Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time” — NYTimes: Fuel may never be removed, reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl (VIDEO)
Published: March 13th, 2017 at 10:48 am ET
NY Times, Mar 11, 2017 (emphasis added): Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.
Xinhua, Mar 12, 2017: There have also been concerns that the melted nuclear fuel residue is eroding the concrete bottom of the safety shell of the reactors, having already penetrated the reactor pressure vessel.
Xinhua, Mar 11, 2017: “It is very important to provide the public with information, including information about the concealment of the melted core,” [Naohiro Masuda, head of the TEPCO’s decommissioning unit] said… Masuda said that the residue of melted nuclear fuel is now “mostly immersed in water” and kept at a relatively low temperature, and that there is “no need to worry” about the melted nuclear fuel residue eroding through the concrete bottom of the safety shell.
DW, Mar 11, 2017: Even Shunji Uchida, the Fukushima Daiichi plant manager, couldn’t hide his skepticism from the visiting journalists. “Robots and cameras have already provided us with valuable pictures,” says Uchida, adding: “But it is still unclear what is really going on inside.”
Dr. Helen Caldicott on Nuclear Hotseat, Feb 22, 2017 (at 29:00 in): “There’s a huge amount of water that pours down the mountains everyday beneath the reactors which was all well and good when the reactors were intact – now they are not. Now there are three cores of corium – molten cores – that probably have buried their way, or dug their way, into the earth beneath the reactors. Even if they haven’t the reactor buildings have been shattered where the cores are so the water pours in and over the reactor cores continuously. And so that water becomes highly radioactive and then it pours into the ocean from the beneath the reactors and so everyday 300 to 400 tons – tons – of very radioactive water has poured into the pacific every day since the accident of March 11, 2011 and continues to do so and will do so I think for the rest of time.”
Full interview with Dr. Caldicott here
Published: September 6th, 2014 at 5:16 pm ET
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.
Published: September 6th, 2014 at 5:16 pm ET
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.
At Fukushima, Tokyo Electric Power now admits that far more radiation is spewing into the Pacific than previously admitted. Thethyroid cancer death rate among children in the area is 40 times normal. So is the still-rising childhood thyroid abnormality rate, a terrifying re-run of downwind Chernobyl.
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.
But a 42-page report from NRC inspector Dr. Michael Peck says new fault line discoveries challenge Diablo’s “presumption of nuclear safety.”
Buried by the NRC for at least a year, it was released by Friends of the Earth and reported on by the Associated Press and the great enviro-journalist Karl Grossman, as well as by the Nuclear Information & Resource Service and Beyond Nuclear.
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.
“That cannot cause an accident. Criminal negligence perhaps. At least malicious mayhem. But not an accident.”
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.
But as at San Bruno, there would be no excuses.
Harvey Wasserman wrote SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH and editswww.nukefree.org. He was arrested at Diablo Canyon in 1984, and is likely to be back soon. Listen to Wasserman’s recent radio discussion of Diablo with David Lochbaum and Rochelle Becker.
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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.
Published: September 2nd, 2014 at 8:25 am ET
TEPCO: The Console of the Fuel Handling Machine dropped during debris removal operation of Unit 3 Spent Fuel Pool, Sept 1, 2014 (emphasis added):
See also: Accident in Reactor 3 fuel pool at Fukushima — Large piece of wreckage falls nearby spent uranium rods — M5 quake hits plant soon after — Official: “Unable to say” whether any are damaged (PHOTOS & VIDEO)
Published: September 2nd, 2014 at 8:25 am ET
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!
Published: August 25th, 2014 at 6:21 pm ET
The Olympian (Washington), Aug 24, 2014 (emphasis added):
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.
See also: TV: “Mysterious die off of young salmon” in Pacific Northwest — “Healthy… and then they die” heading out to sea — “Far less plankton than normal… There are too many questions” — Researchers now testing for plankton and Fukushima contamination off West Coast (VIDEO)
Published: August 25th, 2014 at 6:21 pm ET