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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The absurdity of underground bunkers to save us all in nuclear war

Casually prep for nuclear war with this Minecraft tour of the Russian and American fallout bunkers

The team has really outdone itself with the Fallout-esque teaser video.

The Lavish Bunkers Where U.S and Russian Leaders (still) Plan to Fight A Nuclear War

As NTI explains:

 Nothing better illustrates the continuing absurdity of plans to fight a nuclear war than the massive complex of underground bunkers that the United States and Russia have built to survive and fight on even after both societies have collapsed. To help explain the scale of these facilities, we have reconstructed two, Site R in rural Pennsylvania (also known as Raven Rock) and the Kosvinsky underground command facility in Russia, roughly to scale using the popular immersive gaming platform Minecraft………https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/18/minecraft-nuclear-fallout-shelter-nti/
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January 20, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New director of Los Alamos National Laboratory acknowledges problems, pushes for accountability

Since it was built in secret in 1943 to house the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bomb in 1945, Los Alamos has diversified its R&D portfolio. Its research areas now include everything from studying wildfire behavior to developing vaccines. But the lab’s central mission may well be updated in the coming months: President Donald Trump’s administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, leaked to the media earlier this month, signaled interest in developing new low-yield nuclear weapons, even as some of the lab’s most knowledgeable weapons experts are nearing retirement age. …….

We’re the only place [in the United States] that does large-scale work on plutonium. We must meet the expectations to be the safest and most secure site in the country. At the same time, the realization that those expectations are under a magnifying glass, sometimes I think we miss that.

We cannot have any accidents. We do things at times that are simply unacceptable……..

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/01/after-safety-breaches-new-los-alamos-director-pushes-accountability-nuclear-weapons-lab

January 20, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report found nuclear war, extreme weather top list of 2018 global threats

Nuclear war, extreme weather top list of 2018 global threats, SMH, Kim Hjelmgaard, 18 Jan 18, London: Nuclear war, cyber attacks and environmental disasters top the list of man-made threats to global stability in 2018, according to a survey of 1000 international leaders from business, government, education and service groups.

The threat of another global financial meltdown, more likely in past years, has ebbed because of economic expansions underway worldwide, the annual World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report found. It was released on Wednesday in advance of the forum’s meeting next week in Davos, Switzerland.

Mother Nature topped the most significant risks facing the world for a second year in a row, the survey showed. That includes natural disasters and extreme weather events that human-caused climate change may be abetting.

The risk of nuclear war climbed up the list of concerns as a result of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s tests of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, and US President Donald Trump’s bellicose vows to annihilate North Korea if it launches an attack.

A near unanimous 93 per cent of respondents expect a worsening of “political or economic confrontations/frictions between major powers” this year. Nearly 80 per cent think risks associated with “state-on-state military conflict or incursion” and “regional conflicts drawing in major powers” will be higher than in years past.

Trump will join other world and business leaders in the Swiss Alpine resort January 23-26 for the forum, where he is scheduled to give the closing address, organisers said……….

The greatest concerns for North American business leaders are cyber attacks, terrorism, asset bubbles, fiscal crises and the failure of adapting to climate change……… http://www.smh.com.au/world/nuclear-war-extreme-weather-top-list-of-2018-global-threats-20180117-h0k0ce.html

January 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

USA jet -with 4 nuclear bombs on board – crashed in Greenland 50 years ago

50 years ago, a US military jet crashed in Greenland – with 4 nuclear bombs on board   The Conversation, Timothy J. Jorgensen
Director of the Health Physics and Radiation Protection Graduate Program and Associate Professor of Radiation Medicine, Georgetown University  January 18, 2018     
Fifty years ago, on Jan. 21, 1968, the Cold War grew significantly colder. It was on this day that an American B-52G Stratofortress bomber, carrying four nuclear bombs, crashed onto the sea ice of Wolstenholme Fjord in the northwest corner of Greenland, one of the coldest places on Earth. Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Danes were not pleased.
The bomber – call sign HOBO 28 – had crashed due to human error……
 The Thule crash revealed that the United States had actually been routinely flying planes carrying nuclear bombs over Greenland, and one of those illicit flights had now resulted in the radioactive contamination of a fjord.

The radioactivity was released because the nuclear warheads had been compromised. The impact from the crash and the subsequent fire had broken open the weapons and released their radioactive contents, but luckily, there was no nuclear detonation.

To be specific, HOBO 28’s nuclear weapons were actually hydrogen bombs. As I explain in my book, “Strange Glow: The Story of Radiation,” a hydrogen bomb (or H-bomb) is a second-generation type of nuclear weapon that is much more powerful than the two atomic bombsdropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those two bombs were “fission” bombs – bombs that get their energy from the splitting (fission) of very large atoms (such as uranium and plutonium) into smaller atoms.

In contrast, HOBO 28’s bombs were fusion bombs – bombs that get their energy from the union (fusion) of the very small nuclei of hydrogen atoms. Each of the four Mark 28 F1 hydrogen bombs that HOBO 28 carried were nearly 100 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (1,400 kilotons versus 15 kilotons).

Fusion bombs release so much more energy than fission bombs that it’s hard to comprehend. For example, if a fission bomb like Hiroshima’s were dropped on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., it’s likely that the White House (about 1.5 miles away) would suffer little direct damage. In contrast, if just one of the Mark 28 F1 hydrogen bombs were dropped on the Capitol building, it would destroy the White House as well as everything else in Washington, D.C. (a destructive radius of about 7.5 miles). It is for this reason that North Korea’s recent claim of achieving hydrogen bomb capabilities is so very worrisome.

Nuclear Explosion Power Comparison

After the crash, the United States and Denmark had very different ideas about how to deal with HOBO 28’s wreckage and radioactivity. The U.S. wanted to just let the bomber wreckage sink into the fjord and remain there, but Denmark wouldn’t allow that. Denmark wanted all the wreckage gathered up immediately and moved, along with all of the radioactively contaminated ice, to the United States. Since the fate of the Thule Air Base hung in the balance, the U.S. agreed to Denmark’s demands……… https://theconversation.com/50-years-ago-a-us-military-jet-crashed-in-greenland-with-4-nuclear-bombs-on-board-87155

January 19, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, history, incidents, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Truck overturns, on its way to collect nuclear waste

Vehicle on way to bring nuclear waste topples in Karwar, TNN | Jan 18, 2018, Karwar: A multi-axle vehicle, which was going towards Kaiga to bring nuclear waste, met with an accident near Bole village in Karwar taluk on Wednesday afternoon. The trailer of the vehicle, which was loaded with an empty flask, separated and turned upside down.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) clarified that the flask was empty and there was no nuclear leakage. No one has been injured in the accident, NPCIL said. Sanjay Kumar, site director of Kaiga Generating Station, said that there is no effect on environment or human beings due to this accident.

This is second such accident involving vehicles meant for transporting nuclear waste between Karwar and Kaiga in the past three months. In October last year, one such vehicle fell into a gorge near Keravadi village.

The vehicle that met with accident on Wednesday had warning stickers to indicate that it was carrying radioactive material. These vehicles are used to transport the spent nuclear fuel which refers to the bundles of uranium pellets encased in metal rods that have been used to power a nuclear reactor. Nuclear fuel loses efficiency over time and becomes unable to keep a nuclear reaction going. Periodically, about one-third of the fuel assemblies in a reactor must be replaced……
Senior officials of Nuclear Power Corporation in Kaiga admitted that the lorry was going to Kaiga to bring the spent fuel……https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubballi/vehicle-on-way-to-bring-nuclear-waste-topples-in-karwar/articleshow/62545123.cms

January 19, 2018 Posted by | incidents, India | Leave a comment

Nuclear power plants must be able to withstand fires caused by aircraft impacts

 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180116123750.htm

Date:
January 16, 2018
Source:
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Summary:
Researches examined the transport, evaporation and combustion of liquids in large-scale fire incidents.

In his dissertation, Topi Sikanen, a Master of Science (Technology) and Research Scientist at VTT, examined the transport, evaporation and combustion of liquids in large-scale fire incidents. He developed practical models which will help to predict the consequences for nuclear power plants of fires caused by aircraft impacts.

Analyses of airliner impacts became mandatory after terrorists deliberately crashed two aircraft into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York in 2001.

Nuclear power plants must continuously improve their safety standards. A modern nuclear power plant, for example, must withstand fires caused by aircraft crashing into it. In his dissertation, Topi Sikanen developed methods of modelling unusual and major accidents. The practical outcome of the dissertation was a number of tested, applicable models which help to predict the consequences of fires at nuclear power plants

Sikanen applied the computational tools of fluid dynamics to the fire safety analyses he presented in his three-part dissertation. The first part of the dissertation concerns the conveyance of liquid discharged from fuel tanks in connection with aircraft impacts. In the second part, Sikanen modelled liquid pool fires, the evaporation of liquid, and the heat transfer. In the last part, Sikanen applied the methods that he had developed to the analysis of the impact of aircraft crashing into a nuclear power plant.

The results of the safety and fire safety analyses presented in this dissertation, which falls under construction technology, can be used by the designers and implementers of nuclear power plants and other large buildings.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

Should GE’s Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Be Recalled Worldwide Like a Faulty Unsafe Automobile?

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The following news piece represents the fifth in a 15-part mini-series titled, Nuclear Power in Our World Today, featuring nuclear authority, engineer and whistleblower Arnie Gundersen. The EnviroNews USA special encompasses a wide span of topics, ranging from Manhattan-era madness to the continuously-unfolding crisis on the ground at Fukushima Daiichi in eastern Japan. The transcript is as follows:

Josh Cunnings (Narrator): Good evening and thanks for joining us at the EnviroNews USA news desk for the fifth segment in our 15-part mini series, Nuclear Power in Our World Today. In our previous episodes, we explored several Manhattan-era messes in the United States, but tonight, we begin by discussing the troublesome situation on the ground at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant on Japan’s eastern coast.

Now, if you trace Japan’s troubles back far enough, then once again, you’re going to find yourself right back here in the good old U S of A — in the state of California — during the 1970s — with General Electric at the helm.

The project that we’re referring to was the development of the Mark 1 boiling water nuclear reactor — the very same model which melted entirely in units 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima.

Now, when it comes to people who are qualified to talk about the many issues and problems surrounding the Mark 1, few could be more capable than former nuclear reactor operator and engineer Arnie Gundersen. As a matter of fact, the distinguished expert is all too familiar with the ins and outs of the design.

So, without further ado, here’s another excerpt from this simply fantastic interview with Arnie Gundersen by EnviroNews USA Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry. Take a listen.

Urry: And so speaking about these reactors and the technical components — you were actually involved with the Mark 1. And I remember reading that some of the engineers that worked on that project had resigned way back then in 1972, yet General Electric was still apparently willing to pimp this reactor out essentially, all over the planet. What can you tell us about the Mark 1 reactor, and your understanding of what happened back then with these engineers, and how General Electric has been able to spread this reactor to all corners of the globe, with really no consequence. We saw Greenpeace had started a petition to make General Electric and Hitachi, and maybe a couple others of the service providers, actually pay for the damage there, but has there been any culpability? [Editor’s Note: Urry intended to say “1976” not “1972” in this passage]

Gundersen: Fukushima Daiichi has four units — one, two, three, four — and they’re all Mark 1 designs. In addition, there’s another 35 in the world, including 23 here in America, that are the same design. A group of three engineers quit General Electric in 1976 because they realized the design was not safe. Two of the three are still alive and living here in California, and they are my personal heroes. They understood before any of us did how seriously we really didn’t understand what it was that the engineers were doing.

Excerpt From Greenpeace Video With Dale Bridenbaugh

Bridenbaugh: My boss said to me, that if we have to shut down all of these Mark 1 plants, it will probably mean the end of GE’s nuclear business forever.

I started with GE immediately after I got out of college as a mechanical engineer, and I started out as a field engineer responsible for supervising the construction and startup of power plant equipment across the United States.

In the first ten or fifteen plants that GE sold of the large-scale commercial boiling water reactors, they did so on what’s called a “turnkey” basis. They built the whole thing, get it operating, and then they turn the key over to the utility, and the utility then is theoretically capable of operating it to produce electricity.

Fukushima 1 was basically a turnkey plant provided to TEPCO by GE. In 1975 the problem developed that became known at the Mark 1 plants — the some 24 Mark 1 units in the United States, and also those overseas, including the Fukushima units — had not taken into account all of the pressures and forces that are called hydrodynamic loads that could be experienced by the pressure suppression units as a result of a major accident. We didn’t really know if the containments would be able to contain the event that they were supposedly designed to contain.

Not only were there the containment problems that existed with the Mark 1s, which I was very familiar with, but there were a number of other problems with the GE boiling water reactors and with the nuclear program in general. And I got disillusioned with the speed with which these problems were being addressed, and then in the middle of the night I called my boss at GE and I said, “My recommendation is that we tell the U.S. utilities that GE cannot support the continued operation of these plants.” And my boss said to me, “Well, it can’t be that bad Dale, and keep in mind that if we have to shut down all of these Mark 1 plants it will probably mean the end of GE’s nuclear business forever.” That conversation occurred at about midnight on January 26, and that clinched my decision on resignation on February 2.

The accident that occurred in Fukushima, it’s some two years later now, and we don’t really know the condition of the reactor core; we don’t really know the condition of the containment. The radiation levels are so high inside the containment that it’s very difficult to get in there. It will be years before that plant site is cleaned up.

The damage that has been experienced at Fukushima is so great and so extensive that I don’t think any one utility, certainly TEPCO, has the capability to be able to pay for all of that. So, it becomes a national issue. I think it would be a good idea to not have reliance on nuclear units. They’re very risky enterprises. And I would like to see a world that is provided with electricity by alternative energy supplies.

Gundersen: When Maggie [Gundersen] and I were walking one day in February [a month] before the [Fukushima] accident, she said to me, “Where is the next accident going to be?” And I said, “I don’t know where, but I know it’s going to be in a Mark 1 reactor.” And, I’m not alone. It’s not like I was clairvoyant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a report that they published in 1982, and they said there was an 85 percent chance, if there was a meltdown in a Mark 1 reactor, that the containment would explode. The writing was on the wall.

Urry: How many of these things are still out there in operation today?

Gundersen: In the U.S., all 23 continue to run, and as a matter of fact, the staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended some pretty substantial improvements, and the politically appointed commissioners, who have no nuclear background, overrode the staff and said, “no, we’re not going to do those changes.” So, the Commission has been actively involved in thwarting the safety improvements that everybody knows are needed.

Script for General Electric Television Commercial

Voice of Child Narrator: My mom, she makes underwater fans that are powered by the moon. My mom makes airplane engines that can talk. My mom makes hospitals you can hold in your hand. My mom can print amazing things, right from her computer. My mom makes trains that are friends with trees. My mom works at GE.

Cunnings: If GE, a company that successfully weaseled its way out of paying any taxes whatsoever in the U.S. wants to boast night and day on the mainstream media airwaves — the same mainstream media which it once nearly monopolized — that it “brings good things to life” and makes “underwater fans that are powered by the moon” and locomotives that “talk to trees” perhaps the company should also bother to mention its own manufacture and sales of faulty nuclear power reactors that quite frankly, bring good things to an early death.

Oh, and by the way, the company not only builds the reactors that breed uranium into plutonium for bombs, oh no, its role goes much deeper. In fact, GE is in the business of manufacturing the actual bombs too. “We bring good things to life.” Seriously? Let’s get real.

Documentary Film Trailer for Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment

Narrator: The Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a massive 570-square-mile facility, where General Electric made plutonium for the U.S. military.

Subject #1: I began loosing my hair, which I had long naturally curly hair.

Narrator: [Of] 28 families who lived in a small area near Hanford, 27 of them had suffered severe health problems.

Subject #1: … and the physician said that I had the most severe case of hypothyroidism he’d ever seen in his career…

Narrator: … all of which are associated with exposure to high doses of radiation.

Subject #2: We took twice the amount that the Children of Chernobyl took. There was absolutely no warning. They came and said, “You’re safe.”

Narrator: According to the business press, General Electric is the most powerful company in the United States, and GE is rapidly expanding its control of markets worldwide.

Subject #3: I’d like to wake Jack Welch up in the middle of his atomic power lab; let him explain why their husbands died of cancer related to the asbestos.

Subject #4: I find their ads disgusting. I find that ad disgusting.

Narrator: Four million individuals and 450 organizations in the U.S., Canada and around the world, have decided to join the GE boycott.

Subject #4: Are you asking us to clean up your toxic waste again!?

Subject #5: What GE does is not bring good things to life. They mislead the American public.

Subject #6: General Electric is in this business of building weapons for profit — not for patriotism, not for the country, not for the flag, but for profit.

Ronald Reagan: Until next week then, good night for General Electric.

Excerpt from Fairewinds Associates Video, Featuring Arnie Gundersen on the GE Mark 1 Reactor

Gundersen: This picture of a boiling water reactor containment is taken in the early 70s. It was taken at Browns Ferry [Nuclear Plant], but it’s identical to the Fukushima reactors. Now, let me walk you through that as I talk about it.

There are two pieces to the containment, the top looks like an upside down light bulb, and that’s called a “drywell.” Inside there is where the nuclear reactor is. Down below is this thing that looks like a doughnut, and that’s called the “torus,” and that’s filled almost all the way with water. The theory is that if the reactor breaks, steam will shoot out through the light bulb into the doughnut, creating lots of bubbles, which will reduce the pressure. Well, this thing’s called a “pressure suppression containment.” Now, at the bottom of that picture is the lid for the containment. When it’s fully assembled, that lid sits on top. The containment’s about an inch thick. Inside it is the nuclear reactor that’s about eight inches thick, and we’ll get to that in a minute.

Well, this reactor containment was designed in the early 70s, late 60s, and by 1972 a lot of people had concerns with the containment. So, in the early 70s, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recognized this containment design was flawed. In the mid-70s, they realized the forces were in the wrong direction; instead of down, they were up, and large straps were put into place.

Well, then in the 80s, there was another problem that developed. After Three Mile Island engineers began to realize that this containment could explode from a hydrogen buildup. That hadn’t been factored into the design in the 70s either. Well, what they came up with for this particular containment was a vent in the side of it.

Now, a vent is designed to let the pressure out, and a containment is designed to keep the pressure in. So, rather than contain this radioactivity, engineers realized that if the containment were to survive an explosion they’d have to open a hole in the side of it called a “containment vent.”

Well, these vents were added in the late 1980s. And they weren’t added because the Nuclear Regulatory Commission demanded it. What the industry did to avoid that was create an initiative and they put them in voluntarily. Now, that sounds really proactive, but in fact, it wasn’t. If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission required it, it would have opened up the license on these plants to citizens and scientists who had concerns. Well, by having the industry voluntarily put these vents in it did two things: One, it did not allow any public participation in the process to see if they were safe. And the second thing is that it didn’t allow the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to look at these vents and say they were safety related. In fact, it sidetracked the process entirely.

Well, these vents were never tested until Fukushima. This containment was never tested until Fukushima. And it failed three times out of three tries. In retrospect, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Looking at the procedures for opening these vents, in the event electricity fails, requires someone fully clad in radiation gear to go down to an enormous valve in the bowels of the plant and turn the crank 200 times to open it. Now, can you imagine, in the middle of a nuclear accident, with steam and explosions and radiation, expecting an employee to go into the plant and turn a valve 200 times to open it?

So, that was the second Band-Aid fix that failed, on a containment that 40 years earlier, was designed too small.

Well, with all this in mind, I think we really need to ask the question: should the Mark 1 containment even be allowed to continue to operate? The NRC’s position is: well, we can make the vents stronger. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Now, all those issues that I just talked about are related to the Mark 1 containment. The next thing I’d like to talk about is the reactor that sits inside that containment. So, that light bulb and that doughnut are the containment structure; inside that is where the nuclear reactor is.

Now, on a boiling water reactor, the nuclear control rods come in at the bottom; on a pressurized water reactor they come in from the top. All of the reactors at Fukushima, and 35 in the world in this design, have control rods that come in from the bottom. Now, that poses a unique problem and an important difference that the NRC is not looking at right now.

If the core melts in a pressurized water reactor, there’s no holes in the bottom of the nuclear reactor, and it’s a very thick eight to 10-inch piece of metal that the nuclear reactor core would have to melt through. But that didn’t happen at Fukushima.

Fukushima was a boiling water reactor; it’s got holes in the bottom. Now, when the nuclear core lies on the bottom of a boiling water reactor like Fukushima, or the ones in the U.S., or others in Japan, it’s easier for the core to melt through because of those 60 holes in the bottom of the reactor. It doesn’t have to melt through eight inches of steel. It just has to melt through a very thin-walled pipe and scoot out the hole in the bottom of the nuclear reactor. I’m not the only one to recognize that holes at the bottom of a boiling water reactor are a problem.

Last week an email came out that was written by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission right after the Fukushima accident, where they recognize that if there’s a core meltdown, and it’s now lying as a blob on the bottom of the nuclear reactor, these holes in the bottom of the reactor form channels, through which the hot molten fuel can get out a lot easier and a lot quicker than the thick pressurized water reactor design. Now, this is a flaw in any boiling water reactor, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not recognizing that the likelihood of melting through a boiling water reactor like Fukushima, is a lot more significant than the likelihood of melting through a pressurized water reactor.

The third area is an area we’ve discussed in-depth in a previous video, and that’s that the explosion at Unit 3 was a detonation, not a deflagration. It has to do with the speed of the shockwave. The shockwave at Unit 3 traveled faster than the speed of sound, and that’s an important distinction that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the entire nuclear industry, is not looking at.

A containment can’t withstand a shockwave that travels faster than the speed of sound. Yet, all containments are designed assuming that doesn’t happen. At Fukushima 3 it did happen, and we need to understand how it happened and mitigate against it in the future on all reactors.

Now, I measured that. I scaled the size of the building versus the speed at which the explosion occurred, and I can determine that that shockwave traveled at around 1,000 feet per second. The speed of sound is around 600 feet per second. So, it traveled at supersonic speeds that can cause dramatic damage to a containment. They’re not designed to handle it. Yet, the NRC is not looking at that. [Editor’s Note: Gundersen intended to say “miles per hour,” not “feet per second” in this video.]

So, we’ve got three key areas where the NRC, and the nuclear industry, don’t want people to look, and that’s: 1) should this Mark 1 containment even be allowed to continue to operate?

Cunnings: In America, when a vehicle, or even a part in a vehicle, is deemed unsafe for the population at large, the government forces automakers into costly and multi-billion dollar recalls — and the mainstream media does its part by shaming those culprit companies, relentlessly beating them to a bloody pulp for their negligence and their reckless endangerment of innocent American citizens.

The Mark 1 nuclear reactor is an extremely outdated model with obvious design flaws. Apparently, it has so many problems, that as Mr. Gundersen pointed out, three of the engineers who originally designed it ended up resigning because they knew it wasn’t safe — and that was well before Three Mile Island or Chernobyl ever happened — long before the public had experienced the fright, and health consequences of a full-scale nuclear meltdown.

Surely, after the triple meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan, it appears the Mark 1 is far from safe, yet here in the U.S., the government continues to let operators drive this faulty nuclear vehicle down the road — knowing full well that it could fall apart and crash, harming, or even killing innocent Americans at any time.

Perhaps the government should consider holding nuke-plant manufacturers, like GE, to the same standards it demands from automakers, and punish them with shameful recalls when they market a piece of faulty equipment that poses any danger to the public.

So, just what would a recall of the Mark 1 nuclear reactor look like, and who would issue or enforce it? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission? And how could enough political will ever be mustered for such a massive undertaking? It would surely cost more than any auto recall ever has, but frankly, who should give a damn (except for General Electric’s shareholders of course)? I mean, if it ain’t safe, then it just ain’t safe mate. Besides, after paying zero taxes, GE’s pockets should be plenty deep enough to handle such an event — right? The concept of an all-out recall on the antiquated General Electric Mark 1 reactor is one that we will continue to explore. As a matter of fact, in tomorrow’s show, we’ll discuss the problems with the Mark 1 a little further.

Tune in then for episode six in our series of short films, Nuclear Power in Our World Today, with esteemed expert and whistleblower Arnie Gundersen.

Signing off for now — Josh Cunnings — EnviroNews USA.

Source:
Should GE’s Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Be Recalled Worldwide Like a Faulty Unsafe Automobile?
Related articles:
Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest
Experts Had Long Criticized Potential Weakness in Design of Stricken Reactor
23 GE-Designed Reactors in in 13 states Similar to Japan’s

January 18, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018, Reference, safety | , | Leave a comment

University of California grilled over Los Alamos nuclear lab safety issues


UC grilled over LANL safety issues,
Lamonitor.com, By Tris DeRoma, January 15, 2018 Three university systems went before the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Friday to tell the coalition once again why they would be the best candidate to take on the job of operating and managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

January 16, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | 1 Comment

Radiation problem so serious that Hanford Plutonium Plant demolition has been stopped

Regulators to DOE: No more Hanford demolition until we say it’s safe http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article194318189.html, BY ANNETTE CARY, acary@tricityherald.com, January 11, 2018, Hanford regulators have ordered the Department of Energy not to restart demolition of the nuclear reservation’s highly radioactively contaminated Plutonium Finishing Plant until regulators agree the work can be done safely.

 

January 13, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, incidents, USA | Leave a comment

European civic leaders worried about dangers of nuclear facilities stationed near borders of their counties

DiaNuke 12th Jan 2018, A joint letter, co-signed by the Chairs of the Cities for a Nuclear Free
Europe (CNFE) and the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA),
has been submitted to the European Commission over concerns around the
international inspection of nuclear plants in Europe.

The letter arises from concerns raised by the Dutch city Bergen op Zoom, which is located
less than 20 kilometres from the nuclear power plant Doel in Belgium, but
has no legal rights regarding the life time extension of this nuclear
plant.

Many towns and cities around Europe are in the same position. One
third of existing European nuclear power plants are situated in a border
region. As such, these nuclear power plants are situated in such a way that
more than one country is affected when security and safety is at risk.

For example, on numerous occasions Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands have
expressed their concerns about the nuclear plants in Doel and Tihange,
Belgium. Furthermore, an internal audit of the Belgian nuclear regulator
Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) from 2016 showed that its own
independence is to be questioned.

In the joint letter signed by CNFE, NFLA
and by the Mayor of Bergen op Zoom, they ask to place the supervision of
nuclear plants not only in the hands of national authorities, but at a
European level as well. In their collective view, creating effective
instruments for supervision shall ensure that the legitimate interests of
the population of neighbouring countries are safeguarded, as well as those
of the people of the country of origin.

http://www.dianuke.org/eu-must-start-international-inspection-nuclear-plants-radiation-knows-no-borders-cities-nuclear-free-europe-nfla/

January 13, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear Liability – UK government sets out new rules for ‘intermediate risks’

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) late last
week published its position on the criteria for determining the new
category of ‘intermediate risk’ nuclear sites that is to be established in
UK law.

Helen Peters, a nuclear expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm
behind Out-Law.com, said that the changes that BEIS has made to the
criteria are to be welcomed and would enable the government to move forward
with laying the draft Nuclear Installations (Prescribed Sites and
Transport) Regulations in parliament at some point in the near future.

The new regulations once introduced will come into force at the same time as
the amendments to Nuclear Installations Act 1965 which are set out in the
Nuclear Installations (Liability for Damage) Order 2016. These amendments
support the implementation of the 2004 Protocols to the Paris Convention on
nuclear third party liability and the Brussels Supplementary Convention.

The decision on the criteria for intermediate risk sites has been made
further to a consultation in 2016 on the proposed definitions for the
purposes of nuclear liability for low risk nuclear sites, intermediate
sites, relevant disposal sites and the transport of low risk nuclear
matter.

After considering the responses to the 2016 consultation, the
government elected to further consider the definition for intermediate risk
sites. It elected to reconsult on the matter in 2017 because the proposed
revised definition was significantly different to the one set out in the
2016 proposal. The BEIS paper published last week contained the
government’s response (12-page / 101KB PDF) to the feedback it received to
its reconsultation. A new liability limit of €160 million will apply to
nuclear sites classed as ‘intermediate risk’ once the legislative changes
come into force. As many as 14 nuclear sites could qualify as ‘intermediate
risk’ sites under the new criteria that has been established, BEIS said.
https://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2018/january/uk-government-clarifies-criteria-for-intermediate-risk-nuclear-sites/

January 13, 2018 Posted by | politics, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Accidental nuclear weapons launches could result from cyber attacks

A top think-tank has warned that cyber attacks on nuclear weapons could lead to accidental launches, Business Insider, Australia, KIERAN CORCORAN, JAN 12, 2018, 

January 12, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Putin fears that terrorists might attack nuclear power stations, using drones

Putin fears nuclear power plant drone attack: Special military until is set up to prevent terrorist strike after the gadgets are used to bomb Russian bases in Syria   Daily Mail Australia

Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect nuclear power plants
The move involves developing of technology to reliably zap incoming drones
It comes amid fears that terrorists could destroy bases using long-range missiles
Concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria

The move – involving the development of technology to reliably zap drones – comes amid fears that terrorists could use sophisticated long-distance weapons to target nuclear bases.

Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria using UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles.

Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect key Russian installations like nuclear power stations from drone attacks in the same week his forces came under attack from ‘assault drones’ at its Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval base in Syria

 Technology to zap drones has been developed in Russia but needs testing, said Col-General Sergey Melikov, first deputy director of the national guard.

He made clear nuclear power plants were among the state facilities that required protection.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence this week shared an image of what it claims is a drone fitted with explosives brought down before it attacked one of their military bases in Syria.

Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military bases in Syria using UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Kremlin has demanded that the Defence Ministry, several secret service agencies and the Russian National Guard work together to find a solution to destroy drones before they reach their targets.

Technology to zap drones has been developed in Russia but needs testing, said Col-General Sergey Melikov, first deputy director of the national guard.

He made clear nuclear power plants were among the state facilities that required protection.

‘We are considering an option to create groups to test experimental equipment to fight UAVs within our units,’ he said.

‘We have a certain device but it is not clear how easy is it to use.

‘It needs to be tested first.

‘If we realise that a special unit with a team of specialists needs to be created, of course we will do so.’

The move – involving the development of technology to reliably zap drones – comes amid fears that terrorists could use sophisticated long-distance weapons to target nuclear bases.

He revealed the plan is being studied by experts including those from the Defence Ministry and FSB, the former KGB counter-intelligence service.

Security expert Yury Zakharchenko said there was no universal technology yet to fight sophisticated drone attacks.

Such a system or systems must recognise and identify incoming UAVs and then launch an appropriate strike by either radio electronic attack or missile.

‘This task has not been resolved anywhere in the world because it’s difficult, but the work is being done,’ he said.

‘The establishment of a separate unit of Rosgvardia (national guard) will perhaps allow us to intensify research and development in this area.’

Recent pictures of captured Jihadist drones in Syria were released.

This week Russian forces came under attack from ‘assault drones’ at its Khmeimim air base and Tartus naval base in Syria, said the defence ministry………..http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5247523/Drone-attack-Russian-bases-Syria-no-casualties-Moscow.html

January 11, 2018 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Federal nuclear watchdog agency publishes government shutdown plan

Federal nuclear watchdog agency publishes government shutdown plan, Brittany Crocker, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseeKnox News, Jan. 9, 2018 A federal oversight board charged with protecting workers and communities surrounding nuclear weapons complexes like Oak Ridge’s Y-12 National Security Complex has published a plan for closing out the agency if the government shuts down.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board is made up of five nuclear safety experts who provide analysis, advice and recommendations on public health and safety to the secretary of energy.

Congress has until Jan. 19 to pass a spending bill that will keep the government funded through the fiscal year. The board is ensuring it’s prepared for the worst, according to a December letter to the White House’s management and budget office.

The board told the Office of Management and Budget it would take just half a day to completely shut down its operations and let go all but 14 of its 117 employees, a number that does not include the five sitting board members.

“If the board reaches the point where no funding is available, normal oversight activities will cease, including receiving safety complaints from workers at DOE sites and the public,” the plan said.

At that point, according to the plan, board Chairman Sean Sullivan could designate resident inspectors to continue working at nuclear sites like Y-12, along with a few administrative staff members. He also would retain the ability to recall the staff in case of an emergency at a nuclear facility.

Under fire

The letter provides a chilling insight into what could result from government attempts to curtail the board’s watchdog role over the already $10.8 billion-per-year nuclear weapons program the Trump administration has considered expanding.

Sullivan, who was appointed board chairman by Trump, has sought to limit the board’s advisory role, garnering the opposition of his fellow board members.

In May, Sullivan voted against a board letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry advising against the removal of certain safety occurrence reporting requirements that affect Department of Energy nuclear sites.

The letter asked for a DOE report on supplemental actions to make sure the proposed removals would not affect worker safety……… https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2018/01/09/federal-nuclear-watchdog-agency-publishes-government-shutdown-plan/997776001/

January 10, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Low cooling water levels at Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant

Unusual Event’ Declared At Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant, Low water levels in plant’s water intakes were apparently caused by weather conditions from the recent storm Lacey Patch, By Patricia A. Miller, Patch Staff LACEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – Control room operators at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant declared an “unusual event” early Saturday morning when water levels in the plant’s water intakes dipped too low, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Control room operators reduced reactor power to about 70 percent in response to the lower-than-normal water intake levels and will continue to monitor and evaluate conditions throughout the day, spokesman Neil Sheehan said

An “unusual event” is the lowest of the NRC’s four levels of emergency classification, he said.

Water from the intake canal is used for cooling purposes, doesn’t flow through radioactive materials and is discharged at higher temperatures to the outfall portion of the canal, Sheehan said.

NRC resident inspectors assigned to Oyster Creek on a full-time basis responded to the plant to verify the plant was in safe condition……https://patch.com/new-jersey/lacey/unusual-event-declared-oyster-creek-nuclear-plant

January 8, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment