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Summary of the issues in “Low Level” Nuclear Waste

radioactive trash“Low Level” Nuclear Waste Summary by NIRS-Sierra Club-SEED: Comment to US NRC by one minute to midnight, NYC-DC-ET, tonight USNRC Comment: Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal (aka nuclear waste burial) ID: NRC-2011-0012-0077 Due Jul 24 2015, at 11:59 PM ET!documentDetail;D=NRC-2011-0012-0077Document for comment: Docket ID: NRC-2011-0012 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), 10 CFR 60 and 61

The US is burying deadly, long-lived nuclear waste, including plutonium and depleted uranium, in Utah and west Texas. As discussed yesterday, the cost charged is so outrageous that it could be put in good quality containers, in proper above ground facilities, making this burial deadly highway robbery.

The following excellent summary of the so-called “low level” nuclear waste problem was submitted by NIRS, SEED and Sierra Club of South Carolina, for a similar comment period last September. These are some important highlights: “Obviously the NRC is fully committed to deregulating nuclear waste. The public, however, is more committed to preventing it. We ask NRC to stop pushing all the many creative forms of Below Regulatory Concern or BRC.

After NRC’s BRC policies were overturned by Congress in the Energy Policy Act of 1992, NRC sought international nuclear agency assistance to set clearance standards could be used to force the US to deregulate nuclear waste. The public has fought repeated efforts by NRC and other agencies in various forms over a dozen times in the past 29 years. Cities, counties, states, community, religious and environmental groups, labor unions and individuals have passed resolutions, petitioned, written, demonstrated and in every other democratic way expressed opposition to the deliberate release of manmade radioactive waste from regulatory control.

We call in NRC to stop wasting its resources trying to come up with more ways to let nuclear waste out of control and to charge those who make the wastes with whatever costs are needed to isolate and regulate them for at least 10 to 20 half-lives of the radionuclides present.”……………….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Ukraine chaos spiralling further out of control: the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

Now, the Ukraine chaos threatens to spiral even further out of control with the neo-Nazis and other right-wing militias – supplied with a bounty of weapons to kill ethnic Russians in the east – turning on the political leadership in Kiev.

Nuland, VictoriaThus, it seems unlikely that Nuland, regarded by some in Washington as the new “star” in U.S. foreign policy, will be fired for her dangerous incompetence, just as most neocons who authored the Iraq disaster remain “respected” experts employed by major think tanks, given prized space on op-ed pages, and consulted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.

highly-recommendedThe Mess That Nuland Made,
Reader Supportede News By Robert Parry, Consortium News 22 July 15
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry. 

s the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor. For the U.S.-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts.

So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Reference, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Terrorists planned an attack on nuclear weapons base

terrorism-targets-2US Nuclear Weapons Base In Italy Eyed By Alleged Terrorists by   Two suspected terrorists arrested by the Italian police allegedly were planning an attack against the nuclear weapons base at Ghedi.

The base stores 20 US B61 nuclear bombs earmarked for delivery by Italian PA-200 Tornado fighter-bombers in war. Nuclear security and strike exercises were conducted at the base in 2014. During peacetime the bombs are under the custody of the US Air Force 704th Munitions Support Squadron (MUNSS), a 130-personnel strong units at Ghedi Air Base.

The Italian police said at a press conference today that the two men in their conversations “were referring to several targets, particularly the Ghedi military base” near Brescia in northern Italy.

Ghedi Air Base is one of several national air bases in Europe that a US Air Force investigation in 2008 concludeddid not meet US security standards for nuclear weapons storage. Since then, the Pentagon and NATO have spent tens of millions of dollars and are planning to spend more to improve security at the nuclear weapons bases in Europe.

There are currently approximately 180 US B61 bombs deployed in Europe at six bases in five NATO countries: Belgium (Kleine Brogel AB), Germany (Buchel AB), Italy (Aviano AB and Ghedi AB), the Netherlands (Volkel AB), and Turkey (Incirlik AB).

Over the next decade, the B61s in Europe will be modernized and, when delivered by the new F-35A fighter-bomber, turned into a guided nuclear bomb (B61-12) with greater accuracy than the B61s currently deployed in Europe. Aircraft integration of the B61-12 has already started.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Italy, safety | Leave a comment

Potassium Iodide pills to be distributed to residents in area of nuclear facility

potassium-iodate-pillsDepartment of Health distributing free Potassium Iodide to Pennsylvanians near Nuclear power plants, Pittsburgh Actio News, 

Published  11:40 AM EDT Jul 24, 2015 Harrisburg, PA —The Department of Health will offer free potassium iodide, or KI, tablets Thursday, August 6, to Pennsylvanians who are within 10 miles of one of the state’s five nuclear power plants. “If you live or work near a nuclear facility, KI tablets should be an essential part of your emergency preparedness plan and go kit,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy
“KI can help protect the thyroid gland against harmful radioactive iodine when taken as directed during radiological emergencies. But it’s important to remember that the tablets should only be taken when the Governor or state public health officials advise you to do so.”……..

KI is also available for those who work within the 10-mile radius, but do not live there. Employers can contact the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH to make arrangements to pick up tablets for their entire workforce.

School districts within the 10-mile radius have the option of deciding whether to distribute KI for their students. Interested schools work directly with the department to obtain their supply of tablets…….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Increased radiation levels, leak shuts down US nuclear facility

Local News: “Breaking… Alert… leak shuts down US nuclear plant” — Gov’t: Radiation levels ‘above normal’ — ‘Steam plume’ seen in reactor building, workers can’t find where leak is coming from due to safety concerns — Flood warnings issued for area

US NRC Event Notification Report, Jul 23, 2015 (emphasis added): Callaway Plant initiated a shutdown required by Technical Specifications (TS)… TS 3.4.13 Condition A was entered due to unidentified RCS [reactor coolant system] leakage being in excess of the 1 gpm TS limit. The leak was indicated by an increase in containment radiation readings… A containment entry identified a steam plume; due to personnel safety the exact location of the leak inside the containment building could not be determined. At this time radiation levels inside [the] containment are stable and slightly above normal. There have been no releases from the plant above normal levels.

AP, Jul 23, 2015: Missouri Nuclear Plant Shut Down After ‘Non-Emergency’ Leak… Jeff Trammel, a spokesman for St. Louis-based Ameren, called it a “minor steam leak.”… Ameren officials are investigating the cause… it was unclear when the plant would restart… [NRC] inspectors are at the plant.

Missouri Times, Jul 23, 2015: Unplanned Shutdown & Elevated Radioactive Levels at Ameren Missouri’s Callaway 1 Nuclear Reactor Containment Building… Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an event notice for the unplanned shutdown of the Callaway 1 nuclear reactor… The NRC notes that radiation is above normal in the containment building.

Jefferson City News Tribune, Jul 23, 2015 at 2:26p: Alert – Steam leak shuts down Callaway

Jefferson City News Tribune, Jul 23, 2015:Breaking News – Steam leak shuts down Callaway Plant… Company officials are trying to determine the cause of the problem, which they said “has been contained.”

ABC 17, Jul 23, 2015 — Callaway FLOOD WARNING: Issued at: 9:52 am CDT on July 23, 2015, expires at: 4:00 AM CDT on July 26, 2015. The Flood Warning continues for the Missouri River near Chamois until Friday afternoon. At 7:00 am Thursday the stage was 19.5 feet. Flood stage is 17.0 feet. Minor flooding is occurring.

Previous event at Callaway: Emergency declared at US nuke plant: Fire shuts down reactor — “Reports of black smoke” — Company says no radiation release “above normal operating limits”

July 25, 2015 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

CEO of Toshiba took loyalty to the company too far – resigns over doctored accounts

CEO of Japan’s Toshiba resigns over doctored books  By YURI KAGEYAMA Jul. 21, 2015 TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba’s CEO and eight other executives resigned Tuesday to take responsibility for doctored books that inflated profits at the Japanese technology manufacturer by 152 billion yen ($1.2 billion) over several years.

Toshiba Corp. acknowledged a systematic cover-up, which began in 2008. Various parts of the Japanese company’s sprawling business including computer chips and personal computers were struggling financially, but top managers set unrealistic earnings targets under the banner of “challenge,” and subordinates faked results.

On top of its struggles in electronics, Tokyo-based Toshiba’s prospects in nuclear power, one of its core businesses, were shaken after the 2011 Fukushima disaster set off public fears about reactor safety, making new nuclear plants unlikely in Japan. All 48 of the nation’s working reactors are now offline.

Bowing deeply before flashing cameras at a news conference, CEO Hisao Tanaka kept his head lowered for nearly half a minute in a gesture meant to convey deep shame and contrition. Tanaka’s predecessors, Norio Sasaki, now a vice chairman, and Atsutoshi Nishida, an adviser, also gave up their posts along with six other executives……….

The scandal highlights how Japan is still struggling to improve corporate governance despite recent steps to increase independent oversight of companies……….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

How Toshiba cooked the nuclear books

13a47-corruptionToshiba cooked books to tune of ¥160 billion after nuclear disaster decimated profit targets: panel The total amount of operating profits Toshiba Corp. booked through inappropriate accounting in the five years through March 2014 is believed to have reached around ¥160 billion, sources have said.

The third-party panel investigating the electronic giant’s accounting scandal discovered that the padded amount is more than three times the ¥50 billion initially uncovered via Toshiba’s internal probe, but less than the rumored ¥200 billion.

The panel has confirmed that Toshiba President Hisao Tanaka and his direct predecessor, Norio Sasaki, now Toshiba vice chairman, effectively allowed losses to be carried over, as the company set ambitious profit targets for its mainstay businesses, including the infrastructure construction, semiconductor and personal computer divisions, the sources said Saturday.

The panel believes Toshiba cooked its books partly because of clouded prospects for its nuclear power business after the March 2011 disasters sparked a triple meltdown crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.

The nuclear crisis eventually forced all of the nation’s 48 commercial reactors offline.

Toshiba had hoped to foster the nuclear power business into a key profit driver.

In addition, Toshiba has also found it difficult to achieve its profit goals due to surges in labor and material costs following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The panel, led by lawyer Koichi Ueda, a former chief prosecutor at the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office, will report its findings to Toshiba on Monday.

In its report, the panel is expected to propose that Toshiba appoint lawyers and certified public accountants as outside board members in order to prevent similar accounting irregularities from happening again.

The firm is scheduled to announce the outline of the panel report Monday evening. Tanaka is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to explain the wrongdoing and announce his resignation.

In addition to the ¥160 billion in padded profits, Toshiba is likely to be forced to book impairment losses of tens of billions of yen in its semiconductor and other businesses, sources said. Overall, Toshiba’s operating profits are expected to be revised down by some ¥200 billion, the sources added.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

As Areva Goes Belly Up, Modi’s French Nuclear Plans May Start Unravelling

nuke-ship-sinkingWhy is India bent on joining the sinking French nuclear ship?,, Vaiju Naravane | The Wire, 24 July 15 

The ink had yet to dry on two separate agreements signed by France’s Areva with Larsen & Toubro and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited for the French-designed 1650 MWe EPR reactor in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, when the French nuclear giant went into meltdown.

The agreements were signed with great fanfare during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France on 10th April 2015 despite the fact that question marks on Areva’s future as a viable nuclear player had been piling up thick and fast.

In May, mere weeks after Modi’s visit, Areva announced colossal losses amounting to 4.8 billion euros (well above its capital base) and in June the French government, which owns 87% of the company, announced that Areva would be broken up, with its nuclear power arm, Areva NP, (including engineering, construction and design) being sold to another French energy giant, EDF. The French state has an 84.5% stake in EDF.

Politically driven

Why then did India persist in signing MoUs with a sinking ship? Surely Indian decision-makers were not unaware of Areva’s problems? And why is India insisting on buying nuclear technology that may be quietly buried in the near future, technology that has trebled in cost while providing no proof of performance, cost or economics of operation so far? What will be the fate of the agreements signed between Areva and L&T and Areva and NPCIL? Will they be automatically transferred to EDF and if so at what price?

Could India not have waited for clarity over Areva’s future instead of rushing into signing agreements with a company on the verge of dismemberment? Or is it that the MoUs were hurriedly pushed through so that Modi would have a big ticket announcement to make during his first European tour?……..

The hurry to enter into these agreements is baffling since it is unclear what the long-term future of the expensive flagship EPR will be once EDF takes full charge of Areva. Energy experts say the EPR’s design issues and costs dragged down Areva and EDF is unlikely to want a similar  fate for itself……….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia to supply credit to sell untested nuclear reactors to Bangladesh

Russian-BearRosatom eager to sign three more accords with BAEC Shahnaj Begum, 22 July, 2015,  The Russian state-owned nuclear power agency, Rosatom, is eager to sign three separate deals with Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) before signing the general contract to install the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur on the north-west part of the country.

“Two separate deals will be sign to dispose of the “spent fuel” and another one will be sign for the maintenance of the power plant,” a senior official of the BAEC told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
According to the official one deal will be signed to arrange the fuel to run the plant and another one for the “back end” for taking away the waste of the plant, and another one is for the operational purpose (maintenance), he added.
“One technical team had flown to Moscow on July 21 and another one is set to fly on July 25 to discuss the separate issues,” Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman said.
Bangladesh formed three separate teams to discuss the issue.
It may be mentioned here that Bangladesh kicked off the negotiation with Russia in November last year but failed to draw a credit line and select the technology to be applied in the plant.
“We are yet to know about the technology, but we want to procure a reactor which will have SSE (safe shut acceleration) and capacity to handle minimum peak ground acceleration value of 0.38g (which means it would be all right against earthquake of 9 on the Richter scale),” a BAEC official said.
Although Bangladesh is yet to finalise any model and technology but it was learnt that it is going to procure TOI version which is still a new one and an experimental one.
“The capacity of TOI is around 1,255 MW, however, there is no difference between VVR 1,300 and TOI rather it is all most the same,” a senior scientist of BEAC said. He claimed that the same one is installed in India and is going to be installed in Russia.
“And still we don’t know anything about the price of the general contract, before that we have to sign these three deals,” according to the ICT Ministry. In June last the Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman visited Moscow to frame a credit line but failed to achieve a US$10 to $12 billion dollars for installing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) in Pabna district on the north-west of the country.
This is a follow-up to another visit by a high-powered technical committee to Russia last month.
This visit is necessary for selecting the right thing for Bangladesh and ensure a block allocation from the Russian Federation to implement the dream project, first of its kind in the country,” Yeafesh Osman said.
According to the BAEC ROSATOM will start designing the reactor for RNPP that requires money. Under the contract with the Russian Federation, it will provide the credit and agree to manage the “spent-fuel.”
Moscow financed the technical study of the RNPP. Under the deal Bangladesh would borrow an amount of $569 million with an interest rate of not less than 5 per cent from Russia.
Under the agreement, the Russian government will provide all necessary supports and infrastructure development to build the plant and supply necessary fuel to run the plant and also take back the spent fuel.
The government is going to build two nuclear plants with the capacity of 1,000 MW each at Rooppur with the latest ‘third generation’ technology from Russia where five-layer security measures would be installed, according to officials.
Following the signing of the first deal between Bangladesh and Russia, the Public Relations Director of ROSATOM, in a press conference in Dhaka, declared that ‘about $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars will be needed to set up 1000 MW power plant depending on security features and technology standards,’ but now ROSATOM is saying it needs around $10 to $12 billion.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Draft for UN climate deal needs to be shorter and clearer

climate-changeU.N. climate deal draft must be shorter, clearer: minister BY MEGAN ROWLING  LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) 23 July 15 – Ministers working towards a new U.N. deal to tackle climate change, due in December, need a negotiating text that is shorter and more manageable than the current draft, the Marshall Islands’ foreign minister said after informal talks in Paris.

“It should be something that people can understand, be able to work with and negotiate from,” chief diplomat Tony de Brum told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from France.

The current version of the draft text is a bewildering 85-page list of options, incorporating the demands of the nearly 200 nations participating in the process.

At the last round of formal U.N. talks in June, negotiators slimmed the document down by only a few pages and tasked the co-chairs with preparing a new version, to be published on Friday.

This unofficial document is expected to streamline the text, and may provide more structure aimed at sorting the elements of the draft into a potential core legal agreement and an accompanying set of decisions.

The message from this week’s two-day gathering in Paris of around 40 countries’ delegations, including 26 with ministers, and an earlier meeting of the world’s major economies was that the negotiating text should be short – around 40 pages – and ambitious, de Brum said………….

(Reporting by Megan Rowling; editing by Tim Pearce; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit

July 25, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

France quadruples carbon price, will move towards renewable energy

France Passes New Energy Law Quadruples Carbon Price, Bloomberg by  23 July 15, French lawmakers adopted a long-delayed energy law that will reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear reactors and raise carbon prices almost fourfold.

Lawmakers late Wednesday passed legislation that included a last-minute amendment initially rejected by the government to increase the target price of carbon to 56 euros ($61.48) a ton in 2020 and 100 euros a ton in 2030, according to the National Assemblywebsite. The rate, now 14.50 euros a ton, climbs to 22 euros a ton in 2016 and is integrated in a levy on fossil fuels.

The rise provides “visibility” to the business community on how carbon prices will evolve, Environment Minister Segolene Royal said. Higher taxes on fossil fuels will be offset by lower levies on other products, she also said.

 The new energy transition law, passed by a show of hands with no count to be published, reflects a campaign pledge three years ago by President Francois Hollande to cut France’s nuclear-energy reliance in favor of renewables………

July 25, 2015 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear corporation AREVA going down the financial gurgler

As Areva Goes Belly Up, Modi’s French Nuclear Plans May Start Unravelling,, 24 July 15 “………..The signs of Areva’s irreparable decline if not imminent death have been on the horizon these past years. With its single product catalogue, Areva has struggled to complete two identical EPR reactors, the first at Olkiluoto for TVO in Finland (still not operational despite a nine-year delay and a trebling of costs) and the second in Flamanville, France, plagued by equally serious construction and security flaws, delays and outrageous cost over-runs. …….

Areva bankrupt

Reactor woes continue

The estimated price of the reactor continues to go up and up – it has nearly trebled from 3.3 billion euros eight years ago to around 9 billion euros at current estimates and could go higher if the EPR’s technical problems persist. The company has run up a deficit estimated at 4.8 billion euros for a turnover of 8.3 billion. Its recapitalisation requirements stand at 7 billion euros. The French government has stepped in to impose draconian solutions on the company that will see its design, construction and operations arm hacked off and handed over to its arch enemy, EDF. When the negotiations with EDF are completed – the haggling over price is currently underway – Areva, a company that has built and operated some 64 nuclear reactors will be reduced to a dwarf.

The French nuclear security watchdog, ASN, has issued a number of severe warnings to Areva on major security issues and manufacturing and construction flaws in the reactor being built in Flamanville, France, one of four EPRs under construction in the world. One of the latest warnings concerns the weakness of the reinforced steel core at the heart of the reactor where nuclear fission takes place. French papers have described fissures in the reactor’s innermost core as measuring as much as 42 centimetres. If the ASN’s suspicions about the poor quality of the forging done by Areva are proved right (the final test results will be available in October), the reactor dome will have to be removed. This can only mean one thing: the total abandonment of the EPR in France. A decision is not expected until 2016.

Several reports published in France on the woes of the EPR describe it as a product of “French technological hubris”. It is a gigantic reactor that looks good on paper. But as the adage goes, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating and India did not wait long enough to see the reactor’s performance before rushing in to buy an untried product.

“The EPR reactor whose problems are at the heart of the current crisis is an expensive failure,” writes energy analyst Nick Butler. “It has to be written off and replaced by a new generation of smaller, less complex reactors that can be built on time and on budget. The EPR was designed at a time when it was believed that energy costs would rise inexorably. That is no longer the case.”…………There is also the question of Areva’s massive debt.

Uncertain future

The Finnish nuclear operator TVO is suing Areva for billions of dollars for the delays, cost over-runs (estimated at 7 billion euros instead of the 3.3 billion originally projected) and technical flaws related to the EPR in Olkiluoto. The failure of the Finnish EPR has contributed vastly to Areva’s troubles.

Once hailed as the harbinger of a nuclear renaissance, the EPR is fast becoming one of the world’s most criticised and by far the most expensive nuclear white elephants. In France work began in 2007 and the reactor was to have gone on stream in 2012. This date has now been pushed forward to 2017 at three times the initial cost.

Leaving aside the problems linked to cost, safety and technological know-how, it is at this stage totally unclear if EDF would like to pursue the EPR programme at all. Last year the European Commission gave the go ahead for building another EPR reactor at Hinkley Point in Britain. But British authorities, which were to have signed in March 2015, now appear reluctant to go ahead. The Financial Times reported that the project might be completely abandoned. In the US, plans to build the EPR have currently been suspended. as World Nuclear News reported in March, Areva “has asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to suspend work on the design certification of the US EPR until further notice, prompting Unistar Nuclear Energy to request the suspension of the review of its construction and operation licence (COL) application for Calvert Cliffs 3.”

July 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, Reference | Leave a comment

Safety concerns about the San Onofre site as a long-term waste-storage site

san-onofre-deadfNuke storage by the sea   Aguirre equates Southern California Edison to “drunken frat boys” By July 21, 2015 Concerns over nuclear waste generated by the now-defunct San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station expressed by environmental activists for years took another turn in the spotlight on Monday (July 20), as local activist attorney Mike Aguirre called attention to what he terms “SCUD,” or Southern California Uranium Dump.

Today, July 21, county supervisors are considering a $1.6 million agreement with San Onofre operator Southern California Edison to provide offsite emergency planning in the event of an on-site catastrophe. The specter for such an event looms as long as spent nuclear fuel, which remains highly volatile for millions of years, remains stored at the former power-generating facility.

Concerns about the San Onofre site as a long-term waste-storage site include several nearby earthquake faults. Experts have called for the fuel to be stored in dry casks after an initial five years’ cooling-off period in open pools of water, which Edison officials say they’ll do. Still, the casks are only expected to safely contain radioactive waste for about 25 years, though no long-term waste-storage facility exists and, even if one were cleared for construction immediately, it could be decades before waste is ready to leave the seaside locale near a public beach and within a potential evacuation zone that could displace millions of residents in a worst-case scenario.

“It is ludicrous that the same company that created the disaster by skirting safety rules is now responsible for the cleanup,” decried Aguirre in a release Monday afternoon. “They have behaved like drunken frat boys, leaving a mess on the beach for the adults to clean up. Can we really trust them to do it properly?”

July 25, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

There are still about 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Terrorists only need to steal one

70 years after Hiroshima, nuclear weapons threaten us all,       Nuclear weapons are an austerity-free zone Nearly 70 years ago, on 6 August 1945, the US dropped “Little Boy”, the first nuclear weapon used in warfare, on Hiroshima.

“Two thirds of the buildings in the city were destroyed and perhaps 80,000 civilians were killed”, observes Eric Schlosser, in Gods of Metal, a frightening yet moving account of how three Catholic pacifists, including an 82 year-old nun, broke into Y12, a top security nuclear weapons base in Tennessee, known as the Fort Knox of Uranium, where material used in the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was processed.

“The amount of weapons-grade uranium needed to build a terrorist bomb with a similar explosive force”, Schlosser adds in his extremely timely short book, “could fit inside a small gym bag”.

Though there are treaties banning biological and chemical weapons, cluster bombs, and landmines, there is no such ban on nuclear weapons, even though their use would breach international agreements, not least the Geneva Conventions.

70 years after Hiroshima, despite all the rhetoric and genuflection (and negotiations with Iran) moves towards global nuclear disarmament are further away than ever. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The world faces many nuclear threats: these are the top 5

#TalkAboutIt: Top five nuclear threats the world faces, ABC News, 25 July 15  TalkAboutIt

By Steven Viney and Stephanie Juleff The fear of a nuclear war has decreased dramatically over the past 25 years since the end of the Cold War.

But several events — including 2011’s Fukushima meltdown, Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, Islamic State’s pledge to obtain a nuclear weapon in 2015, and the recent Iran deal — have brought the nuclear-related threat back into public consciousness.

The diversity and unpredictability of these events only emphasise that the line between an intentional nuclear disaster and an atomic accident is blurry.

But is there still a real nuclear threat in 2015?

Here are five major modern-day nuclear threats according to the experts.

State vs state nuclear war (intentional)…….

State vs state nuclear war (unintentional)…

Nuclear terrorism……

Nuclear meltdown……

Nuclear waste storage…….

July 25, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment