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Beirut explosion was not an atomic bomb

The Beirut explosion created a huge mushroom cloud and visible blast wave, but nuclear-weapons experts say it wasn’t an atomic bomb. Here’s why. Business Insider , DAVE MOSHER, AUG 5, 2020, 

  • An explosion at a port rocked the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least dozens of people.
  • As videos of the explosion spread across social-media sites, some observers likened the appearance of a mushroom cloud to that of an atomic bomb.
  • The Lebanese prime minister has said the blast came from a stockpile of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse.
  • Nuclear-weapons experts say the detonation was definitely not triggered by an atomic bomb.
  • Atomic explosions are characterised by a blinding flash of light, a pulse of searing heat, and radioactive fallout, none of which were detected………….   https://www.businessinsider.com.au/beirut-explosion-not-nuclear-bomb-despite-mushroom-cloud-no-flash-2020-8?r=US&IR=T

August 6, 2020 Posted by | incidents, MIDDLE EAST | Leave a comment

Fire at the Belleville nuclear power plant reveals the disorganization of EDF

August 4, 2020 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Who flew drones over the nuclear reactors?

August 3, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Mystery over drone swarm above America’s largest nuclear power station

the intruders, as well as establishing that Palo Verde lacks effective drone defenses, may now have highly detailed maps of the facility, showing the exact location of every valve, pipe, switch and control. Perhaps they simply aim to sell these on the dark web to anyone who will pay. Or perhaps they have something else in mind. Either way, it is an alarming demonstration of how easily drone intruders can now go anywhere anytime they wish. 

Drone Swarm’ Invaded Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant Last September — Twice   Forbes Jul 30, 2020, David Hambling

Documents gained under the Freedom of Information Act show how a number of small drones flew around a restricted area at Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant on two successive nights last September. Security forces watched, but were apparently helpless to act as the drones carried out their incursions before disappearing into the night. Details of the event gives some clues as to just what they were doing, but who sent them remains a mystery.

Details of the events were obtained from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by Douglas D. Johnson on behalf of the Scientific Coalition for UAP Studies (SCU) using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The SCU’s main interest is in anomalous aerospace phenomena, what other people term UFOs. In this case though the flying objects were easily identifiable as drones, although their exact mission and origin are unknown. Johnson passed the information to The War Zone who give a detailed account.

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant is the largest in the U.S., producing over three gigawatts, 35% of Arizona’s total power capacity. It supplies electricity to Phoenix and Tucson, as well as San Diego and Los Angeles. It is a critical piece of strategic infrastructure; during the 2003 Iraq War, National Guard troops were deployed to Palo Verde to defend against a possible terrorist threat. In normal times, as with other nuclear installations, it is protected by armed security guards.

The armed guards, gates, fences and barriers were useless on the night of September 29th. According to the official report:

Officer noticed several drones (5 or 6) flying over the site. The drones are circling the 3 unit site inside and outside the Protected Area. The drones have flashing red and white rights [sic] and are estimated to be 200 to 300 hundred [sic] feet above the site. It was reported the drones had spotlights on while approaching the site that they turned off when they entered the Security Owner Controlled Area. Drones were first noticed at 20:50 MST and are still over the site as of 21:47 MST. Security Posture was normal, which was changed to elevated when the drones were noticed.”

The drones departed at 22:30, eighty minutes after they were first spotted.   The security officers estimated that they were over two feet in diameter. This indicates that they were not simply consumer drones like the popular DJI Phantom, which have a flight endurance of about half an hour and is about a foot across, but something larger and more capable. The Lockheed Martin Indago, a military-grade quadcopter recently sold to the Swiss Army, has a flight endurance of about seventy minutes and is more than two feet across. At several thousand dollars apiece minimum, these are far less expendable than consumer drones costing a few hundred. All of which suggests this was not just a prank.

The next night events were repeated:…….

Despite this incident, two months later the NRC decided not to require drone defenses at nuclear plants, asserting that small drones could not damage a reactor or steal nuclear material. It is highly likely that such sites are still vulnerable to drone overflights.

Are such drones a genuine threat to nuclear facilities?…….

their ability to strike pinpoint targets to hit control systems and failsafes. While this would be unlikely to cause a Chernobyl, it might well shut the plant down, taking out 35% of Arizona’s electricity at a stroke. The successful attack on the Abqaiq facility last year, in which about twenty garage-built drones knocked out a heavily-defended oil facility in Saudi Arabia, should be a wakeup call that such unmanned precision strikes are not just the preserve of state actors any more………

the intruders, as well as establishing that Palo Verde lacks effective drone defenses, may now have highly detailed maps of the facility, showing the exact location of every valve, pipe, switch and control. Perhaps they simply aim to sell these on the dark web to anyone who will pay. Or perhaps they have something else in mind. Either way, it is an alarming demonstration of how easily drone intruders can now go anywhere anytime they wish.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidhambling/2020/07/30/drone-swarm-invaded-palo-verde-nuclear-power-plant/#78cb15aa43de

August 1, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Mysterious case of mass drone incursions over America’s most powerful nuclear power plant

The Night A Drone Swarm Descended On Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant, The Drive,  BY TYLER ROGOWAY AND JOSEPH TREVITHICK JULY 29, 2020  

The mysterious case of mass drone incursions over America’s most powerful nuclear power plant that only resulted in more questions and no changes.

While the news has been filled with claims that strange unidentified craft with unexplainable capabilities are appearing over highly sensitive U.S. installations and assets as of late, a much less glamorous, more numerous, and arguably far more pressing threat has continued to metastasize in alarming ways—that posed by lower-end and even off-the-shelf drones. Less than a year ago and just days after the stunning drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s most critical energy production infrastructure deep in the heart of that highly defended country, a bizarre and largely undisclosed incident involving a swarm of drones occurred on successive September evenings in 2019. The location? America’s most powerful nuclear plant, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station situated roughly two dozen miles west to Phoenix, near Tonopah, Arizona.

In a trove of documents and internal correspondences related to the event, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) described the incident as a “drone-a-palooza” and said that it highlighted concerns about the potential for a future “adversarial attack” involving small unmanned aircraft and the need for defenses against them. Even so, the helplessness and even cavalier attitude toward the drone incident as it was unfolding by those that are tasked with securing one of America’s largest and most sensitive nuclear facilities serves as an alarming and glaring example of how neglected and misunderstood this issue is.

What you are about to read is an unprecedented look inside a type of event that is less isolated in nature than many would care to believe.

A Rapidly Accelerating Threat

Continue reading

July 30, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power industry – unsafe and shrouded in secrecy

The alarming safety record of India’s nuclear power plants    https://tribune.com.pk/article/97109/the-alarming-safety-record-of-indias-nuclear-power-plants  In 2016, an emergency was declared when the nuclear plant at Kakrapar was shut down after a major water leak, Syed Zain Jaffery, July 28, 2020

The Indian nuclear power industry is still veiled in confidentiality and opacity while refusing to reveal its safety details. Prominent environmental watchdogs have already voiced apprehensions about safety standards adopted by the nuclear establishment, where technical negligence or poor maintenance is commonplace, and regulatory bodies in India habitually sweep major nuclear accidents under the carpet. The production of nuclear energy is regulated in secrecy by a government body known as the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

It is no mystery as to why India is reluctant to establish a completely autonomous and politically neutral nuclear oversight authority to discretely operate from the industry it oversees. The nuclear disaster in Fukushima demonstrated the significance of independent nuclear oversight. India’s persistent refusal to create an independent regulatory body shows a lack of confidence in maintaining standards which are internationally recognised.

New Delhi constituted the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to adopt international benchmarks and procedures. In reality, however, the AERB is not functioning independently of the Department of Atomic Energy. According to the Indian constitution, the AERB is an authority subservient to the central government via DAE. AERB, being a subordinate body to DAE, has frequently found it challenging to enforce global safety standards on DAE and NPCIL operations. There is a shortage of technical staff and relevant equipment at the AERB, which partially explains why it never implemented a benchmark nuclear safety policy.
The projects related to nuclear energy in India appear to be controversial, with nuclear scientists strangely dying and thousands of Indians chanting slogans against the unabated growth of the nuclear industry without proper safety checks. Locals are not, in most cases, satisfied with the Indian nuclear establishment’s policies and safeguard measures. In pursuit of ambitious nuclear power generation, the government did not even hesitate to open fire on demonstrators protesting against unsafeguarded nuclear power projects. Several radiation fatalities in hospitals near major nuclear power plants have been reported in the last decade.
Additionally, the Indian auditor general has frequently reported that the country’s nuclear programme is unpredictable and unregulated. A parliamentary report has pointed out “serious organisational flaws and numerous failings relative to international norms.” The most important question underlined in the report was the AERB’s insufficient legal status and authority.
The Fukushima catastrophe was a major eye-opener for the countries operating nuclear technologies to generate electricity, but India downplayed the whole incident. Poignantly, India was the first country to declare that the reactors of Fukushima were secure. After the Fukushima accident when global nuclear industry initiated inclusive studies to find out the circumstances that led to the nuclear plant’s failure, the DAE said that the Indian nuclear expansion will continue.

The former chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation, S.K. Jain, was of the view that,

“There is no nuclear accident or incident in Japan’s Fukushima plants. It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme which the nuclear operators of the Tokyo Electric Power company are carrying out to contain the residual heat after the plants had an automatic shutdown following a major earthquake.”

This entire episode shows the lack of awareness in India regarding upholding proper safety procedures through a timely tackling of any evolving threats.

After the Bhopal gas tragedy, India has suffered dozens of mishaps in its nuclear power plants which are installed by foreign companies under a very slack liability framework. Indian citizens have been exhibiting their apprehension on the nuclear industry’s poor reactor safety record, and these anxieties have grown since nuclear power plants installed by foreign franchises often contain substandard parts due to faulty manufacturing. In 2016, an emergency was declared when the nuclear plant at Kakrapar in Gujarat was shut down after a major water leak. The nuclear leak in Kakrapar was far more severe than the Indian government had initially claimed.

Alarmingly, Indian nuclear engineers failed to investigate the exact reason for the leakage. The central government unpublicised the incident and did not even allow ordinary citizens to use geiger-counters to measure radiation. Shockingly, New Delhi has prohibited the use of geiger-counters, which is a global norm, under the vague excuse of national security. An on-site emergency at Kakrapar nuclear power plant and the circumstance that led to the major leakage raises many questions regarding Indian nuclear expertise.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in the opposition, it was the major opponent to civil nuclear expansion in India by citing credible objections on limiting nuclear liability. It also backed the agitators against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant and demanded a comprehensive study for the safety of nuclear plants in Jaitapur. Now in government, the BJP has changed its stance and taken a complete U-turn on the issue.
The BJP government has pursued nuclear power irrationally, without taking into account its destructive potential and has failed to respond to criticism. Alarmingly, international suppliers of nuclear technology are finalising nuclear deals with India without analysing security issues related to nuclear safety in the Indian nuclear industry. These business-oriented nuclear deals will create disastrous consequences for not only Indian citizens but also for the entire region.

Syed Zain Jaffery The author holds a Masters degree from NUST, Islamabad and writes about current affairs and politics.

July 30, 2020 Posted by | incidents, India | Leave a comment

A series of accidents and near misses between surface vessels and submarines in the waters round Scotland.

The National 26th July 2020, IN a crowded field for shocking headlines this past month, readers may not
have noticed news of an alarming near-miss between a Royal Navy nuclear
submarine and a ferry on the Belfast-Cairnryan crossing.

The Maritime Accident Investigation Branch’s recently published analysis of this
incident makes for worrying reading and follows on from a series of
similarly dangerous accidents between surface vessels and submarines in the
waters round Scotland.

https://www.thenational.scot/news/18607663.scots-deserve-free-nuclear-sub-risks/

July 27, 2020 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Cause of blast at Iran nuclear site – still shrouded in mystery

OREIGN REPORTS HAVE ATTRIBUTED THE ATTACK TO ISRAEL

Iranian MP: Blast at nuclear site was ’caused by a security breach’       https://www.timesofisrael.com/iranian-mp-blast-at-nuclear-site-was-caused-by-a-security-breach/   Javad Karimi Qoddousi rules out a strike ‘by an external object’ as the cause of a fire that damaged an advanced centrifuge plant at Natanz
By TOI STAFF  22 July 20, 

A building damaged by a fire, at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility some 200 miles (322 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, in a photo released on July 2, 2020. (Atomic Energy Organization of Iran via AP)

An Iranian lawmaker said Wednesday that a recent blast and fire at the Natanz nuclear site was caused by a “security breach.”

MP Javad Karimi Qoddousi, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security Committee, ruled out “a strike on the complex by an external object” as the cause of the blast, appearing to deny the possibility of a missile attack or airstrike.

“If it was from the outside, we should have seen shrapnel, but there are absolutely no remnants left on the site,” he said, according to Radio Farda.

Qoddousi did not elaborate on what he meant by a “security breach.” Radio Farda noted the Persian term he used can also be translated as an infiltration of security, suggesting the blast came from inside the building.

The blast, which US media reports have attributed to Israel, damaged an advanced centrifuge development and assembly plant.

According to a New York Times report earlier this month, the blast was most likely the result of a bomb planted at the facility, potentially at a strategic gas line, but that it was not out of the question that a cyberattack was used to cause a malfunction that led to the explosion.

The July 2 Natanz explosion was one of a series of mysterious blasts at Iranian strategic sites in recent weeks, which have once again been largely attributed to either Washington, Jerusalem, or both.
The substantial damage done by an explosion and a fire at an advanced centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site. (satellite image from Planet Labs Inc. via AP)

Intelligence officials who assessed the damage to the Netanz centrifuge facility told The Times they believed it may have set back the Iranian nuclear program by as much as two years.

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry has said that the cause of the Natanz explosion was not yet known, but warned that the country would retaliate severely if it emerges that a foreign entity was involved.

Iran has also called for action against Israel following the damage to the Natanz facility. “This method Israel is using is dangerous, and it could spread to anywhere in the world,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, during a press conference on July 7.

July 23, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

Iran says world ‘must respond’ to Israel after blast at nuclear site

July 8, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Fire at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility

Iran nuclear: ‘Incident’ at Natanz uranium enrichment facility, BBC, 2 July 2020 

A fire has reportedly damaged a building at a nuclear facility in Iran.

Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behruz Kamalvandi said there was an incident in “one of the industrial sheds under construction” at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

There were no fatalities or concerns about contamination, he added.

The AEOI later published a photo showing a partly burned building, which US-based analysts identified as a new centrifuge assembly workshop.  Centrifuges are needed to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, in a statement sent to BBC Persian journalists before the AEOI’s announcement, an unknown group calling itself “Cheetahs of the Homeland” claimed it had attacked the building. The group said its members were part of “underground opposition with Iran’s security apparatus”.

The claim could not immediately be verified by the BBC.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitors Iran’s compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal struck with world powers, said it was aware of the reports from Natanz and currently anticipated no impact on its verification activities.

The incident comes six days after an explosion near the Parchin military complex.

The Iranian authorities said the blast was caused by “leaking gas tanks” at the site, but analysts said satellite photographs showed it happened at a nearby missile production facility…….. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-53265023Skip Twitter post by @TheGoodISIS

July 4, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Iran | Leave a comment

Swarm of insects cause nuclear reactor to lose power in Michigan

Swarm of insects cause nuclear reactor to lose power in Michigan, Fox 23, July 2, 2020 NEWPORT, Mich. — The Enrico Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant in Newport lost offsite power Wednesday in what has been described as a “mayfly accumulation.”

In a report released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the outage was “caused by mayfly accumulation” around the facility’s switchyard. Diesel generators started automatically as a backup power supply.

According to WOIO, the facility has been trying to keep mayflies from gathering near the switchyards to avoid such an event. The reactor is located on the western side of Lake Erie……https://www.fox23.com/news/trending/swarm-insects-cause-nuclear-reactor-lose-power-michigan/Q526HAYYQBH7TMFJIPANJNOZMU/

July 4, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

New Zealand stood up to the nuclear bullies- the Rainbow Warrior story

NZ gained ‘international creds’ as nuclear-free nation with Rainbow Warrior bombing, says author, Asia Pacific Report

By PMC Editor -June 29, 2020   From RNZ Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

New Zealand established its credentials as an independent small nation after the fatal bombing of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior in 1985, says an author and academic who spent weeks on the vessel shortly before it was attacked.

On 10 July 1985, the Rainbow Warrior was sunk at an Auckland wharf by two bombs planted on the hull of the ship by French secret agents.

The event is often referred to as the first act of terrorism in New Zealand.

LISTEN: The Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan Crime NZ interview with David Robie
WATCH: Eyes of Fire archival videos
READ: The Eyes of Fire book

Two French agents planted two explosives on the ship while it was berthed at Marsden wharf, the second explosion killing Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

Dr David Robie, who is an AUT professor of journalism and communication studies, as well as the director of the university’s Pacific Media Centre, had spent more than 10 weeks on the ship as a journalist covering its nuclear rescue mission in the Pacific.

He wrote about his experience in Eyes of Firea book about the last voyage of the first Rainbow Warrior – two other Rainbow Warrior ships have followed.

In 1985, Rongelap atoll villagers in the Marshall Islands asked Greenpeace to help them relocate to a new home at Mejato atoll. Their island had been contaminated by radioactive fallout from US atmospheric nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific.

Environmental journalism
“At the time I was very involved in environmental issues around the Pacific and in those days Greenpeace was very small, a fledgling organisation,” he tells Jesse Mulligan.

“They had a little office in downtown Auckland and Elaine Shaw was the coordinator and she was quite worried that this was going to be a threshold voyage.

“It was probably the first campaign by Greenpeace that was humanitarian, it wasn’t just environmental – to rescue basically the people who had been suffering from nuclear radiation.” ……….

Moruroa protest planned
The US had carried out 67 nuclear tests at the Marshall Islands. France was also carrying out 193 tests in the Pacific and Greenpeace had planned on confronting that situation at Moruroa Atoll after its Marshall Islands rescue effort.

New Zealand had already voiced disapproval of the testing in the region, with then Prime Minister David Lange in 1984 rebuking the French for “arrogantly” continuing the programme in the country’s backyard.

Dr Robie left the ship when it docked in Auckland after the Marshall Islands stage of the mission. Three days after the ship had docked, a birthday celebration was held for  Greenpeace campaign organiser Steve Sawyer onboard. The attack happened after the party.

Just before midnight on the evening of 10 July 1985, two explosions ripped through the hull as the ship.

Portuguese crew member Fernando Pereira was killed after returning on board after the first explosion……..

Thirteen foreign agents were involved, operating in three teams. The first team brought in the explosives, the second team would plant these and the third was on stand-by in case anything went wrong with the first two teams.

“A commanding officer kept an overview of the whole operation. I think there was an element of arrogance, the same arrogance as with the testing itself. There was a huge amount of arrogance about taking on an operation like this in a peaceful country – we were allies of France at the time – and it is extraordinary that they assumed they could get away with this outrageous act.”

Two of the spies were caught. Two General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) officers, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, were arrested on July 24. Both were charged with murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Repression of independence movements
“You have to see it within the context of the period of the time,” Dr Robie says.

He says that the French policy of repression against independence movements in New Caledonia and Tahiti, with assassinations of Kanak leaders like Eloi Machoro, needed to be understood to put the Rainbow Warrior attack in perspective. France was bitterly defending its nuclear force de frappe.

“New Zealand was unpopular with the major nuclear powers and there was certainly no sympathy for New Zealand’s position about nuclear testing. So, there wasn’t really any co-operation, even from our closest neighbour, Australia……..

The case was a source of considerable embarrassment to the French government.

“They did pay compensation after arbitration that went on with the New Zealand government and Greenpeace. But justice was never really served… the 10 years were never served, both Prieur and Mafart were part of the negotiations with French government.

NZ was held ‘over a barrel’
“Basically, France had New Zealand over a barrel over trade and the European Union, so compromises were reached and Prieur and Mafart were handed over to France for three years. Essentially house arrest at Hao atoll, the rear base of the French nuclear operations in Polynesia.”

Dr Robie said the rear base was widely regarded as a military “Club Med”.

He says they didn’t even spend three years there, but left for France within the time period.

While the attack was on an international organisation rather than New Zealand itself, most New Zealanders saw it as an attack on the sovereignty of the nation

Dr Robie says it left a long-lasting impression on New Zealanders.

“It was a baptism of fire. It was a loss of innocence when that happened. And in that context, we had stood up as a small nation on being nuclear-free. Something we should have been absolutely proud of, which we were, with all those who campaigned for that at the time. I think that really established our independence, if you like, as a small nation.

“I think we have a lot to contribute to the world in terms of peace-making and we shouldn’t lose track of that. The courage that was shown by this country, standing up to a major nuclear power. We should follow through on that kind of independence of thought.” https://asiapacificreport.nz/2020/06/29/nz-gained-international-creds-as-nuclear-free-nation-with-rainbow-warrior-bombing-says-author/

June 29, 2020 Posted by | incidents, New Zealand, politics | Leave a comment

Crash of nuclear waste truck, fortunately the cask was empty

Brattleboro Reformer 22nd June 2020, An oversized flatbed truck carrying an empty nuclear waste cask headed to the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant drove onto a soft shoulder on Route 11 in Andover and tipped over Friday morning, setting off a 36-hour effort to retrieve the cask and reopen the busy east-west highway. The cask is slated to be used at the Vernon nuclear power plant which is undergoing demolition and decommissioning. The cask, which weighs upwards of 50 tons, is used as an on-site cask to transfer waste on site, according to Curtis Roberts, a spokesman for Orano, one of the companies involved in the
decommissioning project with main owner NorthStar Vermont Yankee LLC.

He said the cask is owned and manufactured by Orano [Ed note: formerly AREVA, which went bankrupt] . Orano is disassembling the nuclear reactor core, which contains high levels of radioactivity.

https://www.reformer.com/stories/truck-carrying-empty-nuclear-waste-cask-crashes,607654

June 25, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

The ‘chemical fingerprint’ of a 2017 nuclear explosion

Scientists just found the ‘chemical fingerprint’ of an alleged nuclear explosion that went undeclared in Russia, Business Insider, Aria Bendix Jun 16, 2020   

  • A group of scientists known as the “Ring of Five” detected unusual levels of radiation in Europe in 2017.
  • new study offers “irrefutable proof” that the radiation came from nuclear waste reprocessing.
  • The study lends further evidence to the claim that Russia failed to disclose an accident at the Mayak nuclear facility in September 2017.
  • For the past three years, a group of scientists called the “Ring of Five” has been inching toward the conclusion that an undisclosed nuclear accident took place in Russia in 2017. 

    In July 2019, the group released evidence that an explosion may have occurred at the Mayak nuclear facility — once the center of the Soviet nuclear-weapons program. Mayak was also the site of the 1957 Kyshtym explosion, the world’s third-worst nuclear accident behind Fukushima and Chernobyl.

  • In late 2019, the scientists suggested that, given the large amount of radiation admitted on the date, the accident took place on September 26, 2017. The radiation seemed to spread from Russia’s Southern Urals region (where the Mayak facility is located) toward central Europe, Scandinavia, and Italy.

    third study, released Monday, offers “irrefutable proof” that the explosion was linked to nuclear waste reprocessing — a method that separates plutonium and uranium from spent nuclear fuel. The Mayak facility is the largest nuclear reprocessing facility in the region. That makes it the most likely, if not the only possible, origin site — though Russia has never acknowledged a nuclear accident at the facility in 2017…….

  • The Ring of Five has been monitoring Europe’s atmosphere for elevated levels of radiation since the mid-1980s. The group originally hailed from five countries: Sweden, Germany, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. But after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the team enlisted the help of other nations to expand their efforts. It now includes researchers from 22 countries.
  • On October 2, 2017,  Italian scientists sent an alert to the Ring of Five about elevated levels of ruthenium-106, a radioactive isotope, in Milan. The discovery marked the first time that ruthenium-106 had been found in the atmosphere since Chernobyl.

    “We were stunned,” Steinhauser said. “We did not have any anticipation that there might be some radioactivity in the air. We were just measuring air filters as we do on a weekly basis, 52 times a year, and suddenly there was an unexpected result.”

  • Steinhauser said the explosion was the “single greatest release from nuclear-fuel reprocessing that has ever happened.”

    But Russia has not responded to any findings from the Ring of Five. In December 2017, Russian officials attributed the radiation to an artificial satellite that burned up in the atmosphere. The scientists’ latest study excludes that possibility.

  • The study is the first direct evidence that the ruthenium-106 came from nuclear waste reprocessing. It identified a unique “chemical fingerprint” among samples of the isotope collected in 2017.

    Within those samples, the scientists found signs of two chemicals commonly associated with nuclear waste reprocessing: (III) chloride and ruthenium(IV) oxide. This provided “direct evidence that fuel reprocessing was the origin of the 2017 environmental release,” the scientists wrote………. https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-nuclear-accident-mayak-facility-new-evidence-2020-6?r=AU&IR=T

June 18, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Fire on French submarine – luckily its nuclear reactor, nuclear fuel, had been removed for overhaul

June 13, 2020 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment