Fukushima power plant is far from ‘cold’,Deutsche Welle, Alexander Freund , 16 Dec 11 http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6682457,00.htm The Japanese government has claimed to have reached a cold shutdown in Fukushima. But experts are skeptical and believe it could take another 40 years to get the situation under control. Headlines from Japan surely sound good: Fukushima is under control, the dilapidated nuclear power plant is stable.
But these headlines are nothing more than a euphemism. The situation at Fukushima is nowhere near under control. Continue reading
TEPCO has not been able to take direct measurements of the temperatures at the bottoms of the containment vessels, and the site is still too radioactive for the fuel rods’ status to be visually confirmed.
Radiation levels are too high for people to get close to the reactors, leaving engineers and scientists to make important judgments using computer simulations, scattered bits of data and guesses.
Skeptics cast doubt on Fukushima status, even as Japan declares nuclear reactors ‘stable’ Christian Science Monitor, By Arthur Bright, December 16, 2011 Japan’s government declared that the damaged reactors from the Fukushima disaster were ‘stable.’ Not everyone is convinced. The Japanese government announced that the Fukushima nuclear complex, heavily damaged by the March 11 tsunami in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, is now stable. But serious doubts remain about Fukushima’s status, as officials remain unable to confirm the status of the reactors’ fuel and an undercover report impugns the clean-up efforts’ efficacy.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told a government nuclear emergency meeting that “The reactors have reached a state of cold shutdown” and are “stable,”
reports Reuters. Mr. Noda and his environment and
nuclear crisis minister, Goshi Hosono, both said that the situation at
the plant is under control , though the clean-up may still take decades. The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operates the reactor and has been leading the clean-up, had been attempting to achieve cold shutdown before the end of the year. Continue reading
Report: EDF may drop plans for Calvert Cliffs reactor, Baltimore Sun DECEMBER 16, 2011 This is the brilliant-report-of-the-painfully-obvious headline of the day: “EDF Considers Dropping New Nuclear in Maryland,” from Dow Jones. The French EDF’s plans for a third nuclear unit at Calvert Cliffs have been deader than Lehman Brothers for more than a year.
The French company’s partner, Constellation Energy, pulled out of the deal. They couldn’t reach an agreement with Washington on subsidies to build the plant. With the plunge in natural gas prices and the failure of federal climate-change legislation, new nuclear plants, with all their complexity and financial risk, are wildly overpriced. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has made nuclear energy politically incorrect again…. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/business/hancock/blog/2011/12/report_edf_could_drop_plans_fo.html
What Happened to Obama’s Nuclear Option? In a showdown over how to deal with Iran, it appears that the president has bowed to Congress. Mother Jones. By Hamed Aleaziz Dec. 16, 2011 Now that the essential Defense Authorization Bill has
passed through the House and Senate, it carries with it a hard-line amendment that would level sanctions against Iran’s central bank. The policy, experts say, could not only inflict pain on Iran for its nuclear weapons ambitions, but also potentially cause global economic
repercussions. The White House has been against the amendment. Congress overwhelmingly voted for it.
If signed into law by President Obama, the new sanctions will be enforced against foreign institutions in Europe and around the world that do business with the Central Bank of Iran. Continue reading
After Fukushima, suddenly the expected darling of local mining investment, has turned into a pariah. Both the Areva and Marenica statements refer to events after Fukushima, highlighting the uncertainty that has entered the industry since the nuclear disaster in Japan……
Perhaps it is a case of both Kalahari Mineral and Extract Resources taking what they can get and opting out of an industry that is fast turning into a lame duck. [or a dead cat – I haven’t got a picture of a lame duck]
Namibia Economist 16 Dec 11 When three major players in one industry, all announce substantial shifts in strategy and/or focus in a very short span, it signals a fundamental change in the underlying assumptions. These past two weeks saw one surprise after another as first Extract Resources, then Marenica, and finally Areva announced a dramatic turn in their strategies which probably points to a change of heart and a significant reappraisal of prospects and strategies. Continue reading
Resource Capital Research — December Quarter 2011: Global Uranium Companies Equity Research Report , Dec 16, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — Key Points
…Uranium Market: The dynamics driving the near term outlook remain
dominated by the
flow-on effects of Fukushima, including Germany’s decision to close
— Uranium traders suggest caution going into 1H12, with potential for
utility surplus inventory dispositions to remain a feature of the
market. The spot uranium price is expected to trade around the low
US$50s/lb 1Q12 and possibly dip below.
Cotter Corp. won’t try to rebuild uranium milling program in Cañon City, must move toward final clean up 12/16/2011 By Bruce Finley The Denver Post Cotter Corp. has decided it is “no longer economic” to process uranium at its contaminated Colorado uranium mill and will move toward clean-up of the site next to Cañon City along the Arkansas River.
A letter from Cotter president Amory Quinn says Cotter “will not seek to renew” the radioactive materials license Cotter has from the state health department. Cotter plans to decommission and decontaminate the mill site and to request license termination, Quinn said in the Dec. 12 letter. http://www.denverpost.com/recommended/ci_19562999#ixzz1gp8Ndp4u
A Circus Tent for Fukushima Daiichi? WSJ, DECEMBER 15, 2011, The polyester cover erected over Unit 1 of Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station was fashioned in the shape of atight-fitting, non-descript, white box. Continue reading
Risk of nuclear energy too high, Syracuse.com, By Jessica Maxwell , December 15, 2011, The Post-Standard Marvin Fertel’s letter on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute (Dec. 11) paints a rosy picture of the U.S. nuclear industry.
It’s reMarkable, given the report released Friday, Dec. 9 by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., detailing collusion on the part of four Nuclear Regulatory Commission members — with strong nuclear industry ties and backing — to impede the work of the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima and delay or prevent NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko’s attempts to strengthen safety regulations post-Fukushima.
Just a few days earlier (Dec. 6), Jaczko voiced strong concerns that “U.S. nuclear plant operators have become complacent” in the wake of Fukushima. The source of his worries? A series of incidents this year at multiple U.S. reactors related to human error, botched repairs and inadequate preparedness for natural disasters: workers exposed to higher than normal levels of radiation at Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska and Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Ohio; the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida remains closed after a series of failed repairs and upgrades (and is likely to remain closed for a total of at least five years); Fort Calhoun in Nebraska remains shut down following severe flooding; and the North Anna plant in Virginia only recently reopened after being shut down for three months due to damage sustained during the Northeast earthquake that exposed it to seismic activity reportedly twice what it was designed to withstand.
The NRC has conducted 20 special inspections this year (prompted by site-specific concerns) — more than at any point in recent memory. For the first time in over a decade, several U.S. nuclear plants were shut down at the same time. In 2010, the NRC documented 14 “near-misses” (significant safety- and security-related events) at U.S. reactors. None of these facts bode well for the nuclear industry’s ability to provide safe and reliable energy.
The nuclear industry isn’t willing to accept the most basic lesson of Fukushima — best expressed by former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan who, in July, announced Japan’s transition to conservation andrenewable energy, concluding simply, “the risk of nuclear energy is too high.” http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2011/12/risk_of_nuclear_energy_too_hig.html
converting to a lower-carbon economy would increase electricity prices until around 2030, because renewable energy technology requires high start-up costs. They would fall after that, because fuel sources such as sun and wind are free.
Renewables need not cost more: EU energy chief By Barbara Lewis, BRUSSELS Dec 15, 2011 (Reuters) – A shift to renewable energy would ultimately cost around the same as business as usual and the EU needs to make progress on setting a 2030 target for greener fuel soon, the bloc’s energy commissioner said.
Guenther Oettinger was laying out the European Union’s latest road map for mostly eliminating carbon from the fuel mix by 2050 and guiding investors beyond the Commission’s existing set of energy goals. Continue reading
Radiation leaks caused illnesses, Dimona reactor employees say, December 15, 2011 JERUSALEM (JTA) –– Employees at the Dimona nuclear reactor told an Israeli court that they were sickened with cancer and other illnesses due to radioactive leaks.
During a hearing Wednesday in Petach Tikvah District Court, the attorney for 44 employees and their families presented internal memos claiming that the leak of radioactive substances was caused by safety problems.
A former deputy head of Dimona’s Negev Nuclear Research Center safety division also testified that there had been radiation leaks, Haaretz reported. The employees of the Dimona reactor and the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in the mid-1990s who filed suit want to be recognized as victims of work-related accidents. Some of the plaintiffs have died since the suit was filed. The Dimona plant is said to be the source of fuel for Israeli nuclear weapons, though Israel has remained ambiguous about whether it has such weapons. http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/12/15/3090762/radiation-leaks-caused-illnesses-dimona-reactor-employees-say
Dan Litai’s testimony came during a court hearing Dec. 12 in a case meant to determine whether former employees of the institute, located in southern Israel, should be recognized as the victims of work-related accidents after they were diagnosed with cancer.
Litai, who served as a radiation safety engineer at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, claimed that until the late 1990s there was no department tasked with calculating and assessing the levels of internal radiation contamination, only external contamination.
Last week, the court heard the testimony of Thelma Byrne, who headed the radiation safety department at the Soreq center.
“I worked with materials whose nature was unknown. They didn’t tell us what we were exposed to,” she said, adding that the cancer victims could have been spared if they would have undergone preventive radiation exposure tests, but such tests were not given.
The damages suit was submitted by 44 employees of the Dimona-based reactor and the Soreq Nuclear Research Center in the mid-1990s. Some of the plaintiff have since died. — ynetnews.com http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/63739/expert-claims-nuclear-plant-cover-up/
THIS WAS OUR MIC CHECK AT THE NRC’S DOG AND PONY MEETING ON THEIR DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR THE PROPOSED FERMI 3 NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN MONROE MICHIGAN TONIGHT WHERE WE SUCCESSFULLY HALTED THEIR SHOW:
Where AS the Nuclear Regulatory commission Region 3 has a clear record of putting profit and production ahead of health and safety.
Where AS there is no way to dispose of high level radioactive waste Safely.
Where AS the worst nuclear disaster in history at Fukushima has reminded the world of the dangers that Nuclear Energy poses to us all.
Where as the NRC is attempting to play a manipulative numbers game using grossly exaggerated and fraudulent projections for Michigan Electric Usage in this Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Whereas The NRC cannot be trusted to protect the citizens of the Great Lakes and the Lake Erie Basin.
We denounce this ridiculous public meeting as nothing but a DOG and Pony Show prioritizing the profits of Detroit Edison over the health and safety of the citizens of this region and the natural environment.
Furthermore we find you, the representatives of the NRC, criminally responsible for endangering the citizens of this region with your ridiculous Environmental Impact Statement.
We will do everything in our power to stop this plant from being built.
We are the 99 percent https://www.facebook.com/FOXToledo/posts/10150475413249700
Occupiers disrupt Fermi 3 meeting, Fox Toledo.com, 15 Dec 2011, by Sharia Davis, MONROE, Mich. (WUPW) – Hopes of DTE Energy building a third Fermi nuclear reactor plant in Monroe County won’t happen without a fight.
As the public meeting at Monroe County Community College to discuss the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Fermi 3 nuclear plant in Monroe started with DTE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a group of protesters made it a little difficult for the NRC to get its point across.
Several demonstrators belonging to Occupy Toledosaid building a third nuclear plant is dangerous. Minutes into a hearing, about 10 of them chanted the dangers of building a reactor. READ: Michael Leonardi Occupy Toledo statement
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in our eyes, just gives a green light to industry to put profit and production ahead of the safety and citizens of this region,” said Mike Leonardi of Occupy Toledo.
French nuclear energy Under pressure France wants to export nuclear reactors. Who will buy them? The Economist Dec 17th 2011 | PARIS On December 12th Areva, France’s
state-owned nuclear champion, said it would take a €2.4 billion ($3.1 billion) charge against profits. This will give the firm its first ever operating loss, of perhaps €1.6 billion for 2011.
That hurts. Areva is the world’s only one-stop nuclear shop, selling everything from uranium to fuel recycling. Continue reading
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