EON Nuclear News Update 1-31-12

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Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011

Why the ‘Nuclear Rebirth’ is DOA
In this edition we review recent posts surveying the post-Fukushima nuclear landscape.

After Possible Leak Detected, SONGS Shuts Down Unit 3 Generator

San Clemente Times – Jan 31, 2012

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). Photo: Andrea Swayne

A precautionary shutdown of Unit 3 at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was begun this afternoon when sensors installed to detect a possible leak were set off in one of the unit’s steam generator tubes, according to a news release from Southern California Edison, which operates the power plant.

“The potential leak poses no imminent danger to the public or plant workers,” the utility company said in its statement. “There has been no release to the atmosphere.”

SCE Spokesman Gil Alexander said the sensors detected a leak of water from a closed loop used as part of the overall generator.

As of 6:30 p.m., no emergency classification has been needed or issued under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a result of the event, Alexander said. Read more.

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation
ONLINE READER by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky –

The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”

Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes – Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

The realties, however, are otherwise. Read more.

Eminent Domain and the Fight Against Nuclear Power

by Karl Grossman – Published on Monday, January 23, 2012 by Common Dreams

The nuclear power program in the United States was set up rigged—to allow the federal government to push atomic energy with state and local governments “pre-empted” on most issues.

That’s what the State of Vermont was confronted with last week as a federal judge blocked the state’s attempts to shut down the accident-plagued Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

But there’s a way around this federal nuclear fix—the use by states of their power of “eminent domain.” That’s a legal principle going back centuries and is how, commonly, states condemn property for a highway right-of-way if the owners refuse to sell.

The application of the state’s power of “eminent domain” to nuclear power was pioneered in New York State in the 1980s—and was how the completed Shoreham nuclear plant was stopped from opening. That ended the scheme of nuclear promoters to turn Long Island into a “nuclear park” with seven to 11 nuclear plants.

The Long Island Power Act was passed by New York State in 1985 creating a Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) with the power to seize the assets and stock of the utility behind this nuclear scheme, the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO). Read more.

Japan using Fukushima people as human Guinnea Pigs

Byron nuclear reactor shut down after power loss
January 30, 2012 (BYRON, Ill.) (WLS) — A nuclear reactor at a northern Illinois plant shut down Monday after losing power, and steam was being vented to reduce pressure, according to officials from Exelon Nuclear and federal regulators.

Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station, about 95 miles northwest of Chicago, shut down at 10:18 a.m., after losing power, Exelon officials said. Diesel generators began supplying power to the plant, and operators began releasing steam to cool the reactor from the part of the plant where turbines are producing electricity, not from within the nuclear reactor itself, officials said.

Standing firm: An antinuclear activist gives a speech Friday evening as he and other protesters refused to take down their tents at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry by the 5 p.m. deadline. YOSHIAKI MIURA

Occupied: Japanese Nuclear Foes Defy Order to Remove Tents
Occupying the Grounds of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
– Common Dreams staff – Published on Saturday, January 28, 2012 by Common Dreams

Japanese anti-nuclear protesters defied a government order Friday to vacate the area in front of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki. Protesters have been occupying the Ministry grounds since Sept. 11, 2011.

Childhood Leukemia Spikes Near Nuclear Power Plants

By John LaForge, CounterPunch 28 January 12

French researchers have confirmed that childhood leukemia rates are shockingly elevated among children living near nuclear power reactors.

The “International Journal of Cancer” has published in January a scientific study establishing a clear correlation between the frequency of acute childhood leukemia and proximity to nuclear power stations. The paper is titled, “Childhood leukemia around French nuclear power plants – the Geocap study, 2002-2007.”

This devastating report promises to do for France what a set of 2008 reports did for Germany – which recently legislated a total phase-out of all its power reactors by 2022 (sooner if the Greens get their way).

The French epidemiology – conducted by a team from the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, or INSERM, the Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, or IRSN, and the National Register of hematological diseases of children in Villejuif, outside Paris – demonstrates during the period from 2002-2007 in France the doubling of childhood leukemia incidence: the increase is up to 2.2 among children under age five.

The researchers note that they found no mechanistic proof of cause and effect, but could identify no other environmental factor that could produce the excess cancers. Read more.

As much as 1.7 trillion gallons of contaminated wastes were dumped into unlined soil trenches at Hanford during the Cold War years. (photo: CongressmanAdamSmith.com)

Hanford: America’s Nuclear Nightmare
By Peter Eisler, USA Today 25 January 12

Even decades after scientists came here during World War II to create plutonium for the first atomic bomb, a new generation is struggling with an even more daunting task: cleaning up the radioactive mess.

The U.S. government is building a treatment plant to stabilize and contain 56 million gallons of waste left from a half-century of nuclear weapons production. The radioactive sludge is so dangerous that a few hours of exposure could be fatal. A major leak could contaminate water supplies serving millions across the Northwest. The cleanup is the most complex and costly environmental restoration ever attempted.

A USA TODAY investigation has found that the troubled, 10-year effort to build the treatment plant faces enormous problems just as it reaches what was supposed to be its final stage. Read more.

Beyond Nuclear response to publication of report by DOE’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

News from Beyond Nuclear, For Immediate Release, January 26, 2012
Contact: Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist, Beyond Nuclear, office 301-270-2209 ext. 1, cell 240-462-3216

Press Statement by Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist at Beyond Nuclear, on the publication of the final report by the U.S. Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

“Today the U.S. Department of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future unveiled the result of its two-year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at this country’s atomic reactors. By this year’s end, that waste will constitute a mountain 70 years high, with the first cupful generated on December 2, 1942 at Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project lab at the University of Chicago, when scientists first created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

There remains no viable solution for either the management or certainly the ‘disposal’ of radioactive waste. Yet, the one essential recommendation that is not contained in the DOE report is to stop making any more of it. While a child would never be allowed to continue piling up toys in his or her room indefinitely, failing to tidy up the mess, the nuclear industry continues to be permitted to manufacture some of the world’s most toxic detritus without a cleanup plan. Read more.

Environmentalists: Water supply endangered by nuclear plants

TRENTON — Environmental activists said in a report Tuesday that nearly 3.3 million New Jerseyans drink water from supplies at risk of contamination if there’s a leak or accident at a nuclear plant.

Speakers at a State House news conference called for nuclear plants to be shuttered or phased out, with no new plants developed, in favor of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar. In the short term, they want independent safety reviews, immediate upgrades and regular groundwater tests.

“The dangers are too close to home. There’s too many New Jerseyans drinking water that would be at risk. You shouldn’t have to worry about getting cancer from drinking a glass of water,” said Jennifer Kim, an advocate with New Jersey Public Interest Research Group.

Kim said the report is the first to measure the number of people whose drinking water supplies are within range of a nuclear plant.

She said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided water intake data previously not released by the government, citing national security interests. Read more.

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