BRINK OF APOCALYPSE Britain has faced 110 nuclear weapon alerts – four times more than the MoD admits, One incident reportedly saw nuclear weapons accidentally taken to Falklands War on ship carrying Prince Andrew, The Sun BY DANNY COLLINS 19th February 2017,
Flamanville plant in northern France has been hit by a massive explosion Staff writers, news.com.au News Corp Australia Network 9 Feb 17 AN EXPLOSION at a nuclear power plant on France’s northwest coast on Thursday caused minor injuries, but the authorities said there was no risk of radiation.
The blast occurred in the engine room at the Flamanville plant, which lies 25 kilometres west of the port of Cherbourg and just across from the Channel Islands. “It is a technical incident. It is not a nuclear accident,” senior local official Jacques Witkowski said. He said a ventilator had exploded outside the nuclear zone at the plant, which has been in operation since the 1980s and is operated by state-controlled energy giant EDF.
“It’s all over. The emergency teams are leaving,” Mr Witkowski said.Five people suffered smoke inhalation but there were no serious injuries, Mr Witkowski said.
One of the two pressurised water reactors at the plant was shut down after the explosion and the incident was declared over at 1100 GMT (10pm AEDT), the authorities said.
The two 1300 megawatt reactors have been in service since 1985 and 1986, and the site currently employs 810 people, along with an additional 350 subcontractors.
A new third-generation reactor known as EPR is being built at Flamanville, which will be the world’s largest when it goes into operation in late 2018.
“Explosions in turbines, usually related to oil in bearings overheating, are not uncommon and occur from time to time in conventional coal, oil or gas plants,” said Barry Marsden, a professor of nuclear graphite technology at the University of Manchester.
But Neil Hyatt, a professor of radioactive waste management at Sheffiled University said the incident should not be taken lightly.
“Any incident of this kind at a nuclear power plant is very serious, and the national and international regulators will want to undertake a thorough investigation to understand the cause and lessons to be learned,” he said.
Construction of the new reactor at Flamanville began in 2007 and was initially due for completion in 2012 but has been delayed several times, and its initial budget has more than tripled, to 10.5 billion euros ($11.2 billion)…….http://www.news.com.au/world/europe/flamanville-plant-in-northern-france-has-been-hit-by-a-massive-explosion/news-story/28f0f083f4850f3289939ed489f56c95
Seawater leak forces reduced power at Pilgrim nuclear power plant, Wicked Local Pembroke By
A seawater leak at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has prompted plant operators to sharply reduce energy output there.
Control room operators reduced power to about 50 percent on Monday afternoon, Feb. 6, after there was an indication of a leakage into the Plymouth plant’s condenser.
A power plant spokesman told the News Service on Tuesday morning that the plant is now operating at 28 percent while repair work is undertaken.
Entergy Pilgrim Station spokesman Patrick O’Brien did not have an estimate of how much seawater leaked into the plant’s condenser……..http://pembroke.wickedlocal.com/news/20170207/seawater-leak-forces-reduced-power-at-pilgrim-nuclear-power-plant
Scottish cold war nuclear submarine collision kept secret for 43 years
Documents published by CIA reveal crash between US and Soviet subs a few miles off coast of Scotland in 1974, Guardian, Matthew Weaver, 26 Jan 17, Two nuclear submarines from rival sides in the cold war collided a few miles off the coast of Scotland in an incident that was covered up for 43 years.
The potentially catastrophic crash occurred in November 1974 when the SSBN James Madison, armed with 16 Poseidon nuclear missiles, was heading out of the US naval base at Holy Loch, 30 miles north-west of Glasgow.
Soon after leaving the port it hit an unidentified Soviet submarine that had been sent to tail it, according to a cable to then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, marked “secret eyes only” [pdf].
The cable, sent by national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, said: “Have just received word from the Pentagon that one of our Poseidon submarines has just collided with a Soviet submarine.
“The SSBN James Madison was departing Holy Loch to take up station when it collided with a Soviet submarine waiting outside the port to take up trail.
“Both submarines surfaced and the Soviet boat subsequently submerged again. There is no report yet of the extent of damage. Will keep you posted.”
The cable was published by the CIA on 17 January as part of a mass release of more than 12m pages of previously classified reports in 930,000 documents.
The cable corroborates an until-now unconfirmed report on the incident in the Washington Post on 1 January 1975 by the investigative journalist Jack Anderson. He reported that the collision left a 9ft scratch on the side of the James Madison and that the two submarines came within inches of sinking one another.
Another document marked “top secret” [pdf]released in the same batch expressed alarm that the news of the collision had leaked.
It said: “On 3 January, the NID [National Intelligence Daily] ran an item on the collision just off Holy Loch of US Polaris submarine and a Soviet attack submarine. Unfortunately, Jack Anderson had run the same news in the Washington Post a day or two earlier.
“This pre-emption on Anderson’s part forced the surfacing (no pun intended) of a piece of information in a current intelligence 2 months after the event occurred. …..
Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said the secret cable exposed the “enormous risks” of nuclear weapons.
“The history of nuclear weapons is a history of near misses, accidents, potential catastrophes and cover-ups. This latest example joins 25 other near misses that could have led to nuclear war.”
CND is calling for an inquiry into Trident, the successor to the Poseidon programme, after it emerged that a malfunctioning missile with the potential to carry a nuclear warhead was forced to self-destruct in mid-air off the US coast last June.
Hudson added: “These enormous risks have to be acknowledged particularly when we also now face the increasing likelihood of cyber-attack on nuclear weapons systems. With advancing technological developments added to the already dangerous mix there can be no confidence that nuclear weapons are a credible part of British security in the 21st century……… https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/25/nuclear-submarine-collision-cold-war-cia-scotland
At least one person has died in an explosion at a power plant in central Russia, media are reporting, citing Emergencies Ministry sources. The blast caused metal structures to collapse over a 600-square-meter area.
“According to preliminary reports, a gas mixture exploded at the power plant,” TASS news agency reported, citing a source at the Emergencies Ministry of the Penza region.
The total number of victims is yet unclear, the source said. However, TASS has reported that one person died, citing the Russian Center for Disaster Medicine.
The building of the TPP-1 power plant has been partially destroyed, and some 600 square meters of its roof are said to have collapsed, according to RIA Novosti, citing a source at Emergencies Services.
The incident has not affected the city’s heating supply, TASS reported, citing the head of the Emergencies Ministry’s press service, Anna Shupilova.
“The incident did not affect the heating system of the city; the whole heating system is operating in normal mode,” she said.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW
Source for this diagram ; http://www.gazprom.com/f/posts/01/207595/annual-report-2012-eng.pdf
Background on Plant
The Novocherkasskaya GRES coal-fired power plant is owned by OGK-2 (Second Generating Company of the Wholesale Power Market), a subsidiary of the Russian gas giant Gazprom. The plant is located near the city of Novocherkassk, and consists of eight 264-MW coal-fired units. Construction was originally approved in 1952; the first unit went online in 1965, and the final, eighth unit in 1972. The plant has since been converted to run on gas as a supplementary fuel, but the primary fuel is still coal.
The plant was formerly owned by OGK-6, which was also majority-owned by Gazprom; Gazprom merged OGK-6 into OGK-2 in November 2011. The boilers in Units 6 and 7 were replaced in 2005 and 2009, respectively.
Description of Expansion
In 2011, OGK-2 signed a contract for the construction of a 330-MW ninth coal-fired unit at Novocherkasskaya. The construction contractor is SWECO Soyuz Engineering, a subsidiary of SOYUZ Holding. Unit 9 will run on circulating fluidized bed technology. Total construction cost will be about $700 million. The boiler was built by U.S. company Foster Wheeler. Completion was originally scheduled for November 2015. In July 2015, the provincial government said the unit was on track to be completed in late 2015 or early 2016.
The unit was successfully tested in December 2015. The unit was completed and brought online in July 2016.[8
British unarmed nuclear missile ‘veered towards US mainland’ in test firing http://www.news.com.au/world/british-unarmed-nuclear-missile-veered-towards-us-mainland-in-test-firing/news-story/1c54697418967b79ff406bc805104709 JANUARY 23, 2017 THE UK government has been accused of a cover up after failing to disclose that an unarmed nuclear missile may have been mistakenly fired at the US mainland.
LACEY – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission performed special inspections of Oyster Creek Generating Station after personnel found a box of uranium-containing monitors outside the nuclear power plant’s designated nuclear-containing Material Access Area.
SMH, 24 Dec 16, Eamon Duff. A security consultant who held a “top secret” government clearance inside Australia’s only nuclear facility has been arrested and charged with the
illegal possession of “official secrets” and an unauthorised weapon.
Until February last year, Anthony Rami Haddad was manager of security and operations at the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, safeguarding the site against theft, diversion and sabotage.
However, following a stint in the Middle easrt where he worked on another nuclear security project, he returned hom eto Sydney, and last month became entangled in an unrelated investigation being run by the Australian Federal Police’s fraud and anti-corruption team.
A fortnight ago, Haddad appeared before Sydney’s Downi8ng Centre Local court, where he pleaded guilty to unauthorised receipt of official secrets under the Commonwealth crimes Act.
He has yet to enter a plea for a second charge, ppossessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm. His barrister, Nikolaos Siafakas, will apply to have the outstanding matter dealt with under section 32 of teh Mental Health Act……..
According to ANSTO documents, Haddad’s many responsibilities at Lucas Heights included the “mamagement of security operations” at the onsite Little Forest radioactive waste dump and its “seamless integration” into the facility’s “wider” protective security systems.
Haddad will reappear in court on February 7 http://www.smh.com.au/national/lucas-heights-security-boss-anthony-haddad-charged-over-official-secrets-gun-20161223-gthdwv.html
In 1968, a B-52 Bomber Crashed (With 4 Super Lethal Nuclear Weapons Onboard That ‘Exploded’) The National Interest, Matthew Gault December 15, 2016 Throughout the 1950s and ’60s American bombers carrying nuclear weapons crisscrossed the globe, ready at a moment’s notice to fly into the heart of Russia and bomb it back to the stone age. Strategic Air Command — a now defunct branch of the U.S. Air Force — commanded this airborne alert force.
It was once the pride of the American military. For more than a decade, SAC bombers were no more than 15 minutes from nuking Russia. But the shifts on the bombers were long — sometimes more than 24 hours — and keeping such an alert force ready was taxing on pilots and crew.
There were many accidents.
In 1958, a B-47 carrying a nuke collided with an F-86 Sabre in the skies above Savannah, Georgia. The B-47 jettisoned its nuclear payload into the Atlantic Ocean. Authorities never recovered the bomb.
Months later, another B-47 dropped its nuke over South Carolina when a bomb technician aboard accidentally activated the emergency release. The bomb’s conventional explosives detonated and destroyed a nearby house.
In 1966, a B-52 crashed in Spain, spilling the nuclear guts of two bombs onto nearby farms. After the accident, Spain halted nuclear-armed American planes from passing through its air space.
Those were bad, but SAC and its airborne alert survived them. Then, in 1968, a B-52 crashed near Thule Monitoring Station in Greenland and spilled its payload all over the ice. It was one disaster too many, and it signaled the end of America’s airborne alert program … and Strategic Air Command’s prestige……..
The Arctic’s climate is harsh and the radar station was fragile. Outages were frequent, and SAC needed redundancy to ensure that it didn’t attack Moscow just because it lost contact with Thule.
So SAC did what it always did. It strapped some nukes on a bomber. The air command sent one of its airborne alert bombers — complete with live nukes — to fly above the Thule monitoring station 24 hours a day … forever.
It seemed silly to keep live nukes in the air above the world’s head all day, every day. It was a sword of Damocles and it dropped in 1968.
On Jan. 21, 1968, fire swept through the cabin of the airborne B-52 watching Thule station. Smoke and flames consumed the plane and the seven crew members ejected. Six survived. The bomber crashed into an ice cap in the bay near the base.
The conventional explosives in the plane’s four hydrogen bombs exploded and cracked their nuclear payloads. Radioactive elements slid out of the bombs and onto the ice.
SAC’s Operation Chrome Dome was already on its last legs. The Thule accident just confirmed what many politicians and military leader already thought — keeping a fleet of nuclear-armed bombers in the air at all times was dangerous and insane……….
Only one of the B-52’s crew died during the Thule disaster, but his death wasn’t the end of the tragedy. The hydrogen bombs spread jet fuel and radioactive materials across the ice cap. It busted up the flow of the sea, blackened the ice and spread plutonium, uranium, americium and tritium into the ice and water……..
the Danish workers who helped clean up the site are dying of cancer. Crested Ice was a rush job done under pressure from the international community, and its leadership cut corners. American and Danish workers didn’t have the protective gear they needed to work with the radioactive materials.
The Danes tried to sue the United States for compensation and 1987, but failed. In 1995, Copenhagen paid a settlement to 1,700 members of the crew. Crested Ice, the plight of its workers and the possibility that America left contaminated material behind is a recurring story in the Danish press to this day……..This first appeared in WarIsBoring here. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/1968-b-52-bomber-crashed-4-super-lethal-nuclear-weapons-18746
French Nuclear Plant Technician Continued Working While Under Investigation For Terrorism, BuzzFeed News, 14 Dec 16, Paris Rida E. was put under investigation for suspected ties to terrorist groups in Syria, but that didn’t prevent him from working for several months at a nuclear power plant.
A French radiation protection technician has been banned from working at nuclear power plants by a Paris court more than three years after he began posting in support of armed jihad on Facebook.
The 31-year-old technician, referred to in court proceedings as Rida E., was permitted to access nuclear plants for several months while he was being investigated by French authorities for suspected ties to terrorist groups in Syria. He was convicted on Dec. 7 of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism……https://www.buzzfeed.com/paulaveline/rida-e-employee-of-the-tricastin-and-devoted-def?utm_term=.xtWZDAWkLe#.fnNAdXYxOD
An Albuquerque watchdog group is calling for an additional federal review before WIPP can reopen.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant outside Carlsbad has been working for nearly three years to recover from a radiation accident in February 2014.
Roof collapses at WIPP raise new safety questions,Albuquerque Journal By Lauren Villagran / Journal Staff Writer Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 In a salt mine more than 2,000 feet underground where drums of nuclear waste are embedded in enormous rooms – some radiologically contaminated – workers heard a loud noise and saw a spray of salt dust.
https://realrussiatoday.com/2016/11/22/explosion-at-nuclear-power-station-in-russia/6th reactor building of the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, that was built based on an experimental reactor VVER-1200, could only work a few weeks at full capacity until an accident occurred.
Locals reported a powerful explosion at the nuclear power plant, reports Russian ecological media Bellona.ru.
At the same time, Russian state-owned media traditionally kept extremely silent regarding the details of the incident. In particular, news agency RIA Novosti reported that “the 6th power unit of Novovoronezh nuclear power plant was disconnected from the grid due to failure of the power generator.” Meanwhile, independent environmental organizations found out that the problem is actually much more serious.
“Turning off the 6th unit at the night of November 10 was preceded by an explosion that smashed the turbine hall,” writes the local media “Notebook Voronezh”, citing eyewitness of the accident. “Alarm systems in all vehicles in the area were screaming for at least 15 minutes. The generator in the turbine hall of the 6th unit burned down beyond repair. Also, a transformer blown, and all electrics burned. A state commission is working at the station, the situation is an emergency.”
Employees of Novovoronezh NPP deny the information about an explosion. They say that a loud sound was caused by a fault trip.
“During the power test, an electrical generator failure occurred, which led to the shutdown of the power grid,” told a representative of Novovoronezh NPP administration on a condition of anonymity. “When you disconnect a power generator and a turbine, a system triggers that prevents building up pressure of the steam over the limit. The loud sound was caused by a rapid opening of valves.”
Iran Loses Nuclear Device, Sparks GCC Worry , Oil Price,
Aside from the security concerns, at the forefront in the GCC’s mind is what impact the radioactive device—wherever it may be today—could have on water supplies.
According to the newspaper, the device went missing after the car transporting it was stolen. Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered, but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky.
Most members of the GCC – which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman – desalinate sea water from the Gulf. If contamination from the device were to reach desalination stations, an already critical situation becomes even more critical.
The missing device is set to lose half of its power after 74 days of inactivity, Tamimi said, noting that it still should be handled with care even after that period……..http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Iran-Loses-Nuclear-Device-Sparks-GCC-Worry.html
The unusual event notice is the lowest of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s four emergency classification levels. The fire was self-extinguished moments after it started and there were no injuries or impact on plant operations, Entergy said.
The cable that experienced the electrical faulty carries electricity between both operating units at the Buchanan plant.
The company is investigating the cause of the fault, according to Entergy.
Power plants seek nuclear option to end jellyfish raids, Sunday Times, There are plenty of problems for those in charge of nuclear power stations to worry about when they look out to sea, from rising sea levels, erosion, storm surges, even in some cases tsunamis, but few are as ever present, or as irritating, as jellyfish.
Swarms of them have plagued coastal power plants worldwide by clogging their water intakes and cooling systems. In June 2011, Torness in the east of Scotland was forced offline for a week after moon jellyfish blocked its filters.
Yet they are fiendishly difficult to stop, track or predict because jellyfish have no hearts and thus… (registered readers only) http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/power-plants-seek-nuclear-option-to-end-jellyfish-raids-tqjzf7bst