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The past week in nuclear news

 

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Japan: it’s a critical time. The Japanese government urgently wants to restart 2 nuclear reactors at Oi, in Fukui Prefecture. Adjoining prefectures oppose this, but the government can override them.    When Japan’s one functioning nuclear reactor shuts, in May, it is possible that Japan will get through the summer without needing nuclear power.  That will set a precedent that will be dangerous for the future of the global nuclear industry.  Something that the Japanese governmentt does not want!

 Europe – The nuclear renaissance looks like being finished before it ever got started.  Abandonment of UK nuclear projects by 2 major firms, and by Bulgaria and  the financial failure of the super-expensive nuclear reactors still under construction in Finland and France.

France.. With elections close, President Sarkozy is embarrassed by revelations that he tried to sell nuclear technology to Gaddafi.  (Was that why they sacked AREVA’s CEO Anne Lauvergeon? – for objecting to this sale.)

USA. continued doubts on nuclear power’s future.  Safety and cost  concerns over nuclear plants at San Onofre, Fort Calhoun, Watts Bar  and the newly licensed double-reactor Vogtle project .

UK nuclear veterans – despite losing one legal case for compensation, they have several more court cases coming up.

Climate change.  New evidence that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leads to rising global temperatures.

India Farmers in Haryana have stepped up their campaign against the setting up of the Gorakhpur Nuclear Power Plant . France keen to sell  nuclear technology to India, as long as they are certain that  new Rules of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act gets France off the hook for any nuclear  accident damages. India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and its subsidiary, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) trying to suppress information and bypass safety procedures. Meanwhile Sri Lanka is raising objections to IAEA against India’s Koodankulam and other reactors on the Southern coast, close to Sri Lanka.

Jordan’s Islamic Movement calls for stop to nuclear power programme. They say that Jordan’s nuclear power plan is uneconomic, unsafe, and corrupt

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

In 3 days, Japanese government runs up sloppy safety standards, to keep the nuclear industry going

 It even appears that the government intentionally worked out looser standards so that utilities can meet them in order to hasten the reactivation of Oi nuclear plant’s idled reactors.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano says there is no need for reactivation of nuclear reactors stopped for regular inspections if the overall supply of electric power is sufficient.

New standards for reactivating nuke reactors are too hasty and sloppy , 11 April 12,  http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20120409p2a00m0na018000c.html The government should be criticized for having moved too hastily and in a sloppy manner when it set new standards for deciding whether to reactivate nuclear reactors, even though the criteria are crucial in ensuring the safety of the public.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and three Cabinet ministers concerned approved the standards on April 6 with an eye to approving resumption of operations at the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture, which are currently suspended for regular inspections. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Japan, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

There’s gold in them thar dead nuclear reactors

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

And some of us thought that the nuclear industry wasn’t profitable any more!

Well, after ripping off the taxpayer all these years  they  will now be back in business with a vengeance.   The almost eternal task of buryng dead nuclear reactors could turn out to be even more profitable than ever

UK in nuclear decommissioning deal with Japan http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/10/japan-britain-nuclear-idUSL6E8FA3JP20120410    by Oleg
Vukmanovic; Edited by David Holmes  LONDON, April 10   Apr 10, 2012  (Reuters) 
– Britain and Japan signed a framework civil nuclear co-operation pact opening up Japan’s multi-billion pound decommissioning sector to UK companies, the UK energy ministry said.

The announcement on Tuesday came as UK Prime Minister David Cameron kicked off his tour of Asia in Japan. The tour is aimed at boosting trade and investment ties, while the nuclear pact follows the devastating Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown in March last year. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, decommission reactor, Japan, UK | Leave a comment

“Atomic Annie” spills the beans on Sarkozy’s plan to sell nukes to Gaddafi

Anne Lauvergeon, former chief executive of Areva, said in an interview published on Tuesday on the website of L’Express weekly that Sarkozy proposed in July 2007 to sell a nuclear reactor to the Gaddafi government

Ex-Areva head said Sarkozy hoped to sell Gaddafi nuclear-report http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/10/france-areva-idUSL6E8FA5QU20120410
  PARIS,    By Alexandria Sage; edited by Andrew Roche Apr 10, 2012
(Reuters) – The former head of France’s state-controlled nuclear group Areva accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of wanting to try to sell nuclear power to Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya at least until the summer of 2010, according to a news report. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | France, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

USA has the hugest nuclear arsenal

The U.S. Still Has More Nukes Than Russia, US News, April 10, 2012 The United States has hundreds more nuclear weapons deployed and aircraft capable of dropping atomic bombs than Russia, according to State Department data released Tuesday.

Under a nuclear-arms reduction pact the Cold War-era rivals struck last year, both nations are in the midst of reducing their nuclear arsenals…… The State Department data shows the U.S. has 812 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers deployed. Russia possesses 494.

The report also says the the military has nearly 1,740 nuclear-tipped ICBMs and sub-based ballistic missiles, and warheads “counted for deployed heavy bombers.” Russia has around 1,490. Washington also has the edge in the number of total—meaning those that are and aren’t currently deployed—nuclear ballistic missile launchers, submarines and bomber aircraft: 1040 to Moscow’s 881.

Obama has talked of a “nuclear-free world,” and has pushed hard for nuclear weapons reductions between the Cold War foes. More pragmatic Obama administration officials simply want nuclear arsenal cuts because they feel the nation has more than enough and it would perhaps free up billions annually.

But hawkish Republicans on Capitol Hill vow to block big reductions….. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/dotmil/2012/04/10/the-us-still-has-more-nukes-than-russia

April 11, 2012 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The danger of nuclear powered drones to foreign countries, and to USA citizens

drones have become a nightmare for local residents. Civilian deaths inflicted by drone strikes have repeatedly strained relations between America and Pakistan….. ten times as many civilians as suspected terrorists died in U.S. drone attacks. 

 the document gives the “green light” for drone-based domestic spying.

Pentagon considers nuclear-powered drones. Space Daily Moscow  Apr 09, 2012 American scientists are working on new-generation nuclear-powered unmanned aircraft capable of staying in the air for up to several months. While being able to tackle a wider range of more complicated tasks compared to their existing analogues, the new drones will not require a costly air base network for refueling and technical maintenance.

What’s more, on February 14 President Barack Obama signed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act that allows the use drones in U.S. airspace by both state-owned and private companies….. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | safety, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese government still wants to promote the nuclear industry’s future

Critics said the government fears not so much a power crunch as revealing that the country actually can get by without nuclear energy when the last running reactor is halted on May 5 for scheduled maintenance.

Tensions run high over restart of Japan’s nuclear reactors, Times Live,  Takehiko Kambayashi   Sapa-dpa | 10 April, 2012 A 70-year-old temple master went on a week-long hunger strike in late March at the Fukui prefectural government offices against the central government’s efforts to restart idled reactors on the coast of the Sea of Japan.

If idled reactors at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in the prefecture are allowed to restart, it would lead to the reactivation of other units across the country, said Tetsuen Nakajima, the chief priest of Myotsuji, a temple in Obama city. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | 1 Comment

Warning on radiation -cancer risk from too many dental X rays

Dental x-rays linked to brain tumours, ABC News, 10 April 12,  People who get regular dental x-rays are more likely to suffer a type of brain tumour, according to new research, suggesting that yearly exams may not be best for most patients. The study in the US journal Cancer showed people diagnosed with meningioma who reported having a yearly bitewing exam were 1.4 times to 1.9 times as likely as a healthy control group to have developed such tumours.

A bitewing exam involves an x-ray film being held in place by a tab between the teeth. Also, people who reported getting a yearly panorex exam – in which an x-ray is taken outside the mouth and shows all the teeth on one film – were 2.7 to three times more likely to develop cancer, said the study.

A meningioma is a tumour that forms in the membrane around the brain or spinal cord. Most of the time these tumours are benign and slow growing, but they can lead to disability or life-threatening conditions. The research, led by Elizabeth Claus of the Yale University School of Medicine, was based on data from 1433 US patients who were diagnosed with the tumours between the ages of ages 20 and 79 years. For comparison, researchers consulted data from a control group of 1350 individuals who had similar characteristics but had not been diagnosed with a meningioma.

Dental patients today are exposed to lower radiation levels than they were in the past, but the research should prompt dentists and patients to re-examine when and why dental x-rays are given, says Claus. ”The study presents an ideal opportunity in public health to increase awareness regarding the optimal use of dental x-rays, which unlike many risk factors is modifiable,” she says……  http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/04/10/3474085.htm

 

April 11, 2012 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Compromise offer by Iran on uranium enrichment

Iran’s nuclear chief floats compromise on enrichment issue ahead of talks with world powersWashington Post, By Associated Press,  April 8, TEHRAN, Iran Iran’s nuclear chief signaled Tehran’s envoys may bring a compromise offer to the talks this week with world powers: Promising to eventually stop producing its most highly enriched uranium, while not totally abandoning its ability to make nuclear fuel.

The proposal outlined late Sunday seeks to directly address one of the potential main issues in the talks scheduled to begin Friday between Iran and the five permanent Security Council members plus Germany…… http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/irans-nuclear-chief-floats-compromise-on-enrichment-issue-ahead-of-talks-with-world-powers/2012/04/09/gIQAcyJP5S_story.html

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

New book on nuclear energy

The Doomsday Machine, The High Price of Nuclear Energy, the World’s Most Dangerous Fuel, Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop Palgrave Macmillan Today, there are over 400 nuclear reactors in 31 countries, including France, Brazil, India, the UK, and Canada. Proponents claim that nuclear power is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels given rising energy consumption and the looming threat of global warming, and are pushing for an even greater investment. Here, energy economist Andrew McKillop and social scientist Martin Cohen argue that the nuclear power dream being sold to us is pure fantasy. Debunking the multi-layered myth that nuclear energy is cheap, clean and safe, they demonstrate how landscapes are ravaged in search of the elusive yellow cake to fuel the reactors, and how energy companies and politicians rarely discuss the true costs of nuclear power plants – from the subsidies that build the infrastructure to the unspoken guarantee that the public will pick up the cleanup cost in the event of a meltdown, which can easily top a hundred billion dollars. In the wake of the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima power plant, the future of nuclear energy is again uncertain; this is a timely and hard-hitting look at why its costs are simply too high for humanity. , “The Doomsday Machine,”

April 11, 2012 Posted by | resources - print | Leave a comment

Sri Lanka will raise safety objections to India’s Koodankulam and other nuclear reactors

Sri Lanka concerned over radiation from India’s nuclear plants, Economic Times,  9 APR, 2012,   COLOMBO: Sri Lanka today expressed concern over possible impact of radiation from India’s nuclear power plants located in the southern region, as it prepares to raise the issue with global atomic watchdog IAEA.

The official raising of concern with the International Atomic Energy is to be made in September, the power and energy minister Champika Ranawaka said. “We respect the right of India to have nuclear power stations. But our concerns are on the possible radiation affects they could have on Sri Lanka. We have already written a letter”, Ranawaka said…… Sri Lankan energy officials say at least three nuclear plants are located on the southern coast of Tamil Nadu which is separated from the island by a narrow strip of sea…… Koodankulam nuclear plant in India’s Southern coast is just 250 km from Sri Lanka’s northwest coastal town of Mannar.

Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority does not possess adequate facilities to face a threat of nuclear accident. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/sri-lanka-concerned-over-radiation-from-indias-nuclear-plants/articleshow/12594324.cms

April 11, 2012 Posted by | ASIA, India, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear power company pays investors $450,000 to settle accusations of fraud

Settlement reached in nuclear project lawsuit, The Spokesman Review, By ALEX MORRELL, Associated Press, 9 April 12,  BOISE, Idaho  — The head of a company seeking to build a nuclear power plant in Idaho has agreed to pay $450,000 to resolve a lawsuit with a group of angry investors.

Shareholders of Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. in late 2010 sued the company, Chief Executive Officer Don Gillispie and Vice President Jennifer Ransom, claiming they schemed to mislead investors about their compensation and manipulated the company’s trading value. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Stop corrupt nuclear power programme – call by Jordan’s Islamists

“We [the IAF] eye the nuclear project as unjustifiable with suspicions of corruption surrounding it and demand halting the project… we call for investing in safe alternative energy resources, with which Jordan is rich,”

Jordan- Islamists call for halt to nuclear programme MENAFN – Jordan Times – 09/04/2012  The Islamist movement on Sunday called for halting the Kingdom’s nuclear programme, claiming that information about the project’s goals and financing were vague and misleading.

Islamist leaders described the project as ambiguous and suspicious, accusing officials in charge of the programme of not being transparent about the programme’s agenda. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | Jordan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Radioactive particles in ocean and atmosphere arriving at California

seaweed along California’s coastline is already measuring 500 times higher in radioactive iodine.

Fukushima Radiation Coming Soon to a Coastline Near You, Take Part, 9 April 12, “……. It turns out the Japanese are not the only ones worried about radiation exposure one year after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plants flooded and melted down. Californians are now number two on the list. Continue reading

April 11, 2012 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant shut down after safety violations

Troubled Michigan nuclear plant shut down for maintenance,By Todd Sperry, CNN Senior Producer April 9, 2012 – Washington  — A troubled Michigan nuclear power plant cited for safety violations has been taken off line for maintenance and refueling, the plant’s owner said Monday.
Palisades Power Plant, a 39-year-old facility located near Kalamazoo, has been under increased scrutiny from inspectors after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cited the plant for three safety violations. The plant is currently owned and operated by Entergy Corporation…….
Violations at the plant included a September 25, 2011, incident in which half of the control room indicators were lost because of an electrical fault “caused by personnel at the site,” according to the NRC. A special inspection “determined the plant failed to have adequate work procedures for the electrical panel maintenance work to ensure the job was done successfully,” the NRC report said. Additionally, the NRC cited Palisades and Entergy for an October 2010 incident in which an operator left his post unattended in the nuclear
reactor’s control room without permission.
The Palisades spokesman declined to provide a timetable for when the work will be completed….. The news of a shutdown at Palisades came just days after Friday’s report that California’s San Onofre nuclear plant would remain shut down indefinitely until the source of problems with two of its generators can be determined. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/09/us/michigan-nuclear-plant/

April 11, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment