— Would You CONSENT to Nuclear Waste? Tell DOE “NO” to Fukushima Freeways — deadline July 31

The DOE proposal is about the “future” of nuclear energy. DOE wants to continue promoting nuclear power plants, continue creating nuclear weapons, continue churning out nuclear waste. Without disposal, there is no future. We can collectively refuse.

Sane people want to  know: how can there be “disposal” for something that lasts millions or billions of years?

From Nuclear Information and Resource Service

July 27, 2016

Dear Friends,

What would it take for you to consent to accept nuclear waste in your region? The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to know.

DOE has held 9 public meetings across the country this year, and is now taking written comments, on the concept of public “consent” to accept high-level radioactive waste.

Send DOE  your comment today: No more nuclear waste – No Fukushima Freeways!

After decades of trying to force-feed the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump down the throats of Nevadans and the Western Shoshone Nation, the DOE and nuclear proponents now want to know what it will take to get people to “consent,” or at least appear to consent, to take nuclear waste in their communities.

DOE acknowledges this is also “consent” to future nuclear waste production as part of setting up an “integrated waste management system.” The federal agency says that the future of nuclear energy in this country depends on this.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

DOE seeks public input on how to be FAIR, WHO to include in the consent process, and what RESOURCES it will take to induce community participation in the nation’s radioactive waste program.

  • DOE wants to identify who adequately represents a community and will consent to take nuclear waste on its behalf.
  • DOE is not defining exactly what or how much nuclear waste we would be “consenting” or not consenting to accept.
  • And DOE is not asking how a community can refuse or express permanent “non-consent,” although you can let them know that if you choose to.

Although they have reports, diagrams of storage containers and systems, ideas and plans for the tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste in this country, they claim to want to negotiate with communities who would “consent” to take it forever or supposedly temporarily.

Tell DOE what you think of nuclear waste by clicking here.

No consideration of the rights or consent of communities along transport routes is being made or requested. Although one of the greatest dangers to the most people, environments and ecosystems is the movement of tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste on roads, rails and waterways, DOE has stated that there is complete federal preemption over transport of nuclear waste, so states and communities along the transport routes would have no voice, no matter how much waste DOE plans to move through them.

DOE is giving no consideration of the rights of future generations who will inevitably be affected.

DOE and the nuclear industry are eager for volunteering or consenting communities to take the waste and for the DOE to take title to it–absolving the industry of responsibility for managing the waste it creates before there is even a proven solution for its long-term management.

Thanks for all you do!

Mary Olson – Southeast Office Director
Diane D’Arrigo – Radioactive Waste Project Director

For More Information

NIRS Info Materials on Fukushima Freeways and Consolidated Storage
Talking Points on Consent-Based Siting from Beyond Nuclear

Click here to read a Federal Register notice that explains more about DOE’s request for public comment on these issues. There is also information on this DOE website.

You can contact Diane D’Arrigo or Mary Olson at NIRS for more information about the other meetings and the issue generally.

Submit a Public Comment! We encourage everyone to submit your own thoughts on these issues to DOE. Comment deadline is July 31, 2016. Please send an email to consentbasedsiting@hq.doe.gov. Please include “Response to IPC” in the subject line.

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web: http://www.nirs.org

GreenWorld: (NIRS’ blog chronicling nuclear issues and the transition to a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy system) http://www.safeenergy.org

NIRS on Facebook:




NIRS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/nirsnet

NIRS on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nirsnet


— Pennsylvania: Nuclear plant operators suspended after prioritizing reactor operation ahead of safety

From Beyond Nuclear

As Susan Schwartz of the Press Enterprise reports from Salem Twp., PA, three senior reactor operators at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant (see NRC file photo, left) have been temporaily suspended, pending retraining:

Three senior reactor operators have been temporarily disqualified after they took a safety system offline before shutting down a reactor at the Susquehanna nuclear plant in May, regulators confirm. A nuclear watchdog believes the operators did it in an effort to avoid shutting down the unit, an expensive move for the plant.

Susquehanna has two reactors, both Fukushima Daiichi sibling designs. Susquehanna Units 1 and 2 are General Electric Mark II boiling water reactors.

The article, which reports the incident took place at Unit 2, quotes Dave Lochbaum of UCS:

Watchdog’s take

But David Lochbaum, nuclear safety project director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said he suspects the operators disabled the safety system to buy themselves time in the hope of avoiding the shutdown.

If the high pressure coolant injection system is triggered, it can cause the unit to shut down automatically, said Lochbaum. He’s a nuclear engineer who worked 17 years in the industry and also a former reactor technology instructor with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

He believes the operators hoped that by delaying the automatic scram, they would give workers time to fix the electrical fault and restore proper cooling and ventilation so the reactor wouldn’t need to be shut down.

But before they took the safety system offline, they didn’t check to make sure nothing was happening that might require it to work.

“They breezed through that step,” he said. “They put the operation of the plant ahead of safety. They took some shortcuts.”

‘Mistakes were made’

That attitude contributed to the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979, he said.

Operators there misdiagnosed a problem with the reactor and shut off the safety systems, explained Lochbaum. If they had left them alone, he says the safety systems as designed would have saved the day.

The Susquehanna Steam Electric Station was nowhere near such dire straits, Lochbaum stressed.

“It’s unfortunate mistakes were made, but the system is pretty robust,” he said. “It would have taken several more miscues before this event would have resulted in meltdown or core damage.”

In other words, luckily, operators at Susquehanna Unit 2 in 2016 only made one major mistake, instead of several. The March 28, 1979 series of mistakes made at Three Mile Island Unit 2, however, led to a 50% core meltdown, and the worst nuclear power disaster — thus far, anyway — in U.S. history.


— Helen Caldicott speaks on nuclear weapons in San Francisco, August 13

From Tri-Valley CAREs

Saturday, August 13, 2016  2 PM
Nuclear Weapons: Can they be Abolished? Dr. Helen Caldicott speaks in SF

Though obligated to disarm under the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the U.S. is devising new nuclear weapons for a trillion dollars while the pentagon plans ways to use them. What to do? hear the foremost authority on atomic perils, an Australian physician and author whose mobilizing of doctors of the world culminated in the 1985 Nobel Peace prize to International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. Books by Dr. Caldicott will be offered for sale.

Location: San Francisco public Library, Main Branch, 100 Larkin St., Koret Auditorium (lower level)
More Info: War and Law (415) 948-9616


— SF area events with Marshall Islands’ climate ambassador, August 3-9

From Tri-Valley CAREs

Wednesday August 3, 2016    7 pm
Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change: Twin Existential Threats

Join us in Oakland for a showing of “Nuclear Savage” documentary film (one-hour version). Followed by Tony de Brum from the Marshall Islands as keynote speaker. Wine and light refreshments. Donation requested: $5 – $20 (no one turned away).Sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Asian-Americans for Peace & Justice, Livermore Conversion Project, No Nukes Action, Northern California Climate Mobilization (Steering Committee), Pax Christi-NorCal, Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility-SF Bay Area, Tri-Valley CAREs and Western States Legal Foundation.

Location: Humanist Hall, 390 27th St, Oakland
More Info: (925) 443-7148


Thursday August 4, 2016    6 – 9 pm
Hon. Tony deBrum Roundtable & Potluck Dinner with Pacific Islanders & Indigenous Communities

An Intimate evening with Hon Tony deBrum, current Republic of the Marshall Islands’ (RMI) Ambassador for Climate. The Hon. deBrum will be offering a Keynote presentation and participating in a Roundtable Discussion with leading Indigenous Leaders, Corrina Gould (Ohlone, California) and others (will be shortly announced) to discuss Climate Change and pathways for self-determination for Pacific Islander communities and for Indigenous communities here in California. The Roundtable discussion will be facilitated by Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu (Tongan, Pacific Islander). & Marshallese Community Leader, Yoshitaga Kaneho and the Marshallese Community of Sacramento will be conducting Opening and Closing ceremonies. Potluck dinner. Please bring food to share.

Location: East Bay Media Center, 1939 Addison Street, Berkeley
Click here for more info


Friday August 5, 2016   7 pm
Tony deBrum – Nuclear Zero

Activist and Former Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands speaking on Nuclear Weapons Elimination and Climate Change. Free: donation requested. Sponsored by Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center and the Green Group of the Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center.

Location:  Bortin Hall, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek.
Click here for more info.


Sunday, August 7, 2016  3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Sacramento August Peace Event: Challenging the Nuclear Giants to Disarm

Nobel Peace nominee Tony deBrum will address the Marshall Islands’ landmark suit to force nuclear disarmament. Free, donations welcome.

Location: Social hall, St John’s Lutheran Church, 1701 L St, Sacramento
Click here for more info or call (916) 485-5451


Tuesday, August 9, 2016  8 AM
Disarm Now! Nagasaki Day Action at Livermore Lab Gates


— PG&E holds meetings on Diablo Canyon deal

Great venue to hold protests and inform the public.

Press release from PG&E, July 10, 2016

…There will be four meetings, two in each location. The content of the meetings will be identical. This is to provide more chances for the public to participate. At these meetings, PG&E staff will present information about the joint proposal, address questions, and provide attendees an opportunity to provide feedback and commentary on the joint proposal.

In late June, the State Lands Commission voted to approve a lease extension necessary to run Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) to 2025, a critical first step toward realizing the goals outlined in the joint proposal. Consideration of the joint proposal moves next to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). PG&E will file the proposal with the CPUC on July 28.

Following these meetings, a public report will be made available that summarizes public questions and commentary gathered at these public information meetings and will be submitted with PG&E’s filing with the CPUC.

San Francisco
July 22, 2016
Meeting 1: 12:00- 3:45pm
Meeting 2: 4:15-8:00pm
South San Francisco Conference Center
255 S. Airport Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080

San Luis Obispo
July 20, 2016
Meeting 1: 12:00- 3:45pm
Meeting 2: 4:15-8:00pm
Embassy Suites
333 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Meetings are open to the public. Each meeting will cover the same information and follow the same format.

For parties unable to attend public information meetings, comments can be submitted to diablocanyon@pge.com prior to July 26, 2016.

Joint Proposal

Reflecting California’s changing energy landscape, PG&E announced a joint proposal with labor and leading environmental organizations on June 21, 2016, that would increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and storage beyond current state mandates while phasing out PG&E’s production of nuclear power in California by 2025.

The joint proposal would replace power produced by two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) with a cost-effective, greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage. It includes a PG&E commitment to a 55 percent renewable energy target in 2031, an unprecedented voluntary commitment by a major U.S. energy company.

The Parties to the joint proposal are PG&E, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, Coalition of California Utility Employees, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California and Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility.

The announcement of the Joint Proposal can be found here.

The Joint Proposal can be read in its entirety here.

Additional Information

Information on the State Lands Commission approval of necessary lease extensions can be read here.

Additional information prepared by M.J. Bradley & Associates, a strategic environmental consulting firm, can be accessed here.

Media contact:

PG&E 24-Hour Media Line
(415) 973-5930


— NASA’s system failure case study of Fukushima

From Mining Awareness

July 16, 2016

the NAIIC concluded that “the disaster was man-made and the result of collusion between government, the regulators and TEPCO, and a lack of governance by said parties,” citing that the organizational and regulatory systems supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions. Regulators served TEPCO’s business interests through tailored regulation and weak enforcement.“(NASA)
Nasa Fukushima failure

NASA Failure Studies [Comments added in brackets]:
October 2015 Volume 8 Issue 7


• Loss of electricity and backup power left the Fukushima complex crippled and unable to adequately cool the reactors


• Disregard of Regulations

• Poor Safety History

• Lack of Response to Natural Disaster Concerns


• Recommendation pertaining to the creation of a permanent committee to deal with issues regarding nuclear power in order to supervise regulators and provide security to the public.

The Great Wave of Reform The Prophetic Fallacy of the Fukushima Daiichi Meltdown

March 11, 2011, off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan: At 14:46 (2:46 p.m.) Japan Standard Time (JST) a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred 43 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula. The undersea megathrust earthquake shifted the mainland of Japan an estimated 8 feet east and deviated Earth’s axis by estimates between 4 to 10 inches. The Great East Japan Earthquake generated massive tsunami waves that peaked at heights of 133 feet and travelled up to 6 miles into areas of mainland Japan… The disaster also triggered the second Level 7 International Nuclear Event (after Chernobyl) in history — the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.


The Fukushima Daiichi Catastrophe

Analysis of the safety history of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex reveals a catastrophic failure of prediction on behalf of the plant’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) management. How could planners overlook the tsunami?

Hazards of Predicting the Future

In 1958, Arthur C. Clarke, already recognized for major contributions to the fields of rocketry and space flight, began writing a series of magazine essays that were later combined and published in 1962 as Profiles of the Future; a lexicon of universal scientific possibilities.

The book’s introductory essay, “Hazards of Prophecy, ” concerned itself with the two traps of assumptions: “failures of nerve” and “failures of imagination. ”

Failure of the imagination manifests when presently known facts are respected but vital truths are still unknown, and the possibility of the unknown (the unknown unknowns) is not confessed.

Failure of nerve, the more common fallacy (noted by Clarke), “occurs when given all the relevant facts the would-be prophet cannot see that they point to an inescapable conclusion. ”
Figure 1. Debris from the upper levels of Unit 4 lies beside the building. Source: IAEA via NASA

What happened

The seismic activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake forced the emergency shut-down feature on reactors 1, 2 and 3. Off-site electricity to the power plant was also disrupted by the tremors and backup power was tapped from a 66kV transmission line from the Tohoku Electric Power Company Network. However, the back-up line failed to power reactor 1 due to a mismatched circuit connection.

Beginning at 15:37 (3:17 p.m.) JST, the peak tsunami waves broke upon Japan and flooded and destroyed the emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima complex. Seawater cooling pumps and electric wiring system for the DC power supply for reactors 1, 2 and 4 failed shortly after. All power was effectively lost except for emergency diesel generator power to reactor 6. The tsunami also destroyed vehicles, heavy equipment and many installations.

Without power, the operators at the complex worked tirelessly to monitor and cool the overheating reactors, at one point salvaging car batteries from destroyed vehicles to power necessary equipment. Hydrogen explosions from emptying coolant reservoirs led to interruptions in the recovery operations, which failed when the Unit 2 reactor suppression chamber failed and discharged radioactive material.

Proximate cause

The loss of electric power after flooding made it difficult to effectively cool down the reactors in a timely manner. Cooling operations and observing reactor temperatures were heavily dependent on electricity for coolant injection and depressurization of the reactor and reactor containers, and removal of decay heat at the final heat sink. Lack of access due to the disaster obstructed the delivery of necessities like alternative seawater injection via fire trucks“.
[Note: Loss of cooling made it impossible to cool the reactors, not difficult.]

Underlying issues

The Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), formed on Oct. 30, 2011 to investigate the direct and indirect causes of the Fukushima accident, was the first independent commission created in the history of Japan’s constitutional government. In its legal investigation, the NAIIC concluded that “the disaster was man-made and the result of collusion between government, the regulators and TEPCO, and a lack of governance by said parties,” citing that the organizational and regulatory systems supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions. Regulators served TEPCO’s business interests through tailored regulation and weak enforcement.

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