TV: Alarm over “Catastrophic Leak” at US nuclear site — “Emergency response underway” — Surge in radioactive leakage after “essentially blowing a hole” in massive tank containing “deadliest substance on earth” — Former Worker: “I was very shocked to hear it breached that significantly” (VIDEOS)
KING 5 News, Apr 18, 2016 (emphasis added): Leak worsens in massive Hanford tank holding nuclear waste; An emergency response is underway at Hanford, where a tank is leaking radioactive waste — A leak in a massive nuclear waste storage tank at the Hanford Site has expanded significantly, KING 5 learned this weekend… one former tank farm worker said the leak should be considered a major problem. “This is catastrophic. This is probably the biggest event to ever happen in tank farm history…” said former Hanford worker Mike Geffre… Until now, the leak found by Geffre was very slow. The liquid would almost immediately dry up… Sources told KING the disturbance caused by the pumping must have exacerbated the leak: essentially blowing a hole in the aging tank allowing the material to leak more quickly… “The hazards to workers just went up by a factor of 10,” said Geffre… [A current worker said,] “There’s always the question, ‘Are the outer shells compromised’”? The accumulation of waste in the outer shell also means the deadliest substance on earth is that much closer to the ground…
KING 5 News transcript, Apr 18, 2016: No one knows if the waste has already leaked into the soil… (Mike Geffre, former Hanford worker): “I was very shocked to hear that the tank had breached that significantly and that much waste had been [leaked?] in that short of time.”
KREM, Apr 18, 2016: ‘Catastrophic’ event at Hanford prompts emergency response; Over the weekend, a leak in a massive nuclear waste storage tank expanded significantly
KREM transcript, Apr 18, 2016: It’s being called a catastrophic leak at the Hanford nuclear site… Mike Geffre a former Hanford employee… told KING 5 that a leak of this magnitude is quote catastrophic… (Official:) “It’s just one more ‘Yes, the tanks are failing.’”
KIRO, Apr 18, 2016: Significant amount of waste leaks within Hanford double-shell tank… So far, no waste has leaked from the tank into the soil beneath it, but checks are ongoing… The DOE says the increased rate of leakage may have occurred because of work inside the tank dislodged material that was partially blocking leak sites.
KVEW, Apr 18, 2016: An alarm activated yesterday while crews were pumping waste from tank AY-102… The Department of Energy notified the state Department of Ecology that a leak detector alarm went off… The alarm indicated an increase in waste seeping from the primary tank into the space between the primary and secondary tank, known as the annulus.
KPLU, Apr 19, 2016: Increased Leakage From Huge Tank of Radioactive Waste At Hanford Sets Off Alarms — An apparent surge in leakage from a huge tank of radioactive waste set off alarms at the Hanford nuclear site… instruments detected a sharp rise of toxic brew in the space between the inner and outer tank walls.
Weather Channel, Apr 19, 2016: ‘Catastrophic’ Leak Found in Nuclear Waste Tank at Washington State Storage Site — An ongoing nuclear waste leak in Washington State has rapidly intensified over the past weekend, leaving workers scrambling.
Tri City Herald, Apr 18, 2016: Significant amount of waste leaks within Hanford tank; Leak estimates surge from 70 gallons to 3,000-3,500 gallons… An alarm for a level detector in the annulus sounded about 3:30 a.m. Sunday… It dropped by about three-quarters of an inch… raising the possibility that it might be leaking from the outer shell.
AP, Apr 19, 2016: “We’re continuing our checks of the tank to determine whether any material might be escaping from the tank itself,” said Jerry Holloway of Washington River Protection Solutions, which manages the underground tanks for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Top Official: Over 60 million Japanese irradiated by Fukushima — Nuclear Expert: 50,000 sq. miles of Japan highly contaminated… Many millions need to be evacuated… Gov’t has decided to sacrifice them, it’s a serious crime — TV: More than 70% of country contaminated by radiation (VIDEOS)
Published: April 12th, 2016 at 3:31 pm ET
Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added): [Radioactive] material has been dispersed, contaminating Tohoku, Kanto [Tokyo area], and western Japan… [The law says] that absolutely nothing may be removed from a radioactive management area in which the levels exceed 40,000 Becquerels per square meter… [H]ow much area has been contaminated beyond 40,000 Bq/m2… that answer is 140,000 km^2 [54,054 square miles]… Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. The number of people living in what must be called a radiation-controlled area is in the millions, and could exceed ten million… I believe the government has the responsibility to evacuate these entire communities… the government decided to leave them exposed to the real danger of radiation. In my view, Fukushima should be declared inhabitable… but if that were to be done, it would likely bankrupt the country… They’ve decided to sacrifice people… In my view, this is a serious crime committed by Japan’s ruling elite… [F]undamentally, people must not be forced to live in contaminated areas… First must come complete evacuation… [W]hen it comes to radiation… “removal of contaminants” is impossible… This stuff contaminates everything.
Naoto Kan, former Prime Minister of Japan, Apr 11, 2016 (at 2:15 in): The molten material broke through the pressure vessel and accumulated low down in the containment. Now what would have happened if this molten material had escaped from the containment?… A radius of 250 kilometers — which includes the city of Tokyo — anyone living in this area, if you count them up it comes to 50 million or 40% of the Japanese population, and they would all have had to be evacuated. As we know from Chernobyl, not just a couple of weeks, but 30 years or 40 years — it would have virtually meant the end of Japan. [Note: Many nuclear experts believe the molten fuel did in fact escape from the containment] Half the population was subject to radiation [Japan Population: 127 million]. That’s something that could just be imagined, for instance the event of losing a major war.
Arirang (Gov’t-funded Korean TV network), ‘Fukushima and Its Aftermath’, Mar 16, 2016 (at 6:45 in) — Prof. Kim Ik-Jung, Medical College at Dongguk Univ.: “When you look at the contamination map, about 70% of Japan is contaminated by radiation. That means that 70% of Japan’s agricultural and marine products are contaminated.”… According to PNAS, one of the five major scientific journals, over 70% of the land in Japan is contaminated by radiation.
It is being referred to as Cthulhu-geddon.
Squid have washed up on Santa Maria Island off Chile this week in what some have described as biblical proportions. Thousands of dead and dying squid are piled up on the shore. While some squid normally do wash up this time of year, it’s never been in this large of a quantity.
Exact reason for this die-off is unknown, but some experts claim it might be a sudden drop in oxygen content in the water or an increase in water temperatures. They just really don’t know.
Of course, just like all the other mass die-offs up and down the Pacific coast in recent years, no one in any official capacity is pointing to the Fukushima disaster, still dumping tons of radioactive water into the sea as it has been for the last half a decade now just across the globe from Chile.
Screenshot 2016-01-18 at 8.08.59 AM
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After serving in the Georgia Legislature, in 1992, Cynthia McKinney won a seat in the US House of Representatives. She was the first African-American woman from Georgia in the US Congress. In 2005, McKinney was a vocal critic of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina and was the first member of Congress to file articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. In 2008, Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party nomination for the US presidency.
Published time: 19 Oct, 2015 11:08
Scientists and environmental officials continue to express concern, even now, at the unusual events and wonder about the causes. At the same time, the media present the facts, but fail to make any connection whatsoever to the ongoing state of affairs stemming from the tragic 2011 events at Fukushima.
The KMXT narrator quoted Corcoran as saying it was unclear what caused the deaths but “could be related to the birds’ inability to catch forage fish,” while it was evident “the birds have no fat on their bodies and they don’t have any food in their digestive systems which indicates that they starved.”
Corcoran confirms that the last major bird die-off experienced in the region was January through March of 2012. The program concluded by stating that multiple species of birds have declined in number in other Alaska regions, according to surveys taken by the Wildlife Refuge. The next day, KTOO reported that Corcoran speculated on several causes for the die-off: “flight feather molt,”“whale die-offs,” or “harmful algal blooms . . . related to warm ocean temperatures.”
A few days before the Kodiak reports, The Daily Astorian headlined: “Scientists Searching for Answers in Bird Die-Off.” Julia Parish, speaking on behalf of the University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, states that the spikes in deaths are two to three times higher than normal. Josh Saranpaa of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast was quoted as saying, “Every bird we’re seeing is starving to death. It’s pretty bad.” Saranpaa added, “When you see so many starving, something is not quite right out there.”
The warming ocean and the toxic algae bloom are offered as possible explanations for the die-offs. Warming oceans, it is explained, cause the fish to swim deeper than the birds can dive while the toxic algae bloom runs from California straight up to Alasak. Parish concludes that it has been a really “odd” year with multiple regional scale events. She says that there is not much that researchers can do except wait and watch.
Julia Reis of the Half Moon Bay Review writes with understatement, “There have been noticeable changes in the Pacific Ocean that have caused difficulties for marine life of late.”
Gerry McChesney of the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge says that the die-off has him all the more “baffled” because of the strip of cold water in his area full of food for these birds. In my mind’s eye, I can see McChesney scratching his head as I read that he considers poisoning, starvation, and El Nino as possible causes for the die-off. The article ends with the following comment by McChesney, “We might have to see some other problem in the ocean before we understand what’s causing the die-off.”
ENENews.com points to the problem of the massive die-off happening from San Diego to Alaska—all along the West Coast of the U.S. It highlights in various reports words like “strange,” “unprecedented,” “crazy,” “worst,” with this iconic quote from The Sacramento Bee: “Our gut tells us there is something going on in the marine environment.”
Behrens  published an open access 2012 model simulation of cesium 137 (137Cs) released into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the Fukushima incident and found that after the first two to three years, tracer elements descended to depths of more than 400 meters, reached the Hawaiian Islands after about two years, and North American territorial waters after about five to six years.
Although in decreased rates of concentration from the initial injection, the entire northern Pacific basin becomes saturated with tracer fluids in this simulation. This study finds that the radioactivity remains at about twice pre-Fukushima levels until about Year Nine when radioactivity tapers to pre-Fukushima levels. This research specifically does not investigate the biological effects of increased radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean.
In 2011, Lozano  investigated reports of man-made cesium atmospheric detection as far away as the Iberian Peninsula. Mangano and Sherman  take their 2015 investigation of Fukushima radiation exactly into a potentially politically uncomfortable, but essential space: biological effects. They look at “congenital anomalies” that occurred in the U.S. western states after the arrival of radioactive Fukushima Fallout. And they found that while in the rest of the U.S., birth defects decreased by almost four percentage points, on the U.S. West Coast, defects increased by thirteen percent.
View Dr. Sherman’s interview by Russia Today’s Thom Hartman where she explains the research.
Even U.S. soldiers are now experiencing Fukushima Fallout with exposure hitting home in health effects and birth defects. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution explains how Fukushima radioactivity reaches ocean life from both air and sea discharges. These air, ground, or sea discharges, by the way, continue twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Arne Gundersen of Fairewinds.org estimates that by 2015 at least 23,000 tanker truckloads of radioactive water have been released into the Pacific Ocean “with no end in sight.”
Please tell me whatever happened to the Precautionary Principle in public policy?  Is profit more important than prudence? Finally, a 2015 study by Synolakis and Kanoglu  finds that the Fukushima tragedy was preventable. They conclude that due to design flaws, regulatory failures, and “arrogance and ignorance,” and concludes that Fukushima Daiichi was “a sitting duck waiting to be flooded.”
With all of this as background, the media provide coverage of marine anomalies mentioning global warming, even El Nino and toxic algae, while the elephant in the room is Fukushima radiation. It is this silence that is deafening! It makes me wonder who are the beneficiaries of the nuclear power business? Why is the nuclear power lobby so strong when the dangers are clearly so evident? Instead, we are told: “It is fossil fuels that are destroying the planet. Nuclear power is clean and safe.” I’m also told that nuclear power is a sign of modernity; it is the future. But solar, geothermal, and wind are rarely given a mention by these same individuals. I’m also told that by posing these questions, I’m fearmongering.
I do want to know why in the face of what appear to be Pacific Ocean die-offs, El Nino is mentioned and not the Fukushima-related elevated levels of radiation. As long as there is a palpable lack of transparency in the mainstream media’s ordinary coverage of extraordinary environmental events, that includes what one senses as a reticence to discuss the obvious, I predict that there will be a proliferation of citizen journalists and citizen scientists seizing upon each piece of new data trying to make sense out of a government-approved narrative that just doesn’t make sense—again.
US President Obama stated, “We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, or U.S. territories in the Pacific.”
We should not rely on government officials to tell us the truth about the full extent of Fukushima’s fallout: Incredibly, Obama advised the people of the U.S. not to take precautionary measures beyond “staying informed.” Canada immediately suspended measurements of radiation around Vancouver. The government of Japan has not been trustworthy from the very beginning about the extent of the tragedy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Gov’t Report: Plutonium detected in recent California air samples — “Fallout from Fukushima nuclear accident” may be to blame
Published: December 28th, 2015 at 6:54 pm ET
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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (pdf), Sept 28, 2015 (emphasis added):
Ambient Air Radioactive Particulates
Composite samples were analyzed by alpha spectroscopy for plutonium-239+240, which was detected in 2 out of 206 samples taken in 2014. Detections at the Livermore Site and Livermore off-site locations [in California] for plutonium-239+240 are attributed to a number of factors including the following: resuspension of plutonium-contaminated soil (see Chapter 6); ambient air from historical operations; resuspended fallout from previous atmospheric testing; or fallout from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
The highest values and percentage of the DCS for the plutonium-239+240 detections were as follows: Livermore Site perimeter: 13.4 nBq/m3 (0.36 aCi/m3)… Livermore off-site locations: 10.4 nBq/m3 (0.28 aCi/m3).
See also: Official data shows U.S. hit with huge spike of ‘most dangerous’ radiation from Fukushima — Levels far exceeded federal regulatory limits — Alpha particles nearly 1,000 times normal; Includes plutonium — Gov’t workers in “fear of radiation”
I hope yall aren’t waiting around for the govt. to tell you that all will be ok. There is no health threat. It takes four or more years for cancer to set in. Fukushima has been pouring 400 tons of radioactive waste cocktail into the Pacific every day since 03/2011. Almost five (5) years now. Tell me, what do you think 5 years of waste cocktail did to the Pacific Ocean?
Published: December 23rd, 2015 at 7:09 pm ET
Asahi Shimbun, Dec 22, 2015 (emphasis added): More than 90 percent of the fir trees in forests close to the site of Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster are showing signs of abnormality, and plant lice specimens collected in a town more than 30 kilometers from the crippled facility are missing legs or crooked. But it remains unclear whether the mutations in plants and animals are definitively connected to the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. All that scientists in Japan are prepared to say is they are trying to figure out the effects of radioactive cesium caused by the release of huge amounts of radioactive materials from the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant… Scientists are seeking… signs of mutation in plants and animals in areas close to the stricken nuclear plant… Scientists have reported on mutations and abnormalities among species varying from fir trees and plant lice to Japanese monkeys, carp and frogs. The National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS), a government-affiliated entity, said in late August that the trunks of fir trees are not growing vertically. Fir trees are among the 44 species that the Environment Ministry asked the NIRS and other research organizations to study in trying to determine the effects of radiation on living creatures. The NIRS reported that the frequency of these mutations corresponds to a rise in natural background radiation. More than 90 percent of fir trees in the town of Okuma, just 3.5 kilometers from the crippled plant, showed signs of abnormal growth… Among other changes reported: the legs of plant lice collected in Kawamata, a town more than 30 km from the plant, were found to be missing or crooked and the white blood cell count of Japanese monkeys was lower in Fukushima, the prefectural capital, which is about 60 km from the plant… There is also a possibility that some animals, even if they exhibited signs of radiation’s effect, may no longer be alive for analysis.
All of the people who are in denial about the Radiation doses we are constantly receiving, you need to wake up, and read what these people are trying to tell you! Even small doses, what they consider background radiation, is not naturally occurring radiation. It is from years of bomb testing, power plant leaks, numerous things. But when your babies are being born with no brains, and spinal cords sticking out, people need to take heed. If you babies don’t show signs, their babies will. No ifs ands or buts. Humans are on the way to changing from radiation. We will never be the same. We must stop all nuclear reactors, because humans are not responsible enough to use radiation safely. There is no way to take care of all the waste we have now. What do you people think we will do with all the waste? What do you think we will do when the oceans die? Move to another planet? When all humanity becomes sterile? Read what these people say….
It’s Terrifying”: Rapid rise in babies with missing brains and spinal cords sticking out in area surrounding most contaminated nuclear site in US — Mother: Actual number is WAY higher than officials are reporting (VIDEO)
After writing one of the first reports on the extremely high rate of babies missing part of their brain (anencephaly) in the 3 counties surrounding the Hanford nuclear site, Aleccia left NBC News. She is now a staff writer at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Sept. 2, 2014: ‘We take it on:’ Hutch team helps raise awareness of mysterious cluster of babies born with anencephaly… to tackle baffling problem — Outreach workers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are drawing on years of community connections in [the counties of Yakima, Benton, and Franklin in] south central Washington state to raise awareness about a devastating cluster of severe birth defects that no one can explain… babies are born without parts of the skull and brain… 32 babies since 2010… there were five women in the region who reported they were pregnant with babies with anencephaly, all due later this year, according to Washington state health officials… “A lot of what we do is around cancer prevention, but when we hear of other things that also affect health disparities, we take it on.” State and federal officials are urging groups like the Fred Hutch team to help…
It is interesting that a cancer center is getting involved with this Hanford-area birth defect cluster, especially when that cancer center played a key role in the controversial ‘Hanford Thyroid Disease Study’.
According to a review of the study by the National Academy of Sciences: “it appears that the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle enjoyed greater public trust than the federal agencies while carrying out the HTDS… [The study’s] public summary… was misleading… the results of the HTDS were presented with unqualified certainty… Statements attributed to the HTDS investigators appear to have overstated the certainty of the results [such as claiming:] ‘These results provide rather strong evidence that exposures at these levels to 131I do not increase the risk of thyroid disease or hyperparathyroidism. These results should consequently provide a substantial degree of reassurance to the population exposed to Hanford radiation that the exposures are not likely to have affected their thyroid.’”
NBC Right Now, Aug 1, 2014: Local Birth Defect Moms Asking Why They’re Excluded From Cluster — “It’s terrifying”… said Nikki Shelton. Her son Corbin was born just months ago with Spina Bifida. She didn’t know he’d have a defect until he was born… When we asked Shelton and Alicia Jones, whose son Noah has the same defect, if they were under the assumption the Department of Health was including them under their research they both said, “Yes”. “To come to find out that they’re heading onwards with anencephaly and not looking into Spina Bifida is disheartening,” explained Shelton… In Spina Bifida the baby is born with part of their spinal cord sticking out.
On the ‘Washington Neural Tube Defects Cluster’ Facebook page, Nikki Shelton recently wrote: “I wanted you all to have a few numbers to reference to see just how rapidly the Neural Tube Defects are rising in our area. The Department of Health says we are 4 times the national average but we have to be WAY higher than that!… Physicians in Washington are NOT required to report birth defects!! The hospitals also code any termination/miscarriage as a “Complication of Pregnancy”. There are many families that choose to abort once they find out their unborn child has a defect, these are NOT counted in the national average. Not to mention all the defects that are not being reported by the physicians!!!”
Perhaps state officials will see this report that was posted on their own website… yet no longer available: “Studies by Lowell E. Sever, an epidemiologist with Battelle’s Seattle Research Center, and others reported an association between neural tube defects [anencephaly/spina bifida] and the radiation dose fathers received before their children were conceived. Thiseffect was observed in children whose parents received low doses (100 millisieverts or less) of external whole-body radiation while working at Hanford… Other research suggests there is reason to believe that radiation exposure before pregnancy can increase the frequency of birth defects… Sever and others also conducted a study of birth defects in Washington’s Benton and Franklin counties near Hanford. The researchers examined the number of cases of certain birth defects between 1968 and 1980. There were more neural tube defects than expected when the county rates were compared with rates from Washington, Oregon and Idaho… Conclusion — As with other health effects from radiation, it is assumed that any exposure to radiation carries some risk of genetic effects and birth defects.”
Top Official: “Really concerned” over radiation release at US nuclear site; Feds “have put a noose around scientific personnel”… they refuse to reveal crucial information about WIPP disaster — Investigators becoming suspicious — Nuclear Expert: “It sure seems like there’s a cover-up” (AUDIO)
The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 6, 2014: Flynn accuses feds of blocking WIPP probe — New Mexico’s top environmental regulator lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy this week, accusing it of impeding the state’s investigation into [the WIPP] radiation leak… Secretary Ryan Flynn warned [about] Energy Department roadblocks that have protracted the probe… Increasingly in recent weeks, the federal Energy Department has thwarted attempts by the state… Flynn accused the Energy Department of muzzling scientists with crucial information about the waste…. [They] asked for documentation supporting the scientists’ observations [but] the Energy Department has repeatedly refused… his frustration with the Energy Department grew as its denials… became more frequent… The Energy Department’s refusal to provide information raised suspicions among Flynn’s investigators…
New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn, Sept 6, 2014: “The problem is that Department of Energy headquarters back in Washington, D.C., is looking at this situation through a political or (public relations) lens, so they’ve put a noose around the scientific personnel who can answer our questions… there’s a willingness (by LANL personnel) to provide information [but] someone back at headquarters decides that no, they’re not going to provide that information to the state… it happens repeatedly, that’s when you start to get really concerned… they don’t provide certain information [or] make staff available… The more we investigate, the more we’re discovering at Los Alamos… the Department of Energy headquarters refuses to provide certain information.”
Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group, Sept 6, 2014: “[Not sharing this information] could be a danger signal for workers and the public. Mislabeling drums and withholding information can be criminal.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 3, 2014: Review, relabeling of LANL waste raises questions about scope of problem… [Los Alamos National Laboratory’s] review of the incident has led to uncertainty over the volatility of hundreds of other drums… The lab notified state environment officials late last month that it was re-evaluating and relabeling as “ignitable” or “corrosive” the contents of 86 drums at LANL… The Department of Energy also is reviewing and relabeling more than 300… stored in WIPP’s underground… [This] raises questions about the scope of the problem that led to the leak at WIPP.
Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator & engineer, Aug 28, 2014 (at 22:15 in): “It sure seems like that there’s a combination of a cover-up, and a combination of slip-shot record keeping. Now there’s talk of whether they ditched those records after the fact or before the fact, but those records are nonexistent. One would expect really good records as to what is being stored, where it’s being stored, when it was put away, when it was stored, all that – every bit of information that one would expect to have in a nuclear storage facility and these are missing, there’s a lot of information.
The catastrophe at Fukushima was not an accident. It’s unfolding again in California.
The next west coast quake could easily shake the two reactors at Diablo Canyon to rubble.
They are riddled with defects, can’t withstand potential seismic shocks from five major nearby fault lines, violate state water quality laws and are vulnerable to tsunamis and fire.
Diablo’s owner, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), is in deep legal and financial crisis.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has just proposed that PG&E be fined $1.4 billion for a 2010 gas explosion and fire that killed eight people and obliterated a neighborhood in San Bruno. The federal government has announced 28 indictments, meaning the CPUC fine may just be the tip of a very expensive iceberg for PG&E. The San Bruno disaster was caused by pipeline defects about which PG&E had been warned for years, but failed to correct. The fines cover 3,798 separate violations of laws and regulations, both state and federal. PG&E was previously fined $38 million for a 2008 pipeline explosion in Rancho Cordova.
Similar defects remain uncorrected at Diablo Canyon, whose radioactive cloud could span the continental U.S. in four days. Mass citizen action recently shut two coastal reactors at San Onofre. It must do the same at Diablo before the next quake hits.
Ironically, as America’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) allows Diablo to operate, all 54 reactors in Japan remain shut. Its Nuclear Regulatory Authority has just ordered the Tsuruga reactor to be scrapped because of its vulnerability to earthquakes. Two more elderly reactors at Mihama may also be terminated before year’s end.
Tepco has begun paying compensation to local suicide victims, including the widower of a woman who doused herself with kerosene before burning herself alive.
All of it predictable.
For decades Japanese citizens warned Tepco not to build reactors in an earthquake/tsunami zone. The company repeatedly ignored safety warnings and tolerated known defects that worsened the disaster.
Diablo Canyon’s twin reactors sit eight miles west of San Luis Obispo, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, surrounded by earthquake faults.
The Hosgri, three miles offshore, was found as the reactors were being built. Design specifications were never fully altered to account for it. Nor have they been upgraded for the newly-found Los Osos, San Luis Bay and Shoreline faults. The Shoreline lies just 650 yard from Diablo’s cores.
The massive San Andreas fault is just 45 miles away, about half as far as was the March 11, 2011, Richter-9.0 epicenter from Fukushima.
A shock that size from any of the fault lines near Diablo could reduce it to a seething pile of radioactive hell, far deadlier than Fukushima. Prevailing winds could blanket virtually all of North America with its deadly fallout.
The nuclear industry would immediately deny all health impacts. It would blame “unpredictable” God and nature.
Peck has a doctorate in nuclear engineering and was Diablo’s chief on-site inspector for five years. He’s now a senior instructor at the NRC’s Technical Training Center in Tennessee. His status as a current NRC employee makes such a critical report highly unusual—and alarming.
Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen has warned about sea-level intake pipes like those at Diablo. When the tsunami struck Fukushima, he writes, “The cooling equipment along the shoreline was turned into a scrap yard of twisted metal.”
Then there is fire.
Diablo Canyon, writes David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “has never, ever complied with fire safety regulations, not even for a second by mistake.”
“The one-two punch of earthquake/tsunami caused Fukushima,” Lochbaum wrote in an email to me.
“A one-two punch of earthquake/fire could cause Diablo Canyon.”
But, says Lochbaum, “It can’t be an accident. Not when the company and its alleged regulator both know that the plant does not met earthquake and fire safety regulations.
More than 10,000 people were arrested trying to stop Diablo in the 1970s and ‘80s. During the delays they caused, PG&E found major errors in reading key blueprints involving some of Diablo’s most critical equipment.
Damage is still being tallied from California’s Aug. 25 Napa Valley quake. The 1994 Northridge quake killed 57 people, injured roughly 5,000. The Loma Prieta quake during the 1989 World Series killed 63 people, injured more than 3,700. The infamous 1906 San Francisco quake leveled the city and killed thousands.
New shocks at Diablo Canyon could dwarf all those numbers—and Fukushima’s.
Tens of millions of Americans would be irradiated. Our continent’s eco-systems would be poisoned. Our nation’s economy would be gutted.
BOSTON – A group of Western Massachusetts banks argued before the state’s highest court on Thursday that the city of Springfield’s anti-foreclosure ordinances should be overturned.
The banks say the local ordinances contradict state laws, and a bond levied on lenders constitutes an illegal tax. “It’s not that banks are opposed to mortgage laws and reform, but to how it’s being done,” said Craig Kaylor, general counsel for Hampden Bank, one of the banks that brought the lawsuit. “These are for the state to decide, not city by city.”
But the city disagrees and says the laws are necessary to avoid blight and protect neighborhoods that have high rates of foreclosure.
“This is the city’s response to the foreclosure crisis,” said Springfield Assistant City Solicitor Thomas Moore, who argued the case before the Supreme Judicial Court. “It’s a response from the city council and mayor based on what they see every day in the city. They’ve taken the strongest stance to protect homeowners and the city itself.”
The city of Springfield passed two anti-foreclosure ordinances in 2011 as the city was being hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. One ordinance requires a bank that forecloses on a home to pay for a $10,000 bond, which can be used by the city to maintain the foreclosed properties, if the bank fails to do so.
The other ordinance requires the establishment of a mandatory mediation program to help homeowners facing foreclosure. The bank would be responsible for paying most of the cost of the mediation.
Springfield is among the top cities in the state in the number of distressed properties it has. The city says high rates of foreclosures lead to health and education problems for children in families that lose their homes, and high rates of blighted or vacant properties lead to crime and violence in those neighborhoods.
Six western Massachusetts banks, with Easthampton Savings Bank as the lead plaintiff, challenged the ordinances. A U.S. District court judge upheld the ordinances. However, on appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a stay preventing Springfield from enforcing them. The federal court then asked the Supreme Judicial Court, the state’s highest court, to answer two questions related to state law before the federal court makes its ruling. The case is Easthampton Savings Bank and others vs. City of Springfield.
The SJC must decide whether the local foreclosure ordinances are preempted by existing state foreclosure laws. The court must also decide whether the $10,000 bond is a legal fee or an illegal tax. Cities and towns cannot create taxes without legislative approval.
The banks also argue that the ordinances violate the contract clause of the U.S. Constitution by impairing the contract between the homeowner and the mortgage-holder, a question that remains before the federal court.
During Thursday’s arguments, Tani Sapirstein, an attorney representing the banks, argued that the bond is a tax because banks do not get any particular benefit from paying it – which is the criteria for calling something a fee. The way the bond works is when a foreclosed property is sold, if the city did not have to use the bond money to maintain it, $9,500 would be returned to the bank and $500 is kept by the city as an administrative fee, used to maintain blighted properties and implement the foreclosure laws.
Chief Justice Ralph Gants questioned Sapirstein on whether the bank does not actually receive benefits. “You have an interest in preserving the value of your property,” Gants said. “If there are foreclosed properties going to hell all around your property, it diminishes the value of your property and diminishes the value of what you receive on the foreclosure. Why is this concern about avoiding blight not something that would benefit the bank as well as the city?”
Sapirstein replied that eliminating blight would benefit the bank “as well as the city and other property owners in the neighborhood.” “How is that a particularized benefit?” she said.
Moore argued that the bond is a fee, which the city needs to hire code inspectors and create a database of who controls foreclosed properties.
But Justice Geraldine Hines said if she pays for a copy of her birth certificate, she gets a document in return for the fee. “Here I don’t see that,” she said. “The property owners, the mortgagees, don’t have something tangible.”
Moore said the banks get a “well-regulated industry” and preservation of their property values. In addition, when a bank registers ownership in the database, the city knows who is responsible and problems can be resolved more easily.
Sapirstein also argued that local law cannot require more than state law in an area that is regulated by the state or the result would be “a patchwork of ordinances.”
Gants indicated that the court may move to narrow the ordinances – for example, applying them only to a bank that has taken possession of a house, not a bank that is in the process of foreclosure when the homeowner is still living there. Gants said the ordinance as written could fine a bank for not maintaining a property where the homeowner still lives. As a homeowner, Gants said, “I’d say I’m still living here. This is my home. How can they be punished for not invading what’s still my home just because they happen to be foreclosing on it?” Gants said.
Moore acknowledged that the ordinance may be overbroad and said the city does not anticipate pursuing a violation in a case like that. Moore said the lenders’ lawsuit is premature because there is no information yet about how the city will enforce the laws. “We have the lenders essentially saying the sky will be falling, we are worried about x, y, z happening. None of that has happened and none of that may happen,” Moore said.
Moore said the city is still writing the regulations for the ordinances and if they are upheld, “The city is ready to go forward with implementation within a period of weeks.”
Similar foreclosure ordinances were established in Lynn and Worcester, and local banks challenged those as well. That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Worcester. The case involving Lynn and Worcester could be affected by the SJC’s ruling in the Springfield case.
Several activists supporting homeowners came in from Lynn and Springfield to hear the arguments. Candejah Pink, a Springfield homeowner and community organizer battled foreclosure for four years before reaching an agreement to keep her home. She helped write the Springfield ordinances. Pink said the bond is there to ensure that homes are maintained, which keeps crime and violence down. The mediation program, she said, is important to help homeowners come to an agreement with lenders. “We’re not asking to live in our homes for free. We’re asking for some mediation,” she said.
Accident situation: During debris removal operation from spent fuel pool, to rise the console of the fuel handling machine, the crane tried to grasp the console with its fork, but the console dropped around the middle of east side of the pool… It dropped between debris in the pool and curing material on the upper part of fuel rack… there were 2 fuels under dropped debris.
Time… 12:45p: Failed to grasp the console of fuel handling machine and dropped it; 2:37p: Resumed coolingthe spent fuel pool…
Confirmed situation and future schedule– After console dropped, parameters concerned were confirmed to be normal. (1) monitoring post : no significant change; (2) atmosphere dose of operation floor of reactor building: no significant change (3.2mSv/h); (3) water level of spent fuel pool : no significant change; (4) water level of skimmer surge tank : no significant change (confirmed after restart of cooling spent fuel pool); (5) dust monitor of operation floor of reactor building: below the detection limit (1.0×10-5Bq/cm3)
TEPCO will continue monitoring regularly ((1) to (4) above) until it is confirmed that the fuel rack etc. are not damaged.
Schedule – August 29: analyzing concentration of radioactive materials of spent fuel pool; August 30:Using underwater camera, TEPCO will confirm that fuel rack and two fuels are not damaged.
I’ve definitely heard it all now. A Warm Blob is responsible for the lack of Sockeye Salmon. I wonder what kind of Blob is responsible for the Chinook Salmon coming in in low numbers. What is wrong with these people admitting that Fukushima, and the three and a half years of continually bombarding the Pacific with amounts of radiation that nothing on earth can survive, is the cause? Most people who are awake already know that we are all doomed at the hands of the Japanese. I guess payback from dropping “the bomb” on them, this is what we get. Payback!
‘Unusual… Troubling News’: Only about 1% of sockeye salmon coming to US waters from Pacific, normally 50 times higher — Lowest rate ever recorded — Had expected best numbers ever — Scientist: ‘Warm blob’ off West Coast may be to blame — Chinook salmon numbers also low
‘Warm blob’ keeps possible record sockeye run away from U.S. waters
A development that has left local fishermen scratching their heads
Data from the Pacific Salmon Commission [shows] about 99 percent of the sockeye salmon has gone through the Johnstone Strait around the northern part of Vancouver Island
About 50 percent of the run [typically goes through] U.S. waters
Nearly 2.9 million sockeye salmon have been caught in Canadian waters, while the U.S. fishermen had caught around 98,000
This year’s diversion rate is unusual… it would be the highest diversion rate on record, with data dating back to 1953… That would be troubling news
Fishermen Pete Granger: “It could be one of the worst seasons we’ve had in a long time”
Nick Bond, a research scientist for the University of Washington [is looking at] a “warm blob” that developed last winter [off the coast and] believes the development of the warm blob is… a fluke
The warm blob could be around… well into 2015
It is particularly frustrating [since] fishermen were gearing up for what was expected to be a record run [as it] consists of the offspring from the 2010 run, which was one of the largest ever recorded
The forecast run for this year is around 22.8 million fish
Granger’s… concerned about next year’s pink salmon run
Vancouver Sun, Aug 19, 2014: An estimated 99 per cent of sockeye are migrating… through Johnstone Strait instead of the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Issaquah Press (Washington), Aug 5, 2014: Shallow sockeye numbers may hint at light salmon return […] Sadly, at least for sockeye salmon, the number through the fish ladder has dippedvery low. “Unfortunately, we aren’t getting the number we had hoped for in this sockeye run,” said Dani Kendall, program assistant to the Cedar River Salmon Journey… Department of Fish and Wildlife predicted 167,000… would make their way in from the Pacific… only 50,000 have come through… “It’s unfortunate, considering the high projection.” As for why the prediction fell so short of the mark, Kendall said… “I wish I had an answer, but I don’t”… chinook numbers are low as well… Department of Fish and Wildlife forecasted 4,703 of the species will show up… So far, that’s not the case.
Aerial image of Vogtle nuclear power plant in GA, showing the operational Units 1 and 2, as well as the construction site for the proposed Units 3 and 4. Photo credit: High Flyer.We told them so. As the environmental movement warned 14 years ago, when the nuclear relapse was hatched by the Bush/Cheney administration, proposed new reactors at Vogtle 3 & 4 in Georgia, Summer 2 & 3 in South Carolina, and Watts Bar 2 in Tennessee are suffering major cost overruns and construction schedule delays.
Similarly, as reported by SRS Watch, delays of up to three years, and cost overruns topping $500 million, are afflicting the Summer 2 & 3 proposed new reactors in SC.
Note that those April 1st projected opening dates for the new reactors at Voglte and Summer, listed in the updates above, are no April Fool’s joke. GA and SC ratepayers are already being gouged for the new reactors’ troubled contstruction, on their electricity bills.
Vogtle 3 & 4’s financial risks also now implicate federal taxpayers, in the form of a $6.5 billion loan guarantee, likely to soon grow to an $8.3 billion loan guarantee. This is compliments of the Obama administration. So, if Vogtle 3 & 4 default on their loan repayment, federal taxpayers will be left holding the bag. This is 15 times more taxpayer money at risk than was lost in the Solyndra solar loan guarantee scandal. And that risk, of Vogtle 3 & 4 defaulting on its loan repayment, was judged, years ago, by the likes of the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office, as a much greater risk than Solyndra defaulting on its loan repayment.
Vogtle 3 & 4, as well as Summer 2 & 3, are Toshiba-Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors. They are experimental, never having been built before anywhere in the world, although AP-1000s are also under construction in China.
The proposed new reactor in Tennessee, that is also suffering cost overruns and schedule delays, is the Tennessee Valley Authority’s long-mothballed Watts Bar Unit 2.
To add to the irony, the existing reactors at Vogtle, Units 1 & 2, were the poster child for cost overruns in the last generation of reactor construction, coming in at 1,300% their originally estimated cost!
And the operational Watts Bar Unit 1 took 23 years to build, from 1973 to 1996!
Scientists: Fukushima radiation is causing “serious biological effects” — Disaster’s widespread impact now being revealed — “Major irreversible shifts” in ecosystems discussed — “High rates of abnormality and mortality”… severe damage to humans next? (PHOTOS)
American Genetic Association, Aug 14, 2014: [S]tudies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation […] A series of articles summarizing these studies has now been published in the Journal of Heredity. These describe widespread impacts, ranging from population declines to genetic damage […] Common to all of the published studies is the hypothesis that chronic (low-dose) exposure to ionizing radiation results in genetic damage and increased mutation rates […] Hayashi et al. 2014 […] documented the effects of radiation on rice […] After three days, a number of effects were observed […] Taira et al. 2014 […] examined the response of the pale grass blue butterfly […] They found size reduction, slowed growth, high mortality and morphological abnormality […] A review of genetic and ecological studies for a range of other species […] revealed significant consequences of radiation. Population censuses of birds, butterflies, and cicadas at Fukushima showed major declines attributable to radiation exposure.
Journal of Heredity (Oxford Journals), Sept. – Oct. 2014: The massive release of ionizing radiation to areas near nuclear power plants may cause major irreversible shifts in ecosystems and severe damage to human health, and understanding the risks and quantifying the outcomes of nuclear accidents is of global concern. [This] collection, the first of such a series for Journal of Heredity, covers 3 diverse taxa: rice plants, butterflies, and birds.
Dr. Tim Mousseau, Univ. of South Carolina, Aug. 2014: A growing body of empirical results from studies of birds, monkeys, butterflies, and other insects suggests that some species have been significantly impacted by the radioactive releases related to the Fukushima disaster […] There is an urgent need for greater investment in basic scientific research of the wild animals and plants of Fukushima.
Gov’t Expert: Fukushima hot particles can’t be dissolved, even with hot nitric acid! — Huge amounts of fallout are still bound to organic material… “we have very little knowledge about this” — “Reaction is irreversible” (PHOTO)
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Volume 295, Issue 3, 2013 (emphasis added): […] radionuclides were emitted from the FDNPP as airborne ‘hot’ particles […] Subsequent interaction of the ‘hot’ particles with water (e.g. rainfall) dissolved and strongly fixed the radiocesium on rock and soil particles, thus changing the radiocesium into insoluble forms. […] Consequently, ‘hot spots’ were studded on the rock surface rather than being uniformly distributed. […] Leaching experiments demonstrated that radiocesium in rock, soil and river suspended sediment was fairly insoluble, showing that the adsorption [binding of particles to a surface] reaction is irreversible. The micro-scale heterogeneous distribution of radiocesium […] was due to the presence of ‘hot’ particles in aerosols. […] ‘hot’ particles in the aerosols [experienced] irreversible adsorption onto the soil particle complex […]