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

JAPAN’S “NUCLEAR INDUSTRIAL AGENCY (NISA)” BLAMED FOR FUKUSHIMA TRAGEDY

27 DEC 2011
JAPANESE COUNTERPART TO USA-NRC BLAMED FOR FUKUSHIMA TRAGEDY.  NISA has been heaped with vitriol for their part in the Fukushima Dai No.1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) tragedy of 12 Mar 2011. The Chief Independent Investigator, Engineering Professor Yotaro Hatamura, Ph.D – Emeritus, leveled some of his strongest criticism against Japan’s “Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency ( NISA)”.  Prof. Hatamura’s full report is expected in the summer of 2012, when it will include interviews with former Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other Cabinet officials. Those interviews weren’t completed for the interim report due to time constraints. DO YOU REALLY THINK SO ?- I DON’T.

PROF. HATAMURA’S SIX MONTH INVESTIGATION REPORT BY A 10 MEMBER TEAM OF EXPERTS was published in a scathing 507 page report on 26 Dec 2011, and includes many damning accusations principally involving governmental cover-up, inactions, lack of foresight, and of “planning for the worst” by both NISA Staff, and the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO).  Prof. Hatamura, specializes in studies of industrial accidents caused by “design flaws and human error”, includes a slew of planning failures, breakdown in communication and operational mistakes by TEPCO NISA Staff, even before, and after the earthquake and tsunami.  Prof. Hatamura was appointed by the government in May 2011 to lead an “impartial and multifaceted” investigation into the nuclear accident. He began studying “Human Error” after finding his students were more interested in how projects can go wrong, according to the publisher of his book “Learning from Failure.”

LONG LIST OF “SAY-WHAT?!!!” ACTIONS / INACTIONS FOLLOWS:

NISA officials left the Fukushima Dai-No.1 NPP site right after the 11 Mar 2011 earthquake/ tsunami,  and when they were ordered to return by the government, provided little assistance to TEPCO Staff struggling to gain control of three(3) melting reactors.  One might compare that to “desertion in the face of the enemy” at a time when monitoring the NPP’s status was vital; yet, The Investigation Committee found “no evidence that the NISA officials provided necessary assistance or advice.”  Plainly put: NISA OFFICIALS BUGGED-OUT! – Even though NISA’s manual said to stay at the NPP, their manager gave the officials (No names given to protect the guilty) permission to evacuate.

TOTAL LOSS OF ELECTRICAL POWER AND EVEN PHONES. While TEPCO supplied the electricity that kept homes, factories and offices running in metropolitan Tokyo (the world’s biggest city), lack of preparation for power failure in the Fukushima NPP left workers reduced to flashlights at the 864-acre site.  Even batteries in cell phones at the Fukushima NPP started running out the first day, and there was no power available even to recharge them, thus preventing communication with the “on-site emergency headquarters”. TEPCO hadn’t considered a tsunami overwhelming the Fukushima NPP; so, no preparation was made for “simultaneous and multiple losses of power” causing station blackout and the failure of all personal handy-phone system units in the NPP, seriously disrupting communications among staff.

CRITICAL COMMUNICATION FAILURES.  Communications became so balky that NPP manager Masao Yoshida, stationed in the emergency bunker, didn’t know what some workers were doing. The high pressure coolant injection system at the No. 3 reactor was stopped by a worker without authority from NPP managers, according to the report. The reactor was one of the three(3) that melted down.  Meanwhile, in Tokyo, the Central Government’s response was muddled by miscommunication between two(2) teams working on different floors of the same building.

TEPCO SAYS HOTLINES DID WORK  So said Spokesman Masato Yamaguchi on 26 Dec 2011.  Between the central control room and the reactor buildings worked following the quake, while workers outside the buildings could use a total of nine(9) transceivers, . The company added 29 transceivers on March 13 and 80 more on 15 Mar (day four).

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT FAILED TO USE ITS RADIATION SPREAD MONITORING SYSTEM. That failure in calculating evacuation areas, may yet cost many truncated lives. While the monitoring tool lacked sufficient data for an accurate assessment because of communication failures, its predictive functions should have been used; Worse yet, the CENTRAL GOVERNMENT WITH-HELD INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLIC. The report states: “Information on urgent matters was delayed, press releases were withheld, and explanations were kept (intentionally) ambiguous,”

NISA FAILED TO FOLLOW ITS OWN “ON-SITE DUTIES” The report says the agency’s manual called for inspectors to remain at Dai No.1 in an emergency, while other officials head to the offsite emergency command office 5 kilometers (3 miles) away in Okuma town.  However, by 14 March 2011, all eight(8) NISA officials (not identified) in the report, had left Dai No.1.     Hiroyuki Fukano, current Director-general of NISA said: “The inspectors were in charge of gathering live information on the site…It’s a serious problem that they didn’t do their job, though it’s a matter of NISA’s system, rather than individual inspectors” (see there, “no one is to blame”).  Mr. Fukano was appointed after the former head Nobuaki Terasaka was fired in Aug. 2011.  Only last Apr. 2011, Mr. Kazuma Yokota, NISA’s chief inspector at Dai No.1 at the time of the quake, said that he was one of three(3) inspectors who left the NPP 15 minutes after the temblor for Okuma. The three(3) reached the center in 15 minutes and found it wrecked, power down, and no working communications.

EVEN ” BEST LAID OF PLANS” ARE NO GOOD IF… Prof. Hatamura told reporters on 26 Dec 2011: “People are often unaware of the functions of the organizations they belong to…If you don’t understand that function, you can’t live up to the expectations that people put on your organization. This is basically what happened at NISA after the accident.”   Prof. Hatamura committee interviewed 456 people over a total of 900 hours of hearings by 16 Dec.  When Prof. Hatamura took the job of heading the independent investigation into the Fukushima tragedy, he said he was looking for lessons rather than culprits. He doesn’t sound that way now!

TEPCO: “NO COMMENT” Jun Oshima, a spokesman for TEPCO, declined to comment on the report as the utility is checking the contents.

Thanks to Bloomberg, Tokyo 27 Dec 2011.
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MY TAKE:

There will always be enough blame to “go-around” regarding a tragedy, and the complete, and real truth will never be revealed in the interest of “protecting the guilty”- specially high level governmental figures.  There will always be those who say: “Stuff happens”, but does it have to be on my turf?  That kind of thinking is worrisome because it permeates organizations that have a “Public Trust” investiture such as the NRC; Yet, we know that our NRC is “Hog-tied, and impotent”.  It is very disquieting to think that there is an NRC equivalent in every “nuclear country”, and most of them are corrupt and answerable to the Nuclear Cartels.  The world needs profound change to attack graft and corruption in high government circles. 

Preventing any more NPPs from being built is one way to weaken The Nuclear Cartel by reducing  their huge “Money Power”.  It could  spare our world from so much  graft, corruption and “ transnucleide poisons”.  There is work to do!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!

gonzedo

 

December 27, 2011 at 4:14 AM Comments (20)

JAPAN’S GOV. AND TEPCO ARE LYING AGAIN ABOUT A “COLD-SHUTDOWN” AT FUKUSHIMA NPPs

16 Dec 2011
JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER YOSHIHIKO NODA IS LYING when he says Fukushima Dai No. 1 nuclear reactors have been brought to a state of “cold shutdown”. He said: “A stable condition has been achieved, and we can consider the accident itself contained”; This, is highly questionable from a scientific perspective; in the opinion of many experts.

SPEAKING AT HIS OFFICE IN TOKYO JAPAN, Prime Minister(PM) Noda said on 16 Dec 2011 that his government and the “Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO)” had contained the nuclear crisis that occurred after the (THREE) reactors (MELTED-THRU) at the Fukushima Dai No.1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in N.E. Japan last 12 Mar. 2011.  He envisions (hopes for) the potential return of some evacuees from the no-go zones.

IT DEPENDS ON WHAT THEY CALL “COLD SHUTDOWN”  P.M. Noda, and TEPCO define it as “a reactor’s cooling system operating at atmospheric pressure, and below the boiling temperature of water (93 Celsius or 200F) degrees. 

NATURALLY, THE USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) AGREES. Saying that TEPCO has released data showing it meets these criteria at Fukushima (SEE THERE- IT IS JUST A MATTER OF WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL IT! – Our NRC is complicit in deceit ; However, most nuclear scientists say the term “Cold Shutdown“ DOES NOT APPLY TO MELTED REACTORS. Tadashi Narabayashi, a former reactor safety researcher at Toshiba Corp. and now a nuclear engineering professor at Hokkaido University, said: “Achieving cold shutdown does not change the condition of the reactors…It does mean the government will start reviewing evacuation zones and perhaps lifting restrictions depending on extent of contamination…Work on decommissioning is a long way off. For now, they have to focus on making robots to remove melted fuel, and developing new technologies to demolish facilities…In addition, there are about 7 kilometers of plastic pipe in the makeshift cooling system that will need to be replaced with metal versions”

WHAT JAPAN, AND THE NRC CALLS IT, MAKE NO DIFFERENCE, Problem is: huge areas of land, towns and villages in the Fukushima region are highly contaminated by radiation fallout, and are likely to be uninhabitable for 20 years or more. Radiation has already forced the evacuation of about 160,000 people, and the government has yet to say how many can return and when.

AS USUAL, HIGH RANKING JAPANESE POLITICIANS PUT A “GOOD FACE“ ON THE PROBLEM.  P.M. Noda said: We want to make a united effort for them to return home as soon as possible and rebuild their livelihoods,” PLEASE SOMEONE, TELL US WHAT THAT MEANS! – A DECREE DOES NOT REMEDIATE THE MANY HIGHLY CONTAMINATED AREAS  OF JAPAN, OR MITIGATE THE HUGE ACCUMULATED “NUCLEAR WASTE” AT THE PLANT, OR DAMAGE TO COASTAL WATERS.

TEPCO LIES AGAIN WITH A STRAIGHT FACE  They had said in Sep 2011 that they achieved stable cooling of the three reactors at the Dai-No.1 NPP,  by reducing their temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius; so, one supposes TEPCO DID IT AGAIN!  Last month, TEPCO assessed the radiation exposure at the plant’s boundaries at 0.1 millisievert a year, below its target of 1 millisievert a year. The drop in radiation was the second of two criteria imposed by the country’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency(Japan’s NRC) before they would consider the plant stable. Problem is no one believes TEPCO anymore; specially, the Japanese people.

AMERICAN OUTSPOKEN NUCLEAR ENGINEER ARNIE GUNDERSEN SAID: “It is an  achievement to have restored (reactor) cooling and gotten water temperatures to 100 C. …But I don’t know why they choose to say “cold shutdown” because that’s an affront to those in the industry who really know what the term means …(Plain fact is)those nuclear cores are still in a configuration where the center is extraordinarily hot.” AND UNPREDICTABLY SO – FOR MANY YEARS YET!  Gunderson added: “Declaring the cold shutdown at Fukushima risks further eroding people’s faith in the government’s ability to regulate the nuclear power industry. I actually think it’s going to blow up in their face…In the eyes of the Japanese public, the last thing they need to do is exaggerate; AND THIS, IS AN EXAGGERATION”.

JAPAN AND TEPCO’S HARDEST WORK IS ONLY BEGINNING Besides maintaining stable cooling of the melted-thru reactors and “spent-fuel pools” at the plant, TEPCO has to manage storage tanks holding millions of metric tons of contaminated water;  So said Najmedin Meshkati, a professor of civil engineering at the “University of Southern California” who worked as a consultant on decommissioning Chernobyl.  He added: “Now the hardest part starts, which is the cleanup”  Experiences in other countries show the scale of the task still facing TEPCO as it begins decommissioning the reactors, and cleaning contaminated waste, even without the complications posed by the damage at Fukushima.

USA ALSO HAS A HUGE “NUCLEAR WASTE” LEGACY TO REMEDIATE Daniel Poneman, the U.S. Deputy Secretary at the Department of Energy (DOE), said in Tokyo on 15 Dec 2011: “Cold War weapons production in the U.S. left the country with ‘a significant nuclear cleanup legacy, including high- level waste, contaminated soil and groundwater’….The Hanford Site in Washington State and the Savannah River Site in South Carolina have more than 90 million gallons of liquid waste in tanks that the government is working to convert into more stable forms, that do not threaten the environment”. ONE SUPPOSES PONEMAN IS TRYING TO SAY: WELL…WE HAVE A PROBLEM TOO, YOU KNOW!  THERE IS AN OLD SPANISH SAYING: “MAL DE MUCHOS – CONSUELO DE PENDEJOS” (WHAT AILS MANY – IS THE CONSOLATION OF FOOLS”) NO REAL HELP. “ Japan’s government has requested support from the USA to decommission the Fukushima Dai-No.1 NPP, as well as managing the site from an environmental perspective”.  Hell, we can’t even clean up our own act!!!

Thanks to Bloomberg 16 Dec 2011, Tokyo Japan, for quotations.
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MY TAKE: Is that the Japanese government is under intense pressure from the Japanese and the Worldwide Nuclear Cartel. They all know they are sinking by the bow, and want to do something – even lying, which is cheap, but no longer easy to sell.   JAPAN MAY JUST AS WELL FORGET THEY EVER HAD A NPP PREEMINENCE IN THE WORLD.- IT WENT UP IN THE BLACK SMOKE OF THE FUKUSHIMA EXPLOSIONS, AND RADIOACTIVE SPEWS OF 12 Mar 2011.  THEIR PROBLEM IS : IT IS DOWNGRADING THEIR HUGE INVESTMENTS WORLDWIDE.  Just look at EDF in France. It is hemorrhaging money, and they do not know how to stop it. They, and several other nuclear energy purveyors, need to diversify into Clean-energy ASAP!  THAT IS CLEAR AS DAY!

gonzedo

 

December 16, 2011 at 4:43 AM Comments (6)

USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT – PART 2

11 Dec 2011

USA CONGRESS REP. EDWARD MARKEY (D-MASS) EXPOSES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION(NRC) COLLUSION. Rep. Ed Markey (Congress’ leading voice for nuclear safety); As part of his on-going investigation into U.S. nuclear safety since the Fukushima incident, on 10 Dec 2011 released a damning new report that details how all four(4) NRC Commissioners have colluded to prevent, and then delay the work of the NRC “Near-Term Task-Force on Fukushima”  The NRC task-force was tasked to provide recommendations for the immediate improvement to NRC regulations and procedures incorporating the “Lessons-learned” from the Fukushima Dai No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP)triple-meltdowns on 12 Mar 2011- the worst nuclear disaster in history.

THE “NRC NEAR TERM TASK-FORCE” is composed of  Staff members with more than 135 years of collective NPP experience; Additionally, they have full access to other expert NRC staff. After they completed a methodical and comprehensive review of NRCs regulatory system, Rep. Markeys Congressional staff also reviewed thousands of pages of documents, including e-mails, correspondence, meeting minutes, and voting records.  They found a concerted effort by Commissioners William Magwood, Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and George Apostolakis to undermine the efforts of the Fukushima Task Force with requests for endless additional study (Foot-dragging still) in an effort to delay the release and implementation of the Task Force’s final recommendations.

OPEN HOSTILITY TOWARD CHAIRMAN JACZKO Documents show a clear/stated hostility on the part of the four (4) Commissioners toward efforts of NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko(fifth member of the Commission) despite his efforts keep them fully informed regarding the  demonstrable need for immediate implementation of  the “Fukushima Lessons-Learned” recommendations. The “gang of four” sold-out Commissioners is now is calling for the impeachment of Chairman Jaczko. HE MUST BE MAKING IT UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THEM AND THEIR SPONSORS! – Damn corruption! That is what it is, and clear for all to see.  ANY IMPROVEMENTS TO THE USAs NUCLEAR FLEET WOULD COST THEIR SPONSORS MONEY.

REP MARKEY SAID GENERAL PUBLIC AT RISK BECAUSE OF NRC INACTION The four Commissioners would rather leave America’s nuclear fleet (about 130 NPPs), and consequently the USA general public at risk;  Instead of doing what they have been sworn to do. these four Commissioners have clearly abdicated their responsibility to the ensure the safety of the American Public, to favor the financial interests of the USAs Nuclear Industry. I call on these four Commissioners to stop their obstruction, do their jobs and quickly, move to fully implement the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.  THAT MY FRIENDS, IS “CALLING IT LIKE IT IS”.  LEFT- ON MARKEY!

MAJOR FINDINGS OF THE REP. MARKEY REPORT INCLUDE:

1. Four NRC Commissioners attempted to delay and otherwise impede the creation of the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima;

2. Four NRC Commissioners conspired, with each other, and with senior NRC staff, to delay the release of , and alter the NRC Near-Term Task Force report on Fukushima;

3. The other NRC Commissioners attempted to slow down or otherwise impede the adoption of the safety recommendations made by the NRC Near-Term Task Force on Fukushima;

4.  NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko kept the other four NRC Commissioners fully informed regarding the Japanese emergency, despite claims to the contrary made by these Commissioners.

5.  The consideration of the Fukushima safety upgrades is not the only safety-related issue that the other NRC Commissioners have opposed.  After the Near Term Task Force released its report in July 2011, Rep. Markey called for the rapid adoption of all recommendations, and sent letters criticizing Commissioners Svinicki, Magwood and Ostendorff to delay even their consideration.

6. Rep. Markey also introduced legislation to overhaul nuclear safety. The “NPP Safety Act of 2011” will impose a moratorium on all new nuclear reactor licenses, or license extensions until new safety requirements are in place that reflect the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster.  WE WISH REP MARKEY LUCK WITH THE UPCOMING CONGRESS.  Today’s Republican house would probably reject any such initiative outright.  They have all the bases covered for now.  BUT WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND, AND THEIR DAY IS COMING SOON!  THEY KNOW IT TOO!

7. Rep. Markey’s office also released the report: “Fukushima Fallout“ – Regulator Loopholes.

Thanks to: States News Service, 10 Dec 2011

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MY TAKE:  Please read Part-One to this on-going political standoff :

USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT

http://energymaters.com/?m=20110901 – things have not changed appreciably.

Dated 01 Sep 2011

THE HEIGHTENED RHETORIC AND OPEN HOSTILITY  ONLY “TIGHTEN THE HOG- KNOTS” TIGHTER,  But no help in sight for the American Public.  This is a pathetic example of a dysfunctional Democracy.  Something has got to give!  Corruption in high places is an affront to modern Democracies, and like a societal cancer, that enriches the few. at the expense of the many, but without any regard for public safety.  BIG MONEY CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED, AND THE WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE WORST EXAMPLES.  Some day (here, or in the hereafter) such people without morals or integrity will be called to answer.  FOR NOW, ALL THAT A PERSON LIKE ME CAN DO, IS TO SYMBOLICALLY SPIT AT THEIR FEET, OR THROW A SHOE AT THEM!  JUST TO THINK THAT MOST “NUCLEAR ” COUNTRIES HAVE NRC COUNTERPARTS!   

One has to admire the courage and determination of people like NRC Chairman Jaczko, and USA Rep Ed Markey. It may seem as though they are just wasting their time, but by exposing corruption for what it is, they serve a very high purpose.

gonzedo

P.S. I sense Sweden may be in the horns of a dilemma regarding their high reliance on nuclear energy.  My next article will seek to explore their reasoning, and alternatives.

December 11, 2011 at 2:03 AM Comments (11)

INDIA RESORTS TO THE IAEA AND OTHERS TO ASSUAGE THEIR PEOPLE ABOUT NUKE SAFETY

03 Dec 2011

INDIA TO INVITE THE IAEA OPERATIONAL REVIEW TEAM TO “BLESS” INDIAN NUKES, and to assist in “safety reviews”, and audits of their existing nuclear power plants. The move is part of steps being undertaken by the Indian Central Government to the address safety concerns, relating to Nuclear Power Plants (NPP)s, in the aftermath of the triple melt-down incident at Fukushima Dai No.1 NPP, on 12 Mar 2011 in Japan.

THE INDIAN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT “Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)” reviewed the safety of all (existing)nuclear plants, particularly the steps taken, after the crisis at Fukushima and the proposed steps to be taken thereafter. Apart from inviting the IAEA team, the Indian CCS was told (BY WHOM ?)that a technical safety review of the nuclear facilities had been completed, particularly in context of their ability to withstand large natural disasters. An official Spokesperson said:Recommendations to enhance safety, wherever required, are being implemented,”  The CCS also reviewed the action taken following the incident of radiation in Mayapuri in Delhi in 2010.  Reiterating that safety of nuclear power plants was a matter of highest priority. The Fukushima Dai No.1 NPP was reportedly not prepared for the 15 meter high tsunami that struck the plant in March 2011, reigniting safety concerns about nuclear plants in many parts of the world.

PROTESTS CONTINUE ALL OVER INDIA AGAINST NPPs. Anti-nuclear protesters have highlighted the Fukushima accident by stalling NPP  projects, particularly the Kudankulam KKNPP/ nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. It was scheduled to be commissioned this month, but the decision had to be put on hold to address the fears of the local population.  A spokesman said: “Mechanisms for responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies are being strengthened in coordination with the “National Disaster Management Authority”(counterpart to the USAs “Emergency Response Team”) and pointing that additional emergency response centers would be set up in this context.

NO THANKS TO: Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 02 Dec 2011, for a poorly written, no names given, piece of Pro-Nuclear Propaganda that passes for news.  If you think I exaggerate, please TRY to read the article at link below.  Note that I have tried to clarify the issues as best can.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news…le1-777181.aspx

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MY TAKE:

“GOOD PRESS”- IS REALLY PROPAGANDA, AND A TRAIT OF PRO-NUCLEAR CORRUPTION; It is in fact, the 4th pillar of their “people persuasion machine” to “Sell” the “Un-sellable” to a now growing informed / concerned public all over the world.  They may convince “a few of the people all of the time, or some people, some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time”.  Nuclear proponents “nest is on the ground” all over the world.  PROBLEM IS, CORRUPTION AND BIG MONEY, DO NOT GIVE-UP EASILY. Too many years “ruling the roost!”

INDIA’S PRESS IS TRANSPARENTLY PRO-NUCLEAR, and no doubt controlled by Nuclear Interests.  Notice they very seldom say who “The Spokesman” is, or even who he was speaking for.  Another sure sign is: no byline.  One guesses no one wants the “credit” for the story, or is afraid of public retribution.

INDIA CALLING ON ALL HEAVY HITTERS to support their extensive NPP plans.  The IAEA, for instance, is an organization owned /financed by the Nuclear Cartel to “Bless”  Nuclear plans, and whitewash nuclear incidents. They have been to Fukushima /Tokyo twice, and have yet to offer any remediation suggestions.  They seem to be experimenting with the Japanese people – One hell of a show!  All the other organizations referenced in the article are Indian Central Government dependencies, and are questionably knowledgeable about NPPs. They just seem to follow orders.

INDIAN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS EVIDENTLY STILL PRO-NUCLEAR. It seem the people of Tirunelvely have already asked the Nuclear Power Plant proponents the right questions: Accordingly, they need to KEEP-UP THE PRESSURE for specific responses to their inquiry. The point is, that on the reply to those questions hinge not only the Tirunelvely KKNPP “Power Park”, but also at least five(5) more like it (10,000Mw ea.) being proposed all over India. It is the duty of the Indian Central Government to address such important concerns as soon as possible, and certainly before any permits are granted.

FIVE (5) SPECIFIC CONCERNS ASKED BY THE TIRUNELVELY  PROTEST GROUP HAVE NOT BEEN ADDRESSED by The Panel. The issues were included in the memorandum submitted by two Official Representatives of the protesting Tirunelvely region people (where the Kundankulam NPPs are) at the previous meeting on 08 Nov 2011, but have not been addressed; they are:
1. Terms of the Inter-governmental agreement between Russia / France and India
2. impact on bilateral relations between Indian and Russian / French Governments
3. Russian versus Indian liability in the event of NPP malfunction or worse.
4. Nuclear Suppliers Group-related issues.  Look out for “strings attached” – You Know they would be there.  Don’t become a foreign colony again!  Ask questions of government officials.
5. Possibility of the intention to set-up a nuclear weapon facility at the Kudankulam NPP.  Question? Are they also intended as Plutonium creators for Nukes?  God forbid!

Perhaps the most important question is: What is to be done with all that “Spent Fuel’- nuclear waste?

“JAITAPUR NUCLEAR PARK” and four (4) more like it,  is potentially a much larger problem still looming. Please read my post dated 24 Nov. 2011;  titled : INDIA’S “JAITAPUR” NUCLEAR PLANT PLACED ON-HOLD DUE TO PUBLIC OPPOSITION; And yet, the same unanswered concerns still linger and apply as well.  I seriously doubt anyone in the Central government will show the determination/courage to even try.  Too much money involved!

BRAVO! TO THE PEOPLE OF INDIA for their strong NPP opposition. May they continue to press their Central government ELECTED officials, for they have something to loose. Nicolo Machiavelly (a wise Italian socio-political philosopher (C. 1450) said words to the effect that: “Those who have something to loose will always fight harder to preserve it, than those who do not know what they have to gain”; True enough!; However, in this case the people of India are the ones who have everything to loose, though many may not realize it!

I SAY AGAIN, TODAY NPP OPERATIONAL SAFETY IS NO LONGER THE MAIN ISSUE. The real problem is the huge worldwide accumulation of “Spent Fuel”(Transuranics) – highly toxic nuclear waste with very long decay rates, and NO PLACE TO SAFELY STORE THEM FOR ETERNITY. That problem has multiplied all over the world with every new NPP to aggravate the problem.

gonzedo

P..S. We are very happy to say that this website was read in more than 70 countries last month, and  readership continues to grow.  High on the list were Great Britain, Ukraine, Russian federation, Germany, France, and India.  Welcome one and all, and thanks for tolerating translation errors/glitches.

December 3, 2011 at 2:15 AM Comments (39)

GERMANS ANGRY TO HAVE “FRENCH NUCLEAR-WASTE” TRAINS ON THEIR RAILS TO DUMP THERE

26 Nov 2011

HOT CARGO ENTERS GERMANY A French train loaded with 150 tons (in several white colored sealed (still hot) containers)of “reprocessed” nuclear waste crossed the border into Germany on 24 Nov 2011, heading for its usual destination 1,100 kilometers away:  the small far N.E. German town of Gorleben, a small municipality (Gemeinde) in the Gartow region of the Lüchow-Dannenberg District in Lower Saxony, to a highly controversial radioactive waste storage facility. This was the last of 12 shipments of nuclear waste from French nuclear reactors to Gorleben in recent years, in accordance with a contract between the two Countries, and expected to expire in 2011.

THE HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL 1,100 KM. TRAIN JOURNEY from France to Gorleben has always met with both French and German public opposition. Thousands of protesters in both countries have tried removing stones under the railways, and often clashed with police who came to protect the train, by sitting on the train’s path. German protest organizers said that they are prepared to “welcome” the train.  A demonstrations by tens of thousands people are expected at places near Gorleben.

ACTIVISTS WILL CERTAINLY TAKE ACTIONS.  Jochen Stay, a spokesman for the anti-nuclear group “Ausgestrahlt (Irradiated)”, said that protesters and activist would “certainly take action to disturb the trains and roads, but they do not want to escalate the situation…We hope the police can act sensibly and appropriately with people”;  However, it always has been hard for both sides to keep calm. On 23 Nov 2011, one day after the train began its journey, police used water cannon, and tear gas against a few hundred protesters near the French border, as some demonstrators threw stones and smoke bombs at officers. There were several arrests afterwards.

FEWER ACTIVISTS EXPECTED THIS TIME In Germany, both organizers and police, predicted the number of protesters would be fewer than last year when nearly 40,000 people turned out against the shipment.  Their reasoning is based on the “changed political situation.”  Only last June 2011, German parliament approved bills submitted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to close all of its 17 nuclear plants by 2022, thus making Germany the first major industrial power abandoning atomic plants.

Thanks to Xinhua, Berlin, 25 Nov 2011

SO THE STORY GOES…

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MY TAKE:

GERMAN (AND FRENCH) FOLKS’ ANGER IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND.  Nuclear waste must be the most undesirable of “imports” into Germany (or any country).  One wonders how France worked out the agreement with past German Governmental officials.  I guess the usual way: By greasing palms with money – Lots of money!

PERMIT ME A HOME -SPUN ANALOGY:   I believe I have a genuine grievance when my neighbors bring their dogs on a leash to doodo  (defecate)on my front lawn.  They say their dogs want to ” do their thing” on someone else’s yard…but, must they leave their turds on mine? – Damn!  At least they are not radioactive turds, or long-term toxic; Still, one must watch where to step. – NO FAIR!

SIMILARLY, THOSE WHO INSIST ON CREATING NUCLEAR WASTE (FRANCE STILL DOES! – BIG TIME) SHOULD FEEL A RESPONSIBILITY TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MESS!

One’s national grounds MUST BE defended against all enemies, foreign, and domestic;  Radioactivity is the worst, and most implacable of enemies!  Just ask the Japanese!

gonzedo

P.S. No wonder we have so many readers in Germany ! France too!

 

November 26, 2011 at 1:57 AM Comments (37)

INDIA’S “JAITAPUR” NUCLEAR PLANT PLACED ON-HOLD DUE TO PUBLIC OPPOSITION

24 Nov 2011
INDIA’S STATE RUN “NUCLEAR POWER CORP. LTD (NPCIL)” said on 23 Nov 2011, that it would postpone its decision to build a planned 9,900 mega-watt (Mw) Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Jaitapur, located on the western coast of India, at Madban village of Ratnagiri District  in Maharashtra.  NPCIL, and its French partner Areva, have recently reached an impasse on the project.  Opposition to the huge NPP Jaitapur  project began on 04 Dec 2010, when protests became violent, resulting in over 1,500 people detained, a few injuries and one death, from among thousands of protesters, who included environmentalists, and local villagers;  Opposition to the project is ongoing on various levels. Environmental poisoning, and geological issues have been raised.  Currently, popular opposition has been exacerbated by the aftermath of the Fukushima Dai No.1 triple meltdown.

FRENCH DESIGNED “AREVA” –  “GEN III+ NPP” CONTEMPLATED FOR JAITAPUR. NPCIL Technical Director S.A. Bhardwaj told reporters at an industry event held by “India Energy Forum”: “We are hopeful that Areva experts will submit the report on Jaitapur in Dec 2011 and so, talks will begin in Jan 2012…We will discuss technical and commercial aspects of the project”  France is also reviewing all the NPP joint ventures its companies are engaged in;   On February 4, 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between NPCIL and Areva regarding long-term ? supply of the first twin set of “European Pressurized Reactors (EPR)s’. The Areva EPR reactor will be the first of the “Gen III+ reactors” ever built in the world. They are generically referred to as: Economical, Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR)s;  These normally incorporate modular architecture and construction, should be more economical and faster(to assemble), plus more reliable, and safer, because they incorporate passive cooling systems, and as bonus require much less cooling water.  NPP PROPONENTS ALWAYS PROMISE THE BEST, BUT DO NOT ALWAYS DELIVER. WE MUST REMEMBER FRANCE HAS YET TO BUILD/LICENCE A GEN III+ ESBWR.      

INDIA’S NPCIL HAS AN AGGRESSIVE NPP PLAN TO BE A POWER HUB by building and commissioning 20,000Mw capacity by 2020 and 63,000Mw by 2032 to make India an “NPP power hub” for both domestic and international players. Few state-run companies such as IOC, NTPC and Nalco have inked joint venture partnerships with NPCIL to invest in nuclear power generation.

NPCIL CURRENTLY GENERATES 4,780Mw WITH NPPs. NPCIL Technical Director S.A. Bhardwaj said it is setting up additional capacity of 5,300 Mw; Out of this, 2,000Mw now at Kudankulam NPP is nearing completion (wa’na bet ?), and the rest will be commissioned by 2016. Currently, NPCIL has nuclear fuel demand of 450 tons of uranium every year to run its power stations in six(6) different states and is also in talks with ONGC for investing in nuclear power project. The state-run enterprise has long term contracts to source uranium from Russia (2,000 tons), Kazakhstan (2,100 tons) and other mines operated by Areva (300 tons)  State-owned India “Oil and Natural Gas Corp” (ONGC) plans to take up to 49 % stake in one of the five proposed nuclear power plants of Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL). “We are in discussions with NPCIL for incorporating a joint venture for setting up a nuclear power plant”.  NPCIL will have a minimum of 51 % stake in the joint venture while ONGC would have a maximum of 49 %” a company official said. The joint venture would build, own and operate nuclear power plants for energy generation at mutually agreed locations. It would be managed by a Board of Directors made up of nominees from both companies.

Thanks to : Siddhartha P Saikia, 23 Nov 2011, New Delhi
And re-written and expanded for clarity to Western readers.

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MY TAKE…

This article is a follow-up to: INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 2; Dated 21 Nov 2011,  Published here, and in larger text at: http://forums.mysanantonio.com/forums/ub…n_Pl#Post169424

NPCIL WANTS TO BE A BIG “JOINT VENTURE” NPP UTILITIES CORP;  If it could, it  would like to set up five(5) ‘Nuclear energy parks’, each with a total capacity of up to 10,000MW at a single location. The sites identified for these energy parks are 1. Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, 2. Jaitapur in Maharashtra, 3. Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, 4. Kowada in Andhra Pradesh, and 5. Haripur in West Bengal, all with imported(French or Russian) reactors. The Chairman of the company would be selected among NPCIL Directors.  FROM WHERE I STAND, THEIR PLANS ARE ASKEW ALREADY in kundankulam  KKNPP.  Big talk for big plans!

FOR THE “JAITAPUR NPP PROJECT”, French  AREVA and  NPCIL signed an agreement for about $9.3 billion, with a provision for AREVA to provide India with Nuclear fuel for 25 years. NPCIL, Technical Director Bhardwaj added, “as our demand increases with commissioning of new plants, we would renew our fuel supply contracts, and tie-up new sources”…This is a general framework agreement, along with agreement on “Protection of Confidentiality of Technical Data and Information Relating to Nuclear Power Corporation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” was also signed.  No details were given regarding technical and logistical support issues; That, is always a problem! The rate paying public is never privy to their corporate “understandings”.  Even when such understandings and undisclosed agreements impinge on National sovereignty and independence! QUESTION IS:  WHAT DOES “GOVERNMENT SPONSORED” MEAN ?  ONE HOPES IT MEANS “GOVERNMENT LICENSED TO OPERATE”, AND SUBJECT TO REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, OR CANCELLATION. 

It will be interesting to see what happens to the $9.3 Billion “agreement” Who looses & who gains?

I SAY AGAIN, TODAY NPP OPERATIONAL SAFETY IS NO LONGER THE MAIN ISSUE. The real problem is the huge worldwide accumulation of “Spent Fuel”(Transuranics) – highly toxic nuclear waste with very long decay rates, and NO PLACE TO SAFELY STORE THEM FOR ETERNITY. That problem has multiplied all over the world with  every new NPP to aggravate the problem.

IT SEEMS TO ME THAT DESPITE SOME PROTEST INCIDENTS, THE INDIAN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IS ACTING IN A “RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE” WAY TOWARDS THEIR ELECTORATE.  POLITICIANS FIND THEMSELVES IN THE VORTEX OF A VERY RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD – WHERE ENERGY IS CRUCIAL.

gonzedo

 

November 24, 2011 at 12:31 AM Comments (3)

INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 2

21 Nov 2011

FUKUSHIMA-LIKE INCIDENT “NOT CONCEIVABLE” HERE, so says a 15 member “Central Experts Panel”(The Panel) which constitutes the “Center to interact with the local people in and around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project(KKNPP)”, has released its findings regarding design safety aspects of the Kudankulam NPPs, during a  presentation before the Nominees ? of the State government, and the concerned Tirunelvely local representatives, at the office of the Tirunelveli Collectorate on 18 Nov 2011. The Panel has concluded that a Fukushima-type accident, is not conceivable at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  The 39 page text of the presentation was released to the media on 19 Nov 2011.

IN RESPONSE TO CONCERNS OF RESIDENTS The Panel referred to the reports of concerns/apprehensions among the local residents on the safety of the plant in the wake of the Fukushima Dai No.1 incident in Japan on 12 Mar 2011. The Panel noted that preparatory work for an off-site emergency exercise(a safety requirement per the regulations of the Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) prior to loading nuclear fuel, seemed to have further aggravated the concerns /apprehensions of the local, and nearby people. The Panel report stated:

CAUSE OF FUKUSHIMA’S FAILURES. A spokesman for The Panel, said that the root cause of the accident at Fukushima was complete loss of power supply to units 1 to 4 as a result of flooding at the site caused by the tsunami. While units 1, 2 and 3 were shut down automatically (unit 4 was already in shutdown state, but with its fuel unloaded in the Spent Fuel Pool). The cooling of their core could not be maintained in the absence of power supply, resulting in three reactor meltdowns.

TSUNAMI RULED-OUT AS A CONCERN The Panel examined the design of the KKNPP in this respect and found “all safety related structures, systems and components of KKNPP are located well above the maximum flooding that can cover the site from all possible causes including tsunami; therefore, a total loss of power supply at KKNPP, was not possible”.

ISSUES /CONCERNS ADDRESSED BY THE PANEL REPORT:

1. The global trend on the use of nuclear energy for power generation (everybody else is doing it, (WAS – IS MORE LIKE IT!)

2. Safety features of the KKNPP,

3. Environmental impact assessment has been done in all plants in the country, and it is safe.

4. Local employment opportunities (to “sweeten the pot for local people)

5. Nuclear waste management. A KEY ISSUE WITHOUT AN ANSWER 

6. Tsunami warning systems available, emergency preparedness.

7. Noise pollution.

8. PASSIVE HEAT REMOVAL AT THE KKNPP was provided which  could effectively cool a reactor under the condition of “total loss of electric power” – NOT LIKELY

FIVE(5) MAIN CONCERNS WERE NOT ADDRESSED by The Panel. Five(5) issues mentioned in the memorandum submitted by two Official Representatives of the protesting Tirunelvely region people (where the Kundankulam NPPs are) at the previous meeting on 08 Nov 2011, were not addressed by the report; they are:

1. Terms of the Inter-governmental agreement between Russia and India

2. impact on bilateral relations between Indian and Russian governments

3. Russian versus Indian liability in the event of NPP malfunction or worse.

4. Nuclear Suppliers Group-related issues.

5. Possibility of the intention to set-up a nuclear weapon facility at the Kudankulam NPP

EVIDENTLY THE POWERS OF “B” ARE ALL SATISFIED: They have been for nearly 10 years right up to the highest Indian governmental levels; After Fukushima however, they find themselves defending their policies to the people India;  Accordingly,  The Panel “hung their hat” on the Indian Atomic Energy Review Board, which supposedly gave an in-depth review of the KKNPP.  The “commissioning program” was also progressively reviewed by the board.  That is the final AERB o.k. to “go critical” – UGH!

Note: Above article was printed by:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2642959.ece

And re-written for clarity to Western readers.

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MY TAKE…

This article is a follow-up to: INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO. –  Dated 21 Oct 2011  Published here.

SUPPOSEDLY THE INDIAN AERBs (Indian Version of the American NRC) gave the issue an extensive review which supposedly provided assurance of the ROBUSTNESS of the DESIGN SAFETY, and construction of KKNPP. (THOSE ARE CAREFULLY CHOSEN WORDS USED BY ALL NPP PROPONENTS…UNTIL THE STUFF HITS THE FAN!); Then, they say: “who could have imagined that ? !” – THAT IS A PROBLEM!  

ANOTHER PROBLEM IS NPP BUILDERS LIE A LOT!, and there is no reason to believe Russia is different.  I have had NPP proponents lie to me in public, and tell fiction, rather than truth to assuage the innocent public (Here, in San Antonio, Texas-USA, we stopped them cold in 2010). They will stop at nothing to get a “piece of the pie” (Billion of money).  Thus is their corrupt and corrupting influence.  When confronted with specific concerns/issues (as they were at Tirunelvely) they give “non-answers”( non-sequitur) as if unfazed.

NO RESPONSE GIVEN TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS. To the concern/chagrin of the Indian Central Government, the people of Tirunelvely, and many others all over India, are also concerned with “intellectual property rights”; Rightly so, these are the key to “Follow-on Procurement” of spare parts and Refueling of the power plants for life (40 to 60 years); As such, they are the key to long term satisfaction, and denote honesty in negotiation; THOSE COUNTRIES NOT WILLING TO GRANT THEM, HAVE LONG TERM AMBITIONS TO GET YOU BY THE PARTS! You know what I mean, don‘t you? DO YOU THINK RUSSIA WILL GRANT THEM FREELY?  I don’t think so. 

PASSIVE REACTOR COOLING SYSTEMS – A LIE ?  Since the Fukushima triple NPP meltdowns, NPP  proponents try to defend their plants, and plans for new ones, by talking about futuristic, supposedly new/great passive cooling systems; However, that is mostly propaganda aimed at selling the un-sellable to a now knowledgeable public. In the case of Kundankulum, Russian NPPs designed about 10 years ago(or more) are highly unlikely to incorporate “passive cooling systems”. Such futuristic systems are a selling point for Gen III+ reactors;  However, to my knowledge these are not yet in use anywhere in the world. “We are go’ana” incorporate them is not good enough! Check them out!

TODAY, NPP OPERATIONAL SAFETY IS NO LONGER THE MAIN ISSUE. The real problem is the huge worldwide accumulation of “Spent Fuel”(Transuranics) – highly toxic nuclear waste with very long decay rates, and NO PLACE TO SAFELY STORE THEM FOR ETERNITY.  Kundankulum(and every other NPP) in the world will only serve to aggravate the problem.  Again no answers provided by The Panel.

gonzedo

 

November 21, 2011 at 12:36 AM Comments (38)

PAKISTAN PLANS TO PURCHASE TWO NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS FROM CHINA

15 Nov 2011

AS A PILOT PROJECT WITH CHINA Pakistan has planned to purchase two(2) Nuclear Power Plants(NPPs) with a combined capacity of 2,000 megawatts (Mw) from China, which will be utilized for setting up Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) Kanupp-2 and Kanupp-3 NPPs

PAKISTAN HAS PLANS TO ADD 8,800 Megawats (Mw) with NPPs by 2030 according to a “Pakistan Energy Security Action Plan”. The import of NPPs should lead to electricity generation at cheaper rates compared to the thermal source and contribute to abating the current electrical power shortage. About a month ago(Oct 2011), power shortages reached their peak at around 8,000 to 8,500 Mw, forcing long hours of outages across the country. The power outages disrupted industrial activity, and diminished economic growth of the country (2.4 % last fiscal year).

PAKISTAN AND CHINA CONSIDERING OTHER JOINT NPP PROJECTS. According to The Express Tribune, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission are likely to enter into an agreement to conduct a joint-study to finalize design modifications which would enable Pakistan to acquire two(2) nuclear power plants, each having power generation capacity of 1,000 Mw. After completion of this project, a contract for establishing Kanupp-2 and Kanupp-3 would be negotiated.  The Pakistani Planning Commission says CNNC may be asked to grant intellectual property rights for the existing 1,000 Mw plant, and suggest steps which could help Pakistan avoid violation of property rights.

CHINA HAS THREE(3) STATE-OWNED CORPORATIONS, licensed to own and operate nuclear power plants: 1. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC),  2. China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Company (CGNPC) and, 3. China Power Investment Corporation (CPIC).

CHINESE FIRM CGNPC currently operates four(4) NPPs generating 3,758 Mw in China, and is also involved in the construction of 16 other projects, with a total generating capacity of 25,000Mw. The company’s focus has been on “three-loop”(very modern cooling design) – 1,000 Mw Nuclear Power Plants.

PAKISTAN WANTS COMPETITIVE CONTRACTS The Pakistani Planning Commission has  inquired whether PAEC had approached all three(3) nuclear power plant developers to ensure fair competition in awarding the NPP contracts; “Moreover comparison of intellectual property rights of other nuclear power plant vendors may also be brought out,” the Planning Commission said.

Thanks to The Express Tribune, 11 Nov 2011, Islamabad Pakistan.

SO THE STORY GOES…

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BACKGROUND

PAKISTAN IS A VERY OLD CIVILIZATION  “The Indus Valley civilization”, one of the oldest in the world, dates back at least 5,000 years, spread over much of what is presently Pakistan. The political separation in 1947 of British India into the “Muslim state of Pakistan” (with West and East sections) and largely Hindu India was never satisfactorily resolved. India and Pakistan fought two wars (1947-48 and 1965) – over the disputed Kashmir territory.  They have outstanding metal craftsmen (old fashioned kind) who are the envy of the world, and an unemployment rate below 8%.

PAKISTANI PEOPLE TODAY

1. Races: Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%

2. Religion: Muslim 95% (Sunni 75%, Shia 20%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 5%

3. Population: 188 million (2011)

4. Languages:  Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashtu 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8% (NINE LANGUAGES- A REAL PROBLEM.)

5. Literacy Rate: Male: 63% , Female: 36% (SURPRISING – GIVEN NINE LANGUAGES).

6. Physicians: Less than one per 1,000 population & General Life expectancy: about 65 years.

7. Potable Water availability: Urban: 95% of population – Rural: 87% (Very Good!)

8. Fossil Fuels availability:  Extensive natural gas reserves, limited petroleum, poor quality coal.

GEOGRAPHICALLY: Pakistan is located between the “rock and the hard place”: Afghanistan to its N.W., India to its S.E., China to its North. The River Hindus “runs through it” (north to south). It has three important ports in the south into the Arabian Sea – Karachi is one of them.

PAKISTAN HAS NUKES – To the concern of its neighbors and world, they have both nukes (thermo-nuclear devices), and delivery means.  These are supposedly zealously guarded by its Military.

CIA Data source:

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pk.html

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MY TAKE ON THE STORY

One has to recognize that some countries have harbored Nuclear Power Plant ambitions for many years.  Many had even viewed “going Nuclear” as the road to modernity and true economic progress.  THEN ON 12 MARCH 2011, FUKUSHIMA BLEW UP ON THE FACE OF JAPAN, AND THE WORLD.  THE DAI No.1 TRAGEDY AFTERMATH HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING!!, and made the world keenly aware of NPPs inherent creation of highly toxic “Transuranics”, with extremely long decay life, and nowhere to store them.  Witness Japan today! People must now daily “tip-toe through the tulips” of radiation, with their back to the sea.  A hell of a price to pay!

NOW CHINA WANS TO HELP PAKISTAN BUILD NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, WHEN IN CHINA ITSELF, SUCH INITIATIVES ARE MOSTLY “ON HOLD” BY GOVERNMENT ORDER.  PAKISTAN IS FOLLOWING A PLANNED APPROACH OVER THE NEXT 30 YEARS.

PAKISTAN WANTS COMPETITIVE CONTRACTS The Pakistani Planning Commission has  inquired whether PAEC had approached all three(3) nuclear power plant developers to ensure fair competition in awarding the NPP contracts; “Moreover comparison of intellectual property rights of other nuclear power plant vendors may also be brought out,” the Planning Commission said.

Aha!  – HAPPY TO SEE! Pakistan is proceeding cautiously, and with all due concern for such vital aspects of Governmental buying anything as COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT. This almost always lowers the asking price by at least 25% (my experience).  That is the reason “sole-source contracts” are awarded by corrupt government officials everywhere.

Aha! – Pakistanis are also concerned with “intellectual property rights”; Rightly so, these are the key to “Follow-on Procurement” of spare parts and Refueling of the power plants for life (40 to 60 years).  As such “intellectual property rights” are the key to long term satisfaction, and denote honesty in negotiation.  THOSE COUNTRIES NOT WILLING TO GRANT THEM, HAVE LONG TERM AMBITION TO GET YOU BY THE PARTS!   You know what I mean, don‘t you?  PAKISTAN IS FOLLOWING A GOOD PLAN – SUCH AS IT IS.  OTHER NATIONS CONSIDERING NUCLEAR SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT.

WILL CHINA ACCEPT ? We will see!  I think not.  That is where you find out who your friends are.  Truth be told, most Nuclear purveyors are just after the money – Lots of it!, now and for the next 60 years.

 PAKISTAN HAS UNDEVELOPED NATURAL GAS RESOURCES; Pakistan is no doubt among many nations not knowing where to look for safe, abundant energy.  In my view, they might do better to develop their Nat Gas resources.  Many other countries of the world are doing so because Nat Gas burns much cleaner than Coal.  One hopes this will give our world the time it needs to develop our “green energy” as best can.

gonzedo

 

November 15, 2011 at 1:07 AM Comments (23)

BELGIUM READY TO ABANDON NUCLEAR POWER ? – NOT LIKELY!

08 NOV 2011
BELGIUM PLANS TO REACH A “CONDITIONAL AGREEMENT”  to join the list of countries abandoning nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima DaiNo.1 tragedy, and has announced it will aim for a two-step phase-out approach, closing its oldest reactors by 2015 and the remainder by 2025 – if it can find alternatives to replace its reactors.   Belgium has seven(7) reactors at two(2) nuclear power stations, at DOEL the north and TIHANGE in the south: They are operated by Electrabel, which is part of GDF-Suez. – GDF Suez S.A. is a French multinational energy company which operates in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, and renewable energy.

BELGIUM SETTING-UP A NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT (ABOUT TIME), and the nuclear plan shutdown will be on its agenda.  According to an unnamed Belgian government official: “There is a confirmation that the plants will close, and nuclear will become a transition energy in Belgium…The government will set out a plan for the move to alternative power sources in the six months following its installation…the 2015 and 2025 dates would be ‘flexible’ as the new government talks with energy companies and investors and implements plans to make the energy market more competitive…Also on the new government’s agenda,  would be a higher nuclear tax, which would be slapped on nuclear power producers. The proceeds would reportedly be spent on renewable energy sources in the North Sea”  Belgium (about the size of Texas), is home to 11 million people, and currently relies on nuclear power for 50% of its electricity

THE BIG “IF” IS: “if alternative energy sources are found to fill the gap”; Then. Belgium’s three(3) oldest reactors would be shut down in 2015.  Natural gas and coal, along with some renewable sources would provide the remainder of Belgium’s power.  According to Reuters, the ambitious nuclear shutdown is dependent on finding a reasonable source of power as a replacement;  but that, is far from guaranteed.

BELGIAN WIND-FARMS GROWING The country will more than quadruple its wind power installations by 2020, but this will still only provide 10 % of the total power needs, according to IEEE.

BELGIUM PLANNED A NUCLEAR EXIT IN 2003; However, in 2009 Belgium agreed to extend reactors’ engineered operational life-spans by 10 years;  However, this change never came into became law because the government lost power.  After the most recent decision, the shutdown will be re-accelerated dependent on finding alternative energy sources. “If it turns out we won’t face shortages, and prices would not skyrocket, we intend to stick to the nuclear exit law of 2003,” an unidentified spokeswoman for Belgium’s energy and climate Ministry said Belgium will now negotiate with investors to see how it can find new capacity to replace the 5,860 MW that would be lost if the two(2) nuclear sites at “Doel” and “Tihange” are shut.  “The government will actively look for new investors, and sites that are still unused to see what can be done”.

WHO/WHERE IS BELLONA? “The Bellona Foundation” is an international environmental Non Governmental Organization (NGO)based in Norway.  Founded in 1986 as a “direct action protest group”, Bellona has become a recognized technology and solution-oriented organization with offices in Oslo, BRUSSELS BELGIUM, Washington D.C., St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Altogether, some 75 engineers, ecologists, nuclear physicists, economists, lawyers, political scientists, and journalists work at Bellona.  NOW THEN, Bellona’s executive director, and nuclear physicist Nils Bøhmer said: “This is could indeed be good news…First of all this is a “conditional closure”, meaning that Belgium will need to invest substantially in developing renewable energy sources…However, Belgium must take care not to go the way of Sweden, which as the result of a 1980 referendum instituted a nuclear phase out by 2010. That was dashed in 2009, when the Swedish government agreed to allow old nuclear power reactors to be replaced, ending the “phase-out” policy. Chief among the motivating factors behind this, was that Sweden had not sufficiently developed its renewable energy capacity”,  Bøhmer advocates that if fossil fuels should replace nuclear energy in Belgium, “carbon capture and storage” technology (NON-EXISTENT YET) be deployed so that a nuclear shutdown does not lead to increased emissions of carbon dioxide.  SOUNDS LIKE WISHFUL THINKING.

SO THE STORY GOES…

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MY TAKE

BELGIUM WAS DIVIDED BEFORE, AND AFTER WWII.  Belgium is very strategically located in Europe. France to its south, Netherlands to the north, and Germany to the east.  It was mostly on its soil that the WWII  “Battle of the Bulge” was fought (mainly by American troops) during Dec 1944.  It main port city of Antwerp was the objective of the German Nazi troops.  They lost their last conquest gambit there; That, is probably why Belgium conjures famous battle names like Liege, and Bastogne.  After WWII (1945), Antwerp with its undamaged port, became the preferred port of entry for European reconstruction goods; so, Belgium recuperated economically very quickly: However, soon, its deeply-rooted North( Nationalistic Flanders), and South( Pro-Monarchic Wallonia) CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC SEPARATISM began to affect the well-being of the common. Perhaps because of that separatism, Belgium has repeatedly proven itself to be among the MOST UNRELIABLE OF ALLIES. Unfortunately Belgium is still deeply divided, along the same lines, and has been without a government for over a year.  Many Belgians brag: “we do better without a government”  It is true there are many dysfunctional governments all over the world – but that is another story.

BLOOD DIAMONDS – A BELGIAN SHAME-  In 2001 the Belgian mining marketing town of Antwerp had continued to buy diamonds from the “rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA)”, according to a secret report released by the General Intelligence Service, the sale had continued despite the institution of a certificate of origin for diamonds originating from the civil war torn Angola. Over 90 % of the raw diamonds extracted in various parts of the world are sold in Antwerp, while over 50 % of the world’s cut diamonds pass through the Antwerp market.  Strange how that in the Netherlands, as in Belgium, the notion persists that: “ what is good for commerce, is good for the people”.  Such thinking has been proven globally to be socially and morally circumspect and reprehensible.

BELGIUM – A COUNTRY “WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT” Now for over a year; so King Albert had to appoint and accept the resignation of one go-between after another, as the major parties refused to move far from their pre-election position. It is a process which continues to this day. The chances of success for the current negotiator, caretaker Finance Minister Didier Reynders, are seen as slim as the specter of new elections to break the deadlock are looming.  AND NOW, THE COALITION GOVERNMENT WANTS TO ABANDON NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS – FAT CHANCE!  THAT, IS THE REASON THE INITIATIVE IS CALLED A “CONDITIONAL AGREEMENT” BURDENED WITH  CONDITIONS THAT CANNOT MET WITH THEIR DEMONSTRATED HISTORICAL FRAME OF MIND.    

EUROPEAN ANTI-NUCLEAR “DOMINO EFFECT” IS EVIDENT Germany will shut down its nuclear power stations (now proving 28 % of the country’s power) by 2022.  Switzerland has said it will follow suit in 2035, shutting down its five(5) nuclear power plants which contribute to 40 % of the countries electricity.  Now Italy, which never had a nuclear program, turned out in force this summer(2011) for a referendum declaring that the country will never pursue a nuclear power.  Unfortunately Belgium will not, in my opinion, follow suit.  They never seem to. 

gonzedo

P.S. There is a significant number of reads in Great Britain, and in Denmark.  Wonder why?

 

November 8, 2011 at 12:26 AM Comments (30)

MEXICO CANCELS PLANS TO BUILD 10 NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Thanks to Bloomberg, 02 Nov. 2011.
03 Nov 2011

MEXICO RETHINKS ITS ENERGY STRATEGY Mexico (one of three (3) Latin American nations that uses nuclear power), is abandoning plans to build as many as 10 new Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs), and will shift its plans to greater reliance on Natural gas(nat gas)-fired thermoelectric power plants after large, new discoveries of nat gas in Mexican territories.  Mexico’s State-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) has found evidence of trillions of cubic feet of gas in the past year; So, its Energy Minister, Jordy Herrera said on 01 Nov 2011: “Mexico is changing all its decisions, amid the very abundant existence of natural-gas deposits…and now prefers gas for cost reasons… will seek private investment of about $10 billion during five(5) years to expand its natural gas pipeline network”

HERRERA’S  ENERGY STRATEGY PLAN RELIES ON NAT-GAS.  Mexico’s Energy Ministry plans to update the nation’s long-term strategic plan to reflect the increased importance of natural gas.  Minister Herrera said in a report due in the first quarter of 2012: “Until we find a model to make renewable energy more profitable, gas is more convenient” Herrera who was appointed energy minister on  09 Sep 2011 added: “The country (Mexico) has very high potential to develop renewable energy…But the renewable energy world is hurt by the cheap gas prices, and the government has to consider how much it can spend to promote alternative energy sources”.

FORMER MINISTER WANTED NUCLEAR POWER DEVELOPMENT Herrera’s comments are a vast departure from former Energy Minister Georgina Kessel, who had said nuclear energy would help achieve President Felipe Calderon’s pledge to generate at least 35 % of the country’s energy from so-called “clean sources” had said only last year: “I’m convinced that in the medium, and long-term, increasing nuclear capacity is the path that should be followed”  NOW, SHE HAS BEEN REPLACED;  SUCH IS LIFE, SHE WAS GASSED-OUT.

VAST NEW NAT GAS RESERVES FOUND. Mexico is boosting its estimated nat gas reserves after PEMEX discovered new deposits in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and also in shale deposits in the state of Coahuila (border with the USA).  Estimates in Coahuila alone, are as much as 300 trillion cubic feet of  nat gas according to Carlos Morales last 27 Oct 2011.

MEXICO’S STATE-OWNED POWER UTILITY also had been considering nuclear power as part of plans to boost generating capacity from 50 Gigawatts (Gw) to 86 Gw within 15 years, but will now will need to change its plans. Mexico’s State-ownedComision Federal de Electricidad (CFE)”, is Latin America’s largest utility (by revenue), plans to invest $66.3 billion Pesos (US $4.9 billion) in 2011, and $90.4 billion Pesos in 201; mainly in plant generation, according to the company’s website.  CFE, is investing in the construction of six(6) new plants using fossil fuels (we assume nat-gas burners) to improve capacity and efficiency, and is reconfiguring other facilities to replace the use of other (dirtier) fuels with nat-gas. While nat gas produces roughly half the amount carbon dioxide produced by coal.  Nuclear Power plants, of course, do not produce carbon dioxide, soot, mercury, etc, but have other long-lived Transuranics to poison entire regions.  Remember Fukushima? – As if anyone could forget!

AMERICAN ECONOMIST APPLAUDS MEXICO’S DECISION.  James Williams, an American economist at “WTRG Economics” an energy research firm in Arkansas said: “This is a very good decision by the Mexican government…With a power generation project based on gas…you can build multiple plants at a much lower cost, and much faster pace, than a nuclear facility”  THAT IS IT IN A NUT SHELL!

USA SHALE NAT-GAS PROMISES MUCH LOWER ENERGY COSTS.  Shale gas production has increased by an average of 48 % per year from 2006 to 2010, according to the Energy Department in Washington. Output will rise almost threefold from 2009 to 2035, the department predicted in its Annual Energy Outlook release on April 26.  Much greater nat gas availability  has meant much lower prices.  Gas futures, which traded as high as $13.69 per million British thermal units(BTUs) in July 2008, dropped to as low as $3.48 in Oct 2011.

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We exhort you to read our article listed under RECENT ARTICLES column, and titled: IS DRILL, BABY DRILL, THE ANSWER??…. PERHAPS FOR A WHILE.

MY TAKE

MEXICO’S PLANS ARE NOT A “SLAM-DUNK” at least financially. They are doing the “unthinkable” since the petroleum industry was “nationalized” in 1936; that is, “seeking private investment”  Mexico appears to be soliciting foreign venture capital to carry out their new gas infrastructure development(pipelines), as well as to build the power plants; PROBLEM IS: MEXICO IS GLOBALLY SEEN AS A HIGH RISK VENTURE FOR MANY REASONS, AND THE MONEY BOYS ARE VERY ADVERSE TO HIGH RISK PROPOSITIONS.

NATURAL GAS OVERLOOKED TODAY.  It is bothersome, that despite all the immediate advantages offered by nat gas as a generating fuel, and its new found abundance, it is not given the consideration it deserves as a “cleaner fuel” to serve humanity, at least while better, affordable “clean energy sources” are developed.  Nat gas burns much more cleanly than any kind of coal, and retrofitting older plants to burn nat gas, is much quicker, and costs less, than many other alternatives.  That is why San Antonio used it for nearly 100 years.

LOCALLY, IN SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS,  I have once and again urged our San Antonio Public Service (CPS) Energy to consider retrofitting our Dirty Dilley power plants to burn nat gas. These very old plants continue to be extremely “Dirty” in Mercury and other airborne contaminants.  It is a as though our CPS Board of Trustees hears from the CPS Energy Gen Mgr/CEO, Mr. Doyle Beneby only what it wants to hear.  Problem is Beneby has shown no corporate vision, and no real sense of leadership, at this time of fast global change. WE HAVE THE BLIND, LEADING THE BLIND AND AS HAPPY AS CAN BE!  THIS IS NO BOARD!- IT IS A CLUB.  Someday the people of San Antonio, Texas will have to face the results of their lack of strategic planning, and managerial ineptitude.  Yes, that includes Mayor Castro who is a member of the board.  GENERATING CAPACITY DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT.  IT MUST BE PLANNED WAY IN ADVANCE OF NEED.

gonzedo

 

November 3, 2011 at 1:05 AM Comments (0)

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