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Unusual damage to UK nuclear submarine

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January 8, 2019 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Closer inspection of Peach Bottom nuclear plant following violation notice

Peach Bottom nuclear plant issued violation notice, will come under closer scrutiny from regulators https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/peach-bottom-nuclear-plant-issued-violation-notice-will-come-under/article_a147a194-105e-11e9-8b99-a32817bc8be2.htmlAD CRABLE | Staff Writer, Jan 4, 2019 

      The Peach Bottom nuclear plant will come under closer inspection from federal regulators following damage to an emergency diesel generator during a test in June.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Peach Bottom owner Exelon committed a violation in the low to moderate safety range for the incident.

The violation notice comes after plant staff and NRC regulators twice found problems on one of the four generators. The problems were fixed but during a test of the generator in June, a fit pin became dislodged and damaged compressor blades. Debris from the blades contaminated other parts of the generator, the NRC said.

The NRC said that “Exelon failed to take adequate corrective actions to address the adverse conditions involving the (generator), leading to the problems that surfaced on June 13.

The violation means that the NRC will focus more scrutiny on Peach Bottom. The agency will perform an inspection at the plant in coming months to review the company’s root-cause evaluation of the issues and any corrective actions, the NRC said.

Exelon did not contest the findings.

Exelon has asked the NRC for permission to extend the license of the York  County nuclear plant for 20 years, to 2053 and 2054 for its two units.

The NRC is reviewing the request.

January 6, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Putin puts shipping safety regulation in the Arctic into the hands of the nuclear industry!

It’s a law – Russian Arctic shipping to be regulated by Rosatom https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2019/01/its-law-russian-arctic-shipping-be-regulated-rosatom

President Putin signs the bill that makes the country’s state nuclear power company top regulator of the Northern Sea Route.By Atle Staalesen, January 02, 2019

Rosatom has officially been granted the leading role in the development of the vast Russian Arctic. The company that employs more than 250,000 people and engages in a multitude of activities related to nuclear power development and production is now formally Russia’s management authority for the Northern Sea Route.

The law was adopted by the State Duma on the 11th December and on the 28th signed by Vladimir Putin.

The new legislation comes as Russian Arctic shipping is on rapid increase. In 2018, about 18 million tons of goods was transported on the sea route, an increase of almost 70 percent from 2017. And more is to come. According to Vladimir Putin so-called May Decrees, the top national priorities, shipping on the Northern Sea Route is to reach 80 million tons already by year 2024.

Rosatom’s new powers in the Arctic include development and operational responsibilities for shipping, as well as infrastructure and sea ports along the northern Russian coast.

The responsibilities of the Northern Sea Route Administration, that until now has operated under the Ministry of Transport, will now be transferred to Rosatom.

It was Putin himself who in early 2017 made clear that a coordinating government agency for the Northern Sea Route was needed. A battle between Rosatom and the Ministry of Transport followed. In December 2017, it became clear that the nuclear power company had won that fight.

A central person in the new structure will be Vyacheslav Ruksha, the former leader of nuclear icebreaker base Atomflot.

The nuclear power company has since 2008 operated the fleet of nuclear-power icebreakers. Currently, five icebreakers are based in Atomflot, Murmansk, and several more ships are under construction, including four powerful LK-60 vessels.

Rosatom is also in the planning process of the «Lider», the 120 MW capacity super-powerful ship that can break through two meter thick ice at an unprecedented 10-12 knot speed.

January 5, 2019 Posted by | politics, Russia, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 10 Comments

Earthquakes still being set off due to North Korea’s September 2017 nuclear test

September 2017 nuclear test triggers 2019 earthquake in North Korea https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/01/asia/north-korea-earthquake-intl/index.html, By Jake Kwon and Joshua Berlinger, CNN January 2, 2019  North Korea’s sixth nuclear test was so powerful that it’s still triggering earthquakes more than a year later.

January 5, 2019 Posted by | incidents, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Regulators File Complaint Against Holtec about its nuclear waste casks

Regulators File Complaint Against Maker Of Nuclear Fuel Cask https://www.wamc.org/post/regulators-file-complaint-against-maker-nuclear-fuel-cask  • DEC 29, 2018 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has filed a complaint against the manufacturer of casks used at the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan tells the Brattleboro Reformer that Holtec International adopted a new design for its steel and concrete casks without a written evaluation, violating federal safety regulations. Officials say the company made changes after it discovered a loose bolt at San Onofre nuclear power plant in California.

Holtec said Friday that the NRC has confirmed the safety of the canisters. It says it doesn’t agree with the severity level of the apparent violation.

The casks are used at other nuclear plants to store spent fuel.

Last month, regulators approved the sale of Vermont Yankee to NorthStar. The company plans to start decommissioning the plant no later than 2021.

December 31, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

After years of controversy, China’s massive Taishan NuclearPower Plant , goes online (all too close to Hong Kong)

Controversial nuclear reactor goes live in southern China

Reactor at Taishan Plant goes online, after five years of delays, debate and controversies about safety and other issues

 DECEMBER 18, 2018 massive Chinese nuclear power plant a mere 130 kilometers from Hong Kong that has been dogged by controversy over safety and other issues went online last week after a five-year delay.

The plant is in China’s southern Guangdong province, an economic dynamo whose annual gross domestic product is now on par with that of Russia and South Korea. The province has been intent on harnessing nuclear power to feed more electricity into its grid for its sprawling cities and manufacturing clusters.

Four nuclear plants along Guangdong’s coastline are already up and running and now a colossal new reactor at the Taishan Power Plant quietly went online last week. The plant has been plagued by bickering between technicians and Chinese officials as well as their French counterparts concerning safety and contingency measures, controversies that resulted in a five-year delay.

A joint venture by the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) and Électricité de France, the Taishan plant is a mere 130 kilometers west of Hong Kong. It is home to the world’s first operational reactor of the novel third-generation European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) configuration, arguably the world’s largest electrical generator as measured by nameplate capacity……

Meanwhile, France’s Flamanville EPR project is still years behind its original commission target, the same as another plant in Finland.

Xinhua notes that the generator stator – the stationary part of a rotary system – at the Taishan reactor weighs almost 500 tonnes, and its double layer concrete dome is said to be strong enough to withstand a direct hit by a plane and can contain the fallout in a Chernobyl-like scenario, with improvements also made in light of the 2011 Fukushima incident.

CGN admitted that the Taishan reactor was “challenging to construct.” Environmentalists were also fuming at the elusive nature of the plant’s planning and project supervision, amid widespread skepticism about its safety and system redundancy.

Many opposed to the new EPR design demanded that the new reactor remain off the grid before every part could be checked by a third party, to which CGN and China’s National Energy Administration never  acceded.

In 2015, France’s Nuclear Safety Authority admitted there were safety concerns about an EPR being built in Flamanville. The watchdog also warned that Taishan, which shared the same design and whose pressure vessels were procured from the same supplier, could also suffer from the same safety issues.

There were also reports alleging that the Taishan rector “did not receive the latest safety tests before installation,” as the French manufacturer said its tests detected faults that could lead to cracks in the reactor shell.

In December 2017, Hong Kong media blew the lid on a cover-up involving a cracked boiler found during test runs.

But CGN insisted that all design and quality issues had been ironed out throughout the years of delays and the pair of reactors in Taishan were indeed safer than the old units at the Daya Bay Plant built in Shenzhen in the late 1980s.

The Daya Bay project once triggered a massive outcry in Hong Kong when many rallied and petitioned against having a nuclear plant on the city’s doorstep. http://www.atimes.com/article/controversial-nuclear-reactor-goes-live-in-southern-china/

 

December 20, 2018 Posted by | China, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Reliability problems at Mississippi’s Grand Gulf nuclear power plant

December 20, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, safety | Leave a comment

Outages extended at Hunterston nuclear plant in Britain

Reuters 18th Dec 2018  EDF Energy has extended by several weeks outages at its Hunterston nuclear
plant in Britain, where two reactors were taken offline after cracks were
discovered in March and October. The Hunterston B-7 reactor is now expected
to return to service on April 30 while Hunterston B-8 is expected to be
back online from March 31, EDF Energy said on its website. No one from EDF
Energy, owned by French energy group EDF, was available immediately to
comment on why the outages had been extended.
https://www.reuters.com/article/britain-nuclear/edf-extends-outages-at-british-nuclear-plant-where-cracks-were-found-idUSL8N1YN3IX

December 20, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Numerous nuclear accidents at sea (doesn’t inspire confidence for nuclear-powered space travel)

Explosive Accidents: The Lost Nuclear Arsenal at the Bottom of the Sea https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/09/03/nuclear-arsenal/?fbclid=IwAR1dPU13kVGGrYK–PFmFciWyMO28xaa1nU7OFMlC7UfuQwjMFh4

Sep 3, 2018 Ian Harvey In July of 2018, Andrew Thaler wrote for Southern Fried Science that there were at least two nuclear capsules, four unarmed weapons, and one armed nuclear weapon sitting on the ocean floor, that he was aware of.

His information was based on declassified U.S. Department of Defense narrative summaries of accidents involving U.S. nuclear weapons.

He noted that the documents he had access to only covered the period of time between 1950 and 1980. Any more recent data would still be classified. There is reason to believe that his estimated numbers for nuclear material in the oceans are far too low.

Business Insider in 2013 wrote that since 1950 there have been 32 nuclear weapon accidents, known as Broken Arrows, where an unexpected event involving nuclear weapons resulted in the firing, launching, theft, or loss of said weapon.

BI reported in this piece that there were six nuclear weapons that have been lost and never recovered. The time frames for the BI list continued into the 2000’s, but this is also a lowball number.

According to a 1989 article in the New York Times, however, there have been at least 50 nuclear warheads and nine reactors scattered on the ocean floors since 1956.

These were the result of various accidents on the part of U.S. and Soviet bombers, ships, and rockets, according to a study of naval accidents that was published by Greenpeace and the Institute for Policy Studies.

The study outlines 1,276 accidents, both nuclear and non-nuclear, on the part of the world’s navies, and has some, more limited, information on another 1,000 accidents. The study points out that the total number of incidents amounts to one major peacetime accident a week

Information for the study was gathered mostly through the Freedom of Information Act, which included American intelligence assessments of Soviet naval accidents.

Eighty days after it fell into the ocean following the January 1966 midair collision between a nuclear-armed B-52G bomber and a KC-135 refueling tanker over Palomares, Spain, this B28RI nuclear bomb was recovered from 2,850 feet (869 meters) of water and lifted aboard the USS Petrel (note the missing tail fins and badly dented “false nose”).

The authors also received information from the governments of other nations. The report said that the worst accident occurred in 1986, when a Soviet submarine sank 600 miles northeast of the Bermuda coast, depositing two nuclear reactors and 32 nuclear warheads on the bottom of the ocean.

That one accident left more nuclear material under the sea than the authors of the first two pieces posited, combined. The study also notes that it doesn’t reflect data on any of the “many hundreds” of Soviet accidents about which little is known, and suggested that the Soviet Navy has far more accidents than those of America.

The accidents are, for the most part, due to human factors, ranging from issues of faulty navigation to outright sabotage.

So far, the U.S. has admitted to knowing of one hydrogen bomb that is leaking radioactive material. That bomb was accidentally dropped into the sea south of Japan in 1965 by an aircraft carrier.

Read another story from us: The Missing Nuclear Weapons Lost Off The Coast Of Bermuda

There is some likelihood that other bombs may have also begun to leak radiation into the water, and are just unknown as yet. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, the chances of such leaks will increase over time as the weapons degrade, having the potential to cause untold harm to the oceans and our planet as a whole.

December 18, 2018 Posted by | incidents, oceans, Reference | 1 Comment

Explosion and fire at German Advanced Nuclear Fuels plant

Sortir du Nucleaire 6th Dec 2018 , An explosion followed by a major fire took place on 6 December 2018 at the
Advanced Nuclear Fuels plant in Lingen (Lower Saxony). This plant, located
near the Emsland nuclear reactor in northwestern Germany, is owned by
Framatome. Nuclear fuel elements are manufactured and sent to several
countries, including France. As a spokesman for the plant later confirmed
to the media Norddeutscher Rundfunk, the fire broke out in the laboratory
of a manufacturing workshop , where the quality of the uranium is tested
before shipment. This laboratory is located in the nuclear part of the
facility. Although quickly controlled, the fire required the intervention
of 150 firefighters from the area. The staff was evacuated. Since then, the
plant has been idling.
https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Allemagne-Lingen-Explosion-et-incendie-dans-l-usine-Framatome-de-fabrication-de-combustible-nucleaire1

December 15, 2018 Posted by | Germany, incidents | 1 Comment

Call for Belgium’s unsafe Tihange nuclear reactor to be shut down

The Parliament Magazine 11th Dec 2018 , Leading Greens MEP Rebecca Harms has called for the decommissioning of a Belgian nuclear reactor as it no longer meets international safety
standards. Harms said that Belgian authorities should shut down the
country’s oldest nuclear reactor, Tihange 1, 43 years after it began
operations, given that almost no Belgian reactors are connected to the
grid.
“The reactor’s design is hopelessly outdated and no longer meets
today’s international safety requirements. It seems impossible to retrofit
the old reactor to bring it up to the state of the art in science and
technology.”
Harms’ demand coincides with the publication of a damning
new study on the risks of the continued operation of Tihange 1. The author
of the study, reactor safety expert Prof Manfred Mertins, presented the
findings at a news briefing in the European Parliament. He told reporters
he has raised “serious doubts” concerning the plant’s accident
safety. The academic came to the conclusion that the continued operation of
Tihange 1 due to “outdated reactor design, inadequate safety management
and the accumulation of frequent unplanned events represents a potential
danger for the site and its surroundings.” It was particularly critical
“that the results of international tests and current safety standards are
not adequately taken into account.”
https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/rebecca-harms-decommission-hopelessly-outdated-belgian-nuclear-reactor

December 13, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Cold war efforts to provide bunker protection against nuclear bombing

December 11, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Public health and safety endangered by weakening The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB)

Nuclear safety groups criticize DOE order https://www.abqjournal.com/author/mhayden, BY MADDY HAYDEN / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER, , December 8th, 2018 SANTA FE, N.M. — Nuclear safety watchdog groups around the country are calling on the Department of Energy to rescind an order they fear will limit the board tasked with overseeing operations at some of the nation’s nuclear facilities and ultimately negatively affect safety at such facilities.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) has itself raised concerns over Order 140.1, “Interface with the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board,” put into place by the DOE in April.

The board held a second public hearing on the order in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 28.

The DNFSB was created by Congress in 1988 to provide oversight and provide information to the public on safety issues at some DOE nuclear facilities.

“We are deeply concerned that Order 140.1 constrains crucial oversight activities of the DNFSB and thereby endangers public health and worker safety,” said Kathy Crandall Robinson of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability during the late-November hearing.

Chief among the concerns with the order, which the DOE says is aimed at “clarifying” the roles of the department and DNFSB, is language that limits formal DNFSB oversight to issues of public safety as those beyond facility boundaries.

The order, Robinson said, “threatens to send us on a glide path back to a careless era as if this were a time when safety concerns and dangers at nuclear weapons facilities are shrinking.”

“They are not,” she added, citing plans to ramp up plutonium pit production at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Lydia Dennett of the non-partisan Project on Government Oversight expressed concerns over the reasoning behind the order’s implementation, namely that the decision was possibly driven by government contractors.

“This policy makes it easier for contractors to hide any information they don’t want to come to light,” she said.

The order stipulates the DNFSB may not talk to contractor employees without getting authorization from management and DOE, according to the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability represents more than 30 organizations located near DOE and National Nuclear Security Administration sites around the country, including the Albuquerque-based Southwest Research Information Center.

Don Hancock of the Southwest Research and Information Center pointed out in a news release sent by the alliance a 2011 DNFSB report that identified fire hazards at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeast New Mexico.

Three years later, an underground fire caused the temporary closure of the facility.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

TOR-M2 air defense missile systems to protect Belarus nuclear power plant

  https://www.armyrecognition.com/december_2018_global_defense_security_army_news_industry/tor-m2_air_defense_missile_systems_to_protect_belarus_nuclear_power_plant.html

December 2018 Global Defense Security army news industryPOSTED, 08 DECEMBER 2018  A battery of Tor-M2 SAM (Surface-To-Air defense missile system) produced by Concern Almaz-Antey will enter in service with the 1146th Guards surface-to-air missile regiment deployed near a Belarusian nuclear power plant, which is under construction, Major General Igor Golub, the commander of the Air and Air Defense Forces of the Belarusian Armed Forces, said.

“Russia will supply another battery of Tor-M2 surface-to-air missile systems soon. They will come in service with the 1146th Guards surface-to-air missile regiment,” the commander quoted by the Belorusskaya Voennaya Gazeta military newspaper said.

Previous reports said that Concern Almaz-Antey had handed over a shipment of Tor-M2 surface-to-air missiles to the Belarusian Defense Ministry ahead of time. They had been assembled a month ahead of schedule. Belarus has received the fifth SAM shipment.

The 1146th surface-to-air regiment was revived in Belarus in 2017. The four-battery regiment is armed with Tor-M2 surface-to-air missiles. It protects the Belarusian airspace in the northwest covering the Belarusian nuclear power station.

The Tor-M2 is an upgraded version of the Tor-M1 short-range air defense missile system. The TOR-M2/M2E is designed by the Russian Defense Company Almaz-Antey. The TOR-M2 / M2E is designed to destroy aircraft, helicopters, aerodynamic UAVs, guided missiles and other components of high precision weapons flying at medium, low and extremely low altitudes in adverse air and jamming environment. The Tor-M2 missile system can be mounted on wheeled or tracked chassis.

The Tor-M2 can simultaneously engage up to 48 processed targets and ten tracked targets.The TOR-M2 can engage a target at the range from 1,000 to 12,000 m and to an altitude from 10 to 10,000 m.

December 10, 2018 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

UK tax-payers, not the nuclear industry, will pay for the new safeguards regime, post Brexit !

ENDS Report 3rd Dec 2018 , Government confirms it will fund post-Brexit nuclear regime. The nuclear
industry will not have to fund the creation of a new safeguards regime
after Brexit, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
has confirmed.
https://www.endsreport.com/article/61622/government-confirms-it-will-fund-post-brexit-nuclear-regime

December 6, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, safety, UK | Leave a comment