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

New research into plutonium workers’ internal radiation exposure.

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May 23, 2019 Posted by | - plutonium, employment, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Illness and death legacy of employment in America’s nuclear weapons business

Government workers were kept in the dark about their toxic workplace
As US modernizes its nuclear weapons, NCR looks at the legacy of one Cold War-era plant,
National Catholic Reporter, May 20, 2019 by Claire Schaeffer-Duffy   

May 21, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, Reference, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Exploitation of foreign workers in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear clean-up

Japan needs thousands of foreign workers to decommission Fukushima plant, prompting backlash from anti-nuke campaigners and rights activists, SCMP  Julian Ryall , 26 Apr, 2019

Activists are not convinced working at the site is safe for anyone and they fear foreign workers will feel ‘pressured’ to ignore risks if jobs are at risk
Towns and villages around the plant are still out of bounds because radiation levels are dangerously high

Anti-nuclear campaigners have teamed up with human rights activists in Japan to condemn plans by the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to hire foreign workers to help decommission the facility.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) has announced it will take advantage of the government’s new working visa scheme, which was introduced on April 1 and permits thousands of foreign workers to come to Japan to meet soaring demand for labourers. The company has informed subcontractors overseas nationals will be eligible to work cleaning up the site and providing food services.

About 4,000 people work at the plant each day as experts attempt to decommission three reactors that melted down in the aftermath of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the huge tsunami it triggered. Towns and villages around the plant are still out of bounds because radiation levels are dangerously high.

TEPCO has stated foreign workers employed at the site must have Japanese language skills sufficient for them to understand instructions and the risks they face. Workers will also be required to carry dosimeters to monitor their exposure to radiation.

Activists are far from convinced working at the site is safe for anyone and they fear foreign workers will feel “pressured” to ignore the risks if their jobs are at risk.

“We are strongly opposed to the plan because we have already seen that workers at the plant are being exposed to high levels of radiation and there have been numerous breaches of labour standards regulations,” said Hajime Matsukubo, secretary general of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre. “Conditions for foreign workers at many companies across Japan are already bad but it will almost certainly be worse if they are required to work decontaminating a nuclear accident site.”

Companies are desperately short of labourers, in part because of the construction work connected to Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games, while TEPCO is further hampered because any worker who has been exposed to 50 millisieverts of radiation in a single year or 100 millisieverts over five years is not permitted to remain at the plant. Those limits mean the company must find labourers from a shrinking pool.

In February, the Tokyo branch of Human Rights Now submitted a statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva demanding action be taken to help and protect people with homes near the plant and workers at the site.

“It has been reported that vulnerable people have been illegally deceived by decontamination contractors into conducting decontamination work without their informed consent, threatening their lives, including asylum seekers under false promises and homeless people working below minimum wage,” the statement said. “Much clean-up depends on inexperienced subcontractors with little scrutiny as the government rushes decontamination for the Olympic Games.”

Cade Moseley, an official of the organisation, said there are “very clear, very definite concerns”.

“There is evidence that foreign workers in Japan have already felt under pressure to do work that is unsafe and where they do not fully understand the risks involved simply because they are worried they will lose their working visas if they refuse,” he said……

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3007772/japan-needs-thousands-foreign-workers-decommission-fukushima

April 30, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, Japan, politics, wastes | Leave a comment

Life as a liquidator after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster

 

Hard duty in the Chernobyl zone,  Life as a liquidator after the 1986 nuclear disaster

Cathie Sullivan, a New Mexico activist, worked with Chernobyl liquidator, Natalia Manzurova, during three trips to the former Soviet Union in the early 2000s. Natalia was one of 750,000 Soviet citizens sent to deal with the Chernobyl catastrophe. Natalia is now in her early 60s and has long struggled with multiple health issues. She was treated last year for a brain tumor that was found to be cancerous. A second tumor has since been found and funds were recently raised among activists around the world to help with the costs of this latest treatment. Natalia and Cathie together authored a short book, “Hard Duty, A woman’s experience at Chernobyl” describing Natalia’s harrowing four and a half years as a Chernobyl liquidator. What follows is an excerpt from that book with some minor edits.

By Natalia Manzurova

When I tell people that I was at Chernobyl they often ask if I had to go. My training is in radiation biology and I was born in a city that was part of the secret Soviet nuclear weapons complex, much like Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first A-bomb was built. People from my city considered it a duty to go to Chernobyl, just as New York City firefighters went to the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Because of the radiation danger to women of child-bearing age, those under 30 did not go, but being 35 in 1987, I began my 4.5 years of work at Chernobyl. ………..

Sad experiences

In 1987, when I first arrived at Chernobyl, my group of about 20 scientists from the Ozyersk radio-ecology lab started a Department of Environmental Decontamination and Re-Cultivation. We used a 10-acre greenhouse complex for our plant studies, built before the accident, and for office space we used an empty, nearby kindergarten……..

Like many liquidators I ‘wear’ a ‘Chernobyl necklace’, the scar on the lower throat from thyroid-gland surgery.* While working in the exclusion zone I experienced slurred speech, memory loss and poor balance. One of my bosses and I realized that we were forgetting appointments and obligations and agreed to help each other remember who, what, where and when. I had severe amnesia for a time and read letters I wrote my mother to help fill in forgotten years.

The Chernobyl accident is not over, in fact its damaging effects on people and the land will only taper off slowly for generations—lingering harm that is almost certainly unique to nuclear accidents.

Natalia Manzurova, with fellow Russian activist, Nadezhda Kutepova, was awarded the 2011 Nuclear-Free Future Award in the category of Resistance.

Print copies of Hard Copy are available from Cathie Sullivan. Please email her at: cathiesullivan100@gmail.com. more  https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2019/04/21/hard-duty-in-the-chernobyl-zone/

April 22, 2019 Posted by | employment, PERSONAL STORIES, social effects, Ukraine | Leave a comment

USA Dept of Labor’s program changes delay health care for Cold War nuclear workers (hoping they die first?)

Department of Labor adds dozens of steps that may delay healthcare for Cold War nuclear workers https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/health/2019/04/12/cold-war-nuclear-workers-say-red-tape-delaying-critical-medical-care/3399814002/

Brittany Crocker, Knoxville News Sentine  April 12, 2019 Sick and injured Cold War nuclear workers are likely to see delays in their health care claims because the Department of Labor has added dozens of steps to the process, according to a home care provider that helps the workers.

The program provides medical care to former nuclear and uranium mine workers who were exposed to radiation and other toxic substances without their knowledge was established by Congress in 2000.

 New rule changes to the program — called the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program — will increase the nine-step home health care preauthorization process to 36 steps, said Emily Baker, a spokeswoman for Professional Case Management, a home care provider for nuclear and uranium workers. Those additional steps could add two months to the process, she said.

Baker said the changes also prevent health care providers from helping patients submit the paperwork.

The Department of Labor has not responded to requests made Thursday and Friday for information regarding the purpose of the changes.

Professional Case Management sued the Department of Labor last month to try to stop the changes from going into effect, and more than 2,000 wrote and called the Department to protest the changes, according to the provider.

“These sick people can’t navigate all this red tape,” said Harry Williams, a 73-year-old former Oak Ridge nuclear security officer who helped lobby for the program’s creation.

“We’re old and dying and sick and they expect us to accurately fill out and navigate all these forms and send them to the right places by ourselves. It’s wrong to put these workers through that after all we sacrificed.”

Williams, a military veteran, went to work in 1976 at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Oak Ridge because it offered good pay and benefits.

He stayed there until 1994, when he moved to the Y-12 National Security Complex. Two years later he had to go on disability.

“I never realized I was being poisoned all the time I was working in Oak Ridge,” he said. “If someone had told me how hazardous it was I never would have worked there.

Harris has chronic beryllium disease, an incurable illness common among nuclear workers who inhaled dust or fumes of beryllium, a material that was commonly used at Y-12 and less often at K-25.

Harris said he developed heart disease, asthma, sinusitis and hypothyroidism because of the disease.

He has diabetes, has had six heart attacks, and has brain lesions he believes are also related to his work at the Oak Ridge nuclear sites. “I’m fortunate because I’ve never smoked or drank and have stayed fairly active with this illness, but I’ve been sick for a long time,” Harris said.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

Fluor lays off nuclear workers – those involved in the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project

Fluor Idaho to layoff up to 190 workers, By RYAN SUPPE rsuppe@postregister.com, Apr 9, 2019 

    • As the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project begins to wind down operations, Fluor Idaho told employees Monday it will lay off up to 190 workers in fiscal year 2019.

The Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s desert site west of Idaho Falls, processes old transuranic waste that is then shipped to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad, N.M., for permanent storage.

The DOE announced last year that it will close the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project this year.

Amid suggestions that the site could process waste from other nuclear sites, such as Washington state’s Hanford Site, DOE officials decided it would not be cost effective to keep the project running………

The majority of layoffs will come to workers involved with the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project. Although, workers throughout Fluor Idaho could be susceptible. ……..https://www.postregister.com/news/government/fluor-idaho-to-layoff-up-to-workers/article_30782078-61c2-53dc-a270-6e087da3d9ff.html

April 11, 2019 Posted by | employment, technology | Leave a comment

UK Nuclear workers vote to strike over pay

Nuclear workers vote to strike over pay, David McPhee,    https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/196648/nuclear-workers-vote-to-strike-over-pay/    Workers including security guards at an airport and nuclear site have voted to take industrial action in separate disputes over pay and other issues.

Members of the Unite union employed by Mitie at London City Airport and the

Sellafield reprocessing site in Cumbria voted heavily in favour of action.

Security guards, catering staff and other workers at Sellafied will stage a series of strikes from April 19 to 29 and from May 4 to 13 as well as banning overtime.

Unite said its members at the airport, including security guards and staff helping passengers with mobility issues, will also be taking industrial action.

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: “Mitie is treating its workforce with complete contempt. Workers are being subjected to low pay and third rate conditions.

“Mitie is drinking in the last chance saloon and if it wants to avoid industrial action they need to immediately enter into meaningful negotiations and properly address the workers concerns.”

April 9, 2019 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment

USA Nuclear Workers Compensation deliberately dragging out process?

Lawsuit filed on behalf of nuclear workers   https://www.abqjournal.com/1299172/lawsuit-filed-on-behalf-of-nuclear-workers.html, BY SCOTT TURNER / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER April 2nd, 2019   ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — James Jaramillo and Harold Archuleta are used to having to navigate through government bureaucracy to receive compensation for illnesses they said were caused by radiation exposure during their days as employees at Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Both men had to wait years after filing claims for compensation through the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program.

Jaramillo, 65, worked at Sandia for 24 years. He found out he had cancer of the small intestine in 1998. He filed for compensation in 2003 but was originally denied. Through changes in the program, he was finally awarded compensation in 2012 for medical care and lost wages since he was forced to retire.

Archuleta, 80, worked 38 years, 35 full time, at Los Alamos, where, he said, he ended up with skin cancer after years of exposure to plutonium. He’s also received compensation, but his wife, Angie, said it wasn’t an easy process.

“Congress put forth this act to help them, but then when it comes to actually paying, they put up all of these barriers,” Angie Archuleta said. “It’s just been very frustrating.”

According to a release by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, changes are being made next week to update some of the regulations, with the goal of increasing efficiency and transparency and reducing administrative costs. The rules would align the regulations regarding processing and paying medical bills with the current system Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs uses to pay medical bills, and set out a new process that the office will use for authorizing in-home health care that will enable the office to better provide its beneficiaries with appropriate care, according to the release.

However, a company that provides health care to workers such as Jaramillo and Archuleta says rule changes involving the program could make it harder for nuclear workers to receive compensation and could delay the medical treatment they need.

The company, Professional Case Management, has filed suit in the District Court of Colorado against the Labor Department to keep the changes to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program from taking effect. Professional Case Management Vice President Tim Lerew said the new changes could cause delays of 60 days or more in treatment.

“It’s hard to know how long those delays will be,” Lerew said at a town hall meeting in Albuquerque last week. “We estimate it will be about an additional 60 days. For some people, coming out of the hospital with particular illnesses where doctors want them to have additional care … they don’t have that time to wait.”

Lerew said the new rule changes will also add 36 steps to the process between the patient, the doctor and the Labor Department to get pre-authorization for treatment and services, such as home health care.

“If they have you jump through 36 more hoops, how is a guy supposed to do that?” Jaramillo asked.

The rule changes would require patients to fill out most of the paperwork. In the past, health care providers would fill out the majority of it, Lerew and Jaramillo said.

“If you don’t dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t,’ they deny you,” said Jaramillo’s wife, Terry.

“Nurses take all your vitals and with the doctor come up with your plan, and send to the Department of Labor for approval,” James Jaramillo said. “Now, they want the patients to fill out a lot of the paperwork and submit it themselves, and not let medical people get involved with that.”

Lerew said he wondered how a cancer-stricken person in his or her 80s “is successfully going to  navigate that process.”

April 4, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, legal, USA | Leave a comment

Denver-based Professional Case Management suing federal govt over delaying process in nuclear workers’ access to care

Denver company sues over changes to nuclear workers’ access to care  https://kdvr.com/2019/03/30/denver-company-sues-over-changes-to-nuclear-workers-access-to-care/  MARCH 30, 2019, BY ALEX ROSE DENVER — Janet Cook worked in the lab at Rocky Flats for 17 years and is now dealing with a laundry list of health problems.

“I see doctors two, three times a week, most the time. That’s my job now, going to the doctor,” Cook said. “There’s like 62 diseases that I have. It’s unreal.”

She lost her hearing, part of her vision, had multiple surgeries and strokes, and is now worried about how she is going to pay for it all.

In 2001, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act went into effect, allowing compensation for nuclear workers facing certain health issues. Cook has been filing claims through a division of the Department of Labor since that time, but says the process was long, stressful and lacked communication.

Cook reached out to Denver-based Professional Case Management to help with in-home health care. They provide services for nuclear workers and founded the Cold War Patriots, which advocates for workers.

Oftentimes, they didn’t know that the work they were doing was so dangerous and [so] harmful to their health,” said PCM president Greg Austin.

PCM is now suing the federal government over rule changes set to take effect April 9, saying they violate constitutional rights, among other legal issues.

“Under the new rules, there’s a lengthy, roughly 36-step process that involves filling out forms, mailing them back and forth, before that care can start,” Austin said.

“Program that takes years to get compensation, they want us to die before they pay us?” Cook said.

The Problem Solvers reached out to the Department of Labor for comment about why the rule changes were necessary and was referred to OSHA, but have yet to hear back.

Austin says the process could take former workers more than 60 days just to file a claim.

A judge will hear arguments in federal court in Denver on April 4 to determine whether the rule changes should stay or go.

April 1, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Misleading inaccuracies in BBC report on Hunterston nuclear reactors

Ianfairlie 8th March 2019 On March 8, the BBC published a news item about cracks in the Hunterston B nuclear reactors. Whilst it is good that the story highlighted reporting of the safety issues surrounding the plant and, in particular, included photographs of the cracked graphite core, we wish to correct several inaccuracies.

The BBC article claims that early decommissioning could cause serious energy supply problems. This is simply not the case and is alarmist nonsense: the reality is that Scotland has, if anything, an oversupply of electricity. Both Hunterston and Torness could be closed without problem to Scotland’s electricity supplies.

The BBC article then states that “Concerns have also been raised about the consequences for local jobs if Hunterston closed early.”As pointed out in our article, few if any jobs would be lost if the reactors Hunterston B were closed permanently: dealing with the immense heat rates from radioactive decay even from closed reactors will guarantee jobs there for the first 2 to 3 years.

After that decommissioning will provide more jobs then when the reactors operated, just as is occurring at the closed reactors at Dounreay. The BBC cites Councillor Tom Marshall as stating: “Most of the large employers round about here have disappeared – and this is one of the last major employers.

So, if it is safe to run most people locally would be happy to see it running.” We obviously share the concerns of local people about deindustrialisation and the appalling effects of the UK Government’s uncivilised austerity programmes in Scotland. But local councillors should\ not be misled by incorrect statements by the nuclear industry. Closing
Hunterston B for good will not lead to large numbers of job losses: the contrary in fact.

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/incorrect-statements-in-bbc-news-hunterston-b-pictures-show-cracks-in-ayrshire-nuclear-reactor/

Dave Toke’s Blog 8th March 2019

https://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-real-story-about-stricken.html

March 10, 2019 Posted by | employment, media, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear workers still facing radiation danger, eight years on.

Eight years after Fukushima nuclear meltdown, workers still facing radiation risk https://www.peoplesworld.org/article/eight-years-after-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-workers-still-facing-radiation-risk/  February 22, 2019   BY SHIMBUN AKAHATA  eight years since the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The NPP operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), says that it will soon conduct a probe into the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor in order to find out the condition of the melted nuclear fuel inside, which means that TEPCO has yet to obtain even such basic information.

TEPCO officials recently said to Akahata that high-risk zones in the Fukushima Daiichi plant have become smaller and that now workers do not need to wear a full-face mask and a protective suit in 96 percent of the plant premises. This is because the level of radioactive materials in the air has decreased as a larger area of the site is now covered with concrete, according to officials. At the crippled nuclear power plant, the number of workers coping with the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear accident, though, is still more than 4,000 per day.

However, the hidden reality regarding contamination risks seems to differ from the impression the utility wanted to create by citing the figure “96 percent.” In a recently published survey of Fukushima workers conducted by TEPCO, of the respondents who are anxious about their exposure to radiation, nearly half feared that their health would be damaged in the future. In another question in the same survey, more than 40 percent were concerned about working at the nuclear power plant.

The most common reason for their concern was that they have no idea how long they need to work at the plant because it is unclear how much work remains to be done. They are also worried about the risk of radiation-induced health damage in the future with no guarantee of a stable income. Without a worker-friendly environment, the decommissioning of the crippled reactors will be extremely time-consuming.

The storage of radiation-contaminated water is another major issue. Around 100-150 tons of polluted water is produced every day at the plant, which means that a 1,000-ton tank is filled up in seven to ten days. Currently, around 1.1 million tons of radioactive water are stored on the plant premises, but under TEPCO’s plan, the maximum planned storage capacity is only 1.37 million tons.

In another survey of residents conducted by municipalities near the Fukushima plant, among the respondents who decided not to go back to their hometowns and who cannot decide whether to do so, many cited worries about the safety of the plant as a reason.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, is still encouraging Fukushima evacuees to return to their homes, but as the nuclear disaster drags on.

March 9, 2019 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Radiation in a crematorium traced back to a human body

It wasn’t enough radiation to be alarming, but it could be a sign of an ongoing problem The Verge By A crematorium in Arizona became contaminated with radiation when workers cremated a man who had received radiation treatments for cancer right before he died, a new study reports. The findings highlight a potential safety gap for crematory workers, who might not know what’s in the body they’re cremating.

In this case, the radiation in the crematorium wasn’t significant enough to be worrying for the crematory worker’s health, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. But the study also found clues that exposure to radioactive compounds from medical treatments may be an ongoing safety risk for crematory workers……..

It’s not an easy problem to fix. Manufacturers provide detailed instructions for handling the drug with patients who are alive, but not for ones that have diedYu says. “It presents a unique safety challenge.” Detecting radioactive materials is more complicated than running a Geiger counter over the body. And there aren’t any federal regulations for what to do with a radiation-treated body, Yu says, so the laws change from state to state. ……https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/26/18241402/radiation-crematorium-arizona-radiopharmaceuticals-cancer-body-lutetium

March 2, 2019 Posted by | employment, radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant under federal investigation for worker exposure to radiation and chemical hazards

WIPP under federal investigation for worker exposures

Adrian C Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus   Feb. 21, 2019 Workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were allegedly exposed to several hazardous chemicals and excessive heat last year, prompting a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Energy into WIPP’s operations.

The DOE’s Office of Enterprise Assessments filed a notice on Jan. 29 of its intent to investigate to Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), the DOE-hired contractor responsible for WIPP’s daily operations.

Between July and October 2018, employees in the underground nuclear waste repository were potentially “overexposed” to carbon tetrachloride, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, read the notice, including a “series” of heat-stress incidents.

The DOE intends to investigate the circumstances leading up to the alleged “hygiene-related events,” and could fine NWP, based on what is uncovered. ……

A pattern of bad management?

Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Program at the Southwest Research and Information Center – an Albuquerque-based environmental watchdog group – said the alleged incident was just the most recent example of evidence that NWP is improperly managing WIPP.

“This is a constant problem where workers are exposed to dangers, radioactive or otherwise, that shouldn’t have happened,” Hancock said. “These are not just paperwork problems.”

Hancock also pointed to an accident radiological release in 2014, which led to a three-year closure of the WIPP facility, as part of what he called a pattern of mismanagement and undue hazards. He said NWP’s recent contract renewal shouldn’t have happened because of numerous safety issues throughout its operations at WIPP……. https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2019/02/21/wipp-federal-investigation-department-energy-hazardous-chemicals/2905747002/?fbclid=IwAR21RsaxA4oeB8aZSoXOcCiBzEHDPqQFOyHhE6aF50S3F6bJzgsGxIGusfo

February 25, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

Uncertain future for nuclear engineers

High-Paying Jobs in Nuclear Power Aren’t Looking So Safe Anymore

A wave of plant closings has workers—even highly trained engineers—on edge, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Erin Ailworth, Dec. 28, 2018  “………As large employers, these plants are often economic anchors for the smaller, sometimes rural communities in which they were built. When they disappear, so too can a significant portion of the tax base—a big blow for many. Each plant shuttered equals hundreds of jobs lost; combined, the nine slated to retire employ more than 7,000.

After a plant closes, those employees are left playing musical chairs, hoping to land a spot at another nuclear plant even as that job pool shrinks. Federal labor data for nuclear and other electric power generation shows the number of workers has dropped to about 63,000 in October from roughly 158,000 in 1990. At least 3,000 of those jobs vanished since the start of 2013………

Federal forecasts show that employment among nuclear power reactor operators, who tend to have a high school or equivalent education, is expected to fall by just over 10% from 2016 to 2026. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade association, estimates that of 100,000 nuclear workers—including those with jobs outside power plants—it expects about 23,000 people to retire from or quit the industry over the next five years.

……. The latest nuclear job losses occurred at Oyster Creek, a 49-year-old plant owned by Exelon Corp. in New Jersey, that went offline in September. Next to go will be Entergy Corp.’s Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts, which is scheduled to shut down in May. Three Mile Island’s shuttering is slated for September 2019.

Christopher Crane, chief executive of Exelon, said his company is doing what it can to absorb workers displaced by Oyster Creek’s retirement, even as it works to avoid further closures by lobbying for policies that recognize nuclear power as a carbon-free resource akin to solar and wind farms.

…….. The last nuclear plant built in the U.S. came into full service in 2016. More recent nuclear projects have had huge cost overruns and delays.

The Trump administration, meanwhile, repeatedly has promised to help the struggling nuclear industry, but so far its efforts haven’t panned out.

Employees at the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant in central New York state worry about their future. https://www.wsj.com/articles/high-paying-jobs-in-nuclear-power-arent-looking-so-safe-anymore-11545993000

January 5, 2019 Posted by | employment, USA | Leave a comment

Washingtonhelping nuclear workers to get compensation State will defend its law

State will fight feds over Hanford worker compensation, Q13 FOX, , DECEMBER 11, 2018, BY ASSOCIATED PRESS SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Officials for the state of Washington said Tuesday they will defend a new law that helps employees of a former nuclear weapons production site win worker compensation claims, after the federal government filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee criticized the lawsuit as outrageous and “depraved.”

“The people who fought communism shouldn’t have to fight their federal government to get the health care they deserve,” said Inslee, who is weighing a run for the White House in 2020.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit on Monday in federal court for the Eastern District of Washington.

The Washington Legislature last spring passed a law that says some cancers and other illnesses among Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers are assumed to have been caused by chemical or radiological exposures at work, unless that presumption can be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence.

…….The legislation signed into law in March by Inslee was propelled through the Legislature by the concerns of sick Hanford workers frustrated by state denials of their compensation claims…..

Ferguson said he presumed the federal government was worried the new Washington law might spread to other states where federal employees were involved in dangerous work. He predicted the issue would likely be resolved at trial.

“Before this, workers had to prove that whatever illness they had was not caused by something else in their lives,” Ferguson said.

Inslee called it another attempt by the Trump administration to take health care away from people in the state.

“They want to tell workers at Hanford to go hang,” said Inslee, who used to represent the Hanford site in Congress.

Lynne Dodson of the Washington State Labor Council said the federal government should be working to improve worker safety, rather than pursuing this lawsuit.

“Donald Trump and (Energy Secretary) Rick Perry would kick these workers while they are down,” Dodson said. https://q13fox.com/2018/12/11/state-will-fight-feds-over-hanford-worker-compensation/

December 13, 2018 Posted by | employment, Legal, politics, USA | Leave a comment