Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Obama: No Money for Nukes!

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) personnel, wearing protective suits, operate on JMSDF auxiliary multi-purpose support ship Hiuchi near the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, in this photo taken April 5 and released by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force April 6, 2011.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant is seen across the Susquehanna River in Middletown, Pennsylvania, March 15, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Taxpayers should NOT take on the risk of building new nuclear plants

The disaster at Japan's nuclear power plant highlights the inherent dangers of nuclear power, we should be phasing it out in favor of clean energy like wind and solar and energy efficiency. And yet President Obama says he still wants to spend $36 billion of our tax dollars to subsidize the nuclear industry so it can build more nuclear plants here in the United States. Americans don't want their money going to dangerous and dirty energy sources; according to a recent poll, 74% of Americans oppose nuclear subsidies.

Of course, nuclear industry lobbyists are doing everything they can right now to make sure our members of Congress don't listen to the American people. So we need to make sure they know we don't want our tax dollars wasted on new nuclear plants that would threaten more communities here in the United States.

Send an urgent message to the President and your members of Congress TODAY and tell them that there is no place for taxpayer giveaways to the nuclear industry in the budget and that now is the time to invest in technology that uses clean and unlimited energy sources like the sun and wind.

A South Korean environmentalist with umbrellas march in a rally demanding South Korean government to stop expanding nuclear power plants in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 6, 2011. Fears over possible radiation contamination are growing in South Korea, the country closest to Japan, after Japanese nuclear power plants were damaged by earthquakes last month.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Radioactive Sea
Levels of radioactive iodine had reached 7.5 million times permissible levels directly behind the plant Saturday, but by Tuesday new measurements showed that the amount of radioiodine was only 4% of that amount. That was still nearly 300,000 times the permissible limit, but levels were continuing to decline as the outflow from the plant was being diluted by the ocean.

Engineers try to lower danger level at crippled Japanese nuclear plant
With a leak of radioactive water plugged at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, nitrogen gas is pumped into one of the reactors to reduce the risk of another hydrogen explosion. But a U.S. report suggests new problems may lie ahead.

Los Angeles Times | Science, April 6, 2011: Engineers began injecting nitrogen into one of the reactors at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Wednesday evening as radiation levels in seawater near the plant dropped and a new report from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission suggested that the plant may face even more troubles in the future...

Radiation levels in seawater near the plant, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., dropped dramatically even before engineers plugged a water leak at the facility on Wednesday, and authorities expect levels to continue falling now that the flow of contaminated water has diminished.

Levels of radioactive iodine had reached 7.5 million times permissible levels directly behind the plant Saturday, but by Tuesday new measurements showed that the amount of radioiodine was only 4% of that amount. That was still nearly 300,000 times the permissible limit, but levels were continuing to decline as the outflow from the plant was being diluted by the ocean.

Boing Water Reactor

Japan focuses on hydrogen buildup after nuclear leak
(Reuters) TOKYO | Wed Apr 6, 2011 7:41pm EDT - Japan pumped nitrogen gas into a crippled nuclear reactor on Thursday, trying to prevent an explosive buildup of hydrogen gas as the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years stirred atomic safety debate and inspections in the United States.

"It is necessary to inject nitrogen gas into the containment vessel and eliminate the potential for a hydrogen explosion," an official of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) told a news briefing - The possibility of another hydrogen explosion like those that ripped through reactors No.1 and No.3 early in the crisis, spreading high levels of radiation into the air, was "extremely low," he said - But TEPCO suspected that the outside casing of the reactor vessel was damaged, said the official - Under these conditions, if we continue cooling the reactors with water, the hydrogen leaking from the reactor vessel to the containment vessel could accumulate and could reach a point where it could explode..."

IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident

from update 6 April 2011, 14:00 UTC - TEPCO has identified a possible leakage path from the Turbine building of Unit 2 to the sea via a series of trenches/tunnels used to provide power to the sea water intake pumps and supply of service water to the reactor and turbine buildings. On 4 April, a tracer was used in an attempt to determine where the water was coming from. The tracer was also injected into two new bore holes that had been drilled near the pit. On 5 April it was confirmed that the tracer was seen leaking from the crack into the sea. Coagulation agents (liquid glass) were injected into the holes drilled around the pits to block leakage of water. It was reported that the leakage has currently stopped at 20:38 UTC on 5 April. Work continues to prevent further releases to the sea.

According to the TEPCO Press Release of 4 April, approximately 10 000 T of water from the radioactive waste treatment plant and 1 500 T of subsurface waters stored in the sub drain pits of Unit 5 and 6 are being discharged to the sea to provide room to store water with higher levels of radioactivity in a safer manner. The discharges started at 10:00 UTC and 12:00 UTC respectively on 4 April. TEPCO has estimated that these discharges would increase the effective dose to a member of the public by 0.6 mSv, if he/she were to eat seaweed and seafood from the discharge area every day for a year. It should be noted however that the movements of all ships, including fishing boats, are restricted within a 30km zone from the NPP, based on the hazardous area set by the Maritime Safety Agency. Also, Fukushima prefecture reported that no fishing has started beyond a 30km zone from the NPP in this prefecture.

All Things Nuclear
A project of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Internal NRC Documents Reveal Doubts about Safety Measures

APRIL 6, 2011: In the weeks following the Fukushima accident, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and nuclear industry officials have been asserting that US nuclear plants are better prepared to withstand a catastrophic event like the March 11 earthquake and tsunami than Japanese plants because they have additional safety measures in place.
According to internal NRC documents, however, there is no consensus within the NRC that US plants are sufficiently protected. The documents indicate that technical staff members doubt the effectiveness of key safety measures adopted after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

How Many Cancers Did Chernobyl Really Cause?

APRIL 6, 2011: There is a lot of confusion about how many excess cancer deaths will likely result from the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Ukraine. As we see below, 70,000 and 35,000 are reasonable estimates of the number of excess cancers and cancer deaths attributable to the accident.

Much lower numbers of cancers and deaths are often cited, but these are misleading because they only apply to those populations with the highest radiation exposures, and don’t take into account the larger numbers of people who were exposed to less radiation.

...people frequently cite “4,000” as the number of eventual excess cancer fatalities. However, by limiting its analysis to people with the greatest exposure to released radiation, the report seriously underestimates the number of cancers and cancer deaths attributable to Chernobyl. The effects of the radiation were not limited to the “contaminated” areas but would be felt in Europe and beyond.

The current understanding of the relationship of cancer to radiation is that the risk of cancer increases linearly with dose and that there is no safe amount of radiation. This understanding is represented by the “Linear No-Threshold” (LNT) model of cancer.

Chernobyl Disaster @ wikipedia

An exhibit at the Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum. Mutations in both humans and other animals may have increased as a result of the disaster.

Chernobyl radiation map

Response letter from Senator Dianne Feinstein (April 7, 2011) -

Dear Mr. Cherwink:

Thank you for writing to express your opposition to loan guarantees to support the development of nuclear power plants. I appreciate the time you took to write and welcome the opportunity to respond.

I believe the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan on March 11, 2011, and caused systemic failure at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has demonstrated the risks of nuclear power. I recently visited both of California's nuclear power plants in order to learn more about their emergency preparedness. I believe we have an obligation to learn lessons from the disaster in Japan in order to ensure that our plants are as safe as possible.

As you may know, the President's fiscal year 2012 budget proposal requests $36 billion in loan guarantee authority for the domestic nuclear industry and research and development of advanced nuclear technologies. I appreciate knowing your opposition to this funding. You may be pleased to know that I recently voted for a fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution that provided no additional authority for loans to nuclear facilities. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as the Committee considers fiscal year 2011 and 2012 funding levels.

Again, thank you for writing. If you have further questions or comments, please contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website, You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list. Click here to sign up. Feel free to checkout my YouTube Page.

See also:
• other Fukushima updates for background info and links -
Deepak Chopra homebase: Fukushima ~ Indian Point, NY
Fukushima a "Ticking Time Bomb"
Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan “Not Equal to Chernobyl, But Way Worse”
Nuclear Power = Crime Against Humanity
> Obama: No Money for Nukes!
Pacifica Nuclear Teach-in | The Code Killers by Ace Hoffman
Nuclear Obama, Radioactive Boars & Frogs of Fukushima
fukushima plutonium
Fukushima still fuming - nuclear catastrophe update
March archive

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