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Radioactive leaks from Bugey nuclear power plant, near Lyon, France

Sortir du Nucleaire 7th March 2018,  In December 2017, a radioactive leak was detected at the Bugey nuclear
power plant, 35 km from Lyon. Four associations complain and call for the
immediate shutdown of the plant, which combines risks of all kinds.

On December 20, 2017, EDF detected an abnormal concentration of tritium in a
piezometer (tube allowing access to the water table) on the site of the
Bugey nuclear power station. The concentration of this radioactive
substance, which can cause serious damage to the DNA, reached 670
Becquerels per liter.

Larger concentration peaks (up to 1600 Bq / l) were
detected on subsequent days and at other locations on the site. This
presence of tritium in the Rhône water table suggests the release into the
environment of other radioelements and probably chemical elements.
Contaminated water has also certainly reached the Rhône.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Funding for Yucca nuclear waste project is not likely

NUCLEAR WASTE:  Slim odds for Yucca Mountain funding in omnibus, Sam Mintz and Geof Koss, E&E News reportersy, March 8, 2018

March 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

South Carolina House cuts customers bills over failed nuclear project, but Senate delays decision

S.C. House cuts customers’ bills over failed nuke project, Aiken Standard. By MEG KINNARD Associated Press, 7 Mar 18,

      COLUMBIA — South Carolina lawmakers on Wednesday nearly unanimously advanced a measure aimed at cutting utility bills in the wake of a nuclear construction project failure that’s already cost ratepayers billions.

Now the measure, approved on a 107-1 vote, goes back to the state’s Senate for consideration. That chamber has yet to agree to previous House measures that included cutting customers’ payments for the shuttered project.

Since convening two months ago, state lawmakers have tussled over what to do about the failed project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, a $9 billion reactor construction effort that collapsed last summer. Co-owners SCANA Corp. and Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s public utility, abandoned the project July 31 following the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

 State and federal investigations into possible wrongdoing by SCANA are ongoing. Multiple lawsuits alleged company executives knew the project was doomed but kept that information from ratepayers, whom they continued to charge a collective $37 million per month to fund the project.

House and Senate panels quickly convened to examine the debacle, with House lawmakers producing a package of half-a-dozen bills. The proposals included bills cutting rates for customers of SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas by 18 percent – the amount they’ve been paying toward the project – and allowing refunds of what customers have already paid, if regulators conclude there had been “poor management” by SCE&G.

Both chambers put the nuclear mess at the top of their “to do lists” for this year’s session, with some in leadership saying they feared little would get accomplished until the state’s angry ratepayers had some sort of resolution. But debate has lagged in the Senate, where lawmakers have discussed issues related to the failure but also engaged in lengthy debates on other topics, including the recent placement of chicken farms.

The House has passed several proposals reforming the state’s regulatory structure for projects like V.C. Summer. The Senate has yet to take them up but has approved a bill to delay making decisions on fixing the debacle until the end of this year……

March 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) seeks permit to allow more nuclear waste storage

WIPP Facility Officials Seek Permit Changes,  , CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) 7 Mar 18, — Officials are seeking permit changes to allow more nuclear waste to be stored in an underground facility in southeastern New Mexico.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials are looking to redefine how the volume of the waste is calculated at the facility near Carlsbad.

The facility is about halfway to capacity under the current calculations, which take into account the air between the waste containers for the total volume.

The drums of waste are packed into another case to protect against spills.

Officials are seeking to change the volume calculations to be based on the inner containers, which they say is a more accurate measurement.

Officials say the facility is about a third full under the new volume calculations.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Washington State to give more help to sick Hanford nuclear workers and former workers

Help on the way for ill Hanford workers  Tri City Herald,  March 07, 2018 

March 9, 2018 Posted by | employment, health, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Protest: President Macron should not impose a problematic French EPR reactor on India

Counterview 6th March 2018, French president Emmanuel Macron should not be imposing the “untested,
expensive and technically troubled” French EPR reactor on India, say two
international groups, India-based DiaNuke and US-based Beyond Nuclear,
campaigning against nuclear power in India and across the world.

The French-supported Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project of the Nuclear Power
Corporation of India has been proposed at Madban village of Ratnagiri
district in Maharashtra.

The two well-known non-profit organizations’ statement comes amidst plans to hold a massive protest, with the
participation of 5,000 people of the villages surrounding the Jaitapur
site, on the eve of Macron’s visit on March 11. The Jaitapur EPR project
would be the biggest nuclear power plant site in the world if built,
producing 9,900 MW of electricity.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

South Africa cannot afford to build a new nuclear reactor, but Environmental Department gave permit anyway

Business Report 5th March 2018, The Department of Environmental Affairs recently granted an environmental
permit for a new 4000-megawatt nuclear plant, close to the continent’s
only existing nuclear site, at Koeberg in the Western Cape.

This is despite former finance minister Malusi Gigaba recently stating that construction of
a new plant was unaffordable. Greenpeace Africa has vowed to protest the
construction of the new nuclear plant, saying it would infringe on the
environmental rights of present and future citizens of the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa conveyed at the World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland that the country’s economy indicates that South Africa cannot
afford to build a major nuclear plant. Perhaps the permit granted to Eskom
should be revisited.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

West Lake Landfill: residents in the area want 100% removal of radioactive trash

Residents voice support for plan to remove all radioactive waste from West Lake Landfill MARCH 6, 2018, BY KATHERINE HESSEL 

BRIDGETON, MO – It was a packed room Tuesday night as a huge turnout in Bridgeton as the public got a chance to weigh in on the EPA’s plan to clean up the West Lake Landfill.

After investigating and studying the landfill for decades the EPA came up with eight different plans on how to clean up the radioactive waste.

The EPA thinks the best choice is alternative 4. The plan calls for about 70% of the waste would be removed from the site by digging down 16 feet deep.  Then a permanent cap would be placed on the area.  It would cost about $246 million and take 5-years to implement.

Many residents said a partial removal is only a partial solution and when over 1,000 residents were asked during the meeting who would like alternative 4 not one person raised their hand.

Instead, during the public comment section of the meeting residents made it clear that they want the EPA to go with alternative 7.

That plan is the removal of all radioactive material with an offsite disposal.  It would cost $455 million and take about 14-years to implement.

Residents said they feel like the only solution is to get rid of all of the waste.  Public comments on the plans is available online through April 23rd. Here is that link.

Here is the EPA’s full proposed plan.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Evacuation plans – Dr Ian Fairlie

Beyond Nuclear International 4th March 2018,  Dr Ian Fairlie: If another severe nuclear accident, such as Windscale (in
1957), Chernobyl (1986) or Fukushima (2011) were to occur, then the most
important response, in terms of preventing future cancer epidemics, is
evacuation. The other main responses are shelter and stable iodine
prophylaxis. Adverse health effects would primarily depend on wind
direction and on the nature of the accident. This article looks primarily
at the Fukushima evacuation and its after-effects.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Gender and Radiation: Women and Children Require More Protection

Today is International Women’s Day  “a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.” 

There are many such women in the anti-nuclear movement.  For example..

Mary Olson is the Founder of the Gender and Radiation Impact Project and is clear her life’s mission is to bring to light the disproportionate impact of radiation on girls and women. Over her long career, Olson has studied radiation health consequences with some of the leading radiation researchers of the 20 th Century including Rosalie BertellAlice StewartHelen Caldicott and Wing, and was featured in the educational film “ The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age” Through her work as a staff biologist and policy analyst at Nuclear Information and Resource Service , she has worked for decades to improve public policy on highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel and plutonium
Below is an excellent fact sheet from the Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Women & Children Require More Protection from

Ionizing Radiation than Men

NAS Findings: Adult Males are Group Most
Resistant to getting Cancer from Radiation
There is no safe dose of ionizing radiation: any
exposure of living cells to sub-atomic particles
(alpha, beta, neutron) or waves of energy (gamma,
X-ray) ejected from unstable radioactive atoms
has the potential to trigger cancer in people.i
Men get cancer from exposure to radiation, and
men die from that cancer, however, for reasons
not yet fully understood , fewer males get cancer
and fewer of them die from it compared to
females of the same age at the same level of
radiation exposure. The difference is not small:
for every two men who get cancer, three women
suffer this disease. These findings of physical
difference (not based on behavior) of 40% — 60%
more cancer in women compared to men come
from the (US) National Academy of Sciences
(NAS), Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation
(BEIR) Report number VII, published in 2006 ii
It has been common knowledge that children’s
bodies are the most vulnerable to radiation
impacts, but from BEIR VII we also learn that
little girls (age 0 — 5 years) are twice as likely to
suffer harm from radiation (defined in BEIR VII
as cancer) as little boys in the same age group. iii
In October 2011, NIRS published a briefing paper
Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women iv
containing more details about these findings. The
numbers in the BEIR VII tables are the source of
this new information. Gender difference is not
discussed in the report text.
Not every dose of radiation results in detectable
harm–cells have repair
mechanisms. However,
every exposure carries the potential for harm; and
that potential is tied to age of exposure and
Radiation Exposure Standards Based on Adult
Male Body
While we cannot see or
otherwise detect radiation with
our senses, we can see its
When the  first regulations were made, it was because
soldiers and scientists in the U.S. (virtually all
male to begin with) were working on building
nuclear weapons. The first standards were
“allowable” limits for exposing these men to a
known hazard.
Radiation Levels v Dose
Geiger counters and other devices can detect
levels of radiation and concentrations of
radioactivity.  It is much more difficult to say how much of that energy has impacted a living body (dose). Dose is calculated based on body size, weight, distance from the source and assumptions about biological impact. Gender is not factored in a typical determination of a dose. Historically the “dose receptors” were male, and were of a small age range. It is somewhat understandable that the “Reference Man”v was based on a “Standard Man”–a guy of a certain height, weight and age. Clearly such assumptions are no longer valid when there is such a striking gender difference– 40% to 100% greater likelihood of cancer or cancer death (depending on the age) for females, compared to

Not Only Cancer

Radiation harm includes not only cancer and leukemia, but reduced immunity, reduced fertility, increases in other diseases including heart disease, birth defects including heart defects, other mutations (both heritable and not). When damage is catastrophic to a developing embryo, spontaneous abortion or miscarriage of a pregnancy may result.vii

Gender Mechanism Not Yet Described

Perhaps the reason that the National Academy of Sciences does not discuss the fact that gender has such a large impact on outcome of exposure to radiation is that the causal  mechanism is not yet described.

Dr. Rosalie Bertell, one of the icons of research and education on radiation health effects, suggests that one basis may be that the female body has a higher percentage of reproductive tissue than the male body. Dr. Bertell points to

studies showing reproductive organs and tissues are more sensitive to radiation. Nonetheless, Dr. Bertell is clear: “While research is clearly needed, we should PROTECT FIRST.”

Ignoring Gender Results in More Harm

The NAS BEIR VII findings show that males of all ages are more resistant to radiation exposure than females, and also that all children are more vulnerable than adults. The only radiation standard certain to protect everyone is zero. Given the fact that there is no safe dose of radiation, it is an appropriate goal. Any additional exposure above unavoidable naturally occurring radiation should include full disclosure and concurrence of the individual. It is time to adopt non-radioactive practices for making energy, peace, security and healing.

03/10/2012 Mary Olson, NIRS Southeast / 828-252-8409

i See
ii BEIR VII, Table 12D‐3 page 312, National Academy Press (Washington, DC) 2006.
iii BEIR VII page 311, Table 12‐D 1.
iv NIRS: Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women df
vICRP Publication 23: Reference Man: Anatomical, Physiological and Metabolic Characteristics, 1st Edition

vi IEER: The use of Reference Man in Radiation Protection Standards and Guidance with Recommendations for Change
vii Non‐cancer health effects are documented in classic works of John Gofman, for instance Radiation and Human Health (Random House 1982) and digital documents available: and Dr. Rosalie Bertell’s classic work No Immediate Danger, Summer Town Books, 1986.

March 9, 2018 Posted by | radiation, Reference, women | Leave a comment