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

Notes on nuclear and climate news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan wrought havoc throughout the Philippines  Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit, calling  for action on climate change, links global warming to typhoons.  Luckily, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated.

Fukushima. Much apprehension as the time gets closer to the commencement of removing nuclear fuel rods from the unstable reactor No 4. Latest medical report: Fukushima children – 26 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer, 32 with suspicious biopsy results.

Nuclear industry and government officials focus on “fear” and “stress” as causes of illness among Fukushima residents, not radiation. This is part of the move to get the evacuees returned home. However, that return is becoming increasingly unlikely.  Meanwhile the cost of the Fukushima cleanup soars – estimated to be $250 – $500 billion.

Energy efficiency. New York’s move to energy-saving LED lamps.has highlighted the fact that energy efficiency removes the need for nuclear power plants. Information on this is  well worth reading.

Cyberwarning. USA and Israel created the Stuxnet virus to damage Iran’s nuclear programme – but it has also infected Russia’s nuclear computers, and could affect nuclear reactors worldwide

Iran nuclear talks dragged on, but in a warmer diplomatic climate   – “ Unfinished, but Alive”



November 13, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

UK – Dounreay Safety Management Prospectus 2013 – Redacted


This document in conjunction with the support file demonstrates that DSRL is a viable company, capable of holding the nuclear site licence, the RSA 93 discharge authorisations and other environmental consents and licences for the Dounreay site;
and ensuring compliance with all conditions attached to these documents.

In particular, it demonstrates that:

 BDP has a well defined decommissioning programme agreed with and funded by the NDA;

 DSRL has strong and robust governance arrangements, with a safety, security and environmental remit built into its structures;

 The components of DSRL’s safety management system are robust, established, clear and unambiguous and provide a suitable and sufficient framework for addressing the main SSHEQ issues adequately;

 Relevant safety and environmental standards are, and will continue to be, met and that risks are reduced to a level which is low as is reasonably practicable;

 DSRL has, and will continue to have, access to suitably qualified and experienced
staff to deliver the decommissioning programme in a safe and effective manner.

This SMP, along with its supporting files, provide a clear statement of DSRL, its structure and how it operates. The SMP addresses all components as suggested within the ‘Licensing Nuclear Installations ’.and T/AST/072 Issue 1 ‘Function and Content, Safety Management Prospectus’. [from PDF link below]
From: Ashera

22 October 2013

Dear Nuclear Decommissioning Authority,

Please provide a copy of the current approved Safety Management
Prospectus used by DSRL.

The Safety Management Prospectus has the same meaning as defined in
the ONR Guidance NS-TAST-GD-065.

Yours faithfully,


Link to this

From: Enquiries
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

12 November 2013

Attachment Safety Management Prospectus 2013 Issue 2 redacted.pdf
2.8M Download View as HTML

Attachment attachment.txt
0K Download View as HTML

Dear Ashera

Attached is a redacted version of the “Safety Management Prospectus”, as
requested. The only information withheld from this document is “personal
information” (s.40 “personal information” Freedom of Information Act 2000
and reg. 13 of Environmental Information Regulations are applicable.)

If you are unhappy with the way your request for information has been
handled, you can request the NDA carry out an internal review (contact
[1][email address]).

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request or complaint
you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF


Judith Hollands

Information Access Manager

Tel. 01925 802077

Mob. 07713 072 700

NDA, Herdus House, Westlakes Science & Technology Park, Moor Row, CA24

Please note that I work Mon – Thur 08.30 – 14.30. Outside these times
please contact [email address]

show quoted sections

Link to this

From: Ashera

12 November 2013

Dear Judith,

Thank you once again for your prompt and courteous service.

Yours sincerely,


Link to this

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy efficiency versus nuclear power – it’s really a no brainer!

When New York City announced the switch, to conserve electricity and constrain costs, a writer at Forbes raised a question of great importance for the nation’s energy vision: “Can LED bulbs make nuclear plants obsolete?”

Nuclear plants take decades to “come online” and produce electricity. The bulbs can be installed overnight.

Energy efficiency or more nuclear power? 12 Nov 13,   By Frances Lamberts
The outgoing mayor of New York City last month announced a very smart decision concerning street lighting and municipal energy use. As the NY Post reported, in a “mammoth project” every one of the city’s 250,000 streetlights will be changed to energy-saving LED lamps.

The upfront cost is said to be $79 million and the resulting, yearly electricity and maintenance cost savings $14 million. The LEDs’ 20-year life expectancy being more than triple that of the current bulbs and their electricity draw dramatically lower, the payback of nearly $150 million made the decision “a no-brainer,” Mayor Bloomberg said.


As a local example, 21 years after installation, in some lesser-used areas in my home, the energy-saving bulbs of an earlier technology period are still burning brightly. Continue reading

November 13, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Fukushima cleanup costs – $250-$500 billion!

exclamation-The staggering costs to clean up Fukushima Smart Planet By  | November 12, 2013 More than two years since the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, the Fukushima power plant meltdown is still a major, global environmental problem. And the staggering price tag for cleaning it up continues to rise.

The Japanese government just announced that it’s borrowing about $30 billion more to cover costs related to Fukushima, bringing the total amount the Japanese government has borrowed to clean up the mess to around $80 billion, more than three times the amount BP spent to clean up the  massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. That money will go into cleanup, along with compensation for the people who may never go back to their homes near the contaminated area, and the decommissioning of the nuclear reactors. But it’s not money that the government is on the hook for, Reuters reports:……

it should hardly come as a surprise that the cleanup is proving so costly. Independent estimates put the total economic cost of the disaster at $250-$500 billion. Tepco has said it will need $137 billion to cover costs related to Fukushima. And if Chernobyl is any indication, the costs will likely continue for decades to come. And the real issue might not even be the cleanup costs or health concerns, but the fact that a large, productive area of land (of which Japan doesn’t have much to begin with) is now essentially useless and will be for many years, decades, or possibly centuries to come…….

November 13, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Fukushima 2013, Japan | 1 Comment

Frustration and resignation of Fukushima evacuees who won’t be going home

 “No matter how much they decontaminate I’m not going back because I have children and it is my responsibility to protect them,” said Yumi Ide, a mother of two teenage boys from Tomioka..

flag-japanFor many Fukushima evacuees, the truth is they won’t be going home BY SOPHIE KNIGHT AND ANTONI SLODKOWSKI IWAKI, Japan Mon Nov 11, 2013 (Reuters) – For many of Japan’s oldest nuclear refugees, all they want is to be allowed back to the homes they were forced to abandon. Others are ready to move away, severing ties to the ghost towns that remain in the shadow of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

But among the thousands of evacuees stuck in temporary housing more than two and a half years after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, there is a shared understanding on one point – Japan’s government is unable to deliver on its ambitious initial goals for cleaning up the areas that had to be evacuated after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster……. Continue reading

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Philippines delegate at UN climate talks pleads for action


(Also, as pointed out previously – it’s lucky that the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was never fully activated. )

“It’s time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks  RTCC 11 November 2013,   Yeb Sano tells UN summit in Warsaw “colossal devastation” from Typhoon Haiyan should serve as warning to planet Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A full transcript of his speech is below………

The science has given us a picture that has become much more in focus. The IPCC report on climate change and extreme events underscored the risks associated with changes in the patterns as well as frequency of extreme weather events. Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm.

This will have profound implications on many of our communities, especially who struggle against the twin challenges of the development crisis and the climate change crisis. Typhoons such as Yolanda (Haiyan) and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. Warsaw must deliver on enhancing ambition and should muster the political will to address climate change…..

What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. ……….  :

November 13, 2013 Posted by | climate change, Philippines | Leave a comment

Utah deliberating on the dangers of hosting radioactive trash dump

Oscar-wastesUtah weighing threats of storing depleted uranium — from meteor strikes to ants By , Deseret News, Nov. 11 2013  SALT LAKE CITY — When figuring out if it is going to be safe to allow large quantities of depleted uranium to be buried in the desert 65 miles west of Salt Lake City, the state of Utah has to contemplate a long list of “what ifs” that could happen — and over a long, long period of time.

There are events like war, meteor strikes, volcanic activity, the return of large lakes like Lake Bonneville every 16,000 years and even, to some degree, the threat to stable disposal caused by burrowing ants.

EnergySolutions is proposing to dispose of 3,507 metric tons of depleted uranium at Clive, Tooele County, and it could be the nation’s repository of its inventory of 700,000 more tons of the radioactive waste, which is a byproduct of nuclear production material.

The state has to sign off on the disposal, requiring the company to complete a “performance assessment” that looks at how well its disposal site will weather all sorts of events and conditions……..

Even the federal regulators — the Nuclear Regulatory Commission — have yet to craft a rule on the storage of this brand of radioactive waste, leaving Utah to forge out on its own with building a framework that is protective of public health and the environment.

Depleted uranium falls within the radioactive levels Utah has established by law that it is willing to accept — low level radioactive waste — described as Class A. “Hotter” wastes such as B and C are prohibited.

The problem posed by the storage of depleted uranium stems from its increasing radioactivity — it continues to get “hotter” over time, peaking at 2.1 million years and staying at the level for billions of more years.

Utah regulators required EnergySolutions to come up with contingencies in its storage plans that document how its site would fare for a period of 10,000 years — and beyond that looking at “deep time” scenarios until it reaches peak radioactive levels.

The scenarios contemplate vulnerabilities to the public — from off-highway vehicle users who recreate nearby in Tooele County, military at the Utah Test and Training Range and the lone resident caretaker at the rest stop off I-80 at the Aragonite exit…..

The division will soon begin reviewing the assessment and is expected to make a decision next fall.

November 13, 2013 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Japan’s electricity companies profitable without using nuclear power

Fukushima Watch: Some Power Companies in Black without Nuclear Restarts WSJ, By Mari Iwata, 12 Nov 13  Many of Japan’s power companies generated a profit in the first half of the year. While that’s good news for shareholders, it’s an awkward outcome for utilities that have insisted they cannot stay out of the red without restarting their nuclear reactors.  The latest earnings show that many of Japan’s major utilities generated a profit in the first half of this fiscal year, even without the help of their nuclear power plants.

Amid uncertainty about whether nuclear restarts can win regulatory approval, that is good news for shareholders. But it puts the utilities themselves in a difficult position, since they have been loudly complaining that without their nuclear plants, they will remain in the red.

Five of the nine regional utilities that have nuclear power plants posted a net profit for the six months ending Sept. 30. They include Tokyo Electric Power Co., whose Fukushima Daiichi plant in northern Japan was at the center of the nuclear crisis that led to the shutdown of nuclear plants amid safety concerns. Also making profits were Tohoku Electric Power Co.,Hokuriku Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co. and Chugoku Electric Power Co…….

epco was the biggest gainer, with a ¥616 billion ($6.19 billion) net profitfor the six months. That compared with a ¥299 billion net loss a year earlier and a ¥627 billion net loss in the same period the previous year as the company struggles to pay for the cleanup and decommissioning of the Fukushima plant…..

“Tepco’s profit is false, coming from the government’s handouts,” said Akiko Sekine of Greenpeace Japan.

But she said that for other utilities, the figures showed there may be life after nuclear power.

“They have said they wouldn’t be able to get by without restarting reactors, but it seems they can,” she said……

November 13, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | 1 Comment

Even at New Nuclear International Conference, admission of nuclear power’s problems

Nuclear power ‘not right for every country’, UAE summit told, The National  Caline Malek November 12, 2013 ABU DHABI // Nuclear energy is not right for all countries, experts told a conference in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Climate change and a greater potential for natural disasters means some countries would face higher costs to ensure the safety of their nuclear power plants.

“The reality is that nuclear energy doesn’t always fit every context,” said David Scott, executive director of economic and energy affairs at the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority…… We can find many instances in which parties have tried to implement nuclear power in the wrong context, which leads to high costs and exposes populations to a greater risk of accident so it’s important to find the right context for nuclear energy.”

Mr Scott was speaking at the New Nuclear International Conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.//// “Some countries might have the money but it might be seismically active, so when parties try and force that square peg to fit into a round hole, it creates problems,” he said.

Those problems can lead to significant financial losses once countries eventually realise their power plants are not economically competitive….. different security apparatuses and legal frameworks in different countries can pose a serious challenge to the security of nuclear power…….

Increasing climate change is also a concern.

“It could be something that we will see in the future if sea levels rise around what people project,” Mr Scott said. “There will be certain plants that will start to face a different environment that they were in initially, because of storms and the possibility of flooding which can be problematic. And they will have to invest in very expensive engineering solutions such as creating changes to sea walls and amendments to the plant such as sealing entry ways…..

November 13, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Only one seventh of true radiation is measured by dosimeters

Dosimeters Only Measure 1/7th Of True Radiation Levels On Average  Care 2, 12 Nov 13 A nuclear subcontractor ordered workers at Fukushima to cover their dosimeters with lead to lower official levels of radiation would be reported; allowing workers to work longer hours inside the plant. By itself this is just an isolated incident that means nothing.
According to Japan Times; “To facilitate the return of evacuees, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved a change in the way radiation doses are monitored around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station that will effectively result in lower readings, but observers warn this could raise public mistrust. The change calls for basing monitoring on data from dosimeters held by individual residents.
Since dosimeters read only about 1/7th of the amount of radiation that is actually there, because they are much less sensitive than a good pancake style Geiger Counter, they will in effect, give the ‘appearance’ that radiation levels have dropped, when in actual real life, nothing has changed, and dangerous levels of radiation are still present. Basing outdoor radiation readings on dosimeters that are mainly hanging on the necks of people who spend all or most of their time indoors will further reduce radiation readings, in an artificial way. Radiation levels inside of homes are usually a small fraction of radiation levels outside………
This unethical and immoral way of announcing radiation exposure levels will guarantee that countless future generations of children in Japan will suffer from a wide variety of diseases and early death, just like children in Belarus, or other low level radiation contaminated areas…….
There is a consistent, steady, continuous effort to minimize the radiation readings. The effort to downplay and hide what is really going on both inside the Fukushima Daichi plant, as well as in Japan generally is working in the mass media, especially when it is repeated over and over again, in a propaganda like fashion.
This latest attempt to lower the radiation readings through an unethical manner, in order to force residents to come back to towns that are highly contaminated, is a good example of just how desperate the nuclear industry, medical industry and government are to cover up the Fukushima mega nuclear disaster and pretend it never happened.,,

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Nuclear power’s impact on water resources

nuke-tapWater & the nuclear fuel cycle  Nuclear Monitor Newsletter Feature: Water & The Nuclear Fuel Cycle WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor #770, October 2013  This issue of the Monitor focuses on the nuclear industry’s contribution to unsustainable water consumption and water pollution. We look at the impacts of nuclear power reactors including their huge water consumption and impacts on aquatic life. We briefly consider the impacts of other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle on water resources. And we have longer articles on climate-related problems as water sources dwindle and heat up, and the related topic of flooding of nuclear plants.

November 13, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan’s plan to make radiation readings come out looking better

Plan to lower radiation readings OK’d JIJI NOV 12, 2013 Japan Times, 12 Nov 13 To facilitate the return of evacuees, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has approved a change in the way radiation doses are monitored around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station that will effectively result in lower readings, but observers warn this could raise public mistrust. Continue reading

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 2 Comments

Two former Japan Prime Ministers call for ending nuclear power

Japan Ex-Leaders Join Calls Against Nuclear Power TOKYO November 12, 2013 (AP) abc news, By ELAINE KURTENBACH AP Business Writer, Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.

 Japan’s flagging anti-nuclear movement is getting a boost from two former prime ministers who are calling for atomic power to be phased out following the Fukushima disaster.

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday that the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, should take advantage of his high public support and sway in parliament to “do the right thing.”

“Prime Minister Abe should use the power given to him to do what the majority of the people want,” Koizumi said in a speech at the Japan Press Club. “It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?”

Koizumi, who supported nuclear power during his 2001-2006 term in office, said that with Japan’s nuclear plants all offline for safety checks it would be easiest to begin the phase-out soon…….

Polls have shown the majority of the public, jittery over radiation risks, prefers to shift away from the nuclear plants that provided nearly a third of Japan’s power generation capacity before the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, the worst since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Even within Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, opinions over the future for nuclear power are divided.

Japan’s rapid turnover in leadership over the past two decades means there are plenty of former prime ministers. At least three, including Koizumi, have said they support ending use of nuclear power.

Their support could help reinvigorate the anti-nuclear movement, which has lost some of its vitality nearly three years after the Fukushima accident.

Another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, said in an interview published in the Tokyo Shimbun on Tuesday that he also favors an end to reliance on nuclear power.

“I can’t understand why they want restarts of the nuclear plants when there is no place to discard the nuclear waste,” said Hosokawa, who served as prime minister for eight months in 1993-94. “It would be a crime against future generations for our generation to restart nuclear plants without resolving this issue,” he said.

Koizumi likewise emphasized his concern over nuclear waste disposal, especially in a densely populated, land-scarce country like Japan.

Experts have questioned whether earthquake-prone Japan can safely store nuclear waste under any scenario.

“I think it is too optimistic and irresponsible to assume we can find a final radioactive waste storage site in Japan, after the accident,” he said.

Even burying it underground for 100,000 years could expose future generations to harmful radiation, he said.

“What language should we use to convey the hazards to those people in the future?” he said……..

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Another $5 billion borrowed by Japan for Fukushima nuclear cleanup

Japan readies additional $30 billion for Fukushima clean-up: sources BY YOSHIFUMI TAKEMOTO TOKYO Tue Nov 12, (Reuters) – Japan’s government is finalizing plans to borrow an additional 3 trillion yen ($30 billion) to pay for compensating Fukushima evacuees and cleaning up the area outside the wrecked nuclear plant, said people with knowledge of the situation.

The additional borrowing would mark both a recognition of the project’s mounting costs and the difficulty of hitting initial targets for reducing radiation levels in the towns and villages hardest hit by the fallout from the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The new government borrowing program would increase the amount earmarked for Fukushima-related expenses to the equivalent of just over $80 billion, according to government officials with knowledge of the developing plan who asked not to be named.

That $80 billion excludes the cost of decommissioning Fukushima’s six reactors, a process expected to take decades.

The new funding, which is being reviewed as part of the regular budget-setting process, would increase the amount earmarked for paying for work crews to decontaminate Fukushima towns and villages by about $500 million, according to the sources.

The rest of the extra funding raised by the government would be used to defray the cost of creating a storage facility for the radioactive waste, including topsoil and leaves collected from the evacuated zone, and would be available to pay compensation to more than 50,000 nuclear evacuees who remain shut out of their homes more than two and a half years after a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered meltdowns and explosions at the Fukushima plant……

November 13, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Fukushima 2013, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Doubts about Fukushima evacuees ever going home

Fukushima residents may never go home, say Japanese officials Admission deals blow to government assurances that radiation near the Daiichi nuclear plant can be brought down to safe levels    in Tokyo, Wednesday 13 November 2013 Japanese officials have admitted for the first time that thousands of people evacuated from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant may never be able to return home.

A report by members of the governing Liberal Democratic party [LDP] and its junior coalition partner urges the government to abandon its promise to all 160,000 evacuees that their irradiated homes will be fit to live in again. The plan instead calls for financial support for displaced residents to move to new homes elsewhere, and for more state funding for the storage of huge quantities of radioactive waste being removed from the 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant.

The parties’ admission that some areas closest to the wrecked facility will remain too contaminated for people to make a permanent return is a blow to official assurances that radiation can be brought down to safe levels.

The government has come under pressure to abandon those promises amid evidence that attempts to reduce radiation to its target of 1 millisievert a year are failing. Decontamination is woefully behind schedule in seven of the 11 selected towns and villages, forcing authorities to concede recently that they will not complete the work by the March 2014 deadline…….

“At some point in time, someone will have to say that this region is uninhabitable, but we will make up for it,” the LDP’s secretary general, Shigeru Ishiba, said recently. It now appears that officials will abandon efforts to clean up highly irradiated areas closest to the plant and focus on areas where there is a more realistic chance of success……. The last category includes the small town of Okuma, where evacuated residents told the Guardian over two years ago that they had given up all hope of ever returning……

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013 | Leave a comment