Category: Nuclear Power

Act Locally, Act Globally – Think of Us All As Part of One


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Change seems to be accelerating. Change, not just with our climate, but also with the “systems” humanity has created, spurred by Globalization.  Whether that be the legal system, political system, financial system, health care system, or educational system— the systems in place to provide the world’s basic needs.  Have we learned to scale our systems to meet Globalization’s challenges? Humanity can learn  from how nature scales to support the whole—  Biomimicry of man-made systems seems key to the stewardship of our earth and for an organically sustainable future.   

Global transformation is in the works, and is needed within all systems including those within our one global governing body – the United Nations. Friday ended the two week climate talks in Bonn, Germany. The disappointment was all too familiar as it seemed like yesterday, but it was a year ago when World Team Now produced the event as part of the UNFCC’s Rio+20, and also an event at The People’s Summit.  We went down to Rio once again with great expectations for more progress than what was able to be achieved inside the United Nations’ RIO+20 conference’s time. So now, it is distressing that there was a huge snag caused by foot dragging by Russia in a key entity, the Subsidiary Body on Implementation (SBI). At least there was some progress in the overarching 2015 international climate action agreement. Why wait until disaster? We clearly need more projects that influence public perception. “To see is to believe” for most, so we need more examples to inspire the masses to embrace change.

At World Team Now, we are growing, and eager to see the change that happens once our non-profit World Team Now can be supported by our World Team multi-media platform, and broadcast.  Our World Team project too needs to be demonstrated to be fully understood, and to that end our development of our pilot project continues.  While we are working to have this World Team model up in full scale, we have been occupied with events.  In California, for example what we did in Malibu with Earth Day (photo album here), with our “Ride & Drive”, and “The Circle-Up  Around Renewable Energy”.  We owe a shout-out to all of those who showed up to participate or volunteer, and for the support of Nissan of Thousand Oaks, and Edwards/Wildman.  We hope to be sharing some of the edited footage soon at WTN’s upcoming event September 26 and 27.   Another example is what World Team Now is doing in NY to support ACORE’s Renewable Energy Financing Forum (REFF)-Wall Street. Join us and get 20% off registration by using this code “SPT20WTN”. REFF is the perfect activity, included with more than 20 Energy Industry Events for New York City’s Energy Week, June 24th-28th.

Please save the dates for World Team Now’s upcoming annual event in Malibu September 27th & 28th, 2013. Watch World Team Now’s Event’s page for more details about the timing.

Speaking of timing, two great renewable energy demonstration projects born in Switzerland also have “New York” as a destination.  PlanetSolar, is the world’s largest solar boat, and it includes an interesting research component with the project it just arrived in New York.  The soaring approach to change done state by state has value. The Solar Impulse is a renewable energy demonstration project with great potential. You can take flight and  follow in real time on their final segment of the “Across America” trip, and join the history in the making as they land in New York early July.

Planet Solar is in New York

PlanetSolar reaches New York, the second american stopover of its 2013 campaign

The two states where World Team Now is based are proudly taking leadership positions in the environmental transformation needed to address climate change— let’s hear it for California and New York, especially Mayor Bloomberg’s action plan to address the affects of climate change .  The water situation and the issue of drought is rapidly becoming more serious, due to climate change.  Often, to execute solutions at a scale needed to address the affects of climate change, bonds are created.  California is taking the lead with creating a Water Bond.  World Team Now was present when Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, hosted the Hearing; “Encouraging Regional Water Solutions: Implications for a Statewide Water Bond” at Pepperdine University.  Californians are set to vote on the $11.1 billion water bond in November, 2014.

More action needs to be able to take place on a state level and even city level, which gives more weight to the “Think globally, act locally” mantra—  but not to preclude think global act global actions which are needed as well— the local can catalyze the global.    It is a huge victory to finally permanently close the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant in California, not just for the immediate risk of radiation, but also in respect of the long term issue of what to do with the radioactive rods which are byproducts of nuclear reactors. With no safe disposal protocol for these rods, even closed plants will continue to pose risks to the public and our planet forever The pressure is on for Southern California Edison to strive towards truly renewable energy— the kind with no radioactive byproducts to threaten public safety. It is time for us citizens to spearhead energy independence, be active in supplying a diversity of local renewable energy resources (supporting grid stability as a benefit), and to learn how to responsibly use energy.

But it is time for the whole of us in society to consider “Act locally, Act globally- Think of us all as part of ONE”.


Fukushima’s Radiation-3 Months & Still Counting

"Solar Impulse" Soaring Innovation with Renewable Energy

If you continue to read about the dark reality of the situation of Fukushima, at least make it to the end of the post to focus on something positive, that gives hope, like the solar airplane; Solar Impulse in flight.  Who would have ever thought it was possible?

Fukushima still continues to spew radiation; this is projected to be ongoing for at least another year before the water temperatures drop below boiling since it is now confirmed that at three of the reactors had “meltdowns”. More about the situation continues to be revealed. TEPCO has re-calculated the amount of initial radiation released in the first week of Fukushima.  As a result there is serious concern about the effect of “Hot particles,” also known as “Fuel fleas” to human health. Hot particles when ingested through food we eat, breathed in, or drank through water/milk, or on skin; cause cancer. Watch Fairwinds Arnie Gunderson’s video on “Hot Particles” to better understand what hot particles are, and how they may affect us. Click here to see the interview by CNN’s John King about the re-calculation of radiation released.   Parents are concerned the amount of radiation their children are receiving as far away as Tokyo. Evidence of the Fukushima radiation (which may include hot particles) is found predominantly throughout Japan, but also around the world including Hawaii, along the West Coast  in 13 cities in the USA, and  Ireland.

Remains of building #4 reactor and radioactive storage pool that holds spent nuclear fuel photo released by TEPCO

There is the question of the #4 fuel pool’s storage instability, this is a critical situation with the looming threat of the pool’s structural integrity in addition to keeping the rods from overheating without a cooling system. Work was done to re-enforce the troubled fuel pool which is elevated several floors above the ground level in what remains of the building (see video from a month ago).  Plutonium discovered outside Fukushima does not ease the severity of the situation. The radiation from Fukushima continues to stream at high levels into the air, water, and earth.  Disposal of radioactive water will continue to be an issue, and radioactive sewage is now a reality too. Not only are the lungs of people in danger but also radiation is affecting the lungs of our planet flora and fauna.

It is out of the ordinary in the Japanese culture to protest, but this past weekend was the three months from the date it all began, March 11th and people had enough, so they took to the streets in protest of nuclear power. [youtube=]Fukushima protests have gone as far as Germany too.   People shouted “Fukushima Warned”—pull the plug on all nuclear power plants,” and they also yelled “Fukushima, Chernobyl, too much is too much!”  German’s protests where the largest anti-nuclear protest in history with tens of thousands of people. Riot control is now in force for the upcoming annual TEPCO board meeting, June 28th .

TEPCO’s situation remains a challenge (see daily status). Fukushima did not happen without warning.  Japan’s rolling blackouts does affect the economy. Decisions made during the crisis created suspicion and mistrust within the Japanese Government itself and between the USA and Japan and remains precarious on all fronts. Adult suicide rates have grown and nearby school children will begin to wear a dosimeter at all times to accurately measure the amount of radiation they receive. Dosimeters will be for children 4-15 yrs. old and under 3yrs. at the parents’ request to help measure monthly radiation exposure.  But the program will not begin until September, and cannot measure hot particles ingested.

It has been suggested that Fukushima be a repository for nuclear waste, even though it is on the “ring of fire”—a study is being done now to consider making this site a permanent graveyard a nuclear repository.

Governments from 30 nuclear countries called for stress tests after Fukushima and international nuclear policy is being discussed. Japan admits to being unprepared for a nuclear disaster even though they were warned—whether that is even possible to prepare for a nuclear disaster, when there is so many potentially fatal factors, is now being rightfully questioned.  Many countries are willing to learn from Japan’s experience as people all around the world are standing up to their governments and saying “no more nukes”.  Italy’s funny and creative video campaign “Freedom of Choice” brought people out to vote on nuclear power. Italy now joins Switzerland, Germany, and voted in a referendum on Monday against the use of nuclear power.

As nuclear power becomes less of an option it affects the controversial uranium mini in Australia and the USA’s Grand Canyon where companies have applied for a license to begin mining, as well as in other parts of the world where uranium mining exists now.

France who has been the global leader in nuclear energy is now being pressured by the people to reconsider this source of energy too. The big question remains with USA and China, as both continue to hold up the issues of global importance now, as they are doing in Bonn, Germany on the road to Rio+20.

Right now, in the USA,  the decision to extend a nuclear power plant’s license lives at the Federal Government level and each state government, like it or not, now has to accept the federal decision made on their behalf—but that may soon change. State vs. federal is going at it, for example, in Vermont and Massachusetts where they have started to fight this battle in court to take back their power. As a result, Vermont Yankee may have their recent nuclear plant operation renewal revoked, as it is highly controversial that it was even extended.   It is one of the oldest reactors and has the same reactor model as Fukushima, and has been cited for safety failures numerous times. The operating company, Entergy (a large contributor to President Obama’s campaign), is now in a lawsuit with the state of Vermont; this may get more interesting. Massachusetts is filling suit too, and brings to question whether California and New York will take action next and what the USA & China will do regarding this so-called “nuclear renaissance”. There is concern that no entity will be able to prepare for the terrorist threat involving nuclear plants .

We need an international framework and policy structured for nuclear as well as other environmental catastrophes, and mechanisms to approach them when they affect the entire world. This is idealistic but in times like this, we need a little idealism.

Embracing the reality of this entire nuclear situation is not easy.   A reminder to consider the bigger perspective—read “Energy and the Future of our Earth” here.

"Liquid Solar Robot" on mission to collect data

Let’s focus on hope by trying to find something positive like this new helpful technology “Liquid Robots” that may help monitor the oceans’ with their solar powered ocean robots that could accurately measure contaminates.  Or remember the Solar Eagle aerial art we made last year as to raise awareness of the U.N. Climate Conference in Cancun.  Let’s think about the Solar Impulse that actually took flight again and landed yesterday in Paris! World Team Now is focused on renewable energy,  and finding  innovative solutions. It takes a team and we need all the help we can get, so please join us!  We appreciate the support and welcome your comments.

New “Sign” of Radiation

IAEA's New Warning Sign for Ionizing Radiation

It may be better to not “know” what is happening now.  We have meltdowns in all three of Fukushima’s Power Plants’ reactors, plus number four’s elevated floor storage pool is in jeopardy of collapsing from inside of what remains of the building.

Aftershocks continue in Japan.  It is amazing how many people knew about “The Rapture” and how few know that there is a very real radioactive catastrophe still unfolding in Fukushima, Japan that affects us all, and our world. It is not just the air we breathe; it is the food we eat, the water we drink, and our whole bio-diverse interconnected system to consider. Radioactive particles are being found in the USA and continue to be a concern for all of us around the world.  Learn more about the danger, click here to watch video on radioactive particles.

Meltdown through containment vessels in three nuclear reactors via a global media perspective;

The radiation exposure seems minimal; 3 millisieverts in 20 minutes is what is being reported that workers are exposed to who entered the No.#3 reactor at Fukushima.  The wording below reduces the severity of the amount of radiation exposure, comparing ten minutes with the amount of radiation for the entire year, instead of an hour, (which the amount is greater than) and using words like “less than”.  Can the media distract public fear?

“The two TEPCO employees that entered the No. #3 reactor building on Wednesday evening were exposed to less than 3 millisieverts of radiation during their 10-minute stay, compared with the government-set limit of 250 millisieverts per worker per year.”

These workers are continuing to go onsite…What is not mentioned (see below), or in the many articles that concern the amount of radiation exposure, is that the radiation dose is cumulative.  This is a high dose of radiation for 20 minutes.

The media, government and corporate officials’ approach to minimize the severity and calm the public perception of the situation in the long run does not serve anyone, especially the public.  People deserve the opportunity to make responsible decisions regarding their own health and livelihood, and be informed from authority that is endowed with trust.

If the reactor’s pressure vessels are damaged, as we now know is the case in No.#1, and looks to be the case recently proven also in No. #2 and No.#3 reactors, this remains unchartered territory.  This is  a critical situation with unknown outcomes that will continue for at least several months more.  If you are wondering how TEPCO in good conscious can now make the statement; “We don’t think it will develop into a worse situation,”  take into consideration that this comes from a company who was brought to court about the back-up safety systems of their nuclear power plants, and failed to make the safety changes when warned prior. Unfortunately none of this is comforting.

One thing all can agree on is that this situation is constantly changing so check out the IAEA’s Facebook page for up to the minute status of the continuing nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, the IAEA team is there now to review. They also are now using a new sign to communicate a radio active area,  to reduce deaths and serious injuries from exposure to radioactive sources. Have you seen this yet?  “It is a supplementary warning to the trefoil, which has no intuitive meaning and little recognition beyond those educated in its significance,” said staff report from the IAEA. A study about the old sign showed the symbol did not clearly communicate to the public any inherit danger.

Fukushima can’t be stopped at this point, but we can take a look at what we continue to have at stake, in each country with nuclear power.  Germany recently, and today we congratulate Switzerland for the decision to phase out nuclear power now entirely– for renewable energy.

Many countries have begun a review of their nuclear power plants. The EU protested yesterday the proposed review of nuclear to exclude the possibility of safety if terrorist attack,  in the assessment.  There seems to be agreement on the concern here from both the English and the Irish, but some controversy about Sellafield; an Irish media outlet says it will be excluded in the review, while an English media outlet says it will be included ?

Here in the USA right now, the NRC is reviewing all power plants with a report expected to be complete mid July.  World Team Now is focused on these potentially “fatal 4” power plants in largely populated coastal areas;

  1. Indian Point, NY
  2. Oyster Creek, NJ
  3. San Onofre, CA
  4. Diablo Canyon, CA

The Nuclear Power Licensing Reform Act of 2011  reflect our concern about these plants. We can make different choices –with the best method to solve a catastrophe; avoid one.  Defense: close antiquated nuclear power plants.  Offense: open up renewable energy sources on a large scale.  It is a step that Japan is now considering 20% renewable energy by 2020. We need both defense and offense for humanity’s game of life. The points from Arnold Gunderson of Fairewinds in this presentation; “The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World’s Operating Reactors” brings home some considerations about the nuclear power.

More Radioactive Water into the Ocean:

The levels of radiation from Fukushima now:

Japan’s Fall: TEPCO:

TEPCO’s recent press releases:

Fukushima PP for IAEA Nice, France:

The business of TEPCO:

The IAEA’s new appropriate sign for ionizing radiation, last week, and for present status check out IAEA’s Facebook page, (see the comments section for real time frustration):

Fairewinds videos to understand the nuclear situation, radiation and fallout:

New USA nuclear power plants delayed, prior to license

Japanese/Swiss move to renewable energy;

Take action on these potential accidents waiting to happen, “The Fatal 4”;

Action towards change- through education about the situation, is our goal.  About the “sign” of radiation, there is no sign– until it is too late.

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