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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

New robot built to study inside of No. 1 reactor at Fukushima plant

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A new investigative robot, equipped with a censoring unit hanging through metal grating, is scheduled to be send into the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in the coming months. (Kohei Tomida)

 

HITACHI, Ibaraki Prefecture–Another robot has been developed for the elusive goal of locating melted fuel and surveying the interior of the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

A team of engineers and researchers from Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy Ltd. and the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning revealed the robot on Feb. 3.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, plans to deploy the robot into the No. 1 reactor before the end of March.

The robot will be fitted with a censoring unit mounted with a camera, dosimeter and lighting. Its purpose is to give TEPCO an idea of the location and condition of the melted nuclear fuel in the reactor.

Most of the melted fuel is believed to have fallen through the reactor’s pressure vessel, landed on the bottom of the surrounding containment vessel, and is soaking in cooling water about 2 meters deep.

The new robot will maneuver around metal grating originally set up for maintenance work about 3.5 meters above the bottom of the containment vessel.

At each of five survey points, the robot will lower the censoring unit through the grating. The unit can operate in water.

In April 2015, TEPCO sent two robots into the No. 1 reactor, but they could not locate the melted fuel.

One of them became stuck, and high radiation levels disabled the camera on the other. TEPCO abandoned the machines in the reactor.

On Jan. 30, a remote controlled video camera sent into the No. 2 reactor took what are believed to be the first images of melted fuel at the plant.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201702060040.html

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February 6, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radiation limit for contaminated soil in reuse experiment lowered after local opposition

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Black bags containing radioactively contaminated soil are seen piled up at a temporary storage site in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, in this June 2016 file photo. (Mainichi)

The radiation limit for soil contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in an experiment to reuse it in construction was lowered from 8,000 becquerels per kilogram to 3,000 becquerels per kilogram after strong opposition from a local mayor, it has been learned.

The experiment is to be carried out at a temporary storage site in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, where around 1,000 bags of contaminated soil will be opened, made into construction foundations, and their radiation levels measured. The experiment will be done to check, among other things, whether the radiation exposure dose remains at the yearly limit of 1 millisievert or less. The experiment will cost around 500 million yen. The results are expected to be put together next fiscal year or later.

From soon after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, municipalities including Minamisoma asked the national government to separate out lower-radiation level concrete and other debris for reuse in things like groundwork for coastal forests used to defend against tsunami. At first, the Ministry of the Environment was negative about this, but in December 2011 the ministry allowed such reuse for debris with a limit of 3,000 becquerels per kilogram. According to documents released in response to a release of information request made by the Mainichi Shimbun, some 350,000 metric tons of this kind of debris have been used in Minamisoma and the towns of Namie and Naraha in projects such as groundwork for coastal forests.

Then in June last year, the Ministry of the Environment decided on a policy of reusing contaminated soil with 8,000 becquerels or less per kilogram in structures such as soil foundations for public works projects.

The same month, Minamisoma’s Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai visited then vice-minister of the environment Soichiro Seki, where he questioned Seki about the 3,000 becquerel limit that had been used until being replaced by the 8,000 becquerel limit. Sakurai reportedly called for the 3,000 becquerel limit to be used in the upcoming experiment in Minamisoma.

Sakurai says, “If they don’t use the 3,000 becquerel limit it is inconsistent. It doesn’t make sense for a ministry that is supposed to protect the environment to relax the standards it has set.”

The ministry confirmed to the Mainichi Shimbun that the experiment will only use soil up to the 3,000 becquerel limit, and said that the soil used will on average contain about 2,000 becquerels per kilogram.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170206/p2a/00m/0na/009000c

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 1 Smoking

I can’t tell if they are dumping water or something else in but lots of smoke seen in the reactor 1 building today February 5, 2017.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Radiation levels in units 1 and 3 remain much higher than in unit 2, TEPCO unable to investigate conditions in there

As I wrote in my previous blog article, we cannot talk or know if there is an actual increase at this time, because it is the first measure they took at that place at this deep. To know if radiation is increasing we would need Tepco to make a 2nd measure at that place and that deep, and then to compare both measures. https://dunrenard.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/recently-found-fukushima-daiichis-reactor-2-high-level-of-radiation-does-not-mean-radiation-increase/

In Mali Martha Lightfoot’s own words: ” The measuring capacity is just getting better and they are reaching parts of the containment they were unable to monitor before. I think it’s important not to confuse more accurate readings with the misconception that they indicate that the levels are rising. It is shocking enough to get an indication of how high the levels still are. And we may find, as technology improves, that parts of the containment are higher still. But, that still does not indicate that the levels are rising, just that our ability to design monitoring devices is getting better. “

As Majia Nadesan is saying in her own blog article : “A separate article published in The Asahi Shimbun notes that radiation levels in units 1 and 3 remain so high (higher than unit 2) that TEPCO is unable to investigate conditions in there: If confirmed, the first images of melted nuclear fuel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant show that Tokyo Electric Power Co. will have a much more difficult time decommissioning the battered facility. The condition of what is believed to be melted fuel inside the No. 2 reactor at the plant appears far worse than previously thought. …High radiation levels have prevented workers from entering the No. 2 reactor, as well as the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors at the plant. MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA (January 31, 2017) Images indicate bigger challenge for TEPCO at Fukushima plant. The Asahi Shimbun, http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201701310073.html

If radiation levels are at 530 sieverts an hour inside unit 2, I wonder what conditions are like in the 1 and 3 reactors, which are described as even hotter? I can tell you from watching the reactors on the webcams for 5 plus years that atmospheric emissions from unit 3 have never ceased (as illustrated below far right side of screenshot)”. http://majiasblog.blogspot.fr/2017/02/fukushima-daiichi-unit-2-measures-530.html

feb-2-2017-23-20

 

Anyway in the meantime those 3 reactors are still belly button opened up spitting high radiation into our skies and environment, the reactor 1 and 3 even higher radiation than reactor 2.

 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Trump has no skills to negotiate foreign relations, but he can unleash nuclear war

TrumpWorld War III? Into Uncharted Territory, Trump’s Authority to Use Nuclear Weapons: “Let it be An Arms Race. We will Outmatch Them…and Outlast Them All.”http://www.globalresearch.ca/world-war-iii-trumps-authority-to-use-nuclear-weapons-let-it-be-an-arms-race-we-will-outmatch-themand-outlast-them-all/5572887  By Arms Control Association  February 04, 2017

February 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon and his obsession with war

Trump Adviser Steve Bannon Tells Press to “Keep Its Mouth Shut”

Former friends of Trump’s chief advisor, Steve Bannon, reveal his longtime obsession with war http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/2/1629296/-Former-friends-of-Steve-Bannon-reveal-his-longtime-obsession-with-testosterone-and-war By Leslie Salzillo 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Harmless radiation” – the message from Britain’s fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear

weinberg-donate
Weinberg Next Nuclear welcomes new Patron January 26th, 2017 Weinberg Next Nuclear, by Suzanna Hinson Weinberg Next Nuclear, the charity !!! promoting the next generation of nuclear energy, is delighted to announce its newest Patron – Professor Wade Allison, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Emeritus Fellow of Keble College. Professor Allison is a leading authority on medical physics, especially the effects of radiation on life……..

In Radiation and Reason (2009) he brought the scientific evidence of the effect of radiation to a wider audience. After the Fukushima accident this was translated into Japanese and Chinese. Nuclear is for Life (2015) is a broad study that contrasts the cultural rejection of nuclear energy with the evidence, at all but the highest levels, for the harmless, and even beneficial, interaction of radiation with life.

Upon his appointment, Professor Allison said:

‘’Fukushima showed that radiation is no threat to life ………

Stephen Tindale, Director of Weinberg Next Nuclear, said:

“Public opposition to nuclear energy on the basis of exaggerated and unscientific fear of radioactivity is a significant barrier to nuclear progress. The world needs more nuclear energy, and addressing the fear factor is a major part of nuclear advocacy. So I am delighted to welcome Wade as a Patron. Wade has immense scientific knowledge and is also extremely well versed in the need for new public communication on nuclear.” http://www.the-weinberg-foundation.org/2017/01/26/weinberg-next-nuclear-welcomes-new-patron/

February 6, 2017 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Risks in nuclear wastes being transported through Texas cities

“You’ve got this stuff going out in the middle of the desert with temperature extremes,” Hadden said. “You’ve got intense storms and flooding, lightning, wildfires. … I don’t think the casks are at all robust enough.”

Unexpected accidents are not unheard of in the nuclear waste field.

radiation-truckNuclear waste could pass through Texas cities en route to Andrews disposal site,   Brendan Gibbons, San Antonio Express-News   February 4, 2017 In the high, dry plains of West Texas sits a hazardous waste site operated by Waste Control Specialists, a company that wants to begin storing high-level nuclear waste from dozens of nuclear power plants across the country.

For that waste to get to the facility in Andrews County on the Texas-New Mexico border, it would first travel on thousands of miles of railroad tracks, according to a WCS spokesman and a Federal Railroad Administration document. That could include rail lines that pass through Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, though the specifics so far are hard to come by.

WCS site is already one of eight in the U.S. permitted to take low-level radioactive waste, mostly from hospitals and laboratories. High-level waste, which only comes from nuclear reactor fuel or reprocesssed fuel, is radioactive enough to kill a person directly exposed to it so it’s stored in metal canisters inside of concrete casks that can weigh more than 100 tons.

WCS wants to begin accepting high-level waste by 2021. On Jan. 27, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent agency, declared WCS’ application complete, starting the clock on period for public input that ends March 13. The NRC will hold public hearings in Andrews on Feb. 15 and in Hobbs, New Mexico, on Feb. 13.

Trying to build grassroots opposition to the new permit, husband-and-wife clean energy activists Tom “Smitty” Smith, who recently retired from running Public Citizen, and Karen Hadden of the SEED Coalition have been visiting Texas cities telling local politicians and news media that the waste could travel through their communities on its way to Andrews. Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert added his voice to theirs in a statement last April.

 Officials with WCS and federal agencies that regulate the waste shipments are not giving out details about the exact routes, most likely because of security concerns. The waste would have to be shipped under an agreement between WCS and the Department of Energy, which technically owns the waste………

“You’ve got this stuff going out in the middle of the desert with temperature extremes,” Hadden said. “You’ve got intense storms and flooding, lightning, wildfires. … I don’t think the casks are at all robust enough.”

Unexpected accidents are not unheard of in the nuclear waste field. The wrong brand of cat litter caused a two-year shutdown of the DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, an underground storage site for defense-related radioactive waste outside of Carlsbad only 43 miles from WCS, in an area sometimes referred to as New Mexico’s nuclear corridor.

In 2014, a barrel of waste at that site burst, releasing radioactive materials, after someone packed it with organic cat litter instead of the inorganic brand they usually use, according to a DOE investigation. The site reopened Jan. 9……..

WCS’ site has now become part of the debate over what to do with spent nuclear material being stored at 67 sites in 34 states, including the South Texas Project in Bay City, the nuclear power plant partly owned by CPS Energy. The fuel is kept in concrete-lined pools of water 40 feet deep or in above-ground casks. Spent fuel only 10 years out of the reactor still emits 20 times the amount of radiation per hour it would take to kill a person all at once, according to the NRC.

So far, the U.S. has no viable permanent disposal site for this waste, which continues to emit unsafe levels of radiation for hundreds of thousands of years after it has grown too thermally cool to efficiently generate electricity.

Hadden thinks the real priority should be on finding a permanent site.

“We don’t think it should be moved until that site is found and developed because it’s a huge risk to transport this, and it should only get transported once,” she said……..

In the coming weeks, the Senate will vote whether to confirm former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has supported WCS in the past, to lead the DOE.

From 2000 to 2011, Perry’s campaigns took in at least $1.1 million from Dallas billionaire and WCS owner Harold Simmons, who died in 2013. As governor, Perry wrote a letter in 2014supporting WCS’ permit application for high-level waste storage.

At Perry’s recent confirmation hearing, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, asked him if he supported a requirement that the DOE, if it does decide to use Yucca Mountain, get Nevada’s consent………bgibbons@express-news.net  Twitter: @bgibbs  http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Waste-Control-Specialists-is-under-review-to-10908883.php

February 6, 2017 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Claim that Adolph Hitler was close to having and using an atomic bomb

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What I DO KNOW for a fact, is that, when war ended, Werner Von Braun and 260 other nuclear scientists were quickly taken to USA to work on America’s atomic bomb project

Adolf Hitler’s secret nuke plan REVEALED: Nazis plotted to drop A-bomb on London http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/585184/Nazi-Nuclear-Bomb-Adolf-Hitler-London-Nuke-Heavy-Water-Allies-Axis-Damien-Lewis-V2-Rocket

ADOLF Hitler was on the brink of unleashing a nuclear bomb and plotted to drop the devastating weapons on London. By Henry Holloway / Published 5th February 2017 Nazi scientists were “years” ahead of their Western counterparts as they steamed ahead with developing a nuclear device.As well as the tank divisions sweeping across the Europe and naval war in the Pacific, a secret war was waged between the Allies and the Axis.

World War Two became a race to the nuclear bomb, and the Nazis were on the verge of winning, says respected British author Damien Lewis.

Daily Star Online can now exclusively reveal just how close Britain came to nuclear armageddon. Hitler enjoyed a horrifying perfect storm of brilliant scientists and slave labour in his race to the nuclear bomb, Mr Lewis – who has penned books such as Hunting Hitler’s Nukes and The Nazi Hunters – told Daily Star Online.

The former war reporter spent dozens of hours trawling through archives and documents as declassified files revealed the true threat from the Nazi nuke.

Hitler’s scientists were “two years” ahead of the allies, he said.

Nazi engineers planned to mount dirty bombs and nuclear warheads on the tips of Hitler’s devastating Vengeance V2 rockets – which could not be shot down by AA guns or chased by fighter planes because they were too fast.

Classified missions and projects to undercut the Nazis to either beat them to the bomb, or stop their nuclear programme saw a secret war waged beneath World War 2. Nazi nukes were a threat right up to the final days of the war when the Americans discovered the Third Reich’s nuclear reactor hidden in a cave beneath a church in the tiny village of Haigerloch, Germany.

“General Groves was the head of the Manhattan Project. In April 1945 he cabled the White House and told them ‘only now can I tell you the threat of a Nazi nuclear strike is over’,” said Mr Lewis.

Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt took the threat so seriously the British Prime Minister flew across the Atlantic in a giant flying boat for a meeting about the threat in January, 1942, he adds.              Hitler considered nuclear bombs the “ultimate terror weapons” and would have targeted cities such as London and New York.

Daily Star Online revealed Hitler’s obsession with terror weapons such as the monster tank the Panzer-1000 Ratte.

Mr Lewis told Daily Star Online the Germans had the resources and manpower to produce “scores of improvised nuclear devices and they could have engineered a full atom bomb”.

He said: “You are looking at a scenario where the world leaders were very concerned about the technology and its kill-rate.

“So behind the scenes you had special operations prioritising efforts to stop Hitler’s nuclear programme.

“Part of it was the Manhattan Project, part of it was sabotage efforts, and the third part was all about getting ready.”               The author revealed reports to the Allies in late 1943 on the Nazi nukes said the Reich “had the technology and the wherewithal”.

“The concern was rooted in absolute science, the Nazis had working reactors, they had the raw materials, and they had the delivery system,” said Mr Lewis.

Both the US and Britain quaked in the face of the nuclear bomb, with discussions about evacuating Washington at Christmas, 1943, and rumours of a successful blast test in Nazi-occupied Russia.

Nazi efforts were hampered by daring Allied missions such as Operation Gunnerside which sabotaged Hitler’s heavy water plant in Norway – one of the key elements needed for atom bombs.

Operation Peppermint was a massive undertaking launched to prepare the troops during the D-Day landings from nuclear attack and analyse V2 detonation sites for radiation.   But as the war on the sea, in the air and on land tipped in favour of the allies, Mr Lewis believes the Nazis hoped to use a nuclear weapon as a “bargaining chip” to sue for peace.

However, he says it is a mystery as to why the Third Reich did not use the technology that was tantalisingly within their reach.

“It is a brilliant question,” he said “I cannot give an answer from documents, but there will be an answer in a secret file somewhere which won’t be available for another 50 years.

“There is always back channels, always conversations during a war, so I am sure there must have been something like that.

“The allies must have said ‘if you use the nuclear material you have to hand, we will respond in this way’ – it does not make sense other wise.”

February 6, 2017 Posted by | history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New rule in USA government erodes ethical oversight of politicians

Flag-USAHouse GOP Quietly Shields Lawmakers Records from Ethics Probes, Fiscal Times, By  January 9, 2017 The new rule states that records created, generated or received by the congressional office of a House member “are exclusively the personal property of the individual member” and that the member “has control over such records,” according to a report by OpenSecrets.org.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Britain’s Espionage Act change wanted: it could then be used to prosecute foreign journalists

flag-UKcivil-liberty-2smUK COULD PROSECUTE US JOURNALISTS WITH NEW ESPIONAGE ACT http://govtslaves.info/uk-could-prosecute-us-journalists-with-new-espionage-act/ [2/3/17]  KIT DANIELS–  The UK Law Commission wants to overhaul the country’s Espionage Act to prosecute foreigners who “leak confidential information” which “damages” national security and the UK’s economy.

This could, in theory, be used to prosecute overseas journalists – including those in the US – who release damning information on UK officials given to them by whistleblowers.

“Foreigners who leak information overseas that damages British national security could also be prosecuted in the UK for the first time,” the Telegraph reported. “This would include a non-British citizen seconded to a government department and in that role have access to information that relates to security and intelligence.”

“Currently, they can only be prosecuted if the leak is by a British national or happens on UK soil.”

And anyone who leaks “sensitive information” that “affects the economic well-being of the UK” would also be at risk for prosecution, an Orwellian premise given its broad scope.

If the UK adopts the Law Commission’s recommendations, prosecuted foreigners could face up to 14 years in jail – and the UK has extradition agreements with at least 105 countries, including the US.

In addition to foreign journalists, US whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden could also be targeted due to the global interconnection of spy organizations; his NSA leaks in particular also implicated British intelligence.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence already issues “D-Notices” to gag news stories from appearing in British media which the government claims is “harmful to national security implications,” including bombshell reports such as the Snowden leaks that exposed government criminality.

But now it appears the UK wants to go one step further and ensure that damning information is never released to the public to keep the population ignorant and under control.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties | Leave a comment

Russia finally admits to a nuclear reactor failure that it covered up for 2 months

Russia fixes a reactor it initially refused to say was broken Russian nuclear officials say they’ve fixed a generator glitch that more than two months ago shut down its prized, first of a kind AES-2006 reactor under a cloud of embarrassment and initial secrecy. Bellona, January 31, 2017 by Russian nuclear officials say they’ve fixed a generator glitch that more than two months ago shut down its prized, first of a kind AES-2006 reactor under a cloud of embarrassment and initial secrecy.

The November 10 generator failure at the reactor, which began operating last year at the Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant south of Moscow, was kept under wraps by nuclear utility Rosenergoatom.

Official Russian news agencies reported the hiccup six days later, and referenced a statement from Rosenergoatom published the same day. Since then, however, the utility appears to have backdated its initial November 16 Russian language Web post on the incident to November 10.

When the company finally did publish information on the cause of the unexpected shutdown at the flagship reactor, also known as a VVER-1200, which Rosatom is building for a number of foreign customers, it cited a short circuit as the cause.

The apparently re-dated release emphasized that the shutdown was not unusual, and that it had no effect on the radiation safety of the plant. But the utility’s late reporting of the incident gave rise reports in local publications that the plant had suffered an emergency.

On November 15, Bloknot Voronezh, a Web site published in Voronezh Russia, ran a report citing an anonymous witness who reported hearing an explosion near the nuclear plant’s turbine hall, and who spoke of a burned out generator. The witness also reported burned out electrical equipment and a telltale loud noise.

Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has staked much of its reputation on the successful operation of the AES-2006, which had long been under development. Its launch at the Novovoronezh plant was initially scheduled for 2012, but there was a four-year delay in its construction…….

both the AES-2006 reactor, which is Novovoronezh’s unit 6, and the next reactor from the line at unit No 7 are already seriously behind schedule. The original launch date for unit No 7 passed in 2016.

Previous to that it had been expected to come online in 2014 and 2015 as well, so in total, it’s not on time at all, but rather running five years behind.

But don’t tell that to Belarus, which is currently building an AES-2006 reactor, or Finland, Turkey, and Hungary, who all have orders in for one.

And Rosenergoatom’s initial impulse to not report the shutdown of Novovoronezh’s unit No 6 appeared to be an effort to keep things hushed up. Not until rumors of something far worse bubbled up in the local press did the utility attempt to correct the record by admitting a minor malfunction.

Even then, it apparently rewrote the date when the malfunction occurred on its press release to make it look like it had spoken up earlier. By turns, any of Rosatom’s customers should likely be prepared to receive backdated bills for late reactors when they finally get to building them.

Andrei Ozharovsky contributed to this report from Moscow. http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-01-russia-fixes-a-reactor-it-initially-refused-to-say-was-broken

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination persists in former uranium mining site: the reason why

water-radiationThis cycling in the aquifer may result in the persistent plumes of uranium contamination found in groundwater, something that wasn’t captured by earlier modeling efforts.

Study helps explain why uranium persists in groundwater at former mining sites      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170202163234.htm

February 2, 2017

Source:
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Summary:
A recent study helps describe how uranium cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove.

Decades after a uranium mine is shuttered, the radioactive element can still persist in groundwater at the site, despite cleanup efforts.

A recent study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory helps describe how the contaminant cycles through the environment at former uranium mining sites and why it can be difficult to remove. Contrary to assumptions that have been used for modeling uranium behavior, researchers found the contaminant binds to organic matter in sediments. The findings provide more accurate information for monitoring and remediation at the sites.

The results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2014, researchers at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) began collaborating with the DOE Office of Legacy Management, which handles contaminated sites associated with the legacy of DOE’s nuclear energy and weapons production activities. Through projects associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, the DOE remediated 22 sites in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico where uranium had been extracted and processed during the 1940s to 1970s.

Uranium was removed from the sites as part of the cleanup process, and the former mines and waste piles were capped more than two decades ago. Remaining uranium deep in the subsurface under the capped waste piles was expected to leave these sites due to natural groundwater flow. However, uranium has persisted at elevated levels in nearby groundwater much longer than predicted by scientific modeling………

“For the most part, uranium contamination has only been looked at in very simple model systems in laboratories,” Bone says. “One big advancement is that we are now looking at uranium in its native environmental form in sediments. These dynamics are complicated, and this research will allow us to make field-relevant modeling predictions.”In an earlier study, the SLAC team discovered that uranium accumulates in the low-oxygen sediments near one of the waste sites in the upper Colorado River basin. These deposits contain high levels of organic matter — such as plant debris and bacterial communities.During this latest study, the researchers found the dominant form of uranium in the sediments, known as tetravalent uranium, binds to organic matter and clays in the sediments. This makes it more likely to persist at the sites. The result conflicted with current models used to predict movement and longevity of uranium in sediments, which assumed that it formed an insoluble mineral called uraninite.

Different chemical forms of the element vary widely in how mobile they are — how readily they move around — in water, says Sharon Bone, lead author on the paper and a postdoctoral researcher at SSRL, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Since the uranium is bound to organic matter in sediments, it is immobile under certain conditions. Tetravalent uranium may become mobile when the water table drops and oxygen from the air enters spaces in the sediment that were formerly filled with water, particularly if the uranium is bound to organic matter in sediments rather than being stored in insoluble minerals.

“Either you want the uranium to be soluble and completely flushed out by the groundwater, or you just want the uranium to remain in the sediments and stay out of the groundwater,” Bone says. “But under fluctuating seasonal conditions, neither happens completely.”

This cycling in the aquifer may result in the persistent plumes of uranium contamination found in groundwater, something that wasn’t captured by earlier modeling efforts.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | environment, Reference, USA, water | Leave a comment

France, Russia, jostling to market nuclear technology to South Africa

fighters-marketing-1SA’s nuclear build contract still wide open, says France minister, SUNDAY TIMES BUSINESS BY ASHA SPECKMAN, 2017-02-05  France’s finance minister Michel Sapin believes the race between suppliers to win South Africa’s nuclear build is still wide open and that France has a trick up its sleeve.

Sapin addressed the media in Pretoria on Friday after a meeting with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on the same day that he discussed issues related to the nuclear build.

Communicating through a translator, he said he had reminded Gordhan of the “quality and the know-how of French companies” which operate in the nuclear sector and has asked for “full transparency” on the process. The talks had also broached the questions of price, financing and affordability of the project. But Sapin declined to go into further detail.

Russia’s Rosatom was rumoured to be a frontrunner in the bidding for the multibillion-rand nuclear contract. But last month it denied it had made an official bid. French nuclear companies EDF Group and Areva intend to put in a joint bid but had not yet done so, Sapin said. “I still have a feeling the competition is open and we’ll see how it unfolds. France is not afraid of competition … We have trump cards up our sleeves,” he said.

Sapin’s was a working visit to deepen relationships and did not involve signing agreements. It forms part of a concerted drive by the French government to expand its partnerships in the wake of Brexit,which would have major trade implications……..http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/businesstimes/2017/02/05/SAs-nuclear-build-contract-still-wide-open-says-France-minister

February 6, 2017 Posted by | France, marketing | Leave a comment

Jeremy Scahill on Donald Trump and the Military-Industrial Complex 

by Alexander Reed Kelly
Feb 2, 2017 
In an interview with acTVism, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill discussed the connection between President Trump’s Cabinet picks and the military-industrial complex.

Scahill also addressed the history of anti-war movements and Germany’s role in the United States’ “war on terror.” He examined the significance of the Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and questioned the legality of its activities.

Jeremy Scahill on the Military Industrial Complex, Donald Trump, Ramstein & Anti-War Movements

 

February 6, 2017 Posted by | Germany, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment