nuclear-news

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

Coastal populations dosed with radiation from nearby nuclear facilities

Radioactive sea spray is dosing communities, February 17, 2019Governments want to cover it up By Tim Deere-Jones.

It is clear from the available empirical data that coastal populations impacted by prevailing onshore winds and living next to sea areas contaminated with liquid radioactive effluents from nuclear sites, are annually exposed to dietary and inhalation doses of man-made marine radioactivity.

Effluents discharged to the sea by nuclear power stations, fuel fabrication sites and reprocessing facilities are transferred from sea to land in airborne sea spray and marine aerosols (micro-droplets). They come in also during episodes of coastal flooding. This problem has been particularly pronounced around the UK Sellafield reprocessing and plutonium production site in Cumbria. In 1988, independent empirical research commissioned by a west Wales local authority reported that
Sellafield-derived, sea-discharged cesium had been found in pasture grass up to 10 miles inland of the Ceredigion coast.

Clearly, this contributes to human dietary doses via the dairy and beef food chain. The research also implies the inevitability of further dietary doses via arable and horticultural crops. Given that airborne radioactivity is driven at least 10 miles inland, it should be assumed that coastal populations are exposed, on a repeated annual basis, to inhalation doses.
https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2019/02/17/radioactive-sea-spray-is-dosing-communities/

February 19, 2019 Posted by | environment, radiation | Leave a comment

Pressure on California’s Governor Newsom to Inspect Aged Diablo Canyon Nuclear Unit One Before it Re-Fuels

Hollywood Stars, Grassroots Activists, State Senator, Mayor & Major Organizations Ask Gov. Newsom to Fully Inspect Aged Diablo Canyon Nuclear Unit One Before it Re-Fuels

Contact: Mimi Kennedy (315) 246-7333; Harvey Wasserman (614) 738-3646 – solartopia@gmail.com; Myla Reson (310) 663-7660  – myla.reson@gmail.com

Dear Gov. Newsom,

We join hundreds of other Californians, including Sen. Ben Allen and San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, who are calling, writing, faxing and e-mailing, asking that you take action at Diablo Canyon to protect our safety and economic future. Under PG&E’s current bankruptcy and criminal proceedings, your position gives you wide ranging powers to act.

Diablo Unit One is now shut for refueling. We feel that given the evidence of embrittlement, it is very important to halt the loading of new fuel into the reactor until the public resolution of seven critical issues:

  1. Diablo One was last tested for EMBRITTLEMENT in 2003; it can now be easily tested while Unit One is shut.
  2. Diablo One’s key components must be tested for CRACKING, easily done now with ultra-sound.
  3. PG&E has DEFERRED ITS MAINTENANCE at Diablo since at least 2010.
  4. Nuclear Regulatory Commission site inspector Michael Peck, among many others, has doubts that Diablo can withstand a credible earthquake.
  5. Serious questions remain about how PG&E intends to handle Diablo’s RADIOACTIVE WASTES.
  6. US Rep. Salud Carbajal has joined many others in questioning the COMPETENCE of the bankrupt, criminally-convicted PG&E to manage these two very large reactors in his home district.
  7. Studies show Diablo’s POWER IS NOT NEEDED, and in fact impedes the use of renewables here in California.

We ask that BEFORE DIABLO ONE REFUELS you subject these and other critical issues to open public scrutiny. The decision on Diablo’s future must be made by you in conjunction with the Legislature, the CPUC, state agencies, the courts and the public.

We thank you very much for giving this your serious consideration. We feel this is an exciting and crucial opportunity for you to continue your groundbreaking leadership in bringing more safety, responsibility, and wise energy policy to all Californians. Let us keep showing the way to a safer (and more sustainable) energy future.

Signatories (partial list):………

Separate petitions, resolutions & other supporting letters & documents are from: …….  http://solartopia.org/hollywood-stars-grassroots-activists-state-senator-mayor-major-organizations-ask-gov-newsom-to-fully-inspect-aged-diablo-canyon-nuclear-unit-one-before-it-re-fuels/

Attachments area

February 19, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Deception and mistrust between Nevada and Department of Energy, over secret plutonium shipment


The Indy Explains: How a secret plutonium shipment exacerbated mistrust between Nevada and Department of Energy, The Nevada Independent By Daniel Rothberg 18 Feb 19,  The secretive Nevada plutonium shipment that has spawned angry rhetoric from Nevada politicians has a history that starts with Russia. In 2000, the United States entered into a pact with Russia to set aside excess weapons-grade plutonium for civilian use in nuclear reactors. Congress then passed a law that it would turn the excess 34 metric tons of plutonium into MOX, or mix-oxide fuel, at a newly built facility in South Carolina.

But that statute came with a firm deadline: If the MOX facility was not operational by 2014, the Department of Energy would be required to move one metric ton of plutonium stored at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site, a nuclear facility built in the 1950s, within two years.

After years of cost overruns and technical challenges, the Trump administration scrapped the facility. Meanwhile, the state of South Carolina obtained a court order in 2017 requiring the Department of Energy enforce the deadline and move the metric ton of plutonium by 2020.

Less than one year later, the agency said it moved a half-ton of that plutonium to the Nevada National Security Site. The action came after months of questioning from state officials, and its furtive nature has spurred a lawsuit, driving a deep chasm between the state and the agency.

Four months after South Carolina obtained the court order, Nevada officials heard that the federal government might be sending some of the plutonium to the state, according to court records. From August to November, state officials began asking questions about the potential shipment. But Nevada officials received few assurances from Department of Energy officials.

Beyond a general ‘expectation’ that any plutonium would be removed by approximately 2026-27, [a November 20] letter did not contain any of the requested assurances,” Pam Robinson, the policy director for then-Gov. Brian Sandoval, wrote in a December affidavit.

What Nevada officials didn’t know: the United States had already moved the plutonium.

Who knew what when

That surprising disclosure came months later — on January 30 — when a general counsel for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) disclosed that the agency had made a half-ton plutonium shipment from South Carolina to the Nevada Test Site prior to November.

Gov. Steve Sisolak responded to the revelation with a heated statement, pledging to continue existing litigation and keep the Department of Energy accountable.I am beyond outraged by this completely unacceptable deception from the U.S. Department of Energy,” he said to the media. “The department led the state of Nevada to believe that they were engaging in good-faith negotiations with us regarding a potential shipment of weapons-grade plutonium, only to reveal that those negotiations were a sham all along.”

Members of the state’s congressional delegation also released fiery responses.

State officials worry that the plutonium shipment to the testing facility, which is about 65 miles outside of Las Vegas and occupies an area the size of Rhode Island, could set a precedent for the federal government to send more nuclear materials to the state.

In court filings, lawyers for Attorney General Aaron Fordalso argued the federal government failed to fully inventory the environmental impacts of the size and type of plutonium being sent to the highly guarded site.

They also view the action as a backdoor move to open Yucca Mountain, the controversial nuclear waste repository that sits in the remote desert about 100 miles outside of Las Vegas.

The NNSA disputes all of these claims. ………

“Plutonium is nasty stuff,” said Allison Macfarlane, a George Washington University science and technology professor who chaired the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 2012 to 2014. “But we’ve made so much of it on the weapons side in this country — and the civilian side in other countries — that we really need to manage it very carefully unless we eliminate it.”

With South Carolina’s MOX facility mothballed, the options are more limited…….. https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/indy-explains-how-a-secret-plutonium-shipment-created-mistrust-betw

February 19, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Sudden rises in methane levels – scientists warn on need for urgent action on climate change

Sharp rise in methane levels threatens world climate targets, Experts warn that failure to act risks spike in global temperatures, Guardian, Robin McKie, Sun 17 Feb 2019 Dramatic rises in atmospheric methane are threatening to derail plans to hold global temperature rises to 2C, scientists have warned.

In a paper published this month by the American Geophysical Union, researchers say sharp rises in levels of methane – which is a powerful greenhouse gas – have strengthened over the past four years. Urgent action is now required to halt further increases in methane in the atmosphere, to avoid triggering enhanced global warming and temperature rises well beyond 2C.

“What we are now witnessing is extremely worrying,” said one of the paper’s lead authors, Professor Euan Nisbet of Royal Holloway, University of London. “It is particularly alarming because we are still not sure why atmospheric methane levels are rising across the planet.”

Methane is produced by cattle, and also comes from decaying vegetation, fires, coal mines and natural gas plants. It is many times more potent as a cause of atmospheric warming than carbon dioxide (CO2). However, it breaks down much more quickly than CO2 and is found at much lower levels in the atmosphere.

During much of the 20th century, levels of methane, mostly from fossil fuel sources, increased in the atmosphere but, by the beginning of the 21st century, it had stabilised, said Nisbet. “Then, to our surprise, levels starting rising in 2007. That increase began to accelerate after 2014 and fast growth has continued.”

Studies suggest these increases are more likely to be mainly biological in origin. However, the exact cause remains unclear. Some researchers believe the spread of intense farming in Africa may be involved, in particular in tropical regions where conditions are becoming warmer and wetter because of climate change. Rising numbers of cattle – as well as wetter and warmer swamps – are producing more and more methane, it is argued.

This idea is now being studied in detail by a consortium led by Nisbet, whose work is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. This month the consortium completed a series of flights over Uganda and Zambia to collect samples of the air above these countries.

“We have only just started analysing our data but have already found evidence that a great plume of methane now rises above the wetland swamps of Lake Bangweul in Zambia,” added Nisbet.

However, other scientists warn that there could be a more sinister factor at work. Natural chemicals in the atmosphere – which help to break down methane – may be changing because of temperature rises, causing it to lose its ability to deal with the gas.

Our world could therefore be losing its power to cleanse pollutants because it is heating up, a climate feedback in which warming allows more greenhouse gases to linger in the atmosphere and so trigger even more warming……… https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/17/methane-levels-sharp-rise-threaten-paris-climate-agreement

February 19, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Council in Wales strongly opposes nuclear waste burial proposals

Council leader voices ‘strong opposition’ to nuclear waste burial proposals https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/council-leader-voices-strong-opposition-15847252Meetings are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste,  Elizabeth BradfieldLocal Democracy Reporter, 18 Feb 19, 

The leader of Neath Port Talbot Council has said the local authority will not engage “at any level” when it comes to an upcoming consultation on possible sites where nuclear waste can be buried.

Meetings are taking place in Wales next month as part of the search for a site in which to bury the country’s most dangerous radioactive waste.

The UK Government wants to bury the lethal stockpile that has been accumulating from nuclear power stations over the last 60 years.

People in two areas – Swansea and Llandudno – are to be consulted as part of the hunt for a “willing host community”.

There are also consultations in eight parts of England.

At a full council meeting on Wednesday, February 14, council leader Rob Jones said: “There have been a number of articles in the media this week concerning public meetings to be organised, apparently, by an agency of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to consult on the possibility of sites being identified for the disposal of nuclear waste.

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear that Neath Port Talbot Council will not be engaging in this process at any level.

“The Welsh Government has made it clear that they would only support such a proposal if the community concerned was willing.

“Well, ours is not as far as I’m concerned and that is the end of the matter.

“Moreover, in the unlikely event that a credible proposal emerged in any adjacent area, we would very strongly oppose that as well.”

The waste is currently stored in 20 sites around the country in specially-engineered containers but this is not seen as a long-term solution.

It is expected that the process of selecting an underground site and going through the planning and construction process will take decades with any chosen site first receiving waste in the 2040s.

The government website says that communities willing to take part on the consultation will receive £1m a year initially and up to £2.5m a year if boreholes are drilled.

A website has been set up by the UK Government to inform the public geologicaldisposal.campaign.gov.uk

February 19, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

South Africa inquiry hears how former president Jacob Zuma pressed for ‘astronomically expensive’ nuclear deal

#StateCaptureInquiry: ‘If nuclear had proceeded, SA would’ve been in trouble’ https://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/statecaptureinquiry-if-nuclear-had-proceeded-sa-wouldve-been-in-trouble-19365917 18 FEBRUARY 2019, ZINTLE MAHLATI  JOHANNESBURG – Former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile has corroborated former minister Nhlanhla Nene’s evidence regarding pressure to implement the nuclear deal.

Fuzile returned to the state capture inquiry on Monday to finalise aspects of his testimony.
He told the commission of a meeting with former president Jacob Zuma where the nuclear deal was discussed.
He said Zuma made various comments that were concerning. And even with doubts from Treasury and Nene, there was pressure to go ahead with the deal.
Nene had testified when he appeared last year at the inquiry that the nuclear deal would have cost a lot of money and place massive risk on the country’s fiscus.
“The costs associated with it were astronomical. The envisaged 9.6 GW programme would have constituted the largest investment project in SA history. The investment required would have been estimated at R200 billion for a phased approach,” said Nene.
Fuzile said in a meeting with Zuma on the eve of Nene’s firing, officials from Treasury explained to Zuma and other officials why the project would be a risk yet Cabinet moved to approve the first phase of the deal.
“This was the biggest procurement ever in the history of the country, yet the processes were rushed and some of the stuff that was talked about was not followed. If nuclear had proceeded, this country would have been in trouble. The process that was followed was seriously flawed. There was a brushing aside of the true cost of the project,” said Fuzile.
Zuma commented that Fuzile and former minister Pravin Gordhan had stopped the PetrolSA Engen deal and said it was Treasury’s job to find the money.
Nene had testified that he suspects he was fired because of his objection to the nuclear deal.
Lungisa also touched on the PetroSA deal which did not go through, something Zuma appeared unhappy about.
He also testified about concerns from some board members at South Africa Airways (SAA) about the Airbus deal.
Lungisa also noted the resistance for the removal of former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni. He said it did not make sense why there was so much resistance especially as lenders for SAA did not enjoy working with the SAA board led by Myeni
Lungisa’s testimony was largely focused on corroborating information already provided by Nene and Gordhan when they appeared at the inquiry last year.
The inquiry continues.

February 19, 2019 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Traces of radioactive iodine 131 in the atmosphere in Norway – where from?

Bellona 13th Feb 2019 , Norwegian authorities have reported trace amounts of radioactive iodine 131 in the atmosphere, which emerged last week in measurements taken in the country’s far northeast near the city of Tromsø. Officials with the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority were at pains to emphasize that levels of the radioactive isotope were extremely low and posed no threat to human health.

But they added that the source of the iodine emissions remained unknown – though, as noted by the Barents Observer,
the half-life of iodine 131 is only seven days, implying that the source of the higher measurements can’t be too far from Tromsø.
https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2019-02-norways-radiation-officials-detect-slight-uptick-of-radioactive-iodine-in-the-air

February 19, 2019 Posted by | environment, EUROPE | 1 Comment

Does Trump Emergency Declaration Mean More Presidential Alerts And/Or Other Control Of Communications-Devices? — Mining Awareness +

Remember this from last October? Those who didn’t accept the message or didn’t know how to shut it kept getting beeped again for days … News reports say Trump has been thinking about this state of emergency since much earlier last year. News reports also say that he will veto attempts by Congress to stop […]

via Does Trump Emergency Declaration Mean More Presidential Alerts And/Or Other Control Of Communications-Devices? — Mining Awareness +

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now, even in Canada unsubsidised solar beats fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

Innogy to build two solar farms in Canada without need for subsidies, highlighting tremendous growth of the solar industry over last few years. The post Now, even in Canada unsubsidised solar beats fossil fuels appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Now, even in Canada unsubsidised solar beats fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 18 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “What Energy Deprivation Really Means In Refugee Camps” • There are few places in the world where energy poverty is more rife than in refugee camps. About 80% of those who live in camps have absolutely minimal access to energy for cooking and heating. About 90% have no access to electricity. But renewable […]

via February 18 Energy News — geoharvey

February 19, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment