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

No solution in sight, to South Korea’s mounting tonnes of radioactive trash

text-wise-owlflag-S-KoreaAs Nuclear Waste Piles Up, South Korea Faces Storage Crisis, Scientific American, 14 Oct 14 Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast. By Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) – Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast.

A short film by a government advisory body carries a stark message: the nation faces a crisis over storing its spent nuclear fuel after running reactors for decades.

The world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power has around 70 percent, or nearly 9,000 tonnes, of its used fuel stacked in temporary storage pools originally intended to hold it for five or six years, with some sites due to fill by the end of 2016.

It plans to cram those sites with more fuel than they were originally intended to hold while it looks for a permanent solution, suggesting little has been learned from the Fukushima disaster in neighboring Japan.

In the Fukushima crisis in 2011, the storage of large amounts of spent nuclear fuel in elevated pools posed a threat of massive radioactive release on top of meltdowns at three reactors. Spent fuel rods heated up after a quake knocked out water-cooling pumps, underlining the dangers of holding troves of radioactive material in relatively exposed cooling ponds.

“We cannot keep stacking waste while dragging our feet,” said Park Ji-young, director of the science and technology unit at respected think tank the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.

“If we fail to reach a conclusion (on how to manage spent fuel), it would be time to debate if we should stop nuclear power generation.” With South Koreans still spooked by Fukushima and a scandal at home over fake safety certificates for nuclear equipment, the commission has its work cut out to come up with more than a temporary fix to the storage crunch in a report due by year-end………..

OUT OF FAVOR

A permanent solution remains elusive, Continue reading

October 15, 2014 Posted by | South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment

Subsoil under Fukushima nuclear plants – highest level ever, following typhoon

flag-japanHighest radiation in ground water at Japan’s NPP after nuclear disaster http://en.itar-tass.com/non-political/75421  October 14, Cesium-137The caesium isotope content has made 251,000 Becquerel (Bq) per liter in subsoil water taken from a technical well at 1st and 2nd power units at Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant OKYO, October 14. /TASS/. The highest radiation level was registered in subsoil water taken from a technical well at 1st and 2nd power units at Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant after the nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Company operating the nuclear plant said on Tuesday. The underground water sample was taken on October 13.

The caesium isotope content has made 251,000 Becquerel (Bq) per liter. Japan has set the highest permissible level of these elements for water split in the ocean at 30 Bq.

Company’s experts said that a surge in radiation was linked with the impact of a typhoon raging in the locality, when heavy rain triggered spread of radiation-contaminated particles in underground water. Now nuclear plant’s specialists are pumping out ground water urgently to prevent it from leaking into the ocean.

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Nuclear apologist James Conca, and “Nuclear Matters” don’t make sense about the industry’s future

text-Nuclear-MattersWhy Nuclear Matters doesn’t matter, Greenworld, by Michael Mariotte, 14 Oct 14

“……..As one PR pro put it, “I can’t remember the last time I read an op-ed piece argued so ineptly that it thoroughly demolished its own premise.”

This pro went on to point out the actual underlying themes of Conca’s piece:

1. Nobody cares about preserving nuclear power. You only hear from people opposing it.
2. Nobody is speaking out about preserving nuclear power. The only ones on the Hill who speak out oppose it.
3. There is no base of voters you can win over by being in favor of nuclear power.

Ironically, for most politicians politics is about power–not the kind that comes out of a wall socket, but the real stuff: who has it and how to get more of it. This piece is intended to make the case for nuclear power needing to have more political power, but, in doing so, exposes it as utterly powerless.

Back on April 1, I wrote about the founding of Nuclear Matters, “Creation of such a group is itself a sign of the industry’s desperation–who knew a technology that is so self-evidently advantageous (at least in the minds of the industry itself, if for no one else) would need a new organization not to promote industry growth but to try to postpone its inevitable stumble into oblivion?”

That desperation has now devolved into a new level of pathos, where an organization with a very fat wallet, backed by a utility worth billions and supported by an industry collectively worth hundreds of billions, now describes itself as powerless and grasping for someone to hold out a branch of support.

Nuclear Matters doesn’t matter. And it’s not for lack of effort on Exelon’s part, nor that of the organization’s many other industry supporters. It’s because their fundamental argument is that ratepayers should pay far more for their electricity than they need to simply because some nuclear utilities bet the wrong way on the future–and refuse even now to prepare for the inevitable shutdown of reactors–and because nuclear has a myriad of advantages that only nuclear utilities seem able to perceive.

The issue isn’t that these aging, uneconomic reactors are needed to keep the lights on and the beer cold. They’re not. In fact, the problem for nuclear is that the alternatives are both cheaper and cleaner. Nuclear Matters doesn’t matter because its fundamental argument simply makes no sense. http://safeenergy.org/2014/10/14/why-nuclear-matters-doesnt-matter/

October 15, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Technology problems, and costs, cloud any possible future for generation IV nuclear reactors

These Are The 6 Concepts For The Future Of Nuclear Power, Business Insider GEERT DE CLERCQ OCT 13 2014 “………..the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), developed by France, Russia and China from a concept pioneered in the United States in the 1950s.

EXPLOSIVE DRAWBACK    Liquid sodium is better than water at evacuating heat from the reactor core and its high boiling point of about 900 degrees Celsius allows SFRs to operate close to atmospheric pressure, negating the need for the thick, steel containment vessels at pressurised water reactors.But sodium has significant disadvantages, too. On contact with air, it burns; plunged into water, it explodes.Early SFRs built by France, Russia and Japan have suffered corrosion and sodium leaks. But these were not built to GIF standards and the CEA research facility amid the pine trees in Cadarache, southeast France, is working on how to tame sodium as the agency seeks to convince lawmakers to allow construction of its new Astrid reactor, a 600 megawatt SFR.

The Astrid project was granted a 652 million euro ($823 million) budget in 2010 and a decision on construction is expected around 2019.

The use of sodium, which occurs naturally only as a compound in other minerals, presents huge challenges, however.

Nitrogen-driven turbines are being designed to prevent sodium from mixing with water, while purpose-built electromagnetic pumps are seen as the solution to moving the superheated metal within reactors. Then there’s the headache of not being able to see through the liquid metal should something go wrong in a reactor core.

The other five concepts – including lead and helium-cooled fast neutron reactors and three very-high-temperature reactors – are less mature than the SFR and face similar technological hurdles.

reactor-types-spin

But technology is not the only obstacle. Cost is key, as ever, and abundant U.S. shale gas and a renewables energy boom in Europe have undermined the viability of the nuclear industry, leading some GIF member states, including Japan, Canada and Switzerland, to scale back funding. …..http://www.businessinsider.com.au/r-the-key-to-nuclear-s-future-or-an-element-of-doubt-2014-10

October 15, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology | Leave a comment

Research into birth deformities in children of British nuclear veterans

flag-UKMiscarriages and Congenital Conditions in Offspring of Veterans of the British   Nuclear Atmospheric Test Programme Miscarriages and Congenital Conditions in Offspring of Veterans of the British Nuclear Atmospheric Test Programme.pdf – Google ドライブ Christopher Busby1* and Mireille 1 Escande de Messieres2 Environmental Research SIA, Riga, Latvia  2Green Audit, SY231 1DZ, Aberystwyth, Wales
*Corresponding author: Christopher Busby, 1117 Latvian Academy of Sciences, Academy Square, LV-1050 Riga, Latvia, Tel: +44 7989 428833; E-mail:  christo@greenaudit.org Received date: Apr 18, 2014, Accepted date: Sep 22, 2014, Published date: Sep 29, 2014  This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
anencephaly

Abstract  A postal questionnaire case-control study examined miscarriage in wives and congenital conditions in offspring of the 2007 membership of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association, a group of ex-servicemen who were stationed at atmospheric nuclear weapon test sites between 1952-67. Results were compared with a veteran- selected control group and also with national data. Based on 605 veteran children and 749 grandchildren compared with 311 control children and 408 control grandchildren there were significant excess levels of miscarriages,
stillbirths, infant mortality and congenital illnesses in the veterans’ children relative both to control children and expected numbers. 105 miscarriages in veteran’s wives compared with 18 in controls OR=2.75 (1.56, 4.91; p=. 00016). There were 16 stillbirths; 3 in controls (OR=2.70 (0.73, 11.72; p=0.13). Perinatal mortality OR was 4.3 (1.22, 17.9; p=.01) on 25 deaths in veteran children. 57 veteran children had congenital conditions vs. 3 control children (OR=9.77 (2.92, 39.3); p=0.000003) these rates being also about 8 times those expected on the basis of UK

EUROCAT data for 1980-2000. For grandchildren, similar levels of congenital illness were reported with 46 veteran grandchildren compared with 3 controls OR=8.35 (2.48, 33.8) p=0.000025. There was significantly more cancer in the veteran grandchildren than controls.

Whilst caution must be exercised due to structural problems inherent in this study we conclude that the veterans’ offspring qualitatively exhibit a prevalence of congenital conditions significantly greater than that of controls and also that of the general population in England. The effect remains highly statistically significant even assuming a high selection bias in the responses and credibility is strengthened by the high rates of miscarriage reported by the  veterans compared with controls, a result which could hardly have been due selection effects……….Miscarriages and Congenital Conditions in Offspring of Veterans of the British Nuclear Atmospheric Test Programme.pdf – Google ドライブ

October 15, 2014 Posted by | children, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission – “continued storage rule” takes over from “Waste Confidence Rule”

The action of the commission, although not addressing all potential impacts, is effectively saying, “so what?” “There are no significant environmental impacts from indefinite storage of used fuel.”.

Flag-USA Finding a permanent nuclear storage center, Aiken Standard  By CLINT WOLFE Guest columnist Oct 13 2014 “……..In a meeting that took only a few minutes the Nuclear Regulatory Commission passed a ruling regarding continued used nuclear fuel storage……..

 The essence of the issue is that the lack of a geological repository specifically identified for used nuclear fuel has caused the government to consider other alternatives. These include, but are not limited to, on-site storage of the fuel and consolidated interim storage.

A series of court challenges over time has seen the commission stick to its so-called waste confidence rule.

This rule has at least two aspects that are pertinent to this discussion.

One is that “if you don’t have a place to put the used fuel, then you can’t make any more.”

Waste-Confidence-Rule
Anti-nuclear activists have pushed this viewpoint that no more nuclear power plants should be licensed until there is a permanent repository.

The commission has responded in the past that they are confident that a repository would be available before it is needed and merely kept changing the date on which that would occur. This approach led to a challenge that the commission was violating the National Environmental Protection Act by proposing a significant new federal project without having determined the environmental impact. This environmental impact could be looked at in every case to significantly slow each new license application.

The commission’s recent action closes out the waste confidence rule and introduces the continued storage rule. Continue reading

October 15, 2014 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | 1 Comment

“Genocide” by birth defects, cancers, in Iraq, due to depleted uranium weapons

Fallujah-babyIraqi Doctors Call Depleted Uranium Use “Genocide” TruthOut  14 October 2014 By Dahr Jamail,  | Report Contamination from depleted uranium (DU) munitions is causing sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq, according to numerous Iraqi doctors.

Iraqi doctors and prominent scientists believe that DU contamination is also connected to the emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah during 2004, and Basra during the 1991 US war on Iraq.

It is estimated that the United States used 350 tons of DU munitions in Iraq during the 1991 war, and 1,200 tons during its 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation. Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the first Gulf War in 1991, the country’s rate of cancer cases was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the trend continuing.

The actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research and reporting of cases. Continue reading

October 15, 2014 Posted by | children, depleted uranium, Iraq, Reference | Leave a comment

Heavy task to dismantle San Onofre’s dead nuclear power plant

san-onofre-deadfCountdown to dismantling San Onofre  UT San Diego By Morgan Lee .OCT. 13, 2014 Heavy work on dismantling the San Onofre nuclear plant may be just three months away.

Today, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission intends to set in motion the 90-day countdown for major decommissioning activities by confirming receipt of detailed plans for the project, known as a “post-shutdown decommissioning activities report,” from San Onofre operator Southern California Edison. The notice will be published in the Federal Register.

Edison wants to restore most of the Navy-owned site in northern San Diego County during the next 20 years, a relatively quick schedule. The federal government allows up to 60 years for decommissioning, so that high-level radiation can dissipate.

The commission will conduct a public meeting to discuss Edison’s decommissioning plan, cost estimates and related environmental impacts on Oct. 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Omni La Costa in Carlsbad. Beyond the meeting, written comments on the dismantling issue are due to the agency by Dec. 22.

Edison said the job will cost about $4.4 billion. The company announced in June that enough money has been set aside in trust accounts over recent decades to pay for the project.

The utility company is seeking authority to tap decommissioning funds to pay for most San Onofre-related expenses since the facility’s retirement was announced in June 2013.

It also is asking for permission from state utility regulators to cease annual collections of $23 million from its customers that are meant for the trust accounts — and to refund at least $17 million of that money……..http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/13/countdown-san-onofre-decomissioning/

October 15, 2014 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

Big task ahead, as Canada’s nuclear industry must try to protect 100s of thousands of citizens against radiation

flag-canadaRadiation protection pills delivered by end of 2015, Star.com  New rules from the Canadian Nuclear Safety
potassium-iodate-pillsCommission dictate that iodine thyroid-blocking pills must be delivered to homes and workplaces near nuclear plants by the end of next year. By:  Business reporter, Oct 14 2014

People living and working within 8 to 16 kilometres of a nuclear power plant should have radiation protection pills in their hands by the end of 2015, under new federal regulations.

But Durham’s Medical Officer of Health says it will be “very tight – extremely tight” to meet the deadline.New rules from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission dictate that iodine thyroid-blocking pills must be delivered to homes and workplaces near nuclear plants by the end of next year.

The pills, often known as potassium iodide pills or KI pills, inhibit the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.Nuclear plant operators must pay the cost of buying and distributing the pills, but provincial and local health officials will be working out how to get them into the hands of tens of thousands of people from Scarborough to Clarington in time for the deadline.

Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham’s medical officer of health, said his unit already given stocks of pills to pharmacies and to institutions like schools, daycares, and police and fire departments……..

The pills will have to be sent out with readily understandable directions in different languages, he added.And someone will have to track new residents to make sure they get their pills.

The new rules also require pills to be stocked in institutions over a wide area beyond the immediate zones around the plants, he said.

“It’s a very tall order,” Kyle said. “It sounds like a year is a long time, but it may take a while to get this all planned and resourced.”

Toronto officials will also have to be involved, since eastern Scarborough is within 10 kilometres of the Pickering plant, he noted. (Lenore Bromley of Toronto Public Health took a different tack, however, saying that distributing the pills is “not something that would fall within our domain.”)

Kyle said he hasn’t tallied up the number of residents within 10 kilometres of the Pickering and Darlington plants, but said “you may be talking about 100,000.”

Ontario Power Generation operates the Pickering and Darlington nuclear plants east of Toronto.

Company spokesman Neal Kelly said it has cost about $180,000 to buy and distribute pills to pharmacies and institutions under the old rules.

“Under this new regulation, there will be significant costs associated with public communications and delivery,” Kelly said.

He wouldn’t name a figure. OPG will have to foot that bill, but who does the work on the ground is still being worked on, he said.

http://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2014/10/14/radiation_protection_pills_delivered_by_end_of_2015.html

 

October 15, 2014 Posted by | Canada, health | 2 Comments

No winners – we are all losers in a nuclear war between USA and Russia

atomic-bomb-lUS-Russia Nuclear War Could Wipe Out Humanity – Nuclear Physician Warnshttp://au.ibtimes.com/articles/569300/20141013/nuclear-war-russia-over-ukraine-vladimir-putin.htm#.VD7HmWddUnk By Athena Yenko | October 13, 2014 

A nuclear war that will deplete the ozone layer, emit radioactive pollution, form massive fire storms, and a nuclear winter could ignite between the United States and Russia over theUkraine crisis. Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician, an advocate of citizen action to address nuclear and environmental crises, the founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility and a 1985 Nobel Prize nominee warns that the Cold War has returned and could escalate into a nuclear war between Russia and the United States. “It’s an incredibly dangerous situation. … If there’s a nuclear war tonight, that’s the Northern Hemisphere (of the entire world) gone,” she said at the National Press Club Newsmaker press conference.

She highlighted that the advances made by NATO to Russia’s border is perilous. She implied that NATO’s strategy was a provocation. She said that the only war that the two countries could engage is a nuclear one. The United States and Russia, she said, owns gigantic stockpiles of nuclear armaments. In fact, these two nations hold the 94 percent of the total 16,300 nuclear weapons around the world. “Do they really want a nuclear war with Russia? The only war that you can have with Russia is a nuclear war. … You don’t provoke paranoid countriesarmed to the teeth with nuclear weapons,” she stressed, according to The National Press Club.

Caldicott called attention to the fact that the impending nuclear war is a medical issue that “will create the final epidemic of the human race.” Ukraine has 15 large nuclear power plants in its possession. Any attack on these plants, whether with the most conventional of weapons, would result to a meltdown comparable to the Chernobyl in 1986. She underlined that the Chernobyl meltdown took the lives of more than a million people.

She lauds President Barack Obama for his support of nuclear disarmament. However, with the threats of the ISIS and the Ebola outbreak on his plate, other agencies have overwhelmed his decision. On the other hand, she thinks highly of Russian president Vladimir Putin saying that he is “very restrained at the moment.”

Caldicott underscored that the centenary of the start of the World War 1 had just passed but it the conflicts that spark it stand still.  “You know how the First World War started 100 years ago: One person shot an archduke. The pride of the leaders and generals of the great nations did the rest: They went to war. Human fallibility was a major cause then. It is just as common today,” she said.

October 15, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Britain’s $27 Billion Bond Plan with EDF hailed as the beginning of big nuclear market

text-my-money-2flag-UKEDF $27 Billion Bond Plan Offers Nuclear Blueprint: U.K. Credit http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-13/edf-s-27-billion-of-nuclear-bonds-seen-as-template-u-k-credit.html  By Sally Bakewell  Oct 14, 2014 Electricite de France SA’s plan to raise as much as 17 billion pounds ($27 billion) of bonds for Britain’s first nuclear project in two decades is being seen as a template for financing expansion in the industry.

EDF won approval from the European Commission last week to build the 24.5 billion-pound plant at Hinkley Point in southwest England, a year after agreeing to the project. The U.K. government will back the debt, which will be the nation’s largest bond offering on a single project, according to Deloitte LLP.

“The use of bonds with a U.K. government guarantee will be a highly influential template in the nuclear sector,”Kevin Magner, director for corporate finance in the government and infrastructure team at Deloitte, said by phone. “For projects of this sheer size which developers can’t finance on their balance sheets, they’re turning more to the bond market for large volumes of debt where the projects can achieve the necessary credit quality.”

Other nuclear projects that may follow include Hitachi Ltd.’s plan to build 5.4 gigawatts of plants at sites in Wales and south Gloucestershire, and a power station with as much as 3.4 gigawatts in west Cumbria being developed by a venture between Toshiba Corp. and GDF Suez SA, Magner said. The U.K. government announced a program in July 2012 to offer as much as 40 billion pounds in debt guarantees for infrastructure projects to lift the economy.

‘Big Market’

“There will be a big market for this debt since it’s guaranteed by the government,” Continue reading

October 15, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

America’s nuclear industry – condition terminal?

terminal-nuclear-industry

 

If it’s not Sustainable, its condition is Terminal.http://geoharvey.wordpress.com/October 14, 2014

¶   The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report. It is a distressingly dull digest of information from the NRC, posted most weekdays and Saturdays, most recently on October 14. Latest information is that out of 100 US reactors, 15 were at reduced output and 17 were not operating.

¶   By NRC reckoning, Vermont Yankee (VY) is currently running at 93% of its allowed capacity, as power is being ramped down to shutdown in December. At that figure, plant is nevertheless operating at above original design capacity.

¶   Video: Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell – October 9

October 15, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Australian government sets up a disastrous course for nuclear weapons proliferation

India-uranium1Australia–India nuclear treaty: a non-proliferation disaster, The Strategist, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Blog 14Oct 2014  By  “…….Nuclear suppliers do have a responsibility, however, for ensuring their nuclear material isn’t used to build nuclear weapons, and must maintain strict mechanisms for that purpose. If countries can access nuclear supply without the attendant responsibilities, then support for longstanding non-proliferation regimes will be undermined, countries will see less value in treaties such as the NPT, and a key pillar of the nuclear arms control regime as a whole will be weakened.

The text of the proposed Australian export deal fails that basic test. In addition to a range of other flaws, for the first time in 40 years Australia won’t be able to guarantee how the nuclear material it supplies is being used. Specifically, the agreement allows India to reprocess uranium supplied by Australia to create plutonium, potentially at weapons grade, with no direct accounting by India to Australia for that material, and unusually, no provision for the return of the material in the event of it being misused. As former Director-General of ASNO, John Carlson, explains, Australia currently allows reprocessing only by two export partners, the EU and Japan, each with direct reporting requirements and specific permission being given by Australia as to how the reprocessed material is to be used.

Accordingly, the deal with India isn’t comparable to Australia’s other nuclear export agreements. Australia is privileging India by excluding key provisions normally included to ensure a recipient of nuclear material is accountable to the supplier. Australia’s other nuclear export partners might demand similar concessions, undermining the integrity of the non-proliferation regime as a whole.

Moreover, the concessions made by Australia are unnecessary. ………Not only does this agreement undermine long established non-proliferation regimes and Australia’s credibility as a nuclear supplier, it represents a missed opportunity to strengthen it. Given that what matters most to India is being treated on a par with China and the United States, India should be expected to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) after the US Senate does, just as China has already agreed to do……..

The agreement marks a significant departure from Australia’s longstanding practice. By excluding the normal provisions that ensure a nuclear recipient is directly accountable to the supplier, Australia is abrogating the principle that nuclear suppliers are accountable for how their exported nuclear material is used……..Crispin Rovere is a former PhD student at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU and co-author of Non-strategic nuclear weapons: the next step in multilateral arms control. Image courtesy of Flickr user Indiawaterportal.orghttp://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia-india-nuclear-treaty-a-non-proliferation-disaster/

October 15, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Research on risks pf depleted uranium weapons lags behind the military enthusiasm to use them

Shoot first, ask questions later, International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons A simple guide to the history of depleted uranium use depleted-uraniumand research 14 October 2014 – ICBUW

Understanding the civilian and environmental risks from weapons before using them is a key part of the legal review process for new weapons – even if the bar is not set particularly high. However, when it comes to the toxic constituents of weapons, this process can take far longer to complete, as scientific research struggles to catch up with military enthusiasm.

So it has proved with DU, where research was left behind in the rush to develop and deploy the weapons. Often factors relating to how the weapons are used in conflict and what, if anything, is done to reduce harm after they are used are not taken into account. Even decades on, significant uncertainties may still remain, for example the extent to which civilians have been, and continue to be, exposed to DU…..http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/shoot-first-ask-questions-later

October 15, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Thorium bred Uranium-233 can be used to make atomic bombs, despite what proponents may claim.

Thorium-snake-oil http://kevinmeyerson.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/thorium-nuclear-bombs-short-version/  May 7, 2012

Thorium bred Uranium-233 can be used to make atomic bombs, despite what proponents may claim.

You don’t have to trust me on this, see what the experts at various institutions have to say below:

MIT Energy Initiative, The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Appendix A starts on page 181 of the Appendices PDF file. The relevant statement from MIT is:

  • Proliferation And Security Groundrules:
    Irradiating thorium produces weapons-useable material. Policy decisions on appropriate ground rules are required before devoting significant resources toward such fuel cycles. U-233 can be treated two ways.
  • Analogous to U-235. If the U-235 content of uranium is less than 20% U-235 or less than 13% U-233 with the remainder being U-238, the uranium mixture is non-weapons material. However, isotopic dilution in U-238 can significantly compromise many of the benefits.
  • Analogous to plutonium. Plutonium can not be degraded thus enhanced safeguards are used. The same strategy can be used with U-233. A complicating factor (see below) is that U-233 is always contaminated with U-232 that has decay products that give off high energy gamma radiation which requires additional measures to protect worker health and safety. There has been no consensus on the safeguards / nonproliferation benefits of this radiation field.

The point being made here is that thorium can be used to make Uranium-233, which in turn can be used to make bombs. The complicating U-232 contamination mentioned above is what many of the thorium proponents refer to as making thorium resistant to proliferation. MIT has more to say about this proliferation protection in their summary:

On one hand, high radiation dose [from U-232 decay] provides self protection to separated fissile material against diversion and misuse. On the other hand, it makes the U-233 recycling more complex and costly.

The point here is that the U-233 is in fact subject to ‘diversion and misuse’ (like atomic bombs) if it can be separated out from the highly radioactive U-232 contaminants. If the U-232 is not somehow processed out, however, there is no way to operate the reactor for peaceful purposes, or otherwise.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Filtering contaminants out of thorium bred U-233 to make weapons grade fissile material is not rocket science. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) created a process to do this. They kindly wrote about it in a history included in the ORNL Review publication (search the long page for the words “THOREX” or “Uranium-233″):………..

October 15, 2014 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment