UK nuclear weapons convoys ‘have had 180 mishaps in 16 years’ Vehicles carrying nuclear weapons have had collisions, breakdowns and brake failures, disarmament campaign says, Guardian, Rob Evans, 21 Sept 16, Military convoys carrying nuclear weapons through Britain’s cities and towns have experienced 180 mishaps and incidents, including collisions, breakdowns and brake failures during the last 16 years, according to a report produced by a disarmament campaign.
The incidents catalogued in the report – based on official logs released under theFreedom of Information Act – include fuel leaks, overheated engines, clutch problems, and other mechanical faults in the convoys.
At other times, according to the report, the convoys went the wrong way, were diverted, and lost communications with commanders. The rate at which the incidents have occurred has risen in recent years, with 43 in the last three years.
In its report published on Wednesday, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) warns that a serious accident involving the convoys could spread radioactivity over cities, contaminating communities and increasing cancer risks.
The convoys pass through cities and towns between Scotland and southern England. However, an opinion poll commissioned by Ican shows that nearly two-thirds of British adults did not know that the military transports nuclear warheads on British roads, prompting the campaigners to argue that members of the public have not given their consent to the dangers they pose.
Materials for nuclear weapons are driven through or flown over 122 local councils in the UK, including densely-populated areas such as Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, according to Ministry of Defence data…….
The Ican report describes how nuclear warheads are carried in dark green, 44-tonne trucks between a bomb factory at Burghfield near Reading in Berkshire and a naval depot at Coulport on Loch Long near Glasgow, where they are loaded onto submarines.
The 900-mile round trips, usually spread over one or two days, are completed between two and six times a year, with the most recent onereported to have been completed this week.
According to Ican, the convoys – comprising up to 20 vehicles including police cars and a fire engine – use a variety of routes. One from Burghfield, where the warheads are assembled and maintained, goes along the M40, round Birmingham and past Preston on the M6, and then the M74 to Glasgow……..
Matt Hawkins, spokesman for Ican, said the report “painted a grim picture of the great risks posed by nuclear convoys”, adding that nuclear weapons “only add danger to our lives, exposing us all to the risk of radiation leaks or an attack by terrorists on one of these convoys”.
In 2003, following pressure from the Guardian, the MoD was forced to publish a list of accidents involving nuclear weapons between 1960 and 1991 after decades of secrecy. It showed that the weapons had been dropped, struck by other weapons and carried on a truck that slid down a hill and toppled over. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/sep/21/uk-nuclear-weapons-convoys-have-had-180-mishaps-in-16-years
The 15 costliest nuclear disasters and the nuclear risks of the future,Treehugger, Christine Lepisto (@greenanswer) September 20, 2016 The names Chernobyl and Fukushima connote nuclear disaster. But do you remember Three Mile Island? Have you ever heard of Beloyarsk, Jaslovske, or Pickering? These names appear among the 15 most expensive nuclear disasters.
- Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986): $259 billion
- Fukushima, Japan (2011): $166 billion
- Tsuruga, Japan (1995): $15.5 billion
- Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, USA (1979): $11 billion
- Beloyarsk, USSR (1977): $3.5 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1969): $2.5 billion
- Athens, Alabama, USA (1985): $2.1 billion
- Jaslovske Bohunice, Czechoslovakia (1977): $2 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1968): $1.9 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1971): $1.3 billion
- Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (1986): $1.2 billion
- Chapelcross, UK (1967): $1.1 billion
- Chernobyl, Ukraine (1982): $1.1 billion
- Pickering, Canada (1983): $1 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1973): $1 billion
A new study of 216 nuclear energy accidents and incidents crunches twice as much data as the previously best review, predicting that
“The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realizes.”
The study points to two significant issues in the current assessment of nuclear safety. First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves the dual masters of overseeing the industry and promoting nuclear energy. Second, the primary tool used to assess the risk of nuclear incidents suffers from blind spots.
The conflict of interest in the first issue is clear. The second issue may not be transparent to the layperson until they understand more fully how industry conducts the probabilistic safety assessments (PSAs) which are the source of the standard predictions of the risk of nuclear accidents. …….http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/15-costliest-nuclear-disasters-and-nuclear-risks-future.html
It could have been an ISIS terrorist. Lucky it was only a peace protestor holding up nuclear weapons convoy
- 78-year-old anti-nuclear campaigner lies under military truck in Stirling
- The vehicle thought to be carrying nuclear warheads was part of a convoy
- Police intervened and stopped traffic so it could continue trip to Scotland
By JESSICA DUNCAN FOR MAILONLINE 17 September 2016
The incredible moment a 78-year-old retired teacher managed to hold up four military trucks thought to be carrying nuclear warheads has emerged online.
Shocking moment retired teacher, 77, holds up nuke convoy
The vehicles with their large police convoy were spotted passing through Raploch, in Stirling, at around 5pm yesterday after they had left the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield near Reading on Wednesday to make their way up to Coulport, Scotland.
But they were stopped by two activists including Brian Quail, an anti-nukes campaigner who is also believed to be a former teacher, and his younger colleague Alasdair Ibbotson, 21.
Speaking to the Mail Online Mr Ibbotson, who is a student and Green Party supporter, said: ‘I have been campaigning for nuclear weapon disarmament since I was 16. I am passionate about it because at the end of the day it causes the mass murder of millions of people, and is just wrong on every level.
‘The money spend on trident could be better spent on our NHS.
‘And if a pensioner and a student can stop them, anyone else with actually ill intent could do.
‘The MOD need to think about how this and whether they should use the road at all.‘We knew the convoy was passing through the area around that time because we have a national network tracking when they leave the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield and head to Coulport in Scotland.
‘We don’t know what was on board but we do know they are currently undertaking an upgrade programme and we believe regular parts are being taken between the two bases to be reassembled.’
Mr Quail and Mr Ibbotson were seen working as a duo to stop one of the vehicles.
Mr Ibbotson first jumped out in front of one of the vans with his hands above his head while the OAP quickly lay on the floor wedging himself in front of one of the back wheels.
Police on motorbikes rushed to drag the first protester to the roundabout but it took over two minutes and more than six police personnel to remove Mr Quail from under one of the vans.
The younger man has another attempt to lie down on the road as police move him to the pavement before ten members of the police are required to get them into the back of police vans.
The incident also brought rush hour traffic to a standstill as police swarmed the area and other road users got out of their cars to see what’s happening.
It is reported that the convoy was held up for over 20 minutes as police apprehended the two protesters.
The five minute clip, posted by Stirling University Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), is filmed at a roundabout in the city and begins with the person behind the camera saying that the footage is being filmed ‘about a mile from the town centre’ over the sound of police sirens.
The police escort and first lorry make it past the protesters but the third vehicle in the convoy is forced to slam on its brakes as the two men dart out in front of it with their hands above their heads.
With the incident causing an ever-increasing tailback of rush-hour traffic, it takes over six officers to eventually remove the man and sit him up on the nearby pavement.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: ‘Two males have been arrested and charged for a breach of the peace after a military convoy was disrupted as it made its way through Stirling on Thursday, September 15.
‘Both men, aged 21 and 78, have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal and are expected to appear in court at a later date…………. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3792600/If-stop-Terrifying-moment-77-year-old-retired-teacher-student-21-holds-nuclear-weapons-convoy.html
Mysteries Of The First Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, Belarus Digest Lizaveta Kasmach06 September 2016 On 26 August 2016, a 43-year old worker was injured and killed as a result of the explosion of an oxygen gas tank at the Astraviec nuclear power plant (NPP) construction site.
A series of unfortunate events
Reports of incidents at the Astraviec construction site have been piling up in 2016, bringing more and more attention to the first Belarusian nuclear project. For instance, in April 2016, Poland-based TV channel Belsat reported the collapse of a supporting structure in one of the maintenance buildings on the site.
This death was the latest in a series of accidents which have already started to raise nuclear safety concerns, both domestically and internationally.
In July 2016, the Belarusian media reported another dangerous incident which occurred during the installation of a reactor. It also turned out that the NPP’s management had been concealing this news for more than two weeks. This lack of transparency is reminiscent of the suppressed news of the Chernobyl catastrophe back in 1986.
As a result, NPP construction has come under closer scrutiny and even the state-run media picked up the topic of nuclear security. However, all these events have not led to massive anti-nuclear protests in Belarus.
Despite the fact that an employee tipped off journalists, the NPP management responded by denying that the accident had even taken place and referred to the news as “absolute nonsense.” Later, the Belarusian Ministry of Energy nevertheless confirmed the accident, trying to downplay its severity.
Less than two months ago, authorities tried to conceal another, more serious accident which interrupted the installation of the nuclear reactor. On 10 July 2016, the reactor casing, weighing over 330 tonnes, reportedly fell to the ground from a height of 2 to 4 metres.
However, the wider public became aware of this disaster only on 25 July. Local anti-nuclear activist and United Civil Party member Mikalai Ulasevich reported that more than ten anonymous insider sources could confirm that something went wrong during the test lifting procedure……..
Lithuania also expressed its concerns. On 23 August, president Dalia Grybauskaite referred to the Belarusian NPP as an instrument which could potentially be used in an unconventional manner against the Baltic states. In her opinion, the Belarusian NPP potentially represented “an energy, military, health, and territorial security problem, if used by a hostile country.”
What about Belarusian environmentalists? Belarusian environmentalists had already adopted a clear anti-nuclear position by 2005, when officials started mentioning plans for an NPP. In 2006, the Belarusian NGOEcodom, backed by the opposition parties, pioneered anorganised anti-nuclear movement. By 2008, major anti-nuclear initiatives united within the Belarusian Anti-Nuclear Campaign.
However, Belarusian authorities did everything possible to neutralise the dissenting green movement. For instance, during the so-called public debates on the NPP construction in October 2009, only a few anti-nuclear activists were allowed to attend. The event ended with the arrest of anti-nuclear expert Andrei Ozharovskii.
Moreover, the Institute of Sociology at the National Academy of Sciences produced surveys indicating a surprising turn in public opinion towards acceptance of nuclear energy. ……
Even though in 2016 the anti-nuclear movement has captured more attention, environmentalists fear that Belarusian society is dangerously naive when it comes to NPP construction. According to the coordinator of the Green Network association, Yaraslau Bekish, this explains why even serious accidents in Astraviec have not catalysed significant public protests.
So far, Belarusian authorities have succeeded in protecting their pet project in Astraviec. Neither Belarusian independent anti-nuclear activists nor the EU have the leverage to interfere in these plans. However, there is a chance that their voice could be heard if such emergencies and accidents continue in the future. Lizaveta Kasmach is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta, Canada. http://belarusdigest.com/story/mysteries-first-belarusian-nuclear-power-plant-27097
Transformer fire forces TVA to shut down Unit 2 reactor indefinitely TVA probes cause of switchyard fire at Watts Bar Tuesday night. Times Free Press August 31st, 2016 by Dave Flessner
The blaze in one of the main bank transformers connected to the new Unit 2 reactor triggered notice of “an unusual event” — the lowest of four emergency classifications for problems at a nuclear power plant. Although the fire did not affect any nuclear or generation equipment in either the reactor or turbine buildings at Watts Bar, it did damage a transformer and required TVA to shut down its Unit 2 reactor indefinitely, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said today. ….
When the fire erupted, the reactor had to be shut down and the unit will remain idle until a new transformer is installed and the cause of the fire is determined. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2016/aug/31/transformer-fire-nuclear-plant-triggers-emergency-notice/384326/
Entergy Nuclear tells The Rutland Herald 700 gallons of groundwater a day infiltrated the Vermont Yankee turbine building this month. Between 3,000 and 2,500 gallons had been infiltrating the building each day in January. The plant closed in 2014.
The company says ongoing drought conditions likely contributed to the drop and allowed for foundation cracks and a sump-pump drain to be sealed.
The company says it has paid about $1.2 million to ship and treat water from the plant.
Entergy says it has effectively suspended its request to discharge slightly radioactive water from the building into the Connecticut River.
Federal nuclear regulators plan to inspect the plant next week.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the accumulation of spilled radioactive waste in the basement of a building at FitzPatrick is of “very low safety significance” because it occurred in a locked, highly shielded area that is already highly radioactive.
“The bottom line is, we have been aware of this issue for some time, but it poses no immediate risks to any residents or the environment,” said Neil Sheehan, speaking for the NRC.
Nevertheless, plant owner Entergy Corp.’s failure to address the leak is of “more than minor significance” because the company knew about the problem for at least four years, the NRC reported.
Nuclear plant owners are required to minimize the accumulation of residual radioactive waste in their plants, which can “greatly increase the cost and complexity of future decommissioning” after a reactor shuts down, according to the NRC……..
Anti-nuclear activists said the NRC report should raise concerns about the aging FitzPatrick plant, which started operation in 1975.
“These violations highlight the ongoing dangers posed by the upstate nuclear reactors and the lax enforcement by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” said Tim Judson, of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Entergy has known that this highly radioactive waste spill is a problem for four years, but the NRC has not imposed any fines or other penalties.” http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/minor_radiation_leak_at_fitzpatrick_nuclear_plant_has_gone_unfixed_for_4_years.html
DRONE CRASHES INTO KOEBERG NUCLEAR POWER STATION http://www.htxt.co.za/2016/08/10/drone-crashes-nuclear-power-station/ An small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – commonly known as drones – has crashed into the nuclear power station at Koeberg near Cape Town.
While it appears that no damage was done, South Africa’s drone regulations are clear: you are not allowed to fly drones over roads and you keep them at least 50 meters away from buildings.
According to Eskom, the drone not only flew towards and over Koeberg, but crashed into a building on site. Surprisingly, Eskom says that the drone pilot had his UAV returned to him after the incident.
“A drone crashed on the Koeberg site in contravention of the nuclear safety regulations and was returned to its owner without the investigation having been completed,” the parastatal said in a statement.
Eskom says that it has subsequently suspended the Koeberg safety officer as a precautionary measure ahead of an investigation. It also highlighted the dangers of flying drones close to government installations.
“Eskom has placed the Koeberg power station manager and the plant manager on precautionary suspension as a result of the distribution of documentation containing unauthorised facts and assumptions relating to Koeberg’s Production Plan and in particular, the steam generator replacement,” it said.
Eskom is this week facing strike action by 15 000 National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members. In essence, it is illegal for any Eskom employees to strike, and NUM is protesting this.
“The decision to strike was taken at an urgent NUM Eskom national shop stewards council held at the NUM head office today. All 15 000 members of the NUM at Eskom will be fighting for the restoration of the right to strike at Eskom,” NUM said in a statement.
In September 1983, for example, sunlight reflecting off a patch of clouds fooled a Soviet missile-warning system into detecting the launch of five US intercontinental ballistic missiles that never were. A colonel in a bunker ignored the alarm on a 50/50 hunch, narrowly averting a nuclear holocaust.
Two months later, US forces staged “Able Archer 83” — a massive nuclear-strike drill on the doorstep of the USSR. Soviet commanders panicked at the show of force and nearly bathed America in thermonuclear energy. Once again, an act of human doubt saved the planet.
Now scientists have one more event to add to the history books: The “Great Storm” of May 1967.
“The storm made its initial mark with a colossal solar radio burst causing radio interference … and near-simultaneous disruptions of dayside radio communication,” a group of atmospheric scientists and military weather service personnel wrote in a new study, published August 9 in the journal Space Weather.
Hours later, high frequency communications dropped out near US military installations in and near the Arctic — one of the closest places to station nuclear weapons and launch them at a Cold War-era Soviet Union.
“Such an intense, never-before-observed solar radio burst was interpreted as jamming,” the study authors wrote. “Cold War military commanders viewed full scale jamming of surveillance sensors as a potential act of war.”……
While The Washington Post wrote up the 1967 story as “City Gets Rare Look at Northern Lights,” top US military commanders sounded the alarms.
The Air Weather Service (AWS) — a relatively new branch of the Air Force — had warned military leadership about the possibility of a solar storm, but US commanders believed the Soviet forces were jamming NORAD systems designed to detect threatening planes and missiles.
As the Strategic Air Command warmed up the engines of bombers and taxied toward the runway, the decision to go airborne was kicked all the way up to the “highest levels of government,” which would imply President Lyndon B. Johnson was involved.
“Just in time, military space weather forecasters conveyed information about the solar storm’s potential to disrupt radar and radio communications,” according to a press release from the American Geophysical Union. “The planes remained on the ground and the U.S. avoided a potential nuclear weapon exchange with the Soviet Union.”………http://www.businessinsider.com.au/cold-war-geomagnetic-storm-radio-disruption-2016-8?r=US&IR=T
U.S. Attorney: Sulphur man inspecting Lake Charles nuclear facility lied about certification BY Lanie Lee Cook | LCOOK@THEADVOCATE.COM JUL 29, 2016 A Sulphur man who lied about being certified to inspect welds on a Port of Lake Charles nuclear module will be sentenced in November after pleading guilty to a federal criminal charge for providing the false information, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office announced Friday.
Joseph B. Burnworth, 35, admitted to one count of submission of false information as part of a plea agreement, the release states.
Burnworth’s plea agreement shows he conducted more than 150 visual inspections of welds on an under-construction nuclear module, a large metal structure designed to hold a nuclear reactor, from April 2013 to August …..2013. http://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/courts/article_e58a3cb0-55b5-11e6-b2ff-8b7759ceb4a1.html
Nuclear reactor in S. Korea stops operations , Korea Times, 22 Jul 16,
The Wolseong-1 reactor at the plant, located in Gyeongju, about 400 km southeast of Seoul, came to a halt at around 11:24 a.m. according to the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. (KHNP).
No radiation leaks have been reported. The operator said that it is currently working on finding the exact cause of the shutdown….
The Wolseong-1 reactor had been shut down since 2012 when it reached its 30-year commercial operation period.
But it went back online in June last year after the state-run nuclear watchdog decided to restart operation of the facility for another 10 years.The decision has sparked public concerns over the reactor’s safety here after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan….http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/07/116_210056.html
UK nuclear sub collides with merchant vessel off Gibraltar Rt.com 21 Jul, 2016 One of Britain’s newest Astute-class submarines has docked at Gibraltar after suffering a “glancing collision” with a merchant vessel, the UK Royal Navy announced, emphasizing that the HMS Ambush suffered “absolutely no damage” to her nuclear reactor
A Rethink of Nuclear Risk Assessment, ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology and Economics 11.07.2016
1. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986) – $259 billion
2. Fukushima, Japan (2011) – $166 billion
3. Tsuruga, Japan (1995) – $15.5 billion
4. TMI, Pennsylvania, USA (1979) – $11 billion
5. Beloyarsk, USSR (1977) – $3.5 billion
6. Sellafield, UK (1969) – $2.5 billion
7. Athens, Alabama, USA (1985) – $2.1 billion
8. Jaslovske Bohunice, Czechoslovakia (1977) – $2 billion
9. Sellafield, UK (1968) – $1.9 billion
10. Sellafield, UK (1971) – $1.3 billion
11. Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (1986) – $1.2 billion
12. Chapelcross, UK (1967) – $1.1 billion
13. Chernobyl, Ukraine (1982) – $1.1 billion
14. Pickering, Canada (1983) – $1 billion
15. Sellafield, UK (1973) – $1 billion
An open-source database of all 216 analysed events is available athttps://innovwiki.ethz.ch/index.php/Nuclear_events_database, containing dates, locations, cost in US dollars, and official magnitude ratings. This is the largest public database of nuclear accidents ever compiled. https://www.mtec.ethz.ch/news/d-mtec-news/2016/07/a-rethink-of-nuclear-risk-assessment.html
Radioactive fuel cells on a dozen disused nuclear submarines languishing in Plymouth are to be removed and taken to a site in the North of England for storage and eventual disposal.
The Ministry of Defence yesterday revealed the fate of the boats which are currently stationed at Devonport but said no date has yet been fixed for the process to begin
Defence Minister Philip Dunne said the highly toxic part of the decommissioned submarines would be removed at a date to be set.
“When submarines in the Royal Navy fleet reach the end of their lives, we need to dispose of them in a way that is safe, secure and environmentally sound,” he said………
It emerged last year that the ministry was spending £16million to store the vessels, with the ones in Plymouth having been taken out of service in 1994.
The MoD said it was working on a plan to safely dispose of the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPV), the thick steel containers which weigh between 90-135 tonnes and held nuclear fuel when the reactors operated.
There have been a number of leaks of nuclear waste associated with the submarines based in Devonport.
*March 25, 2009: radioactive water escaped from HMS Turbulent while the reactor’s discharge system was being flushed.
*November 2008: 280 litres of water likely to have been contaminated with the radioactive isotope tritium, poured from a burst hose as it was being pumped from the submarine.
*October 2005: 10 litres of water leaked out as the main reactor circuit of HMS Victorious as it was being cleaned to reduce radiation.
*November 2002: Around ten litres of radioactive coolant leaked from HMS Vanguard……..In May this year, it was revealed extra radioactivity could be discharged into the atmosphere during the refit of a nuclear submarine at Devonport Dockyard.
Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard Limited submitted an application for a variation to an environmental permit which covers operations on their Dockyard site in Plymouth.
If approved, the application will enable them to increase discharges of carbon-14 to the atmosphere during the refit of the Royal Navy submarine, HMS Vanguard…..http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/disused-nuclear-submarines-at-devonport-will-be-broken-up-says-mod/story-29490710-detail/story.html
Nuclear Power Plant Found Leaking Into Lake Ontario, We Are Anonymous, July 7th, 2016 | by Alek Hidell “……The latest nuclear plant to have been discovered to have a leak is the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego, New York. The plant is run by energy corporation Entergy. A visible sheen was observed spreading out for miles from the site of the plant, making it undeniable that the leak wasn’t coming from elsewhere. It was discovered by a Coast Guard Auxiliary air crew. A section of Lake Ontario had to be cordoned off, preventing the leak from spreading further.
Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, made the following statement: “It appears about 20 to 30 gallons that leaked were then drained through the plant’s discharge drain system to the lake. The company has placed oil-absorbent pads on the turbine building roof and has also stopped all circulating water pumps to eliminate any further discharges.”
It is not much of a comfort to know that the government is contributing to the cleanup. With decades of research and knowledge about the dangers of nuclear power, the government continues to build them, with five new plants under construction as of 2015. I don’t believe any of us need to be reminded of the dangers of nuclear power after the recent Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown.
After the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the reactors and their cooling system shut down. This resulted in nuclear materials being dumped into the Pacific ocean. Traces of the radiation are being found along the California coastline. And as you’d expect, the official inquiry found that despite the earthquake and tsunami, the meltdown was preventable and a result of a failure to maintain vital systems.
New York is no stranger to leaky nuclear plants; the Indian Point nuclear plant has been shut down at least 14 times since 1973. The most recent closing of the facility took place in 2015, when two fuel rods lost power. When you look at the incidents of closure at Indian Point, as well as every other nuclear plant, it becomes obvious that the fundamental problem is a crumbling infrastructure. Much like our roads and bridges, nuclear power plants, especially ones built before the 1980s, are falling apart…….http://anonhq.com/nuclear-power-plant-found-leaking-lake-ontario/
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