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Calls for Reopening Investigation of Corruption at Los Alamos Nuclear Lab and of Suspicious Suicide of Ex-Deputy Director Richard Burick

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Los Alamos National [Nuclear] Laboratory, UPSHOT KNOTHOLE Grable Color photo
Los Alamos National [Nuclear] Laboratory, UPSHOT KNOTHOLE Grable

Questionable Suicide of Los Alamos National Lab Retired Deputy Director

At the beginning of February, 2016, three “whistleblowers sent a certified letter to Mr. Damon Martinez, the US Attorney for the District of New Mexico, asking him to reopen an investigation into fraud and corruption at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the questionable suicide in 2002 of the then-recently retired Lab Deputy Director“, Richard Burick.

Why does it matter?

Renewing the investigation of Burick’s death, the whistleblowers say, may lead to evidence of greater corruption within the lab’s scandal-plagued management. See: “Whistleblowers Call for Inquiry into LANL Employee’s Death“, February 2, 2016:

Justice cannot be justice if it has time limits and Crimes May Continue

Many of Burick’s peers remain in leadership positions at LANL. Under their watch, two employees stole millions…

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February 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 23 Energy News



¶ The International Energy Agency is warning consumers not to let cheap oil lull them into a false sense of security. In a report, the IEA said it expects prices to start recovering in 2017. But it forecasts a subsequent sharp jump in price as supply shrinks following under-investment by struggling producers. [BBC]

Consumers should expect oil prices to recover Consumers should expect oil prices to recover

¶ The operator of South Australia’s vast network says it has no concern about the growing penetration of renewable energy on its grid, and is encouraging remote towns to look at renewable micro-grids to cut costs. South Australia is likely to get over 50% of its electricity needs from wind and solar power this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ At the recently concluded Invest Karnataka summit, two different entities pledged to add a total of 3 GW of solar power capacity in the southern Indian state. Karnataka…

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February 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Case of the Leaky Valve and Radioactive Water Spill at Takahama Nuclear Reactor Unit 4, Feb. 20, 2016

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Takahama Nuclear Power Station
According to KEPCO, at Takahama Unit 4 PWR (pressurized water reactor) in Japan an alarm indicating “caution on the primary system floor drain” went off at 15:42 on February 20, 2016. The operator conducted a field inspection and found a radioactive puddle on the floor in front of the condensate demineralizer (filtering system which uses resins to eliminate impurities from the reactor coolant) in the reactor auxiliary building. Leaked radioactive water was also collected by the auxiliary building sump and other components. The total leakage was an estimated 34 liters with a total amount of radioactivity of 60,000 Becquerels (Radioactive disintegrations or shots per second.) This would be 1,764 Bq per liter. (See original English KEPCO press release at bottom).

PWR nuclear power station layout schematic
US NRC Schematic of PWR nuclear power station layout

What caused the leak? Valve Problems, of course

Anyone who is of a certain age, or has a house…

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February 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 22 Energy News



¶ Japan’s solar installations are expected to peak this year somewhere between 13.2 GW and 14.3 GW, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Japan installed 7.1 GW of solar in 2013, 10.3 GW in 2014, and as much as 12.3 GW in 2015. However, BNEF is predicting a drop in installations for 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar installation in Japan. Photo by CoCreatr (some rights reserved) Rooftop solar installation in Japan. Photo by CoCreatr (some rights reserved)

¶ SkyPower has signed four power purchase agreements with the Indian state of Telangana to build and operate a total of 200 MW of solar energy projects. The deals bring the total number of solar projects agreed by the company in India to 400 MW, with the other 200 MW planned for the state of Madhya Pradesh. [reNews]

¶ Scotrenewables Tidal Power has completed the deployment of its advanced modular anchoring system at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney…

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February 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive Waste Dump Owner Semnani Paid Govt Official $600,000; Official Went to Jail, Got Cancer; Semnani Got Fined, Became Iran Policy “Expert”, “Philanthropist”

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The $40 million being given by the US DOE to a US nuclear reactor “start-up” company, X-energy, owned by Iranian Kam Ghaffarian, brings to mind the case of Iranian immigrant Khosrow Semnani and the Envirocare – Clive Radioactive Waste Dump, now owned-managed by former Goldman Sachs Investment Bankers (e.g. David Lockwood, CEO of EnergySolutions; Doug Kimmelman, CEO of EnergyCapital).[a]

In 1996, “Mr. Semnani publicly admitted, in court filings, that he had secretly paid Mr. Anderson hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold coins, and a ski resort condominium. These payments were made by Mr. Semnani to Mr. Anderson during the period in which Mr. Anderson was the chief official responsible for issuing the Envirocare license, granting the Envirocare exemption, and allegedly authorizing disposal of DOE waste at the Clive, Utah site.” (WCS v. DOE, 1997)

Clive Nuclear Waste Dump Looks Like A Radioactive Junkyard, just west…

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February 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Olympic teams to train in nuclear clean-up zone


Piles of used protective clothing worn by workers inside the contaminated ‘exclusion zone’, seen in 2011 at J-Village, a football training complex serving as an operation base for those battling Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima

Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Olympic football teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games at a complex currently being used as a base for thousands of workers cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

The Japan Football Association (JFA) said Monday that the Japanese men’s and women’s teams would hold their training camps at J-Village, once the country’s centre of excellence until it was taken over by plant operators following the 2011 nuclear disaster.

“The teams will use the J-Village facility as a training base,” JFA communications chief Takato Maruyama told AFP.

“It is something the JFA had been talking about but a timeline hadn’t been formally approved by the executive board, until now,” Maruyama said.

J-Village is on the fringes of the old 12-mile (20-kilometre) exclusion zone around the stricken plant, which suffered a triple reactor meltdown after a giant tsunami slammed into it in March, 2011, causing massive radiation leaks and forcing the evacuation of more than 150,000 people.

As the nuclear crisis raged, J-Village became the front line in the fight to control the situation, with helipads, medical centre and dormitories hastily erected for workers filing in and out of the plant in their protective suits and masks.

Workers queue for a bowl of soup at J-Village, a football training complex serving as an operation base for those battling Japan’s nuclear disaster in Fukushima prefecture, in 2011


Following the removal of the no-entry zone last September, the sprawling site located in the sleepy town of Naraha will undergo large-scale reconstruction with a view to a partial reopening by July 2018.

“Obviously the complex will need some refurbishment but that is the time frame we have heard from TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) and J-Village,” said Maruyama.

Japanese officials plan to reopen the facility — originally constructed by TEPCO and donated to the regional government in 1997 — to serve as a symbol of recovery for the Tokyo Olympics.

Venues in the tsunami-ravaged northeastern Tohoku region also hoping to be involved in the Games.

“J-Village has always been an important venue and it has a large role to play in the recovering of Fukushima,” JFA director Eiji Ueda told local media.

Despite the symbolic value of training at the complex, the JFA insisted that safety was of utmost importance.

“We can’t make any specific comment on radiation but clearly you can’t play football in places where it isn’t safe for people to go,” said Maruyama, referring to the proposal to reopen J-Village in 2018.

“Obviously it will be opened on condition that all decontamination work has been completed safely,” he added.

“We can’t say (at this point) if that decontamination will have been fully carried out and whether there will be zero effect from radiation by that time.”

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima governor disappointed over Seoul event cancellation

He says he is dismayed, what a f@%king hypocrite! Shameless and criminal, contaminated food should not be eaten, sold and how much more exported to other countries. Do not push your contaminated foods to other people!


Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori expressed regret Monday over cancellation of an event that the Foreign Ministry had planned to hold in Seoul over the weekend to promote the recovery of the Tohoku region from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
“I know that it will take time to eliminate the unfavorable reputation in other countries,” given the nuclear crisis, he said at a news conference in Tokyo.
The Foreign Ministry canceled the event after failing to secure necessary approval from authorities in Seoul amid lingering concern over the safety of food from Tohoku.
The event was to fun Saturday and Sunday, promoting specialties from the disaster-hit areas, including sweets and sake.
“I’m dismayed by this (cancellation),” Uchibori said, adding that he thought the event would provide a good opportunity for people in South Korea to deepen their understanding of Fukushima and the rest of Tohoku.

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear reactor restarts anger Minami Soma mayor


Katsunobu Sakurai: ‘It is necessary for all of Japan to change its way of thinking and its way of life’

TOKYO (TR) – One video made him one of the most well-known faces of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

In the 11-minute YouTube video uploaded on March 24, 2011, mayor Katsunobu Sakurai begged for help for his city of Minami Soma, located 15 miles away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Five years later, Sakurai says his city still hasn’t fully recovered. Making matters worse, he says, is Japan’s reversion to nuclear energy: After a nationwide halt, two power companies restarted reactors in Fukui and Kagoshima prefectures beginning last year and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), which operates Fukushima Daiichi, is scheduled to bring two reactors back online in Niigata Prefecture later this year.

“As a resident of an area affected by the nuclear power plant disaster, I must express great anger at this act,” said Sakurai at a press luncheon at he Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Thursday. “When we look at how all of the affected areas of Japan, including Minami Soma, can rebuild following the disaster, it is necessary for all of Japan to change its way of thinking and its way of life.”

After the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant resulted in the halting of all nuclear power plants in Japan. In 2013, stricter safety regulations were implemented by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

In August and October of last year, the first two reactors under the new regulations were brought back online at Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima. A third reactor was restarted by Kansai Electric Power at the Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui earlier this month.

This summer, TEPCO is expected to restart two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata. When asked to comment on the restart, Yukako Handa, a TEPCO spokesperson, wrote in an email, “For the restart, we will accurately respond to (any requests for) review with safety as a top priority while proceeding by putting our best efforts into sincere explanations about safety concerns (obtained) from local residents.”


An evacuation order issued after the earthquake forced many residents in Minami Soma to leave their homes. But the population is recovering, says Sakurai. Having dipped as low as 10,000, the number of residents in Minami Soma is approximately 57,000, about 80 percent of the total before the disaster.

Radiation levels are being continually monitored. According to Sakurai, 70 percent of the children in Minami Soma have returned since the disaster, with 99.86 percent of those tested being radiation-free.

But, according to Sakurai, there remains lingering fears of high radiation levels and that compensation from the government may disappear. This, he says, is having social and economic implications: The city is suffering from a shortage of workers, especially for schools and nursery facilities.

“Our hope is for as many people as possible to be able to return to Minami Soma and also join or become involved in the ongoing recovery process,” said Sakurai. “However, we are also faced with the reality that five years has passed since the disaster. During that time, many of the younger generation have moved away and built new homes and new lives in their places of evacuation or in the places they have moved to.”

February 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment