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
Nation-State Hackers Hit Japanese Nuclear Facility, Info Security Magazine, 19 Oct 16, A Japanese nuclear research facility has been hacked, resulting in the theft of 59,000 files.
The University of Toyama’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Center is one of the world leaders in tritium research. Tritium, also known as Hydrogen-3, is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that is an important fuel for controlled nuclear fusion, and a key component of hydrogen bombs.
It is also one of the contaminants in the water building up at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The infiltrators stole the lab’s tritium research, according to Japanese media, along with the personal details of 1,493 researchers. Attackers stole data in three batches: December 2015, March 2016 and June 2016.
The malware that was used in the breach was delivered via a spear-phishing attack in November of 2015, when a hacker posed as a Tokyo university student working on a research assignment. Investigators said that the malware samples they analyzed were also pre-programmed to search the victim’s computer for the term IAEA, which is the acronym for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.
“The breach at the University of Toyama’s Hydrogen Isotope Research Center is a textbook example of the sort of cyber-threats facing academia,” said Vishal Gupta, CEO of Seclore, via email. “Researchers are extremely lucrative targets for nation-states, as it’s cheaper to invest in the theft of existing data then to conduct the research outright…….. http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/nationstate-hackers-hit-japanese/
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant sees third ceiling
collapse, Aiken Standard, By Thomas Gardinert firstname.lastname@example.org Oct 8 2016 New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has suffered its third ceiling collapse.
The first collapse was discovered Sept. 27, and the following two happened this past week. The third collapse was identified on Friday morning and was found to have followed the cave-in earlier in the week.
According to a WIPP update sent Friday evening, the area of the collapse continues to remain restricted for workers and employees. According to SRS Watch Director Tom Clements, who has been inside the facility, material regularly comes off of the walls and ceiling.
WIPP is an underground facility, cut into salt beds. Over time, groundwater and other natural forces are designed to form the salt deposits around the waste containers. He said the facility was designed to encase the nuclear waste buried there to permanently dispose of the material…
The WIPP facility was shut down in 2014 after a containment leak and an underground salt-truck fire. The facility is set to reopen in December 2016 and shipments are expected to resume in the fall of 2017.
WIPP is the intended resting place for some of the nuclear material at South Carolina’s Savannah River Site near Aiken. The Energy Department is currently disposing of plutonium through a process called dilute and dispose. That material is among those eventually intended for WIPP disposal.
According to the WIPP update, emergency evacuation routes were also out of date. The routes were still based on the facility before sections were closed, including the areas where the cave-ins occurred. The update said, “The Department of Energy identified a deficiency in the WIPP Mine Escape and Evacuation Plan, which still relied on evacuation routes established before some areas had been posted as prohibited. NWP had identified compensatory measures – immediate changes that could be made while the Evacuation Plan is formally updated.”
According to the update, the Energy Department has a town hall meeting planned for Oct. 13 in Carlsbad, New Mexico, to discuss recent ground control issues……..http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20161008/AIK0101/161009624
Despite Three Mile Island, Daiichi Power Plant in Japan and Chernobyl, the industry still poo-poos the danger. At Chernobyl, after the initial explosion, the 185 tons of melting nuclear waste was still melting down. When it reached the water a thermonuclear explosion would have occurred. It was estimated it would have wiped out half of Europe and made Europe, Ukraine and parts of Russia uninhabitable for 500,000 years. This was prevented when three workers volunteered to dive in the radioactive water and open the valves to drain the pool and prevent a second explosion, knowing it would mean death by radioactive poisoning. They succeeded in draining the pool, but died of radiation sickness within a few weeks. Their bodies remained radioactive and were buried in lead coffins.
If a similar “incident,” as the nuclear industry insists they be called, happens in Clinton, do you think Rep. Bill Mitchell, the Clinton School Board, DeWitt County Board of any of the 700 workers or any other advocates of keeping the plant open will step forward?
the real problem is that the nuclear industry lost its credibility almost at its inception, and has never recovered. It was hastily launched, endowed with the sort of government indulgence that breeds sloppiness, and has tried to conceal its faults through secrecy and legal bluster
GIL SCOTT HERON – WE ALMOST LOST DETROIT
50 years after ‘we almost lost Detroit,’ America’s nuclear power industry faces even graver doubts, LA Times, 5 Oct 16 Michael Hiltzik Contact Reporter The history of nuclear power in the United States has been marked by numerous milestones, many of them bad — accidents, construction snafus, engineering incompetence, etc., etc. One anniversary of an incident that has cast a long shadow over the nuclear power industry’s claim for safety will be marked this week. On Oct. 5, 1966 — that’s 50 years ago Wednesday — Detroit Edison’s Fermi-1 nuclear plant suffered a partial meltdown, caused by a piece of floating shrapnel inside the container vessel.
One anniversary of an incident that has cast a long shadow over the nuclear power industry’s claim for safety will be marked this week. On Oct. 5, 1966 — that’s 50 years ago Wednesday — Detroit Edison’s Fermi-1 nuclear plant suffered a partial meltdown, caused by a piece of floating shrapnel inside the container vessel. Continue reading
UK nuclear weapons convoys ‘have had 180 mishaps in 16 years’ Vehicles carrying nuclear weapons have had collisions, breakdowns and brake failures, disarmament campaign says, Guardian, Rob Evans, 21 Sept 16, Military convoys carrying nuclear weapons through Britain’s cities and towns have experienced 180 mishaps and incidents, including collisions, breakdowns and brake failures during the last 16 years, according to a report produced by a disarmament campaign.
The incidents catalogued in the report – based on official logs released under theFreedom of Information Act – include fuel leaks, overheated engines, clutch problems, and other mechanical faults in the convoys.
At other times, according to the report, the convoys went the wrong way, were diverted, and lost communications with commanders. The rate at which the incidents have occurred has risen in recent years, with 43 in the last three years.
In its report published on Wednesday, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) warns that a serious accident involving the convoys could spread radioactivity over cities, contaminating communities and increasing cancer risks.
The convoys pass through cities and towns between Scotland and southern England. However, an opinion poll commissioned by Ican shows that nearly two-thirds of British adults did not know that the military transports nuclear warheads on British roads, prompting the campaigners to argue that members of the public have not given their consent to the dangers they pose.
Materials for nuclear weapons are driven through or flown over 122 local councils in the UK, including densely-populated areas such as Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Newcastle, according to Ministry of Defence data…….
The Ican report describes how nuclear warheads are carried in dark green, 44-tonne trucks between a bomb factory at Burghfield near Reading in Berkshire and a naval depot at Coulport on Loch Long near Glasgow, where they are loaded onto submarines.
The 900-mile round trips, usually spread over one or two days, are completed between two and six times a year, with the most recent onereported to have been completed this week.
According to Ican, the convoys – comprising up to 20 vehicles including police cars and a fire engine – use a variety of routes. One from Burghfield, where the warheads are assembled and maintained, goes along the M40, round Birmingham and past Preston on the M6, and then the M74 to Glasgow……..
The 15 costliest nuclear disasters and the nuclear risks of the future,Treehugger, Christine Lepisto (@greenanswer) September 20, 2016 The names Chernobyl and Fukushima connote nuclear disaster. But do you remember Three Mile Island? Have you ever heard of Beloyarsk, Jaslovske, or Pickering? These names appear among the 15 most expensive nuclear disasters.
- Chernobyl, Ukraine (1986): $259 billion
- Fukushima, Japan (2011): $166 billion
- Tsuruga, Japan (1995): $15.5 billion
- Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, USA (1979): $11 billion
- Beloyarsk, USSR (1977): $3.5 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1969): $2.5 billion
- Athens, Alabama, USA (1985): $2.1 billion
- Jaslovske Bohunice, Czechoslovakia (1977): $2 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1968): $1.9 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1971): $1.3 billion
- Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA (1986): $1.2 billion
- Chapelcross, UK (1967): $1.1 billion
- Chernobyl, Ukraine (1982): $1.1 billion
- Pickering, Canada (1983): $1 billion
- Sellafield, UK (1973): $1 billion
A new study of 216 nuclear energy accidents and incidents crunches twice as much data as the previously best review, predicting that
“The next nuclear accident may be much sooner or more severe than the public realizes.”
The study points to two significant issues in the current assessment of nuclear safety. First, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serves the dual masters of overseeing the industry and promoting nuclear energy. Second, the primary tool used to assess the risk of nuclear incidents suffers from blind spots.
The conflict of interest in the first issue is clear. The second issue may not be transparent to the layperson until they understand more fully how industry conducts the probabilistic safety assessments (PSAs) which are the source of the standard predictions of the risk of nuclear accidents. …….http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/15-costliest-nuclear-disasters-and-nuclear-risks-future.html