Imagine. If even 1/10th of republicans ever read legislation, they may have overwhelmingly support the Waxman-Markey scam! Just look at the Huffington Post leaked Exelon memo! Billions are to me made by nuclear with this new cap and trade legislation.Â About the only good thing is that we aren’t seeing an outright give away yet.
And speaking of the French model.Â The French Government is planning on selling a bunch of Areva’s stock to pay for the company’s flagging economic status.Â Moody’s is sending out warning signals about companies that go nuclear and Ameren has asked the NRC to abandon their Callaway COL!
Other minor details… A new poll on nuclear safety shows opinionsÂ in a dead heat… Funny how this one isn’t getting any coverage.Â Also, there’s a new safety study out of Canada on cancer rates for nuclear workers and people near reactors.
There’s a whole lot of other news as well, as always, the devil’s in the details.
Sorry about the formatting problem half way down, I’m having some kind of internal programming problem.
Top Nuclear Stories Index
Nuclear Reactor News
toledoblade.com – Davis-Besse reports blast
Federal regulators are looking into the cause of an explosion that occurred early Thursday morning inside the electrical transmission switchyard on FirstEnergy Corp.’s Davis-Besse nuclear complex.
No injuries occurred, and no radiation was released.
The plant’s nuclear reactor, shielded by a steel containment shell and concrete building well-removed from the blast, never stopped operating.
Nuclear plant developer’s partner ‘winding up’ – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington
A former partner of a tiny startup trying to build a nuclear power plant in southern Idaho is shuttering its business just a year after the two outfits boasted of plans to erect facilities around the world.
In July 2008, Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. said it was going together with Houston-based Powered Corp. “to jointly develop nuclear reactors worldwide.”
But Rafic Koussa, a Powered director, told the Securities and Exchange Commission this week he’s “in the process of winding up.”
Netherlands: Greenpeace Protest New Nuclear Power Plant – New Tang Dynasty Television
Greenpeace activists in the Netherlands are up in arms.
Dutch utility company Delta has applied to build a second nuclear power plant.
The Netherlands already has one nuclear power plant and protesters think this is more than enough.
[Maike Baretta, Greenpeace Campaigner]:
“Greenpeace is here to show that building a second nuclear power plant in the Netherlands is a really bad idea because it will create an enormous amount of nuclear waste and we don’t even know [what to] do with the waste of the first nuclear power plant.”
In the past, the Dutch government phased out nuclear power, leaving one plant in Borssele which is owned by Delta and Dutch company Essent.
It’s on this site that Delta plans to build its second plant.
A draft proposal has been submitted to the Environment Ministry. Delta then hope to put forward a formal request.
France’s Busted Nuclear Company Selling Stake To Mid-East And Asia
France’s government control nuclear company Areva is busted. To cover a $4 billion budget gap, the company will be selling a 15% stake in the company to Asian and Mid-Eastern companies.
That puts 25% of the company in foreign hands, and it still doesn’t provide enough money to cover its coming budget problems:
FT: But Areva’s investment needs to 2012 are estimated at between 8bn and 10bn, excluding the 2bn cost of buying Germany’s Siemens out of the engineering joint
venture Areva NP.
The group faces rising reactor orders and an urgent need to modernise its ageing French facilities.
AFP: France ‘to sell stake’ in Areva nuclear group
The French state will sell a chunk of nuclear giant Areva to Asian and Middle Eastern
investors to help finance the future of a group considered a jewel in the country’s
industrial crown, a report said Friday.
The Financial Times said the government was preparing a capital increase for the state-controlled group and could sell a 15 percent stake to raise two billion euros (2.8 billion dollars).
The move would leave the French state with 75 percent of Areva, a world leader in nuclear power with manufacturing facilities in 43 countries, down from its current 90 percent.
Fears for safety as nuclear watchdog hires staff from firms pitching to build reactors | The Guardian
The Nuclear Installations Inspectorate is recruiting more than a dozen project managers to speed up its review of new reactor designs – even though they work for the companies hoping to build them.
The Guardian has learnt that the government has approached companies including the US groups Bechtel and CH2M Hill, as well as the UK’s Amec, to fill the senior posts. The companies involved are eager to secure lucrative contracts to help build the UK’s first new reactors for decades.
Government and industry sources admitted the secondments posed potential conflict of interest problems.
Three Mile Island reactor gets environment OK | Reuters
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission completed the environmental part of the license renewal proceeding for Exelon Corp’s 786-megawatt Unit 1 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station in Pennsylvania, the NRC said in a release Friday.
The NRC concluded there were no environmental impacts that would preclude the reactor’s license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation.
The current license for Three Mile Island 1 expires April 19, 2014. A new license would extend the reactor’s operating life until 2034.
Charlotte Business Journal: Rating agencies raise nuclear issues
Building new nuclear plants could prove hazardous the credit ratings of power companies.
Moody’s Investors Services warns in its new report –“New Nuclear Generation: Ratings Pressure Increasing”– that it may view nuclear construction plans as a negative.
Moody’s worries that investment in new nuclear is so costly that it amounts to a “bet the farm” strategy. It increases business risk and operating risk. And the possibility that utilities might be forced to abandon some projects after construction starts, while less likely now than 20 years ago, cannot be dismissed.
The report notes that in the last round of construction — most of which occurred in the 1970s and 80s — proved troublesome for credit ratings.
Idaho; Proposed Nuclear Plant on Snake River Delayed, Not Gone : Indybay
Elmore County commissioners on Monday submitted a request to the Planning and Zoning commissioners to examine possible changes to the current comprehensive land use plan’s identification of areas for industrial development. By so doing they acknowledged that the current application to build a nuclear reactor along the Snake River is in violation of the comprehensive plan and their request means the plan, which took several years to develop with county wide input, would have to be significantly altered to allow for the proposed facility.
Commissioners weighed the county’s restriction of heavy industrial development to the Simco Road area near Ada County. The Elmore Planning and Zoning Commission had already recommended AEHI’s application be rejected as a blatant violation of the County’s Comprehensive Plan.
Spain’s ageing nuclear plant seen closing soon | Reuters
* Plant’s permit expires on July 5
* 40-year lifespan expires in 2011
* Polls favour plant staying open, but no new nuclear plants
MADRID, June 25 (Reuters) – As Spain’s government faces the first test of an electoral pledge to phase out nuclear power, unions and environmentalists expect it will either close an ageing plant or keep it open for another two years.
The Garona plant’s current operating permit expires on July 5 and the government has the final say on whether it stays open.
Shepperdine residents ‘kept in the dark’ over nuclear power station plans (From Gazette Series)
PEOPLE living near a site earmarked for a new nuclear power station claim they are being kept in the dark over the proposals.
At a public meeting, more than 40 residents of Shepperdine and Oldbury criticised energy company E.ON for not keeping them informed about its plans to build a new power station in their village.
During the last 12 months the energy giant has bought land in the Oldbury and Shepperdine area and secured a connection to the National Grid.
Senators form new Western caucus – Salt Lake Tribune
Call it the Sage Brush Rebellion II.
Several Republican senators Wednesday launched a new Western Caucus to advocate relaxing government’s grasp of resources and lands in the wide-open swaths in the West. The move harks back to 1970s effort by Western officials to turn back federal lands to state and local governments.
“As one of the senators who helped initiate and carry the battle on the original Sage Brush Rebellion back in the Carter years, we’re there again,” Sen. Orrin Hatch said at a news conference at the Capitol. “We have to fight very, very hard to make sure that the West is being treated fairly.”
Hatch joined Utah colleague Bob Bennett, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso and Idaho Sen. Jim Risch
Alberta Bishops speak out on nuclear debate – Fairview Post – Alberta, CA
We, the Catholic bishops of Alberta, wish to speak with the members of our dioceses and eparchy and all Albertans about the recent proposals to build and operate commercial nuclear reactors in our province.
These proposals raise important issues which deserve serious discussion and ethical reflection. Debates about nuclear power can quickly become polarized.
We encourage everyone to take the time to study this issue, and to examine critically the information presented from the different sides.
We believe that there are serious ethical questions that must be adequately addressed before a decision is reached and implemented.
Stewardship of the Environment: One major environmental impact of nuclear reactors is their consumption of substantial amounts of water.
Chattanooga Times Free Press | Nuclear guard union sues TVA over contract
The labor union for TVA’s nuclear security guards sued the federal utility today for refusing to bargain with the union after switching the guards at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant from a contract employer to TVA’s payroll.
The United Government Security Officers of America and its Local 22 affiliate filed the lawsuit in federal court in Knoxville after TVA hired virtually all of the contract guards at Browns Ferry but initially refused to bargain with the employees’ union about the change.
Last week, TVA began phasing out its contract with Pinkerton Government Services and bringing nearly all of the contract guards onto TVA’s own payroll at Browns Ferry. Similar transitions are planned over the next month at TVA’s Sequoyah and Watts Bar nuclear plants.
In its lawsuit, the union claims TVA is not negotiating with the Government Security Officers of America as required of successor employers.
Internal Memo: Nuclear Power Company Could Make A Billion A Year From Climate Change Law
Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power company, stands to rake in roughly an extra $1 billion to $1.5 billion a year if the House climate change bill passes, according
to the company’s own estimates. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.
A memo produced for Exelon by Bernstein Research, and obtained by the Huffington Post, reports that Exelon CEO John Rowe recently told a gathering of investors and senior executives that the energy bill “will add $700 to $750 million to Exelon’s annual revenues for every $10 per metric ton (MT) increase in the price of CO2 allowances.” Prices will range between $15 and $18 per metric ton, the report estimates, “implying a positive earnings impact of $1 to $1.30 per share.”
Read the full memo.
Nuclear Health and Safety News
Could Â Israel be making these DU Weapons and what are the implications?
Most DU weapons manufactured in the United States show a distinct difference betweencon ventional weapons and those that contain DU and other toxic elements such as Tungsten etc. The warhead clearly shows the Rod with a Sabot sitting just below the point. It must be clearly understood that despite any re classification that may have taken place by the US Government these truly are nuclear related weapons.
You can clearly see that the Israel’s IMI is manufacturing weapons that are almost identical to the US weapons that are displayed in the left hand picture above.
Did Iraq Contractor KBR Expose Troops To Deadly Toxin? – cbs4.com
ContractorÂ KBR Inc. Accused Of Exposing Troops In Iraq And Afghanistan To Deadly Contaminants
Senate Hearing To Examine How Government Can Take Precautions In Such Situations
Larry Roberta’s every breath is a painful reminder of his time in Iraq. He can’t walk a block without gasping for air. His chest hurts, his migraines sometimes persist for days and he needs pills to help him sleep.
James Gentry came home with rashes, ear troubles and a shortness of breath.
Later, things got much worse: He developed lung cancer, which spread to his spine, ribs and one of his thighs; he must often use a cane, and no longer rides his beloved Harley.
Former Moruroa workers fail in nuclear testing compensation bids
French Polynesians who have had their claims for compensation for the effects of nuclear testing rejected say they won’t give up their bids for redress.
France carried out many nuclear tests in French Polynesia from 1960 until 1996, and its government has said it will compensate the victims.
But campaigner, John Doom, says eight people who took their cases to French Polynesia’s industrial relations tribunal were unsuccessful.
He says the three surviving workers have leukaemia, and they and the five widows will consult with lawyers over how to continue with their bids.
OpEdNewsÂ» Obama Must Live Up To Campaign Pledge On Vieques Cleanup
President Barack Obama should instruct his administration to fulfill his campaign pledge to clean up the Navy’s toxic mess in Vieques, Puerto Rico, and to help the victims of Vieques who suffer from a suite of health problems caused byÂ the military’s 50-plus year bombardment of the island.
Back in February 2008, candidate Obama wrote a letter to then Governor AnibalÂ Acevedo VilÃƒÂ¡ and the people of Puerto Rico in which he promised to “actively work” to clean up Vieques and to help those suffering from the health effects of toxic heavy metals, chemicals and radioactivity associated with the Navy’s use of Vieques for target practice and live-fire training since World War II.
DOE & OSHA don’t mix | knoxnews.com
I got a press release this week from the Dept. of Labor, announcing that it was continuing its Federal Agency Targeting Inspection Program, a program developed in 2008 in response to a GAO report on high-hazard federal workplaces.
DOE facilities, of course, have historically been off-limits to outside inspectionsÂ because of powers granted by the Atomic Energy Act. etc., but I thought maybe this new program was opening things up. When asked for a list of inspection sites and possible Oak Ridge involvement, DOL spokesman Michael Wald responded,Â “It is OSHA policy not to announce which sites may receive an inspection visit, so we can’t identify DOE locations specifically.”
So, I asked John Shewairy, DOE’s public affairs chief in Oak Ridge, if any OakÂ Ridge facilities had been inspected as part of the FEDTARG program.
Tallevast, Lockheed discuss clean up – Local – Bradenton.com
Technical experts from Lockheed Martin and the community advocacy group FOCUS met Wednesday to discuss the clean-up proposal for toxic waste left behind from an old beryllium plant in this southern Manatee County neighborhood.
The meeting was one in a series “to continue its collaboration with residentsÂ concerning the submission of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) Addendum to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, scheduled for July 14,” according to a Thursday e-mail message from Gary Cambre, a spokesman for Lockheed
The groundwater contamination was discovered in 2000, after Lockheed MartinÂ purchased the the former Loral American Beryllium Company site in 1996.
“At this meeting, Lockheed Martin provided an update on the groundwaterÂ modeling and the design of the groundwater treatment system,” Cambre’s e-mail stated.
WestÂ Kentucky Star – Whitfield Works to Protect Sick Workers’ Families
U.S. Â Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) introduced legislation Thursday in the House of Representatives, to ensure surviving family members are able to receive the benefits of sick workers from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in the event the former worker dies before claims processing is complete. The legislation
is identical to the bill U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) introduced in the SenateÂ last week.
“Since entering Congress, ensuring sick workers from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant get the care and compensation they are entitled to has been one of my top priorities,” Whitfield said. “This important legislation will help make certain the surviving family members of those workers are taken care of in the event they pass on before claims processing is complete.”
The Hawk Eye: Ex-IAAP workers reminisce
Â Leonard W. Duke survived being dragged by a truck when he was 7. Doctors said he wouldn’t
make it. As he grew older, three doctors subsequently told him he wouldn’t live to be 30, another 10 years and to be 50.
At 81, he’s healthier than many of his fellow former Line 1 workers.
Since doctors long have predicted his demise, Duke is not keen on visits to the doctor’s office, even after he’s suffered some recent dizziness.
He does, however, trust Laurence Fuortes and his staff at the University ofÂ Iowa’s College of Public Health’s Burlington Atomic Energy Commission Plant-Former Worker Program.
During a luncheon Thursday that honored former Iowa Army Ammunition workers who worked on Line 1 where secret atomic weapons were assembled between 1947Â and 1975, people like Duke visited with fellow plant workers and the University
of Iowa staff.
The Press Association: EU nations agree on nuclear deal
EuropeanÂ Union nations have agreed to make international nuclear safety standards mandatoryÂ across the 27-nation bloc.
The executive European Commission says nuclear power plants in the EU will now
be legally obliged to comply with safety rules set out by the UN’ nuclear watchdog,
the International Atomic Energy Agency.
EU member governments approved a regulation that made the safety obligationsÂ binding.
EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs says the law will provide better protection for nuclear power plant workers, citizens and the environment by requiring governmentsÂ to improve their own nuclear safety regulations.
The EU is the first region in the world to make the standards compulsory. ItÂ has the most nuclear power plants of any region.
Soviet-Kazak:Â NUCLEAR LEGACY
Suddenly,Â a flash of blinding light burst on the horizon, a deafening roar ripped acrossÂ the steppe and a huge nuclear mushroom cloud slowly unfurled in the sky.
This image still haunts Zheyembek Abishev who was a child when the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear bomb near his village in northern Kazakhstan where generations of his ancestors grazed horses in the quiet wilderness of the steppes.
“I was born in 1947 and the explosions started in 1949. I remember it all very clearly,” said Abishev, whose village is perched on the fringes of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
French Polynesian Court rules in favour of nuclear test veteran’s children
A French Polynesian court has ruled in favour of three children of a deceased
nuclear weapons test veteran who sought compensation for the effects of the tests.
The court found that the Atomic Energy Commissariat had failed in its obligation as an employer to provide security.
The labour court in Papeete ordered that they each be paid 11,000 US dollars.
Three other cases were rejected while another four cases are to be subject to further medical tests.
This means that the court failed to recognise claims that linked poor health to the effects of the weapons tests.
The ruling can be appealed.
Nuclear-plant workers face elevated cancer risk: report.
Those working in, and living near, nuclear-power plants – such as the one being considered for construction in Saskatchewan – are more likely than the General population to develop cancer or die from it, according to a research paper being released Tuesday.
The 30-page Exposure to Radiation and Health Outcomes, commissioned by the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, found that chronic exposure to low doses of radiation causes the higher risk.
A 15-country, 12-year, 407,391-person study of nuclear-power workers found the employees are twice as likely to die from all causes of cancer than the general public because of the extra radiation exposure, said the report written by Saskatchewan-based health researcher, Mark Lemstra.
But in Canada, one of the 15 countries studied, reactor workers are 7.65 times more likely to die from all causes of cancer
National Poll: Americans Split on Safety of Nuclear Energy
– Most Support EPA Designation of Carbon Dioxide as Public Health Threat
– Majorities See Danger in Nuclear Waste
– Wind Energy Perceived as Safest
– One-Third See More Nuclear Weapons as Plants Increase
Fairfield, Connecticut – A new national poll of 800 residents by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute found a nearly even split between those suggesting nuclear energy was very or somewhat safe (46.1%) and those who said somewhat dangerous or very dangerous (44.7%).
Fulton Sun: Safety system concern at nuclear plant
A special investigation is underway to find the reason behind the failure of a piece of a safety system last month at the Callaway Nuclear Plant.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Monday that a team of inspectors is looking into a problem that was found with a secondary feedwater pump at the plant May 25 that has raised concern about that backup safety precaution.
“In routine testing that pump didn’t start automatically, but we did determine that it could have been started manually,” Ameren UE spokesman Mike Cleary said. “It was technically inoperable and we don’t know when it failed between the previous test on May 4 and May 25.
American Chronicle | IDAHO, MONTANA DOWNWINDER BILL REINTRODUCED
All four Senators representing Idaho and Montana are sponsoring new legislation that would make residents of the two states eligible for a federal government program that compensates people who lived in affected areas downwind of the Nevada Test Site during periods of atmospheric nuclear testing during the 1950s and 60s. Under the legislation, those victims would be compensated if they contracted cancer or other specified compensable diseases following the testing. The bipartisan
legislation introduced today, S. 1342, would amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) to include all of Idaho and Montana.
Downriver from Chalk River
Many Canadians are not happy about the stoppage of isotope production at the Chalk River nuclear facility. Residents of Ottawa are likely to be especiallyÂ concerned, and not just because we too need isotopes for medical imaging.
Isotope production was stopped because the National Research Universal reactorÂ is falling apart. That puts the national capital region, situated as it is downriverÂ and downwind from Chalk River, in a precarious spot. Crumbling, unreliable reactors
are scary things, at least in the public eye.
Associated Press: New detector not much better catching nuke matter
Federal investigators say the government’s next generation radiation detectors are only
marginally better at detecting hidden nuclear material than monitors alreadyÂ at U.S. ports, but would cost more than twice as much.
The machines are intended to prevent terrorists or criminals from smuggling into the U.S. a nuclear bomb or its explosive components hidden in a cargo container.
The monitors now in use can detect the presence of radiation, but they cannot distinguish between threatening and nonthreatening material. Radioactive material can be found naturally in ceramics and kitty litter, but would be of no use in making a bomb, for instance.
Report:Â VA errors caused radiation burns – UPI.com
A doctor at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration hospital was off target on most of more than 100 patients he treated for prostate cancer, records showed.
Dr. Gary Kao has left the hospital after botching 92 of the 112 procedures involving the implantation of radioactive metal “seeds” in the prostate glands of patients, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The newspaper said the seeds wound up instead in the rectums, bladders and other healthy organs of the patients, sometimes causing painful radiation burns or other side effects.
Kao’s lawyer disputed The Times’ account of the six-year span but the newspaper said he practiced in an environment in which there was no in-house peer review of the doctors and was allowed to alter surgical paperwork without any objection from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“I’m not easily shaken,” said Dr. Leon S. Malmud, chairman of a nuclear commission advisory committee, “But this is a very anxiety-provoking story.”
Evidence is revealed (DU Rods and Sabots survived the inferno at Camp Doha)
Doug Rokke earned his B.S. in Physics at Western Illinois University followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in physics and technology education at the University ofÂ Illinois. His military career has spanned 4 decades to include combat duty during the Vietnam War and Gulf War 1.
Dr. Doug Rokke is a Depleted Uranium expert.
Doug served as a member of the 3rd U.S. Army Medical Command’s Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) teaching, medical response, and special operations team, the 3rd U.S. Army captured equipment project team, and with the 3rd U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Assessment team during Gulf War 1(Operation Desert Storm).
MarshallÂ Islands’ Birth Defects and Radiation Exposure Connection “Unlikely”,Â States LLNL :: Everything Marshall Islands
The feature article of a new journal, published by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, contends that there are misconceptions about the links between radiation exposure and genetic (birth) defects. During the period between 1946 and 1958,
a total of 67 nuclear tests were conducted on Bikini and Enewetak Atolls and adjacent regions within the Republic of the Marshall Islands. In recent years, there have been Marshallese children born to parents living in the northern atolls, diagnosed with Waardenburg’s syndrome.
“Based on current medical and scientific data, a connection between Waardenburg’sÂ syndrome and radiation exposure in the Marshall Islands is very unlikely,” concludes the study.
TallevastÂ toxic plume still haunts: Residents wait for Lockheed’s clean-up plan -Bradenton.com
That’s how much time has passed since Lockheed Martin Corp. discovered an undergroundÂ plume of toxic waste beneath an old beryllium plant it owned in Tallevast.
And nearly a year has passed since Lockheed submitted its revised clean-up plan to state environmentalists, claiming it would take more than a half-century to clean up the spill.
TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIEemail@example.com Tallevast Road through the small community greatly affected by the dangerous chemicals released from the old beryllium plant.
While limited clean-up of the beryllium plant campus is under way, the final clean-up plan still awaits state approval. The Department of Environmental Protection has sent Lockheed back to the drawing boards three times in the past nine months
with requests for more information and modification.
Tainted goods: Local company keeps closer eye after incident : Knoxville News Sentinel
After a Knoxville metal recycler melted nuclear material that had inadvertently infiltrated its mill, the company learned its lesson: The combination of radiation detectorsÂ and a watchful eye can prevent massive, costly messes.
The Knoxville company, Gerdau Ameristeel, has since weeded out radioactive isotopesÂ sent to it with scrap metal at least 50 times, according to reports from a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission database.
Gerdau Ameristeel has developed an elaborate firewall to keep out castoff nuclear material, according to Jim Turner, corporate environmental director of the Toronto-based company, which has an executive office in Tampa, Fla.
VeteranÂ exposed to nuclear radiation for tests | Springfield News-Leader
On the Fourth of July weekend of 1957, Darrell Robertson was on a train from FortÂ Lewis, Wash., to Southern Nevada. He was one of hundreds of young men with orders in hand to take part in a training exercise that they were told was crucial to the fight against communism.
The native of Lamar was headed deep into the burnt landscape of the Mojave Desert,Â to a place called Camp Desert Rock. There, between 1945 and 1958, the U.S. militaryÂ conducted 106 atmospheric nuclear tests.
At the time, Robertson said, military brass believed a nuclear confrontationÂ with the Soviets was likely. They were intent on developing a group of troopsÂ hardened by repeated exposure to radiation. They thought exposure to radiationÂ was like sunning on the beach: First you burn, then you tan.
AmerenUE asks NRC to suspend Callaway new nuclear license review
AmerenUE has asked the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend its review of the company’s July 2008 application for a combined construction permit-operating license to build a new nuclear unit at its Callaway plant in Missouri. In a June 23 letter to NRC released on Friday, Adam Heflin, senior vice president
and chief nuclear officer, said “we have determined that it is in AmerenUE’s best interests to suspend the review” of the COL application and requested “that the NRC staff suspend all activities” related to the review.
AmerenUE announced in April that it was dropping plans to build a 1,600-MW Areva US-EPR reactor at Callaway because the company did not think Missouri state lawmakers would be able to overturn the state’s ban on recovering costs on construction
work in progress. AmerenUE spokesman Mike Cleary said June 26 that NRC’s review of the COL continued after that decision while AmerenUE “looked at its options,” but it is now deemed “prudent” to suspend the review.
South Texas: Nuke foes seek cost analysis
The groups fighting expansion of the nuclear South Texas Project want a detailed side-by-side comparison of how much it would cost to produce the same power with renewable resources such as wind and solar.
They think such an analysis should be complete before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers granting a license for the multibillion-dollar plan to build two more reactors outside this community.
This was among the arguments a consortium of environmental groups made toÂ panel of judges with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board at the second and final day of hearings on the project’s permit application.
NRC – NRC to Hold Public Workshops in Maryland and Utah on Safe Disposal of Depleted Uranium and Other Unique Waste Streams
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct two public workshops in September to solicit public views on major issues for new regulations for land disposal of unique radioactive wastes, including but not limited to significant quantities of depleted uranium.
The workshops will be held Sept. 2-3 in Rockville, Md., and Sept. 23-24 in SaltÂ Lake City, Utah. Exact locations and final agendas for the workshops will beÂ announced closer to those dates.
The Commission directed the agency staff March 18 to initiate rulemaking to specify a requirement for a site-specific analysis for the disposal of largeÂ quantities of depleted uranium, and other unique waste streams, such as reprocessing wastes and the technical requirements for such an analysis. The Commission also
directed the staff to develop a guidance document for public comment that outlinesÂ the parameters and assumptions to be used in the site-specific analyses. The
Commission said the staff should “promptly” conduct a public workshop
to discuss issues associated with disposal of depleted uranium and other unique
waste streams, potential issues to be considered in rulemaking, and technical
parameters of concern in the analysis so that informed decisions can be made
in the interim before the rulemaking is final.
unroll list of 28 objections to nuke-plant proposal
When NRG Energy submitted its application to the federal government to build
two new nuclear power plants in this coastal town, it didn’t account for the
possibility the plant could be rammed by a large passenger jet.
As of March, planning for such a horrendous event is required for new nuclear
The fact that it was left out of the initial application is among 28 objections
being voiced by a coalition of local residents and Austin-based environmental
groups fighting the reactors.
Those groups are arguing their case to a panel of judges with the Atomic Safety
and Licensing Board at a two-day hearing Tuesday and today.
NRC: proposed release of contaminated property into unrestricted use
Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant
Impact for License Amendment to Byproduct Materials License No. 47-00260-02,
for Termination of the License and Unrestricted Release of Two Union Carbide
Corporation Facilities Located in South Charleston, WV AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory
Commission. ACTION: Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant
Impact for License Amendment
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steve Hammann, Health Physicist, Commercial
and R&D Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region I, 475 Allendale
Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; telephone 610- 337-5399; fax number 610-337-5269;
or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) is considering the issuance of a license amendment to Byproduct Materials
License No. 47- 00260-02. This license is held by Union Carbide Corporation
(the Licensee) for its South Charleston Technology Park and South Charleston
Plant located, respectively, at 3200 Kanawha Turnpike in South Charleston, West
Virginia, and at 437 MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston, West Virginia (the
Facilities). Issuance of the amendment would authorize release of the Facilities
for unrestricted use and termination of the NRC license.
NRC: release of contaminated building back into public use
Notice of Environmental Assessment Related to the Issuance of a License Amendment
to Byproduct Material License No. 24-32439-01, for the Unrestricted Release
of a Pharmacia Corporation Building in St. Louis, MO AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory
Commission. ACTION: Issuance of environmental assessment and finding of no significant
impact for license amendment.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katie Streit, Health Physicist, Materials
Control, ISFSI, and Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials and
Safety, Region III, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2443 Warrenville Road,
Lisle, Illinois 60532; telephone: (630) 829-9621; fax number: (630) 515-1259;
or by email at Katherine.Streit@nrc.gov.
Nuclear Fuel Cycle News
WalesOnline – Campaigner’s nuclear fuel warning
RADIOACTIVE waste from a new generation of nuclear power stations will have to be stored above ground for 100 years, the Government has been told.
The claim comes as the possibility of a nuclear power station being built to replace the existing one at Wylfa on Anglesey continues to grow.
Hugh Richards, of the Welsh Anti Nuclear Alliance (Wana), told officials at the Department for Environment and Climate Change: “Both the promoters of new reactors and the Government have largely ignored the implications of those reactors discharging high burn-up spent fuel. New-build spent fuel, already acknowledged as twice as hot and twice as radioactive as legacy-spent fuel, will have to cool down for 100 years on each site before it can go for deep underground disposal.
to filter uranium out of water- The New Haven Register
The Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to proceed with an agreement that will allow the Connecticut Water Co. to install a purification system to remove uranium from the water at two schools.
A bill was recently passed by the General Assembly that would allow the company to lease land owned by the Legend Hill condominium complex in order to install the system.
The town will not have to pay the installation costs.
The school district has been providing bottled water for students at Kathleen H. Ryerson Elementary and Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle schools since uranium was detected in the water Nov. 13.
AFP: Russian president talks with Namibia on uranium
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday called for boosting trade with Namibia, at the start of the first visit by a Kremlin chief to the uranium-rich southern African nation.
“We should have started work with our African partners a long time ago,” Medvedev told reporters after talks with his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba.
The talks produced few major announcements, but Medvedev used the visit to highlight Russia’s desire to reassert Moscow’s influence on a continent where many countries were once under the Soviet sphere of influence.
“Africa is waiting for our support. The civilised part of mankind, as it is accustomed to be called, should pay its debts to Africa,” he said.
Captain Uranium: how to get into nuclear – Building
are going to be spent on nuclear power stations in the next 10 years, assuming,
that is, we can find 33,000 recruits in a hurry. Which is where you come in…
As we know, the most reliable way of becoming a superhero is to have some kind of accident involving radioactivity. In the case of Tim Scroggins, the mild-mannered construction manager who built a neutrino-generator in his potting shed using a meteorite he found while camping in the New Forest (it’s a long story), the mishap turned him into Captain Uranium, able to build nuclear power stations wearing only his underpants, and boil water for tea by looking at it.
In our own time-space continuum, the transformative possibilities of nuclear energy are still fairly impressive, and have the additional advantage that you don’t have to have a nasty accident first.
US DOE clears hurdle to sell its excess uraniun inventory
The US Department of Energy will issue a “no significant impact” finding on its plan to sell portions of its excess uranium inventory in the US uranium market, DOE’s William Szymanski told officials Wednesday at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s annual fuel cycle conference. The finding stems from an environmental impact statement DOE began work on last year under the Bush administration, as the department surveyed how best to manage 59,000 metric tons of DOE-owned uranium that are now stored in cylinders. The finding soon will be published in the Federal Register, said Szymanski, the director of global nuclear fuel assurance in DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy. A statement that then-Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman issued last year states DOE believes it can sell up to 10% of the nation’s annual nuclear fuel requirements on the US uranium market and “not have an adverse material impact on the domestic uranium industry.” The department still “needs to cross all the ‘Ts’ and dot all the ‘Is'” to ensure that the administration of President Barack Obama will approve such a plan, Szymanski said.
GEH Proposes Recycling Nuclear Fuel | Environmental Protection
As the White House and U.S. Congress create a new national strategy for managing used nuclear fuel, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is encouraging lawmakers to support the research and development necessary for recycling nuclear fuel, according to a June 18 press release.
Lisa Price, a GEH senior vice president, briefed lawmakers at a House Science & Technology Committee meeting on the company’s proposed Advanced Recycling Center (ARC).
12 tons of bomb-grade uranium to be made into fuel – State – SunHerald.com
The government on Tuesday ordered 12 tons of bomb-grade uranium converted into commercial reactor fuel as backup in case another source of fuel from weapon ingredients is delayed.
The highly enriched uranium, already declared surplus for the nation’s nuclear arsenal, will come from the vast storage vaults at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
The material will be converted or “down-blended” at the Nuclear Fuel Services plant in Erwin, Tenn., into about 220 tons of low-enriched uranium suitable for commercial reactors. The work will begin this year and be completed in 2012.
The uranium will be shipped to Westinghouse Electric Co.’s Columbia Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina and held in reserve for utilities contracting for reactor fuel from a plutonium mixed-oxide processing plant being built at the Savannah River Site.
The $4.8 billion mixed-oxide facility at Savannah River is scheduled to open in 2016. The program is on time to this point, officials said.
Native American Times – “The Navajo Nation is going to greatly benefit from that,” she said.
“The Navajo Nation is going to greatly benefit from that,” she said.
Among other programs the Navajo EPA is working on with federal funding is:
* Drinking Water – $3 million for phase 1 for Sweetwater-to-Shiprock drinking water.
This will serve 93 homes without piped water near three unregulated water sources that have been contaminated with uranium, 845 homes served by public water systems that exceed the arsenic drinking water standard, and 982 homes with inadequate water supply.
* Waste Water – $9.7 million through the global Interagency Agreement through HIS.
* Tribal Drinking Water Set Aside Funding Projects:
Dennehotso New Water System – $2 million from U.S. EPA and $2 million from HUD to construct a new 50-mile water system to serve 102 homes without piped water, near 2 unregulated water sources contaminated with Uranium.
* Water Hauling Feasibility Study/Pilot Project to serve 4,000 homes without piped water.
USEPA is expected to soon provide funding to the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources to develop a water hauling feasibility study and pilot project to serve residents in uranium-impacted areas, and to develop safe water hauling guidelines and conduct outreach.
* Black Falls Water Line Extension – U.S. EPA provided $830,000 to construct a water line and safe water hauling point to serves 40 homes without piped water near four unregulated water sources contaminated with uranium.
* Clean Water Act/Wastewater Tribal Set Aside Projects:
$1.75 million award – $1 million will be in a direct grant to NTUA’s Stimulus proposal submitted for Window Rock Wastewater Treatment plant upgrades; $752,867 into inter-agency agreement with IHS to fund other wastewater treatment facility projects.
Columbus Dispatch : Older nuke project at risk
Even as an announcement of a plan for a nuclear-power plant was celebrated last week in Piketon, Ohio, a uranium-enrichment plant project on the same site that is to begin operating by 2011 teetered on financial collapse.
Announced 5 1/2 years ago with almost as much hoopla as the proposed nuclear project got last week, plans for the $3.5 billion enrichment plant could be dashed unless the Obama administration soon approves a $2 billion federal loan guarantee, says USEC, the suburban-Washington company slated to build the facility.
USEC applied for the loan guarantee 10 months ago under a $38.5 billion Department of Energy program launched by the Bush administration to encourage various renewable-energy and nuclear-power ventures. An enrichment plant makes material that fuels nuclear-power plants.
Casper Star-Tribune: Permit delay worries uranium hopefuls
Several proposed uranium mining projects in Wyoming and across the West will be delayed due the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent decision requiring a more thorough site-specific analysis for each project.
The NRC will require a supplemental environmental impact statement for each mining project rather than a more simplified environmental assessment, which the agency had considered.
Some officials in the uranium industry claim the NRC overreacted to a groundswell of public concern that they say comes from either ignorance of the in-situ leach mining process or a desire to block uranium mining.
Industry officials have also told the Star-Tribune they worry that investors are losing patience.
However, those who scrutinize the emerging next generation of uranium mining say both the industry and government regulators have a history that deserves skepticism. Shannon Anderson, community organizer for the Powder River Basin Resource Council, said she has researched dozens upon dozens of spills and excursions documented by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.
The Star-Tribune has also reviewed DEQ documentation describing dozens of violations related to in-situ recovery of uranium in the state.
Nuclear Waste News
research may help address radionuclide contamination at DOE sites
Five years from now, Lab scientists will be able to better determine how, when
and why plutonium moves in soil and groundwater.
The way to predict how plutonium is transported in groundwater away from a site
is by looking at the dominant geochemical processes that control plutonium’s
(Pu) behavior in the subsurface at environmental levels. But that isn’t always
A $6 million five-year proposal funded by the Department of Energy’s Office
of Science, Biological and Environmental Research (BER), will allow about a
dozen LLNL scientists to study Pu transport at concentration levels at the picomolar
to attomolar scale (equivalent to dissolving one grain of salt in 100 Olympic-size
nuclear dump contains explosives – The Local
controversial salt-mine nuclear waste storage facility in Asse, Lower Saxony
is not only crumbling but also contains unknown amounts of explosive, it has
Officials who confirmed the reports are now scrambling to get them removed.
A spokesman for the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) confirmed
a DDP report on Friday, saying, there was some there, but only a small amount
of old stocks.
He said the explosive was stored, “so that obviously there is no danger
for the running of the store, or for the waste.”
The explosives would be rapidly removed, he added.
lands cleanup N.Y. contract – Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. said Tuesday it has won a $19.2 million
contract to clean up a U.S. Energy Department test facility in upstate New York,
the Energy Separation Process Research Unit.
URS Corp., which awarded the contract, will help perform the work. The job includes
sorting, packaging, loading, rail transport and treatment, as well as disposal
of soil, debris and mixed waste.
Work will begin immediately, and the project will take an estimated 24 months.
EPA Vallecitos transuranic waste for wipp
Proposed Approval of the Central Characterization Project’s Remote-Handled Transuranic
Waste Characterization Program at General Electric Vallecitos Nuclear Center
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency. ACTION: Notice of availability; opening
of public comment period.
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) is announcing
the availability of, and soliciting public comments for 45 days on, the proposed
approval of the radioactive, remote-handled (RH), transuranic (TRU) waste characterization
program implemented by the Central Characterization Project (CCP) at General
Electric Vallecitos Nuclear Center in Sunol, California. This waste is intended
for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico.
fight radioactive waste ruling – Salt Lake Tribune
Utah is joining the fight to stop EnergySolutions Inc. from burying large volumes
of foreign radioactive waste in its Tooele County landfill.
The paperwork has not been filed yet, but the state’s plans to appeal were revealed
in papers filed last week in Washington.
Last month U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart ruled that the Northwest Interstate
Compact on Low-level Radioactive Waste had no authority over EnergySolutions’
Utah disposal site. And there has been some question whether the state of Utah,
which is a Northwest Compact member, would join an appeal of that ruling.
Stewart’s ruling, in effect, crimps Utah’s power through the compact to control
the low-level radioactive waste that goes to EnergySolutions, including the
leftovers from cleaning up Italy’s dismantled nuclear reactors that the company
wants to import.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. aligned the state with the compact. But Huntsman
has been nominated to become U.S. ambassador to China and is expected to be
replaced soon by Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, whose views on the lawsuit are unknown.
News | Utah appeals ruling on Italian nuclear waste
State attorneys officially filed notice of their appeal of a federal court ruling
which said EnergySolutions Inc. falls outside the regulatory purview of the
Northwest Interstate Compact.
The appeal of the May ruling had been anticipated for weeks, in light of U.S.
District Judge Ted Stewart’s decision that dealt a blow to the state and compact’s
efforts to block EnergySolutions’ plan to import low-level radioactive waste
The waste, intended for disposal at the company’s 439-acre facility in Tooele
County’s west desert, would occupy 4.3 acres of the total site and is no more
“hot” than waste the site currently accepts, company officials have
Still, vehement opposition by the state, watchdog groups and the compact led
to the federal court battle that played out this year in a set of two separate
rulings by Stewart, delivering victory to EnergySolutions on both fronts.
Review: Allison Macfarlane: A nuclear expert on life after Yucca.
In 1982, the U.S. government formally accepted the dirty job of finding a place
to dispose of highly radioactive nuclear waste, including spent reactor fuel,
which will remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Five years
later, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Energy to begin seriously investigating
a single site–Yucca Mountain, NV–as a permanent geological repository. But
earlier this year, with 60,000 metric tons of spent fuel clogging storage facilities
at power plants, the Obama administration announced that it would cut Yucca’s
funding and seek alternatives.
Credit: Chris Crisman
Allison Macfarlane, a geologist at George Mason University and the editor of
Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear
Waste, is a leading technical expert on nuclear-waste disposal who recently
sat on a National Research Council committee evaluating the Department of Energy’s
nuclear-power R&D programs. She spoke with David Talbot, Technology Review’s
chief correspondent, about the future of nuclear waste–and what it means for
the future of nuclear power.
radiation: Government oversight of tainted metal nonexistent : Knoxville News
Who is in charge of protecting Americans from products made from radioactively
The answer: No one.
Officials with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Department
of Energy and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security, all said their agencies are troubled by the
spread of contaminated metal and items made from it, a Scripps Howard News Service
contaminated metal objects unaccounted for in U.S : Knoxville News Sentinel
U.S. government’s only effort to hunt down castoff radioactive waste has recovered
just 4 percent of the estimated 500,000 X-ray machines, industrial sensors and
other items discarded across the country.
In the past decade, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Off-Site Source Recovery
Project in New Mexico has retrieved 21,000 items, said project manager Julia
It currently has a two-year waiting list and a 9,000-item backlog – and is fielding
requests to collect an additional 2,000 newly detected items a year.
of toxic sludge to begin arriving in Texas | Star-Telegram.com
The first trainloads of PCB-tainted sludge dredged from the Hudson River will
arrive this month and, in the eyes of critics, turn a stretch of West Texas
into New York’s “pay toilet.”
They say burying dirt so toxic that General Electric Co. will spend at least
six years and an estimated $750 million to dredge it up will create a new mess
for future generations to clean up.
But for the 15 jobs and bit of money it’ll bring local businesses, the folks
who live near the site are willing to take the risk, however remote, of tainting
the area’s groundwater with somebody else’s trash.
of consumer products found to contain low levels of radiation : Local News :
Knoxville News Sentinel
of everyday products and materials containing radioactive metals are surfacing
across the United States and around the world.
Common kitchen cheese graters, reclining chairs, women’s handbags and tableware
manufactured with contaminated metals have been identified, some after having
been in circulation for as long as a decade. So have fencing wire and fence
posts, shovel blades, elevator buttons, airline parts and steel used in construction.
Nuclear Policy News
La Ronge The Northerner – The future of uranium consultation
crowd fi lled the room for the Future of Uranium in Saskatchewan Public Consultation
Process, a process initiated by the Government of Saskatchewan; the consultation
held a meeting in La Ronge June 16.
The consultation began with the viewing of three videos, a SaskPower presentation Powering your future, which offered an overview of the ancticipated power needs for Saskatchewan in the future; a video presentation by Dr. Richard Florizone, who chaired the Uranium Development Partnership (UDP); and a video from Clean Green Saskatchewan, outlining concerns about the possible increased used of nuclear power in the province. Several people voiced concern about both the process of the consultation and the prospect of the possible building of a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan.
A major concern expressed by several people was the presentation of one option, nuclear energy, when others are available.
RWE Urges Merkel to Extend Nuclear Reactors as Election Looms – Bloomberg.com
RWE AG Chief Executive Officer Juergen Grossmann urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to scrap a plan to close Germany’s nuclear reactors, saying an extension would protect the country from fuel price swings.
“They’re a predictable part of the power-generation cost” for Germany’s industrial electricity users, Grossmann, who heads the country’s second-largest utility, said in an interview at an energy conference in Berlin yesterday. “We hope to carry on our nuclear operations in Germany.”
RWE and competitor Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG are trying to build support before Merkel’s September re-election bid. While she’s in favor of extending nuclear power plants, her Social Democratic coalition partners oppose it. If she’s able to form a partnership with the liberal Free Democratic Party, that may open the way to keeping reactors operating beyond 2021.
“We don’t need to mention that I would be in favor of extending the lifespan of nuclear power plants,” Merkel told delegates at the conference.
AFP: Medvedev seals nuclear, gas pacts with Nigeria
is ready to invest billions of dollars in Nigeria, President Dmitry Medvedev said
Wednesday as Moscow flagged up its bid to challenge Chinese and Western influence
In a first visit by a Kremlin leader to the west African energy powerhouse, the two countries signed a raft of agreements with Russian gas giant Gazprom unveiling plans to link vast reserves in Nigeria to Europe via a Trans-Saharan pipeline.
“The basis for such work for years to come has been put in place today,” Medvedev told reporters after talks with President Umaru Yar’Adua in Abuja.
“The prospects are very good,” the Kremlin chief said. Russian potential investment in Nigerian energy sector could be worth “billions of dollars.”
sees first pebble nuclear reactor by 2018 | Reuters
* In talks with potential local, foreign equity partners
* To couple power generation, industrial process heat use
JOHANNESBURG, June 23 (Reuters) – South African nuclear technology firm PBMR plans to have its first 80 megawatt (MW) power and heat processing plant based on its pebble-fuel technology by 2018, a company official said.
Tom Ferreira, a spokesman for Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR), said the timeline for the launch of the plant had been delayed after the company decided to change its designs to attract more investments and bridge a funding gap.
Sask. nurses oppose reactor for isotope development
Nurses in Saskatchewan say they appreciate the value of nuclear medicine but do not want the province to build a nuclear reactor so that it can start manufacturing medical isotopes.
The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) presented its views Tuesday to Dan Perrins, who is heading the public consultation process on uranium development on behalf of the provincial government.
Rosalee Longmore, the president of SUN, presented Perrins with a study that reviewed the medical literature on nuclear reactors. The union also released the results of an email survey of its members.
According to the union, 822 nurses responded to the two questions posed. Prior to asking the questions, the survey outlined for the nurses four examples of health concerns related to nuclear reactors.
Calvert Official Urges O’Malley To Back Constellation Energy Group’s Merger With a French Energy Giant – washingtonpost.com
A Calvert County official urged Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) on Friday to continue his support of Constellation Energy Group’s merger with a French energy giant and its plans to build a third nuclear reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Lusby.
Board of County Commissioners President Wilson H. Parran (D-Huntingtown) told O’Malley that Maryland is facing an energy shortage and that the third reactor would be a source of much-needed power. Constellation officials have said the reactor would nearly double the plant’s capacity. Parran said the project would bring hundreds of jobs to the county, plus tax revenue.
Nuclear Weapons News
Howard Hughes and the atomic bomb – Los Angeles Times
the center of a desolate valley in the middle of Nevada, more than a dozen miles
from the nearest paved road, one of the few signs of human activity is a rusty
steel well casing that juts oddly out of the desert floor.
Nobody lives here, but it has a name: the Central Nevada Test Area. It was once a hub of scientific activity. Today, it is an abandoned outpost of the Cold War.
AFP: Canada puts up cash to prevent nukes’ proliferation
Canada announced Friday it would put up 180 million dollars (156 million US) to help prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons, expanding a Russian nukes decommissioning program.
“Terrorists are actively seeking weapons of mass destruction and the materials to make them,” Cannon said. “The most effective way to prevent this is to tightly control access to weapons-usable materials.
“Projects under the Global Partnership Program will significantly reduce the threat that terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction poses to Canadians and to the entire international community,” he said.
The funding announcement came on the sidelines of a G8 foreign ministers meeting in Trieste, Italy.
Associated Press: Nixon administration pressured Israel on nukes
Inside the Nixon administration four decades ago, American officials weighed options to pressure Israel to declare that it had a nuclear weapons program.
U.S. officials concluded Israel was “actively working to improve its capability to produce nuclear weapons on short notice.”
In an unsigned National Security Council memo, prepared sometime between April 1969 and March 1970, officials worried that the program might make elusive peace with the Arabs even harder to attain.
The Associated Press: Swiss order more evidence destroyed in nuke probe
The Swiss government on Wednesday ordered the quick destruction of about 100 pages of evidence linked to an investigation of three Swiss engineers suspected of smuggling nuclear weapons technology.
The Cabinet said the documents were “the most explosive” material in a file of more than 1,000 pages related to the case against the Tinner family, which is suspected of links to the nuclear smuggling network of Abdul Qadeer Khan — the creator of Pakistan’s atomic bomb.
The documents are copies of files destroyed in 2007 under a previous order that led to protests from lawmakers and legal experts, who said the government undermined the prosecution in the smuggling case. The copies were found in prosecutors’ archives last December.
Citing security concerns and its legal obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Cabinet, or Federal Council, said that about 100 pages dealing with atomic weapons designs would be shredded shortly to keep them out of “the wrong hands.” It didn’t give a date for the destruction.
the nuclear arsenal | Pakistan
Pakistan’s nuclear programme has been under attack right from its inception. The decade of seventies saw conspiracy theories of Pakistan’s acquisition of nuclear technology clandestinely. The decades of 80s and 90s saw an orchestrated campaign to malign its programme. After being forced to cross the nuclear threshold in May 1998, Pakistan established its Nuclear Command Authority three years before India; put in place, its Strategic Plans Division (SPD) to perform functions relating to planning, coordination, and establishment of a reliable command, control, communication, and intelligence network; yet Pakistan faces a concerted campaign to instil fears regarding the security of its nuclear assets. Frederick Kagan, former West Point military historian, who devised the Bush administration’s Iraq troop surge, called for the White House to consider various options for an unstable Pakistan, including the US to consider sending elite troops to Pakistan to seize its nuclear weapons if the country descends into chaos.
The Washington Post carried a detailed report on war-games to take out Pakistan’s nukes. Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer, senior advisor to three US presidents including President Obama on Middle East and South Asian issues came up with an Op-Ed Pakistan and the bomb: How the US can divert a crisis in WSJ (May 30, 09) based on half truths, conjectures and apparent twisting of facts in pursuit of an agenda. It has been refuted by various analysts including this scribe so let it rest at that though because of Mr Bruce Riedel’s position in the US government, it may be construed that his views are reflective of the Obama administration.
FEATURE-Soviet nuclear tests still haunt Kazakhs | Markets | Reuters
Suddenly, a flash of blinding light burst on the horizon, a deafening roar ripped across the steppe and a huge nuclear mushroom cloud slowly unfurled in the sky.
This image still haunts Zheyembek Abishev who was a child when the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear bomb near his village in northern Kazakhstan where generations of his ancestors grazed horses in the quiet wilderness of the steppes.
“I was born in 1947 and the explosions started in 1949. I remember it all very clearly,” said Abishev, whose village is perched on the fringes of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
Nine subs to be scrapped – BarentsObserver
the planned nine submarines are cut up during the year, the total number of decommissioned
Russian nuclear powered submarines will reach 186, reports Izvestia with reference
to Russia’s state nuclear body Rosatom.
Last year, 15 nuclear powered submarines were decommissioned, and for next year it is planned to utilise another 10 submarines. Most of the nuclear powered submarines are decommissioned at the naval yard Zvezdotchka in Severodvinsk, but also Nerpa on the Kola Peninsula and other naval yards in Russia’s Pacific region are scrapping older submarines.
AFP: N.Korea accuses Obama of nuclear war plot
Korea has accused US President Barack Obama of plotting a nuclear war on the communist
nation by reaffirming a US assurance of security for South Korea, the North’s
state media said.
In a first official response to last week’s US-South Korean summit, the state-run weekly Tongil Sinbo said in its Saturday edition Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak “are trying to ignite a nuclear war”.
“The US-touted provision of ‘extended deterrence, including a nuclear umbrella’ (for South Korea) is nothing but ‘a nuclear war plan,'” Tongil Sinbo said.
Department of Energy News
House panel approves $26.9-billion budget for DOE
A US House of Representatives subcommittee on Thursday approved a $26.9-billion
budget for the US Department of Energy in fiscal 2010. The budget largely supports
an Obama administration proposal in May that included substantial increases
for energy efficiency and renewable energy and a reversal in DOE’s plans for
a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. It includes $2.2 billion for DOE’s energy-efficiency
and renewable-energy programs, which was $69 million short of the administration’s
request, but $321 million more than the department is spending on such activities
in fiscal 2009, according to House Appropriations Committee data.
Watchman – Waverly, OH > DOE seeks contractor for DUF6
The Department of Energy (DOE) last week released a request for proposals (RFP)
for a contractor to perform Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) Operations
at the two DUF6 conversion facilities at Piketon and Paducah, Kentucky.
The procurement will be for a single contractor to be awarded two cost-plus-award-fee
contracts. The contract period will be for five years with a total estimated
cost for the two contracts of $350-450 million.
These facilities will convert DOE’s inventory of DUF6, located at the Portsmouth
and Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plants, into a stable chemical form that will
be acceptable for transportation, reuse or disposal.
The contractor will also provide cylinder surveillance and maintenance of the
DUF6, low-enrichment uranium hexafluoride (UF6) and natural assay UF6 as well
as empty the cylinders that store the DUF6 in a safe and environmentally acceptable
The contracts are expected to be awarded in 2010
loading at Y-12 facility predicted for March 2010 | knoxnews.com
to the latest info from the National Nuclear Security Administration’s office
in Oak Ridge, the initial loading of highly enriched uranium into Y-12’s new
high-security storage facility is planned for March 2010.
Federal spokesman Steven Wyatt said that work would begin “following authorization
to startup.” But there’s a lot of work that remains to be done before the
new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility is ready — even though construction
of the $549 million fortress was essentially completed in September 2008.
Demonstrate Against Demolition of Lab’s Bevatron – The Daily Californian
number of residents held a press conference in Downtown Berkeley Tuesday evening
to protest the demolition of a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory building
known to contain radioactive materials.
Concrete shielding blocks in the Bevatron, the lab’s 180-foot particle accelerator,
became mildly radioactive during the past 40 years of use.
Residents voiced concerns in front of Old City Hall that transporting these
materials may affect the health of Berkeley residents and cause damage to roads.
List of DOE facilities covered by the EEOICPA
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000, as amended
AGENCY: Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Employment Standards Administration,
Labor. ACTION: Notice of revision of listing of covered Department of Energy
SUMMARY: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is publishing
a list of Department of Energy (DOE) facilities covered under the Energy Employees
Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000, as amended (EEOICPA).
This notice revises the listing of DOE facilities that was included as part
of the list of covered facilities last published by DOE on August 23, 2004 (69
FR 51825) to include the determinations made by OWCP on this subject through
June 23, 2009.
decides on how to decommission 4 reactors – The Augusta Chronicle
After years of study into the best way to decommission Savannah River Site’s
obsolete Cold War nuclear reactors, the Energy Department has settled on a plan
to fill them with concrete and leave them in place forever.
According to an Environmental Bulletin published Friday, the department’s Early
Action Proposed Plan — which is out for public comment through Aug. 3 — involves
“in-situ” (in-place) decommissioning as the preferred option for C,
K, L and R reactors.
Such a plan, which is similar to one in place for P-Reactor, involves removing
portions of the reactor buildings and maintaining the structural integrity of
above-ground portions for at least 200 years, the bulletin said.
Field Lab pollution hazards endure – LA Daily News
Before they learned words like dioxin and perchlorate, mothers let sons and
daughters play near streams that trickled down from hills that hid some of the
government’s biggest secrets.
Families who settled in neighborhoods blooming in Chatsworth, West Hills and
Simi Valley led idyllic lives, even when their bedroom and kitchen windows rattled
from the roar of rocket engines being tested at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory
in the Simi Hills.
But in May 1989, surveys from the Department of Energy – reported exclusively
in the Daily News – revealed that radioactive and toxic contamination from decades
of nuclear experiments and rocket tests had leaked into soil, groundwater and
bedrock at the hilltop site.
Other Energy News
Landmark Waxman-Markey Climate and Energy Bill Clears House | Union of Concerned Scientists
The House of Representatives today passed the first comprehensive climate and energy bill, the “American Clean Energy and Security Act,” by a 219 to 212 vote. Below is a statement by Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“We’re thrilled that Congress has finally caught up with science and the American people in recognizing the need to switch on clean energy. Our future is now looking more like the Jetsons and less like the Flintstones.
Public Citizen – Climate Change Bill Must Be Strengthened
Climate change legislation that narrowly passed the House of Representatives late Friday must be strengthened. The legislation will not solve our climate crisis but will enrich already powerful oil, coal and nuclear power companies.
President Obama got it right when he announced in February his plan to impose strict new limits on greenhouse gas emissions and require polluters to pay. But HR 2454 enshrines a new legal right to pollute and gives away 85 percent of the credits to that right to polluters.
The Senate should do the following:
Daily Kos: What Chance Does ACES Have in the Senate?
On June 26, the American Clean Energy and Security Act passed the House 219 to
212 in a partisan vote that saw 44 Democratic representatives vote against the
bill. 8 Republican representatives crossed party lines and voted for it. By the
time Waxman-Markey bill got out of committee, it was a very different animal –
loaded down with compromises, exceptions, and special favors. It was so compromised
that Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth urged progressive representatives to
vote against it.
In fact, Dennis Kucinich and Pete DeFazio voted against the bill because it had become so bloated. DeFazio stated:
“There’s an unholy alliance of big business, some environmental groups and Wall Street” backing cap-and-trade, said DeFazio, comparing the scheme to the deregulation of the electricity markets that ultimately led to soaring rates in some states. “Wall Street is excited about another thinly regulated market.”
Associated Press: House passes major energy-climate bill
a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House narrowly
passed sweeping legislation Friday that calls for the nation’s first limits on
pollution linked to global warming and aims to usher in a new era of cleaner,
yet more costly energy.
The vote was 219-212, capping months of negotiations and days of intense bargaining among Democrats. Republicans were overwhelmingly against the measure, arguing it would destroy jobs in the midst of a recession while burdening consumers with a new tax in the form of higher energy costs.
At the White House, Obama said the bill would create jobs, and added that with its vote, the House had put America on a path toward leading the way toward “creating a 21st century global economy.”
wind farms could meet a quarter of the UK’s electricity needs | guardian.co.uk
UK’s seas could provide enough extra wind energy to power the equivalent of 19m
homes, according to an assessment by the government.
The government’s strategic environmental assessment (Sea) confirmed projections that an extra 25GW of electricity generation capacity could be accommodated in UK waters.
This would be in addition to the 8GW of wind power already built or planned offshore, bringing the potential total electricity capacity of offshore wind to 33GW – enough to power every household in the UK.
AFP: Wildcat strikes spread at British power plants
strikes spread to oil refineries and power plants across Britain on Tuesday, after
hundreds of workers were sacked, media reports and company officials said.
Thousands of workers demonstrated outside the Lindsey terminal in Lincolnshire, northeastern England, where almost 650 contract workers were sacked by French oil giant Total last week.
“As far as we are concerned, they are victimised and locked-out people, and it is an official dispute from the moment those notices arrived,” said Paul Kenny, head of the GMB union.
In a statement, Total called for unions to resume talks over the sacking of 647 workers.
“Total is actively encouraging talks to be opened between its contractors and the unions about how to facilitate the return to work of its contracting companies? former workforces,” the French company said.
Nuclear Editorial and Opinions
Steve Kirsch: Climate Bill Ignores Our Biggest Clean Energy Source
Do you think our country’s energy policy is in good hands now that the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) climate bill has passed the House? I’m very worried and I think you should be too. Experts fret about balancing energy, environment, and the economy. But there is a way to have all three at the same time if we are willing to take a fresh look at an old technology. And that great solution is nowhere to be found in the ACES bill.
First, let’s start by assuming science of global warming is correct. We’ll see later that we’d want to do exactly the same thing even if we didn’t believe in global warming at all.
To stop global warming, we must virtually eliminate the use of coal worldwide
Time to go – Bennington Banner
It’s another peaceful day in rural Vermont. Nothing new for most folks, because just about every day is a peaceful day in Vermont. But the day will not end peacefully.
The sirens break the silence that was previously only interrupted by an occasional bird singing merrily on a tree branch. Funny, we weren’t told that they were going to be doing another drill.
They just did one a short while ago. Usually they tell us when they’re going to do a drill so we are ready for it.
Wonder why nothing was said about this one?
In the last drill, it turned out the telephone lines weren’t working.
nuclear energy to augment water supply | Argus Leader
Desalination might become increasingly necessary if severe drought continues in the United States. This process of removing salt from seawater will require an abundant, clean energy source with a secure domestic supply that avoids the emission of greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy is that source, and the good news is that the technology for nuclear desalination is proven and available.
The Lewis and Clark project demonstrates that easily accessible water resources cannot fully support the anticipated future demand for crops, livestock, industry and people. In fact, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, many water resources across North America already are heavily used by industry and agriculture in addition to drinking water and electricity production. The fresh-water supply in Western states is susceptible to an extended drought that would reduce rainfall and the Rocky Mountain snowpack, both of which feed the Missouri River.
Nuclear power poses many problems – Salt Lake Tribune
There has been significant discussion in The Tribune recently regarding the energy policy positions of some of our congressional delegates, especially Rep. Rob Bishop and Sen. Bob Bennett. It is time to bring consideration of hard realities to bear on these topics, realities that are often overlooked by elected officials.
Both Bishop and Bennett call for the construction of 100 new nuclear power plants, roughly doubling current U.S. capacity. Nuclear power certainly has its benefits, chief among them low to zero CO2 emissions, and modern plants have excellent safety records. There are multiple problems, however.
The Prince Albert Daily Herald: Letters | Taxpayers will pay dearly for nuclear power
The proposed nuclear reactor is going to cost Bruce Power a lot of money. Guess again. The private sector does not invest in nuclear power – for good reason: the public will be on the hook for many generations for the biggest part of the costs.
Nuclear power plants are usually over budget and start up behind schedule. If power is needed in the meantime, we will have to purchase elsewhere. It would be 10 years or likely more before a nuclear plant starts producing electricity.
Construction of power grids to export to possibly Alberta and the U.S. will be a large expense – estimated at $1 billion, again largely at public expense.
Power backup for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and refurbishing is necessary. Note that eight nuclear power plants were once shut down for a whole decade in Ontario. The UDP report says that nuclear is compatible with ‘clean’ coal. It better be, as coal will be required when the huge, equally highly centralized nuclear system goes down. Note that there is not an operational clean coal plant on the planet. $1.4 billion plus of our money is being spent on an experimental project to produce only 100 MW of clean coal power. What if it does not work or is too costly to expand? Where does the backup power come from? Old dirty coal that will cost us in carbon charges?
The Patagonia Times – Patagonia News – WHAT’S SO BAD ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER?
(Ed. Note: Writer Art Hobson is a retired physics professor from the University of Arkansas and an old friend of Santiago Times publisher Steve Anderson. In this article Hobson makes the case for nuclear energy – an issue that is very much in the news in Chile.
The Santiago Times respectfully disagrees with Hobson’s conclusion that – given the world’s current and very urgent climate change plight – there are few alternatives as good as nuclear energy. Hobson’s argument may hold for some parts of the world, but not for Chile.
Why? Because Chile is different, with more renewable energy potential than almost any other country on earth: huge coastline, dozens of rivers, a remarkable Atacama desert.
And because a quantum jump by Chile to wind, solar and run of the river energy sources would show other developing nations the real economic benefits and job creation potential that comes with a truly radical commitment to renewable energy. Chile could and should be a world leader in renewable energy development.
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