• It’s more a matter of something happened that we didn’t want to happen.
• We know its going to impact public health.
[color=Cyan]• There’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
• Once you let the horse out of the barn, hell, the horse took the barn door with it.
• We’re stuck, this is an accident that should have been prevented. It’s hard to respond to it.
[color=Salmon]And so what, the Japanese will have a few babies born limbless or with blotchy skin,
they will adapt to their environment.
You're joking, right?
My wife is Japanese, my in-laws are Japanese, and many of the surviving in-laws did time in Tehachapi and we do not appreciate your attempt at levity or derailment.
If you do not think anything is wrong, you eat the yellow snow and drink the milk.
[color=Salmon]Now just to clear the air, i do not like what is going on over there but we cannot help the situation playing keyboard tag with the mongering of fear.
Speak for yourself.
"Playing keyboard tag," as you call it, just might invigorate enough concerned citizens to get up off their lazy butts, turn off American Idol, Dancing With the Stars and Cupcake Wars and
In April, the Japanese government raised its maximum limit for children from one to 20 millisieverts per year, a level that leads to 2,270 cancers annually per million people (or 160,000 lifetime cancers per million), according to data in a landmark 2006 U.S. National Academy of Sciences report on radiation cancer risk.
A massive outcry later forced the government to reverse the move.
[color=8AFB17]About a fifth of the 1,600 schools in Fukushima prefecture were exposed to at least 20 milliseiverts of radiation this year, according to a Bloomberg story in July. [...]
The Fermi 2 plant in Monroe County is among 35 U.S. nuclear reactors being advised to test their ability to shut down automatically after an earthquake. DTE Energy officials say the Fermi 2 reactor is routinely tested to make sure it's not susceptible to the problem. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy says the probability of a reactor not shutting properly is very low. DTE spokesman Guy Cerullo says the utility "diligently" performs monthly control rod drive operability tests and quarterly tests in which all control rods are inserted at different times. The Monroe Evening News reports Tuesday DTE says it stays in close contact with GE and other nuclear energy facilities and that safety is its "number one priority."
Shaw is one of the largest maintenance providers to the power and process industries in the U.S., offering full-service plant engineering, reliability, turnaround and outage services with capital construction management and modification support. Shaw provides systemwide maintenance and modification services to 41 of the 104 of operating nuclear power reactors, including the country’s two largest nuclear fleets.
The Shaw Group Inc. (NYSE:SHAW - News) today announced it has renewed a contract with Exelon Generation Company to provide maintenance, modifications and construction services to its fleet of nuclear generating plants. Exelon’s nuclear power fleet includes 17 nuclear reactors in 10 sites; six sites in Illinois, three sites in Pennsylvania and one site in New Jersey.
Shaw began providing fleetwide nuclear maintenance service to Exelon in 2001. During its ten-year relationship, Shaw has assisted Exelon in achieving industry refueling outage records.
The USA is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for more than 30% of worldwide nuclear generation of electricity.
The country's 104 nuclear reactors produced 807 billion kWh in 2010, over 20% of total electrical output.
Following a 30-year period in which few new reactors were built, it is expected that 4-6 new units may come on line by 2020, the first of those resulting from 16 licence applications to build 24 new nuclear reactors made since mid-2007.
However, lower gas prices since 2009 have put the economic viability of some of these projects in doubt.
Government policy changes since the late 1990s have helped pave the way for significant growth in nuclear capacity. Government and industry are working closely on expedited approval for construction and new plant designs.
In 2009, the USA generated 3950 billion kWh net of electricity, 45% of it from coal-fired plant, 24% from gas and 7% from hydro. Annual electricity demand is projected to increase to 5,000 billion kWh in 2030, though in the short term it is depressed and is not expected to recover to the 2007 level until about 2015. Annual per capita electricity consumption is currently around 12,400 kWh. Total capacity is 1025 GWe, less than one tenth of which is nuclear.
The USA has 104 nuclear power reactors in 31 states, operated by 30 different power companies. In 2009 these plants achieved a capacity factor of 91.1%, generating 799 billion kWh and accounting for 20% of total electricity generated. In 2010, 807 billion kWh was generated by nuclear plant.
RADIATION WATCH 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled reactors in Fukushima are in a state “equivalent to cold shutdown” even though the definition would be different in the case of an undamaged plant, Goshi Hosono, the minister in charge of responding to the disaster, said today.
‘[color=Cyan]We understand that there is a difference between the cold shutdown state for a normal nuclear reactor and the state of cold shutdown that we have achieved at Fukushima Dai-Ichi,’ Hosono told reporters in Tokyo.
[color=Chartreuse]'The goal is to have nuclear fuel where it is kept in a cold state and to ensure that radioactive materials are not emitted. That is the whole point of the cooling system that we have in place.'
Closing Yucca Mountain will leave 130,000 metric tons of nuclear waste stranded at 131 different sites spread across 39 states. The federal government will be at risk of breach-of-contract lawsuits for breaking agreements with utility companies.
Some estimates indicate the potential for the Obama DOE could incur more than 50 billion dollars of legal liability in the case.
"You can do all the recycling in the world, but you are still going to be left with a residue that has to be stored somewhere, preferably underground. You’ve got this residue. Where are you going to put it?"
Mitch Singer, a spokesperson for the nuclear energy industry.
According to an article on CNN.com, "Currently, 70,000 tons of radioactive waste are stored at more than 100 nuclear sites around the country, and 2,000 tons are added every year."
In 1987, Washington unilaterally decided the waste was going to Yucca without seriously considering other potential sites. Not surprisingly, Nevada citizens have railed against the top-down plan ever since.
If the government doesn’t bow to pressure and reverse its decision, US nuclear waste planners will be going back to the drawing board for what promises to be another very prolonged and expensive exercise.
The root reason the waste problem isn't solved is technical. Since radioactive emissions are strong enough to destroy ANY container, the "technical" problem will NEVER be solved.
New alloys, new crystal structures, microbes that eat radioactive waste, vitrification -- all worthless. Rocketing the waste into space, subduction zones in the sea, deep holes -- won't work either.
On December 20, 2011, The First Nations of the North Shore Tribal Council strongly rejected the prospect of the North Shore of Lake Huron becoming a site for the long-term storage of nuclear waste for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO).
“We cannot idly stand by and watch as they inject Mother Earth with this cancer,” says Chief Lyle Sayers, chairman of the North Shore Tribal Council. “We must ensure that the future natural resources of this area are there for our children, generations to come, and businesses alike.”
Almost 30 years ago, Uncle Sam entered into a contract with utilities to dispose of their nuclear waste beginning in 1998. That disposal was supposed to happen at Yucca Mountain. Under the law, all nuclear facilities were required to pay an annual fee to the nuclear waste trust fund to cover the cost of Yucca Mountain.
When the federal government missed the 1998 deadline, utilities sued the government to recover their costs incurred in storing the waste. So far, according to federal officials, it will cost the government some $16.2 billion to pay the legal judgments entered against the government…[color=FDD017]assuming there will be a completed federal disposal site by 2020.
All of the fees collected in excess of the costs of building the Yucca Mountain facility,
instead of being placed in a trust fund, were simply spent by the government as quickly as
they were received.
As a result, a group of state regulators and the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade organization, are suing the Department of Energy, seeking to suspend collection of the annual fees utilities pay into the waste fund. "There’s no sense paying a fee if you are not getting a program for it," said NEI’s Steven Kraft...
The Oak Ridge and Hanford facilities stand out among them as being among the largest leaks of toxic and/or radioactive waste in the world. At Oak Ridge, literally millions of pounds of mercury have leaked into the ground, the aquifer, and a streambed that then winds many miles through the Tennesee countryside and through several towns...
Every day, there is more waste, more radioactive pollution, such as tritium, which is killing our citizens, and more of the "ignoble seven" whose daughter products include noble gases, which are freely released by nuclear power plants in copious quantities.
The "ignoble seven" are: Technetium-99, Tin-126, Selenium-79, Zirconium-93, Cesium-135, Palladium-107, and Iodine-129.
All have half-lives > 200,000 years.
Every day the plants run, they increase the total risk, the total cost, the immediate risk, and the immediate cost -- costs in terms of health effects around the plants, and delayed costs from accidents or just from fuel storage.
Even if we stop making nuclear waste, every movement of the fuel entails enormous risk. And there will be tens of thousands of shipments from all around the country.
In 1987, Congress even passed a law explicitly directing waste from the nation's nuclear power plants would start arriving in Yucca Mountain in by the late 1990's.
So far, not one single radioactive isotope has made its way to Yucca, and probably never will.
President Obama, making good on a promise to Senate Majority Leader (and not-in-my-backyard-of-Nevada) Harry Reid, has effectively killed any future for the Yucca Mountain facility. More than $10 billion dollars of scientific study, engineering and congressional spending has just been thrown into a hole in the ground.
According to the federal government, the government is required to build Yucca Mountain and accept the waste.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) would like to change that law, but without an option for where all this waste will go, it may be hard to get the votes.
So what to do?
Keep Yucca Mountain on life-support while you spend money looking for another alternative. President Obama plans to do just that by spending $197 million dollars in the 2010 budget, essentially to pay people to do nothing.
Out at Yucca Mountain, there will be a staff getting paid, proceeding with licensing and other odds and ends, [color=Cyan]knowing all along that the project has no future.
It's pure politics that has already cost you and me $10 billion dollars and now $197 million more.
President Obama has won wide bipartisan support for his determination to revive American nuclear power — a low-carbon energy solution that electric utilities and conservatives can support.
But a pair of legal actions last month could complicate matters for Washington by forcing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to address [color=Cyan]a longstanding and almost intractable problem: How and where to store the highly radioactive waste.
For many, the separate suits by state attorneys general and environmental groups raise fresh questions over why America is pouring billions into a nuclear renaissance with [color=FDD017]no long-term strategy for handling waste from the nation's existing facilities.
[color=Chartreuse]The waste problem is the Achilles heel of the nuclear industry,’ said Daniel Hirsch, president of the Committee to Bridge the Gap, a California-based nuclear watchdog...
In December 2010, NRC changed the rule, doubling the amount of time that waste can be stored on-site from 30 years after a plant goes out of service to 60 years. Now, it appears the agency might double that again.
In an interview with SolveClimate News, NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan said [color=Cyan]a plan was underway to allow the high-level waste to be stored on-site for over 120 years...
At Indian Point, one of the oldest reactors in the country, 30 tons of enriched uranium radioactive waste is produced every 18 months, most of which is crammed into 40-foot deep pools at each of the two reactors.
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ranked Indian Point ‘in terms of potential human consequences as the No. 1 site in the nation."
-- Robert Stephan, Homeland Security's Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection reported in the Journal News, March 23, 2006
Indian Point is "one of the most inappropriate sites in existence" for a nuclear plant.
--Robert Ryan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff member in 1979
Currently, each pool holds about 1,000 tons of radioactive waste. An additional 1,500 tons are stored in 15 dry casks on an open tarmac surrounded by barbed wire and a surveillance tower.
Across the country, 50,000 metric tons of waste was produced through the end of 2003, according to a 2005 report by the National Research Council. The nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists predicts that by 2015 there will be over 75,000 metric tons of radioactive waste stored at temporary sites.
Indian Point will close in 2035, if it gets relicensed. Under the new waste storage rule, [color=Cyan]spent fuel would be stored there until 2095, and could remain on-site well into the 22nd century if the rule extends to 120 years.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Thursday approved the amended design for the Westinghouse AP1000, a reactor that several power companies intend to use for building the first new US nuclear plants in decades.
“The design provides enhanced safety margins through use of simplified, inherent, passive, or other innovative safety and security functions, and also has been assessed to ensure it could withstand damage from an aircraft impact without significant release of radioactive materials,” NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said in a statement.
Utility giant Southern Co. is using the AP1000 for its project to build two new reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia.
"This is another key milestone for the Vogtle project and the nation's nuclear renaissance,” said Southern Co. CEO Thomas A. Fanning. The Southern Co. project that has won a [color=Cyan]conditional $8.3 billion Energy Department loan guarantee but still awaits a final NRC license...
(...) Funding for Yucca Mountain has come from a levy of 0.1 cents per kWh of nuclear power, which currently adds up to about $770 million per year. Nuclear utilities - and therefore their customers - have now paid a total of over $31 billion into the Nuclear Waste Fund.
The government was supposed to use this money to create a permanent nuclear waste disposal site by 1998.
Having submitted an 8600-page application to build Yucca Mountain under President George Bush and his energy secretary Sam Bodman, the DOE under direction from Chu and Obama moved to withdraw it in May. Spending on Yucca is now set at the absolute minimum level, while the [color=Cyan]$24 billion balance of the fund remains with the US Treasury earning substantial compound interest of over $1 billion per year.
This, however, was rejected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's independent Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB). The DoE had no right to substitute its own ideas in place of those legislated by Congress, said the ASLB, and is bound by law to complete its work at Yucca Mountain unless Congress acts to supercede the previous legislation.
In the meantime, Obama has created a 'Blue Ribbon' commission on radioactive waste management. It is hearing evidence from a range of stakeholders on waste management methods including reprocessing, recycling and the use of burner reactors as well as the widely accepted geologic disposal method as proposed for Yucca Mountain.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is happy that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear reactor design, which is slated for use at an Energy Department-backed nuclear power plant in Georgia.
Chu’s praise for the design approval underscores [color=Cyan]Obama administration support for new nuclear power plants, a position at odds with some environmental groups.
[color=Chartreuse]‘The Administration and the Energy Department are committed to restarting America’s nuclear industry...” Chu said in a statement Thursday.
RADIATION WATCH 2011