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

To 20th April – nuclear news this week

Donald Trump says he’s ready to pull the plug on the summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, if he feels it’s “not going to be fruitful.”   It took years of careful multi-national negotiations to develop a nuclear deal with Iran. Trump apparently expects Kim Jong Un to quickly agree to “complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean program”.  That can’t be done quickly, even if Kim agreed. And what would Kim want, in return?

Remembering that Donald Trump’s main aim is to be the centre of attention – what better centre-stage position, than walking out of the summit, and bringing us all to the nuclear brink again?


Dr Helen Caldicott – forthright and clear – on Donald Trump, and the nuclear war danger.

JAPAN. Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels. Soil contamination data of East Japan.  Interest on TEPCO loans to cost taxpayers 218 billion yen.    Contractors siphoned 1.6 million yen off pay of Vietnamese trainees sent to Fukushima.  Fukushima export ban maintained by Hong Kong.

FRANCE. A quiet French village has become a centre of anti-nuclear protest. France’s EDF faces handicap to exporting nuclear reactors, with flaws found in European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs)

AUSTRALIA. Climate change – unseasonably hot weather made bushfires near Lucas Heights nuclear reactor become “apocalyptic” blazes. Government and media silence on the bushfire danger to Lucas Heights nuclear reactor.


NORTH KOREA. North Korea just promised a huge concession on its nuclear weapons. It’s done that before.

EUROPE. European lawmakers urge USA to stick with the Iran nuclear deal. International experts unsure on origin of last year’s radioactive cloud over Europe.

BELARUS. Unsafe development of Belarus nuclear power plant.

IRAN. Magnitude-5.5 quake strikes near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant .

UKRAINE. Ukraine fears ‘second Chernobyl’ if militants flood nuclear bomb mineHBO miniseries will examine the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

UK. 30 UK civil society organisations call on Britain to sign UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).  UK government will need to lift the bribes for communities to accept nuclear wastes. West Cumbria plea against Lake District being targetted for nuclear waste.

SYRIA. First Western journalist to reach and report on Douma site – Concludes “They Were Not Gassed”

RUSSIA. Scared ex-Soviet general warns nuclear war is “inevitable”

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s Director General of Energy says there’s no new nuclear build programme.


April 20, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Donald Trump might just walk out of the nuclear summit talk with Kim Jong Un

Trump leaves open possibility of bailing on meeting with North Korea leader, Military Times, Matthew Pennington, The Associated Press , 19 Apr 18, WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that although he’s looking ahead optimistically to a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he could still pull out if he feels it’s “not going to be fruitful.”

April 20, 2018 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels

RADIOACTIVE PIGS   Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels and blackmailing evacuees to return to radiated areas swarming with radioactive pigs and monkeys

Three reactors went into meltdown after the 2011 Japanese tsunami in the worst accident since Chernobyl, leaving an apocalyptic vision of ghost towns and overgrown wildernesses and scared residents refuse to return  Sun UK, By Patrick Knox  19th April 2018 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

A quiet French village has become a centre of anti-nuclear protest

Quiet no more, French village becomes centre of anti-nuclear protest,, Gilbert ReilhacLucien Libert BURE, France (Reuters) 19 Apr 18  – The 82 residents of the French village of Bure lived a quiet life until the government began testing the feasibility of storing nuclear waste there. Now Bure is rocked by protests as a final decision on the project looms.

For the past 20 years, French nuclear waste agency Andra has tested the stability of the clay of the northeastern village to see if it could hold radioactive waste for hundreds of thousands of years.

Andra is preparing a formal request for next year to build the 25 billion euro ($31 billion) facility to hold waste from the reactors of state-owned utility EDF.

French nuclear regulator ASN has already said the plan is sound and deep geological storage is the safest way to protect future generations from radioactive waste.

But a police van at the main square is testimony to rising tensions and demonstrations that have at times blocked the area where Andra wants to dig.

“Life will become unbearable here with the nuclear waste and all the demonstrators,” said Bure mayor Gerard Antoine, who breeds beef cattle.

Antoine approved the installation of Andra research facilities two decades ago but said he now regrets that decision and would say no if he were asked today.

Hundreds of demonstrators who built a camp nearby were kicked out by police in February but say they are there for the long run and will fight the project until the government changes its plans.

“We are heading straight for … a nuclear disaster, that’s why we’re against it,” said Jean-Marc Fleury, a local elected official with an environmentalist party.

Police are maintaining a heavy presence while protesters have regrouped in and around a house in the Bure village centre.

The future Cigeo site is designed to cover an area of 600 hectares and have 250 kilometres of underground galleries where nuclear waste would be buried in huge rust-proof cylinders.


Andra, which carried out research work via a research laboratory 500 metres underground, wants to start work on the site in 2022 and complete it by 2030.

“We’re not going to do deep burial of (nuclear) waste if we had any doubt that it would leak or contaminate the environment,” said Andra spokesman Mathieu Saint Louis.

“The ultimate goal with an underground installation such as this one is precisely to protect ourselves from the danger of (nuclear) waste.”

For now, spent fuel from French nuclear reactors is stored in pools next to the reactors before it is shipped to state-owned nuclear fuel group Orano’s recycling plant in La Hague, western France.

But La Hague is not designed for long-term storage and France does not have a solution 40 years after investing heavily in nuclear energy. Other countries that use nuclear power face the same problem.

The Bure site is designed so that nuclear waste could be retrieved for the first 100 years if scientists find a better solution than burying it. Otherwise, the underground galleries will be permanently sealed with concrete.

Anti-nuclear activists say deep geological storage does not offer perfect guarantees against radiation leakage in ground water. They want the waste moved to underground facilities that are just a few metres deep, to monitor it better.  Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Matthew Mpoke Bigg

April 20, 2018 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Plutonium contamination forces shutdown of demolition process for Hanford nuclear site

Contamination from a nuclear cleanup forced a shutdown. Investigators want to know who is responsible RALPH VARTABEDIAN, APR 16, 2018 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Tragic future for space colonists – cancers, blindness and brain damage from radiation

Two main types of radiation in space are extremely harmful to humans: protons spewed out by the sun and cosmic rays. These high-energy particles and the secondary radiation they create penetrate deep into cells, promoting chronic and sometimes deadly diseases such as cancer.

Cancer is a major risk of radiation exposure, but there are more immediate and surprising symptoms. Deep-space radiation might promote cataracts and impair eyesight

Animal-based experiments also suggest radiation could damage the nervous system, including the brain, which might impair astronauts’ focus and memory.

“You’re somehow losing cognitive ability,”

Mars colonists will get blasted with radiation levels 8 times higher than government limits — here’s what they’re up against, DAVE MOSHER, SKYE GOULD, APR 20, 2017 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | health, technology | Leave a comment

At tax-payers’ expense, NASA will produce nuclear KILL-o-Power in space

Nasa to make announcement about nuclear power in space  The ‘Kilopower’ project could be used to generate clean [?]  energy on the moon, Mars and further into the universe  Andrew Griffin @_andrew_griffin 

Nasa is to make a major announcement about its project to put nuclear power in space.

The agency has been working on “Kilopower” – a project to use a nuclear reactor to generate clean energy on the Moon, Mars and beyond – for some time. And now it will hold a press conference to reveal the latest results from its plans to unveil a new space exploration power system, it has said.

The conference will see the agency discuss the results of its latest experiments, it said in a release. It has been conducted from November 2017 through until March 2018, at the Nevada National Security Site or NNSS.

That site, deep in the Nevada desert, has long served as a testing ground for nuclear experiments. In the 1950s, for instance, it was used to detonate nuclear bombs that could be felt across the state and into Las Vegas.

Nasa hopes that Kilopower can use some of that same nuclear technology to provide energy for space explorers as they make their way through the solar system.  They will need energy for a wide variety of tasks, from generating the light, water and oxygen they need to conducting experiments and sending information back to Earth.

“That’s why NASA is conducting experiments on Kilopower, a new power source that could provide safe, efficient and plentiful energy for future robotic and human space exploration missions,” Nasa wrote in a statement in January.

“This pioneering space fission power system could provide up to 10 kilowatts of electrical power — enough to run two average households — continuously for at least ten years. Four Kilopower units would provide enough power to establish an outpost.”

Using nuclear fission will allow astronauts to be able to generate energy wherever they are. If people on Mars, for instance, the amount of energy coming from the sun varies wildly; on Moon, the night lasts for 14 days.

“We want a power source that can handle extreme environments,” says Lee Mason, NASA’s principal technologist for power and energy storage. “Kilopower opens up the full surface of Mars, including the northern latitudes where water may reside. On the Moon, Kilopower could be deployed to help search for resources in permanently shadowed craters

April 20, 2018 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott – forthright and clear – on Donald Trump, and the nuclear war danger

 Interview A conversation with Helen Caldicott From the forthcoming issue (May 2018)Taylor and Francis online, 17 Apr 18  Dan Drollette Jr  For decades, anti-nuclear weapons campaigner Helen Caldicott ( has been educating people about the effects of nuclear weaponry and issuing rousing calls to action. A practicing pediatrician from Australia, Caldicott was the subject of an Oscar-winning short film, If You Love This Planet, and is the author of 12 books.In this Skype interview from her home in Sydney, Australia, the 79-year-old Caldicott doesn’t pull punches. For nearly six decades, she has been taking on the powers that be, in joyously feisty terms: She has said that the US Defense Department should be re-named the Killing Department and characterized Barack Obama as an “intelligent, lovely man, who failed the world” when it came to eliminating nuclear weapons. She considers the movie Dr Strangelove more of a documentary than a satire, labeled arms manufacturers “wicked,” and called American politicians “corporate prostitutes.”

And of the current president, Caldicott said: “We’ve got a man in charge who I think has never read a book, and who knows nothing about global politics, or his own country’s politics. Who operates with his own kind of sordid intuition. And he’s putting people in every department committed to destroying that department. He’s absolutely destroying the infrastructure of America.”

Noting that it was International Women’s Month, Caldicott had one thing to say to young women: “We need to take over, because we’re on the short course to annihilation, and we need to say to men ‘Look, stand aside, you need your bottom smacked.’ ”

Yet for someone who has spent a lifetime fighting vigorously against the specter of nuclear annihilation, Caldicott reveals that she is remarkably pessimistic about humanity’s chances. Caldicott said that she wants her tombstone to read: “She tried.”

Editor’s note: This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

……..I noticed there seem to be a lot of people in the anti-nuclear weapons movement with medical backgrounds.

Helen Caldicott:

It’s a medical problem. And explaining the medical dangers of nuclear war was a very good way to teach people what the danger is, and to bring it home to their city. That approach was – and is – very powerful. During the 1980s, when I was one of the leaders of the nuclear weapons freeze movement and one of the founding presidents of PSR, we at PSR held symposia on the medical effects of nuclear war at various universities, all around the country. It started at Harvard, where we had George Kistiakowsky, a physicist who had been in the Manhattan Project as an explosives expert ( It was quite wonderful.

Although afterwards, some journalists did say: “What are doctors talking about this for, this is a political issue.” And we said no, it’s a medical issue, because it will create the final medical epidemic of the human race……….

……  I think we’re actually in a much more dangerous situation than we were during the height of the Cold War, though no one’s really taking any notice. I mean, Dan Ellsberg went to 14 different publishers before Bloomsbury published his book. And my latest book, Sleepwalking to Armageddon, ( is not selling very well at all. It seems like society is practicing psychic numbing and manic denial. We’re into clothes and food, and all sorts of things like that, while life on the planet just hangs in the balance………

Of course. America’s economy is built on killing. It’s the Killing Department, not the Defense Department. There’s no defense from nuclear weapons. It’s all run by voracious, wicked corporations, such as Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, General Dynamics, and the like. And many American politicians are corporate prostitutes. ……

Dan Drollette:

So you think that the military-industrial complex ( that Eisenhower warned about 50-odd years ago in his farewell address is still alive and healthy?

Helen Caldicott:

Oh, it’s grown, and metastasized. 

……..Dan Drollette: How would you characterize Trump and his administration?

Helen Caldicott:

Trump is a dolt. He’s an idiot. We’ve got a man in charge who I think has never read a book, and who knows nothing about global politics, or his own county’s politics. Who operates with his own kind of sordid intuition. And he’s putting people in every department committed to destroying that department. He’s absolutely destroying the infrastructure of America.

When you think of all the brave, heroic Americans who worked hard all their lives to set up wonderful laws to protect the environment and protect the people and protect the children and protect the Earth, what’s happening is shameful. It’s all being undone, and I can’t understand why.

……..Dan Drollette:

What about his administration’s doings on the world stage?

Helen Caldicott:

For some reason, Trump likes Putin and the Russians. Well, I think I know why. I think that they and the oligarchs have funded Trump for years and years and years. It’s mostly, I think, about money. Trump wants to get on well with them, which is good because, you know, there’s almost certainly about 40 hydrogen bombs targeted on New York as we speak. So, therefore, it is imperative that America get on well with the Russians and in fact, push for bi-lateral nuclear disarmament. So, from that perspective, it makes me feel a little bit … less anxious.

………I think that enlarging NATO right up to the Russian border was extremely provocative. That policy largely came about because of people like Lockheed-Martin president Norman Augustine, who I’ve previously described elsewhere as “commander-in-chief of the Pentagon.” Because after the Cold War ended, Lockheed-Martin et al had nowhere to make money. They’re going to make money by making bombs, killing people, and then making more bombs.

So, Augustine set off on a journey to all the newly released little countries – Lithuania, Latvia, etcetera – to say “Look, if you want to be a part of NATO and have a democracy, you have to spend about $3 billion on armaments.” ( And let’s be frank: NATO is in fact America. So that was all well and good for Lockheed-Martin, even though it meant that America went back on its promise to Gorbachev that NATO would not be enlarged. As a consequence, there are NATO missiles right up to the Russian border, on what had been territory that was previously friendly to Russian, which is extremely provocative. Imagine if the situation were reversed, and Canada became part of the Warsaw Pact, and they put Warsaw Pact-missiles on the US border. How do you think America would react? So that’s problem number one………

April 20, 2018 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

North Korea just promised a huge concession on its nuclear weapons. It’s done that before. 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said North Korea might end its nuclear program while the US keeps its troops in South Korea. We’ve been here before. Vox By 

April 20, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

European lawmakers urge USA to stick with the Iran nuclear deal

Hundreds Of European MPs Urge U.S. To Support Iran Nuclear Deal APRIL 19, 2018

Hundreds of lawmakers from Germany, France, and Britain have called on their counterparts in the U.S. Congress to support the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, calling it a “major diplomatic breakthrough.”

The initiative came as U.S. President Donald Trump has set a May 12 deadline to either improve or scrap the deal providing Iran with relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its atomic program.

“We were able to impose unprecedented scrutiny on the Iranian nuclear program, dismantle most of their nuclear enrichment facilities, and drastically diminish the danger of a nuclear arms race,” reads a statement signed by some 500 MPs from the German, British, and French national parliaments and posted online on April 19.

Britain, Germany, and France are signatories to the nuclear accord, along with the United States, China, and Russia.

Trump accuses Tehran of violating the spirit of the agreement and has called on European powers to “fix” what he says are the “terrible flaws” of the agreement. He wants new restrictions to be imposed on Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs.

“It is the U.S.’s and Europe’s interest to prevent nuclear proliferation in a volatile region and to maintain the transatlantic partnership as a reliable and credible driving force of world politics,” the European lawmakers said.

They wrote that abandoning the accord would result “in another source of devastating conflict in the Middle East and beyond,” would “diminish the value of any promises or threats made by our countries,” and would damage “our credibility as international partners in negotiation, and more generally, to diplomacy as a tool to achieve peace and ensure security.”

“We therefore urge you to stand by the coalition we have formed to keep Iran‘s nuclear threat at bay,” they added.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will both travel to Washington next week on separate official visits, in part to convince Trump not to pull the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

ICAN supports summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

The Latest on the United States and North Korea , WASHINGTON (AP) Chron — 19 Apr 18  The anti-nuclear weapons group that won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize says it’s “very supportive” of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after months of risky tensions between them.

Executive director Beatrice Fihn of ICAN says that mutual threats between the two leaders have made the risk of nuclear confrontation “really dangerously high.”

Speaking to reporters, Fihn said that if the summit in late May or early June makes progress on disarmament, “we’ll definitely applaud it … every step forward is positive.”    Overall, she reiterated ICAN’s support for a nuclear weapons ban treaty, saying, “It’s hard to see the world being able to solve one nuclear-armed state at this point in isolation from the other states.”…..

April 20, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Magnitude-5.5 quake strikes near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant 

Iran earthquake latest: Magnitude-5.5 quake strikes near nuclear power plant  Country sits on major fault lines and is prone to frequent tremors, Independent UK, AgencyIndependent Staff – 19 Apr 18, An earthquake has hit southern Iran just 60 miles from the country’s Bushehr nuclear power plant.

It hit on Thursday morning and was also felt in Bahrain and other areas around the Persian Gulf.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 6.34am GMT, some 60 miles east of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the only operating nuclear power station in the Islamic Republic.

The USGS put the earthquake’s magnitude at 5.5, while Iranian state television, citing officials, described the quake as a magnitude 5.9. Varying magnitudes are common immediately after a temblor.

Government-run TV did not report any damage at the Bushehr plant, which has seen other earthquakes in the past and was built to resist damage from the tremors………

The USGS put the earthquake’s depth at 6.2 miles (10km) below the surface. Shallow earthquakes often have broader damage.

A magnitude-5 earthquake can cause considerable damage.

Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to near-daily earthquakes……..

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Iran, safety | Leave a comment

Ukraine fears ‘second Chernobyl’ if militants flood nuclear bomb mine, Russian-led separatists say mine is no longer radioactive after 1979 blast, Daniel McLaughlin -20 Apr 18 , Ukraine’s ecology minister has warned of the danger of a “second Chernobyl” if Russian-led separatists pursue plans to flood a coal mine where a small nuclear bomb was detonated in 1979.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Releases of radiation from Hanford plutonium processing plan: demolition process is halted

Plutonium plant removal halted after radiation releases  Corrective measures include better control measures, communication with workers  by Jeff Johnson  APRIL 18, 2018 

The Department of Energy (DOE) has called for 42 actions to correct safety deficits that led to a series of radioactive releases during demolition of the now-closed plutonium processing facility at the former Hanford nuclear weapons production site in Washington state.

The actions include better application of coatings and use of other technologies to control spread of radioactive contamination, broader radiation boundaries, improve air dispersion measurement and modeling, greater involvement of employees as demolition moves ahead, and better training of and communication with site workers to solicit their input.

Following the releases, site remediation halted last December. Several hundred workers were tested for radiation exposure. Test results showed that several dozen workers had inhaled or ingested detectable radiation but at levels acceptable to the department.

The shutdown only affects demolition of the plutonium facility, but that is a significant part of the $2 billion a year Hanford cleanup. Hanford, in turn, is the largest component in what is the world’s more expensive remediation program. During World War II and the Cold War, the Hanford site was one of more than 100 U.S. plants that made nuclear weapons components. All the plant sites are undergoing some level of remediation.

The radiation exposure incidents at Hanford occurred last year and DOE’s analysis of what happened was released publicly in March. Additionally, DOE recently announced an additional internal but independent review of the plutonium demolition project. That analysis will be “ongoing,” according to DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments, which will conduct the review. An official with the office would not predict when oversight will end.

The demolition and remediation will not restart until the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which regulate Hanford cleanup activities, are satisfied the operation is safe, according to DOE and Washington state officials.

The plutonium finishing facility turned plutonium nitrate solutions into solid, hockey-puck-sized plutonium “buttons” that could be shipped to other facilities. It once was a complex of some 90 building and was shut down in the 1980s. Cleanup began in 1989; demolition began in 2016.

Last June and again in December, demolition activities contaminated workers and vehicles at the site. Small levels of radiation were found away from the plutonium facility but still within the Hanford site. No detectable amounts were found in workers’ homes, DOE says.

In the March report, DOE says 281 workers requested bioassays and were tested following the December release. The results found two doses less than 1 millirem, eight doses between 1 to 10 mrem, and one dose between 10 to 20 mrem. DOE sets the acceptable level at 100 mrem/year for nonradiological workers and members of the public and 500 mrem/year for radiological workers.

Following the June release, some 300 workers requested testing and bioassays found elevated radiation exposure for 31 workers, DOE says.

April 20, 2018 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

BBC embarrassed at furore after it reported a “nuclear attack warning”

BBC forced to deny reporting outbreak of nuclear war after fake news clip goes viral Telegraph UK,  

The BBC was last night forced to distance itself from a fake news clip reporting the outbreak of nuclear war after a video purporting to show hostilities between Russia and Nato was widely circulated online.

The three-minute clip, which appears to be set in the BBC News studio and uses the BBC logo, features a British presenter claiming armed conflict has broken out in the Baltic after a Russian aircraft was shot down.

It features footage of Russian naval ships launching cruise missiles, nuclear mushroom clouds, and shows the Queen being evacuated from Buckingham Palace.

 “This video clip claiming to be a BBC news report about NATO and Russia has been circulating widely… We’d like to make absolutely clear that it’s a fake and does not come from the BBC,” the corporation said on Twitter.

The clip is a shortened version of an hour-long video that has been uploaded to YouTube several times since 2016 with the disclaimer that it is a “fictional dramatization.”

It began widely circulating on social media, particularly WhatsApp, after it was edited and re-uploaded to YouTube on Monday without that disclaimer.

The video also features a new ending purporting to be a “nuclear attack warning” with the logos of the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office.

 The presenter of the video told The Daily Telegraph he was employed by Benchmarking Assessment Group, an Irish talent headhunting company, to shoot the video that would be used as a “psychometric test” to see how “their clients react in a disaster scenario”.

“From the original YouTube posting it says very clearly that it is fictional. You’d have to be an idiot to believe it anyway, it doesn’t even look like a genuine BBC news report. It was never meant to,” said Mark Ryes, a British voice actor……..

The BBC said it felt the need to respond after its journalists were contacted by viewers who believed the video could be real. …….

April 20, 2018 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment