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

Is there any proper regulation of radioactivity in Malawi’s uranium mines?

Siliwonde,-Abraham-blind-byComment on article  Man loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation rshaba , 20 May 13,  Does this mean that Paladin does not offer protective clothing including protective glasses to its employees? This is a no-brainer for someone dealing with radioactive substance business. I am shocked! It seems Paladin is taking advantage in people’s ignorance by not investing in appropriate protection especially for its front-line employees doing the “dirty” work. I could understand if it were a Chinese or Indian based company,

BUT Australian & Canadian based, my foot! Where are the government regulators? This should be a basic issue on their “checklist”: no protection and insurance cover for front-line staff, no business, simple and straight forward. The problem is that once someone has been exposed to radioactivity then whoever or whatever they come into contact with, will indirectly be exposed to radioactivity. Does the Government run regular radioactive on water, foods etc around the area?


May 20, 2013 Posted by | Malawi, safety | 1 Comment

Radiation exposure led to blindness in Kayelekera uranium mine worker

Siliwonde,-Abraham-blind-byMan loses sight due to Kayelekera radiation, SUNDAY TIMES, 19 MAY 2013   KAREN MSISKA  It is all doom and gloom for a Kayelekera Uranium Mine ex-employee who has lost his sight, his job and any means of eking out a leaving to fend for his extended family.

On July 7, 2010, Abraham Siliwonde started working as a labourer at [Australian]  Paladin Africa’s Kayelekera Mine in Karonga bubbling with hope that he would use the remuneration to improve living standards in his household.

But less than three years later, the 31-year-old, along with his six children and five wards from his deceased relatives, is a mere dependent on a small banana business his wife conducts at Karonga town market.

He lost sight in July 2012 and medical examinations have linked his condition, uveitis or inflammation of the uvea – the part of the eye that contains the iris and ciliary body and choroid – to exposure to radioactive chemicals.

Uranium ore is known to be highly radioactive.”In February 2012, I was moved to spotting. This is where one stands and guides the dumpers on where to drop the uranium ore from the pit as it is set to get into the crusher, the first point in uranium processing,” said Siliwonde on Friday.

“I was guiding dumpers carrying high grade uranium ore; the other grades are low and medium. I could feel intense heat from lumps of uranium ore and the next day I would be passing yellowish urine and feeling malarial symptoms.” He said regardless of the gear one puts on while at spotting, they feel the heat being emitted by the uranium ore, stressing “the situation is worsened by supervisors who keep people there longer than more productive.”

He said he was drafted into driving dumpers in January 2012 but by July, he had lost his vision and instead of working, he was a continuous visitor to health facilities seeking to restore his vision. ”After a series of visits to the mine clinic at Kayelekera, I was referred to Karonga district hospital where I was further referred to Mzuzu central hospital on 30 November 2012,” he added.

“At Mzuzu Central Hospital, they asked whether I had an eye operation before because they said my eyes had cracks. I underwent strenuous tests but after telling them the environment I was working in, they identified exposure to radiation as the possible cause and referred me to Kamuzu Central Hospital.”

According to medical documents The Sunday Times has seen, Siliwonde’s reference to Kamuzu Central Hospital’s Lions Sight First Eye Hospital was “to determine if patient’s condition may indeed be due to uranium dust exposure.” His situation was not improving even with spectacles. A reference report dated April 15, 2013 indicates that Siliwonde’s acuity (sharpness of vision) for both eyes had slightly improved to 6/36 from 6/60.

A report signed by Dr J Msosa, Chief Ophthalmologist at Lions Sight First Eye hospital, confirms exposure to radiation as the possible cause.

Part of the report reads: “The vitritis (posterior uveitis) may indeed be due to exposure to radiation. It is well known that all radioactive substances can cause radiation retinopathy which appears like posterior uveitis………

“The only source of income is a small banana business my wife conducts. It’s a pity that the situation at Kayelekera is not closely monitored. A lot of people are suffering because they are exposed to radioactive dust blowing from the pit area since the surface is not kept wet as per agreement.”

However, Paladin officials pushed the bucket to one of their contractors. In response to an emailed questionnaire, Paladin Energy Limited’s General Manager – International Affairs, Greg Walker, said Siliwonde was employed by one of their contractors at the mine. He added that the issue has not been brought to Paladin’s attention……

May 20, 2013 Posted by | health, Malawi, Uranium | 1 Comment

Anti nuclear protests draws thousands of marchers in Taipei, Taiwan

flag-TaiwanTHOUSANDS IN TAIWAN RALLY AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER Yahoo 7 News, May 20, 2013, TAIPEI (AFP) – Thousands of Taiwanese marched through the capital Taipei on Sunday urging the government to halt construction of a nearly completed nuclear power plant, citing the Japanese atomic crisis.

The demonstrators chanted slogans like “No Nuke for Our Children” during the march which extended for miles as they evoked memories of the March 2011 Fukushima crisis sparked by an earthquake and tsunami. Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Turkey | Leave a comment

British atomic veteran not giving up his fight for justice

Fife Christmas Island veteran vows to fight on with campaign By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, 9 May 2013 

A Fife Christmas Island veteran who recently won a legal fight against the Ministry of Defence (MoD), has vowed to continue his fight for “the truth”, despite 12 ex-servicemen losing their appeal to be granted a war pension.

Dave Whyte, 76, of Kirkcaldy, told The Courier that, thanks to his recent freedom of information victory over the MoD, he can now “prove beyond doubt” that he was exposed to massive levels of unsafe radiation following the British nuclear tests carried out in the 1950s.He remains adamant the whole situation is a “cover up” by the MoD to protect the civilian nuclear industry.

Mr Whyte took the MoD to court last year for refusing to supply him with information about radiation levels he and thousands of veterans were exposed to while serving in the armed forces. Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Legal, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radioactive cargo on German ship gutted by fire

exclamation-flag_germanyShip with radioactive cargo gutted by fire in Hamburg harbour  , 17 May 2013 – – A freighter which burned spectacularly in Hamburg harbour had highly dangerous radioactive substances aboard.

The north German city-state’s social democrat government only today released details of the fire on 1 May because the opposition Greens had put a question on notice.

As well as 8.9 tonnes of uranium hexafluoride the “Atlantic Cartier” also had some 180 tonnes of highly flammable ethanol, several tonnes of explosives, including munitions, and rocket fuel on board.

The highly toxic uranium hexafluofide is a compound used in centrifuges and other plants to enrich uranium. An area contaminated with it would be uninhabitable for a very long time. Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Germany, incidents | Leave a comment

US Department of Defense (DOD) world’s biggest consumer of solar energy

sunFlag-USAUS Military on Track to Reach 3 GW of Solar Energy by 2025, The Energy Collective, 20 May 13     The Army, Navy and Air Force are using more than 130 megawatts of solar for everything from powering remote special operations to air conditioning and lighting for U.S. base residences.  And the forces intend to keep building toward 3 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025 as part of a much bigger Department of Defense (DOD) commitment.

While detractors were declaring solar too intermittent to be reliable at home, U.S. Marines were successfully relying on it at battlefield sites in the Khyber Pass, according to Enlisting the Sun: Powering the U.S. Military with Solar Energy, a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released just in time for Armed Forces Day on May 18.

The DOD’s annual $20 billion energy budget makes it the biggest single energy consumer in the world……

May 20, 2013 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Germany faces big challenges in shift toward green energy

It is a grand project that Environment Minister Peter Altmaier once labeled “open-heart surgery on the national economy” of Europe’s export-driven industrial powerhouse.

The goal is to be nuclear-free by 2022 and to combat pollution and climate change by boosting the share of clean and safe renewables to 80 percent by 2050.


Germany’s solar power capacity has risen exponentially to about 30 gigawatts now. Another 25 to 30 gigawatts come from wind farms across vast stretches of Germany’s flat, coastal north and offshore parks in the North and Baltic seas.

By Mathilde Richter, AFP
May 20, 2013, 11:33 am TWN

PULHEIM, Germany — Tense engineers have their eyes peeled on complex color-coded diagrams on a wall-sized screen that makes their control room look like the inside of a spaceship.


They work with a power system that would have seemed equally futuristic not so long ago. It is also prone to solar turbulence and other unexpected flare-ups.

The technicians work at a monitoring center of the electricity company Amprion — one of the many nerve centers of Germany’s ambitious transition from nuclear to renewable energies.


Their job is to watch screens that update every three seconds to monitor about 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) of high-voltage power lines that criss-cross much of western Germany and extend into other European countries.


They are watching for sudden peaks and troughs, to avert dangerous power overloads or shortages, from their high-tech safety center at Pulheim near Cologne.

“The situation changes fast, it’s very volatile,” says Christoph Schneiders, the center’s head of planning, pointing to the fickle nature of natural energy.

Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Siemens to Provide Wind Power for US Nuclear Weapons Plant

…..According to the company, the plant will generate enough electricity to satisfy the energy needs of 3,500 households and will provide US$2.9 million in annual cost savings throughout the life of the contract. The farm is expected to provide over 60 per cent of the Pantex site’s annual power needs….


By Marc Howe

20 May 2013

German engineering firm Siemens has won a contract from the US federal government to build a wind power facility for America’s last remaining nuclear weapons plant.

Pantex Plant

Pantex Plant. Source: Texas Dept of State Health Services

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded Siemens Government Technology a 20-year construct for the construction and operation of a 11.5-megawatt wind farm for the Pantex plant, situated near Amarillo in Texas.

The wind farm will be situated on 1,500 acres of lands to the east of the Pantex nuclear weapons plant and will come equipped with five 2.3 megawatt turbines.

The new facility is also set to be the largest wind farm ever commissioned by the US federal government.

According to the company, the plant will generate enough electricity to satisfy the energy needs of 3,500 households and will provide US$2.9 million in annual cost savings throughout the life of the contract. The farm is expected to provide over 60 per cent of the Pantex site’s annual power needs.

Under the terms of the contract, Siemens will also be responsible for operation of the facility.

The new wind farm is part of efforts by federal facilities to provide greater support to renewable energy, as ordered by a presidential directive.

The NNSA is responsible for management of the US’ nuclear arsenal as well as its nuclear non-proliferation and naval reactor programs.

The Pantex plant is America’s sole remaining nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. The plant is responsible for maintaining the safety and security of the country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and is managed and operated by BWXT Pantex and Sandia National Laboratories on behalf of the United States Department of Energy.

The addition of a clean energy installation to the site’s facilities is in stark contrast to the purpose and operational history of the plant. In addition to the manufacture of conventional bombs and nuclear weaponry, the Pantex plant has triggered controversy due to the contaminants and pollution it produces, which have reportedly led to a significant increase in the incidence of cancer and low birth weights in adjacent counties.


May 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Algeria plans to build its 1st nuclear plant in 2025


  2013-05-20 07:38:23

Editor: Hou Qiang

ALGIERS, May 19 (Xinhua) — Algeria plans to build its first nuclear plant in 2025 to cope with the country’s soaring electricity consumption, the official APS news agency reported Sunday, citing Minister of Energy and Mines, Yousef Yousfi.

Algeria map.jpg

“We plan to set up our first nuclear power plant in 2025, and we are working on it,” Yousfi was quoted as saying in a press conference in capital Algiers.

Algeria’s 29,000-ton uranium reserves are enough to launch two nuclear power plants with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts each for a period of 60 years, the minister said.

“The Nuclear Engineering Institute, recently established, will be in charge of providing specific training for engineers and technicians ahead of tasking them with the mission of running the plant,” he added.

In November 2008, the North African nation announced that it is working on building its first nuclear power plant in 2020, and would install one new plant every five years.

The launch of nuclear power is part of a renewable energy program of the government in a bid to diversify the country’s energy sources and meet the soaring demand on electricity.


Algeria’s nuclear secrecy

30 Jul 2007

Algeria moves to expand its nuclear program and potentially its nuclear weapons capacity.


As Algeria emerges from over a decade of internecine bloodshed, prospects are growing for the significant expansion of the country’s secretive nuclear program, which many analysts believe was formed with the specific intention of creating a nuclear weapons capacity.

With world attention focused on the Iranian program, nuclear powers are jostling for lucrative nuclear contracts as the shackles on atomic development imposed by the US over proliferation concerns are broken.

Secretive program

In 1982, Algeria announced its intention to build an atomic program capable of supplying up to 10 percent of the country’s energy needs, despite the country’s abundant oil and gas reserves.

A secret deal was signed with China in 1983 for the fabrication of the 15MW Es Salam reactor at Ain Oussera, around 270 kilometers south of the capital Algiers. The reactor came on line in 1993, while the site also houses a related research facility.

There have been concerns since the early 1990s that the ancillary facility may have been utilized in the small-scale separation of plutonium from spent reactor fuel.

A confidential report by Spain’s Cesid intelligence agency, leaked to El Pais in August 1998, claimed that within two years the reactor would be capable of producing up to 3 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium per year – enough for at least one nuclear weapon per annum.

A Federation of American Scientists (FAS) study notes that the deployment of a Sa-5 anti-missile battery near Ain Oussera at the time of its discovery is “a key indicator of the military nature of this site.”

Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian uranium companies hit by 90% fall in share price

graph-down-uraniumflag-AustraliaCoal, uranium and gold stocks among the hardest hit as good times end BY:ROBIN BROMBY  The Australian   May 20, 2013  “…… Among those hardest hit are coal, uranium and gold. The base metal stocks don’t seem to have suffered to quite the same degree, although few stocks have come off less than about 60 per cent.

Among those with declines of more than 90 per cent since their peak are leading uranium stocks. In their case, their peak was back in 2007. Producer Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) has come down from $18.92 then to $1.04 now. Paladin Energy (PDN) hit $10.80 back in 2007 and now sits at 94c. Bannerman Resources (BMN) with its Namibia project was a star back then at a high of $4.14, now at 5.8c…..”

May 20, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs | Leave a comment

Printing solar photovoltaic cells – an Australian breakthrough

“We’re using the same techniques that you would use if you were screen printing an image on to a T-Shirt,” he says.

VIDEO Printing Australia’s Largest Solar Cells  20 May 13, Scientists have produced the largest flexible, plastic solar cells in Australia – 10 times the size of what they were previously able to – thanks to a new solar cell printer that has been installed at CSIRO. The printer has allowed researchers from the Victorian Organic Solar Cell Consortium (VICOSC) – a collaboration between CSIRO, The University of Melbourne, Monash University and industry partners – to print organic photovoltaic cells the size of an A3 sheet of paper.

According to CSIRO materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins, printing cells on such a large scale opens up a huge range of possibilities for pilot applications.

“There are so many things we can do with cells this size,” he says. “We can set them into advertising signage, powering lights and other interactive elements. We can even embed them into laptop cases to provide backup power for the machine inside.”….. Continue reading

May 20, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, decentralised | Leave a comment

200 firefighters doused fire on ship loaded with radioactive material

safety-symbol-SmHamburg ‘avoids radiation disaster’ as ship loaded with fissile material, explosives burns (VIDEO) RT May 18, 2013 The German city of Hamburg likely avoided a major technological disaster on May 1, when a freighter ship caught fire. It had several tons of radioactive material and explosives among its cargo, it was revealed.

It took 200 firefighters working for several hours to douse the fires on the Atlantic Cartier. The ship’s most visible cargo was some 70 cars, 30 of which were damaged in the incident. But now it was revealed that the vessel also had highly dangerous substances on board as well, which posed the threat of radioactive contamination to the area…….

May 20, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Legal battle looms over Belgium’s nuclear energy plans

Belgium may face legal battle after 2 nuclear reactors get green light Euro News, 19 May 13 Greenpeace are threatening to sue the Belgian government. The leading environmental activist network is threatening legal action after Belgium’s nuclear safety regulator gave the green light to GDF Suez to go ahead and restart two nuclear reactors.

However, during a news conference, the Belgian Interior Minister, Joelle Milquet claimed that the government does not have the
power to block the move….. Last year two nuclear reactors were closed after safety concerns were flagged up in their their tanks, during an ultrasound check.

Greenpeace says it is the government’s responsibility to guarantee the safety of the Belgian people.

“We will summon the government for the lack of decent emergency plan and at the same time they increase the risks of a nuclear accident,” says Greenpeace Belgium energy campaigner Eloi Glorieux.


May 20, 2013 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Hunt for Bin Laden could have led to nuclear war

Noam Chomsky: Obama was willing to start nuclear war to kill bin Laden Raw Story, By Eric W. Dolan, May 18, 2013  MIT professor Noam Chomsky criticized the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Friday, saying President Barack Obama could have provoked a nuclear war.

“We were very close to war with Pakistan, which easily could have turned into a nuclear war, which could have destroyed all of us,” he told Jason Liosatos of Global Peace Radio. “The Obama administration was willing to take that chance, though there were other ways of finding and apprehending bin Laden.”…..

May 20, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The American “Nuclear Renaissance” Is Over: US Nuclear Power Suffers Series of Setbacks

“The Change in Nuclear’s Fortunes is Staggering” … a Horrible “Cauldron of Events” Has [Brought] the Nuclear Push to a Standstill” | Monday, May 20, 2013,

CNBC reports:

Once touted as a successor, or at least a competitor, to carbon-based power, the nuclear sector has taken a beating as the momentum behind new projects stalls and enthusiasm for domestic fossil fuel production grows.

Across the country, plans to build nuclear plants have hit roadblocks recently—a sharp turn for a sector that just a few years ago was looking forward to a renaissance.


In recent weeks, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruled against a proposed partnership between NRC Energy and Toshiba, citing a law that prohibits control of a U.S. plant by a foreign corporation.

Elsewhere, Duke Energy scuttled plans to construct two nuclear reactors in North Carolina, while California officials warned that two damaged reactors could be shut down permanently if the NRC doesn’t take action to get the plants back online.

The change in nuclear’s fortunes is staggering, given that the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power ….

“Starting about four years ago, the industry felt it was in the middle of a renaissance” with applications for many new plants pending with the NRC, said Peter Bradford, a law professor and a former member of the commission. “They’ve gone from that high-water mark to a point at which … we’re actually seeing the closing of a few operating plants,which was unthinkable even a few years ago.”


Bradford, who also served as a utility commissioner in New York and Maine, cited a “cauldron of events” for bringing the nuclear push to a standstill, including … soaring investment costs.

Ene News notes that California’s San Onofre nuclear plant hit a major speed bump:

Reuters: An independent nuclear regulatory panel on Monday called for a full public hearing on the proposed restart of one of the two damaged San Onofre nuclear reactors, a move that will delay Southern California Edison’s plan to run the plant this summer. […] Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth called the ruling “a complete rejection of Edison’s plan to restart its damaged nuclear reactors without public review or input.”

San Diego Union-Tribune: Murray Jennex, a former systems engineer at San Onofre for nearly 20 years who now teaches at San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration, said the order likely pushes back a final decision on restarting the Unit 2 reactor until after summer. “I won’t say this is a death blow to Unit 2, but it does make restart less likely,” Jennex said. “If approved, the additional downtime makes the Unit 2 restart more complex and costly due to corrosion issues from sitting.”

APSan Onofre nuke plant restart halted […] A federal panel sided Monday with environmentalists who have called for lengthy hearings on a plan to restart the ailing San Onofre nuclear power plant — a decision that further clouds the future of the twin reactors.

An inside sources from within the San Onofre nuclear plant told ABC News:

I was there the day it shut down. I wouldn’t trust them to turn it back on.

The Palisades nuclear reactor is also in trouble. EneNews rounds up the latest:

WWMT: Congressman Fred Upton has just finished a tour of the troubled Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert. Rep. Upton says he’s very concerned about the safety at Palisades, especially after the latest incident. […] Because it wasn’t a planned release, Palisades is under serious scrutiny at this time.

ABC57Palisades Nuclear Plant shut down until further notice […] Congressman Fred Upton is not sold on the safety at Palisades. […] Congressman Upton did not say the plant will be shutting down. But he did say that all options are on the table.  Palisades says they may look at replacing the tank that is cracked.

WOOD TV8: Authorities say they’ve found the crack that led to “slightly radioactive water” spilling from the Palisades nuclear power plant into Lake Michigan. […] The leak was in a 300,000-gallon tank used to hold water that floods and cools the nuclear reactor during refueling and in the event of a problem. The problem was a half-inch crack in the welding around one of nine nozzles in the tank, authorities said Monday. Three of those have been replaced and every weld and every nozzle is now being checked. The entire bottom of the tank is also being checked. That leaky tank sits right above the plant’s main control room. […]

Watch the broadcast here

The problem is that America’s nuclear reactors are old … and are falling apart piece by piece.

But – even after the Fukushima meltdown – regulators have reduced safety standards.

The Nuclear Regulator Commission say that the risk of a major meltdown at U.S. nuclear reactors ismuch higher than it was at Fukushima. And an accident in the U.S. could be a lot larger than in Japan … partly because our nuclear plants hold lot more radioactive material. nuclear energy can be cheap, or it can be safe … but it can’t be both.

Indeed, nuclear is expensive and bad for the environment.  Nuclear is wholly subsidized by the government … and would never survive in a free market…. and it doesn’t really reduce global warming.

And it’s not helping inspire confidence in the our ability to safely handle radioactive materials that the former governor of Washington said that the Hanford Nuclear site is an “underground Chernobyl waiting to happen”, that Washington state legislators said that the failure to address the leaks at Hanford – “a very serious problem”, where 60 of the 177 underground tanks have already leaked and all of the tanks are at risk, and which threatens the Columbia River – “smells like a very deliberate cover up”.

And it’s not helping that a “mass release of floating radioactive particles in metro St. Louis” may be released by the inferno at a landfill containing 8,700 tons of nuclear waste.


May 20, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment