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Fukushima radiation has killed one sailor from USS Ronald Reagan, with rare cancer

radiation-warningFirst Sailor from USS Ronald Reagan dies from radiation from FUKUSHIMA June 12th, 2014 1st death in USS Reagan case; rare cancer takes 38 yr old Tomodachi samaritan. RIP Theodore Holcomb

Information just released today by the legal team representing the USS Reagan sailors in their billion dollar lawsuit against TEPCO.

The Ronald Reagan spent a couple months at sea after being dosed off with radiation, trying to clean itself up; then, according to a lawyer for the sailors claiming injury, it was decontaminated at port in Washington State for another year and a half before returning to service.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | health, Legal, USA | 2 Comments

German government to stop giving credit guarantees for exports of nuclear equipment

flag_germanyGermany says no more credit guarantees for nuclear exports BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) – Germany’s government has decided to stop issuing credit guarantees for exports of equipment used for nuclear power generation because the risks to public safety are too great, the Economy Ministry said on Thursday.

The guarantees offer security to exporters and banks who do business in emerging markets where there is a risk of non-payment.

For years, critics have called for a halt to Germany’s so-called Hermes guarantees for nuclear exports, such as those used in atomic plants in Brazil. China and India also want new nuclear plants to help fulfil their energy needs.

Germany has moved away from nuclear energy because it is linked to significant, uncontrollable risks. These risks exist in equal measure abroad,” Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said…….

Credit guarantees will continue to be available for the decommissioning or tearing-down of nuclear plants as well as for research. Guarantees already issued will not be affected.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Germany, politics | Leave a comment

By 2020 France’s wind and solar power to be cheaper than its nuclear electricity

flag-franceFrench nuclear more costly than renewables by 2020 – Greenpeace PARIS, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 (Reuters) – Electricity produced by onshore wind and solar plants may become more competitive with power generated by upgraded nuclear plants in France by the end of this decade, a study by environmental group Greenpeace showed on Thursday.

The study comes a week before Energy Minister Segolene Royal presents the broad lines of a much-delayed framework energy law that aims to spell out how France will cut the share of atomic energy to 50 percent from the current 75 percent by 2025.

scrutiny-on-costsThe rising cost of France’s nuclear energy is a concern and the government should set up independent expert institutions to help it plan long-term energy investments, a parliamentary committee said in a report published on Tuesday.

According to the Greenpeace study, the investment needed to upgrade French utility EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors to bring them close to the safety level of a new-generation EPR reactor would raise median production costs to 133 euros ($180) per megawatt-hour (MWh). That estimate, based on an extension of the lifespan of current reactors by 10 years to 50 years and 4.4 billion euros worth of work per reactor, would make nuclear energy less competitive than onshore wind power around 2015, the study said.

Greenpeace also sees the cost of photovoltaic power falling to less than 134 euros/MWh around 2019 from more than 250 euros/MWh today, making it competitive with the renovated French nuclear plants by that time……

French regulator ASN is expected to give a first opinion on whether reactors can be granted life extensions in 2015 and decide reactor by reactor in 2018-2019.      ($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by James Macharia, Larry King)

June 13, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

AS Russia spens $millions on new submarines, it again delays cleanup of radiologically dangerous ship us

text-radiationVessel a radiological hazard  The scientific community in Russia has been unified, repeatedly underscoring to Russian media that the unloaded spent nuclear fuel aboard the ship poses a major environmental danger to the Arkangelsk Region, where Zvezdochka is located

Long-time push to dismantle huge Soviet nuclear battle cruiser again put off  The long struggle to dismantle the Soviet era nuclear missile cruiser Admiral Ushakov – which has been out of active duty for the past 17 years following a machinery accident – has been put off for another year over cost concerns, raising environmental and radiological concerns, the b-port news portal in Murmansk reported. Bellona, June 11, 2014 by  

The long struggle to dismantle the Soviet era nuclear missile cruiserAdmiral Ushakov – which has been out of active duty for the past 17 years following a machinery accident – has been put off for another year over cost concerns, raising environmental and radiological concerns, the b-port news portal in Murmansk reported.

A spokesman for Zvezdochka ship repair yard where the vessel is moored, yesterday told b-port that dismantlement works on the enormous vessel would not begin until 2016 at the earliest.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has included in its 2015 budget costs for drawing up engineering schematics for its dismantlement, but by all accounts, the project is running late and short on cash.

The financial crunch to dismantle the Admiral Ushakov comes as a bad time. The majority of international aid flowing to nuclear submarine dismantlement and radiological waste security via the G-8 Global Partnership plan has already been committed, laying the burden for securing the vessel on the Russian government.


Unilateral funding from the United States’ Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program has also reached its conclusion, and tensions between the West and Russia over the simmering crisis in Ukraine make it difficult for Moscow to find donors.

What’s more, the costs for dismantling nuclear battleships and cruisers run as much as 10 times more than dismantling the largest nuclear submarines, experts say, mostly because the expertise for nuclear battleship and cruiser deconstruction in Russia is in short supply, and international assistance almost a necessity, officials told b-port. This could become a problem with as many as three older nuclear battleships still on the Russian Navy’s registers.

For its part, the Russian Navy is instead pouring a mint into developing new submarine technologies at the expense of cleaning up legacy waste, said Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s general manager and nuclear physicist

‘The Russian navy is currently spending millions on new submarines which is diverting funding from cleaning up radiological challenges left over from the past,” said Bøhmer.  “To have this vessel lying around for 17 years with spent fuel is a dangerous and uncertain situation.”…….

Vessel a radiological hazard

The scientific community in Russia has been unified, repeatedly underscoring to Russian media that the unloaded spent nuclear fuel aboard the ship poses a major environmental danger to the Arkangelsk Region, where Zvezdochka is located…….


June 13, 2014 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Questions raised about UK independence as it co-operates closely with USA over nuclear warheads

Exclusive: UK to step up collaboration with US over nuclear warheads Documents released under FoI reveal ‘enhanced collaboration’ plans, raising questions over independence of UK deterrent   The Guardian, Friday 13 June 2014 Britain is stepping up its cooperation with the US over the design of nuclear warheads, raising new questions about the independence of the UK deterrent, according to documents disclosed after a freedom of information request.

Increased cooperation on warhead design and the exchange of material crucial in the manufacture and stockpiling of nuclear weapons will be sealed in a pact being drawn up by senior officials from the two countries.The pact, renewing the 1958 mutual defence agreement (MDA) between the UK and US, is expected to be signed in a discreet ceremony in Washington in the next few weeks. It does not have to be debated or voted on in parliament. Though the agreement is incorporated in US law, it has no legal status in Britain.

A document prepared for a visit by a senior American nuclear official to the Aldermaston atomic weapons establishment (AWE) refers to “enhanced collaboration” on “nuclear explosive package design and certification”, on “maintenance of existing stockpiles”, and the “possible development of safer, more secure, warheads”.The partially censored document refers to a letter Tony Blair wrote to George Bush in 2006 asking for US help in maintaining Britain’s “nuclear delivery system” and the white paper of the same year, which gave the green light for replacing the existing fleet of Trident nuclear missile submarines.

One document describes the MDA as an agreement that enables Britain and the US “nuclear warhead communities to collaborate on all aspects of nuclear deterrence including nuclear warhead design and manufacture”.

A briefing paper drawn up for ministers and Ministry of Defence officials argues that physical “movements under the MDA do not involve nuclear weapons or devices” and therefore the agreement does not contravene the letter of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

Most of the documents now released were drawn up at the time of the last renewal of the MDA in 2004. They make it clear Whitehall did not welcome a debate in parliament about the mutual defence pact……

Peter Burt of Nuclear Information Service, who obtained the papers, told the Guardian: “The UK and US are setting a dreadful example to the rest of the world by renewing the MDA, and are seriously undermining the credibility of international efforts to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”

He added: “If Iran and North Korea had signed a similar agreement for the transfer of nuclear weapons technology, the UK and US would be branding them pariah nations and screaming for the toughest of international sanctions to be imposed.”

Renewing the MDA showed the “worst kind of two-faced hypocrisy” and demonstrated that neither nation was serious about meeting its legal obligations under the NPT, Burt said.

The MoD said the agreement would be renewed by the end of the year

June 13, 2014 Posted by | politics international, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russian bombers on training exercise intercepted by US jets


U.S. Jets Intercept Russian Bombers Near Alaska, GLOBAL SECURITY NEWSWIRE National Journal 13 June 14  On Monday, U.S. military jets intercepted four Russian heavy bombers that flew close to Alaska, a key combatant command has acknowledged. 

U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told the Washington Free Beacon that U.S. radar detected four Tu-95 Bear H bombers around 4:30 p.m. local time on Monday, when the nuclear-capable aircraft flew near the western Aleutian Islands. Two U.S. F-22 fighter planes were launched to intercept the Russian bombers.

The Russian aircraft — thought to be conducting bombing drills — traveled eastward, then two of the Tu-95 aircraft reversed course and flew towards Russia’s far eastern territory. The other two bombers traveled southeast and, at approximately 9:30 p.m. local time, entered the U.S. northern air defense zone, flying as close as roughly 50 miles off the Northern California coast. Two U.S. F-15 fighter planes were then scrambled in response to intercept them……..

Davis said the Russian bombers seemed to be carrying out a training exercise: “They typically do long-range aviation training in the summer and it is not unusual for them to be more active during this time,” the Navy captain said. “They did not enter territorial airspace.”…….


June 13, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Iran cutting nuclear reactor output of plutonium, by a new design

Iran says ‘redesigning’ nuclear reactor to cut plutonium capacity Iran’s atomic energy chief offers to reduce Arak nuclear output to about one-tenth of previously planned level. Haaretz, By Reuters | Jun. 12, 2014 Iran is “busy redesigning” a planned research reactor to sharply cut its potential output of plutonium – a potential nuclear bomb fuel, a senior Iranian official said in comments that seemed to address a key dispute in negotiations with world powers.

The future of the Arak plant is among several issues that negotiators from Iran and six world powers need to resolve if they are to reach a deal by late July on curbing the country’s nuclear programme in exchange for an end to sanctions……..

The amount of plutonium the reactor will be able to yield will be reduced to less than 1 kg (2.2 pounds) from 9-10 kg (20-22 pounds) annually in its original design, he said. Western experts say 9-10 kg would be enough for 1-2 nuclear bombs and that Arak’s capacity should be scaled back.

“We are currently busy redesigning that reactor to arrange for that alteration,” Salehi was quoted by IRNA as saying.

After talks with senior U.S. officials earlier this week, Iran questioned whether the July 20 deadline for a permanent settlement with the powers was feasible. If not, Tehran said the negotiations could be extended for six months.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

USA and France co-operating on the militarisation of Africa: Niger uranium

Uranium games in Niger and the US-Franco competition Andrew Korybko for RT  June 11, 2014 The West has actively been making multidimensional inroads into Africa over the past decade, largely of a malignant nature. The US and its NATO allies are interested in market potential, energy prospects, and military engagement…….

France has been de-facto appointed as the US’ “lead from behind partner” in this region, but the relationship between the two NATO allies is not as secure as it initially seems. Through the overlap of security responsibilities in uranium-rich Niger, the US is positioning itself for long-term control of the uranium mines that help drive France’s economy…….
 uranium significance cue in American military involvement in Niger. Last year the US sent 100 troops there to build and operate a drone base for use against the militants traversing the country and staged nearby. Just last month, the US announced that it will also be training so-called elite counterterrorism units in Libya, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. While the US is delegating a large share of military responsibility to France in the region, it is still directly involving itself in specific matters that it deems of critical importance. Niger is arguably a tinderbox of terror, but it is also exceptionally important for France’s strategic energy needs. Hegemonic influence over Niger would indirectly lead to substantial control over France’s uranium dependency, thereby allowing Washington to leverage influence over Paris……….

Altogether, the US and France are closely cooperating in the NATO militarization of Africa during the “Second Scramble”. Despite being somewhat different in their approaches, they represent “two hands from the same magician” working behind the scenes to advance the Western interest there. Concurrently, as can be seen by the NSA spying directed against European “allies”, Washington does not place full trust in those that it cooperates with. Therefore, it is fully in line with America’s established track record of deceit to hedge itself towards a position of guiding influence over its partners, specifically France. In the event that Paris’ ambitions for power get the best of it and it once more “goes rogue” from Atlantic command, the US will play the Nigerien uranium card to enact maximum pressure on the country and force it back into the unipolar fold.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Niger, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear company sued over radiation exposure to workers

justiceLawsuit filed against E. Idaho nuclear contractor June 12, 2014 San Francisco Chronicle, IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A lawsuit has been filed involving a 2011 accident at an eastern Idaho nuclear facility that exposed 16 workers to plutonium. Jodi Stanton, the wife of an exposed worker, filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday, the Post Register reported ( She contends the couple’s home might have been contaminated with radioactivity because the company withheld information or offered false information about her husband’s medical condition following the accident.

The lawsuit targets Battelle Energy Alliance, the company contracted by the government to operate the Idaho National Laboratory. It seeks an undisclosed amount in damages………

The accident happened in a building that once housed a nuclear reactor. Workers had been taking plutonium fuel out of storage when they came upon radioactive materials held in two containers, each marked with a label stating the containers were damaged.

After talking to supervisors, workers removed the wrapping on one of the containers and a radioactive black powder spilled out. The workers had on lab coats and some had gloves, but none had respiratory gear or other protective clothing, according to a report released in 2013 by the Department of Energy.

June 13, 2014 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment