Archive for nuclear energy

As 300 Tons of Radioactive Water Leak From Fukushima, Never Believe "The Nuclear Crisis Is Over"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

no nukes smaller

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

There is too much money and too many political careers tied up in a radiocative future to believe any statement -- such as the ones about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant: "Don't worry, the crisis is over" or "We've got it all under control."

Mainstream media across the world today have blaring headlines, such as the New York Times: "300 Tons of Contaminated Water Leak From Japanese Nuclear Plant:"

Workers raced to place sandbags around the leak at the site to stem the spread of the water, a task made more urgent by a forecast of heavy rain for the Fukushima region later in the day. A spokesman at Tokyo Electric Power, the plant’s operator, acknowledged that much of the contaminated water had seeped into the soil and could eventually reach the ocean, adding to the tons of radioactive fluids that have already leaked into the sea from the troubled plant.

The leaked water contains levels of radioactive cesium and strontium many hundreds of times higher than legal safety limits, Tokyo Electric said. Exposure to either element is known to increase the risk of cancer....

...Workers discovered puddles of radioactive water near the tank on Monday. Further checks revealed that the 1,000-ton capacity vessel, thought to be nearly full, only contained 700 tons, with the remainder having almost certainly leaked out.

As the fossil fuel industry races to destroy the planet in order to swill champagne bottles of profit as the earth's nurturing eco systems erode into toxic destructive forces, the nuclear industry rushes to justify even more nuclear power as the deadly impact of its current plants is still literally leaking into our environment: the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat from the oceans. [...]

This is not just a national emergency; this is an international crisis that like Chernobyl is a stop sign for the further development of nuclear power.

Please read the entire post here.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

"This is a bombshell announcement." California's San Onofre nuclear plant will be permanently closed.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

san onofre nuke plant

To repeat something I wrote in a previous post, I am a staunch non-fan of nuclear energy. Not only is it dangerous as hell, not only do I live relatively close to two reactors situated in earthquake country, but what really irks me is how we have no safe place to store all that extremely dangerous nuclear waste.

But now I can change that. Well, I can change one word of that. I live relatively close to one reactor now, because San Onofre is going bye-bye, and I couldn't be more relieved.

Why? Because we should always expect the unexpected:

The word “expect” keeps popping up, and that ambiguity is what makes many of us a little wary. That’s because the 9.0 magnitude was also not expected. The combo of a huge quake and a tsunami was not expected. Experts say they don’t expect a quake larger than 7.0 near the San Onofre nuclear plant, nor do they expect one bigger than 7.5 near Diablo Canyon, despite the fact that new fault lines are discovered from time to time, not to mention the proximity to the San Andreas Fault.

Nuclear Power Option

The L.A. Times (video at the link):

Anti-nuclear activists and Sen. Barbara Boxer celebrated Southern California Edison's announcement Friday that the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant will be permanently retired.

The coastal plant near San Clemente once supplied power to about 1.4 million homes in Southern California  but has been shuttered since January 2012 when a tube in its newly replaced steam generators leaked a small amount of radioactive steam, leading to the discovery that the tubes were wearing down at an unusual rate. [...]

But [Donna Gilmore, a San Clemente resident who runs a blog focused on safety issues at the plant] said she still has concerns about the waste that will be stored at San Onofre after the shutdown.

So do I.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Ex-regulator: All 104 nuclear reactors in US have a safety problem that can't be fixed. They should be replaced.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

no nukes smaller

I am a staunch non-fan of nuclear energy. Not only is it dangerous as hell, not only do I live relatively close to two reactors situated in earthquake country, but what really irks me is how we have no safe place to store all that extremely dangerous nuclear waste. Gregory B. Jaczko has a thing or two to say about a nuclear thing or two.

Via the New York Times:

All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives. [...]

[I]t is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring.

Jaczko said he would have spoken up sooner, but he only just came to his conclusions "recently." One of those conclusions is that we've been putting Band-Aids on major problems. Well, there's that. Follow the link for more.

You want to know how you can trust his judgment? The nuke industry hates him:

Dr. Jaczko resigned as chairman last summer after months of conflict with his four colleagues on the commission. He often voted in the minority on various safety questions, advocated more vigorous safety improvements, and was regarded with deep suspicion by the nuclear industry.

ding ding ding

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Officials rejected some fixes to crippled San Onofre nuclear generators

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Nuclear Power Option

Back in March of 2011, I posted "Memo: Workers at San Onofre nuclear plant fear retaliation for reporting problems."

In February of this year, I posted "New radioactive waste leak found at nuclear site, and clean-up could be halted by sequestration."

And in a couple of other posts, I've repeated that we should remember to expect the unexpected:

The word “expect” keeps popping up, and that ambiguity is what makes many of us a little wary. That’s because the 9.0 magnitude was also not expected. The combo of a huge quake and a tsunami was not expected. Experts say they don’t expect a quake larger than 7.0 near the San Onofre nuclear plant, nor do they expect one bigger than 7.5 near Diablo Canyon, despite the fact that new fault lines are discovered from time to time, not to mention the proximity to the San Andreas Fault.

This breaking news bulletin from the L.A. Times just landed in my inbox:

A report on the root causes of problems at the San Onofre nuclear plant shows that officials considered making design changes to the plant's new steam generators before they were installed but rejected some fixes in part because they would require further regulatory approvals.

Some of the generators began malfunctioning a year after they were installed, and the nuclear power plant has been shuttered for 14 months. The closure has already cost San Onofre's operators, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, $470 million.

Ratepayers across the region are already shouldering some of those costs and could be on the hook for hefty future repair bills.

For the latest information, go to www.latimes.com.

So public safety and security got tossed aside because regulation was, you know, an imposition. What a pain! The result? Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bills and putting a whole bunch of us in harm's way.

Ain't nuclear energy grand?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Japan to end nuclear power by 2030s

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

I wish the first words in the headline were "The United States," but I'm relieved to see Japan's pledge to phase out nuclear energy by 2039 at the latest.

Via the L.A. Times:

The Japanese government announced a dramatic turn in its energy policy Friday, vowing to make the densely populated island nation nuclear-free by the 2030s. [...]

The new blueprint calls for investing almost $500 billion over the next two decades to expand renewable sources like wind and solar power, the NHK broadcast network reported.

And no longer in the L.A. Times online post, but from my morning paper:

A 40-year limit has been set on operation of existing plants, meaning the last one would have to shut by 2039, but officials hope to close it earlier.

Expanding renewable energy sources is exactly what we should be doing, but the GOP has decided that's too Kenyan. They prefer to take long, luxurious crude oil soaks while having their toesies massaged by Exxon CEOs.

And while they're basking in the lovely green glow of leaking radiation, someone should remind them to expect the unexpected:

The word “expect” keeps popping up, and that ambiguity is what makes many of us a little wary. That’s because the 9.0 magnitude was also not expected. The combo of a huge quake and a tsunami was not expected. Experts say they don’t expect a quake larger than 7.0 near the San Onofre nuclear plant, nor do they expect one bigger than 7.5 near Diablo Canyon, despite the fact that new fault lines are discovered from time to time, not to mention the proximity to the San Andreas Fault.

But no, Republicans care more about profit than the health and well-being of their fellow Americans, so what do they do? They pass the No More Solyndras Act.

How's that for forward thinking?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Darrell Issa "chooses to investigate trivia rather than substance... Nuclear power isn't worth these risks."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "A lone wolf at nuclear agency," Column, April 29

Michael Hiltzik highlights what's wrong with nuclear power regulation, and it has nothing to do with Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Vista) investigation of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Greg Jaczko. Issa chooses to investigate trivia rather than substance.

Rational businesspeople weigh risks and benefits and always consider potential consequences. The unpredictability of nature, design, equipment failure, terrorism and human error all add to the risk posed by nuclear power plants. Chernobyl and Fukushima have displayed the potential consequences of nuclear power.

Nuclear power isn't worth these risks when considering alternatives such as solar, wind and natural gas. It would appear that most of the benefits lie in the profitability reaped by utilities, while the risks fall on people.

Berton Moldow

Laguna Woods

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Lest we forget: Cesium leak equal to 168 '45 A-bombs; NISA compares contamination to Hiroshima blast

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Sometimes it's important to keep news stories alive, especially one has huge as this one was (emphasis on past tense) and still should be. I'm kinda "pro-life" that way, worrying about things like people staying alive, preventing needless deaths, stuff like that.

Via The Japan Times:

AP - The amount of radioactive cesium ejected by the Fukushima reactor meltdowns is about 168 times higher than that emitted in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the government's nuclear watchdog said Friday. [...]

The report said the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant has released 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137, which lingers for decades and can cause cancer, compared with the 89 terabecquerels released by the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

To be fair, they're also reporting that a simple comparison like this one "could lead to 'irrelevant' results."

The report estimated that iodine-131, another isotope that accumulates in the thyroid gland, and strontium-90, which has a 28-year half-life and can accumulate in bones, leaked from the plant in amounts roughly equal to 2½ higher than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Whether or not the results are "irrelevant", reporting on this disaster is not, never will be, and there should be a lot more of it.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare