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TIANJIN PORT DISASTER-THE WORST EVER? NOT YET, NOT BY A LONG SHOT

21 Aug 2011

UNFORTUNATELY, HISTORY IS REPLETE WITH WORLD-CLASS PORT AND INLAND EXPLOSIVE INCIDENTS. So many in fact that, we are forced to limit our comparison to those that occurred in the past 70 years (or so). Perhaps not so strangely, many of them involve the explosive detonation of nitrates and/or munitions. Note: Nitrates are used worldwide for agricultural fertilizer products; hence are ubiquitous, inexpensive, and unfortunately, can be used as precursor for explosives of all sorts. Munitions involving small and large cartridges, artillery shells (small and huge fused devices) torpedoes, and non-nuclear bombs of all sizes and capabilities. To this we must add industrial explosives used in mining, tunnel boring, etc. (referred to as: Dynamite). Most such are made from derivatives of nitro-cellulose in different compounds. Then there are the High explosives such as Centex, TNT, Plastique, and other compounds normally strictly controlled by governmental offices and restricted to use by the military in most nations. Today, there exist many previously unheard- of “Precursor” compounds used in the Industrial production of chemicals ranging from textiles to amphetamines, and other mind altering “designer drugs”. Were any of these compounds present in the Tianjin explosion? Probably, but there are worse chemical compounds in term of their lingering effects such as Sodium Cyanide. It has been detected in huge quantities in the water used by the firemen to suppress the fires. Many dead fish have been found several kilometers from the port, attributed to chemical poisoning. Who cares the most about what chemicals they are exposed to? Firemen and First Responders of all kinds; that’s who! As the extent of the damage becomes known, the public has been well advised to leave the area for other cities. China’s capital city of Beijing is only about 150 Km. away as the crow flies. As of of 15 August 2015, the number of evacuees has grown to more than 6,000 The government has issued an evacuation order fearing further explosions; but not all residents complied. Perhaps it is a problem of: “were do we go to? and, who will feed us? Such problems really tax a government.

THE 2015 PORT OF TIANJIN, NORTH CHINA EXPLOSIONS started on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 about 23:30Hrs. The first explosion occurred and registered as a magnitude 2.3 earthquake. Initial reports estimate that the first explosion was equivalent to 3 tons of TNT. Shortly thereafter, a second more powerful explosion occurred, estimated to be equivalent to 21 tons of TNT, causing most of the damage and injuries. Its shock-waves were felt many kilometers away. The resulting fireballs reached hundreds of meters high, and were visible from space. On15 August, a further series of 8 explosions occurred in the port as fire from the original blasts continued to spread. It is believed the first explosion occurred at a shipping container storage area containing calcium carbide, sodium nitrate, and potassium nitrate two explosions occurred within 30 seconds of each other at the facility, which is located in the Binhai-New Area, North China. Over 100 people were killed, and hundreds of others were injured. The cause of the explosions was not immediately known, but initial reports pointed to an “Industrial accident” (so said the port authorities). Fires caused by the initial explosions continued to burn uncontrollably throughout the weekend; repeatedly causing secondary explosions. Eight (8) additional explosions occurred on Saturday, 15 August. The Central China government immediately began a Military-like PR Campaign to minimize the extent of the dangers still prevalent (supposedly to prevent panic), and even prevented news media photographers from entering the area (for their own safety-so they said)… But, how does the TIANJIN PORT disaster compare with other such disasters? It is way too early to assess the total extent of the damage (and will remain so for at least the foreseeable) future; however, in terms of lives lost it may never equal the the deadliest industrial accident in USA history: THE PORT OF TEXAS CITY DISASTER OF 1947. See below.

 

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THE DEADLIEST INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT IN USA HISTORY

 THE “PORT OF TEXAS CITY” DISASTER OCCURRED APRIL 16, 1947, in the Port of Texas city. It was the deadliest industrial accident in USA history, and one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions to date. The incident began with a mid-morning fire on board the vessel SS Grandcamp (docked in the Port Texas City). Her cargo was about 2,300 tons of Ammonium Nitrate which caught fire and detonated, creating a chain-reaction of further fires and explosions in several other ships in the port, railroad cars, vehicles, and nearby oil and Chemical storage facilities, killing at least 581 people (plus many still missing); including all but one of the 29 members of the Texas City Fire Department.

THE “SS GRANDCAMP” (French Registry), WAS A RECENTLY DE-MOTHBALLED 437-FOOT-LONG, SURPLUS, WWII LIBERTY SHIP built in1942, and given to a French Line to assist in the rebuilding of Europe (we believe the SS designation implied “Surplus Ship”) Along with ammonium nitrate (a very common cargo on the high seas), it was also carrying small arms ammunition, machinery, and bales of sisal twine. Docked nearby SS Grandcamp on the port, were the SS High Flyer (blew-up 15 Hrs after the SS Grandcamp, and also the SS Wilson B. Keene, the High Flyer contained an additional 872 metric tons of ammonium nitrate, and 1,600 tons of Sulfur (a perfect formula for explosives). The ammonium nitrate in the two (2) ships and in the adjacent warehouse was on its way to farmers in Europe. Several other moored ships (also loaded with nitrates) caught fire and exploded. Let us remember that ammonium nitrate is not only an excellent agricultural fertilizer, but also a component of high explosives even today. On that fateful day, longshoremen reported the ammonium bags were warm to the touch prior to loading.

ON APRIL 16, 1947, AROUND 8:00 A.M., SMOKE WAS SPOTTED in the cargo hold of the Grandcamp while she was still moored. Over the next hour, maritime attempts to extinguish the fire or bring it under control, failed as a red glow returned after each effort to douse the fire with water. Shortly before 9:00 a.m., the captain ordered his men to “steam the holds”. Thoughts linger that such action only exacerbated the ignition; Meanwhile, the fire had attracted a crowd of spectators along the shoreline, who believed they were a safe distance away; Eventually, the ship’s hatches were blown open and yellow-orange smoke billowed out. The unusual color of the smoke attracted even more spectators. Spectators also noted that the water around the docked ship was already boiling from the heat, and the splashing water touching the hull of the ship was vaporized into steam. The cargo hold and deck began to bulge as the pressure of the steam increased inside. HMMM!- Time to scoot!!!

AT 9:12 A.M THE SS GRANDCAMP EXPLODED with a tremendous blast sending a 15 foot wave that was detectable nearly 100 miles off the Texas shoreline, and leveled nearly 1,000 buildings on land. The SS Grandcamp explosion destroyed the Monsanto Chemical Plant and resulted in ignition of refineries and chemical tanks on the waterfront. Falling bales of burning sisal twine from the ship’s cargo added to the damage and with the fires raging throughout Texas City, first responders from other areas were initially unable to reach the site of the disaster for several days.

IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE DISASTER Victims’ bodies quickly filled the local morgue. Several bodies were laid out in the local high school’s gymnasium for identification by loved ones. More than 5,000 people were injured, with 1,784 admitted to 21 area hospitals. More than 500 homes were destroyed and hundreds damaged leaving 2,000 homeless. The seaport was destroyed and many nearby businesses were flattened or burned. Over 1,100 vehicles were damaged, and 362 railroad freight cars were obliterated. Burning wreckage ignited everything within miles, including dozens of oil storage tanks and chemical tanks. Even the nearby city of Galveston Texas, was covered with an oily fog which left deposits over every exposed outdoor surface. The property damage was estimated at $1.06 billion in today’s terms. One of the propellers on the High Flyer was blown off, and found almost a mile inland; it is now part of a memorial park, and sits near the the SS Grandcamp 1.8 ton anchor which was also hurled 1.62 miles across the city. Fires resulting from the cataclysmic events were still burning a week after the disaster, and the process of body recovery took nearly a month. Of the dead, 405 were identified, and 63 have never been identified. An additional 113 people were classified as: missing; these include 27 firefighters who were aboard SS Grandcamp when she exploded. It is really difficult to visualize the full magnitude of the disaster (perhaps like pictures of Hiroshima in WWII).

THE CAUSE OF THE INITIAL FIRE/EXPLOSION ON BOARD THE GRANDCAMP WAS NEVER DETERMINED. The Texas City Disaster is still generally considered the worst industrial accident in American history. There is some well-based speculation that there may have been hundreds more killed but uncounted, including visiting seamen, non-census laborers and their families and, an untold number of travelers. Strangely however; there were some survivors as close as 70 feet (21 m) from the dock.

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE PORT BEGAN SOON AFTERWARDS. A positive result of the Port Of Texas City disaster was widespread disaster response planning to help organize plant, local, and regional responses to emergencies. Within days after the disaster, major companies that had lost facilities in the explosions announced plans to rebuild in Port Of Texas City, and even expand their operations. Some Companies implemented hiring policies of retaining all of the hourly workers who had previously worked at destroyed facilities, with plans to utilize them in the rebuilding. The expenditures for industrial reconstruction were estimated to have been approximately $1.06 B (2015 Dollars). Payouts for fire insurance claims reached nearly $41.8Million. Difficulties in the settlement of liabilities caused the Federal Government enactment of Tort laws which exist today.

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WHO IS ULTIMATELY TO BLAME IN SUCH DISASTERS?

Industrial accidents will happen; that is the reason most industrialized countries have found it necessary to create governmental Agencies etc. to assist industry in preventing them, and to improve the safety of the general public.

The Occupational Safety and Health (Act) Administration(OSHA) is an Agency of the United States Department of Labor, its mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance”. If only they would!!!- Conservatives say: “that costs jobs”- The facts do not bear out their contentions, but they appeal to their base very successfully.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In the USA they would be responsible for the temporary wellbeing of displaced persons in any disaster area. They have faltered but come through in the past, if only to wastefully give away money to their friends who are not in need. We remember Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans brought about the FEMA purchase of several thousand trailer homes which were never occupied, and eventually sold for cents on the Dollar.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes called USEPA) is an Agency of the US Federal Government, United States Department of Labor, which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environments. We wish it would be allowed by conservatives (and some liberals) to perform its duties. Unfortunately we have a “do nothing Congress” which has as its function to block the actions of our president. I mean when these folks do something good for the people, it is probably for the wrong reason(s).

The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the UN that is concerned with international public health. Did you ever hear of anything good they did?

THAT BEING SAID, WHO IS REALLY TO BLAME FOR THESE CALAMITIES? We believe mostly wealthy Corporations, and a few Multi-billionaires, who because of their unbridled greed, and abundant funding, act like a Black-hole (in space) into which gravitate all susceptible public officials (those not so inclined are quickly dismissed, or sidelined), never to be heard from again. It is called: Corruption and defined as accepting favors or emoluments for taking action for or against, rules/laws not favorable to their financial/other interests. Now then, I hope china has counterparts to the organizations we have in the USA, and sincerely hope they take hold, and work to help to protect and compensate the working class for their losses in lives and property.

UPDATE 1. On 26 Aug 2015, CCTV News announced  that Officials from the City’s Transport, Work safety, and  Customs department, as well as the Tianjin Port group Company, are under investigation on charges of “dereliction of duty”, and “abuse of power”; Separately, China’s “Ministry of Public Security” announced the arrest of twelve(12) persons (including high ranking corporate Officers) from the “Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics”. It was their Containers that first expoded causing the entire incident.  We truly hope China will show the world a good example of dealing with corruption and conivance.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

RELATED ARTICLE: GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) LAMBASTES NITRATES INDUSTRY Post 11-2014

P.S. We have once again opened the comment column. Please use it wisely, and not simply to promote your business.

 


August 21, 2015 at 11:37 PM Comments (0)

THE “IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL” IS AT BEST “KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD”, AND NOT WISE

14 Aug 2015

Pres. Barrack. Obama said on 10 Aug 2115, that a15-year delay in Iran’s (nuclear weapons) capabilities is one of the virtues of the agreement that US, and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (the P5+1) tentatively signed with Iran in July 2015 Now Pres. Obama says: “If in fact the breakout (?) times now are a few months, and we’re able to push that breakout time out to a year so, that we have more time and space to see whether or not Iran is cheating on an (is there more than one ?) agreement, kicking out inspectors, going for a nuclear weapon; if the breakout time is extended for 15 years and then it goes back to where it is right now, why is that a bad deal?” .

WELL…Mr. President, We are not sure we understand how that could be a “Good Deal”. Suppose that We lift the sanctions, on a gamble that Iran will comply with “The Deal” (By the way?, is this really a Memorandum of Understanding MOA, AN International Treaty, or what is it.); Then if Iran fails to comply with The Deal, in a week , or a month, or a year (as happened to British PM Neville Chamberlain in 1938 when He and Hitler signed a Peace treaty, and Germany began his expansionist campaign a week later) what recourse do we have?. We had refrained from commenting on The Deal because as even our Senators have lamented, we are not privy to many important details; particularly with regard to Iran’s nuclear weapon development, past and present. Even so…

THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL Our common sense/wisdom vis-a vis past Iranian/USA relations give us cause to  believe that given the fact that Iranian Ayatollahs (past and present), have expressed deep distrust toward the USA, and acted in nefarious/hostile ways toward us; How can we trust a government whose Islamic Leaders distrust us?- NO WAY! Agreements must be made in good faith between/among mutually trusting nations. Mullahs, have traditionally set themselves above and apart from their secular governments, but remain highly in influential in their country’s political affairs. They have traditionally basked in their power/Influence. The day when such governments become truly democratic, and disregard the political opinion of their Clergy, Monarchs, Princes, etc., will be a happy day for humanity. I know I sound like France’s Voltaire in my philosophy, but so does the USA Constitution and democracy – even with all its faults. Voltaire too, was intensely disliked by the French Monarchy, but that soon come to an abrupt end.

We  further believe that our diplomats should clearly explain to Iran the consequences of our even knowing they have deliverable nuclear weapons, and the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).  All Nuclear bomb possessing countries have come to recognize that having them is really an expensive impediment to their governance/ internal security.

NOTE: We expressed our concerns on this issue in the previous article as “UPDATE 2, but given its transcendence, decided to publish it as a separate post.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


August 14, 2015 at 8:56 PM Comments (0)

IAEA DIR.-GRL. AMANO FLOPS HIS REPORT ON IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL TO USA SENATE

5 Aug 2015

On 5 Aug 2015, USA SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE chairman, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was quoted as saying that lawmakers left Wednesday briefing by Yukiya Amano, Director General of IAEA “less assured” about the nuclear deal with Iran. Readers who read our previous post will find his assessment not surprising at all. The IAEA is not a “Nuclear Watchdog Agency” as Reuters is fond of calling them, but rather, “A Nuclear Yunkyard dog” Sen Corker added: “The majority of members left with far more questions than they had before the meeting took place…I can say from my perspective that it left me far less assured.” Corker told reporters after an hour-plus briefing by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. Amano travelled to the USA Capitol Hill on a bid to assuage growing concern in Congress, where lawmakers will be voting in September 2015, on whether to approve the nuclear accord brokered between Iran and co-signer world powers. Amano was to address two confidential “side deals” IAEA signed with Iran. Washington has described the ‘side-deals” as “technical agreements” which are believed to include a deal about Iran’s documentation of the alleged previous military dimension (PMD)of its nuclear program” Iran in July 2015, granted the IAEA tightly-controlled “managed access” to its military bases as part of the accord. The IAEA agreement is aimed in part, at resolving s USA’s suspicions about Iran’s military facility at Parchin, where USA lawmakers, cited intelligence reports that Tehran conducted past nuclear armament work.

USA LAWMAKERS HAVE AIRED CONCERNS ABOUT IRAN’S MILITARY CAPACITY, and in particular, what kind of access the IAEA would have to Parchin (a known nuclear site). Sen Corkin said:”We can not get him (Amano) to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin” Amano said: he recognized the USA’s frustrations, but explained: “my legal obligation is to protect safeguards confidentiality.”Amano believes that if the plan is approved, “the nuclear activities of Iran will be reduced in size, and we’ll have the most robust USA verification regime in Iran.”

The top Democrat on the panel, Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), said it was important for members of Congress to at least be able to see key portions of the IAEA-Iran agreements. He added: “I thought today was helpful, but it was not a substitute for seeing the document…I think there’s previsions in the document that relate to the integrity of the review of the PMD that would be useful.”They want to talk “turkey”; not Birds.

David Perdue (R-GA), also a member of the committee, emerged frustrated at Amano’s lack of detail. “The number one question we had was, are we going to get access to the two side agreements ? and the answer was ‘no’… the nuclear deal with Iran is troubling”. IAEA is not fooling our Senators.

UPDATE 1. 7 Aug 2015 Prominent Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer announced his intention to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, according to a statement in the New York Democrat posted late 7 Aug 2015 .

UPDATE 2.  10 Aug 2115, Pres. Barrack. Obama says that a15-year delay in Iran’s (nuclear weapons) capabilities is one of the virtues of the agreement that US, and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (the P5+1) tentatively signed with Iran in July 2015.  On 10 Aug 2015 Pres. Obama said: “If in fact the breakout (?) times now are a few months, and we’re able to push that breakout time out to a year so, that we have more time and space to see whether or not Iran is cheating on an (is there more than one ?) agreement, kicking out inspectors, going for a nuclear weapon; if the breakout time is extended for 15 years and then it goes back to where it is right now, why is that a bad deal?” .

WELL…Mr. President, I am not sure we understand how that could be a “Good Deal”. Suppose that We lift the sanctions, on a gamble that Iran will comply with “The Deal” ( By the way?, is this really a Memorandum of Understanding MOA, AN International Treaty, or what is it.); Then if Iran fails to comply with The Deal, in a week , or a month, or a year (as happened to British PM Neville Chamberlain in 1938 when He and Hitler signed a Peace treaty, and Germany began his expansionist campaign a week later). what recourse do we have?. We have refrained from commenting on The Deal because as even our Senators have lamented, we are not privy to many important details; specially with regard to Iran’s nuclear weapon development, past and present. Even so…

THIS IS NOT A GOOD DEAL We feel compelled by our common sense/wisdom vis-a vis past Iranian/USA relations to opine that our main objection is based on the fact that Iranian Ayatollahs (past and present), have expressed distrust toward the USA, and acted in nefarious/hostile ways toward us. How can we trust a government whose Islamic Leaders distrust us?- NO WAY! Agreements must be made in good faith between/among mutually trusting nations. Mullahs, have traditionally set themselves above and apart from their secular governments, but remain highly in influential in their country’s political affairs – they do not want the responsibility, only the Power. The day when such governments become truly democratic, and disregard the political opinion of their Clergy, Monarchs, Princes, etc., will be a happy day for humanity. I know I wax like France’s Voltaire in my philosophy, but so does the USA Constitution and democracy – even with all its faults. Voltaire too, was intensely disliked by the French Monarchy, but that soon come to an abrupt end. 

I  believe that our diplomats should clearly explain to Iran the consequences of our even knowing they have deliverable nuclear weapons, and the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).  All Nuclear bomb possessing countries have come to recognize that having them is really an expensive impediment to their governance/ internal security. 

Wendy Sherman, USA’s Undersecretary of State for political affairs, testified to the Senate Banking Committee that she has read the side agreements and would share key details of them later Wednesday in a classified briefing to senators. One wonders why she would be privy to information not yet available to the USA Senate. Looks like money is always involved. We trust she will share information that will satisfy the USA Senate, one way or the other.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 


August 5, 2015 at 9:46 PM Comments (0)

IAEA “THE GREAT PRETENDER” IS NO PART OF THE UN, BUT NUCLEAR ENERGY ADVOCATES

5 AUG 2015

THE “INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) Is not a part of the UN, as they often aggrandize themselves to be. They are really an agency whose main purpose is to advocate for, and promote the interests of the worldwide Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Industry. Once that is understood, one wonders what good they can really be in negotiations such as those with Iran in 2015. The IAEA got its start in 1957 as a product of the “Atoms for Peace” (NPPs) at a time when it appeared NPPs were the solution to the world’s (clean ?) energy They soon grew to have 154 nations in their membership. Now, they probably have a few more “member Nations”. All hand-picked , and normally anonymous.

Its Current “Director General” Yukiya Amano is the IAEA’s 5th Director, and has been in office since Dec 2009. He was born in Japan in 1947, is married, and speaks English, French, and Japanese. The IAEA has its general “Secretariat” offices in Vienna, Austria where Mr Amano directs operations of some 2,300 employees. Their normal membership meeting is held in Vienna in Sept of every year, although there have been many special sessions.

IOULI ANDREEV, RUSSIAN NUCLEAR ACCIDENT SPECIALIST IS CRITICAL OF THE IAEA’s response to Fukushima, and says that the IAEA did not learn from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and has accused the IAEA et- al of “wilfully ignoring lessons from the world’s worst nuclear accident 25 years ago, to protect the industry’s expansion…The IAEA’s role as an advocate for nuclear power has made it a target for protests”. We too subscribe to the belief that the IAEA’s is an advocate for the NPP Industry, and not much more. Our world is full of “wolves in sheep’s clothing”; In this case, they only add to the public distrust of the NPP Industry as a whole.

OUR ARTICLE RE-POSTED BELOW clearly shows that the IAEA took minimal involvement in the Fukushima triple-meltdown tragedy in Mar 2011. That incident was in Mr. Amano’s pale. There were rumors that the IAEA had contributed nearly $4B (under the table) in 2011 to someone in Japan to “mitigate” the expenses caused by TEPCO’s terpitude. Clearly IAEA’s members were not appreciative of their Japanese General Director’s generosity to the Japanese NPP Industry. The IAEA has grown more zealous in safeguarding their activities as evidenced by their website now open only to those approved. We guess they just can’t stand the light of public scrutiny. Even Wikipedia articles about them are considered now unreliable because of it.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 

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IAEA ELECTS 16 NEW BOARD MEMBERS, AND ANNOUNCES ITS UPCOMING VISIT TO JAPAN

Filed under Nuclear Energy by gonzedo

28 Sep 2011

The Director General of the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)”, Yukiya Amano, announced the IAEA would send a team of experts to Japan next month to help sanitize areas contaminated as a result of the nuclear accident. “For the engineers, what is going on in the reactor is the main issue of interest. For the local people, the most important is what happens with their house or rice field, so we need to decontaminate,” Mr. Amano told reporters, Japan does not have much experience in this area (Hell nobody does; that, is the problem), adding that some people were spraying water and digging up the earth in an attempt to clean up their homes. “These things should be done properly, otherwise the amount of debris becomes huge” (this man does not know what he is talking about). I hope we can give some advice.”  YEAH! -SPECIALLY HOW TO KEEP THE CLEAN-UP CREWS SAFE, AND HOW TO DISPOSE OF ACCUMULATED NUCLEAR WASTE – TOUGH NUT TO CRACK!!!

IAEA “ACTION TEAM” another SHAM. The IEIA,Vienna-based agency was setting up an “action team” to oversee prompt implementation of newly agreed-to measures designed to enhance nuclear safety standards around the world after Fukushima. The IAEA’s annual gathering of its 151 member countries last week endorsed an IAEA plan to help ensure there is no repeat of the world’s worst Fukushima Dai No.1 triple meltdown, and its consequences globally. Chairman Amano said: The IAEA “Action Plan on Nuclear Safety”…requires immediate follow-up”.  The plan is already criticized by some nations for not going far enough towards more mandatory measures; instead, it outlines a series of VOLUNTARY STEPS (WE ALL KNOW  THESE DO NOT WORK WELL IN THE GREEDY NUKE INDUSTRY – JUST LOOK AT THE NRC IMPASSE ) aimed at improving reactor safety and emergency preparedness. Mr. Amano made clear the agency needs more money to turn the plan into reality, but did not give details.  Now he is talking turkey; not birds – Give me more money! – IAEA has a huge budget for its “Secretariat” Offices, and its 2,300 Staff employees.  

A HELL OF A TIME TO ASK FOR MORE MONEY Mr. Amano is worried that expanding demands for assistance from member states for nuclear safety, etc., will require an increase in the agency’s resources. He said: “I encourage all countries in a position to do so, to make additional resources available to the agency.”(my guess is his Board members were looking at each other looking for “pigeons”) Even before Fukushima added to its workload, experts warned that budget austerity in member states may block funding required by the IAEA to deal with “growing demand for atomic energy and the attendant risk of weapons proliferation” (THAT, IS AMANO’S  TRUMP CARD); Traditionally, the bulk of money for the IAEA, comes from Western member states on a voluntary basis. For 2010, the agency secured a budget increase of 2.7 % in real terms to 315 million euros ($434.1 million), but this was considerably less than it had sought. At a time of economic problems squeezing government finances everywhere, some European states have resisted budget hikes for the agency, although the United States has increased contributions in recent years.

The IAEA plan also calls on countries to quickly conduct assessments on how their nuclear reactors would be able to withstand extreme natural hazards, and also encourages them to invite IAEA-organized safety inspections.  Oh yeah! – We know that does not work!  Not with greedy “Merchant” power providers everywhere.

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MY TAKE

In my opinion the IAEA Director Mr. Yukiya Amano has created what I believe time will show a Sham plan to aid the people of the Fukushima region of Japan.  He has to show the world IAEA is “doing its thing”, even when most nuclear technicians and scientists do not know what that is/would be.  If they did, they would have done it already.

Actually, Mr. Amano is begging member countries for more money – lots more, to fund his 2,300 Staff organization, and doing so at global economic doldrums time – fat chance!  By the way, contrary to some media reports, IAEA IS NOT,  AND HAS NEVER BEEN, A PART OF THE UNITED NATIONS. They are privileged to report to the United Nations on occasion.

FROM THE “INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)” WEBSITE  Check it out at: http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2011/bog260911.html

The IAEA Board of Governors met 26 Sep 2011, in a one-day session to address matters arising from the 55th regular session (they have been around since 1957) of the General Conference was held in Vienna on 19-23 Sep 2011.  Another reason was to elect the Board Chairman and the Vice-Chairpersons(2) for the period 2011-2012, and to appoint/elect 13 new “Governors”.

IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL MR.YUKIYA AMANO In his opening address,  announced the establishment of a “Nuclear Safety Action Team” tasked with overseeing the implementation of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was endorsed last week by the General Conference. Director Amano said: “This team will oversee prompt implementation of the Action Plan and ensure proper coordination among all stakeholders (SAY WHO? – READ ON)I will update you on initial progress in implementation at the Nov. Board ( probably the Nov 2011 Board Meeting); In the meantime, I count on all other stakeholders – especially governments, regulatory bodies, and operators to take a proactive approach to fulfilling their responsibilities under the Action Plan.” (My translation: You all come up with a lot of money –  now  hear!- PR is very expensive, and besides…you know! ).  

TIME TO TAKE THE BURR OUT FROM UNDER THE IAEA SADDLE – JAPAN. Mr. Amano also updated the IAEA Board on plans to further assist Japan in the wake of the Fukushima Dai No.1 triple Nuke meltdown last 13 Mar 2011. Amano said: “At the request of Japan, I am preparing to dispatch a mission whose mandate will include assisting with plans for the remediation of large areas contaminated as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.”– THIS I WANT TO SEE!!! So do most Japanese.  I bet all they will get is a  pronouncement that things are much better, and should return to normal very soon.  They lie a lot!, and people of Japan already know this.  IN MY OPINION, ALL THAT IAEA SEEKS IN JAPAN IS TO QUASH THE ANTI-NUKE FERVOR ALL OVER THE WORLD.  THEY ARE BLEEDING MONEY, AND WANT TO PLACE A TOURNIQUET ON THE WOUND.  NO WAY MR. AMANO!!  WE KNOW THE HAND YOU AND YOUR ENERGY BARONS  PLAY ALL TOO WELL.

INCOMING TOP DOGS FOR 2011-2012;  Are: Board Chairman: Mr. Gianni Ghisi (Governor for Italy), and Vice-Chairpersons (2) Ms. Dana Drábová (Czech Republic), and Mr. Makram Mustafa Queasy( Jordan).

NEWLY  ELECTED IAEA TO THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS: The General Conference in Vienna Austria, elected 13 countries to serve on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors for a one-year period from 2011-2012. THEY  WILL REPRESENT THE NUCLEAR INTERESTS OF: Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan (NOTICE A NEW MEMBER FROM JAPAN), Netherlands, Russian Federation, South Africa, Great Britain and Northern Ireland (see there, North Ireland considers itself independent of GB), and the USA.

COUNTRIES WITH EXISTING MEMBERS ON THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS ARE:  Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Niger, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and the United Republic of Tanzania.  WE MAY NOT KNOW THEIR NAMES, BUT THEY ARE WORLD-CLASS ENERGY BARONS – ONE AND ALL!

THEY ARE FIGHTING TO HOLD-ON TO THEIR WEALTH AND POWER.  To paraphrase Niccolo Machiavelly, an astute 15Th century Italian: “Those that know what they stand to loose, will always fight harder than those who do not know what they stand to gain”  Generally true, but we, the people have everything to loose, SO IT IS WE THE PEOPLE who must fight NPP mentality the hardest.  AND SO WE WILL!!

Gonzedo

 


August 5, 2015 at 1:38 AM Comments (0)

INDUSTRIAL WORLD SCRAMBLES FOR WAYS TO GET RID OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL

2 Aug 2015

OUR WORLD HAS UNTOLD TONS OF “SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL” CREATED BY NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS(NPPs) all over our globe; predominantly in highly developed countries Most such spent nuclear fuel has been accumulated in the “cooling tanks” kept underwater (for cooling) and adjacent to the NPPs, and with little, or no protection against the vagaries of nature or man. Now the NPP Industry wants the world’s governments to clean up their mess of many years to make room for the creation of more of the same perdition; Hence the urgency for each country to find a permanent storage solution (Nuclear Repositories if you will) for material that can remain radioactive/toxic for hundreds of thousands of years.

GREAT BRITAIN Like other countries keen to persuade their populations of the merits of nuclear power, such as their new “Hinkley Point C” NPP project, are likely to take encouragement if the Scandinavians are successful; However their hopes are of necessity, pinned on France’s approval of known fatally flawed steel pressure vessels (see our previous article) on four (4) reactors under construction. Spent nuclear fuel be damned!

SWEEDEN is working on a similar project at Oskarshamn. Their legal permissioning (My definition of permissioning is: The greasing of the palms of any and all public officials in authority) process lags that of Finland, with a recommendation to the government possible in 2017 which, if approved, would be followed by a 10-year construction period. Christopher Eckerberg, managing Director of SKB Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company said: “A realistic time for operating a facility is at the end of the 2020s… The critical part is public acceptance” He is certainly correct about that! Sweeden was among the first nations to build a relatively large number of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in the 1950s; hence has many now obsolete NPPs and now seriously beyond their expected life of 40 years. SKB is pioneering a technology known as KBS-3, which involves encasing the spent nuclear fuel rods in copper containers, then packed into absorbent bentonite clay which swells when wet, sealing off the package from corrosive elements. Question is: for how many years? No one will venture to say, or how to remediate “nuclear leaks” in deep underground caverns. Meanwhile…

MKG A SWEDISH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGO) concerned with nuclear waste, has serious apprehensions about SKB’s enthusiasm with unproven technologies. MKG Director Johan Swahn said: “Of greatest concern is if water molecules, and not only oxygen, react directly with the copper surface; if this is the case, it will be difficult to prove a safety case for 100,000 years”. He added: Spent nuclear fuel (most toxic type of nuclear waste) – is not safe to handle at all for 40 to 50 years until it cools, which begs the question: What shall we do with it it in the interim years? The public is now very weary regarding the lethality, and radioactive persistence of “spent nuclear fuel”, as well as as the connivance and lies propounded by the Nuclear Power Plant Industry which makes light of it.

FINLAND and Sweden hope to be the first countries in the world to store spent nuclear fuel rods in an underground repository during the next decade, using a new technology to encase fuel rods and protect them from erosion/corrosion. Finland stopped exporting spent fuel for reprocessing to the then Soviet Union in 1996, For years, and has been building a deep underground spent fuel repository, some 450 meters (492 yards) below the surface in the granite bedrock at Onkalo, (Shades of Yucca Mountain in NV USA), on its west coast. They are hoping that the technology known as KBS-3, developed by Sweden’s SKB, will be successful. The operator, Posiva, which is owned by utilities TVO and Fortum, hopes it can become operational about 2022. As in Sweeden, Authorities know that public acceptance is crucial, and sought local approval for the 3 billion euro ($3.38 billion) Onkalo repository, which can hold about 9,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel rods Last February 2015, Finland’s Nuclear Regulator STUK issued a safety assessment, which backed the project. According to STUK inspector Jussi Heionen said: “The population has a high trust in regulators and policymakers”.  Our experience shows that may be so because they lie like troopers to make their sale – They did so to the San Antonio, TX, USA public.

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) acknowledges that nuclear waste held in surface level storage, poses great risks, exposing it to floods, terrorism, earthquakes, climate change and sea-level rise or human error. Stefan Mayer, team leader of the IAEA’s waste technology section said: Waste won’t go away after reactors are turned off…If we can provide socially and politically accepted approaches, we can implement solutions” During their annual conference in Vienna in mid July 2015, the 164-nation agency heard updates from Finland and Swedish authorities regarding their model solution. But JUST WHO IS THE IAEA? Guardians of the world ? No-way! They are Energy Barons – one and all. Just read our next post regarding this “Agency”.

GERMANY OPTED TO ABANDON NUCLEAR POWER several years ago, but still bears the burden of their active and inactive reactors, and their consequential spent fuel accumulation. Hell, for a while, they even accepted 10 or more rail shipments of “Hot cargo” from France. We believe they were taken supposedly for interim storage in salt formations in Lower Saxony’s Gorleben, until that repository was scrapped amid mass protests/indignation.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD’s) Nuclear Energy Agency says it is impossible to gauge the future costs of (permanent) storage sites, because each country’s geography is different and there are no previous projects to serve as examples. SO… don’t look to us for answers.

The European Union is trying to speed up thinking on the issue by demanding that member countries submit by August (2015?) individual plans on how to deal with nuclear waste.

FRANCE hopes for success with its “Cigeo” project at Bure in a sparsely populated part of the country’s east, which has thick layers of argilite clay rock. A final investment decision could be due around 2020 and an industrial pilot phase could then be ready to start in 2025. However we do not see France benefitting from the development/implementation of renewable energy; Meantime, Germany has come a long way toward achieving that precious resource.

SWITZERLAND has identified two areas, Zurich Northeast, and Jurassic East, to be studied as potential repositories for spent nuclear fuel (and other waste). They probably would like to “sweep it under the carpet”.

IN THE USA, and in many other countries, consideration is being granted to do just that. I use the phrase “sweeping it under the carpet” because in the USA we hear of radioactive waste being removed, “ and taken away”. Really? Making it disappear, as if by magic, but where did it go? nobody seems, or wants to know. The prevailing policy appears to be for every state in the Union to bury their nuclear bones wherever the can/wish. It is pathetic how our media, and even our Sub-Department of Energy Management just glosses over such vital concerns.

AIRBORNE AND NUCLEAR POLLUTION ARE ARE BECOMING A DEADLY KILLER OF THE OLD AND THE YOUNG in many places; Specially San Antonio, TX (sadly my city) On 23 July 2015, our SA-Express News headlined that we recently won the disgraceful honor of being the “most air polluted city in TX. Hell!, We even outdid Houston TX!-Damn! We are now getting “ozone”(it is really “smog) alerts daily. Translation: don’t breathe the air because it is harmful to your health. Meanwhile our City Council is still celebrating our First Afro-American woman Mayor. She appears too busy to care. Only one councilman voiced concern about our poor air quality, but got no traction.

EVERYONE IS BEING TOLD TO BLAME OUR TRAFFIC, but I don’t think our Dept of Transportation is to blame. To blame are two(2) 1,500MW coal burner Power Plants just So. of San Antonio,that burn a trainload of coal ea. every day, shipped in our City Public Service Energy owned trains more than 1,700 miles from Gillespie Co, Wy., then returns the rolling stock empty. This, when we have so much/abundant Nat gas being being flared (Burned in large chimney like pipes) for want of use; just 40 miles south of San Antonio in the Eagleford Play. It is unconscionable that we are creating coal air pollution, while we waste precious Nat gas that produces half as much pollution as coal burners that would be relatively fast and inexpensive to convert to burn Nat gas.

EVEN SO OUR LOCAL POLITICOS ARE CONTENT to accept their recently granted pay, and do not much more. To me that constitutes Corruption in high places that is killing people. Our San Antonio, TX City Council needs to prioritize their duties to our citizens, and quit being just “ceremonial”. When I write these lines I am painfully aware that many cities of our globe are undergoing the same pains, and preventable deaths attributable to deadly air pollution. You know where you are. Where corruption exists, let’s stamp it out! It is a societal cancer that is spread by impunity. Send all such corrupt leeches to work for a living!

Your Friend in Texas, USA who tells it like it is.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

 


August 2, 2015 at 10:10 AM Comments (0)

FRANCE PLAYS A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE NUCLEAR WASTE DILEMMA

23 July 2015

BELOW IS A REPRINT OF A STILL VERY TIMELY AND PERTINENT POST

FRANCE SENDS ITS “MIXED OXIDE (MOX)” HOT NUCLEAR WASTE TO JAPAN

Filed under Nuclear Energy by gonzedo

21 Apr 2013

AREVA- S.A. said on 18 Apr 2013 that it has engaged two (2) British ships to transport Mixed Oxide (MOX) hot nuclear waste to Japan.  The MOX shipment will go round the Cape of Good Hope (So Africa – long regarded by sailors as the world’s most treacherous waters), to the SW Pacific Ocean, and on to Japan’s Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  Looks like AREVA S.A. (little Sister to Electricite de France – EDF),  gets to do its “dirty-work” to protect the reputation of the French State-Owned Corporation with 58 NPPs– games politicians play!

“AREVA- S.A.”  IS A FRENCH BASED WORLD-CLASS CORPORATION, headquartered in Paris, France. It is essentially a NPP, and nuclear fuel purveyor.  In a broader sense, it represents the political will of France to colonize the world by meeting their energy needs, and imposing their technology and logistical support for many years.  Japan had similar ambitions until the dream blew up at Fukushima, Dai No.1 NPP about two years ago.  On 28 Jan 2010, AREVA S.A. announced a major re-organization of its nuclear and renewable operations.  Its activities are now divided into four (4) Business Groups:

  1. Mining-Front End: combines operations related to uranium exploration and mining, uranium conversion,  enrichment, and the design, and fabrication of uranium fuel for nuclear reactors.
  1. Reactors and Services: designs and builds NPPs, naval propulsion reactors, research reactors, and manufactures/sells related  equipment.
  2. Back End: manages all operations in the back-end of the nuclear cycle, from used nuclear fuel recycling, to the dismantling and value development of nuclear facilities.
  3. Renewable Energies: Including  four (4) renewable energies: wind energy, bio-energy, solar power, and  hydrogen/ energy storage.

For a comprehensive article about France’s nuclear politics/national policy, etc. read:  http://energymaters.com/?m=20120104

FRANCE SUFFERED A MOX PROCESSING PLANT FIRE OF UNTOLD CONSEQUENCES NEAR NIMES on 12 Sep 2011.  For a good description of “MOX Processing” see:  http://energymaters.com/?m=20110912.  Evidently, their “lesson learned” was: Don’t! – Ship it elsewhere.

Recall the French hot-nuclear waste shipments by rail to Germany?  See: http://energymaters.com/?m=201111 dated 26 Nov 2011.  Germany finally said: Halt! -Verboten and won’t have any more of it. 

THIS TIME THE MOX SHIPMENT IS BOUND FOR JAPAN BY SEA to Kansai Electric Power Co. -“Takahama” NPP)west of Tokyo).   AREVA- S.A.  said in a statement on 18 Apr 2013,  that the HMS Pacific Heron and the HMS Pacific Egret (both of British Nuclear Shipping Co. PNTL) had left the port of Cherbourg (in Northern France) loaded with highly radioactive MOX  nuclear fuel, and plans to reach Japanese waters after 15 Jun 2013.

WE CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT: THOSE WHO INSIST ON CREATING NUCLEAR WASTE (FRANCE STILL DOES! – BIG TIME) SHOULD FEEL A RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MESS, RATHER THAN SHIPPING IT ELSEWHERE

PROBLEM IS: MOX CONTAINS ABOUT 6% – 10% PLUTONIUM, and it is perceived as a national security threat, so “special precautions” will be taken taken during transportation (go figure what those will be). The shipment is certain to be controversial in Japan, where public opposition to nuclear power, and reactor restarts, remains strong two (2) years after the Fukushima tragedy which prompted the shutdown of all Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors until there were none left operating by May 2012, thus leaving the country without atomic power for the first time since 1970; As a result, Japan has had to import fossil fuels to run power stations, pushing it into a record trade deficit; But…

ALAS ! “BACK TO THE FUTURE” IN JAPANESE POLITICS. In 2013, the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, returned to power and has said it will “reassess the previous government’s decision to abandon atomic power”.  For now, only two (2) NPPs at Kansai Electric’s Ohi plant (near Takahama) are the only ones operating in Japan, naturally…

JAPAN’S BUSINESS LOBBY WAS SUPPORTIVE OF OF THE RE-START DECISION. Last 16 Jun 2012, Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of Keidanren’s said: “We welcome this decision, which was based on the government’s efforts to ensure safety and the understanding of local authorities toward restarts. The restart of nuclear power plants will contribute to the stable supply of electricity and help control the risk of rising prices. We hope other nuclear plants will restart as well, premised on the assurance of safety and understanding of local communities.” Perhaps the re-processing and or use of MOX in their reactors was the real intention for the Ohi-NPP re-start.

BAD DECISION! – For the people of Japan.  Any reactor using MOX as fuel incurs the risk that in a catastrophic “blowup” (such as the one that occurred in Fukushima), Plutonium in granular or powder form will become airborne, become a true people killer, and remain so for millennia. See:  http://energymaters.com/?p=876 , But then, Kansai considers its Ohi NPP indispensable – see: http://energymaters.com/?p=552The rub is that the Ohi NPP has not even instituted the Fukushima safety improvements!  Japanese Nuclear Industry, and its powerful Business Lobby are heartless, and in our opinion, very penny-wise, and pound foolish.

WHY DO BRITISH SHIPS TRANSPORT THE FRENCH MOX NUCLEAR WASTE?  Because that is one of their businesses.  Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited (PNTL) is controlled by International Nuclear Services (INS), a United Kingdom company involved in the management and transportation of nuclear fuels, and based in Rinsley, UK.  It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UKGovernment.  “Oh!- what a tangled web we weave: When first we practise to deceive!” now if  one of their transport ships loaded with nuclear waste, were stranded on your shores, “who you going to call?- Ghostbusters!”  Seriously, who are you going to file legal suit against, and where? Remember the British Petroleum (BP) humongous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico some 3 years ago?  Well…it is still being litigated while all the protagonists point fingers at one another.  SEE! It’s madness with a method, contrived by very skillful merchants of death, in a very litigious country still controlled by the Uranium and Oil Cartel Lobby.  Notice that after having been denied approval by Parliament on the building of eight (8) NPPs in the UK, they have returned to the PR charge again- big-time! We have no choice but to build NPPs” (They all say that!). Like hell they don’t!  But they just want to keep on doing what is highly profitable for a very few, and to hell with humanity.

GREAT BRITAIN ALSO HAD A BAD MOX EXPERIENCE AT SELLAFIELD on the NW English coast (Border with Ireland), and decided to close the facility on Aug 2011.  Yeah!  The British NDA was managing that too.  It is evident that MOX fuel reprocessing is both dangerous, and a “nasty” job whose time (technically speaking) may not be here yet.  Both France and GB tried, and failed. Now it will be up to Japan, and they are a four-time looser.  Ref: http://energymaters.com/?m=20110807

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STORY BECAUSE IT DEMONSTRATES THAT THE ACHILLES HEEL OF THE URANIUM NUKE INDUSTRY IS STILL: HOW TO DISPOSE OF ALL THE PERSISTENT POISONS (Transuranics) THEY PRODUCE.  IF THEY KNEW HOW, THEY WOULD.

REMEMBER: We “Tell it like it is” and connect the points. That is why we keep this journal.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

#12-2013

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UPDATE 23 Jul 2015 WITH PERTINENT COMMENTS

P.S.  TWO SHIPS LEFT FRANCE destined for Japan, but ONLY ONE ARRIVED.  What happened to the second one?. Reportedly  both ships took a very dangerous and circuitous route to Japan that took them nearly three months; and navigating through the Marianas trench (the deepest point of the ocean in the world). WAS THE SECOND SHIP WHICH DID NOT REACH JAPAN, SCUTTLED IN THE DEEP? , or it, and its contents  dumped slowly into the sea? If that took place, it would  mark a devious and low decision of unfathomable consequences; orchestrated by France, and executed by HMS (UK) naval vessels with UK governmental consent. We remember the arrival of the larger ship to the Japanese coast was a very guarded affair. Why was such secrecy necessary? Then again, Japan continues to unabashedly dump nuclear perdition into the sea at Fukushima Dai no.1 NPP. Folks, We are just connecting the dots. …Many would say: they just don’t care!, in Texas we would say: they just don’t give a shit!

MORE RECENTLY

On (or about) 21 July 2015, France announced its government had passed a law to reduce their nuclear dependency. Why? The French Government owns both Areva and Electricitie de France (EDF); so, why is a new law required? Perhaps in France Areva/EDF, are the“tail that wags the dog”. The same thing happened in GB, where parliament had vetoed further NPP construction in the UK; yet they went ahead with eight more NPPs.  YES! HUGE NUCLEAR AND OTHER ENERGY CARTELS ARE THAT POWERFUL! In our opinion the time is ripe for France, UK, Finland, China, and other nations to recognize the folly of their EPR enterprise (it appears China did so long ago), and cut their losses, while investing in green energy generation as the most long term lucrative way to remedy the worlds’ energy problems without further poisoning of our seas, air, and land, and creating new industries. Most of the rest of our world is transitioning to green energy very successfully; and so could they.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

#4-2015

 

 

July 23, 2015 at 1:38 PM Comments (0)

NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE? – NOT IN FRANCE, ENGLAND, FINLAND, OR CHINA

9 Jul 2015

On 9 Jul 2015 BBC announced that a fatal flaw has been discovered in a twin reactor, large Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) designed by Areva / Eletricite de France (EDF) currently under construction at Hinkley in the UK, and in Flamaville Normandy.; Pierre-Franck Chevet, President of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN- counterpart to the USA ‘s NRC) told the BBC that: “ the flaw in the steel housing the reactor core at the nuclear plant being built in Normandy is serious. Chevet added that unless he was satisfied with the plans to put it right (replace the steel containment pressure vessel?), he could stop the project (of course he could, but would he?). EDFs, PR campaign is already saying that the fault in the reactor is thought to be a construction fault, not an inherent weakness in the design. Oh really? Fortunately, or unfortunately for the world, the troubled European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) under construction in France England are the the standard bearers for the next generation of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). Note: In our opinion the EPR is already an obsolete, common Light Water Pressurized Water Reactor with a few more bells and whistles, but with fatal metal flaws.

ASN PRES. CHEVET ADDED: It is a serious anomaly affecting a crucial component of the NPP …We have observed a bad chemical and mechanical characteristic.” ASN has ordered the French state owned reactor manufacturer Areva (Little sister to EDF)to conduct a further round of destructive testing on a similar component which will see the 116 ton pressure vessel head or lid once earmarked for the planned reactor at Hinkley C, destroyed in the process. Clearly authorities are beginning to look for the least expensive way to “certify” the operability of the steel pressure vessel despite Chevet’s assessment that “We have observed a bad chemical and mechanical characteristic.”Fatal flaw is more like it! But Pierre-Franck Chevet says the tests revealed the resilience of the steel used was “far below the proscribed value”.

FRENCH STATE-OWNED “EDF GROUP”, Plays a central role in four (4) countries that are way behind in similar NPP projects, has issued a statement that new tests are planned intended to: “provide the safety authority (ASN) with all the necessary information to demonstrate the safety and quality of the corresponding equipment” . However, ASN’ Pres Chevet says Chemical and mechanical tests on the steel completed in late 2014 found “high carbon concentration, leading to lower than expected mechanical toughnessOn this characteristic (of the steel) we have 50% of (the desired) what we want.”.For comparative purposes, imagine a solid steel thermos bottle with the following particulars: The 12.7 meter high pressure vessel weighs 410 tons Plus a 116 ton pressure vessel head (or lid if you will), is designed to contain huge mechanical and thermal shocks. Current French standards require the vessel to withstand shocks of 60 joules, but ASN found actual values as low as 30 joules,-is in parts, about ½ as strong as it needs to be.

ASNs PIERRE-FRANCK CHEVET SOUNDS TOUGH, BUT in the end, he blinked when he said: Though there are aspects of the material which were good. ASN will not give its verdict (?) until early next year (2016), but EDF maintains work will continue for now. Mr Chevet told the BBC:.”It could be yes, it could be no it could be yes with certain conditions”. Too bad he did not elaborate. Certain conditions? Payola ?; who knows? . The flagship project for manufacturers Areva and the French state owned utility EDF is already several years behind schedule, and the costs have soared from £2.3billion at the time of purchase, to nearly £6 billion now.

COST CONSIDERATION IS PARAMOUNT IN DECISION MAKING. International nuclear consultant Yves Marignac, Director of “Wise-Paris”, has been critical of the French nuclear program for many years He recently said: “The problem would raise serious issues of profitability…Economic scenario assessments might show that abandoning the project is cheaper than repair or replacement options, when factors such as the financial costs of further delays, or savings on decommissioning costs if the reactor doesn’t go nuclear are included.” In other words, the program does not make money sense. We agree, we saw this in our backyard several years ago.

MEANWHILE IN FLAMANVILLE NORMANDY an identical, EPR NPP has identical problems. Its completion date has shifted from 2012 to 2017, and the latest French ASN pronouncements presage very expensive and time consuming efforts if they have to replace both the base, of the reactor as well as the lid. Steve Thomas, professor of energy policy at Greenwich University; has written extensively about the EPR delays, and said:.”Removing the base would be more time consuming and could be prohibitively expensive.” We think the operative word is “prohibitively”. It could mean abort the project. We hope they will.

MEANWHILE IN THE BRITISH Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) Counterpart to the French ASN, A spokesman said: If we need to fabricate a new (containment vessel) bottom and head, that is not going to be quick…our two organizations are liaisoning closely…ONR expects that any learning that is identified from Flamanville, will apply to the Hinkley Point C project.” The statement said: “If ONR is not convinced that an activity is sufficiently safe, it will not [give] permission for the activity.”

SEA WATER FOR COOLANT SEEMS INCOMPREHENSIBLE. Remember Fukushima 11 Mar 2011. Like Dai No 1, Hinkley’s large twin reactors (1,600 MW ea.) are located close, perhaps too close, and insufficiently high above the sea level. That, they say, is to use sea water as a coolant. Fukushima has demonstrated sea water exacerbates all cooling problems because of its corrosive effect but, sea water is abundant; and besides, if not sea water, what other coolant? TEPCO/Fukushima though they had planned for fresh water, but quickly resorted to sea-water in the emergency when their fresh water pumps failed.

EDF /AREVA SAYS: in an official statement, “there is still plenty of time to learn the lessons.”EDF Energy still has to make its final investment decision regarding the reactors to be built at Hinkley in Somerset the equivalent parts which will be used on Hinkley Point C have not yet been manufactured. The way in which they will be manufactured will ensure they meet all the requirements of the UK regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)”.

FRANCE’S ASN PLANS CHINA VISIT. In a written technical assessment, France ASN confirms the two EPR reactor vessels being built in Taishan China were cast at the same forge in Le Creusot in eastern France “using a process similar to that used for the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel”. Mr Chevet will fly to China in the coming weeks to speak to his counterpart, the Chinese Nuclear Regulator there. It could be a terse conversation given the growing interdependence of their two nuclear industries. Chevet added: “It is serious enough to put the EPR at risk from a technical point of view, and it raises big questions about the competence and integrity of the NPP industry.” Now he is telling it like it is! The Chinese people are not likely to accept lies or half-truths.

PLEASE NOTE THAT NO MENTION WAS MADE OF NUCLEAR WASTE DISPOSAL. With over 1,000 NPPs in operation today continuing to accumulate “spent” high level nuclear waste in their cooling ponds, the magnitude of the problem of highly persistent radioactive fuel rods with nowhere to go, continues to be one of today’s most serious problems along with climate change and sea-level rise. Please read our next post in that regard.

P.S. Malaysia’s Airasia would sell in a minute to any willing buyer. They continue all forms of commercial zig-zagging, and cheap flight enticements to no avail. Their aircraft maintenance, and piloting skills are no longer trusted by most travelers.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

July 9, 2015 at 9:45 PM Comments (0)

AIRBUS A320 AirAsia FLIGHT QZ8501 RECOVERY EFFORTS AIMED AT BODIES ONLY

7 Feb 2015

AIRASIA CO-PILOT’S BODY RECOVERED FROM COCKPIT OF CRASHED PLANE ON SEA FLOOR STILL STRAPPED TO HIS SEAT. On 6 Feb 2015 Indonesian divers found a body believed to be the French co-pilot of crashed Airbus A320-200, Flight QZ8501. Officials said the body was retrieved from the cockpit (front part of the fuselage). It was reported the body was wearing a uniform with three (3) stripes on the epaulettes. Recall the cockpit was discovered last month submerged, about 20 meters from the fuselage.

Coordinator of the search and rescue effort, S.B. Supriyadi, said:the body, believed to be co-pilot Remi Plesel (a French citizen), was retrieved from the cockpit, and was wearing a uniform with three (3) stripes on the shoulder… the body is still being held onboard the “Pacitan” warship before being taken to land. A formal confirmation will be given after the Disaster Victims Identification (DVI) team has positively identified the body”. That task is made more difficult by the high degree of decomposition. Divers also found three (3) more bodies inside the fuselage (main body of the plane) and another three bodies nearby, bringing the total number of bodies retrieved so far to 101. The same identification problems apply.

It was revealed by crash investigators last January that the French co-pilot was flying the plane before it crashed, rather than Captain Iriyanto, an experienced former fighter pilot. AirAsia said it would not comment while the matter was under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) of Indonesia.

Notice that Indonesia’s effort is still the recovery of bodies, and not the recovery of important parts of the Airbus A320.  Last month they  located the cockpit, and even an engine, but have seemed hesitant to recover them, probably because they would reveal what they already know was the real cause of the accident: explosive decompression at altitude. AH! The games people play to save face, prestige, and money.

FIRST UPDATE – PILOT’S BODY ALSO FOUND IN COCKPIT

 On 8 FEB 2015 Air Marshal FH Bambang Soelistyo, head of Basarnas said:“We’re pretty sure it’s a pilot because of the uniform and the location where the body was found, which was in a pilot’s seat…Hopefully we will be able to recover the body of the other pilot today” (apparently he does not distinguish between” pilot” and “co-pilot. The pilot normally sits in the left side of the cockpit, wears a uniform with four (4) stripes on the epaulettes, while the co-pilot sits on the right side, and wears a uniform with three (3) stripes on the epaulettes. Either officer can assume the controls). The diver team, according to Bambang, would attempt to remove the remains of the other officer still trapped in the cockpit, later in the day. He expressed hope that the weather would not hinder the recovery efforts. Talk about contradictory reports! “Oh, what a tangled web we weave / When first we practise to deceive!” . Indonesia is not on the level.
SECOND UPDATE – FUSELAGE AND WING RECOVERED – FINALLY

On Sun, March 01 2015, AFP, “Indonesia World” reported that officials say they have retrieved the final major part of the fuselage of AirAsia jet that crashed into the Java Sea in Dec 2014 December, killing all 162 people on board.

Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue chief Bambang Soelistyo told AFP: “We have retrieved on Friday (27 Feb 2015) the last and large part of the AirAsiaAirbus A320  Flight 8501 fuselage with a wing still intact” …The mangled wreckage, the largest part of the plane retrieved, was pulled from the sea Friday and loaded onto a ship…No bodies were found during the course of the operation. Some 103 bodies have been recovered to date.

The WSJ comments on the story included these succinct ones:

“Not unexpected recovery but strangely no mention made of bringing up the cockpit they located not far distant.  There is information within it that would aid in the investigation and of course, the pilot’s position, i.e., both in their seats, shoulder straps on or off.”

Another person said: “I have never seen such spin-doctoring, face-saving apologists, low-talking mumblers, as these people.  DC politicians should make pilgrimages there to study at their feet.

We could not agree more. We too have alluded to these significant fallacies in Indonesia’s governmental releases. THE COVER -UP IS ON STRONG!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail > gonzedo@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

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February 7, 2015 at 5:25 PM Comments (0)

AIRBUS A320 AirAsia FLIGHT QZ8501 RECOVERY EFFORTS HALTED PREMATURELY

27 Jan 2015

Indonesia’s military, on 27 Jan 2015 withdrew from search and recovery efforts a month after an AirAsia flight 8501 Airbus A320 passenger jet crashed into the sea killing all 162 people on board, navy officials said. Rear Admiral Widodo, head of the navy’s western fleet, told reporters in Pangkalan Bun: “The operation has been ongoing for 30 days so the joint team has been pulled in Pangkalan Bun, the base for the search effort. We apologize to the families of the victims. We tried our best to look for the missing victims.” The Indonesian Civilian National Search and Rescue Agency said it may press on with the search for bodies. But its efforts will be hampered by the loss of the military’s large vessels and heavy recovery equipment. Tatang Zaenuddin, the agency’s deputy of operations said:”Perhaps we will do regular operations with help from fishermen and communities near the coast to find other victims” The agency will hold a news conference on 28 Jan 2015. WE SENSE A CONSPIRACY TO COVER UP THE FACTS.

THE FACTS ARE:

FACT: Divers have recovered both the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder from the sea floor. However, the results will not be released to the public. WHY?

FACT: Divers found and  recovered the empennage (tail section) of the downed jetliner without much difficulty before Indonesian authorities had a change of attitude about retrieving other compromising aircraft parts.

FACT: Malaysia Navy divers (100 strong) located the main part of the fuselage in water 100 feet deep (Folks, that is sport-diving depth.) The fuselage is thought to contain most of the victims; even so, after some apparent foot dragging (blaming the weather, visibility, currents etc.), the recovery team made three (3) half hearted efforts, using ropes to pull up the aircraft remains before giving up on recovery per today’s announcement. Frankly, watching recovery film, it seemed to us that the divers were attempting to destroy (break-up) the fuselage  rather than recover it. Over the course of the last month, fishermen and others did find some 70 bodies. About 90 more are still missing; many believed to have been in the fuselage remains.

FACT: THE COCKPIT HAS BEEN LOCATED, but no effort has been made to recover it. It should contain the remains of the pilot/co-pilot. Equally important, it will probably show that the the cabin exploded just behind the pilots as it did in Aloha Airlines Flight 243 AQ 243 (see previous article), that would be typical of explosive decompression at altitude. IT IS THAT INFORMATION THAT AIRBUS INDUSTRIES WISHES TO SUPPRESS, BECAUSE IT WOULD SHOW A DESIGN FLAW THAT MIGHT BE PERVASIVE AND AFFECT A FLEET OF SOME 6,100 A320s, AND WORSE YET, FUTURE SALES OF THIS IMPORTANT INDUSTRY TO FRANCE.

FACT: About six (6) other jetliners were in the same stormy Java Sea area at the time of the catastrophic event and suffered no real problems or delays.

FACT: Indonesian Government owns about half of AirAsia’s fleet; so they are unwilling to “shoot themselves in the foot”. They have obviously retrenched from past statements about “for the good of the (aeronautical) industry”. Notice that now, Indonesian press releases are being made by lower rank officials who have no electorate to answer to; But, what about the safety of the flying public? Must we wait for another such event? In 1950, and In denial, De Havilland did so with their Comet aircraft, and had three (3) blow up over the British Isles before someone said…Wait a minute, there is something wrong here!

FACT: The approved ceiling for the Airbus A320 is 42,000 feet; yet, it blew up (literally) at much less than that.  Authorities already know that key fact from the “black-boxes”, but appear to be concealing the information. Initially the Investigators did say that the cabin voice recorders showed there was no evidence of foul-play. Now no more info releases. Indonesia’s part in this investigation stinks!

INDONESIAN  GOVERNMENT“EYE WASH”

INDONESIA’S NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY COMMITTEE (NTSC) head, Tatang Kurniadi said NTSC will submit its initial findings on the crash this week to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).The preliminary report (which the ICAO requires within 30 days of an accident), will include “information on the plane, the number of passengers and other information like that”, said NTSC investigator Suryanto, but it will not include analysis of the two flight recorders. Data from radar and the aircraft’s two “black box” flight recorders will provide investigators with a clearer picture of what occurred during the final minutes of the flight, but investigators say they have yet to start their analysis as they have been compiling other data for the inquiry. The NTSC will hold an annual media conference this week on its work over the past year but it is not expected to discuss details of its investigation of the AirAsia crash. FOLKS! THIS IS CLASSICAL FOOT-DRAGGING BY RESPONSIBLE INDONESIAN AUTHORITIES. WE HAVE ALWAYS FEARED THAT WITH SO MUCH AT STAKE FOR FRANCE, AND INDONESIA, EVENTS WOULD TAKE SUCH A TURN.

Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan told a parliamentary hearing last week that, based on radar data, the plane had climbed faster than normal in its final minutes, and then stalled. YEAH! Stalled-hell! it “blew up”, and dropped from the sky in pieces. As a matter of fact, many hair-brained possibilities have been advanced to obscure/conceal the real facts.

The final report on the crash is now expected within a year. A lot of preventable bad things can happen in a year.

 

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

 

 

 


January 27, 2015 at 11:28 AM Comments (0)

AirAsia QZ8501 AIRBUS LOSS PROBABLY CAUSED BY HIGH ALTITUDE EXPLOSIVE DECOMPRESSION.

28 Dec 2014

We have good reasons to believe that the loss of this airliner was the result of mid-air high altitude explosive decompression.  Problem is:  airliners which serve archipelagos must fly to and from airports with high salinity in the air, and make many short flights. Each successive landing produces stresses on the upper part of the body (fuselage) known as “oil-canning”. Such induced stresses, normally in the upper part of the fuselage, have the net result of elongating rivet holes (Orifices) and that, allows the atmospheric salinity to corrode both fasteners, structural members, and skin panels.  Bottom line is: it is not the number of years in service, or the miles flown, but rather the number of landings that is at issue as a predictor of potential failure. A classic case of “short legs, and saline atmosphere”. was Aloha Airlines Flight 243, April 28, 1988.(below).

EXTRACTS FROM WIKIPEDIA

Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (AQ 243, was a scheduled Aloha Airlines flight between Honolulu in Hawaii. On April 28, 1988, a Boeing 737-297 serving the flight suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. There was one fatality, flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing, who was swept overboard from the airplane. Another 65 passengers and crew were injured. The safe landing of the aircraft despite the substantial damage inflicted by the decompression established Aloha Airlines Flight 243 as a significant event in the history of aviation, with far-reaching effects on aviation safety policies and procedures. We are lucky this aircraft survived to tell the tale.- But only if we learn from the past.

EVENT SUMMARY: No unusual occurrences were reported during the take-off and ascent. Around 13:48, as the aircraft reached its normal flight altitude of 24,000 feet (7,300 m) about 23 nautical miles (43 km) south-southeast of Kahului, Maui, a small section on the left side of the roof ruptured with a “whooshing” sound. The captain felt the aircraft roll left and right, and the controls went loose. The first officer noticed pieces of grey insulation floating over the cabin. The door to the cockpit was gone so the captain could look behind him and see blue sky. The resulting explosive decompression tore off a large section of the roof, consisting of the entire top half of the aircraft skin extending from just behind the cockpit to the wing leading edge.

NO LOST PARTS FOUND.  Despite an extensive search of the ocean at the estimated location of the incident, neither Ms. Lansing’s body nor the piece of the fuselage that was blown off the plane were ever found. The flight crew reacted heroically, and the pilots surely had white knuckles when they finally brought the wounded bird down through great airmanship.

NTSB FINDINGS Investigation by the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) concluded that the accident was caused by metal fatigue exacerbated by crevice corrosion. The plane was 19 years old and operated in a coastal environment, with exposure to salt and humidity. Does this sound familiar?

For excellent pictures of the mid-disaster see www.disastercity.info/flt243/index.htm

THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL CASE OCCURRED MUCH EARLIER IN 1952

EXTRACTS FROM WIKIPEDIA:

THREE BRITISH COMETS-FLAGSHIP OF BOAC exploded in mid-air as the result of- explosive decompression (a sly old aeronautical enemy) that doomed Great Britain’s primacy into commercial jet transport. The De Havilland DH 106 Comet was the first production commercial jetliner developed and manufactured by De Havilland, Headquartered at Hertfordshire, Great Britain. The Comet’s 1st prototype first flew on 27 July 1949. It featured an aerodynamically clean design, with four de Havilland Ghost turbojet engines buried in the wings, a pressurized and large square windows. For the era, the Comet offered a relatively quiet, comfortable passenger cabin and showed signs of being a commercial success at its 1952 debut. THEN… several Comets came down in pieces from high altitude.

ANATOMY OF THE TRAGEDY A year after entering commercial service the DH 106 Comets began suffering problems, with three of them breaking up during mid-flight in well-publicized accidents. This was later found to be due to catastrophic metal fatigue in the airframes, a problem not well understood at the time. The Comets were withdrawn from service and extensively tested after the fact to discover the cause; the first incident had been incorrectly blamed on adverse weather; however, the exhaustive testing revealed fatal design flaws, including dangerous stresses at the corners of the square windows and installation methodology; As a result, the Comet was extensively redesigned with oval windows, structural reinforcement and other changes. Even so, by then the Boeing 707 had gained world trust as a jetliner that flew twice as fast as any prop-driven airliners of its time; while Britain, never recovered from its BOAC prestige and financial loss.

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COST ARE THE MAIN CONCERN OF AIRLINER MAKERS AND OPERATORS.  Naturally, Airbus does not wish to admit failures in design consideration, especially when weight considerations are paramount. Airbus says: Oh! A320 are proven aircraft with thousands safely in service all over the world. Yes but under the circumstances above? In our mind aircraft destined for short flights in saline airports need to have such problems ironed out in design modifications (Airbus knows where to begin, and so do I, but they do not wish to admit fault). Meanwhile the operators probably say: Well, Airbus directives have not instructed us to inspect the upper part of the fuselage for smoky rivets or other signs of skin distress.

SO WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE MALAYSIAN AIRCRAFT? We submit it exceeded the altitude at which its weakened fuselage could stand the pressure differential, and “blew up”. In all probability the pilots thought they were safe, when they radioed that they were going to a higher altitude. Such experienced pilots no doubt considered that a prudent measure given the flight parameters given for their aircraft, but they were wrong. Thousands of small pieces showered down over miles of ocean water never to be seen again. That may be all that is found. If it is any consolation to relatives of the missing, we believe they died an almost instantaneous, unexpected death. May they rest in peace until the ocean gives up its dead, and may their loved ones find closure and keep the missing in their memories, for then, they will continue to live on.

Note: The Public relations cover up of the real events has already started when spokespeople blame the weather, and they lie when they say the pilot had requested to change his flight plan, when they distinctly said they were going to a higher altitude. Airbus Industries will do anything to preserve their international prestige, but as with the DH Comet, in the end, all will be known. It will be interesting to see what the USA NTSB has to say.

Respectfully,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail >gonzedo@yahoo.com

P.S. The author worked for many years as an Aircraft Design Engineer


December 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM Comments (14)

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