Saturday, March 31, 2012

MORE NEW NUKES: NRC okays units in SC

March 30, 2012|Reuters: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday approved a license for Scana Corp to build two reactors at the Virgil Summer nuclear station in South Carolina, the agency's second approval of additional nuclear units to be built in the United States in two months after a 30-year construction hiatus.

Scana and its partner, state-owned electric agency Santee Cooper, want to build two AP1000 reactors at the Summer site near Jenkinsville, at a projected cost of $9 billion. The 1,100-megawatt units are expected to begin operating in 2017 and 2018.

In February, the NRC approved Southern Co's proposed Vogtle reactors in a 4-1 vote.

No nuclear power plants have been licensed in the United States since 1979 when the partial meltdown of the reactor core of the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania led to design changes that caused construction costs for nuclear plants to skyrocket and others to be canceled.

An expected revival of nuclear construction in the United States has now been tempered by falling natural gas prices and slowing growth in power demand.

Friday's NRC action "is a significant event for our company and marks the culmination of an intense review by the NRC," said Kevin Marsh, Scana's chief executive, in a statement.

Marsh said the country will be watching Scana and Southern as they move ahead with full construction activity.

"It's important that we deliver these plants as designed on schedule and on budget," Marsh told Reuters. "That's what people will be watching."

As he did last month, NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko cast a lone dissenting vote against the new Summer units, citing a need for the agency to make sure all safety issues raised by Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster are incorporated into new reactors before they are allowed to operate.

Congressman Edward Markey of Massachusetts, a critic of the industry, called the 4-1 vote "another victory for the nuclear industry's effort to avoid implementation of the safety upgrades" in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

SCE&G customers are already paying for certain costs related to the new Summer units under a state law designed to encourage nuclear development.

Interest in building new nuclear plants resurfaced a decade ago when natural gas prices soared and experts thought the U.S. Congress would place costly restrictions on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by fossil-fueled power plants.

But the case for widespread U.S. nuclear plant construction has since eroded due to abundant gas supplies, slow electricity demand in a weak U.S. economy and uncertainty following the Fukushima disaster.

U.S. agency okays Scana nuclear units in South Carolina - Chicago Tribune (Reporting by Eileen O'Grady; Editing by David Gregorio and Dale Hudson)

V.C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station

The Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station occupies a site near Jenkinsville, South Carolina, in Fairfield County, South Carolina, approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Columbia. The nuclear power station includes the decommissioned experimental Carolinas-Virginia Tube Reactor (CVTR) unit, just outside the site of the old town of Parr, SC. The CVTR was a 17 MWe, heavy water reactor. Its cooling water is supplied by the Monticello Reservoir (not to be confused with the Monticello Nuclear Generating Station in Minnesota), which is also used by a pumped storage (hydroelectric) unit.

This plant has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor, which has received approval of a 20-year license extension, taking the license expiration from 2022 to 2042.

In 2001, the Summer unit operated at 79.9 percent of capacity, producing 6.76 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. In 2007 it produced 8.48 billion kilowatt-hours, increasing its capacity factor to 100.2 percent.
About two-thirds (66.7 percent) of the Summer plant is owned by its operator, the South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G, a subsidiary of the SCANA corporation). The remaining 33.3 percent is owned by the South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper).

Units 2 and 3

On March 27, 2008, South Carolina Electric & Gas applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a Combined Construction and Operating License (COL) to build two 1,100 MW AP1000 pressurized water reactors at the site. On May 27, 2008, SCE&G and Santee Cooper announced an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract had been reached with Westinghouse. Costs were estimated to be approximately $9.8 billion for both AP1000 units, plus transmission facility and financing costs. The operators are filing an application to increase customers bills by $1.2 billion (2.5%) during the construction period to partially finance capital costs.

In March 2012, the NRC approved the construction license of the two proposed reactors at the Summer plant. As with the license approval for the Vogtle plant, NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko cast the lone dissenting vote, saying “I continue to believe that we should require that all Fukushima-related safety enhancements are implemented before these new reactors begin operating.” The reactors are expected to go on-line in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

SCANA Corporation

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Headquartered in Cayce, SC, SCANA Corporation is a Fortune 500 energy-based holding company, with over $13 billion in assets, whose businesses include regulated electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. SCANA’s subsidiaries serve approximately 664,000 electric customers in South Carolina and more than 1.2 million natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. SCANA has nine significant direct, wholly-owned subsidiaries.

check this out (they definitely have something mixed up here, forgetting the sanctity of Life and the Environment since NUCLEAR POWER KILLS LIFE, using it is a disservice, caring for each other doesn't mean ripping off and polluting the environment, and doing what is WRONG doesn't quite qualify as "doing what is right") -
"Our Values"

Serve our community
Communicate openly and honestly
Respect diversity and care for each other
Excel in customer service and safety
Do what is right

"It's no coincidence that the first letter in each these values spell the word “SACRED” because throughout all SCANA companies we really do consider these values sacred. They set the tone for the way we conduct our business and, ultimately, they help us achieve our stated mission and vision for the future."

see also | links

whats up: #OccupyNuclear

whats up: NRC Approves Southern’s Nuclear-Plant Construction Permit, First Since ’78

whats up - label: new nukes

Activists Occupy Entergy! | rubber stamps

The Activists Occupy Entergy! Starring our anti-nuclear heroes! (A homage to "The Artist".) - YouTube

Eight intrepid heroes from the New England Natural Guard affinity group, traveled to New Orleans, the headquarters of nuclear corporation, Entergy. They were there to occupy Entergy HQ on the day that the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, owned by Entergy, should have ceased operation. Putting up crime scene tapes and holding banners, the group refused to leave without a meeting with Entergy CEO, J. Wayne Leonard. No meeting happened. 7 of the 8 agreed to be arrested, and were detained and released. Their actions came in solidarity with allies in Vermont, 1,000 of whom marched in Brattleboro, while a second affinity group of 5 were arrested at Entergy Regional HQ in White Plains, NY. The State of Vermont voted in February 2010 to shut the 40-year old Vermont Yankee plant when its license expired on March 21, 2012, a decision that was over-ruled by the federal government and Entergy which sued to keep the plant running in defiance of states' rights.

BeyondNuclear1's YouTube Channel
#OccupyNuclear #fukushima #nuclear #nukes #nonukes #antinuclear #occupy

NRC has rubber-stamped license extensions and "power uprates" at 22 of 23 GE BWR Mark I reactors operating in the U.S.

Vibrational stresses caused by Vermont Yankee's power uprate led to the collapse of its cooling tower

March 30, 2012: Pat Birnie of the GE Shareholders Alliance has compiled U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) data on "power uprates" which the agency has approved at 22 of the 23 General Electric boiling water reactors of the Mark I design still operating across the U.S. (Nine Mile Point Unit 1 in NY is the only exception). Her chart is accessible here. The Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4 which exploded and melted down beginning in March 2011 are also GE BWR Mark Is.

The single biggest power uprate, as a percentage of heat output (measured as Megawatts-thermal, or MWt), was a 20% "extended" type power uprate, granted in 2006 to Entergy Nuclear at its 34 year old (at the time) Vermont Yankee atomic reactor. This amounted to a 319 MWt power uprate (MWt must be divided by three to determine the Megawatts-electric, MWe, generated, due to the fact that 2/3rds of the heat generated by splitting atoms is lost as waste). The vibrational stresses caused by Vermont Yankee's power uprate led to the collapse of its cooling tower (see photo at left), and even contributed to a separate fiery explosion, when the increased pressure of flowing steam picked up loose metallic slag that had lain dormant for decades and slammed it into an operational transformer.

However, even bigger power uprates have been rubberstamped by NRC. The single biggest, at an individual Mark I reactor, was the 547 MWt of power uprates, granted in two installments (one a "Measurement Uncertainty Recapture" type uprate), at the Hope Creek, New Jersey Mark I. However, both Brunswick Mark Is, Units #1 and #2 in North Carolina, have each enjoyed a total of 487 MWt of power uprates, including a "stretch" type uprate, for a whopping 974 MWt of power uprates at the Brunswick nuclear power plant.

NRC gave the newly formed Exelon Nuclear Corporation (formed by the merger of Commonwealth Edison of Chicago and Philadelphia Electric Company, the first and second largest nuclear utilities in the U.S.) an early Christmas gift in 2001: a 17.8% power uprate at both of its Quad Cities 1 & 2 Mark Is, worth 446 MWt each; and a 17% power uprate, worth 430 MWt, at each of its Dresden 2 & 3 Mark Is. All four approvals took place on a single day, December 21, 2001. The combined power uprates at the four Mark I reactors netted Exelon 1,752 MWt of additional output.

While the nuclear utilities enjoy increased profits from the additional electricity sales associated with power uprates, the public downwind and downstream bears the risks of running these Mark Is harder and hotter than they were originally licensed or designed for. To make safety risks even worse, 22 of the 23 operating Mark Is have already received NRC rubberstamps for 20 year license extensions; Fermi 2 is the only exception, and it plans to apply for one in 2014. Pat Birnie has also compiled a listing of the 23 operating Mark Is in the U.S., including the reactor units' names, locations, expiration dates for their original 40 year licenses, and expiration dates for their NRC-authorized 20 year license extensions.

Pat Birnie has succeeded in getting an anti-nuclear shareholder resolution, written in the aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, onto the agenda of the General Electric annual shareholders meeting, to be held in downtown Detroit on April 25th.

Beyond Nuclear - NRC has rubber-stamped license extensions and "power uprates" at 22 of 23 GE BWR Mark I reactors operating in the U.S.

Putney activists, 7 others, arrested at Entergy headquarters | THE COMMONS -- News and Views for Windham County, Vermont

March 22, 2012

7 arrested at Entergy headquarters in Louisiana

As protestors gather in Brattleboro to make a statement about Vermont Yankee at the corporate headquarters of Entergy, the nuclear plant’s owner, a group has been arrested on March 22 for trespass at the company’s corporate headquarters in New Orleans.

According to a press relase from the Safe and Green Energy (SAGE) Alliance, Nancy Braus, of Putney, and seven other antinuclear activists “taped off a corporate ‘crime scene’ at the downtown Entergy building, demanding an audience with Entergy, CEO, J. Wayne Leonard.”

“The request was not granted,” the press release said.

“Our simple trespass is our statement of resistance to Entergy’s corporate trespass with the continued illegal operation of this nuclear waste factory,” said Braus, who owns Everyone’s Books in Brattleboro.
Those arrested were released and plan to resume the protest, this time on the sidewalk outside the headquarters, on Saturday, March 24.

According to a press release from Beyond Nuclear, “March 24 marks a national day of action in solidarity with Vermont to ‘Freeze our Fukushimas,’ a campaign to freeze operation at all 23 operating U.S. Mark I reactors.”
Those facilities share the same containment design as Fukushima Daiichi.

The SAGE Alliance also noted that five Vermont activists were arrested on March 22 during a similar non-violent protest action at the Entergy Nuclear Northeast regional headquarters in White Plains, N.Y., near Entergy’s Indian Point Energy Center nuclear station in Buchanan, N.Y.

Seven women protesters chained the gates at VY in Vernon on March 21 as Buddhist monks and others chanted and sang.

In addition to Braus, six people from New Hampshire — Renny Cuhing, Lynn Chong, Ben Chichester, Kendra Ulrich, Jeff Brummer, and Nelia Sargent — were arrested, as was Paul Gunter from Maryland.

According to the SAGE Alliance, “It was expected that they would spend 24 hours in jail before being arraigned.”

NRC dismisses three contentions from nuclear safety groups | By Shir Haberman
March 12, 2012

SEABROOK — The road to extending the operating license for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant until 2050 just got a little easier.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced March 8 that it has tossed out three contentions to that extension filed by nuclear safety groups that had previously been accepted for adjudication by the commission’s own Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.

“This rejection of our intervener status is a complete outrage,” said Doug Bogen, executive director of the Exeter-based Seacoast Anti-Pollution League, one of the organizations that had filed a contention against the extension that the NRC rejected. “The NRC’s action is all the more heinous in that it comes just a few days before the anniversary of the Fukushima disaster — an event which should have shaken the foundations of nuclear regulation, but appears to have caused barely a tremor.”

SAPL’s contention, filed along with the Washington, D.C.-based organization Beyond Nuclear and the New Hampshire Sierra Club, was that the Environmental Report used to justify the extension filed by NextEra Energy, the operators of the Seabrook plant, failed to evaluate the potential for renewable energy to offset the loss of energy production from the Seabrook nuclear power plant when it current license expires in 2030. The nuclear safety groups argued that new energy technologies currently in the works would make the power generated by Seabrook Station unnecessary.

The NRC overruled its licensing board’s decision that this contention had merit. In doing so, the commission effectively removed these three organizations from the license renewal process.

“As we have discussed, in assessing energy-alternatives contentions, practicality requires us to consider chiefly, often exclusively, alternatives that can be shown to have viability today or in the near future,” the NRC wrote in its March 8 order. “Here, Beyond Nuclear (SAPL and the Sierra Club have) not provided support for its claim that offshore wind is technically feasible and commercially viable — either today or in the near future — and, therefore, has not submitted an admissible contention.”

The NRC decision angered SAPL President Herb Moyer, who claimed the ruling violated federal law.

“One moniker for the NRC is, ‘Nobody Really Cares;’ another is ‘No Real Consideration,’” Moyer said. “(The commission’s) decision to discard SAPL’s legal contention that a license extension requires consideration of future power alternatives is illogical, irrational and contrary to the law embodied in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.”

NRC Public Affairs Officer Neil Sheehan said that while he would not call the commission’s decision to override its own licensing board unusual, “in general, the commission tends to support decisions reached by ASLB panels unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise, recognizing that the ASLB panel heard all of the testimony and carefully scrutinized all of the relevant information.”

The decision to toss out the SAPL contention, along with two others filed jointly by the Maine-based Friends of the Coast and the New England Coalition in Massachusetts, leaves only two left for final judgement by the licensing board. Both were filed by the Coalition and Friends groups.

The first claims that the Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives report submitted by NextEra as part of its license extension request minimized the potential amount of radiation that could be released by the Seabrook plant in a severe accident. While the commission was obviously displeased the ASLB accepted this contention, adjudication of this issue was allowed to go forward.

“Although we consider, as we said previously, that support for this contention is weak, because the (licensing) board is the appropriate arbiter of such fact-specific questions of contention admissibility, we will not second-guess the board’s evaluation of factual support for the contention, absent an error of law or abuse of discretion,” the NRC wrote.

The last contention allowed had to do with the claim that NextEra used a faulty modeling process to determine how air currents along the coast would disperse any radioactivity released from the Seabrook plant in the event of a severe accident.

“Here, the board held that (the) ‘Friends/NEC’ have raised plausible limitations of air dispersion modeling at the (Seabrook) site, and that the asserted limitations of the atmospheric dispersion model plausibly could affect the SAMA cost-benefit conclusions,” the commission wrote in the March 8 order. “Given the substantial deference we typically accord licensing boards on contention admissibility, we conclude that the board did not abuse its discretion or commit legal error in finding adequate factual support for the contention ... .”

No date has as yet been set for a hearing on these two remaining contentions.

NRC dismisses three contentions from nuclear safety groups |

NRC raises long-term operability concerns with Seabrook nuke plant |

March 27, 2012 4:44 PM
SEABROOK — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking Seabrook Station for more information regarding long-term operability concerns raised in an inspection completed early this year.

Seabrook Station, which is seeking a 20-year extension of its operating license slated to expire in 2030, received a letter this week asking it to respond to concerns raised at an April 23 meeting at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Md.

NextEra Energy, which owns the plant, received a letter from Christopher G. Miller, director of nuclear reactor safety with the NRC. Miller said the recent inspection focused on NextEra’s work regarding alkali-silica reactions that are affecting concrete structures. more

Friday, March 30, 2012

Keep troubled San Onofre reactors shut down

Nuclear engineer warns: Keep troubled San Onofre reactors shut down

Friends of the Earth released today a new analysis by one of the nation’s leading independent nuclear engineers, Arnie Gunderson. The report has revealed serious unresolved safety problems at Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear reactors which could lead to significant radiation releases if the plant is allowed to restart. The paper also documents that Edison misled the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission about changes made to the plant, which have led to unforeseen and undiagnosed safety problems. To date, Edison has failed to provide substantive information to the public about the safety problems and testing at San Onofre...

Nuclear engineer warns unresolved safety issues threaten San Onofre reactors

A new analysis released today by one of the nation's leading independent nuclear engineers has revealed that serious unresolved safety problems at Southern California Edison's San Onofre nuclear reactors could lead to significant radiation releases if the plant is allowed to restart. The paper also documents that Edison misled the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission about changes made to the plant, which have led to unforeseen and undiagnosed safety problems. To date, Edison has failed to provide substantive information to the public about the safety problems and testing at San Onofre. The study by Arnie Gundersen and Fairewinds Associates, and commissioned by nuclear watchdog Friends of the Earth, is the first public technical analysis since problems were discovered at the two now-closed reactors at San Onofre:
• Reactor Unit 2 was undergoing a regularly scheduled shutdown in January when severe damage was found in tubes in the steam generator system.

• Reactor Unit 3 was shut down by Edison on January 31 after radioactive water leaked from a damaged pipe in the steam generators. The steam generators at both reactors are only months old and were installed at a cost to ratepayers of some $671 million.

In his analysis of available public information, Gundersen has concluded that "both units 2 and 3 have experienced extraordinarily rapid degradation of their steam generator tubes." He has concluded that the "severe short-term steam generator degradation" could lead to a "large risk of tube failure" and result in "an uncontrolled release of radiation into the environment."


Edison kept steam generator replacement details secret from NRC

Push to restart reactors even though cause of deterioration not known

Steam tube failures in reactors designed like San Onofre cause a significant nuclear safety issue by substantially increasing the risk of an accident that releases radioactivity into the environment.

Simple inspections conducted by using Eddy Current tests indicate that more than 100 tubes show astronomical wear rates, need further evaluation, and must be plugged prior to resuming plant operation.

Southern California Edison has pressure tested only the tubes in San Onofre unit 3 and failed to perform similar tests on unit 2. In addition, the NRC has sent an inspection team only to unit 3. Without pressure testing unit 2, Southern California Edison cannot know the full extent of this critical safety and reliability issue.

"Fairewinds Associates recommends that both [San Onofre] Unit 2 and Unit 3 remain shut down until the root cause of each nuclear reactor rapid steam generator tube failures are understood and repaired, reliability is assured, and radioactive releases are prevented," Gundersen concludes in the report.

Friends of the Earth Report: Steam Generator Failures at San Onofre | Fairewinds Associates, Inc

Steam Generator Failures at San Onofre

see also: News | Fairewinds Associates, Inc

Sunday, March 18, 2012

California Nuclear Initiative | Petition to shutdown California nuclear reactors


California Nuclear Initiative: On November 18, California’s Secretary of State approved the ballot initiative that seeks the closure of the two remaining nuclear power plants in California, thus starting the countdown for collecting the 504,760 signatures needed by April 7 to place this initiative on the ballot in the presidential election in November 2012.

San Onofre Safety | San Onofre Nuclear Safety Issues

A nuclear meltdown in Southern California would impact the entire nation. However, if you live within 50 miles of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, you are at higher risk of losing everything you care about here. Five counties are within the 50 mile zone: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.

Ace Hoffman's Nuclear Failures Reports: It's definitely time to decommission San Onofre!

It's time to decommission San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. It's the only sensible thing to do. It makes economic sense for just about everybody, and spares us the possibility of "Fukushima USA" here in SoCal.

Right now, neither of San Onofre's two reactors are operating. Southern California Edison is already predicting there could be rolling blackouts during the summer if they can't get the reactors running by then. The threat of blackouts is at odds with the historic record of energy usage, which clearly shows that there is more than enough electrical generating capacity and transmission line capacity in SoCal to replace San Onofre

Nevertheless, SoCal residents can EXPECT rolling blackouts -- because SCE wants them to happen: It may cost as much as a billion dollars (or more) to repair San Onofre. Instead SCE could be securing contracts NOW for summer energy use. They could be building a billion dollars' worth of solar rooftops, offshore wind turbines, turbine peaker plants, cogeneration plants, energy storage reservoirs, geothermal energy systems, etc...

...One meltdown at SanO -- or two -- would destroy everything we love about SoCal. Why spend billions of dollars just to restart THAT risk? Right now we just have the spent fuel to deal with -- the radioactive waste pile. It's deadly, difficult to manage, and will cost a fortune. But at least it's NOT GROWING at the moment, and that's good. In fact, slowly but surely, it's cooling and becoming less hazardous.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

more World Wide Rallies Against Nuclear Power

FukushimaActionDay's Channel - YouTube
Beyond Nuclear - A great roundup of videos from Fukushima remembrance day: The YouTube Channel, "Global Day of Action Fukushima 2012" has posted a great roundup of videos. Watch actions from around the world in remembrance of the now one-year long and still unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster.

here is their playlist for the US -

FukushimaActionDay's Channel as of 3/15(US): PHILIPPINES - 1 video; MONGOLIA - 7 videos; AUSTRALIA - 2 videos; SWEDEN - 1 video; CHINA - 1 video; ARGENTINA - 4 videos; ENGLAND - 4 videos; BELGIUM - 2 videos; INDIA - 1 video; UNITED STATES - 14 videos; JAPAN - 38 videos; FRANCE - 53 videos; GERMANY - 48 videos; POLAND - 1 video; SPAIN - 18 videos; BRAZIL - 2 videos; INTERNATIONAL - 6 videos; Anti-nuclear Movement

here is their playlist for Japan -

i've added this to whats up: World Wide Rallies Against Nuclear Power: one-year anniversary of 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and beginning of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe (photos & videos)
> more 311 photos & videos

see also

Regarding nuclear power, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe, anti-nuclear action, radiation pollution, atom bombs, nuclear explosions, environment, pollution, health, radioactive, mutation, cancer

whats up: RC's NUCLEAR BLOG
< #OccupyNuclear #fukushima #nuclear #nukes #nonukes #occupy

Uranium production in Africa | grim realities

Africa is a major source of fuel for atomic weapons and power plants

Uranium from Africa was, and remains, a major source of fuel for atomic weapons and power plants throughout the world. Uranium for the Hiroshima bomb, for example, came from the Belgian Congo. During any given year of the Cold War, between 20 percent and 50 percent of the Western world’s uranium came from African places: Congo, Niger, South Africa, Gabon, Madagascar, and Namibia. Today, there is a renewed uranium boom throughout the continent. The author writes on the ambiguities of the nuclear state, and the state of being nuclear, and why the nuclear designation matters. She looks at two countries to uncover different dimensions of nuclearity: Niger, which has long struggled with France over the price of its uranium; and Gabon, where cancer and other illnesses related to four decades of uranium production remain invisible.

”Suffering” from natural wealth.

Uranium is not only radioactive but chemically toxic too. 80% of the radioactivity of the original uranium ore is left behind in highly acidic ‘tailings’. It remains radioactive for hundreds-of-thousands of years and should be kept safely isolated from the environment.

Uranium can cause a wide variety of health problems. Miners and local communities drink contaminated water, eat contaminated food and breathe in radon gas and dust from the tailings. In addition to this, the extraction and processing of uranium ore uses huge amounts of highly sought-after water that cannot be recycled.

It has been argued by mining companies that uranium extraction brings jobs to local populations, thus creating better living conditions, and for a few this was true. However the companies also quietly ignore the health and environmental effects of the process.

After 30 years living alongside uranium mines, the Tuareg of Niger refer to uranium as a ‘curse’ rather than a blessing. They say the North of Niger “suffer[s] from its wealth’, rather than reap supposed rich rewards.

In many cases there have been no safety precautions, no radiation protection and no information about the hazards of the mining process. Regulations are non-existent or faulty to such an extent that they would never be accepted in industrialized states...The problems associated with uranium mining are set to continue with its rising price as demand from nuclear power plant companies increases. Africa is especially at risk because companies are attracted by the lack of strict regulations.
- UNPO: EES Week 5: Uranium: Wealth or Woe?

When does uranium count as a nuclear substance? When does it lose that status? And what does Africa have to do with it? Such issues lie at the heart of today’s global nuclear order. Or disorder, as the case may be. The questions themselves sound deceptively simple. Understanding their significance and scope requires knowing their history...

The state of being nuclear
...Nuclearity is something achieved, which also means that it can be undone. Put differently: Radiation is a physical phenomenon that exists independently of how it’s detected or politicized. Nuclearity is a technopolitical phenomenon that emerges from political and cultural configurations of technical and scientific things. It is not the same everywhere, it is not the same for everyone, and it is not the same at all moments in time...

more > An elemental force: Uranium production in Africa, and what it means to be nuclear |

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | Nuclear Notebook

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists informs the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences. The Bulletin was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project.

A highly regarded resource written by international scientists and public policy makers, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been published continually since 1945. It is the official online publication of the organization by the same name, providing analysis, interviews, and policy reviews on reducing nuclear weapons arsenals, controlling fissile materials, providing access to sustainable energy resources, and eliminating the use of harmful technologies in the life sciences. The Bulletin is an important source and forum for experts, policymakers, scholars, journalists, and concerned citizens who prize the ability to make rational policy decisions based on sound scientific information.

"The Bulletin brings substance and clarity to public debates. We need it." Stephen Hawking, Theoretical physicist and member of the Bulletin's Board of Sponsors

This journal is a must-read for:
Nuclear weapons nonproliferation negotiators
Physicists, environmental scientists, and biomedical experts
Public policy officials and staff members
National legislators
NGO leaders
Diplomatic and military representatives
Energy executives
Technology entrepreneurs
National laboratory officials
Involved and well-informed citizens
Educators and historians

Topics covered include:
Treaty negotiations on nuclear weapons and security
Fissile materials management
Nuclear waste disposal
The future of nuclear power
Nuclear terrorism
Energy alternatives
Security implications of climate change
Biological threats
Nanotechnology risk management
Citizen engagement in public policymaking
Mobilizing public action on global security issues
Historical perspectives on nuclear weapons development

Access to all of the Nuclear Notebook articles published back to 1999 in each issue of the journal is free!


see also

Uranium mining - the grim realities | Africa Institute

08/04/2011 - 12:10
Namibia and South Africa are amongst African countries that lack regulatory capacity and technical knowledge to monitor environmental impact and radiation poisoning on workers and communities due to uranium mining.

A study that delved into the environmental impact of uranium mining in Central African Republic (CAR), Namibia and South Africa concluded that mining operations' health consequences on workers and the environment are severe.

Dutch-based researchers Somo & Wise's findings are contained in the report titled 'Uranium from Africa'.

While African governments bend over backwards to attract investment in the booming uranium mining sector, investors pay scant attention to mitigating impact on workers, the community and the environment.

Drawing comparisons with Australia and Canada - which have strict laws and monitoring systems - Somo & Wise's study noted that uranium mining requires excellent laws and law enforcement, disciplined, knowledgeable and dedicated governments and institutions backed by a strong civil society to police the activities of mining companies.

In the three countries which the Somo & Wise study centred on, there is uncontrolled pollution, and citizens and workers are not being informed about radiation exposure.

Surrounding communities have little say in mining affairs and in many cases abandoned mining sites are not properly secured.

'Of major concern is the fact that the African governments and institutions all seem to lack knowledge and resources to govern issues that are as hazardous as uranium mining.

'Alarming reports from NGOs in all the African states showed that mitigation of uranium mining impacts is insufficient,' the study reveals.

The researchers allege that pollution is not being managed properly and there is lack of evidence from mining companies that tailing dams will be managed in a way that minimizes environmental damage.

Modelling the dispersion of Fukushima-Daichii nuclear power plant release

CEREA-Ecole des Ponts ParisTech - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Environnement Atmosphérique

Map of ground deposition of caesium-137 for the Fukushima-Daichii accident

Map of ground deposition of caesium-137 for the Chernobyl accident

don't miss
the page includes Movie of the Fukushima-Daichii activity in the air (caesium-137, ground level)
> Modelling the dispersion of Fukushima-Daichii nuclear power plant release

see also: SIROCCO - Coastal Ocean Modelling - Japan Model

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are Your iPhone & Hybrid Nuclear Powered?

idea for an article (not sure of the title yet, but it might be the following): "Is Your iPhone Nuclear Powered?"

i might switch that to something about electric cars... maybe: "Is Your Hybrid Nuclear Powered?" ...maybe both

"sorry but these things worry me. if everyone thinks that they can just switch to hybrid or electric cars without changing the basic unsustainable lifestyle, then they will be justifying nukes and say we need them... i know, wind and solar! but the thinking that we need "all this" needs to change along with the system that enables over-use!"

will reference stuff like what percentage of electricity in "your area" is generated using nuclear power; and, what percentage of electricity used to manufacture the product is generated using nuclear power, etc.

anyone know how to pull up that kind of stuff using google maps, or google earth or something? - any other ideas?

please email me, or better yet, leave comments below :)


cross-posted to what next: RC'S NEWS & RANDOM BLOG

A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology states that electric cars that receive energy from coal-fired power plants could potentially have a higher carbon footprint than some of their petrol or diesel-powered counterparts. However If electric cars derive their electricity from renewable, emission-free sources such as solar and wind power, then they remain among the greenest vehicles on the road. (October 2012)

see also

whats up: #OccupyNuclear

got nukes?
who is nuking in your back yard ???

View Larger Map

try a google map search, use the name of your state & see what comes up

follow links, email rc, comment below...

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Monday, March 12, 2012

World Wide Rallies Against Nuclear Power

one-year anniversary of 3/11 - the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and beginning of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe

a selection of photos and videos via Beyond Nuclear


Beyond Nuclear - Thousands rally across the globe to rememberFukushima | Beyond Nuclear - Cary, North Carolina; Italians in France | Beyond Nuclear - More photos from Fukushima rallies around the world

Cary, NC

Italians in France

Teachers - Fukushima

San Onofre, CA


L to R; French Green Party presidential candidate, Eva Joly; Dominique Voynet, Jose Bove

du coté de Valence, France,un maillon de la chaîne humaine Avignon-Lyo

Sunderland, NH

PeaceWalkers - Weehawken

Rally Against Nuclear Power in Osaka, Japan

James Corbett of reports live from the rally against nuclear power in Osaka, Japan in commemoration of the first anniversary of the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis. For more information on Fukushima and nuclear power in Japan, please visit

20 seconds of March 11 rally in India against Jaitapur massive French nuke project

UK: Fukushima anniversary demo at Hinkley C nuclear power station - Jonathon Porritt

via various sources

Moscow, Russia

Antinuclear rally in Moscow , March 11, 2012
By: Andrey Ozharovsky

Video from a tiny rally in Moscow <Rosatom, close your Fukusimas!>. Main message: <Physisists demand to close old NPPs in Russia>

poster for rally in France

Walking for a Nuclear Free World

"If we believe that this whole universe is a manifestation of God, manifestation of the Buddha, manifestation of the Divine Self, then this whole world is so precious," says Japanese Buddhist monk Gyoway Kato. "Who has the right" he asks, to create an environmental burden for "generations after generations?" The Venerable Kato, Japanese American Buddhist nun Jun Yasuda, and other walkers -- including a survivor of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami-- talk about the reasons for their participation in a peace walk at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York State.

see also

FukushimaActionDay's Channel - YouTube

Beyond Nuclear - A great roundup of videos from Fukushima remembrance day: The YouTube Channel, "Global Day of Action Fukushima 2012" has posted a great roundup of videos. Watch actions from around the world in remembrance of the now one-year long and still unfolding Fukushima nuclear diaster.

as of 3/14: AUSTRALIA - 1 video; SWEDEN - 1 video; CHINA - 1 video; ARGENTINA - 1 video; ENGLAND - 3 videos; BELGIUM - 2 videos; INDIA - 1 video; UNITED STATES - 10 videos; JAPAN - 30 videos; FRANCE - 25 videos; GERMANY - 37 videos; POLAND - 1 video; SPAIN - 16 videos; BRAZIL - 2 videos; INTERNATIONAL - 4 videos; Anti-nuclear Movement - 1 video

here is the playlist for Japan -


Beyond Nuclear - FREEZE OUR FUKUSHIMAS | Beyond Nuclear

March Against Nuclear Madness (Beyond Nuclear campaign on facebook)

SPRING ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIONS 2012 - NIRS | Nuclear Information and Resource Service - NIRS


Articula o Antinuclear Brasileira: March 11 - Global Fukushima Action Day 2012 - Calendar of Events

whats up: #OccupyNuclear
< #OccupyNuclear #fukushima #nuclear #nukes #nonukes #occupy
nuclear protest | anti-nuclear rally | Fukushima anniversary | Tsunami remembrance | buddhism

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fukushima’s Unhappy Anniversary | Nukespeak

M.U.S.E. - KOAN | rc's NUCLEAR playlist

Fukushima’s Unhappy Anniversary

March 11, 2012 by Rory O'Connor

As the first “anniversary” of the devastating March 11, 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan approaches, the ongoing disaster continues regularly to make front page news worldwide. The most recent example came with the recent release of an independent investigation by a private policy organization, the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, which revealed the true extent of the astonishing ignorance and arrogance displayed by Japanese industry and government officials alike throughout the emergency. We now know that even as they tried to play down the risks in public, Japan’s leaders were admitting privately that they didn’t actually know the true extent of damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Moreover, they were secretly considering the possibility of somehow evacuating tens of millions of residents of Tokyo’s metropolitan area.

After a powerful earthquake and tsunami shut down the plant’s cooling systems nearly a year ago, officials began talking among themselves about a possible worst-case outcome: the plant could release such large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere that it would force the evacuation of millions. At the same they began to worry about a potentially even worse scenario: larger radiation releases from the more than 10,000 spent fuel rods stored in unprotected pools near the damaged reactors. It took five days after the earthquake, notes the independent report, for Japanese officials to confirm that the pools were still filled with water and thus safe.

Not surprisingly, the independent report conflicts greatly with the government’s own official investigation into the accident, which was released as an interim report in December. A key difference between the two investigations, for example, involves accounts of what happened when prime minister Kan demanded that the plant’s operator, the utility Tepco, not remove all its employees from the damaged plant and instead continue efforts to contain the crisis. Siding falsely with the utility’s version of events, he government’s investigation concluded that Tepco executives (who refused to cooperate with the independent investigation) only wanted to withdraw a portion of the plant’s staff. But the independent investigators found instead that the company had in fact wanted a total pullout, which could easily have proved deadly for tens of millions of people...

more > Fukushima’s Unhappy Anniversary | Nukespeak - Nuclear Language, Myths and Mindset

Rankin & Dub Ainu Band "You can't see it, and you can't smell it either" | rc's NUCLEAR playlist


Friday, March 9, 2012

Remembering Fukushima And What You Can Do | Risky Reactors & Deadly Waste


the March 11 one-year anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe is upon us. Nature on that day reminded us how vulnerable we truly are; and, even though nuclear power is deemed "safe" by those in power, we clearly see otherwise.

we now know that the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi began to melt down almost immediately. they soon starting blowing up, sending shockwaves around the world as radiation spread and governments lied.

one year later, the reactors are not yet under control and continue to release radiation into the environment. the land is poisoned, the sea is poisoned... thousands will be unable to ever return home, and many will ultimately die as a result of this ongoing catastrophe - the story is far from over!

the "clean up" at Fukushima will take decades, yet here in the U.S. the NRC lies cozily in bed with the nuclear power industry, approving permits for new nukes and extending those for antique reactors (some of which are literally falling apart).

won't you do something today to help end the nuclear profiteering and cover-ups which will cost future generations untold grief and suffering?

you can begin by checking out Beyond Nuclear's new video (below), and downloading some of their informative materials. then take action - talk to your family, friends and neighbors; share this post on facebook and other social media; contact your representatives.

it is time to demand an end to the inherently dangerous use of nuclear power, especially when we know that truly clean and green alternatives are available.


Remembering Fukushima And What You Can Do

• Watch our new video! Remembering Fukushima. Ed Asner calls for nuclear power plants to be shut down for good.

On March 11, 2011, four reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi, Japan, went into crisis after an earthquake and Tsunami knocked out critical electricity supplies. Three of the 4 reactors at least partially melted down. The fourth likely released massive amounts of Cesium 137. The resulting tragedy has left people permanently displaced, the land around the Fukushima plant too radioactive for human habitation and animals abandoned who starved or now roam wild. The event sent shock waves around the world and many countries are now phasing out their nuclear plants. Asner urges us to not to wait until its too late and instead end nuclear power today. He urges you to support Beyond Nuclear in our work to help make a nuclear-free world a reality.

• New Freeze our Fukushimas pamphlet! Download and distribute our campaign pamphlet on shutting down the US GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactors.

• New radioactive waste pamphlet! The first step in dealing with the unsolved radioactive waste problem is to stop making more of it. Download and distribute our new pamphlet.

• The Freeze our Fukushimas Fact Sheet provides a more detailed and referenced overview of the Mark I reactor and the campaign to shut the 23 operating in the US. Download and use for reference.

Mark I fuel pools. Download our Fact Sheet about the specific dangers of the high-level radioactive waste storage pools.

All of the above publications can also be ordered in hard copy, and in quantity, directly from Beyond Nuclear. Call 301.270.2209 or order via

Please consider making a donation to Beyond Nuclear today. Your support will help us build a grassroots movement to close dangerous nuclear plants and create a safe energy future for our children.

Update on defending the Great Lakes against risky reactors

A lot has happened in the past few weeks in Beyond Nuclear's efforts to shut down the Palisades reactor on Lake Michigan and the Davis-Besse reactor on Lake Erie. NRC was forced to admit that Palisades has the most embrittled reactor pressure vessel in the U.S. NRC's repeated regulatory rollbacks have put it at risk of fracturing like a hot glass under cold water due to Pressurized Thermal Shock. And thanks to revelations by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, we've contended that Davis-Besse's containment cracking is so severe that its outer layer of steel reinforcement rebar is no longer performing its safety function. We joined Congressman Kucinich in challenging Davis-Besse's root cause report, which blames the cracking on the Blizzard of 1978, as a "snow job of convenience." more

March Against Nuclear Madness

For a listing of the scores of incredible events going on around the March 11 first year commemoration of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, please see the latest version of our March Against Nuclear Madness calendar.

more videos from Beyond Nuclear

Nov. 2, 2011. Representatives from Beyond Nuclear and NIRS submitted a petition and letters of support at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC asking that the Japanese government and TEPCO not incinerate or mobilize radioactive waste created by the Fukushima-Daiichi reactor disasters.

Mr. Burns tried his best to sabotage a protest organized by Beyond Nuclear outside the US Department of Energy in Washington DC on Halloween. This was the date the DOE chose to close its public comment period on its Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future investigation into what to do with US radioactive waste now piled up almost 70 years high at US reactor sites. Watch Mr. Burns deliver his ideas to camera, and Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, too.The BRC has issued a draft report with nothing new - just the same old bad ideas. See the Beyond Nuclear website at, for more.

Freeze Our Fukushimas

"Freeze Our Fukushimas" is a national campaign created by Beyond Nuclear to permanently suspend the operations of the most dangerous class of reactors operating in the United States today; the 23 General Electric Mark I Boiling Water Reactors, the same flawed design as those that melted down at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan.



March 9, 2012

Dear Friends,

A very brief update. We have posted many new actions all across the U.S. on our Action page here. From Alabama to Wisconsin, New York to California, there is almost certainly one not too far from you.

We are still adding actions as we receive word about them. If an action in your area isn't listed, please send the info to Actions taking place after this weekend will be added early next week.

Don't forget to click the link for global actions at the top of our action page to see the amazing number of events happening this weekend all across the world!

We sent out a press advisory today to thousands of reporters across the world on anniversary actions. We encourage you to send it to your local media so they will realize the large number of events going on this weekend.

New England's SAGE Alliance has put out a call for actions across the country on March 24 to defend democracy and support the shutdown of Vermont Yankee and all GE Mark I reactors (and, for that matter, all reactors!). As you probably know, the Vermont legislature voted for permanent shutdown of Vermont Yankee on March 22. But legal wrangling from the Entergy Corporation will almost certainly delay that. Actions already have been set up for Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. We encourage all groups, and especially all groups near Mark I reactors, to set up a support action. For more information and to help coordinate, contact Kendra Ulrich of the Sage Alliance here.

Our movement is growing! Let's join together this weekend and beyond...

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

A reminder: if you're on Facebook, please vote here to send NIRS to Netroots Nation and help get our information out to the nation's largest conference of progressive bloggers and political activists. Deadline to vote is March 14.

Your contributions make our work--and the work of all anti-nuclear organizations--possible. This Fukushima anniversary weekend, please donate to NIRS here, or donate to the anti-nuclear organization nearest you (or both!). But please do help. NIRS, and all of the groups working hard across the country deeply appreciate your support and put it to the best use possible: building a nuclear-free, carbon-free future.

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web (and stay up-to-date with our new Nuclear Newsreel section on the front page, featuring the day's most interesting news on nuclear power and other energy issues):

NIRS on Facebook:

See also:

NIRS on Twitter:!/nirsnet


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Lessons of Fukushima, One Year Later | All Countries to Discard Nuclear Energy

As we approach on March 11 the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it’s a good time to take heed of the lessons from that tragic event.

Lesson one: Governments lie.

Telltale signs that reactors had melted down in Fukushima were found within days, but the Japanese government did not admit it for months. It also withheld data predicting the path of airborne radiation, and did not warn the people taking refuge in the plume.
also from Progressive (excerpt below) - Fukushima Should Compel All Countries to Discard Nuclear Energy
Instead, officials fiddled with the numbers.

One of the government’s first actions, within days of the tsunami, was to increase acceptable levels for radiation exposure to five times that in the United States. When radiation in spinach, milk and beef exceeded legal limits and were pulled off the shelves, the chief cabinet secretary said, “Even if people eat these products, there will be no immediate effect.” Months later, when high levels of radiation were detected in tea in Shizuoka, the governor of the prefecture declared the tea safe and refused to have it tested further because it might “confuse” people.

The government was more intent on glossing over the truth than with leveling with its own people and with protecting them.

The Japanese government even loosened the definition of “cold shutdown” in December in order to declare its still leaking and vulnerable reactor “stable.” There actually were 28 leaks in January and February alone.

Lesson two: We are still gambling on nuclear power.

More than half the world’s nuclear energy is produced in Japan, France and the United States. In Japan, 52 of 54 reactors are currently offline due to safety concerns. In the United States, where nuclear plants are between 30 and 40 years old with aging, analog technology, an Associated Press investigation found that three-fourths were leaking radioactive tritium.

Spent fuel remains a huge concern. The United States has generated approximately 72,000 tons of waste and has nowhere to store it; three-fourths of it sits in overcapacity water-cooling pools like those in Fukushima. Japan is expected to run completely out of room to store its waste within 10-20 years.

Radioactive waste cannot be neutralized. It is not only an immediate and deadly threat to human health, it also has a much longer lifespan than we do (from 500 to 500,000 years). Humanity has never built anything that has lasted as long as our radioactive poisons will.

Rather than focus our efforts on cleaning up the mess we have, the United States just approved the first nuclear power plant since the 1970s, with an $8.3 billion federal loan guarantee for a plant in Georgia. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the approval over the objection of its chairman, Gregory Jaczko, who said that the decision was made “as if Fukushima never happened.”

Lesson three: The ocean cannot wash away our problem.

Fukushima has released 168 times the amount of cancer-causing cesium as the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. But the water — our ocean — is where the true disaster may lie. Water used to cool the fuel has been measured at up to 7.5 million times the legal limit for radiation.

The Japanese government deliberately dumped 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea in April, calling this act “regrettable and unfortunate.” Its storage tanks — holding 100,000 tons — will max out this month. Meanwhile, radiation has been found in fish and water more than 400 miles away.

A disaster of this magnitude is not just regrettable and unfortunate. It should never be allowed to happen again. We need to get off nuclear energy. That’s the most important lesson of all.
Rahna Reiko Rizzuto is the author of the memoir “Hiroshima in the Morning,” a National Book Critics Circle finalist. Her first novel, “Why She Left Us,” won an American Book Award in 2000.

Three Lessons of Fukushima, One Year Later | The Progressive

also from Progressive -

Fukushima Should Compel All Countries to Discard Nuclear Energy

In the year since the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, a number of countries—but not enough—have sworn off nuclear energy.

Many nations have absorbed the right lessons from the calamity, especially in Europe. Germany, Switzerland and Italy have all committed themselves against nuclear energy. (See Paul Hockenos’ piece for The Progressive on the remarkable German anti-nuclear movement that forced the German government to change its stance, and the lessons this offers for the United States.)

But the reverberations have been felt elsewhere, too. “Kuwait pulled out last month of a contract to build four reactors, Venezuelan froze all nuclear development projects and Mexico dropped plans to build ten reactors,” The Guardian reports.

Indeed, the global impact has been quite significant...

...Unfortunately, many other countries—ranging from the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam to Turkey and Bangladesh—don’t seem to have gotten the Fukushima memo. Oddly enough, South Africa is actually planning a dramatic expansion of its nuclear program.

But China, United States and India—with their outsized influence and populations—are the most egregious culprits... more


SPREAD THE WORD: FUKUSHIMA ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY IS MARCH 11 - - and United States is building new nukes!