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Three Exelon nuke sites fail to clear PJM auction….bye, bye Quad Cities?

GreenWorld

Bye, bye, Quad Cities. The site's failure to clear the PJM capacity auction is likely to presage its permanent shutdown. And that can't come too soon for these aging Fukushima-clone reactors. Bye, bye, Quad Cities. The site’s failure to clear the PJM capacity auction is likely to presage its permanent shutdown. And that can’t come too soon for these aging Fukushima-clone reactors.

Exelon’s troubled nuclear fleet ran into still more trouble Friday, when three of its nuclear sites–totaling four reactors–failed to clear the PJM capacity auction for 2018, despite PJM’s efforts to bolster big-time nuclear and coal generators.

The three losers were the two Quad Cities reactors, Three Mile Island and Oyster Creek.  Another Exelon reactor that is bleeding money is Clinton, in downstate Illinois, which is not part of the PJM service area.

Failing to clear the auction does not necessarily mean that these reactors will close, nor, for that matter, that they are even uneconomical. Although, in this case, they are either losing money or barely breaking even.

The capacity auction is held by PJM to ensure a reliable…

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More woes for Exelon as DC PSC rejects its takeover of Pepco

GreenWorld

cnbcexelonfallIt hasn’t been a very good week at Exelon headquarters near Chicago. First, four of its reactors–from New Jersey to Illinois, couldn’t clear the PJM capacity auction, putting their future in jeopardy. And this morning came the worst news of all for the company: The Washington DC Public Service Commission unanimously rejected its attempt to take over the local utility Pepco.

Even though four states and FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) had already approved the deal, approval from all jurisdictions involved is essential to allowing the deal to go through, so DC’s action–if it stands–will kill the deal entirely.

In Maryland, where the PSC voted 3-2 to approve the deal, with conditions, a few months ago, Attorney General Brian Frosh is continuing a legal case to attempt to force the PSC to reconsider its decision. The DC decision may give new impetus to that case, and may give grounds for…

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fishermen OK Tepco’s plan to dump Fukushima plant water into sea

FUKUSHIMA – Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture on Tuesday approved a plan by Tokyo Electric Power Co. to take contaminated groundwater continuously flowing into the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and dump it into the ocean after removing almost all radioactive materials from it.

The plan is one of Tepco’s key measures aimed at curbing the amount of toxic water buildup at the complex. Local fishermen had long opposed the plan amid concern it would pollute the ocean and contaminate marine life.

“I don’t know if it’s acceptable for all fishery operators, but stable work of decommissioning (of the Fukushima plant) is necessary for the revival of Fukushima’s fishery industry,” Tetsu Nozaki, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations, told reporters after a board meeting.

He also called on Tepco to ensure it will only discharge water which does not contain radioactive materials exceeding the legally allowed limit.

The amount of toxic water is piling up every day. Tainted groundwater is seeping into the reactor buildings and mixing with radioactive water generated through cooling the reactors that suffered meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

By pumping up water through drainage wells and dumping it into the ocean after treatment, Tepco said it will be able to halve some 300 tons of contaminated water being generated each day.

In exchange for approving the plan, the Fukushima fisherman’s association on Aug. 11 demanded among other things that the government and Tepco continue paying the fishermen compensation for as long as the nuclear plant damages their business.

On Tuesday, the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations also gave the green light to releasing the treated water into the sea.

Tepco has been struggling to resolve the problem of toxic water buildup at the plant since 2011, with radiation leakages into the environment still occurring regularly at the Fukushima complex.

The company is also behind schedule on a project to build a huge underground ice wall, another key measure to prevent radioactive water from further increasing at the site.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/25/national/fishermen-ok-tepcos-plan-dump-fukushima-plant-water-sea/#.VdyK0ZeFSM9

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Panel blames TEPCO’s negligence for delay in information disclosure

An outside panel of experts accused Tokyo Electric Power Co. of not living up to its responsibility to promptly release all available data on the contaminated water leaks at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The third-party panel said that up until February this year, plant operator TEPCO had been negligent in releasing information about radioactive water leaks, although it had data confirming the leaks.

Contaminated water had been confirmed leaking into the ocean every time it rained since TEPCO started monitoring the radioactive levels in drainage systems in April 2014.

When leaks of contaminated water into the plant’s harbor first came into light in summer 2013, the utility pledged to promptly report the radiation levels whenever it obtained monitoring data.

But workers at the plant had not been informed of the policy nor were they assigned specific tasks related to the policy.

The panel’s report concluded that TEPCO showed a tendency to prioritize responding to recurrent troubles at the plant over actually implementing effective countermeasures.

“There is an organizational culture at the company for officials to avoid clarifying where responsibility lies and implementing planned countermeasures,” the report said.

After its shoddy record of reporting information on radiation levels drew fire, TEPCO retraced past data and made it available to the public. It has disclosed all monitoring data on radioactive materials at the plant since Aug. 20

Source: Asahi Shimbun.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201508250044

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Seawater leak found at Sendai nuclear plant

The operator of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan, says it found seawater used to cool steam has leaked from some pipes.

The trouble occurred at a condenser for the plant’s No.1 reactor last Thursday. Officials at Kyushu Electric Power Company found elevated salt levels in the machine.

The condenser uses seawater to turn the steam from the power turbine back into water. The reactor has 3 condensers, and each one is equipped with 26,000 thin pipes to carry seawater.

Utility officials have been checking these pipes. They say they found cracks in 5 pipes in one condenser and that seawater had leaked from them.

The officials stopped the flow of seawater by putting plugs in the 5 pipes. They are now checking the other tubes. The utility firm says they will keep running the reactor.

The trouble occurred 9 days after the operator restarted the reactor on August 11th. It was the first to go back online under new regulations introduced after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

The utility was due to raise the reactor’s power output to 100 percent on Tuesday. But the problems are expected to delay the scheduled work by about one week.

Source: NHK
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150824_31.html

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima operator’s mounting legal woes to fuel nuclear opposition

IWAKI: Four and a half years after the Fukushima disaster, and as Japan tentatively restarts nuclear power elsewhere, the legal challenges are mounting for the crippled plant’s operator.They include a judge’s forced disclosure of a 2008 internal document prepared for managers at Tokyo Electric Power Co warning of a need for precautions against an unprecedented nuclear catastrophe.

Also, class actions against Tepco and the government now have more plaintiffs than any previous Japanese contamination suit and, overruling reluctant prosecutors, criminal charges have been leveled against former Tepco executives for failing to take measures to prevent the 2011 meltdowns and explosions.

Radiation from the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 forced 160,000 people from their homes, many never to return, and destroyed businesses, fisheries and agriculture.The criminal and civil legal cases do not threaten financial ruin for Tepco, which is now backstopped by Japanese taxpayers and faces far bigger costs to decommission the Fukushima plant and clean up the surrounding areas.

Rather, the cases could further increase opposition to nuclear restarts – which consistently beats support by about two-to-one – as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government pushes to restore nuclear to Japan’s energy mix to reduce reliance on imported fossil fuel.

“The nuclear plant disaster has upended our way of life,” evacuee and former beekeeper Takahisa Ogawa, 45, testified recently in a court in Iwaki, near the Fukushima power station. “We’ve lost the support we counted on.”

Ogawa and other plaintiffs are seeking 20 million yen ($160,000) each in damages from Tepco. More than 10,000 evacuees and nearby residents have brought at least 20 lawsuits against the utility and the government over the handling of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant 220 km (130 miles) north of Tokyo.

The biggest class action, with 4,000 plaintiffs, seeks to dramatically increase Tepco’s liability by proving negligence under Japan’s civil law, rather than simply proving harm and seeking compensation, said lead attorney Izutaro Managi.

Japan recently approved increasing the amount of compensation payments through a government-run fund to 7 trillion yen ($56 billion).

Prosecutors twice declined to charge former Tepco bosses over their handling of the disaster, citing a lack of evidence, but a citizens’ panel overruled them last month. It’s unlikely the three former executives, who will be summoned to give evidence in court, will be convicted as it is hard to prove criminal acts in this type of case, said Nicholes Benes of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan.A first trial is not expected to start until next year at the earliest.

The legal actions against Tepco are “serious for the industry” as it seeks to gradually bring some of Japan’s 43 idled nuclear reactors back online, said Tom O’Sullivan, an independent energy consultant and former investment banker.

“With potentially up to 25 reactors coming online, board members of other electric power companies must be quite nervous about what could happen if something goes wrong,” he said. “Most reactors have been switched off for four years so switching them back on is going to be potentially problematic, not to mention the risk of natural disasters.”

It’s unclear what bearing the various lawsuits against Tepco might have on one another, but a common thread is that it should have anticipated the possibility of a devastating quake and tsunami and taken steps to reduce the impact.The company maintains that the severity of the 9.0 magnitude quake and 13-meter wave could not have been predicted.

But the document introduced as evidence in the shareholders’ suit after a judge forced Tepco to produce it, appears to challenge that. The “Tsunami Measures Unavoidable” report, dated September 2008, was filed with the Tokyo District Court in June, but has not been widely reported.

The unnamed authors prepared the report for a meeting attended by the head of the power station and marked the document “to be collected after discussion.” It’s not clear whether senior executives in Tokyo saw the report at the time.

The report called for Tepco to prepare for a worse tsunami than it previously assumed, based on experts’ views.

“Considering that it is difficult to completely reject the opinions given thus far of academic experts on earthquakes and tsunami, as well as the expertise of the (government’s) Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion, it is unavoidable to have tsunami countermeasures that assume a higher tsunami than at present,” says the report.

“This is prime evidence that Tepco recognized the need for tsunami measures,” said Hiroyuki Kawai, lead attorney in the shareholders’ suit. “This will have an important impact on the lawsuit.”

Tepco, in a court filing, counters that the document “does not mean there was a risk that a tsunami would strike and did not assume any specific tsunami countermeasures.”

Asked to comment further on the internal report and the range of legal problems facing the company, Tepco spokesman Kohji Sakakibara told Reuters, “We cannot answer these questions because they pertain to lawsuits and because they suppose a hypothetical determination of negligence. However, the company is making appropriate assertions in the lawsuits and expects that in the end the courts will render fair judgments.”

The shareholder lawsuit, filed in March 2012, seeks to establish responsibility for the disaster and demands 5.5 trillion yen ($44 billion) in damages from current and former executives. A verdict is not expected for at least a year.

“This is likely to become a long battle where lawsuits go on for several decades or half a century,” said Shunichi Teranishi, a professor emeritus of environmental economics at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, comparing it to the Minamata mercury poisoning disaster in the 1950s, where lawsuits continue to be filed to this day.

Source: Daily Times

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/24-Aug-2015/fukushima-operator-s-mounting-legal-woes-to-fuel-nuclear-opposition

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuees promised 2017 return but ‘ineffective’ clear-up may take 200 years

Decontamination Radioactive soil is bagged up aug 23 2015

Radiation levels in the abandoned towns near the power plant in Japan are 19 times higher than that considered safe for humans

In an abandoned village where 15,839 people used to live, an unnerving silence prevails.

The families have gone, their cars have been left to rust, and house roof tiles lie shattered on the pavement.

Something terrible has taken place.

Even though the power lines are still down above the deserted streets, a newly installed LED screen over the main road flashes up numbers: 3.741, 3.688, 3.551.

They are radioactivity readings measured in microsieverts per hour, taken from Geiger counters in the ground below.

The normal safe level of background radiation in the air for humans to live in is 0.2 microsieverts. Here in Tomioka, in the shadow of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, radiation is 19 times that.

Recent photographs purporting to show mutant daisies near the plant went viral on Twitter. No wonder people are not coming back.

In March 2011, the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl left the world fearing the extent of the fallout.

Japan’s 43 other reactors were shut down after the meltdown and remained dormant until earlier this month, when Japan restarted its nuclear power programme by turning on a reactor at its Sendai plant in northwest Japan.

But just last week, London-based radioactivity expert Dr Ian Fairlie claimed that while 2,000 people have already died from the effects of evacuation and suicide, another 5,000 could develop cancer after exposure to radiation.

Today, the deathly pall of radiation still lingers. I went back to Japan’s devastated northeast coast after the government opened up part of the evacuation zone enforced after a tsunami caused the disaster.

An unprecedented decontamination operation continues around the clock in a 50-mile radius around the stricken power station.

It is part of a £7billion effort by a Japanese government wanting the community to be able to return.

But as I enter the dead zone I see scores of decontamination workers in masks, plastic gloves and thick overalls. Field by field, they are clearing the top layer of soil from every affected area of farming land and the places where people used to live.

They clear a buffer strip along the side of the forest covering the hillsides above.

The soil is shovelled into thick plastic bags, which are then piled up in football pitch-sized pyramids at designated radioactive waste sites by the roadside.

At one seafront storage facility, where the now-defunct Tomioka railway station used to be, thousands of tonnes of toxic waste line the beach.

Many here believe it is impossible to get rid of the radioactive dust coating this densely forested rural area following the meltdown of three reactors at Fukushima.

As my guide Makiko Segawa says: “They are only digging up the farmland and three metres on both sides of the roads. That is a drop in the ocean, really.

“When you look up into the mountains and the forests, you realise radioactivity is everywhere around us and they will never get rid of it properly.

“People here are genuinely terrified of the effects of radiation and don’t believe assurance it is safe to return.”

Some of the 200,000 evacuees who had to leave in the days after the reactor’s cooling system failed can return, but the majority say they never will.

A mask-wearing policeman patrolling to prevent looting tells me it is dangerous to spend more than 24 hours here.

“We are sent up from Tokyo for a few months at a time, but we never stay longer than we have to,” he concedes.

“I have a family, so of course I worry. We stay in the car as much as possible and try to keep on the move.”

The hands on the clock on the main street outside Tomioka’s supermarket have stopped at five minutes to three. It is a permanent reminder of the earthquake that happened 40 miles out to sea, triggering a 130ft-high tsunami that caused meltdown at Fukushima.

A few metres away, opposite a roadside garage, vending machines are shrouded in six-foot weeds.

There are haunting reminders of broken lives everywhere I look. Children’s shoes have been left on a Mickey Mouse rack by the front door of one shuttered-down property.

Behind screens, through windows cracked by the earthquake, are glimpses of families suddenly uprooted: clothes left to dry, meals unfinished.

It was recently announced the clearance teams have started decontaminating a school in Iitate, one of the places downwind from the Fukushima where radiation remains highest.

I peer through the window of the locked-up school building in Kusano and see it remains as it was on the day of the reactor failure. Boxes of textbooks and stationery sit unopened following a delivery, while the swimming pool is murky and covered in green algae.

Iitate was right in the path of the plant but residents were evacuated only a month later, so many face health problems due to dangerous exposure levels. And only a quarter of the town has been properly decontaminated so far.

A Greenpeace spokesman said: “The decontamination efforts are largely insufficient and ineffective. It is clear that radiation levels in Iitate are too high for a safe return of its residents.”

The disaster has also been blamed for 80 suicides. Last year, a court ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay £284,000 to relatives of a woman who killed herself after evacuation.

We pass abandoned amusement arcades, retail parks, restaurants and factories, all taped off and awaiting demolition. A church building is now a clean-up facility for the workers.

The government has assured all evacuees they can return home by 2017. Yet authorities were recently forced to admit the clean-up operation at the plant could take 200 years. Recent scans of one reactor revealed nuclear fuel in the furnace had melted and dripped into the outer containment vessel. It is so radioactive humans cannot go near it.

Tepco is developing robots capable of entering the ruined reactors and removing radioactive material safely. The alternative is to enclose the whole power station in concrete, above ground and below, as happened at Chernobyl.

Beyond a line of trees I see the outline of the plant. A security official stops our car when we stop at the turn-off.

His hands crossed in an X-shaped warning, it is clear Japan wants to keep its dirty secret away from prying eyes.

Source: Mirror

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-evacuees-promised-6307229

August 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Cameco Uranium Mining vs. Clean Water & Lakota People

Mining Awareness +

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, is holding evidentiary hearings starting today, Aug. 24 through August 28, in Crawford, Nebraska: “Cameco, Inc. must apply to renew its Crow Butte license, and has filed permit applications to open three additional uranium mines, 30 miles from our southern border inside our ancestral Ft. Laramie Treaty lands. They have opposition…” Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/08/17/environmental-justice-or-corporate-rights-water

Cameco Crow Butte In Situ Leach (ISL) Uranium Mine Nebraska
Cameco Crow Butte ISL Nebraska
Crow Butte In Situ Leach (ISL) Uranium Mine Evaporation Pond
Cameco Crow Butte Evaporation Pond
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE  cover
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE , p. A
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE , p. B
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 1
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 2
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE , p. 3
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 4
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 5
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 6
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 7
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & THE SURVIVAL OF A PEOPLE: URANIUM MINING &  THE OGLALA LAKOTA PEOPLE, p. 8
(Emphasis added. Read the rest here: http://www.mining-law-reform.info/lakotasurvival.pdfhttp://www.oweakuinternational.org/uranium-case—allies-and.html We may upload more pages as time allows.)
"Crying Earth Rise Up! Environmental Justice & The Survival Of A People: Uranium Mining & the Oglala Lakota People" (Copy Left by Owe Aku, Bring Back the Way ) Color added
Image from the document above, but painted.

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Final episode of SBS Uranium Documentary – PR for the nuclear industry

Nuclear Australia

Dennis Matthews, 24 Aug 15Watched the final episode tonight. The Canadian-Australian physicist comes up with the inevitable physicists conclusion, we need nuclear energy. This program takes the cake for outright sneekiness. After looking at the aftermath of Chernobyl and Fukushima any normal person would have no alternative but to conclude that nuclear is a non-starter.

Along the way, the physicist-turned-journalist contradicts himself when he acknowledges that in cases of (ionising) radiation it is difficult to make a connection between cause and effect and that (like asbestos) the deaths may come many years after the event, yet a few minutes later he definitively claims that no one was killed by (ionising) radiation at Fukushima. This is straight out of the nuclear industry handbook.

He also interviewed a pro-nuclear medical researcher who was allowed to state unchallenged that low doses of (ionising) radiation MAY be good for you and that the…

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate system changing more rapidly than expected. 

jpratt27

A STUNNING new Climate Council report that reveals the climate system is changing more rapidly than expected and with larger and more damaging impacts paints a stark picture of the urgent need for action, Professor Tim Flannery said today.
Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choices provides the most up-to-date, comprehensive synthesis of climate science in Australia and exposes the extent of the dramatic changes in the climate system worldwide.
“In short, the more we know about climate change, the riskier it looks,” Prof Flannery said.
“Heatwaves, sea level rise and ice loss are all increasing as the air, the ocean and the land continues to warm strongly. Extreme weather events like dangerous bushfire weather are becoming more severe and frequent.
“But this is a future we don’t have to have. Tackling climate change and moving to clean, renewable energy is the right thing to do. It’s the right thing…

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Oil hates a California climate bill so much that it’s telling outright lies about it

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

As Western wildfires follow the worst drought in modern history, the impacts of global warming have never been more stark. And as electric cars, LED light bulbs, and solar panels proliferate, the solutions have never been more obvious.  Sourced through Scoop.it from: grist.org

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August 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment