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Rosatom announces scholarships for Indian students in nuclear energy studies 

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi, 21 Jan 19  Rosatom, the Russian agency for atomic energy, has announced scholarships for Indian students in the arena of nuclear energy, according to a statement on Monday.

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January 22, 2019 Posted by | Education, Russia | Leave a comment

Schoolchildren co-opted to promote propaganda on Fukushima food safety

Students tasked to develop dishes with Fukushima produce to promote prefecture’s recovery, Japan Times, 13 Jan 19 

 A group of elementary, junior high and high school students in the city of Fukushima are taking part in an initiative to develop original recipes using local agricultural products as part of a broader project to highlight the city’s recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The first phase of the campaign, known as the Fukko Project, whereby the students create new dishes, started Dec. 16. It is designed to help the children learn about local agriculture so they will be able to implement their own action plans to assist Fukushima’s recovery……https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/13/national/students-tasked-develop-dishes-fukushima-produce-promote-prefectures-recovery/#.XDudF9IzbGg

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Academic whitewash of leukaemia incidence near Sellafield nuclear site

there is, or was, an excess of childhood leukemia close in to Sellafield.
There is no doubt that Pu contamination in children close in to Sellafield is higher than Pu contamination in children more distant from Sellafield. (O’Donnell et al) and that the Sellafield leukemia cluster adjacent to Sellafield exists or existed

On what basis does the British and World nuclear industry claim that Sellafield’s emissions have not caused and do not cause disease?

That is the claim and I cannot believe that claim. There is no rational path for me to attain such a level of blind faith.

Variations in the concentration of Pu, Sr-90 and total alpha-emitters in human teeth collected within the British Isles https://nuclearexhaust.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/variations-in-the-concentration-of-pu-sr-90-and-total-alpha-emitters-in-human-teeth-collected-within-the-british-isles/
Variations in the concentration of plutonium, strontium-90 and total alpha-emitters in human teeth collected within the British Isles

R.G.O’Donnell P.I.Mitchell N.D.Priest L.Strange A.Fox.L.Henshaw S.C.Long

Science of The Total Environment

Volume 201, Issue 3, 18 August 1997, Pages 235-243

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969797840600  quote “Abstract

quote “Abstract

Concentrations of plutonium-239, plutonium-240, strontium-90 and total α-emitters have been measured in children’s teeth collected throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The concentrations of plutonium and strontium-90 were measured in batched samples, each containing approximately 50 teeth, using low-background radiochemical methods. The concentrations of total α-emitters were determined in single teeth using α-sensitive plastic track detectors. The results showed that the average concentrations of total α-emitters and strontium-90 were approximately one to three orders of magnitude greater than the equivalent concentrations of plutonium-239, 240. Regression analyses indicated that the concentrations of plutonium, but not strontium-90 or total α-emitters, decreased with increasing distance from the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant — suggesting that this plant is a source of plutonium contamination in the wider population of the British Isles. Nevertheless, the measured absolute concentrations of plutonium (mean = 5 ± 4 mBq kg−1 ash wt.) were so low that they are considered to present an insignificant radiological hazard.” end quote. emphasis added.

For the organism, it is the total dose which counts as far as biological effects and induction of diseases are concerned. Total dose is the sum of all dose contributors.

Further, comparison involves a subtraction of one thing from one or more other things in order to highlight proportion.

The bio-medical language in the abstract quoted above is laden with legal defensiveness which is totally inappropriate when considering the fate of an exposed cell, tissue and organism. Continue reading

January 7, 2019 Posted by | spinbuster | Leave a comment

New nuclear technology is NOT a solution to climate change

Debate Continues: Can New Technology Save Nuclear Power?   Power, 01/01/2019 | Kennedy Maize.………Are advanced nuclear reactor designs the answer to the decades-long doldrums for nuclear power? For the U.S., a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel led by long-time nuclear advocate M. Granger Morgan of Carnegie Mellon University, issued a pessimistic report last July—US nuclear power: The vanishing low-carbon wedge.

The academy’s report found, “While advanced reactor designs are sometimes held up as a potential solution to nuclear power’s challenges, our assessment of the advanced fission enterprise suggests that no US design will be commercialized before midcentury.” That’s a chilling indictment for all advanced LWRs. The crux of the Morgan report is an assessment that the economic hurdles for nuclear in the U.S. are insurmountable.………

Peter Bradford, a veteran electric utility regulator and nuclear skeptic who served on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) from 1977 to 1982, agrees that nuclear power in the U.S. is priced out of the market. “Even if, for once, they could contain or level out the costs,” he told POWER, “new nuclear is so far outside the competitive range. They have to cut costs and they can’t cut costs without building a bunch [of reactors]. That really isn’t in the cards.”

Nor does Bradford see new nuclear as a way to combat global warming. “Even if it is scaled up much faster than anything now in prospect, it cannot provide more than 10% to 15% of the greenhouse gas displacement that is likely to be needed by mid-century. Not only can nuclear power not stop global warming, it is probably not even an essential part of the solution to global warming,” he wrote in 2006. Since then, he argues, the declining costs of renewables and energy efficiency swamp nuclear economics even further.

While advocates call for setting a price on carbon to reward carbon-free generation, Bradford said that is a weak reed. “At any given level” of carbon prices, he said, “it is going to wind up benefiting renewables and storage,” not nuclear. A reasonable carbon price, he argued, “might not be enough to keep existing plants running.”

SMRs to the Rescue?…. 

while smaller nuclear reactors are an appealing technological approach to keeping nuclear in the generating mix, they come with their own set of problems.

On closer inspection, said the NAS panel, “Our results reveal that while one light water SMR module would indeed cost much less than a large LWR, it is highly likely that the cost per unit of power will be higher. In other words, light water SMRs do make nuclear power more affordable but not necessarily more economically competitive for power generation.”

Given the “economic premium” of SMRs, along with “the considerable regulatory burden associated with any nuclear reactor, we do not see a clear path forward for the United States to deploy sufficient numbers of SMRs in the electric power sector to make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation by the middle of this century,” the report says. Economist Kee echoed that conclusion. When it comes to SMRs, he said there “is a lot of work to do and not much time to do it.”

SMRs also face a challenge of demonstrating their viability: Making an economic or climate impact requires many reactors. Neil Alexander, a Canadian nuclear consultant, wrote recently, “Everything about SMRs such as the cost of construction, availability of fuel, cost of shared services, availability of trained operators, and cost of research needed to resolve emerging challenges, only work economically when the unit is in a fleet. A FOAK [first-of-a-kind] cannot stand alone and the barrier to entry that the industry faces is more akin to the ‘First Dozen of a Kind.’ ”

Portland, Oregon-based NuScale appears to be the leader in developing SMR technology (Figure 4 on original). It is taking Alexander’s advice. NuScale has a customer for a 12-unit (720-MW) station: Utah Associated Municipal Power System (UAMPS), which has a site at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Idaho National Laboratory (INL). UAMPS will own the project and Energy Northwest, a municipal joint action agency that operates the Columbia nuclear station near Richland, Washington, will run the plant. Columbia is a 1,100-MW boiling water reactor.

NuScale recently selected BWX Technologies (BWXT) of Lynchburg, Virginia, to begin engineering work leading up to the manufacture of the 60-MW NuScale reactors. BWXT, created after reactor builder Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) emerged from bankruptcy in 2006, has deep experience in the U.S. naval reactor program. NuScale has received a commitment of some $200 million from the DOE. Global engineering firm Fluor Corp. is the majority investor in NuScale.

Ironically, BWXT was the early leader in the SMR race, with its 195-MW mPower pressurized water reactor design. After spending some $400 million on the mPower venture (including $100 million from the DOE), B&W declared it officially dead in March 2017. Rod Adams, who worked on the project for B&W, had this epitaph for the mPower project, “There was simply too much work left to do, too much money left to invest, and an insufficient level of interest in the product to allow continued expenditures to clear corporate decision hurdles.”

NuScale still has a long way to go to demonstrate the validity of its SMR. The company said it expects the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will approve the NuScale reactor design in September 2020. UAMPS will also have to get NRC approval for a combined construction and operating license for the site at INL. Nonetheless, NuScale’s optimistic schedule projects commercial operation “by the mid-2020s.”

Past experience suggests that nuclear construction schedules are made to be broken. SMRs pose unique challenges to federal regulators, both in the reactor designs and in operational issues such as staffing levels and communications among 12 discrete units, particularly if they are used to follow load. Additionally, power prices in the Western U.S. are already low and natural gas is driving them lower.

Recognizing the challenges to deploying SMRs, the DOE in November issued a report suggesting state standards and incentives, modeled on those boosting renewables, be applied to SMR technology. But, as POWER reported, “To make a meaningful impact, nearly $10 billion in incentives would be needed to deploy 6 GW of SMR capacity by 2035.”

Beyond the LWR?

Several efforts are in place to replace conventional LWRs with other approaches to splitting atoms to generate power. Admittedly longshots, these build-on technologies go back to the early days of civilian nuclear power, and were previously abandoned in favor of the proven LWR designs.

The highest profile of the LWR apostates is TerraPower, based in Bellevue, Washington, and backed by Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates. [ Ed note: TerraPower has now abandoned this joint project with China] Founded in 2006, TerraPower is working on a liquid-sodium-cooled breeder-burner machine that can run on uranium waste, while it generates power and plutonium, with the plutonium used to generate more power, all in a continuous process.

Liquid sodium has advantages over pressurized water as a coolant, including better heat transfer. It also does not act as a moderator to slow neutrons, which allows for breeding plutonium. Sodium coolant has its own set of problems. Sodium catches fire when exposed to oxygen so coolant leaks can be devastating, as has happened in the past.

Nuclear power father Adm. Hyman Rickover, after a bad experience with the Seawolf-class submarine sodium-cooled reactor—the second subs to use LWR technology after the USS Nautilus—commented that sodium-cooled systems were “expensive to build, complex to operate, susceptible to prolonged shutdown as a result of even minor malfunctions, and difficult and time-consuming to repair.” TerraPower hopes to have commercial machines operating in the late 2020s, but industry insiders have reported that the company’s prototype reactor being built in China has experienced major problems.

Another approach to bypass LWRs is the molten salt reactor, long a favorite of nuclear pioneer Alvin Weinberg. A Canadian firm, Terrestrial Energy, is pushing a 190-MW SMR design using the technology Weinberg developed at Oak Ridge National Lab in the mid-1960s. Molten salt technology operates at close to atmospheric temperature and combines the fuel and the coolant. Terrestrial plans to use the technology to power an SMR, with a target date for the late 2020s. Molten salt poses new engineering challenges for nuclear reactors. One nuclear observer commented, “I prefer solid fuel” to the liquid fuel-coolant in the molten salt reactor.

Finally, developers are looking at abandoning uranium as the primary nuclear fuel. Instead, the idea is to use thorium, one of the most-common elements on the planet. Thorium is a slightly radioactive metal. But thorium is not fissile—able to undergo nuclear fission—so it has to be irradiated with enriched uranium in order to be transmuted into fissile U-233.

Thorium’s chief attribute is that the fuel is so plentiful. Terrestrial Energy has shown interest in using thorium in its molten salt reactors, along with low-enriched uranium that is used in the design it is pursuing in Canada. Skeptics suggest that thorium is an answer in search of a question, given the easy availability of uranium, particularly in seawater. Uranium shortages, forecast in the 1960s when advocates first suggested using thorium, have never materialized.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is currently wrapping up a study of the new, non-LWR reactor designs. Physicist Ed Lyman, a veteran UCS staffer, told POWER, “Our overall conclusion is that vendors, DOE, and advocates are greatly exaggerating the benefits” of the technologies. “The whole landscape is not compelling. We question whether the best direction for nuclear power is to go off on these more exotic tangents,” rather than focus on making LWRs cheaper and safer. “That’s potentially a better near term” investment, he said.

The original generations of civilian nuclear power failed to live up to their promises. The U.S. nuclear industry stalled in the mid-1970s and has not recovered, despite repeated government and industry attempts at a restart.

Gen III reactors were aimed at overcoming the perceived safety and economic shortcomings of the original machines. As those new designs appear to be falling short, attention has shifted to SMRs or new approaches that abandon traditional light-water technology. Whether they will live up to their billing remains a serious, open question. ■

Kennedy Maize is a long-time energy journalist and frequent contributor to POWER. https://www.powermag.com/debate-continues-can-new-technology-save-nuclear-power/?pagenum=1 

 

January 5, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference, spinbuster, technology | Leave a comment

The nuclear lobby will be delighted with this knighthood, earned for obscuring the cause of leukaemia

Knighted for Services Rendered: Don’t Worry about the Nukiller Plant on your doorstop – Just Let Them Drink 

The New Years Honours List Does its Thing…..‘For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer’

Let Them Drink Yoghurt!

Newly knighted cancer scientist Mel Greaves explains why a cocktail of microbes could give protection against disease

The national press trumpet the clarion cry that could have come from the nuclear industry’s PR book:   “From this perspective, the disease has nothing to with power lines or nuclear fuel reprocessing stations, as has been suggested in the past, but is caused by a double whammy of interacting prenatal and environmental events, as Greaves outlined in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer earlier this year.”

It seems a good time to revisit one of our early blog posts which first appeared on Indymedia back in 2009. What has changed?  The Nuclear Spin has got more blatant and God Forbid that anyone should mention nukiller and leukaemia in the same breath.

What ever did happen to all that research from the body snatching scandal?

Marianne Birkby  04.09.2009

Bodysnatching, radioactive poisoning and infanticide, the nuclear industry  has it all in spades.
Is this alarmist, you might ask? No, not really. Let’s look at “bodysnatching”: remember the Redfern Inquiry into the taking
of body parts from radioactively-contaminated workers in Cumbria? Radiation Free Lakeland has been contacted by many people anxious to know when the findings of this Inquiry will be revealed so that justice and closure can
take place.
That thousands of dead nuclear workers’ organs were taken without consent for secret research into radiation poisoning was and is morally unacceptable. The government has put the Redfern Inquiry “on hold” indefinitely. What other industry can get away with such a suspension of justice and carry on with business as usual?Radioactive poisoning?
Sellafield recently admitted to exposing two workers to dangerous levels of radiation in 2007 and were supposed to be sentenced in Carlisle’s Crown Court on 21st August this year. This also has been held back and at the time of writing no new date has been set. Again, what other industry has such power and influence?Infanticide?
In Germany, a major Government-sponsored scientific study recently uncovered very strong links between living near nuclear power plants and childhood leukaemia: these findings were accepted by its government. Many peer-reviewed scientific articles in respected journals have described these disturbing findings in detail. In essence, increased numbers of pregnant women near German nuclear reactors are having babies which later die of leukaemia. Let’s call this by its proper name: infanticide. It appears we might be killing our babies for the sake of nuclear electricity. Should we be doing this? Should we be proposing to build yet more nuclear reactors?
Where has our moral compass gone  ?Independent scientists have stated that whatever the explanation for these increased leukaemia deaths in babies, they raise difficult questions including whether vulnerable people – in particular, pregnant women and women of child-bearing age – should be advised to move away from nuclear facilities. What other industry would be allowed to get away with this nonsense? Can you imagine a chemical firm getting away with it?
Some people appear to accept nuclear (often half-heartedly or with embarrassment) as they misguidedly think nuclear is a solution to global warming. But it isn’t. The nuclear industry overall causes large carbon releases (think of uranium mining, milling and processing) and its potential for reducing UK CO2 emissions is a pitiful 4% according to the Government’s
Sustainable Development Commission in 2006. There are many options for reducing our CO2 emissions, but it turns out nuclear is the least cost effective.
Just ask yourself – if nuclear power led to reduced reliance on oil then why is nuclear France’s per capita consumption of oil higher than non-nuclear Italy, nuclear phase-out Germany or the EU average?But even if nuclear were everything the government and industry falsely claim regarding climate change – that would still not justify new build. Nuclear also results in our passing on dangerous nuclear wastes, for which there is no solution on the horizon, to our children and grandchildren and to future generations for many millennia: this is ethically and morally
scandalous.So why are we being steam-rollered into a nuclear future? Let’s stand up together and say, loudly, NO TO NUCLEAR.Medicine, Conflict and Survival
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:

Childhood cancers near German nuclear power stations: hypothesis to explain
the cancer increases
Ian Fairlie
Online Publication Date: 01 July 2009

 https://webmail.plus.net/src/webmail.php

January 1, 2019 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | 4 Comments

Scientists support feasibility of 100%renewable-electricity systems, refute the nuclear lobby’s “Burden of Proof” paper

 

Christina’s note: “Burden of Proof”comes from a very small, but very vocal, Australian pro nuclear shill.

 

Response to ‘Burden of proof: A comprehensive review of the feasibility of 100% renewable-electricity systems’ Science Direct Volume 92, September 2018, Pages 834-847 lT.W.BrownabT.Bischof-NiemzcK.BlokdC.BreyereH.LundfB.V.Mathieseng   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.04.113

December 31, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

University of Manchester partners with Chinese government agency

Birmingham joins China’s nuclear regulator for safe and clean energy research

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2018/12/safe-and-clean-energy-research.aspx19 Dec 2018 University of Birmingham experts are partnering with Chinese nuclear regulators in helping develop cleaner, safer and more sustainable civil atomic energy.

The University has signed an agreement with the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre (NSC), Ministry of Ecology and Environment to work on collaborative education and research in nuclear policy, safety and regulation, as well as the environmental impact and assessment of nuclear radiation.

Following an earlier visit of a University of Birmingham team to NSC headquarters in Beijing, a senior delegation headed by Deputy-Director General CHAI Guohang visited Birmingham to further develop the collaboration and sign the agreement. The visit was attended by a representative from the Chinese Embassy in London.

Signing the agreement on behalf of the University of Birmingham, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield commented: “The University of Birmingham is delighted to partner with NSC, to work together in the research and education of civil nuclear safety, policy and regulation. This is such an important area for both our countries as we develop civil nuclear power as a key part of clean and sustainable energy production.

“We are very proud of the University’s accomplishments in having the largest and longest continually-running civil nuclear education programmes in the UK, matched by a diverse research capability, and with influence on the development of UK nuclear energy policy. We look forward to working with NSC to continue the development of safe and efficient civil nuclear system in UK and China.”

As the nuclear regulator of China, NSC affiliates directly to the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and provides all-round support and assurance in safety regulation and administration of China’s civil nuclear facilities and radiation protection.

In the development of civil nuclear power in China to meet its increasing energy demand, NSC is actively forming a wide range of collaborations with high level domestic and internal partners, including with IAEA and the UKs ONR.

The NSC Deputy-Director General Mr CHAI Guohang said: “As one of the top 100 world universities, the University of Birmingham strength in nuclear science and engineering, its work in nuclear policy and its long standing achievements in civil nuclear education and research are well-known. For these reasons we chose Birmingham as our first international university partner. We believe our collaboration will deliver successful and mutually beneficial results.”

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

Will 1000s of Small Nuclear Reactors, built super-fast, save the world from climate change?

Tom Burke 28th Nov 2018 , For nuclear power to play a significant role globally in dealing with climate change we would have to build enough of it, quickly enough, to replace coal first and then gas in a very short space of time. You do not have to know very much about the engineering requirements of a nuclear power station, or our actual experience in constructing them, to think that this is akin to believing in unicorns.

A relatively simple piece of arithmetic on the specialised resource requirements and the equally specialised engineering and project management skills of a nuclear programme, let alone required scale of public investment is enough to make
it clear that a massive policy commitment to new nuclear power will not help the world stay below 2°C.

What is the British Government up to? My guess it is looking for a lot more long grass as it seeks a way to get itself off the nuclear hook onto which it has impaled itself by listening to the lobbies and caring more about the headlines than the climate.

As it does so, it will big up the importance of SMRs as a future option. Oddly enough, its concept of an SMR will bear a striking resemblance to a submarine propulsion reactor and we will build one somewhere on an existing nuclear site. Electricity consumers will indeed end up subsidising the defence budget and nuclear power will go on having a locally negative impact on the environment that outweighs any of its marginal environmental benefits.
http://tomburke.co.uk/2018/11/28/the-future-of-nuclear-power-in-britain/

December 3, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

2020 Olympics being used to put a nice gloss on nuclear industry, and Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

Bach: Olympics will show Fukushima’s recovery  NHK World The president of the International Olympic Committee says the Tokyo Games will be a chance to show the world how far people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have recovered.

Thomas Bach spoke to reporters in Tokyo after being briefed about preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

He said he cannot remember seeing a host city as prepared as Tokyo in all respects.

He also referred to his first trip to Fukushima City, where the baseball and softball events will be held. He met with local high school students during the trip………..https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181202_26/

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Tepco as nuclear educator?

 

TEPCO center in Fukushima educates public on nuke disaster

By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer

November 29, 2018 TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. will open a center here on Nov. 30 to educate the public about the 2011 nuclear disaster and the ongoing decommissioning process in a facility that formerly promoted nuclear power……http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201811290052.html

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

Olympics propaganda revs up to make Fukushima and nuclear power look good

IOC chief ‘impressed’ at Fukushima recovery progress https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/ioc-chief–impressed–at-fukushima-recovery-progress-1096539025 Nov 18

Olympics chief Thomas Bach said Saturday he was impressed at the “great progress” made in the reconstruction of Fukushima, in a visit to the region devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster

TOKYO: Olympics chief Thomas Bach said Saturday (Nov 24) he was impressed at the “great progress” made in the reconstruction of Fukushima, in a visit to the region devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Amid hopes that hosting events will help revive the region, International Olympic Committee President Bach visited a stadium set to hold baseball and softball matches during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

During his visit, he told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was “very much impressed” by the “great progress”.

“The Fukushima region is the suitable place to show the power of the Olympics, the power of sports,” Abe said, reiterating his hopes of showing the world the recovery of Fukushima and other disaster-hit areas during the sporting event, for which Tokyo is the designated host city.

Fukushima has also been chosen as the starting point for the Olympics torch relay.

The passing of the flame is scheduled to start on March 26, 2020, and the torch will head south to the subtropical island of Okinawa – the starting point for the 1964 Tokyo Games relay – before returning north and arriving in the Japanese capital on Jul 10.

The March 2011 tsunami, triggered by a massive undersea quake, killed around 18,000 people and swamped the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending its reactors into meltdown and leading to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes. Authorities have been working to rebuild the region, about 240 kilometres north of Tokyo, although areas near the crippled plant remain uninhabitable because of radiation dangers.

November 25, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Tourists and U.S. citizens unaware of the contamination and illness history of Hanford nuclear site

Contaminated US nuclear plant Hanford Site     Plutonium supplier for the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Deutschlandfunk Kultur. By Nicole Markwald 21 Nov 18  [machine translation] The nuclear complex Hanford Site in the US state of Washington supplied plutonium since 1943 – also for the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Leaky tanks on the contaminated terrain make headlines. But in the reactor tours tourists learn nothing of it……

Hanford Site – today a national memorial

The site was declared a National Memorial three years ago, along with Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Los Alamos, New Mexico. At these three sites, the atomic bomb was developed during the Second World War – under the code name Manhattan Project.

“We’re gonna start today by giving you the backstory of the Manhattan Project.”………

The shock is to see it: We are on a heavily contaminated terrain with a total of nine reactors, all of which are now switched off. The area is about twice as large as the urban area of Hamburg. The danger lurks underground, radioactive waste is stored in huge underground tanks – sirens, which is clear to every visitor, can not mean anything good. But the situation quickly relaxes – it’s one Thursday, 10:15 am – once a month the emergency systems are tested, the tour guide thinks…….

The production started in September 1944, after a good six weeks the first plutonium could be won. The intended use: Fat Man, the nuclear weapon that was dropped on August 9, 1945 over the Japanese city of Nagasaki.

David Anderson is one of today’s visitors to the B reactor. He seems thoughtful – in the place that has brought so much suffering over Japan.

“We have become numb when it comes to the Second World War. We have been at peace with us for so long. We can no longer understand the violence and much else that was happening back then. It makes me sad to know what happened back then. Why? … Why?”

But that’s not an issue in the B reactor tour. And not that Hanford Site today is an oversized atomic dump.

Scientists estimate that the waste stored here still contains around 190 kilograms of plutonium. That would be enough for 23 bombs like the one that was killing Nagasaki and killing at least 70,000 people at once.

The nuclear danger lurks everywhere

But no one knows how much atomic waste is actually stored on the huge area. Exact records from the early days on introduced quantities and their composition or pumping actions between different tanks does not exist. And outside of Washington State or the neighboring state of Oregon, little or nothing is known about Hanford Site and the dangers lurking in the ground……..

Americans know little about Hanford Site

Holly Barker holds an anthropology lecture at the University of Washington in Seattle. Topic today: Hanford site and the threats to the environment and workers. As a young woman, Barker was involved in the volunteer service Peace Corps. This work led them to the Marshall Islands in Oceania, where the United States performed many atomic bomb tests between 1946 and 1958. No, she says, whoever does not live in Washington State probably knows little about Hanford.

“That’s one reason why I offer this course. I think that as citizens we have a duty to know more about it in order to change anything at all. The problems are so enormous and complex that we need the brilliance of the young people in my lecture, the next generation to set about addressing this complicated inheritance. “

Probably the biggest cleaning action in the world

Over the next two hours, she talks in the storied lecture theater about the secrecy with which the project was driven, how it was advised, what quantities of workers could be exposed, and what kind of health problems some of them were carrying. She also tells about the world’s largest cleaning operation, which has been going on for years in Hanford to dispose of radioactive waste safely. After the lecture, Barker tells in her small office in the basement that Hanford Site rarely makes it into the news:

“At least when, as recently, a tunnel collapses and workers have been exposed to higher radiation levels. There are other tunnels that are unstable – if you hear anything about Hanford, it’s just bad. “

“In another developing story at emergency what declared today at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State, a vast storage facility in the Eastern part of that state, part of a tunnel, used to transport radioactive waste collapsed.”

In 2017, a tunnel collapsed

In May 2017, a storage tunnel collapsed, a six-by-six-meter off-road area had collapsed. At the time there were 5,000 workers on the site, a security alarm was triggered. The Department of Energy explained that there were eight wagons of nuclear waste in the tunnel, and that radioactive material should not have leaked out………

Increased radiation as a cause of cancer?

……..There are several studies that deal with the cancer rates around Hanford. With different results. Only in one, the studies are unanimous: It is really dangerous for the workers in Hanford site, who clean the grounds.

2060 should be completed decontamination

The decontamination and disposal works have been running since the mid-80s, they are expected to be completed in 2060. There are 177 tanks in the ground, with at least 50 million gallons of garbage in them. Included: 1500 different, easily evaporating chemicals, many highly toxic. And they regularly quit and injure workers, as Attorney General of Washington State lists Bob Ferguson.

“You have a headache, the skin is burning, your lungs are sometimes completely damaged and there are cancer cases.”

In September 2019, the workers involved in cleaning up the nuclear waste were able to celebrate an important success. Washington State, Hanford Challenge, and a union group had sued the Department of Energy for safer working conditions in 2015. Hanford Site is under the Ministry. A court in Seattle has now, after three years, the plaintiffs right. The ministry has been sentenced to over $ 900,000 in fines and must provide better protection for workers.

“Workers have been getting sick for years, but energy, and there’s no way to sugarcoat this, they did not take it seriously.”

Workers have been ill for years

Bob Ferguson says the Energy Department did not take the problem seriously, although workers had been ill for years. Next to him was Tom Carpenter, managing director of the Hanford Challenge interest group………..

“Years pass and it still looks the same. This lack of progress frustrates people. Here, so much money flows in here. But you do not hear that it goes ahead. Because it does not.

One of the main problems: where to go with the destructive stuff? an official final deposit does not exist in the US either.

“We do not even have a place to put this waste once we get it out of these high-level nuclear waste tanks.”

Cleaning costs: up to $ 200 billion

And yet there is no alternative for Tom Carpenter:

“Cleaning Hanford will cost up to $ 200 billion. Nothing – compared to the cost of the atomic bomb. We have to do it, we have no choice. To protect our resources, our people and future generations. It would be an incredible crime on the environment not to dispose of this material. “

Washington State also depends on the financial drip. Each year, $ 2 billion goes to the state for the so-called ‘clean up effort’. There is not much in the region except some farming – and workers are well worth a job with a minimum income of $ 60,000 a year. As absurd as it is, the contaminated land is lucrative for Washington State.  

Hanford Site is a place of extremes. Once a flagship project in the Cold War, today the bearer of a frightening title: the radioactively most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere.

Anthropologist Holly Baker:

“I think the challenge Hanford is too big to be understood by a single person. One would have to be a physicist – I know too little about water, radiation, engineering – one would need to have the knowledge of each of these issues associated with Hanford. No single person can do it. And maybe that’s not why Hanford has yet to be solved – because it’s such a complex place where so many different things overlap. ” https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/verseuchte-us-nuklearanlage-hanford-site-plutoniumlieferant.979.de.html?dram:article_id=433666

November 24, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

OLympics chief part of the propaganda to minimise the seriousness of the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima

Revival hopes as Olympics chief set to visit Fukushima https://www.france24.com/en/20181121-revival-hopes-olympics-chief-set-visit-fukushimaTOKYO (AFP)  21 November 2018 Olympics chief Thomas Bach will visit Japan’s Fukushima this weekend, a region devastated by the 2011 tsunami and resulting nuclear disaster that officials hope to revive by bringing some events to the region.

International Olympic Committee President Bach will on Saturday visit a stadium set to host 2020 Olympics baseball and softball games, and meet 60 students who play the sports, organisers said in a statement.

Bach will also speak with local high school students and meet Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed hopes of showing the world the recovery of Fukushima and other disaster-hit areas during the sporting event, for which Tokyo is the designated host city.

Fukushima was also chosen as the starting point for the Olympics torch relay.

The passing of the flame is scheduled to start on March 26, 2020, and the torch will head south to the subtropical island of Okinawa — the starting point for the 1964 Tokyo Games relay — before returning north and arriving in the Japanese capital on July 10.

The March 2011 tsunami, triggered by a massive undersea quake, killed around 18,000 people and swamped the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending its reactors into meltdown and leading to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes. Authorities have been working to rebuild the region, about 240 kilometres (150 miles) north of Tokyo, although areas near the crippled plant remain uninhabitable because of radiation dangers.

November 22, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

“New Nuclear” lobbyists, Nuclear Alternative Project and USA’s CINTAC, target Puerto Rico

Nuclear Advocates Set Sights on Advanced Reactors for Puerto Rico

With big push of meetings with key officials, nuclear industry hopes to be part of Puerto Rico’s energy future, Morning ConsultBY JACQUELINE TOTH 

  • Supporters are highlighting the energy, climate and safety benefits of advanced reactor concepts.
  • Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives passed a resolution to study nuclear energy.
  • Details are sparse this early in the discussions, and Puerto Rico has no concrete plans for nuclear, instead focusing on other sources.
Nuclear industry professionals have launched a long-term bid to convince Puerto Rico they may have the solution for the island’s energy woes. ………

A group of nuclear industry professionals, who have formed The Nuclear Alternative Project nonprofit organization, recently hosted a group of nuclear executives to meet with Puerto Rican lawmakers and officials to discuss new nuclear concepts.

“We were in Puerto Rico for four days, and we were able to take the conversation from, ‘You guys are nuts,’” to something Puerto Ricans would consider if it would lower their energy bills, said Jesabel Rivera, the nonprofit’s community impact and engagement consultant.

But a host of questions over when, where, how and at what cost these reactors would be deployed and operated in Puerto Rico remains unanswered at this early stage. Some groups have also raised environmental concerns.

Officials from companies that included small modular reactor and micro-reactor developers NuScale Power LLC, X-Energy LLC, Westinghouse Electric Co. and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Inc., attended the meetings on the island.

“A lot of folks didn’t know anything about nuclear other than what they had kind of seen in movies,” said Jose Reyes, chief technology officer of NuScale, who attended the trip. “One person mentioned Homer Simpson.”

Another participant was Donald Hoffman, president and chief executive of nuclear consultancy EXCEL Services Corp., founder of the United Nuclear Industry Alliance, a former adviser to now-President Donald Trump and a member of the Commerce Department’s Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee.

Several of the recent tour’s other participants are CINTAC members.

After the tour, Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives on Nov. 7 approved a resolution that calls on the House Government Commission to investigate the need for nuclear energy reactors on the island and report back within 180 days.
SMRs are billed as faster-to-construct, safer technologies with longer refueling cycles compared to older nuclear reactors, though no U.S. designs have yet undergone construction. The U.S. SMR furthest along in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing process is NuScale, which has completed phase one of design review……

But discussions are at a nascent stage.

“There’s not enough detail yet. There’s no site,” design or cost determination for nuclear in Puerto Rico, Carlos Fernández-Lugo, chairman of the environmental, energy and land use practice group at law firm McConnell Valdés LLC, said during an Oct. 30 public panel discussion on nuclear energy held at the Mayagüez campus of the University of Puerto Rico.

It also remains unclear whether the customer for a nuclear plant would be the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the struggling government-owned utility that is undergoing restructuring.

The Nuclear Alternative Project is looking for funding to move forward with a feasibility study, Rivera said.

On Friday, however, a spokeswoman from the Department of Energy said the department does not have plans for a study on advanced nuclear in Puerto Rico at this time.
Puerto Rico does not currently have any operating nuclear reactors, but it once had the Boiling Nuclear Superheater Reactor Facility, an experimental reactor in Rincón, which operated at full power in 1965 but stopped about three years later due to technical difficulties and the resulting expensive changes that would be required. It was decommissioned, and decontamination work continued into the early 2000s.  https://morningconsult.com/2018/11/19/nuclear-advocates-set-sights-advanced-reactors-puerto-rico/

November 19, 2018 Posted by | marketing, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Doomed Moorside nuclear project might have provided 2% of UK energy needs, NOT 7%

 Times 12th Nov 2018 , David Lowry 12 Nov 18 Alistair Osborne is correct in his acute analysis of the financial failure of new nuclear in the UK (“No surprise Toshiba went cold on idea”,Times, Nov 9), except for one important matter: he conflates energy with electricity.

The planned output capacity for the doomed Moorside nuclear plant would not have provided “7 per cent of our energy needs”, but of the UK’s power generating capacity, which is the equivalent of about only 2 per cent of current national energy demand. Conflating the two inflates the importance of nuclear to UK energy balance, thus distorting its political salience.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/brexit-and-the-value-of-a-second-referendum-dk8fgmw6w

November 13, 2018 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment