no nukes


 

From Three Mile Island, to Chernobyl, to Fukushima, nuclear power has soaked up trillions of $$$ and awarded planet Earth with poisonous outputs  and death and destruction. The proponents point to the trillions of kilowatts generated without carbon emissions. The bottom line is what to we do to shut them down? Safely. The answer is – there is none. So we are in jeopardy for thousands of years.

http://nautil.us/blog/no-one-knows-what-to-do-with-fukushimas-endless-tanks-of-radioactive-water

No One Knows What to Do With Fukushima’s Endless Tanks of Radioactive Water

This is what passes for good news from Fukushima Daiichi,  the Japanese nuclear power plant devastated by meltdowns and explosions after a cataclysmic earthquake and tsunami in 2011: By the end of last month, workers had succeeded in filtering most of the 620,000 tons of toxic water stored at the site, removing almost all of the radioactive materials.

After numerous false starts and technical glitches, most of the stored water has been run through filtration systems to remove dangerous strontium-90, as well as many other radionuclides. TEPCO, the Japanese utility that operates the power plant, trumpeted the achievement: “This is a significant milestone for improving the environment for our surrounding communities and for our workers,” said Naohiro Masuda, TEPCO’s chief decommissioning officer, in a press release.

But it’s not quite so easy to bounce back from a nuclear disaster of this scale. For one thing, don’t take TEPCO’s statement too literally: No one is living in the “surrounding communities”—they’re far too contaminated for human habitation. Furthermore, the filtered water is still full of tritium, a radioactive version of hydrogen. (When two neutrons are added to the element, it becomes unstable, prone to emitting electrons.) Tritium bonds with oxygen just like normal hydrogen does, to produce radioactive “tritiated water.” It’s impractical—or at least extremely difficult and expensive—to separate tritiated water from normal water.

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You will be depressed. Go there and read anyway. More next week.

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See the thing is, like coal, Nuclear Power Plants have rich investors. They are going to wring every last penny out of those investments no matter what. If the planet suffers? So what? Who cares about our suffering?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabe-elsner/the-exelonpepco-merger-ex_b_7176948.html

The Exelon-Pepco Merger & Exelon’s History of Anti-Clean Energy Lobbying

Posted: Updated: DT

Exelon has a long history of using political influence to oppose the deployment of renewable energy. Exelon’s political operations may impact the company’s ability to show that a merger with Pepco would provide a tangible benefit to customers on the criteria of conserving natural resources and preserving environmental quality – two factors that must be considered in the District of Columbia. According to the Office of the People’s Counsel, “the [Exelon-Pepco] merger is not in the public interest…as a result of Exelon’s longstanding resistance to policies promoting renewable energy.”

Exelon-Pepco-Merger.jpgIf approved, the Exelon-Pepco merger would empower the company to continue its anti-renewable campaign in Washington, D.C., and Maryland, negatively impact ratepayers, and hinder the growth of the renewable energy industry.

Lobbying Against the Renewable Portfolio Standard in Illinois

Exelon has routinely worked against renewable energy policies and used its financial resources and political influence to benefit the company at the expense of environmental quality and renewables. Most recently, Exelon has proposed a bill in Illinois, the Low Carbon Portfolio Standard (LCPS), that would subsidize nuclear plants that are struggling to compete with the cheap cost of electricity from natural gas plants and wind turbines. As written, the LCPS would increase rates for ratepayers, and Exelon’s nuclear plants would earn an estimated $300 million per year from low carbon credits while renewables would get almost nothing. Crain’s Chicago Business Journal documented that “Exelon long has complained that profits at its six nuclear power plants in Illinois are under pressure in part due to competition rom tax-subsidized wind farms. Exelon is backing state legislation that would create a new surcharge on most electric bills throughout the state that would funnel as much as $300 million a year to the company’s Illinois nukes.”

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Go there and read. More next week.

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This is a company that made a Billion dollars in revenue last year. But it wants to dig deeper into your pockets. I hope we all say no to this. Their threats to shut down nukes are hollow. Who would care if they did? Clinton Nuclear Power Plant sucks.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-exelon-com-ed-bill-met-0227-20150226-story.html

Exelon-backed bill seeks $2 more a month for nuclear plants

By Ray Long

Chicago Tribune
Critics of Exelon-backed legislation question why firm deserves consumer help.

Electricity users would have to dip into their pockets a little more to help cover costs of Exelon’s nuclear power plants under legislation unveiled Thursday that the influential corporation maintained would save jobs and keep service steady and reliable.

Exelon is backing the proposal because it could prop up what the company says are three money-losing nuclear plants that produce relatively clean energy compared with other sources of power.

Opponents question whether Exelon would get an unnecessary bailout when a trio of its other nuclear plants are in the black, and supporters of a separate bill prefer a broader approach that would build up renewable resources.

Where the state ends up on the issue will play out in the months ahead as the spring session unfolds, with companies like Exelon wielding clout at the Capitol through campaign contributions to lawmakers.

The Exelon legislation comes out of a joint report rolled out last month by multiple state agencies charged with examining the impact of closing nuclear plants and potential ways to keep them open.

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Go there and read. Better yet call your representatives. More next week.

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How much longer can this comedy of errors go on? Nuclear Power – no way.

http://gizmodo.com/the-fukushima-cleanup-wasted-half-a-billion-dollars-on-1693324714

The Fukushima Cleanup Wasted Half a Billion Dollars on Bad Technology

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Yesterday 11:30am

The cleanup of Fukushima’s leaking nuclear plant has been long, expensive, and plagued with problems. Now, the AP reports a government audit has found that more than a third of the budget for cleanup was wasted—totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

The previous allegations of incompetence and straight-up lies that surround Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, the company responsible for the cleanup, might make you wonder if any of those millions were lost to corruption. But the Associated Press says that most of it was wasted because no one really knew how to clean up the site. The company spent millions on systems and machines that theoretically might have worked. But didn’t.

The Ice Wall That Wouldn’t Freeze

Let’s start with what AP calls “the unfrozen trench,” contaminated water leaks into these trenches—tunnels, really—that run alongside the plant, creating a major hazard. Tepco started injecting the water with coolants in an attempt to freeze it, creating an ice wall of sorts as Gizmodo reported. It didn’t work.

Tepco says “it has proved exceptionally difficult” to freeze the trenches completely, according to World Nuclear News. “Tepco subsidiary Tokyo Power Technology even threw in chunks of ice, but eventually had to pour in cement to seal the trench,” says the AP. The project cost $840,000, which is chump change compared to other items on the list.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I have a saying. If you can’t make it work under capitalism and socialism is already leaving you voluntarily then you are pretty much done for this world. It looks like coals time has come and gone and it is the same with nuclear power too. Thank the gods that be. Now the question is, is it too late? We are walking a tight rope on that one. If we can come up with some remediations we just might pull out of this very steep climate dive. It is going to be close.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/flurry-of-coal-power-plant-shutdowns-expected-by-2016-17086

Flurry of Coal Power Plant Shutdowns Expected by 2016

A flurry of coal-fired power plants — major sources of climate change-fueling carbon dioxide emissions — could be closed by 2016, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts.

New emissions regulations and low natural gas prices, partly because of the fracking boom throughout the U.S., are leading utilities to shut down coal-fired power plants and open new ones that burn natural gas. With new Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards limiting mercury, acid gases and toxic metals from coal-fired power plants taking effect in 2015, there is even more impetus for utilities to retire older coal plants, according to the EIA.

Because of those new standards, the EIA forecasts that 90 percent of the power plants expected to shut down by 2020 will actually be shut down by 2016. Those new standards include coal-fired power plants likely having to install flue gas desulfurization equipment, or “scrubbers,” which cost hundreds of millions of dollars each, depending on the size of the plant.

Utilities may decide to shutter a coal-fired power plant if coal prices, wholesale electricity prices and the costs of installing scrubbers do not make economic sense, according to the EIA.

Coal-fired power plants are feeling the heat about carbon emissions, too. Concern about coal plants’ carbon emission contributing to climate change are driving the EPA to write new carbon emissions rules unrelated to the new mercury standards. The EPA has proposed new regulations aiming to curb carbon emissions from future coal-fired power plants and is in the process of proposing similar regulations governing existing coal power plants.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Unfortunately the plant will sit there in “safe mode” for 60 years until it cools down enough to begin to dismantle it. Hopeful by then a safe disposal site will be designated for the whole US so that the site can be returned to greenfield status. This country should have started a glassification program a long time ago, but besides getting the idea of nuclear power all wrong for cold war purposes, we have got the whole process wrong to make it at least feasible ever since. What a waste of time and money this last 60 nuclear years have been. Our grandchildren will look back on our time as a sad one indeed.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/27/vermont-yankee-nuclear-plant-closure/2707987/

Vermont nuclear power plant to shut down in 2014

Terri Hallenbeck and Tim Johnson, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press

Company said the plant is no longer economically viable.

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Entergy Corp. will close Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which it had fought so vigorously to keep open, by the end of 2014, the company said Tuesday.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin called the shutdown “the right decision for Vermont” and pledged to help the plant’s workers find new jobs.

Entergy (ETR), which bought Vermont Yankee in 2002 from eight Vermont utilities, made the decision Sunday to shut down the 600-megawatt nuclear power plant just outside of Vernon, Vt., on the Vermont-New Hampshire border about 2 miles north of the Massachusetts border but informed the Vermont governor of its decision Tuesday morning

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Go there for a joyous read. More next week.

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While it is true that this “underground river of water” or what ever it is, is troubling. It is also clear that the bloggers and the fear mongers also want to have an end of the world hissy fit. The truth probably lies in the middle somewhere, BUT the fact that this is 2 and 1/2 years later is both dangerous and unacceptable. I lay this one at the foot of the antiquated class structure of Japan and its notion that deference is the only honorable approach to major social conflicts. This is at its heart a cultural conflict between the business community and the government which the business community wants to win. Such a win could end us all and the fact that the Japanese government is just now catching on is frightening.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/official-tepco-plan-could-cause-fukushima-reactor-buildings-to-topple.html

Official: Tepco Plan Could Cause Fukushima Reactor Buildings to “Topple”

Japan’s Nuclear Accident Response Director Warns that Tepco’s Actions Might Cause Reactor Buildings to Collapse

Tepco’s ill-considered efforts to change soil permeability and water flow have caused severe problems at the site … including highly radioactive groundwater bubbling up to the surface.

NHK notes:

The vice governor of Fukushima Prefecture has asked the government to take the lead in handling the matter and stop the leakage. Masao Uchibori told an official from the Nuclear Regulation Authority that some of Tepco’s measures have increased the risk of further leaks.

The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Arnold says:

Obviously this is a massive public health issue … if it gets into the ocean obviously this could be spread throughout the Pacific, could also get into the food supply.

Background here and here.

But there is another – stunning – threat.

Specifically, BBC points out:

Engineers are now facing a new emergency. The Fukushima plant sits smack in the middle of an underground aquifer. Deep beneath the ground, the site is rapidly being overwhelmed by water.

What happens when you pour hundreds of thousands of tons of water (400 metric tons each day times 2.5 years times 365 days in a year equals 365,000 metric tons of water)  onto soil which sits above a massive aquifer?

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Tilting sinking buildings is not good. Go there and read. More next week.

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What a tough month for the environment. I mean it is getting to the point that I may not survive. I mean originally I was thinking that environmental problems would effect my brothers and sisters grandchildren. Then I thought maybe the kids themselves. But the way things are going what about me?

http://news.yahoo.com/rig-owner-eyes-relief-well-divert-gas-off-080328100.html

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The owner of a natural gas drilling rig aflame off of Louisiana’s coast said preparations were under way for the possible drilling of a relief well to divert gas from the site and bring the well under control.

Adam Bourgoyne, a former dean of Louisiana State University’s petroleum engineering department, said such an effort is a complicated task that could take weeks to complete.

The relief well team has to figure out questions such as where to intercept the well bore and what tools will be needed. The surface team has to figure out whether it’s safe to get onto the platform, how much debris there is and how it can be removed, he said.

“Sometimes, if the well control blowout preventers are intact, they might be able to get on-site and put down enough water and so forth,” said Bourgoyne, now a consultant.

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More steam rising from Fukushima reactor

Camera feed shows more steam escaping from Japanese nuclear plant but officials say levels of radioactivity unchanged.

The operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan said that steam had been spotted at the battered reactor for the second time in days and disappeared in hours.

 

Steam was seen around the fifth floor of the building housing Reactor No 3 Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said on Tuesday.

 

The steam has raised concerns about the damaged reactor, but TEPCO said no significant changes occurred, including in the levels of potentially cancer-causing radioactivity the broken reactor is releasing.

Steam was spotted in the same area on Thursday last week but had disappeared by the next day without any cause known. TEPCO said it was looking at the possibility that accumulated rainwater had been the source

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/quebec-train-crash-brakes_n_3574564.html

Quebec Train Crash: Employee Failed To Properly Set Brakes, Railway CEO Says

By DAVID CRARY 07/10/13

LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec — Canadian officials are now telling the families of the 30 people missing in a runaway oil train crash over the weekend that all are presumed dead.

With 20 bodies found, that would put the death toll from Saturday’s derailment and explosions at 50.

The head of the U.S. railway company whose oil train crashed into the Quebec town has blamed the engineer for failing to set the brakes properly. A fire on the train just hours before the crash is also being investigated.

Parts of the devastated town had been too hot and dangerous to enter and find bodies even days after the disaster. Some 60 had been presumed missing earlier.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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OKOKOK this an example of bad journalism or AT LEAST cultural differences between 2 countries forms of journalism. Either way it made me slightly angry. If you read the article you will see that a fungus which is a really important food source but also a source of naturopathic medicines in Japan is at the heart of this article. (and yes, the disaster continues apace but the world has gotten tired of it and the Nuclear Power industry has wanted everything to die down) But if you actually read the article, the fungus is new and with great potential but it was discovered or at least the sample was taken in 2006 and the only connection to the Fukushima  meltdowns is that the fungus is in a village closed to the public because of its proximity to the site and the mention comes at the END of the article. Now in the US, except in the tabloids, these kinds of headlines would not be allowed. But I guess any tie-in in Japan to something that is still roiling the country is allowed.

 

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000379803

 

New fungus discovered in Fukushima

The Yomiuri Shimbun A fungus found in the village of Iitate, Fukushima Prefecture, in 2006 is a new species, it has been learned.

The fungus, named tsubugata-aritake, is a type of tochukaso, or caterpillar fungus, that grows and feeds on insects and is valued as an herbal remedy. The formal acknowledgment came as a German specialist journal on mycology carried a paper on the fungus earlier this month.

Unlike other caterpillar fungus in Japan, tsubugata-aritake is a “takeover” type that feeds on insects such as ants and cicadas that have already been parasitized by another tochukaso, scientifically termed Ophiocordyceps sinensis.

The Chinese and Tibetan caterpillar fungi that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths is well known as a Chinese medicine. According to the Japanese Society for Cordyceps Research, a society for caterpillar fungus researchers and enthusiasts, there are about 500 types of the fungi, 450 of which have been found in Japan, where research and studies on fungi are thriving and many new types have been discovered. In recent years, the caterpillar fungus has been attracting attention for use in health supplements.

“If it has any medicinal benefits, I’d like to commercialize it and donate sales profits to reconstruction [of the prefecture],” said Yoshitaka Kaitsu, a pharmacist in Date in the prefecture who discovered the fungus.

Kaitsu, the society’s vice chairman, has a good track record in finding caterpillar fungi. In 1986, he found another type of caterpillar fungus that also turned out to be a new species and was named “kobugata-aritake.”

 

 

 

 

 

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I wrote the following rant in response to a question from my stepson Gus. I did it the way I write emails, minues capital letters and punctuation. I may change that later but for now here it is.

as one of my professors used to say.. think about the question before you ask it because it will have an answer….so my first answer is that nuclear anything is an inappropriate use of technology and worse yet design….at least here on the earth…at least until the END…now in space that is another matter…as a small is beautiful person schumacher said that – building nuclear power plants is like using a firehose to knock an ant off your toilet seat…it would do it but it would trash the rest of the bathroom….

using commercial grade nuclear power plants to generate electricity are by their natures large and complex with many moving parts.. they were larely invented by scientists who had a hard on for large complex machine and the military who needed cover for their nuclear weapons program…so it really has no relation to the actual generation of electricity in the world and represents a valid dichotomy in intellectual thinking .. ie. large and central vs. separate and continuous … to me diffuse power systems make a lot of sense…1. they require far fewer power lines so transmission lose is reduced and 2. there is much less of a chance of an actual power failure…then there is the cost

finland is currently the most committed nuclear power plant builder…i know that sounds very weird but it is true and they are right next door to norway the home of the first commercial thorium nuclear test reactor…(what a great segue and a return to your real question)…finland’s last nuke was projected to cost 3 billion $$$ and it came in last year (5 years late) at 8 billion $$$…now understand findland kinda models the earth towards the end of our sun’s useful life…where nukes make sense…they gots no fuel besides wood and it is colder than hell there much of the year…(plus as a political side note they got russia as a neighbor.. big yuk) still it really makes no sense…

so if you can accept the facts of large complicate expensive energy systems and find the current nuclear ones to be dangerous then thorium salt generators may seem to hold promise…i would argue that if the usa was going to go nuclear in the 1950s this is the direction we should have gone…in fact oak ridge build 2 such reactors one, a straight salts burner (remember fission is just a large fire) and 2, a burner with a “mat”….they were quickly shut down because they did not involve highly concentrated uraniun and plutonium…so from that perspective thorium reactors are much safer…generate higher temperatures and generate much “safer” waste…

again for me we got the biggest nuke that we need in the SUN…usens puny humans caint do no betters…so i say we use that until it begins to fail and then use all the stuff we could burn then…unfortunately we have burned 1/2 of it already so we better stop quick….and for the record…contrary to the science fiction models…i do not believe we are going anywhere in this solar system anytime soon so to all the capitalists that have been treating this planet as disposable i say tsck tsck tsck….the billionaires currently have a huge hard on for mars…well they have not solved the radiation, speed and food problems yet let alone the fuel problems so i say have a go at it bloke…i will stand by the side and watch…remember that voyagers 1 and 2 where launched when i was a child and they are just now leaving the solar system…thought votes are still out as to whether they have yet or not…

 

BUT THEN THERE IS SOLAR:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/07/08/germanys-solar-industry-is-imploding/?partner=yahootix

Germany’s Solar Industry Is Imploding

William Pentland, Contributor

I write about energy and environmental issues.

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The title says it all. Go there and read. More next week

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