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Anger at USA government’s new lax radiation safety rules

safety-symbol1New radiation guidelines outrage anti-nuclear groups AprFlag-USA 18 – McClatchy-Tribune Regional News – Pam Sohn Chattanooga Times Free Press, Tenn. At the same time that citizens are cooling on nuclear power in Fukushima’s wake and both nuclear regulators and operators are pushing emergency preparedness for worst-case scenarios, the EPA has moved to update radiation exposure rules.

They include some health-related guidelines to help responders determine evacuation needs and short-term exposure measures for situations not previously spelled out, according to Jonathan Edwards, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation division, and David McIntyre, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The guide is intended to be used by emergency planners.

But at least two environmental groups charge that the new guidelines, announced Monday in the Federal Register, relax existing rules.

“The new [protective action guides] eliminate requirements to evacuate people in the face of high projected thyroid, skin, or lifetime whole body doses,” according to statements from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service and the Committee to Bridge the Gap.

Daniel Hirsch, president of Committee to Bridge the Gap, said the guide also recommends dumping radioactive waste in municipal landfills not designed for such waste and proposes options for drinking water that would increase the permitted concentrations of radioactivity “by as much as 27,000 times.”….

the groups — both anti-nuclear — are outraged.

“In essence the government is now saying nuclear power accidents could produce such widespread contamination and produce such high radiation levels that the government should abandon efforts to clean it up and instead force people to live with radiation-induced cancer risks orders of magnitude higher than ever considered acceptable,” Hirsch said……..


April 20, 2013 Posted by | politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Man made corium lava – from Fukushima, toxic for centuries

highly-recommendedWired: ‘Healthy debate’ about location of Fukushima corium — Lava can melt a foot of concrete per hour — Cooling with water may not stop corium flow Title: The Most Dangerous (Man-Made) Lava Flow
Source: Wired
Author: Erik Klemetti
Date: April 18, 2013 at 11:45a ET
h/t Room101
Title: The Most Dangerous (Man-Made) Lava Flow

[…] researchers at the Argonne National Lab have created corium in the laboratory […] They found that corium lava can melt upwards of 30 cm (12″) of concrete in 1 hour! This is why it is so important to know if a nuclear reactor accident has gone into true “meltdown” as the corium lava will rapidly melt its way through the inner containment vessels (or more) in a matter of hours unless it can be cooled again.

However, results from these CCI (core-concrete interaction) experiments, suggest that cooling with water may not be sufficient to stop corium from melting the concrete. One thing to remember — much of the melting of concrete during a meltdown occurs within minutes to hours, so keeping the core cool is vital for stopping the corium for breaching that containment vessel.

[…] TEPCO, the Japanese energy company who ran Fukushima Dai’ichi, claims that the corium didn’t breach the outer wall of the containment vessel (although there is a healthy debate about this).  […]

So, why is corium so dangerous? Well, even long after the flow has stopped, that lava will be highly radioactive for decades to centuries (along with the surrounding countryside if radioactive material made it out of the containment vessel) as the various radioactive materials in the lava decay. In fact, we don’t even have pictures of the corium lava from Fukushima Dai’ichi due to the high levels of radioactivity near the reactor. […]

See also: Analysis: Melted fuel completely penetrated concrete in under 15 hours at GE Mark I — Shows little decline in speed (CHART)

April 20, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Reference | 1 Comment

Nuclear energy now looks like a dud for South Africa

radiation-sign-sadStudy pours cold water on South Africa’s nuclear build plan BUSNESS DAY LIVE, BY CAROL PATON, 19 APRIL 2013, NEW National Planning Commission (NPC) modelling of South Africa’s energy demands says nuclear power should be delayed by years, and an immediate commissioning of flag-S.Africanew gas-generation capacity should take place to avoid rolling blackouts in the near future.

The remodelling commissioned by the NPC signals the start in earnest of what will be a highly contested policy debate: whether South Africa needs and can afford nuclear power or not, and by when.

The implication of the modelling is that no new nuclear power would be required before at least 2029, but more likely as far away as 2040 if demand grows as expected. Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, South Africa | 1 Comment

Renewable energy provides 70% of Portugal’s electricity

renewable_energyPortugal Provides 70% of Electricity Using Renewable Energy , Design Build, 19 April 13, By Marc Howe Figures from Portugal’s electricity network operator indicate that 70 per cent of all electricity consumed in the country during the first quarter of this year was derived from renewable energy sources, leading to a marked decline in the usage of conventional fossil fuels for power generation purposes.

The record-breaking levels of renewable energy usage were heavily abetted by favourable weather conditions, expediting generation by hydro power facilities and wind turbines and bringing about declines in electricity consumption by Portuguese citizens. Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

USA gets another pro nuclear Energy Secretary

Moniz,-ErnestEnergy Secretary nominee breezes through committee vote, Planet Ark,  19-Apr-13 by Ayesha Rascoe  Energy Secretary nominee Ernest Moniz easily cleared his first hurdle in the Senate on Thursday, securing nearly unanimous support from the chamber’s energy committee.

With a vote of 21 to 1 in favor of the pick, Moniz’s nomination will move on for consideration by the full Senate. It is unclear when that will take place, but Moniz is widely expected to be confirmed.

Moniz, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, would replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu who announced earlier this year that he was stepping down…… Some environmentalists have criticized Moniz’ nomination, saying he was too supportive of shale gas and nuclear power.

Moniz is director of MIT’s Energy Initiative, which received funding from companies such as BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco for academic work ….

April 20, 2013 Posted by | politics, USA | 1 Comment

The high cost of dealing with Indian Point’s nuclear wastes

dollar-2 Nuclear waste handling is pricey, Times Union, Michael McGlynn,  April 18, 2013 “…..Indian Point produces electricity and high-level radioactive wastes. The electricity is consumed by users now. The radioactive wastes require expensive safe handling and storage for several hundreds of years.

The federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 authorizes the Nuclear Waste Fund to receive fees from licensees responsible for reactor materials; however, the fees to provide safe handling and storage of the radioactive wastes is greatly underfunded.

The U.S. Department of Energy estimated in 2000 the cleanup, treatment and disposal of 56 million gallons of radioactive waste leaking from 177 underground tanks at the Hanford waste disposal site would be $4.3 billion. A few years later, in 2006, the same agency revised the cost to $12.3 billion. In 2009, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report indicating the cleanup, treatment and disposal of the small leak will exceed $86 billion.

Mr. Kremer advocates Indian Point to continue producing electricity and radioactive waste. However, he does not encourage nuclear waste producers to increase their payments to the Nuclear Waste Fund for the safe handling and storage of the radioactive material over the forthcoming hundreds of years. Conservatives may consider this attitude as kicking the radioactive can down the road with the financial debt at future generations.

April 20, 2013 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

AUDIO: Nuked naval officers from USS Ronald Reagan

Hear-This-wayAUDIO : Naval Personnel Nuked w/Fukushima Radiation – FULL STORY DOWNLOAD HERE:


You may have heard about the sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan suing TEPCO for their radiation exposure, but you haven’t heard the whole story.  “The devil’s in the details,” as they say, and the details in this story from former quartermasters Jaime Plym and Maurice Enis promises to break your heart and and make you angry.  The first audio is a presentation the two did at the Dr. Caldicott/PSR  Symposium on the Medical and Ecological Consequences of Fukushima.  The show closes out with uncensored, unedited audio from the press conference that followed, unheard until now.

PLUS: Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

AUDIO: failure is a fact of life for the nuclear industry

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Too Big to Fail The most striking thing about seeing any nuclear power plant up close is their sheer size. They are such impressive feats of construction and design, and it’s hard to imagine that something so robust could fail. In this week’s podcast, find out why nuclear power plants fail, and why failure is a fact of life that the industry refuses to acknowledge.

April 20, 2013 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Kudankulam nuclear plant has faulty technology

flag-indiaIndia’s nuclear watchdog finds faulty valves in Kudankulam plant by Pallava Bagla, Edited by Ashish Mukherjee: April 19, 2013 New DelhiFor the very first time, India’s nuclear watchdog, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), has indicated that faulty parts have been found at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The problematic valves are being replaced, said officials.

The Department of Atomic Energy, which reports to the Prime Minister, has been insisting that the nuclear facility in coastal Tamil Nadu is safe and ready to be commissioned in weeks.

Protesters, including local fishermen and villagers who have campaigned long and hard against the nuclear plant, have repeatedly shared their concern that sub-standard equipment has been installed at the facility.
The AERB confirms that “performance of four valves of a particular type were found to be deficient”…… SP Udayakumar, leader of the anti-Kudankulam protesters, said the nuclear watchdog’s finding proves that the plant is not safe. “Not just valves, the reactor pressure vessel itself is deficient. The project should be scrapped,” he said.

April 20, 2013 Posted by | India, safety | Leave a comment

Sri Lanka finds radioactive particles from Chernobyl in its soil!

text-radiationRadiation of Chernobyl blast discovered in Sri Lankan soil Hiru TV Sri Lanka,  19 April 2013 – A sample test carried out by the Sri Lankan Atomic Energy Authority has found some acute radioactive particles which were released by the Chernobyl nuclear explosion of Ukraine in Sri Lankan soil……. The catastrophe which caused various illnesses to many thousand believed to be the world’s most disastrous nuclear accident.

Later its radiation effects were spread to many parts of Western Russia and Europe.

The new threat of radiation to the country was found during a soil testing program to ascertain whether there are any possible dangers being posed to the country by the recently commenced Kundankulam Nuclear Plant in South India……


April 20, 2013 Posted by | ASIA, radiation | Leave a comment

Australian doctors reject uranium lobby’s push to remove safeguards

  It is essential that appropriate environmental and human safeguards remain, and that uranium mining and milling remains within the definition of “nuclear actions” for the purposes of the EPBC Act. There is a clear need for federal oversight to ensure clear and consistent implementation of these measures

AustantinukeMedical Assocation for the Prevention of War (MAPW)  SUBMISSION ON FEDERAL REGULATION OF URANIUM MINING, by Dr Margaret Beavis April 2013   The uranium mining industry is attempting to remove federal overview of uranium mining. MAPW Vice-President Dr Margaret Beavis has prepared this submission to the Productivity Commission arguing that federal oversight should remain, and noting that as risks to health and the environment become more apparent, radiation regulation is increasing internationally.:

It is concerning that the uranium industry has used the expression “mild radiation” to describe its radiological environmental impacts, when there is no regulatory basis or definition to use this term, potentially giving the impression that the levels of radiation in the uranium mining industry are without risk to the environment. The evidence is clear and unassailable that this is not correct. Furthermore, it is appropriate that uranium mining continue to be considered a ‘nuclear action’ as specified by the EPBC Act as the radioactivity derives specifically from nuclear decay processes. Tailings from uranium mining are radioactive for millennia, resulting in unique environmental considerations for every uranium mine.

The International Commission on Radiological Protection has determined that the dose  coefficient for radon gas, one of the sources of radioactivity from uranium mining, needs to  be doubled, indicating that it is actually thought to be double the previously estimated carcinogenic hazard.1. ARPANSA is currently in the process of revising dose estimates to  workers. It follows that risks to others is doubled and makes it even more essential appropriate mitigation strategies are introduced. It also follows that the environmental risk is also increased. Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Ontario’s high electricity bills due to nuclear costs, not renewables

money-lobbyingMad about your hydro bill? Blame nuclear and gas plants flag-canada

Payments to nuclear and gas-fired generators are the main ingredients in the largest component on Ontario hydro bills By:  Business reporter,  Apr 18 2013 Payments to nuclear and gas-fired generating plants — not to renewable energy suppliers — are the main ingredients in the biggest component of your hydro bill.

That’s the conclusion of a study done for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), which runs Ontario’s power market.

Renewable power has frequently been the whipping boy for hydro price increases, because of the highly visible prices it commands. It’s also a political flashpoint: the provincial Progressive Conservatives have presented a bill in the Legislature that would gut the renewable energy policies adopted by the Liberals.

But a study by Navigant Consulting Ltd. shows that payments to nuclear and gas-fired generators are responsible for two-thirds of the “global adjustment” charge, which is the biggest part of the “electricity” line in your hydro bill. Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | 1 Comment

Fate of a nuclear waste whistleblower at Hanford

whistleblowerNuclear Whistleblower Gives His Testimony Occupy the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) 18 April 13 “…… Between March, 2003, and July, 2010, I was the Research & Technology (R&T) Manager for the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) project in Hanford, WA. In this capacity, I had responsibility for about $500M of programs over the 7 year period.
The Hanford Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) project is a Department of Energy (DOE) project. It is essentially the largest project in our Country. It is the largest nuclear waste treatment plant to be built in the world. Bechtel is the prime contractor for DOE and the URS Corporation, whom I work for, is the prime subcontractor for Bechtel. Profits on this project are split 50/50 between Bechtel and URS so the financial relationship is closer to a partnership than a contractor-subcontractor relationship……

On July 1, 2010, I was suddenly terminated from my WTP job as a result of continually raising technical concerns and submitting technical issues. 

I am still employed by URS but confined to a basement office with little to no meaningful work and essentially no contact with URS management. I have been assigned to the basement office now for almost 16 months. I will provide more details about this shortly.

After my abrupt termination I investigated legal means to address this retaliation and found absolutely no help within the State of Washington legal system and very limited help in the Federal system. Before I describe what happened I would like to provide some more pertinent background on the Hanford site. READ MORE HERE:

April 20, 2013 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

India’s Green Power Market Development Group is expanding

renewable-energy-picture Green Power Market Development Group Announced at Clean Energy Ministerial World Resources Institute April 19, 2013 Business group will help increase the uptake of renewable energy sources in India

A group of leading businesses and organizations announced the expansion of India’s Green Power Market Development Group(GPMDG) at the Clean Energy Ministerial in New Delhi. The objective of the GPMDG is to transform energy markets and enable corporate buyers to access reliable and clean energy, diversify their energy portfolios with green power, and reduce their impact on climate change.

According to the latest reports, clean energy investment dipped in 2012, but it still was nearly $270 billion, which is a five-fold increase over the past decade…… Continue reading

April 20, 2013 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

Changing policy in China about the use of nuclear weapons?

Is China Changing Its Position on Nuclear Weapons? NYT, By JAMES M. ACTON April 18, 2013 NTERPRETING any country’s pronouncements about its nuclear weapons can be a study in fine distinctions, but occasionally a state says — or fails to say — something in a clear break from the past. A Chinese white paper on defense, released on Tuesday, falls into this category and now demands our attention, because it omits a promise that China will never use nuclear weapons first…….

April 20, 2013 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment