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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

What Was Dumped in and Cemented West of Reactor #1?

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Citizen scientists at work! This is what we can all do to ensure the truth remains clear, in spite of the barrage of corporate propaganda. Thanks Ray Masalas

Ray Masalas found this early picture in his files {May 8th 2011 still a road west of reactor #1} and of course the later {Late July 2011} below picture showing the huge concrete pour west of reactor #1.

You can guess what got dumped in there and cemented over? No wonder the aquifer is hot. Anyway, at least we have a timeline on the mysterious boat shaped, concrete pour. By Aug. 2011 it became covered with sand and they pretended they were just regrading the road.

Ray Masalas guesses the blob from the north wall of reactor #4 and a pile of blown out fuel rod chunks went in there. He really wishes he had a picture of how deep they dug it but we know how the Japanese media release only films where Tepco lets them. If he didn’t go frame by frame we never even would have had this. You know how they like to swing the camera past the important stuff.

And in both pics you can see the 45 degree angle of the roof of Reactor #1 collapsing from south to north after the blast. It’s sitting on the fuel pool. No one has been in there since they put the tent over it in Oct 2011. Maybe some poor slob has to go check the hoses in the fuel pool but the reactor core is long gone. This one was blown by the earthquake {Shhh big secret} and might have been in meltdown before the tsunami hit, an hour and a half later.

Special credits and thanks to Ray Masalas.

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January 9, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Stricken village holds 1st event for ‘new’ adults since disaster

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Young people in colorful kimono and other attire pose for a commemorative photo after being reunited with an elementary school teacher during Coming-of-Age Day event on Jan. 8 in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture.

 

IITATE, Fukushima Prefecture–Young people dressed to the nines to celebrate Coming-of-Age Day on Jan. 8, the first time the ceremony has been held here since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

For many, the public holiday was an opportunity to reunite with old friends also reaching the age of majority, 20 years old, during the year ending in March.

Iitate remains one of the most heavily contaminated areas where evacuation orders still remain in effect because of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant triggered by the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Despite the catastrophe, the village went ahead with the ceremony in light of the government’s decision to lift the evacuation orders in the most of the village at the end of March.

With its abundant nature, Iitate is our home and where our lives are rooted,” said Keita Matsushita, a sophomore at the Miyagi University of Education in Sendai, during his speech at the ceremony he delivered on behalf of 61 “shin-seijin,” literally new adults.

I am grateful for those who are committing themselves to the rebuilding of Iitate,” he said.

Matsushita, who was a second-year junior high school student when the 2011 disaster struck, expressed delight at running in to old friends again and catching up on their lives.

He also expressed concern about the future of the village.

I am not sure whether the dose of radiation in the village is at a safe limit yet,” Matsushita said.

The infrastructure has not been rebuilt yet, so I won’t be going back.”

Thirty-nine municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture held Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies.

For areas where evacuation orders still remain in effect–Okuma, Namie, Tomioka—the ceremonies were held outside the towns.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701090038.html

Young people in colorful kimono and other attire pose for a commemorative photo after being reunited with an elementary school teacher during Coming-of-Age Day event on Jan. 8 in Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Futaba daruma a symbol of hope, nostalgia for Fukushima

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Many people visited a daruma fair to buy Futaba darumas in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Jan. 7.

 

Daruma dolls, traditional round-shaped representations of the Indian priest Bodhidharma used as charms for the fulfillment of special wishes, are typically painted red, the color of his religious vestment, and have black eyebrows and a wispy beard painted on a white face.

But Futaba daruma, produced in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, feature blue-rimmed faces. The blue represents the Pacific Ocean, which stretches to the east of the town.

On the New Year’s Day, many of the townsfolk would go to the seaside to watch the first sunrise of the year turning the vast expanse of water into a sea of shiny gold.

But the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, which generated massive tsunami and the catastrophic accident at the nuclear power plant partly located in the town, drastically changed the fate of Futaba.

All of the residents were evacuated. Even now, 6,000 or so townsfolk live in 38 prefectures across the nation.

When I asked evacuees what they missed about life in the town before the nuclear disaster, they cited tea they would drink together with other members of the community after farm work, the local Bon Festival dance and local “kagura,” or sacred Shinto music and dancing. They also talked nostalgically about the rice and vegetable fields which they took great care of, the croaking of frogs, flying fireflies and the sweet taste of freshly picked tomatoes.

What was lost is the richness of life that cannot be bought.

Kaori Araki, who has just celebrated reaching adulthood, cited the smell of the sea. “But what I miss most is my relationships with people,” she added.

After leaving Futaba, Araki lived in Tokyo and Fukui, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures before settling down in the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture. Her current residence is her seventh since she left an evacuation center.

On that day in March 2011, Araki, then a second-year junior high school student, escaped the tsunami with a friend. At a Coming-of-Age ceremony on Jan. 3, she met the friend, who also ended up living in a remote community, for the first time in about six years.

The government plans to ensure that some areas in Futaba will be inhabitable in five years. The municipal government has estimated that the town’s population a decade from now will be between 2,000 and 3,000.

In a survey of heads of families from Futaba conducted last fall, however, only 13 percent of the respondents said they wanted to return to the town.

A daruma fair to sell Futaba daruma started in front of temporary housing in Iwaki on Jan. 7.

The fair has been organized by volunteers since 2012 to keep this local New Year tradition alive. On Jan. 8, special buses brought people to the event from various locations both inside and outside the prefecture. There must have been many emotional reunions at the fair.

There were some green-colored daruma dolls sold at the fair as well. Green is the color of the school emblem of Futaba High School, which is to be closed at the end of March.

I hope that the daruma sold at the fair will help the purchasers fulfill their respective wishes.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701090024.html

 

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

NPO members donate 12 million yen in taxes to anti-nuclear city

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Tamotsu Sugenami, left, a staff member of the office for JBC CSR Fund, hands over a list of donation to Imari Mayor Yoshikazu Tsukabe in the Imari city government office in Saga Prefecture on Jan. 6.

 

IMARI, Saga Prefecture–In seeking something scholarship recipients can sink their teeth into, five staff members of a nonprofit organization in Tokyo searched for a worthy recipient of their tax payments.

Impressed with the Imari mayor’s anti-nuclear stance, the staffers contributed 12 million yen (about $102,600) of their tax money to the city government here.

In return, they’ll receive about 380 kilograms of delicious Imari beef to distribute to scholarship winners, including many affected by the Kumamoto earthquakes.

The five used the “Furusato nozei” (Hometown tax) system, which allows people to divert part of their local tax payments to their favorite local governments. In return, many of those governments send local specialties to donors.

The NPO, named JBC CSR Fund, a scholarship organization, plans to distribute the meat to 223 high school students, including 129 impacted by the powerful earthquakes in Kumamoto last April.

The NPO gives scholarships to high school students who have academic capabilities but are in financial difficulties due to their family circumstances.

The organization considered presenting the beef it would receive to scholarship recipients by utilizing the Furusato nozei system. In consideration, it chose Imari, a production center of the brand beef.

The NPO decided on the city as its mayor, Yoshikazu Tsukabe, expressed opposition to the restart of the Genkai nuclear power plant in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, in 2016. Imari is located within a 30-kilometer radius of the nuclear plant.

On Jan. 6, Tamotsu Sugenami, a staff member of the office for the fund, visited the Imari government and handed over the documentation for the donation to Tsukabe.

While referring to an interview that ran in the Jan. 3 Asahi Shimbun in which Tsukabe expressed his opposition to the restart, Sugenami complimented the mayor, saying, “We quickly became fans of Imari.”

In response, Tsukabe said, “I was encouraged, although I tend to be isolated (due to my opposition to the nuclear plant).”

The mayor also said, “Once the nuclear power plant is restarted, it will be difficult to stop again. As the plant’s operations are suspended now, it is time to switch to anti-nuclear policies.”

He added, “I will deliver delicious Imari beef to high school students (through the NPO).”

Each of the 223 students will be able to enjoy about 1.7 kilograms of beef.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701080018.html

 

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan | Leave a comment

Renewable energy: China, India are leaving climate-denying nations -USA and Australia – behind

text-relevantInterview: U.S., Australia left behind as China, India leads clean energy advancement http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2017-01/06/content_40053872.htm, January 6, 2017  While the U.S.-centric world questions renewable energy, China is leading the world in clean-power investment, driving the fledgling industry further and leverage future growth as the sane world looks to transition away from fossil fuels.

China’s domestic investment in renewable energy lifted to 103 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, outbound investment surged 60 percent year-on-year to 32 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, an Institute for Economics and Financial Analysis report showed Friday.

“This is a massive pivot by the Chinese to capitalise on technology control, industry leadership and to take their position global,” the report’s author, IEEFA’s Australasia director of energy finance studies, Tim Buckley told Xinhua.

China wants to “dominate” these industries in a positive way, Buckley said, deploying technology which is now considered the “best in the world” after years of investment.

“Chinese wind turbines are the best in the world, China produces 50-60 percent of the world’s solar modules, they are producing or installing probably half of the world’s dams as we speak,” Buckley said, adding Chinese hydroelectricity engineers are also world leaders.

China’s neighbor India has also showed ambitions on clear energy development.

Its latest national energy plan shows there will be no new coal fired power plants — other than those already under construction — over the next decade, which puts up red flags for Australia’s coal industry and Adani’s recently approved project in Australia’s Galilee Basin.

“When China is moving very very aggressively as a world leader, India is looking to replicate that and accelerate that trend as well and become the low cost manufacturer of this industry transformation, America and Australia risk getting left behind,” Buckley said.

As agreed at the COP21 Paris climate talks in 2015, the countries involved promised to ensure global warming is limited to a two degree Celsius rise through their respective emissions reductions targets. So, investment in new, clean energy technologies is critical.

Western governments such as Australia and the incoming regime of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump however are still championing fossil fuels.

Trump has named former ExxonMobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson as his nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, while Australia’s ruling lawmakers have backed a 100 billion Australian dollar investment target to expand the local coal industry.

Buckley issued a wake-up-call to the U.S. (and Australia), stating following a mandate to move back to fossil fuels might have some short term opportunity, but it will come at significant cost to jobs, technology and investment in the future.

Buckley says Asia will pivot to renewable energy within the next decade for economic reasons, taking the lowest cost energy source going forward, which is solar.

“It’s technology driven, its policy driven, it’s unstoppable.”

Australia’s state governments are now filling the void from the lack of guidance from federal authorities to meet their self-imposed targets, the reduction in the cost of renewable energy is also making it commercially viable.

“The cost of renewables are dropping in double digit declines in cost per megawatt every year,” Buckley said.

“The cost of solar is now down to 80 or 90 Australian dollars per megawatt hour, the cost of wind is similar, only a year ago it was 30 percent higher.”

Green energy critics however contend the intermittent nature of renewables heightens energy security concerns. Australia’s government blamed the intermittent nature of renewable energy for the state-wide blackout in South Australia on Sept. 28 2016 following a violent storm.

Buckley — like previous statements by former State Grid Corp. chairman Liu Zhenya — said grid stability is not an issue, there is no technical barrier to the use of renewable energy, it just needs investment to prepare for future energy needs. Endit

January 9, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Trains 100% wind powered for Netherlands, by 2018

text-relevantll Netherlands Railways trains will be 100% wind powered by 2018 http://inhabitat.com/all-netherlands-railways-trains-will-be-100-wind-powered-by-2018/ When its citizens demanded clean energy, The Netherlands responded in the best possible way. Following a ruling earlier this year when 886 citizens sued their government to reduce CO2 emissions, a court at the Hague ordered the Dutch government to adopt a goal of cutting carbon emissions by at least 25 percent over the next five years. In response, the Dutch railways unveiled plans to become 50 percent wind-powered by the end of this year and 100 percent by 2018.

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The trains are reported to carry 1.2 million passengers each day and emit 550 kilotons of carbon dioxide, yet this number is hoped to reach zero within only a few years. Michel Kerkhof of energy company Eneco stated, “Mobility is responsible for 20 percent of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands, and if we want to keep traveling, it is important that we do this without burdening the environment with CO2 and particulate matter.” This speedy upgrade to renewable, safe energy sources is just what we need to address growing climate change issues.
Wind energy used to power the trains will be sourced not only by the Netherlands, but also from Belgium and Scandinavian countries. This allows the country’s resources to be used in other ventures. It also strengthens partnerships with other providers and encourages expansion of railway use throughout Europe. Perhaps this could be an inspiration to other nations – on all continents – to jump on board with the Netherlands’ enthusiasm to tip the scales toward renewable energy.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

Don’t for one minute think that nuclear power is in any way “green”

don’t for one second think that nuclear power is green or sustainable in any way. You will hear that, because nukes don’t create CO2 when they’re generating power, they’re a solution to climate change.

What you don’t hear from the proponents of nuclear power/weapons is that the mining and refining of nuclear fuel is extremely energy- and carbon-intensive.

What you don’t hear is that the billions of government subsidy dollars that are going to shore up and bail out unprofitable nuclear power companies could be better spent on developing and bringing to scale truly sustainable forms of energy.

What you don’t hear is that there is no way to safely clean up radioactive waste. “Green” and “nuclear” simply cannot be credibly used together.

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My Turn/Darling: No such thing as ‘green’ nuclear power http://www.recorder.com/my-turn-nuclear-facilities-7049505 , December 26, 2016 Here in the Pioneer Valley we live within a circle of five operating, decommissioning, or decommissioned nuclear power facilities and a nuclear submarine base. Radioactive materials are extremely dangerous and extremely long lived. For our safety and the safety of future generations, we need to be informed about nuclear power and the waste created from its mining and its use.

Of course, there are nuclear facilities all over the world and nuclear contamination has a way of traveling very long distances in the air, through oceans and rivers, and in our bodies. So it’s not something anyone can totally escape from, no matter where we live. We have fouled our nest with nightmarishly toxic and pernicious stuff and we don’t know what to do with it.

It’s extremely painful, frightening and depressing to face this head on. But we have to. We are now the stewards of all this radioactive waste, whether we like it or not. And more waste is being made all the time.

What can you do? First, accept the responsibility of being a nuclear steward. Then, become knowledgeable. Two good resources are the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, www.nirs.org, or Fairewinds Energy Education, www.fairewinds.org.

Second, question everything you hear about nuclear power. Start with these two basic assumptions and see if they help you make sense of it:

Corporations have a “perverse motivation” (i.e. profit) to reduce costs and neglect safety, so they tend to obfuscate and lie when challenged.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is about one quarter regulator (at best) and three quarters nuclear industry cheerleader. It is one of many “captive regulators” in an economy driven by short-term gain and not by long-term investment in the future.

Third, do everything you can to pressure government, utilities, and corporations to stop creating more radioactive waste. A good starting place would be calling Gov. Baker and telling him Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth should be shut down.

Fourth, don’t for one second think that nuclear power is green or sustainable in any way. You will hear that, because nukes don’t create CO2 when they’re generating power, they’re a solution to climate change. What you don’t hear from the proponents of nuclear power/weapons is that the mining and refining of nuclear fuel is extremely energy- and carbon-intensive. What you don’t hear is that the billions of government subsidy dollars that are going to shore up and bail out unprofitable nuclear power companies could be better spent on developing and bringing to scale truly sustainable forms of energy. What you don’t hear is that there is no way to safely clean up radioactive waste. “Green” and “nuclear” simply cannot be credibly used together.

Fifth, don’t even imagine that Yucca Mountain is an appropriate place to store radioactive waste. Even if we had technology good enough to contain radioactive waste for generations — which we don’t — Yucca is not the right place from a geological standpoint.

Sixth, if you live near a shutdown reactor (which you do) and just want the radioactive waste gone, yesterday, think about where it will go. Think about the places it would be transported through, at great risk of accident or terror attack. Think about the places where it would be stored, and where it could leak or worse. Right now, radioactive materials from the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee are being shipped to a storage facility near the Texas-New Mexico border that sits on top on a huge aquifer supplying at least seven southwestern states. What will happen if the radioactivity gets into the deep water?

Seventh, recognize that the communities and geographies that are being forced or asked to take on radioactive waste are sacrifice zones inhabited by people with dark skin and/or no money or political clout. That storage facility on the Texas-New Mexico border is in an area that is poor, rural, and largely Mexican-American. Uranium is mined on indigenous people’s land throughout the world and the waste simply left there, making them sick. Yucca Mountain itself, and the contaminated Nevada nuclear testing sites nearby, are actually on Shoshone tribal lands. This is racism at a profound level.

Finally, get involved in anything that will slow down or stop the creation of nuclear waste. Promote sustainable energy and energy conservation efforts. Climate Action Now is a good local resource: www.climateactionnowma.org. Advocate to shut down Pilgrim Nuclear in Plymouth: www.capedownwinders.org or www.pilgrimcoalition.org. Get involved in regional and national discussions about what is the least bad resolution to the problem of nuclear waste. The Citizens’ Awareness Network is a local organization with a solid history and national reach: www.nukebusters.org.

You don’t have to be an expert on nuclear power to make a difference. You just have to show up and be ready to learn and work hard for your children and their children and their children.

Ann Darling currently lives in Easthampton and has worked in Greenfield for over 15 years. She is a 35-year resident of the Brattleboro, Vt., area and a member of the Safe and Green Campaign to responsibly shut down and decommission Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. She recently attended a national summit on radioactive waste in Chicago.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

New York Gov Cuomo to announce 2018 closure of Indian Point nuclear station

reactor--Indian-PointIndian Point nuke plant to shut down by 2021: Reports http://www.metro.us/new-york/indian-point-nuclear-power-plant-to-shut-down-by-2021/zsJqag—zxZJftzkicyc6/ KIMBERLY M. AQUILINA

Gov. Cuomo is expected to announce an agreement with the plant operators on Tuesday Indian Point nuclear power plant, less than 30 miles from New York City, will close by April 2021 under an agreement New York State reached this week with the utility company that owns the plant, according to several news reports.

One of the reactors will permanently shut downby April 2020, followed by the rest of the plant, which sits on the east bank of the Hudson River, the following year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who supports nuclear power plants in the upper region of the state, has long requested that the Westchester County plant cease operations.

“Why you would allow Indian Point to continue to operate defies common sense, planning and basic sanity,” Cuomo said in June, The New York Times reported.

New York’s Department of State said the Indian Point plant is in violation of state coastal management regulations and that it poses a risk to the 17 million people who live within 50 miles, The Wall Street Journal reported.

However, Cuomo hasn’t confirmed the win for his administration.

“There is no agreement — Governor Cuomo has been working on a possible agreement for 15 years and until it’s done, it’s not done,” spokesman for the governor, Richard Azzopardi, said. “Close only counts for horseshoes, not for nuclear plants.”

The governor is expected to make the announcement in his home county of Westchester on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.

The replacement for the energy the plant provides for New York City and Westchester County isn’t clear; the power plant generates more than 2,000 megawatts — 25 percent of the region’s electricity.

Cuomo previously suggested alternative power options, including power from nearby wind farms and hydropower from Quebec.

In 2015, Cuomo’s administration opposed the 20-year recertification request by the plant’s owner, Entergy, citing ecological concerns. The objection stated that the reactor, located near “two active seismic faults,” kills marine life by using 2.5 billion gallons of water of day for cooling and puts drinking water at risk, according to the advocacy group Riverkeeper.

In his 2004 report “Chernobyl on the Hudson? The Health and Economic Impacts of a Terrorist Attack at the Indian Point Nuclear Plant,” Edwin S. Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists “found that a core meltdown and radiological release at one of the two operating Indian Point reactors could cause 50,000 near-term deaths from acute radiation syndrome and 14,000 long-term deaths from cancer.”

When asked if New York City’s safety will be affected by the plant closure, Raul Contreras, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said, “The closing of Indian Point must be coupled with a clear understanding of the risks and impact its replacements will have on air quality, energy affordability and reliability.”

A representative from Entergy told Metro on Saturday that the company has no comment at this time on the closure.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Record loss of sea ice in 2016-both Arctic and Antarctic

New analysis: global sea ice suffered major losses in 2016 http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2017/01/07/sea-ice-extent-in-2016-at-both-poles-tracked-well-below-average/#.WHMiWtJ97Gj  By Tom Yulsman | January 7, 2017 The extent of sea ice globally took major hits during 2016, according to an analysis released yesterday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

At both poles, “a wave of new record lows were set for both daily and monthly extent,” according to the analysis.

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In recent years, Arctic sea ice has been hit particularly hard.

“It has been so crazy up there, not just this autumn and winter, but it’s a repeat of last autumn and winter too,” says Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC.

In years past, abnormal warmth and record low sea ice extent tended to occur most frequently during the warmer months of the year. But for the past two years, things have gotten really weird in the colder months.

In 2015, Serreze says, “you had this amazing heat wave, and you got to the melting point at the North Pole on New Years Eve. And we’ve had a repeat this autumn and winter — an absurd heat wave, and sea ice at record lows.”

Lately, the Southern Hemisphere has been getting into the act. “Now, Antarctic sea ice is very, very low,” Serreze says.

From the NSIDC analysis:

Record low monthly extents were set in the Arctic in January, February, April, May, June, October, and November; and in the Antarctic in November and December.

Put the Arctic and the Antarctic together, and you get his time series of daily global sea ice extent, meaning the Arctic plus Antarctic:

As the graph [on original] shows, the global extent of sea ice tracked well below the long-term average for all of 2016. The greatest deviation from average occurred in mid-November, when sea ice globally was 1.50 million square miles below average.

For comparison, that’s an area about 40 percent as large as the entire United States.

The low extent of sea ice globally “is a result of largely separate processes in the two hemispheres,” according to the NSIDC analysis.

For the Arctic, how much might humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases be contributing to the long-term decline of sea ice? The graph above [on original] , based on data from a study published in the journal Science, “links Arctic sea ice loss to cumulative CO2emissions in the atmosphere through a simple linear relationship,” according to an analysis released by the NSIDC last December. Based on observations from the satellite and pre-satellite era since 1953, as well as climate models, the study found a linear relationship of 3 square meters of sea ice lost per metric ton of CO2 added to the atmosphere.

That’s over the long run. But over a shorter period of time, what can be said? Specifically, how much of the extreme warmth and retraction of sea ice that has been observed in autumn and winter of both 2015 and 2016 can be attributed to humankind’s emissions of greenhouse gases?

“We’re working on it,” Serreze says. “Maybe these are just extreme random events. But I have been looking at the Arctic since 1982, and I have never seen anything like this.”

January 9, 2017 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, ARCTIC, climate change, oceans | 1 Comment

Radioactive threat at Hanford is spreading

radiation-warningRadioactive threat at Hanford shows need for short- and long-term action http://www.union-bulletin.com/opinion/editorials/radioactive-threat-at-hanford-shows-need-for-short–and/article_a2a2f098-d3a2-11e6-a1c3-23a1636b600d.html  Radioactive contamination is spreading within one of Hanford’s processing plants. Editorial Board  Jan 5, 2017 

Someday the radioactive material at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation will be cleaned up.

Yet, that “someday” remains elusive as the federal government continues to fall short of its obligation to provide the adequate funding needed to safely remove the radioactive waste stored at Hanford. The Washington state Department of Ecology has concluded cleanup work at Hanford is 25 years behind schedule.

Why? Because federal officials don’t appear to see it as an immediate concern. It’s something that can be put off until, well, “someday.”  But that day might be sooner than some think. This week the Tri-City Herald reported that radioactive contamination is spreading within one of Hanford’s processing plants, and the situation could grow worse as the plant — unused since the 1960s — continues to deteriorate.

A report on the Reduction-Oxidation Complex recommends $181 million be spent on interim cleanup and maintenance of the plant, according to the Herald. The plant, referred to as REDOX, is not scheduled to be demolished until about 2032, or possibly later, because the nearby 222-S Laboratory will be needed for another 30 to 40 years to support the Hanford vitrification plant, which is where radioactive material is turned into inert glass logs.

The concern is that contamination could be spread outside the REDOX building by animals, a break in a utility pipe or a fire.

This is serious matter. So, too, is the 56 million gallons of radioactive nuclear waste stored in tanks. Sixty-seven of the tanks have confirmed leaks, and they are buried relatively close to the Columbia River.

 If — or, perhaps, when — that material leaches into the Columbia it will be a national disaster.  The federal government, which established the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the 1940s to make plutonium for atomic bombs dropped on Japan, is ultimately responsible for cleaning up the radioactive mess left behind.

The millions needed to stop the spread of contamination of REDOX must be spent immediately. Moving forward, Congress and President-elect Trump must view the cleanup as a real priority, with specific dates established to meet targets. And they must stick to the plan.

If the federal government keeps waiting for “someday” it will be too late.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Former nuclear town degenerates into a stranded nuclear waste dump

strandedWATCHDOGS: Zion’s nuclear fallout; still reeling from ’98 closing, Chicago Sun Times,  John Carpenter, 1/07/2017, Workers are methodically dismantling the once-mighty Zion nuclear power plant. Just up the road in the far north suburb, a different kind of dismantling is taking place.

The small Lake County city of Zion — founded at the start of the last century as the new “City of God” and once a bustling little blue-collar bedroom community — is staggering. Crushed by the loss of half its property-tax base when the power plant was closed in 1998, it faces the foreseeable future as a nuclear waste dump.

It wasn’t supposed be this way.

 “The understanding was that Zion would have a nuclear power plant on the lakefront and that it would be an eyesore but that there could be some economic development down the line,” Zion Mayor Al Hill says. “The understanding also was that, when they closed it, it would be gone. That’s not what happened.”

What happened is that no one can agree on where to put about 1,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel rods. So they will stay, sealed inside stainless steel canisters, encased in concrete and stacked in neat rows of 20-feet-tall cylinders on a concrete pad, all huddled together along some of Illinois’ most beautiful lakefront shoreline.

“We are,” Hill says, “a nuclear waste dump.”

It’s easy to ignore the plight of one small town. But nuclear plants in downstate Clinton and the Quad Cities, threatened with closing earlier this year, narrowly escaped the same fate. There are 11 nuclear reactors in six locations across Illinois and 99 operating across the nation. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there are 16 nuclear reactor sites nationwide that have been shut down and are being decommissioned — being taken apart, a lengthy process because nearly everything being dismantled is somewhat radioactive and requires special care in handling.

According to the most optimistic estimates, the radioactive waste now being stored in Zion will be there until at least the next decade, perhaps much longer. That’s left the city to try to lure new economic development with a nuclear-waste storage facility occupying its most valuable waterfront land.

If you think this is no big deal, talk to Sharon and Don Bourdeau, who, after running the Zion Antique Mall and Toy Mart for more than 20 years, just closed the store at the end of last month. Until then, it was an easy place to visit, as parking is never a problem these days in the heart of downtown Zion, which has nearly as many empty storefronts as it does working businesses……….

Redmond points out that all U.S. taxpayers, not just electricity rate-payers, are paying for nuclear-waste disposal thanks to the industry’s successful lawsuit against the Energy Department. As of last year, more than $5 billion has been paid out of that judgment fund, he says, with some estimates suggesting that number could climb to almost $30 billion before a storage solution is found.

A spokesman for Commonwealth Edison parent Exelon won’t comment, saying the matter of future waste storage in Zion is in the hands of the federal government. Exelon technically doesn’t own or control the waste, which is now in the hands of Zion Solutions, the company hired to dismantle the plant. Once the dismantling is complete, though, the facility — and the nuclear waste — will return to the control of Exelon until the federal government comes up with a solution…….. http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/zions-nuclear-fallout-town-still-reels-from-1998-plant-closing/

January 9, 2017 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

How the public pays and pays to keep the nuclear industry alive

text-my-money-2Nuclear Energy Dangerous to Your Wallet, Not Only the Environment  http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/01/nuclear-energy-dangerous-to-your-wallet-not-only-the-environment/ Pete Dolack writes the Systemic Disorder blog and has been an activist with several groups. His book, It’s Not Over: Learning From the Socialist Experiment, is available from Zero Books.

Quite an insult: Subsidies prop up an industry that points a dagger at the heart of the communities where ever it operates. The building of nuclear power plants drastically slowed after the disasters at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, so it is at a minimum reckless that the latest attempt to resuscitate nuclear power pushes forward heedless of Fukushima’s discharge of radioactive materials into the air, soil and ocean.

There are no definitive statistics on the amount of subsidies enjoyed by nuclear power providers — in part because there so many different types of subsidies — but it amounts to a figure, whether we calculate in dollars, euros or pounds, in the hundreds of billions. Quite a result for an industry whose boosters, at its dawn a half-century ago, declared that it would provide energy “too cheap to meter.”

Taxpayers are not finished footing the bill for the industry, however. There is the matter of disposing radioactive waste (often borne by governments rather than energy companies) and fresh subsidies being granted for new nuclear power plants. None of this is unprecedented — government handouts have the been the industry’s rule from its inception. A paper written by Mark Cooper, a senior economic analyst for the Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment, notes the lack of economic viability then:

“In the late 1950s the vendors of nuclear reactors knew that their technology was untested and that nuclear safety issues had not been resolved, so they made it clear to policymakers in Washington that they would not build reactors if the Federal government did not shield them from the full liability of accidents.” [page iv]

Nor have the economics of nuclear energy become rational today. A Union of Concerned Scientists paper, Nuclear Power: Still Not Viable Without Subsidies, states:

“Despite the profoundly poor investment experience with taxpayer subsidies to nuclear plants over the past 50 years, the objectives of these new subsidies are precisely the same as the earlier subsidies: to reduce the private cost of capital for new nuclear reactors and to shift the long-term, often multi-generational risks of the nuclear fuel cycle away from investors. And once again, these subsidies to new reactors—whether publicly or privately owned—could end up exceeding the value of the power produced.” [page 3]

The many ways of counting subsidies

Among the goodies routinely given away, according to the Concerned Scientists, are: Continue reading

January 9, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese govt influencing nuclear safety research? Questionably low estimate of earthquake risks in Turkey

nuke-earthquakeQuake risk for Japanese-French nuclear plant in Turkey lowered to keep costs down, sources say, Japan Times, 8 Jan 17,  Government-commissioned research firms have come up with a questionably low estimate for how badly an earthquake could rattle a nuclear power plant being built in Turkey by a Japanese-French venture, sources say.

The estimated “peak ground acceleration” — the term for ground motion caused by a quake — for the plant in the Black Sea province of Sinop is significantly lower than estimates given for quake-prone Japan’s nuclear power plants, and that means it could be an attempt to reduce construction costs, the sources said Saturday.

Turkey is often struck by earthquakes.

The peak ground acceleration for the Sinop plant was estimated at around 400 gal (or 400 cm per second squared), but some experts said it should be “at least 500 gal, based on Japanese standards” and the topography and geography around Sinop.

For instance, the assumed ground acceleration is 620 gal for Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant and 856 gal for Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi plant.

 The assessment was part of a study commissioned by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, which is overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The aim of the study was to examine potential nuclear power plant construction deals involving Japanese companies in Turkey and Vietnam……..

According to Japanese researchers, active faults are suspected to be present around the site of the envisioned plant. In 1968, a magnitude-6 temblor struck west of the site, and Turkish researchers have warned of the possibility of a major quake occurring in the region again. Residents are protesting the project. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/08/business/quake-risk-japanese-french-nuclear-plant-turkey-underestimated-keep-costs-sources-say/#.WHMQs9J97Gg

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Japan, safety, Turkey | Leave a comment

Slowdown in Indian company’s effort to develop nuclear power, renewables now more favoured

NTPC’s foray into nuclear energy in DAE’s court http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/ntpc-nuclear-energy/article9466853.ece TWESH MISHRA NEW DELHI, JANUARY 8:  

NTPC’s efforts to get into nuclear power have slowed down even as the public sector power generation behemoth is focussing more on renewable energy.

A senior company official said the uncertainty due to higher tariff cost, along with some earlier ‘legislative hurdles’ are the reasons for lesser excitement for nuclear power projects.

The Parliament cleared the amendment to the Atomic Energy Act 1962 on December 31, 2015. This allowed the joint venture PSUs (public sector undertakeings) to build and operate nuclear power plants.

Impact of delay

NTPC officials BusinessLine spoke to said that ASHVINI — the joint venture between NTPC and Nuclear Power Corporation of India — was to be allocated the 2×700 MW Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) project in Haryana. But due to delays in the amendment to the law, NPCIL decided to go ahead and build the plant itself.

In 2010, the then Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Secretary, Srikumar Banerjee, had said that one of the sites identified by the DAE for the 2×700 MW plant would go to a NTPC and NPCIL joint venture company.

In 2011, NTPC-NPCIL formed the Anushakti Vidhyut Nigam Ltd (ASHVINI) with the objective of building nuclear power plants.

But the JV could not begin building nuclear power plants as the Atomic Energy Act did not allow joint ventures of PSUs for the same.

NTPC officials say that the expected power tariff from GHAVP is likely to be close to ₹10/kWh. Further, the plant will be commissioned in another 10 years.

High cost a concern

Assessing the subdued price of power in the country and the low price of renewable energy, officials said that the high tariff cost will be of concern when the plant is commissioned.

Considering that amendments to the Atomic Energy Act have been approved, it is now the prerogative of the DAE to allocate GHAVP to ASHVINI, according to NTPC officials.

In 2014, the estimated cost of the entire project of 28 GW, to be built in two phases, was envisaged at ₹20,594 crore.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

link to new FBI report on Hilary Clinton ignored by the Main stream media

Hilary and the FBI shh! http://archive.is/PBVpZ not released publicly yet.. ?? or more like the media is ignoring it

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment