Tag: Fukushima

The Ethics and Politics of Nuclear Waste are Being Tested in Southern California

JAMES HEDDLE – In the US, as more and more energy reactors are being shut down and are entering the decommissioning process, the overriding question is becoming unavoidable at reactor communities across the country: What do we do with all these decades of tons of accumulated radwaste now being stored on-site? Each canister contains a Chernobyl’s-worth of cesium; each cooling pool, hundreds more.

Let’s Have ““A Decent Respect for the Opinions of Mankind” and Ban Nukes

WINSLOW MYERS – The distractions of the Trump presidency, even including Russian attempts to hack our democracy, have swamped events that may in the long run be of far greater historical significance. A primary example is the historic ongoing U.N. conference concerning the prohibition and eventual abolition of nuclear weapons— and our own nation’s unwise boycott of same.

Fukushima Radiation in Pacific Reaches West Coast

JOHN LAFORGE – “We should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,” marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring. Instead, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima’s radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isn’t even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a Sept. 28 story in “The Ecologist.”

NRC Denies Nuclear Safety Petition

MICHAEL MARIOTTE – On April 9, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) formally denied a petition originally submitted by Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) and 37 co-petitioners to make modest improvements in emergency planning for nuclear reactor accidents.

Solartopia: Winning the Green Energy Revolution

HARVEY WASSERMAN – High above the Bowling Green town dump, a green energy revolution is being won. It’s being helped along by the legalization of marijuana and its bio­fueled cousin, industrial hemp. But it’s under extreme attack from the billionaire Koch Brothers, utilities like First Energy (FE), and a fossil/nuke industry that threatens our existence on this planet. Robber Baron resistance to renewable energy has never been more fierce.

“Nuclear Renaissance” Stumbles as Kewaunee Reactor Shuts Down

JOHN LA FORGE – With its October decision to end the Kewaunee nuclear power experiment on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore, Dominion Resources has shown the over-hyped “nuclear renaissance” to be a “reactor reassessment.” Calling its decision final, Dominion said it will close the pressurized water reactor permanently next spring, store tons of ferociously radioactive waste onsite indefinitely, and send its workforce of 655 to unemployment lines in “phased layoffs.”

‘Hundreds of problems’ at EU nuclear plants

BBC NEWS – Hundreds of problems have been found at European nuclear plants that would cost 25bn euros (£20bn) to fix, says a leaked draft report. The report, commissioned after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, aimed to see how Europe’s nuclear power stations would cope during extreme emergencies. The final report was to be published last Thursday. The draft says nearly all the EU’s 143 nuclear plants need improving.

It’s Us or the Nukes

DAVID SWANSON – Three years later a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel acted out the same scene, with the computer glitch on his side this time. Then in 1984 another U.S. computer glitch led to the quick decision to park an armored car on top of a missile silo to prevent the start of the apocalypse. And again in 1995, the Soviet Union almost responded to a U.S. nuclear attack that proved to be a real missile, but one with a weather satellite rather than a nuke. One Pentagon report documents 563 nuclear mistakes, malfunctions, and false alarms over the years — so far.

Radiation is Carcinogenic: Any Exposure Can Cause Cancer

JOHN LAFORGE – There is no safe level of exposure to ionizing radiation, only legally “allowable” doses. Types of ionizing radiation include gamma rays, beta and alpha particles, and X-rays emitted by radioactive elements — like the iodine-131, cesium-137, strontium-90 and even plutonium-239 — that have been spewed into the air and the sea in huge quantities by the triple reactor meltdowns that began in Japan last year, and that are dispersed to the air, water and to dump sites in smaller amounts by the everyday operation of nuclear power and medicine.

Next Plutonium Space Launch Set

BRUCE GAGNON – The next plutonium enabled space mission, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is scheduled to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida between November 25 and December 18 of this year. The MSL rover, known as “Curiosity,” will be fueled with 4.8 kilograms (10.56 pounds) of plutonium dioxide. It will be, NASA says, “the largest, most capable rover ever sent to another planet.”

Was Fukushima Too Big to Fail?

TOM H. HASTINGS – When George Bush started bailing out corporations, and Barack Obama continued Bush’s program, we were told that those corporations were too big to fail. The dangers of massive corporations dragging down all of us were noted, they were bailed out. And then were they then downsized? Nope. What is up with that?