Tag: Nuclear Reactors

Never Ask If It Can Get Worse-Fukushima’s Radiation

Earth Globe Asia Courtesy of NASA

Our next World Team Now post will hopefully lift you up from the radiation leaking, the recent oil spill and a typhoon.

The reality is that the global situation from Fukushima seems to go from bad to worse.  With new continuous leaks of massive amounts of radioactive water into the ocean and radiation that has now gone into the earth, and the ground water table too, when is it enough?

In addition to reactor #1-#3’s meltdown, there was an explosion by reactor building #4 that ruptured a tank, and now it is said that the oil spill is leaking by reactor’s #5 & #6.  These last two reactors are the only nuclear reactors left that are potentially functional, but they are now in a nuclear “dead zone”.  So why not entomb the entire plant, as maintenance at #5 and #6 will continuously threaten workers maximum exposure, and remain complicated.

Plus there is more with this situation that we had not even considered like the past week’s typhoon’s which fortunately was downgraded to a tropical storm, so the wind and rain damage was minimal, and with the recent oil spill on site it doesn’t help now to have to  determine if the oil is radioactive.  What more is at risk one may consider?  Further detonation of radioactive materials into the atmosphere, and nuclear criticality with a chain reaction from the radioactive materials– is what we hope to prevent.

Earth Atmosphere Courtesy of NASA

But will it take a greater catastrophe for humanity to wake up to the consequences of the choices we are making for our future? Can we change our value structure in time? Sadly, it seems that it is easier to turn a blind eye now to these possibilities and ignore the situation.   The draft report of UN’s week long inspection shows there was much at fault from TEPCO with the situation at Fukushima, as they did not follow the “play book of rules”.

It’s not easy to move on from grief realizing the impacts of the nuclear situation with the Fukushima radiation.  Added to the existing polluted air and contaminated water, radiation further affects our drinking water and food. It is hard to reconsider what we drink and eat now—where it comes from—to make this inquiry part of our daily eating habits to consider.

The nuclear situation at Fukushima continues to get worse, if you want to read about the positive look to our next post coming soon.

Non-sense: the nuclear path

It’s impossible to engineer for  “Black Swans” *  from Fukushima we are reminded that the risk of nuclear energy is too great whether analyzed from a public health, safety, or security perspective. Obama’s budget proposal for 2011 would add $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees to $18.5 billion already budgeted but not spent – for a total of $54.5 billion. The new $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees will go toward the construction and operation of a pair of reactors in Burke County, Ga., by the Southern Co. Federal loan guarantees are needed to spur construction of new reactors because of the huge expense. This puts the US taxpayer at risk given the industry’s record of cost overruns and loan defaults. The argument about the cost causes bi-partisan combustion, but regardless the cost conversation is mute and overridden by the underlying risk. World Team Now ‘s stand is that is time to pause to reflect upon and consider giving this kind of funding/subsidies and loan guarantees to the renewable energy sector instead. This could jump start tidal energy, and geothermal energy or build out an infrastructure for new transmission sources. Keep in mind the fission spectrum from radiation released in a nuclear power plant has a longer life than the radiation release from a nuclear bomb.  It would be wise to re-examine the action of the Health Ministry that raised the legal limit of radiation on March 15 to 250 millisieverts, when 100 millisieverts per year was the maxim prior to the Fukushima crisis – and that amount was already controversial.  There is much to consider now, regarding the nuclear situation: Our children & Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant’s effect on people:

Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant threatened:

USA Hanford Nuclear Power Plant (photos):

USA PA. PPL Susquehanna nuclear power plant shut down:

USA MA. Plymouth Rock Rally this week end:

Controversy about radiation in Fukushima units 1-4:

In the South of France, nuclear catastrophe reviewed:

Suggestion by MIT is being taken seriously:

Mass extinction, US west coast contamination, and other perspectives:

Bird shuts down Ukraine reactor:

Elementary Commercial video on the basics of the beginning of the melt down:

Radiation bioaccumulation:

This requires a sense of humor:

USA to bring back building of nuclear power plants:

*”Black Swans” are perfect storm disasters that engineers  can’t reasonably design to cost-wise and can occur at rates that take engineers by surprise (“fat tails”) .

It’s Time to End Reliance on Nuclear Power

World Team Now board members joined a coalition to give  President Obama, members of his Administration, and all members of the U.S. Congress a letter regarding the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.  The letter was initiated by the Sustainable Energy Network comprised of 146 safe energy advocate organizations and businesses.

Operation Upshot-Knothole, BADGER Event

Photo courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office

   
JAPANESE NUCLEAR ACCIDENT – A TRAGIC REMINDER;

IT’S LONG PAST THE TIME TO END RELIANCE ON NUCLEAR POWER

March 25, 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We, the 146 undersigned safe energy advocates, have been speaking out about the risks and dangers posed by nuclear power for years – for many of us, since before the 1986 Chornobyl* and 1979 Three Mile Island accidents as well as the hundreds of other radioactive releases, unplanned shut-downs, and other mishaps that have continuously plagued both the U.S. and the international nuclear industries since their founding.

While nuclear power’s unacceptable safety, environmental, public health, economic, and national security risks should have been self-evident long before now, the latest unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan once again underscores the following:  

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all potential “acts of God.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all instances of “human error.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all types of “mechanical malfunction.”

Nuclear plants can never be designed to withstand all forms of “terrorist attack.”

There is no such thing as “safe” nuclear power.

There is no such thing as “clean” nuclear power.

There is no such thing as “cheap” nuclear power.

Consequently, the Price-Anderson cap on liability in the event of an accident should be repealed, all proposed governmental financial and regulatory incentives for new nuclear plant construction – including loan guarantees, accelerated licensing, and inclusion in a “clean energy standard” – should be rejected, and no new reactors should be built.

Existing nuclear reactors should be phased out as rapidly as possible, beginning with the oldest and/or most unsafe, and no presently-licensed reactors should have their operating lives extended.

Safety standards for existing reactors should be substantially tightened while they continue to operate and federal nuclear funding should be redirected to the orderly phase-out of those reactors as well as the safe decommissioning of closed reactors and disposal of radioactive waste.

National energy policy and funding should be refocused on greatly improved energy efficiency and the rapid deployment of renewable energy sources which are far cleaner, safer, and cheaper than nuclear power.

—————-

This letter was signed by World Team Now Board Members; Albert Boulanger, Director of Technical Strategy; Walter Andrews  Director of Energy and the Environment and Suzanne Maxx Founder,President, Exec. Director.

To see the press release, the letter with signatories, and the  list of  initial recipients- click here.  A copy of the letter also went to media outlets and these governmental representatives;

cc.      Steven Chu, Secretary – U.S. Department of Energy

            Ken Salazar, Secretary – U.S. Department of Interior

           Gregory Jaczko, Chairman – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

           Kristine Svinicki, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            George Apostolakis, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            William Magwood, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            William Ostendorff, Commissioner – U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

            Lisa Jackson, Administrator – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

            Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Philip Moeller, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Marc Spitzer, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            John Norris, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            Cheryl LaFleur, Commissioner – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

            John Holdren, Director White House Office of Science & Technology

           Nancy Sutley, Chair – White House Council on Environmental Quality

            Peter B. Lyons, DOE Acting Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy

 * Chernobyl  is the correct Ukrainian spelling of what many of us know as “Chernobyl,” the Russian spelling.  Since the nuclear accident site is in Ukraine and the official spelling in that country is “Chornobyl,” that is what we opted for here, as it is the most authentic.    


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