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Fri May 01, 2015 at 10:10 AM PDT

Fire in Chernobyl Contaminated Zone

by Joieau

Reposted from Joieau by mahakali overdrive


RT and The Ecologist report that a huge forest fire near the abandoned contaminated zone around the Chernobyl disaster site in northern Ukraine is releasing plutonium as well as cesium and strontium into the smoke and carrying it far downwind. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that the fire had escalated and strong winds were pushing it in the direction of the destroyed nuclear facility. It breached the 30km exclusion zone boundary and was about 20km from the Chernobyl installations.

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Wed Jan 14, 2015 at 03:04 PM PST

US Nukes in Financial Trouble

by Joieau

Reposted from Joieau by LeftOfYou

Bloomberg reported last week that the largest owner/operator of nuclear power plants in the United States is seeking permission from state utility regulators to double the price of electricity in order to delay the permanent shutdown of one of their nuclear facilities. Exelon racked up more than $100 million in losses since 2011 from its Ginna power plant contracted wholesale power price, and calculates it must be allowed to charge a minimum of 83% more in order to keep it running through 2016 at no profit. At which time Exelon will shut the plant down to avoid more losses. This would give the utility time to contract with other suppliers to make up the difference.

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Reposted from Joieau by mahakali overdrive

Today there was another accident at what's left of the Fukushima Daiichi unit 3 reactor building, when workers operating a remote control crane dropped the control console for the refueling machine into the spent fuel pool. The console weighs close to a thousand pounds.

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Reposted from Joieau by mahakali overdrive

In the grandiose and not so noble tradition of Big Tobacco and Big Fossil Fuels' climate change denial theater, the world nuclear industry and its pet governments keep resisting the implications of epidemiological studies that have repeatedly and overwhelmingly demonstrated an increased incidence of childhood leukemias in populations living near operating nuclear power plants. The "debate" has been going on since the 1980s, and has generated more scientific studies and articles than any other area of public health toxicology (i.e., asbestos, lead, tobacco smoke). More than 70% of the studies over those 30+ years demonstrate increases in leukemia incidence along with clear associations with nearby nukes. Per Korblein and Fairlie, 2012 [Int J Cancer 131: 2970-2971], that amounted to a "statistically significant" 37% increase in childhood leukemias within 5 km of almost all nuclear power plants in the UK, Germany, France and Switzerland.

Now, it's not like nukes and their pet government regulators haven't known since long before this issue was ever public that pregnant women, infants and young children are more sensitive to the harmful effects of radiation exposure than the 'model' healthy 20-something adult male. They only deny it whenever a new damning study comes out and gains public attention. It turns out that the public is not very comfortable with who gets sacrificed when governments and industries play statistical cost-benefit games. I have previously described this practice as "Premeditated Random Murder," but it's looking like the 'lambs' being sacrificed to the nuclear industry aren't nearly as random as they'd like for us all to believe.

Dr. Ian Fairlie, a radiation biologist in England, published a paper in March of this year in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity (pay wall) on the subject. Fairlie offers the gist of that work on his blog:

So the matter is now beyond question, ie there's a very clear association between increased child leukemias and proximity to NPPs. The remaining question is its cause(s).
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The other day I disclosed some of my history as a former, Cold War Era, Naval officer, with nuclear launch capability, specifically, the Navy's ASROC, anti-submarine rocket, in the comment thread of Lenny Flank's wonderful and important post, Fat Man and Little Boy: The Design of the Atomic Bombs.  If one picture is worth 1000 words, this is what the Navy trained and assigned me to do:

The disclosure prompted G2geek to propound a number of excellent questions about my service that I addressed fully in a reply that ran to considerable length, ultimately leading me to ponder, and, in the course of things, explain, one unasked question that I had not previously thought of so much, and which I answer in the title of this post.

For those not wishing to click through, I reproduce that comment thread, worthy, perhaps, of a larger audience, out in the tall grass, along with a petit lagnaippe.


The button to launch a nuclear weapon?

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| 45 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Stop the Police State! by mahakali overdrive

The City of Fairbanks unanimously passed a resolution Monday calling for more radiation monitoring of their coastline as we enter the third anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. While radiation levels there are still a fraction of harmful levels, the goal is to watch for trends to ensure that the levels do not get any higher.

The resolution was introduced by Fairbanks City Mayor John Eberhart and had the support of the council and several people who came to testify. Among them was John Davies, a member of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly. Davies said he was concerned about radiation from Japan spreading to salmon he dip nets for at Chitina.
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Reposted from JusticeSeeker68 by LeftOfYou

Harvey Wasserman, Common Dreams . . .

A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.  Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy.

The $4.3 billion carrier is now docked in San Diego. Critics question whether it belongs there at all. Attempts to decontaminate U.S. ships irradiated during the Pacific nuclear bombs tests from 1946-1963 proved fruitless.

Still radioactive?

aircraft carrier ronald reagan photo: US Navy 1-119.jpg

(stock photo)

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Worse? I'll make wisecracks. You decide.

Today, TEPCO, the owner and operator of the destroyed reactors at Fukushima Daiichi issued a press release disclosing yet another release of radioactive water into the environment. Just a little bit, you see. Only 100 metric tons.

Workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station discovered and stopped the overflow of water from a tank storing radioactively contaminated water on Feb. 20, according to the plant’s owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

Not to worry, though, folks. TEPCO (whose every pronouncement, nearly, about safety and conditions at the devastated power plant since its destruction in the wake of the 2012 tsunami has proven to be utterly devoid of actual true facts) reassures us saying:

the overflow has been contained and poses no threat to public health.
Boy, am I relieved. For a second, I thought that the rest of what they said about what happened might be a problem:
Approximately 100 tons of water, which is a part of the approximately 340,000 tons stored at the site, flowed onto the ground and the area adjacent to the storage tank through a rainwater pipe attached to the tank. However, there is no pathway leading from that area to the sea, which is approximately 700 meters away, and none of the overflowed water is believed to have reached the ocean. Nevertheless, TEPCO immediately began removing the overflowed water and soil in which the water has seeped into. Checks on the other storage tanks revealed no additional overflow, and the workers were protected from radiation exposure by appropriate protective clothing.
So, to reassure everyone, TEPCO emphasizes that, hey, its only 100 tons. Compared to the 340,000 tons of the same stuff now stored on site, no biggie. That's only 2.77/100ths of 1% of the contaminated water that has accumulated since the reactor meltdowns and that TEPCO has no plan for dealing with permanently.

So, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked into the ground. What could go wrong with that? Water that soaks into the ground always stays right there in the very dirt you spilled in on, right? So why worry? Just dig it up and put it into bags. Water in the ground is impervious to gravity, I suppose, and has no tendency whatever to seek a lower level, like, I dunno, sea level, if it can find a way. Anyway, that ocean is way far away, like 700 meters.

I also want to emphasize that no one should express the slightest concern about the aforementioned 340,000 tons of the same stuff now stored on site. Industrial storage tanks, after all, never fail and never cause contamination of nearby water.

TEPCO is really sorry about this and promised to stare into the mirror until they figure out what went wrong.

"We are deeply embarrassed that this sort of unacceptable event would occur after the many steps we have taken to improve the management of stored water,” said Zengo Aizawa, Director and Executive Vice President of TEPCO, and General Manager of Nuclear Power and Plant Siting Division. “We will therefore conduct a thorough investigation into what occurred and determine what additional steps must be taken to prevent any similar occurrence in the future, and will further strengthen field management of stored water. It also demonstrates the need for a permanent solution to the contaminated water issue."
TEPCO says that it has "taken many steps to improve". They're going to scratch their heads until they think of "additional steps". I wonder what some of those steps might be?

Although the source is FOX, here is one report on that subject that is undeniably intriguing:  

TEPCO said Thursday that plant workers attached a garbage bag to contain the leakage. It said the leak stopped after workers closed the valves and the water did not escape into the Pacific.
Garbage bags. Well, then. Gosh, I feel better. Don't you? Oh, and they closed valves that shouldn't have been open in the first place.

The news from Fukushima never gets any better.  


Congratulations to Fukushima, the radioactive planetary abscess voted the top environmental news story of 2013 by a blogger in British Columbia. Good. The damned story gets no where near enough coverage. Also, H/T What is Happening on Top of Fukushima Reactor No. 3? I now offer a righteous rant about the soon-enough to be potentially worldwide tragedy, spreading from Fukushima, the accursed spot on the East coast of Japan, where corporate greed and government indifference joined forces to create a door to hell on Earth.

Said rant is out in the tall grass.

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Reposted from Drewid by mahakali overdrive

 This will be a short diary, just kinda bringing this to everyone's attention and it's a situation I've followed for years. So this just showed up in my FB stream.

And now fresh plumes of steam have been seen coming out the structure. These have now been confirmed by Tepco, the owner of the nuclear plant, from 19th December onwards. The company believes the steam is coming from the fifth floor of the building.

However it does not know the cause of the steam.

 As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest I'd like to know the cause of the steam and the lack of coverage in the trad-western media of the Fukushima meltdown has always concerned me.
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Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 07:58 AM PST

Nuclear Secrecy & Disposable People

by Joieau

Reposted from Joieau by mahakali overdrive
A follow-up to the diary:
Japan Passes Draconian Secrecy Law

Today the East Bay Express newspaper featured an article entitled Fukushima Panic, a thinly-veiled take-down of activists and citizens concerned about radioactive contamination from the Fukushima disaster heading in towards the western coast of North America, and that which has already arrived.

After portraying the activists' concerns with a derisive mention of "blog posts with scary headlines," the reporter [Sam Levin] goes straight to UC Berkeley's Department of Nuclear Engineering to get the pablum-of-the-day dismissals from the usual suspects...

"I haven't seen a single record of anything that would be of concern." [Prof. Edward Morse]
Morse goes on to lob the standard, long-discredited denials that nuclear WMD and reactor meltdown isotopes pose no danger at all to humans and other life forms. Same old same, likening exposures to stray gamma in an airliner and K40 in bananas. Ignoring, as always, the fact that contaminates like cesium and strontium bioaccumulate up the food chain, concentrating up to a thousand times the levels present in the wider environment. And not even mentioning the fact that internal beta/gamma (and even alpha) bombardment of sensitive tissues point blank by isotopes that are uptaken as if they were essential nutrients such as potassium or calcium is known to cause significant biological damage and sometimes lead to soft and hard tissue cancers that stray gamma rays at 30,000 feet don't generally do.

The kindly professor even went so far as to brag about advising a man whose wife was concerned to starve her. Not a nice guy.

He also claims he has no conflicts of interest on the funding end, since he only takes money from DHS [Homeland Security] and the Department of Energy rather than from the nuclear industry directly. How very reassuring. Not.

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Reposted from Joieau by LeftOfYou

Over the past several months the world nuclear industry has launched yet another of its perpetual propaganda campaigns to diminish public concerns about nuclear power in general - and Fukushima's Daiichi disaster in particular. Ostensibly for the purpose of convincing the public to invest trillions of dollars in about 4,000 new nuclear power plants to replace dirty coal as the world's #1 energy source. Which, we are told, is the only way to mitigate human contributions to global warming.

In order to accomplish this dubious goal, public attention and concerns about the ever-ongoing - and now worsening - disaster at Fukushima Daiichi must be diverted and/or dismissed. Deal is, the public isn't very trustful of nukes these days, so they have enlisted scientists and academics for the task.

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