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New technique could reduce volume of nuclear waste, make it safer?
Nov. 6, 2013
SHEFFIELD, England, Nov. 6 (UPI) — Researchers at a British university say the volume of nuclear waste could be reduced by 90 percent for more efficient and safer disposal.Scientist in the University of Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering report mixing plutonium-contaminated waste with blast furnace slag and turning it into glass to reduce its volume by 85-95 percent.The technique also effectively locks in the radioactive plutonium, creating a stable, safer end product, the researchers said in a university release Wednesday.

“The overall volume of plutonium contaminated wastes from operations and decommissioning in the United Kingdom could be upwards of 31,000 cubic meters [1.09 million cubic feet], enough to fill the clock tower of Big Ben seven times over,” lead researcher Neil Hyatt said. “Our process would reduce this waste volume to fit neatly within the confines of just one Big Ben tower.”

The current disposal strategy for plutonium-contaminated wastes involves cement encapsulation, a process which typically increases the overall volume, he said.

“If we can reduce the volume of waste that eventually needs to be stored and buried underground, we can reduce the costs considerably,” Hyatt said. “At the same time, our process can stabilize the plutonium in a more corrosion resistant material, so this should improve the safety case and public acceptability of geological disposal.”

The technique could also be used to treat large volumes of mixed wastes such as those generated by the eventual cleanup of the damaged Fukushima plant in Japan, the researchers said.

[NOTE ; Arclight2011 …And heres what the downside is
In a recent DECC report the corporations were not prepared to give information on the downside and details of similar processes as above. In fact the nuclear corporations said they would withdraw all co-operation with the UK government if they were pushed to answer. In the same report, they also refused to except any independent advice and oversight. Below are links to the details;]

UK, call for consensus – “Credible options paper on radiation epidemiology and radiobiology research “

07 October 2013

The NDA has today published a Credible Options Paper on Radiation Epidemiology and Radiobiology Research. The paper presents our initial assessment of the options for managing our radiation epidemiology and radiobiology research and associated research assets.

PDF Radiation Epidemiology and Radiobiology Research Credible Options October 2013 (250Kb)

To further evaluate these options and determine a Preferred Option we would like to understand the views of stakeholders on the identified options, the criteria for selecting between them and the results of our initial assessment. If you have any comments on the paper, please email your comments to by 15 November 2013.

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan postpones the perilous start to removing nuclear fuel rods from Fukushima reactor no.4

Postponed: Fuel removal attempt at Fukushima Unit 4 delayed, possibly for weeks — Gov’t safety agency wants tests conducted, as another ~M5 quake hits Eastern Japan

The Japan TimesNov 4, 2013: Tepco to conduct fuel removal test at reactor 4 […] Tokyo Electric Power Co. will conduct a fuel removal test at the No. 4 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant, delaying the start of the actual operation by up to two weeks, sources close to the matter said Monday. […]


The test was requested by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization. […] It has also urged Tepco to have its work evaluated by a group of Japanese and overseas experts formed by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a Tokyo-based organization founded by Japanese government agencies, nuclear facility manufacturers and electric power companies.
Kyodo News,, Nov. 4, 2013: TEPCO to conduct test for Fukushima No. 4 unit fuel removal […] The operator of the plant, crippled in the March 2011 quake and tsunami disaster, planned to start removing nuclear fuel from a cooling pool at the reactor building as early as next Friday. The decision comes after a government-affiliated nuclear safety agency called for an initial test operation, including transporting a protective fuel cask from the storage pool to another pool in a different building about 100 meters away for more stable conditions for cooling spent fuel, the sources said. The administrative agency, the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, has already inspected equipment to be used in the fuel removal work […]
From last Friday: Removal of Fukushima’s spent fuel on target: U.S. Energy Secretary -Reuters

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will probably need a concrete tomb

Japan Nuclear Engineer: I don’t think they’ll ever get Fukushima’s melted cores; Will probably start covering reactors in concrete — German Expert: May encase areas in sarcophagus
November 4th, 2013 
Helmholtz Special, 2012: Dr Walter Tromm is Spokesperson of the […] Nuclear Energy and Safety at the Karlsruhe Insititue of Technology, collaborates on international expert committees on the safety of nuclear reactors: “Debris and scrap metal are to be removed from the plant bit by bit in order to finally dismantle it and/or encase the areas with the highest degree of radioactivity in a sarcophagus.”


Fukushima by Mark Willacy, book published July 1, 2013 (Excerpt): […] there was much -expert scepticism about whether the government’s 40-year road map would be achievable. ‘I also hope decommissioning can be completed in 40 years,’ said [nuclear-reactor engineer] Hiroaki Koide. ‘But I do not think it is possible.’ […] In an interview with me 20 months after the meltdowns, TEPCO also appeared to be backing away from its four-decade decommissioning road map, admitting that the task in front of the company was unprecedented. ‘We hope to accomplish it in 40 years as per our engineering schedule,’ said Junichi Matsumoto. ‘But we will need to develop manipulators and other jigs and containers to put the bits in.’ […] the gravest challenge would be locating and removing the melted cores inside reactors 1, 2 and 3. ‘I don’t think they can pick up the melted nuclear cores,’ said Koide.

‘Instead, they’ll probably start work to cover the reactors in a concrete sarcophagus. It will take them more than ten years to even begin this work. And then it will take decades to finish each sarcophagus.’

See also: UC Berkeley Nuclear Professor: May be impossible to get Fukushima melted fuel — Work at site to go on for ‘thousands of years’ if not removed (AUDIO)

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

Mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power, proposed at European Union

flag-EUEU seeks nuclear power disaster insurance plan ASSOCIATED PRESS 5 NOV 13  BRUSSELS – The European Commission’s energy chief says the bloc’s executive arm will present a proposal on mandatory disaster insurance for nuclear power plants in coming weeks.


Guenther Oettinger said Tuesday the proposal should be one of the first items on the European Parliament’s agenda following elections in May. He declined to elaborate.

The world’s nuclear power plants have hardly any coverage. Governments implicitly guarantee they’ll pay for the bulk of a disaster.

In several EU nations, required insurance only covers liabilities of a few hundred million dollars, while a worst-case scenario accident is estimated to cost up to hundreds of billions. In the U.S., the necessary insurance for nuclear operators is capped at just $375 million per plant, with further claims funded by utilities up to a maximum of $12.6 billion.

November 6, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Iran DOES have a legal right to enrich uranium

diplomacy-not-bombsBottom line: At present Iran has the legal right under treaty to enrich uranium. It may be persuaded to give up that right in negotiations, but there is at present no justification for holding it to this unreasonable demand.

Does Iran Have the Right to Enrich Uranium? The Answer Is Yes Dissident Voice,  by William O. Beeman / November 2nd, 2013 Now that serious talks with Iran over its nuclear program are underway, one seemingly insurmountable issue is whether Iran flag-Iranhas the right to enrich uranium. The short answer is: Yes.

Those who are trying to torpedo the ongoing talks, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, want Iran to be forced to agree to the whole monty–a complete cessation of uranium enrichment and a dismantling of all enrichment facilities.

Iran claims that it has the inalienable right to enrich uranium as guaranteed in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which it is a signatory.

The NPT treaty language is quite clear. In Article IV of the treaty it states: “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.” Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international, Uranium | Leave a comment

New York Attorney General slams NRC nuclear waste environmental assessment

Flag-USANY Attorney General faults NRC for relying on “unsubstantiated hope”   By Barbara Vergetis Lundin

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is calling upon the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to strengthen its proposed assessment of the environmental, public health and safety risks of storing highly radioactive nuclear wastes on-site at more than 100 reactors around the country for 60 or more years after the reactors are closed. The Attorney General’s testimony was delivered by Assistant Attorneys General Janice Dean at a public meeting held by the NRC on the proposed Waste Confidence Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS).

Waste-Confidence-RuleThe DGEIS was prepared by the NRC in response to Attorney General Schneiderman’s successful court challenge to the commission’s Temporary Storage Rule in which the NRC had found, without conducting necessary studies, that no significant safety or environmental impacts will result from long-term, on-site storage of radioactive waste at nuclear power plants.

In 2012, a federal circuit court agreed with Attorney General Schneiderman that federal law requires the NRC to complete a thorough analysis of the public health, safety and environmental hazards such storage would pose before allowing the long-term storage of nuclear waste in communities. In reaching its decision, the court found that the spent nuclear fuel stored on-site at nuclear power plants “poses a dangerous, long-term health and environmental risk.”

In his court challenge to the NRC’s Temporary Storage Rule, the Attorney General argued that full compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act requires the commission to conduct a rigorous analysis of the potential for environmental, health and safety impacts from long-term, on-site radioactive waste storage. Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | USA, wastes | 1 Comment

As far as the market goes, nuclear power is finished

Nuclear Prices Itself Out Of The Market — Graph, Clean Technica 6 Nov 13  Originally published on RenewEconomy The extent to which nuclear is being priced out of electricity markets has finally been revealed by the pricing mechanism unveiled by the British government in the deal to subsidise the Hinkley C nuclear.

The UK government will pay £92.5 for each megawatt hour produced from hinkley ($A154/MWh), around double the prevailing market price. This is after the UK supplied a loan guarantee for 65 per cent of the estimated $24 billion capital cost. The “strike price” – a fancy name for a feed in tariff – also has an escalator to take into account the impact of inflation, so the cost will rise in coming years.

So how does this compare with rival clean energy technologies? Pretty badly as it turns out.

This graph below, published by Craig Morris in Renewable Energy World reveals that the rates that will be offered for new nuclear from 2023 in the UK are far above what solar and wind currently cost. And, as Morris points out, the rates for solar and wind will go down by then, not up! Even offshore wind is getting £95/MWh from 2018 in the UK, but only for 15 years and without any loan guarantees.


This second graph below is even more interesting. It takes into account all the expensive PV that was installed with really high feed in tariffs at the start of Germany’s energy transition before the price of solar fell dramatically. From 2023, when the Hinkley reactor is due to be switched on, nuclear at this price still fairs poorly, and as the cost of those tariffs continue to decline, the cost of nuclear will continue to rise. It’s probably as good an illustration as any as to why Germany are not interested in new nuclear power station, and few countries are.


November 6, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Opposition to dangerous nuclear power, in Jordan

Jordanians fret over ‘dangerous’ nuclear plan Phys Org, 6 Nov 13,  by Kamal Taha Jordan’s plan to build its first nuclear plant with Russian help has stirred fresh fears and suspicions as experts called for the “dangerous” and “illogical” project to be abandoned. The government announced late last month that two Russian firms will build and operate a $10-billion (7-billion-euro) nuclear plant, including two 1,000-megawatt reactors.

The plant, to be completed in 2023, will be built in Amra, a desert area north of the capital, the government said.

Energy-poor Jordan says it wants to develop  to meet its growing needs and to fire desalination plants to overcome its crippling water shortage.

But activists and environmentalists warn that the project is too risky. Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Jordan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Cover-ups and lies about Fukushima radiation amazed Australian reporter

Book-Mark-WillacyReporter in Japan: I’m stunned by brazen cover-up and lies over effects of Fukushima radiation; An epic, unfolding tragedy — Physician: Response has been ‘unthinkable’ (VIDEO)
Title: Japan – The Next Wave – Foreign Correspondent – ABC
Source: ABC’s Foreign Correspondent
Date: Nov. 5, 2013

Transcript Excerpts

Mark Willacy, reporter: I’ve been stunned by the brazen and often clumsy efforts to cover-up and lie about the effects and extent of the radiation damage. […] It’s abundantly clear many aspects of this epic, unfolding tragedy are yet to be written — the nuclear fallout will see to that.

Tomoko Koike. mother of 2 and 4 year old in Fukushima Precture: We do not know the real situation. We don’t know whats going on. I can’t trust them. […] My children had never contracted influenza before, even without vaccination. But they contracted it last year. Their vulnerability to illness has increased. […]

Willacy: Her children have already been screened and cleared in tests run by the Fukushima local government. But a follow up screening here at the private Hirata hospital revealed cysts on the thyroid gland of 4 year old Saki.

Koike: A couple of cysts were found. I was very shocked. I don’t know whether the examination by the prefecture was sloppy, or that she wasn’t examined properly.

Dr. Minoru Kamata: It was disclosed that the Fuksuhima health investigation committee was having several secret meetings. I feel the response to this issue has been unthinkable for a democratic nation.
Watch the broadcast here

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Film “Utopia” shows Australia’s history of oppression of Aboriginal people

John Pilger’s film Utopia, about Australia, is to be released in British cinemas on 15 November and in Australia in January


In the lucky country of Australia apartheid is alive and kicking  The Guardian, Wednesday 6 November 2013  …….The parliament stands in Barton, a suburb of Canberra named after the first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton, who drew up the White Australia Policy in 1901. “The doctrine of the equality of man,” said Barton, “was never intended to apply” to those not British and white-skinned.

Barton’s concern was the Chinese, known as the yellow peril; he made no mention of the oldest, most enduring human presence on Earth: the first Australians. They did not exist. Their sophisticated care of a harsh land was of no interest. Their epic resistance did not happen. Of those who fought the British invaders of Australia, the Sydney Monitor reported in 1838: “It was resolved to exterminate the whole race of blacks in that quarter.” Today, the survivors are a shaming national secret…….

According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth report, Australia is the richest place on Earth.

Politicians in Canberra are among the wealthiest citizens. Their self-endowment is legendary. …… Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

Films show Navajo and Pueblo victims of uranium ndustry

FilmNavajo Pueblo Nuclear Holocaust Focus of International Uranium Film Festival Southwest By Brenda Norrell  Censored News, 5 Nov 13 The International Uranium Film Festival will feature two films focused on the Navajo and Pueblo areas where both Navajos and Pueblos were — and are — victims of Cold War uranium mining and radioactive tailings left behind.

NavajoNavajos and Pueblos were sent to their deaths without protective clothing, even though the US government and mining companies knew of the dangers of radiation.

The poisoning of the people did not end there. The dust from the uranium mines blew across their food drying in the sun. The women washed clothes filled with radioactive soot. The runoff poisoned both the wildlife, including the deer that was food, the waterways, and the people.

The legacy of death continues today, as radioactive tailings remain scattered across this region of Pueblos and the Navajo Nation, between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona. In the Navajo communities of Cove and Red Valley, near Shiprock, N.M. every family had members stricken with respiratory diseases, cancer and other rare diseases. One elderly Navajo woman in her 80s was living in a radioactive hogan, built with radioactive stones.

The film, Dii’go To Baahaane Four Stories about Water, in Dine’ (Navajo) with English subtitles, and the film Tailings, will be shown at the Uranium Film Festival in Albuquerque. Schedules are still being prepared for the festivals in Santa Fe, and in Window Rock on the Navajo Nation…….

November 6, 2013 Posted by | indigenous issues, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Russia raises awareness of Libya’s unguarded yellowcake uranium

Russia implores UN to take control of Libya’s ‘unguarded’ yellowcake uranium,   November 05, 2013  Russia has asked the UN Security Council to look into the dangers posed by a badly-guarded stockpile of yellowcake uranium in the Libyan Desert. Recent reports have said that Al-Qaeda is interested in the supply as a potential nuclear weapon component. Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | Libya, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion a far away dream, but will it be safe, anyway?

“the first wall”: any nuclear fusion facilities must be fitted with an internal container made up by a “first wall” that faces the space where the reaction takes place.

This wall will be exposed to neutronic radiation. It won’t take long for it to become radioactive and begin to erode. In time, it will have to be replaced by another wall if the fusion reactor is to remain in operation.

Where will the discarded containers end up? These “first walls” will be loaded with radioactivity. As fusion technology develops, this can become a problem.

nuclear-fusion-pie-SmNuclear Fusion: Is it as Safe as We Think? Dmitri Prieto  4 Nov 13
HAVANA TIMES It seems to me that we are not sufficiently aware of the risks surrounding a new, emerging technology. Producing energy through the fusion of light nuclei (such as deuterium and tritium, which are heavy, radioactive isotopes of hydrogen) is the dream of many physicists and technologists.

This is the process which takes place inside the sun, the stars and hydrogen bombs. The aim is to “domesticate” the thermonuclear reaction so that, on the one hand, it does not produce an explosion (like the 50-megaton hydrogen bomb detonated by the Soviets in the Arctic in 1961), and, on the other, the process stabilizes at a temperature in which the atomic nuclei can fuse and generate energy.

No fusion thermonuclear plant yet exists.   Existing complexes are fission plants. I am referring to those that work on uranium and plutonium (like the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants). Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, technology | 1 Comment

Renewable energy future will shift balance of power between nations

How renewables will shift the balance of power REnewecomy, By  on 5 November 2013 “……..We basically ask ‘what if renewable energy would power the contemporary world?’ and then explore what political concerns may be expected to arise between energy producer, consumer, and transit countries. …….

Geographical and Technical Characteristics of Renewable Energy

Our thought experiment starts by focusing on the geographical and technical characteristics of renewable sources and accompanying infrastructures and how they might shape a renewable energy system. Five important observations stand out in this regard:

  • First and foremost, the availability of renewable sources of energy, especially that of wind and solar, far outstrips that of fossil fuels and uranium  Continue reading

November 6, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Israel reassured that its diplomats didn’t talk to Iranians

Jerusalem downplays nuclear meeting where Israeli, Iranian representatives were in same room Jerusalem Post,  By HERB KEINON 11/05/2013   Diplomat says there was no direct contact between Israelis, Iranians and meeting was “completely procedural.”………


November 6, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment