Nuclear News Update – 5-26-2011

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Radiation is not a problem to human health – it says behind this mask – Dees Illustratoins

The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World’s Operating Reactors
Arnie Gundersen explains how containment vents were added to the GE Mark 1 BWR as a “band aid” 20 years after the plants built in order to prevent an explosion of the notoriously weak Mark 1 containment system. Obviously the containment vent band aid fix did not work since all three units have lost containment integrity and are leaking radioactivity. Gundersen also discusses seismic design flaws, inadequate evacuation planning, and the taxpayer supported nuclear industry liability fund.

The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World’s Operating Reactors from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Is Fukushima Now Ten Chernobyls into the Sea?
by Harvey Wasserman
New readings show levels of radioisotopes found up to 30 kilometers offshore from the on-going crisis at Fukushima are ten times higher than those measured in the Baltic and Black Seas during Chernobyl.

“When it comes to the oceans, says Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceonographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, “the impact of Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl.”

The news comes amidst a tsunami of devastating revelations about the Fukushima disaster and the crumbling future of atomic power, along with a critical Senate funding vote today:

Fukushima’s owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, has confirmed that fuel at Unit One melted BEFORE the arrival of the March 11 tsunami.

The Obama Administration has still produced no comprehensive monitoring of radioactive fallout coming to the United States and has provided no guidance as to how American citizens can protect themselves, except to say not to worry. Polls now show more Americans opposing new reactors than favoring them, and grassroots opposition is fierce.

But the industry is pushing ahead with demands for $36 billion in loan guarantees for new reactors, with a preliminary vote expected soon in a House Appropriations Subcommittee. Nuclear opponents are asked to call the White House and Congress steadily through the 2012 budget process.

Also, today (May 26) may see a vote in a Senate committee on a CEDA plan that would provide still more money for new nukes. Safe energy advocates are urged to call their Senators asap.
Read more

Risk From Spent Nuclear Reactor Fuel Is Greater in U.S. Than in Japan, Study Says

Published: May 24, 2011
WASHINGTON — The threat of a catastrophic release of radioactive materials from a spent fuel pool at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant is dwarfed by the risk posed by such pools in the United States, which are typically filled with far more radioactive material, according to a study released on Tuesday by a nonprofit institute.

Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the US: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage

By Robert Alvarez – IPS
The price of fixing America’s nuclear vulnerabilities may be high, but the price of doing too little is incalculable.

Radioactive cocktail
By Ed Smeloff
As Fukushima Daiichi reminds us, California’s Rancho Seco’s spent fuel rods remain ‘hot’ for generations to come.

Wisconsin Nuclear plants respond to Fukushima

Environmental challenges against proposed new Fermi 3 atomic reactor survive

What Fukushima’s Triple Meltdown Means

U.N. Body ‘Does not expect to find human health effects from Fukushima,’ but won’t know for 2 years! – Reuters
The United Nations Scientific Committee on the effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), which has published reports about the 1986 Chernobyl accident, said it would take at least two years to produce a full report on the issue.

“Everybody wants answers tomorrow or next week … but this is not possible. We need time,” UNSCEAR Chairman Wolfgang Weiss told a news conference, adding that preliminary findings were expected in May 2012.

“So far what we have seen in the population, what we have seen in children with thyroid screening, what we have seen in workers … we wouldn’t expect to see health effects,” he said. [This is the same body that poo-poos the impact of Chernobyl.]

Nuclear plant workers suffer internal radiation exposure after visiting Fukushima

Mainichi Daily News May 21, 2011

The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan
by: Hirose Takashi, The Asia-Pacific Journal
A puzzle for our time: how is it possible for a person to be smart enough to make plutonium, and dumb enough actually to make it?

Switzerland Decides on Nuclear Phase-Out

Switzerland follows Germany in 100% nuclear phaseout Beyond Nuclear

Merkel: nuclear debate behind bad election showing
Chancellor Angela Merkel placed much of the blame for her party’s poor performance in a weekend election on Germany’s discussion about nuclear energy, and said Monday she hopes “quick and clear decisions’’ on its future will defuse the issue.

Company Believes 3 Reactors Melted Down in Japan – NYT

Update from NIRS – Nuclear Information and Resource Service
…Tomio Kawata, a research fellow of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said this week that the soil of a large area of northwest Japan—about 600 square kilometers—is contaminated with Cesium-137 at levels higher than prompted compulsory evacuation orders in the Soviet Union after Chernobyl (1.48 million becquerels per square meter). 700 square kilometers is contaminated with levels from 555,000-1.48 million becquerels per square meter.

Today, Tepco said that some 60 tons of radioactive water in one of its makeshift storage tanks—where it has been putting radioactive water gathered from the reactors and turbine buildings—has leaked out. The leak is apparently continuing.

Greenpeace is continuing its testing of marine life 12 miles and more from the Daiichi site, this week finding seaweed with contamination levels as high as 60 times legal limits. Read more.

Japan shuts down nuclear reactorReuters video
Chubu Electric Power begins shutting down its Hamaoka nuclear reactors, the closest to Tokyo in Shizuoka prefecture, according to Japanese government request

Japan closes fifth nuclear reactor since Fukashima radioactive leak – Haaretz
Japan’s government says it will abandon plans to ramp up the nuclear contribution to the power grid to 50%, and instead will increase the share of renewable energy.

The nuclear environmental disaster of Fukushima Daiichi is just beginning.
By Serge Sargentini – PDF

Tepco chief quits after $15 billion loss on nuclear crisis

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