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

THE 18TH CLIMATE WARMING CONFERENCE – JUST A SHAM! – THEY ALWAYS ARE

10 Dec 2012

On 09 Dec 2012, at DOHA, Qatar – The annual “United Countries of the Parties” climate warming conference concluded late Saturday after the customary all-night negotiating session, and recriminations over who should bear the costs and burdens of a warming planet. Delegates from more than 190 countries, agreed to extend the “Kyoto Protocol” for a few more years; and to commit to more ambitious (but unspecified) actions to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases (greenhouse gases). The 2012, 18th Conference failed to produce an outline of a new agreement, leaving such questions to future Conferences. That is what they do, year after year.

TALK – JUST TALK!  Few countries ever do anything to reduce greenhouse gases emissions; consequently, there is an ever growing concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Given the current trend in greenhouse emissions, the world’s atmospheric temperature will likely rise more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from pre-industrial times; this was the central goal of the conferees; even so, the group put-off for future years any plan for addressing the problem, merely stating an intention to “identify and explore in 2013 options for a range of actions to close the pre-2020 ambition gap.”

“KYOTO PROTOCOL”- JUST A SHAM!  The Conference, formally known as the 18th “Conference of the Parties” (COP 18), was always considered a transition from the longstanding division of countries, into (a) industrialized polluters and (b) developing-world victims of sea level rise and climate change. That division was enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol, which the USA never joined, and which assigned pollution reduction targets to advanced countries, but none to developing countries, including the world’s current largest greenhouse gas emitter, China. The conferees agreed last year in Durban, South Africa, to work toward a new protocol, or other legally binding instrument that would require actions of all parties; not just rich countries, as under the Kyoto agreement of 1997. The new agreement is to be concluded by 2015 and enter into force in 2020.

MONEY PROMISES – JUST PROMISES! Industrial countries had pledged to secure $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, but have been vague about what they plan to do before then;  Only a handful of countries, not including the USA, have made concrete financial pledges for adaptation aid over the next few years; even now, Todd D. Stern, senior USA negotiator, said: “The USA will continue to provide substantial climate-related aid to vulnerable countries; however, I am not in a position, to promise new American financing, given the ongoing budget talks in Washington”.  N’uff said!

THE CONCEPT OF “LOSS AND DAMAGE” was addressed by the Conference recognizing the increasing frequency of “extreme weather events”, as well as slower-acting threats like drought and sea level rise. PROMISES, PROMISES – The Conferees agreed on the need for more financial and technical support for the most vulnerable countries, but failed to create a process to handle such aid, thus angering some delegates: Kieren Keke, foreign minister of the Pacific nation of Nauru, and chairman of the Alliance of Small Island States, said the package adopted Saturday is: “deeply deficient…This is not where we wanted to be at the end of this Conference, I assure you…It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under, and other unimaginable impacts. It has become abundantly clear that unless the work is supported by world leaders, particularly those representing the countries most responsible for the crisis, we will continue to fall short year after year.” (Note: Many small islands located just above sea level, are being evacuated, and will soon disappear), AND NOBODY IS WILLING TO HELP.

INDEPENDENT EFFORTS BY COUNTRIES ARE THE MOST SUCCESSFUL. Jennifer Haverkamp, director of the international climate programs at the Environmental Defense Fund said: “What this Conference reinforced is that while this is an important forum, it is not the only one in which progress can and must be made…The disconnect between the level of ambition the parties are showing here and what needs to happen to avoid dangerous climate change is profound.” Put plainly, these folks all want to “fly their own kite”, and scratch only where they itch. The most effective actions to date have been taken at the National, State and local levels, with a number of countries adopting aggressive emissions reductions programs and using other means to help finance them. While the USA has not yet adopted a comprehensive approach to climate change, the Obama administration has put in place a comprehensive “Automotive emissions reduction program”, and a plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants. California has adopted a “cap-and-trade” system for 2013.  Other countries, including South Korea, Australia, and most of Europe, independently started earlier, and have gone much further. Such efforts hold promise, at least in the short term, for mitigating climate change.

GREENHOUSE GASES ARE ACCUMULATING FAST. Scientists say the problem is growing worse faster than any of them predicted even a few years ago. It is painfully evident that the 18 yearly Conferences held so far by the United Countries, were at best a palliative to the global climate change problems, and at worst, an expensive, useless sideshow. Games people play to appear important and concerned, when they only wish to provide lip service, and to appear “politically correct”.

Thanks to the New York Times p. A13, 09 Dec 2012, for their excellent quotations.

 

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTARY

GREAT GLOBAL CHANGES ARE COMING. The greenhouse effect (and temperature rise) is already producing great global atmospheric changes that will in time, change our civilization as we know it.  The polar cap is melting, causing a relenting sea level rise which in time will force many littoral cities to reconsider relocating to higher ground.  Recall New York and New Jersey, and New Orleans? One can add other places like Venice, Italy, one of the most visited places on earth, where St. Mark Square is now inundated by two feet of sea water.  We shudder to consider the future of the Netherlands (was Helvetia/Holland) mostly already located below sea level.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, humans have always chosen to live near the sea because the sea is generous. The sea gives, but the sea also takes away. It always has, and always will. There is ample geological evidence that the global map has changed many times in the past, and that even locations above 10,000 feet were once under the sea. Most places where oil/gas exist, were recently under the sea (in geological terms).

EVEN MIGHTY RIVERS ARE SUFFERING The snow-melt from the Himalayas is the source of water for several nations like Nepal, and China. Problem is: the snow is melting too quickly there too. Without that source of water, many billions of people will be forced to look for fresh water elsewhere or in desalination (not to mention its effect on their hydro-plant dams). The dry weather in the central USA has reduced the flow of water in the mighty Mississippi river to the point where it is now practically non-navigable. That river was very important to the rapid development of the USA.

MAN’S PENCHANT TO BURN FOSSIL FUEL EXACERBATES THE PROBLEM. Coal and oil combustion inexorably produce huge quantities of Carbon dioxide (Nat Gas about half as much). What a shame!  Petroleum and coal are too wonderful a resource to burn, and natural gas a wonderful source of fertilizer.  Science has found, and will yet find many useful products from fossil fuels that will cause us to regret having burned them up for energy. That knowledge alone should suffice to cause humanity to seek green (renewable) energy technology ASAP.  And yet, the “United Countries of the Parties” think it is all about money, and who should pay it! They just don’t get it! They are self-serving idiots who can’t see the forest for the trees.

AND WORSE YET…An added dimension to the problem is that many nations, USA included, are still burning coal as if it were the only fuel available. In San Antonio TX (my home city) our City Public Service Energy foolishly persists in using two “coal-burners” (Spruce I, and II at Calaveras Lake) with a combined output of 1,240 MW, even though just 40 miles south of San Antonio, TX, there is accelerated development of a huge oil/gas (Eagle-Ford shale) which will alone, very soon rival Russia’s Nat gas production; and yet, there is currently no plan to retro-fit coal-burners to Nat gas.  We need to understand that nearly all power-plants are high-pressure steam turbine-driven generators, and that the method for producing steam is the main variant.  In a ” Thermo-electric” plant the fuel can be oil, Nat gas, or coal, or even refuse, and the only difference is how the fuel is burned; Hence, retro-fitting an existing thermo-electric plant from coal or oil to Nat gas, is relatively inexpensive, and can be accomplished relatively quickly.  Prior to 1984, San Antonio, TX used only Nat gas for electrical generation.  Such a move should only be viewed as a temporary measure until Texas can improve its Grid, and develop windtricity, and other sustainable (green) energy generation technology.

THE WORLD SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF GERMANY.  Plan to eliminate NPP’s, develop a new, modern electrical distribution system (Grid), further green (sustainable) energy technologies such as wind, solar, and others.  In our mind, the example being set by China and its continued reliance on coal, will bring about terrible health consequences among its people already forced to breathe highly polluted air.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo) 

UPDATE 30 DEC 2012

IN RESPONSE TO SOME OF OUR READERS The best advice I could give ANYONE regarding climate warming and sea level rise is: Don’t buy any seaside property located less than 10 meters above sea level, don’t emigrate to countries or regions with heavy air pollution, or smog producing industries, or nearby radioactive sources, or near Nuclear Power-Plants(NPPs). Look for countries, or regions that are now heavily vested in renewable “green energy”, for they shall inherit the earth. Many countries are even now quietly transfiguring to renewable energy sources. Stay away from NPPs. Remember, most NPPs in the world (there are over 1,000) are also Spent-fuel Repositories (transuranic nuclear waste) and are likely to stay so for many years to come, simply because decommissioning is expensive and difficult to accomplish; problem is: What to do with 50 years of nuclear waste accumulation.

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET THAT BEING AN ADULT, IMPLIES  COPING WITH LIFE’S UNCERTAINTIES: IF WE CAN KEEP OUR HEAD, WHEN THOSE  AROUND US ARE LOOSING THEIRS, THEN WE WILL BE BETTER-OFF FOR IT.  THE WORLD BELONGS TO THOSE WILLING TO ACCEPT/RECOGNIZE THAT CHANGE, IS UNAVOIDABLE, AND PERHAPS A PART OF “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST”.  TRUTH IS, WE CAN ALL DO WITH A LOT LESS THAN WE CONSIDER  NECESSARY TODAY.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 !!!

YOUR FRIEND,

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

P.S. We are happy to announce that our readership has nearly trebled in the last part of 2012, and that we are viewed in over 65 countries; with many of those approaching 1,000 reads per month. We are all bonded by a desire to hear only “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, for the truth will enable us to better cope with change, and life in general.

 

December 10, 2012 at 5:10 AM Comments (0)

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) ADDRESSES THE UNITED NATIONS

05 Nov 2012

Mr. Yukiya Amano, Director-Secretary of the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” addressed a nearly empty UN General Assembly hall in New York City USA, highlighting that Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are now safer than before the tragic Fukushima Dai No1 triple meltdown in Japan last 12 Mar 2011.  Amano added that the IAEA has also spearheaded progress in many areas regarding “international nuclear safety”.

EXTREME NATURAL HAZARDS ADDRESSED Mr. Amano said: “Measures have been taken to improve protection against extreme hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis…Countries are upgrading their emergency preparedness and response capabilities… Our program of expert peer review services is being expanded.”

YUKIYA AMANO EXPECTS MORE NPPs TO BE BUILT Despite the Fukushima Dai No.1 tragedy, and subsequent spread of nuclear toxic waste, and resultant anti-nuclear sentiment around the world, Mr. Amano noted that the IAEA’s latest projections showed a steady rise in the number of NPPs planned for the next 20 years, with the majority being constructed in Asia. Established users such as China, India, the Republic of South Korea, and the Russian Federation, had planned “significant expansions” of their NPP programs.

IAEA VOICES CONCERNS ABOUT ROGUE STATES Mr. Amano also addressed The IAEAs continued safeguards activities in the DPRK (N. Korea), Iran and Syria. REGARDING NORTH KOREA Mr. Amano said: “I remain seriously concerned about the country’s nuclear program…He described its statements about uranium enrichment activities as deeply troubling, and called on the North Korean government to comply fully with its obligations, and cooperate fully with the IAEA”… About IRAN Mr. Amano stated: “The IAEA has “credible information indicating that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…IAEA is firmly committed to intensifying dialogue with Iran and urge the country to provide clarification regarding the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program”.  Iran has steadily said its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes of energy production; however, many countries fear it is aimed at attaining nuclear weapons capability, thus imperiling middle-east political stability. (Translation: They just won’t listen – and neither do the Chinese, Russians, Eastern Europeans, and others).  What is a mother to do?-  Just talk so-more, that is all they ever do!

“MIDDLE-EAST NUCLEAR WEAPONS FREE- ZONE”? Mr. Amano also announced that the IAEA had submitted background documentation ahead of a planned conference about the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle – East slated for later this year (2012).

IAEA  COUNTERS NUCLEAR TERRORISM  Mr. Amano underlined the IAEA’s efforts in countering nuclear terrorism, noting that: “ strengthening the agency’s work in this area would remain one of its key priorities…Our work focuses on helping minimize the risk of nuclear and other radioactive material falling into the hands of terrorists, or of nuclear facilities being subjected to malicious acts…The IAEA has established internationally accepted guidance that is used as a benchmark for nuclear security…IAEA is helping countries apply this guidance through specialist training and “peer review (Blind leading the blind)”.

IAEAs TRAINING ROLE Mr. Amano added that over 12,000 people (from more than 120 countries) had been trained in nuclear security by the IAEA in the past decade (2012).  I believe their “training” involves how to deceive innocent, people about their mostly non-existent safety measures. How about implementing the “Lessons of Fukushima” Why-no boy!

 OUR VIEWS AND COMMENTARY

We believe the reason IAEA made this presentation to the UN as just one more way to seek worldwide approval, and lend legitimacy to their Agency of Energy Barons (They are not a part of the UN).  Frankly, we think they are not “nuclear watchdogs” (as they would have us believe), but rather, “Nuclear junkyard dogs” protecting the huge worldwide NPP investments of an industry that has lost its legitimacy and credibility, and is clearly now on a retrenchment mode.

ADDRESSING AN EMPTY ROOM How do we know the UN was nearly empty when Mr. Amano made his presentation at the UN?- Easy, just look at the picture shown of his audience @ http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=43416&Cr=iaea&Cr1=

We could believe that perhaps on 05 Dec 2012, New York City was/is still reeling from the destructive effects of hurricane “Sandy” which has slowed all forms of transportation, and produced energy shortages. Even so, many more UN Reps could have attended, or the presentation postponed “due to inclement weather”; however, we believe the virtually empty hall was due to lack of interest on the part of UN Reps who place little credibility on an Agency that is prima-facie “self-serving”.

SAME OLD “SONG and DANCE” BY MR. AMANO that the Nuke Industry is well and prosperous.  It seems he is “just whistling past the graveyard” to show he is not afraid, and to promote more Nukes. Their other defense is: “IAEA is the savior of the world”, but even they know The Nuclear Industry will listen to no-one, and is primarily interested in recouping, and increasing it world-wide capital. “MONEY TALKS – SH_IT WALKS” says the popular refrain.  Their problem is the world was awakened by the Fukushima triple melt-downs to the reality of “Transuranic Nuclear Waste” there, here, and everywhere; and neither they, nor anyone, has a solution to the problem.  Witness Japan,  it has run out of space to place all their existing toxic nuclear waste, and that yet to come for several generations;  their solution: continue dumping it into the sea.

This article is a sequel to: IAEA HAS A TENTATIVE REPORT FOR ITS 2012 FULL MEMBERSHIP MEETING @ http://energymaters.com/?p=925  dated 30 Aug 2012

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

Stick around, and pass the word: At energymaters.com, “We tell it like it is” and get past the hoopla, disinformation, propaganda and outright lies.

November 6, 2012 at 12:18 AM Comments (0)

RUSSIA’S “ROSNEFT OIL” JOCKEYS TO CONTROL RUSSIA’S OIL INDUSTRY

20 OCT 2012

“ROSENEFT” SUBMITED A BID ON 19 Oct 2012 TO BUY BP’s 50% of TNK-BP, for a mix of cash and shares, totaling $50 to $56 billion. Should Rosneft buy all of TNK-BP, the combined company’s market value may total 3.52 Trillion rubles; just shy of Gazprom’s 3.68 Trillion rubles, based on recent market prices. TNK-BP is a joint venture of four Russian Billionaires and British Petroleum (BP). Put plainly, Russia state want to buy-out all the competition.

COMPARING ROSNEFT CRUDE-OIL PRODUCTION TO MIDDLE EAST.  If the business venture succeeds, purchasing TNK-BP would raise Rosneft’s crude production to about 4.5 million barrels a day (bpd); more than any Middle East, country except Saudi Arabia.  Financially, the venture proposal would boost its market value to rival Gazprom’s 3.7 trillion rubles ($120 billion).  Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin (who returned for a third presidential term this year) needs Rosneft to help maintain Russia’s record oil production, as he uses energy taxes to fulfill election spending promises. Rosneft, run by Pres. Putin’s Cabinet V.P. Igor Sechin, controls the country’s oil output. If both deals go through, Rosneft will become the world’s biggest stock-exchange-listed oil producer producing roughly 4.5m barrels per day (bpd) or 45 % of Russian output.

ABOUT  IGOR IVANOVICH SECHIN He served as Roseneft chairperson from 2006 to 2011, now Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Pres Putin’s cabinet, and helped transform it into Russia’s biggest crude producer.  He’s also ensured Rosneft got access to untapped oil reserves in the Arctic offshore (which is restricted to state-controlled companies).  A knowledgeable person said Rosneft has relied on Sechin’s access to Pres. Putin (whom he has worked for more than 20 years) as the Kremlin strengthened its control over the energy industry, and pushed oil output to a post-Soviet high.  Another knowledgeable person said Rosneft already has a preliminary accord with BP’s billionaire partners, who own the other half of the company.

UKRAINE SEEKS ENERGY INDEPENDENCE Another worry for Gazprom, is the desire of Ukraine (Russia’s neighbor), to free itself of dependence on imported energy – now mostly Gazprom’s Nat gas. The two countries have frequently clashed over gas prices/availability at peak-usage times. In the past that has resulted in disruptions to the Nat gas flow through Ukraine to Europe. Now Ukraine is gearing up to increase its own gas output 17% by 2016. The International Energy Agency (IEA) in a report on 19 Oct 2012 says Ukraine can wean itself from energy imports, but cautions that there is still much to be done, before that can be achieved.  Pres. Putin granted Gazprom a Nat gas export monopoly, and helped secure the “Nord Stream pipeline project” to Europe.  Significantly, Gazprom gained control over Belarus’s pipeline network, and negotiated a Nat gas price deal with Ukraine that extended Russia’s lease of a Ukrainian Black Sea port used as a naval base.  AS WE SAY IN AMERICA: “WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES”.  It is possible that Antonio, TX -USA(my homecity) will soon be looking for ways to ship the huge quantities of Nat-gas being fracked from shale.  

RUSSIA HAS USED NAT- GAS FOR POLITICAL CONTROL. Pres. Putin used Gazprom, (arguably the world’s largest Natural gas producer), to assert Russia’s political control during the past decade.  By winning pipeline deals, and controlling former Soviet allies; however, the new Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”) Nat gas exploration/exploitation technology has produced a shale-gas boom in the USA, and other places; plus, domestic competition in Russia, is causing Gazprom to lose Nat gas primacy worldwide.

PUTIN TRIED AND FAILED TO MERGE ROSNEFT AND GAZPROM IN 2004.  Pres.Putin sought in Sep 2004 to create a Nat-gas and oil consortium by merging Rosneft into Gazprom. The $7.6 billion takeover plan fell apart as Gazprom and Rosneft openly disagreed over its terms; Now, Rosneft’s market value has grown to about $75 billion.  HMM – HOWDY! – LOOKS LIKE Pres. PUTIN LOW-BALLED THE BID! – NO WONDER IT FELL APART.

RUSSIA NOW OBTAINS ABOUT HALF OF ITS REVENUE FROM ITS OIL/NAT GAS. The state, being a majority owner, Rosneft will be interested in spending money on new projects and increasing output to ensure budget revenue through taxes. PROBLEM IS…

OIL AND NAT-GAS DEMAND IS DOWN WORLDWIDE Vsevolod Cherepanov, head of the production division at Gazprom, said on 09 Oct 2012: The gas company has seen output slide since reaching a record 9.95 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2006. Gazprom’s performance has been depressed since the 2008 economic slowdown created by success in extracting gas from shale formations in the USA that has transformed markets by reducing America’s need for imported fuel, and prompted European customers to seek revised contract terms. Global production and trade of liquefied Nat-gas is up; however, Gazprom is not into such technology yet.

OUTSIDER’S VIEW OF GAZPROM Mikhail Korchemkin (head of Malvern, PA-based “East- European Gas Analysis”) said: “In the last decade, Gazprom was transformed from the “milk-cow” (profit maker) of the state budget to the “cash-cow” of contractors and intermediaries…The main tax burden was put on oil companies. In other words, Pres. Putin needs Gazprom to feed friends, and Rosneft to feed the state budget.”  NOW THERE IS A TERSE, HARSH COMMENT!... Julia Nanay( a Director at Washington-based PFC Energy) said:  Rosneft is helping Pres. Putin to achieve a greater state share in Russian oil production, while also being in the forefront of driving future production growth from the Arctic,” According to Cliff Kupchan (senior analyst at “Eurasia Group” in New York) ROSENEFT WILL BE A DOMINANT PLAYER (in oil production) with other oil companies losing heft in comparison”;  : He added: “We’re in a time of transition in the Russian energy sector. Rosneft is a rising power, poised to become an oil primary driver, while Gazprom is a declining power.” The European Commission during Sep 2012 opened an antitrust probe into Gazprom’s pricing in Central and Eastern Europe. NOBODY LIKES MONOPOLIES- THEY ALWAYS STIFFLE PRODUCTION AND NEGOTIATE BY ASKING: YOU NEED IT BAD – HUH?  FREE COMPETITION IN ANY MARKET IS BEST FOR THE MOST PEOPLE.

Thanks to Bloomberg 19 Oct 2012

AS WE SEE IT:

RUSSIA APPEARS TO LEARN VERY SLOWLY FROM HISTORY about diverse forms of energy in a world that is rapidly changing into new, greener technologies.  Political juggling of its natural oil/gas resources will not necessarily have a positive effect on either/both industries. We wish they would treat their neighbors as themselves, because “what goes around, comes around”, and The Russian people, as most of Eastern Europe, have endured/suffered enough since WWII.  One would hope they would be more politically understanding and helpful.

UPDATE 24 OCT 2012

USA OIL PRODUCTION SURPASES SAUDI ARABIA For what it is worth, the USA is poised to become the worlds pre-eminent oil producer.  New production figures show about 11 million bpd.  Compare that to Rosneft’s 4.5 million bpd.  See there, competition has led to much improved oil exploration and exploitation;  However, even here and now in the USA, we need to prevent the monopolistic tendencies of oil moguls to eliminate the competition, as did John D. Rockefeller in the last century. We shall see if the “Anti-trust” laws can withstand the pressures of the almighty Dollar. We think State controlled energy monopolies, such as Pres. Yeltsyn wants to impose in Russia, will not help anyone, and he will find that peeing on black-pants may give him a warm feeling, but nobody will notice; Meanwhile, In the good-old USA, energy independence appears close at hand.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

October 20, 2012 at 12:26 AM Comments (6)

INDIA’S SUPREME COURT RULES ON SAFETY OF KUDANKULAM NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

28 Sep 2012

IN NEW DELHI, INDIA’S SUPREME COURT  said that it will not hesitate in stopping the work at Kudankulam NPP, located in Tamil Nadu, if it finds that safety measures at the plant are unsatisfactory. The court made these observations while hearing an appeal against the Madras High Court (their Federal District Court) order that allowed fuel loading at the plant.  Supreme court Justices K.S. Radhakrishanan, and Deepak Misra said the safety of plant and the people living in its vicinity is its prime concernWe will not hesitate to stop the plant if we find that the mandatory safety requirements have not been taken care of at the site,” while posting the case for further hearing on 04 Oct 2012.

THE MADRAS HIGH COURT HAS CONSENTED to commission the Kudankulam NPP, despite huge protests by thousands of villagers and activists, who are not confident that the plant is safe, and are very worried about ecological damage by radioactivity which could affect the livelihood of thousands of fishermen in proximity to the plant for many years. Anti-nuke Activists have cited the Fukushima Dai.No.1 tragedy, as the root-cause of concern about the dangers of NPPs.

PLANT OPERATORS ARE CONFIDENT In an affidavit filed in India’s supreme court on 27 Sep 2012, The NPP operators said: “(Kudankulam NPP) is fully equipped to withstand” Fukushima-type incidents…All safety measures are in place…Even if a Fukushima type of incident were to occur, Kudankulam is fully equipped to withstand any such unlikely event…  All mandatory “clearances and licenses” have been taken for the plant from relevant authorities” ( Yeah-we know!  A LOT OF “RELEVANT AUTHORITIES” WERE PAID – OFF IN THE FORM OF “CLEARANCES  AND LICENCES”). Unsaid was: Now what?

LAWYER PRASHANT BHUSHAN addressed the Supreme Court 27 Sep 2012 in opposition to commissioning of the Kudankulam NPP.  He stated that several changes have been made to the NPP after a clearance wasgranted in 1989, and hence a fresh environment impact assessment must be done.  Mr. Bhushan also alleged that the government’s major concern is that it has already spent a lot of money on the plant (since 1989).  The Supreme Court responded: “It is a serious matter and we are taking it seriously. Everyone is concerned with the safety of the people around the plan”.  It also issued notices to the “Ministry of Environment and Forests” and the ‘Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board” seeking their response on a petition challenging the environmental clearance given to the Kudankulam NPP Operators.  Kudankulam would be the first Indian NPP to be activated since the Fukushima Dai No.1 tragedy last 12 Mar 2011.

Thanks to NDTV (India) 27 Sep 2012
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OUR ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS

LAWYER FOR ANTI-NUKE ACTIVISTS ARGUED:A fresh environment impact assessment must be done.” the Supreme Court agreed, and issued notices to the “Ministry of Environment and Forests” and the ‘Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board” seeking their response on a petition challenging the environmental clearance given to the Kudankulam NPP Operators in 1989. The case for the Nuclear Industry was argued by the NPCIL but…

WHO IN THE WORLD IS THE “NPCIL?”- Enter a new player in India’s Nuclear Industry’s efforts to survive and prosper: It is a Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) – Please bear with me the intricacies of power- politics. Apparently the besieged India’s Nuclear industry thinks that both the AEC, and AERB (supposed “nuclear watchdogs”), are not credible enough, or supported by statute; so, they requested  that they “contract- out” the work to the NPCIL.  In Democracies, sometimes the  government finds it useful to “contract-out” nasty work to Public sector Enterprises, because they “can stand the (political) heat”, and prosper by-it at taxpayer’s expense, while serving as a buffer for their agency recommendations. WE KNOW THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY’S PLAN IS ASKEW, WHEN INDIA’S SUPPORTIVE  GOVERNMENT PREFERS TO CONTRACT-OUT ITS LEGAL DEFENSE.

LAWYERS FOR NPCIL ARGUE THAT KUDANKULAM IS SAFE: It is submitted that even if a Fukushima type of incident were to occur, the KNPP is fully equipped with all safety measures to withstand any such unlikely event,” the NPCIL said in its affidavit., and added: “despite these accidents (three world-class accidents), the safety records of nuclear power plants, in terms of lives lost per unit of electricity delivered, is better than every other major source of power in the world.” The NPCIL also said its assertions would not come in the way of the implementation of the AERB’s recommendations.

THE SUPREME COURT SAID Past Kudankulam governmental expenses were not the issue, as argued by Activist lawyers, the safety of the plant and storage of nuclear waste was of prime concern, as is the protection of people. PROBLEM IS: WHO SAYS THE SUPREME COURT IS QUALIFIED TO RULE ON THE SAFETY OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS OF RUSSIAN 1989 DESIGN, OR ANY NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS?  Off- topic, but it reminds me of when Presidential candidate  G.W. Bush’s appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court (He had friends there)that his civil rights were being violated in Florida.  Remember that?  What were the consequences of that U.S. Supreme court decision?  We know, don’t we? – I would rather forget.  Oh! The games politicians play! WHEN ISSUES THAT SHOULD NOT GO TO THE SUPREME COURT DO, USUALLY BAD THINGS HAPPEN.

PROTESTS CONTINUE THROUGHOUT INDIA; Meanwhile the people of Tamil Nadu (KNPP) continue, at times violent confrontations with guards and police, to prevent the loading of nuclear fuel in preparation to Plant activation soon.  Recently, some 1,500 anti-nuke protesters buried themselves waist – deep in the sand surrounding the Plant in a novel form of civil disobedience/protest.  We hope the next elections in India will yield new political figures more responsive to the will of their constituents. –Amen!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

September 28, 2012 at 11:28 AM Comments (0)

TITULAR HEAD OF INDIA’S ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION SPEAKS AT IAEA MEETING

22 Sep 2012

This article is a sequel to: INDIAS NUCLEAR REGULATORY BOARD (THEIR NRC) NEEDS EMPOWERMENT http://energymaters.com/?p=918

DR. RATAN K. SINHA SPEAKS TO THE “INTL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)” at its 56th International general conference in Vienna, Austria on 19 Sep 2012.  We say Mr. Sinha is only a “titular head” of the Indian Atomic Energy Agency (AEC-counterpart to the USA-NRC), because the AEC has never gained Indian parliamentary support/approval.  http://energymaters.com/?p=918 Last para.

NPP DEVELOPMENT IS STRONGLY OPPOSED IN INDIA. Faced with violent public rejection/opposition, at the Kudankulam(NPP,  Dr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, titular chairperson of India’s NEC, said work on the first of the two (2) 1,000 MW Light Water Pressurized Boiling Water Reactors(LW- PBWR’s (the most common kind) at Kudankulam is complete. The operation of Unit-1 is expected to commence shortly, while Unit- 2, may be commissioned early next year (2013).  Kudankulam NPP, and other planned “Nuclear -Parks” (as they are euphemistically called), consist of six (6) nukes each.  India is planning to collaborate with the IAEA during Oct 2012 by hosting an “International Workshop” regarding “Safety of Multi-Unit NPP against External Natural Hazards” to be preceded by a meeting of the “working group” of the IAEA project on “Seismic Safety of NPP sites”. (NOTE KUDANKULAM NPP WAS TO BE INAUGURATED NEARLY A YEAR AGO, AND WAS STOPPED BY STRONG PUBLIC OPPOSITION)

Mr. Sinha added: A year after the Fukushima Dai-No 1 accident on 12 Mar 2012, India was committed to implementing the IAEA action plan on nuclear safety (WHAT PLAN?). The preparation and planning for inviting IAEA’s “Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS)” for peer review of India’s regulatory system(SOUNDS OFFICIOUS, BUT DOES IT EXIST?) was also in progress and, in due course, India will approach the Agency with a request to undertake this mission. “Our experts will continue to participate and assist the IAEA Secretariat (THE VIENNA OFFICE 2300 PEOPLE) in its endeavor to enhance nuclear safety through a cluster of measures it has formulated…The first Operational Safety Review Team (IAEA-OSART) mission to India for Rajasthan NPP Units 3 and 4, is now planned for the end of October 2012″

NUCLEAR POWER GENERATION IS UP. According to Mr. Sinha, nuclear power generation in India has continued to grow due to an increase in the supply of uranium from domestic as well as international sources; and that, this year the country has registered about a 23% increase in (nuclear power?)generation over last year. The average annual availability of the reactors had also increased from 83 to 91%.  India has identified new resources of uranium, and in the last five years, the country’s reserves had registered a steep increase of about 70%.  Production of Uranium (the fuel used by LW-PBW reactors) was 751 Metric tons in 2011-12, an increase of about 15% over the previous year

RADIATION LEVEL CONCERNS: Dr. Sinha highlighted the published results of recently concluded Indian studies (no source given)based on screening newborns, for congenital malformations, in the High Level Natural Radiation Areas(HLNRA) in Kerala, where the radiation fields ranged from less than 1 mGy/year to 45 mGy/year, against the global average of approximately 2.4 mGy/year from natural sources of radiation. During the period August 1995 to December 2011, over 140,000 newborns in the HLNRA and normal radiation level area were screened for different health-related parameters. The studies had shown that there was no significant difference between the populations belonging to HLNRA and normal radiation level area with respect to the frequency of congenital malformations, Down-Syndrome and still-births. No significant difference was observed in the frequency of occurrence of chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei too.  Earlier studies carried out in the same region on nearly 400,000 people did not show any significant increase in the incidence of any type of cancer in the HLNRA, he added.

OUR ANALYSIS AND COMMENTS

NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, INDIAS NUCLEAR AMBITIONS ARE IN TROUBLE! We have seen how the people of India, like the people of Japan, have made it abundantly clear to their politicians, that  they strongly oppose more Nuclear Power Plants(NPPs) in their power mix; yet, their governments continue to support nuclear development , no matter what, or who!- We know why.  Both Indian and Japanese government figures (past and present), Industrial barons, Scientists, and most of their press are heavily vested in the nuclear industry.  Put plainly, they sold out long ago, and since Fukushima have found a reversal of fortunes and public opinion. See:  INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS @ http://energymaters.com/?p=748.  Given the present circumstances, rather than further endanger their political fortunes, India’s politicians are using the “B” Team- (the AEC) to persuade the people of India about the safety of their planned NPP expansion. PROBLEM IS: People of India won’t buy AEC or IAEA Support promises; and further, want some questions asked which they cannot answer satisfactory.  Japan has learned the hard way, that the IAEA may promise a lot, but delivers nothing but useless advice!

DR. R.K.SINHA – A POLITICIAN WITHOUT HIS GOVERNMENT BLESSING, offers India and the IAEA, this solution:

  1. Lean on the international prestige of the IAEA (not that they have any) BY PAYING THEM TO COME to India, and tell his people that Seismically, India’s NPPs have no problem! ; additionally, to assuage Indian people about the : “Safety of Multi-Unit NPP against External Natural Hazards”. (SEE – THEY TOO ARE WORRIED ABOUT THAT ISSUE. REMEMBER FUKUSHIMA DAI No.1 ?- 4 nukes in one place. ) 
  2. Ask the IAEA to create an “Operational Safety Review Team” (IAEA-OSRT) and tour their NPPs, and pronounce them safe as bread Rajasthan NPP Units 3 and 4 are now planned for the end of October 2012″ – who says IAEA will agree to his requests? Anyway, a new team, to conduct reviews they have never done, and this is supposed to give us a measure of confidence?  We are not that naïve Mr. Sinha!
  3. Next Mr. Sinha says they have found new Uranium deposits.  Big Deal! I guess he plans to give it to Russia, or France or another country for processing as fuel suitable for their NPP, as normally agreed.
  4. Next he talks about Thorium Research (the other nuclear fuel).  Now, that is a really good idea; but unfortunately, for him, just talk!
  5. Lastly, Mr. Sinha talks about radiation level concerns.  No doubt he found a money hungry scientist, who will state anything for fees already received or pending. He is just a part of the lying, conniving team of NPP Purveyors, just like the IAEA.  IT IS ALL A PART OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY Modus Operandi (MO);  In all such propositions, a few stand to profit hugely; without regard for public safety.  Notice Mr. Sinha never mentioned the “unmentionable” Nuclear waste, and what to do with it, now and in the future.

We await eagerly the final resolutions of the 56th International IAEA meeting a few days from now, or ever.  Not that we expect anything good to come of it.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

September 22, 2012 at 1:37 AM Comments (27)

USA – NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) OPENS A NEW CHAPTER

10 Sep 2012
THE USA-NRC HAS A NEW AND COMBATIVE CHAIRPERSON. Dr. Allison M. Mc Farlane began her appointment by tackling the thorny issue of “Nuclear Waste Disposal” by the USA Nuclear fleet of about 104 Commercial NPPs. On 09 Sep 2012, Dr. Mc Farlane said: “Resolving this issue successfully is a commission priority…Waste (disposal) confidence plays a core role in many major licensing actions.”

“WASTE CONFIDENCE” DEFINED: According to the NRC, “Waste Confidence” is a generic term implying that spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for decades beyond the licensed operating life of a reactor; without significant environmental effects”. In the past that rule has enabled the NRC to license, or renew licenses without examining the effects of extended waste storage at individual sites; However, the Appeals Court said, the NRC should have considered the potential environmental impact in the event a permanent disposal site for used fuel is never built, and it cited deficiencies in the NRC’s consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT IS THE BEAVER VALLEY NPP AT SHIPPINGPORT, PA.  On 09 Sep 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered its staff to complete an “Environmental impact review” of temporary on-site storage of used nuclear fuel at the nation’s 104 commercial plants, including the Beaver Valley NPP, in Shippingport. The study, which will be completed within two (2) years, was ordered on 06 Sep 2012, in response to a 08 Jun 2012 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia that the so-called “waste confidence” rule is deficient.

THE APPEALS COURT GIVES THE NRC JUDICIAL AUTHORITY; So, the NRC has suspended issuing, or renewing licenses, dependent on the Waste Confidence Rule. until the court’s mandate is met, NRC officials said.

“BEAVER VALLEY NPP” IS A TWIN NUKE FACILITY – Owned and operated by “FirstEnergy Corp.” The facility creates about 64 used fuel assemblies every 18 months, and is currently seeking spent fuel pond expansion permits; so, will be the first commercial NPP Facility to face the NRC’s new “Waste confidence rule”.

BEAVER VALLEY NO. 2 – COOLING POND BEING EXPANDED. The storage capacity will be increased from 1,088 fuel assemblies to 1,690. Young added that work started on that project in 2011, and is a little more than 50 % complete. The expansion is expected to be completed in the first half of 2013, and will give Unit 2 an additional 10 years of storage.

“FIRST ENERGY CORP” Spokesperson Jennifer Young said on 07 Sep 2012, that its Shippingport, PA  NPP is in the process of moving to a “dry cask storage system” for Unit 1. Older rods will be moved into steel and concrete containers and stored outside in a protected area. Only last year, Spokesperson Todd Schneider said, when the project received federal approval that, Fuel assemblies must be in a cooling pool for at least five (5) years before they can be moved into dry casks; now spokesman Young said the construction of the new system will begin in the fall of 2012 and be completed in 2014. She added the facility will start with six (6) canisters, with the capability to add another 47 canisters later on.

Thanks to the Beaver County Times (Beaver, PA)

NEWS ANALYSIS AND COMMENT

We are very happy indeed that the USA-NRC has someone at the helm once again, and that Chairperson Dr. Mc Farlane is both perceptive and aggressive in pursuit of Nuclear Safety. We needed that! she immediately tackled our greatest concern: That, the USA’s (and the world) Nuclear industry clearly puts profit ahead of public safety. The continued accumulation and disposal of “nuclear waste” is unacceptable, and must be stopped ASAP.

We are also happy that Dr Mc Farlane has found support in the U.S. Court of Appeals finding that: the NRC should have considered the potential environmental impact in the event a permanent disposal site for used fuel is never built, and it cited deficiencies in the NRC’s consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools. The court’s finding is a bash for the NRC for past inactions. Even so, the Court finding certainly strengthens the NRCs authority, by enabling it to deny permits for time extensions regarding spent fuel pools, and similar. Note that the Beaver Valley No.2 – Spent fuel Tank already has 1,088 fuel assemblies and is expanding to 1690 –By comparison: FUKUSHIMA DAI NO. 1 REACTOR 4, SPENT FUEL POOL HAS ABOUT 1,500 FUEL ASSEMBLIES; Worse yet, there are many crowded spent fuel pools all over the world, and they are not even worrying about it. IT IS A MAD  FOLLY!

WE WISH DR. Mc FARLANE WELL, AND COURAGE  TO FIGHT THE CARELESSNES OF THE GREEDY NUCLEAR INDUSTRY. We would like to remind her that the world is very likely watching the “good-old” USA for a good example of governmental control. VIVA the Waste Confidence Rule!
 

This post is a sequel to: USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT – PART 3 – http://energymaters.com/?p=522

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

September 10, 2012 at 2:39 AM Comment (1)

IAEA HAS A TENTATIVE REPORT FOR ITS 2012 FULL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

30 Aug 2012

ACCORDING TO THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA) “Nuclear Yardogs”- important progress has been made towards strengthening global nuclear safety after Japan’s Fukushima tragedy last year.  The Greenpeace Intl. Environmental org strongly disputes this.  The IAEA report on the plan’s implementation (thus far) will be presented to the IAEA General Conference of the more than 150 member states, on 17-21 Sept. 2012, to be hosted in Vienna, Austria (beautiful city, beautiful time of year, beautiful people – mostly energy Industry barons, one and all).  THESE FOLKS SHURE KNOW HOW TO MIX WORK AND PLEASURE!  

GREENPEACE IS HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED WITH PLAN. Greenpeace (which opposes nuclear energy), said there had been “no real progress”.  Last year Greenpeace criticized the IAEA for its initial handling of the Fukushima disaster, with media and IAEA Vienna-based diplomats saying it was slow to give information in the early days of the crisis.  Greenpeace however, is still dissatisfied with the entire IAEA system for regulating the nuclear industry saying:  “a few touch-ups here and there are not enough”; They added: The Fukushima incident has spurred a rethink about nuclear energy worldwide, and calls for more concerted action, including beefed-up international safety checks of NPPs. Aslihan Tumer of Greenpeace International’s nuclear campaign, said pointedly: “The IAEA’s action plan(still) does not address any of the real lessons of Fukushima,”

IAEA CLAIMS: “Since the adoption of the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety(in 2011), significant progress has been made in several key areas…improvements in emergency preparedness and response capabilities…there has been progress in areas including assessments of “safety vulnerabilities” of atomic plants, and strengthened peer reviews…These, and other measures, have contributed to “the enhancement of the global nuclear safety framework”…Significant progress has also been made in reviewing the agency’s safety standards which continue to be widely applied by regulators, operators and the nuclear industry in general.” it added: “But continued efforts need to be made to ensure more effective communication to the public if there is a radiological or nuclear emergency” The IAEA made the assessment in a report prepared for its upcoming Sep 17-21, 2012 annual meeting of IAEA member states, which endorsed a safety action plan by consensus last Sept 2011, despite criticism that it did not go far enough. The nine (9) page report may be found at www.iaea.org

IAEA’s TASK of reaching a consensus, and willingness to collaborate among its 150 member nations is difficult indeed.  Only last year, the IAEA plan exposed differences between states seeking more international commitments while others wanted safety to remain an issue strictly for national authorities.  Additionally, the IAEA report, approved six months after the Fukushima triple melt-down, was criticized by some nations for not advocating more mandatory measures, and outlining only voluntary steps intended to help prevent a repeat of such a crisis event anywhere in the world.  It also called on countries to promptly carry out assessments of their nuclear power plants, and their vulnerabilities to extreme natural hazards, as well as steps to strengthen emergency preparedness, and rapid dissemination of safety information.  IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano said of this year’s proposed report: safety has improved, but much remains to be done” – (THAT’S FOR DAMN SURE!).

SOME IMPORTANT IAEA MEMBER NATIONS WANT “MORE” INTERNATIONAL CONTROLS. One group of nations – including Germany and France – voiced disappointment about the safety action plan for not including stricter measures.

OTHER KEY NATIONS WANT “LESS” INTERNATIONAL CONTROL like the USA, India and China which stress the responsibility of national authorities.  That is why the USA’s NRC is “hog-tied and impotent”- In all probability India, and China have the same way to do, or not do, as they wish – No matter what; and, they like it that way,

IN JAPAN, in Aug 2012, a government-appointed inquiry raised doubt about whether other NPPs in Japan were prepared for massive disasters.

IN BELGIUM, their nuclear regulator said it had halted construction at one of the reactors of a nuclear plant until at least the end of Aug 2012 to carry out an investigation into suspected cracks found in a core tank.

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OUR TAKE,

Folks, these are “games important people play”, and worldwide Nuclear Safety is not a game at all.  Problem is: everyone (every nation) wants to “fly their own kite”, and to be free to do, and not do, anything they want to help their Nuclear Industry prosper at the expense of the safety of people all over the world.  If Fukushima has thought us anything, it is that the world is a very small place when it comes to radioactive poisoning of land, sea, and air; That means that: EVERY NATION WITH NPPs HAS A HUGE RESPONSIBILITY TO HUMANITY AT LARGE.  IAEA has a long way to go to truly improve Nuclear Safety.

We think the reason IAEA is releasing this “sneak preview” of its 2012 Report, is just one more way to seek worldwide approval, and lend legitimacy to their organization of Energy Barons. ( by the way, They are not a part of the UN).  Frankly, we think they are not “nuclear watchdogs” (as they would have us believe), but rather, “Nuclear yardogs” protecting the huge worldwide NPP investments of an industry that has lost its legitimacy/credibility, and is clearly now on a retrenchment mode.

This post is a sequel to: IAEA ELECTS 16 NEW BOARD MEMBERS, AND ANNOUNCES ITS UPCOMING VISIT TO JAPAN, dated 24 Sep 2011 @ http://energymaters.com/?p=324 – Interesting reading!
Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

August 30, 2012 at 1:19 AM Comments (5)

INDIAS NUCLEAR REGULATORY BOARD (THEIR NRC) NEEDS EMPOWERMENT

29 Aug 2012

INDIA’S NATIONAL AUDITOR’S REPORT ON NUCLEAR SAFETY has raised concerns about a weak regulatory body: India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board’s (AERB).  In its performance audit, the “Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)” warned of a Fukushima or Chernobyl-like disaster if the nuclear safety issue is not addressed by the government. The AERB supervises safety issues at India’s 22 running nuclear plants; and yet, has never been empowered to make rules, enforce compliance or impose substantive sanctions in cases of nuclear safety oversight; at best, can only impose a maximum fine of Rs. 500 as a deterrent in such cases. The auditor’s report added that without a legal status, the AERB has neither the authority for framing or revising rules relating to nuclear and radiation safety, nor to decide on the quantum of penalties – leave alone imposing them.  (True enough, but he is scarcely in a position to change things – not enough political clout).

AERB CONTINUES TO BE AN AUTHORITY SUBORDINATE. Technically, the AERB was constituted through an executive order in 1983; so, it reports to the Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The report says: “The legal status of the AERB continues to be that of an authority subordinate”… there is an urgent need for the government to bolster the status of AERB if it is to qualify as an “independent regulator” in a sector (Nuclear Power Plant -NPP Industry) which is likely to become increasingly important in meeting the country’s energy needs.  “Independence for regulatory bodies” has been granted in a several countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan and the USA? (YEAH, BUT THEY ARE AS POWERLESS AS THE USA’S NRC (Ref: USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT – PART 3.  http://energymaters.com/?p=522 )  THE NUCLEAR CARTEL WANTS TO PROVIDE THE APPEARANCE OF OVERSIGHT IN THEIR ACTIVITIES, WHILE THEY MAINTAIN ABSOLUTE CONTROL (Just read my next article about the IAEA meeting).

INDIA’S AERB IS LAGGING. The auditor also castigated the AERB for failing to complete a safety policy for the country, even after three decades of its existence. “Out of the 168 standards, codes and guides identified by AERB for development under various thematic areas, 27 safety documents still remained to be developed…”

NO DECOMMISSIONING PLAN YET Even after 13 years from the issue of the “Safety Manual by AERB”, none of the nuclear power plants in India, including those operating for 30 years, and those which had been shut down, had any decommissioning plan.  Problem is: the legislative framework for decommissioning of nuclear power plants has never been legislated (approved by government); hence, the AERB is not empowered to prescribe codes, guides and safety manuals about decommissioning, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had recognized the need for it. (TO OUR KNOWLEDGE ONLY THE USA’S NRC HAS EVER DRAFTED A PROPOSED “NPP DECOMMISSIONING PLAN” BUT IT WAS NEVER INSTITIONALIZED OR COMPLIED WITH –WEAK AS IT IS) (Ref: NUKE DECOMMISSIONING (SHUT-DOWN AND REMOVAL) – HIDDEN COST OF NUCLEAR POWER http://energymaters.com/?p=559 ) This DECOMMISSIONING PLAN is a good document that never saw the light of day.  We know why, don’t we? Well… because it touches on nuclear waste disposal (a taboo subject worldwide), and non-compliance by the American Nuke fleet, among others.

INDIAN NUKE SITE DEFICIENCY POINTED OUT.  The report said off-site emergency exercises highlighted the need for preparedness to deal with situations involving radiological effects from a nuclear power plant which may extend to public areas; For instance:  It was found that the approach road to the plant site of Tarapur Atomic Power Station was highly congested, which would pose serious problems in dealing with any future emergency. (YES – THAT WAS ONE OF THE LESSONS OF FUKUSHIMA).

Thanks to: NDTV (India) – 23 Aug 2012

OUR VIEW AND COMMENTS

CAG’S COMMENTS ARE WELL TAKEN, BUT… India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (SAY who?) felt a need to criticize the Indian nuclear industry.  We have no way to know who tasked him, or what special qualifications he may have.  Perhaps he has come to recognize the need to provide legitimization for his regime, by pointing out the self-evident need to strengthen and legalize the AERB. We believe that higher circles of Indian government, are finally recognizing that the nuclear Industry is not at all popular in India; so, to retain a semblance of legitimacy, they feel pressured to consider greater nuclear Industry scrutiny and control (even if only in lip service); However, the recent events at Kudankulam NPP (Ref: IN INDIA, ANTI-NUKE DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST A SIX NUKE “ENERGY PARK”http://energymaters.com/?p=283),  and other proposed Nuke sites have made it plain/evident to those in government, that being pro-nuclear, is tantamount to political suicide at the upcoming elections.  Indian Politicians who are heavily vested in new NPP’s are really in a quandary, and probably expecting a golden parachute for “taking the heat”  (Ref:  INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS http://energymaters.com/?p=748 ).

PLEASE NOTE INDIA’S AUDITOR’S (CAG) NAME WAS NOT EVEN MENTIONED as demonstration of governmental control over the Indian press. We grant that the CAG showed ignorance of the “Lessons of Fukushima”; but then, with a press like India’s how could he get educated about the lessons? , or anything else going on in India’s government ambitious NPP plans; Even to the chagrin of most Indian people who evidently know, and wholly reject additional NPP building in India. THOSE IN GOVERNMENT, WHO DO NOT KNOW/AND UNDERSTAND THAT… JUST DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!

REGRETABLY, THE BOTTOM LINE IN INDIA’S NUCLEAR NON-POLICY IS: India’s federal government introduced a “Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (Bill)”, which sought to provide statutory status to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC – AERB’s boss), in Parliament last year (2011); HOWEVER: THE BILL WAS TABLED (SET-ASIDE WITHOUT CONSIDERATION) IN INDIAN PARLIAMENT ON 22 Aug 2012.  (SIGH !) As New Yorkers are fond of saying: Forget abouut it!

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

August 29, 2012 at 3:33 AM Comments (11)

SENDAI TRASH-BERG EXPECTED TO HIT USA NW COAST NEXT NOV 2012

07 AUG 2012

FIVE USA STATES ARE GREATLY THREATENED. They are expecting a huge tsunami debris (flotsam) mass – about 40,000 tons,to arrive on the USA N.W. coast between October 2012 and Feb 2013.  Representatives from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii, will attend a three-day workshop in the USA about 03 Aug 2012.  The meetings were attended by representatives of the “Japan Environmental Action Network”, a non-governmental organization (NGO) concerned with marine debris, and experts from the USA NGO “Ocean Conservancy”, as well as state coastal clean-up coordinators.

ISSUES DISCUSSED :  The extent and range of the anticipated damage caused by the flotsam, on flora and fauna of the USA coastal regions involved, as well as the logistics of removal /disposal of hazardous and large items, such as the dock from the port of Aomori that washed up in Oregon in Jun 2012, after being torn away by the Sendai Japan Mar 2011 tsunami. Nicholas Mallos of the USA Ocean Conservancy NGO, and marine debris specialist, says the debris problem is still small; so now, is the perfect time to develop a collaborative/coordinated plan.  Mallos will join the Japanese 5 “Gyres/ Algalita Marine Research Institute”. In Japan, the Kyodo news agency says the discussions will help pinpoint the needs of affected areas so that the Japanese “Ministry of Environment” can decide how to help via the Japanese environmental network. (REALLY ? THEY CAN’T EVEN HELP THEMSELVES).

Thanks to: ABC Radio Australia for their continuing story on this subject 0n 05 Aug 2012.

OUR ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

This is a huge story barely covered in depth by mainstream media; but then, we have learned to expect only news beneficial to Business and Industry.  It is huge because of the impact that can be anticipated to our N.W. Coastal states’ flora and fauna. Huge Kelp beds about 300’ deep, and home for many fish and mammals such as sea-lions, seals, and thousands of sea-otters that make it their permanent floating home. Smaller fish make it their reproductive grounds, and will no longer grow to roam the seas and become big fish (many of them commercial fish).  Come to think of it, Kelp (seaweed if you will) is also a much needed industrial good.

MARINE TRASH EXPERT NICHOLAS MALLOS SAYS:  “This is very much an exploratory expedition. We know a lot of debris was swept out into the ocean during the tsunami last March, but what we don’t know is what’s still afloat. What we find on this voyage will provide a snapshot of what might show up on our shores. More importantly, this will give us an unparalleled opportunity to examine how ocean trash moves and changes over time. The tsunami event provides a baseline for our research that we don’t often have: We know precisely when the tsunami debris entered the ocean environment, so what happens to it over the next several years will teach us a lot about the dynamics of marine debris… I will also be keeping an eye out for wildlife like sea turtles, sharks, marine mammals and seabirds while on the voyage. For any wildlife sightings, I’ll be documenting locations using GPS and distance from the vessel as well as noting proximity to any marine debris”. For his website see link below:

http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/marine-debris/scientist-at-sea.html

SCIENTIFIC CURIOSITY– PRIMARY DRIVE of Mallos, but what is needed is the political will and empowerment to tackle a huge problem with huge resources to prevent a catastrophe in our NW coast.

WHAT IS IN IT FOR THE JAPANESE? They probably regret the loss of the nearly 20,000 Japanese Sendai coast residents who were taken by the tsunami, and subsequent outwash, which took houses, ports, people, and all, out to sea.  In my opinion Japanese participants to the meeting are keenly interested in finding, and identifying human remains for return to Japan.  Understandable, but no help to West coast residents afflicted by the trash-berg.

RADIOACTIVE FLOTSAM ? Strange is it not? No one mentions the high probability that the debris mass is radioactive, after all it has floated in the sea for 17 months directly in the same path as the Fukushima radioactive plume ( which even now continues to spew perdition into Japan’s eastern coast and beyond). I find it very disturbing that with all the imponderables of this trash-berg headed directly for the USA, I am not aware of any reports concerning its content, radioactivity level, or any other pertinent information.  Where is the mighty USA government with all its sniffing devices?  Don’t they care, or do they, like the Japanese, prefer to keep us in the dark about threatening news.  Is it really more important to our citizens to study Mars? It may be, but those who will be affected may not agree with the priorities. If a duplicate of the “Curiosity Mars rover scientific package” exists (it may) it would be put to very good use investigating “conditions for life” on the TRASH- BERG, and its environs.

WHY NO FISHERY OR KELP INDUSTRY INVITED TO THE MEETINGS?  Perhaps because it would invite public awareness, and pose questions they would rather not try to answer.  That is not being responsible, or responsive to the USA citizenry.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

August 7, 2012 at 1:38 AM Comments (7)

FIVE JAPANESE CITIES NOMINATED AS “ALTERNATE SEAT OF GOVERNMENT”

26 July 2012

THE STATED CONCERN: An interim report, issued on 19 July 2012, by the “Central Disaster Management Council (CDMC)” outlined steps to prepare for a major offshore quake in the “Nankai Trough”(a geologic fault), which runs southwest from Shizuoka Prefecture to Kyushu, or even a direct hit on Tokyo. The Central government was advised to seek funding for the most urgently needed measures in next fiscal year’s budget.

THE PROPOSAL: The CDMC proposal is the first such to establish a command center outside the greater Tokyo area in the event it should become incapacitated by a mega-quake /tsunami.  Main governmental functions contemplated for transfer are: (1) The Prime Minister’s Office, (2) the Cabinet Office; followed by (3) the Ministry of Defense, and (4) the Disaster Base in Tachikawa – near central Tokyo.

THE FIVE CITIES NOMINATED BY THE CDMC to serve as “alternate seat of government” are:  Osaka, Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya and Fukuoka (not necessarily in that order), should an earthquake incapacitate Tokyo.  All five cities have branches of the national government, and the Bank of Japan. The report further recommends that the government provide an order of succession.

TOKYO RESIDENTS ALSO CONSIDERED: The CDM Council also expressed concern for sheltering the capital’s inhabitants.  According to the report, making houses and other buildings more resistant to shaking and fire, would reduce the need for emergency shelters. The report also calls for a faster way of assessing whether damaged homes are safe enough to return to.

(Thanks to The Nikkei, July 20, 2012)

OUR COMMENTARY:

WHAT IS THE REAL INTENT OF THIS PROPOSAL? We have mixed feelings about the real intent of the proposal.  On the one hand it is good to see Japan beginning to “prepare for the worst” (they seldom do); On the other hand, it is very probable that some in government are really worried about the ever growing radioactive “plume” that threatens Tokyo already, and not just earthquakes and tsunamis; After all, these have been a threat to Japan since time immemorial.   Let us see if the earthquake/tsunami threat rationale holds.

Sendai sticks out like a sore thumb; After all, the epicenter of the great earthquake and Tsunami of 11 mar 2011, took place just off the coast from the Sendai province.  Nearby Fukushima Dai No.1, NPP suffered  greatly from the natural events, but even more from the man-made events, and non-events that followed;  And now, that is the source of what should be Japan’s greatest preocupation: The insidious, creeping spread of highly toxic and residual radioactive (transuranic) elements from the Sendai region.  So, why was Sendai considered for “Seat of Government status”? – BEATS ME!  PERHAPS JUST A RUSE Given the fact more than 16 months after the triple-meltdown the radioactive plume is well East-NE from Fukushima (and growing in all directions), logic dictates the selection of cities as distant from the Fukushima radioactive plume as possible.

FUKUOKA, SAPPORO, AND NAGOYA FIT THE STATED REQUIREMENTS.  All are located at least 250 miles (as the crow flies) from Fukushima, and at least for now, not in the known radioactive plume path.  Fukuoka is located in Japan’s South-most island (Kyushu), while Sapporo, is located in Japan’s North-most (very cold) island of Hokkaido. Politicians would not really like it there. Nagoya is located in the central region of Japan’s main island, and about 250 miles from Tokyo. It may become Japan’s new capital soon.  It is located centrally, highly industrialized, and further from quakes/ tsunamis, and the present radioactive plume, than any other major city in Japan.

TOKYO MASSES THE LAST CONCERN Expressed almost as an afterthought, was the welfare of Tokyo’s inhabitants against the expressed perils.  As I read their expressed concern it says:  You all make your houses strong, now-hear!  We can’t provide shelters for everybody. The last sentence of that same paragraph is ominous in its implications: “a faster way of assessing whether damaged homes are safe enough to return to” could mean: when the radiation level is tolerable.  NOT GOOD HUH! , and already present in many abandoned towns/cities.

I COULD BE READING TOO MUCH INTO JAPANESE GOVERNMENT NEWS; However, given their traditional lack of information, disinformation and lies, it may be necessary to read “between the lines” in an effort to anticipate Japan’s next political move.  We bloggers can afford that luxury. Mainstream media is hard put to do so; specially in japan.

UPCOMING JAPANESE DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS COULD BE DRIVING LIES AND DECEPTIONS.  Fortunately, the Japanese public is now keenly aware of which politicians would best represent their interest in the coming elections.  I sense a big change coming in the Japanese central and gubernatorial elections.  It is clear to me from this news release, that they are already making plans to take their families, and staff to safer places in Japan, and to place their personal well-being above their constituents.  I am all for democracy, but acknowledge it has many weaknesses.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

July 26, 2012 at 5:11 PM Comments (0)

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