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USA planning to send radioactive wastes back to uranium selling countries

Official: U.S. in Early Talks About Int’l Nuclear Leasing Arrangements, NYT. By HANNAH NORTHEY, August 23, 2011 Department of Energy officials have spent weeks trying to knock down reports that they have been interested in building a nuclear waste repository in Mongolia.

Now, the Obama administration is going a step further, disclosing that what DOE hopes to do is “lease” uranium from other countries, then return the spent fuel to the originating country.

A senior Obama administration official told Greenwire earlier this month that the government is in preliminary talks with several countries, including Mongolia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, about setting up commercial nuclear fuel leasing arrangements.

In one example of how a fuel leasing arrangement could work, countries with uranium reserves could mine, enrich and fabricate the material and lease it to reactor companies abroad. Spent nuclear fuel would then be sent back to the originating country, the official said.

Discussions have not touched upon what those countries would do with the waste, the official said, but the United States hopes to prevent proliferation by providing alternatives to domestic enrichment and reprocessing capabilities…..

the commercial nuclear fuel leasing arrangements the administration official discussed seem to be consistent with what some U.S. officials want to see for the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation (IFNEC), formerly the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.
The Obama administration scrapped parts of GNEP, which was part of the George W. Bush administration’s efforts to accelerate research and development on the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel in reactors (ClimateWire, Dec. 24, 2009). The partnership was seeking to create “cradle-to-grave fuel services” under a regulated market for enriched uranium, which would allow a few large countries to supply smaller ones with enriched uranium to burn in reactors, sparing them the billions of dollars needed to build facilities for uranium processing and disposal (Greenwire, Oct. 26, 2010……

August 25, 2011 Posted by | politics international, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Legitimate fears about the safety of USA nuclear plants

Why Recent Earthquakes Should Make You Worry About Nuclear Power, By  | August 24, 2011, BNet A 5.8 magnitude earthquake — the largest to hit the East Coast in nearly seven decades — caused the shutdown of two nuclear reactors located less than 15 miles from the epicenter of the temblor. The back-up diesel generator system worked as designed (well, except for the one with the coolant leak), and by late Tuesday night operator Dominion Resources had restored offsite power.

Yet instead of putting folks at ease, the incident actually raises legitimate fears about the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants.

Consider, for starters, the fact that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken more than six years to develop new safety standards to address higher-than-expected seismic risks. It turns out that seismic risks to nuclear plants in the eastern United States were greater than the NRC had previously realized, reported.

North Anna, a twin-reactor nuclear facility about 85 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., was one of four plants with a seismic hazard higher than previously thought. (It’s also the plant with the coolant leak that shut down one of its backup diesels.)……

August 25, 2011 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Risk of radioactive “dirty bomb” in Libya

Former UN nuclear expert warns of ‘dirty bomb’ Research centre has large quantities of radioisotopes and radioactive waste even after programme was abandoned, Gulf News, Reuters, August 25, 2011,Vienna: A research centre near Tripoli has stocks of nuclear material that could be used to make a “dirty bomb”, a former senior UN inspector said yesterday, warning of possible looting during turmoil in Libya.

Seeking to mend ties with the West, Libya’s Colonel Muammar Gaddafi agreed in 2003 to abandon efforts to acquire nuclear, chemical and biological weapons — a move that brought him in from the cold and helped end decades of Libyan isolation.

A six-month popular insurgency has now forced Gaddafi to abandon his stronghold in the Libyan capital but continued gunfire suggests the resistance fighters have not completely triumphed yet.

Olli Heinonen, head of UN nuclear safeguards inspections worldwide until last year, pointed to substantial looting that took place at Iraq’s Tuwaitha atomic research facility near Baghdad after Saddam Hussain was toppled in 2003.

In Iraq, “most likely due to pure luck, the story did not end in a radiological disaster,” Heinonen said. In Libya, “nuclear security concerns still linger,” the former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in an online commentary.


August 25, 2011 Posted by | Libya, safety | Leave a comment

China finding excessive radiation levels in seafoods east of Fukushima

Excessive Radiation Found in Sea Organisms Near Japan’s Nuke Plant 2011-08-24     Xinhua       Web Editor: Guo  Biological samples taken from waters in the Western Pacific region east of Fukushima, Japan show excessive radiation levels, said a statement from China’s State Oceanic Administration on Wednesday.
The administration suggested that government agencies intensify radiation testing of marine products from the targeted waters to protect public health in China. According to the statement, the levels of strontium-90, a radioactive isotope of strontium, found in squids are 29 times higher than the average background level of samples taken from China’s coastal waters.  This indicates that these waters have been clearly affected by radioactive material that leaked from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima during the massive earthquake and tsunami disaster on March 11, the statement said.

The samples were also found to contain argentum-110m and cesium-134, which are normally difficult to detect in biological samples from China’s coastal waters, the statement said. Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | China, oceans | Leave a comment

Earthquakes and Environmental Modification Techniques

D.C. area hit with 5.9 quake: Natural or manmade?, Deborah Dupre, Human Rights Examiner, August 23, 2011

On Tuesday, at approximately 2:05 pm ET, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake has hit Washington D.C. and felt in New York, North Carolina, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio and there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries according to Reuters, KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio. Tuesday’s mid-day quake, later downgraded to 5.9, has prompted further public discussion about environmental modification techniques (ENMOD), weapons of mass destruction with capacity to trigger or cause earthquakes.

Continue reading on D.C. area hit with 5.9 quake: Natural or manmade? – National Human Rights |

August 25, 2011 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Targeted killing of investigative journalists in Libya

Order: Kill non-mainstream reporters in Libya, What U.S. is hiding, , Human Rights Examiner, August 22, 2011,  Targeted Killings of non-mainstream reporters in Libya ordered: Attempts to bury truth

The Examiner learned in communications from human rights defenders and independent journalists throughout Monday that they were shaken with news of 1300 Libyans killed and 5000 wounded Saturday, plus, the U.S. allegedly ordered Targeted Killings of Voltaire Network reporters, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya and Thierry Meyssan, non-mainstream reporters in Libya covering the NATO war, while other independent reporters there are being fired upon and one, Mohammed Nabbous was killed Saturday according to ABC News.  In an interview with journalist Don DeBar on KPFA radio, he reported most mainstream “news” about Libya has been untrue, as alternative news sites heavily report but are increasingly persecuted according to their recent reports.

Continue reading on Order: Kill non-mainstream reporters in Libya, What U.S. is hiding – National Human Rights |

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Libya, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Radiation pills for USA States – good idea or not?

NRC officials say they do not favor expanded distribution because there’s a misconception about potassium iodide’s powers and a fear people might delay in heeding evacuation orders, if they have pills. “It doesn’t protect against damage to organs other than the thyroid,” said Patricia Milligan, a certified health physicist in the NRC’s division of preparedness and response. “It’s not an anti-radiation pill, as some people seem to think”

States Urged to Offer Radiation Pills, WSJ,  By REBECCA SMITH —Yuka Hayashi contributed to this article. 24 Aug 11,  It has been nearly a decade since Congress passed a law promoting distribution of pills to people living near nuclear plants that would minimize one potentially lethal effect of accidental radiation exposure. But the law still hasn’t been implemented. Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | health, USA | 1 Comment

Japan’s government to continue promoting sales of nuclear technology

EDITORIAL: Government should not lead nuclear technology sales drive, 2011/08/24.The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 23 The government has decided to continue promoting exports of Japanese nuclear power technology, at least for the time being.

During the current Diet session, lawmakers have been considering a proposed nuclear deal between Japan and Jordan…… Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Colorado State makes things financially easier for uranium milling company

State defers Energy Fuels’ bond deadlines Telluride Daily Planet, By Kathrine Warren August 24, 2011

As Energy Fuels wades through regulation and litigation surrounding its planned Piñon Ridge Mill, the State of Colorado announced on Tuesday that it will defer the company’s requirement to pay upcoming bonds until construction begins. Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Solar energy costs to beat fossil fuels, as China, Japan introduce feed in tariff

“The likelihood that Japan will follow China in rolling out major policy incentives to scale up renewable energy production is an exciting prospect. The demand created by these two Asian giants could well provide the global tipping point that accelerates the emergence of renewables as cost-competitive or indeed cost-beating alternatives to fossil fuel power generation.”

Japan’s Feed In Tariffs Could Accelerate Global Solar Grid Parity, Renewable Energy News,   24 Aug 11,. New legislation in place in China and laws about to be enacted in Japan could be the global tipping point for renewables achieving grid parity with fossil fuel based power generation sooner than most expected. Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | India, Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Following public outcry, Japan to lower the “allowable” radiation limit for schoolchildren

Govt to lower school radiation limit, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 245 Aug 11, The government likely will dramatically tighten its current safety limit–3.8 microsieverts per hour–on the amount of radiation to which children may be exposed during outdoor activities at school facilities, government sources said.

The move will be followed by efforts to decontaminate playgrounds and other school facilities with the aim of reducing the amount of radiation exposure affecting schoolchildren to 1 microsievert per hour.

The action is a response to criticism that the current safety limit is too high. The government has also taken note of the fact that local governments in and around Fukushima Prefecture are taking their own initiatives to decontaminate tracts of land affected by the ongoing nuclear crisis.

In effect, these steps amount to a reconsideration of the government’s current safety standards for radiation exposure, according to observers.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry plans to offer financial aid for decontamination projects, with the aim of limiting the annual accumulated radiation students are exposed to at school to 1 millisievert (1,000 microsieverts).

August 25, 2011 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment

Investors fleeing from uranium mining

Uranium Spot Market a ‘Ghost Town’ With No Price Change, Ux Says, Bloomberg, , By Jason Scott – Aug 22, 2011  Uranium spot prices, depressed by the nuclear crisis in Japan , were unchanged last week amid low trading volume, says Ux Consulting co.

Uranium-oxide concentrate for immediate delivery sold for $50.50 a pound in the seven days ended yesterday, the same as the previous week, Ux said in an e-mailed report today. That’s based on the most-competitive offer tracked by the Roswell, Georgia-based company.

The spot price for the nuclear fuel has declined 24 percent since the week before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi power station. The crisis prompted some nations to put their atomic power plans on hold.

“A number of market participants have indicated that recent market activity has been very limited,” Ux said in the report. “This lack of activity has been described as the market looking like a ghost town.”…

August 25, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Safety concerns over USA nuclear reactors, after earthquake

Tuesday’s quake, which was felt along the East Coast as far north as Canada, was the region’s largest since a 5.9 quake hit New York State in 1944…..

Quake raises safety concerns as nuclear plant shut, By Eileen O’Grady and Joshua Schneyer, HOUSTON/NEW YORK   Aug 23, 2011  (Reuters) – The largest earthquake to hit the East Coast of the United States in 67 years raised concerns on Tuesday about the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants. Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Japan increasing radiation monitoring, as more “hot spots” appear

Japan Triples Airborne Radiation Checks as ‘Hot Spots’ Spread, Bloomberg, By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada – Aug 23, 2011 Japan will more than triple the number of regions it checks for airborne radiation as more contaminated “hot spots” are discovered far from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power station.

The government said it will increase radiation monitoring by helicopter to 22 prefectures from the six closest to the plant, which began spewing radiation after an earthquake and tsunami struck the station in March. The plan comes after radioactive waste more than double the regulatory limit was found 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the plant this week.

Authorities have refused to give a cumulative figure for radiation released from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant after estimating in June that fallout in the six days following the quake was equal to 15 percent of total radiation released in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. The authorities have been too slow to widen airborne radiation testing, said Tetsuo Ito, the head of Kinki University’s Atomic Energy Research Institute in Osaka…..

August 25, 2011 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Maps of 104 USA nuclear plants and earthquake history

see map What the east coast earthquake means for US nuclear plants Tuesday’s earthquake on the US east coast shut down several nuclear plants. Seismic activity in the US is unlikely to cause a meltdown, but it poses serious engineering challenges

Michael D. Lemonick for Climate Central,,   24 August 2011 Continue reading

August 25, 2011 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment