Archive for the ‘Nuclear disaster’ Category
Official: Fukushima “destroyed our life… it can destroy history itself” — Professor: “Very hard to imagine a future beyond Fukushima, it’s so uncontainable”November 3, 2014
Weakening radiation standards; a cap on accident liability; reactor propaganda vs improvements; old units running past expiration dates; revving the engines beyond design specs …. You’d think we were itching for a meltdown.
The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended increased radiation exposure limits following major releases. It would save the industry a bundle to permit large human exposures then, rather than shut down rickety reactors now.
The EPA proposal is a knock-off prompted by Fukushima, because after the triple meltdown started three years ago, Japan increased — by 20 times — the allowable radiation exposures deemed tolerable for humans. Prior to the meltdowns of March 2011, Japan allowed only 1 milliSievert of radiation per year in an individual’s personal space. Now, the limit is 20 milliSieverts per year. This is not safe, it’s just allowable, or, rather, affordable, since the cost of decontaminating 1,000 square miles of Japan to the stricter standard could bust the bank.
The Price Anderson Act provides US reactor owners with a liability cap and a tax-payer bailout in the event of serious accidents or attacks. The law relieves utilities of hundreds of billions in financial risk posed by our ongoing meltdown roulette game. The owners won’t be bankrupted by the next loss-of-coolant disaster, but the US might.
Fukushima has spewed more long-lived radioactive chemicals to the air, the soil and the ocean than any catastrophe in history. But the chant heard round the world is: “The dose is low, there’s no immediate danger.” Promoters of nuclear power repeat this mantra at every opportunity, hoping to dodge Germany’s answer to Fukushima — a permanent reactor phase-out — and it has nearly drowned out all warnings of radiation’s health and environmental effects.
Have you heard of PSR’s March 2011 “Health risks of the releases of radioactivity from the Fukushima reactors: Are they a concern for residents of the US?”; or IPPNW’s June 2014 “Critical Analysis of the UNSCEAR Report”; or the Nov. 2012 “Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health within the context of the nuclear accident at Fukushima”; or Greenpeace’s two major reports, “Lessons from Fukushima,” and “Fukushima Fallout”? No, the feds would rather you read the UN Scientific Committee’s exec. summary which claims Fukushima’s effects are “unlikely to be observable.” This conclusion was made before any research was done.
The chances of radiation disasters will increase further if the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows US reactors to run for 80 years. This is what Duke Power, Dominion Power and Exelon suggest for seven of their 40-year-old rattle traps now operating in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.
These seven reactors were designed and licensed to be shut down in the current decade. However, since 1991 the nuclear industry has been granted 70 “license extensions” that have generally added 20 years. Now the owners want to push their units an extra 40 years.
Former NRC Commissioner George Apostolakis wasn’t apoplectic when the commission considered the idea, but, according to the New York Times, he said, “I don’t know how we would explain to the public that these designs, 90-year-old designs, 100-year-old designs, are still safe to operate.” The NRC has yet to rule on the 80-year option, but it’s never denied a single license extension request.
Gunning old Fukushima-type engines
Captured by the industry it’s supposed to govern, the NRC has approved 149 reactor “power uprate” applications and has denied exactly one. Power uprates boost the output of old reactors beyond what their original licenses permit. It’s done by packing reactor cores with extra fuel rods and, feeling lucky, running them harder.
Chillingly, 23 operating US reactors are duplicates of the Fukushima-type General Electric Mark 1. Fifteen of these clunkers have been granted power uprates, and seven of these 15 have been granted a second power uprate. (See chart) Susquehanna’s two 31-year-old Fukushima clones in Pennsylvania were granted a hair-raising threepower uprates.
With the radiation industry and the NRC working to deny or delay post-Fukushima safety improvements, how do you feel about reactor operators stomping the accelerator while they run their geriatric uranium jalopies toward the cliff?
12 hours ago • By Jacob Barker firstname.lastname@example.org 314-340-82913
A view of the cooling tower (left) and the reactor building (right) at Ameren Missouri’s nuclear plant on Friday, July 11, 2014, in Callaway County. Photo by Huy Mach, email@example.com
Just a week after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission began relicensing nuclear power plants, environmental groups and several states are again suing to stop it.
The latest litigation affects several utilities, including Ameren Missouri, that have been waiting for a decision from the federal regulatory agency.
The NRC had to suspend relicensing activities two years ago after political wrangling torpedoed a national repository in the Nevada desert. A federal appeals court, at the time, directed the NRC to consider the environmental impact of storing spent fuel without a national repository.
In response to the court ruling two years ago, the NRC finalized rules last month that found nuclear waste could be stored indefinitely above ground in dry casks that are replaced every 100 years. Spent nuclear fuel now is usually stored in cooling pools near reactors.
Ameren Missouri, which is seeking a 20-year extension of the license for its Callaway plant in mid-Missouri, proposes to build a dry-cask storage facility and begin moving spent fuel rods to the new site next year. The Callaway plant opened in 1984 and can operate with its current license through 2024.
Last week, the NRC resumed issuing licenses, granting renewal to a plant near Philadelphia. In all, it has granted 74 renewals out of 100 operating nuclear reactors in the country, according to the Energy Information Administration. Ameren hopes to win approval for its license extension by the end of the year.
But the states of New York, Connecticut and Vermont are challenging the NRC’s storage rules in a suit filed Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The environmental groups filed a similar lawsuit Wednesday.
Joining the environmentalists’ lawsuit this time is the St. Louis-based Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
“It’s irresponsible for the NRC to permit the creation of new, high-level nuclear wastes without a plan for their ultimate safe storage and disposal,” the coalition’s Ed Smith said in a statement Wednesday.
Jacob Barker is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @jacobbarker and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.
Copyright 2014 stltoday.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Energy, Nuclear Technology, Nuclear Energy In The United States, Environment, Ameren Missouri, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Callaway Nuclear Generating Station, Dry Cask Storage, Ameren, Callaway Plant, St. Louis-based Missouri Coalition For The Environment, Ed Smith
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Dr. Helen Caldicott Tells of Fukushima’s Lethal Toll & Meeting Ronald Reagan
By Harvey Wasserman
She tells us about what’s happening to the renewable industry in Australia, and why Dr. James Hansen needs to reassess his views on atomic energy.
Listen to Dr. Helen Caldicott on the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show. Photo credit: Heide Smith
“Nuclear Power Plants are cancer factories and bomb factories … because any country that has a nuclear reactor makes 500 pounds of plutonium a year and you need 10 pounds to make an atomic bomb … so the nuclear power industry in this country in its wisdom and in Japan, Canada and elsewhere is selling nuclear reactors as fast as it can … and they will have enough plutonium to make enough atomic bombs for the next half a million years … cause that’s how long the plutonium lasts …,” said Dr. Caldicott.
Then she shared one of modern American history’s most critical episodes. In the early 1980s, during the global campaign for a nuclear freeze, Helen met Patty Davis, the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Davis figured that Dr. Caldicott might be one of the few people who might reach her father about the dangers of nuclear war.
read the rest at EcoWatch.com…….
A Japanese governor said Wednesday the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident.
Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture – home to the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant – said regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to restart two reactors in southern Japan that last month were the first to be approved under stricter safety requirements introduced after the Fukushima disaster. Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka has called the new standard one of the world’s highest.
Regulators are inspecting 18 other reactors, including two in Niigata operated by the utility that runs the Fukushima plant, which experienced meltdowns following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. All 48 workable Japanese reactors are currently offline.
Izumida also said the Tokyo Electric Power Co was responsible for the Fukushima crisis and has no qualifications to resume operating a nuclear plant without fully clarifying unanswered questions about the accident.
Ensuring protection of nearby residents from radiation exposure as part of a multi-layer safety measure is an international standard, but still not required in Japan. Towns as far as 30 kilometers from the plant, an expansion from the 20 kilometers before the crisis, are now required to compile evacuation plans, but many have not. Niigata compiled its evacuation plan in June and is set to test it next month.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Comment: With the worst volcano eruption of Mt. Ontake (more than 50 dead) seismologists claim no predictability about volcano eruption (remember earthquake and tsunami at Fukushima Plant). The Sendai Plant, the most probable first restart candidate, is with this risk with the active volcano Sakurajima. Poor safety preparation and approval of the residents warn reckless restart.
Mt. Ontake eruption was unpredictable, the Seismological Society of Japan (SSJ) says.
Sendai Nuclear Plant was permitted for restart by the Nuclear Regulation Committee.
It is surrounded by many volcanos whose eruption is unpredictable, but NRC says that
unpredictability should not stop social actions (nuclear plants restart) – illogical argument
to rationalize its position (unpredictability of nuclear plants’ disasters should be stopped
- other safe social activities can be allowed of course).
Irresponsible NRC and unpredictable nuclear disasters should be stopped. Please sign:
Originally posted on Global Ethics:
川内、地元同意手続きへ 再稼働、年明け以降 主要審査終了（朝日新聞／日本語）
川内原発 新基準適合と判断 未完成の対策で承認（東京新聞／日本語）
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Petition Background (Preamble):
Fukushima alone demonstrates the risks of nuclear meltdowns even in a society based on science and advanced technology. The one hundreds plants in our country are terrorist targets.
There are no solutions in sight to nuclear waste disposal. The timelines for bringing new nuclear plants online exceed the UN’s call for rapid decarbonization. The estimated costs are staggering.
We urge you to develop an analytic model that includes the decommissioning of current nuclear plants as part of a transition to a future based on conservation, efficiency and renewable energy.
The More Nuclear Power is NOT the Answer to the Climate Crisispetition to Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network was written by Tom Hayden and is in the category Environment at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: united nations, climate change, climate, nuclear, nuclear power, nuclear plants, environment, fukushima
Dennis Kucinich. (photo: Kucinich.gov)
07 August 14
ixty-nine years ago, the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan — Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 — killing over a quarter of a million people.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and other government leaders said at the time that the atomic bomb was not necessary militarily and that Japan was already facing certain defeat by the US and the Soviet Union.
Despite these warnings, the bombs were used and were wrongfully credited with ending the war. The atomic bomb ushered in an age of warfare that gave nations the ability to annihilate other nations and to commit environmental suicide, as Jonathan Schell related in his masterpiece The Fate of the Earth.
The ability to split the atom also legitimatized a nuclear industry which poisons our land and our water as shown in the new documentary film Hot Water, produced by Liz Rogers and Elizabeth Kucinich, which will be released late 2014.
Two years ago, Congress brought forward a proposal to create a new national park to honor those who developed the bomb. I opposed the bill because I felt the effects of the bomb were nothing to celebrate or glorify and was instrumental in the proposal’s defeat in the House in 2012. A transcript of the debate in the house can be found here. In the 2014 Congress, this bill (S. 507 by Senator Cantwell) passed the House, but is unlikely to pass the Senate.
Our problem isn’t simply our nuclear past, but is our present addiction to nuclear weapons which threaten humanity’s future. Professor Francis A. Boyle observed that in 2013 the Obama administration changed the United States nuclear posture. The United States has historically positioned its nuclear arsenal for the purposes of “deterrence,” yet under President Obama’s administration they are for brandishing. “In today’s security environment” the United States now reserves the right to use nuclear weapons against any country (first strike policy).
Lest anyone forget that nuclear is a big business, the United States is the leader in the global nuclear energy market. Nuclear energy technology is one of our biggest exports and is promoted as a boon to the environment, forget Fukushima. Forget that dozens of nuclear reactors in the US are operating way past their original licensing permits and that the aging reactor vessels are in late stages of embrittlement.
Forget that nuclear utilities are pleading with Wall Street to give them a break. We have come full circle, back to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where the United States struck first with nuclear weapons. The most recent nuclear posture, the White House claimed, is necessary to eventually get rid of nuclear weapons! Read Professor Boyle’s analysis and the White House document.
During this time of commemoration of man’s inhumanity, visited upon the people of Japan three generations ago, let us resolve that we shall demand leaders who will resist the impulse to solve political and security problems through weapons of mass destruction.
Such leaders already exist in an organization known as the Parliamentarians for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament, or PNND. Additionally, The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation promotes citizen action for nuclear abolition.
We must work together to support all efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons, not through appeals to violence but through the instinct to celebrate life. Let us find a path to love so that we can dismantle the destructive forces within our own hearts, which paralyze any sense of compassion necessary for the survival of all life on this planet. Let us build technologies for sustainability, and peace.