The Nuclear Reality Gap Widens
Despite official silence and obfuscation, no-fly zones, news blackouts, nukewashing denials, NRC attempts to extend the lives of seriously-aging existing plants, and an indefensible Obama initiative to refurbish the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal and give a $35 million in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees to new nukes, a dense pall of reality is beginning to settle – like Fukushima fallout – across the world.
Major countries like Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand, Malaysia and China are backpeddeling on nuclear power build-out plans, ‘The Market’ is turning away, and the informed public opinion swing against a ‘nuclear renaissance’ will take more than inflated PR budgets to reverse.
The industry may be in denial about this just being a ‘bump in the road’ and just a ‘public education’ problem, but it begins to look more like a terminal road block for the new nukes fantasy. The head of the UN’s IAEA recognizes that “Public confidence in the safety of nuclear power has been deeply shaken.” Even FOX News is worried. Write your White House and Congress person. Campaign for de-funding and decommissioning. Let’s seize the day! JH
Mainichi Video: Radioactive Fallout from Fukushima Comes to North America– Mainichi Daily News
Radioactive dust from Fukushima plant hits N. America
Radioactive materials spewed out from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant reached North America soon after the meltdown and were carried all the way to Europe, according to a simulation by university researchers.
The computer simulation by researchers at Kyushu University and the University of Tokyo, among other institutions, calculated dispersal of radioactive dust from the Fukushima plant beginning at 9 p.m. on March 14, when radiation levels around the plant spiked.
Revealed: British government’s plan to play down Fukushima
Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 30 June 2011 21.36 BST
Read e-mails here.
British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.
Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.
“This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.”
Officials stressed the importance of preventing the incident from undermining public support for nuclear power….
“Anti-nuclear people across Europe have wasted no time blurring this all into Chernobyl and the works,” the official told Areva. “We need to quash any stories trying to compare this to Chernobyl.”
Fukushima Spews, Los Alamos Burns, Vermont Rages and We’ve Almost Lost Nebraska
by Harvey Wasserman
Humankind is now threatened by the simultaneous implosion, explosion, incineration, courtroom contempt and drowning of its most lethal industry.
We know only two things for certain: worse is yet to come, and those in charge are lying about it—at least to the extent of what they actually know, which is nowhere near enough.
Indeed, the assurances from the nuke power industry continue to flow like the floodwaters now swamping the Missouri Valley heartland.
But major breakthroughs have come from a Pennsylvania Senator and New York’s Governor on issues of evacuation and shut-down. And a public campaign for an end to loan guarantees could put an end to the US industry once and for all.
Press remarks regarding the Las Conchas Fire, June 29, 2011, 2:30 pm
Los Alamos Study Group Update
Meltdown as “Speed Bump” – The Nuclear Gang Regroups
By KARL GROSSMAN
As the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex continued to unfold, the nuclear gang—principals of the nuclear industry and pro-nuclear members of the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration—held a two-day “summit” in Washington, D.C. last week on pushing for new nuclear plant construction.
The conclusion about the impacts of Fukushima on their drive for a “renaissance” of nuclear power: it will be only a “speed bump,” as participants put it at the Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy.
…A running point at the summit was the need to “educate the public” about the benefits of nuclear power despite Fukushima….
Radiation in Our Food
By Chris Kilham
…Should you panic about this? No. That will do no good. But you can call, write and email your congressperson, your senator, and any other elected officials in your district, ask them to push for testing of foods and water in your area, and tell them to take the threat of global nuclear fallout seriously. For while none of the 104 nuclear power plants in the U.S. are melting down at present, we have had our own nuclear accidents. Remember Three Mile Island? Radiation has made its way to the American dinner table. This is a time to speak out, and to put pressure on policy makers. Clearly, it’s far better to be politically active now than radioactive tomorrow.
Rewriting History: Nuke Plants Designed to Last 40 years, Now Talk of 100-Year Life Span
by Jeff Donn
ROCKVILLE, Maryland — When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story – insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century, an Associated Press investigation shows.
This July 12, 1972 file picture shows the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township, N.J. Called “Oyster Creak” by some critics because of its aging problems, this boiling water reactor began running in 1969 and ranks as the country’s oldest operating commercial nuclear power plant. Its license was extended in 2009 until 2029, though utility officials announced in December 2010 that they’ll shut the reactor 10 years earlier, rather than build state-ordered cooling towers. By rewriting history, plant owners are making it easier to extend the lives of dozens of reactors in a relicensing process that resembles nothing more than an elaborate rubber stamp.
As part of a yearlong investigation of aging issues at the nation’s nuclear power plants, the AP found that the relicensing process often lacks fully independent safety reviews. Records show that paperwork of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission sometimes matches word-for-word the language used in a plant operator’s application.
America’s Worst Nukes
Poorly regulated nuclear power plants had 14 ‘near-misses’ in 201
Rolling Stone Photo Essay
Cuomo Takes Tough Stance on Nuclear Reactors
By DANNY HAKIM – Published: June 28, 2011
ALBANY — One of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s top advisers met with the operators of the Indian Point nuclear plant last week and told them that the governor was determined to close the plant.
Mr. Cuomo is not the first politician or the first governor to take that position, but newly passed state legislation will make it easier for him to do so.
Scientists Monitor Air as Fire Burns Near Nuclear Site
LOS ALAMOS – As crews fight to keep a New Mexico wildfire from reaching the nation’s premier nuclear-weapons laboratory and the surrounding community, scientists are busy sampling the air for chemicals and radiological materials.
Smoke from the Las Conchas fire fills the sky near the Los Alamos Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., Tuesday, June 28, 2011. A vicious wildfire spread through the mountains above a northern New Mexico town on Tuesday, driving thousands of people from their homes as officials at the government nuclear laboratory tried to dispel concerns about the safety of sensitive materials. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) Their effort includes dozens of fixed-air monitors on the ground, as well as a “flying laboratory” dispatched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The special twin-engine plane is outfitted with sensors that can collect detailed samples.
What Happened to Media Coverage of Fukushima?
by Anne Landman
While the U.S. media has been occupied with Anthony Weiner, the Republican presidential candidates and Bristol Palin’s memoir, coverage of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster has practially fallen off the map. Poor mainstream media coverage of Japan’s now months-long struggle to gain control over the Fukushima disaster has deprived Americans of crucial information about the risks of nuclear power following natural disasters….[ Great summary update. Read more. ]
Internal Contamination Confirmed – Fukushima residents have radioactive urine
Posted on Jun 27th 2011 by David Gomez
According to The Japan Times, more than 3 millisieverts of radiation were measured in the urine of 15 Fukushima residents of the village of Iitate and the town of Kawamata yesterday. This confirms that internal radiation exposure has occurred.
Millisieverts are a measurement of the amount of radiation dosage received by people.
Both places are about 24 miles from the Fukushima No. 1 power plant. The plant has been releasing radioactive material into the environment since the week of March 11, when an earthquake and tsunami caused core meltdowns.
“This won’t be a problem if they don’t eat vegetables or other products that are contaminated,” said Nanao Kamada, professor emeritus of radiation biology at Hiroshima University. “But it will be difficult for people to continue living in these areas.”
Nuke Chief at Fort Calhoun, Critics Up Concerns
Despite the Missouri River’s ever rising waters which are now less than three feet from forcing the Cooper plant to be shutdown, Jaczko downplayed any discussion of a radiation leak or flood waters climbing into the plant. Jaczko telling reporters, “Everything’s possible but right now it is not anticipated that we would see the water levels get that high.” Jaczko and officials with the Nebraska Public Power District which runs Cooper insist the plant is safe and would be shut down before any problems occur.
The reactor at Fort Calhoun has been shut down since April and plant officials have said they do not intend to bring it back on-line until the threat of flooding is over.
UN nuclear chief warns no ‘business as usual’
By Agence France-Presse
VIENNA (AFP) – The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog warned on Monday that confidence in atomic energy had been “deeply shaken” by the Fukushima disaster as a conference began to debate lessons to be drawn of the crisis in Japan.
“The eyes of the world will be upon us in the next few days,” Yukiya Amano said at the start of the five-day ministerial meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.
“Public confidence in the safety of nuclear power has been deeply shaken.”
Germany’s Greens back Merkel’s 2022 nuclear deadline
By Agence France-Presse
BERLIN (AFP) – Germany’s Green party on Saturday decided to accept a government decision to close all nuclear reactors by 2022 instead of pushing for an earlier deadline.
Ahead of the extraordinary meeting in Berlin, the party leadership called on members to support the government, although some of the 819 delegates are calling for Germany to abandon nuclear energy as early as 2017.
“Giving up nuclear energy is a victory for the Greens,” said the party’s co-leader, Claudia Roth.
Radioactive Dust From Japan Hit North America 3 Days After Meltdown
But Governments “Lied” About Meltdowns and Radiation
NIRS Update on Fukushima
* note: all Update times are Eastern U.S. time
UPDATE, Tuesday, June 21, 2011. A new version of the map we posted Friday of radiation readings in Japan sheds more light on the vast contamination of the northern part of the country and new evidence that the government’s response has been woefully inadequate. The map is here. https://gunma.zamurai.jp/pub/2011/18June.pdf
(Warning, this is a very large—15mb—pdf file; not recommended for slow connections).
10,000 Nuclear Experiments on Hold as Wildfire Closes US Lab
by P. Solomon Banda and Susan Montoya Bryan
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Officials at the nuclear laboratory that created the first atomic bomb say it could be a few days before they know how experiments have been affected by a shutdown forced by a 323-square-kilometre wildfire.
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