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Volcanoes and nuclear war

Rutgers climate scientist Alan Robock at the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Oslo.

Rutgers climate scientist Alan Robock at the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Oslo.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, IPPNW

August 30, 2013

Alan Robock, Distinguished Professor of Climatology at Rutgers University and a consultant with IPPNW on the climate effects of nuclear weapons, has posted an informative blog for the American Geophysical Union on the lessons of volcanoes for both global warming and the catastrophic global cooling that would result from nuclear war.

“While the world has banned cluster munitions, land mines, biological weapons, and chemical weapons,” Prof. Robock concludes, “the worst weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, are still not banned.  They cannot be used, they do not serve as a deterrent, and their use would be suicide.  We can rid the world of nuclear weapons so we have the luxury of working to address global warming without the fear of global catastrophe.  For more information, please visit my website and join the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”



August 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Formally and Eventually Alerts IAEA of Level 3 INES Rating for Fukushima Daiichi Water Leak

Better Late Than Never!!

30 August 2013

(2 and a half years late)

UN Agencies

Japan Alerts IAEA of Level 3 INES Rating for Fukushima Daiichi Water Leak

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has rated a leak of radioactive water at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station at level 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). Previously, TEPCO rated the 300-ton leak of contaminated water at level 1, or an “anomaly.” The plant’s initial 2011 meltdown in three of its reactors was labeled a level 7 “major accident.”

IAEA Resources on Nuclear Safety and Security

Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident (in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish)

Convention on Assistance in Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency (in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish)

Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency

The above image was retrieved from, and is attributed to Reuters

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Fukushima is worse than you think – CNN

August 30th, 2013
09:02 AM ET

By Mycle Schneider, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Mycle Schneider is an independent international consultant on energy and nuclear policy based in Paris. He is the coordinator and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report. The views expressed are his own.

“Careless” was how Toyoshi Fuketa, commissioner of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, reportedly described the inspection quality of hundreds of water tanks at the crippled Fukushima plant following the recent discovery of a serious radioactive spill. China’s Foreign Ministry went further, saying it was “shocking” that radioactive water was still leaking into the Pacific Ocean two years after the Fukushima incident.

Both comments are to the point, and although many inside and outside Japan surely did not realize how bad the March 11, 2011 disaster was – and how bad it could get – it seems clear now that we have been misled about the scale of the problem confronting Japan. The country needs international help – and quickly.

While the amount of radioactivity released into the environment in March 2011 has been estimated as between 10 percent and 50 percent of the fallout from the Chernobyl accident, the 400,000 tons of contaminated water stored on the Fukushima site contain more than 2.5 times the amount of radioactive cesium dispersed during the 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine.

So, where has this huge amount of highly contaminated water – enough to fill 160 Olympic-size swimming pools – come from? In the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the reactor cores of units 1, 2 and 3 melted through the reactor vessels into the concrete. Nobody knows how far the molten fuel went through the containment – radiation levels in the reactor buildings are lethal, while robots got stuck in the rubble and some never came back out.

More from CNN: What Japanese leaders can learn

The molten fuel still needs to be cooled constantly and the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), injects about 400 tons of water into the perforated reactor vessels every day. That water washes out radioactive elements and runs straight through into the basements that were flooded during the tsunami. By 2015, over 600,000 tons of highly radioactive liquid are expected to have accumulated in temporary tanks, some underground, many bolted rather than welded together, and none ever conceived to hold this kind of liquid over the long term. The dangerous fluid is pumped around in four kilometer long makeshift tubes, many of them made of vinyl rather than steel, and plagued with numerous leaks in the winter when the above ground lines get hit by frost.

TEPCO’s account of the discovery this month of the leak of 300 tons of highly radioactive water showed a frightening level of amateurism:

“We found water spread at the bottom level of tanks near the tank No.5… Therefore, we checked the water level of this tank, and… confirmed that the current water level is lower by approximately 3 meters than the normal level.”

TEPCO reportedly admitted that only 60 of 350 tanks in that area are equipped with volume gauges. “Inspection” is done visually by a worker with a radiation detector. Meanwhile, the soil around the leaking tank delivered a dose per hour equivalent to the legal limit for nuclear workers for five years. No remote radiation measuring devices, no remote handling.

Continue reading

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tonopah range used for unarmed nuclear bomb test

…Before 1992, full-blown nuclear tests went on underground at the Nevada Test Site. Palmer says some underground nuclear testing still happens there, but on a smaller scale…..

Reported by: Amber Dixon

30 August 2013

Click here for video

LAS VEGAS (KSNV — The U.S. government says it dropped an unarmed nuclear about 110 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

The test happened two weeks ago with an unarmed B-61 at the Tonopah Test Range.

“It’s kind of like if you have a battery in your garage and you keep it there for years, you wanna make sure it’s gonna work,” said Allan Palmer, the executive director of the National Atomic Testing Museum.

Palmer says the B-61 is the biggest number of tactical weapons the nation has in its inventory. He says he thinks that if it becomes necessary that the U.S. would use B-61s again, officials have to know they will work.

Before 1992, full-blown nuclear tests went on underground at the Nevada Test Site. Palmer says some underground nuclear testing still happens there, but on a smaller scale.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive water should be diluted, released into ocean: experts

The Mainichi

A panel to the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) has suggested diluting and releasing radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean rather than keeping it in aboveground tanks.

The accident investigation board under the AESJ, which has been examining the Fukushima nuclear disaster, compiled its view on the radioactive water leaks from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which states: “It would be realistic to dilute the contaminated water to levels found in the natural world and release it into the ocean after removing radioactive materials other than tritium.”

The panel argues that tritium is generated in the natural world by cosmic rays and is also included in seawater in small amounts. The panel also says the substance is easily discharged from fish and other creatures and is hardly concentrated in their bodies. Therefore, the panel claims, diluting and releasing contaminated water into the ocean would reduce the risk of radiation exposure and environmental pollution through incidental leaks, rather than keeping it in aboveground tanks.

However, such an ocean release is unlikely to take place right away, because TEPCO’s water decontamination system called the Multi-nuclide Removal Equipment (ALPS) — which could remove up to 62 kinds of radioactive substances apart from tritium from up to 500 tons of water each day — has yet to be put into full operation, while understanding from local residents and neighboring countries would also be necessary.

August 29, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nuclear news for the past week

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Fukushima again dominates the news – reactor foundations possibly unstable , just as much water pouring out as going in to cool reactors. Russia again offering help, (a good idea- they have the best knowledge). Lawmakers call for a state of emergency in Japan – but Prime minister Abe is away in Middle East, marketing japan’s nuclear technology.   Fukushima’s fishing industry shut down indefinitely.

Syria and the world. The situation has the potential to bring about a nuclear war between USA and Russia.

USA.  Women and discrimination. Now this one really surprised me. It sounds as if some women are complaining of discrimination, because NASA makes stricter rules for female astronauts because they have a greater risk of getting cancer from space radiation, than men do !

Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to shut down, for financial reasons. Rumours that Indian Point nuclear plant could be the next to fall. Plan for nuclear waste to Mississippi meeting with strong objections, especially as there’s  a rumour they might import nuclear wastes from France.  Concerns about radioactivity in fish at the top of the Pacific food chain on USA West Coast – need to test tuna, salmon and herring.

France: nuclear regulator demands huge expenditure to improve safety of nuclear plants

India: A new book “The Power of Promise” gives  a devastating account of the corruption in India’s nuclear industry.

Taiwan sends back radioactive containers to Japan.

Fracking. New concerns here, as new “improved’  methods involve the use of depleted uranium in the drilling process.

Kazakhstan’s water imperilled by in situ leaching of uranium

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Land is now “mushy” under Fukushima nuclear reactors

water-tanks-Fukushima“Big Problem”: Cracked floors in Fukushima reactors leaking into groundwater that’s rising and rising and rising due to Tepco wall — “Can no longer be stopped from getting in ocean” — “Worse than that… buildings now on mushy land” (AUDIO)
Title: Breaking News: Entergy pulling the plug on Vermont Yankee
Source: Fairewinds Energy Education
Host: Nathaniel White-Joyal
Date: Aug 27, 2013

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer:: The big problem is the nuclear reactors themselves have cracked floors. The buildings in those reactor buildings have cracked floors. And groundwater is getting into those buildings, and becoming contaminated, and then leaking out. So, in addition to what’s in those tanks, the physical plant itself is contaminating the groundwater as well.

So what Tepco tried to do is to build a wall along the water. They injected basically a concrete type of a compound and made the ground less porous. That’s not a good idea — it’s a poor idea — because what happened is the mountain that’s behind Fukushima continues to pour the water into the ground. Now it’s got no place to go. So now the groundwater’s rising and rising and rising and likely over-topping this wall, certainly going around it on the sides. So we’ve got radioactive water that can no longer be stopped from getting in the ocean.

It’s worse than that though. The radioactive water has made the site seismic response different. The buildings that were on dry land are now on mushy land. So that if there were to be another earthquake, the seismic response of these buildings — which was already marginal — is further compromised because the ground that they are now on is wet soggy soil, when before it had been firm.
 Follow ENENews on Twitter for latest updates

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013 | Leave a comment

antinuke-worldSmflag-UN-largeUnited Nations marks International Day against Nuclear Tests   29 August 2013– As the United marked the International Day against Nuclear Tests,Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all States that have not yet signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) to do so in order to achieve the goal of a safer and more secure world.

In his message on the occasion of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, commemorated each year on 29 August, Mr. Ban noted that “although twenty years have passed since the Conference on Disarmament began negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), this treaty has still not entered into force.”

Mr. Ban said that there are “no justifiable grounds for further delay in” preventing the CTBT’s entry into force. He added that “it is time to avert any more of the horrific human and environmental effects caused by nuclear tests through a global ban, the most reliable means possible to meet this challenge.”

The International Day highlights the efforts of the UN and a growing community of advocates, including Member States, non-governmental organizations, academia, and media, in raising awareness of the importance of the nuclear test ban.

The General Assembly chose 29 August as the annual commemoration date since it marks the day in 1991 when Semipalatinsk, one of the largest test sites in the world and located in north-eastern Kazakhstan, was closed permanently.

With the aim of establishing a verifiable, permanent global ban on all types of nuclear explosive tests, the CTBT enjoys near-universal support but has yet to enter into force. The Secretary-General is the depositary of the treaty, which, as of today, has been signed by 183 States and ratified by 159.

“The eight remaining States whose ratifications are necessary for the Treaty to enter into force have a special responsibility; none should wait for others to act first. In the meantime, all States should maintain or implement moratoria on nuclear explosions,” Mr. Ban stressed in the message.

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is being marked around the world with events to call attention to the dangers of nuclear test explosions, the threats posed to humans and the environment, and the need to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons and their testing.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Big salt deposits suggested as dumping place for nuclear wastes




The reasonable thing to do is to stop making nuclear wastes


wastesFlag-USAWhere On Earth Do We Put Spent Nuclear Fuel? Forbes, 29 Aug 13 If Nevada’s Harry Reid is right and Yucca Mountain is flattened, then what will happen to the nation’s 70,000-plus tons of nuclear waste? The Senate Majority Leader is adamant that such spent fuel from the country’s 102 nuclear plants will never find a permanent home in that area that is 90 miles outside of Las Vegas…….

Consider: the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Program (WIPP), a massive salt formation in southeastern New Mexico that has been accepting waste from nuclear weapons for 14 years. But it is not permitted to take in low-level spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors.

As Conca explains, WIPP is 16 square miles of a 10,000-square mile, 2,000-foot thick salt layer. Those materials that are placed there are engulfed by the natural geology — the tightest rock on earth. The main obstacle, he adds, is the administrative changes necessary to allow the transport and disposal of spent fuel from the current interim sites to WIPP. Political resistance would also arise.

But massive salt formations are better repositories than the hard rock at Yucca Mountain, he insists, noting that rocks can fracture whereas salt does not. The best salt formations are in New Mexico and Texas.

Conca agrees that taking reprocessed nuclear fuel and using it in a nuclear power plant is less difficult than applying the same material to an atomic weapon. But WIPP changes the equation, he says, noting that, “there is so much uranium in the world that we don’t need to reprocess it. Mining the uranium is so much easier and so much cheaper than reprocessing it.”…..

Legally, Yucca Mountain remains a live topic but politically, it stands little chance of becoming permanent repository, especially because the Senate Majority Leader represents Nevada. But that debate over what to do with spent nuclear fuel has spawned some compelling ideas, some of which have been around for a while.

Reconciling the reprocessing fissures is likely to take decades. But broadening the use of massive salt deposits such as WIPP to include not just weapons-grade material but also radioactive fuel from commercial reactors would be an easier gulf to bridge.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Look at this – World’s largest solar thermal energy plant

Take A Tour Of This Insane Solar Thermal Energy Plant  (Excellent photos) 


‘I would suggest going to check it out in person during your next Vegas binge weekend, but from the 15 freeway it’s little more than a silvery blur — a rippling, mirage-like, silvery blur that feels like it might sear your retinas if you look at it too long. So it’s a good thing they’ve just posted this incredible virtual tour……. HTTP://WWW.GIZMODO.COM.AU/2013/08/TAKE-A-TOUR-OF-THIS-INSANE-SOLAR-THERMAL-ENERGY-PLANT-IN-THE-CALIFORNIA-DESERT/

August 30, 2013 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

The citizens of Vermont show us the benefits of just saying NO to Nuclear

Protest-No!The profound consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power accident are still unfolding,…….. Fukushima shows us the intolerable costs of nuclear power. The citizens of Vermont show us the benefits of just saying no.

Flag-USAJust say no to nuclear power – from Fukushima to Vermont , the Guardian , 29 Aug 13 Fukushima showed us the intolerable costs of nuclear power. The citizens of Vermont show us the benefits of shutting it down Welcome to the nuclear renaissance.

Entergy Corp, one of the largest nuclear-power producers in the US, issued a surprise press release Tuesday, saying it plans “to close and decommission its Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Vernon, Vermont. The station is expected to cease power production after its current fuel cycle and move to safe shutdown in the fourth quarter of 2014.”

Although the press release came from the corporation, it was years of people’s protests and state legislative action that forced its closure. At the same time that activists celebrate this key defeat of nuclear power, officials in Japan admitted that radioactive leaks from theFukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe are far worse than previously acknowledged.  Continue reading

August 30, 2013 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s fishermen form a serious obstacle to TEPCO’s plans to release water into the Pacific

Fishing culture has deep historical roots in Japan. The country imports more seafood than any other 

If you run roughshod over the fishermen” it will backfire when Abe asks the public for support of his economic agenda and nuclear restarts,”

flag-japanFukushima Fishermen Ruined by Tepco Now Key in Radiation Fight, Bloomberg,  By Yuriy Humber, Chisaki Watanabe & Masumi Suga – Aug 29, 2013  ”……… Japan’s government promised “to take drastic measures to the maximum extent possible” to contain the radiated water leaks. That has so far amounted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the ruling Liberal Democrats instructing Tepco to win over the fishermen before proceeding.

Tepco, Optics

“Despite its support for nuclear power, the Cabinet and LDP politicians know that the public dislikes atomic power and holds Tepco in contempt,” Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University, said by e-mail. “They realise that the ‘optics’ of going over the objections of the fishermen would be very bad.” Continue reading

August 30, 2013 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power’s dangers are the cause of its excessive costs

The Cost of Nuclear Power Joseph Mangano, Executive Director Radiation and Public Health Project
Ocean City, N.J August 28, 2013
  “…..Wall Street ended loans for new reactors in the late 1970s because of high costs. After a decade in which a nuclear revival has been promoted, only two new plants are under construction, and they are slowed by costly delays. After 15 years of no shutdowns, four American reactors have closed this year, with more shutdowns predicted. Executives claim that nuclear power cannot compete in the marketplace with sources like natural gas and wind.

The underlying reason for high nuclear costs is that reactors are dangerous, requiring many highly trained staff members, a complexity of expensive parts, compliance with extensive regulations, and anti terrorist measures to minimize public exposure to hazardous radioactivity.

The 1954 promise by the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, that nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter” remains unfulfilled.


August 30, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Debate on Georgia’s nuclear power plant costs may be delayed until 2018

nuclear-costs1Ga. regulators to vote on nuclear plant agreement August 29, 2013 ATLANTA — The debate over the rising cost of building a new nuclear power plant in eastern Georgia would be deferred several years under a deal that Georgia regulators will consider Tuesday.

The members of the Public Service Commission decided Thursday to consider the preliminary agreement between agency regulators and Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power at the PSC’s meeting next week.

Under the proposed deal, Southern Co. would withdraw its request to increase its budget to build two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH’-gohl), southeast of Augusta. The power company had previously asked to increase its budget by $737 million to $6.85 billion.

Instead, the debate over whether to formally raise the construction budget would not happen until the first of the two reactors comes online, probably January 2018 at the earliest, according to the latest timelines from a state monitor. The deal shifts some financial risk onto Southern Co. If the utility exceeds its budget, then the burden would be on Georgia Power to persuade regulators that the excess spending should be passed along to its customers. But if the PSC votes to raise the project budget, then the law would assume Georgia Power was entitled to collect all of its budgeted costs from customers, so long as regulators couldn’t prove the spending was imprudent, reckless or somehow criminal.

The preliminary agreement also helps Southern Co. avoid a politically charged fight over project spending while it deals with a separate rate case in Georgia and an over-budget coal gasification plant in Mississippi.

August 30, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Massive amounts of depleted uranium created by uranium enrichment

uranium-enrichmentdepleted-uraniumUranium Enrichment Creates Massive Amounts Of Depleted Uranium (DU) – Used In Weapons Of Mass Destruction

How and where is depleted uranium manufactured? Most of the byproducts (garbage) “from uranium enrichment (96%) is depleted uranium (DU)… There are vast quantities of depleted uranium in storage. The United States Department of Energy alone has 470,000 tons.[1] About 95% of depleted uranium is stored as uranium hexafluoride (UF6).”

August 30, 2013 Posted by | depleted uranium, Reference, Uranium | Leave a comment