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New, and worrying, data about safety status of San Onofre nuclear power plant

 the numbers show that the damage at San Onofre is much worse than seen elsewhere in the industry 

New details about problems at San Onofre nuclear power plant LA Times, July 14, 2012 Data released by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a leaked analysis by Southern California Edison provide some new insights into the situation at the San Onofre nuclear plant. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s police not able to stop 150,000 anti nuclear protestors

Tobiyama explained that her husband had come every Friday but that this week was her first time. Flipping open her phone, she showed off a picture of her ninth grandson.

“I’m here so that he won’t have to live in a world with nuclear power,” she said.

Barriers Fail to Stop Japan’s Anti-Nuclear Demonstrators WSJ, By Eleanor Warnock, July 13, 2012,   Police cordons and closed subway exits didn’t stop Japanese protesters from carrying on a nearly four-month tradition of holding Friday-night anti-nuclear demonstrations in front of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s residence in Tokyo. The protesters turned up for the 16th such rally to protest the restart of the first nuclear reactors since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and future restarts.

Since the first rally on March 29, the number of participants has grown from 300 to approximately 150,000 this week, according to the organizers. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department told JRT it doesn’t release its own estimate of the number of participants…..
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department ordered that only one of the access points to the nearby subway station be open to people exiting the station, leaving the other three as entrances for workers going home. Police also limited the areas where protesters could stand and didn’t allow protesters to spill from the sidewalk onto the streets. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Taiwan – anti nuclear protest alerts rock festival crowd to reactor danger

The [nuclear ] plant is only 8 kilometers away from watershed of Feitsui Resevoir, the major source of drinking water for Taipei residents.

About 7 million people could die as a result of a nuclear disaster at the plant

the plant ‘s safety has been constantly questioned by domestic nuclear experts…  Like Japan, Taiwan is also prone to massive earthquakes.

Anti-nuclear activists protest reactor at rock festival By Kathy Chu-Only three kilometers away from the fourth nuclear power plant, the five-day Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival kicked off on 7/11 in Gonliao, New Taipei City. According to the estimate, several hundred thousand people would have swarmed to this small seaside town by the end of 7/15. About two dozen young men and women among them, however, were not there for fun; calling themselves the “Anti-Nuclear Troop,” they were there to launch a no-nuke campaign in this annual beach party. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Alarming report on the unsafe state of San Onofre nuclear power plant

Made in Japan? Fukushima Crisis Is Nuclear, Not Cultural TruthOut14 July 2012  By Gregg Levine, Capitoilette | News Analysis “……..Back at San Onofre, US regulators disclosed Thursday that the damage to the metal tubes that circulate radioactive water between the reactor and the steam turbines (in other words, part of the system that takes heat away from the core) was far more extensive than had previously been disclosed by plant operators:

[Each of San Onofre’s steam generators has] 9,727 U-shaped tubes inside, each three-quarters of an inch in diameter.

The alloy tubes represent a critical safety barrier — if one breaks, there is the potential that radioactivity could escape into the atmosphere. Also, serious leaks can drain protective cooling water from a reactor.

Gradual wear is common in such tubing, but the rate of erosion at San Onofre startled officials since the equipment is relatively new. The generators were replaced in a $670 million overhaul and began operating in April 2010 in Unit 2 and February 2011 in Unit 3.

Tubes have to be taken out of service if 35 percent — roughly a third — of the wall wears away, and each of the four generators at the plant is designed to operate with a maximum of 778 retired tubes.

In one troubled generator in Unit 3, 420 tubes have been retired. The records show another 197 tubes in that generator have between 20 percent and 34 percent wear, meaning they are close to reaching the point when they would be at risk of breaking.

More than 500 others in that generator have between 10 percent and 19 percent wear in the tube wall.

“The new data reveal that there are thousands of damaged tubes in both Units 2 and 3, raising serious questions whether either unit should ever be restarted,” said Daniel Hirsch, a lecturer on nuclear policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who is a critic of the industry. “The problem is vastly larger than has been disclosed to date.”

And if anything, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is underplaying the problem. A report from Fairewinds Associates, also released this week, unfavorably compared San Onofre’s situation with similar problems at other facilities:

[SONGS] has plugged 3.7 times as many steam generator tubes than the combined total of the entire number of plugged replacement steam generator tubes at all the other nuclear power plants in the US.

The report also explains that eight of the tubes failed a “pressure test” at San Onofre, while the same test at other facilities had never triggered any more than one tube breach. Fairewinds goes on to note that both units at San Onofre are equally precarious, and that neither can be restarted with any real promise of safe operation…..

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Reference, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Uranium mining for Virginia – a done deal? or will reason and science prevail?

“All of the public meetings held to date on uranium mining in Virginia that I’m aware of have had speakers that represented regulatory agencies”

there are plenty of reasons for cynical observers to believe that uranium mining in Pittsylvania is pretty much a done deal.

These guys will walk away in 30 or 35 years with a lot of money, and taxpayers of the United States will be responsible in perpetuity, after the mine is closed, for the integrity of the radioactive tailings disposal situation, which is located on the Roanoke River watershed,” 

Metro columnist Dan Casey: Uranium session slated at Virginia Western Community College By Dan Casey, 15 July 12, “…. the uranium mining issue is about to arise again here in Roanoke in a couple of weeks. Rupert Cutler, a former city councilman, federal cabinet undersecretary and ardent conservationist, has organized a symposium here in town on the subject.

The daylong event is July 27 at Virginia Western Community College and is open to the public (registration is $25). If you’re in town then, you should consider attending.

There are two basic questions. One is, can uranium mining and milling be done safely in the Roanoke River watershed, which empties into North Carolina’s Lake Gaston (and ultimately Albemarle and Pamlico sounds), and serves as a key water supply for Virginia Beach and five
military bases?

The other depends on the answer to that first question. Should the Virginia General Assembly lift its 30-year-old moratorium on uranium mining? That’s going to be a huge issue in the 2013 legislative session. Enormous political pressure has been brought on the state
legislature to do just that. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Japan moving towards renewable energy

the Japanese Wind Power Association has put the longer-term wind potential at over 200 GW, on and offshore, even taking account of locational constraints. That is similar to Japans total present energy generating capacity.

the aim would be to create a 50 trillion yen ($628 billion) green energy market by 2020 through deregulation and subsidies to promote development of renewable energy and low-emission cars.

Greening Japan’s energy  15 July 12 As part of its policy of moving away from nuclear power, the Japanese government is pushing ahead with renewables and improved energy efficiency. Given the urgent need to cut energy demand, following the shut down of all its nuclear plants in May, it encouraged voluntary energy saving initiatives, with some success. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Japan, Reference, renewable | 1 Comment

Japanese medical authorities quiet about high thyroid nodules in Fukushima’s children

the rate of thyroid nodules in children 5 to 10 years after the Chernobyl accident was 1.74%.  The results in Fukushima are merely one year after the accident.  This is a much faster progression

Just 0.8% of children in 2001 Japanese control group had thyroid cysts or nodules — 36% in Fukushima study

Fukushima Children’s Thyroid Examination: How Shunichi Yamashita would like doctors to deal with the results. Introduction  Fukushima Voice May 2012,

This is a letter sent from Shunichi Yamashita, M.D., from Fukushima Medical University to the members of Japan Thyroid Association, of which he is the president.  The letter “asks” or rather “instructs” the members, who are likely to be the thyroid specialists, on how to
deal with the thyroid ultrasound results of Fukushima children.  Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, health, Japan, Reference | Leave a comment

Nuclear danger very real – at Fukushima and at San Onofre

Nuclear Dread On Both Sides Of The Pacific IndyBay by Michael Steinberg Jul 14th, 2012  Nuclear problems are still growing on both sides of the Pacific, at Fukushima and San Onofre…….. Japan Ignored Ominous Signs Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011, USA | Leave a comment

Britain also involved in murders of Iran’s nuclear scientists

Murdoch’s media is currently banking on the false intelligence provided by MI6 that “Iran is two years from having a nuclear bomb” in order to convince the world public opinion about launching a new war with Iran.

Britain MI6 behind assassination of Iran nuclear scientists: Analyst
An American military analyst says Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, MI6 has facilitated assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists in cahoots with the Western media machine. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry corruption is global – not just Japanese

safety culture” is not undermined by Japanese culture so much as it is by the more international culture of corruption born of the incestuous relationship between industry and regulators. 

Made in Japan? Fukushima Crisis Is Nuclear, Not Cultural TruthOut14 July 2012  By Gregg Levine, Capitoilette | News Analysis  Since the release of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Committee’s official report last week, much has been made of how it implicates Japanese culture as one of the root causes of the crisis.  ……..

…………What replaces the cultural critique in the Japanese edition and in the body of the English summary is a ringing indictment of the cozy relationship between the Japanese nuclear industry and the government agencies that were supposed to regulate it. This “regulatory capture,” as the report details, is certainly central to the committee’s findings and crucial to understanding how the Fukushima disaster is a manmade catastrophe, but it is not unique to the culture of Japan.
Indeed, observers of the United States will recognize this lax regulatory construct as part-and-parcel of problems that threaten the safety and health of its citizenry, be it in the nuclear sector, the energy sector as a whole, or across a wide variety of officially regulated industries.

No protection

The Japanese Diet’s Fukushima report includes a healthy dose of displeasure with the close ties between government regulators and the nuclear industry they were supposed to monitor. The closed, insular nature of nuclear oversight that might be attributed to Japanese culture by a superficial read is, in fact, a product of the universally familiar “revolving door” that sees industry insiders taking turns as government bureaucrats, and regulatory staff “graduating” to well-compensated positions in the private sector.

Mariko Oi, a reporter at the BBC’s Tokyo bureau, described the situation this way when discussing the Fukushima report on the World Service:

When there was a whistleblower, the first call that the government or the ministry made was to TEPCO, saying, “Hey, you’ve got a whistleblower,” instead of “Hey, you’ve got a problem at the nuclear reactor.” Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear disgrace for Egypt – not a “national pride”!

Thousands of residents of Dabaa and neighboring towns have protested against the planned site of the power plant. Since August 2011, locals have held sit-ins, gone on marches and blocked highways in protest, finally clashing with security forces after negotiations with local
officials broke down

Egypt’s nuclear dream, or nuclear nightmare? Egypt Independent Jano Charbel  15/07/2012 A grassroots campaign is underway to end Egypt’s embryonic nuclear ambitions in the town of Dabaa — or at least to relocate them. Meanwhile the Ministry of Electricity, and its subordinate the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, are sticking to their guns regarding their nuclear aspirations, which have been dubbed “a national project” and an “issue of national pride.” Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Egypt, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Expensive and difficult – the nuclear waste storage and security problem

meanwhile the company was paying workers to monitor the fuel and keep the plant safe……
Removal of the fuel is a crucial step in dismantling the plant, a project that could take another seven years.

A nuclear option: After 25 years, Genoa reactor’s waste gets new home There are 333 fuel assemblies  each a 6-by-6 inch bundle of 100 eight-foot metal rods filled with uranium dioxide pellets roughly the size of a pencil eraser  sitting in a storage tank under about 15 feet of water on the top level of the reactor containment building in Genoa. The fuel contains elements including plutonium, cesium and strontium that are radioactive byproducts of nuclear reactions. Though no longer fissile enough to power a plant, they will continue to emit harmful radiation  and some heat  for thousands of years. La Crosse tribune •  By Chris Hubbuch 15 July 12

MUNICIPAL IMPACT Dairyland Power is moving 333 spent nuclear fuel assemblies only 0.4
miles to the south, but the move could have major ramifications for the village of Genoa.

Under Wisconsin law, counties and municipalities hosting nuclear fuel receive $50,000 a year from money set aside by utilities to offset additional costs.

Because Dairyland sits just on the border of the village of Genoa and the town of Genoa, the village gets $40,000 and the town $10,000.

But the dry storage site is fully in the town, which means moving the fuel would cost the village $40,000 — about 30 percent of its annual operating budget. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Morocco’s ambitious renewable energy plan

Morocco plans to become 40% renewable by 2020 July 16, 2012 The 160-megawatt project is part of the larger, 500 megawatt Concentrating Solar Power Ouarzazate site. Morocco starts an ambitious plan to build out 6 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2020, along with a variety of technologies, including wind power, solar energy, biomass, hydro and other technologies as the country currently imports
90 percent of its energy. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | AFRICA, renewable | Leave a comment

Fukushima radiation will be higher on USA West coast, than off Japan

Study: N. America’s West Coast to be most contaminated by Fukushima cesium of all regions in Pacific in 10 years — “An order-of-magnitude higher” than waters off Japan (MAPS) July 15th, 2012 Title: Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima, IOPscience, Erik Behrens, Franziska U Schwarzkopf, Joke F Lübbecke and Claus W Böning Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | oceans, USA | Leave a comment

Injustice of USA cases against Julian Assange and Bradley Manning

Public opinion can make a great difference in determining that such a prosecution not take place. Such a situation as not very different from what eventually happened in the case of  David Hicks.
Think of the different amount of attention given by the Australian Government to Assange’s  case,  compared to that given to the case of the Australian  woman solicitor in Libya by Bob Carr, our Foreign Minister.
It can’t be that Assange has a bad reputation. He is the recipient of many awards testifying  as to his courage and  excellence as a journalist and about him generally.

A Support Assange & WikiLeaks Coalition Statement by Mr Kep Enderby QC JULY 15, 2012 BY KELLIE TRANTER  ” ….There is something terribly wrong going on in both the Assange and Manning cases, and we are being told very little about it.
Sweden’s sex laws are unrealistically repressive, the most repressive in the world! That was made clear in the recent ABC interview with Phillip Adams and in the recent book by Oscar Swartz “A History of Sex in Sweden”.

Bradley Manning has been in custody for long periods of solitary confinement on the ground that he might injure himself, despite psychiatric opinion to the contrary and despite public protest that it amounts to pre-trial punishment without being brought to trial. He was arrested more than 2 years ago.

America still uses the ancient archaic old  English medieval grand jury system of  determining whether a criminal trial  should take place to determine whether  a person has committed a serious crime or not,  with all its scope for the manipulated  injustice.  During the hearing the target of grand jury, the person perhaps to be an accused,
cannot put on a defence.
In America, in Virginia, a federal grand jury has already commenced investigating WikiLeaks – which means Julian Assange – to determine whether an indictment should be served on him. Eminent commentators are claiming that the evidence is mounting that the WikiLeaks case is part of a much broader campaign by the Obama Administration to crack down on all leakers. Continue reading

July 16, 2012 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Legal, USA | Leave a comment