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

June 23 Energy News



¶ “Can Renewables Replace Nuclear Power?” • Utility PG&E’s announcement that it would shutter California’s last nuclear plant and replace the power with energy efficiency and renewable energy was the result of a confluence of progressive state policies making it more feasible. [Scientific American]

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Station, on the coast of California. Credit: Doc Searls/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Station, on the coast of California. Credit: Doc Searls/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Spain, completing the Atlantic leg of its historic bid to circumnavigate the globe. The landing in Seville marked the end of the 15th stage of Solar Impulse’s route. Mission managers will now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015. [BBC]


¶ Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy approved six renewable energy plants, with a combined capacity of 165 MW, to join the national Incentive Regime for Infrastructure Development…

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

Honeybees and Butterflies as Indicators of Radioactive Contamination; Impacts on Fruit Production

Mining Awareness +

In “Honeybees as Monitors of Low Levels of Radioactivity” Simmons et. al.(1990) state that”it is known that honeybees can be used to detect radionuclides present in the environment. Their mobility and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways (i.e., water, air, vegetation, and soil) could expand and add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program.” (This study was for the US DOE at Hanford Nuclear Site) [1]

In “Radioactive Bees–Honey Bees as Indicators of Radionuclide Contamination“, Timothy K. Haarmann of Los Alamos National Lab says that his experiments at LANL “verify that honey bees are indeed good indicators of radionuclide contamination when it is present in the environment“. [2]
Honey Bee flower public domain via wikipedia
McGee and McGarry of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland inform us that “Bees forage intensively over about 7 km2 visiting thousands of plants daily in their search for pollen…

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

Nobel Laureate H.J. Muller: Ionizing Radiation and (Lethal) Genetic Mutations Discoveries in the 1920s

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Hermann Joseph Muller (or H. J. Muller) (December 21, 1890 – April 5, 1967) was an American geneticist, educator, and Nobel laureate best known for his work on the physiological and genetic effects of radiation (X-ray mutagenesis) as well as his outspoken political beliefs.[2] Muller frequently warned of the long-term dangers of radioactive fallout from nuclear war and nuclear testing, helping to raise public awareness in this area.[3]

… At 16 he entered Columbia College. From his first semester he was interested in biology; he became an early convert of the Mendelian-chromosome theory of heredity — and the concept of genetic mutations and natural selection as the basis for evolution… Muller earned a B.A. degree in 1910.[5]

Muller remained at Columbia (the pre-eminent American zoology program at the time, thanks to E. B. Wilson and his students) for graduate school. He became interested in the Drosophila [fruit fly]

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

In Defiance of Harmful Fuels — Is Tesla/Solar City the New Model For What an Energy Company Should Look Like?

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR.– CO2 continues to rise, a positive methane feedback loop may form, marine and terrestrial habitats are dying, and then there’s Elon Musk’s business enterprise with some good news.  Power your home with your car?  Read on:

RobertScribbler.– “It could well be said that we are subsidizing our own destruction. Despite centuries of use, fossil fuels around the world today receive about 500 billion dollars annually in the form of economic incentives from Earth’s various governing bodies. With alternatives to fossil fuels becoming less costly and more widely available, and with the impacts of human-forced climate change growing dramatically worse with each passing year, such wasteful and harmful misuse of public monies is starting to look actively suicidal.

Fossil Fuel Funding for Global Catastrophe

“Given so much money going into the hands of what are already the wealthiest corporations in existence, one would expect that the practice of providing these…

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

CO2’s Vertigo-Inducing Rate of Rise — In First 5 Months of 2016 Hothouse Gas Concentration Rocketed 3.7 Parts Per Million Above 2015

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR.– A recurring warning from climatologists is the possibility that melting permafrost will generate a positive feedback loop in global warming.  Such an event would move the “Climate Emergency” into an extreme phase from which we could not recover without massive damage to Earth’s ecosystems and the current human civilizations.  Prudence demands that we never dismiss such fears.  We must try to prevent the event, plan contingency responses, and hope it never happens.

“Perhaps the most worrisome threat is that because the Arctic is warming so much faster than the globe as a whole, the permafrost — soil that remains frozen year-round — is thawing. As it does, organic matter which is trapped within can decay, and when it does it releases CO2 into the atmosphere, except those places where instead of releasing CO2 it releases CH4.” — Tamino.

RobertScribbler.– “With the Northern Hemisphere Pole warming at a rate 2-3…

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

Killing ourselves with technology

Systemic Disorder

What do we do when technology spirals out of our control? Or, to put it more bluntly, when does humanity’s ability to build ever more dangerous weapons become a self-fulfilling prophesy?

Albert Einstein is said to have remarked that he didn’t know what weapons the third world war would be fought with, but the fourth would be waged with sticks and rocks. Even that classic of science fiction optimism, Star Trek, had humanity surviving a third world war. (Spock recounted the tolls of Earth’s three world wars in one episode.)

But we wouldn’t, would we? Or we might wish we didn’t. One story that has long lingered in my mind is an early Philip K. Dick story, “Second Variety,” published in 1953, a time when the cold war was looking decidedly hot. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic France, in a world in which nuclear bombs…

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

June 22 Energy News



¶ “The U.S. Nuclear Boom Has Turned Into a Dud” • Five years ago, we were supposed to be entering a nuclear renaissance. New nuclear plants were being planned and there were loan guarantee programs in place. Today, the nuclear industry in the US is dying. [Motley Fool]

Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. NRC photo. Public domain. Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. NRC photo. Public domain.


¶ Warmer winters played an important role in the decline in EU greenhouse gas emissions. A report says CO2 emissions across the bloc dropped by almost 25% from 1990 to 2014. Renewable energy, a switch from coal to natural gas, and recession also contributed to the fall. [BBC]

¶ The University of Cambridge has blacklisted all investment in coal and tar sands companies following mounting pressure to divest from fossil fuels. The University currently has no coal or tar sands investments, and has “no expectation of having…

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

US NRC on Areva-Le Creusot Potentially Defective Parts in US Reactors – Feigning Ignorance?

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NRC Inspection Le Creusot 2009
From an NRC Report, October 6 – 8, 2009, by Kerri Kavanagh

In the US, nuclear reactors having potentially defective Le Creusot-Areva parts include (but are not necessarily limited to): Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels at Prairie Island 1 and 2; Replacement Reactor Pressure Vessel Closure Heads (replacement lids) at North Anna, Surry, Three Mile Island, Crystal River 3, Arkansas One, Turkey Point, Salem, St Lucie, DC Cook); (Replacement) Steam Generators at Prairie Island 1, Callaway, Arkansas One, Salem, St Lucie, Three Mile Island and (Replacement) Pressurizers at St Lucie, Millstone (See Greenpeace France, Briefing and “AREVA – Société Générale / Investor day Burgundy – April 9, 2009“)

Kerri Kavanagh, on behalf of the US NRC, belatedly issued a statement on June 20th entitled: “Quality Assurance Issues in France: Implications for U.S. Plants?” Kerri Kavanagh pretends to not know what parts or types of parts are involved…

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June 23, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment