Groundwater 90 tons of contamination cleaner Tri City Herald BY ANNETTE CARY email@example.com. 30 Oct 16 Hanford workers removed more than 90 tons of contaminants from groundwater beneath the nuclear reservation in the fiscal year that just ended, surpassing the amount removed the year before.
“There is an entire groundwater cleanup infrastructure our workers have been fine tuning to make sure we treat and remove the most amount of contamination practical,” said Michael Cline, director of the soil and groundwater division for the Department of Energy at Hanford.
In fiscal 2015 and 2016, a little more than 2.1 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater were pumped out of the ground for treatment at Hanford’s six “pump and treat” facilities.
But more contamination was removed in fiscal 2016 than the previous year, when the Department of Energy gave the total with fiscal 2015 not quite completed as exceeding 75 tons of contaminants removed……..
JCP reveals risk of contaminated water leakage at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP http://www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/news/index.php?id=9945 September 16, 2016
The JCP investigation team consisting of JCP Dietmembers, Fujino Yasufumi (Lower House) and Takeda Ryosuke (Upper House), on September 15 visited the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP to examine its safety measures.
The group investigated Nos. 6 and 7 reactors, which the Nuclear Regulation Authority is examining TEPCO’s application for restart, and sites of subsidence damage caused by liquefaction due to the 2007 Chuestu Offshore Earthquake.
It has come to light that the amount of groundwater being used at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP is much larger than the amount at other NPPs in Japan. However, TEPCO explained to the JCP group that it has no idea why so much groundwater is being pumped into the nuclear power station. After the investigation, JCP member of the House of Representatives Fujino Yasufumi said to reporters, “The utility has yet to implement measures to control its use of groundwater.” Given the fact that at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, TEPCO is struggling with a serious leakage of radioactively-contaminated water which is caused by groundwater entering the crippled NPP, it is unacceptable for the power company to bring the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power station back online.
Professor Emeritus of Seismology at Niigata University Tateishi Masaaki, who joined the JCP investigation team, pointed out that the NRA should examine the amount of groundwater used at the NPP and asses the seismic capacity of wells pumping up the groundwater.”
Solar-powered Pipe desalinizes 1.5 billion gallons of drinking water for
California, http://inhabitat.com/solar-powered-pipe-desalinizes-1-5-billion-gallons-of-clean-drinking-water-for-california/ Inhabitat, by Tafline Laylin, 29 aug 16 The infrastructure California needs to generate energy for electricity and clean water, which will be significant, need not blight the landscape. Designs like The Pipe demonstrate how the provision of public services like these can be knitted into every day life in a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing way. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier, the solar-powered plant deploys electromagnetic desalination to provide clean drinking water for the city and filters the resulting brine through on-board thermal baths before it is reintroduced to the Pacific Ocean.
According to Khalili Engineers, their design, a long gleaming thing visible from Santa Monica Pier, is capable of generating 10,000 MWh each year, which will in turn produce 4.5 billion liters (or 1.5 billion gallons) of drinking water. Given the current drought throughout California, and the dearth of water in general, a variety of urban micro generators such as this can complement utility-scale energy generation.
“What results are two products: pure drinkable water that is directed into the city’s primary water piping grid, and clear water with twelve percent salinity. The drinking water is piped to shore, while the salt water supplies the thermal baths before it is redirected back to the ocean through a smart release system, mitigating most of the usual problems associated with returning brine water to the sea.”
Power stays on: Permit allows 2 N.J. nuclear reactors to keep operating By Bill Gallo Jr. | For NJ.com June 10, 2016 LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — New Jersey Friday granted a five-year permit that will allow PSEG Nuclear to continue to draw billions of gallons of water from the Delaware River to cool two of its nuclear reactors in Salem County.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s permit does not require the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear, to build cooling towers at its Artificial Island generating site in Lower Alloways Creek Township, something environmental groups have long urged.
Without this permit, officially known as the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit, the two plants, Salem 1 and 2, might have been forced to shut down…….
Salem 1 and 2, when operating at full power, use 3 billion gallons of water a day from the Delaware River. The water is drawn in, circulated through the plants’ “open loop”cooling systems and discharged back into the river………
Environmentalists have long criticized the plants saying they are causing the death of marine life which is being caught on screens at the point of water intake or by actually being sucked into and through the cooling system…….
Bill Gallo Jr. may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2016/06/power_stays_on_permit_allows_2_nj_nuclear_reactors.html
From Diane D’Arrigo at NIRS (Nuclear Information and Resource Service)
Note that the public has 45 days from when it is published in the Federal Register to comment to the EPA on the PAG-Protective Action Guides. I’ll post an alert tomorrow. This is a media release below. Feel free to send it to interested reporters. Direct them to the press contacts listed at the top of the release. Thanks! – Kay C.
Proposal Would Permit Radiation Exposures Equivalent to 250 Chest X-Rays a Year
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. EPA quietly issued proposals to allow radioactive contamination in drinking water at concentrations vastly greater than allowed under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The new guidance would permit radiation exposures equivalent to 250 chest X-rays a year. Today, environmental groups called the proposal “shocking” and “egregious.”
The EPA proposed Protective Action Guides (PAGs) would allow the general population to drink water hundreds to thousands of times more radioactive than is now legal. For example, radioactive iodine-131 has a current limit of 3 pico-curies per liter (pCi/L), in water but the new guidance would allow 10,350 (pCi/L), 3,450 times higher. For strontium-90, which causes leukemia, the current limit is 8 pCi/L; the new proposed value is 7,400 pCi/L, a 925-fold increase.
“Clean Water is essential for health. Just like lead, radiation when ingested in small amounts is very hazardous to our health. It is inconceivable that EPA could now quietly propose allowing enormous increases in radioactive contamination with no action to protect the public, even if concentrations are a thousand times higher than under the Safe Drinking Water Act,” said Dr. Catherine Thomasson, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
The Bush Administration in its last days unsuccessfully tried to put forward similar proposals, which the incoming Obama Administration pulled back. Now, in the waning months of the Obama Administration, EPA’s radiation office is trying again.
“These levels are even higher than those proposed by the Bush Administration—really unprecedented and shocking,” said Diane D’Arrigo, Nuclear Information and Resource Service. Continue reading
EPA Pushing Hike in Radioactive Contamination in Drinking Water http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/news/200/epa-pushing-hike-in-drinking-water-radioactivity/ By Editor June 7th, 2016
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled a plan allowing radioactive contamination in drinking water at concentrations vastly greater than the levels permitted by the Safe Drinking Water Act for long periods following release of nuclear materials.
The new guidance would permit radiation exposures equivalent to 250 chest X-rays a year for the general population for an unlimited time period.
EPA’s “Protective Action Guides” (or PAGs) dramatically relax allowable doses of radioactive material in public drinking water following a Fukushima-type meltdown or “dirty bomb” attack.
They cover the “intermediate phase” after “releases have been brought under control” – an unspecified period that may last for weeks, months or even years.
The agency has declared that the strict limits for chemical exposure in the Safe Drinking Water Act “may not be appropriate…during a radiation incident.”
EPA states that it “expects that the responsible party…will take action to return to compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act maximum contaminant levels as soon as practicable” but during the indefinite meantime –
The general population may be exposed to radioactive iodine-131 at 10,350 pico-curies per liter of water.
By contrast, the current limit is 3, resulting in a 3,450-times increase; The current strontium-90 limit of 8 pico-curies per liter would be allowed a 925-fold increase; and
In an attempt to shield “sensitive populations,” the plan proposes 500 millirem per year for the general population but only 100 millirem for children under 15, pregnant or nursing mothers without explaining how these latter groups will get access to less contaminated water.
“Given this monstrous proposal, it unclear what lessons EPA learned from the contaminated water calamity of Flint, Michigan,” said. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) executive director Jeff Ruch. “It is unfathomable that a public health agency would prescribe subjecting people to radioactive concentrations a thousand times above Safe Drinking Water Act limits as a ‘protective’ measure.”
Internal EPA documents obtained under Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by PEER show that EPA itself concluded that proposed concentrations “would exceed MCLs [Maximum Contaminant Limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act] by a factor of 100, 1000, and in two instances, 7 million.”
The internal analysis estimated for one radionuclide that drinking only one small glass of water “would result in an exposure that corresponds to a lifetime of drinking liters of water per day at the MCL level.”
The Bush Administration in its last days unsuccessfully tried to put forward similar proposals, which the incoming Obama Administration pulled back.
Now, in the waning months of the Obama Administration, those plans are moving forward with new exposure limits higher than the Bush plan it had rejected.
“President Obama goes to Hiroshima to urge a nuclear-free world while his EPA facilitates a nuclear-ridden water supply,” added Ruch. “It speaks volumes that the current Obama drinking water plan is less protective than his predecessor’s.”
Nuclear Plant Leak Threatens Drinking Water Wells in Florida, NYT By LIZETTE ALVAREZ MARCH 22, 2016 MIAMI — When Florida’s largest power company added two nuclear reactors to an existing plant that sat between two national parks — Biscayne Bay and the Everglades — the decision raised the concerns of environmentalists and some government officials about the possible effects on water quality and marine life.
Now more than four decades later, Florida Power & Light’s reactors atTurkey Point, built to satisfy the power needs of a booming Miami, are facing their greatest crisis. A recent study commissioned by the countyconcluded that Turkey Point’s old cooling canal system was leaking polluted water into Biscayne Bay.
This has raised alarm among county officials and environmentalists that the plant, which sits on the coastline, is polluting the bay’s surface waters and its fragile ecosystem. In the past two years, bay waters near the plant have had a large saltwater plume that is slowly moving toward wells several miles away that supply drinking water to millions of residents in Miami and the Florida Keys.
Samples of the water at various depths and sites around the power plant showed elevated levels of salt, ammonia, phosphorous and tritium……
last month, a Florida administrative judge, Bram Canter, chastised the state and Florida Power & Light, finding that the cooling canal system is “the major contributing cause” for the growth of the large underground saltwater plume and for its westerly move toward the drinking water well fields. He ordered the state and the company to clean up the cooling canals, which it had started to do under an October consent decree with the county.
The Biscayne Aquifer, the judge noted in his ruling, is an “important natural resource.” It is the main source of drinking water in the county and is vital to irrigation and the marsh wetland communities, he added. Judge Canter made his ruling after a Florida rock mining company sued the company over the saltwater plume. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/us/nuclear-plant-leak-threatens-drinking-water-wells-in-florida.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=1
Nuclear Plant Threatens Miami-Dade’s Water. Mayor Says, ‘This Isn’t Flint’Updated March 10, 2016 [includes audio] npr, GREG ALLEN 10 Mar 16 A study shows excessive saltwater from Florida Power and Light’s nuclear plant is threatening Biscayne Bay and the aquifer that supplies much of Miami’s water “…….
New York City’s nuclear power plant leaking ‘uncontrollable radioactive flow’ into Hudson River, http://inhabitat.com/new-york-citys-nuclear-power-plant-leaking-uncontrollable-radioactive-flow-into-hudson-river/ Inhabitat, by Lacy Cooke, 27 Feb 16 New York governor Andrew Cuomo recently called for an investigation after Indian Point, a nuclear power plant on the Hudson River, reported a leak of radioactive material flowing into the groundwater. Now, new samples taken from the local groundwater show that contamination levels are 80% higher than previous samples, prompting experts to claim this leak is spreading in “a disaster waiting to happen” and calling for the plant to be shut down completely. The Indian Point nuclear power plant is located just 25 miles north of New York City, and it’s a crucial source of of power for over 23 million people living in the greater NYC metropolitan region.
ENTERGY GRAPPLES WITH GROUNDWATER INFILTRATION AT VERMONT YANKEE, VT Digger [good photos] FEB. 18, 2016, BY MIKE FAHER “……….Vermont Yankee stopped power production in December 2014, and the NRC last year removed its resident inspector from the site. But the federal agency has continued periodic inspections, and the groundwater issue first surfaced in the NRC’s fourth-quarter report released in January.
That document says that “radioactive water inventories were increasing due mainly to the intrusion of groundwater.” Officials wrote that Entergy had been considering options both to stem the flow of groundwater and to eventually dispose of it.
After the inspection report was released, Sheehan said the problem is occurring on the lowest level of the plant’s turbine building. Groundwater intrusion has been averaging a few hundred gallons daily, Sheehan said, but there had been “occasional spikes” that on one day rose to 1,500 gallons.
Entergy has a water-management plan and has been pumping and storing groundwater, which is considered contaminated due to its contact with the building. In early February, a total of 90,000 gallons had been collected.
Groundwater intrusion was anticipated and in some ways is a symptom of the plant’s shutdown, since heat from power generation previously had caused some of the liquid to evaporate. But officials said they had not expected so much water to arrive so quickly……..
Regardless of any short-term storage solutions, Entergy must come up with a plan for getting radioactive water off the property eventually. And that plan stretches beyond the groundwater issue, as the NRC has said there are more than 1 million gallons of water at Vermont Yankee including liquid stored in a large, donut-shaped reservoir at the base of the reactor building.
Entergy has requested NRC approval to ship about 200,000 gallons of radioactive water to Idaho for disposal. There also has been preliminary talk of possible discharges into the Connecticut River, though any such plan would come under intense scrutiny by state regulators.
Sheehan said Thursday that the NRC is still “awaiting additional information from Entergy on its broader plans for addressing radioactive water at the site.”……http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/18/entergy-stores-contaminated-vermont-yankee-water-in-swimming-pools/
The Cold War arms race triggered a boom in uranium mining in the U.S. Between the 1940s and 1980s, uranium mining operations were carried out under a 19th century mining law that did not require them to clean up after themselves.When demand for uranium waned in the 1980s, companies simply walked away, leaving open pits and tunnels – and enormous amounts of radioactive waste. Today more than 15,000 abandoned uranium mines dot the U.S. West. Three-quarters of them are located on federal and tribal lands.
Ray Manygoats grew up near Tuba City, Arizona, near a now-abandoned uranium mine. He is no stranger to the substance the Diné (Navajo) people call “the yellow monster.”
“Yellow stuff was always everywhere,” Manygoats told the House Oversight Committee in 2007. “I saw liquids bubbling and tried to stay away from them…we would play in the yellowcake sand near the mill, jumping and rolling around in it.”
Manygoats has suffered from a variety of health troubles, including growths on his eyes; his father has respiratory problems.
Effects on drinking water
“There is a really large and convincing and definitive literature that shows that for miners working underground, uranium mining is associated with a greatly increased risk of lung cancer,” said Douglas Brugge, Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. “We also know that uranium, radium, radon and arsenic – which is frequently in the ore as well – are toxic. And we know from a fairly large number of studies that people who are drinking water contaminated with uranium have some adverse health effects, mostly kidney damage.”
In 2014, University of New Mexico researchers sampled mine waste at one Arizona site and found uranium concentrations in spring water that was four times the federal drinking-water limit. Thirty percent of Diné lack access to public water and are forced to drink from unregulated wells, springs and livestock ponds, any of which could be contaminated.
Today, only a few companies continue to mine for uranium in the U.S. The most common method is in situ leaching: oxygenated water is injected into the earth, where it dissolves uranium. The solution is then brought back up to the surface and shipped off to processing plants.
In situ mining has been going on since 1988 in northwestern Nebraska, not far from the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation that is home to the Oglala Lakota people.
“We are 30 minutes away as the crow flies, fifteen minutes as the wind blows, from the mine site,” said Debra White Plume, executive director ofOwe Aku (“Bring Back the Way”), a grassroots Lakota environmental group.
White Plume and other concerned activists have gone up against one of the world’s largest mining corporations in an attempt to block it from opening up three new mines in the area.
Ninety-eight wells have had to be closed on Pine Ridge because of unusually high rates of cancer, kidney disease and other health problems, said White Plume. She’s convinced that uranium is to blame, and she grows frustrated over suggestions that poor diet or smoking could be a factor.
“Why do the innocent human beings at home have to prove that the big corporation is contaminating them? Why aren’t laws in place that say, ‘OK, if that corporation is going to come into our community, let them show us how they will not harm us, let them show us how they aren’t going to threaten everything we depend on for life: Water, food, air, land?’” she asked.
The US Environmental Protection Agency says it has spent more than $100 million to identify areas at highest risk, part of a multi-year plan to address uranium contamination across the country.
Indian Point nuclear facility operator reports ‘alarming levels’ of radioactivity in plant’s groundwater; some wells increase 65,000% New York Daily News, BY DENIS SLATTERY NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, February 7, 2016,
Radioactive water overflowed into the groundwater at the upstate Indian Point nuclear power plant, officials said Saturday.
Gov. Cuomo said the plant’s operator, Entergy, reported “alarming levels” of radioactivity at three monitoring wells, with one well’s radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000%………
The site, roughly 35 miles north of New York City, has been under increased scrutiny from Cuomo and other officials following several incidents. In December, Cuomo ordered an investigation into Indian Point after a series of unplanned shutdowns, citing potential risks to both the city and surrounding suburbs.
Cuomo said the “latest failure at Indian Point is unacceptable.”
According to Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the leak occurred after a drain overflowed during a maintenance exercise while workers were transferring water containing high levels of radioactive contamination.
A sump pump that would normally filter the water into another treatment system was out of service, Sheehan said.
Other state officials also blasted the controversial nuclear facility’s most recent mishap.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern)said she was concerned not only for the surrounding community but also for the “impact this radioactive water may have on public health and our environment,” Jaffee added…….http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/radioactive-water-leaks-groundwater-indian-point-article-1.2522670
NRA’s data shows contamination level in Tokyo tap water higher than Fukushima by 24 percent http://fukushima-diary.com/2016/01/nras-data-shows-contamination-level-in-tokyo-tap-water-higher-than-fukushima-by-24-percent/ Iori Mochizuki According to NRA (Nuclear Regulation Authority), Cs-134/137 density in Tokyo tap water is 24% higher than Fukushima.
The report was released on 10/30/2015, titled as “Readings of radioactivity level in drinking water by prefecture” to cover from July to September in 2015.
From this report, only 0.0015 Bq/Kg of Cs-137 was detected in Fukushima drinking water. Cs-134 was not supposed to be detected. On the other hand, 0.00036 Bq/Kg of Cs-134 and 0.0015 of Bq/Kg were detected from Tokyo drinking water.
The measurement of Cs-134 is due to Fukushima accident.
NRA comments each data is based on the reports from prefectures.
It is not mentioned by Fukushima prefectural government why Cs-134 was not detected in their drinking water.
Uranium Mining Threatens the Karoo, Karoo Space, 18 Jan 16 By Dr Stefan Cramer Images sourced by Dr Stefan Cramer “…..According to its documents, Tasman RSA Mines today controls exclusive prospecting rights over more than 750 000 hectares in a circle of nearly 200 kilometres around Beaufort West.
About 32 000 hectares are directly owned under freehold by the company. Local farmers find it hard to resist purchase offers, as farming in this part of the Karoo is particularly difficult due to low rainfall and poor soils.
Unlike in fracking, farms are permanently damaged by uranium opencast mining………
So far the company has not indicated whether they would use ‘in-situ-leaching’, a particularly dangerous but low-cost method. Here, large quantities of leaching agent are injected underground. The uranium is dissolved and recovered in well fields.
The uranium deposits are scattered over large zone of 200 by 300 kilometres which will necessitate trucking of ores over poorly constructed dust roads for hundreds of kilometres to reach the Central Processing Plant.
For this plant, the company has already applied for a water licence to abstract annually 700 million litres of groundwater annually, roughly half of the total water consumption of the Central Karoo Municipality.
It is still unclear what will happen with the contaminated waste water. A discharge of radioactive waste water into the aquatic environment, above or below ground, would be illegal under South Africa’s strict Water Act.
Most probably contaminated slimes will be delivered to large settling ponds, like those around Johannesburg, from which the remaining water will evaporate. This leaves behind a soft and unstable pile of contaminated soil which can be easily mobilised by the strong prevailing winds in the Karoo into large dust dispersal.
Already today, the environment around Beaufort West is contaminated close to the previous mine sites. First field studies by the author show unprotected nuclear wastes with 10 to 20 times the background radiation.
Dust and Radiation – Two Deadly Impacts
The devastating impacts of uranium mining on people, especially the mine workers, and the environment have been well research and documented. Several studies of large number of cases and with exposure over many years (Wismut AG in the former East Germany, theColorado-Plateau in the USA, and Saskatchewan in Canada, have established a particular direct relationship between occupational exposure to uranium and its decay products and lung diseases.
Mining uranium ore in the Karoo will invariably create huge plumes of contaminated dust. Dust clouds are unavoidable during drilling, blasting and transporting.
Dust suppression by spraying water is only partially effective and creates new problems with contaminated slimes, adding to the environmental cost of groundwater abstraction……..http://karoospace.co.za/uranium-mining-threatens-the-karoo/
Nevada says national nuclear dump could harm farm community,Naples
Herald, By Associated PressNov 23, 2015 BY KEN RITTER LAS VEGAS (AP) — Radioactive well-water contamination could threaten some 1,400 people in a rural farming community if federal regulators allow the nation’s deadliest nuclear waste to be buried in the Nevada desert, state officials said in a report issued Friday.
A 53-page document submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission derides environmental assessments of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository as legally inadequate. It also characterizes the project itself as “an unworkable waste management plan at an unsafe repository site.”
“In the end, there are real people there,” said Robert Halstead, chief of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects and the top state official leading opposition to the project.
“That’s the thing about the way the NRC has approached the whole process,” Halstead said Friday. “Their maps imply there is no population there. They label it as the Amargosa desert.”
George Gholson, chairman of the Timbisha Shoshone Tribe, submitted additional comments Friday accusing commission officials of failing to evaluate effects that building the project would have on tribal members.
“Radioactive contamination of groundwater and springs … affronts the Timbisha’s way of life, is disrespectful to cultural beliefs, and constitutes an environmental justice infringement on the rights of a sovereign nation,” the letter said.
The documents amount to the state staking its legal ground to oppose the Yucca Mountain project. They came on the last day of an environmental study comment period ahead of yet-to-be-scheduled licensing hearings and amid calls from some in Congress to restart the long-mothballed project.
Commission officials didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
More than three decades of study yielded findings that water seeping through tunnels containing some 77,000 tons of spent nuclear reactor waste could become contaminated and slowly migrate into groundwater west along the normally dry course of the ancient Amargosa River, toward Death Valley in California……..
A federal appeals court breathed new life into the project in 2013 with an order that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission either approve or reject the Energy Department license application.
Officials say a full slate of licensing hearings could take at least three years. http://naplesherald.com/2015/11/23/nevada-says-national-nuclear-dump-could-harm-farm-community/
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