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)


23 July 2015



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:

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

Recall the French hot-nuclear waste shipments by rail to Germany?  See: 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.


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: , But then, Kansai considers its Ohi NPP indispensable – see: 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:


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

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)




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!


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)




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


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)


7 Feb 2015

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The WSJ comments on the story included these succinct ones:

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

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

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

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail >





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


27 Jan 2015

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)





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


28 Dec 2014

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


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

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

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

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

For excellent pictures of the mid-disaster see



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

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

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

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

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


Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

e-mail >

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

December 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM Comments (7)


 22 Dec 2014

On 7 Dec 2014, Regulators in New Mexico State fined the US government (US-DoE) Environmental Agency for over $54 million charging violations at a nuclear waste facility which resulted in a fire and two radiation leaks. Yea! Some “leaks” Hell! Two fires: one deep underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) an abandoned salt mine near Carlsbad. The other at the Los Alamos Laboratories, home of many low-level nuclear waste fires, recently and in the past (some of very significant magnitude).

NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ SAID: “The health and safety of New Mexicans will always be our priority and we have to hold federal agencies accountable for safe operations in the state” (My translation: Don’t mess with New Mexico, at least not anymore). Problem is: New Mexico is making it cheap for the US-DoE, Environmental Agency to continue their wrongdoings. You see, money they have! Our money!

THE NEW-MEXICO STATE ENVIRONMENT DEPT claims there were 37 violations of its hazardous waste permits on the part of the U.S. Department of Energy (US-DoE) Environmental Agency at its (WIPP) near Carlsbad, NM and another at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM; (just east of the WIPP) in separate nuclear incidents-both with significant long, and near term consequences.

CLEARLY BOTH INCIDENTS WERE THE RESULT OF SHODDY, INCOMPETENT, ACTIONS by “Nuclear Waste Partnership Inc” under contract to remediate both sites. We said it before, these people do not fully understand, or know what they have been contracted to do, or the dangers involved, and appear to be “milking the government”. The incident at the WIPP was so severe that the facility was declared off-limits for at least five (5) years or longer, and well into 2020. We believe such accidents have demonstrated the folly of underground nuclear waste storage; specially transuranic nuclear waste (what comes out of NPP reactors as “spent fuel”). Even when such high-level waste is “dry-casked” (Placed in very expensive stainless steel 20 foot tall thermos bottles) such high-level waste seldom stays put for more than 60 years, before it corrodes through the “casking” thus, necessitating “re-dry-casking” High –level (transuranic” radiation is pure hell!- A real Godzilla! (The Fukushima Dai No.1 NPP nuclear remediation crews know full well; just don’t ask TEPCO et-al, they lie a lot) The same dangers apply to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository (In Nevada) which was never used, and legally declared dead. However, with a Republican controlled Congress, it might be resurrected, and subterranean storage reconsidered. Ah! The folly of it all! The cold indifference/ignorance of our politicians is inexplicable. They talk a good game yet even when they do something good, it is for the wrong reasons.

THE NEW MEXICO BILL OF PARTICULARS ALLEGES that US-DoE) Environmental Agency is to blame for “major procedural problems” that caused a badly maintained salt truck to ignite on 7 Feb 2014 at the WIPP, causing its probably permanent closure. Separately  a Los Alamos National Laboratory barrel of low-level waste ruptured and ignited a week later. The leak at the WIPP resulted in 22 workers being exposed to low levels of radiation, “Nuclear Waste Partnership”, the contractor that operates the facility, said: “Their exposure is not expected to pose any threat to their health”. New Mexico said that the response by the US-DoE Environmental Agency and the contractor was “less than adequate”. Hell! We think it was cavalier.

THE TOTAL BILL FOR “LESS THAN ADEQUATE CONTRACTOR PERFORMANCE”: U S-DoE Environmental Management Agency faces $17.7 million in fines for violations at the WIPP, and another $36.6 million for Los Alamos Lab violations. According to the U.S. DoE, the cost for initial recovery of the WIPP is estimated to be around $240 million (nearly five times what New Mexico seeks in fines-they are such wimps!). What are a few hundred million in the scope of the Contractors wrongdoing? -Just a spit in the ocean; after all our government just passed a one-plus trillion Dollar budget for 2015. Just to think what those millions could do to help our education system, and to help our promising students with the dilemma of College: is it worth the huge debt? Folks, our government is misplacing its fiscal priorities, there ain’t no doubt about it! Not in my mind anyhow.

A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! AND A HEARTFELT “THANK YOU” to our readers in all corners of the world. We sense growing public awareness (thanks in part to the Internet which binds us in many parts of the world), and that is translating to political /social activism. We hope 2015 will usher a greater sense of social responsibility on the part of our Citizenry, elected officials, businessmen and Industrialists as, well as a reduction in graft/corruption; but above all, let there be peace among us, and an renewed sense of: “live and let live” without regard to religion or political affiliations. To the very wealthy we say: You can take it to Switzerland or the Antilles, but you can’t take it with you when your maker calls. Be generous to the needy, for it is in giving that we receive.

Your Friend in Texas,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


December 22, 2014 at 5:54 AM Comments (31)


21 Nov 2114

On 18 Nov 2014, Allison Macfarlane the outgoing chair of the USA Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) said that the Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) industry must finish making the safety changes required after a nuclear disaster in Japan, and that the Industry still faces many unresolved questions regarding where, and how, to store “spent nuclear fuel” even when existing NPPs close. Ms. Allison Macfarlane became Chair of the USA Nuclear Regulatory Commission in July 2012 after the tenure of former Chair Gregory Jaczko, whose management style was disliked by fellow commissioners and staffers. Macfarlane added that the NRC must follow-through on changes required after the 12 Mar 2011 Fukushima Dai-No.1 triple meltdown and subsequent explosions that flung debris and radiation into the world’s environment still considered by many as the world’s largest industrial tragedy in History. Japan may never recover from that tragedy. Its population continues to decline, and its monetary situation is in dire straits. To increase taxes now, or not-That is the question. There is no question in my mind the huge fortune already spent on a fruitless remediation at Fukushima; with no end in sight, is proving unbearable. MARK MY WORDS: In the future, humanity may use 12 Mar 2011 AF (After Fukushima) as “Year One, AF”, for that was the day Japan pissed in the bath water. Even so, the world still refuses to acknowledge the “spent-fuel cooling pond” problem for its magnitude, and horrific danger.

IN ATLANTA GEORGIA, MS. MACFARLANE SAID:”We as regulators need to do what we think is right…And if we think something is required, and this is something we’ve learned as a result of the Fukushima accident, we need to tell the industry to do it…I think this is new for the industry in general because they haven’t had nuclear construction in this country for so long…It’s crazy to decommission plants under operating reactor rules. We do it, it’s safe … But I think it would be better for everyone; it would be better for the industry, better for us, and better for the public if we had rules that were specific to decommissioning facilities.” Ms Macfarlane added that the NRC will need new rules for power companies (NPP Operators) that are taking existing NPPs offline because the facilities are no longer viewed as economic.

THREE (3) GOOD DISPOSITIONS WERE APPROVED BY THE USA NRC: 1.The nuclear industry has set up centers in Memphis, TN and Phoenix, AZ that can quickly send emergency gear to a stricken plant. 2. Some plants will install vents meant to prevent (hydrogen) explosions during extreme accidents. 3. Regulators are reviewing updated earthquake and flooding hazard assessments for plants across the country. How much good, if any will result, remains to be seen. Many of the USA’s NPPs are known to be located in dangerous locations for many reasons. Their elimination should be a priority for the NRC.

THE REAL PROBLEM CONTINUES TO BE “SPENT-NUCLEAR (TRANSURANIC) FUEL, and its disposition. Since Fukushima, the world has become aware, and concerned that accidental water loss in a cooling pool (about 100 such in the USA, and 1,000 worldwide) could cause the transuranic spent fuel to overheat, potentially combust/create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction, and release huge amounts of transuranic radiation. Even so, NRC staffers have concluded that the cost of placing spent fuel in special casks (Dry-casking) outweighs the safety gains from removing it from the cooling pools. A majority of the NRC’s commissioners agreed. Naturally! Their main concern is to save the NPP Industry money, and to hell with all other concerns! Macfarlane said “the issue deserved more study” (She is not buying that rationale). Earlier this year (2014), Macfarlane lost a vote on whether spent nuclear fuel should be removed more quickly from water-filled storage pools (we suppose Dry-casked). After used nuclear fuel is removed from a reactor, it must be cooled in water for several years, but we are speaking of 40 to 60 years accumulation in some places. The USA government promised to dispose of  spent nuclear fuel, but it never has; As a result, spent fuel continues to accumulate in pools. It appears it is so all over the world: If safety costs the nuclear Industry money, fo-get it!

EVEN THE NRC COMMISSIONERS ARE MIFFED BY CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. They now face a radically changed market. Just a few years ago, the utility NPP Industry anticipated building a wave of new NPPs; However, in the USA Oil field shale fracking has produced an over abundance of Nat Gas as a Power plant fuel in the USA. Perhaps that is why at this time, only three NPPs (trapped midstream of history- permit wise) are being built: One-each in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. They are now struggling with the added cost of stricter quality control rules. They probably wish they had never started such projects, but let us remember: 10 years to construct a NPP was the norm, and that is a huge cost of capital! A natural gas utility can be built in less than 3 years (depending upon generating capacity) at a fraction of the cost, plus Nat gas is only half as polluting as coal, and is now very available at least in the USA.  To these economic reasons not to build NPPs, we must add the reduced use of electricity achieved by conservation, and the very significant in-roads of green energy such as solar-cell farms, and the ubiquitous wind-driven turbines. Oh yes! there is a significant change in energy generation, utilization, and conservation visible all around us. We are happy to see it!

MACFARLANE, A GEOLOGIST BY PROFESSION, will start teaching on 1 Jan 2015 at George Washington University. We wish her well. For over two years, she patiently Chaired a nuclear industry controlled Commission that talked and investigated a great deal, and has clearly dragged its feet to this day, in order to do what they were lobbied to do-nothing. One can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink! Not in Texas anyway.

ENTER – YUCCA MOUNTAIN NEVADA NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY (AGAIN) Background: During the recently held “mid-term” USA Congress and Senate elections, power shifted in the USA Senate, and there are rumors that since Sen Reid, D-NV, will no longer be the Senate majority leader in 2015, the incoming Republican controlled Senate may re-open consideration of Yucca Mountain as the Central USA Nuclear waste repository (WIPP if you will). The issue is a thorny one because; if not in Nevada, and not in New Mexico, where? I am angered by rumors that north Texas may be the location of an above ground repository – (NIMBY). Problem is, Present Texas Gov Rick Perry will agree to almost anything his party (Republican) wants, and incoming TX Republican Gov. Abbot seems inclined the same way. Truth be told, there is no good site to store transuranic waste.  It has been wisely said: “All it takes for evil to prevail, is for good people to do nothing”. You reckon?

WITH A REPUBLICAN HOUSE AND SENATE THE “KEYSTONE XL OLEODUCT” is being pushed hard again upon the USA.  Again we say the obvious: Tar sand oil is not useful. Not in the USA, or anywhere. It is highly toxic to handle, let alone to transport/refine in Texas or anywhere for that matter. No-way, no how! That entire Canadian experiment should be cancelled for the sake of humanity.

Thanks to the AP for their quotations and related story.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

Your friend in South Texas



November 21, 2014 at 11:36 PM Comments (3)


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)



Ref data: (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. (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)


 04 Sep 2014

On 3 Sep 2014 the Wall Street Journal reported that the USA government is soliciting ideas for trains suitable for hauling radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to disposal sites. Even though, at present, they have nowhere to go. Companies in that industrial sector were asked for ideas on how rail cars should be configured /obtained for hauling 150-ton casks filled with transuranic “spent nuclear fuel”. The government latest plan is to have an interim test storage site in the year 2021(it has not been disclosed where), and a long term geologic repository by 2048, even though currently no one acknowledges where the sites will/would be. Officials of U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) didn’t respond to messages that sought detailed comments. The responsibility of regulating shipments is jointly shared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Department of Transportation (DoT).

The USA government issued a Request For Proposal(s) for developing/testing/certifying the necessary rolling stock . Proposals were also solicited regarding whether the rail cars should be brought or leased, given that the cars are expected to last for 30 years, and used on regular tracks, at standard speeds, with a payload of 150 ton casks. Additionally, casks must be accommodated, and positioned in the train, so that a safe distance is maintained between the radioactive cargo and a crew (yes they are still radioactive). It was not specified if one or more casks will be transported per train.

Spent nuclear fuel is very long term radioactive (transuranic), and must be placed in specially designed long term thermally/ radiologicaly hot casks when removed from reactors. Where to long term store such waste is another matter. Problem is nobody, but nobody, wants it in their back yards”(NIMBY). Spent nuclear fuel is already being sent by USA military by rail from reactors on navy ships for storage at Federal labs. More than 2,300 tons was hauled by the civilian power industry from the year 1979 to the year 2007 (equivalent to 15 casks). James Conca, senior scientist at Geoscience and Environmental Consulting firm UFA Ventures, Inc, says a Nuclear Waste Disposal Site has been monitored by him, and that it is necessary to do so.

Trains for transporting nuclear waste are not new to France where more than 10 shipments were made, to the chagrin of Germany into their territory. The matter of how and where to dispose of spent nuclear fuel that is dangerously transuranic remains a terrible legacy to leave future generations, but we must do so in the most environmentally sound, and responsible way. There are sound reasons to believe that the Spent Fuel Cooling Ponds of most Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) today, are already to the brim with many “transuranic loads” and that, is a terribly unsafe place to store them for many reasons we have outlined before. The NPP Industry has gotten us into a fine mess with no real long time solutions, but now wish for the government to help them get rid of their mess. OH!-they always resent/reject government intervention in their industry, but this is another matter. Self-serving hypocrites!

Another source of chagrin to those interested in energy matters, is the surreptitious way in which the USA government is proceeding, apparently without oversight, or regard for public opinion, on a matter of such transcendental importance. Have you read about these matters before the WSJ article? In a blog perhaps. We contacted the government source referenced in our previous article and were told that “the contractor” (whoever that is, could not be disclosed) had drafted the article. Yes!- the people that received the award, drafted an incoherent news release blessed/disseminated by DoE. How do you like them apples? Gone is the dogma of a transparent government, responsible and responsive to the people. Alas!-one more casualty of governmental gridlock. That reminds me of “The Grid”, but that is another matter.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)


P.S. Do you wish to know more about Dry-cask storage of High-level nuclear waste ? Interesting illustrations too, but very sketchy info.

References: Dry Cask of spent nuclear fuel  (high-level waste)

September 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM Comments (4)

« Older PostsNewer Posts »