Twice as much Fukushima radiation near California coast than originally reported; Highest levels found anywhere in Eastern Pacific — Scientist: Very little we can do… It’s unprecedented… God forbid anything else happens — Gundersen: Multiple plumes now along west coast… Will be coming “for century or more” (AUDIO)

Published: November 20th, 2014 at 8:45 pm ET


Seattle Post Intelligencer, Nov 11, 2014 (emphasis added): Mike Priddy, supervisor of Washington’s Environmental Sciences Section [wrote] in an email exchange today: “… if the water has radioactive material in it at any level, coming into contact with it will cause the contamination to transfer. That said, the levels… pose no real health affects… whether you come in contact with the water or somehow casually ingest it. The levels I have seen in seawater are interesting from a scientific point of view, but well below health concerns.”

KHUM, Nov. 12, 2014 — Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (10:00 in): In winter time… offshore waters might move inshore… I’m hoping to get samples… as this plume moves its way maybe on to shore.

Take Two Show, Nov. 14, 2014 — Host: The thing that I read that did do a good job of reassuring me was a comparison to a dental x-ray. Maybe tell us that one? Buesseler: We’re comparing to a dental x-ray because that’s something people experience and choose to do… The risk is never zero, any additional radioactivity can cause additional cancers… There’s really very little we can do once its in the ocean. Fukushima was an unprecedented event… God forbid something happens today, it’s pretty unstable off Japan.

Santa Rosa Press Demiocrat, Nov 11, 2014: [Dan Sythe, CEO of International Medcom] shares Buesseler’s concern that the federal government is not monitoring… Some people are “on edge” about the prospect of Fukushima radiation reaching them, he said. The radiation now reaching California is at the front edge of the plume, and Buesseler said the concentration is expected to increase [for] the next two to three years. But it’s worrisome, he said, that what’s happening now in Japan will reach North America in about three years.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — Current Results:

  • Nov. 10, 2014 — Sample F#5049 (offshore Calif.): Cs134 @ 0.8 Bq/m³; Cs137 @ 6.9 Bq/m³
  • Nov. 15, 2014 — Sample F#5049 (offshore Calif.): Cs134 @ 1.7 Bq/m³; Cs137 @ 6.9 Bq/m³

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen, Radio Ecoshock, Oct. 29, 2014 (23:30 in): [In addition to the radioactive plume off the Canadian coast], there’s also another plume heading a little bit further south, down near Oregon coast into California… We are not at the peak, it’s still coming, and it will continue to come as long as Fukushima continues to bleed into the Pacific, we’re seeing the beginning of this… The problem is that the fish that live in that water bioaccumulate that material.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen, Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (31:45 in): [Fukushima is] going to bleed for decades, if not centuries [into the Pacific]… There will still be a huge residual amount of radiation in the soil and in the groundwater so that the site will continue to bleed into the Pacific a century or more.

Nuclear Hotseat interview here | Radio Ecoshock interview here

Published: November 20th, 2014 at 8:45 pm ET


262 comments to Twice as much Fukushima radiation near California coast than originally reported; Highest levels found anywhere in Eastern Pacific — Scientist: Very little we can do… It’s unprecedented… God forbid anything else happens — Gundersen: Multiple plumes now along west coast… Will be coming “for century or more” (AUDIO)

  • rogerthat

    For those with an infinity of time to spare: I have no idea what's in here and have no intention of looking:

    Reports to Congress
    Signed: Friday, November 21st, 2014
    FY 2014 Performance and Accountability Report

    Formal Safety Recommendations to the Department of Energy with subsequent responses

    Letters and Correspondence
    All communication between the DNFSB, the Department of Energy, Congress and other entities

    Technical Reports, Staff Issue Reports, Reports to Congress, Site Rep Weekly Reports and more
    Site Rep Weekly Reports
    Technical Reports
    Staff Issue Reports
    Reports to Congress

    DOE Orders of Interest

    Public Hearings and Meetings
    Notices, Agendas, Transcripts, Speaker Bios and Presentations of DNFSB Public Hearings
    Board Member Testimonies, Speeches and Other Public Statements

    Legal testimonies, statements and speeches given by Board Members to Congress and the public

    Press Releases

    Board Member Confirmations, Site Representative Designations and general announcements about the DNFSB

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  • rogerthat
    Nov 21

    MOSCOW, November 21 (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — Although Russia has completed a notable amount of initiatives to liquidate its nuclear legacy, there is still much to be done by the country, an official from Rostechnadzor, the agency with Russia's nuclear safety among its responsibilities, told Sputnik Friday.

    "We have managed to do a lot. Several dozens of nuclear legacy objects are already decommissioned. But there is still a lot of work to be done, because more than 100 objects as of today are shut down and they should be prepared for decommissioning… There are several thousands of such objects," Yevgeny Kudryavtsev, the head of Rostechnadzor's department for safety regulation of nuclear fuel cycle facilities, nuclear power installations of vessels and radiation hazardous facilities, told Sputnik in an interview.

    "Therefore, the government has decided to extend the program on ensuring nuclear and radiation safety in Russia, at first till 2025, according to the latest data — until 2030," the department head added.

    Kudryavtsev, who participated in the Moscow International Workshop on Regulatory Control on Nuclear Legacy Sites and Radioactive Waste Management, said the agency's work began "in 2008, when the federal program came into effect ensuring nuclear and radiation safety for the period from 2008 to 2015. As part of this program more than 130 billion rubles [$2.8 billion] has been…

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    • rogerthat

      allocated to tackle priorities that include the field of nuclear legacy."

      "The issue was suspended. Safety was maintained [on the objects] but no one was engaged in liquidation, decommissioning," Kudryavtsev said, explaining the situation before 2008.

      Besides Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and France are among the countries facing serious issues surrounding the liquidation of their nuclear legacies, the official said.

      "The largest nuclear legacy is in those countries which have been developing and testing nuclear weapons, being involved in the arms race," Kudryavtsev told Sputnik.

      The United States, USSR, United Kingdom and France were the first four countries to develop nuclear weapons, having tested them in 1945, 1949, 1952 and 1960 respectively.

      As for the United States, Kudryavtsev said that the country has "been engaged with its program for approximately 25 years, has spent much more than $100 billion on eliminating its nuclear legacy and has eliminated … about 75 percent of its nuclear legacy. It plans to finish [its work] by 2050 with a huge complex being built for processing of nuclear waste at the Hanford site."

      The United Kingdom, according to the department head, "also has serious problems. They also provide substantial amounts, several billion pounds a year to eliminate their nuclear legacy. In fact, they took …

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    • rogerthat

      a long time to prepare the plans for nuclear legacy elimination."

      "The French, too, are actively working to eliminate their nuclear legacy in Marcoule, where they had received their first weapons-grade plutonium. … They also provide large enough sums, but compared with the United States, United Kingdom and Russia, the scope of the problems in France is much smaller," Kudryavtsev concluded.

      The International Workshop on Regulatory Control on Nuclear Legacy Sites and Radioactive Waste Management under the aegis of IAEA took place in Moscow on November 19-21. It is mainly devoted to the regulatory aspects of decommissioning and rehabilitation of uranium mining facilities as well as other radioactive waste management and control issues. Russia's Rostechnadzor hosted the workshop with the involvement of specialists from the country's Federal Medical and Biological Agency.

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  • rogerthat

    off topic, but what ho, anything for a bit of light relief:

    Millions of Gallons of Human Waste Dumped in Dessert

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  • rogerthat

    Labour seeks probe of Hinkley Point C nuclear project via The Financial Times

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  • rogerthat

    Fire at Dounreay led to release of radioactivity
    By Steven McKenzie
    BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    A fire in part of Dounreay's Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR) facility last month led to an "unauthorised release" of radioactivity into the environment.

    Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) said "procedural non-compliances and behavioural practices" by staff led to the incident on 7 October.

    DSRL said trace amounts of tritium were released…

    The Scottish Environment Protect Agency allows DSRL to discharge specified amounts of a gaseous waste called krypton-85 into the atmosphere…

    Levels of the gas increased in 2012 compared to 2011 due to work to decommission Dounreay's fast reactor and prototype fast reactor.

    Since then, radioactivity in the environment around Dounreay has been found in low and ever decreasing concentrations, according to DSRL.

    The reactor ceased operating in 1994 and is more than halfway through a process of being decommissioned.

    More than 1,500 tonnes of sodium, a material used when the reactor was in operation, has been safely destroyed so far. The fire occurred in a building where tanks are used to store sodium…

    The incident happened on the same day a blaze broke out on a ship transporting radioactive waste from Dounreay to Belgium…

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    • rogerthat

      24 June 2014
      Massive Dounreay radioactive material store completed

      The first of two massive vaults where low-level radioactive material will be stored on the far north Caithness coast has been completed…

      Each vault will be able to hold the equivalent of between 370 and 450 double decker buses.

      The floor of the vault is 36ft (11m) below ground…
      The Dounreay experimental nuclear power plant was built in the 1950s…
      the site (will be) cleaned up by 2025.

      The land where the vaults are located will remain a restricted area for 300 years after that date because of the radioactive material stored inside the facilities.

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  • rogerthat

    Employees couldn't hear audio alarm, couldn't see visual alarm
    Nov 19

    The slow response to the fire is troubling, since the facility trained to fight them just this summer…

    (In) June, the Kori Nuclear Power Plant ran a fire drill in the headquarters building to train its employees on early fire extinguishing skills and test the disaster manual. About 300 employees, firemen, and security guards at Kori Nuclear power plant participated in the drill…

    On Aug. 25, a localized torrential downpour of over 100 mm per hour in Busan City resulted in rainwater infiltrating one of its annexes, and the corporation had to close the facilities…

    At that time, the corporation covered up the incident by saying, “We shut down the facilities just in case, and this has nothing to do with the safety of the power station.” However, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission’s following report read, “The manual shutdown of the reactor was because of the malfunctioning of four of the circulation water pumps, attributable to the heavy rain.”

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    • rogerthat

      Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Significantly Cuts Nuclear Safety Budget
      Oct 22
      Jung Yeon-jin

      Korea’s national budget for disaster preparedness has been (cut) in spite of the increasing importance of nuclear accident prevention.

      “The amount of the budget increased from US$1.9 million to $9.4 million between 2011 and 2012, but dropped to $2.6 million in 2013, and $1.7 million for the first half of this year,” said ruling Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Jung-hyun … He added that equipment such as radiation meters were purchased in quantity immediately after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, but disaster prevention has been laid aside recently.

      Nevertheless, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power has spent approximately 10 billion won each year for publicity purposes, including 11.8 billion won ($11.2 million) in 2012 alone.

      “It is important and necessary to tell the people about the safety of nuclear power generation, but efforts for accident prevention cannot be neglected, either,” the lawmaker pointed out, continuing, “More investment has to be made in the establishment of disaster prevention systems and education and training…''

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      • rogerthat

        In the meantime, there have been 684 accidents and failures in the 23 atomic power stations currently in operation in Korea. Out of those, 130 were in the 37-year-old Gori Unit 1, which had its service life extended by 10 years in 2007.

        It was followed by Gori Unit 2 (63 cases), Gori Unit 3 (52 cases), and Wolseong Unit 1 (52 cases). Nuclear power plants in Korea were halted for 737.2 days combined in 2011, but the number increased to 1,412.6 days in the following year and then to 1,948.6 days in 2013.

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  • rogerthat

    … Representing Clean Energy America, an organization sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Institute…

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  • rogerthat


    Credit DOE
    The Paducah Area Community Reuse Organization expects the U.S. Department of Energy to spend about $359 million on the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant cleanup for 2015…

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  • rogerthat

    Southern California utility customers will pay $3.3 billion in costs associated with the early shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, under a settlement approved Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission…

    San Onofre was retired in 2013 because of the rapid degradation of its newly installed steam generators…

    Several consumer groups objected to making a deal without first delving into Edison’s responsibility in the steam generator failures.

    “Until you have the examination of that issue, you cannot fairly adjust the burden of the long-term costs of San Onofre,” said attorney Michael Aguirre, who filed a federal lawsuit earlier this month against the commission and Edison seeking $3 billion in restitution to utility customers…

    Edison has been cited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for failing to properly check the design of the generators. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the manufacturer, was cited for flawed computer codes used in the design phase. Inside the generators, steam flows produced violent vibrations and rapid wear among tubes carrying radioactive water — eventually triggering a small radiation leak that shut the plant down.

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  • rogerthat

    TEPCO gives up on freezing tainted water
    Nov. 21, 2014

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is drastically changing its plan to remove highly radioactive water from underground tunnels at the facility.

    The tunnels have been inundated with water from the plant's heavily contaminated reactor buildings.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, this year began work to freeze water at the ends of the tunnels to block the inflow. The firm finished the work early this month.

    But TEPCO officials found that water levels in the tunnels were still changing in sync with volumes in the reactor buildings.

    The officials admitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday that the tunnels hadn't been plugged.

    They said they're giving up on the plan, and proposed pouring cement into the flooded tunnels while removing water from them. They said they want this done from late November.

    The authority's commissioners asked whether the new method can really halt the inflow. They also spoke of the risk of cracks forming in cement.

    The authority approved TEPCO's plan in the end, on condition that the procedure be halted in late December to see whether it's working.

    Commenting on the change, one commissioner asked what all the trouble over the past months was for.

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  • rogerthat

    Fukushima village holds N-crisis drill

    The Yomiuri Shimbun
    November 22, 2014
    Jiji Press

    KAWAUCHI, Fukushima (Jiji Press) — An evacuation drill took place in the Fukushima Prefecture village of Kawauchi on Saturday, based on the scenario of a serious accident occurring at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

    It was the first such exercise in the prefecture since the plant’s triple meltdown in March 2011.

    About 260 residents and roughly 1,000 officials from local governments and the Nuclear Regulation Authority took part in the drill, which was organized by the prefectural and Kawauchi municipal governments.

    Emergency procedures were carried out based on a mock scenario in which the plant’s No. 3 reactor had lost its fuel pool cooling functions in the aftermath of an earthquake measuring upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7.

    Assuming that radioactive materials had spread from the plant and radiation levels of 20 microsieverts per hour were detected in the village, the residents took shelter at evacuation centers in the nearby cities of Tamura and Koriyama.

    At a Kawauchi elementary school, municipal officials explained to 27 students the importance of wearing masks when evacuating in the event of a nuclear crisis, and the students moved …

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  • rogerthat

    Two Fukushima elephants come for winter holiday

    Okinawa Kodomo-no Kuni Zoo & Museum will welcome two of Asian elephants from Tohoku Safari Park in Fukushima Prefecture as winter guests.

    The pachyderms will be in Okinawa Zoo from Dec. 1st through the end of March, as the temperatures during winter months in Fukushima will go sub-zero.

    Zookeepers in Fukushima are concerned that in Fukushima, as the Asian elephants can’t go out much because of cold, the lack of exercise could cause some kind of injury for them.

    Both elephants are female. One is 27 and the other 21 years old. These two elephants came from Laos in 2014 to cheer up children of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami disaster area.

    During the past two winters, they were moved to Tochigi Prefecture, but officials said that heating costs in the elephants’ enclosure have increased too high so it’s cheaper to bring them to Okinawa for their winter ‘holiday.’

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  • rogerthat

    Beyond Nuclear before ASLB to stop last Mark I "Fukushima" reactor relicensing

    Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste Michigan, Citizens' Resistance at Fermi 2 (CRAFT), and Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario argued before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in Monroe Michigan on November 20, that the aging Fermi 2 nuclear reactor should not receive a 20-year license extension.

    Fermi 2 is the last of the U.S. fleet of Mark I reactors to request a license extension. The U.S. Mark I is the same design as the GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactors that exploded and melted down at Fukushima Daiichi.

    The groups were there to defend their contentions against the relicensing of Fermi 2.

    Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear (pictured at the table third from right) raised a concern that Fermi 2 should install a filter on a containment vent to remove any radioactive particles that may escape into the environment in the event of a severe accident, which he said wasn’t considered in DTE’s analysis.

    “Containment vents can fail early, and that may result in uncontrolled releases of radioactive particles,” Mr. Gunter said.

    “This can lead to population relocation and land contamination that carries a health impact with it.” Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps told NPR in an interview:

    "Fermi 2 presents a serious danger to life, property, and the environment.You've got a dangerous reactor design. You've got an inadequate containment…

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  • rogerthat

    Diet passes legislation to remove nuclear waste from Fukushima in 30 years
    November 20, 2014 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

    The Diet passed a bill Nov. 19 mandating that radioactive soil and debris from the Fukushima decontamination work be moved outside the prefecture within 30 years, a step toward building interim storage facilities for the waste.

    The law amendment was one of the five conditions set in September when the Fukushima prefectural government agreed to accept interim facilities to store contaminated waste collected during cleanup efforts around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

    Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki praised the legislation as a “major step forward.” However, hurdles remain high for the interim facilities–planned in Okuma and Futaba near the nuclear plant–to start accepting the waste in January as scheduled.

    The bill amends a law regulating operations of the government-affiliated Japan Environmental Safety Corp. (JESCO), which is commissioned to dispose of used polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).

    The revised law stipulates the government will take necessary measures to remove waste from the prefecture for final disposal within 30 years after the interim facilities

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    • rogerthat

      … start operations. It also holds the government responsible for running the interim waste storage facilities and commissions JESCO to operate them.

      Among the other conditions set by Fukushima Prefecture, the central government has agreed to earmark construction-related subsidies in its budget and take charge of the operation and maintenance of traffic routes for carrying in the waste.

      One big problem for the government, however, is purchasing land for the facilities. The planned construction zone stretches 16 square kilometers, comprising 2,365 land plots belonging to individual owners.

      As of the end of September, the government has located the whereabouts of only 1,269 landowners, partly because they live outside their properties as evacuees.

      The government first plans to create temporary storage sites on individual land plots it purchases to start accepting radioactive waste there as early as possible. But it has not reached a purchase or lease agreement with a single landowner.

      Taking into account this stumbling block, reconstruction minister Wataru Takeshita said Nov. 7 that the government’s plan to open the interim storage facilities in January will likely be pushed back.

      (This article was written by Teru Okumura and Takuro Negishi.)

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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Tepco fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches
    Nov 20 2014

    "Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted failure Friday in its bid to halt the flow of toxic water into underground tunnels alongside the ocean at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and said that it will try using a specially developed cement instead.

    Some 11,000 tons of highly radioactive water have accumulated in the tunnels, trenches dug to house pipes and cables that are connected to the reactor 2 and 3 turbine buildings of the wrecked facility, according to Tepco.

    There are fears that this toxic buildup, which is being caused by the jury-rigged cooling system and groundwater seepage in the reactor basements, could pour into the Pacific, which is already being polluted by other radioactive leaks. Groundwater is entering the complex at 400 tons a day."

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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    11,000 tons? 400 tons?
    As if ..they can exactly calculate the amount of ground water flowing under Fukushima Npp.
    Groundwater is flowing at an increasing rate in the trenches the geological disturbance/subsidence allows for.

    And it's 'Jerry-rigged'! An old racist expression that implying 'black people' ..patched it together …therefore lousy work.
    Partial political correctness…
    They ought to leave the phrase alone..

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    • truthpandemic truthpandemic

      Hello heart, glad to finally be able to give you some knowledge ;)
      I just listened to a nuclear hotseat episode with arnie g. They discussed the numbers of tons of groundwater flowing under the plant. They know because during excavation and construction of fukushima they had to pump out all the water to allow the foundation to set.
      Hope this helps :)

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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Conservationists Are United On Fukushima Threat To Oceans
    Sellafield and La Hague plants pose real danger
    Nov 21 2011

    Here we have a top story.
    Enclosed…Chris Busby's hypothesis …basically stating he expects little damage to be Pacific…via the contamination ..from Fukushima.
    Other causes warming ..pollution and over-fishing to be the real detriment…
    But..oh..Sellafield ..the Hague.

    "Green Party spokesperson Elizabeth Whitebread agrees that overfishing, industrial pollution, and climate change pose huge threats, “as does poor governance, particularly on the high seas.”

    Green wonder I don't speak to them..

    (The united conservationists ..seem to be three in number ..a deceptive title isn't it?)

    I'll start my response.. supporting my hypothesis.
    Key phrases: Decay HEAT , radiation exposure induced low-immunity..
    on-going contamination via the Kuroshiro and other Pacific currents.

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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And then there's MarineChemist ..busy pulling peer reviewed papers out …and waving them about
    Comparing peer reviewed papers ..from official sources ..via wordage.
    We all know what 'peer-reviewed' means it modern times ..
    It means the lies ..academia is told/choses to go with.

    I want to talk about U-238.

    Uranium-238 spiked to 50 times normal levels in Hawaii air after Fukushima disaster — EPA changed unit of measurement after decades
    Oct 28 2012

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  • rogerthat

    … it's nuclear technology's link with humankind for the bad and good that Professor O'Brian and curator Marianne Templeton wished to explore in their jointly-organised exhibition entitled After the Flash: Photography from the Atomic Archive…

    The images provoke questions on humankind's relation with nuclear technology, and the exhibition explores some of the complexities of the nuclear age in ways that might never have crossed the viewer's mind…

    "You can't learn anything from a mushroom cloud — you don't see the people who have been killed or the damage that has been wrought," he said. "This is the kind of imagery that has become widespread in the media. The mushroom cloud has become a logo of the atomic age."…

    After the Flash: Photography from the Atomic Archive is on display at the Work Gallery until 20 December 2014

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  • rogerthat

    The "Forgotten" Uranium Isotope
    Secrets of the UK Nuclear Bomb Tests Revealed
    Secret documents released to me as a result of an order by the Judge in the nuclear test veteran pension appeals (the late HH Hugh Stubbs) reveal valuable evidence about uranium in fallout.

    The documents show that fallout from atmospheric nuclear testing contains enormous amounts of uranium. This should be no surprise as nuclear bombs contain a lot of uranium, and most of it remains unfissioned after a nuclear explosion.

    But what will come as news to a great many people is the importance in the fallout of an isotope of uranium that few of us have even heard of: uranium-234, a highly radioactive alpha emitter which concentrates in the ‘enriched uranium’ (EU) used in nuclear bombs….

    This article originally appeared in the Ecologist.

    - it's worth reading, if you haven't seen it before

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  • rogerthat

    The Telegraph
    Nov 22
    Nuclear power may not be needed, says top atomic advocate

    Sir David King, former chief scientist and champion of the nuclear newbuild, says the top priority must be to develop storage for renewable energy, reports Geoffrey Lean.

    … while he said a lot about the promise of renewable energy, he said almost nothing about nuclear power – despite for long having been one of its foremost and most influential advocates in Britain, describing it, for example, as a “massive economic opportunity” for the country.

    So I got up and asked him about it, expecting the same pro-nuclear response as I had heard from him many times before.

    Instead he amazed me by suggesting that Britain “might well” be able to do without atomic power altogether, and that the real priority should be on developing ways of storing electricity so as to be able to depend on famously intermittent sun and wind.

    “We have to keep reassessing the situation”, he said. “I believe that what we need, more than anything, is a surge of activity to develop energy storage capability …. Once we can do that technologically, why would we not just keep with renewables.”…

    For a country like India, with plenty of sunlight and deserts where it can be collected, he went on, “there’s no reason” for it not to go “directly wholesale into solar energy”. …

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    • rogerthat

      After all it was already “three to four times” cheaper to provide villages unconnected to the grid in India and China with solar electric panels and batteries than to connect them up….

      “if we can get the costs down we might well manage our future basically on renewable energy and energy storage”…

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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And that's the thing..
    Busby knows this…

    The 'forgotten' uranium isotope – secrets of the nuclear bomb tests revealed
    NOV 4 2014 (!)

    Papers reluctantly released by the UK Government in the bomb test veterans' legal case for compensation reveal what it has long denied, writes Chris Busby – that bomb fallout is rich in uranium, and that most of its radioactivity is concentrated in the 'forgotten' but highly active isotope U-234, explaining much of the substantial, long term damage to veterans' health.

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  • rogerthat

    Opinion / Readers' Letters
    Nuclear consensus was achieved

    Nov 20 2014
    Re: Nuclear head open to all waste options, Nov. 18

    This story quotes John Barrett of the Canadian Nuclear Association as saying, “There’s no consensus either among the public or in the industry itself about the best place to store nuclear waste.”

    Let me remind Mr. Barrett that the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) led an extensive public dialogue all across Canada and talking to people from all walks of life before devising the scheme “adaptive phased management” for eventually disposing of used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository.

    The scheme was endorsed by Parliament in 2007 and the NWMO has since been seeking a community willing to host the repository – again involving dialogue with citizens in the communities who have come forward to seek more information.

    In spite of the NWMO’s efforts, Mr. Barrett disagrees that there is consensus. I wonder how his apparently more informed insight into public opinion was achieved.

    Derek Lister, Fredericton, N.B.

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  • rogerthat

    Residents turn out to get free potassium iodide pills in case of nuclear disaster

    The free potassium iodide pills can be used in event of a nuclear power plant disaster

    By Brett Sholtis @BrettSholtis on Twitter

    It's a situation most people would rather not think about: a radiological disaster.

    But with Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant in southern York County and Three Mile Island nearby in Dauphin County, some York countians came out Thursday to get pills that would help protect them in case of a nuclear emergency.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health distributed the pills Thursday at designated locations..

    Neil Sheehan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman, said the national potassium iodide distribution program began in 2001 as a way "to supplement sheltering and evacuation in the unlikely event of a severe nuclear power plant accident." …

    Dr. Glenda Cardillo, Pennsylvania Department of Health public health physician, said …
    In an emergency situation, … the governor would advise residents to consume the pills and evacuate the area.

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  • rogerthat

    … Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education interviews independent international energy and nuclear policy consultant Mycle Schneider …

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  • rogerthat

    Project Scope
    An ad hoc committee will conduct a study and prepare a report with findings and recommendations on the current status of and progress toward eliminating highly enriched uranium (HEU) use in fuel for civilian research and test reactors.

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  • rogerthat

    Washington Department of Ecology
    is on Facebook.
    To connect with Washington Department of Ecology, sign up for Facebook today.

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  • rogerthat

    First Nations Say No to Uranium Mining in Quebec: Will March 850 km (528 mi) in Protest

    22 Nov 2014

    Stop uranium projects: No to uranium exploration; no to uranium exploitation, in Quebec, First Nations say. They reaffirm their opposition to proposed uranium mining and will walk to Montreal to deliver their message.

    “We consider that the risks related to uranium development are too great and the potential benefits to the community too uncertain to warrant our support.

    One of our main preoccupations with uranium is that the residues from extracting and transforming the ore involve permanent management, yet no company can commit to being responsible for this waste beyond a human timeframe.“, July 14, 2014, Chief Richard Shecapio of the Cree Nation of Mistissini to Quebec’s BAPE.

    “I am here to affirm the Cree Nation’s position regarding uranium./ Uranium exploration, uranium exploitation and uranium waste emplacement are issues of pressing concern for my people.

    ''Our position is clear: uranium development is not welcome in our territory, Eeyou Istchee.

    ''We oppose uranium mining because the environmental risks and health risks posed by uranium mining are too high.

    ''Large quantities of radioactive waste must inevitably be produced in the course of mining uranium, and this waste will remain dangerous and toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. This is a burden on future generations that we are not…

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  • rogerthat

    prepared to assume.'' — Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come, May 14, 2014, to Quebec’s BAPE.

    “Northern Quebec Cree start 850 km trek to protest against uranium mining” By Caroline Nepton, CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2014 2:41 ET, “We are the stewards of the land, therefore we have this responsibility to protect for the generations to come’- Joshua Iserhoff, Chair of the Cree Nation of the Youth Council” Article here:

    Read about how you can join in the “Stand Against Uranium Walk”, starting Sunday here: (Probably you can join in as they move south, too, if you contact them.) Also see Facebook Page:

    The Cree Nation reaffirms their opposition to uranium development on their land” Posted: 2014-11-14 , article:

    “Cree leaders in Quebec use social media for campaign against uranium: Drumming up support against development in their territory” CBC News Posted: Oct 28, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 28, 2014 5:00 AM ET

    BAPE (Office of Public Hearings on the Environment, Quebec) Hearings continue up to December 15th, ending in…

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  • rogerthat

    Want the truth about Fukushima?

    Want the truth about the Fukushima accident in Japan. Visit the ene news website. You will get the truth about what is going on here and there. Tell everyone about this. We have the right to Know the truth. Demand answers from our government. Google ene news click on Japan or US Canada. All the ocean is dying!

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  • rogerthat

    Japanese officials warn of quake aftershocks

    Japan Nov. 23, 2014

    Officials at Japan's Meteorological Agency are warning people to be on guard for aftershocks in the days ahead after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake rattled central regions on Saturday…

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  • rogerthat

    More eyes on WIPP leak

    By Mark Oswald / Journal Staff Writer
    Saturday, November 22, 2014
    Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

    TAOS – State regulators want an independent review of the Department of Energy’s findings on what caused a radioactive leak that has shut down the nation’s underground nuclear waste dump in southern New Mexico.

    New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn said Friday that the state has no reason to doubt the “veracity” of DOE’s efforts, but that it can’t be overlooked that DOE “is investigating itself” when it comes to the February breach of a waste drum from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    “We will not simply rely on the DOE’s own conclusions,” said Flynn. He said an independent review is “critical to giving the public confidence that we have in fact established exactly what has occurred” at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

    He said at a Taos meeting of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities that the DOE has agreed to fund a “peer review” of what caused the leak, led by physicist Van Romero, New Mexico Tech’s vice president for research and economic development. Romero is supposed to get access to all data from DOE’s own investigations….

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    • rogerthat

      Flynn said the Environment Department itself continues to actively investigate the WIPP leak, focusing on regulatory and communications issues, while Romero will bring expertise to the question of how the chemical reaction that caused the drum to breach took place.

      Earlier this week, LANL director Charlie McMillan used a message to lab employees to denounce a published report that exposed missteps at the lab that played a part in the radiation leak at WIPP.

      McMillan’s memo dismissed suggestions that the lab was withholding scientific theories about the Feb. 14 accident. “I want to assure you that nothing is further from the truth, ” he said in the memo, which the Journal obtained on Friday.

      McMillan was taking aim at a report by the Santa Fe New Mexican, based on interviews and thousands of documents and emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Some of the emails that were uncovered expressed outrage from WIPP officials about what they weren’t told by the Los Alamos lab after the leak took place.

      The New Mexican’s report also addressed efforts to downplay the dangers of waste from Los Alamos that had been sent to WIPP….

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  • rogerthat

    View: No Yucca Mountain, and more Indian Point concerns

    Peter Schwartz November 22, 2014

    Indian Point nuclear complex in Buchanan is safe, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. But with no long-term spent fuel storage on the horizon, safety mandates a closure of the facility's reactors that are amid relicensing.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is sending mixed signals about nuclear waste from power plants.

    It recently issued new rules encouraging continued long-term storage of waste on site at the plants and denied environmentalists' contention that waste buildup at Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan was a problem.

    On the other hand, NRC recently resumed safety evaluations of a proposed national nuclear waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

    Whether that means the idea of transporting the waste to Yucca Mountain is alive again is unclear, though it's quite clear that the NRC doesn't consider spent fuel buildup any obstacle to continued operation of aging nuclear plants.

    Meanwhile, for New Yorkers and tri-state area residents, the spent fuel building up at Indian Point is a growing threat.

    "Spent" nuclear fuel is a misnomer. It's much more dangerous than "unspent" fuel, since it's many times "hotter" in terms of radioactivity and thermal heat when it comes out of a reactor than when…

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    • rogerthat

      it goes in. Spent fuel rods have high concentrations of lethal isotopes like strontium 90, iodine 131 and cesium 137.

      They emit 1 million rems of radiation an hour a foot away, enough to kill in seconds, and release part of their energy as heat.

      They can't be handled or moved until they've cooled in special storage pools for at least five years (spent "High Burnup Fuel" has twice the radioactivity of other spent fuel, and can't be moved from the pools for 20 years).

      Aerial photos of the Fukushima disaster illustrated the dangers of storing spent fuel at nuclear plants.

      Explosions tore the roofs off fuel pools, exposing shoddy construction and more spent fuel than the pools were ever designed to hold, leaving nothing but leaking water between concentrated, lethal radioactivity and the environment.

      Our spent fuel situation isn't like Japan's. It's worse. The U.S. has 30 million spent fuel rods, more than any other nation.

      They're stored in pools housed in unfortified shed buildings one expert called "the kind you would find in big box stores and car dealerships."

      Without a geologic repository like Yucca Mountain, the waste accumulated at nuclear plants, and these vulnerable buildings are now the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.

      As of 2011, Indian Point's spent fuel pools, 25 miles north of Manhattan with 20 million people in a 50-mile radius, contained an estimated 234 million curies and …

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      • rogerthat

        contained an estimated 234 million curies and counting. That's three times the radioactivity of all the fuel pools in the Fukushima complex combined. The 40-year-old pools are deteriorating, leaking tritium- and strontium-laced water into groundwater and the Hudson.

        To keep the reactors running until Yucca Mountain was supposed to open in 2010, Indian Point repeatedly "reracked" its pools, putting more spent fuel rods into them than they were designed to hold, packing them more closely together.

        That increases the risk of "criticality" – accidental nuclear reaction between the rods – that could boil the water, ignite the rods and release their radiation. Boron absorbers built into the racks to shield radiation are degrading, aggravating the risk.

        When Yucca Mountain failed to materialize, Indian Point began removing some of the fuel rods that had been in the pools the longest and cooled the most, and putting them into dry cask storage.

        But that only makes room for newer, "hotter" spent fuel, increasing net radioactivity in the pools, while yet more spent fuel accumulates in casks on the ground.

        The faster we reverse this buildup and secure the waste, the better.

        Whether or not a geologic repository ever gets built, we can mitigate spent fuel danger now by shutting down Indian Point's reactors.

        Every day they continue to run, they make more "hot" waste, concentrating yet more radioactivity on site. With Indian Point's 40-year operating…

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        • rogerthat

          licenses expiring, its owner, Entergy, is seeking a 20-year extension, which would only compound the spent fuel problem.

          As an engineer who built a business near Indian Point, I'm not especially skeptical of nuclear technology or the idea of a geologic repository.

          But as a lifelong local resident who developed thyroid cancer, which correlates with radiation exposure, I am highly skeptical of the way that keeping the plant's reactors running and Entergy's profits flowing seems to trump confronting safety problems at the plant.

          Indian Point's spent fuel is a serious threat to the health, safety and economy of our region. To defuse it, we first need to stop making more waste, by closing the reactors as their licenses expire.

          The writer, a Montebello resident, is a mechanical engineer who lives and owns a manufacturing business in Rockland County, within 10 miles from the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

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  • rogerthat


    Rocky Flats burn a bad idea

    By LeRoy Moore

    The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service(FWS), the agency that manages the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, plans a controlled burn of 701 acres of Refuge land in the spring of 2015. This plan should be canceled.

    In April 2000, a 50-acre "test burn" was done with approval of the Department of Energy (DOE) in the buffer zone of the now-closed Rocky Flats nuclear bomb plant.

    The original plan was to burn 500 acres. It was reduced to 50 acres due to public opposition.

    This "test burn"was a serious mistake. The fire produced dense clouds of radioactive smoke that swept rapidly across the area, from the mountains on the west to Thornton and Denver on the east.

    Federal and state agencies said there was no significant radiation release from this burn.

    But Paula Elofson-Gardine, with a Radalert Geiger counter, detected airborne radiation ranging from 600 to 1,300 times average background radiation in the Denver area.

    Government agencies were asked to analyze ash from the fire to determine its contents, but they refused. So no official record exists.

    The smoke probably contained plutonium-239, the radioactive contaminant of greatest concern at Rocky Flats.

    During production from 1952 until 1989, fires, accidents and routine operations at the plant released plutonium particles too…

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    • rogerthat

      small to see but not too small to do harm.

      Biologist Harvey Nichols, who in the 1970s was hired by the government to study airborne matter at Rocky Flats, concluded that billions of plutonium particles were dusted on the ten square-mile Rocky Flats site.

      Independent physicist John Till, who in the 1990s did research for DOE and the state, confirmed Nichols' results.

      Scientists from the Atomic Energy Commission (predecessor to the DOE) found plutonium in soil across the metro area to the far side of Denver.

      The Superfund "cleanup" at Rocky Flats dealt only with the plant site, not off-site areas.

      No effort was made to remove from the environment as much plutonium as possible with existing technology.

      An unknown quantity was left behind in the plant's buffer zone, land that is now the Wildlife Refuge.

      Those doing the "cleanup" estimated the amount of plutonium by collecting samples only on the surface of the soil. But much plutonium on this land had percolated down to deeper levels. Most of it should still be there. With a half-life of 24,110 years, it remains radioactive for a quarter-million years.

      Plutonium is harmful only if it is taken into the body. For as long as it is lodged within – likely for the rest of one's life – it bombards surrounding tissue with radiation. The result two or three decades later may be cancer, a damaged immune system or genetic harm.

      In 1997, researchers at Columbia University showed that a single particle…

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      • rogerthat

        of plutonium within the body could induce cell mutations that can lead to cancer.

        A British study in 2004 concluded that cancer risk from very low doses of plutonium may be 10 times more dangerous than allowed for by existing standards, such as those used to guide the Rocky Flats "cleanup."

        The history of Rocky Flats is plagued by the fateful link between tiny plutonium particles and a fierce wind. Manufacturing operations that released plutonium have ended. But much plutonium remains in the environment.

        An 11-year study at DOE's Savannah River Site in South Carolina found that grass routinely brings measurable quantities of plutonium to the surface. Any burn, thus, will release plutonium particles.

        FWS manages refuges for wildlife on federal land. The land it received at Rocky Flats unfortunately is radioactive. And it's plagued by invasive plants that drive out native vegetation, including rare xeric tall grass. FWS plans to address this problem by burning grass in the southern portion of the Refuge near the Candelas and Whisper Creek residential developments.

        The proposed burn, if it happens, could expose residents of these areas to plutonium.

        In conclusion, please go to and sign the petition urging FWS to cancel the planned burn.

        Second, I invite FWS personnel to meet with a small group from the Rocky Flats Nuclear Guardianship project to discuss what to do…

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  • rogerthat

    Planned lakeside nuclear waste dump closed to public comment
    Beth LeBlanc, Times Herald November 21, 2014

    - good wrap-up of the current state of play

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  • rogerthat

    40 of 47 given A2 in thyroid test of Matsudo city/City gov “Result not guarantee potential health in future”

    November 22, 2014
    Following up this article.. 28 of 32 testees diagnosed A2 in thyroid inspection of Matsudo city Chiba [URL]

    40 of 47 testees were given “A2″ diagnosis in Matsudo city of Chiba prefecture. This is the test result from 6/1/2014 to 10/31/2014. The city government announced it on 11/17/2014.

    To begin the test, the city government stated approx. 50% of ordinary people are to be given “A2″ because ultrasonic echography captures high quality details. They picked up A2 diagnosis ratio in Fukushima prefecture of 46.3% as example. They also introduced it was 57.6% in Hirosaki city, 69.3% in Kofu city, and 42.5% in Nagasaki.

    However it’s 85% in Matsudo city though the population of this test is still only 47.

    In order to have this test, Matsudo city citizens are required to sign on the letter of consent.

    This letter of consent stipulates “This thyroid test is not to evaluate the effect of Fukushima accident”, and also “The test result is not going to guarantee the potential health condition in the future”.

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  • rogerthat

    Nov 22

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may face difficulty restarting the nation’s idled nuclear reactors if his Liberal Democratic Party fares poorly in the House of Representatives election on Dec. 14…

    Depending on the election results, it might have a tough time gaining consent for restarts from municipalities that host reactors…

    New METI chief Yoichi Miyazawa has said that reactors should be reactivated for the sake of the public if confirmed safe…

    But a senior METI official said that political turbulence must be kept to a minimum first. “Only a stable government can push ahead with the restart policy” because many people are now opposed to nuclear power, the official said.

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  • rogerthat

    Editorial: PSC poised to side with Duke Energy, FPL again
    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Surprise, surprise, surprise. The Florida Public Service Commission this week is expected to gut energy efficiency goals for electric utilities and swallow the industry's illogical argument that it costs more to conserve power than it does to build more power plants.

    And those rebates for rooftop solar panels that the utilities hate? Kiss them goodbye.

    This is what happens in a state with no coherent energy policy and no political will to stand up to the power companies who won big in this month's elections….

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    • rogerthat

      Despite the reasonable objections by environmental groups and clean energy advocates, the PSC staff bought the arguments to slash conservation efforts by Duke Energy, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light.

      The staff recommendation notes that consumer demand for more power has slowed since the energy efficiency goals were set five years ago and that natural gas prices have dropped by roughly half. It says new federal efficiency standards for appliances and tougher state building codes also are reducing electricity use.

      But instead of building on those trends by recommitting to conservation, the PSC is poised to slash the utilities' energy efficiency goals by roughly 90 percent.

      Never mind that the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and environmental groups argue that the utilities put big price tags on conservation so they can kill the programs.

      Never mind that the state is poised to gut conservation efforts just after the PSC approved Duke's plan to build a natural gas plant.

      Never mind that the PSC reports that the cost of more than 200,000 residential energy audits and 100 conservation programs in 2012 was no more than $5 a month for a typical residential customer.

      Instead, the PSC has concluded Floridians would rather spend their money on building more power plants so utilities can make more money than on conserving electricity and investing in the future…

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      • rogerthat

        More progressive states are emphasizing conservation and embracing policies that encourage investments in solar energy and other renewal energy sources.

        Not Florida, where Duke Energy and FPL just spent more than $2.5 million to help re-elect Gov. Rick Scott and other Republicans who regularly side with them.

        Perhaps some adjustment in energy efficiency goals to reflect market changes over the last five years could be justified. The problem is there is no reason to trust the PSC to be an objective regulatory panel.

        This is the PSC that signed off on a one-sided settlement that forces Duke Energy customers to pay more than $3 billion for nuclear plants that are broken or will never be built.

        This is a PSC staff that endorsed billing Duke customers $54 million for nuclear parts that were never produced and that Duke never received for a plant that will never be built (eventually the PSC rejected that).

        And this is a PSC where the rules apparently allowed Duke to charge ratepayers more just because of changes in meter reading routes until public outrage forced Duke to apologize and refund the money.

        Now Floridians are supposed to trust the PSC is right Tuesday when it sides with the utilities to cut energy efficiency goals by 90 percent?

        The system is rigged, and it will not change unless consumers and businesses continue to raise their voices and act on their own. Public outcry forced the PSC to reject some nuclear costs and Duke to refund some money…

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        • rogerthat

          It also is prompting some legislators to take another look at the 2006 law that enabled Duke to bill ratepayers for phantom nuclear plants. And private companies are proceeding with ambitious plans to install solar panels, regardless of the state's resistance to smart renewable energy goals.

          If Florida is to ever create a progressive energy policy for the 21st century, the demand will have to come from residents and businesses. It won't originate from the governor and the Legislature, which are controlled by FPL and Duke. And it certainly won't come from the PSC, which would rather build more power plants than conserve electricity.

          Editorial: PSC poised to side with Duke Energy, FPL again 11/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, November 21, 2014 4:51pm]

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  • tinfoilhatbrian tinfoilhatbrian

    You seem to be good at finding information Rogerthat. I rely heavily on this website as I am not. Given accurate and timely information I can draw an hypothesis to whatever it is I am studying, hence the scientific method. I know there are detectors on orbiting objects, careful choice of words. A list of such objects with sensors that can detect the crapium in real time, as in rainfalls or deposits would be very helpful, not that we could get that information anymore! That could change. Interesting article I read that the mars orbiter detected uranium and other elements on the surface, interesting isn't it? Nasa used to post monthly readings until you know when. This has been the thing besides seeing the damn things explode I knew was a sign it's real bad. I found this website 8 months later. It's hard to convince people this is happening that's how I came up with my name!

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    • rogerthat

      Nasa used to post monthly readings until you know when.

      Basic rule: the bigger the problem, the bigger the cover-up. The industry is so big it's like a central bank with a licence to print money, so it's pretty well unstoppable until the planet hits the brick wall and everyone becomes sadder and wiser very quickly.

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  • rogerthat

    New Mexico's WIPP – Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – The WIPP Trail (Documentary)


    Published on Nov 22, 2014
    Published on Sep 28, 2012 by MrJmccammon

    Primer for upcoming episodes of Fukushima and Beyond – Nuclear Waste by High Country Cow Punk.
    Alternative Views Episode 427
    1989 "The WIPP Trail" Originally

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    • rogerthat

      1989 "The WIPP Trail" Originally Produced by Alternative Information Network
      Produced by Frank Morrow
      Hosts Frank Morrow and Doug Kellner
      Transfer from glorious magnetic tape, Enjoy (IF you listen closely one can hear the hum of mechanical tracking, ah the good old days)

      A documentary showing the ravages of nuclear power and nuclear bomb testing
      on the people and environment, particularly in the New Mexico area. "The
      WIPP Trail" provides statements from both sides, which reveal governmental
      collusion with the nuclear industry. Funny there is a Roswell connection!

      Creative Commons License: Attribution-Non-Commercial- Share Alike 3.0 USA
      Redistribute This! Clips taken from video O.K. but must remain non-commercial and attribution necessary.

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  • rogerthat

    DOE update on WIPP:

    WIPP Update

    November 19, 2014

    Significant activities resume this week at WIPP

    Two functions that are vital to recovery operations resumed this week at the WIPP site. Over the weekend, crews resumed roof bolting operations necessary for ground control and continued safe access to many areas of the underground facility. Roof bolts, sometimes as long as 12 feet, are inserted into predrilled holes and tightened to required specifications to help secure the roof and walls of the access routes in the underground facility. Under normal operations, roof bolts are added or replaced on a routine basis, as necessary. This is the first ground control activity to be performed since the two incidents that occurred in February. Bolting locations will be prioritized based on geotechnical engineering evaluations and recommendations.

    The waste hoist has returned to limited service, while work continues towards making it fully operational. The hoist is currently being used to transport equipment in and out of the underground facility. Early this week the hoist was designated available for use as an “emergency egress” to evacuate the underground facility if necessary. Providing emergency egress has allowed for a significant increase in the number of workers that can be in the underground facility at one time. Based on the availability of the waste hoist for emergency egress, the number of employees…

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    • rogerthat

      who can be in the underground facility has increased from 24 to 74.

      Idaho shipments arrive safely at Waste Control Specialists

      Early this week, three shipments of contact-handled transuranic waste were transported from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to Waste Control Specialists (WCS) located near Andrews, TX. The waste, which originated at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, was sent to INL for additional treatment more than a year ago. The waste meets the both the WIPP and WCS waste acceptance criteria and does not contain the “nitrate salts” thought to be associated with the February radiological event at WIPP. With the support of the State of Texas and WCS, the Department was able to move this waste and meet the milestones necessary to maintain compliance with the Idaho Settlement Agreement.

      Community meeting scheduled
      December 4 – The City of Carlsbad and DOE will co-host its Town Hall meeting featuring updates on WIPP recovery activities. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Location: Carlsbad City Council Chambers, 101 N. Halagueno Street. Live streaming of the meeting can be seen at

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  • rogerthat

    As WIPP is back in the news, here's what the BULLETIN OF ATOMIC SCIENTISTS says it contains:

    What WIPP does, and what it contains.

    In 1979, Congress authorized the design and construction of WIPP, planned to be a repository for a class of waste known as transuranic (TRU)–that is, radioactive elements heavier than uranium on the periodic chart, including plutonium, americium, curium and neptunium—and generated by the US defense effort after 1970.

    A bedded salt formation was chosen as the site of the project because of its presumed long-term stability and self-sealing properties. After several long-running legal challenges, Congress authorized the opening of WIPP in 1992 and set a cap of 175,000 cubic meters of waste to be disposed. Seven years later, WIPP began to receive wastes.

    The end of the Cold War and the downsizing of the US nuclear weapons complex expanded WIPP’s mission to include excess plutonium.

    Instead of just contaminated rags, clothing and equipment, in 1998 the Energy Department decided to dispose of plutonium, originally part of the US strategic stockpile, from the now-closed Rocky Flats site.

    Some 3.5 tons, or more than 70 percent of the plutonium stored in WIPP, was originally meant to be used in nuclear weapons.

    WIPP now holds more than 171,000 waste containers containing approximately 4.9 metric tons of plutonium…

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    • rogerthat

      … The toxicity of plutonium and other transuranics was known to be very high in the early days of nuclear weapons production.

      But official recognition of the waste hazards they pose did not come until the early 1970’s, when the governor of Idaho threatened to halt waste shipments from the Rocky Flats plutonium-component plant in Colorado to what was then known as the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory for disposal—effectively disrupting weapons production.

      Citizens and political leaders of the state, fearful that the wastes could reach the state’s largest fresh water aquifer, became alarmed when, after a major fire at Rocky Flats in 1969, an unprecedented amount of transuranic waste was sent to Idaho for shallow land burial.

      By 1973, Atomic Energy Commission chair Dixie Lee Ray promised to dispose of these wastes in a geological repository.

      Plutonium 239 is a major safety concern because of its high radiation levels and long half-life—24,100 years.

      About 200,000 times more radioactive than the commonest naturally occurring uranium, plutonium 239 emits alpha particles as its principal form of radiation.

      Plutonium inhalation can cause permanent lung damage and even death. When taken in the body, microscopic amounts can penetrate deep into the lungs …

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      • rogerthat

        can penetrate deep into the lungs and deposit, via the bloodstream, in the liver, bones, and other organs.

        WIPP receives TRU wastes generated after 1970 and, therefore, represents only a partial solution to the United States military nuclear waste problem.

        Before 1970, more than 2,000 kilograms of plutonium were dumped into the ground as “low-level” waste at many locations across the country.

        Because of the high costs for removal and geological isolation of that waste, the Energy Department considers pre-1970 TRU wastes to have been disposed “in-place.”

        The quantity of pre-1970 plutonium currently in the soil at Energy Department sites is some 1,300 times more than is permitted to leak into the human environment from WIPP, 10,000 years after the repository is closed.

        With nearly half of these wastes in the soil at Hanford, the Energy Department plans for a significant part of that site to become a de facto “national sacrifice zone.”

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        • rogerthat

          The preponderance of the waste placed in WIPP is considered “contact handled,” meaning that it can be prepared for disposal using conventional excavation and processing practices with a manageably small risk of radiation exposure.

          Since 1970, tens of thousands of such contact-handled TRU waste containers—ranging from steel drums to cardboard boxes—have been stored under just a few feet feet of soil at several Energy Department sites.

          But there is also a large inventory of “remote-handled” waste that contains highly radioactive transuranics and other isotopes.

          This type of waste requires heavy shielding and remotely operated equipment to protect workers from severe exposure.

          Remote-handled packages can emit potentially lethal doses of radiation as large as 1,000 rem per hour….

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  • rogerthat

    … At least 66,200 cubic meters of transuranic waste sit at Energy Department sites, awaiting shipment to WIPP.

    The Energy Department is also considering disposal of 5 tons of excess plutonium now at the Savannah River Site in WIPP.

    Over the past decade, the department has also been seeking to use WIPP to dispose of the contents of several high-level radioactive waste tanks at Hanford by reclassifying those contents as transuranic waste.

    WIPP is being eyed as a final resting place for tens of tons of plutonium from dismantled weapons as well, because the Energy Department is backing away from the $30 billion price tag now attached to a plan for mixing the plutonium with uranium and using that mixed-oxide to fuel nuclear power plants…

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