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

Whom to trust on nuclear matters – just ask yourself “What’s in it for whom? – theme for June 21.

The facts on the nuclear industry are shrouded in secrecy and jargon.

What we do know is that many people and many communities rely on this industry for jobs and economic security (until they can’t anymore). But this dependence on an industry does not make it good.

So – whom to rely on for a judgment about nuclear power, [with its partner twin, nuclear weapons?]

Well, the current respected”authorities” on the nuclear industry are billionaire celebrities, officials of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), government department heads, chiefs of nuclear companies. They know best [?]

There are scores of other highly qualified persons who decry the nuclear industry, on the grounds of radiation dangers, safety, health, environmental risks, climate change threats, security, weapons proliferation, terrorism, and oh – that most compelling issue – costs.

Well, the nuclear proponents have one clear way to refute all those people – ‘‘they are not nuclear physicists or engineers, and therefore cannot understand nuclear matters’‘ [only – some of them ARE nuclear physicists]

The mainstream media makes sure to (a) ignore those critics of nuclear power, or (b) depict them as cranks or unhinged leffties.

These are just a few of these often maligned critics:

Dr Helen Caldicott author, Michael E Mann, climatologist and geophysicist, Dr Paul Dorfman, science researcher.  Arjun Makhijani, nuclear physicist, Dr Chris Busby, radiation expert Dr Ian Fairlea, radiation consultant. Arnold Gunderson, nuclear engineer, Beatrice Fihn -chief of ICAN. Mary OLson, expert on radiation effects on women. Dr Timothy Mousseau, ecologist Dr Jim Green, public health expert, Linda Gunter, nuclear media commentator. Dr Gordon Edwards, nuclear science consultant. Karl Grossman – Professor of journalism Bruce Gagnon – Researcher on space issues.

There are many more

Now let’s turn to the nuclear industry promoters. All too well known are the celebrity billionaires, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos. They have remarkable influence and access to media. (Example – Bill Gates’ targeted gifting to media) They also have commercial interests in nuclear technology.

Less celebrated names, but still very influential, are the voices from the industry itself, and from politicians friendly to the industry (?campaign-funded by the industry).

I have long been grateful to the scientist and Nobel Prize winner Dr George Wald for the message he gave on whom one should believe, about nuclear power. He said –

Just ask yourself – ”What’s in it for whom”

Police raid nuclear expert Dr Chris Busby’s Bideford home with absurd story he’s a bomb-maker (YOUTUBE)


May 15, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes | 10 Comments

Ionising radiation was scientifically proven to be bad for dogs. Does that mean it’s good for humans?

The effects of ionizing radiation on domestic dogs: a review of the atomic bomb testing era, Wiley Online Library , Gabriella J. SpatolaElaine A. Ostrander Timothy A. Mousseau 13 May 2021 


Dogs were frequently employed as laboratory subjects during the era of atomic bomb testing (1950–1980), particularly in studies used to generate predictive data regarding the expected effects of accidental human occupational exposure to radiation. The bulk of these studies were only partly reported in the primary literature, despite providing vital information regarding the effects of radiation exposure on a model mammalian species. Herein we review this literature and summarize the biological effects in relation to the isotopes used and the method of radionuclide exposure. Overall, these studies demonstrate the wide range of developmental and physiological effects of exposure to radiation and radionuclides in a mid‐sized mammal.

………………………………………………III. CONCLUSIONS

  1. Domestic canines commonly share the same environment, lifestyle, and exposure to pollutants as their human counterparts (Mazzatenta et al., 2017; Ostrander et al., 2017). Coupled with their larger body size and longer lifespan compared to other frequently used model organisms, this makes the canine model a useful tool in studying radiation‐induced diseases.
  2. Frequent effects of radiation exposure in dogs include haematological changes, infertility, and cancer of the bone, liver, lung, and blood, among others. Effects depend on the radionuclide, method of exposure, age at exposure, dose rate, and total exposure dose.

    1. With an increasing demand for nuclear power comes a higher risk of nuclear accidents, and studies of radiation exposures in domestic dogs have provided valuable information for understanding the repercussions for accidentally exposed populations.
    2. Although experiments done in a laboratory setting have proved illuminating, more studies are needed on natural populations affected by past radiological disasters in order to further our understanding of how laboratory results may apply, as such populations are affected by potentially confounding environmental factors. In addition, the vast background knowledge provided by early radiation studies on dogs could allow meaningful conclusions to be drawn regarding the application of laboratory results to natural populations………………

May 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Hamas Targets Israeli Oil And Nuclear Facilities With Rocket Attacks

Hamas Targets Israeli Oil And Nuclear Facilities With Rocket Attacks, Oil Price By ZeroHedge – May 14, 2021 Hamas’ militant wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, announced earlier this week that it is deliberately targeting Israel’s secretive Dimona nuclear reactor site, known as the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center, which lies east of the the Gaza Strip far into the Negev Desert.

It was on Wednesday that Qassam Brigade spokesmen said they were “directing a rocket strike involving 15 rockets for Dimona” – and since then it appears rockets have fallen generally in the southerly area – but there’s since been no reports of direct hits anywhere on the complex, or damage to the site……….

“On Tuesday, at least one rocket appeared to score a direct hit, damaging an Ashkelon facility connected to the Trans-Israel pipeline running from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea,” Newsweek observed, and continued:

“The military wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas has targeted Israel’s nuclear facility, key oil facilities and other sites across the country amid a violent escalation between the two sides.”……

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korean fishermen sue Japanese government over Fukushima nuclear plant water

South Korean fishermen sue Japanese government over Fukushima nuclear plant water, WION Web TeamSeoul, South Korea, May 13, 2021, 

South Korean fisheries associations filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government at a local court on Thursday, seeking compensation for the planned release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of Jeju Island and a shipowners’ association told a news conference outside the Jeju District Court they were demanding about 10 million won ($8,800) per day from the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings.

Local fishing communities worry that years of work to convince consumers that Fukushima’s seafood is safe will be wiped out by the release.

Japan’s government said in April it would release more than 1 million tonnes of treated water from the Fukushima site in stages starting in about two years…….

Environmental groups like Greenpeace, which opposes nuclear power, say radioactive materials like carbon-14 that remain in the water can “be easily concentrated in the food chain”.

They allege accumulated doses over time could damage DNA, and want to see the water stored until technology is developed to improve filtration.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Avoiding an unintentional space war: Lessons from Cold War nuclear diplomacy

Avoiding an unintentional space war: Lessons from Cold War nuclear diplomacy, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists By Maxwell SimonSam Wilson, May 13, 2021 
In July of 2020, senior US and Russian officials held talks about space security and strategic stability, the first such talks between the two countries dedicated to these issues in seven years. The meetings came at a time when the domain of space has been becoming increasingly tense: Just a few weeks earlier, the US Space Command reported that Russia had tested a space-based weapon (US Space Command Public Affairs 2020a); almost a year earlier, the US Director of National Intelligence had reported that Russia and China were fielding new weapons that could put US space capabilities at risk (Coats 2019).

Tensions have not eased since then, and in December 2020, the US Space Command reported that Russia had tested as direct ascent anti-satellite weapon, its second such test of 2020 (US Space Commands Public Affairs 2020b). Meanwhile, both countries are blaming the other for weaponizing space. ….. (subscribers only)

May 15, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Restarting nuclear power in Japan. Will the old ”Nuclear Village” bribery factor trump safety concerns?

Nuclear Power in Japan: Safety at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Remains an Issue,   Takino Yūsaku 14 May 21

……………….An illustration of the dilemma facing host communities is the decision of the mayors of Onagawa and Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture to approve the restart of Unit 2 of Tōhoku Electric Power Company’s Onagawa Nuclear Power Station. Miyagi Governor Murai Yoshihiro also gave his endorsement and announced the decision in November 2020 after meeting with the two mayors, marking the first time a facility affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami received the go-ahead to resume operation. Speaking at a press conference, the governor cited local employment opportunities and tax revenue as key factors in swaying the consensus of local leaders in favor of restarting the reactor, but stressed that the decision was a bitter one to make.

A similar dynamic is at play in the municipalities of Kashiwazaki and Kariwa, which jointly host the TEPCO power plant. As of January 1 of this year, the facility employs some 6,300 people, including utility personnel and staff of independent contractors, of whom around 3,500 are local residents. Factoring in family members potentially quadruples the number of people who rely on the power plant for their livelihoods, making the decision to restart a difficult one to oppose.

The two host municipalities are similarly dependent on revenue flowing into their coffers from the plant. This includes subsidies and grants from the national government, prefectural duties on nuclear fuel, a tax levied on spent fuel, and local property and income taxes. In 2018, Kashiwazaki received ¥3.4 billion in subsidies and other government funding and Kariwa ¥1.3 billion. If local taxes are factored in, Kashiwazaki’s revenue directly related to the nuclear power plant came to ¥8.0 billion and Kariwa’s ¥2.9 billion, around 15% and just over half of their annual income, respectively. This alone shows just how reliant the communities are on nuclear energy.

Like other host communities, the remote, cash-strapped municipalities saw nuclear energy as a lucrative endeavor. Kashiwazaki and Kariwa approved the plant in 1969, construction of the Unit 1 reactor began in 1978, and the facility went online in September 1985. TEPCO subsequently built six more reactors at the site, each bringing additional revenue to the municipalities. The last of these, Unit 7, was fired up in July 1997.

However, safety concerns have dogged the facility. In July 2007, the Chūetsu Offshore Earthquake sparked a fire and caused radiation leaks, forcing all the reactors offline for a time. After upgrades were made, several units were restarted, only to be halted indefinitely following the Great East Japan Earthquake and meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011.

The prolonged shutdown has seriously impacted the economic wellbeing of the communities. A visit to the shopping arcade next to Kashiwazaki Station and the town’s entertainment district reveals a startling number of shuttered businesses, a situation that has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Kashiwazaki’s population, which was already rapidly graying, has shrunk from 90,000 in 2010 to 81,000 as of 2020. The demographic trend in the village of Kariwa can be assumed to be similarly bleak. As in Onagawa, objections residents may have to restarting the reactors will almost certainly take a back seat to the more pressing considerations of jobs and reviving the local economy.

Weighing the Cost of Safety

The results of elections in November 2020 indicate strong public approval for bringing the reactor back online. Residents of Kashiwazaki reelected Mayor Sakurai Masahiro, who supports the restart, to a second term in a landslide over an antinuclear challenger, while Kariwa voters handed pronuclear Mayor Shinada Hiroo a sixth term. The majority of local assembly members in both towns are likewise in favor of resuming operations at the plant.

In contrast, the prefectural government has taken a measured approach toward resuming operation of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, including establishing its own supervisory committee to verify the causes of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi and delaying debate on restarting Unit 7 until the body issues its final report. Barring one or more committee members expressing opposition, however, Niigata Governor Hanazumi Hideyo is expected to certify the restart before the gubernatorial election slated for June 2022 to prevent the issue from influencing the race. It remains to be seen to what degree the recently discovered safety flaws will affect this timeline.

The central government remains eager to get Kashiwazaki-Kariwa back up and running. As Japan slowly transitions from carbon-based fuels toward renewables to reduce CO2 emissions, it plans for nuclear power to provide 30% of the country’s energy needs.

In the end, the deciding factor will be safety. TEPCO so far has invested ¥1.2 trillion in upgrading the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant and has spent considerable time and energy touting its efforts. In clearing the NRA’s stringent regulations, the utility had seemingly demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that it was safe to bring the reactors back online. While there is no denying that the extensive safety measures the utility has put into place have boosted the facility’s resilience against known risks like natural disasters, there is not telling what new and unforeseen threats might be lurking around the corner. Such uncertainty makes it hard for many members of the public, me included, to trust completely in the safety of nuclear power.

It may turn out that the recent security failings, while egregious, on their own would not have allowed an intruder to infiltrate the plant undetected. However, they do illustrate the ongoing risks of neglect, bad judgement, procedural failures, and other human errors, factors that even the most stringent physical upgrades cannot guard against.

The government, despite considerable public uncertainty, is committed to pushing ahead with its plans to bring the country’s fleet of reactors back online. Faced with this reality, it is vital that citizens understand the state of nuclear energy in Japan and decide for themselves if it is something they can live with or choose to do without.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion is an energy mirage, and these are the reasons why .

Welsh councils warned over experimental nuclear fusion reactor plans May 2021  Two Welsh local authorities that are considering bids to host a nuclear fusion reactor have been warned of concerns about the proposals being put forward by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

In recent weeks, councillors from the Vale of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire County Council have shown public interest in potentially putting a site forward to host an experimental fusion reactor.

The UKAEA has been provided with £200 million of initial funding from the UK Government to create a plant that will harness electricity from fusion and has written to councils suggesting ‘billions’ of pounds will be invested in the project with an aim to help deliver nuclear fusion within the next 30 years.

Fusion technology is still in its infancy and no fusion reactor has ever created more power than it consumes. But scientists say it could be cleaner and safer than fission, the nuclear technology currently used to generate electricity.

Nuclear Free Local Authorities, a body that seeks to increase local accountability over national nuclear policy and identify the impact of national nuclear policy on local communities, has written to both councils highlighting the experimental nature of the project and warning of the environmental and economic consequences of the project.

The conclusions of the NFLA briefing provided to the councils include:

Nuclear fusion, like nuclear fission, still produces significant quantities of radioactive waste.

Radioactive tritium emissions would be released as part of the fusion process into the environment.

A large water source for cooling would be required.It costs huge sums of money that the public exchequer cannot afford after this pandemic.

Any local jobs are a long way off. The target is to have a demonstration plant developed around 2040, so any local construction jobs would not take place for at least 15 years.

As with fission, in operation, the number of jobs working on such a reactor would be small and highly specialist. Those jobs that come will likely be from staff at the existing site in Oxfordshire moving to the new plant.

The site requires a large footprint, with over 100 hectares being requested by the UKAEA. This takes away a large amount of land that could be used for other useful activity, such as developing new renewable energy technology, energy storage or smart energy endeavours.

  • Given the technology will also not make any energy (if at all) till the late 2040s, it will provide the local council or the country with no low carbon benefit in the next two decades, when tackling the climate emergency is required now.

“I can understand why the Vale of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire Council is considering putting an interest in hosting a nuclear fusion reactor, as any call at present which dangles the prospect of money and jobs will interest any council in these difficult economic times,” NFLA Welsh Forum Chair, Councillor Ernie Galsworthy said.

“However, nuclear fusion is an energy mirage. For seven decades it has been worked upon, and it still remains a distant prospect that fusion will ever be developed successfully. The climate emergency though needs to be sorted out now, not in some distant future.

Councils should be given support to develop their critical work in mitigating it, not having their time wasted on a project that could well be a white elephant. I call on councillors to not express an interest in these proposals and call instead for more central government support to them in developing decentralised energy.”

May 15, 2021 Posted by | technology, UK | Leave a comment

In April, Syrian missile landed near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception failed.

Syrian missile lands near Dimona nuclear reactor, interception fails

SA-5 flies from Syria all the way to Negev in the longest-range attack yet by Syria; Patriot missile activated in response.
By ANNA AHRONHEIMUDI SHAHAMJERUSALEM POST STAFF   APRIL 22, 2021 Israel and Syria exchanged missile attacks early on Thursday morning, after Damascus launched an advanced surface-to-air missile that landed in the Negev Desert.

Alarms sounded in Abu Qrenat near Dimona in the South.Syria fired the missile in response to what it claims was an Israeli Air Force bombing near Damascus. Israel frequently strikes Syria to prevent Iranian entrenchment in the country as well as weapons shipments to Hezbollah in Lebanon.Reports from across the country, including central Israel and Jerusalem, spoke of “loud explosions” that “shook the houses.”The IDF activated its air defense systems in an attempt to intercept the missile, but that attempt failed. The military is investigating why its air defenses failed to intercept the SA-5.

Early reports indicated that the explosion was the result of a Patriot missile defense system battery responding to the firing of the missile into Israel. Missile parts were located on Thursday morning in the swimming pool of the Negev community of Ashalim.
“Due to a surface to air missile entering Israeli territory, air defense systems were activated,” a statement by the IDF read, noting that the military was still investigating the incident. The SA-5 reportedly landed close to Dimona, not far from the location of Israel’s reportedly secret nuclear reactor…………

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Israel, Syria, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The possession of nuclear weapons is not about war. It’s all about power, status and money

The possession of nuclear weapons is not about war. It’s all about power, status and money,   Herald Scotland, David J Crawford, Glasgow, 14 May,21, …….   The fact is that other than the United States using two devices against a beaten Japan in the Second World War, but in reality to demonstrate its power to the USSR, nobody has ever used one in anger; this despite US armed forces being involved in conflicts on almost every continent ever since then. Since the US is no longer unique as a nuclear power and we have a “Nuclear Nine”, the weapon has been rendered pointless as the idiotic concept of “mutual destruction” is not a vote-winner.

The power of nuclear weapons is not as a weapon of war it’s all about power, status and money, India is the perfect example of this. The country is currently being ravaged by the viral pandemic, its health service is in collapse, medicines and oxygen are in scarce supply and ordinary people are dying in their tens of thousands yet India has spent billions on nuclear weapons and a space programme rather than on public services. 

Here in the UK the Establishment has the same skewed priorities, public services suffer cutbacks yet we are upgrading and expanding a nuclear weapons system that has no defensive capability. Nobody is allowed to question the billions that are siphoned from the public purse into corporate pockets, spent on something that will never be used and if someone was ever stupid enough to do so the best that the general public could hope for is to be killed outright in the first wave.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA govt to delay removing plutonium nuclear waste from the decommissioned Hanford nuclear reservation

Washington State Nuclear Site to Delay Moving Waste Off-Site

The U.S. Department of Energy and its regulators have proposed extending the deadline to ship waste contaminated with plutonium off the decommissioned Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

By Associated Press|May 13, 2021, RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy and its regulators have proposed extending the deadline to ship waste contaminated with plutonium off the decommissioned Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state.

The proposal moves the deadline back 20 years — from 2030 to 2050 — to ship the waste to a national repository in New Mexico for permanent disposal, the Tri-City Herald reported Wednesday.

“We realized that the existing milestone dates were unachievable,” said John Price, a manager with the state Department of Ecology, which is a regulator for the nuclear site.

The Hanford nuclear reservation produced plutonium for nuclear weapons during the Cold War and World War II, leaving 56 million gallons (212 million litres) of radioactive waste in underground tanks. The 580-square-mile (1,500-square-kilometer) site is located in Richland, Washington about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southeast of Seattle.

Price also said there were some newly proposed deadlines that the Department of Ecology “enthusiastically” supports, including a commitment by the Department of Energy’s to start shipping some waste as early as 2028.

The federal agency and its regulators — the Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency — set waste cleanup plans and deadlines for the nuclear site.

The latest proposed deadlines cover suspected transuranic waste, or debris contaminated with plutonium, including about 11,000 containers stored at a Hanford complex.

Waste with artificially-made elements above uranium on the periodic table is also classified as transuranic.

A public meeting to discuss the latest proposed changes and answer questions was scheduled for Thursday.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese government and TEPCO planning release of radioactive water, via a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean

Japan Times 12th May 2021, Japan and Tepco studying release of Fukushima water 1 kilometer from coast.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. and the government are
considering a plan to release treated radioactive water from the crippled
Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea about 1 kilometer from the
coast, informed sources said Tuesday.

The plan calls for a pipeline to be set up at the bottom of the ocean, according to the sources. Tepco, the
government and the Nuclear Regulation Authority are expected to kick off
full-fledged talks next month to decide whether to release the water
directly from the coast near the power plant or offshore through a
pipeline, the sources said. As tritium cannot be removed with existing
technology, the levels of the radioactive substance will be diluted to
about 1/40 of the state-set standard before the release of the treated
water into the ocean.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Particle accelerators likely to take over from nuclear reactors, for production of medical radioisotopes.

Greg Phillips , Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia, 14 May 21

Lest we forget. The majority of the radioactivity they want to send to South Australia/Kimba is from the production of medical isotopes using a method that should be replaced by much cleaner/safer/reliable accelerator/cyclotron methods:”Pallas’s original business case was mainly based on the production of technetium-99m, which is obtained from molybdenum-99 via a generator. Despite the initially favorable forecasts for this reactor isotope, the business case ultimately did not hold up. This is partly due to the rise of the cyclotron, the linear particle accelerator (linac), and the advent of new large-scale production techniques, based on systems or reactors driven by particle accelerators, such as SHINE.

In the current market, the major role of research reactors is mainly determined by the production of technetium-99m, a SPECT isotope and by far the most widely used medical isotope in radiodiagnostics. But new suppliers will soon be entering the market, including SHINE, producers with cyclotrons, and a series of suppliers with linacs.More important than the future production of technetium-99m is the amazing innovative power of the accelerator technology.

For example, the PET isotope rubidium-82 has been marketed fairly recently for measuring the blood flow in the heart muscle. However, this treatment will soon face competition from the even more efficient PET drug fluorine-18 Flurpiridaz.

Although these treatments are more expensive than traditional technetium-99 (SPECT) treatment, they can compete because the imaging is very accurate and takes place in “real time”. This means that one treatment suffices, saving costs.

Pallas’ latest business case focuses mainly on the production of therapeutic isotopes for the treatment of cancer and tumors, with beta-emitter isotopes such as lutetium-177 and yttrium-90 in particular determining the picture in this growing market. But here too the question applies: can Pallas really withstand the innovative power of accelerator technology? Then it is not so much about SHINE, which can certainly become a formidable competitor of reactor manufacturers for the production of lutetium-177 (and later also yttrium-90), but mainly about the advance of new generations of therapeutic accelerator isotopes. For example, alpha emitters, and a new class of beta emitters, will conquer an increasing part of the current beta emitter market. …” more


May 15, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, health | Leave a comment

Human intervention may be required at Chernobyl as radiation levels spike

Unilad 13th May 2021, Scientists monitoring increased radiation levels at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant are considering whether human intervention may be required to prevent a further catastrophe.

It was reported last week that sensors in one of the basement rooms containing solidified fuel (FCMs) from the remains of the destroyed nuclear reactor had been picking up increased levels of neutrons over the past four years, signalling the nuclear fission process has restarted. Nuclear scientists monitoring the activity say they aren’t
sure why the reactions are increasing, and they can’t rule out the possibility of an accident should levels continue to rise. Now, authorities are working to figure out a solution.

May 15, 2021 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Biden administration promises progress on nuclear waste

Escape From Yucca Mountain: Biden Administration Promises Progress on Nuclear Waste

Energy Department expects to announce next steps in coming months, WSJ, By Gabriel T. Rubin, May 14, 2021

THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT TAKES ON the politically radioactive issue of nuclear-waste disposal, which the past several administrations have tried and failed to resolve. The only federally designated long-term disposal site for waste from the nuclear power industry is at Yucca Mountain in Nevada (there is also a site near Carlsbad, N.M., for waste generated by the government’s nuclear weapons program). But sustained political pushback from Nevada officials has prevented the Yucca Mountain site from becoming operational. It’s a top issue for Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, who Mr. Biden considered picking as his running mate and who is up for re-election next year.

Ms. Cortez Masto has extracted promises from Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm that Yucca Mountain won’t be part of the administration’s planning for nuclear-waste disposal. But Ms. Granholm seems eager to still make progress on the issue, telling a House Appropriations panel last week that she anticipated announcing the department’s next steps “in the coming months.” Former President Donald Trumptried to restart the process, but after an outcry from Nevadans he reversed himself—tweeting, “Nevada, I hear you on Yucca Mountain”—and promised “innovative solutions” that didn’t come to fruition.

 In a letter this month to Ms. Granholm, the American Nuclear Society and other industry groups urged her to establish an office to be the “focal point” of engagement on the waste issue with Congress and outside stakeholders. Congress appropriated money for such an office in its year-end funding deal in December. The office also would coordinate with the private sector on interim storage facilities.

n hopes of preventing presidents present and future from unilaterally establishing a Yucca Mountain-type plan, all the Democratic members of the Nevada congressional delegation co-sponsored legislation in March that would require the federal government to first receive permission from the governor and local officials before moving nuclear waste into a state

It’s anyone’s guess how concrete the Energy Department’s next steps might be ….(subscribers only)

May 15, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Safety and security issues at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station

Nuclear Power in Japan: Safety at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Remains an Issue,   Takino Yūsaku 14 May 21

The Fukushima Daiichi accident forced Japan to bolster regulations for its fleet of nuclear reactors. After undergoing significant upgrades, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture is on track to restart, although recent security issues have come to light that raise new concerns about the safety of nuclear power……..

 Over the last several years, utilities looking to restart idled reactors have heavily invested in upgrading facilities to meet rigorous new regulations. So far, though, only a handful of plants have come back online.

Security issues recently uncovered at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company illustrate the difficulty of passing the Nuclear Regulatory Authority’s stringent safety measures. TEPCO had poured resources into the facility in Niigata Prefecture with the goal of restarting the Unit 6 and 7 reactors at the site, but the NRA has ordered that further improvements be made before authorizing the utility to begin the refueling process. Below I assess the major upgrades made at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant under the new NRA regulations released in July 2013.

Safeguarding Against Tsunami

,,,,,,,,,,,,  In the wake of the incident, protecting reactors from tsunami has become a priority. The NRA assessment of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant estimates a tidal wave as high as 6.8 meters could reach the coastline where the facility sits. Learning from Fukushima, TEPCO chose to exceed the regulatory body’s requirement and built a seawall towering 15 meters above the surf. Using existing topography to its advantage, it constructed a 10-meter steel-reinforced concrete barrier for the low-lying Units 1–4 and a 3-meter earth embankment at Units 5–7, which are perched higher above the sea……….

Blackout Response

In an emergency, keeping cooling systems functioning is of utmost importance. To prepare for an event where the seawall and smaller barriers fail or that the power goes out at the Niigata plant, TEPCO installed four sets of mobile gas-fired generators and switchboards on high ground and stationed a fleet of 20 generator cars as backup.

…………… TEPCO faced major challenges in bringing the plant in line with the NRA’s new regulations, considered the strictest in the global nuclear industry. Along with tsunami measures, the utility had to meet stringent antiterrorism guidelines, including developing a response to attackers flying an airplane into the facility. The government completed an inspection of Unit 7 in October 2020 and the bulk of construction was completed in January of this year. TEPCO was confident it had covered all bases, but the discovery that individuals had used an employee ID card to enter the central control room without authorization and that an intruder detection system had not been functioning for an extended period have led the NRA to halt plans for restarting the reactor. The security problems also throw into question whether residents will agree to bringing the plant back online.

Community Considerations

Along with meeting NRA regulations, utilities aiming to restart reactors must win the approval of residents of the towns and cities where plants are located. Debate is often fraught as host communities weigh the economic benefits of nuclear power, including jobs and revenue from government subsidies and local taxes, against safety concerns. Money pouring into construction industries from huge projects to upgrade facilities has only complicated the issue………………..

May 15, 2021 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment