Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Nuclear news - 05/02/2016

Experts: Fukushima ‘ice wall’ could destroy reactor units, turn site into swamp

  • Risk of fractures, ground movement, building subsidence
  • Must be frozen for 200 years
  • Officials: High cliffs just behind plant may become unstable
  • Gov’t: “Observable heaving” and deformations possible (VIDEO)

2 May, 2016

AP, Apr 29, 2016 (emphasis added): Fukushima No. 1 plant’s ice wall won’t be watertight, says chief architect… Even if the frozen barrier… works as envisioned, it will not completely block all water… because of gaps in the wall… said Yuichi Okamura, a chief architect… Tepco resorted to [this] after it became clear it had to do something drastic… [Okamura said,] “We have come up against many unexpected problems.” The water woes are just part of the many obstacles… No one has even seen the nuclear debris

Huffington Post, Apr 1, 2016: ‘Ice Wall’ Is Japan’s Last-Ditch Effort To Contain Fukushima Radiation… [It's] a desperate attempt to stop radiation that’s been leaking from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for five years…

Kyodo, Mar 30, 2016: The NRA warned earlier that if the groundwater levels within the [ice] walls is reduced excessively by blocking the flow from outside, highly contaminated water within the buildings could seep out as a result.
Proposal for controlling ground water and radioactive leakage in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (by World Water and Climate Foundation): [TEPCO] has a plan to freeze soil around the plant… this idea may not be sustainable… over the 200-year period that will be required for the reactors to be decommissioned.… The problem with freezing… is that solutes may be expelled from the ice… This can result in extremely concentrated saline solutions that do not freeze even at low temperatures. It is likely that under these conditionsradioactive materials could become highly concentrated in dense brines that could then flow as density currents… Also, heating and cooling during the four annual seasons in Japan may make the ground of the station site softer and wetter like a swamp, and it could create another risk to the reactors, such as building destruction… The authors would like to express sincere thanks to Dr. W.F. Vincent, Dr. I. Ostrovsky, Dr. S. Kudoh and Dr. L. Legendre for their valuable comments and suggestions for strengthening this proposal.

Los Alamos National LaboratoryIntegrated model of groundwater flow and radionuclide migration at Fukushima Daiichi… we will be able to answers critical questions such as… Will the cryogenic barrier lead to salt water intrusion at the site thereby mobilizing contaminants such as Cs and Sr that are mobile under high salinity conditions?

U.S. Department of Energy, 2015: Independent Technical Support for the Frozen Soil Barrier… several references discuss soil heave in the context of artificial ground freezing… It is possible that some observable heaving will occur directly above and directly adjacent to the frozen soil barrier… Monitoring of temperatures, heave pressures, and deformations… would provide information to assist in managing impacts from soil heave…

Geological Survey of Japan, 2015: [T]he sustainability of the ice wall remains doubtful… Furthermore, the ice lenses will grow irregularly as per the distribution of chiller pipes, and the sediment desaturation might lead to the aquitards’ compaction and subsidence around the buildings. In effect, a decrease in pore water pressure could increase the effective stress of the ground and result in movements and the formation of fractures in the superficial units.

IAEA, 2016: The IAEA group of experts reviewed the status of groundwater inflow, countermeasures and modelling… During the visit to Daiichi NPS on 18 February 2016, groundwater seepage on the slopes [i.e. cliffs over 100 feet high directly behind plant] that have been covered with facing was observed by the IAEA experts… seepage through the facing could create geotechnical instability on the slope if horizontal drains are not installed…

NHK chief urges staff to exclude experts’ views on quake coverage

Photo/IllutrationJapan Broadcasting Corp. President Katsuto Momii during a Lower House committee session in March (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

27 April, 2016

The Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) president not only instructed subordinates to toe the government line in covering the Kyushu earthquake disaster, but he also urged them to avoid airing the views of outside experts, sources said.
The reporting should be based on authorities’ official announcements,” the sources quoted Katsuto Momii as saying during a meeting at the public broadcaster on April 20. “If various assessments by experts were broadcast, it would only end up unnecessarily raising concerns among the public.”
Minutes of the meeting obtained by The Asahi Shimbun earlier showed Momii’s instructions to rely on official government announcements in reporting the series of earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture that started on April 14 and the possible impact on nuclear power plants in the region.
But the minutes did not include any passages on Momii’s call to refrain from broadcasting experts’ opinions about the implications on nuclear power plants.
Sources at NHK said Momii indeed said those words at the meeting.
The part may have been removed (from the record) over concerns that it could cause trouble if left intact,” an NHK source said.
An official with NHK’s Public Relations Department declined to comment on details of the internal meeting, which was attended by about 100 senior officials.
Momii has faced constant criticism since he assumed the NHK presidency in January 2014. At his first news conference as NHK chief, he indicated that the public broadcaster would be a mouthpiece for the government.
On April 26, Momii reiterated his position about toeing the official line for coverage on the earthquake disaster and nuclear facilities in response to a question from Soichiro Okuno, a member of the main opposition Democratic Party.
Based on facts, we will report on (radiation) figures registered at monitoring posts without adding various comments,” Momii said at a session of the Lower House Committee of Internal Affairs and Communications.
Momii said official announcements would come from the Meteorological Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Kyushu Electric Power Co.
Kyushu Electric operates the Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, which is immediately south of Kumamoto Prefecture. The Sendai plant’s two reactors are the only ones currently operating in Japan, and the plant’s relative proximity to the series of temblors has prompted calls to shut down the reactors until the shaking stops.
If the NRA believes that the nuclear plant is safe or can remain in operation, we will just report it like that,” Momii said.
The NHK president also said broadcasting such official announcements is not at all like the release of reports that were convenient to wartime authorities when Japan was losing World War II.
I do not mean official announcements by the headquarters of the imperial military during World War II,” Momii said.
Some NHK reporters clearly expressed their frustration with Momii’s editorial stance.
I feel that he did it again, which I find saddening,” said a midlevel reporter in NHK’s news department. “But we, who are gathering news on the front lines, want to stick with our mission to report information for the viewers.”
Academics specializing in news media were also upset by Momii’s words.
NHK has the ability to report on what is unfolding at the scene before the government makes an announcement,” said Yoshihiro Oto, professor of media theory at Sophia University.
Oto mentioned the time when Fukushima Central Television Co., a local broadcaster, showed footage of hydrogen explosions at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, before the government acknowledged that the explosions had occurred at the plant.
If a similar thing occurs in the future, Momii’s instructions would mean that NHK would not be allowed to broadcast the footage until the government makes an official announcement,” Oto said. “That would be tantamount to resigning NHK’s editorial rights and suicidal as a news organization.”
Yasuhiko Oishi, professor of media ethics at Aoyama Gakuin University, said the president of the public broadcaster does not have a proper understanding of the role of journalism.
He completely lacks a perspective to critically evaluate what authorities say,” Oishi said. “If he believes that the news media’s role is just reporting the official line, then that is equivalent to being the government’s mouthpiece.”
(This article was written by Yohei Goto and Misuzu Sato.)

Japan Scientist/Radiation Pouring into Pacific/CA's Beaches/Now Marine Graveyards/Fukushima

Compensation denied to US nuclear workers to hush up Santa Susana radiation dangers – fmr employee

Aerial photograph of Area IV (4) of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, in the Simi Hills, Ventura County, Southern California. ©
Aerial photograph of Area IV (4) of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, in the Simi Hills, Ventura County, Southern California. © / Wikipedia

2 May, 2016

Cancer-struck workers at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory in California have been denied state compensation in order to keep the danger posed by the nuclear site to nearby residential areas out of the public eye, a former employee told RT.

Hundreds of workers at the nuclear and aeronautical facility in Simi Valley, which was instrumental in the US space program from 1949 to 2006, have died or fallen ill due to exposure to radiation.

However, when those people applied for compensation in accordance with a US government program, their claims were denied, McClatchy DC reported.
The Department of Energy (DOE) explained the refusal by saying that the sick employees were unable to prove that they had worked in ‘Area IV’ at Santa Susana.

Only staff from this section are eligible for compensations as ‘Area IV’ was the location of nuclear reactor experimentations and development, according to the Department of Labor, which is responsible for making payments.

The workers argue that their
 “fluid” contracts allowed for them to be regularly dispatched to the radioactive section, but the government failed to maintain records of their movements.

The lawyers believe that laboratory staff should not prove their presence in Area IV at all as DOE contractors used the entirety of the site.

Former Santa Susana employee, William Shepler, who suffers from skin cancer and anxiety problems, was among those, who were denied their payThe management of Boeing, which acquired the California facility in 1996, made the decision to leaving sick and dying people without compensation because
 “they don’t know anything,” he told RT.
“And I think the DOE, probably, made a decision for Boeing and just told Boeing: ‘We know what to do and we’ll go along with it’,” the nuclear worker stressed.

The authorities
 “want to keep this small” because of the danger posed by the radioactive site, he explained.
“There are civilians living in Simi Valley and in the canyons near Santa Susana. And even in the [San Fernando] Valley. The evidence is there – there are high rates of rare cancers that are above the norm in the US,” Shepler stressed.

The situation would become
 “unmanageable” for DOE if the truth about the threat posed by the nuclear lab was made public, he added.

Since all reactors were considered experimental, they did not have containment structures, causing radiation leaks.
 “Santa Susana had no containment vessels. Chernobyl was like Santa Susana, I don’t believe it had containment for radiation,”the nuclear worker said.

Modern nuclear facilities are “relatively safe… but they were not safe in the 1950s when they were doing this work at Santa Susana,” he explained. 

According to Shepler, he spent up to two years in the radioactive section of the laboratory, but it was not recorded because his official clock-in location had been in another part of the facility.
“I was given no credit for working at Santa Susana. For being in what they call Area IV” despite being involved in various projects at the lab in 1981-2005, including experimental reactor steam generation and space station electrical systems, he said.

Shepler insisted that he knows many former Santa Susana employees, who either died of or have 
“very serious forms of cancer”and have been denied compensation. Only a small number of former employees have been paid, the rest are “going to die off and that will be it,” Shepler said.

According to McClatchy DC, less than a third of over 1,400 claims filed by Santa Susana staff resulted in compensation being granted.

Another Santa Susana employee, Dan Kurowski, died a “painful death, from pancreatic cancer attributed to his exposure to radioactive substances,” McClatchy DC reported.

When I die, turn the lights off and watch me glow,” Kurowski once said to his wife Lorraine.

After Kurowski's death in 2003 with his claim still pending, his widow attempted to file a survivor claim. At her request Boeing, a major US defense company operating at Santa Susana Field Laboratory, emailed her that her husband’s personnel record had been destroyed.

McClatchy DC says Kurowski was not alone, since hundreds of Santa Susana workers got ill and eventually died of illnesses attributable to radiation exposure, most of them without compensation from the federal government.

Media Silent While 3 Nuclear Disasters are Unfolding Inside the US


Countercurrent News,

2 May, 2016

While the world is distracted by bathrooms, celebrity gossip, and Beiber’s new haircut, the world is having MAJOR issues that need attention and cooperation to prevent us sleep walking into preventable catastrophes.  

Below are just SOME.


According to a Missouri emergency plan a fire at the Bridgeton Landfill is closing in on a nuclear waste dump. The fire has been burning uncontrolled for over five years.
Clouds of smoke drift into St. Louis leaving it heavily polluted. In December of last year, the EPA said they would install a physical barrier to isolate the nuclear waste, but it could take up to a year to build. Many residents aren’t happy with that timetable, and think the government haven’t done enough to prevent this possible environmental disaster.
Apart from the threat of nuclear waste erupting into flames in the near future, there are also two nuclear reactors inside the United States that have been leaking for months.

A study by Miami-Dade County concluded that the area’s 40 year old nuclear power plants at Turkey Pointare leaking into Biscayne Bay.
This damage is polluting the bay’s surface waters and it’s fragile ecosystem. Recently bay waters near the plant have had a large plume slowly moving towards water wells several miles away that supply clean water to millions of people in Florida.
Samples taken during the study found things from radioactive tritium, ammonia, and phosphorous. The scientists conducting the study say the levels of tritium are too low right now to harm people.
We now know exactly where the pollution is coming from, and we have a tracer that shows it’s in the national park,” said Laura Reynolds, an environmental consultant who is working with the Tropical Audubon Society and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, which intend to file the lawsuit, according to the Times. “We are worried about the marine life there and the future of Biscayne Bay.”

Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York. At this site, there’s been an uncontrollable radioactive flow leaking into the groundwater which leads into the Hudson River, only 25 miles from New York City. The tritium leak is the ninth in just the past year.
Thyroid cancer registered the biggest increase, going from 13 percent below the national average to 51 percent above. But apparently things like this don’t make the news anymore, only celebrity gossip, and political distractions.
There are some folks out there however, that wish you to be informed of our actual priorities. If you’re one of them, feel free to share this information with others to help raise awareness towards the real issues that need attention.

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