. They implicitly assume that Wylfa will proceed precisely on target, in which case, they say the Government will deliver the project at a ‘cheaper’ price than Hinkley C through the provision of Government loans with low interest rates.

Sure, the headline price that will be paid by the electricity consumer, over 35 years, will be a bit cheaper. But that’s likely to be at one hell of a cost to the taxpayer.
http://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2018/11/how-greg-clarks-hitachi-deal-could-lead.html

November 13, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Doomed Moorside nuclear project might have provided 2% of UK energy needs, NOT 7%

 Times 12th Nov 2018 , David Lowry 12 Nov 18 Alistair Osborne is correct in his acute analysis of the financial failure of new nuclear in the UK (“No surprise Toshiba went cold on idea”,Times, Nov 9), except for one important matter: he conflates energy with electricity.

The planned output capacity for the doomed Moorside nuclear plant would not have provided “7 per cent of our energy needs”, but of the UK’s power generating capacity, which is the equivalent of about only 2 per cent of current national energy demand. Conflating the two inflates the importance of nuclear to UK energy balance, thus distorting its political salience.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/brexit-and-the-value-of-a-second-referendum-dk8fgmw6w

November 13, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Doctors dispute media claim that fire at Santa Susana Field Laboratory (Rocketdyne) poses no radiation danger

RESPONSE TO LA MAGAZINE ARTICLE: https://www.psr-la.org/woolsey-fire-burns-nuclear-meltdown-site-that-state-toxics-agency-failed-to-clean-up/

On November 10, Los Angeles Magazine ran an article claiming there was no risk related to SSFL contamination from the Woolsey fire that we now know actually began on the SSFL property itself. Below is our response.

Los Angeles Magazine must print a correction – this article is filled with errors and misinformation:

  1. There is no need to put quotes around “significantly contaminated” – SSFL is one of the most contaminated sites in the nation, subject of a promised but long-delayed state and federal cleanup; it is heavily contaminated with well documented nuclear and chemical contamination, from, among other things, a partial nuclear meltdown.
  2. The claim in the first hours of the fire by DTSC, an agency that has no public confidence to the point that the state legislature commissioned an Independent Review Panel to investigate its failings (which include the Exide fiasco in Vernon,) that it didn’t “believe” there was a risk is cover for its failure to live up to its cleanup commitments (it had promised the site would be cleaned up by 2017 and the cleanup hasn’t even begun). It is pure conjecture. DTSC does not have have any scientific data to back up the claim. It based the spurious assertion on its claim that the fire in its first hours was not in areas where contamination could be released, but the state fire department now shows almost all of the contaminated site as within the fire boundary.
  3. DTSC did not release it’s statement in response to the Forbes article, it released it the night before, when virtually nothing was known about the extent of the fire at SSFL
  4. SSFL is NEVER referred to as Area IV – that is simply one area in the site, the area where most of the nuclear activity occurred
  5. Given the extent of contamination in the site’s soil and vegetation, it is indeed possible and likely that contamination from the site was spread further from the fire in smoke, dust, and ash.

The bottom line is it irresponsible to claim that SSFL contamination was not spread further by the fire. Los Angeles Magazine may wish to read its own cover story from 1998: HOT ZONE – Rocketdyne’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory was on the front lines of the Cold War. Now some who lived near “The Hill” say they share two distinctions: chronic illness and the unswerving belief that the lab caused it.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactors “are a bad bet for a climate strategy” – former NRC chairman

Nuclear watchdog group causes stir with call to financially support existing nuclear plants, “Hard choices” are needed in the face of dire climate projections, Union of Concerned Scientists says. Think Progress 

November 12, 2018 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Woolsey Fire Burns Nuclear Meltdown Site that State Toxics Agency Failed to Clean Up

THE SANTA SUSANA FIELD LABORATORY (ROCKETDYNE) BURNED IN THE WOOLSEY FIRE, THREATENING TOXIC EXPOSURES FROM CONTAMINATED DUST, SMOKE, ASH AND SOIL.   https://www.psr-la.org/woolsey-fire-burns-nuclear-meltdown-site-that-state-toxics-agency-failed-to-clean-up/

THE DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL DENIES RISK THAT IT CREATED BY DELAYING THE LONG PROMISED CLEANUP. November 9, 2018, Denise Duffield, 310-339-9676 or dduffield@psr-la.org, Melissa Bumstead 818-298-3182 or melissabumstead@sbcglobal.net,    Nov 9, 2018Last night, the Woolsey fire burned the contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), a former nuclear and rocket engine testing site. Footage from local television showed flames surrounding rocket test stands, and the fire’s progress through to Oak Park indicates that much of the toxic site burned.

statement released by the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said that its staff, “do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.” The statement failed to assuage community concerns given DTSC’s longtime pattern of misinformation about SSFL’s contamination and its repeated broken promises to clean it up.

“We can’t trust anything that DTSC says,” said West Hills resident Melissa Bumstead, whose young daughter has twice survived leukemia that she blames on SSFL and who has mapped 50 other cases of rare pediatric cancers near the site. Bumstead organized a group called “Parents vs. SSFL” and launched a Change.org petition demanding full cleanup of SSFL that has been signed by over 410,000 people. “DTSC repeatedly minimizes risk from SSFL and has broken every promise it ever made about the SSFL cleanup. Communities throughout the state have also been failed by DTSC. The public has no confidence in this troubled agency,” said Bumstead.

Nuclear reactor accidents, including a famous partial meltdown, tens of thousands of rocket engine tests, and sloppy environmental practices have left SSFL polluted with widespread radioactive and chemical contamination. Government-funded studies indicate increased cancers for offsite populations associated with proximity to the site, and that contamination migrates offsite over EPA levels of concern. In 2010, DTSC signed agreements with the Department of Energy and NASA that committed them to clean up all detectable contamination in their operational areas by 2017. DTSC also in 2010 committed to require Boeing, which owns most of the site, to cleanup to comparable standards. But the cleanup has not yet begun, and DTSC is currently considering proposals that will leave much, if not all, of SSFL’s contamination on site permanently.

Dr. Robert Dodge, President of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, shares the community’s concerns. “We know what substances are on the site and how hazardous they are. We’re talking about incredibly dangerous radionuclides and toxic chemicals such a trichloroethylene, perchlorate, dioxins and heavy metals. These toxic materials are in SSFL’s soil and vegetation, and when it burns and becomes airborne in smoke and ash, there is real possibility of heightened exposure for area residents.”

Dodge said protective measures recommended during any fire, such as staying indoors and wearing protective face masks, are even more important given the risks associated with SSFL’s contamination. Community members are organizing a campaign on social media to demand that DTSC release a public statement revealing the potential risks of exposure to SSFL contamination related to the fire.

But for residents such as Bumstead, worries will remain until SSFL is fully cleaned up. “When I look at that fire, all I see is other parents’ future heartache,” said Bumstead, “And what I feel is anger that if the DTSC had kept its word, we wouldn’t have these concerns, because the site would be cleaned up by now.”

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles (PSR-LA) is the largest chapter of the national organization Physicians for Social Responsibility and has worked for the full cleanup of SSFL for over 30 years.. PSR-LA advocates for policies and practices that protect public health from nuclear and environmental threats and eliminate health disparities.

Parents vs. SSFL is a grassroots group of concerned parents and residents who demand compliance with cleanup agreements signed in 2010 that require a full cleanup of all radioactive and chemical contamination at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear questions Union of Concerned Scientists’ support for bailouts for “top ranked” nuclear plants

Appalling safety culture should eliminate nuclear power from subsidies   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2018/11/11/appalling-safety-culture-should-eliminate-nuclear-power-from-subsidies/ November 11, 2018 Union of Concerned Scientists ignores its earlier report by now endorsing “top ranked” nuclear plants for bailouts, By Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear

A controversial new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists suggests that closing aging US nuclear plants — and not subsidizing the cost of building new ones — will increase carbon emissions. The assumption is that nuclear plants that close will be replaced by coal or natural gas-fired plants.

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the US is of course unacceptable given the accelerating climate change crisis we now face. However, the evidence so far, that closed nuclear plants will largely be replaced by natural gas and coal, is not borne out by the actual evidence.

California, which has only one nuclear power plant still operating at Diablo Canyon, will replace it, and the already shuttered San Onofre reactors, entirely with renewable energy. When Nebraska closed its flooded Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant, it was wind energy, not fossil fuels, that stepped in to fill the new generation void.

The UCS report advocates for nuclear power to be included in a National Low-Carbon Electricity Standard (LCES) or any national carbon pricing. But its caveat is that any operating plant considered for this benefit must retain a position in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) highest safety rating category. This relies on a critical supposition, shown to be to unfounded, that the NRC exercises sufficient due diligence in actually assessing safety at US nuclear plants.

Following a major revision of its reactor safety oversight process in 2000, the NRC listed one nuclear plant— Davis-Besse in Ohio — as being maintained as one of the safest reactors in the country. In fact, while holding its newly top-rated position as a “Column 1” facility, Davis-Besse was in perilous condition. An undetected leak of corrosive reactor coolant had been allowed to eat through a 6 ¾ inch-thick carbon steel wall of the reactor pressure vessel head.

In February 2002, during a scheduled refueling outage, the extensive damage from corrosion was accidentally discovered to have eaten right down to the vessel’s corrosion-resistant stainless steel inner liner. The 3/16th-inch inner steel liner had stretched under the reactor’s operational pressure and was bulging into the throughwall cavity — ready to burst into a loss-of-coolant nuclear accident that by one scientific account could have occurred within two months.

All during the time of operation, FirstEnergy Nuclear, the operator of Davis-Besse, and the onsite NRC inspectors, ignored the thick accumulation of iron oxide particulate settling on catwalks inside the reactor building, and the daily replacement of containment air filters, without investigating where the cloud of rust was originating.

The NRC has since revised its oversight process once again. But neither the federal agency nor the nuclear industry have demonstrated an improvement in “safety culture” and continue to fall short in questioning and reporting the development of reactor hazards.

February 2017 report, also published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, contradicts the presumption of reliability on the NRC Reactor Oversight Process. It states, “The percentage of the NRC workforce that feared retaliation for raising concerns is comparable to, and sometimes higher than, the percentage of nuclear plant workers who feared retaliation” for questioning the safety of operating nuclear power stations.

In fact, the former UCS senior reactor safety engineer, David Lochbaum, also an author on the latest report, is quoted in the 2017 analysis, “the data suggest that the NRC’s management is just as dismissive of indications that it has a poor safety culture. When it comes to chilled work environments, the NRC may have the largest refrigerator in town.”

The November 2018 UCS report also makes the assertion that offering low-carbon incentives to both renewables and new and existing nuclear plants will raise all boats. However, this is not supported by the reality on the ground. For example, the decision by New York to prop up its aging and uneconomical upstate nuclear plants is costing the state nearly $500 million per year – 200 times as much as it is spending on developing renewables. Preventing the early closure of nuclear plants serves as a hindrance to renewable energy development, exacerbating, rather than ameliorating carbon emissions and the climate crisis.

Paul Gunter is the Director of the Reactor Oversight Project at Beyond Nuclear.

AA

November 12, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

No nuclear bailouts for Pennsylvania and Ohio — Beyond Nuclear International

States can develop renewables without clinging on to dangerous old nuclear plants

via No nuclear bailouts for Pennsylvania and Ohio — Beyond Nuclear International

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NuGen’s failing Moorside nuclear project will cost Cumbrian residents a multimillion-pound bill for the preparatory work

Times 10th Nov 2018 Consumers face a multimillion-pound bill for work carried out in preparation for the proposed Cumbrian nuclear plant that may never be built.

National Grid said that it had spent tens of millions of pounds planning the 100-mile power line to connect Nugen’s Moorside plant to the electricity transmission network. Much of the cost is expected to be recovered from households and businesses via levies on their energy bills for decades to come. John Pettigrew, chief executive, said that work on the Moorside line had cost “tens of millions” of pounds and that there was a “regulatory process” to recover the costs.

Nugen is obliged to cover some of the cost, but one industry source said that it was on the hook for a little more than £10 million, while National Grid’s expenditure was thought to be in the high double digits. National Grid is expected to submit a claim to Ofgem, the energy regulator, to recoup the rest from consumers.

The regulator can refuse to allow expenditure it deems inefficient, but the rules are thought likely to allow the company to recover at least half of its costs. The eventual £2.8 billion proposal included £1.9 billion of “measures to reduce its impact on people, places and the environment”, including burying the lines through a 14-mile stretch of the Lake District and a 13-mile tunnel under MorecambeBay.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/f1630fa6-e458-11e8-9838-efa7e96cbe2b

November 12, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment