energymaters.com

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

JAPAN WANTS TO RE-START TWO (2) NUKES AT FUKUI PREFECTURE ASAP

13 April 2012

JAPANESE TRADE MINISTER EDANO SAID on 13 April 2012 (Friday): …Two(2) idled “Kansai Electric Power Co” Ohi No.3 and No.4 , located in the “Fukui prefecture” have been declared safe, and need to be restarted… We’ve confirmed safety and necessity for restart of the reactors, and we’re now entering into a stage to seek understanding of local communities and the public…We will visit and meet Fukui prefecture governor on 14 Apr 2012 to explain the central government’s assessments”.  Local government agreement is not required by law, but the Japanese Central government has made clear its reluctance to override wary public opinion.  Three(3) other prefecture governors have stated a position of : Not In My Back yard(NIMBY);  Accordingly, the restart is now up to the Fukui Prefecture governor.  Lookout gov!  The eyes of the world are upon you.

JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER YOHIHIKO NODA, and two other ministers (no names given to protect the parties) agreed at a meeting, that the Ohi NPPs would be “resilient” against a severe events like the 11 Mar 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which triggered the tragic chain of events which led to the triple meltdown that wrecked the Fukushima Dai No.1 NPP about 150 miles North of Tokyo.  Apparently industrial needs /big money are driving the wagon once again.  The key word is no longer public “safety”, but rather “resilience” of the NPPs;  That, is what they said about Fukushima too.

CENTRAL GOVERNMENT APPEARS IN ACCORD TO RE-START KANSAI’S TWO NPPs. The four(4) Ministers also agreed that the restart of Ohi 3 & 4 would be necessary to avoid a sudden power shortage during the summer, when Kansai’s power supply might fall short during  peak-hour demand by 20% (according to the latest government estimate), so…

TOKYO IS TRYING TO ASSUAGE LOCAL CITIZENS, AND THEIR GOVERNORS who normally oppose any further use of of NPPs.  Currently, only one of Japan’s 55 NPPs remain in operation, and public worries over nuclear safety, has left communities reluctant to approve NPP restarts.  54 NPPs are currently “idled for routine maintenance”(for over a year now).

OSAKA’s INDUSTRIAL ENERGY NEEDS DRIVE P.M. NODA.  The region surrounding Osaka Japan (Kansai Electrical Service region), met more than 40 % of the its power need by NPPs, before Fukushima.  Problem is: Osaka, is Japan’s 2nd-biggest metropolitan area, and home to the factories of several top electronics makers, and heavy industries…and, they have threatened to leave the country with their factories elsewhere, unless they can be assured of abundant electrical energy;  TALK ABOUT A SQUEEZE PLAY! ; HENCE…

MINISTER EDANO IS BETWEEN “THE ROCK AND A HARD PLACE” regarding his stated advocacy to re-start the two idled NPP’s against clearly expressed Japanese citizenry opinion.  Since may 2011, a majority of Japanese Industrialists have advocated relocating  their respective industries outside of Japan; so, going down the slippery slope, is no doubt viewed as disastrous by Mr. Edano.

COMMENT: The Japanese press has recently conducted a massive worldwide Public Relations campaign aimed at assuaging the Japanese people of the need for nuclear energy, and the improved safety of their nuclear fleet.  Sorry, the public at large is not buying any of it.  Main concern most of us have, is the continuing tragedy and drama still being played out in slow motion at Fukushima.  The Japanese nuclear industry “peed in the bath water”, and have been trying to deny what is clearly evident: Fukushima continues to (and will do so for many years – with or without British help) pour out highly radioactive transuranic elements into the world’s air, sea and land. Yes that too will arrive soon to USA coastal waters in the form of poisoned seaweed, radioactive floatsam, worse yet, poisoned fish.  Our USDA will need a large quantity of Geiger counters to check food safety against radioactivity…Maybe cars too. 

INDIFFERENCE SHOWN BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT to the dire global consequences of their Fukushima tragedy has led me to the belief that perhaps the best way for the world to express their disapproval, is refusing to buy Japanese products. Perhaps greatly reduced exports will open their eyes to reality. The World Uranium Cartel wants Japan to succeed by denial of the facts.  Enter the Brits who will soon be helping with the decontamination (They are world-class PR people) who will scarcely help the real problem, and love to stick their finger on everybody’s pie.

Thanks to Reuters for quotes. 13 Apr. 2012.

Pls.see Related article, dated 11 Jul 2011: IS AN INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL EXODUS BEGINNING IN JAPAN?  IT SEEMS SO   http://energymaters.com/?p=108

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo) 

Look in Google under Edward Oliver Gonzalez, or gonzedo for ways to e-mail me.

April 13, 2012 at 8:58 PM Comments (3)

UK CANCELS PLANS FOR SIX(6) NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS FOR 2025

02 Apr 2012

HORIZON NUCLEAR POWER – A UK JOINT-VENTURE said  on 29 Mar 2012, it will not proceed with the development of new nuclear power generation in the UK. The Joint venture was formed in 2009 between “E,ON UK and RWE npower”.  Horizon will now look for a new owner(s) to advance the work of Horizon Nuclear Power UK.  Horizon Chief Operating Officer (COO) Alan Raymant said: “We have made good progress in developing our sites, in particular our lead site at Wylfa, and a strong organization capable of delivering nuclear new build in the UK…We will now focus on consolidating the progress made and working with our shareholders as they investigate the opportunities for new ownership.”

RWE npower, part of the “RWE Group, is a leading integrated UK energy company”; They supply gas and electricity to residential and business customers, and operate and manage a portfolio of flexible low-cost coal, oil and gas-fired power stations. RWE cites a number of real economic factors, but makes no mention of the universal rejection of Uranium-fueld NPPs. caused by the “Fukushima effect”.  RWE also said the accelerated nuclear phase-out in Germany led to the German-based company to adopt a number of measures, including divestments, a capital increase, efficiency enhancements and a leaner capital expenditure budget. Volker Beckers, CEO – RWE npower said: “We remain convinced that Horizon’s development projects represent excellent sites for new nuclear power stations in the UK…It is because of the strength of support for our development work, particularly on the Island of Anglesey, that we continue to believe that nuclear power has an important role to play in the UK’s future energy mix. We are therefore looking to ensure that work on development, including grid connection, can be taken up quickly by other potential investors.”

Dr. Tony Cocker, CEO of “E.ON UK -Westinghouse” (Nuclear Power Plant purveyors)said:  “E.ON has decided to focus its investment in the UK on other strategic projects that will allow us to deliver earlier benefit for customers and our company, rather than the very long term and large investment new nuclear power calls for…The company is disappointed with the decision, but will continue with new nuclear builds…Over the next few weeks, we will engage Horizon, and its owners to determine the best direction for continuing the development of these projects, and to explore alternative investors in the company”.  A statement from the company said: “Our partners in NPD-UK and the supply base, are proud of the significant accomplishments made to date, especially the granting of “Interim Generic Design Acceptance” of the AP1000 design in Dec 2011 by the Office of Nuclear Regulation.”  E.ON said it will continue to invest in projects across the UK, and that the company’s wider UK plans will be unaffected by the decision not to advance Horizon Nuclear Power.

Horizon was developing two(2) nuclear projects involving the planning and construction of six (6) new NPPs (for a total generation of 6,oooMw by 2025); Among them are: “Wylfa” on the Isle of Anglesey. And “Oldbury” in South Gloucestershire. Horizon had an investment of more than £15bn ($23.83 billion) in the UK.  (IMAGINE THAT!;  I’LL BET MOST OF THAT MONEY WENT TO BUYING PERMITS – GREASING PALMS).

OUR COMMENT is simply Bravo! To the people of the UK for making it very evident to the ruling class that any such new nuclear ventures are strongly opposed in the UK.  THEY HAD TO LISTEN.  To all Brits: Hi-Hip, Hurray (three(3) times) – Well done! 

We hope more venture capital looks at “greener pastures” –  Alternative and sustainable , green energy is possible.  Many countries have a good start already. Come on! Time is a’wastin!

Related  UK (Great Britain) articles: 

http://energymaters.com/?p=242 , http://energymaters.com/?p=198,       http://energymaters.com/?p=77

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

From deep in South Texas, where the rains have finally come.  Reckon, every dog has his day, Huh!  We care about you down here.

 

April 2, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments (4)

FUKUSHIMA DAI NO.1 THREE(3) MELTED-DOWN REACTORS GO FROM BAD TO WORSE

 01 Apr 2012

ONLY REACTOR NO. 2 CAN BE EXAMINED NOW AT THE  Dai No.1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), and even it still has fatally high radiation levels, and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability. A long tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge (an industrial endoscope) was used to probe/assess damage inside the number two(2) Reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since its meltdown on 12 Mar 2011. The data gleaned shows the damage from the disaster is so severe, that the TEPCO plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology, to tolerate the harsh radioactive environment; worse yet, the cooling and fuel removal process is expected to last decades.

Dai No.1, REACTORS NO.1 & 3 THAT ALSO SUFFERED MELTDOWNS  are probably  in even worse shape than reactor No. 2. – the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far.   An examination with an industrial endoscope on 27 Mar 2012, detected radiation levels up to 10 times a fatal dose inside the chamber.

PLANT OPERATORS PAINT A GRIM PICTURE  Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for the Dai No. 1 NPP said: ” (the radiation)Is extremely high…an endoscope would last only 14 hours in those conditions. When locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning process (COME ON!- DECOMMISSIONING WILL NEVER APPLY TO A MELTDOWN), he added, “we have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation…the actual water level inside the chamber was way-off the estimate, which had used data that the water temperature was about 50C, indicating the melted fuel is cooled …Actual water levels inside the chamber turned out to be unreliable, but the results do not affect the plant’s ‘cold shutdown status’ (SORRY, THAT SOUNDS LIKE DOUBLE-TALK).

PROBLEM IS: COOLING WATER LEVEL IS DANGEROUSLY LOW. The probe also found that the containment vessel of Reactor No.1 (a huge beaker-shaped container enclosing the core) had cooling water up-to only 60cm (24″) from the bottom; far below the 10 meters estimated when the government declared the plant stable in Dec 2011. The plant has continued to pump water into the reactor, and may need to do so for decades to come.

WHAT!- NO WATER AT ALL?  An investigation carried out in Jan 2012 failed to find the cooling water surface, and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity. Finding the water level was important to help locate damaged areas where radioactive water is escaping.  It is possible radioactive water may be seeping into the Fukushima water table.

TEPCO HAD SAID EARLIER that more than half of the melted fuel had breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor. “Particles from melted fuel” have probably sent radiation levels up to 70 sieverts/Hr, a  dangerously high level inside the container (UNCORROBORATED SUPPOSITION ON THEIR PART) – They are in denial of the possibility of a molten fuel “BLOB” now producing 70 sieverts / Hr, which far exceeds the highest level previously detected, of only 10 sieverts an hour, detected around an exhaust duct shared by the No.1 & 2 units in 2011.

A REVIEW OF THE CONDITION OF THE MELTED-DOWN REACTORS  Three (3) Dai No. 1 NPP Reactors had meltdowns;  However, number two(2) reactor is the only one that has been examined, because its containment vessel was designed with a convenient slot for endoscopic examination. The exact conditions inside reactors No.1 & 3, where hydrogen explosions damaged their buildings, are still unknown. Computer simulations have indicated that more fuel in reactor no.1 has breached the core than the other two (so it is the one in worse condition), even though radiation at reactor no. 3 remains the highest. TRANSLATION: Reactor No. 1 MIGHT BE the in the worst condition.  Reactor No. 2, is in known BAD SHAPE(no water), WHILE Reactor No. 3 emits the most radiation.  In  Reactors 1 & 3 building the high radiation levels makes them accessible to workers for only a few minutes at a time; with the workers wearing full protection.

JAPANESE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT IS NO LONGER CREDIBLE TO THE JAPANESE  They said on Dec 2011, that the reactors had been safely cooled, and the plant had been stabilized, but experts have questioned such statements as “wishful thinking public relations”.

THEN…THOSE FREQUENT RADIOACTIVE WATER LEAKS  Recently, the head of the Dai No.1 NPP said it remained vulnerable to strong aftershocks and tsunamis, and that containing contaminated water and radiation remained a challenge. Radioactive water has leaked into the ocean many times already.  Workers had found a fresh leak of 120 tons from one of the hoses at a water treatment unit this week in Mar 2012, with an estimated 80 liters escaping into the ocean, Matsumoto said. Officials are still investigating its impact.  OH! – THOSE MILES OF IMPROVISED PLASTIC COOLING WATER PIPES – THEY LEAK A LOT!  There is no way they will last 40 years, but…you know!

COMMENT: Fukushima’s accident has caused public distrust and concerns about nuclear safety worldwide, but in Japan, great public opposition has made it difficult for the government to allow the start- up of 53 NPPs.  All but one(1) of Japan’s 54 reactors are offline, with the last scheduled to stop in early May.  EVEN SO, THINGS DO NOT LOOK GOOD, DO THEY?  It is truly scary when one thinks about what another powerful earthquake or tsunami could do to Fukushima and all of us.  Something not mentioned earlier, is the grave danger posed by the “Spent fuel pool” sitting precariously atop Reactor No.4.  If all that transuranic nuclear waste should fall many meters to the ground, it could start a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction of unimaginable consequences and with no current technology available anywhere to combat it. Hell! TEPCO is already clamoring for “improved technology” to combat the three(3) fuel loads in the reactors that melted-down. A year after, they haven’t improved a damn thing!

TEPCO NOW WANTS THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT TO ASSUME THE FULL BURDEN  of financial and remediation/abatement procedures yet to come, and for an indefinite period of time. YEAH! TEPCO wants to throw in the towel now! In the meantime, the Central government so much as says to their people ” OH! get over it! STUFF HAPPENS”, and we will soon open the “NO-GO” areas.  In my book, they are guilty of the ultimate irresponsibility, given what science knows about radioactivity. DO YOU SUPPOSE THEY WOULD GO THERE THEMSELVES?, OR SEND THEIR RELATIVES THERE?, I DO NOT!
May our Lord have mercy upon, us and forgive our trespasses.

Note: The last two(2) paragraphs were added at 23:53 date of posting.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez

Thanks to The guardian.co.uk,  28 Mar 2012

 

April 1, 2012 at 1:17 AM Comments (0)

IRISH ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVIST, AND CHILDREN’S BENEFACTOR, VISITS FUKUSHIMA

25 MAR 2012

ADI ROCHE, IRISH ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVIST OF NOTE, VISITS FUKUSHIMA JAPAN, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. during a fact-finding trip an Irish supporter of children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster discovered “many mirror images” between the crisis here, and Chernobyl, world’s worst nuclear accident, which still haunts people in many contaminated zones. Adi Roche (56), is CEO of the charity group(NPO ?) “Chernobyl Children International”, based in Cork, Ireland.  She offered encouragement to the people living near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP),  At a meeting in Koriyama, Japan in early March 2012 She said: “Chernobyl survivors want you to know that their hearts are with you…In a demonstration of solidarity…Chernobyl survivors understand the loss of community, the loss of culture, the loss of lives that you know and the loss of health and the loss of even life itself… and are shedding tears for the people of Fukushima whose lives are so dramatically altered by this terrible event.”

AWARD WINNING ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVIST Adi Roche established a support group for children, in what is now Ukraine on 1991.  Roche, whose group has brought more than 22,000 children from Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia to Ireland for rest and recuperation, endorsed Sato’s argument that Fukushima children under post-disaster stress need a similar program in Japan, and that efforts to protect kids from adverse effects of radiation, require public funding;  (ADI’S WORK ARE REAL DEEDS; NOT JUST TALK).

SADLY, IN KORIYAMA CHILDREN ARE TOLD NOT TO PLAY OUTSIDE for lengthy periods. An indoor playground that the municipal government opened in Dec. 2011 has drawn more than 80,000 visitors; That is how scarce approved (safe from radiation) grounds are today.

ON 11 MAR 2012, ADI ROCHE MET WITH POLITICIANS, MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES AND CITIZENRY impacted by the Fukushima crisis. Her visit to Japan was clearly timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the 11 mar 2011 Dai No.1 triple NPP meltdowns. In Koriyama, some (60 km west of the Dai No.1 NPP), Roche shared her experience of providing medical and humanitarian assistance to Chernobyl’s (Ukraine) children with her Japanese counterpart Ms. Sachiko Sato…

MS. SACHIKO SATO (53), MOTHER OF FIVE (5) CHILDREN is a representative of the 600-member “Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation”  Ms. Sato, from the Fukushima town of Kawabata (some 40 km northwest of the NPPs), said she gave up organic farming due to high levels of soil radiation she detected on her own land after the NPP triple meltdown, and sent four(4) of her five(5) children to live in neighboring Yamagata Prefecture. Hearing Sato’s account of the situation faced by Fukushima residents right after the outbreak of the crisis, Roche expressed concerns that distribution of anti-radiation iodine tablets was slow, and that conflicts arose among citizens in the prefecture because of differing levels of anxiety about radiation, resulting from lack of public information, misinformation, and even disinformation.

MS. ADI ROCHE IN TOKYO -AFTER VISITING FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE, said: “mothers in the prefecture clamored for my attention to ask questions about the effects of radiation” on their children: those mothers share with Chernobyl survivors “fear, paralysis, depression and uncertainty about their future, a deep sense of loss and confusion as a result of misinformation or sometimes no information…In Chernobyl, I know the first casualty was truth…I know that there must be some balance in telling the truth that doesn’t panic and doesn’t immobilize the citizens, But also there must be some reality, some hard information given that must offer people choices before things go critical.” During a meeting with Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and a longtime nuclear opponent, Roche agreed that people who voluntarily evacuated, and those who decided to remain in the area, should both receive public support; Roche added: “people should be given the right information to make an educated decision to stay or not to stay…Information is power, and I think information gives us freedom, psychologically and emotionally,” (THERE! – SHE TACKLED THE “PUBLIC RIGHT TO KNOW” ISSUE HEAD-ON; NO ONE IN JAPAN HAS HAD THE COURAGE TO DO SO. WE CONCUR WITH HER)  See also next para. about that issue.

PEOPLE DESERVE THE WHOLE TRUTH. Having supported many Chernobyl children who suffered from diseases such as thyroid cancer and heart problems, Roche said: “inhabitants of radiation-contaminated zones should have access to information on the long-term effects of low-level radiation exposure through the food chain, because the latency period for such exposure lasts for a few decades…to address daily fears of people over radiation, it is necessary to be honest and provide the whole truth…not watered down, not monitored, not edited, not interpreted but told directly…When authorities don’t know for sure about the health risks, they should honestly say so, suggest the possibilities with data on radiation levels and give an alternative to eating potentially contaminated food as a precautionary measure…a multi-faceted approach is needed in providing information to the public, so that a mixture of people who don’t have vested interests are involved, and recipients of the information will have trust in it”.

TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO.(TEPCO) CRITICIZED  Roche said: TEPCO managed the news on the crisis in a manner that caused a complete lack of trust among people…TEPCO was like playing a poker game with the lives of Japanese people. They have only shown arrogance and disrespect and a complete disregard for the lives of the people,” (WE THINK SHE DOES NOT LIKE THEM ! – WE DON’T EITHER!).

We tip our hat in deep respect to Adi Roche, a courageous, intelligent, and benevolent woman, who s not afraid to “tell it like it is”.  She reflects credit on her Organization, and on Ireland. Wish our world had more persons with such inclinations.

Thanks to “The Japan Times – on Line”, 24 Mar 2012, for their excellent quotations. 

Ref: Chernobyl children International  at: http://www.chernobyl-international.com/index.aspx

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

March 25, 2012 at 9:31 PM Comments (9)

INDIA AT A LOSS IN HOW BEST TO HANDLE PEOPLE’S REJECTION OF NUCLEAR PLANTS

19 MAR 2012

ON 17  MAR 2012, AT  IDINTHAKARAI, INDIA,  area fishermen, and farmers sat on mats in front of St. Lourdes Catholic Church.  They had a few terse demands: Halt work on the nearby Kudankulam nuclear power plant, and answer our questions. Their Anti-nuclear concern now permeates India since  Japan’s Fukushima Dai No.1 NPP triple meltdown tragedy on 12 Mar 2011 stirred-up NPP safety, and nuclear-waste worries worldwide.  The obviously peed-off response by Indian Central government’s response to villagers in this hot, dusty southern fishing hamlet, and at other proposed plant sites in India, took a turn for the worst, when talks failed for want of specific answers to expressed public concerns. The Central government is now reacting like a deer in the headlights; They have even made “welfare reforms” promises which citizens say never happen, and are still acting in a paranoid fashion that many citizens compare to “moronic”.  Yeah! – They are moronic (unintelligent), like a fox!

INDIA’S CENTRAL GOVERNMENT LASHING-OUT AGAINST ANTI-NUCLEAR ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONS. Late in Feb 2012, Indian Prime Minister Mamohan  Singh accused the USA, and Scandinavian Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs)of funding the protests to hold back India’s development. That accusation was an apparent cue for the Indian security establishment, which then arrested, and deported a German visitor traveling in the area on a tourist visa, accusing him of funding the Kudankulam NPP “energy park” protests. Government officials are investigating the finances of Catholic church, and some Civil Societies, alleging that the groups were illegally diverting funds intended for orphans and anti-leposy programs.   The operating licenses of three (3) such grups were canceled, bank accounts were frozen, and the visa was revoked for a Fukushima-area resident invited to India by Greenpeace to speak about Japan’s nuclear disaster (That’s known as a gag-order).  In the latest move last week, a ruling party lawmaker demanded full surveillance and monitoring of all foreign money going to about 65,500 Indian NPOs (about $6.5 billion between 2007 and 2010) in what some critics are calling a “witch hunt.” NOTE: “Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs)” in the USA, are also called “Civil Societies” in other places – they are really the same legally.

PUT-UP, OR SHUT-UP, SAID THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The latest Indian Central Government broadside against the many NPOs has drawn indignation and protests from anti-nuclear activists. The Catholic Church, expressed indignation, and called on the government to provide evidence that funds were being illegally diverted, or unfreeze its bank accounts.

THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) LIKEWISE  denied that any of its 27 member states were fanning anti-nuclear protests as part of a hidden agenda to “weaken” India.  Joao Cravinho, Head of the European Union Delegation to India responded: “In a Democracy (such as India), dissent is normal…It strengthens Democracies.”

STRONG ANTI-NUCLEAR POPULAR SENTIMENT points to the growing frustration with a government rampant with corruption scandals, a weakening economy, high inflation, and that is now affecting the free elections of political representatives in state elections; specially since three(3) governors have already said words to the effect that: You want to do what ? – Not in my backyard(NIMBY). The Central government espouses the need for nuclear power, at a time others are countries are cancelling NPPs; supposedly because its fast-growing economy has a growing demand for energy (what’s new ?). They view NPPs, as an important component in India’s power mix.  It is seldom mentioned that India’s ruling party used a great deal of political capital(and funding) since 2005 to sign Nuclear agreements with USA Civil Nuclear industry, and Russia, as well as France (EDF);  Having done so much bureaucratic work (yeah!- we know, selling licenses they now can’t keep); so, naturally they resent citizens trying to block their well laid plans.  PROBLEM IS: NOBODY EXPECTED THE FUKUSHIMA TRIPLE MELTDOWN!  BUT IT HAPPENED ON 12 MAR 2011, AND THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING WORLDWIDE; THAT, THEY CANNOT ACCEPT!

CIVIL SOCIETIES, NPOs, AND CONCERNED CITIZENS, include one critic who accused the government of “moron management”.  Hermann Rainer Sonntag, the German who was deported, said by email, that he had provided no funding or direction to India’s anti-nuclear movement and, that as a retiree living on limited income, he can barely fund himself, and has spent long stretches in India because his money goes further. He did say he opposes nuclear energy. The Indian Central Government has yet to charge Sonntag with alleged violations, but other activists say the deportation is typical of New Delhi’s capricious and arbitrary (perhaps illegal) attitude, pointing out that if Sonntag had really broken the law, he probably would have been jailed, not exiled out of the country.

RUSSIAN PLAN TO COLONIZE INDIA Began with a plan to build six Russian NPPs in Kudankulam in the late 1980s;  However, the Soviet Union’s collapse stalled the start of construction until 1997.  The Russian plan went awry after the Fukushima Triple Melt-down forced a worldwide re-assessment of  Uranium -fueled NPPs:  Now, protests have delayed commissioning of the first reactor, which is 99% complete, and a second reactor that is 94% done.  The initiation postponements have added $500 million to the now-$3.3-billion project, which is partly financed by aid from Russia.

BUT WHY IS RUSSIA’S STATE-OWNED “ROSATOM” so helpful?  Money, lots of it! for the life of the NPPs. Under the original deal, the Russian government is to supply(sell India exclusively) uranium for the life of the plant, with India allowed to keep and reprocess the spent fuel.  Problem is nobody, but nobody, wants “spent nuclear fuel“, such a provision is  not generally allowed in U.S. agreements.  India apparently has undisclosed intentions to reprocess “spent fuel” for plutonium which can be made into nuclear weapons. Who in the world need them!!  greedy, paranoid morons, that’s who!

INDIA TOO, HAS NEED FOR MORE AND MORE ENERGY  India hopes to double its nuclear power from 2% (now)to 4% of its primary energy requirements by 2017. It now experiences a 12% energy shortfall at peak times, resulting in frequent and extended blackouts; That’s a huge economic drag, on a nation trying to lift millions out of poverty.  Even so, anti-nuclear activists argue that alternative energy could fill the gap. Kudankulam NPP area residents are peeved because their village, is subjected to more blackouts than other areas, in what they feel is a form of coercion . The standoff at Kudankulam has taken on added importance because another planned six(6) nuke “Energy Park” is nearing completion up the coast at Jaitapur; and is also stalled by angry demonstrations.

VILLAGERS SAY: HELL- NO!  Some villagers say they were initially supportive of the project, but became disenchanted when the government treated them like ignorant farmers who couldn’t possibly understand science, even as promised welfare projects such as, schools and roads never materialized.  “So many false promises”, said Raj Leon – 57, a retired businessman, sitting near banners that read “Technology from Hell!” and “Most Unsafe!”.  Lady Sunthari Pentan sat near the church in a black sari, and gold-colored necklace. The mother of two said: My biggest concern regarding the nuclear plant are possible birth defects, radiation in the food chain, and tainted fish killing fishermen’s livelihood… If rich, technologically advanced nations such as Japan, the U.S. and the Soviet Union have had reactor accidents, how can Indians believe the government’s safety claims, given its corruption and opaque oversight”.  Worrying about the twin cooling towers four miles away, she added: “A motorcycle accident kills two(2), a bus accident kills 25…This could kill thousands”.  THERE,  IS ONE SHARP INDIAN WOMAN !

INDIA’S NUCLEAR PROPONENTS PROMISE “MUCH SAFER” NPPs
. M.S. Srinivasan, “former head of India’s atomic regulatory body” believes that: “the nuclear industry has done a poor job communicating the benefits of nuclear power in general, and this reactor model’s safety record in particular ( In other words, he blames poor Public Relations), This contrasts with the anti-nuclear activist’s Post-Fukushima media campaign of late, involving dozens of press  releases, videos, photographs and news conferences arguing their case…Kudankulam NPPs would be extremely safe, given that the facility has four emergency generators, each of which can cool the plant alone well above sea level, as well as a passive cooling systems, that protects it against tsunamis, earthquakes and power failures. At Fukushima, a cooling-system failure after a massive earthquake and tsunami led to a meltdown of three(3) of its six NPPs;  Kudankulam’s passive system will work even without power…I believe reports that the protests were fueled by money diverted from anti-leprosy and orphan charities”,  Well ! Let’s remember he is a “former head of India’s atomic regulatory body” HIS REACTION IS TOTALLY PREDICTABLE, DO YOU AGREE?  BUT… HE LIES ABOUT SAFETY FEATURES OF OLD DESIGN NPPs. Such Dudes cannot be trusted; Indian people know that.

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO INDIA  Alexander M. Kadakin, agrees with Srinivasan: “We have been suspecting it all along” – refering to the alleged “diversion of funds”.  OF COURSE HE AGREES! ITS REALLY ABOUT THEIR MONEY ! Officials of  the Kudankulam NPPs, behind a gate ringed by dozens of police officers and steel barriers, declined to comment.

INDIAN AUTHOR AND MAGAZINE EDITOR Mr. Vinod Mehta said: “government overreaction reflected the Prime Minister’s frustration over seeing a keystone policy blocked. Charities (NPOs) are appreciated in India in part, because they often provide the services that corrupt and inefficient officials fail to deliver…It’s really more that the prime minister is annoyed by the pushback against nuclear power” .

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

Thanks to the L.A. Times – 18 Mar 2012, for their excellent quotations. 

Note: This post is a sequel to: http://energymaters.com/?p=739 

All-caps are my comments -gonzedo

Free subscription to this blog at: http://www.google.com/reader/view/#stream/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fenergymaters.com%2F%3Ffeed%3Drss2

March 19, 2012 at 12:32 AM Comments (13)

INDIAN PRESS DISCLOSES EFFORTS TO BUY THE PEOPLE OF TIRUNELVELY

10 Mar 2012

This post is a follow-up to: INDIA RESORTS TO THE IAEA, AND OTHERS TO ASSUAGE THEIR PEOPLE ABOUT NUKE SAFETY, dated 03 Dec 2011;  http://energymaters.com/?p=447

INDIAN PRESS HARKENS TO THE SO. KOREAN NPP INDUCEMENTS. Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) are not new to South Korea with 21 operational NPPs generating 18,716 Megawats (Mw); However, since the Fukushima Dai No.1 triple meltdown tragedy, the residents of Kori, So. Korea (who have had an NPP since 1978) are very uneasy at having seven (7) new NPPs built on their turf. Their fear has prevailed despite claims by authorities that radiation measured in Kori air is 0.01 mSv.  An official (Oh-Oh! – no name given) of  So. Korea’s  “Hydro & Nuclear Power Co (KHNP)” said:  “We told the Kori residents that this is low as natural background radiation is 0.005-0.03 mSv and that to be harmful the radiation must be more than 500 mSv. We also told them that on an average a person receives approximately 2.4 mSv per year in natural background radiation through daily life activities”;  But, this was clearly not enough to mitigate the anxiety of Kori residents, who after Fukushima, view the planned NPPs with suspicion and fear.

SO. KOREAN GOVERNMENT “SWEETENS THE NUKE POT” BY  OFFERING Kori residents attractive financial, and other inducements such as:

1. A $300-million grant to a local development fund destined for setting up schools, colleges and super-specialty hospitals.
2. Preference to Kori locals, in employment at the eight (8) Kori NPPs.

3. Scholastic scholarship up to college level to all students residing within five-km radius of the plants.

4. Free electrical power (up to Rs 500 10,000 won or $10) within a 5 Km. radius to all residents .

Apparently there have not yet been any protests in So. Korea against the Kori NPPs under construction.

INDIA TOO HAS “SWEETENED THE NUKE POT” At its 25-year-old NPP project at Kudankulam (KNPP)in Tamil Nadu, Tirunelveli district. There, the “Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL)” has ground to a halt, and is facing powerful public, and governmental opposition in several nearby Districts.  They had already built two(2) new Nukes in their proposed “six-Nuke Energy Park”; However, NPCIL has been unable to get “startup” permits, and the plants are idle. To counter the public opposition deadlock, NPCIL has planned /or provided several “welfare measures”; they are:
1. NPCIL has constructed call rooms.

2. Provided a drinking water facility through bored wells.

3. Laid new water pipe lines for 3.5 kms.

4. Ensured computer accessories for village schools and Panchayat offices.

5. Installed fire extinguishers and built lavatories in schools apart from

6. Laid a 17.6-km road, with street lights.
7. It renovated a home for disabled and mentally retarded children.

8. Organized health camps in villages – Not clear what these would entail.

9. Provided hearing-aids to schools for the needy, and created a talent nurturing scheme for meritorious students from economically deprived areas.

10.  Reported tsunami relief activities it had carried out.

IT IS CLEAR THE OPPOSITION DOES NOT ACCEPT  NPCIL’s “WELFARE MEASURES”, kind though they may be, they totally fail to answer, or even mitigate, the well expressed concerns by the people of Tirunelvely: and that, neither NPCIL, or the clearly supportive Indian Central Government, have even attempted to answer;  THAT, IS CLEARLY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE GOOD ANSWERS TO PROVIDE.

INDIAN NUKE PLANNERS THINK THAT IF…  Kori, So. Korea can be persuaded with amenities, Indian nationals should do the same at the kundakulam NPP project;  NOT SO! INDIAN PEOPLE HAVE DEMONSTRATED CLARITY OF THOUGHT WITH RESPECT TO ALL ASPECTS OF FOREIGN MADE NPPs IN INDIA.  THEY WILL NOT BE BOUGHT WITH A FEW AMENITIES.  THEIR’S IS A QUEST FOR NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE, AS WELL AS PEOPLE’S SAFETY; WHO KNOWS, THE PEOPLE OF SO. KOREA MAY DO THE SAME YET!

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

 Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 

March 10, 2012 at 1:16 AM Comments (14)

THREE “CONCENTRATING SOLAR POWER (CSP)” MAKERS CREATE AN ALLIANCE

08 Mar 2012.

THREE OF THE WORLD’S  LEADING CSP COMPANIES HAVE FORMED AN ALLIANCE TO PROMOTE THEIR TECHNOLOGY.  The world-class companies are: “Abengoa”,  “BrightSource”, and “Torresol”, and the new alliance is called: “Concentrated Solar Power Alliance(CSPA)”. The main purpose of the alliance is to promote public acceptance of their technology by informing USA Energy Regulators, Utilities, and Gid operators regarding the many benefits of CSP; specially, when coupled with thermal energy storage. It uses mirrors to concentrate sun rays on a trough or on a “power tower” to heat fluids which in turn, create steam to drive a conventional steam turbine(s). The first commercial CSP plants were built in California in the mid-1980’s, and are operating today with a higher output than when they were new.

EXEC DIRECTOR TEX WILKINS of CSPA (the new alliance) said: “We believe CSP, with its ability to generate electricity when it is needed, is critical in meeting the energy challenges facing the USA and the world…CSP technology is the only renewable resource that is capable of harnessing the world’s most abundant fuel source – the sun, to produce reliable, cost-effective, and useful electricity;” Hence the Alliance’s mission is to promote increased acceptance, adoption, and installation of CSP utilities in the United States. The Alliance will also promote policies to encourage, and advance CSP technology efficiency, and greater deployment.

USA CSP EXISTS ALREADY. It currently generates over 500 MW, and there are an additional 1,300MW of electrical generation in CSP plants UNDER CONSTRUCTION; with many millions of MW more under development.

WORLD-WIDE, CSP ELECTRICAL GENERATION now totals more than one million MW of CSP(one gigawatt) in operation. The International Energy Agency estimates that CSP projects now in development, or under construction in more than a dozen countries, including China, India, Morocco, Spain and the United States) will soon total 15 gigawatts (that is equivalent to 15 Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).

ADVANTAGES OF CSP FOR UTILITIES to users, and grid operators are:

1. Its inherent ability to: Produce electricity at peak demand when it is needed most during the late afternoon or early summer evening hours or winter mornings
2. Its ability to include cost-effective / efficient, thermal energy storage, to significantly extend its hours of operation into the night(after the sun goes down) to provide a flexible and usable clean energy source, as needed.  There are different designs for steam-producing CSP technology that incorporate thermal storage.

3. Ease of  incorporation (co-location) with thermoelectric gas, oil or coal fuel power plants, to create “hybrids” Power Plants for cleaner base-load power.

CSP PLANTS GREATLY BENEFIT AREAS WHERE THEY ARE INSTALLED:  Experience has shown CSP Plants generate many economic benefits in the regions where they are built, as well as adding energy to the grid. A recent study of the Spanish CSP industry by “Deloitte” found that, compared to other power generation sources, CSP plants are a strong creator of local jobs during construction, operation, and maintenance;  Additionally, the supply chain feeding the CSP plants creates nationwide jobs as well, because of the plants’ high percentage of domestically-sourced components. Another study commissioned by the “U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab’ for the Department of Energy(DOE) found that a 100 megawatt.  CSP plant creates more than $600 million in impact to gross state output; That,  is ten times that of a combined cycle fossil plant, due to local usefulness and job creation.  CSP technology usually includes power towers, parabolic troughs and linear reflectors, all based on proven engineering principles.

OTHER CSP ALLIANCES EXIST; Hence,  the CSPA builds on the momentum created by World Solar Thermal Electricity Association (STELAWorld), a consortium of industry associations representing the CSP utility industry in Europe, Australia and South Africa. The new CSP Alliance will work closely with, but independent of,  STELAWorld, to further advance the CSP industry in the USA, and abroad.

CSPA  ELECTRICAL GENERATION GOALS ARE: 10% OF THE WORLD’S ENERGY MIX .  Such expectations imply new technologies, and the creation of new, well remunerated jobs;  Such are the projections of the International Energy Agency, in a recent study that shows that, given sufficient investment, and the right government policies, more than 10% of the world’s electricity demand could be satisfied by CSPs by 2050.

Abengoa is an international company currently building 1,010 MW of solar plants all over the world and, with an additional 393 MW already operating. It is the only company in the world building and operating both, trough and power tower CSP plants.

BrightSource Energy, Inc. has approximately 2,400 MW and 90,000 acres under contracts with “Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Company”- California’s two largest utilities; In addition, the company manages an approximately 90,000 acre development site portfolio in California and the USA-SW that has the potential to accommodate approximately 10 GW of installed capacity.

The Torresol Energy company (Torresol means “solartower” in Spanish) develops, constructs, operates and maintains large CSPs in southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the southwest of the United States. Torresol’s “Gemasolar” plant in Seville, Spain is the first commercial scale Utility in the world to use both: central tower receiver and molten salt heat storage technology.  Such technology is considered the world’s most advanced, and capable of generating energy well after sundown, or during cloudy periods.

IN THE POST-FUKUSHIMA ERA, the world seems united in its rejection of Uranium-fueled Pressure Boiling Water Reactors.  Companies that only a year ago were “licking their lips”, at the thought of the upcoming “Nuclear Renaissance”, such as EDF (France), Rosatom (Russia) , Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Toshiba (Japan), and others, are now “licking their financial wounds” instead, and looking to huge loses in their Nuclear Uranium Cartel segment of Industry.  Some of them are just beginning to accept the fact that to survive, they need to diversify into renewable, clean energy generation.

SOME PROPHETS OF DOOM SAY 2012 WILL BE THE YEAR THE WORLD CHANGES DRAMATICALLY.  I HAVE NEWS FOR THEM!  Fukushima changed our world in many transcendental, dramatic, and irreversible ways;  As a result, many nasty surprises await Fukushima, Japan, and the world for many years to come!  The Fukushima triple melt-thru tragedy has many years yet to play itself out (well, almost).  NO, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, 2011 WAS  “THE YEAR THAT CHANGED OUR WORLD FOREVER”-  Who knows, perhaps for the best, for by opening our eyes to the dangers that the Transuranic “nuclear waste” Uranium-fueled reactors create, it will at last turn our eyes to “alternative clean energy” as a necessity.

THERE ARE MANY ALTERNATIVE SOURCES of energy generation, and CSP, is just one of the promising technologies.  In the coming months we shall endeavor to explore, and report on such technologies – there are many.  It seems clear that each country needs to create an “Energy-mix” most suited to their needs, and utilizing all of their energetic resources.  There is both safety, and pride in energy independence.  It will also prevent wars.  Yes!, I know it sounds utopian, but the fact is we were “taken” for a 60 year ride by the Uranium Nuclear Cartel.  We may need the next 100 years to seek and find clean renewable, sources of energy.  Science, technology, and engineering can help,  government can facilitate development, and we all need to find good ways to conserve energy.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 

March 8, 2012 at 10:44 PM Comments (6)

KUWAIT ABANDONS PLANS FOR FOUR NUKES, OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES DO NOT – YET

24 Feb 2012

KUWAIT CITY – KUWAIT ABANDONS PLANS TO BUILD FOUR (4) NUKES BY 2022.  Officials of the Kuwaiti government at the Kuwaiti “Institute for Scientific Research” made the announcement on 22 Feb 2012.  Institute’s scientist Osama al-Sayegh, and two colleagues, said the Fukushima incident resulted in the public questioning the necessity of building Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) in oil-rich Kuwait.  There was also the question of where Kuwait would store the radioactive waste generated by the NPPs. THOSE ARE THE QUESTIONS EVERY COUNTRY WITH NPP BUILDING INTENTIONS NEEDS TO ANSWER.  WE ARE HAPPY TO SEE TO SEE KUWAITI LEADERS HAVE SHOWN A “POST FUKUSHIMA” WISDOM.  PERHAPS OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES WILL ALSO “SEE THE BLINKING RED LIGHT”.  

KUWAIT’S INTEREST IN NPPs BEGAN ABOUT  2009, when the country announced plans to invest in NPPs to preserve its oil reserves. At that time Kuwaiti officials signed agreements with the USA, France and Russia, to boost bilateral cooperation in developing an “indigenous civilian atomic energy infrastructure”.  Kuwait’s interest in NPPs peaked in September 2010, when “Kuwait’s National Nuclear Energy Committee” announced that it was considering options for four(4) planned 1,000 megawatt(Mw) NPPs, and would release a national “road map” (A WELL-THOUGHT OUT PLAN)for developing civilian nuclear electrical power generation in Jan 2011;  Then…

ON 12 MAR 2011,  the  Fukushima Tragic Triple-Meltdown occurred. The political and socio-economic fallout caused Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, to order that the Kuwaiti “National Nuclear Energy Committee” be dissolved for months.  Kuwait’s decision to abandon nuclear power has not surprised local analyst Robin Mills, an energy researcher in Dubai, said: “A couple of months ago there was an announcement that Kuwait was rethinking its nuclear plans…But I wouldn’t draw wider implications into the (Persian) Gulf’s nuclear policy”.

OTHER ARAB COUNTRIES ARE STILL”GO” NUCLEAR  Kuwait’s non-nuclear intentions have not kept Kuwait’s Persian Gulf neighbor, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from pressing forward with its plans to construct four(4) NPPs in a remote area outside Abu Dhabi.  The UAE program is going ahead, and seems to be on schedule- construction has started; Other Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia planning to build six(6) NPPs  during the next 20 years, and Jordan which appears to be behind NPP plans, but is zig-zaging on the issue.

Edward Oliver Gonzalez(gonzedo)

Note: All caps are my comment(s)

 

February 24, 2012 at 11:33 PM Comments (3)

THORIUM “THE OTHER NUCLEAR ENERGY” RECONSIDERED AS URANIUM GAINS DETRACTORS

21 Feb 2012

UP WITH THORIUM, DOWN WITH URANIUM AS NUCLEAR FUEL say those who see  the post-Fukushima era as the perfect opportunity to get the USA to re-consider a proposal they have made without success for many years: “What about trying a new fuel? and maybe a new kind of reactor?”  The proposed fuel is Thorium, an abundant silver-gray element named for the Norse God of Thunder. It is less radioactive than the uranium that has powered USA Utilities, and advocates say that Thorium not only produces far less nuclear waste, it is also is more difficult to turn into nuclear weapons. Accordingly they’re pushing the idea of adapting plants to use Thorium as a fuel, or replacing them with a completely new kind of reactor called a Liquid-Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) – pronounced “lifter”. The LFTR would use a mixture of molten chemical salts to cool the reactor and to transfer energy from the fission reaction to a turbine.  Proponents say such a system would be more efficient and safer than existing pressurized Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) commonly in use today, which use pressurized water to cool uranium fuel rods, to produce  superheated steam to drive generating turbines.  The idea of Thorium-fueled nuclear power has been around for nearly 50 years, and some countries are even now planning to build Thorium-powered plants;  However, the concept has not resonated with the USA companies that design and build nuclear plants, or with the national research labs charged with investigating future energy sources. (IT APPEARS IMPOSSIBLE TO CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF A 104 NUKE FLEET, BUT CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE).

DESCRIPTION OF THE ELEMENT THORIUM: An abundant silver-gray element named for the Norse god of thunder.  It exists naturally in the ground as Thorium oxide, and is three(3) to four(4) times as abundant worldwide as Uranium. Although Thorium is less radioactive than Uranium, it emits “alpha particles”, which are biologically less harmful than uranium’s “gamma particles”; That, makes Thorium far easier to store safely. It has an extremely high melting point (over 6,000 F.), and has been used in portable gas lanterns, high-temperature ceramic products and aerospace applications but, the development of alternative materials, most of its uses have diminished.  It’s use as a “nuclear-fuel” is not new…

USA EXPERIMENTED WITH THORIUM AS A NUCLEAR FUEL FROM 1965 to 1969 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) located in Tenn. -USA in a “molten-salt reactor” that GOVERNMENT SCIENTISTS BUILT and operated successfully;  However, during the cold-war years, the growing need for weapon-grade Plutonium – a transuranic by-product of Uranium-fueled reactors, drove the USA Utilities to use Uranium as a fuel; hence, the Thorium-fuel project was mostly forgotten, and all subsequent nuclear plants were designed to use Uranium.

THORIUM-FUELED REACTORS HAVE FEW ADVOCATES AT PRESENT; One such, is Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA engineer, now CEO of Huntsville, Ala.-based “Flibe Energy”.  Flibe, is derived from the mixture of Fluoride, Lithium and Beryllium salts and Thorium used as fuel (instead of Uranium) in a LFTR.  Sorensen said: “We recognize this is a new and different technology, and that developing it, is significantly different from the existing Uranium-fueled Boiling Water Reactors(BWRs) common in industry…Part of the problem is that “nuclear” means only one thing in the public and  even the USA  government’s mind…We can look back to Oak Ridge Tennessee to rebuild the capability that existed in 1974…a LFTR, using a mixture of Thorium as a fuel plus either Uranium or Plutonium to kick-start the reaction, could produce higher core temperatures; at lower pressures than Boiling Water Reactors, meaning it would not need as many safety and cooling systems”;  Even better, Sorensen says, LFTRs could be configured to consume the spent fuel that is sitting around the country (At Spent-Fuel Pools) at nuclear sites.  Sorensen has been trying to convince Uranium fuel advocates to build LFTRs instead. He posted technical documents from the Oak Ridge Thorium reactor on his blog last year.

ANOTHER STRONG THORIUM NUCLEAR FUEL ADVOCATE,  John Kutsch, director of the “Thorium Energy Alliance”, a trade group based in Harvard, Ill. Said: (A Thorium -fueled reactor)“doesn’t use water for cooling, so you don’t have the possibility of a hydrogen explosion, as you did in Fukushima.”  Kutsch argues that the United States could be losing out on developing an important technology. He has been lobbying members of Congress to introduce legislation that would reclassify Thorium as a special industrial material, rather than a nuclear material. “Our legislation would say Thorium is not like uranium and plutonium… It can be safely stored and handled like ammonia or fertilizer.” He is also pushing for another bill that would direct the USA-NRC to develop rules for the use of Thorium. That would give USA companies an opening to start using Thorium in existing reactors.  (ME THINKS HE EXPECTS TOO MUCH FROM PRESENT USA LEGISLATORS AND THE NRC – NOW SHOWN AS IMPOTENT). 

PRO – THORIUM POLITICAL ACTION STARTING (AGAIN): Rep. John Shimkus (R- Illinois) who chairs a subcommittee that oversees nuclear waste disposal, says he will be introducing Thorium legislation this year(2012). Shimkus said in a phone interview, “Thorium is a great response.” HE WOULD DO WELL TO REVIEW USA-  SENATE SPEAKER REED’S FAILED EFFORT TO DO JUST THAT IN 2008.  THE URANIUM NUCLEAR CARTEL IS STOUT! WITH A CAPITAL “S” – THEY DEFEND THEIR HUGE CAPITAL INVESTMENTS NOW GOING AWRY POST FUKUSHIMA; THAT IS WHY, THEY ARE TRYING TO RESURRECT A “URANIUM-FUELED NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE”

URANIUM-FUELED REACTORS HAVE MANY ADVOCATES STILL, and in unlikely places.  For instance: Dan Ingersoll, senior project manager for nuclear technology at the “Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)” in Tennessee: said:  “There are small boatloads of fanatics on Thorium that don’t see the downsides…For one thing, it would be too expensive to replace or convert the nuclear power plants already running in this country…A Thorium-based fuel cycle has some advantages, but it’s not compelling for infrastructure and investments…I’m looking for something compelling enough to trash billions of dollars of infrastructure that we have already, and I don’t see that.” Ingersoll also pointed out that” Thorium would still have some radioactive by-products…just not as much as uranium and not as long-lived, and also that there is no ready stockpile of Thorium in the United States. It would have to be mined.  Overall, the benefits don’t outweigh the huge costs of switching technologies…Thorium is still a radioactive material…It doesn’t eliminate the nuclear waste product. It’s just not as bad…Thorium-powered reactors make more sense for countries that don’t have access to the plentiful reserves of uranium that exist in the United States”  HOW QUICKLY HE FORGETS THE HISTORY AND LESSONS OF HIS ORGANIZATION(ORNL) AS A THORIUM-FUELED REACTOR PIONEER!  HE IS MAINLY CONCERNED ABOUT MONEY! – MONEY TALKS!, AND MAKES LIARS AND MUTES OF MANY OTHERS;  EVEN SO…

NOW WITH AN ACCUMULATION OF NUCLEAR WASTE, the USA Federal government is unable to come up with a permanent waste disposal site, spent fuel rods (which remain radioactive for thousands of years) are piling up at each reactor’s “Spent-Fuel Pools”;  Even so, many worldwide Utilities are aiming to replace old Uranium-fueled NPPs with more modern versions of the old ones, and to hell with the Nuclear-waste accumulation. To the chagrin of  anti-nuke people all over the world, the USA- NRC very recently approved Atlanta-based Southern Co.’s proposal to build two(2) AP1000 reactors in Georgia (The two articles preceding this one, deal with that event).

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD-ER McLean-based “Lightbridge” wants to mix Thorium and Uranium to slightly boost the output of existing nuclear plants. Seth Grae, Pres. & CEO of  Lightbridge is helping the Russian government to build such a program;  However,  most U.S. nuclear energy industry executives are wary of both approaches to Thorium, saying that neither utilities nor investors are eager to gamble on an unfamiliar technology.  Chris Mowry, Pres & CEO of “Babcock & Wilcox“, a Lynchburg-based firm, that is building smaller reactors fueled by uranium said: “We view Thorium as something that’s down the road. It’s more of the science-project phase.”  (ANOTHER ENTREPRENEUR “DRIVING BY THE REAR-VIEW MIRROR”… REMEMBER T. A. EDISON? – HE WANTED ONLY DIRECT(DC) CURRENT – BOY WAS HE WRONG!  AND HE NEVER ADMITTED IT EITHER).

USA- MILITARY USE OF THORIUM CONSIDERATIONS: While seeking alternative energy sources the, Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced in 2010 that it was proposing a plan to make both jet fuel and electricity from small mobile nuclear plants.  Thorium proponent Sorensen says he has talked with DARPA officials about using Thorium for such reactors in hostile areas; He argued that since Thorium is less adaptable for weapons purposes, the reactor would be safe enough to leave behind for civilian use when USA troops pull out.  Sorensen said: “Thorium potentially would offer some way to mitigate that challenge of security and safety if we do convince ourselves to put nuclear plants in these locations”;  However, Col. Paul E. Roege, chief of the Army’s operational energy cell at the Pentagon, said the Pentagon is leery of Thorium for military purposes: “engineers aren’t familiar with it…We have lots of uranium reactors, people are comfortable with them, and we have a mature technology…That’s not the case with Thorium reactors.” ( IN OUR OPINION COL ROEGE IS MUCH LIKE CHRIS MOWRY OF “BABCOCK AND WILCOX” – SEE ABOVE).

CHINA AND INDIA ARE DEVELOPING THORIUM FUEL REACTORS. Chinese government officials announced in Feb 2011, that they are developing a Thorium-based reactor, and will have it operating within the next 15 or 20 years. India also has plans to use Thorium in some of its existing reactors.  John Kutsch argues correctly that the USA could be (IS) missing out on developing an important technology while developing countries are not.

Thanks to The Washington Post 20 Feb 201 article: Please note we provided heavy editing and comment mostly in parenthesis, or all-caps.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/nuclear-power-entrepreneurs-push-Thorium-as-a-fuel/2011/12/15/gIQALTinPR_story_2.html

RELATED POSTS/ARTICLES:

IT IS HIGH TIME TO RE-THINK THORIUM AS THE NUCLEAR FUEL OF THE FUTURE

http://energymaters.com/?page_id=31 20 Jun 2011

Edward Oliver Gonzalez (gonzedo)

 

February 21, 2012 at 8:26 PM Comments (31)

THIRTY-EIGHT ANTI-NUKE GROUPS FORMALLY PETITION THE USA-NRC FOR NEW REGS.

19 FEB 2012

TAKOMA PARK, MD USA – Thirty-eight (38) Clean Energy groups, on 15 Feb 2012,  submitted a “Formal Petition for Rulemaking” to the USA Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USA-NRC), seeking adoption of new regulations to: 1. expand emergency evacuation zones and, 2. improve emergency response planning around USA Nuclear Power Plants(NPPs) – normally referred to as: “Nukes”

INITIAL CO-PETITIONERS ARE:  Nuclear Information and Resource Service (national and lead author), Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team (TN), Beyond Nuclear (national), Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (Southeast), Citizens Action Coalition (IN), Citizen Power (PA), Citizens Awareness Network (Northeast), Citizens Within a 10-Mile Radius (MA), Citizens Environmental Coalition (NY), Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes (Great Lakes), Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff (GA), Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone, Council on Intelligent Energy and Conservation Policy (NY), Don’t Waste Arizona, Don’t Waste Michigan, The Ecology Party of Florida, Empire State Consumer Project Inc. (NY), Grandmothers, Mothers, and More for Energy Safety (GRAMMES) (NJ), Greenpeace (national), Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (NY), Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch (NJ), Missourians for Safe Energy, New England Coalition, Nuclear Energy Information Service (IL), NC WARN, (NC), Northwest Environmental Advocates (OR), Not On Our Fault Line (VA), People’s Alliance for Clean Energy (VA), Promoting Health and Sustainable Energy (PHASE) (NY), Public Citizen Energy Program (national), San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace (CA), SEED Coalition (TX), Sierra Club of South Carolina, Three Mile Island Alert (PA), Tri-Valley CARE (CA), Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah), Vermont Public Interest Research Group, We The People Inc. (TN).
The full text of the petition link is: http://www.nirs.org/reactorwatch/emergency/petitionforrulemaking22012.pdf  PETITION FOR RULEMAKING TO IMPROVE EMERGENCY PLANNING REGULATIONS (10 C.F.R. 50.47)

THE WELL FORMULATED PETITION,  A 35 page legal-like document, addresses many key concerns of 38 prominent Green Energy groups regarding USA Nukes, and their ramifications. The petition is a well coordinated request intended to force governmental oversight action upon the USA NRC; Unfortunately, we know the NRC is controlled by “a gang of four” sold-out Commissioners whom we think are intractable in their favoritism for the USA Nuclear Industry(and beyond, because of its global importance).  Please see: USA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STILL HOG-TIED AND IMPOTENT – PART 4.  http://energymaters.com/?p=584.

 We wish this Clean Energy Coalition the best of luck, and may their intentions reward us all with much needed safety improvement in the USA Nuclear Industry.
gonzedo

 

February 19, 2012 at 11:56 AM Comment (1)

« Older PostsNewer Posts »