Archive for nukes

Meanwhile, Iran's nuclear program has slowed almost to a halt

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ray of sunshine

The Los Angeles Times has encouraging news that nobody is talking about on the Tee Vee Machine because it's more beneficial to them to concentrate on all the controversy over the Affordable Care Act, besmirching the president, and creating even more drama in order to boost ratings.

Well, here at the Political Carnival, we can write and chew gum at the same time. Happy Friday:

Iran's new government has slowed expansion of its nuclear program almost to a halt since August, according to the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, in what experts view as a strong signal of Tehran's desire to resolve a decade-long diplomatic standoff.

A report released Thursday by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency provides the first independent evidence that President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June after promising to end the crisis, has essentially stopped new work at Iran's nuclear facilities, including enrichment of uranium and construction of the heavy-water reactor at Arak. [...]

With sanctions slowly strangling Iran's oil-based economy, Rouhani and his top aides have declared their eagerness to do a deal and thaw long-frozen relations with the West. The IAEA report, which reflects developments in Iran since Aug. 28, provides a measure of tangible reassurance that Rouhani is serious, analysts said.

What a socialist war monger President Obama is.

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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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"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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Video- SNL: C-SPAN North Korea Cold Open

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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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New radioactive waste leak found at nuclear site, and clean-up could be halted by sequestration.

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sequestration

In the state of Washington, there is radioactive waste leaking at the Hanford nuclear site. Call me crazy, but it's my feeling that wind doesn't leak, nor does solar power... but that's another argument for another day.

Today let's concentrate on cleaning up yet another potentially lethal nuclear mess.

Via the L.A. Times:

An aging tank of high-level radioactive waste is leaking at the Hanford nuclear site in south-central Washington state at the rate of up to 300 gallons a year, federal authorities disclosed Friday after discovering a dip in the volume of toxic sludge in the tank.

Gov. Jay Inslee said, “This raises concerns not only about the existing leak that has been recently discovered, but also concerning the integrity of the other single-shell tanks of this age, some of which have experienced prior leaks."

Meh, no worries:

State officials say there is no immediate public health threat, because it could take years or even decades for the leaked material to reach the groundwater and move on to the nearby Columbia River.

See? It could take years before Washington residents have to worry about things like "public health threats," or as I like to call them, fear, pain, suffering, cancer, and death.

What's everyone getting so worked up about? Relax. There are plenty of hard-working federal employees who are working to clean up the toxic slop before anything really bad happens. They are the heroes of this story. They are on it.

But Inslee said the timing of the leak’s discovery coincided unfortunately with a report this week from Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee that more than 1,000 federal employees now working on cleanup at the site could be placed on unpaid leave for six weeks if threatened federal budget “sequestration” cuts occurred on March 1.

uh oh smaller

Breathe, people. Obviously, Congress is all over it. They'd be fools to let something as dangerous as this slip by them, right?

Oh... Excuse me, something is coming through my imaginary earpiece, hang on...

“We’ve been told not to be in Congress. Speaker Boehner controls the agenda… and he sent us home.”

How's that sequestration thing workin' for ya?

yikes!

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