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Former Russian Nuclear Energy Official Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

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From the USDOJ:
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Former Russian Nuclear Energy Official Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations

U.S. Conspirators Paid More Than $2 Million to Influence Russian Nuclear Energy Official and to Secure Business with State-Owned Russian Nuclear Energy Company

A former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with his role in arranging more than $2 million in corrupt payments to influence the awarding of contracts with a Russian state-owned nuclear energy corporation.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations John R. Hartman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG) and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of…

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December 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bioaccumulation of Gamma Emitting Radionuclides in Red Algae

December 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

December 17 Energy News

geoharvey

World:

¶ More than 200‚000 homes in South Africa are receiving power from the world’s largest storage solar farm near Upington in the Northern Cape. Just two years after the start of construction‚ the ACWA Solafrica Bokpoort CSP Power Plant is now operating at full capacity‚ ahead of schedule. [Times LIVE]

An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal

¶ Campaigners in the UK are furious that members of parliament backed fracking plans which they claim could damage the South Downs National Park. New rules voted in yesterday could allow fracking deep below Sussex beauty spots like the South Downs National Park and the Ashdown Forest. [The Argus]

¶ The UK’s government has been accused of “huge, misguided cuts” to clean energy after it announced reductions of subsidies for solar panels on…

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December 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unknown – the methods, costs, time taken, to clean up Fukushima nuclear site

Fukushima-aerial-viewquestionFukushima chief says ‘no textbook’ for nuclear cleanup, CTV News,  Yuri Kageyama, The Associated Press , December 15, 2015 TOKYO — The man leading the daunting task of dealing with the Fukushima nuclear plant that sank into meltdowns in northeastern Japan warns with surprising candour: Nothing can be promised.

How long will it take to decommission the three breached reactors, and how will it be accomplished, when not even robots have been able to enter the main fuel-debris areas so far? How much will it ultimately cost? Naohiro Masuda, tapped last year as chief of decontamination and decommissioning for plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co., acknowledges he is a long way from answering those questions definitively.

“This is something that has never been experienced. A textbook doesn’t exist for something like this,” Masuda told The Associated Press in an interview at TEPCO’s Tokyo headquarters Monday. Continue reading

December 17, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | 1 Comment

Huge in crease in medical insurance claims by nuclear workers

Medical Care, Compensation Increase for Texas Nuclear Plant Workers http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2015/12/15/391907.htm December 15, 2015 The past few years have seen an increase in the number of workers at a nuclear weapons plant in the Texas Panhandle who have been compensated and given medical care for conditions caused by exposure to plant hazards.

Those hazards include chemicals in the maintenance warehouse, toxins on a production line and beryllium, a cancer-causing metal used in the production of nuclear warheads, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Insurance costs

The paper reviewed federal totals for health care and compensation awarded for workplace-related illnesses at the Pantex plant near Pampa.

About 20 percent of the worker claims for compensation were approved at the nation’s top facility for nuclear weapon assembly, disassembly and maintenance. Now, about half are being approved for workers across the 16,000-acre site, including auditors, firefighters, laboratory workers, janitors and security guards.

About $171 million in compensation and medical bills has been paid more than 1,300 workers and families since the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program began in 2000.

The number of claimants was beyond estimates by those who devised the program, said Sarah Ray, a former Pantex critical safety systems training specialist, who has filed thousands of claims on behalf of Pantex workers and their families since the program started.

“Overall, there just has not been a real grasp of the true situations faced by nuclear weapons workers,” said Ray, who believes that thousands more are unaware they’re sick because they have not developed symptoms. Rachel P. Leiton, director of the Labor Department’s program, says the agency has over the years implemented shortcuts to ease access to the program for families.

“We try to the best we can to compensate them based on our statutory authority that we’re given,” she said.

Workers at Pantex undergo required annual physicals in which they submit blood samples sent for analysis to National Jewish Health, a Denver-based medical research facility that specializes in respiratory and allergic disorders.

December 17, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Shadow over Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics: does raising radiation safety level make it OK?

Fukushima Amplifies Murphy’s Law COUNTERPUNCH DECEMBER 14, 2015 by ROBERT HUNZIKER “……..in Japan, raising the level of permissible annual radiation exposure does not escape international notice. According to Dr. Ian Fairlie, former head of the Secretariat of the UK Government’s CERRIE Committee on Internal Radiation Risks: “The Japanese government goes so far as to increase the public limit for radiation in Japan from 1 mSv to 20 mSv per year, while its scientists are making efforts to convince the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) to accept this enormous increase.”

But, wait a moment; the Olympic Committee has already designated Tokyo 2020. Is it possible the IOC has the cart ahead of the horse, maybe way ahead?

Japan-Olympics-fear

As for the newly established higher acceptable Japanese limit for radiation: “This is not only unscientific, it is also unconscionable,” Dr. Fairlie, Unspoken Death Toll of Fukushima: Nuclear Disaster Killing Japanese Slowly, Sputnik International, Aug. 8, 2015. After all, on a factual basis, “unscientific and unconscionable” are strong indictments.

Yet, the Olympic committee has already approved Tokyo 2020, and people from around the world will be making plans to attend. Withal, if the Olympic Committee is okay with Japan’s capricious radiation conditions, then shouldn’t everybody else be okay with it too? Well…. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/14/fukushima-amplifies-murphys-law/

December 17, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Vehement anti nuclear protests in India

India-protestIndia’s nuclear solution to global warming is generating huge domestic protests Transparency and accountability are lacking at India’s largest nuclear park, where a Russian reactor was constructed with faulty parts over violent local resistance Center for Public Integrity By Adrian Levy  , 15 Dec 15 

Key findings:

  • India is planning to curb its greenhouse gas emissions partly by opening dozens of nuclear reactors over the next two decades, but domestic opposition to additional reactors has been fierce.  
  • Citizens have been alarmed by the nuclear industry’s poor reactor safety record and by evidence that the country’s new Russian-built reactors contain defective parts due to corrupt manufacturing.  
  • The government has reacted aggressively to the protests, arresting hundreds of thousands of participants and depicting some of them as stooges of the United States and other foreign powers who harbor anti-Indian sentiments.  
     
  • The vehemence of the protests raises questions about the Indian government’s plan to use nuclear power to keep from becoming the world’s largest contributor to global warming over the next 35 years.  

Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, INDIA — In a town riven by blackouts every summer, the startup in December of commercial operations for a multi-billion-dollar, Russian-built nuclear reactor near here would ordinarily have been a cause for celebration.

It was more than a billion dollars over its budget and six years late. But its full operation in Kudankulam, a remote fishing village in the southern tip of India, 1,700 miles from the capital, was portrayed by operators and builders from the two countries as the latest symbol of their national friendship and technical prowess, as well as a showcase step in India’s ambitious plan to bring a total of 57 reactors on line to power the subcontinent’s economic surge.

S.P. Udayakumar, a bespectacled 56-year-old schoolteacher and protest leader in the region, isn’t rejoicing, however. From his bungalow in Nagercoil, a town 30 miles west of the plant whose wealth rests on making coconut fiber and the spice trade, Udayakumar has organized a long-running protest movement that’s drawn in a large number of residents — hundreds of thousands.

It’s motivated, he says, by research that sympathetic lawyers and nuclear experts have conducted into the reactor’s problematic construction as well as the checkered safety records of the giant Indian and Russian consortiums that erected it. Although the reactor is now shuttered again for maintenance — due to problems with parts supplied by a Russian company that Moscow authorities have accused of wrongdoing — a second reactor at this vast nuclear park, India’s largest, should be completed soon, after fourteen years of construction and testing, to be followed by two more reactors next year.

Udayakumar worries that the massive new Russian pressurized-water reactors, of a size and type never before seen on the subcontinent, have been constructed of shoddy material; that their design and location leave them vulnerable to a flooding disaster like the one experienced by Japan’s Daichi reactor at Fukushima; and that India’s nuclear regulators are either asleep at the switch or under the thumb of pro-nuclear officials that he believes cannot be trusted. In Oct. 2011, the country’s prime minister attempted at a direct meeting to persuade Udayakumar these concerns were unwarranted, but without luck.

His complaints — many of which are backed up by documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity from the country’s nuclear regulator, retired government officials, government auditors, and industry analysts — were echoed in an unprecedented letter sent in May 2013 to India’s prime minister by 60 of the country’s most prominent scientists, most of them pro-nuclear and working for elite state-run institutions. Their letter called for a moratorium in Kudankulam, while new inquiries were made into allegations of widespread corruption and a fraud associated with the fabrication of the reactor’s components in Russia.

The outcome of this bitter debate has implications far outside India’s borders…….http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/12/15/18873/indias-nuclear-solution-global-warming-generating-huge-domestic-protests

December 17, 2015 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

India’s river of nuclear death and disease

death-nuclearflag-indiaIndia’s nuclear industry pours its wastes into a river of death and disease  Scientists say nuclear workers, village residents, and children living near mines and factories are falling ill after persistent exposure to unsafe radiation Center For Public Integrity ,  By Adrian Levy  December 14, 2015  Jadugoda, Jharkhand, INDIA
The Subarnarekha River roars out of the Chota Nagpur plateau in eastern India, before emptying 245 miles downstream into the Bay of Bengal, making it a vital source of life, and lately, of death…..
Its link to widespread misfortune is not admitted by the Indian government. But the authorities’ role in the deaths of those who live near it first became clear when professor Dipak Ghosh, a respected Indian physicist and dean of the Faculty of Science at Jadavpur University in Kolkata decided to chase down a rural “myth” among the farmers along its banks. They had long complained that the Subarnarekha was poisoned, and said their communities suffered from tortuous health problems.

When Ghosh’s team seven years ago collected samples from the river and also from adjacent wells, he was alarmed by the results. The water was adulterated with radioactive alpha particles that cannot be absorbed through the skin or clothes, but if ingested cause 1,000 times more damage than other types of radiation. In some places, the levels were 160 percent higher than safe limits set by the World Health Organization.

“It was potentially catastrophic,” Ghosh said in a recent interview. Millions of people along the waterway were potentially exposed.

What the professor’s team uncovered was hard evidence of the toxic footprint cast by the country’s secret nuclear mining and fuel fabrication program. It is now the subject of a potentially powerful legal action, shining an unusual light on India’s nuclear ambitions and placing a cloud over its future reactor operations……..

On August 21, 2014, however, a justice in this state’s court ordered an official inquiry into allegations that the nuclear industry has exposed tens of thousands of workers and villagers to dangerous levels of radiation, heavy metals or other carcinogens, including arsenic, from polluted rivers and underground water supplies that have percolated through the foodchain — from fish swimming in the Subarnarekha River to vegetables washed in its tainted water.

Given the absolute secrecy that surrounds the nuclear sector in India, the case is a closed affair, and all evidence is officially presented to the judge. But the Center for Public Integrity has reviewed hundreds of pages of personal testimony and clinical reports in the case that present a disturbing scenario.

India’s nuclear chiefs have long maintained that ill health in the region is caused by endemic poverty and and the unsanitary conditions of its tribal people, known locally as Adivasi, or first people. But the testimony and reports document how nuclear installations, fabrication plants and mines have repeatedly breached international safety standards for the past 20 years. Doctors and health workers, as well as international radiation experts, say that nuclear chiefs have repeatedly suppressed or rebuffed their warnings. Continue reading

December 17, 2015 Posted by | environment, health, India, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment