Dead End for Nuclear Power? – EON Update 6-13-11

Pushback Turns to Backlash
Despite the bad news – and hot particles – continuing to come out of Fukushima, there are some signs that a combination of public opposition, market forces, scientific rationality, and perhaps even plain old common sense are beginning to slow the mad lemming rush toward the nuclear ‘renaissance’ cliff. At least for the moment, licensing delays, building plan cancellations and even nuke plant shutdowns are spreading worldwide. Scroll down for articles and video links on this and other nuclear topics.

Ft. Calhoun nuclear plant flood and fire
As if the flooding isn’t enough, they had an electrical fire, and shut down the spent fuel pond pumps to aid in fighting it. There are many articles posted on this, all the IDENTICAL AP article, and not one mention of flooding:…

Nuke plant lost spent fuel pump in suspected fire
ATLANTA (AP) — A nuclear power plant in Nebraska briefly lost the pump used to cool spent nuclear fuel during a suspected electrical fire.

Utility officials said the fire Tuesday damaged an electrical system used to run a pump at the Fort Calhoun Station that recirculates water in a pool holding hot, radioactive nuclear fuel that has been used.

The pump was out of commission for an hour before the system was restored. Omaha Public Power District spokesman Mike Jones said the company had backup equipment but didn’t need to use it. Jones initially said that plant operators deliberately took the pump offline to respond to the fire.

If a pool pump fails for several days and is not fixed, cooling water could boil away and eventually cause radioactive releases. Read more

Japan Admits 3 Nuclear Meltdowns, More Radiation Leaked into Sea; U.S. Nuclear Waste Poses Deadly Risks

Almost three months after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan, new radiation “hot spots” may require the evacuation of more areas further from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency recently admitted for the first time that full nuclear meltdowns occurred at three of the plant’s reactors, and more than doubled its estimate for the amount of radiation that leaked from the plant in the first week of the disaster in March. “What they failed to mention is that they discharged an equally large amount into the ocean,” says our guest Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Fukushima in Our Food: Low Levels of Radiation from Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Detected in Milk, Fruit and Vegetable Samples Tested from California Farms

June 1, 2011 | By Steven Hoffman
The emerging reality of the ongoing nuclear reactor crisis in Fukushima, Japan—now in its third month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused nuclear explosions at the plant 150 miles north of Tokyo—is that it is not under control at all. Three of the six reactors are in meltdown. The crippled reactors are acting like a huge dirty bomb, emitting significant quantities of radioactive isotopes that are, in fact, contaminating our air, water, soil and food in a steady stream that may continue for a long time.

And it’s not just affecting Japan, though they’re certainly getting the worst of it. Since the accident on March 12, radioactive fallout from Fukushima has been spreading to the U.S. and across the northern hemisphere. Elevated levels of radiation caused by the meltdowns in Japan have been detected in drinking water across the country, in rainwater, in soil, and in food grown on U.S. farms.

The mainstream media is not really reporting on this….Read more.

NUCLEAR CRISIS: HOW IT HAPPENED / Hydrogen blasts at plant surprised experts

… “No expert had predicted that a hydrogen explosion would occur at the reactor building,” said Goshi Hosono, special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission, had said, “The containment vessel has been refilled with nitrogen, so a hydrogen explosion won’t happen.” Kan accepted the explanation.

Nuclear experts, including Madarame, overlooked the risk of a hydrogen explosion because they were shackled with what was considered common sense among many nuclear experts. Instead it turned out to be more like excessive self-confidence….

A 35% Spike in Infant Mortality in Northwest Cities Since Meltdown
Is the Dramatic Increase in Baby Deaths in the US a Result of Fukushima Fallout?

By JANETTE D. SHERMAN, MD and JOSEPH MANGANO
U.S. babies are dying at an increased rate. While the United States spends billions on medical care, as of 2006, the US ranked 28th in the world in infant mortality, more than twice that of the lowest ranked countries. (DHHS, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. Health United States 2010, Table 20, p. 131, February 2011. Get PDF.)

The recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report indicates that eight cities in the northwest U.S. (Boise ID, Seattle WA, Portland OR, plus the northern California cities of Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley) reported the following data on deaths among those younger than one year of age:
4 weeks ending March 19, 2011 – 37 deaths (avg. 9.25 per week)
10 weeks ending May 28, 2011 – 125 deaths (avg.12.50 per week)
This amounts to an increase of 35% (the total for the entire U.S. rose about 2.3%), and is statistically significant….

…The biological findings of Chernobyl cannot be ignored: isotope incorporation will determine the future of all life on earth – animal, fish, bird, plant and human. It is crucial to know this information if we are to avoid further catastrophic damage.

52 MONTH DELAY IN DIABLO CANYON LICENSE RENEWAL HEARING SCHEDULE
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
mothersforpeace.org
Jane Swanson – Janeslo@me.com (805) 595-2605
Elizabeth Apfelberg – hankliz@charter.net 805) 783-2383
A June 7 Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Order to delay for 52 months the schedule for hearings on an application for license renewal at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant leads to the inescapable conclusion that the original schedule was unjustified.

The Order, issued by the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB), vindicates San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace’s (MFP’s) position that Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) September 2009 application for license renewal was premature, and that meaningful assessment of that application could not be justified before critical seismic studies were completed. The ASLB recognizes that these studies are crucial to the environmental analysis for Diablo Canyon. PG&E expects to complete required seismic studies by December 2015.

Prior to this Order, hearings were scheduled to take place before the completion of seismic studies, and only a final decision would have been delayed until the end of 2015.

ALLIANCE REQUEST GRANTED:
NRC DECLARES SUBSTANTIAL HALT IN DIABLO CANYON LICENSE RENEWAL PROCESS PENDING SEISMIC REVIEW

Nearly 16 months after the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (A4NR) sat in NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko’s office and told him that PG&E’s relicensing application was premature and failed to take into account California’s request for updated seismic studies, the NRC seems to have finally gotten the message. In a June 7th order, the NRC put a 52 month delay in the relicensing process for Diablo, acknowledging that the state’s Coastal Commission requirements and other state seismic reviews needed to be fulfilled first.
It’s unconscionable that it took the tragic nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima for the NRC and PG&E to realize that they can no longer ignore the issues we have been raising since before the license renewal was even filed.

Fresno supervisors back off nuclear power plan

FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno County officials have rejected plans for up to two nuclear reactors in the county.
The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to withhold a letter of interest for the Fresno Nuclear Energy Group. The Fresno Bee reports that the group – backed by French energy giant Areva – is pursuing an energy park that could include two nuclear reactors as well as solar and biomass energy sources.

Some supervisors had spoken favorably of the group’s effort to explore nuclear energy. But they appeared to change their minds on Tuesday after hearing testimony from more than 20 people opposed to the project.

It’s not clear if the county’s vote will have any effect on the plant’s fate, which will be decided by state and federal regulators.

The Fresno nuclear group says it will continue pursuing the energy complex.
Read more:

Italy’s Voters Scrap Nuclear Energy!
by Tina Gerhardt
BERLIN, Germany – As polls closed today in Italy, voters had turned out in droves to scrap nuclear energy and water privatization.

Berlusconi says Nuclear Energy ‘Probably’ Out
MILAN — Premier Silvio Berlusconi conceded Monday that Italy will “probably” have to give up plans to revive nuclear energy in a tacit acknowledgment that referendums challenging government policies have succeeded.

Confessions of a Nuclear Power Safety Expert
by John Perlin
When Italy decided in the mid-’70s to add nuclear power to its power portfolio, young mechanical and nuclear engineer Cesare Silvi was among those attracted to the opportunities it presented. His work centered on nuclear safety issues — in particular, what might happen if something unexpected struck a power plant.

“Why not consider Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima as warnings of greater catastrophes to come and avoid the inevitable by shutting them down,” Cesare Silvi says. (MichaelUtech/istockphoto) Corners he saw cut there eventually soured Silvi on that endeavor. His next position — at the Italian Commission on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Sources, which included work on nuclear disarmament — eventually soured him on nuclear energy itself.

“[If we] continue with nuclear power, there will definitely be worse accidents,” he argued in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Over the weekend, Italian voters agreed and overwhelming rejected restarting nuclear power in their country…”

“If we are struggling to control the spread of nuclear weapons, why should we extend the technology to civilian use? …Nuclear today only generates about 12 percent of the developed world’s electricity. By instituting an energy efficiency program,” Silvi suggests, “we could fill the gap caused by shutting them all down and put this malevolent genie back into the bottle….”


Germany To Phase Out Nuclear Power; US Could Do Same

In their White House press conference Tuesday, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood together on topics ranging from the global economy to Libya.
Yet last week, Chancellor Merkel parted ways with the US on what had been a shared vision of how to maintain thriving economies while reducing greenhouse gases. For both nations, part of that plan had been nuclear power. For Germany, it is no longer.

Japan may have no nuclear reactors running by next April

(Reuters) – All 54 of Japan’s nuclear reactors may be shut by next April, adding more than $30 billion a year to the country’s energy costs, if communities object to plant operating plans due to safety concerns, trade ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Swiss lawmakers OK plan to phase out nuclear power

BERN, Switzerland – Swiss lawmakers have approved a government-backed proposal to phase out the use of nuclear power.

A majority of parliamentarians in Switzerland’s lower house voted in favor of the plan to shut down the country’s five nuclear power reactors in the medium term.

HELP CLOSE DANGEROUS GE MARK I NUCLEAR REACTORS

BECOME A CO-PETITIONER TO FORMAL PETITION TO SUSPEND MARK I LICENSES AND HOLD HEARINGS NEAR EVERY MARK I SITE From NIRS

June 9, 2011

Dear Friends,

Thank you to everyone who called the NRC yesterday afternoon and tried to participate in their public meeting on the petition submitted by our friends at Beyond Nuclear to immediately suspend the licenses of all GE Mark I reactors.

Hundreds of people tried to call in and completely overwhelmed the NRC’s system, delaying the meeting by 1/2 hour. Eventually, more than 100 people managed to successfully call in and hear great presentations by Beyond Nuclear, and co-petitioners like Pilgrim Watch, Nuclear Energy Information Service, New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution and GE Stockholders Alliance. However, the NRC allowed only formal co-petitioners to speak.

We are told that a second meeting on this petition will be held this summer.

Now it’s time for all of us to become Co-Petitioners! You can submit your request here.

Nuclear Power? No thanks! – In 44 different languages

Protests Challenge Japan’s Use of Nuclear Power
By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: June 11, 2011
TOKYO — Beating drums and waving flowers, protesters in Tokyo and other major cities rallied against the use of nuclear power on Saturday, three months after a devastating tsunami set off a nuclear crisis.

Updates on Fukushima from Fairewinds:
Hot Particles From Japan to Seattle Virtually Undetectable when Inhaled or Swallowed

Hot Particles From Japan to Seattle Virtually Undetectable when Inhaled or Swallowed from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

CNN’s John King interviews Arnie Gundersen about the Hot Particles discovered in Japan and the US.

CNN’s John King interviews Arnie Gundersen about the Hot Particles discovered in Japan and the US. from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Gundersen Speaks with Chris Martenson on Current Status of Fukushima (Part I)

Gundersen Speaks with Chris Martenson on Current Status of Fukushima (Part II)

Radioactive waste watchdog gives a chilling Fukushima Daiichi update
eddieleaks.org
June 1, 2011
Peter B Collins speaks with Kevin Kamps who is “Radioactive Waste Watchdog” at BeyondNuclear.org, and gives a chilling update on the 75-day coverup of 3 reactor meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, as well as the releases of radiation to air and water, contamination of fish, plants and farm animals, the risk to Americans, and Obama’s failure to respond by banning new nukes and shutting down old ones. And Kamps reports how the Green Party in Germany has forced Chancellor Merkel to agree to shut down all nuclear power plants in Germany over the next 10-12 years.
Listen 00:35:00
Peter B Collins

Fukushima in Our Food: Low Levels of Radiation from Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Detected in Milk, Fruit and Vegetable Samples Tested from California Farms
Fukushima in Our Food | Commentary by Steven Hoffman
Good reason to stay away from foods high on the food chain…esp dairy products…eat seaweed miso soup on a regular basis…..soak/wash your veggies w bentonite clay dispersed in pure water for 20 min…and consider taking NCD liquid zeolite and blue green algae which are specific for clearing/chelating heavy metals and radioactive isotopes. No one is talking about the cumulative effect when testing food…trace amts when ingesting food on a daily basis over time adds up to a lot more than “trace” in the body… and a reminder – there is no safe level of a “trace” radioactive isotope.

How Many Nuclear Weapons Still Threaten Humanity?
by David Krieger

…The total number of deployed nuclear weapons in the world stands at 5,027 in 2011. Of these, SIPRI estimates that some 2,000 are kept on high operational alert, ready to be fired within moments of an order to do so.

In addition to its deployed nuclear weapons, the US has 6,350 additional weapons for a total of 8,500. Russia has 8,570 additional weapons for a total of 11,000. The UK has an additional 65 weapons for a total of 225. France has an additional 10, for a total of 300. Four other countries have only non-deployed nuclear weapons, according to SIPRI: China with 240; India with 80-100; Pakistan with 90-110; and Israel with 80.

Phytoremediation of Radionuclides

https://www.uga.edu/srel/Snapshots/phyto_fig.jpg
A large amount of research has focused specifically on cesium and strontium due to their prevalence from nuclear-related activities. This portion of the website only includes research upon cesium and the plant species that have been used to study the uptake of cesium from soils. Additional information about other radio isotopes can be found in the references cited.

Potatoes may be more dangerous than other vegetables. (May 29th)
Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley

U.S. Nuclear Plants Not Properly Trained For Emergencies: NRC

Nukes to America: “We don’t need no stinking fire protection”
Harvey Wasserman
…So US reactors are now riddled at thousands of key junctures with “fire protection” materials that burn while leaving a dangerous char that hampers fire fighters. Since federal law restricts their liability, reactor owners would pay a bare fraction of the damages from such a fire’s catastrophic fallout. A new NRC inspection has added possible earthquake dangers to the mix.

To prolong the misery, reactor owners want $36 billion in federal loan guarantees, now being opposed by a major grassroots movement you can help.

Millstone Unit 2 Power Spike: Did We Almost Lose Connecticut?
Dominion Demonstrates It Is Unqualified to Operate a Nuclear Power Plant

On February 12, just a month before the triple Fukushima nuclear meltdowns began, a little-noted emergency event transpired at Millstone Unit 2, the 36-year-old nuclear reactor that the state Department of Public Utility Control pronounced “no longer used and useful” back in 1998 because of its dismal operational record.

“Incorrect operation of the turbine controls caused an unplanned power increase from 88 per cent to 96 per cent,” NRC inspectors wrote. In layman’s terms, it was a sudden unexpected power spike, the result of multiple actions taken in violation of licensing safety standards. It took Dominion a full day to realize the degree of the spike and its safety significance.

This event and Dominion’s performance during and after it reveal Dominion to be an arrogant, reckless and dangerous operator of perilous nuclear technology.

Power cuts plan to beat solar storm
By Steve Connor
Monday, 13 June 2011
Officials in Britain and the United States are preparing to make controlled power cuts to their national electricity supplies in response to a warning of a possible powerful solar storm hitting the Earth.
Thomas Bogdan, director of the US Space Weather Prediction Centre, said that controlled power “outages” will protect the national electricity grids against damage which could take years to repair should a solar storm collide with the Earth without any precautions being taken.
Dr Bogdan is in discussions with scientists in the UK Met Office to set up a second space weather prediction centre in Britain to co-ordinate a global response to a threat viewed seriously by the US and UK governments.
One of the subjects is how to protect electricity grids from the immense power surges caused by the geomagnetic storms which happen when highly energetic solar particles collide with the Earth’s magnetic field.

Raw Video: Unusual Solar Flare Erupts
A solar flare has erupted from the sun in an impressive display captured by NASA cameras. NASA says the flare peaked on Tuesday and created a large cloud that appeared to cover almost half the surface of the sun….

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