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November 21 -23 WORLD NUCLEAR VICTIMS FORUM – Himawari, Japan

text-Please-NoteWORLD NUCLEAR VICTIMS FORUM ( NEW PROGRAM 28,OCT,2015)

70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

For a Nuclear-Free Future! World Nuclear Victims Forum

Date: November 21 (Saturday) – November 23 (Monday)

Location: Hiroshima International Conference Center, Himawari

 Hosted by the World Nuclear Victims Forum Executive Committee                                                                                            

   (Abbreviated as WNVF in the following)

Program

October 28, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Campaign is launched against dangerous nuclear waste transport

radiation-truckFlag-USAStop Fukushima Freeways Campaign Kicks Off http://yubanet.com/usa/Stop-Fukushima-Freeways-Campaign-Kicks-Off.php#.Vi_lUdIrLGg
New Map shows DC AREA would be a Corridor for Extremely Dangerous Radioactive Nuclear Waste Shipments  
By: Nuclear Information & Resource Service (NIRS) Washington, DC October 27, 2015 – Over 250 intensely radioactive nuclear waste shipments would cross through the Washington DC metropolitan area and thousands more would travel across the roads, rails and waterways of the nation, if plans for the country’s first, and scientifically indefensible, nuclear waste repository in Nevada move forward. Today, Nuclear Information and Resource Service released maps of the likely routes radioactive shipments would use, joining dozens of environmental and clean energy groups across the country. The groups want residents to weigh in with Congress and decision makers about the dangers.

According to the map, highly radioactive waste fuel from nuclear power reactors in Virginia and Maryland would pass through the DC area on railroad tracks next to Metro Rail trains, including passing though Union Station. Each shipment contains several times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bomb blast released, with 20 to 50 tons of irradiated fuel assemblies in each canister. Department of Energy studies completed in the 1990s confirmed that accidents in transporting the waste to Yucca Mountain would be a certainty, due to the large number of shipments that would be required. The shipments would also be vulnerable to attack or sabotage along the hundreds or thousands of miles that each cask would travel.

“The DC area is not ready for mass transportation of nuclear waste—we can barely handle severe weather conditions” said Diane D’Arrigo of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS). “First responders are not trained or equipped for high level radioactive waste accidents and a shipping campaign of this magnitude is unprecedented. We have all witnessed horrible oil train derailments and explosions in recent months. An accident involving tons of nuclear waste in Washington, DC could force thousands of people to evacuate their homes, schools, and businesses and radioactively-contaminate dozens of square miles,” D’Arrigo reported.

Some in Congress want to force a nuclear waste dump to open in Nevada, over President Obama’s and the state’s objections as well as that of the Western Shoshone Nation. The president has defunded the proposed Yucca Mountain repository since 2010, effectively abandoning the controversial project, while Nevada is certain that the site is not suitable for storing nuclear waste and opposes the project. Nevada controls land and water rights the federal government would need to complete the project. To overcome that obstacle, Congress would need to enact a law overriding the state’s rights. Doing so would then open the door for the nuclear waste shipments to begin.

“Congress should stop wasting time and money on Yucca Mountain which should have been disqualified long ago for its technical inability to isolate nuclear waste,” said Tim Judson, NIRS Executive Director. “It is unconscionable to risk the lives of DC area residents transporting nuclear waste through our neighborhoods and railways just to dump it at Yucca Mountain, where we know it will leak anyway. We need real isolation of nuclear waste, and we are never going to get there until Congress officially cancels Yucca Mountain and moves on. Until then, the waste can be stored more securely where it is now, without putting it on our roads, rails and waterways, traveling through our communities,” concluded Judson.

NIRS is calling on Mayor Bowser and Governors McAuliffe and Hogan to oppose Yucca Mountain and prevent transportation of nuclear waste until there is a scientifically proven, environmentally sound, and socially responsible long-term management plan. The nuclear waste problem can never truly be resolved until nuclear power plants are permanently shut down and stop generating radioactive material. New reactors would only exacerbate the problem: more dump sites would need to be created, and the transportation of lethal atomic waste would have to continue indefinitely.

Large-scale nuclear waste transport would also occur if, as some in Congress advocate, a “centralized interim storage” site for high-level radioactive waste were created. In that case, the waste would either have to move twice (once to the interim site, and then to a permanent site), thus doubling the risks or the “interim” site would become a de facto permanent waste dump–without going through the necessary scientific characterization.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | ACTION, USA | Leave a comment

Anxiety over transport of dangerous radioactive trash

both Nevada residents and a host of anti-nuclear groups in states along the likely routes have opposed the plan, saying a mistake is inevitable in the transport of so much fuel, estimated by the Tennessee Environmental Council at 20 tons to 50 tons of irradiated fuel in each canister. 

safety-symbol1radiation-truckRadioactive waste could be transported through Chattanooga, anti-nuclear group says  http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2015/oct/27/radioactive-waste-could-be-transported-through-chattanooga-anti-nuclear-group-says/332775/ {incl maps)  The Tennessee Environmental Council, an anti-nuclear watchdog group, says that Chattanooga is a likely waystation for the transport of nuclear waste on its way to Nevada.

A map released by the group shows that radioactive waste from 30 nuclear reactors would pass through Tennessee by rail, each shipment containing more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bomb blast.

Chattanooga would likely see shipments from the Sequoyah nuclear plant pass through on its way south and west, while fuel from the Watts Bar plant would likely be transported north. Other shipments coming from Georgia and beyond could be transported through Chattanooga on its way to Nashville. 

Nashville would see far more traffic, the group said, with waste from 21 reactors in 6 states passing through the city’s Radnor Yard.  Under a plan that has been in the works for many years, but that has faced stiff opposition from many groups, nuclear fuel that is piling up at plants across the nation would be transported to a more secure facility in Nevada, dubbed Yucca Mountain. The facility, which is buried deep underground, would offer a safer storage option for the dangerous waste, which remains radioactive for thousands of years, officials say.

But both Nevada residents and a host of anti-nuclear groups in states along the likely routes have opposed the plan, saying a mistake is inevitable in the transport of so much fuel, estimated by the Tennessee Environmental Council at 20 tons to 50 tons of irradiated fuel in each canister.

The likely routes to be used to transport the fuel would be “vulnerable to attack or sabotage along the hundreds or thousands of miles that each cask would travel,” the group warned in a news release.

But some on Congress worry that the danger is just as great, if not greater, when nuclear fuel is sitting in storage piles at dozens of sites across the U.S., each of which must be secured separately. Though U.S. President Barrack Obama has defunded the Yucca Mountain site, some lawmakers have proposed overriding objections by Nevada and others in order to store the fuel underground in a central repository.  The Tennessee Environmental Council also questioned whether first responders along the routes to Nevada have been trained to handle a “rad waste” accident, which could pose similar or worse hazards than recent derailments of oil trains, or trains carrying dangerous chemicals. To generate support in their efforts to stop nuclear power, the group has coined the routes “Fukushima Freeways,” a reference to a nuclear plant in Japan that exploded after a Tsunami knocked out its power supply.

According to a data sheet supplied by Nevada officials, Tennessee would ship an estimated 2,663 of the large casks by rail, and Georgia would ship another 1,672, with Alabama shipping a further 1,514 casks.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

USNRC Comment Deadlines (as of October 26, 2015, ET)

Mining Awareness +

Below are US NRC documents to comment, as of October 26th. Probably there will be more tomorrow. Most of these items are very important. The most important, of course, is the attempt to increase public exposure to deadly radiation by 100 times more than international (ICRP) recommendations and 400 times more than the US EPA allows. It is an extermination protocol. Not only will everyone get at least one cancer, but the ICRP points to increased lethal embryonic effects at doses above 100 mSv, and malformations (ICRP, 103, 2007, p. 57).

Clearly, only those funded by nuclear utilities and other parts of the nuclear industry (and the NGOs which they fund) can comment on all of these topics. While it is good that people still have the right to comment, it is almost impossible for the average person to comment on all of these. Perhaps someone who has followed this…

View original post 149 more words

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is nuclear fusion a goer? Not really

nuclear-fusion-pie-SmAnother Fusion White Elephant Sighted in Germany http://helian.net/blog/October 27th, 2015  Helian  According to an article that just appeared in Science magazine, scientists in Germany have completed building a stellarator by the name of Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X), and are seeking regulatory permission to turn the facility on in November.  If you can’t get past the Science paywall, here’s an article in the popular media with some links.  Like the much bigger ITER facility now under construction at Cadarache in France, W7-X is a magnetic fusion device.  In other words, its goal is to confine a plasma of heavy hydrogen isotopes at temperatures much hotter than the center of the sun with powerful magnetic fields in order to get them to fuse, releasing energy in the process.  There are significant differences between stellarators and the tokamak design used for ITER, but in both approaches the idea is to hold the plasma in place long enough to get significantly more fusion energy out than was necessary to confine and heat the plasma.  Both approaches are probably scientifically feasible.  Both are also white elephants, and a waste of scarce research dollars.

The problem is that both designs have an Achilles heel.  Its name is tritium.  Tritium is a heavy isotope of hydrogen with a nucleus containing a proton and two neutrons instead of the usual lone proton.  Fusion reactions between tritium and deuterium, another heavy isotope of hydrogen with a single neutron in addition to the usual proton, begin to occur fast enough to be attractive as an energy source at plasma temperatures and densities much less than would be necessary for any alternative reaction.  The deuterium-tritium, or DT, reaction will remain the only feasible one for both stellarator and tokamak fusion reactors for the foreseeable future.  Unfortunately, tritium occurs in nature in only tiny trace amounts.

The question is, then, where do you get the tritium fuel to keep the fusion reactions going?  Well, in addition to a helium nucleus, the DT fusion reaction produces a fast neutron.  These can react with lithium to produce tritium.  If a lithium-containing blanket could be built surrounding the reaction chamber in such a way as to avoid interfering with the magnetic fields, and yet thick enough and close enough to capture enough of the neutrons, then it should be possible to generate enough tritium to replace that burned up in the fusion process.  It sounds complicated but, again, it appears to be at least scientifically feasible.  However, it is by no means as certain that it is economically feasible.

Consider what we’re dealing with here.  Tritium is an extremely slippery material that can pass right through walls of some types of metal.  It is also highly radioactive, with a half-life of about 12.3 years.  It will be necessary to find some way to efficiently extract it from the lithium blanket, allowing none of it to leak into the surrounding environment.  If any of it gets away, it will be easily detectable.  The neighbors are sure to complain and, probably, lawyer up.  Again, all this might be doable.  The problem is that it will never be doable at a low enough cost to make fusion reactor designs based on these approaches even remotely economically competitive with the non-fossil alternative sources of energy that will be available for, at the very least, the next several centuries.

What’s that?  Reactor design studies by large and prestigious universities and corporations have all come to the conclusion that these magnetic fusion beasts will be able to produce electricity at least as cheaply as the competition?  I don’t think so.  I’ve participated in just such a government-funded study, conducted by a major corporation as prime contractor, with several other prominent universities and corporations participating as subcontractors.  I’m familiar with the methodology used in several others.  In general, it’s possible to make the cost electricity come out at whatever figure you choose, within reason, using the most approved methods and the most sound project management and financial software.  If the government is funding the work, it can be safely assumed that they don’t want to hear something like, “Fuggedaboudit, this thing will be way too expensive to build and run.”  That would make the office that funded the work look silly, and the fusion researchers involved in the design look like welfare queens in white coats.  The “right” cost numbers will always come out of these studies in the end.

I submit that a better way to come up with a cost estimate is to use a little common sense.  Do you really think that a commercial power company will be able to master the intricacies of tritium production and extraction from the vicinity of a highly radioactive reaction chamber at anywhere near the cost of, say, wind and solar combined with next generation nuclear reactors for baseload power?  If you do, you’re a great deal more optimistic than me.  W7-X cost a billion euros.  ITER is slated to cost 13 billion, and will likely come in at well over that.  With research money hard to come by in Europe for much worthier projects, throwing amounts like that down a rat hole doesn’t seem like a good plan.

All this may come as a disappointment to fusion enthusiasts.  On the other hand, you may want to consider the fact that, if fusion had been easy, we would probably have managed to blow ourselves up with pure fusion weapons by now.  Beyond that, you never know when some obscure genius might succeed in pulling a rabbit out of their hat in the form of some novel confinement scheme.  Several companies claim they have sure-fire approaches that are so good they will be able to dispense with tritium entirely in favor of more plentiful, naturally occurring isotopes.  See, for example, herehere, andhere, and the summary at the Next Big Future website.  I’m not optimistic about any of them, either, but you never know.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

New TVA Nuclear Station has old, possibly unsafe, design

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAConcern Over Old Design of New TVA Nuclear Plant Public News Service – TN | October 2015 | Download audio SPRING CITY, Tenn. – A Tennessee nuclear reactor more than 40 years in the making now has its operating license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and will soon begin producing electricity for Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) customers. But environmental advocates say the Watts Bar 2 Reactor 50 miles northeast of Chattanooga is without modern safety features that would protect residents and the environment in the event of a natural disaster. Sara Barczak, high-risk energy choices program director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, says while the NRC will continue extensive safety reviews, the license is cause for concern.

“The licensing process offers a great opportunity for the public to engage and understand what’s going on,” she says. “Once that operating license has been issued, that door has closed and it’s very important to question TVA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to say, ‘Why did you rush this process?'” Barczak says the Watts Bar reactor utilizes a design not currently used in reactor construction, and has not been designed to anticipate the kind of earthquake and flooding risks revealed after the Fukushima incident in Japan in 2011. A statement from TVA says receipt of the license validates that Unit 2 has been built in a manner to ensure regulatory compliance. The TVA says it will be a few weeks before the initial fuel load for the reactor will be loaded into the unit. According to Barczak, the geographical risks of floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters have changed since the reactor’s initial design more than four decades ago, and it is important to take proper precautions. “That area of the country now has different seismic or earthquake risks than what was determined back in the ’60s and ’70s,” she says. “So what is the rush? Why couldn’t these seismic evaluations have been done during the public scrutiny that occurs during a licensing proceeding?” -……..http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2015-10-27/environment/concern-over-old-design-of-new-tva-nuclear-plant/a48675-1#sthash.8hvNKj1b.dpuf

October 28, 2015 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s govt admits that 40% of Fukushima evacuation personnel exposed to radiation of 1 mSv

text ionising40% of Fukushima evacuation personnel exposed to radiation of 1 mSv http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/40-of-fukushima-evacuation-personnel-exposed-to-radiation-of-1-msv OCT. 27, 2015 TOKYO — 

Nearly 40% of Self-Defense Forces troops, police officers and firefighters involved in evacuation operations right after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis were exposed to radiation above the annual public limit of 1 millisievert, the government said Monday.

The Cabinet Office surveyed for the first time 2,967 personnel who assisted in evacuating residents living within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex as well as radiation cleanup and other activities from March 12 to 31, 2011.

The survey found that around 62% were exposed to radiation of less than 1 millisievert. But 38% were exposed to 1 millisievert or more, of whom 19% received 1 to 2 millisieverts and 5% received 5 to 10 millisieverts.

Daily radiation doses remained high until around March 15—the day the third reactor building suffered an explosion at the plant—and dropped below 0.1 millisievert from March 18.

The Cabinet Office revealed the data at a meeting to discuss ways to mitigate the radiation exposure of civilians helping others to evacuate in the event of a nuclear accident. The Japanese government is pushing for the reactivation of reactors that have cleared a set of new safety requirements imposed in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, but public concern persists about whether smooth evacuations would be possible in the event of a nuclear accident.

The government plans to set a 1-millisievert-limit for civilians assisting in evacuations such as bus drivers. But some bus drivers are reluctant to accept the proposal.

The maximum radiation dose for ordinary members of the public is set at 1 millisievert per year. The limit for workers at nuclear facilities is 100 millisieverts over five years and 50 millisieverts per year in normal times, but it is raised in emergencies.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2015, Japan | Leave a comment

South Africa’s govt questioned on costs of nuclear power programme

scrutiny-on-costsflag-S.AfricaNuclear build programme under fire  http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/nuclear-build-programme-under-fire-1.1936163#.Vi_xstIrLGg   October 27 2015  By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Johannesburg – Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson faces another round of tough questions in Parliament today on the nuclear build programme.

Joemat-Pettersson has hardly escaped questions on the nuclear build programme in Parliament since it was announced by President Jacob Zuma three years ago.

She will be part of the economics cluster of ministers responding to questions on a range of issues, including nuclear, in the National Council of Provinces in the next two days.

Tomorrow Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel will also answer questions on South Africa’s controversial nuclear programme.

The opposition parties have been asking Joemat-Pettersson to come clean on the project.

One of the key questions has been on the funding for nuclear power when the government has not given an indication where the money will come from.

In his medium-term budget policy statement last week, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was non-committal on the funding for nuclear energy.

However, he told journalists ahead of the statement that preparatory work had started, but did not indicate the detailed work that had been undertaken.

He said R200 million had been committed to the preparatory work.

A few weeks ago the Department of Energy said the procurement process had been postponed to the end of this financial year. This was due to outstanding work, including the funding model for nuclear.

The shifting of the deadline for the procurement process came after Joemat-Pettersson said in her budget vote speech in May that procurement would start during the second half of this year.

She also said the winning company would be announced before the end of the year.

It has been said the nuclear build programme will cost between R500 billion and R1 trillion. But the government has been coy on costs, saying this would disrupt the bidding process.

It said it would wait for the bidders to reveal their prices first, in the bidding phase, before any figure could be made public.

The department also said despite the delay in the procurement process, it would stick to the deadline of 2030 to complete the construction of the nuclear reactors.

Joemat-Pettersson has also been accused of keeping the information on the nuclear build programme out of Parliament.

Opposition parties have warned that they could not afford to have such a massive programme kept under wraps.

Today it will be their turn to turn up the heat on Joemat-Pettersson on the programme.

The government has insisted that it will build nuclear power plants that will be within its means and easy to afford.

One of the key questions to Patel is on job creation, localisation and long-term benefits of the reactors to the country.

October 28, 2015 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Nuclear power worker was learning how to make abomb

Scots nuclear power plant worker caught studying BOMB-MAKING websites at work , Daily Record, 27 Oct 15 THE staff member was marched off the premises at Hunterston B, West Kilbride, this morning after a shocked colleague raised the alarm. A WORKER at a Scots nuclear power plant has been caught studying bomb-making websites at work.

The staff member was marched off the premises at Hunterston B, West Kilbride, this morning after a shocked colleague raised the alarm.

Police are now investigating the worker accessing “inappropriate material” while working at the nuclear facility.

The man, who is believed to be a Muslim who moved recently from England, has worked at the North Ayrshire facility for around four weeks.

He was spotted by a fellow colleague on Monday, who reported his concerns to management.

The contractor works as a ‘special entry assistant’ at the power station, and his role involves him going into the heart of the plant to assist tradesmen.

He was allegedly seen viewing inappropriate websites on homemade explosives on a laptop computer, which he slammed shut after being spotted by a work mate.

When he arrived for work on Tuesday, he was escorted from the premises by security guards and plant owners EDF called in police.

A source at the plant said: “The guy has only worked here for a short time.

“He is a low-level employee, but has access to the reactor, where he basically helps out tradesmen working on it.”……..

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said the incident was being dealt with by the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC).

No one from the CNC was available for comment. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-nuclear-power-plant-worker-6716601

October 28, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | 1 Comment

St Louis residents demanding answers on underground fire near nuclear waste

“Hot spot” near nuclear waste has St. Louis residents on edge, CBS News, 27 Oct 15  There is growing fear in a suburban St. Louis community over a potential threat buried in the ground. A local landfill contains nuclear waste and just three football fields away, a “hot spot” has been burning underground in a second landfill.

landfill West Lake St LouisFederal officials insist the so-called “smoldering event” is contained, and not advancing towards the waste. But nearby residents have lived with both the burn and the waste for years, and they say they are fed up, reports CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair.

Hundreds of people demanded answers Monday night from federal officials.

“You can’t 100 percent guarantee that we’re okay,” said one resident.

“We don’t go outside, we don’t open our windows,” said another………

Missouri’s attorney general is now suing the landfill’s owner, Republic Services. He says the company mishandled the fire and his experts say the underground burn could conceivably hit the material in three to six months.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Republic strongly deny those reports. The company has also spent millions of dollars to contain the burn and control the odors…….

it’s not just the underground fire that is a concern – this weekend a grass fire erupted within some 75 yards of the radioactive waste. This region also sits near an earthquake fault line. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/st-louis-community-fed-up-over-dangerous-landfills-attorney-general-sues/

October 28, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Vietnam: Nonproliferation and Nuclear Energy

Nonproliferation and Nuclear Energy: The Case of Vietnam Is Vietnam diverting its civilian know-how to create an indigenous nuclear weapons program? Not yet, says the CSS’ Oliver Thränert, but increased tensions or overt conflict with China could lead Hanoi to develop its own nuclear deterrent. By Oliver Thränert for Center for Security Studies (CSS) 26 October 2015


For many years, the international nuclear non-proliferation regime has been in deep crisis. This became apparent most recently when the ninth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in May 2015 ended without a common final document. At the same time, a number of threshold countries are planning to begin using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In a time of increasing international tensions, some of them might build on know-how acquired through their civilian programs to safeguard their national security needs through a nuclear weapons program in the near future. Vietnam is an interesting case in point. Irrespective of certain delays in the development of its peaceful nuclear program, the country has progressed quite far. At the same time, it is engaged in an increasingly precarious conflict with its main neighbor, nuclear-armed China. Currently, there are no signs of a Vietnamese nuclear weapons program. In the framework of the nuclear non-proliferation regime, the country is a model of transparency and cooperation. But it is uncertain whether this will always remain the case. On the contrary, Hanoi might change its policy if the conflict with China should come to a head while the NPT continues to be weakened…….

Vietnam’s strategic situation Vietnam’s strategic environment is rapidly changing. This is especially true for Vietnam’s relations with China. While the Communist parties of the two countries regard each other as brother parties and economic relations run deep, the two countries also have disputes over certain small islands in the South China Sea and over the mutual demarcation of exclusive economic zones in these waters. The extent of widespread anti-Chinese feeling among the general public became evident in May 2014, when a Chinese oil platform was discovered in an area claimed by Vietnam. Subsequently, there were not only skirmishes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels, but also demonstrations in several Vietnamese cities that escalated into violence in which several people were killed.

With an increasingly aggressive China next door, Vietnam, like most of the riparian states, is seeking closer engagement with the US. Washington has become one of Vietnam’s main trading partners. Military relations, too, have been intensified. In July 2013, speaking in Washington, D.C., US President Barack Obama and Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang announced a comprehensive bilateral partnership. One important step towards the closer development of ties was the passing in Congress of a 123 Agreement in September 2014, which paved the way for future cooperation in the peaceful use of the atom.

Despite the interest in improving cooperation with the US across the board, however, the leadership in Vietnam must be aware that issues such as the country’s single-party system, together with a human-rights situation that the US continues to regard as problematic, are certain to resurface time and again in relations with Washington. Against this background, US security guarantees such as Japan and South Korea have been given can hardly be expected by Vietnam. At the same time, there is the danger that an overly evident rapprochement with Washington might provoke reactions by China. Thus, Hanoi is forced to perform a difficult tightrope walk, balancing out its relations with China on the one hand against those with the US on the other………http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?id=194337

October 28, 2015 Posted by | Vietnam, weapons and war | Leave a comment

All too many failures in nuclear power pipelines

safety-symbol1Nuclear Pipe Nightmares, UCS  director, Nuclear Safety Project October 27, 2015 Disaster by Design

If you had a dollar for every foot of pipe—or even just a quarter for every three inches of pipe—used in the nation’s nuclear power plants, you would probably not be reading this post. That chore would be delegated to one or more of your many minions.

Pipes at nuclear power plants carry cooling water to the reactor vessel and spent fuel pool, transport steam to the main turbine, provide hydrogen gas to cool the main generators, supply fuel and lubricating oil to the emergency diesel generators, maintain the fire sprinklers ready to extinguish fires, and numerous other vital functions. Given so many pipes, a success rate of 99.99%—remarkably similar to a failure rate of one broken pipe out of ten thousand pipes—would result in lots of piping failures.

The Electric Power Research Institute’s report revealed lots of piping failures at U.S. nuclear power plants between 1961 and 1997 (Fig. 1). The non-leaking failures are identified by inspections indicating that safety margins had been compromised, forcing the pipes to be replaced before they leak. The leaking failures are identified by puddles on the floor or other obvious signs, again forcing pipes to be replaced.

[excellent charts on original]

The Electric Power Research Institute’s report identified numerous reasons why pipes break (Fig. 2). MIC under corrosion stands for microbiologically induced corrosion—tiny little bugs that eat metal. Pipes can be designed wrong, installed wrong, or weakened via an array of methods during use.

[article goes on to describe pipe failures at:]

Dresden Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #65 described the January 25, 1994, …..

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

On August 14, 1984…..

Surry Nuclear Plant

On December 9, 1986,….

Mihama Nuclear Plant

A 22-inch diameter pipe in the condensate/feedwater system ruptured on August 9, 2004, at the Mihama nuclear plant in Japan …..

Oyster Creek and Dresden Nuclear Plants

Fission Stories #162…..

LaSalle Nuclear Plant

On May 27, 1985…..

Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #29 described how 133,000 gallons drained from the condensate storage tank at the Oyster Creek nuclear plant in New Jersey in September 1996…..

Davis Besse Nuclear Plant

Fission Stories #131 described the March 2002 discovery by workers at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in Ohio that a crack in a pipe allowing a control rod inside the reactor vessel to be connected to and manipulated by its electric motor outside the vessel had been leaking cooling water from the reactor for as long as six years……

Byron Nuclear Plant

On October 19, 2007, workers brushing away rust on the outer surface of a cooling water pipe at the Byron nuclear plant in Illinois poked a hole in it……

Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant

The NRC described a broken pipe at the Big Rock Point nuclear plant in their annual report to the U.S. Congress on abnormal occurrences in 1998…….

Safety by Intent

The table above from the Electric Power Research Institute indicates that 1,816 failures were identified by testing and inspection at U.S. nuclear power plants between 1961 and 1997 while 2,247 failures were found after pipes had leaked.

This data reinforce a theme too often appearing in nuclear safety posts to our All Things Nuclear blog—testing and inspection efforts are less effective than they need to be. Afederal regulation requires that plant owners have extensive testing and inspection programs that find and fix safety problems in a timely and effective manner. If compliance with this regulation were fact rather than fiction, the data should show more piping failures are found via tests and inspections than by puddles on the floor.

The NRC must figure out why testing and inspection efforts are violating federal safety regulations by failing to find and fix piping failures in a timely and effective manner. http://allthingsnuclear.org/nuclear-pipe-nightmares/

October 28, 2015 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Down, down, down goes the price of uranium

burial.uranium-industryURANIUM DAILY SPOT PRICE TUMBLES $1.25 FROM A WEEK AGO TO $36.50/LB
Washington (Platts)–27 Oct 2015

The daily spot price of uranium Monday was $36.50/lb U3O8, down $1.15 from October 20, following a week when sellers accepted incrementally lower offer prices, according to price reporting company TradeTech.

The U3O8 daily spot price has declined nearly every day since TradeTech reported it at $37.75/lb October 16 and 19. The price was $37.65/lb October 20, $37.35/lb the next day, $37/lb October 22 and $36.50/lb on October 22, according to the company, which reported the spot price unchanged Monday.

In its report Friday for the week ended that day, TradeTech said, “a few sellers did attempt to draw out additional buying interest by lowering offer prices. A few buyers did step into the market to take advantage of lower prices, but most buyers remained largely disinterested.”

Overall, it reported an aggregate of 700,000 lb of U3O8 in six transactions were concluded for the week ending Friday, “with prices declining with each successive transaction.”

TradeTech on Friday reported the weekly U3O8 spot price at $36.50/lb, down $1.25 from October 16.

Price reporting company Ux Consulting on Monday also reported a $36.50/lb weekly U3O8 spot price, down $1.25 from October 19……. http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/washington/uranium-daily-spot-price-tumbles-125-from-a-week-21364472

October 28, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Renewable energy headlines Oct 15 2015

Is Renewable Energy Starting to Bend the Carbon Curve?

Huffington Post-26 Oct 2015
Since 2006, the state has had a renewable energy standard requiring the addition of more clean power – now, in 2015, clean energy powers …
Alternative Energy Stocks: Time to Hunt for Bargains?
Blog-Barron’s (blog)-14 hours ago

Explore in depth (72 more articles)
ESI Africa-15 hours ago
In Botswana, the government is looking into expanding the country’s energy mix by tapping into their abundance renewable energysources, …

Toyota backs massive solar-wind hybrid energy park in north …

RenewEconomy-26 Oct 2015
The renewable energy offshoot of Toyota Corp, the Japanese industrial giant, has taken a 50 per cent stake in a ground-breaking wind and …

How Australia can become a renewable energy superpower

RenewEconomy-18 Oct 2015
Australia has the opportunity to become a renewable energysuperpower – giving it a global economic advantage much greater than that ever …

October 28, 2015 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Morocco’s desert solar megaproject

Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project
World’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020,
Guardian,  , 26 Oct 15, “……The project is a key plank in Morocco’s ambitions to use its untapped deserts to become a global solar superpower.

solar thermal Morocco

When the full complex is complete, it will be the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world , and the first phase, called Noor 1, will go live next month. The mirror technology it uses is less widespread and more expensive than the photovoltaic panels that are now familiar on roofs the world over, but it will have the advantage of being able to continue producing power even after the sun goes down…….
As engineers put the finishing touches to Noor 1, its 500,000 crescent-shaped solar mirrors glitter across the desert skyline. The 800 rows follow the sun as it tracks across the heavens, whirring quietly every few minutes as their shadows slip further east.

When they are finished, the four plants at Ouarzazate will occupy a space as big as Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, and generate 580MW of electricity, enough to power a million homes. Noor 1 itself has a generating capacity of 160MW.

Morocco’s environment minister, Hakima el-Haite, believes that solar energy could have the same impact on the region this century that oil production had in the last. But the $9bn (£6bn) project to make her country’s deserts boom was triggered by more immediate concerns, she said.

“We are not an oil producer. We import 94% of our energy as fossil fuels from abroad and that has big consequences for our state budget,” el-Haite told the Guardian. “We also used to subsidise fossil fuels which have a heavy cost, so when we heard about the potential of solar energy, we thought; why not?”……..http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/26/morocco-poised-to-become-a-solar-superpower-with-launch-of-desert-mega-project

October 28, 2015 Posted by | AFRICA, renewable | Leave a comment