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Leak shuts down V.C. Summer nuclear plant

November 11, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

French activists broke into nuclear plant, demonstrating the risk of terrorism

Greenpeace 28th Oct 2019, In the early hours of 12 October 2017, eight people sneaked inside the grounds of the Cattenom nuclear plant in northern France. Without much difficulty, they reached the foot of a spent fuel pool – where the still highly radioactive fuel rods are stored after use.

It was a scenario Greenpeace France had been warning about since 2001 through numerous reports, letters and speeches. France’s aging fleet of reactors is poorly protected, and not designed to withstand big impacts, such as an explosion set off by terrorists.

A loss of water from the spent fuel pools – protected by walls only 30cm thick – could lead to a massive release of radioactivity. Fortunately, the eight intruders turned out to be peaceful activists from Greenpeace France; they set off some fireworks to demonstrate their presence and then allowed themselves to be led away.

The ease with which they had penetrated alarmed the government of Luxembourg, which lies just north of Cattenom. It also finally spurred the French authorities into action; a parliamentary investigation into nuclear safety
was announced the following month. It’s a textbook example of the role of
non-violent direct action (NVDA) in a democracy, much like the recent
climate strikes.

When the authorities are sleeping at the wheel, and not
responding to polite arguments, citizen action is needed to wake them up.
In this case, it did. A happy end? Unfortunately not.

In a classic case of shooting the messenger, prosecutors have pressed for stiff penalties. In February 2018, a court in Thionville sentenced the ‘Cattenom nine’ – the eight activists and a Greenpeace France employee. It imposed a 2-month jail sentence on two of the individuals, and suspended sentences on the
rest. It also ordered Greenpeace France to pay €50,000 to the power
company, EDF as ‘moral damages’.

October 31, 2019 Posted by | France, incidents, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Columbia nuclear fuel factory in trouble again, with safety problems

Nuclear workers hospitalized; Columbia plant runs afoul of safety rules – again, The State. BY SAMMY FRETWELL 22 OCT 19 

A Columbia nuclear fuel factory with a history of leaks, spills and other mishaps has again run into trouble, this time after three workers went to the hospital and an inspection found the plant didn’t have proper safety equipment.

The Westinghouse nuclear plant discovered last week that it had a device in place that was not adequate to prevent uranium from leaking into chemical supply drums at the site, federal records show.

That’s potentially significant because the drums were in a “non-favorable’’ position, which under certain circumstances could increase chances of a radiation burst inside the 1,000-employee plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is looking into the matter, reported by Westinghouse to the agency Oct. 16. Westinghouse shut down part of the plant where the improper equipment was found, a spokesman for the NRC said this week………

The nuclear fuel factory, one of only three of its kind in the country, has a long history of incidents, including events in which some workers were exposed to radiation or injured. But concerns have intensified in recent years among people who live in eastern Richland County, near the plant.

Since 2016, the facility has run afoul of federal regulators for allowing uranium to build up in an air pollution control device, leaking uranium through a hole in the plant floor and failing to notify authorities of historic leaks on the property. This past summer, federal officials learned that water had dripped through a rusty shipping container onto a barrel of nuclear waste, causing a leak into the ground. Officials also learned about a small fire this summer that erupted in a container that held nuclear material.

Groundwater beneath the site is polluted with an array of toxins, including nitrate, solvents and nuclear materials, dating as far back as the 1980s. Neighbors near the plant are leery, with some saying they don’t trust Westinghouse to safeguard the environment. The company has pledged to do better.

Westinghouse’s plant supplies fuel rods for atomic power plants across the country. Located between Interstate 77 and Congaree National Park, the 550,000-square-foot factory has been a key part of the Columbia economy since opening in 1969. The plant employs about 1,000 people. Operators are now seeking to renew a federal license, as well as state discharge permits.

October 24, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

A single bird grounds America’s Navy ‘Doomsday’ plane

Navy ‘Doomsday’ plane built to withstand nuclear attack grounded after striking single bird, By JESSICA SCHLADEBECK, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |OCT 18, 2019  The Navy’s “Doomsday Plane,” designed to withstand even a nuclear attack, suffered millions of dollars in damages after striking a single bird as it practiced a landing maneuver earlier this month at a Maryland air station.

The E-6B Mercury was supposed to only touch down momentarily before immediately taking off again from the Patuxent River Naval Air station – but a bird was sucked into one of the plane’s four engines while it attempted the “touch and go” move, according to…..

October 19, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s fatal Skyfall missile test- a fatal nuclear accident

Putin’s Skyfall missile failed a test and exploded in a deadly nuclear accident, the US says. Business Insider, ELLEN IOANES, OCT 12, 2019, 

  • A report from a US State Department official on Thursday provides a clearer picture as to how the August 8 Skyfall accident occurred at a secret Russian military testing range.
  • “The United States has determined that the explosion near Nyonoksa, Russia, was the result of a nuclear reaction that occurred during the recovery of a Russian nuclear-powered cruise missile,” the official wrote. “The missile remained on the bed of the White Sea since its failed test early last year, in close proximity to a major population centre.”
  • Amid confusion and obfuscation from Russia and speculation from analyst, the report gives a clearer picture of how the accident, which killed seven Russians, occurred.
An August 8 nuclear accident near Nyonoksa, Russia, was caused by a nuclear reaction that occurred while Russians were attempting to recover a nuclear-powered cruise missile submerged in the White Sea after a failed test last year.

report to the UN General Assembly First Committee on Thursday by Thomas G. DiNanno, the deputy assistant secretary and senior bureau official at the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, ended months of speculation about the exact cause of the accident, which killed seven Russians.

While experts at the time determined that the cause was a nuclear-reactor explosion and tied it to the 9M730 Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, which NATO calls the SSC-X-9 Skyfall, DiNanno’s report gives a clearer picture of how the accident occurred.

“Russia also has much to answer for regarding the August 8th ‘Skyfall’ incident,” DiNanno wrote. …….

After the accident, Russia’s explanations and reactions to it varied greatly, from ordering an evacuation of the area to canceling it hours later. Four radiation sensor sites also went mysteriously offline after the accident, pointing to a potential cover-up. Russian officials said they were not obligated to share the data, which could have helped point to the cause of the accident, The New York Times reported.

Officials also declined to tell doctors treating engineers affected by the blast that they had been exposed to nuclear radiation and requested hospital staff sign a nondisclosure agreement, The Moscow Times originally reported…….

October 12, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Massive Nuclear Explosion similar to Kyrshtym by Mayak Can Happen Happen at Hanford if the site is not Monitored and tanks not taken care of

 Lane, 6 Oct 19  Mayak Explosion
Ten Thousand Gallon Tank at Mayak Exploded from Heat Decay. The Heat Deacy was from Strontium 90, Cesium 137, Cobalt 60 and Plutonium Stored in the Underground Tank. The explosion was equivalent to 100 tons of TNT. There are55 million gallons of the same Radionuclide Mix stored at Hanford, in UnderGround Tanks. If they become too concentrated and hot, the same thing will Happen there, contaminating a Great Portion of the Pacific NW USA and southe western Canada.

Medvedev, Zhores A. (4 November 1976). “Two Decades of Dissidence”. New Scientist.
Medvedev, Zhores A. (1980). Nuclear disaster in the Urals translated by George Saunders. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-394-74445-2. (c1979)

In 1957 the cooling system in one of the tanks containing about 70–80 tons of liquid radioactive waste failed and was not repaired. The temperature in it started to rise, resulting in evaporation and a chemical explosion of the dried waste, consisting mainly of ammonium nitrate and acetates (see ammonium nitrate/fuel oil bomb). The explosion, on 29 September 1957, estimated to have a force of about 70–100 tons of TNT,[10] threw the 160-ton concrete lid into the air.[8] There were no immediate casualties as a result of the explosion, but it released an estimated 20 MCi (800 PBq) of radioactivity. Most of this contamination settled out near the site of the accident and contributed to the pollution of the Techa River, but a plume containing 2 MCi (80 PBq) of radionuclides spread out over hundreds of kilometers.[11] Previously contaminated areas within the affected area include the Techa river, which had previously received 2.75 MCi (100 PBq) of deliberately dumped waste, and Lake Karachay, which had received 120 MCi (4,000 PBq).[7]

In the next 10 to 11 hours, the radioactive cloud moved towards the north-east, reaching 300–350 km (190–220 mi) from the accident. The fallout of the cloud resulted in a long-term contamination of an area of more than 800 to 20,000 km2 (310 to 7,720 sq mi), depending on what contamination level is considered significant, primarily with caesium-137 and strontium-90.[7] This area is usually referred to as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace EURT

October 6, 2019 Posted by | history, incidents, Reference, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia’s deadly explosion in August has awakened Russians to the nuclear danger

September 30, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

faulty parts found in a number of France’s nuclear reactors

10% of French Nuclear Reactors Have Potentially Faulty Parts Installed as Fukushima Fears Persist

September 19, 2019 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

U.S. intelligence assessment – Russia’s Mystery Nuclear Explosion Occurred During Missile Recovery at Sea

August 31, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Examining the radioactive isotopes from Russia’s mystery explosion

How nuclear scientists are decoding Russia’s mystery explosion. Isotopes that caused a radiation spike earlier this month probably came from an exploding nuclear-reactor core — but device’s application is still unknown. Nature, Elizabeth Gibney , 30 Aug 19, 

Rumours continue to swirl about a blast at a Russian naval base on 8 August, which killed five scientists and caused a short, unexplained spike in γ-radiation.

Information has been slow to emerge and confused by conflicting reports, but this week, Russia’s weather agency, Roshydromet, finally revealed details about the nuclear radiation that was released.

The information suggests that a nuclear reactor was involved in the blast, which lends weight to the theory that Russia was testing a missile known as Burevestintnik, or Skyfall. President Vladimir Putin told Russia’s parliament in 2018 that the nation was developing the missile, which is propelled by an on-board nuclear reactor and could have unlimited range.

But because official information about the cause could be scarce, independent researchers are finding ways to glean more details about the explosion.

Nature examines the growing evidence.

What have official sources said about the blast?

The explosion happened at a military facility in northwestern Russia’s Arkhangelsk region. The region is home to Nenoksa, one of the Russian Navy’s major research and development sites.

A day after the blast, Russia’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, said that an accident happened during “tests on a liquid propulsion system involving isotopes” and later added that the incident happened on an offshore platform.

Meanwhile, Roshydromet reported a brief spike in γ-radiation at 16 times the normal level in the city of Severodvinsk, around 30 kilometres east of Nenoksa.

On 26 August, Roshydromet revealed the isotopes found in rain and air samples: strontium-91, barium-139, barium-140 and lanthanum-140.

What do we know about the scientists who died?

Rosatom named the dead scientists as Alexei Viushin, Evgeny Kortaev, Vyacheslav Lipshev, Sergei Pichugin and Vladislav Yanovsky. It’s not clear whether they were killed when thrown off the sea platform, or after being exposed to radiation……..

What do the isotopes tell us?

The detected isotopes of barium, strontium and lanthanum would be created in the core of a nuclear reactor, which produces energy by splitting uranium atoms in a chain reaction. These isotopes would have been released if a core exploded, says Claire Corkhill, a nuclear scientist at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Any damage an explosion might have caused to the reactor core would probably have led to the release of radioactive iodine and caesium, says Marco Kaltofen, a nuclear scientist at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the environment investigation firm Boston Chemical Data Corp, both in Massachusetts. An uncorroborated report in The Moscow Times on 16 August said that local doctors had traces of caesium-137 in their muscle tissue. And a Norwegian nuclear authority detected an unexplained spike in radioactive iodine-131 almost 700 kilometres away in Svanhovd after the blast. But this could be from another source: iodine-131 can be released in small quantities during the production of radionuclides for medical purposes, says Corkhill.

Boris Zhuikov, head of the Laboratory of Radioisotope Complex at the Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, has an alternative explanation. His calculations show that if an explosion damaged the housing of a nuclear reactor, rather than the core, and caused a leak of radioactive noble gases — which are a product of fission — then by the time the nuclei reached the detector in Severodvinsk they would have decayed to leave precisely the isotopes observed.

But Kaltofen cautions that circumstantial evidence points to damage to a reactor core……..

August 31, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Narrow escapes from nuclear war

August 29, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A Small Nuclear Reactor exploded in Russian accident – fallout isotopes prove this

Isotopes’ Composition Proves Nuclear Reactor Was Involved in Russian Explosion, Expert Says

Analyses of the radionuclides in the fallout over Severodvinsk show several isotopes that would not have been present if was a simple RTG in the explosion.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Contradictory reports from Russia, over the Aug. 8 nuclear incident

August 26, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Toxic leak from North Korea’s nuclear programme

August 23, 2019 Posted by | incidents, North Korea | Leave a comment

USA lost unexploded nuclear bomb in Japanese waters

World War 3: Unexploded US nuclear weapon hiding beneath Japanese waters ‘covered up’ WAR 3 could have erupted after the United States Navy accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb in Japanese waters – and it is still there today. by CALLUM HOARE, Aug 18, 2019. On December 5, 1965, just three years after the Cuban Missile Crisis pushed Cold War tensions to the limits, the US made a monumental mistake during a training exercise. A United States Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft fell off the side of aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga while sailing through the Philippine Sea. The pilot, Lieutenant Douglas M Webster, the plane, and the B43 nuclear bomb on board all fell into the water, 68 miles from the coast of Kikai Island, Japan.

However, it was not until 1989 that the Pentagon admitted the loss of a one-megaton hydrogen bomb.

The revelation inspired a diplomatic inquiry from Japan, however, neither the weapon, or the pilot, was ever recovered.The incident, the most serious involving nuclear weapons in the Navy’s history, showed that US warships carried atomic weapons into Japanese ports in violation of policy, according to researchers.

Japanese law banned ships carrying nuclear weapons from sailing in its territorial waters or calling on its ports following the terrible Hiroshima and Nagasaki incidents.

However, the US warship routinely docked in Japan.

William M. Arkin of the liberal Institute for Policy Studies claimed in 1989: “For 24 years, the US Navy has covered up the most politically sensitive accident that has ever taken place.

“The Navy kept the true details of this accident a secret not only because it demonstrates their disregard for the treaty stipulations of foreign governments but because of the questions it raises about nuclear weapons aboard ships in Vietnam.”

The event was highly sensitive, with Japan being the only country to ever be attacked with nuclear weapons at the end of World War 2.

On September 8, 1951, 49 nations drew a line under the devastating event and signed the Treaty of San Francisco – also known as the Treaty of Peace with Japan.

The document officially ended US-led occupation of Japan and marked the start of re-establishing relations with the allied powers.

Meanwhile, In 1965, the US was arguably at the height of tensions with the Soviet Union.

Not only did the accident threaten to spoil already tenuous relations with Japan, but it would have also have given the USSR an excuse to start a nuclear war.

Despite the worrying claims, the US Navy confirmed inn 1989 that the waters were too deep for the weapon to pose a threat.

Worryingly though, it would not be the last of the nuclear gaffes for America. On January 17, 1966, a B-52G USAF bomber collided with a KC-135 tanker during a refuelling mission at 31,000 feet over the Mediterranean Sea.

During the crash, three MK28-type hydrogen bombs headed for land in the small fishing village of Palomares in Almeria, Spain.

Worse still, the explosives in two of the weapons detonated on impact, contaminating the surrounding area of almost one square mile with plutonium.

The fourth sunk off the coast of Spain and was recovered three months later.

August 19, 2019 Posted by | general, history, incidents, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment