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Villagers near Russia’s Mayak still struggle to survive on contaminated lands

….Vladimir Chuprov: There are families living near the radioactive river who don’t have all their papers in order. Lots of Russian citizens still go by documents dating back to the Soviet time that are in some way incomplete or were made out with errors. This is a routine occurrence, a mundane problem that is easy to rectify. It cannot be held against these people. But this is exactly the pretext that is used to deny them aid under the resettlement program.

Let me say it again, these are real people, who live in a contaminated area

Yevgeny Usov, Maria Kaminskaya,

03/05-2013

Bellona

ST. PETERSBURG – A rural gathering that recently brought together residents of the villages of Muslyumovo, Brodokalmak, Russkaya Techa, and Nizhne-Petropavlovskoye, all located in the vicinity of the notorious nuclear reprocessing facility Mayak, in Chelyabinsk Region, resulted in a list of demands that the 120 participants feel must be heard by federal and regional authorities – grievances that have been barely addressed in the fifty years of local inhabitants’ desperate plight in what is deemed the most contaminated place on the planet.

Screenshot from 2013-05-03 15:42:06

Image source ; http://openi.nlm.nih.gov/detailedresult.php?img=2672329_ijerph-06-00174f3&req=4

The gathering took place in Muslyumovo, of Kunashak District, one of the settlements that remain severely affected both by the infamous Kyshtym disaster – the Mayak Chemical Combine’s 1957 radioactive waste explosion accident that threw some 20 million curies of radiation into the atmosphere and left some 23,000 square kilometers of area contaminated – and by decades of continuous dumping of radioactive waste by Mayak into the local rivers and lakes.

In the late 1990s, the locals’ fight to have Muslyumovo and adjacent areas evacuated eventually resulted in decisions made to resettle the affected populations. Yet, what looks like steps finally taken in the right direction masks years of continued inaction and neglect, paralyzing bureaucracy, and disingenuous pretenses at attempts to provide solutions to the area’s radiation-related health woes.

The community meeting was organized with the help of Greenpeace Russia, and was not the only one this year. In late April, a Greenpeace activist in Chelyabinsk staged a one-man picket drawing the authorities’ attention to the dire situation in the villages after two community meetings – one on February 21 and a later one on April 22 – barely compelled officials to take any action.

The April 22 meeting in Brodokalmak, a Greenpeace  release on the protest action said, was attended by about 120 people and in fact started with a scandal: For an hour and a half, elderly villagers who wished to participate stood at the closed doors of the local house of culture, where they were refused entry because of a leak in the basement. The discussion at the meeting, when it eventually got underway, focused on the problems of resettlement and healthcare, the statement said. As at least one promising result of the two gatherings, the local Ministry of Health gave the villagers an official promise not to close down a hospital in Brodokalmak where locals could receive treatment for radiation sickness.

At the February 21 meeting, 120 participants summed up their grievances in a resolution, which they decided to send to the Russian president and prime minister, the State Duma and Federation Council, the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, the governor and administration of Chelyabinsk Region, the administration of Kunashak District, regional and federal human rights commissioners, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – agencies and ministries and officials of various stripes that should have long ago brought their efforts together to duly compensate local residents for creating an unbearable living environment on these lands.

Vladimir Chuprov, energy program coordinator at Greenpeace Russia, has been involved for many years in assisting residents of Chelyabinsk Region’s radioactive villages in their fight for their rights and also chaired the February 21 meeting. Bellona’s Environment & Rights magazine asked Chuprov to comment on the problems that the villagers summarized in their resolution.

Coping with the tragedy alone

From the villagers’ resolution: The state system of providing citizens with compensation for damages resulting from radioactive accidents, including the legislation, does not assure meaningful compensation for the damage caused; the court system often fails to protect the citizens’ interests.

Vladimir Chuprov: The tasks before the state and the [State Corporation] Rosatom are simple and clear: They must return the quality of life to a level no lower than what it was before the radiation accident. But the quality of life for people [residing] in territories affected by […] Mayak has drastically deteriorated.

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May 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An Aluminium Fuel Cell – Why Is UK government Blocking It?

Update: at the end of the video where the video audio becomes mysteriously corrupted as the converstaion turned to the advice from the business advisor’s that he went to see.

The statement that he got from these financiers was that the UK government will only support “electrically rechargeable” batteries. Meaning, “only that can be charged with nuclear power” imo

h/t ; http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/aluminium-fuel-cell-why-government-blocking-it

Metalectrique fuel cell

Ex-Navy Nuclear Engineer Trevor Jackson has developed a highly energy dense aluminium fuel cell. Why will the government not support bringing it to market?

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Highlights of nuclear news this week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Japan:  Fukushima is top of the news, unfortunately. Groundwater is flooding into the plant’s reactor buildings at the astonishing rate of 285 litres a minute. The highly radioactive water has to be stored in  in tanks which cover 17 hectares of the plant’s grounds. Tepco is now clearing a nearby forest to make space for more tanks.

Japan is starting up the Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant, which has had  a chequered career of huge costs and safety failures. It will produce 9 tons of plutonium each year, (enough for 2000 bombs), and they don’t know what to do with this radioactive trash. Prime Minister Abe is in Dubai, trying to sell Japan’s nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates.  On May 2nd, the Monju reprocessing plant issued black smoke, and there was  a fire alarm, but Japanese officials say it is OK.

Uranium: Cameco’s earnings went down 93% so far this year. Their shares were 33 cents last year. Now they’re 2 cents. Uranium price for immediate delivery has slumped 40 percent over the past 2 years.

USA continues to angst over its radioactive trash problem. Duke Energy pulls out of plan to build 2 new nuclear reactors. San Onofre nuclear plant might be shut down. Los Angeles City Council demands   thorough safety investigations before any question of restarting it. Experts consider it dangerous, and there are doubts that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s special investigation team is impartial – the NRC is seen as too cosy with the nuclear industry.

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Danger Zone: Ageing Nuclear Reactors in the USA

“…Rubin and Fang discover that the NRC’s oversight track record is far from perfect, and that unless urgent action is taken the US could be heading for a nuclear catastrophe of its own….”

Screenshot from 2013-05-03 12:30:47

MissingSky101
Published on 2 May 2013

Following Japan’s nuclear disaster last year there are fears the US may be heading for a nuclear catastrophe of its own.
People and Power Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012

In March 2011, a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

As tens of thousands of people were evacuated from nearby towns and villages, the world waited anxiously to see whether the radioactive fallout would spread across the country, or even be carried overseas.

Unsurprisingly, in the wake of this incident, the nuclear operations of other countries have come under considerable scrutiny.

One such country is the US where more than 100 similar reactors – some of them in earthquake zones or close to major cities – are now reaching the end of their working lives.

Their owners want to keep them running, but others – from environmentalists to mainstream politicians – are deeply concerned.

In this investigation for People & Power, Joe Rubin and Serene Fang of the Center for Investigative Reporting examine whether important safety considerations are being taken into account as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) considers extending the licences of these plants.

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May 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s accumulating radioactive water: hear this radio broadcast

Hear-This-wayHear this radio broadcast. Fukushima nuclear plant struggles to contain contaminated water http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3750728.htm Mark Willacy reported this story on Friday, May 3, 2013  TONY EASTLEY: More than two years after the meltdowns at Fukushima, the plant’s operator is dealing with a new crisis – millions of litres of contaminated water inside the complex.

TEPCO has confirmed to AM that groundwater is flooding into the plant’s reactor buildings at the astonishing rate of 285 litres a minute.

Once inside, the water quickly becomes highly contaminated and has to be stored in tanks which cover 17 hectares of the plant’s grounds.

Fukushima-water-tanks-2013

But with those tanks close to capacity now, TEPCO has started to clear an adjoining forest to make more space to store the contaminated run-off.

North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy reports from Tokyo. Continue reading

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

The Fukushima radiation clean up is failing

FUKUSHIMA-2013Time: Fukushima nuclear struggles “would be the stuff of comedy” — “It’s not funny, not really” — “Not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were Tepco’s CEO” http://enenews.com/time-fukushima-nuclear-struggles-would-be-the-stuff-of-comedy-its-not-funny-not-really-not-sure-things-could-be-much-worse-if-wile-e-coyote-were-tepcos-ceo
Title: Japan: Why the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant’s Cleanup Is Faltering
Source: Time.com
Author: Bryan Walsh
Date: May 01, 2013
nuclear-comedy
Honestly, if the consequences weren’t potentially so dire, the ongoing struggles to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan would be the stuff of comedy. […] I’m not sure things could be much worse if Wile E. Coyote were TEPCO’s CEO.

But it’s not funny, not really, because the consequences of the meltdown and TEPCO’s mismanagement are very real. […] More than two years after the tsunami, TEPCO is still racing against time — and just barely staying ahead.

[…] the fact that the company is still running the Fukushima cleanup seems like a worse idea with each passing day.

[…] As the groundwater debacle demonstrates, TEPCO has been making things up as it goes along since the beginning — and the Japanese government has let them.

[…] And while Japan is unique, collusion between the tightly closed nuclear industry and the government elsewhere isn’t.
More from Time’s Bryan Walsh: Time.com: Fukushima dangers “may not be as grave as we first feared” — Only 10 people surveyed had high levels of radiation, says study — Only 10% of Chernobyl release

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013 | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear power plant is very unstable

FUKUSHIMA-2013Nuclear Safety Expert: “Many experts are extremely concerned we could have additional releases” at Fukushima plant — “Very, very unstable facility” (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/nuclear-safety-expert-many-experts-are-extremely-concerned-we-could-have-additional-releases-at-fukushima-plant-very-very-unstable-facility-audio
Title: Workers at Fukushima nuclear plant struggle to contain rush of contaminated water
Source: FSRN
Date: May 1, 2013

Dan Hirsch, a nuclear safety expert, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz: Many experts are extremely concerned that we could have additional releases.

This is a very, very unstable facility.

Very, very damaged with people working in extraordinary high radiation fields trying to repair it.

Full broadcast here

Hear-This-wayAUDIO Workers at Fukushima nuclear plant struggle to contain rush of contaminated water, 30 April 13 http://fsrn.org/audio/workers-fukushima-nuclear-plant-struggle-contain-rush-contaminated-water/11929

At the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, workers are struggling to contain a rush of highly radioactive wastewater. It’s flowing at the rate of 75 gallons per minute, according to the New York Times. Officials with the Tokyo Electric Power Company say they are considering clearing a nearby forest site in order to make more room for storage tanks. It’s the latest in a series of ongoing issues at the site. Earlier this month operators had to shut down the cooling of a spent fuel pool after rodents damaged an electrical line.

The International Atomic Energy Agency now estimates it will take more than 40 years to clean up the site. For more, we’re joined by Dan Hirsch, a nuclear safety expert and president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a nuclear policy group. He’s also a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

9 tons of plutonium yearly from Japan’s Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant

Rokkkasho-reprocessing-plan

Tokyo’s ability to both enrich uranium and reprocess spent reactor
fuel has allowed it to amass roughly nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium on its soil. Activating the Rokkasho plant would produce
that much each year, said officials and industry experts.

Japan’s Nuclear Plan Unsettles U.S, WSJ, By JAY SOLOMON and MIHO INADA
2 May 13,  TOKYO—Japan is preparing to start up a massive nuclear-fuel
reprocessing plant over the objections of the Obama administration,
which fears the move may stoke a broader race for nuclear technologies
and even weapons in North Asia and the Middle East.

The Rokkasho reprocessing facility, based in Japan’s northern Aomori
prefecture, is capable of producing nine tons of weapons-usable
plutonium annually, said Japanese officials and nuclear-industry
experts, enough to build as many as 2,000 bombs, although Japanese
officials say their program is civilian…… Continue reading

May 3, 2013 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, reprocessing | 1 Comment

Crash go earnings and share price for uranium miner Cameco

cliff-money-ACameco Profit Trails Analysts’ Estimates as Uranium Price Drops  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-01/cameco-profit-trails-analysts-estimates-as-uranium-price-drops.html By Christopher Donville – May 1, 2013  Cameco Corp. (CCO), the world’s third- largest uranium producer, reported first-quarter profit and revenue that trailed analysts’ estimates after a decline in the price of the raw material in nuclear-reactor fuel.

Net income fell to C$9 million ($8.9 million), or 2 cents a share, from C$129 million, or 33 cents, a year earlier, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Cameco said today in a statement. Profit excluding one-time items was 7 cents a share, missing the 8-cent average of 14 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales declined to C$444 million from C$466 million, less than the C$473 million average of six estimates.The price of uranium for immediate delivery has slumped 40 percent since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami in Japan led to a meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. In response to the disaster, Japan suspended its fleet of reactors while Germany canceled license extensions, shut down some of its oldest nuclear plants and ordered the others close by 2022.

“Fukushima is still a major factor in the uranium market,” Rob Chang, a Toronto-based analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald LP, said in a telephone interview before the results were released. “On top of that, commodity prices around the world have been dragged down by worries about global growth and Chinese demand for raw materials.”

Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s state-owned producer, and Paris- based Areva SA (AREVA) are the biggest uranium miners, according to the World Nuclear Association.

(Cameco scheduled a conference call to discuss results at 1 p.m. New York time at +1-877-240-9772or +1-416-340-8530.)

May 3, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, Uranium | Leave a comment

93% fall in earnings so far this year, for uranium mining company

exclamation-Earnings down for Saskatoon uranium giant   CBC News May 1, 2013   Lower sales, lower prices and higher costs pushed down first quarter results at Cameco.

So far this year, the Saskatoon-based uranium company earned $9 million — down 93 per cent from the $129 million Cameco made in the first quarter of 2012……

The company recently laid off a number of staff at its Saskatoon headquarters.

Cameco said most of the power utilities that buy its nuclear products are locked into contracts until 2016….. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2013/05/01/saskatoon-cameco-earnings.html

May 3, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Canada, Uranium | Leave a comment

An unpopular truth – Iran does not have nuclear weapons

No, Iran does not posses nuclear weapons, The Spectator,  1 May 2013 “…… two weeks ago I published a book, co-authored with David Morrison, read-this-wayA Dangerous Delusion: Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran. Since then my co-author and I have been subject to a series of misrepresentations and innuendo on a scale and (in some cases) virulence that I have never encountered before…….

not one of our critics have even tried to deal with the central, factual points of our short book: that Iran isn’t in possession of nuclear weapons and isn’t building them; that the US and Israeli intelligence agencies don’t think they are; that Iran is entitled under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop peaceful nuclear power; that in 2005 it put proposals on the table to do this under full international scrutiny (including co-ownership).

We acknowledge that Iran’s human rights record – as Geoffrey Robertson has graphically portrayed in his recent book – is dreadful. We view President Ahmadinejad’s denials of the Holocaust as utterly odious. However, to judge Iran by Ahmadinejad alone would be a mistake. He steps down in a few weeks, and in any case the final decision on nuclear matters lies with the Supreme Leader, who has repeatedly denounced nuclear weapons as forbidden under Islam. It is in the best interest of the west, let alone ordinary Iranians whose lives are being made miserable by sanctions, to engage with Iran pragmatically rather than carry on with the current policy of isolation.

In the wake of June’s elections we hope and believe that a solution satisfactory to all parties can be agreed. We passionately believe that the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. However, if an agreement is to be reached, we in the west need to recognize that Iran – with all its faults – is an independent nation with legitimate interests, and is a fully signed up member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, with every right to enrich uranium.

We also need to be clear about the facts. This is why in our book we have attempted to expose the myths, falsehoods and delusions that surround this grave and troubling subject. There is an argument of massive importance to be engaged in here. If my critics wish to challenge me to open debate about the thesis of our book, I would be delighted to engage. They know how to get hold of me: any time, any place. http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/peter-oborne/2013/05/no-iran-is-an-independent-nation-with-legitimate-interests-that-does-not-posses-nuclear-weapons/

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Iran, resources - print | Leave a comment

Japan’s Prime Minister on nuclear selling spree in Dubai

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2Japan, UAE set to sign nuclear agreement as Abe visits, Global Post, 2 May 13,  Japan and the United Arab Emirates are set to sign a nuclear agreement on Thursday as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is visiting the country, pushes his bid to sell Japanese nuclear technology overseas.

The two countries’ representatives will ink the deal following a meeting between Abe and UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Dubai.

Abe, since assuming his post last December, has promoted the exports of Japanese infrastructure, such as nuclear power plants, as a key pillar of the government’s growth strategies aimed at revitalizing the Japanese economy……. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130502/japan-uae-set-sign-nuclear-agreement-abe-visits

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Japan, marketing | Leave a comment

In last few days, high spike of radiation in air in Japan and West USA

text-radiationFukushima pushes Japan over 26 times normal radiation http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/news/headline_news/2013/05/02/5835.html 02 MAY 2013 BY : BY SADIA ARSHAD 

As of the sampling done four days ago, the radiation fallout level has spiked up to twenty six times its average level since the past year in Japan. The reading indicates 100.4 MBq/Km2. The average reading was at 3.85 MBq/Km2 until 26th April. The reason behind this sudden climb is not known as of yet. 

The leak is suspected from the radioactive waste water from the water storage ponds at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. The amount of radioactive material in the water sample taken from Pond No. 1 on 27th April has led to this discovery.
As per air samples taken by the United States Environmental Protection Agency at eighteen different collection points in the Pacific States, the average level of radioactivity in the air has also spiked to  more than seven times the normal levels.

May 3, 2013 Posted by | environment, Japan, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Great? Shoot nuclear waste into deep space?

 Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-level Radioactive Waste

Source: ENVIRON International Corporation

Author: Chris Whipple, Ph.D
Date: September 10, 2010

This material was prepared at the request of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (“the BRC”).

Blue-Ribbon-Commission

Disposal by shooting the wastes into deep space or the sun

Cost and the risk of an accident during launch has kept space disposal from being taken seriously. With the current cost of putting objects in orbit at around $10,000 per pound, and given that the U.S. inventory of spent fuel and high-level waste is of the order of 100,000 metric tons, not including the heavy shielding that would be required, the costs with present technology would be prohibitive, even if the risks of radioactive wastes crashing back to earth could be managed somehow.

But if one wanted to dispose of only the very long-lived waste, e.g., technetium-99, cesium-135, iodine-129, and the long-lived actinides, then the amounts are much more manageable, of the order of a few million kilograms for all current U.S. wastes. […]

See also: Discovery.com: Nuclear reactors to power Mars colonies — “Sadly” biggest hurdle for space fission may be bad press

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Monju nuclear reprocessing plant – black smoke and fire alarm

fast-breeder-MonjuFire at Japan’s Monju nuclear reprocessing plant? May 3, 2013 NHK: Black smoke at Japan nuclear plant — Fire alarm sounds after test http://enenews.com/nhk-black-smoke-at-japan-nuclear-plant-fire-alarm-sounds-after-testTitle: Black Smoke Detected From Nuclear Reactor ‘Monju’ During Test Operations | 

Source: RocketNews24 via NHK
Author: Andrew Miller
Date: May 1, 2013

Black Smoke Detected From Nuclear Reactor ‘Monju’ During Test Operations

It as been reported that engineers at Japan’s fast breeder reactor plant Monju made a mistake during testing of the plant’s emergency power generator, which subsequently resulted in the release of black smoke and the ringing of the plant’s fire alarm. […]

JAERI [Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute] reported this latest incident to the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, claiming that the conduct of the staff at the plant is clearly in breach of security regulations. It also made the following statement:

“In order to prevent a recurrence of the same problems, it is necessary to pay meticulous attention to the way in which personnel at the plant carry out their work.”
Full report here

May 3, 2013 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment