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

Times of London says there was explosion at Iran nuclear site

questionTop British Paper: Massive explosion believed to have damaged nuclear facility in Iran -Sources
 January 28th, 2013 
 Title: ‘Blast’ at Iranian nuclear facility
Source: The Times of London* (via The Australian)
Author: Sheera Frenkel
Date: January 29, 2013  
h/t pcjensen
A MASSIVE explosion is believed to have damaged Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, which is being used to enrich uranium, Israeli intelligence officials say.

Sources in Tel Aviv said yesterday they thought the explosion happened last week. The Israeli government is investigating reports that it led to extensive structural damage and that 200 workers had been trapped inside.

Israel believes the Iranians have not evacuated the surrounding area. It is unclear whether that is because no harmful substances have been released, or because Tehran is trying to avoid sparking panic among residents. […]

One Israeli official said: “We are still in the preliminary stages of understanding what happened and how significant it is.” He did not know, he added, whether the explosion was “sabotage or accident”, and refused to comment on reports Israeli aircraft were seen near the facility at the time of the explosion. […]

*Wikipedia: By June 2012 The Times’ average daily circulation had fallen to 400,120 copies, compared to The Daily Telegraph’s 573,674, with the two retaining respectively the second-highest and highest circulations among British “quality” newspapers.
More Reports:

See also: Report of huge explosion at nuclear facility in Iran — Major news networks dismiss claim


January 31, 2013 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency says “no explosion at Iran nuclear site”

questionIAEA says no indications of blast at Iran nuclear site, SMH, 31 Jan 13,  The UN atomic agency said on Wednesday that it had no indications that an explosion took place at an Iranian nuclear facility, as reported by Israeli and US media.

“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordo. This is consistent with our observations,” said Gill Tudor, spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The reports cited the conservative American news website WND, which said an explosion at the Fordo facility on January 21 had caused major damage and trapped workers.

Iran denied any such blast took place, with a senior lawmaker calling the rumours “Western propaganda” aimed at influencing upcoming talks with world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme…….

January 31, 2013 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

Standard for “acceptable” radiation needs to be changed: it discriminates against women and children

The standard still used for “allowable” and “legal” radiation
doses is a chauvinistic and alarmingly dangerous method of calculating

The standard is called “reference man.” Created by the International
Commission on Radiological Protection in 1975,  it defines humanity as
a 5-foot-7-inch, 154-pound “Caucasian” male, 20-to-30 years old, who
is “Western European or North American in habitat and custom.” Of
course, this set represents neither the most vulnerable population nor
the average person.

radiation-warningWomen & Children First! (to be Harmed by Radiation)
  JANUARY 30, 2013
 “Reference Man” Risk Model Lambasted as Obsolete,
Unscientific by JOHN LaFORGE

“Woman and children first” is redefined in the nuclear age, now that
science has shown that they are far more susceptible to the ravages of
radiation than men and boys. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, women | Leave a comment

In USA 40 nuclear reactors might be closed down

nukes-sad-Analyst: “The Slow Demise of U.S. Nuclear Power” — 40 reactors could be closed
Title: Are U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Going the Way of Coal Plants?
Source: Investment U
Author: David Fessler, Senior Analyst
Date: January 29, 2013: Issue #1958

Last October, Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE: D) announced it would be closing its Kewaunee nuclear power plant. Located in Wisconsin, this small, 566-megawatt (MW) unit is the first nuclear plant to succumb to cheap natural gas. […]

[…] According to data from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), 40 [U.S. nuclear reactors] are smaller than one GW in size. They all could ultimately suffer the same fate as Dominion’s Kewaunee reactor.

Is There a Way to Play the Slow Demise of U.S. Nuclear Power?

[…] Regardless of how many plants are closed, or how quickly it happens, the pipeline companies will be the beneficiaries.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | 1 Comment

France wants to hang on to control of uranium resources in Mali

the deserts in Northern Mali and Eastern Niger, territory now
exclusively claimed by the nomadic Tuareg tribes, exists the world’s
third largest uranium reserves as well as substantial oil reserves.

“Paris has cultivated the dependency
of their former colonies by hand-picking weak regimes that gave them
access to resources,”

Is the French Invasion of Mali tied to a Colonial War for Uranium? By
Saeed Shabazz Global Research, January 30, 2013 There is still
confusion in UN corridors concerning France’s military intervention in
Northern Mali, which began on Jan. 11 with air strikes against the
so-called Islamist camps moving closer to the capital city of Bamako. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Mali, politics international, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s nuclear waste dumpsters need high level guarding

safety-symbol1America’s Nuclear Dumpsters After Yucca Mountain, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stocking up on guns and ammo. Slate,  By Geoffrey Brumfiel| , Jan. 30, 2013, While the rest of America spent January debating new gun control laws, one government agency announced its plans to expand the use of high-capacity magazines, assault weapons, and even fully automatic machine guns. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s nuclear plants, is seeking the firepower not for securing the plants themselves, but to defend their nuclear waste.

Since America’s commercial reactors started opening in the 1960s and ’70s, nuclear waste has been piling up. At first, it was stored in spent fuel pools—swimming pools you’d never, ever want to swim in. That was fine for a time, but by the 1980s, the pools started to get crowded. So the utilities began putting old fuel rods in something they call dry cask storage, and I’ll call nuclear dumpsters.


They’re big, they’re white, and they’re literally kept out back like the rest of the trash. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Reference, safety, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Britain’s new nuclear power plans stalled, ad Cumbria refuses to host waste dump

flag-UKNuclear plans in disarray after Cumbria votes ‘no’ to radioactive dump   The future of new nuclear power stations in Britain has been dealt a serious blow, after a council threw out plans for a giant radioactive waste dump near the Lake District.Telegraph UK, By Rowena Mason, and Emily Gosden 30 Jan 2013

 Cumbria County Council voted against hosting an underground nuclear landfill amid fears about safety and the threat to tourism.

Eddie Martin, Conservative leader of the council, told a public meeting he did not feel ministers had offered enough reassurances to Cumbria.

The Coalition wants to see several nuclear power stations built over the next decade, but the plans cannot go ahead unless there are “effective arrangements” for storing the future waste.

Cumbria was the only county council that came forward offering to explore the possibility of a “geological disposal facility” on its land but it has now ruled itself out of contention. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Australian uranium companies use taxpayer funds to set up overseas aid, and look good

Paladin, which has been the subject of some controversy in Malawi over job cuts, was last year linked to a funding application through its employees’ charity – Friends and Employees of Paladin for African Children.

 Paladin’s (African) Ltd general manager, international affairs, Greg Walker, who was invited late last year to be Australia’s honorary consul to Malawi, was involved in the process, according to 2012 correspondence from Australia’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, to Mr Walker. The letter obtained under freedom of information confirmed Mr Walker’s successful application for the employees’ charity funding proposal.

ethics-nuclearThe Aidwatch director Thulsi Narayanasamy said it was not the place of the Australian aid program to fund the corporate social responsibility programs of wealthy mining companies.

Firms use tax money for aid projects :  January 30, 2013 Rory Callinan

WEALTHY resource companies operating overseas are tapping into Australian taxpayer funds to set up aid projects potentially benefiting their corporate social responsibility credentials.

Aid and mining watchdogs have expressed concerns about the practice, arguing the corporations are wealthy enough to bankroll their own aid and that linking donations to controversial mine operations is a conflict of interest.

Nine mining companies all operating in Africa have been linked to the successful applications via the Foreign Affairs Department’s Direct Aid Program – a scheme that allows heads of missions to give up to $30,000 to local causes.

About $215,000 of taxpayers’ money went to the mining company-conceived projects last financial year, including a school for the deaf, providing trade skill training to local workers, establishing women’s groups and digging wells. Two applications involved uranium mining companies, Paladin Energy in Malawi and Bannerman Resources in Namibia. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Malawi, Namibia, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

China likely to abandon three major nuclear energy projects

flag-ChinaNo nuclear restart in sight Global Times | 2013-1-29  By Liang Fei
China’s three largest major inland nuclear projects, operated by China
National Nuclear Corp, China Power Investment Corp and China Guangdong
Nuclear Power Holding Co respectively, are not likely to resume
construction any time soon, experts said Tuesday. ….

The three inland nuclear power projects, located in Taojiang county in
Central China’s Hunan Province, Tongshan county in Central China’s
Hubei Province, and Pengze county in East China’s Jiangxi Province,
have already invested around 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), China
Economic Weekly reported Tuesday.

“It is very likely that these inland projects will ultimately be
abandoned,” Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy
Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times. Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

Gaol for French doctors who radiation overdosed patients

Doctors jailed in French radiation scandal The Australian,  AAP
January 31, 2013  A FRENCH court has sentenced two doctors and a
radiophysicist to 18 months in prison each for their role in radiation
overdoses that killed at least 12 people and left dozens seriously

Overdoses were given to nearly 450 cancer patients at the Jean Monnet
hospital in Epinal in northeastern France between 2001 and 2006.

It is the most serious incident of its kind France has

January 31, 2013 Posted by | France, health | Leave a comment

Future for nuclear power not too bright – even pro nukers agree on that

Policy, cost pose challenges to future of nuclear energyMedill
Reports, BY KELLY PFLAUM JAN 30, 2013   “….. it will be 20 to 30
years before we can expect to see a major revival in the nuclear
energy industry, according to Rober Rosner, director of the Energy
Policy Institute at Chicago…….

Current policy and the safety and cost of operations all present
challenges to the future of nuclear energy, Rosner said at a recent
nuclear energy program sponsored by the Chicago Council on Science and
Technology……The cost of building new plants is enormous and
essentially unaffordable for utilities. Construction of two new
reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, which are slated for commercial
operation by 2017, carries a $14 billion price tag and they are part
of an exisitng plant, according to Atlanta-based Southern Co., the
energy company behind the construction plans.

The reactors are the first to be approved for new construction in the
U.S. since the Three Mile Island accident…… There are a total of
104 reactors at several plants across multiple states, but no new
plants have been built in over 35 years, Rosner said. Nine of those
reactors are no longer producing electricity, but store spent fuel on
Currently plants can operate for about 40 years, but there is
conversation now that, as long as safety standards are met, plants
could increase their licensing for up to 60 or more years.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Virginia’s Senate set to block legislation that would allow uranium mining

Opponents: Va. Uranium Bill Doomed in Committee
 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Opponents of uranium mining in Virginia say
they have the votes in a Senate committee to block legislation that
would effectively end a decades-old state moratorium on mining the
radioactive ore.

They said Tuesday the vote won’t even be close.

The predictions are coming from the Virginia Coalition, the Alliance
for Progress in Southern Virginia and the Southern Environmental Law

Sen. John Watkins’ legislation is scheduled to be heard Thursday by
the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. He did not
immediately return a message left with his office by The Associated
Press to respond to the dire predictions for his bill.

Virginia Uranium Inc. wants the General Assembly to end the 1982
mining ban so it can tap a 119-million-pound deposit of the ore in
Pittsylvania County.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | politics, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Vogtle nuclear plant a financial debacle for USA’s loan guarantee program

Georgia nuclear power plant could be Solyndra redux, report says
A report by two energy-consulting firms says the US government has not protected US taxpayers well enough against the risks of federal loan guarantees to a new nuclear power project. Christian Science Monitor, By Mark Clayton, Staff writer / January 30, 2013 Construction of the first newly licensed US nuclear power plant in decades could become a “Solyndra-like” debacle thanks to billions in federal loan guarantees whose terms appear too weak to protect taxpayers, according to one group’s analysis of internal documents released by the US Department of Energy.

The two-reactor $14 billion Vogtle plant being built in Georgia is seen as a test of the US nuclear industry’s planned “renaissance” with a new nuclear reactor design and updated construction processes all aimed at cutting time and costs.

But two Massachusetts-based energy-consulting firms, Earth Track and Synapse Energy Economics, say the $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees backing the project were crafted with excessively favorable financial terms for the recipient companies, weak federal oversight, and possible political interference in the loan-guarantee process.      The two firms analyzed hundreds of Energy Department e-mails and financial documents released earlier this month to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), a green-energy watchdog group that won access to them in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. …..

In their report, Earth Track and Synapse say the documents reveal: Continue reading

January 31, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment