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Fukushima ranchers honor dead cattle from nuke disaster

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Cattlemen dedicate a monument to livestock that died as result of the 2011 nuclear disaster on April 15, in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture.

TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–About 170 cattlemen gathered here on April 15 to dedicate a monument to beef cattle that died from starvation or had to be euthanized as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

According to a local livestock cooperative, cattle farming was thriving in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture before the disaster unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011.

Nobuo Nemoto, head of the cooperative, which is based in Futaba, a town that co-hosts the stricken nuclear plant, said he and other cattle farmers will work hard to revive the industry.

“We are facing enormous difficulties, including the aging of farmers and a dent in morale in resuming the industry,” he said. “Despite that, we are hoping to make a fresh start with the ceremony to unveil the monument.”

Although many cattlemen were forced to evacuate and leave their livestock behind, many returned to their farms on occasion to feed and take care of their animals.

But after the government set up a 20-kilometer no-entry zone around the plant on April 22, 2011, the number of cattle that died of starvation on farms near the plant increased dramatically.

The no-entry zone was established to prohibit evacuees and others from entering the area due to high levels of radioactive substances.

The government then instructed the cattle ranchers to have their starving animals euthanized after gaining their consent. By February 2014, about 1,700 head of beef cattle–primarily cows and their calves–were put out of their misery.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201604150102.html

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

SWISS MADE Plutonium Removed From Swiss Safe to Be Buried in America

Mining Awareness +

Paul Scherrer Institute PSI Switzerland
Paul Scherrer Institute where the plutonium was stored in safes, probably in an underground vault or bunker

Switzerland removing plutonium made in a Swiss built reactor from safes or vaults (probably safes in vaults in underground bomb shelters), which was under constant surveillance, to ship to America to be diluted and buried in order to “contribute to the efforts of securing nuclear material on an international scale” really unveils the current scam of turning America into a dumping-burial ground for international waste.
Mosler Safe Resist Atomic Bombs
Mosler Safes Resisted Atomic Bombs

This is especially true when the following statement by the US NNSA is examined. Clearly the US government is telling a whopper of a lie here: “NNSA’s first priority is to seek a foreign solution that does not involve bringing this material to the United States. If such a solution cannot be identified, NNSA proposes to receive weapons-usable plutonium from…

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April 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 15 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

Even Walker Can’t Stop Wisconsin Wind Energy • Amidst all the great news for windpower, Wisconsin has been notoriously late to the US wind energy party, despite its prime location in the wind-rich Upper Midwest. However, it looks like Wisconsin is on the cusp of a great change. [CleanTechnica]

US wind energy employment. MISO Energy image US wind energy employment. MISO Energy image

World:

¶ Panama’s president inaugurated the 215-MW Laudato Si wind farm in the city of Penonome. A local subsidiary of power generation company InterEnergy Holdings, was responsible for the project. The 86-turbine park could supply energy to over 125,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In March, 2016, around 60% of all automotive registrations in Norway were for electric or hybrid vehicles, the most recent figures from Dinside Motor say. There were 13,875 registrations in all. Of these, 2595 were EVs, 2042 were plug-in hybrids, and 3396 were conventional hybrids…

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April 15, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Climate and Nuclear News This week

a-cat-CANCLIMATE. Paris climate negotiations ahead of schedule.  World powers worried at effects of climate change, drought, causing conflicts.  UN study of  cap at 1.5 degrees Celsius – it may not be feasible. Hillary Clinton unsuited to task of confronting climate change, too enmeshed in corporate thinking. New campaign ‘Two Degrees of Change’ urges female executives to demand action on climate change.  Rapid collapse of ice shelves in Antarctica.  Sea level rise has been underestimated – new ice studies suggest.  Warm, Southerly Winds Gust to Hurricane Force Over Greenland in Staggering Early Season Heatwave — Temperatures Now Hitting up to 41 Degrees (F) Above Average at Summit

Widespread support for Church of England’s stand against Exxon Mobil.  Religious groups urge US lawmakers to approve funding for Green Climate Fund (GCF).   Climate Change Threatening Mt Everest. Climate change affecting India: Severe Drought, Water Shortages  In Australia, and everywhere else, oil and gas lobbies pay shills to obstruct action on climate changeBig Oil spends up Big to thwart climate change action.

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Global renewable energy boom, with Asia Pacific at the heart of it.

EDF in America going for wind power, abandoning nuclear. Wind power in America in a big way, and transmission grid development. Wind power – the big buy-up by big companies.  Jobs boom in USA States with wind power development.  India: Gujarat’s government increases solar energy incentives, with rooftop subsidy.

NUCLEAR. 

WORLD. Russian naval officer who saved the world from nuclear war.

Statistical analysis indicates that we can expect more severe nuclear accidents. Nuclear industry up to their old tricks, spruiking “new nuclear“.   $Billions being spent on research for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, that are unlikely to be viable.  Allison MacFarlane on nuclear safety.

JAPAN. Just 74 miles from Sendai nuclear station, strong earthquake hits Japan. Under the radar. Japan’s nuclear development pushed along by USA think tank, a nuclear front– Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  Bribery allegations result in resignation of Japanese economy minister Akira Amari. The TPP was negotiated in secret, and now one of the chief negotiators is accused of taking bribes.

Fukushima – the irradiation of a nation. Fukushima’s evacuees have radiation-caused illnesses, but this is covered up in Japan. Braving danger and radiation for chance to earn 11,000 yen a day. Cheated every step of the way: a raw deal from subcontractors.  Radioactive wild boars rampaging around Fukushima nuclear site.

EUROPE.German nuclear centre a target for Paris terrorist?. According to German intelligence, terrorist Salah Abdeslam did not have German nuclear files.  In Europe, nuclear industry needs EUR 450 billion to survive. Luxembourg would pay France to shut down all too near nuclear power station. Dangerous state of aging nuclear reactors in Ukraine.

USA

UK vulnerable to cyberattack if planned nuclear deal with China goes ahead.

IRAQ. Radiation effects of depleted uranium continue to bring disease and death in Iraq.

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Global nuclear lobby escalating spin, in mainstream and in social media

spin-media-nuclearWith the continuing worldwide success of renewable energy, the nuclear lobby’s in a bit of a tizz –  doing their best to win hearts and minds with some slick articles in mainstream media, touting nuclear as cure for climate change, spruiking small nukes, and downplaying radiation effects of Fukushima nuclear disaster.

However, the nuclear industry is also now redoubling their efforts on social media, as they’ve discovered all the possibilities of Twitter, Facebook etc:

“Social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter, can be an opportunity for us to listen and engage on energy issues and EDF Energy has created digital tools based on the same principle as its physical visitor centres. These tools have been viewed over 1.3 million times,” “As an industry we must harness the power of social media to broaden understanding of what we do”  This is a vital part of gaining and maintaining public trust.”WNA 14/04/16 

We can be confident that those digital tools include not only real lobbyists’ messages,  but autobots set to swamp social media with pro nuclear spin, and triggered to respond to any messages critical of the industry

The World Nuclear Association obviously is well aware of the statistical liklelihood of a serious nuclear accident within the next few decades.  They’re priming the nuclear lobbyists up to keep the propaganda well and truly going, in advance of that nuc lear accident.

“If an accident occurs, there will be many voices seeking to be heard and media channels will want to use the information sources they know and trust. And trust has to be gained before an event”  WNA 14/04/16 

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes, media | Leave a comment

Just 74 miles from Sendai nuclear station, strong earthquake hits Japan

sendai 2Strong earthquake quake hits southern Japan THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 15, 2016 

At least two people were killed and 45 injured by a magnitude-6.5 earthquake that knocked down houses and buckled roads in southern Japan on Thursday night.

Both victims are from the hardest-hit town of Mashiki, about 15 kilometres (9 miles) east of Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, said Kumamoto prefecture disaster management official Takayuki Matsushita.

Earlier, Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital said it had admitted or treated 45 people, including five with serious injuries.

The quake struck at 9:26pm at a depth of 11 kilometres near Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. There was no tsunami risk……

Saga said there no abnormalities at nearby nuclear facilities. The epicentre was 120 kilometres (74 miles) northeast of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear plant, the only one operating in the country.

Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors remain offline following the meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011 after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a huge tsunami…….

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the initial quake’s preliminary magnitude at 6.2. It upgraded its damage assessment to red, meaning extensive damage is probable and the disaster likely widespread…….http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/strong-earthquake-quake-hits-southern-japan/news-story/758290acc35b609538c3ff285e89d2a8

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Who are the pro nuclear donors funding Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)?

nuke-spruikersSmUS Think Tank Urging Japan Keep Nuclear Funded By Japanese Govt & Nuclear Industry , Simply Info, April 12th, 2016 | “……The CSIS received over $500,000 from the Japanese government. …Japan is a top donor to CSIS. Only the UAE and US are included in that top donor category along with Japan.

The corporate donors to CSIS   Washington DC think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The corporate donors to CSIS are much more revealing
This list of nuclear industry companies is compiled from the CSIS corporate funding statement. Bold and italic companies are based in Japan or have heavy investment or large divisions that operate in Japan’s nuclear industry.
Contributions over $200,000
Lockheed Martin Corporation
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Contributions over $100,000
Bechtel Corporation
General Dynamics Corporation
Mitsubishi Corporation
Nippon Keidanren
Raytheon
Contributions over $65,000
Marubeni Corporation 
Rolls-Royce plc
Contributions over $35,000
Fluor Corporation
GE Foundation 
Hitachi, Ltd.
ITOCHU Corporation
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Contributions under $34,999
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Électricité de France S.A.
Exelon Corporation
General Atomics
General Electric Company
Honeywell International, Inc.
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
Toshiba Corporation
URENCO USA http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15416

April 15, 2016 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Plymouth needs an unbiased Nuclear Committee to advise on decommissioning Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

Pilgrim nuclear plantRash of resignations from the Nuclear Matters Committee Forget the nuclear power plant, the town’s Nuclear Matters Committee is decommissioning itself. Wicked Local Plymouth By Frank Mand
fmand@wickedlocal.com  Apr. 14, 2016 

PLYMOUTH – Forget the nuclear power plant, the town’s Nuclear Matters Committee is decommissioning itself.

Long-time member and chair Jeff Berger resigned last year, or at least thought he had. According to the town clerk it’s not official. Committee member Rich Grassie followed shortly thereafter, to devote his energy to another project.Chairman Rich Rothstein offered his letter of resignation earlier this year, and then committee member Heather Lightner did the same.

The full committee is supposed to have nine-members so today – including Berger who is technically still on the committee – they barely have enough members to reach a quorum (five) and hold a meeting.

So does the Nuclear Matters Committee still matter?

Brian Sullivan, a senior fellow at the American Leadership and Policy Foundation who writes a column on safety issues, including nuclear power topics, for the Old Colony Memorial, says it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

“We in Plymouth are at a critical juncture when it comes to the decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station,” Sullivan told the Old Colony last month. “Unfortunately, we are suffering a brain-drain at the same time.”

Sullivan suggests the resignations might be due to the committee’s lack of independence.

“We know from his recent commentary,” Sullivan said, “that former NMC Chairman Jeff Berger is pleased to now be able to speak out without having to be concerned about political reservations.”

It may not be that simple though………
Lightner, one of the newest members and the last to resign is also the most skeptical of those who recently resigned about the committee’s continued relevance.

“Although the Nuclear Matters Committee has a wealth of knowledge related to nuclear power and nuclear engineering, the committee is seriously lacking a diverse membership,” Lightner told the Old Colony. “If the NMC is to continue and bring value to the town, it must include more members who can speak to environmental issues, economic factors and development, and health and safety as part of the decommissioning conversation and decision-making process.”

Lightner would also like to see the selectmen, who appoint all committee members, limit the number of members who are associated with the nuclear industry or Entergy in particular and institute term limits to encourage new ideas and a balanced decommissioning discussion.

“Otherwise, the NMC should be dissolved,” Lightner said. “Perhaps the best plan is to appoint a brand new, more diverse group focused specifically on decommissioning, which could then advise the Entergy Working Group and Board of Selectmen.”

But even the town seems to be moving away from the committee…….http://plymouth.wickedlocal.com/article/20160414/NEWS/160418679/?Start=2

 

April 15, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

The Pilgrim nuclear power plant not to close until 2019

Closing date set for Pilgrim nuclear power plant will close May 31, 2019, plant operator Entergy announced. Boston Globe By  and  GLOBE STAFF  APRIL 14, 2016 The company that owns the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station said Thursday that it intends to refuel next year and continue operating the power plant in Plymouth for three more years.

Officials at Entergy Corp. said the plant will close on May 31, 2019. The company had been weighing whether to shutter the plant next year — as critics had hoped it would — before it would be required to start an expensive refueling process.

Pilgrim nuclear plant

The decision means Pilgrim’s 609 employees will continue to work there until the plant closes, but activists say it also means Entergy will continue operating what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has deemed one of the nation’s least-safe reactors…….

Local activists who have long opposed the plant’s continued operations said they worry that Entergy is more concerned about its finances than public safety.

“The bottom line is that this decision is about Entergy’s pocketbook — not about public safety,” said Mary Lampert, director of Pilgrim Watch, a longtime critic of the plant. “This is an old plant, and Entergy is unwilling to spend the money to fix the problems, and the NRC is allowing them to do that. That means we’re in a heightened period of risk.”

Last October, Pilgrim said it would close no later than June 2019, after supplying power to more than a half-million homes and businesses for four decades. The announcement came a month after the NRC designated Pilgrim one of the nation’s three least-safe reactors.

Company officials have said they decided to close the plant because of the plummeting price of a competing fuel, natural gas, and the reluctance of federal and regional officials to provide financial incentives for nuclear power plants…….https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/04/14/pilgrim-nuclear-power-plant-close-may/FRXGHcfMrk3nSngdYueMML/story.html

April 15, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump “reckless” on nuclear policy

USA election 2016Clinton blasts Trump’s ‘dangerous’ nuclear talk, Politico By  04/14/16  Hillary Clinton ratcheted up her attacks on Donald Trump’s national security expertise Thursday with a blistering New York Daily News op-ed in which she laid out her nuclear proposals and called his statements perhaps the “most reckless” from “any major presidential candidate in modern history.”

Referring to Trump’s frequent insistence that the United States needs “unpredictability” from a commander in chief and that he would not take the nuclear option “off the table,” Clinton said Trump would risk a dangerous arms race in East Asia and in the Middle East. The Republican front-runner said late last month that he would consider withdrawing U.S. forces from both countries and suggested that both nations should arm themselves with nuclear weapons.

“Trump’s policies would reverse decades of bipartisan consensus. Even letting friendly nations go nuclear would make it harder for us to prevent rogue regimes from doing the same,” the former secretary of state wrote in the Daily News, which on Wednesday endorsed her over Bernie Sanders.

Clinton also noted that the terrorists involved in last month’s Brussels attacks had been monitoring a Belgian nuclear scientist and nuclear plant, calling it “a chilling warning that ISIS may be pursuing the sabotage of a nuclear site or acquisition of material to make a dirty bomb.”……….http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/04/hillary-clinton-trump-national-security-221942

April 15, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Fukushima – the irradiation of a nation

Fukushima-reactor-No.-4-vulnerable-to-catastrophic-collapse-could-unleash-85-times-Cesium-137-radiation-of-Chernobyl-human-civilization-on-the-brinkTop Official: Over 60 million Japanese irradiated by Fukushima — Nuclear Expert: 50,000 sq. miles of Japan highly contaminated… Many millions need to be evacuated… Gov’t has decided to sacrifice them, it’s a serious crime — TV: More than 70% of country contaminated by radiation (VIDEOS) http://enenews.com/top-official-60-million-japanese-irradiated-fukushima-nuclear-expert-50000-square-miles-country-highly-contaminated-many-millions-be-evacuated-govt-decided-sacrifice-serious-crime-professor-70-l?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added): [Radioactive] material has been dispersed, contaminating Tohoku, Kanto [Tokyo area], and western Japan… [The law says] that absolutely nothing may be removed from a radioactive management area in which the levels exceed 40,000 Becquerels per square meter… [H]ow much area has been contaminated beyond 40,000 Bq/m2… that answer is 140,000 km^2 [54,054 square miles]… Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. The number of people living in what must be called a radiation-controlled area is in the millions, and could exceed ten million… I believe the government has the responsibility to evacuate these entire communities… the government decided to leave them exposed to the real danger of radiation. In my view, Fukushima should be declared inhabitable… but if that were to be done, it would likely bankrupt the country… They’ve decided to sacrifice people… In my view, this is a serious crime committed by Japan’s ruling elite… [F]undamentally, people must not be forced to live in contaminated areas… First must come complete evacuation… [W]hen it comes to radiation… “removal of contaminants” is impossible… This stuff contaminates everything.

Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan, Apr 11, 2016 (at 2:15 in): The molten material broke through the pressure vessel and accumulated low down in the containment. Now what would have happened if this molten material had escaped from the containment?… A radius of 250 kilometers — which includes the city of Tokyo — anyone living in this area, if you count them up it comes to 50 million or 40% of the Japanese population, and they would all have had to be evacuated. As we know from Chernobyl, not just a couple of weeks, but 30 years or 40 years — it would have virtually meant the end of Japan. [Note: Many nuclear experts believe the molten fuel did in fact escape from the containmentHalf the population was subject to radiation [Japan Population: 127 million]. That’s something that could just be imagined, for instance the event of losing a major war.

Arirang (Gov’t-funded Korean TV network), ‘Fukushima and Its Aftermath’, Mar 16, 2016 (at 6:45 in) —Prof. Kim Ik-Jung, Medical College at Dongguk Univ.: “When you look at the contamination map, about 70% of Japan is contaminated by radiation. That means that 70% of Japan’s agricultural and marine products are contaminated.”… According to PNAS, one of the five major scientific journals, over 70% of the land in Japan is contaminated by radiation.

Watch: Prime Minister Kan | Arirang’s Fukushima Special

April 15, 2016 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2016, Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

Global renewable energy boom, with Asia Pacific at the heart of it

Asia Pacific at the heart of global renewables boom Investments in clean energy reached record highs last year, spelling an optimistic outlook but new sources of competition for industry players. Eco Business, By Vaidehi Shah, 7 Apr 16,   The global clean energy sector continued its breakneck development with a record US$329 billion of new investments last year, and Asia Pacific is at the heart of this boom, according to a new report by professional services firm EY.

The London-headquartered consultancy’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index 2016 report, released in late February, showed that Asia Pacific secured almost US$180 million in clean energy investments last year – more than half of the global total.

China topped the index with US$110.5 billion in investments, followed by the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and India.

Wind and solar are the key energy sources driving the spike in global renewable energy investment, found EY. Together, the two sectors snapped up US$270 billion in clean energy investments last year, more than 80 percent of the US$329 billion total.

They also accounted for half of all new power generation capacity installed last year, contributing 120 gigawatts of new energy projects.

Asia Pacific saw more clean power going online than any other region, with 36 GW of solar and 31.5 GW of wind capacity added. This capacity was significantly higher than 8.9 GW in North America for solar energy, and 15 GW for Europe last year.

Asia Pacific’s electrifying growth

Matthew Rennie, managing partner, power and utilities, EY Australia, noted that India, Indonesia and Singapore are some of Asia’s most exciting markets.

With US$10.9 billion in clean energy investments last year, “India is the rising star of the Asia Pacific renewables market, and is starting to challenge China as the present index leader,” he said.

The rapid growth of investments in India is thanks to the government’s ambitious target to install 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022, announced last year. The country has also allocated US$400 million to finance this goal in its 2015 budget.

Indonesia, too, plans to scale up renewable energy………http://www.eco-business.com/news/asia-pacific-at-the-heart-of-global-renewables-boom/

April 15, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear industry up to their old tricks, spruiking “new nuclear”

Thorium reactors Some enthusiasts prefer fueling reactors with thorium – an element 3x as abundant as uranium but even more uneconomic to use. India has for decades failed to commercialize breeder reactors to exploit its thorium deposits.

But thorium can’t fuel a reactor by itself: rather, a uranium- or plutonium-fueled reactor can convert thorium-232 into fissionable (and plutonium-like, highly bomb-usable) uranium-233. Thorium’s proliferation [8], waste, safety, and cost problems differ only in detail from uranium’s: e.g., thorium ore makes less mill waste, but highly radioactive U-232 makes fabricating or reprocessing U-233 fuel hard and costly.

nuclear-dream-1

‘New’ nuclear reactors? Same old story, Ecologist, Amory Lovins 12th April 2016 The nuclear industry is forever reinventing itself with one brilliant ‘new’ idea after another, Amory Lovins wrote in this classic 2009 essay. But whether it’s touting the wonders of future SMRs, IFRs or LFTRs, the reality never changes: the reactors they are building right now are over time, over budget and beset by serious, entirely unforeseen technical problems….. Continue reading

April 15, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, reprocessing, technology, thorium | Leave a comment

Allison MacFarlane on nuclear safety

Macfarlane, AllisonHow to protect nuclear plants from terrorists, PhysOrg April 14, 2016 by Allison Macfarlane, The Conversation  In the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul, Ankara and elsewhere, nations are rethinking many aspects of domestic security. Nuclear plants, as experts have long known, are potential targets for terrorists, either for sabotage or efforts to steal nuclear materials.

Currently there are 444 nuclear power plants operating in 30 countries around the world and 243 smaller research reactors, which are used to produce isotopes for medical uses and to train nuclear engineers. The nuclear industry also includes hundreds of plants that enrich uranium and fabricate fuel for reactors. Some of these facilities contain materials terrorists could use to build a nuclear or “dirty” bomb. Alternatively, power plants could be “hijacked” to create an accident of the sort experienced at Chernobyl and Fukushima, sending clouds of radioactivity over hundreds of miles.

At last month’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., representatives from 52 countries pledged to continue improving their nuclear security and adopted action plans to work together and through international agencies.

But significant countries like Russia and Pakistan are not participating. And many in Europe are just beginning to consider physical security measures. From my perspective as a former nuclear regulator and now as director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University, it is clear that  are vulnerable to .

It is not news that security is weak at many civilian  and research facilities.

In October 2012, Greenpeace activists entered two nuclear power plants in Sweden by breaking open a gate and scaling fences without being stopped by guards. Four of them hid overnight on a roof at one reactor before surrendering the next morning.

Just this year, Sweden’s nuclear regulatory agency adopted a requirement for armed guards and additional security measures at the plants. However, these upgrades do not have to be in place until early 2017.

In 2014 French nuclear plants were plagued by unexplained drone overflights. And Greenpeace activists broke into the Fessenheim nuclear plant near the German border and hung a large banner from the reactor building.

In light of the recent Brussels attacks, reports from Belgium are more alarming. In 2012 two employees at the country’s Doel nuclear power station left Belgium to fight in Syria. In 2014 an unidentified saboteur tampered with lubricant in the turbine at the same reactor, causing the plant to shut down for five months. And earlier this year authorities investigating the Paris attacks discovered video surveillance footage of a Belgian nuclear official in the home of one of the Paris suspects.

One has to assume that potential attackers may understand how the sites and materials can be used.

Given the heightened state of alert in Europe, governments should, I believe, immediately increase security at civilian . They could emulate the United States, where security at nuclear facilities has substantially increased since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

American role model

U.S.  now are some of the most well-guarded facilities in the world.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates both safety and security at nuclear power plants. After 9/11, these sites were required to add multiple layers of protection, with the cores of reactors (where the fuel is located) the most highly defended areas………

The United States has also adopted regulations to ensure cybersecurity at reactors. As new, entirely digital reactors come online, such measures will be more necessary than ever.

The successful 2010 Stuxnet attack, for example, in which a computer worm infiltrated computers at Iranian nuclear facilities and caused machines to malfunction, showed how vulnerable unprotected computer networks can be.

Improving security worldwide

There are no global standards for physical protection at civilian nuclear facilities. Each country adopts its own laws and regulations dictating what nuclear site owners are required to do to protect plants from attack.

As a result, measures at plants can vary widely, with some countries depending on the local police force for protection and leaving guards unarmed. Often the level of security depends on cultural norms and attitudes, but the recent attacks in Europe suggest a rapid adjustment is needed.

Here are steps that, in my view, all countries can take to make nuclear plants more secure……..

To prevent an attack at a nuclear site, governments must take security at nuclear sites seriously now, not a year from now.

In light of the current terrorist threat and with four Nuclear Security Summits completed, countries with nuclear  need to up their game with regards to physical  at nuclear power facilities before it’s too late.  http://phys.org/news/2016-04-nuclear-fromterrorists.html#jCp

April 15, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, safety | Leave a comment

Fukushima ice wall a very costly failure

Amid rampant waste, Fukushima’s frozen wall up in smoke http://america.aljazeera.com/blogs/scrutineer/2015/3/24/rampant-waste-fukushima-frozen-wall-up-in-smoke.html

by Gregg Levine   @GreggJLevine More than a half-billion dollars of Japanese taxpayer money has been wasted in the struggle to contain and clean up the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a government audit.

Japan’s Board of Audit reported that TEPCO, the company nominally in charge of the crippled facility, along with other construction and utility giants, had operated an insular and insufficiently transparent process that resulted in a lengthy list of massive expenditures on untested tactics and shoddy equipment.

The biggest ticket failure was apparently a $270 million water decontamination system from French nuclear behemoth Areva. Designed to remove radioactive cesium from water gushing from Fukushima Daiichi’s three destroyed reactors, the machine was never fully operational, functioned only three months and processed only 77,000 tons of liquid — in total — a minute fraction of the 300,000 tons of contaminated water flowing from the site (and into the sea) each day.

An attempt to contain at least some of that water, a series of pipes and trenches filled with coolant that was to form an “ice wall,” turned out to be another of the cleanup’s dramatically costly and utterly ineffective schemes.

As detailed last summer, the freezing technique was borrowed from tunnel excavation, but had never been tried under such circumstances or on such a large scale. After a year of planning and months of construction, authorities couldn’t get even the small first stage of the project to freeze. Even after adding ten tons of ice and a ton of dry ice on top of the piped coolant every day, TEPCO could not get within 10 degrees (F) of the temperature needed to form a barrier.

By late 2014, 400 tons of ice and somewhere between $840,000 (audited waste) and $300 million (projected cost) later, TEPCO conceded failure.

Other attempts to contain the radioactive water have also come at immense cost. TEPCO spent $134 million on rubber-gasketed tanks that quickly began leaking into the surrounding ground and ocean. And $18 million was spent to build large underground pools that failed within weeks.

Another costly boondoggle detailed in the audit is the $150 million blown on desalination equipment that was supposed to purify the seawater poured over the overheating reactor cores. (All of Fukushima’s cooling systems failed during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, resulting in reactor meltdowns, melt-throughs, hydrogen explosions and containment breaches.) One machine worked for just five days; the best of them survived only six weeks.

Fukushima’s disaster mitigation is four years into what is projected, by the very best estimates, to be a 30- to 40-year cleanup — and even then, there will be many long-term logistical, safety and health concerns. No serious models forecast the project can be accomplished with just the $1.6 billion (190 billion yen) currently allocated, but by that math, waste alone will outstrip the budget three- or four-times over before cleanup is “complete.”

April 15, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | Leave a comment