Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Challenge of Natural Gas

Posted: 01 Jun 2012 11:26 PM PDT
The Economist has a decent piece up about natural gas fracking, Shale gas: Fracking great. I say only “decent” because it underplays the side effects of fracking, like ground water contamination, the spread of who-knows-what chemicals, etc., but it does end with this graf:

House members slam Obama on Yucca Mountain policy

House members slam Obama on Yucca Mountain policy

The Hill (blog) - ‎May 31, 2012‎
By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/31/12 08:57 PM ET Republicans and Democrats in the House slammed the Obama administration's plan to close the nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, as both praised a bill that would keep that site open, ...

Judge Losing Patience with Government on Nuclear Waste Fees

The BLT: Blog of Legal Times (blog) - ‎Jun 1, 2012‎
Although there are no plans on the horizon for a new nuclear waste repository to replace Yucca Mountain, the Department of Energy can continue collecting fees from energy producers to pay for it - at least for now. But in a sharply-worded opinion ...

Court rules on Nuclear Waste Fund payments

Power Engineering Magazine -
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on June 1, 2012, ruled that the Department of Energy (DOE) failed to justify continued payments by consumers of electricity from nuclear power plants into the Nuclear Waste Fund, ...
 
 
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New reactor design forecasts future successes, challenges


New reactor design forecasts future successes, challenges

The Augusta Chronicle - ‎5 hours ago‎
By Rob Pavey Construction under way at the VC Summer nuclear plant in Jenkinsville, SC, reveals reactors that look much the same as those at Plant Vogtle. Regulators who detected nonconforming rebar at Vogtle Nuclear Power Plant's expansion site didn't ...
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China ends nuclear power moratorium


China ends nuclear power moratorium
UPI.com
BEIJING, June 2 (UPI) -- China's cabinet said it had approved a nuclear energy plan that would allow for new nuclear projects after a year of putting industry progress on hold. China had suspended new work on any new nuclear projects in the aftermath ...
   
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Without Nuclear, EVs Lose Their Green Sheen - Yuri Kageyama, Huff Post

Without Nuclear, EVs Lose Their Green Sheen - Yuri Kageyama, Huff Post

Japan Appears Likely to Begin Restarting Nuclear reactors in 3 to 4 Weeks and Germany will take longer to phase out Nuclear

  1. Japan Appears Likely to Begin Restarting Nuclear reactors in 3 to 4 Weeks and Germany will take longer to phase out Nuclear

India's Nuclear Energy plans through 2017

India's Nuclear Energy plans through 2017

Exaggerated myths about nuclear accidents CAUSE negative health effects Rod Adams



Exaggerated myths about nuclear accidents CAUSE negative health effects


http://atomicinsights.com/2012/05/exaggerated-myths-about-nuclear-accidents-cause-negative-health-effects.html

Nuclear Testing & Training Site hits Milestone

Nuclear Testing & Training Site hits Milestone
 

Nuclear Industry Encouraged by EPA Cooling Water Intake Proposal

Nuclear Industry Encouraged by EPA Cooling Water Intake Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 1, 2012—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of data availability (NODA) as a step toward a final rule governing cooling water intake structures for U.S. thermal power plants related to the protections of aquatic life.

Court of Appeals Rebukes DOE on Nuclear Waste Fund Fee

Appeals court hits DOE over nuclear waste fee

CBS News -
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court says the Energy Department did not complete a review required to continue collecting $750 million a year in fees from operators of nuclear power plants. Bu the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia did ...

Court of Appeals Rebukes DOE on Nuclear Waste Fund Fee

MarketWatch (press release) -
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Energy (DOE) failed to justify continued payments by consumers of electricity from nuclear power plants ...

US Given Six Months to Justify Nuclear-Waste Fees

BusinessWeek -
By Tom Schoenberg on June 01, 2012 The US Energy Department must justify the $750 million it collects annually from the atomic power industry for waste disposal given that it no longer plans to develop a depository at Yucca Mountain.

U.S. Given Six Months to Justify Nuclear-Waste Fees

Bloomberg - ‎1
The US Energy Department must justify the $750 million it collects annually from the atomic power industry for waste disposal given that it no longer plans to develop a depository at Yucca Mountain. A three judge panel of the US Court of Appeals in ...

Yucca Mountain once again looked at to store nuclear waste

FoxReno.com -
The question of where to store nuclear waste has congress again looking at Yucca Mountain. Two years ago federal regulators began moving away from a plan to store spent nuclear fuel at the site. They were concerned about the safety of shipping ...

Court rules on Nuclear Waste Fund payments

Power Engineering Magazine -
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on June 1, 2012, ruled that the Department of Energy (DOE) failed to justify continued payments by consumers of electricity from nuclear power plants into the Nuclear Waste Fund, ...

Judge Losing Patience with Government on Nuclear Waste Fees

The BLT: Blog of Legal Times (blog) -
Although there are no plans on the horizon for a new nuclear waste repository to replace Yucca Mountain, the Department of Energy can continue collecting fees from energy producers to pay for it - at least for now. But in a sharply-worded opinion ...
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US Given Six Months to Justify Nuclear-Waste Fees


US Given Six Months to Justify Nuclear-Waste Fees
BusinessWeek
By Tom Schoenberg on June 01, 2012 The US Energy Department must justify the $750 million it collects annually from the atomic power industry for waste disposal given that it no longer plans to develop a depository at Yucca Mountain.
Judge Losing Patience with Government on Nuclear Waste Fees
The BLT: Blog of Legal Times (blog)
Although there are no plans on the horizon for a new nuclear waste repository to replace Yucca Mountain, the Department of Energy can continue collecting fees from energy producers to pay for it - at least for now. But in a sharply-worded opinion ...

San Onofre: Still Dirty, Still Dangerous

San Onofre: Still Dirty, Still Dangerous
CounterPunch
San Onofre is still shut down. The lights are still on. But what happens next? The utility doesn't seem to be doing much of anything to prevent “rolling blackouts” in the San Diego area this summer, except quietly pressuring — or shall we say ...

Public acceptance – what holds back the nuclear industry?

Public acceptance – what holds back the nuclear industry?
01 June 2012
Multiple structural barriers inside the nuclear industry tend to prevent it from producing a united pro-nuclear front to the general public. Efforts to change public opinion worldwide must deal with these real-world constraints. By Steve Kidd
 
http://www.neimagazine.com/story.asp?sectioncode=147&storyCode=2062367

Friday, June 1, 2012

Previously-Secret 1955 Government Report Concluded that Ocean May Not Adequately Dilute Radiation from Nuclear Accidents

Previously-Secret 1955 Government Report Concluded that Ocean May Not Adequately Dilute Radiation from Nuclear Accidents

The operator of the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has been dumping something like a thousand tons per day of radioactive water into the Pacific ocean.
Remember, the reactors are “riddled with meltdown holes”, building 4 – with more radiation than all nuclear bombs ever dropped or tested – is missing entire walls, and building 3 is a pile of rubble.
The whole complex is leaking like a sieve, and the rivers of water pumped into the reactors every day are just pouring into the ocean (with only a slight delay).
Most people assume that the ocean will dilute the radiation from Fukushima enough that any radiation reaching the West Coast of the U.S. will be low.
For example, the Congressional Research Service wrote in April:
Scientists have stated that radiation in the ocean very quickly becomes diluted and would not be a problem beyond the coast of Japan.

***

U.S. fisheries are unlikely to be affected  because radioactive material that enters the marine environment would be greatly diluted before reaching U.S. fishing grounds.
And a Woods Hole oceanographer said:
“The Kuroshio current is considered like the Gulf Stream of the Pacific, a very large current that can rapidly carry the radioactivity into the interior” of the ocean, Buesseler said.
“But it also dilutes along the way, causing a lot of mixing and decreasing radioactivity as it moves offshore.”
But – just as we noted 2 days after the earthquake hit that the jet stream might carry radiation to the U.S. by wind – we are now warning that ocean currents might carry more radiation to the at least some portions of the West Coast of North America than is assumed.

The Cost of an Incoherent Energy Policy

The Cost of an Incoherent Energy Policy

Terry McAuliffe, Virginian Pilot
The recent decision by Gamesa to cancel installation of an offshore wind turbine prototype along Virginia's coast is the latest indication that the U.S. is falling behind on renewable energy. . .

Replacing Coal w/ Nat Gas Still Bad For Climate Crises

Replacing Coal w/ Nat Gas Still Bad For Climate Crises

Mijin Cha, Demos
As natural gas becomes more affordable, power plants are switching over from coal to save money. Since last March, power plants increased their natural gas use by 40 percent. Over the same time period, coal use fell to 57.6 million tons. . .

Is There a UK Nuclear Power Plan B?

Is There a UK Nuclear Power Plan B?

Damian Carrington, Guardian
Is the government conducting contingency planning for a scenario in which no new nuclear plants are commissioned in the UK in next few years? . .

Who Will Pay for Nuke Plants' $8.3B Loan?

Who Will Pay for Nuke Plants' $8.3B Loan?

Merrill Goozner, Fiscal Times
The builders of the first new U.S. nuclear power plant in more than a generation "“ barely under construction but already over budget "“ are nearing an agreement with the Department of Energy for a massive federal loan. . .

Carbon Dioxide Now at Troubline New Milestone of 400 PPM


Posted: 01 Jun 2012 05:31 AM PDT
Rebecca Leber reports that “the world’s air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant.”
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Shale gas 'golden rules; from the IEA - will enough of the industry engage? And how?


Posted: 01 Jun 2012 06:05 AM PDT
Lest there be any doubt, the call for understandable rules, regulations and disclosure requirements for the hydraulic fracturing of unconventional natural gas (aka fracking) from shale deposits deep underground is gaining steam not just in the U.S. but throughout much of the industrialized world.

Millstone Power Station, Connecticut Nuclear Plant, To Look at Flood


Millstone Power Station, Connecticut Nuclear Plant, To Look At Flood ...
Huffington Post
(AP) — Millstone Power Station, Connecticut's sole nuclear plant, is focusing on how best to guard against flooding and earthquakes to comply with tougher federal standards following the nuclear plant meltdown in Japan last year, the new chief of the ...

NRC to finalize nuclear safety guidelines in August

NRC to finalize nuclear safety guidelines in August
Reuters
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has drafted several guidelines to ensure proper implementation of three orders the agency issued to nuclear power plants in March, in response to lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March ...

Scientist Nominated To Lead NRC Has Livermore Connection


Scientist Nominated To Lead NRC Has Livermore Connections
Livermore Independent
A scientist with connections to Livermore has been nominated to head the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Allison MacFarlane, a nuclear waste expert, was nominated by President Obama last week to serve out the remainder of the term of Gregory ...

PennEnergy: This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News

This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
Editor's picks: May's Top Ten in Petroleum
Statoil Iraq oil field exit process completed
Major U.K. refinery to shut down
BP lifts Force Majeure on Libyan oil exploration
IEA sees growth for natural gas under new standards
Oil well begins drilling for Strongbow Resources
North Sea oil leak prompts internal investigation
DECC releases statement on Coryton refinery
API calls EPA "out of touch with reality"
Nord Stream's second pipeline sections to be joined together underwater
Shell plans sale of Canadian oil sands project

Human Capital - Private Equity Activity in the US Oil & Gas Industry

Human Capital - Private Equity Activity in the US Oil & Gas Industry
Confidence in North America’s oil and gas industry continues to gain momentum and the amount of financial backing the industry is receiving is proof. The first quarter of 2012 showed the highest amount of private equity interest in 20 years.
Full Article

China plans crude oil futures

China plans crude oil futures
China, the second-largest consumer of oil in the world, could soon launch a crude oil futures contract that could be accessible to international investors, according to Reuters.
Full Article

News from Canada on reactor licensing including SMRs

News from Canada on reactor licensing including SMRs

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has finally documented its pre-licensing "Vendor Design Review" process in a regulatory guide, GD-385, which is now posted at the following link:

http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/readingroom/infobulletins/view_bulletin.cfm?bulletin_id=290

Tokyo Electric Power Company's Radiation Lies


Tokyo Electric Power Company's Radioactive Lies
Dissident Voice
... Company (Tepco) to tell the truth about the status of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) or is Tepco really “Tipco,” a company based on shaky practices that now claims their radioactive storage building won't tip over in another earthquake?

China Energy Update 5/31

Yingli Green Energy and US Soccer Bring the Power of Solar and the Power of ...
MarketWatch (press release)
BAODING, China and WASHINGTON, June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE:YGE) ("Yingli Green Energy" or the "Company"), a leading solar energy company and one of the world's largest vertically integrated ...
China trade tensions ratchets up with new tariffs
Politico
That still pales in comparison to silicon solar imports from China, which passed $3.1 billion last year. China has threatened retaliation for the US actions, ruling last week that several renewable energy projects in Massachusetts, California, ...

Politico
Commentary: US, China renewable energy trade war continues
Digitimes
The report stated that the US imported about US$222 million worth of China-made wind towers in 2011. Wind and solar power are clean and renewable energy sources that can help the US lower its dependencies on crude oil or nuclear.
Oil Falls On Fresh Signs Of Global Slowdown
NPR
Sobering economic news from China and Europe also contributed to the drop. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for oil in the US, fell $3.30, or 3.7 percent, to $83.23 per barrel, the lowest price since early October. The drop adds to a 17 percent ...
Preliminary Victory for US Wind Turbine Tower Manufacturers in China Trade Case
CleanTechnica
The Commerce Dept. preliminarily affirmed its determination that China's subsidizing its wind tower turbine manufacturers violates international WTO trade rules. The preliminary ruling carries with it countervailing duties (CVDs) that range from ...
China-Bound Crude Shipments Seen Falling 13% This Week
Bloomberg
About 12 percent of the fleet of the largest oil tankers signaling future destinations is bound for China, the world's biggest energy consumer. The ships would haul about 115.6 million barrels of oil, assuming a conversion factor of 7.33 barrels a ton.
China could restart nuclear power programme
Bangkok Post
Energy-hungry China could restart its nuclear projects, suspended after Japan's Fukushima disaster in March last year, while new safety standards have been adopted in active plants, the government said. A view of a nuclear power plant as seen through ...
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Shares of energy firms fall on dismal jobs report
CBS News
At the same time, Europe is embedded in a financial crisis and China's government is working to prevent its economic growth from slowing too quickly. Oil and natural gas prices fell sharply on the commodities markets after the report was released.

No Blue Fin Tuna Radiation Health Concerns

No Blue Fin Tuna Radiation Health Concerns
Within the past week there have been a number of reports about trace levels of radioactive Cesium found in blue fin tuna off the coast of California. Given the sophistication of detection equipment, the particles have been traced from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. There's no cause for concern as the radiation levels are minute and, in fact, less than radiation naturally found in the Pacific Ocean. Read more

Chubu Electric to develop research hub at nuclear plant

Chubu Electric to develop research hub at nuclear plant
Chubu Electric Power will establish a research hub at its Hamoaka nuclear plant in Japan. The center will concentrate on enhancing the operations of units 3, 4 and 5 and promoting the safe decommissioning of units 1 and 2, the company said. The Mainichi (Japan)/Kyodo News (6/1)

Russia signs nuclear construction deal with Belarus

Russia signs nuclear construction deal with Belarus
Russia has signed a deal to help Belarus build a nuclear plant, said Sergei Kiriyenko, head of Rosatom. The company's Atomstroyexport unit will construct the plant, which will consist of two 1,200-megawatt reactors. Russia will direct $204 million for the project's initial construction phase, Kiriyenko said. RIA Novosti (Russia) (5/31)

House lawmakers laud bill to help revive Nevada repository

 
House lawmakers laud bill to help revive Nevada repository
Several House lawmakers praised a measure that would revive the Yucca Mountain repository project in Nevada and criticized the Obama administration for the project's termination. A provision in the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act includes $25 million for the project, which would keep the site active in the long term, said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. "This will ensure that we keep Congress in the driver's seat for nuclear waste policy," he said. The Hill/Floor Action blog (5/31)
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Proposed N.M. deconversion facility clears NRC safety study

Proposed N.M. deconversion facility clears NRC safety study
International Isotopes' proposed uranium deconversion facility in New Mexico won't place the health and safety of its workers and the public at risk, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's final safety evaluation report. "The NRC approval of the [Safety Evaluation Report] is certainly a major milestone in the company’s efforts to license and construct the first-ever 'green' depleted uranium deconversion and fluorine extraction processing facility in the U.S.," said Steve Laflin, the company's president and CEO. American City Business Journals/Albuquerque, N.M. (5/31)

NRC offers no firm schedule for Neb. plant's restart

NRC offers no firm schedule for Neb. plant's restart
There is no solid schedule for the restart of the Omaha Public Power District's Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant has been offline because of flooding nearby and safety concerns. OPPD hopes to resume operations there in September but says it will alter the schedule if more issues are discovered. OPPD's president and CEO, Gary Gates, noted clear progress at the facility. Canadian Business/The Associated Press

ANS Update: How the laws of physics constrain our sustainable energy options

How the laws of physics constrain our sustainable energy options

By pbowersox on Jun 01, 2012 01:00 am

What is life going to be like after fossil fuels? Professor David MacKay, chief scientific adviser to the Department of Climate Change in the United Kingdom, takes a pro-arithmetic view of the future of sustainable energy in this very interesting and … Continue reading →
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VIDEO: Planned Outages at Diablo Canyon Provide Economic Benefit for Coastal Communities

VIDEO: Planned Outages at Diablo Canyon Provide Economic Benefit for Coastal Communities




http://www.pgecurrents.com/2012/06/01/video-planned-outages-at-diablo-canyon-provide-economic-benefit-for-coastal-communities/

Why Can’t Science Allay the Radioactivity Panic?

Why Can’t Science Allay the Radioactivity Panic? Calling for Social Survey to Save Fellow Victims and Perpetrators and How Not to be Fooled by Psuedoscientific Misinformation — Facing societal confusion over radioactivity.

"NRC Public Meeting in Brattleboro: The Politics of Intimidation"


"NRC Public Meeting in Brattleboro: The Politics of Intimidation"

Meredith Angwin at the ANS Nuclear Cafe gives a first-hand account of her experience at a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission annual review public meeting held in Vermont.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant received the highest safety ratings, but that did not turn out to be the focus of the meeting -- to put it mildly.

http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2012/05/29/nrc-public-meeting-in-brattleboro/

Generation mPower ramps up reactor operations

Generation mPower ramps up reactor operations
Charlotte Business Journal
Things are moving fast at Generation mPower, the joint venture The Babcock & Wilcox Co. set up in Charlotte with Bechtel Corp. to market and build B&W's 180-megawatt small modular nuclear reactor. B&W announced the venture a year ago.