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The secret meltdown in Norway is stepping in Fukushima footsteps! Iodine 131 in Europe again! #IAEA #UNSCEAR

a-never-ending-story-2017

Just a quick forward to this article from Bellona.org. Bellona is a Norwegian based NGO  specialists in nuclear waste cleanup and safety. Both Nils Bohmer and Charles William Digges were in Tokyo within the first days of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and offered their services and high specification radiation detection equipment to the Japanese government to measure the all important first days releases from the nuclear disaster of 2011.

These early measurements would have been crucial and also a requirement of the IAEA`s safety protocols (post Chernobyl) to ascertain the likely heath impacts to the surrounding areas to the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown disaster. The Japanese government refused their kind offer and it was another 2 years before Nils and Charles could get to the Fukushima disaster site.

This lack of nuclear safety culture and cover up was mentioned in the official IAEA Fukushima accident report and it seems also ignored by the Halden management.

190a5d55d35ac5975a14cfd7ee0b1670

So, this couldnt happen again could it? Well it has no only happened again but there was no media reporting of the October 2016 meltdown (ongoing) that is producing iodine 131 and hydrogen to either the Norwegian public nor Bellona (that is based in Oslo Norway just north of the Halden Thorium Research reactor) until Bellona were contacted by myself (Shaun McGee arclight2011 the blogger) only a week ago asking for clarification of the safety of the melted fuel rods and radiation emission status.

Nils has seen fit to make a report on the few facts he could glean. No early radiation measurements to this disaster have been released except that EURDEP has some gaps in its radiation data from the Halden and Oslo radiation monitors even from as late as February 2017 (Screenshots from EURDEP radiation mapping EU below);

And Sweden ;

Screenshot from 2017-03-05 15:23:45.png

Here is a statement from Nils Bohmer from Bellona on this nuclear situation and some of the history and facts he has been able to get an update on;

Norway’s Halden Reactor: A poor safety culture and a history of near misses

haldenreactor Inside the Halden reactor before the meltdown. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Are those who operate Norway’s only nuclear research reactor taking its safety seriously? A new report raises concerns.

October 25th brought reports that there was a release of radioactive iodine from the Halden Reactor. The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority subsequently withdrew the reactor’s operating license from the Institute for Energy Technology. The NRPA has pointed out several issues the institute must resolve before the reactor goes back online.

It’s not the first time the NRPA has had to issue an order to the IFE. The NRPA had been supervising the IFE since 2014 over its lack of safety culture. The incident in October shows this frame of mind persists.

Reactor cooling blocked

So what happened in October? The iodine emission began when the IFE should have dealt with damaged fuel in the reactor hall. This led to a release of radioactive substances via the ventilation system. The release began on Monday, October 24 at 1:45 pm, but was first reported to the NRPA the next morning.

The next day, the NRPA conducted an unannounced inspection of the IFE. The situation was still unresolved and radioactive released were still ongoing from the reactor hall. The ventilation system was then shut off to limit further releases into the environment.

This, in turn, created more serious problems. When the ventilation system was closed down, the air coming from the process should also have been turned off. Pressurize air kept the valves in the reactor’s cooling system open, which in turn stopped the circulation of cooling water.

‘A very special condition’

In the following days, the NRPA continued to monitor the reactor’s safety, and many repeated questions about the closure of the primary cooling circuit. The IFE initially reported that the situation at the reactor was not “abnormal.” By November 1, the NRPA requested written documentation from the responsible operating and safety managers. A few hours later, the NRPA received notice from the IFE that the reactor was in “a very special condition.”

What that meant was that the IFE had discovered temperature fluctuations in the reactor vessel indicating an increased neutron flux in the core, and with that the danger of hydrogen formation. Bellona would like to note that it was hydrogen formation in the reactor core that led to a series of explosions at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

The IFE therefore had to ask the NRPA for permission to open the valves again, even if that meant releasing radiation to the public. The release that followed was, according to the NRPA, within the emission limit values specified in the operating permit.

In Summary

The IFE has been under special supervision by the NRPA, but it doesn’t seem to Bellona that the IFE has taken the requirement for increased reporting nearly seriously enough. It seems they further didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation that arose in October. The IFE either neglected procedures it’s obligated to follow, made insufficient measurements, or failed to report the results satisfactorily.

Bellona is concerned that the reactor core may become unstable by just closing the vents. Hydrogen formation in the reactor core is very serious, as Fukushima showed. The IFE has previously stopped circulation in the primary cooling circuit for, among other things, maintenance while the reactor has been shut down.

fukushimapowerplant3_explosion_031311_after

Those who live around Halden had previously been satisfied with guarantees that the ravine in which the reactor could hermetically seal it off. As the incident in October shows, this guarantee no longer applies.

Nils Bøhmer is Bellona’s general director.

http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2017-03-norways-halden-reactor-a-poor-safety-culture-and-a-history-of-near-misses

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March 5, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

18 Comments »

  1. […] The secret meltdown in Norway is stepping in Fukushima footsteps! Iodine 131 in Europe again! #IAEA&… […]

    Pingback by Iodine 131 meldown in Halden nuclear reactor in Norway which Media are not covering – Fukushima 311 Watchdogs | March 5, 2017 | Reply

  2. There was a French discharge last October too that is being sued over because it was not reported for weeks. It led to a tripling or quadrupling of rad readings about 100 or 200 miles away.

    My reading of the maps and the cloud movement as explained by CRIIRAD and maps I found of weather fronts and maps indicated that the more recent I 131 was from Romania or possibly Russia. Radiation also appears to be coming from the direction of NE Canada where there could be radiation from Fukushima, along with the defective Point LePreau reactor and bouncing off the Alps (unless something is at CERN or n-weapons complex at Annecy). Rome reported levels as high as Chernobyl for days recently, suggesting that their research reactor had a problem. Neither of these are from Norway based on winds. Unfortunately, I have no time to report. All of the pro-nuclear pushing of Obama’s administration, along with the personal woes which come with life, didn’t leave me time to examine Trump’s lies pre-election. I hate myself for failing to out his lies re Uranium One, etc. I have wanted to spent time on Putin-Rosatom for years too. Trump needs to be impeached so people can move forward. Impeachment simply leads to a trial. A Canadian suggested on Flickr that US Congress is using him to do their dirty work and only then will throw him under the bus (metaphorically I guess.)

    People need to recall that Trump got approximately $300,000 from Doug Kimmelman’s Energy Solutions – which failed to clean Fukushima water while pretending to do so – and which is trying to get monopoly of burial of nuclear waste in the US by taking over WCS, which is against anti-trust law but Justice is Trump controlled now. WCS will also park high level waste in W. Texas. Apparently Energy Solutions lawyers are saying that DU will be buried there, as well, instead of in Utah, as reported by Kevin Blanch who has portrayed this as a win. It’s only a win if you are a Mormon. Burying of nuclear waste anywhere isn’t a win. Trump appointment of Nikki Haley suggests a tie to Holtec nuclear waste- Kris Singh.

    Furthermore, Rosatom – controlled by Trump’s love Putin – is still the biggest nuclear pusher.

    Everyone needs to look at this to see source of radiation when monitors go up: https://earth.nullschool.net/jp/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-33.71,36.35,1173/loc=-42.461,23.868

    Comment by miningawareness | March 6, 2017 | Reply

  3. This is not worrying at all! Get a grip!
    The release was from a fuel rig withdrawn from the reactor. The release was of insignificant magnitude and moreover it is already over now. The “abnormal” or “very special condition” of the reactor is of no importance whatsoever for anyone outside the reactor. Due to the small power of the Halden core, the the decay heat easily diffuses to the surrounding. It will not boil dry, creating any problems.

    You all have such strong imagination. Use it for something more constructive!

    Comment by Peter | March 7, 2017 | Reply

    • Hi Peter thank you for your comment.. The issue on the article is a described ” .. Bellona is concerned that the reactor core may become unstable by just closing the vents. Hydrogen formation in the reactor core is very serious, as Fukushima showed. .. ” If there is only a problem with the rods which is no longer a problem, then why is the reactor itself having to be vented to stop the build up of hydrogen? Surely the hydrogen shows that nuetron flux is still an issue even though the rods are being cooled? Why are no media discussing this issue except for the Bellona team who only just found out that this problem is ongoing? The locals were promised that this situation would never happen and Nils Bohmer (ex NRPA and nuclear engineer) claims that it could occour again (outside of the October release).. Finally, the EURDEP data in Norway and Sweden was deleted for 2 days in Sweden and one day in Norway (east and west coast but west coast was only deleted for some hours in Feb 20th approx) – winds from the north and west.. This is sourced evidence, qoutes from reliable sources etc .. No imagination about it .. The february release has not been commented on and we get an estimated release (granted low) that might have some effect to health in the local Halden population (probably a risk only for pregnant women and children if they were in a closed environment when the 2 plumes (oct 2016 and Feb 2017) passed through .. It would be good to hear your viewpoint on this aspect of the report .. Many thanks Arclight2011

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 7, 2017 | Reply

      • This is my interpretation of the ongoing events:

        The reactor doesn’t go unstable from a stoppage of the vents. This is clearly wrong.
        There has consequently been no meltdown of the core.
        The missing EURDEP data points in February has no connection whatsoever with the Halden reactor.
        There has been no unexpected neutron flux in the shut down reactor.
        There has been no unusual production of hydrogen in the core.
        There has been no release of radioactivity that is of any health concern.!

        I have seen no credible reports stating otherwise.

        Where the **** does Nils Bohmer get his information? He states: “What that meant was that the IFE had discovered temperature fluctuations in the reactor vessel indicating an increased neutron flux in the core”

        Has IFE actually declared that there was an unwanted neutron flux in the core or is that completely from Nils Bohmers imagination? What is the sourced evidence to this? Who says this?

        Why do you think that there has been hydrogen information? Source to this please?

        Have you expressed your questions to IFE for scrutiny and comments before you publish all this accusations?

        Peter

        Comment by Peter | March 7, 2017

      • Thanks for clarifying your interpretation.. Nils Bohmer contacted the NRPA (who revoked the licence of the Halden reactor). Nils worked with the NRPA before joining Bellona as the director. You may have heard that the Late A Yablakov had to help Nils out to stop the Russians putting him in Prison..
        Bellona have many reports on inadequacies to do with technical and managerial issues with the IFE over the years .. I think Nils is a credible source of information and that the NRPA are fairly efficient (in my view) s a nuclear regulator.
        If you have any queries on this I suggest you contact the NRPA like Nils did and thrash it out with them.
        I might also point out that Nils and a colleague were in Tokyo in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear disaster with monitoring equipment to measure the initial releases (as per IAEA regulations post Chernobyl) but his offer was refused because the Japanese Goverment/regulators prefered to estimate releases instead of having real readings (that is my interpretation).. He is a stand up guy..And that is coming from a mostly anti nuclear activist (me) .. Regards Shaun

        Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 7, 2017

  4. IFE spokesperson has confirmed in email that :

    1) There has been no problems in the core.
    2) There has been no unexpected increase of the neutron flux. Neutron detectors did show an increase but it was due to their characteristics, not due to a real increase of the flux. Other instruments have shown no changes in neutron flux.
    3) There has been no problematic temperatures in the core. It is cooled by natural circulation.
    4) The only problems they have encountered relate to a fuel test rig that had already been extracted from the core.

    IFE is preparing a response to an article by Bellona in Halden newspaper.

    You say that NRPA has revoked the licence of the Halden Reactor. Where do you get this from? I have found no mentioning of this anywhere. In fact IFE are preparing for starting up the reactor again…

    You put your trust in this one person, Nils Bohmer. Well, even if you think he has such an integrity and skill in the field and really is a stand up kind of guy, what would he actually know in this case? He has no authority to make inspections at IFE! He has no video stream from the control room or detector stations at the site! He is just making wild guesses! This is no way to make good conclusions about factual matters on the state of the reactor. You need to go to IFE and NRPA! Stop putting all your faith in this guy. Confront him and ask for evidence for his claims!

    You have a responsibility for what you say and the messages of others that you spread. Act accordingly. Don’t spread post-truth fake news.

    Peter

    Comment by Peter | March 8, 2017 | Reply

    • Thanks for getting back to me.. I will look forward to hear both the IFE response and counter response from Nils .. As the exchange progresses we will get to the bottom of the situation .. At the moment i am on the fence with this.. IFE have a financial bias and I find it hard to believe that it has taken them this long to respond to the letter in the paper (also on the Bellona site) from Nils .. I am glad that they will be counter responding in the near future and hope that this discussion and sharing of thoughts is going to bring transparency to this situation. I will not admit to post truth news etc until the evidence is in.. you believe one side and i believe the other.. time will tell? Thanks for your work on this.. We make a good team.. Wanna job ? 🙂 regards shaun
      PS I will post another article when the IFE have made their post and when Nils responds to it .. And of course your comment is here so people can follow the timeline of events .. Thxs

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 8, 2017 | Reply

    • HI peter,
      I got the info you requested and it would seem that the IFE are trying to cover their arses;
      Hi Shaun

      I got my information on what happen at IFE mainly form the report from NRPA made in connection with the investigation after the incident (see attached, sorry only in Norwegian). This report focus on how the operators at Halen-reactor handled to incident.

      Under Chapter 4 in this report you will find the following description of what happend on November 1:

      “Få timer senere samme kveld, mottok Strålevernet en bekymringsmelding fra IFE om at reaktoren var i «en svært spesiell tilstand». IFE ba Strålevernet om tillatelse til å åpne ventilene og starte sirkulasjonen i primærkretsen så snart som mulig. Bakgrunnen for meldingen var temperatur-forskjeller i reaktortanken, indikasjon på økt nøytronfluks i reaktor¬kjernen og fare for hydrogendannelse. For Strålevernet er dette en alvorlig melding,”.

      (My translation: “Few hours later the same evening NRPA received a
      message from IFE the reactor was in a “very special condition”. IFE
      asked NRPA to be allowed to open the valves og to start the
      circulation in the primary cooling circuit as soon as possible. The
      reason for this was that the measurements of temperature-gradients in
      the reactor-tank, indication of raised neutron flux in the reactor
      core and risk for hydrogen production. For NRPA this was a very
      worrying message.”.)

      The fact that NRPA has revoked the licence to operate the Halden-reactor was given to me by Director Per Strand (Department of Nuclear Safety and Environmental Radioactivity in NRPA). He also told me that IFE had to re-apply to get their license back, but could not do so before certain technical issues had been sorted out. IFE has also since 2014 been under supervision by NRPA because shortcomings in safety culture.

      I hope this helps.

      Nils
      I have the full report in Norwegian and hope to get that up on nuclear-news in the next day or so..
      regards Shaun

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 10, 2017 | Reply

    • Lets see how the NRPA deals with this evidence .. The NRPA has the IFE under close situstion and will be reporting on the first quarter report for 2017. The IFE hasnt got there licence back yet.. The report is very interesting and Nils claims of IFE, if anything, do not fully highlight the stupidity of the IFE in dealing with the original problem in Oct/Nov 2016 .. The IAEA have covered up the Feb release from their terminal of EURDEP or by contacting the Swedish and Norwegian monitoring engineers to delete the spikes as NORM imo .. https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/evidence-for-radiation-release-from-halden-nuclear-reactor-in-norway-into-sweden/
      The emissions are likely to be larger than 25Mbq total and that estimate was only an estimate provided by IFE anyway.
      https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/evidence-for-radiation-release-from-halden-nuclear-reactor-in-norway-into-sweden/

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 10, 2017 | Reply

  5. […] 3/5/17 The secret meltdown in #Norway stepping in #Fukushima footsteps! Iodine 131 in Europe again! https://nuclear-news.net/2017/03/05/the-secret-meltdown-in-norway-is-stepping-in-fukushima-footsteps… […]

    Pingback by #Fukushima Articles – All About Being Human (award-free zone) | March 12, 2017 | Reply

  6. […] due in the near future to assess how IFE are dealing with the issues outlined in this report.. This link shows the original article and links posted on nuclear-news. Thanks to NIls Bohmer and the NRPA for […]

    Pingback by Fuel Error at IFE Halden – The handling of the incident – NRPA report in ENGLISH | Activist news source | March 14, 2017 | Reply

  7. The NRPA has responded to these rumours: http://www.nrpa.no/en/news/93722/untrue-rumours-about-an-on-going-incident-at-halden-reactor-in-norway

    Can this now-proven false rumour post be updated with accurate information please? It only serves to promote FUD which feeds radiophobic fears.

    Comment by Ikemeister | March 17, 2017 | Reply

    • Interesting questions here from a French nuclear group … https://nuclear-news.net/2017/03/14/questions-about-iodine-in-europe-asked-and-answered-by-criirad-france-in-new-report-14-march-2017-halden/
      Publisert 17.03.2017, oppdatert 17.03.2017 15:01

      Stikkord: Atomberedskap
      Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority is aware that there is currently pending before the stories that there is an ongoing incident involving the melting of the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) its reactors in Halden.

      We want to emphasize that it is not the case. The reactor in Halden has been shut down since October 8, 2016. It was small emissions from the plant in Halden in October / November last year, in connection with the handling of a damaged fuel element. These emissions were informed of the international contact points, and they were featured in the media and on our website.

      The proven findings of radioactive iodine in several places in Europe, including Norway, in January and later is not related to IFE its facility in Halden. The reason for these findings of radioactive iodine remains unknown. The measured values ​​are very low and have no health or environmental impacts.

      You can follow the radioactivity levels in Norway on our nationwide monitoring network (Radnett).
      http://www.nrpa.no/nyheter/93721/usanne-rykter-om-nedsmelting-ved-ife-halden
      It must be said that they link to th Radnett sytem that didnt show any movement in radiation readings in October either and that is the issue CRIIRAD are talking about.. I am sure there will be more on this story in months to come.. I will report the findings of any on going investigations and report it fairly.. There is some BIG issues on the Feb 17th, 18th and 20 th on the EURDEP radiation mapping system (that Radnett provides data too) concerning 3 days of missing data.. Also the reporting of the Licence being revoked is also true and the NRPA report you pointed me toward does not even mention this LITTLE detail.. So much for my report being disinfo.. You might be on about other reports on the internet on a “continuing meltdown at Halden ” etc but that is not my claim …
      Finally here are wind maps and radiation graphs for Norway and Sweden that give some credence to a release from Halden on the 3 days i Posit..
      https://europeannewsweekly.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/evidence-for-radiation-release-from-halden-nuclear-reactor-in-norway-into-sweden/

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 17, 2017 | Reply

    • The January releases were from another source, likely the Hungary Budapest medical isotope Institute, Europes main medical isotope reactor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_30LrqgHqg

      Comment by arclight2011part2 | March 17, 2017 | Reply


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