Archive for nuclear safety

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

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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.

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Live Streaming Video- President Obama Delivers Remarks From Brendenburg Gate, Berlin Germany 9:00a EDT

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over

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

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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.

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

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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

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Obama Hints at Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline at SF Fundraiser, Blames Middle Class Priorities

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tar sands oil handful

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yesterday I posted a video: AR pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact, but Exxon won’t pay taxes to cleanup fund, and before that I covered the lunacy of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline (scroll) over and over again.

As you can see from the Maddow Show video above, so did Rachel. Please watch the entire segment, and then call or write your Congress members and the White House.

And with that, your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

While President Obama didn't address the Keystone XL Pipeline directly at a San Francisco fundraiser on Wednesday, he did give a hint that political reality – or his perception of it -- will compel him to approve it. 

At the home of a pro-green, anti Keystone XL Pipeline billionaire, Obama set up an excuse for approval:

He said, "The politics of this are tough."

“[T]he thing that I’m going to have to try to work to persuade the American people a little more convincingly on is this notion that there’s a contradiction between our economy and our environment is just a false choice,” Obama said at a San Francisco fundraiser.

“If we invest now, we will create jobs, we will create entire new industries; other countries will be looking to catch up, they will be looking to import what we do,” Obama said at one of two fundraisers supporting Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee efforts to retake the House next year.

Obama’s remarks came at the home of billionaire Tom Steyer, a major supporter of green energy and climate initiatives who is planning to play an active role in the 2014 elections.

Obama said earth’s temperature probably isn’t the “number one concern” for workers who haven’t seen a raise in a decade; have an underwater mortgage; are spending $40 to fill their gas tank, can’t afford a hybrid car, and face other challenges.

The remarks of the president didn't mention Keystone, but given the recent State Department Report -- written with input from pipeline consultants -- that gave the project a green light, Obama appears to be preparing even a billionaire opponent for the inevitable: approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline because of "the politics." [...]

Oddly, Obama called for Congress and others to educate the middle class and America about climate change, but except for some remarks in his recent State of the Union, the president himself has done little to dispel the myths about the so-called positive aspects of the pipeline.

For example, it will only create a few thousand short-term jobs more or less.  Furthermore, the tar sand extraction process in Canada is what will cause the devastating impact on carbon release, not the pipeline itself.  It is the Keystone XL Pipeline that will facilitate, at a lower transportation cost, the transfer of this heavy oil to Houston thus making it profitable to proceed with its environmentally disastrous production. Furthermore, the oil is not directed at lowering US gas prices.  It will be sold on the world spot market to the highest bidders, whoever will provide the biggest profits to the oil companies.

Yesterday, BuzzFlash at Truthout posted the commentary: "President Obama: If 'XL Pipeline Is Harmless to Environment' as Your State Department Claims, Then Explain Exxon-Mobil's Tar Sands Pipeline Rupture-Evacuation in Arkansas"

Please read the entire post here.

maddow oil tar sands

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Officials rejected some fixes to crippled San Onofre nuclear generators

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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?

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From Dep't. of Under-reported, Under-Appreciated Very Important Items: Pres. Obama will renew his push for nuclear treaty

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Um, this is kind of important. It's also very under-reported and under-appreciated. In fact, other than Rachel Maddow, I can't remember a single person at any cable news outlet that pays much attention to President Obama's relentless efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Remember this? Anyone? Bueller?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

President Obama, 2009:

As a nuclear power as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act. We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it. We can start it. So today I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. [applause] I'm not naive. This goal will not be reached quickly. Perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, yes we can."

Now the president is renewing that push for a nuclear treaty at the United Nations. Per The Hill, progress on a treaty has been stalled due to Pakistan's opposition:

Administration officials and arms control activists believe they now have a new window for action. They point to increased cooperation on the UN Security Council and the beginning of John Kerry’s tenure as secretary of State as reasons for optimism. [...]

[Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association] said progress on Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) would depend on cooperation from Pakistan, which harbors fears of archrival India having more access to fissile material. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council might hold side talks with India and Pakistan in April to try and move the treaty forward, he said. [...]

Kerry is seen as a potential facilitator in those talks because of his long-standing relationship with Pakistan. [...]

Kimball said that if Pakistan won't agree to let the treaty talks proceed, another option would be for other nuclear powers to jointly declare that they will collectively observe a moratorium on fissile material production. The United States, Russia, France and Great Britain have already acknowledged they've stopped producing fissile material, and China is believed to have ended it as well.

Maybe it's finally time to get this news around, whaddya think?

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