Tag Archives: Fukushima

EPA raising radiation limits? Comment period still open

Should we worry about those radioactive tuna off California? Should we raise radiation limits like EPA is proposing?

J. D. Heyes wrote for NaturalNews 30 May 2012, Fukushima radiation now detected in the U.S. food supply,

“I wouldn’t tell anyone what’s safe to eat or what’s not safe to eat,” Madigan told Reuters. “It’s become clear that some people feel that any amount of radioactivity, in their minds, is bad and they’d like to avoid it. But compared to what’s there naturally […] and what’s established as safety limits, it’s not a large amount at all.”

PR from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility 8 April 2013, WHITE HOUSE APPROVES RADICAL RADIATION CLEANUP ROLLBACK: Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket Following Radiological Incidents,

The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks Continue reading

News media finally reporting Fukushima leaking radioactive water into ocean

It’s not just a storage tank, either; radioactive water has been leaking for more than two years, from the broken reactor buildings into groundwater and the Pacific Ocean. It’s not just a local Japanese problem: Fukushima is here.

The cautious version, by Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito, Reuters, today, Radioactive water seeping into Pacific from Fukushima is ’emergency,’ official says,

Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country’s nuclear watchdog said Monday.

This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority task force, told Reuters.

Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) are only a temporary solution, he said.

VOA News, also today, admits leaks have been going on for more than two years and nobody knows how to stop them, Fukushima Operator Under Fire for Radioactive Leaks,

Rianne Teule, a nuclear campaigner for Greenpeace International, says the issue is a serious environmental concern.

“Most of all it proves TEPCO is incapable of dealing with this situation and that the Japanese authorities should really step in and ensure that proper action is taken to stop the leaks,” said Teule.

But it is not clear what other actions TEPCO could take at this point. Former Nuclear power plant designer Masashi Goto worked on several projects with TEPCO.

“The situation is already beyond what Tepco can handle,” said Goto. “If Continue reading

Why are you gambling on nuclear instead of solar? –Gloria Tatum @ SO 2013-05-22

Why is SO gambling our health and dollars on Plant Vogtle when Georgia Power could be getting on with solar power? SO CEO Tom Fanning avoided the first part of Gloria Tatum’s question by simply denying it, and danced around the second part by saying the rate hike for Plant Vogtle’s cost overruns would only be 6 to 8 percent, not 12 percent. Do you want to pay 6 or 8 percent more for a radioactive white elephant when you could be getting power from the sun for less?

The floor person at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting introduced Gloria Tatum with 164 shares, representing Nuclear Watch South, and the SO CEO insisted

TF: Call me Tom. Gee whiz.

Gloria Tatum GT: Tom. Hi,Tom. It’s great to be here on this beautiful day.

TF: Thank you. Yes ma’am.

GT: And I know Southern Company’s done many wonderful things, but I want to point out a few things to you today.

First, you know, after the Fukushima meltdown, TEPCO’s $50 billion nuclear complex became a worthless liability. The deadly radiation still circles the planet, polluting the earth and increasing cancer. Other countries have abandoned their nuclear and they’re looking to renewable, but Southern Company’s affiliate, Georgia Power, continues construction on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. Now Shell Bluff is a community down the stream from Plant Vogtle and it has experienced a 25 percent increase in cancer since Vogtle 1 and 2 have been built.

Another problem with Vogtle Continue reading

Fukushima Floating Wind Begins

Japan’s TEPCO is deploying the offshore wind solution we need in Georgia. It’s big baseload, Georgia Power and Southern Company, just like you like!

Martin Foster write for Wind Power Monthly 25 June 2013, Work starts on Fukushima floating project: JAPAN: Installation of wind turbines in the testing phase of the biggest offshore floating project to date will finally get under way this week, 20 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima.

Two 2MW downwind floating turbines are scheduled to be towed from shipyards belonging to Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding in Chiba prefecture to Onahama port on 28 June, according to a new schedule released by Takeshi Ishihara a civil engineering professor at the University of Tokyo and technical adviser to the project.

These are the floating wind farms designed to survive tsunamis and typhoons. A typhoon is the Pacific Ocean version of a hurricane. How about we tether some of these to the continental shelf off the coast of Georgia? Then they plus solar onshore could replace Plants Vogtle and Hatch the same way these wind turbines plus solar inland are replacing Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Continue reading

Twice French GDP and soil contamination as big as France plus Germany: the real cost of a bad French nuclear accident

Sixty hurricane Katrinas or 112 Sandys is the cost EDF, the French company that wants to build a new nuke at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland, avoided revealing through “fabricated” reports that “very seriously underestimated the costs of” a potential serious nuclear accident in France. The real cost would range from 0.76 trillion to 5.8 trillion euros ($1 trillion to $7.62 trillion dollars). For comparison, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of France is about 2.11 trillion euros, according to the World Bank. So a Chernobyl- or Fukushima-style accident in France would cost ⅓ to 2¾ times French GDP. No country can afford that.

Not even the U.S., whose GDP is $14.99 trillion or $11.41 euros, so such an accident, esp. if it happened in the densely populated eastern U.S., as for example in Maryland, could cost half the GDP of the United States. That’s way beyond the $68 billion cost of Hurricane Sandy or $125 billion for Hurricane Katrina. One nuclear accident could cost more than twice the $4 to $6 trillion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

Wolf Richter wrote for Business Insider 14 March 2013, French Nuclear Disaster Scenario Was So Bad The Government Kept It Secret,

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Groundwater wall at Fukushima

Same design as Plant Hatch, which is leaking radioactive tritium into our groundwater. And when contamination gets into the watershed it doesn’t go away; there’s not even an ocean at Hatch or Vogtle for it to disperse into.

Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada wrote for Bloomberg News today, Japan Orders Tepco to Build Underground Wall at Fukushima Plant

The Japanese government ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to build an underground wall at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to prevent groundwater from flowing into basements of reactor buildings.

The government plans to set up a task force with Tokyo Electric, construction companies and plant makers by the end of June to discuss the details, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said today in Tokyo. He made the remarks at a meeting with Naomi Hirose, the utility’s president, which was open to reporters.

Tepco has struggled Continue reading

Look at Southern Company’s safety performance –SO CEO Fanning

SO CEO Fanning on Fukushima At last year’s Southern Company Stockholder Meeting, Southern Company CEO Thomas A. Fanning said about the U.S. nuclear industry and Southern Company’s safety performance:

And if you look at our performance, we absolutely meet the standards that our customers expect and frankly deserve. So let’s start there.

Since then SO has not managed to pour the concrete base correctly at Plant Vogtle and not managed to get a reactor vessel from Savannah port to the site. Also existing Vogtle Unit 1 had a fire while Unit 2 was shut down for almost all of March 2013. The two Plant Hatch reactors, same design as Fukushima, so far as we know still have substandard fire protection and has a chronic problem of radioactive tritium leaking into groundwater. Tritium, even the smallest amounts of which can have negative health effects. And what gets into the watershed spreads in the watershed. The U.S. nuclear industry in general has problems with alcohol, drugs, and broken equipment. But back to SO CEO Fanning about Fukushima: Continue reading

Another rat at Fukushima: cooling down third time in five weeks

It doesn’t take a tsunami to take down Fukushima: rats can do it repeatedly.

Mainich.jp, and Google Translate version,

Inspection and rat carcasses found cooling system stop: Unit 2 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

(23 minutes 15:22 April last update) 01 minutes 13:22 April Mainichi Shimbun in 2013

From state = Fukuichi live camera of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of 50 at around 2:00 pm
The 22nd, TEPCO announced that it had stopped the cooling system of the spent fuel pool of Unit 2 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since the corpse of two dogs rat is found inside the transformer in the outdoors, I will check the equipment.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and Tokyo Electric Power, 15 at around 10:00 am the same day, workers found a dead rat in the two animals terminal near the pool cooling transformer inside. Remove the mouse, stop the power for inspection of equipment 35 at around 11:00 the same. expected start is 3 to 4 hours later.

Water temperature of the pool of power stop time is 13.9 degrees. There is enough time to rise up to 65 degree of operational safety, TEPCO has “no problem. Administrative stopped just in case for inspection” he said. [Torii true flat]

Reuters’ version, Fukushima nuclear cooling system offline for 3rd time in 5 weeks, adds:

Last month, a 29-hour power supply halt affecting nine facilities, including four spent fuel pool cooling systems, was caused by a rat touching exposed wires in a temporary switchboard, triggering a circuit breaker.

In early April, the No.3 unit’s spent fuel pool cooling system stopped, after workers appeared to have had inadvertently caused a power outage when they were trying to install a net to keep small animals from crawling into the reactor building. (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Apparently that net didn’t work. Should we trust our safety to nuclear plants that can be shut down by rats? The tritium-leaking reactors at Plant Hatch at Baxley are the same design as at Fukushima. Former U.S. NRC Chairman Jaczko says we should phase them all out while former Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Chair Gopalakrishnan says the reactors currently building in India, already three years behind schedule and now found to incorporate numerous defects and deficiencies amid gross lack of transparency, must be stopped. We know a better way: solar and wind power. Let’s get on with that.


Owed to Masaichi Shiozaki.

5.8 quake in Japan today

A quake big enough to shake houses, about 100 miles from the broken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Details from Japan Meteorological Agency:

Earthquake Information (Information on seismic intensity at each site)
Issued at 21:10 JST 17 Apr 2013

Occurred at (JST) Latitude
Depth Magnitude Region Name
21:03 JST 17 Apr 2013 38.5N 141.6E 60 km 5.8 Miyagi-ken Oki


PS: Owed to Masaichi Shiozaki.

Renewable Portfolio Standards: GA, NC, and ALEC

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) are being proposed in Georgia and ALEC is trying to do away with them in North Carolina. If ALEC doesn’t like them, there must be something good about RPS. Let’s get on with real renewable energy in Georgia.

In Georgia, HB 503, sponsored by Karla Drenner, Carol Fullerton, Debbie Buckner, Scott Holcomb, Spencer Frye, and Earnest Smith, would create a Renewable Energy Credits Trading program as part of renewable portfolio standards, as Kyle wrote for Spencer Frye’s blog 10 March 2013, Let the Sunshine In. Unfortunately, HB 503 includes biomass as a renewable energy source. Maybe they just mean landfill gas, which I consider a special case since it’s being produced anyway, and since methane is worse as a greenhouse gas than CO2, burning landfill gas makes some sense. Nope, in the actual bill, 46-3-71 (1):

‘Biomass material’ means organic matter, excluding fossil fuels and black liquor, including agricultural crops, plants, trees, wood, wood wastes and residues, sawmill waste, sawdust, wood chips, bark chips, and forest thinning, harvesting, or clearing residues; wood waste from pallets or other wood demolition debris; peanut shells; cotton plants; corn stalks; and plant matter, including aquatic plants, grasses, stalks, vegetation, and residues, including hulls, shells, or cellulose containing fibers

The barn door in there is “harvesting”, which can mean whole trees, but the rest isn’t much better. We don’t need to be burning things that increase atmospheric CO2 and end up stripping our forests. In North Carolina they staretd with just tops and limbs and then tried to escalate to whole trees. We already fought off the biomass boondoggle here in south Georgia; let’s not have it encouraged statewide. Especially when we have better solutions: solar and wind power. HB 503 isn’t going to get passed this year, since it didn’t make crossover day, so maybe its sponsors can clean up that biomass mess before they submit it again.

Speaking of North Carolina, Continue reading