nuclear-news

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

Small Nuclear Power – Not Cheap, Not Beautiful, Not Safe – Not even NEW!

text-relevantWhen it comes to Nuclear Power, Small Isn’t Beautiful, Nor Safe Nor Cheap Nor Even New. USNRC NuScale Comment Deadline Monday Night 31 August, One Minute to text-SMRsMidnight NY-DC Time 30 SundayAug 2015 by

NuScale Power, LLC, Design-Specific Review Standard and Safety Review Matrix“Docket Folder Summaryhttp://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NRC-2015-0160 (If you don’t like the questions answer a different question, as per the advice that an MIT Ph.D. gave their grad student, and MIT is big on nuclear, the head of the US DOE, Moniz, teaches there, so it should be ok for this!)

NuScale in 2003 when it belonged to the US Gov and was called “MULTI-APPLICATION, SMALL, LIGHT WATER REACTOR (MASLWR)” INEEL/EXT-04-01626

Greenpeace’s Justin McKeating made an excellent analysis of NuScale last year (see below our commentary).

However, he overlooked that the US DOE actually invented NuScale under the name of MASLWR. So, this is at least a second round of government funding. The US government dropped MASLWR and former DOE workers picked it up, probably after the patent expired, dubbing it NuScale. And, they are still feeding off the taxpayer pork barrel dole.[1][2] Plus, it’s NuScale Not! The nuclear industry only knows how to recycle the same old stuff.

There doesn’t appear to be much, if anything, new about NuScale. The only known immediate nuclear deaths from a nuclear accident, in the US, were from a mini-SL-1 reactor that made nuclear fallout in rural Idaho. [3] In 1968, in Lucens Switzerland, there was a mini-underground nuclear reactor, which had a major accident. Although smaller than NuScale, 100 Rem (1 Sievert; 1000 mSv) was measured in the reactor cavern, and it is ranked as a major nuclear accident. Radiation was measured in the nearby village; it continues to leak radiation from the cavern. From the beginning the Lucens Reactor was plagued by leaks in the underground cavern and corrosion issues due to its underground location. [4] NuScale too will suffer from additional corrosion and extra problems of hydrogen attack because it is part underground and stuck in water on all sides. Underground nuclear isn’t a magic fix, on the contrary.

NuScale is apparently not really passive either “Conduction through the vessel wall is by itself not a sufficient mechanism for heat removal in the present design. A circulation path is required to effectively remove the core decay heat. The sump makeup system is required.” [5] Furthermore, Italian researchers found that if if “SUMP valves are not operated and the ADS vent valves stuck open“, then there was a six hour “grace” period before CHF [Critical Heat Flux] “conditions are reached at top of the core. The dryout cannot be quenched. Primary system coolant released thorugh the HTC top valve outside the contaiment” [6]. Six hour grace period to meltdown-nuclear accident. So, these are neither passive, nor perfectly safe. And, they are proposing putting them in large groups, which makes one wonder what’s the point. A quick look online shows that NuScale has just submitted a laundry list of patents (July 2015) which, looking at the list alone, sound less original, than trying to patent a chicken sandwich, as someone recently did.

From Greenpeace:
When it comes to nuclear power, small isn’t beautiful. Or safe or cheap.
Blogpost by Justin McKeating – June 19, 2014 at 11:55
Not beautiful, safe or cheap: a message to the United States, where the Obama administration has pledged to waste money financing the Small Modular Reactor (SMR).

SMRs are supposed to be small and prefab – constructed from parts made in a central location and slapped together onsite like a cheap prefab home. Those parts can then be shipped out and built by staff who don’t necessarily have the skills to build larger, more complex reactors.

The trouble is, this is merely old nuclear technology in new clothes. So why is the US Department of Energy (DoE) is giving $217 million dollars over five years to NuScale, a SMR manufacturer.

 

Let’s note, with a weary shake of the head, that this is yet another public subsidy for the failing economics of nuclear power, and take a look why this is a bad investment of taxpayer dollars by the Obama administration.

Dr. Mark Cooper, senior fellow for economic analysis at the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School, has published a paper titled, The Economic Failure of Nuclear Power and the Development of a Low-Carbon Electricity Future: Why Small Modular Reactors Are Part of the Problem, Not the Solution.

In his paper, Dr. Cooper finds SMRs won’t be cheaper and, more worryingly, manufacturers and supporters of the technology want to short-circuit safety regulations to get them built.
With the Fukushima disaster in its fourth year and no real solution to the ongoing problems and massive contamination in the foreseeable future, maybe now is not the time to talk about reducing nuclear safety, particularly with experimental, untested technology.

 

Dr Cooper adds SMRs will be more expensive than traditional nuclear technologies and that up to $90 billion dollars will be needed to make SMRs commercially viable. That’s a huge sum that will drag financing away from renewable power projects that are vital in the fight against climate change.

We’ve been here before: the story of the nuclear industry wasting billions is an old one…….. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/when-it-comes-to-nuclear-power-small-isnt-beautiful-nor-safe-nor-cheap-nor-even-new-usnrc-nuscale-comment-deadline-monday-night-31-august-one-minute-to-midnight-ny-dc-time/

 

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Reference, technology, USA | 1 Comment

A splurge of spin for NuScale’s Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

text-relevantNuScale hopes to change the conversation on nuclear power, Corvallis Gazette Times. 30 Thorium-snake-oilAug 15 “…….On Aug. 20 he was in Corvallis, speaking to more than 200 like-minded souls gathered for a fancy dinner in the main ballroom of Oregon State University’s CH2M Hill Alumni Center for an exposition on nuclear energy sponsored by NuScale Power, a local company working to develop what it hopes will be the first small modular reactor approved for use in the United States.

Over plates of steak and scallops, Shellenberger painted a picture of a golden future in which human nuke-paranoiasuffering and environmental degradation could be overcome with the aid of affordable, plentiful, carbon-free energy — if only we can get past what he called our irrational bias against nuclear power.
“Saving nature in the 21st century,” he said, “is going to require that we confront our fears.”

It was a theme that came up over and over again during NuEx, a two-day trade show and networking extravaganza that reinforced NuScale’s status as the frontrunner to win the first Nuclear Regulatory Commission certification for a small modular reactor or SMR, a next-generation technology touted as cheaper, safer and more flexible than traditional large-scale nuclear power plants.

Some 230 nuclear industry representatives, investment bankers, political operatives and journalists descended on Corvallis for the event, where they were wined and dined, heard market forecasts and inspirational speeches, toured NuScale facilities and discussed possible business deals with the up-and-coming company……… Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission ignores Recommendation on Plans to Address a Core-Melt Accident

HYPOCRISY-NRC-NRC Rejects Recommendation to Require Nuclear Plant Owners to Establish Plans to Address a Core-Melt Accident, UCS, Washington (August 28, 2015)

Commissioners Ignore Lessons of Fukushima

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has rejected the recommendation of the high-level task force it convened after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster to require nuclear plant owners to develop and maintain plans for coping with a core-melt accident. This decision will allow nuclear plants to continue to maintain those plans voluntarily and deny the agency the authority to review those plans or issue citations if they are deficient.

“Once again, the NRC is ignoring a key lesson of the Fukushima accident: Emergency plans are not worth the paper they are printed on unless they are rigorously developed, maintained and periodically exercised,” said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “When it comes to these critical safety measures, the NRC is allowing the industry to regulate itself.”

In a decision posted on the NRC’s ADAMS website on August 27, NRC commissioners instructed agency staff to remove a provision of a proposed draft rule aimed at protecting plants from Fukushima-type accidents that would require nuclear plants to establish Severe Accident Management Guidelines, or SAMGs. The staff’s proposal was in response to Recommendation 8 of the NRC’s post-Fukushima staff recommendations, which questioned the effectiveness of NRC’s current practice of allowing plant owners to develop and maintain the SAMGs on a voluntary basis.  ……

Yesterday’s decision also removes a provision from the proposed draft rule that would require new reactors to have additional design features to protect against Fukushima-type accidents. By eliminating this requirement, Lyman said, the NRC is relinquishing the opportunity to ensure that new reactors built in the United States will have stronger protection measures than the current reactor fleet.  http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/NRC-Rejects-Requiring-Core-Melt-Plans-0522#.VeOCWSWqpHw

August 31, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | 1 Comment

Barents Sea – the Arctic’s radioactive legacy of Soviet nuclear weapons testing

“The Barents Sea and the coast of Novaya Zemlya were turned into a dump for solid and liquid radioactive waste. A catastrophic situation has been created. A real threat has emerged, not only to sea mammals but everything in the ocean. The ecological and genetic consequences are unpredictable.”

Novaya Zemlya, an Arctic island twice as big as Switzerland, was cleared of its inhabitants in the 1950s to make way for nuclear weapons testing.

The frigid waters of the White and Barents seas were used as a dump for spent reactors from nuclear submarines and icebreakers.

Kara-barents_seaAt top of the world, the Soviet legacy is pollution, Baltimore Sun  April 19, 1992|By Kathy Lally | Kathy Lally,Moscow Bureau ARCHANGEL, Russia — Soviet power has disappeared here, but it has left a fatal legacy.

The march toward communism cost the people of Archangel their pure air, clean water and even the health of their children. This snowy expanse near the Arctic Circle seems fouled beyond all understanding.

The damage was thorough, unrelenting and so insidious that scientists have yet to determine its extent.

The latest victims are thousands of harp seals dying of cancer from the harm the former Soviet Union inflicted upon itself and its unsuspecting people as it moved to industrialization and superpower status. Scientists suspect that these beautiful animals with the large imploring eyes are being killed by years of irresponsible Soviet nuclear testing and dumping.

Once the seals were threatened only by hunters who club the pups to death for their luxurious, snow-white pelts. Now those that survive migrate through water so contaminated that environmentalists imagine it fairly crackles with radioactivity.

Scientists began taking blood and tissue samples from the seals two years ago, after more than a million dead starfish washed up along the White Sea coast.

They are still unsure of what killed the starfish, but the study of the seals has revealed blood pathologies consistent with long-term toxic or radioactive exposure.

“This is a problem so big and serious it goes beyond us,” says Yuri K. Timoshenko, director of the marine mammal laboratory at the Polar Scientific Research Institute here. Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans | 2 Comments

USA’s super costly new bomb could ignite anew arms race

bomb B61-12Inside the Most Expensive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/nuclear-weapon-obama-most-expensive-ever

Could America’s latest atomic weapon ignite a new arms race?

—By  and 

September/October 2015 issue Engineers at the United States’ nuclear weapons lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico,have spent the past few years designing and testing the B61-12, a high-tech addition to our nation’s atomic arsenal. Unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb. A new tail kit assembly, made by Boeing, enables the bomb to hit targets far more precisely than its predecessors.
Engineers at the United States’ nuclear weapons lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico,have spent the past few years designing and testing the B61-12, a high-tech addition to our nation’s atomic arsenal. Unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb. A new tail kit assembly, made by Boeing, enables the bomb to hit targets far more precisely than its predecessors.

Using “Dial-a-yield” technology, the bomb’s explosive force can be adjusted before launch from a high of 50,000 tons of TNT equivalent to a low of 300 tons—that’s 98 percentsmaller than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima 70 years ago.

Despite these innovations, the government doesn’t consider the B61-12 to be a new weapon but simply an upgrade. In the past, Congress has rejected funding for similar weapons, reasoning that more accurate, less powerful bombs were more likely to be used. In 2010, the Obama administrationannounced that it would not make any nuclear weapons with new capabilities. The White House and Pentagon insist that the B61-12 won’t violate that pledge.

The B61-12 could be deployed by the new generation of F-35 fighter jets, a prospect that worries Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “If the Russians put out a guided nuclear bomb on a stealthy fighter that could sneak through air defenses, would that add to the perception here that they were lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons?” he asks. “Absolutely.”

So far, most of the criticism of B61-12 has focused on its price tag. Once full production commences in 2020, the program will cost more than $11 billion for about 400 to 480 bombs—more than double the original estimate, making it the most expensive nuclear bomb ever built.

This story comes from our friends at Reveal. Read more of their coverage of the B61-12 and national security.

Len Ackland is a former newspaper reporter and editor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine. He is the author of Making a Real Killing: Rocky Flats and the Nuclear West.

Burt Hubbard is the editorial director of I-News. His numerous awards include two prestigious Best of the West awards, a National Education Award for investigative reporting, and Reporter of the Year in Colorado.

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear stations are powered by fossil fuels: let’s leave all fossil fuels in the ground

A more prudent appeal, that of the NGOs issued last June on Mediapart, expressed a wish to « ban all new projects involving polluting energies and thus guarantee that access to clean inexpensive and secure energy becomes a public good», 

we must point to the clever propaganda of the nucleocrats, who are even rash enough to claim that « nuclear energy is good for the climate». In reality, nuclear energy, viewed merely from the perspective of climate, shares all the defects of the other fossil fuels.

nuclear energy contributes also to global warming

The signatories of the Appeal « Let’s leave the fossil fuels in the ground. That’s how to put an end to climate crimes» would be well advised to say so too. By publishing, why not, an extra codicil to their appeal.

globalnukeNOClimate Change and Nuclear Power: You Don’t Cure the Plague by Spreading Cholera. Nuclear Radiation is not the Solution to Global Warming By Jean-Marie Matagne Global Research, August 29, 2015Action of Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament 28 August 2015 In the lead-up to COP21, a hundred French and international personalities are signing an appeal on Mediapart, entitled :

 ”Let’s leave the fossil fuels in the ground. That’s how to put an end to climate crimes”.

And we, simple citizens, are invited to sign too. One would like to be able to sign, but alas, the text is not suitable : not because of what it says, which is generally true, but because of what it doesn’t say and which immediately casts great doubt on the rest. For to say half a truth and omit the other half is not truth-telling. Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Israeli PM Netanyahu approves of civil nuclear power for Iran

flag-IsraelNetanyahu OK with ‘civilian’ Iran nuke program, The Hill,  By Mark Hensch, 30 Aug 15,  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that he approves of Iran using nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Netanyahu added that he opposes President Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran based only on its military implications.

“Allow me to make clear that Israel is not opposed to a civilian nuclear program in Iran,” he said in Florence, Italy Saturday evening, according to The Jerusalem Post.  ……..http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/252286-netanyahu-ok-with-civilian-iran-nuke-program

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Women not equally involved in expert discussions on #nuclear disarmament

nuclear-and-womenIn the debate towards nuclear disarmament, where are all the women?, Institute for Security Studies  26 August 2015 This year marks seven decades since the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Commemorating this devastating event raises critical questions about efforts to eliminate and curb the spread of nuclear weapons. Among the many debates, there is, however, one pertinent question that is often overlooked: where are all the women?

On the face of it, contexts where nuclear weapons and efforts at disarmament are typically discussed appear to be gender neutral – that is, allowing for the equal participation of women and men.

Organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) have come a long way in creating a gender-equitable space in the peace and security arena. The AU, for instance, has dedicated this year to African women’s empowerment and development. Yet, are women and men equally involved in initiatives and forums for eliminating and curbing the spread of nuclear weapons?

An analysis of the level of participation of women and men in two particular forums revealed some compelling findings. The analyses were based on data collected from the lists of participants available online from the Review Conferences of Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); and the United Nations Programme of Fellowships on Disarmament………..

These analyses make it clear that women and men are differently involved in initiatives, discussions and negotiations in arenas for curbing and eliminating nuclear weapons. There are other factors that might explain the underrepresentation of women, intended or unintended, in nuclear weapons platforms that merit further investigation. Which factors, for example, might dissuade women from considering a career in a field related to disarmament and arms control? Is there a marked shortfall of women with the relevant expertise, and if so, why? Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, women | 1 Comment

Call for USA Department of Energy accountability on Idaho’s radioactive trash importation

these contractors are doing work for the Department of Energy, a federal agency using taxpayer dollars. The federal government must be held accountable in Idaho at all times.

Idaho’s role in the national nuclear waste and research strategy deserves more scrutiny. The proposed fuel rods contain some of the most radioactive material on earth. The industry and government have not determined how to “safely” handle and store waste that has a half-life longer than any human civilization has existed. Perhaps, instead of raising alarmist notions that Idaho’s economy depends on begging for nuclear waste imports, the DOE could first finish what it started with the waste we already have.

radioactive trashIdahoans should demand accountability on nuclear waste. BY KELSEY JAE NUNEZ HTTP://WWW.IDAHOSTATESMAN.COM/2015/08/29/3961694/GUEST-OPINION-IDAHOANS-SHOULD.HTML August 29, 2015 The state of Idaho should stand tall while demanding that the Department of Energy honor its commitments to the people of Idaho.

While the Idaho National Laboratory may be an economic force in our state, the history of the site is plagued by the federal government’s irresponsible and shortsighted practices involving disposal of nuclear waste. These actions contaminated the air, the soil, and the Snake River Aquifer with radioactive materials that will remain hazardous until the end of fathomable time. Real people suffered. Decades of dumping and controversial plans to continue shipping nuclear waste from around the world into Idaho caused outrage among many of its citizens. Litigation led to the now-famous 1995 Settlement Agreement, which is hardly outdated — the deadlines have just recently starting to come due.

The 1995 Settlement Agreement represents a set of negotiated promises from the federal government to Idahoans — promises to clean up the nuclear waste it brought here, and promises to limit the importation of more. Enforcing the agreement is Idaho’s legal and moral obligation, and the people should not tolerate manipulative tactics and attempts to bully Idaho into abandoning it. Continue reading

August 31, 2015 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Michigan residents urged to submit comments on Canada’s nuclear waste dump plan – Congressman Dan Kildee –

Bruce NGS Great Lakes Lake HuronCongressman Dan Kildee Urges Michiganders to Submit Comments on Canadian Plan to Bury Nuclear Waste on the Shores of the Great Lakes August 19, 2015 Current 90-Day Comment Period ‘Critical Opportunity’ for Citizens to Have Voices Heard and Stop Plan, Kildee Says

Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today announced a new community initiative today to protect the Great Lakes and encourage Michigan residents to get involved to stop a Canadian plan to bury nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Currently, Canada has opened a 90-day comment period seeking comments from both U.S. and Canadian citizens on the proposed plan. Today Congressman Kildee, joined by Michigan Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich and concerned citizens, announced a new write-in campaign to the Canadian Minister of the Environment to ensure that Michiganders’ voices are heard on this important issue that threatens our Great Lakes. Instructions on how to submit public comments are below.

“We must protect the Great Lakes from harm, including from the threat of Canadian nuclear waste,” Congressman Kildee said. “Burying nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron just doesn’t make sense and is too much of a risk to take, especially considering nuclear material remains radioactive for thousands of years. There is growing opposition to this plan, both in the U.S. and Canada, and now Michiganders have a chance to be heard and express their views too. I encourage all Michigan residents to speak up and submit comments to Canadian officials during this open comment period to demonstrate that Michigan stands united against this threat to our Great Lakes.”

Today’s announcement in Flint is the latest effort by Congressman Kildee in recent weeks to raise awareness about the potential Canadian plan and stop the burying of nuclear waste so close to the Great Lakes. Last week, along with Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Congressman Kildee announced new legislation to invoke the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and mandate that a new study be conducted to examine the proposal’s risks………

To date, 168 municipalities – in both the U.S. and Canada – have passed resolutions opposing the plan, including Flint, Mich., Bay County, Mich.; Toronto, Ontario; Chicago, Ill.; Wayne County, Mich.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; Essex County, Ontario; and Rochester County, New York. The Michigan State Senate also has passed a resolution opposing the Canadian nuclear waste storage site.

To submit their comments, Michigan residents must write to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency by September 1, 2015. Comments can be submitted by mail or email.

Anyone who would like to submit comments by mail should send them to: Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency; 22nd Floor, 160 Elgin Street, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3

Anyone who would like to submit comments by email should send them to:ceaa.conditions.acee@ceaa-acee.gc.ca   http://dankildee.house.gov/congressman-dan-kildee-urges-michiganders-to-submit-comments-on-canadian-plan-to-bury-nuclear-waste-on-the-shores-of-the-great-lakes/

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Canada, politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

USA Senate votes rising in support of Iran nuclear deal

Vote tally supporting Iran nuclear deal rises to 31 in Senate , CBS News 30 Aug 15 WASHINGTON — Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley on Sunday became the 31st senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum builds behind the agreement the Obama administration and other world powers negotiated with Tehran.

Merkley’s backing puts supporters within reach of the 34 votes required to uphold a presidential veto of a congressional resolution disapproving the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

…….A vote on the nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Iran is scheduled for early September. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vote-tally-supporting-iran-nuclear-deal-rises-to-31-in-senate/

August 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Ameren begins moving nuclear waste to central Missouri site

 August 30, 2015 by  Ameren has started moving spent fuel into its new dry cask storage facility in Callaway County that will hold a portion of that fuel. Shannon Abel with Ameren said the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is also involved in the move to ensure the process is done safely……http://www.missourinet.com/2015/08/30/ameren-begins-moving-nuclear-waste-to-central-missouri-site/

August 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

1,100 union workers to strike at nuclear weapons plant 

Frank Munger, Aug 29, 2015 Union workers at the Pantex nuclear weapons plant — a sister plant to Y-12 in Oak Ridge — this week rejected a final contract offer and voted to go on strike, effective at midnight Friday…… http://www.knoxnews.com/news/local-news/1100-union-workers-to-strike-at-nuclear-weapons-plant_52487665

August 31, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

“Contaminated rainwater at Fukushima plant repeatedly leaked into sea

FUKUSHIMA — Rainwater containing radioactive contaminants flowed from a drainage ditch by the reactor buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant into the sea on five occasions in just over four months, it has been learned.

The ditch is 2 meters deep and 2 meters wide, and stretches for about 800 meters. It was created to ferry rainwater from the plant grounds into the ocean, but in February this year it was learned that highly contaminated rainwater from the top of the No. 2 reactor building had flowed into the ditch and subsequently into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, set up a 70-centimeter-high dam in the ditch, as well as eight pumps to move water from the ditch to another ditch that runs into a sealed harbor area. The pumps, which together can process rainfall of 14 millimeters per hour, were started on April 17 this year.

On April 21, however, loss of power caused by trouble with power generators resulted in all of the pumps shutting down, and contaminated water leaked into the sea. On July 16, rainfall rose to 21 millimeters per hour at one point. This was more than the pumps could handle, and workers confirmed that water flowed into the ocean. In all, five leaks from the ditch occurred in the period between April 17 and Aug. 27.

The concentrations of radioactive cesium and other radioactive materials in the contaminated rainwater ranged from around 20 to 670 times the safety level set for a “subdrain” plan in which decontaminated groundwater is to be released into the ocean.

The volume of leaked rainwater is unknown, but no changes have been seen in radioactive concentrations in the sea near the plant.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government on Aug. 27 issued a new request to TEPCO to introduce leak prevention measures. The next day, TEPCO raised the ditch dam by 15 centimeters, but Naohiro Masuda, chief decommissioning officer at Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Co., says, “Our main countermeasure will be to replace the ditch with a new one.”

This new ditch is designed to carry rainwater into the sealed harbor area. Masuda indicated that until completion of the new ditch — scheduled within the fiscal year — additional leaks may be unavoidable. The plant therefore looks set to enter the typhoon season without full preparations against further leaks.

In February, after the rainwater leaks were discovered, fishermen protested that TEPCO had not released radiation measurements for the drainage ditch water for around 10 months. Negotiations with fishermen over the subdrain plan were subsequently put on hold. However, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations officially agreed to the plan after receiving notification from TEPCO and the national government regarding measures to prevent a recurrence of the leaks.

Regarding the rainwater leaks, federation chairman Tetsu Nozaki commented, “All we can do is to ask TEPCO to improve the situation. The subdrain plan is a separate issue, and there is no change in our acceptance of it.”

Source: Mainichi

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150829p2a00m0na019000c.html

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Tochigi town residents rally against selection as candidate site for final disposal of radiation-tainted waste

n-fukplant-b-20150830-870x519

UTSUNOMIYA – About 2,700 residents of Shioya, Tochigi Prefecture, gathered Saturday to oppose the central government’s choice of the town as a candidate site for the final disposal of some of the radiation-tainted waste resulting from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The residents adopted a resolution urging the plan be scrapped. Among those taking part was Mayor Hirobumi Inomata from Kami, another candidate site in Miyagi Prefecture.

In Tochigi Prefecture, designated waste that contains more than 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram is currently stored at about 170 different locations on a temporary basis.

For final disposal, the Environment Ministry selected state-owned land in Shioya at the end of July, but the plan has since met strong local opposition.

In 2012, another city in Tochigi Prefecture, Yaita, which borders Shioya, was selected as a candidate site for final waste disposal. However, the government was later forced to reconsider the decision due to fierce local opposition.

The state is planing to build landfill facilities for final disposal in five prefectures — Tochigi, Miyagi, Chiba, Gunma and Ibaraki prefectures — which lack the capacity to dispose of such waste at existing facilities.

In a related move Friday, three nuclear plant makers denied responsibility for the March 2011 Fukushima meltdown at the first hearing on a lawsuit seeking damages from the companies.

Representatives from Toshiba Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and General Electric Co. sought to dismiss the damage claims in Tokyo District Court.

The claims were lodged by about 1,400 people in Japan, including Fukushima residents, and 2,400 people from other places with nuclear plants, such as South Korea and Taiwan.

According to the plaintiffs, the plant makers insisted they have no obligation to compensate for damage from the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, referring to the law on nuclear damage compensation, which stipulates that only power suppliers have responsibilities for nuclear accidents.

The plaintiffs claim that the law, which gives nuclear plant makers immunity from compensation claims, violates the Constitution and therefore is invalid. Under the product liability law and other laws, they are demanding payment of ¥100 each.

Meeting with the press after speaking in court, Kazue Morizono, a 53-year-old resident of Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, said she hopes the lawsuit will clarify responsibility for the nuclear accident.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/29/national/plant-makers-deny-responsibility-court-fukushima-nuclear-accident/#.VeHRspeFSM9

August 31, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment