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ENENews.com – Energy News

Report: Massive radiation leak at Fukushima plant — Extremely high levels being detected outside reactor — Officials can’t explain why — Expert warns of global threat: “It’s a disaster of unseen proportions” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/report-massive-radiation-leak-at-fukushima-plant-extremely-high-levels-found-outside-reactor-expert-warns-of-global-threat-its-a-disaster-of-unseen-proportions-video
Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET
By ENENews

The Independent, Feb 2, 2018 (emphasis added): Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak… Expert warns of ‘global’ consequences unless the plant is treated properly… [Tepco] found eight sieverts per hour of radiation, while 42 [sieverts] were also detected outside its foundations… It came as Tepco said the problem of contaminated water pooled around the plants three reactors that is seeping into the ground has caused a major headache in its efforts to decommission the plant… Mycle Schneider, an independent energy consultant and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, said that Tepco “hasn’t a clue what it is doing” in its job to decommission the plant. He added that the contaminated water that is leaking at the site could end up in the ocean if the ongoing treatment project fails and cause a “global” disaster, he told The Independent… “I find it symptomatic of the past seven years, in that they don’t know what they’re doing, Tepco, these energy companies haven’t a clue what they’re doing, so to me it’s been going wrong from the beginning. It’s a disaster of unseen proportions.” Mr Schneider added that the radiation leaks coupled with the waste from the plant stored in an “inappropriate” way in tanks could have global consequences… “This can get problematic anytime, if it contaminates the ocean there is no local contamination, the ocean is global, so anything that goes into the ocean goes to everyone.” He added: “It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone, this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.”

NHK, Feb 1, 2018: High radiation detected at Fukushima plant… A remote-controlled inspection of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel last month detected a maximum of 8 sieverts per hour of radiation… [Tepco] said the radiation reading was taken near what appeared to be fuel debris, the term used to describe a mixture of molten fuel and broken interior parts… radiation levels remain so high that they present a major challenge to decommissioning work. During the probe, 42 sieverts per hour of radiation was also detected outside the foundations of the reactor. But officials said they have doubts about the accuracy of the reading because a cover had not been removed from the measuring instrument at the time. They added that they don’t know why radiation levels were lower near the suspected fuel debris than around the foundations. They gave a number of possible reasons, such as that cooling water may have washed radioactive materials off the debris…

RT, Feb 2, 2018: An inspection of the Fukushima nuclear plant has detected extremely high amounts of radiation, says operator TEPCO… Experts can’t explain why radiation levels in fuel debris were lower than outside the reactor’s foundations…

Sputnik, Feb 4, 2018: ‘Global Consequences’ of Lethal Radiation Leak at Destroyed Japan Nuclear Plant… While 8 Sv/h is deadly, outside of Fukushima’s Reactor Number 2 foundations… a much higher level of 42 Sv/h was detected. A strange occurrence, and experts are still arguing what caused the discrepancy. One possible explanation is that cooling water washed radioactive material off debris, taking it somewhere else. But here’s a truly terrifying catch: according to the report, Tepco highly doubts the new readings, because, as was discovered later, a cover was not removed from the robot-mounted measurement device at the time of the inspection, NHK World reports… While that radiation dosimeter cover negligence prevents precise calculations, the actual picture inside Unit 2 is thought to be much worse…

Watch NHK’s broadcast here:
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/nhknewsline/nuclearwatch/highradiationatfukushimadaiichi7yearson/

Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET

Fukushima is not over, not by a long shot. Every day since March 11, 2011, Japan has allowed the radioactive water to run into the ocean. Japan has threatened their doctors about telling the truth about the illnesses that have plagued the Japanese people since the meltdown, and have arrested and threatened numerous reporters for reporting the truth.
Fukushima has global consequences because all of our oceans connect to one another. Japan is supposed to be readying to release 100 million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

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Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

 

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

Fukushima’s Cesium-137 Release Tops Chernobyl’s

The Korea Atomic Energy Research (KAER) Institute outside of Seoul reported in July 2014 that Fukushima-Daiichi’s three reactor meltdowns may have emitted two to four times as much cesium-137 as the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl.[4]

To determine its estimate of the cesium-137 that was released into the environment from Fukushima, the Cesium-137 release fraction (4% to the atmosphere, 16% to the ocean) was multiplied by the cesium-137 inventory in the uranium fuel inside the three melted reactors (760 to 820 quadrillion Becquerel, or Bq), with these results:

Ocean release of cesium-137 from Fukushima (the worst ever recorded): 121.6 to 131.2 quadrillion Becquerel (16% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq). Atmospheric release of Cesium-137 from Fukushima: 30.4 to 32.8 quadrillion Becquerel (4% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq).

Total release of Cesium-137 to the environment from Fukushima: 152 to 164 quadrillion Becquerel. Total release of Cesium-137 into the environment from Chernobyl: between 70 and 110 quadrillion Bq.

The Fukushima-Daiichi reactors’ estimated inventory of 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq (petabecquerels) of Cesium-137 used by the KAER Institute is significantly lower than the US Department of Energy’s estimate of 1,300 quadrillion Bq. It is possible the Korean institute’s estimates of radioactive releases are low.

In Chernobyl, 30 years after its explosions and fire, what the Wall St. Journal last year called “the $2.45 billion shelter implementation plan” was finally completed in November 2016. A huge metal cover was moved into place over the wreckage of the reactor and its crumbling, hastily erected cement tomb. The giant new cover is 350 feet high, and engineers say it should last 100 years — far short of the 250,000-year radiation hazard underneath.

The first cover was going to work for a century too, but by 1996 was riddled with cracks and in danger of collapsing. Designers went to work then engineering a cover-for-the-cover, and after 20 years of work, the smoking radioactive waste monstrosity of Chernobyl has a new “tin chapeau.” But with extreme weather, tornadoes, earth tremors, corrosion and radiation-induced embrittlement it could need replacing about 2,500 times.

John Laforge’s field guide to the new generation of nuclear weapons is featured in the March/April 2018 issue of CounterPunch magazine.

Notes.

[1]Duluth News-Tribune & Herald, “Slight rise in radioactivity found again in state milk,” May 22, 1986; St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, “Radiation kills Chernobyl firemen,” May 17, 1986; Minneapolis StarTribune, “Low radiation dose found in area milk,” May 17, 1986.

[2]Ian Fairlie, “TORCH-2016: An independent scientific evaluation of the health-related effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” March 2016 (https://www.global2000.at/sites/global/files/GLOBAL_TORCH%202016_rz_WEB_KORR.pdf).

[3]James K. Asselstine, Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Testimony in Nuclear Reactor Safety: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, May 22 and July 16, 1986, Serial No. 99-177, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1987.

[4] Progress in Nuclear Energy, Vol. 74, July 2014, pp. 61-70; ENENews.org, Oct. 20, 2014.

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Report: Massive radiation leak at Fukushima plant — Extremely high levels being detected outside reactor — Officials can’t explain why — Expert warns of global threat: “It’s a disaster of unseen proportions” (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/report-massive-radiation-leak-at-fukushima-plant-extremely-high-levels-found-outside-reactor-expert-warns-of-global-threat-its-a-disaster-of-unseen-proportions-video?
utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET
By ENENews

The Independent, Feb 2, 2018 (emphasis added): Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak… Expert warns of ‘global’ consequences unless the plant is treated properly… [Tepco] found eight sieverts per hour of radiation, while 42 [sieverts] were also detected outside its foundations… It came as Tepco said the problem of contaminated water pooled around the plants three reactors that is seeping into the ground has caused a major headache in its efforts to decommission the plant… Mycle Schneider, an independent energy consultant and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, said that Tepco “hasn’t a clue what it is doing” in its job to decommission the plant. He added that the contaminated water that is leaking at the site could end up in the ocean if the ongoing treatment project fails and cause a “global” disaster, he told The Independent… “I find it symptomatic of the past seven years, in that they don’t know what they’re doing, Tepco, these energy companies haven’t a clue what they’re doing, so to me it’s been going wrong from the beginning. It’s a disaster of unseen proportions.” Mr Schneider added that the radiation leaks coupled with the waste from the plant stored in an “inappropriate” way in tanks could have global consequences… “This can get problematic anytime, if it contaminates the ocean there is no local contamination, the ocean is global, so anything that goes into the ocean goes to everyone.” He added: “It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone, this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.”

NHK, Feb 1, 2018: High radiation detected at Fukushima plant… A remote-controlled inspection of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel last month detected a maximum of 8 sieverts per hour of radiation… [Tepco] said the radiation reading was taken near what appeared to be fuel debris, the term used to describe a mixture of molten fuel and broken interior parts… radiation levels remain so high that they present a major challenge to decommissioning work. During the probe, 42 sieverts per hour of radiation was also detected outside the foundations of the reactor. But officials said they have doubts about the accuracy of the reading because a cover had not been removed from the measuring instrument at the time.

They added that they don’t know why radiation levels were lower near the suspected fuel debris than around the foundations. They gave a number of possible reasons, such as that cooling water may have washed radioactive materials off the debris…

RT, Feb 2, 2018: An inspection of the Fukushima nuclear plant has detected extremely high amounts of radiation, says operator TEPCO… Experts can’t explain why radiation levels in fuel debris were lower than outside the reactor’s foundations…

Sputnik, Feb 4, 2018: ‘Global Consequences’ of Lethal Radiation Leak at Destroyed Japan Nuclear Plant… While 8 Sv/h is deadly, outside of Fukushima’s Reactor Number 2 foundations… a much higher level of 42 Sv/h was detected. A strange occurrence, and experts are still arguing what caused the discrepancy. One possible explanation is that cooling water washed radioactive material off debris, taking it somewhere else. But here’s a truly terrifying catch: according to the report, Tepco highly doubts the new readings, because, as was discovered later, a cover was not removed from the robot-mounted measurement device at the time of the inspection, NHK World reports… While that radiation dosimeter cover negligence prevents precise calculations, the actual picture inside Unit 2 is thought to be much worse…

Watch NHK’s broadcast here: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/nhknewsline/nuclearwatch/highradiationatfukushimadaiichi7yearson/

Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET

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Cracks found in Taishan nuclear power plant
– Friday, December 15, 2017 – 2 weeks ago No Comments 2,596 Views

https://macaudailytimes.com.mo/cracks-found-taishan-nuclear-power-plant.html

One of the key power generation system components of Unit 1 of Taishan nuclear power plant cracked during an earlier pre-production test, according to a report by FactWire News Agency.

“A ‘boiler’ in Unit 1 appeared to have cracked during functional testing and must be replaced, according to a nuclear plant employee,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

“He also told FactWire undercover reporters when they visited the site last month that representatives from Harbin Electric, the Chinese manufacturer of the ‘boiler’, came to the plant for a week in late October to discuss with the plant operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture, a plan to replace the faulty ‘boiler’,” according to FactWire.

Taishan Nuclear Power plant is being made by the joint venture between the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), which is a China state-owned company, and the French electricity company Électricité de France.

CGN, in a reply to Fact Wire News Agency, said “the Unit 1 of of Taishan nuclear power plant has already completed the cold functional and thermal functional tests. The test results were in line with design requirements. The deaerator is a common equipment of a conventional island thermal system, […] it does not belong to the nuclear safety related system.”

“China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the developer of the Taishan nuclear project, said on Tuesday afternoon that there were ‘partial defects’ in the welding of the deaerator in question, but insisted ‘replacement work was near completion’,” FactWire News Agency writes.

CGN’s official document says that the deaerator of Taishan Unit 1 is 46.6 meters long and 4.76 meters in diameter.

“Last week, a Dongfang Electric engineer also confirmed to FactWire that the deaerator was supplied by Harbin Electric and the welding on the deaerator was ‘problematic’,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

Dongfang Electric is also co-responsible for manufacturing components for the Taishan nuclear power Unit 1.

The power plant is located 67 kilometers from Macau and 130 kilometers from Hong Kong, and is still under construction.

Safety concerns were raised last year after components of the nuclear plant were discovered to have been made in mainland China, not in France as previously thought.

According to FactWire, China had been hoping to launch Unit 1 this year, whereas French engineers who were sent to Taishan for the project, told FactWire that it could only be launched in 2018 at the earliest.

“The National Nuclear Safety Administration of China stipulates that a nuclear plant must seek permission from the agency before loading fuel assemblies to conduct tests. But public records show that Taishan Unit 1 has yet to have received such a permit,” FactWire reported.

Last year, members of the civil society had asked the MSAR government to clarify both issues related to the emergency plan and possible risks posed by the nuclear plant to Macau’s population. A local delegation visited the nuclear plant to check the safety of the infrastructure.

The head of the Security Forces Coordination Office, Choi Lai Hang, led the local delegation and explained that Macau would not require protective measures, even in the event of a very serious nuclear incident (level 7) at the Taishan nuclear power plant.

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TV: EPA data reveals “sharp spike in radiation level” around US nuclear site — “It’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks” — Evacuations enacted… Almost 50 workers have sought medical attention… Symptoms include bleeding ulcers, burned lungs (VIDEOS)
http://enenews.com/tv-epa-data-reveals-sharp-spike-radiation-level-around-nuclear-site-leaking-huge-amounts-radioactive-materials-2-weeks-evacuations-enacted-almost-50-workers-sought-medical-attention-symtoms-incl
Published: May 7th, 2016 at 2:40 pm ET
By ENENews

KING 5 News, May 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Record number of Hanford workers sickened by toxic vapors — An unprecedented number of workers at Hanford have been exposed to dangerous chemical vapors since Thursday, April 28. In one week’s time a total of 47 people either sought medical attention… Symptoms reported by workers include a headache, burning nose and throat, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, elevated blood pressure, and dizziness… [T]hose familiar with the nuclear site cannot remember so many people falling victim in such a short period… On May 4, two more evacuations were enacted at the site after workers smelled odors and experienced symptoms… “Forty-two employees have been evaluated as a precautionary measure due to reported odors or symptoms at the on-site medical facility since Thursday. Thirty-one employees reported health symptoms while 11 went for cautionary reasons. All have been released to return to work” said Rob Roxburgh of the Dept. of Energy, in a statement sent to KING 5 on Wednesday. Chemical vapor releases at Hanford come from underground nuclear waste storage tanks that vent the gasses without warning.

RT, May 7, 2016: Spike in radiation levels after toxic waste leak at Washington nuclear site — Radiation levels at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste site have spiked to “elevated risk” after thousands of gallons of toxic waste leaked in April… The recent readings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtained by RT have revealed that a sharp spike in the radiation level had been registered in Richland on the morning of May 5. The readings show the random jump when the toxic fume rates briefly reached around 410 CPM (counts per minute), nearly the highest possible level… As of Friday afternoon, there have been no media reports suggesting that an evacuation or other measures and guidance have been ordered for Richland… The most recent radiation spike comes less than a month after a massive leak was first detected…

RT transcript, May 5, 2016: On Thursday last week at least 19 workers at the Hanford nuclear site were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous fumes, from tasting metal in their mouth to bleeding ulcers and burned lungs.

RT transcript, May 3, 2016: At the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state… more workers sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes. This adds to 19 workers hospitalized last week for the same reason — reinforcing burning concerns about the facility as it’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks… [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “It’s an environmental disaster, at some point the [Columbia] River becomes so contaminated that you can’t use the river.”… Ecologists say the situation can always get worse. They hate to think what would happen in case of even a minor earthquake in a geologically unstable area that it is. But even in the current state of things with tanks leaking nuclear poison into the environment, Hanford is already way past the ticking time bomb stage.

RT transcript, May 2, 2016: [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “A second double-shelled nuclear waste tank is showing signs of having failed, you find that out because there’s high radiation levels in between the two shells of the tank. There should be no radiation in that space… but instruments they have deployed there show high radiation levels, plutonium, cesium, strontium-90, etc. – well where did that come from? It probably came from the tank, meaning there’s a hole.”… So we’re looking at potentially a catastrophe, a disastrous catastrophe? [Carpenter:] “Every day we’re looking at that at Hanford – I’m totally serious.”

RT transcript, Apr 21, 2016: ‘Washington state nuke plant leaks thousands of gallons of toxic waste‘… Experts say it’s time for every American to be worried.

Watch the broadcasts here: KING 5 | KING 5 | RT | RT | RT | RT

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100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — “None have survived” — “Many are starving, suffering from shortage of food in Pacific Ocean” — “Extremely thin… all sorts of illnesses, infections” — “Milkless moms immediately abandoning pups” — TV: “The problem is getting worse” (VIDEOS)

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Bizarre mutated animal found near US nuclear site — CNN: “It can only be described as monstrous” — Fully-formed teeth and extra jaw growing out of head — Scientists “mystified… stunned… puzzled” by extremely rare deformity — Official: “We haven’t seen anything like this” (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)
Published: January 19th, 2016 at 6:52 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/bizarre-mutated-animal-found-nuclear-site-fully-formed-teeth-growing-head-mountain-lion-scientists-mystified-puzzled-official-anything-like-photos-videos?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


East Idaho News, Jan 9, 2016 (emphasis added): The following is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game… The mountain lion had an unusual deformity—fully-formed teeth and what appears to be small whiskers were growing out of hard fur-covered tissue on the left side of the animal’s forehead… It is possible that the teeth could be the remnants of a conjoined twin… It is also possible that deformity was a teratoma tumor… They are rare in humans and animals. Biologists from the southeast region of Idaho Fish and Game have never seen anything like this particular deformity before… Mountain lions have large home ranges (50 to 150 square miles).

East Idaho News, Jan 7, 2016: “We haven’t seen anything like this in our region” [said Idaho Fish and Game’s Jennifer Jackson] The young male was killed Dec. 30 in Franklin County … “we determined something really interesting was going on.”

Inquistr, Jan 9, 2016: Mutant Mountain Lion With Horns Deformed By Idaho’s Nuclear Weapons Testing Fallout?… [It’s] head has a fairly hideous looking growth sprouting from the back of its skull… some on social media wonder if it’s possible that Idaho’s fallout from Nevada nuclear weapons testing is somehow linked to the bizarre creature… “It has all of us scratching our heads. It’s a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo,” said biologist Zach Lockyer… [S]ome on social media believe it’s possible that Idaho’s nuclear weapons testing history may be involved… [A] 2010 study by a researcher of the University of South Alabama concluded the “rates of conjoined twins and teratomas also seem to be elevated” in humans from the Chernobyl fallout… [T]hose medical conditions happen to be the two leading explanations for the deformed mountain lion…

KBOI, Jan 8, 2016: Idaho Fish and Game mystified by rare, deformed mountain lion — A mountain lion with an extremely rare deformity is a puzzling discovery for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game… [A] possibility is a teratoma tumor… and are incredibly rare…

CBS, Jan 11, 2016: State wildlife biologists have been left puzzled over a mountain lion found with teeth growing out the side of its forehead… Idaho Fish and Game biologists say they’ve never seen such a “bizarre” abnormality before.

Idaho State Journal, Jan 14, 2016: [It] has turned into a worldwide media sensation… [S]tories can be found on YouTube with commentators linking the deformity to radioactive forests and Atomic City, Idaho… “We had a three-headed calf,” [Local veterinarian Lincoln Mumford] said. “The calf had a jaw on one side of its head and one the other side, it had a jaw, teeth and whiskers.”… From Riverdale to the Utah border, there are just five adult cougars that [Boone Smith, a local big cat expert] knows of…

Idaho State Journal, Jan 6, 2016: [W]ildlife biologists were stunned by what they saw… an abnormality local Fish and Game biologists say they have never seen before.

CNN, Jan 11, 2016: It had fully-formed teeth growing out of the top of its head… The deformity could be a “monster tumor“… [It] can only be described as bizarre, even monstrous.

Watch broadcasts here: KSTU | CNN | CBS

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I can’t help but wonder what killed this poor soul. We will most likely never hear anything more about it, unless he killed over from a heart attack or something, easy to explain.


(Image courtesy of Department of Defense)
Emergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — “Dead body found at facility”… “Officials confirm one death” — “Sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident”

Published: December 29th, 2015 at 6:19 pm ET
By ENENews


http://www.abqjournal.com/697959/news/wipp-employee-found-dead-on-the-job.html
Albuquerque Journal, Dec 28, 2015 (emphasis added): A 62-year-old employee was found dead Sunday at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Robert Staffel, an employee at the nuclear waste repository’s quality assurance department, was found unresponsive by emergency response personnel around 8 p.m. after family members alerted staff that they had tried to reach him by phone, according to a spokesman… Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and state medical examiner responded to the site and an investigation is ongoing. Staffel is believed to have died of natural causes… Phil Breidenbach, NWP president and project manager [said] “We will continue to support the investigation into Mr. Staffel’s death.”

http://www.scsun-news.com/story/news/2015/12/28/dead-body-found-radioactive-waste-facility/77982028/
Silver City Sun News, Dec 28, 2015: Dead body found at radioactive waste facility… deputies responded to a call at about 8:43 p.m. on Sunday reporting an unconscious man at [WIPP]… Further investigation revealed that the man had been located on the facility grounds and was an employee of WIPP… The cause of the man’s death is unknown, according to the news release… The incident remains under investigation…

http://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2015/12/28/officials-confirm-one-death-wipp/77981446/
Carlsbad Current-Argus, Dec 28, 2015: Officials confirm one death at WIPP — The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office said a man who was found unconscious at the [WIPP] on Sunday is dead. Emergency service responders were dispatched to WIPP at around 9:45 p.m. when the employee was found unresponsive at the facility… Chief Deputy Mark Cage said in a news release that the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death is unknown and the sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident, said Sgt. Matt Hutchinson…


http://krqe.com/2015/12/28/waste-isolation-pilot-plant-employee-found-dead-at-wipp-facility/
KRQE, Dec 28, 2015: The death of a [WIPP] employee is under investigation after he was found dead Sunday. The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office says the man was found dead at the plant. Officials say the cause of his death is unknown. The incident is still under investigation.

Click to access EOC_Level1_activation_weather.pdf


U.S. Department of Energy (pdf), Dec 29, 2015: At approximately, 9 a.m. Mountain Time, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) announced a Level 1 activation to support coordination of resources needed to safely restore normal operations at WIPP due to the recent severe snow storm in southeast New Mexico.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s4005226.shtml#.VoZN1_x0t4n
AP, Dec 29, 2015: Officials at an underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico say they have activated their emergency operations center in response to the severe weather that has hit much of New Mexico. [WIPP] has been closed for the past couple of days due to the inclement weather…

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Report: “Red Alert! Sharp increase in radiation… at Fukushima” — Levels spike 400,000% under plant — Almost 1,000,000,000 becquerels per cubic meter — TV: Officials investigating cause
Published: December 10th, 2015 at 4:15 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/report-red-alert-sharp-increase-radiation-fukushima-levels-spike-400000-plant-tv-officials-investigating?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

NHK World, Dec 9, 2015: Radiation spikes in Fukushima underground ducts — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says levels of radioactivity in underground tunnels have sharply risen. Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium in water samples taken from the tunnels on December 3rd. That’s 4000 times higher than data taken in December last year. The samples also contained 500,000 becquerels of a beta-ray-emitting substance, up 4,100 times from the same period… They plan to investigate what caused the spike in radiation.

Rossiya Segodnya (Russian gov’t news agency) – Sputnik: Red Alert! Radiation Spike Registered Under Fukushima Nuclear Plant — A sharp increase in radiation levels was detected in one of the underground tunnels at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to media reports. According to a press release issued by TEPCO, Fukushima plant’s operator, the water samples retrieved from the tunnels on December 3rd contained 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium and about 500,000 of beta-ray-emitting substance becquerels per liter of a beta-ray-emitting substance, which is about 4,000-4,100 times higher compared to the samples taken a year ago, Japanese NHK TV channel reports.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (translated by Google), Dec 9, 2015: About the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, we will inform you as follows… As part of the accumulated water survey in the trench duct that is connected to each building, it is a confirmation of the radioactivity concentration of appropriate standing water, but the waste treatment building between the contact duct taken on December 3 analytical results of stagnant water is, ensure that it is following values.

Cesium-134: 9.2 × 10^4 Bq/L [92,000 Bq/L]
Cesium-137: 3.9 × 10^5 Bq/L [390,000 Bq/L]
All beta: 5.0 × 10^5 Bq/L [500,000 Bq/L]
Tritium: 6.7 × 10^3 Bq/L [6,700 Bq/L]
Reference (December 11… 2014):

Cesium-134: 2.7 × 10^1 Bq/L [27 Bq/L]
Cesium-137: 9.4 × 10^1 Bq/L [94 Bq/L]
All beta: 1.2 × 10^2 Bq/L [120 Bq/L]
Tritium: 3.1 × 10^2 Bq/L [310 Bq/L]
According to TEPCO’s data, total cesium increased 3,984 times (~400,000%) and all beta-emitting radionuclides including strontium-90 increased 4,167 times (~420,000%).

The total concentration of radionuclides in the Dec. 3, 2015 sample is 988,700 Bq/L or 988,700,000 Bq/m^3.

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From ENENews: Former Japan Official: “Unstoppable contamination of Pacific Ocean… is seriously menacing US West Coast” — “Fukushima now undeniably a global security issue… can’t be brought under control by single state” —

Reuters: Contamination is spreading off U.S. shores — Radioactive cesium reaches 11 Bq/m3 at multiple locations (MAP) “Very significant” explosion at dam next to U.S. nuclear site — ‘Plasma’ created due to tremendous amount of heat — Same type of phenomenon as lightning — Nuclear site’s fire department responds to blast (VIDEO) http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/explosion-washington-state-dam-injures-multiple-employees-n441456 »

Former Japan Official: “Unstoppable contamination of Pacific Ocean… is seriously menacing US West Coast” — “Fukushima now undeniably a global security issue… can’t be brought under control by single state” — Experts: Wave of radiation will be 10 times more than entire world’s nuclear tests combined
http://enenews.com/former-japan-official-fukushimas-unstoppable-contamination-pacific-ocean-seriously-menacing-west-coast-disaster-be-brought-control-single-state-limitless-steam-coming-reactors-evokes-possibility
Published: December 2nd, 2015 at 7:05 am ET
By ENENews

Mitsuhei Murata, former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland, Nov 1, 2015 (emphasis added):

The lack of the sense of crisis over Fukushima is in stark contrast to the gravity of the crisis. Fukushima is now undeniably a global security issue. The unstoppable contamination of the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere with ionizing radiation from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactors is seriously menacing the West Coast of the United States. Japan should make utmost efforts to cope with the Fukushima crisis by retreating from the Tokyo Olympic Games that disseminate the false impression that Fukushima is under control.

Deteriorating situation in Fukushima — Japan is laboring under the consequences of the Accident never before experienced by humanity, including the simultaneous destruction and meltdown of three commercial nuclear reactors. Four and half years after the 3.11 disaster, it has been shown that a severe nuclear accident cannot be brought under control by a single state… It is questioned if Japan is in possession of the governability and the capacity needed to cope with the impending crisis. The melted cores of the reactors from Units 1, 2 and 3 remain inaccessible… If the molten nuclear fuel rods are exposed through cracks to the atmosphere due to a mega earthquake or the liquidization of soils on the site that could cause the collapse and breach of Fukushima’s spent fuel pools, Japan’s landmass would become uninhabitable to a large extent… The whole of Japan is threatened by the worsening situation emanating from the molten fuel rods, which continue to widely disseminate large amounts of dangerous radionuclides into the sea and atmosphere. Limitless steam observed evokes the possibility of re-criticality at the site. The undeniable necessity for international verification of the suspected re-criticality at the site should bring about the indispensable international cooperation to cope effectively with the Accident. The ongoing radioactive contamination of the sea with no prospect for a solution is dishonoring Japan, causing it to be criticized for harming the global environment. In spite of all this, attempts are shamefully being made to hide Fukushima…

World is menaced by the spreading contamination… The consequences of the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the West Coast of the United States are drawing increased attention. Some experts now estimate that the wave of radiation from Fukushima will be 10-times bigger than all of the radiation from the entire world’s nuclear tests throughout history combined…

The Tokyo Olympic Games belittle the Fukushima crisis — It is undeniable that the Tokyo Olympic Games constitute serious impediments for coping with the consequences of the March 11 Disaster… My interview article was published in the magazine “Monthly Japan” (September 2015). It is entitled “An honorable retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games” and is given a central place. Reactions are noteworthy and expanding… The Tokyo Olympic Games diverts attention from Fukushima and gives the false impression to the world that Fukushima no longer poses a threat. The advancement of the Tokyo Olympic Games comes at the expense of the funds needed to address the host of environmental disasters created by the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactors… The future of the Olympic Games is at stake. It is as a believer in the spirit of the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement that I am pleading for an honorable retreat, and this, in order for Japan to devote maximum efforts to controlling the Fukushima crisis.

From last month: Former Japan Ambassador: Uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions could be underway at Fukushima — “Troubling indications of recurring criticality” as Tellurium-132 detected over 100 miles from plant — ‘Recriticality’ discussed by Japan’s top nuclear official

Published: December 2nd, 2015 at 7:05 am ET
By ENENews

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ENENews.com – Energy News

Former WHO Official: Fukushima plant is dumping nuclear waste into ocean on a daily basis; “There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it” — Japan gov’t worried that attempts to reduce leakage will cause even more radioactivity to flow into sea (VIDEO)\

Published: October 27th, 2015 at 7:49 pm ET
By ENENews
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Asahi Shimbun, Oct 26, 2015 (emphasis added): [TEPCO announced] the construction of seaside walls to block radiation-contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea has been completed at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant… TEPCO officials said the underground walls will reduce the daily flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea from the previous estimated 400 tons to 10 tons. However, they said it will take a month or two to confirm the effectiveness of the barriers.

Japan Times, Oct 26, 2015: Tepco hopes the wall will significantly reduce the amount of contaminated water that has continued to flow into the Pacific more than four years after the 2011 meltdown crisis… 400 tons of groundwater was draining along the sides of the buildings and into the sea each day, after being contaminated with fallout from the 2011 meltdown crisis, according Tepco. The utility says an estimated 150 tons of underground water is still flowing into the basements of the damaged reactor buildings each day… Recent tests of water samples from the nearby sea have detected radioactive substances such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, but scientists have said the density is so low that it poses no immediate danger to human health. Yet, the ongoing flow of tainted water from the plant has raised anxiety and concerns among local fishermen and many consumers across the country. Tepco plans to keep monitoring the density of radioactive materials in the nearby sea over the next month. To isolate the four reactor buildings from the underground water, Tepco hopes to freeze the soil around them… The Nuclear Regulation Authority has yet to give permission for the operation, saying creation of frozen soil could drastically change the underground water level around the plant. If the water level outside falls lower than that inside, the contaminated water could leak out. Meanwhile, Tepco has not explained exactly how it will control the water levels, an NRA official said.

Dr. Keith Baverstock, former World Health Organization regional adviser for radiation and public health, published Oct 23, 2015 (at 37:00 in): “I’m really appalled at the way the international system has failed… Quite frankly, we don’t get anything through the media… There is no general understanding of the situation here in Europe, because the media are not putting this view forward. In fact, I think many people would be very surprised that it was still a matter for discussion. They would be even more surprised to learn that it’s still an ongoing accident, and that it hasn’t terminated yet. They’d be even more surprised that nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it. So this is a very big black point… for the nuclear industry — that they can cause a situation like this, where there’s no foreseeable end to it. It’s against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but that is precisely what is happening on a daily basis.”

Watch Baverstock’s presentation here

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The Toxic Threat Of Abandoned Uranium Mines In The United States
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PETITIONS AND ONLINE ACTIONS CLEAN UP THE MINES, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT
By Helen Jaccard, Dr. Margaret Flowers and Klee Benally, http://www.wiseinternational.org
October 14th, 2014

https://www.popularresistance.org/the-toxic-threat-of-abandoned-uranium-mines-in-the-united-states/

Screen Shot 2014 10 14 at 9 58 04 AM

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO CLEAN UP THE MINES!to

The nuclear industry is a many-headed toxic beast – nuclear power and nuclear weapons are just the most visible ones. Mining, milling, processing, reprocessing, manufacturing, and transporting nuclear materials are some other heads of the beast that are less visible. All are desecrating Mother Earth and killing her peoples. It’s time to deal with the initial stage of this problem. We can begin by cleaning up the abandoned uranium mines and placing a National Environmental Security Moratorium on all uranium extraction.

Irresponsible corporations and negligent government agencies have abandoned more than 10,000 toxic uranium mines throughout the US. These hazardous mines poison our air, land and water and harm public health. Currently no laws require cleanup of these dangerous sites. A new campaign, Clean Up The Mines!, aims for remediation of these mines through federal legislation and action, and public education.

Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs)

The Environmental Protection Agency and US Geological Survey document over 10,000 abandoned uranium mines in the US, most in 15 western states on public, private, and tribal lands. Over 4,200 of these mines produced uranium that was sold to the US Atomic Energy Commission for use in nuclear weapons from the 1940s through the 1970s. Starting in the 1960s, much of the mining was done to provide fuel for nuclear power plants.

There are several AUMs in and near the Grand Canyon, 169 of them within 40 miles of Mt. Rushmore, and eight right on the edge of Grand Teton / Yellowstone National Parks. One in seven (10 million) people in the western US lives within 50 miles of an AUM.

The Mining Act of 1872 governs hard rock mining (including uranium mining) on federal lands. Since enactment 142 years ago, the law has never been substantially modified. It was passed to encourage settlement and development of the western US, and current government interpretation specifies that the highest and best use of federal land is mining.

Seventy-five percent of the AUMs are on federal and tribal land. There is no royalty paid for mining on federal lands and no environmental protection or cleanup requirements. Many of the companies who owned the land or operated the mines no longer exist, others have illegally spun off these toxic ‘assets’ into now-bankrupt companies. The result? The people must pay the billions or trillions of dollars to restore most of these sites.

There is also no federal set of best practices or standards for cleanup. As a result, most of the EPA-directed cleanup efforts are nothing more than toxic landscaping.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO CLEAN UP THE MINES!

AUM hazards and contamination pathways

Physical hazards of AUMs come from unmarked, unprotected mine entrances, cliffs, falling rocks, and collapsing buildings and equipment. Wind picks up radioactive dust from rock piles and blows it for miles – people breathe fine particles into their lungs, resulting in much higher levels of lung cancer near AUMs. People carry the radioactive dust, dirt, and mud around on their clothes and shoes, spreading the contamination to their homes and families.

One of the decay elements of uranium is radon gas. It seeps up through the ground in many areas around mine sites where people and animals breathe it in. Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US.

Water picks up radiation in a variety of ways – rain washes radioactive dust from the air and rocks and carries it into streams and rivers. Surface and underground water dissolve uranium from rock and dust. This is particularly true of uranium that has been exposed to oxygen, which changes it from UIV to UVI, which is more soluble in water. (This is the principle used in ‘In Situ Leaching’, similar to fracking techniques, the method most commonly used now.) The result is polluted rivers, lakes, and aquifers, with no safe available drinking water for thousands of communities.

Pools and lakes of contaminated water contribute to bringing radioactivity into the food chain. Cattle and wild animals can drink this toxic water, concentrating radiation in their organs which is called bio-accumulation. Plants in areas surrounding AUMs take up the radioactive waste as well. Whether grown for crops or eaten by animals, the radiation continues to bio-accumulate and spread.

On the Spokane Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington State, there are two lakes collecting water from AUMs that are so acidic that if you dip a spoon in, it will melt. Uranium often occurs with other toxic heavy metals, and over time, as contaminated water flows out of the AUM and into a lake, evaporation and replenishment by more contaminated water gives an extreme concentration of toxic and radioactive heavy metals.

The EPA has estimated that mining has polluted 40% of the headwaters of western watersheds.

Public health emergency

People living near AUMs face increased rates of cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, thyroid disease, autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and lupus, and birth defects. Because so many of these mines are on or near indigenous lands, the genocide of the Indian peoples continues. In many indigenous communities no safe drinking water is available. The EPA has closed 22 wells on the Navajo Nation due to unsafe levels of radioactivity.

Site visits and investigation in South Dakota

A CleanUpTheMines! team visited Mt. Rushmore as part of our Earth Day launch of the campaign. The Geiger counter measurement at the national monument’s main viewing area was 30 microrems per hour, higher than normal because of the 169 AUMs within 50 miles of the monument. Millions of tourists unknowingly face exposure to this toxic threat by breathing radioactive dust and radon gas.

In Riley Pass, one of the largest AUMs in South Dakota, the deadly effect of the mine was apparent. As the group approached the bluff, the tree line ended abruptly at the edge of the mine. Although Riley Pass is designated as a Superfund site, signs of water runoff from the AUM were visible, no barriers or fences prevented people or animals from accessing parts of this hazardous site. This is a site where toxic landscaping was done, leaving very high levels of radioactivity to poison the water and soil of the area.

At the small community of Ludlow, the group measured radioactivity with a Geiger counter at an elementary school playground that was 44 microrems/hour. This is the equivalent of more than 150 Counts Per Minute (CPM), over the 100 CPM threshold, which means it cannot be attributed to background radiation and is not safe. A private abandoned, open-pit uranium mine about 200 meters from the school emits 1170 microrems per hour, more than four times as much as being emitted from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. This is only one abandoned, open-pit uranium mine in the middle of the US.

Charmaine White Face, a scientist and coordinator of Defenders of the Black Hills, facilitated the campaign launch event. “For the American public to be exposed to radioactive pollution and not be warned by federal and state governments is unconscionable,” stated White Face. “Shame on the American federal and state governments for allowing their citizens to be placed in such danger for more than 50 years and not stopping the source of the danger. It is a national travesty.” She noted that according to her doctor, thyroid cancer rates are 10 times higher than the national average in western South Dakota. Margaret Flowers, MD, said, “The mines are a silent health threat. Millions of people are at risk of breathing or ingesting radioactive particles that travel through the air and water and settle in soil where they enter our food system.”

In every community we visited, we heard that people are dying of cancer and have other serious diseases caused by the radioactive contamination. They are very concerned over the lack of information about AUMs and lack of action to remediate them. Babies are born with severe, multiple birth defects. When we visited Red Shirt Village in southeast South Dakota, we heard from Dennis Yellow Thunder, Natural Resources Technician for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Natural Resources Regulatory Resources Agency. His family, including his daughter, used the water for drinking and bathing. His granddaughter was born with multiple birth defects. “If we don’t defend our sacred water it will be the end of us all,” he said, “We must support this campaign to clean up the mines. We need to protect this land, our water and the sacred Black Hills. We need to do it from our heart.”

The water serving this area is heavily contaminated with ‘technologically enhanced’ uranium (from mining and milling waste rather than how it occurs naturally in the ground) and even more with thorium, the first element in decay of uranium. “Without water, nothing can exist”, said Charmaine White Face.

In Buffalo, 20 miles from Ludlow, 12 people (out of about 600 living nearby) now have brain tumors. Experts from Mayo Clinic said the only way people get these are from breathing uranium. Copper sulfate is being fed to cattle so that their fur will be brown or black instead of gray from the radiation. Sheep can’t live there because their immune systems won’t tolerate the radiation. Most ranchers can’t afford to move from this toxic area.

Sandra Cuny Buffington, a rancher who resides in Red Shirt community, maintains a herd of cattle in the Bad Lands. She lived at the river until it wasn’t possible any more because of contamination. She spoke of high rates of cancer in the area: “We know we are contaminated but where are we going to go? I don’t know of any other life than the one that I have lived. As crazy as it sounds, you learn how to live with it.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO CLEAN UP THE MINES!

Abandoned Uranium Mine Cleanup Act

Clean Up the Mines! was established by Defenders of Black Hills and Popular Resistance to pass The Uranium Exploration, Mining Accountability and Moratorium Act (Abandoned Uranium Mine Cleanup Act) of 2014. The Act will:

* maintain a complete inventory of all existing abandoned uranium mining and exploratory sites;

* direct the Environmental Protection Agency to create a new Abandoned Uranium Mines Department, to develop an Action Plan for site-specific reclamation of abandoned uranium mines and exploratory sites;

* place a National Environmental Security moratorium on any processing or approval of new permits for uranium exploration, mining, and in-situ leach operations until the Action Plan is completed;

* institute a program of public education on the dangers of abandoned uranium mines; and

* mandate accountability, enforcement, and public oversight to ensure cleanup of abandoned uranium mines.

From July 21–23, the Clean Up the Mines! team visited congressional offices and supporting organizations in Washington, DC. Rep. Grijalva (Democrat, AZ) is supporting the initiative and other members of congress have pledged their support.

You can learn more about the campaign and what you can do to help Clean Up The Mines! at http://www.cleanupthemines.org. Please contact your senators and representatives and encourage them to support the Abandoned Uranium Mine Cleanup Act and to contact Rep. Grijalva’s office.

Public education

If you can host an event to educate people about abandoned uranium mines, please contact us at cleanupthemines@gmail.com.

Some of our short videos are available on our youtube channel − here’s a web shortcut: tinyurl.com/cleanupthemines

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