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

After Midnight, Special Edition, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

After Midnight – Today’s Nuclear Threat

Licorne nuclear test – French Polynesia, 1970

GR: We are destroying the world. Gradually by building, introducing invasive-species, removing forests, and polluting (including such accomplishments as ocean acidification and global warming). Our species is slowly erasing all Earth’s ecosystems from the tiniest million lives of a single cell, to the 100 trillion lives within a tiger, to the billion trillion lives of a forest. We’ve passed the “golden years” of old age and begun the long slide into oblivion. Not without moments of joy, a slow death is preferable to abrupt ends by accident or malice. But now the most powerful human on Earth has asked “Somebody hits us within ISIS — you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?” (Trump to Chris Matthews, MSNBC, March 30, 2016). Today, Eliot’s Hollow Men could end “Not with a whimper but a bang.”

The piece below is from…

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 6 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Confronting the Himalayan environmental crisis” • Burning black carbon is accelerating glacial melt and disturbing weather patterns in the Himalayas. This has led to extreme droughts and flooding in the region. According to NASA, the black soot concentration in the Himalayas has increased three-fold in the last 20 years. [Online Khabar]

Avalanche on Everest (Photo: Chagai, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Is blockchain about to disrupt the electricity sector?” • When the leaders of Europe’s electricity industry gathered last month for their annual conference, they devoted a whole morning to technologies that promise a future “beyond utilities.” The buzziest such technology is blockchain, which brought us the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. [EURACTIV]

World:

¶ Wind and solar electricity will be the cheapest forms of power generation in every G20 country by 2030, according to a report commissioned by Greenpeace Germany. It also said that in about half of the G20 countries…

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hanford: Second Nuclear Waste Tunnel At High Risk of Collapse As Trump Aims To Remove Protective NM Perimeter; Trump Budget Fails To Adequately Fund Cleanup

Mining Awareness +


After the PUREX (Plutonium Uranium Extraction Plant) tunnel collapsed it was filled with sand and dirt and covered with what looks like plastic tarp “large protective ground-coverhttps://livestream.com/accounts/24284076/events/7559266/videos/159091020

Hanford Cleanup Priorities July 7th Comment Deadline: Trump Budget Wouldn’t Fund All Legal Requirements Even Prior to Tunnel Collapse in May. http://www.hanford.gov/pageaction.cfm/calendar?IndEventId=8175 https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/trump-budget-inadequate-for-hanford-nuclear-site-cleanup-nuclear-waste-tunnel-collapsed-second-collapse-imminent-comment-on-cleanup-priorities-july-7th-deadline/

Meanwhile, the Hanford Reach “National Monument” which adds a bit of extra protective barrier from such accidents is on Trump’s chopping block along with 26 others. Comment Deadline is July 10th: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001


Purex Tunnels Central Location http://www.hanford.gov/files.cfm/PUREX_Tunnels_Posters-2.pdf

Hanford Reach “National Monument” Map https://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region_1/NWRS/Zone_2/Mid-Columbia_River_Complex/Hanford_Reach_National_Monument/Documents/general-map.pdf

PUREX Tunnels

http://www.hanford.gov/files.cfm/PUREX_Tunnels_Posters-2.pdf
Hanford PUREX Tunnel No. 2 under construction

http://www.hanford.gov/files.cfm/CHPRC-03365_R0_T2.pdf

The [Hanford,Reach] Monument is also a reminder of our history as a nation. Plutonium reactors stand along the river, remnants of WWII and the Cold War. Plutonium from B Reactor fueled “Fat Man,” the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan…

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 5 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “If We Stopped Emitting Greenhouse Gases Right Now, Would We Stop Climate Change?” • What would happen to the climate if we were to stop emitting carbon dioxide today, right now? Would we return to the climate of our elders? The simple answer is no. [ScienceAlert]

Freedom to emit pollution (Aziz Acharki | Unsplash)

¶ “The Hinkley C nuclear power plant will be a costly mistake – we can still stop it” • News that the cost of building the new nuclear plant has risen by another £1.5 billion came shortly after the National Audit Office confirmed that the deal is overpriced and risky. [New Statesman]

Science and Technology:

¶ Over the past several months, historic shareholder resolutions have pushed oil giants, including Exxon, to disclose climate-related risks. Food companies are next, experts say, whether they use or produce palm oil, corn, soy or…

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sixth MOX nuclear shipment leaves France for Japan

protesterssaProtesters say the nuclear shipment is too dangerous

 

A cargo of reprocessed nuclear fuel containing highly radioactive plutonium left the French port of Cherbourg for Japan under heavy security on Wednesday as demonstrators protested against the transport.

The controversial shipment from a plant of the French nuclear group Areva located some 20 kilometres (12 miles) away arrived at the port before dawn aboard two trucks escorted by dozens of security vehicles as a helicopter flew overhead.

Around 20 Greenpeace activists carried protest banners and threw smoke bombs at the convoy shortly before it arrived at the port.

It is the sixth shipment of mixed oxide (MOX), a blend of plutonium and uranium, from France to Japan since 1999.

“We are warning of how dangerous this shipment is and especially the risk of nuclear proliferation and the possible diversion for military purposes,” Greenpeace France activist Yannick Rousselet told AFP.

Areva spokesman Alexandre Marinot described the cargo as being of “a maximum safety level.”

Uranium reactors produce a mixture of depleted uranium and plutonium as a by-product of fission. These can be re-processed into MOX fuel, which can then be used in other reactors to generate more power.

Japan has few energy resources of its own and relied on nuclear power for nearly one-third of its domestic electricity needs until the 2011 meltdowns at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima plant.

On Tuesday, the Reseau Sortir du Nucleaire (Nuclear Phase-Out) said in a statement: “Areva profits from selling this dangerous fuel to a country devastated by a nuclear accident to supply reactors whose resumption the Japanese people reject.”

There are currently five reactors in operation in Japan compared with 54 before the Fukushima accident.

https://m.phys.org/news/2017-07-sixth-mox-nuclear-shipment-france.html?utm_source=nwletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-nwletter

 

 

July 6, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Debris extraction method at Fukushima nuclear plant to be revealed

A state-backed entity is expected to soon compile a plan for decommissioning the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, unveiling how to extract fuel debris from three reactors for the first time, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp., tasked with providing technical support for decommissioning the complex, is mulling proposing a method to remove nuclear debris without fully filling their reactor containment structures with water, the sources said.

It means the debris inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi complex is likely to be shaved off gradually with a drill or laser equipment, while pouring water shower under a remotely controlled operation, the sources said.

A method to fulfill reactor containers with water first is effective in blocking radiation from spreading but the entity decided not to adopt the approach as the three reactor containers are believed to have been damaged and water would likely leak.

july 5 2017 fuel debris removal.jpgShown in red is melted nuclear fuel, or nuclear debris. Shown in black is a drill or laser for scraping off the debris.

 

Under the method the entity currently envisions, some part of debris would remain in the air during the operation so a major challenge facing the debris extraction work is how to shield radiation and prevent debris from flying off.

While debris in the reactors has yet to be directly confirmed and information on the exact locations and conditions is limited, the extraction work, the most difficult part of the decommission project, is expected to proceed in stages from the side of the bottom part of each reactor container while ensuring safety measures, the sources said.

Based on the decommission plan to be compiled by the entity, the government and the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. are expected to determine a debris extraction scheme for each reactor building this summer and possibly review a road map for decommissioning the complex as well, the sources added.

Decommissioning the crippled reactors is expected to take at least 30 to 40 years.

The current road map calls for completion of a plan on how to extract debris from each reactor this summer and finalizing a detailed method for at least one of the three units in the first half of fiscal 2018 to begin the extraction operation in 2021.

Following a magnitude-9.0 earthquake in March 2011, tsunami waves inundated the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, and flooded power supply facilities. Reactor cooling systems were crippled and the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors suffered fuel meltdowns, while hydrogen explosions damaged the buildings housing the Nos. 1, 3 and 4 units.

At least 150,000 people in Fukushima were forced to live as evacuees amid radiation fears. While some have returned to their homes, the utility known as Tepco and the government face enormous challenges in scrapping the crippled reactors.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation entity was established after the Fukushima crisis, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, to help the utility pay damages for the calamity. The state-backed entity holds a majority stake in Tepco.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/07/ddee4ff9fec7-debris-extraction-method-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-to-be-revealed.html

 

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

Fuel debris extraction plan for crippled Fukushima reactors to be revealed soon: sources

n-fukushima-a-20170706-870x328.jpgA series of photos taken on Jan. 30 shows the inside of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s reactor 2 pressure vessel. A specific method for removing debris is set to be revealed soon

 

A state-backed entity is close to completing a plan for decommissioning the crisis-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, detailing for the first time how it hopes to extract fuel debris from three reactors, sources said.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp., tasked with providing technical support for decommissioning the complex, may propose a method to remove nuclear debris without completely filling the reactor containment vessels with water, the sources said Tuesday.

The plan means the debris inside reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 complex is likely to be shaved off gradually with a drill or laser equipment as a shower of water is poured remotely, the sources said.

Filling reactor containment vessels with water before removing the debris is seen as effective in blocking the spread of radiation, but the entity decided not to adopt the approach because they fear water may leak from the damaged structures, the sources said.

In the method currently being weighed, some debris would remain in the air during the operation, posing a major challenge in efforts to block radiation and prevent debris from flying off, the sources said.

While debris has yet to be directly confirmed and information on exact locations and conditions is limited, the extraction work — the most difficult part of the decommissioning project — is expected to proceed in stages from the side of the bottom part of each reactor containment vessel, the sources said.

Based on the plan, the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., are expected to determine a course of action for each reactor building this summer, possibly reviewing a road map for decommissioning the entire complex as well, the sources added.

Decommissioning the crippled reactors is expected to take at least 30 to 40 years.

The current road map calls for a debris-extraction plan for each reactor by this summer, with a detailed plan for at least one of the units ready in the first half of fiscal 2018. Extraction work would begin in 2021.

Following a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in March 2011, tsunami waves inundated the six-reactor plant, located on ground 10 meters above sea level, flooding power supply facilities. Reactor cooling systems were crippled and reactors 1, 2 and 3 suffered fuel meltdowns, while hydrogen explosions damaged the buildings housing reactors 1, 3 and 4.

At least 150,000 people in Fukushima were forced to live as evacuees amid radiation fears. While some have returned to their homes, Tepco and the government face enormous challenges in scrapping the reactors.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation entity was established after the crisis, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, to help the utility pay damages. The state-backed entity holds a majority stake in Tepco.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/05/national/group-mulls-fukushima-no-1-melted-fuel-debris-extraction-without-filling-containment-vessels-water/

 

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

Trial of former Tepco executives over 2011 disaster

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The criminal trial of three former top executives at Tokyo Electric Power Co. over the triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011 has begun at the Tokyo District Court. The point at issue is whether it was possible for the accused to have foreseen the giant tsunami that led to the nuclear disaster and whether they could have taken steps to prevent the catastrophe. Proving the case against them will not be easy. Still, the court and the lawyers acting as prosecutors should leave no stone unturned in their effort to unravel Tepco’s decision-making process regarding the nuclear power plant’s safety measures. This is critical as a great deal remains shrouded in mystery as to what the power company and its executives did or failed to do to prepare the plant for the kind of disaster that struck it six years ago.

The trial was set after an Inquest of Prosecutions, composed of ordinary citizens, twice overturned the prosecution’s decisions not to pursue charges against the former Tepco executives — former chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and two ex-vice presidents, Sakae Muto, 67, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71.

Three lawyers, who acted as prosecutors to indict the men in February, charge that the former executives were well aware of the possibility that a tsunami higher than the Tepco plant site, which is 10 meters above sea level, could hit the facility and flood the reactor turbine buildings, resulting in a loss of power that would cause the plant’s cooling system to fail. Yet they neglected to take any precautionary measures to prevent such an outcome. Such negligence on the part of the Tepco executives, the lawyers charge, led to the hydrogen explosions at the plant’s Nos. 1 and 3 reactors on March 12 and 14, 2011, injuring 13 people at the scene and forcing patients at a nearby hospital to endure long hours of evacuation, which resulted in 44 deaths.

In the opening session of the trial on Friday, the former top executives all pleaded not guilty, saying it was impossible for them to foresee the tsunami and the nuclear disaster.

In a civil suit in which some 140 Fukushima residents who evacuated to Gunma Prefecture due to the nuclear disaster demanded ¥1.5 billion in damages, the Maebashi District Court has ordered the government and Tepco to pay ¥39 million in compensation, ruling that they could have foreseen the tsunami hitting the plant. But to establish criminal responsibility on the part of the individual executives, it must be proven that they could have foreseen the occurrence of a calamity in concrete terms — instead of just being vaguely aware of the danger.

One point at issue in the trial is an estimate made by a Tepco subsidiary in 2008 — based on the government’s assessment of long-term quake risks — that if an earthquake of magnitude 8.2 — similar in intensity to the 1896 quake off the Sanriku coast of Tohoku — occurred off Fukushima Prefecture, a tsunami with a maximum height of 15.7 meters could strike the plant site. During the civil suit proceedings that in 2008, Muto said that he had been informed of the estimate, along with an explanation from the subsidiary that a seawall 10 meters high needed to be built to protect the plant site, and that he gave an instruction to look into how to get government approval for building such a seawall. When interrogated by prosecutors, Takekuro said he had been informed of the estimate in April or May 2009. However, Katsumata has denied that he had been informed of the estimate — although the Inquest of Prosecution suspects that he must have received the information by June that year.

Although Tepco discussed measures to protect key facilities at the plant against flooding by a tsunami, the company eventually took no concrete action. Not enough has been made known as to what specific information the executives received and what judgments they made after they received the tsunami estimate.

Although the government, the Diet and Tepco each conducted probes into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, they have been unable to clarify why the power company failed to take prompt measures in response to data showing the potential risk of a tsunami occurring that could damage the plant. This trial may be the last chance to scrutinize Tepco’s decision-making process over the safety of the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The court and the prosecution should do their utmost to clarify not only the responsibility of the Tepco executives for the Fukushima plant disaster but also that of the government as the supervisory authority.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2017/07/04/editorials/trial-former-tepco-executives-2011-disaster/

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