energymaters.com

THIS JOURNAL WILL "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" REGARDING DIFFERENT FORMS OF ENERGY AND THEIR GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS/PROBLEMS

WE DO NOT NEED NUCLEAR FACILITIES, OR THEIR HIGHLY TOXIC NUCLEAR WASTE

1 Aug 2017

INVESTMENT WISE Nuclear Facilities, make no financial sense. At best they take about 14 years to build, cost at least 15 Billion, and are traditionally plagued by cost overuns and construction delays, which are no longer acceptable to potential users/capitalists. Today, economic competition from other Facilities powered by Wind, Solar, Nat Gas, Hydro , etc. make nuclear facilities totally unacceptable to venture capital.

COST OF DE-COMMISSIONING Is a hidden cost of Nuclear Facilities; Point of fact, in the USA five(5) existing Nuclear Facilities have recently ceased operation, and it remains to be seen who will fund the high cost of de-commissioning, which could take many years, and cost untold billions of Dollars. One does not simply turn out the light and post a “closed sign”. Accordingly, the Nuclear Energy Industry has lobbied laws such that after 40 years, a nuclear facility becomes the property of the country. In other words, “Let the public pay for it, all we need do is sit it out.” Its a hell of a way to run a Facility, and one added tax for the public.

NUCLEAR CENTRAL FACILITIES ARE NO LONGER BEING BUILT. Nuclear Central Facilities already under construction in many countries are doomed to failure, overtaken by events, world needs, plus Technical and financial considerations. Venture Capitalists will need to bite the bullet. They are victims of history, greed, and technollogy. Countries that sell Nuclear facilities like Japan/Toshiba/Westinghouse, France/EDF (Areva), Russia and their surrogates (Westinghouse – recently bankrupt), China,and others, no longer build them for themselves for the same reasons.

POLITICS AND FINANCIAL INDUCEMENTS are rapidly disappearing everywhere. In The USA The Trump Administration speaks with ambivalence, Congress has no time for it. Truth be told, the US government can no longer afford “tax credits”; specially to those who fail to satisfy the stated requirements. Nuclear facilities are toast. Problem is nobody, but nobody likes that kind of toast.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

03-2017

August 1, 2017 at 2:29 AM 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)

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

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

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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)

USA’s NUCLEAR WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT GOES TO NEW MEXICO

11 Oct 2014

On 30 Sep 2014 the USA Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) Released their lengthy plan to remediate and long-term store nuclear waste. The strategic plan addresses the disposal and environmental remediation of “Legacy” and “active sites”, to protect human health and the environment, The EM program was established in 1989, and began waste disposal operations in 1999 , The plan is called : Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP), and will be responsible for the cleanup of millions of gallons of liquid radioactive waste, millions of cubic yards of solid radioactive wastes, thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel (produced by our NPPs),and “special nuclear material” (whatever that is), huge quantities of contaminated soil and water, disposition of large volumes of transuranic and mixed/low-level waste, and deactivation and decommissioning of hundreds of excess facilities. A huge undertaking that probably will not happen as planned. Let us see why.

“LEGACY”-LARGEST NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY IN THE WORLD was necessitated by 50 years of cold war nuclear weapons development and production, as well as Government sponsored nuclear energy research. Transuranic (high-level waste) waste inventory is located at four remaining large quantity sites: 1. Hanford Site (Washington State), 2. Idaho National Laboratory (Idaho), 3. Los Alamos National Laboratory (New Mexico), and 4. Savannah River Site (South Carolina), as well as more than 20 small quantity sites throughout the USA.- note: some of the nuclear waste at Hanford is such, that even those responsible for it do not want to find out what it is; So, who will dispose of it? The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was planned by the USA DoE – EM Carlsbad Field Office, located 26 miles east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, EM is/will be responsible for management and operations. WIPP occupies about 16 square miles, and consists principally of a large underground salt-mine complex still being constructed and equipped for its intended role; even though there is a well formulated development plan. It is apparently such nuclear waste that will be shipped by special nuclear waste trains and disposed of at WIPP, in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface.

TRAINS NEEDED FOR THE NEW YUCCA MOUNTAIN NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY. Recall that in our two previous articles we pondered where the specially designed trains would take such nuclear waste, and where it would come from. It now seems certain to us that the current plan is to create a New Mexico Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, given that the original Yucca Mountain was banned by Nevada after the expenditure of about $5 Billion dollars – Now there was a monumental waste of non-radioactive dollars!, but at least Nevadans recognized the folly of underground high-level, and specially low level waste which is normally stored in open containers. Hell! Los Alamos Labs (just north of the WIPP) had several such fires in low-level waste open containers; several of which were of severe magnitude. We see many uncertainties about WIPPs ability to handle both, high level, and low level nuclear waste. The difference is that low-level waste is normally stored in open containers, continues to give off heat, and remains radioactive for many years. It also contains traces of plutonium. High level waste must be stored in sealed (dry-casked) containers with a life expectancy of seldom more than 80 years. Nobody likes to think of what will happen when the dry-casks begin to leak and need replacement.

INTENDED PURPOSE OF THE WIPP, According to EM office is to safely isolate Transuranic (TU) waste generated by atomic energy defense activities from the public and the environment. TU waste is also now stored at sites in the spent-fuel cooling ponds at more than 100 nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in the USA alone. Evidently the nuclear generation merchant nuclear fleet wants our government to create room for more such waste. Worldwide NPP’s are the main creators of Transuranic waste. There exist about 1,000 NPPs. Even so, TU waste was/is also generated by atomic energy defense activities in nuclear weapons research /development, facility dismantlement, and waste site cleanup. Such waste consists primarily of tools, gloves, clothing and other such items contaminated with trace amounts of radioactive elements, including plutonium. Predictably,…

TWO ACCIDENTS OCCURRED AT THE WIPP IN FEB 2014. that caused the authorities to suspend operations on February 5, 2014; this, following a fire involving an underground vehicle. Nine days later, on February 14, 2014, a “radiological event” (sorry-no details provided) occurred underground, contaminating a portion of the mine primarily along the ventilation path from the location of the incident releasing a small amount of contamination into the environment. HMMM! Not a very auspicious beginning, despite all the safeguards and different levels of overview. Accident investigation pointed out the need for much greater smoke extraction capabilities. Nothing was said about purging the smoke. Point is, fire does not destroy radioactivity, it only changes its form to smoke and creates an even greater heat accumulation. WIPP is a potential “Underground Fukushima”.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

E-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

 

Ref data: http://www.wipp.energy.gov/Special/WIPP (this is a 44 page pdf planning document – Oh, yea!, planners they have, and they all do as they are told by superiors – even when they do not know who they are, and when they do not know the science behind their planning. Forgive them Lord, for they do not know what they do! The previous two articles deal with this subject, and make these developments begin to paint an ominous picture.

http://energy.gov/em/articles/department-energy-releases-wipp-recovery-plan

http://energy.gov/articles/update-hanford-site-and-cleanup-progress

http://energy.gov/em/articles/doe-seeks-trucking-services-transuranic-waste-shipments (Now its not just special trains, but trucks also – maybe)

P.S. I find it dismaying that while this makes three (3) articles about nuclear waste in the USA, in the last 11 days we have been read nearly 1,200 times in Ukraine, and in the high hundreds in nearly 65 countries already, meantime, the number of readers in the USA is less than 1,000, and well under the usual expectations. We do not know what to make of it!. Is our USA readership doing the same thing as our DoE, and sweeping such monumental problems out of sight?, or are we being interdicted?


October 11, 2014 at 2:38 AM Comments (19)

USA DOE FUNDS SOUTHERN STATES NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

22 Aug 2014

On 19 Aug 2014, in Cincinnati – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) today awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies. Sixteen(16) southern states and two(2) territories comprise the membership of SSEB: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. The authority for the sole-source award to the Southern States Energy Board is provided under Section 16 of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act. The value of the agreement is $10,438,070.00, and has a project period of 5 years.

Under the agreement, the board will convene a committee of appropriate state personnel (one representative from each state) to be known as the Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group. The working group will include representatives from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. The group will meet twice each year to discuss transuranic waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy and other appropriate agencies and organizations. The Southern States Energy Board will provide the working group with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Group members will work with the Southern States Energy Board to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic waste campaigns that traverse the southern region.

DOE media contact: Lynette Chafin 513-246-0461, Lynette.Chafin@emcbc.doe.gov

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE  DOE RELEASE AND COMMENT

On 19 Aug 2014, Cincinnati, USA – The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) awarded a sole-source cooperative agreement ($10.49 million grant) to the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). The Board’s mission is “to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies” HMM! That sounds so beneficial, but is it? Or is it just another boondoggle for DoE to create credible Board(s) to support their stance regarding the thorny issues of nuclear (transuranic) waste transportation overland, and its final disposal. We believe such is the case.

SSEB MEMBERSHIP will be comprised by 16 southern states and two (2) territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands): Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia. DoE’s authority for the grant to the SSEB is provided under Section 16 of the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Land Withdrawal Act”. DoE’s grant is $10,438,070 million, and has a project period of 5 years. That works out to about $ 1 million per meeting.

The Transuranic Waste Transportation Working Group (TWTWG) shall include one(1) representative from each of the 14 following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, and The Group will meet twice each year to discuss Transuranic (nuclear) waste transportation issues and activities undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy (USA DoE) and other appropriate agencies and organizations. It is clear SSEB will provide TWTWG with the appropriate information to address regional issues relative to transuranic waste shipments to the “Waste Isolation Pilot Plant” (whatever, and wherever that turns out to be ). TWTWG Group members will work jointly with the SSEB to develop their state work plans and budgets for transuranic (nuclear) waste campaigns (overland/overseas shipments?) that traverse the southern region of the USA. We noticed this Group leaves out two (2) states, and two (2) territories of the SSEB membership.

LINGERING QUESTIONS

1. Why is this initiative aimed at the southern states and two territories?

2. Don’t northern states have an even greater transuranic waste disposal problem?

3. Why does nuclear shit always flow south?

4. Who will appoint representatives to the SSEB, and the TWTWG?

5. Where will the SSAB, and its little sister TWTWG Boards meet?

6. Who will each board be answerable to?

7. Given that nobody wants such nuclear waste (Not In My Back Yard-NIMBY!); what is the USA national policy regarding “Cooling Ponds” at Nuclear Power Plants (many of which are already filled to the the brim with transnuclear “spent fuel rods”), even though cooling ponds are the worst possible “Transuranic waste repositories”, are highly vulnerable to the vagaries of nature such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, rising sea-levels (witness Fukushima Dai no.1 Mar 2011) and even terrorist activity.

THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE NUCLEAR ENERGY INDUSTRY TO PAY THE PIPER, and to take action regarding their transuranic nuclear waste accumulation, before another Fukushima event happens. By the way, already full “spent fuel cooling ponds” are an acute problem in many countries such as the USA, France, and Sweden, both heavily nuclear dependent for a long time, and that have many Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) approaching, or exceeding their planned 40 year lifetime usage, and many already beyond 60 years. Unfortunately many countries have began sweeping transuranic waste under the carpet. However, Let us remember it has a radioactive half-life of about 250,000 years. We shall pass, but it will go on.

We have a strong sense of “we have been here before” (deja-vu).  Remember the much touted 2010 BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION ON AMERICA’S NUCLEAR FUTURE  mandated by Pres. Obama of former DOE Secretary Dr. Steven Chu?, well, it turned out to be a sham. Dr. Chu promptly divided the committee into two(2) groups answerable ONLY to him. The committee met once to hear Dr. Chu’s instructions; then quietly faded away. It is all games people play when they seek only to deceive. The Blue ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future was recorded by this Journal. Oh, it was a best laid of plans, but it was dead on arrival on Dr. Chu’s desk. – Just read on.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

e-mail>gonzedo@yahoo.com

 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

                                                                                  Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future

                                                                                                         U.S. Department of Energy

20 Jan 2010

Advisory Commission Charter

1. Commission’s Official Designation. Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (the Commission).

2. Authority. The Commission is being established in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, and as directed by the President’s Memorandum for the Secretary of Energy dated January 20, 2010: Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future. This charter establishes the Commission under the authority of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).

3. Objectives and Scope of Activities. The Secretary of Energy, acting at the direction of the President, is establishing the Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including all alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense used nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and materials derived from nuclear activities. Specifically, the Commission will provide advice, evaluate alternatives, and make recommendations for a new plan to address these issues, including:

a) Evaluation of existing fuel cycle technologies and R&D programs. Criteria for evaluation should include cost, safety, resource utilization and sustainability, and the promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and counter-terrorism goals.

b) Options for safe storage of used nuclear fuel while final disposition pathways are selected and deployed;

c) Options for permanent disposal of used fuel and/or high-level nuclear waste, including deep geological disposal;

d) Options to make legal and commercial arrangements for the management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste in a manner that takes the current and

e) Options for decision-making processes for management and disposal that are flexible, adaptive, and responsive;

f) Options to ensure that decisions on management of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste are open and transparent, with broad participation;

g) The possible need for additional legislation or amendments to existing laws, including the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended; and

h) Any such additional matters as the Secretary determines to be appropriate for consideration.

The Commission will produce a draft report to the Secretary and a final report within the time frames contained in paragraph 4.

4. Description of Duties. The duties of the Commission are solely advisory and are as stated in Paragraph 3 above.

5. Official to Whom the Committee Reports. The Commission reports to the Secretary of Energy.

6. Agency Responsible for Providing the Necessary Support. DoE will be responsible for financial and administrative support. Within DoE, this support will be provided by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy or other Departmental element as required. The Commission will draw on the expertise of other federal agencies as appropriate

7. Estimated Annual Operating Cost and Staff Years. The estimated annual operating cost of direct support to, including travel of, the Commission and its subcommittees is $5,000,000 and requires approximately 8.0 DoE full-time employees.

8. Designated Federal Officer. A full-time DoE employee, appointed in accordance with agency procedures, will serve as the Designated Federal Officer (DFO). The DFO will approve or call all of the Commission and subcommittee meetings, approve all meeting agendas, attend all Commission and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest. Subcommittee directors who are full-time Department of Energy employees, as appointed by the DFO, may serve as DFOs for subcommittee meetings.

9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings. The Commission is expected to meet as frequently as needed and approved by the DFO, but not less than twice a year.

The Commission will hold open meetings unless the Secretary of Energy, or his designee, determines that a meeting or a portion of a meeting may be closed to the public as permitted by law. Interested persons may attend meetings of, and file comments with, the Commission, and, within time constraints and Commission procedures, may appear before the Commission. Members of the Commission serve without compensation. However, each appointed non-Federal member may be reimbursed for per diem and travel expenses incurred while attending Commission meetings in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations.

10. Duration and Termination. The Commission is subject to biennial review and will terminate 24 months from the date of the Presidential memorandum discussed above, unless, prior to that time, the charter is renewed in accordance with Section 14 of the FACA.

11. Membership and Designation. Commission members shall be experts in their respective fields and appointed as special Government employees based on their knowledge and expertise of the topics expected to be addressed by the Commission, or representatives of entities including, among others, research facilities, academic and policy-centered institutions, industry, labor organizations, environmental organizations, and others, should the Commission’s task require such representation. Members shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy. The approximate number of Commission members will be 15 persons. The Chair or Co-Chairs shall be appointed by the Secretary of Energy.

12. Subcommittees.

a) To facilitate functioning of the Commission, both standing and ad hoc subcommittees may be formed.

b) The objectives of the subcommittees are to undertake fact-finding and analysis on specific issues.

c) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or Co-Chairs, will appoint members of subcommittees. Members from outside the Commission may be appointed to any subcommittee to assure the expertise necessary to conduct subcommittee business.

d) The Secretary or his designee, in consultation with the Chair or co-Chairs will appoint Subcommittees.

e) The DoE Committee Management Officer (CMO) will be notified upon establishment of each subcommittee.

13. Recordkeeping. The records of the Commission and any subcommittee shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2 and approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

14. Filing Date.

Date filed with Congress: _____March 1, 2010__________

Signed

_________________________

Carol A. Matthews

Committee Management Officer

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

                                                          DOE’s BLUE RIBBON COMMITTEE BEGINS TO ACTNOT REALLY

25 Mar 2010.

As a necessary first step, DOE WITHDREW FROM YUCCA MOUNTAIN NUCLEAR REPOSITORY 3 Mar 2010: Department of Energy (DOE)Filed a Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application with the Nuclear Regulatory for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain with prejudice( without legal recourse). Translation – Yucca Mountain is dead.

Last 29 Jan 2009, The U.S. DOE at the direction of President Obama established a Blue Ribbon Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, and to provide recommendations for developing a safe long-term solution to managing the Nation’s used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. The Commission will hold its first meeting in Washington, D.C. on 25 and 26 Mar 2010, produce an interim report within 18 months, and a final report within 24 months.

BLUE RIBBON NUCLEAR COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP

1. Co-Chair:  Lee Hamilton- Represented Indiana’s 9th congressional district from January of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

2. Co-Chair: Brent Scowcroft – Former Lt. General (29 year service); Pres. The Scowcroft Group, Has served as the Natl. Security Advisor Pres. Ford and George H.W. Bush. From 1982-9

3. Mark Ayers, President, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.  4. Vicky Bailey – Former Commissioner Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; Former PUC Commissioner; Former DOE Asst Secretary for Policy and International Affairs.  5. Albert Carnesale, Chancellor Emeritus and Professor – UCLA.  6. Pete V. Domenici, former U.S. Senator (R-NM) Senior Fellow- Bipartisan Policy Center. 7. Susan Eisenhower, President, Eisenhower Group, Inc.  8. Chuck Hagel, Former U.S. Senator (R-NE).  9. Jonathan Lash – President World Resources Institute.  10. Allison Macfarlane, Assoc. Professor, Environmental Science, George Mason U. 11. Richard A. Meserve, President Carnegie Institution for Science, and former Chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 12. Ernie Moniz, Professor of Physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  13. Per Peterson, Professor / Chair, Dept of Nuclear Engineering, UC-Berkeley. 14. John Rowe – Chairman and CEO Exelon Corporation. 15. Phil Sharp– President- Resources for the Future.

This elite panel should look into using THORIUM for Power Generation as part of the solution.  In 2008, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced the Thorium Energy Independence and Security Act of 2008, which would have mandated the US Department of Energy (DOE) to examine the commercial use of Thorium in US reactors. The bill, however, did not reach a full Senate vote. The Thorium fuel cycle, with its potential for breeding fuel without fast neutron reactors, holds considerable potential long-term benefits, and since it is inherently safer, and 3 to 5 times more abundant as an ore than uranium; it is a potential key factor in sustainable nuclear energy for the world (Please see p.37).

The Blue Ribbon Commission, led by Lee Hamilton and Brent  Scowcroft, will provide / make recommendations on issues including alternatives for the storage, processing, and disposal of civilian and defense spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste;  Also to consider U.S. expansion of  nuclear energy.

Lee Hamilton said: “This will be a thorough, comprehensive review based on the best available science. I’m looking forward to working with the many distinguished experts on this panel to achieve a consensus on the best path forward.”

Gen Scowcroft said: “The United States responds to climate change and moves forward with A LONG OVERDUE EXPANSION OF NUCLEAR ENERGY(emphasis provided) we also need to work together to find a responsible, long-term strategy to deal with the leftover fuel and nuclear waste… I’m pleased to be part of that effort along with Congressman Hamilton and such an impressive group of scientific and industry experts.” So! It is not just nuclear waste disposal, but also expansion of nuclear energy. Good! Do you suppose they will consider the Reid -Hatch (2008) proposal to mandate use of THORIUM as the “Fuel of the future”. It is not surprising that our heavily lobbied Senate failed to even consider it in 2008; but this is 2010, and many things have changed in Washington.

If properly developed, Thorium 232 technology can solve a lot of the world’s problems: It “eats-up” nuclear waste, it is much more available than uranium, and is potentially safer, does not proliferate uranium production which can be made into nuclear weapons, etc.

gonzedo


August 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM Comments (2)

RICHLAND-“AMERICA’S FUKUSHIMA”, A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN IN OUR N.E.

30 Nov. 2013

RICHLAND, Wash. On a wind-swept plateau, underground steel tanks that hold the nation’s most deadly radioactive waste are slowly rotting. The soil deep under the desert brush is being fouled with plutonium, cesium and other material so toxic, that it could deliver a lethal dose of radiation to a nearby person in minutes. The aging tanks at the former Hanford nuclear weapons production complex contain 56 million gallons of sludge, the by-product of several decades of nuclear weapons production, and they represent one of the nation’s most treacherous environmental threats.

US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY(US DOE) OFFICIALS have repeatedly assured the public that they have the advanced technology needed to safely dispose of the waste. However; an industrial city at the Hanford nuclear weapons complex has been under development for 24 years, designed to transform the sludge into solid glass to prepare it for permanent burial. Even so with $13 billion already spent, there are serious doubts that the highly complex technology will even work, or that the current plan can clean up all the waste. Alarmed at warnings raised by outside experts and some of the project’s own engineers, DOE officials last year ordered a halt to construction on the most important parts of the waste treatment plant. One would produce highly radioactivity resistant glass destined for a future geological repository, and the other a lower radioactivity rated glass that could be buried at Hanford. Over the last two (2) years, technical problems on the project have multiplied. Concern has grown that explosive hydrogen gas could build up inside the treatment plant’s pipes and tanks. Some project engineers now say that. lumps of plutonium could form inside the plant’s mixing tanks potentially causing a spontaneous nuclear reaction. A federal oversight board found that employee safety concerns had been disregard, while the DOE’s Inspector General reported an estimate that more than a third of the plant’s nuclear safety reviews required on every pipe, valve and device were never conducted .(BECHTEL- WHERE ART/WERE THOU ?).

PREOCUPIED POLITICIAN Sen. Ron Wyden(D-Ore.), chairman of the “Energy and Natural Resources Committee”. Said about Bechtel: They are missing one important target after another…It feels like we are going around in circles”.

FEDERAL CHIEF-ENGR. AT HANFORD, GARY BRUNSON WANTS BECHTEL GONE. Brunson recommended a year ago that the prime contractor, Bechtel National, be removed as the plant designer, citing 34 instances of serious safety and engineering errors. Two other senior managers have also publicly said the project’s technology is flawed and that safety concerns have been disregarded.

BECHTEL PROJECT MANAGER-NOT WORRIED. Bill Hamel who is managing construction of the waste treatment plant, said: “I am 100% sure that whatever the tests show, the mixing hardware or the chemical processes can be adjusted to allow the treatment plant to fulfill its mission…This entire design is based on safety,”  On a recent tour of the plant, Hamel navigated around walls 6 feet thick designed to protect workers from radiation. Massive stainless steel tanks that can hold up to 375,000 gallons of sludge were lined up in areas that will someday be sealed off from human entry ( HAMEL, DOES YO’ MAMA KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?).

BECHTEL NATIONAL TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT HANFORD, Russell Daniel said: The probability of an explosion is no greater than 1 in 1 million…even if 20 feet of hydrogen gas accumulated inside a pipe and detonated, it would not cause a rupture or any damage…This is a very large, very complex facility…We continue to make progress”.  US DOE disagrees. Nov 2013 they formally offered a more cautious prognosis.  It notified Washington State officials that it might miss some of the most important project deadlines, promised three years ago under a “consent agreement” reached to address earlier lapses; Now, 14 of 19 key milestones are in jeopardy

ENDLESS DELAYS –NOT ACCEPTABLE – not when a million gallons of sludge from about a third of the 177 underground tanks have leaked into the soil, and some of it has reached aquifers under the plateau. The Columbia River, the West’s biggest waterway, is seven miles downhill from the waste and, under a worst-case scenario, it could be hit by the radioactive plumes in as little as 50 years, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Suzanne Dahl, who runs the Ecology Department’s Hanford office said:”It is really disappointing” In late Sep 2013, DOE Secretary Ernest J. Moniz tried to intervene with a vague plan for accelerating the project. He offered options that included the development of a new treatment plant and a change in the chemical process for treating some of the liquid waste. (JUDGING FROM MONIZ’S PAST PRONOUNCEMENTS “VAGUE” IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT).

BECHTEL’S BASIC PLAN is to pump the waste into a “pre-treatment plant”, a factory larger than a football field, and 12 stories tall, that would filter and chemically separate the waste into two streams: One high, another, low-level radioactivity. Then, two (2) other plants would “vitrify,”(mix the waste with molten glass), One would produce highly radioactive glass destined for a future geological repository, and the other a lower radioactive glass that could be buried at Hanford. But Sen. Ron Wyden(D-Ore.), among other critics, dismissed it, calling it “a plan for a plan”. (HMM…!  BECHTEL SURE SOUNDS LIKE JAPAN ‘S CENTRAL GOVT. ABOUT FUKUSHIMA) The questions concern Bechtel’s decision not to use traditional mechanical mixers with paddles driven by electric motors, as have been employed at other nuclear processing plants; Instead, the company chose pulse jet mixers, which function like giant turkey basters powered by vacuum and air pressure, they would suck waste into a cylinder within the tanks and then spit it out under high pressure. Such a system has never been used in such large tanks. The decision was based on the concern that mechanical systems could break down in highly radioactive “black cells,” as the tanks are known, over the 40-year design-life of the plant. Even so, doubts have grown about whether the pulse jet mixers can adequately agitate the waste and prevent the formation of hydrogen gas and clumps of plutonium at the bottom of the tanks and in pipes.

SERIOUS PROBLEMS WERE EXPOSED LAST YEAR by Walter Tamosaitis, one of the scientific chiefs of the project. He disclosed that the innovative technology for mixing the waste in processing tanks could cause dangerous buildups of explosive hydrogen gas and might allow plutonium clumps to form. ” Tamosaitis was fired for telling it like it is, but his candor made him a “whistleblower, and there is now Senatorial action afoot to protect him.

ENTER – THE US DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD, an independent Federal Agency that oversees nuclear weapons sites, validated Tamosaitis’ concerns about the mixing technology and found that Bechtel’s safety culture at the project was flawed. Construction on the project’s two (2) most important components: The pre-treatment plant, and the high-level vitrification plant, were substantially slowed. The Safety Board has demanded that US DOE conduct a full-scale test of the mixing system, using nonradioactive sludge, before going any further. The test facility is under construction near Hanford, but the test completion date is uncertain.

ACADEMIA WORRIED Some of the nation’s top independent experts say the Bechtel technology is far from proven; Rich Calabrese, a University of Maryland professor (considered one of the world’s top experts in chemical mixing technology) said: “We are all out there at the frontier, trying to assess the technology…I am neutral about whether it will work or not…DOE has to demonstrate that it will do the job…people are working to make sure the right tests are done to answer that question.”

NUCLEAR ENGINEER IS PESSIMISTIC. Donna Busche, a nuclear engineer, and health physicist said: “The pre-treatment plant will not operate as it was originally intended….the facility would never be able to pass a licensing review because so many crucial tests had never been conducted and so many documents are missing…Even if concerns about the mixers are resolved, the very earliest construction could resume on the high-level plant is now set for 2014, and the pre-treatment after that…even if all of the technical doubts are overcome and if the lack of nuclear safety documentation can be resolved, there are serious concerns that the treatment plant will wear out before it can process all of the 56 million gallons of waste.. Busche leads the project’s safety team at “URS Corp” a Bechtel sub-contractor. (OOPS ! – LOOK OUT DONNA – YOUR JOB IS IN JEPARDY)

Many of the problems seem to stem from the decision to launch construction of the plant even before engineers had completed the design. The job of turning nuclear waste as thick as peanut butter into glass is at the leading edge of nuclear chemistry, a job made difficult by the complex mixture (Transuranics) of wastes that were fed into the underground tanks by some of the nation’s largest industrial corporations under a cloak of government secrecy. US DOE officials acknowledge that possibility, and say they will need a second low-level vitrification plant to complete the job. If/When that will happen is unknown -it is a project that Congress has not yet authorized. (SOUNDS LIKE MONIZ’S “PIE IN THE SKY”). And then there are budget constraints to contend with.

Thanks to the L.A.Times for their excellent story 29 Nov 2013

OUR TAKE

Just as in the 1984 movie: “GHOST-BUSTERS”, we (the USA) have been “Slimed”, and now we need to put the EVIL GHOSTS back in the GHOST TRAPs.  The analogy is deeper and more menacing than it looks. It is clear to us that Bechtel National. has taken us for a 24 year, $13 billion ride so far; with no measurable results, and given the passage of time, for plant deterioration which marks Hanford as a clear and present danger, requiring immediate attention at all levels of government, and our Industries.

It should be clear to those Federal employees who authorize the checks, that Bechtel National should be fired ASAP for “Breech of Contract”, and/or “Lack of Due Diligence”; So, why don’t they?- You know…those in authority have received (or will receive) a sizable compensation for favors granted. It could be proven by “following the money”, but that will not happen because that would be scandalous, and might reach “Untouchable” political figures.

IN OUR OPINION, what is needed is an immediate Request for a Proposal(RFP) to Nuclear Waste Remediation segment of Industry to be reviewed by, an independent organization, such as the THE US DEFENSE NUCLEAR FACILITIES SAFETY BOARD. Regrettably, the US DOE seems to be lacking personnel capable of providing such advice. It may be necessary for our President to appoint an Independent “Blue Ribbon Committee” and I mean answerable to no one, but our President. There is a fitting Spanish saying: “A grandes males, grandes remedios”(“great ailments, require great remedies”).

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


November 30, 2013 at 11:09 PM Comments (0)

« Older Posts