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Nuclear Agency employee accused of illegally storing radioactive waste at his home

Nuclear Agency Employee Named Suspect for Storing Radioactive Waste, https://jakartaglobe.id/news/nuclear-agency-employee-named-suspect-for-storing-radioactive-waste, BY :GARDI GAZARIN, MARCH 14, 2020

Jakarta. An employee of the National Nuclear Energy Agency, or Batan, was named suspect for illegally storing radioactive waste at his home in Batan Indah housing complex in South Tangerang, Banten, police have said.

The news came a month after nuclear authorities launched decontamination operation at the housing complex, followed by criminal investigation by the National Police.

The cleanup, that took weeks to complete, was called after the Batan and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) detected radiation in the area. Around 100 drums of soil and grass containing radioactive substance have been removed from the area.

The suspect, identified by initials S.M., is accused of storing radioactive substance called Cesium-137 and dumping toxic waste at the housing complex, National Police’s special crimes director Brig. Gen. Agung Budijono said on Friday.

“We named S.M. as suspect after we conducted the crime scene investigation,” Agung told Jakarta Globe’s sister publication Beritasatu.com.

“At least 26 witnesses, including Batan and Bapeten officials, have been questioned by the police and it was learned that S.M. has no license for storing and processing radioactive waste,” he said.

The suspect is alleged to have run illegal decontamination services for money at his home. He is charged under the 1997 law on nuclear energy, which carries a sentence of up to two years’ imprisonment.

His position at Batan was not disclosed.

A joint investigation involving Batan, Bapeten and police was formed last month after radiation was detected and nine resident had to undergo medical examination for fear of exposure to Cesium-137, which may pose serious risks to human health including cancer and death.

Nuclear agencies ban companies who hold license to use Cesium-137 from storing or managing radioactive waste themselves. They must send it to Batan’s Center for Radioactive Waste Technology in South Tangerang.

The Batan facility is located around 45 kilometers from the housing complex.

March 16, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Indonesia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Safety check records falsified at SC nuclear plant,

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

Positive tests for Caesium-137 in some South Tangerang residents

Two people living in South Tangerang exposed to radioactive waste: Nuclear agency, News Desk, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta   /   Sat, February 22, 2020 . The Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten) has reported that two people living in South Tangerang at the Batan Indah housing complex in Banten, where radioactive materials were recently found discarded, had tested positive for exposure to Caesium-137……..https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/02/22/two-people-living-in-south-tangerang-exposed-to-radioactive-waste-nuclear-agency.html

February 24, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Indonesia | Leave a comment

Radioactive leaks and other problems at Westinghouse nuclear fuel factory near Columbia

February 18, 2020 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

189 nuclear and radioactive material incidents in 2019

IAEA reports 189 nuclear and radioactive material incidents in 2019, https://www.power-technology.com/news/iaea-reports-189-nuclear-and-radioactive-material-incidents-in-2019/  By Ilaria Grasso Macola,

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported 189 incidents involving nuclear and radioactive material falling out of regulatory control in 2019, highlighting the nuclear sector’s need to improve its security measures.

According to data submitted to the IAEA Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB), out of 189 incidents – reported by 36 countries on a voluntary basis – six involved trafficking, following a downward trend since a peak registered in 2006. Of the remaining 183, there was insufficient information to determine a connection with illegal activities.

IAEA nuclear security division director Raja Adnan said: “The ITDB continues to receive reports of incidents involving potentially weapons-usable nuclear material and high activity sources. Some of these incidents also involved attempts to sell the material across borders.

“These cases highlight the international character of the issue of illicit trafficking and the need for cooperative efforts, such as the ITDB, to counter these threats and challenges we face globally.”Since 1993, a total of 3,686 incidents have been reported to the ITDB, of which 290 involved trafficking and malicious intent; 12 incidents included enriched uranium and two plutonium.

Revealed today during the IAEA ministerial conference, the database is intended to support international cooperation and information sharing between countries,reducing the opportunities for criminal activities.
“As a unique asset in the IAEA’s work to strengthen nuclear security, the ITDB allows us to identify threats and trends so that we can support our member states in improving the implementation of their nuclear security commitments,” added Adnan.

On Monday ministers of 140 countries signed a declaration to enhance global nuclear security and counter the threat of terrorism.

Romanian foreign minister and co-president of the conference Bogdan Aurescu said: “The adoption of a declaration at ministerial level is indicative of the continuous commitment to nuclear security of IAEA member states. It is a concise, politically driven and forward-looking document, adding value to the efforts of strengthening nuclear security worldwide.”

February 15, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents | Leave a comment

Plutonium-affected U.S. airmen, cancers, deaths, and a new legal ruling

The Palomares disaster occurred on Jan. 17, 1966, when an American B-52 bomber on a Cold War patrol exploded during a midair refueling accident, sending four hydrogen bombs hurtling toward the ground. They were not armed, so there was no nuclear detonation, but the conventional explosives in two of the bombs blew up on impact, scattering pulverized plutonium over a patchwork of farm fields and stucco houses.

Plutonium is extremely toxic, but it often acts slowly. The alpha-particle radiation it gives off travels only a few inches and would not penetrate skin. But inhaled plutonium dust can lodge in the lungs and steadily irradiate surrounding tissue, gradually inflicting damage that can cause cancer and other ailments, sometimes decades later. A single microgram absorbed in the body is enough to be harmful;  according to declassified Atomic Energy Commission reports, the bombs that blew apart at Palomares contained more than 3 billion micrograms.

February 13, 2020 Posted by | health, incidents, legal, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

5.2-magnitude earthquake near Fukushima

Japan is rattled by 5.2-magnitude earthquake near Fukushima, Daily Mail UK

  • The earthquake struck around 20 miles off the coast of Fukushima province
  • Witnesses said they had felt a 10-second long shake during the tremor today
  • No tsunami warning has been put in place by Japan’s meteorological agency 

By TIM STICKINGS , 12 February 2020 Japan was rattled by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Fukushima province today.

The quake struck just over 50 miles from the city of Fukushima where the nuclear disaster occurred in 2011.

Witnesses said they had felt a 10-second long shake during the tremor at around 7.30pm local time.

No tsunami warning has been put in place by Japan’s meteorological agency.

The US Geological Survey said today’s earthquake had struck at a depth of around 50 miles under the sea.

One witness told earthquake monitoring service EMSC that the quake produced a ‘weak but long shake’ lasting about 10 seconds.

Another said their heater had moved around on its four wheels while making a sound.

Officials in Fukushima prefecture warned residents that there could be aftershocks and directed them to official public safety advice.  Energy company TEPCO, which runs four nuclear power plants in the prefecture, said it was awaiting further information about the earthquake’s impact. …..https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7995301/Japan-rattled-5-2-magnitude-earthquake-near-Fukushima.html

February 13, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Over 32,000 potassium iodide pills ordered in 2 days after Pickering nuclear power plant alert error  

January 16, 2020 Posted by | Canada, incidents | Leave a comment

USA’s Hanford nuclear site could suffer the same fate as Russia’s Mayak – or worse

Comment from Dtlt 21 Dec 19, TRUMP IS CUTTING THE BUDGET TO MONITOR AND TRY TO CLEAN THE HANFORD MESS IN HALF
Massive Nuclear Explosion similar to Kyrshtym by Mayak Can Happen at Hanford if the site is not Monitored and tanks not taken care of.

A 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 are 55 million gallons of the same Radionuclide Mix stored at Hanford, in UnderGround Tanks. They used nitic acid to extract radionuclides at hanford as they did at Kyahym, by Mayak. The nitrates mixed with heat decaying rand hydrogen gas generating radionuclides are very much like the explosive brew that went off in Kyshtym in 1957 and there are 55 million gallons of the explosive brew at Hanford. The heat decay, heat emitting Radionuclides and Hydrogen gas generating explosive mix and the nitrates in the brew are very much at risk for a massive catastrophic chemical-radionuclide explosion . The Kyshtym disaster was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on 29 September 1957 at Mayak, a plutonium production site in Russia for nuclear weapons and nuclear fuel reprocessing plant of the Soviet Union.

If the exlplosive stew becomes 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. 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).
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. This area is usually referred to as the East-Ural Radioactive Trace EURT

December 21, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Reference, wastes | 5 Comments

Scientists track down the source of radioactive plume, – Russian cover-up of a nuclear accident

December 21, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

How India’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) got hacked

How a nuclear plant got hacked, Plugging nuclear plants into the internet makes them vulnerable targets for nation-state attack.  By J.M. Porup, Senior Writer, CSO   December  9, 2019  If you think attacking civilian infrastructure is a war crime, you’d be right, but spies from countries around the world are fighting a silent, dirty war to pre-position themselves on civilian infrastructure — like energy-producing civilian nuclear plants — to be able to commit sabotage during a moment of geopolitical tension.

What follows is an explanation of how India’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) got hacked — and how it could have been easily avoided.

The KNPP hack The news came to light, as it so often does these days, on Twitter. Pukhraj Singh (@RungRage), a “noted cyber intelligence specialist” who was “instrumental in setting up of the cyber-warfare operations centre of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO),” according to The New Indian Express, tweeted: “So, it’s public now. Domain controller-level access Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. The government was notified way back. Extremely mission-critical targets were hit,” noting in a quote tweet that he was aware of the attack as early as September 7, 2019, calling it a “causus belli” (an attack sufficiently grave to provoke a war).

In a later tweet, Singh clarified that he did not discover the malware himself. A third party “contacted me & I notified National Cyber Security Coordinator on Sep 4 (date is crucial). The 3rd party then shared the IoCs with the NCSC’s office over the proceeding days. Kaspersky reported it later, called it DTrack.”

At first the Nuclear Power Plant Corporation of India (NPCI) denied it. In a press release they decried “false information” on social media and insisted the KNPP nuclear power plant is “stand alone and not connected to outside cyber network and internet” and that “any cyber attack on the Nuclear

Power Plant Control System is not possible.”

Then they backtracked. On October 30, the NPCI confirmed that malware was in fact discovered on their systems, and that CERT-India first noticed the attack on September 4, 2019. In their statement, they claimed the infected PC was connected to the administrative network, which they say is “isolated from the critical internal network.”

“Investigation also confirms that the plant systems are not affected,” their statement concludes.

Power Plant Control System is not possible.”

Then they backtracked. On October 30, the NPCI confirmed that malware was in fact discovered on their systems, and that CERT-India first noticed the attack on September 4, 2019. In their statement, they claimed the infected PC was connected to the administrative network, which they say is “isolated from the critical internal network.”

“Investigation also confirms that the plant systems are not affected,” their statement concludes.

A targeted attack

Contrary to some initial reporting, the malware appears to have been targeted specifically at the KNPP facility, according to researchers at CyberBit. Reverse-engineering of the malware sample revealed hard-coded administrator credentials for KNPP’s networks (username: /user:KKNPP\\administrator password: su.controller5kk) as well as RFC 1918 IP addresses (172.22.22.156, 10.2.114.1, 172.22.22.5, 10.2.4.1, 10.38.1.35), which are by definition not internet-routable.

That means it is highly likely the attacker previously broke into KNPP networks, scanned for NAT’ed devices, stole admin credentials, and then incorporated those details into this new malware, a second-stage payload designed for deeper and more thorough reconnaissance of KNPP’s networks.

“This was a very targeted attack on just this plant,” Hod Gavriel, a malware analyst at CyberBit, tells CSO. “Probably this was the second stage of an attack.”

The malware discovered, however, did not include Stuxnet-like functionality to destroy any of KNPP’s systems. “This phase was only for collection of information, it wasn’t sabotageware,” Gavriel says. ….. https://www.csoonline.com/article/3488816/how-a-nuclear-plant-got-hacked.html

December 16, 2019 Posted by | incidents, India | Leave a comment

Release of radioactive dust at Dounreay contravened regulations

December 16, 2019 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Los Alamos National Laboratory lost 250 barrels of nuke waste

State report: LANL lost track of 250 barrels of nuke waste, Santa Fe New Mexican, By Scott Wyland sfnewmexican.com, Dec 9, 2019 

The contractor that’s been in charge of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s operations for the past year lost track of 250 barrels of waste, while the company heading the legacy cleanup mislabeled and improperly stored waste containers and took months to remedy some infractions, according to the state’s yearly report on hazardous waste permit violations.

Triad National Security LLC, a consortium of nonprofits that runs the lab’s daily operations, had 19 violations of its permit from the New Mexico Environment Department. Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos, also known as N3B, which is managing a 10-year cleanup of waste generated at the lab, was cited 29 times.

Triad’s most notable violation was shipping 250 barrels of mostly mixed waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad without tracking them. Mixed waste contains low-level radioactive waste and other hazardous materials. Inspectors found records still listed the waste at the national lab.  …..

A disastrous “kitty litter” incident happened under Los Alamos National Security, in which a waste barrel was packaged in error with a volatile blend of organic cat litter and nitrate salts, causing the container to burst and leak radiation at the Southern New Mexico storage site. WIPP closed for almost three years, and the cleanup cost about $2 billion.

The National Nuclear Security Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy that oversees the lab, declined to renew LANS’ contract in 2015. Triad took over operations in November 2018. Among Triad’s duties is to dispose of waste at the lab generated from 1999 to the present.

N3B won a $1.4 billion contract in December 2017 to clean up waste produced at the lab before 1999.

The company was cited for a slew of mislabeled waste containers during the year. Inspectors also found some waste barrels, which are stored under tent-like domes, coated with snow or rainwater.

N3B also failed to remedy within 24 hours the flaws that inspectors found in equipment or structures that could present an environmental or human-health hazard, the report said. Inspectors discovered N3B took as long as 18 months to fix cracks in concrete and asphalt surfaces…….. https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/state-report-lanl-lost-track-of-barrels-of-nuke-waste/article_e9de8348-17cc-11ea-bae3-c71a1aadd222.html

December 12, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Cyber attack targets UK’s nuclear industry

Telegraph UK,   Wil Crisp, 30 NOVEMBER 2019 GCHQ cyber experts have been called in after a digital attack on a major player in Britain’s nuclear power ­industry triggered a security crisis.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), an arm of GCHQ, has been ­secretly providing assistance to a ­nuclear power company in the UK that has struggled to recover after being hit by a cyber attack, The Telegraph can reveal.

A Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) report, obtained using freedom of information legislation, said officials are “aware that an important business in the Nuclear Power Generating Sector has been negatively impacted by a cyber attack and has had to rely on expertise from the NCSC to help them with recovery”.

The document,... (subscribers only) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/11/30/cyber-attack-targets-uks-nuclear-industry/

December 2, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

For the 8th time this year, a Hanford worker exposed to nuclear radiation

Contamination halts work at Hanford project. It’s the 8th worker exposure this year, Tri City Herald, BY ANNETTE CARY

NOVEMBER 20, 2019  Work has halted at Hanford to remove a highly radioactive spill just north of Richland after an eighth incident this year in which a worker’s clothing or skin was contaminated with radioactive waste.

The 324 Building sits over a leak of radioactive cesium and strontium into the soil beneath it at the site about one mile north of Richland and about 300 yards west of the Columbia River.

“Although individually the contamination levels (on workers) have been low and no dose has been assigned to workers, collectively the number of personnel contamination events indicate a negative trend in contamination control that corrective actions taken to date have been inadequate to address,” the Department of Energy wrote in a Nov. 14 letter to its contractor on the project, CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co.

Earlier the same day that DOE sent the letter, CH2M had stopped work at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s 324 Building — one of several temporary halts to at least some of the work there this year.

Joe Franco, the DOE deputy manager at the DOE Richland Operations Office, told CH2M in the letter that he would not allow work to resume in the highly contaminated areas of the 324 Building until the company had developed a plan of correction and DOE had agreed on the path forward……. https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article237601614.html?fbclid=IwAR2PEXSoItPKGXYQxV0lOc3NJ2-KFlstPIvbdexqiIgP_i23UgMl9bBqGg4

November 25, 2019 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment