US Nuclear Regulatory Commission expert says Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant should be shut down

In an internal report that was released August 25, NRC senior federal nuclear expert Michael Peck called for Pacific Gas and Electric’s Diablo Canyon NPP to be shut down pending a safety review. At issue is the recently discovered Shoreline Fault. However, the other three faults, including the Hosgri Fault, reportedly responsible for a devastating earthquake in Santa Barbara in the 1900’s, are also issues.

Here is a petition by Friends of the Earth to shut down Diablo Canyon:

Last year, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a report on Diablo Canyon. They found the NRC was not holding Diablo Canyon to the same earthquake safety standards as other nuclear power plants.

This is a dangerous double standard,” said David Lochbaum, director of UCS’s Nuclear Safety Project and author of the report. “At other facilities, the NRC enforced its safety regulations and protected Americans from earthquake threats. Today, in the case of Diablo Canyon, the NRC is ignoring its regulations, unfairly exposing millions of Americans to undue risk.”

When similar concerns surfaced at nuclear facilities in California, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the NRC did not allow the plants to continue to operate until the agency determined they met safety regulations…In contrast, the NRC has allowed PG&E to continue to operate Diablo Canyon’s reactors despite this known threat.
NRC Fails to Apply Standard Earthquake Protection Protocols to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Report Finds

Peck first raised his concerns in September 2010 when he filed non-concurrence papers and later elevated them to differing professional opinion, the highest level of official dissent within the agency. His report said that pipes and other important plant equipment at the plant may not be able to withstand the maximum shaking that could be generated by the Shoreline fault, which runs 2,000 feet offshore of the plant.

“We find it completely disgraceful that the NRC hid these concerns for all these years,” said Jane Swanson, spokeswoman for the antinuclear group San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace.

Peck recommended that Diablo Canyon be shut down until it can be proved that the plant could withstand a quake along the Shoreline fault, a process that could require an amendment to the plant’s current operating license.
Report calling for Diablo Canyon’s closure raises concerns locally, August 25, 2014

According to Peck’s filing, PG&E research in 2011 determined that any of three nearby faults – the Shoreline, Los Osos and San Luis Bay – is capable of producing significantly more ground motion during an earthquake than was accounted for in the design of important plant equipment. In the case of San Luis Bay, it is as much as 75 percent more.
AP Exclusive: Expert calls for Diablo Canyon shutdown, Aug. 25, 2014

On August 26, Friends of the Earth filed a formal petition with the NRC:

Friends of the Earth — an advocacy group critical of the nuclear power industry — filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission asking for a hearing and charging the Diablo Canyon plant is violating its operating license.

… The group argues the reactors located between Los Angeles and San Francisco should remain closed until a rigorous safety review is completed and PG&E amends its federal license.
Group files petition to idle Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, August 26,, 2014

Here is the AP exclusive on the Diablo Canyon report, and other news articles.
AP Exclusive: Expert calls for Diablo Canyon shutdown, Aug. 25, 2014
Report calling for Diablo Canyon’s closure raises concerns locally, August 25, 2014
Group files petition to idle Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, August 26,, 2014
NRC Fails to Apply Standard Earthquake Protection Protocols to Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, Report Finds, November 13, 2013


Ukraine nuclear reactors at great risk; is a 15X meltdown possible? Update

Source: Energoatom

Update, November 12, 2014:

A company in South Africa is now refusing to send more coal to Ukraine. A shipment of 500,000 tons of coal was delivered to Ukraine already, but 1 million tons was ordered. Ukraine is now attempting to find another company to supply coal, but so far, there has been no deal.


Update, September 7, 2014:

The Kiev regime is buying 1 million tons of coal from South Africa due to the coal shortage in Ukraine. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk said on September 3 that the first ship was being loaded. [1]


August 21, 2014

Coal fuels 40% of the Ukrainian power grid. There are 15 nuclear reactors in the country.

Many coal miners left their jobs to defend their towns against the attacks of the neo-Nazi regime currently controlling Kiev. Coal production has fallen drastically. This article from Zero Hedge states Ukraine will potentially run out of coal in three weeks.

What will happen then? Many supply routes have been destroyed. What will happen if there are brownouts or blackouts, and generators do not function correctly?

Fifteen reactors in Ukraine. This is a frightening situation.

August 19, 2014

Ukraine’s next crisis will be a devastatingly economic one, as violent conflict destroys critical infrastructure in the east and brings key industry to a halt, furthering weakening the energy sector by crippling coal-based electricity production.

The Ukrainian military’s showdown with separatists in the industrial east has forced coal mines to severely cut production or close down entirely. This has led to an electricity crisis that can only be staunched by cutting domestic production along with exports to Europe, Crimea, and Belarus — or worse, getting more imports from Russia.

In the coal centers of Ukraine’s industrial east—Luhansk and Donetsk—fighting has forced the full closure of an estimated 50 percent of coal mines, while overall coal production has fallen 22 percent over the same period last year.

Key industry sources say they will potentially run out of coal in less than three weeks.

For Ukraine, the second largest producer of coal in Europe, this will have a devastating impact on the energy sector, which is in a state of emergency, unable to get coal to thermal power plants that provide some 40 percent of the entire country’s electricity.

In the wider energy picture, the halt of coal production sets Ukraine back a decade. The plan was to rely more on coal in order to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas.

But the new reality has insiders wondering how Ukraine will produce more of its own natural gas, after the implementation earlier this month of an amended tax code that targets private gas producers with a tax so high that they will significantly reduce production through the end of the year and beyond that is anyone’s guess. (Full disclosure: my firm, Pelicourt LLC, is the majority shareholder of Ukraine’s third-largest gas producer, Cub Energy, and I have advised the U.S. and Canadian governments on the potential harm the new tax will cause.)

Economically, the conflict in the east is a disaster for Ukraine, which has traditionally been a net exporter of thermal coal for power generation. Now it will have to increase imports of fuel to make up for the loss. But even then, the destruction of supply routes makes this challenging.

Not only have coal supply routes been destroyed in the conflict, but other critical infrastructure has taken a hit as well, threatening other industries.

For the complete article and comments:
Ukraine’s Next Crisis? Economic Disaster
Used under Fair Use Rules.


Ukraine to buy 1-million tonnes of coal from SA

Note: there is a great deal of false information in this story. It is hopeful that the coal shipment is true and will get to Ukraine in time.

Fukushima exports rice to Singapore. Who will warn the people of Singapore?

Posted on ENE News

Fukushima Farmers Negotiate with Japanese Government,
Published August 31, 2013 –
Farmer from Sukagawa, 60 km west of Fukushima Daiichi (at 1:45 in):
Do you understand the meaning of ‘de’ in the word decontamination? We are just tilling deeply and spreading the radiation thinly. We are not removing the contamination. No wonder that the radiation level has not gone down. We measured the radioactivity in the air.  It has not gone down at all. We have not removed the contaminated soil. Of course not! The environment has not changed at all 2 years after the explosions. […] In Fukushima, all farm produce must be checked for the cesium level prior to shipping. The current government limit is 100 becquerels. The farmers know how many becquerels of cesium their produce contains. We can ship them if the reading is lower than 100. But I would not dare eat them myself. The consumers assume there is no radiation in the food they buy.  […] We farmers know better. We feel guilty about growing it and selling it. We won’t eat it ourselves, but we sell it

Watch the emotional speeches from the Fukushima farmers here  [1]

Then this very alarming report from Japan Times —

Aug 19, 2014

Exports of Fukushima-grown rice have resumed after being suspended by the nuclear crisis in March 2011 amid soaring concerns about radiation contamination, a national agricultural cooperative said Monday.

Soaring concerns? Soaring radiation counts that keep going up. Scientists and medical professionals are very worried about the effects.

A shipment of 300 kg of Koshihikari brand rice produced in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, has arrived in Singapore to be sold at a supermarket Friday after clearing customs, according to the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations.

Fukushima Prefecture was a major producer of rice and had exported some 100 tons to Hong Kong and similar areas before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant.

No rice produced in Fukushima was ever exported after the core meltdowns, the cooperative said.

This year’s exports of agricultural and marine products were valued at ¥284 billion from January to June, up 10.3 percent from a year ago, buoyed by growing popularity of Japanese cuisine. But exports from Fukushima have stayed sluggish amid persistent concern about radioactive contamination from the meltdown-stricken Fukushima No. 1 complex, which was recently linked to rice contamination elsewhere in the prefecture reportedly caused by cleanup efforts at the plant that kicked radiation-tainted dust into the air.

This is a lie. The radioactive releases contaminating air and water are ongoing and increasing. Strontium started spiking upward last year. Large areas of Japan are contaminated. The area around the power plants is highly contaminated.

A number of countries and regions still impose restrictions on farm products from the prefecture. Singapore had banned imports of some foods from Fukushima but lifted it in May.

Reprinted under Fair Use Rules due to the emergency.


Rice grown nearby Fukushima plant cleared for sale — Farmer: “I would not dare eat it… We feel guilty about growing it and selling it” (VIDEO), October 11, 2013