I am writing with grave concern about the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine.
I have been following this dangerous situation for many weeks. It is abundantly obvious to me that the US-installed Kiev government is doing the shelling of the nuclear plant.
Why would Russia want to contaminate the very region of Russian-ethnic citizens it is attempting to save from this out-of-control Kiev regime?
The fact that the Ukrainian plant personnel remain on their posts, and that Russia is trying to protect the plant from a disaster, indicates its good intentions in this matter.
I urge your offices to get the IAEA to the plant ASAP and you must publicly pin the blame for the shelling on the appropriate source – the Kiev regime that is clearly taking their marching orders from Washington.
Has the United Nations begun to also take their orders from the Biden administration? At this point one must surely wonder if that is the case as we face the possibility of a massive global disaster.
If you cannot perform your job appropriately, and protect the global population, then maybe it would be time for you to step aside and leave the post to someone more willing to speak truth to power.
Kiev is set on attacking the Zaporozhye power plant during a visit by the UN’s top official, the Russian military claims.
Ukraine plans to carry out artillery strikes on the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Friday, and then accuse Moscow of causing a disaster at the site, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
The predicted attack will be timed to coincide with the ongoing visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moscow insisted.
An official said they had detected the movements of Ukrainian troops, indicating a looming “provocation.”
Kiev has deployed units trained in responding to the use of weapons of mass destruction, pre-positioning them to report a radiation leak and demonstrate a purported action to mitigate it, Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
The ministry said it expects a Ukrainian artillery unit to attack the plant on Friday from the city of Nikopol. “The blame for the consequences [of the strike] will be attributed to the Russian armed forces,” the statement said.
In a separate statement on Thursday, Igor Kirillov, who heads Russia’s Nuclear Biological and Chemical Defense Troops, said his directorate has modeled possible scenarios for a disaster at the Zaporozhye plant. A plume of radioactive materials from the site may reach Poland, Slovakia and Germany, he warned.
Russia has accused Ukraine of conducting frequent drone and artillery strikes against the nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar over the past few weeks. Kiev has denied responsibility and said Russian forces were attacking the plant to discredit Ukraine. Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia is using the Zaporozhye facility as a military base.
During the briefing, Konashenkov denied Ukrainian claims that Russia has deployed heavy weapons at the Zaporozhye plant and is attacking Ukrainian troops from the site. The only Russian troops at the facility are lightly armed guards providing physical security, the official said.
The ministry pledged to do its best to prevent damage to the nuclear facility.
Rockets also targeted the cooling systems of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant
The Ukrainian military has fired multiple rockets directly at coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday. He warned that a successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”
“One of the guided missiles hit just ten meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”
Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.
While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “several dozen” heavy projectiles at the cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.
Russian troops established control of the Zaporozhye NPP, Europe’s largest facility of the kind, early on in the course of military operations in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have been accusing each other of shelling the facility, warning that combat in the area could trigger a nuclear disaster. Russia accused Ukraine of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility, denouncing the operations as “nuclear terrorism.” Ukrainian troops claimed that the Russians were shelling themselves to discredit Kiev.
Russian requests to the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site firsthand have been met with excuses that inspectors can only access the station via Kiev, and Ukraine can’t guarantee their safe passage.
On Monday, Rogov accused the UN of blocking the IAEA visit because it was covering for Kiev. If the inspectors actually showed up, he said, they would be forced to conclude that Ukraine and not Russia was shelling the power plant.
“It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime,” he said.
On July 26, 2022, Mothers for Peace notified Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) by letterof its legal jeopardy if it reneges on the 2016 agreement it forged with environmental organizations, labor, and surrounding communities (as well as approved by the state Legislature and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)) to retire the polluting and dangerously earthquake-vulnerable Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant by 2025.
California Governor Newsom’s fear that power outages will stain his reputation and damage his political aspirations cannot be assuaged by reviving the Diablo Canyon reactors. They will be available until 2024 and 2025 regardless. After that, their replacement will, as the state recognized in approving the settlement, improve both reliability and California’s emission challenges when compared to continued operation.
Despite having provided no proof that Diablo Canyon is the safest or the most cost-efficient route to a reliable and clean electricity future, the Governor has persuaded a gullible U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to revise the rules allowing PG&E to qualify for a portion of $6 billion through the Civil Nuclear Credit program – part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The money was limited to plants in deregulated markets and shutting down due to economic factors. PG&E is neither. Newsom then persuaded California lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 205, which will provide millions more California taxpayer dollars to subsidize the plant to keep operating past its license termination date.
Linda Seeley, a spokesperson for Mothers for Peace, said, “Governor Newsom would, in essence, bribe PG&E with billions of dollars from federal and state taxpayers to break its agreement so he can burnish his reputation as the Governor who prevented power outages. Unfortunately, he is trading short-term headlines for a post-2025 future in which California electricity is less secure, less safe, less clean, and more expensive.”
Seeley continued, “Not only is this a false narrative – Diablo has never prevented power outages – but a dangerous one. Of the 92 reactors in the U.S., Diablo, which sits atop multiple earthquake faults, is at the top of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s list as the most likely to experience an earthquake larger than it is designed to withstand, potentially unleashing 3 million pounds of highly radioactive nuclear waste. A few billion dollars won’t be enough to complete the seismic or other upgrades needed to keep Californians safe. We believe PG&E is morally, ethically, and legally obligated to uphold its agreement to shut Diablo down.”
In the letter, MFP warns PG&E that if it breaks the agreement, it will not only put the company on legally thin ice, it will undermine the great work it and the settling parties have done to protect the residents of California and the environment. Closing the plant will:
greatly reduce the potential for a radiological disaster caused by an earthquake in the faults near the reactors;
resolve significant environmental concerns about the impacts of Diablo Canyon’s once-through cooling system on the marine environment;
achieve even greater GHG emissions reductions at a far lower cost than would be achieved by continuing to run Diablo Canyon.
The letter states: “These achievements would be upended at great cost to customers and/or taxpayers if PG&E walked away from the retirement agreement.” Further, the letter asserts that keeping the plant open would draw government resources from renewables and efficiency and discourage private investment in renewables and efficiency.
The letter also warns that should PG&E attempt to revive Diablo Canyon by submitting a new license renewal application to the NRC, MFP will insist that PG&E and the NRC fully comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements to evaluate the costs and benefits of the many alternatives to continued operation of Diablo Canyon.
The letter outlines some critical issues likely to arise in the license renewal proceedings, including seismic studies, continued impact on marine life, cost and benefits of energy alternatives, management of aging equipment, issues with pressure vessel embrittlement, and decommissioning costs.
Diane Curran, Counsel to MFP, said, “In 2016, by deciding to retire the two Diablo Canyon units at their license expiration dates, PG&E resolved the extremely significant earthquake and environmental risks that would have been posed by continued operation of the reactors; and at the same time, it took major steps to ensure a renewable energy future and reduce electric rates to customers. If PG&E now re-submits the license renewal application, it will resurrect those serious safety and environmental issues and even add more problems that have accumulated in the six years since PG&E decided against license renewal. Those issues will have to be addressed before PG&E can be allowed to continue operating. The legal hurdles will be high.”
Curran added, “Plunging California energy supply and policy back into the decades of poisonous stalemate engendered by Diablo Canyon and by past PG&E-inspired controversies is the last thing that the state and PG&E need as they seize the opportunity to move into a safe and less expensive electricity future based on energy efficiency and renewable energy. To abandon the settlement agreement’s achievements would be environmental and economic folly – not just for PG&E, but for California citizens, taxpayers, ratepayers, and for the environment.”
Energodar authorities: 11 plant employees were injured in the attack of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Zaporizhzhya NPP
ENERGODAR (Zaporozhye region), July 20 – RIA Novosti. Eleven employees of the Zaporozhye NPP were wounded on Monday during an attack by drones of Ukrainian troops, a spokesman for the Energodar military-civilian administration told RIA Novosti.
“During the attack on the Zaporozhye NPP on Monday, 11 employees were injured, four of them are now in serious condition. As of today, there is no data on the victims,” the statement says.
Guterres office: UN does not have first-hand information about the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant
UN, July 20 – RIA Novosti. The UN has no first-hand information about the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General, said at a briefing.
“I don’t have first-hand information on this,” Haq said when asked to comment on reports of a strike by Ukrainian forces on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant .
Earlier, a representative of the administration of the Zaporozhye region , Vladimir Rogov , said that three Ukrainian kamikaze drones attacked the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. According to him, the zone where the reactors at the Zaporozhye NPP are located was not affected.
Kyiv blocked the visit of the IAEA delegation to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, said the CAA
IMFEROPOL, June 21 – RIA Novosti. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) remotely monitors the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in Energodar, the personal arrival of the organization’s delegation is blocked by the Ukrainian side, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye region, told RIA Novosti.
“The IAEA remotely monitors the situation at the nuclear power plant. All the necessary data is transmitted to them, including on the level of radiation, generation. We invited the IAEA delegation to personally visit the nuclear power plant, but the Kyiv regime prevents this and blocks the visit,” Rogov told the agency.
According to him, the Kiev authorities are afraid that if the IAEA delegation arrives , illegal stocks of enriched uranium and plutonium accumulated during the time when the nuclear power plant was under the control of Kievwill be opened and become the property of the international community.
At the same time, Rogov stressed that the delegation could visit the nuclear power plant through the territory of Russia , in particular Crimea, or the Donetsk People’s Republic .
“The land transport corridor is open and safe,” he said.
During the special operation, the Russian military took control of the Kherson region and the Azov part of the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine . Civil-military administrations were formed in the regions, the ruble was put into circulation, and Russian TV channels and radio stations began broadcasting. The regions announced plans to become subjects of the Russian Federation.
The organization Strategic Stability reported July 20, 2022:
The authorities of city of Energodar reported four attacks by Ukrainian UAVs on the Zaporozhye NPP in a day on July 20th. This was reported to RIA Novosti by the press service of the city Administration. Energodar is located very close to this NPP. It is reported that the last attack was recorded at 16:01 (Moscow time). The building located nearby was damaged. The Administration of the Zaporozhye Region also reported that the reactor part of the NPP was not damaged as a result of the attack, the radiation level is normal.
What will be the reaction of the IAEA?
– – – –
The last IAEA bulletin on Ukraine was July 14. No IAEA response so far.
Ukrainian attack drones attacked the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant
Zaporizhia authorities said that Ukrainian strike drones attacked the nuclear power plant
ENERGODAR (Zaporozhye region), July 20 – RIA Novosti. Ukrainian drones hit the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the press service of the Energodar administration told RIA Novosti.
“Today, Kyiv carried out an attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant with the help of strike UAVs,” the official said.
“According to preliminary information, the UAVs were equipped with warheads with an explosive mass calculated in kilograms in TNT equivalent,” Vladimir Rogov, a representative of the CAA , wrote on his Telegram channel .
At the same time, the reactor part of the nuclear power plant was not damaged.In a commentary to RIA Novosti, Rogov added that strikes on the station were carried out to intimidate workers. He expressed confidence that this goal would not be achieved.Earlier , the
Armed Forces of Ukraine already tried to damage the object. On July 12, Ukrainian UAVs dropped several 120mm caliber mines on a building located next to the nuclear power plant. The roof and windows were damaged. In addition, an attempt to attack the power plant using drones was recorded on Monday, when 11 employees were injured, four of them in serious condition.
Russia has been conducting a military operation in Ukraine since February 24. President
Vladimir Putin called its goal “the protection of people who have been subjected to genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.” The Russian Ministry of Defense called the liberation of Donbass the main task .
In particular, in the DPR , the military occupies Volnovakha, a strategically important regional center south of Donetsk, Mariupol, the largest city on the coast of the Sea of Azov, and Svyatogorsk. In addition, in early July, with the capture of Lisichansk and the surrounding settlements, the allied forces controlled the entire territory of the LPR. During the special operation, the Russian military took control of the Kherson region and the Azov part of the Zaporozhye region in southern Ukraine, including the largest power plant in Europe. Civil-military administrations were formed in the regions, the ruble was put into circulation, and Russian TV channels and radio stations began broadcasting. The regions have announced plans to become Russian subjects.
I am sure that certain Democratic senators such as Cory Booker and Sheldon Whitehouse, who are reasonably progressive on a host of social issues, would not considers themselves racist, sexist or ageist.
Nuclear power is all three of these things, yet Booker, Whitehouse and a number of others on the Democratic left, support nuclear power with almost fervent evangelism.
Let’s start with racism. The fuel for nuclear power plants comes from uranium, which must be mined. The majority of those who have mined it in this country — and would again under new bills such as the ‘International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022’ forwarded by not-so-progressive “Democrat”, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) — are Native Americans.
As such, they have taken the brunt of the negative health impacts as well as the environmental degradation both created and then left behind by uranium mines when they cease to operate, as most in the U.S. now have.
Studies conducted among members of the Navajo Nation have shown increases in a number of diseases and lingering internal contamination from uranium mine waste among newborns and children. Chronic ailments including kidney disease and hypertension found in these populations are medically linked with living near –and contact with — uranium mine waste.
At the other end of the nuclear power chain comes the lethal, long-lived and highly radioactive waste as well as the so-called low-level radioactive waste stream of detritus, including from decommissioned nuclear power plants. Again, Indigenous peoples and poor communities of color are routinely the target.
The first and only high-level radioactive waste repository identified for the U.S. was to have been at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, against the strong wishes of the Western Shoshone Nation of Indians, on whose land the now canceled site is located. The Western Shoshone had already suffered the worst of the atomic testing program, with the Nevada atomic test site also on their land, making them “the most bombed nation on Earth,” as Western Shoshone Principal Man, Ian Zabarte, describes it.
An attempt to site a “low-level” radioactive waste dump in the largely Hispanic community of Sierra Blanca, TX was defeated, as was an allegedly temporary high-level radioactive waste site targeted for the Skull Valley Goshute Indian reservation in Utah.
Currently, efforts are underway to secure what are euphemistically known as “Consolidated Interim Storage Sites” in two communities in New Mexico and Texas, again with large Hispanic populations and considerable opposition.
Needless to say, these waste projects come with notable incentives — sometimes more accurately characterized as bribes — for the host community, in an effort to describe the deal as “voluntary.” But this preys upon the desperate economic needs of the most vulnerable communities, which are usually those of color.
The only two new U.S. nuclear reactors still under construction sit close to the African American community of Shell Bluff, Georgia, a population riddled with cancers and other diseases and who bitterly opposed the addition of more reactors to an already radioactively contaminated region.
Nuclear power is sexist because exposure to the ionizing radiation released at every stage of the nuclear fuel chain harms women more easily than men. Women are more radiosensitive than men — the science is not fully in on this but it is likely connected to greater hormone production — but women are not protected for.
Instead, the standard guidelines on which allowable radiation exposure levels are based (and “allowable” does not mean “safe”), consider a healthy, White male, in his mid-twenties to thirties and typically weighing around 154 pounds. He is known as “Reference Man”.
Women’s more vulnerable health concerns, and especially those of pregnant women, the fetus, babies and small children — and in particular female children — are thus overlooked in favor of the higher doses a healthy young male could potentially withstand.
As my colleagues Cindy Folkers and Ian Fairlie wrote:” “Women, especially pregnant women and children are especially susceptible to damage from radiation exposure. This means that they suffer effects at lower doses. Resulting diseases include childhood cancers, impaired neural development, lower IQ rates, respiratory difficulties, cardiovascular diseases, perinatal mortality and birth defects — some appearing for the first time within a family in the population studied.”
Even around nuclear power plants, the very young are at greater risk. Numerous studies in Europe have demonstrated that children age five or younger living close to nuclear power plants show higher rates of leukemia than those living further away. The closer they lived to the nuclear plant, the higher the incidences.
Similarly, the elderly are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of radiation exposure than adults in the prime of life. They, too, are overlooked in favor of protecting a robust man. Elders exposed to radiation are mainly to be found in the uranium mining and milling communities, or where waste dumps are located, and are therefore more likely to be low-income with poorer access to health care and fewer finances to pay for it.
The urgency of the climate crisis is a valid reason to revisit all electricity sources and make some important choices about lowering — and ideally eliminating — carbon emissions. Ruling out fossil fuel use is a must. But turning to nuclear power — rather than the faster, cheaper and safer options of renewable energy and efficiency — is not a humane choice.
If health is the concern, along with climate change, as it most certainly is for someone like Cory Booker, then choosing nuclear power as a substitute for fossil fuels is simply trading asthma for leukemia and asking frontline and Indigenous communities to, once again, suffer the greatest harm for the least return.
A truly progressive energy policy looks forward, not back. Nuclear power is an energy of the past — borne of a public relations exercise to create something positive out of splitting the atom. It was a mistake then. And it is a mistake now. If we are to address our climate crisis in time, and to do so with justice and equality, then we must ensure a Just Transition that considers the most vulnerable and discriminated among us, not what is best for that healthy, White Reference Man.
Governor Newsom has been carrying PG&E’s water for too long. When will it end? July 8, 2022
Governor Newsom’s cozy relationship with PG&E has been ongoing since his run for San Francisco Supervisor in 1998. By now, contributions from PG&E add up to well over $10 million in support of his campaigns and ballot measures. The company has also contributed hundreds of thousands to Newsom’s wife’s foundation. In return, Newsom has helped PG&E get away with murder, literally. And now, Newsom is proving his loyalty to the company by providing a runway for PG&E to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open past its agreed-upon closure date of 2025.
On June 30, the Department of Energy (DOE) bowed to Newsom’s plea to change the rules so Diablo could qualify for a portion of the $6 million of Civil Nuclear Tax Credits. The DOE also extended the application deadline until September 6, 2022, allowing PG&E ample time to apply. Newsom is no stranger to manipulating circumstances to help PG&E. After the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people in 2018, Newsom had his lawyers craft a bill, AB 1054. This 2019 bill essentially protected PG&E by creating a $21 billion fund to help utilities cover the cost of major wildfires started by their equipment and forcing customers to pay for half of the cost of the fund. The bill also enabled PG&E to obtain official state safety certificates for two fire seasons since the Camp Fire. Yet, three years later, a state report on the 2021 Dixie Fire indicated that the utility was negligent in its tree-removal program, which helped spark the fire, and that their response the day of the fire was “excessively delayed.”
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling weakening the EPA, Governor Newsom claimed that “California is taking bold action to further advance California’s progress toward an oil-free future and bolster the state’s clean energy economy.” Yet, at the same time, he convinced members of the State Legislature to pass a very climate-unfriendly Trailer Budget Bill. This legislation provides a $75 million allocation for the Department of Water Resources to purchase electricity from Diablo Canyon and hundreds of millions more for fossil fuel power plants.
Keeping Diablo open past 2025 breaks a hard-fought agreement between environmental organizations, labor, and PG&E. It puts the availability of renewable energy at risk, undercutting the state’s ability to reduce carbon dioxide and other climate-warming emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. California does not need Diablo to ensure sufficient energy to prevent power outages or meet climate goals. To be clear, Diablo Canyon is closing because PG&E determined in 2016 that doing so would enable it to meet California’s renewable energy standard (RES) and emissions standards more rapidly and more cost-effectively.
Newsom’s coddling of PG&E and his maneuverings at the state and federal levels to keep Diablo running is all the more disturbing in that his motivations are based on the false narrative that these fossil and nuclear-fueled plants will prevent power outages. They will not. Energy consultant Robert Freehling explains it succinctly: “These plants were operating during the early 2000s energy crisis and in 2020. They did not prevent outages.”
Timeline: PG&E’s disasters since 2010 ABC10 examined the disasters and wildfires caused by PG&E, starting with the San Bruno Gas Explosion in 2010 then jumping ahead 8 years to the Camp Fire.Here’s a look at the timeline of PG&E’s disasters by ABC10:2010… PG&E was convicted of six federal felonies, including obstruction of the investigation, stemming from the 2010 San Bruno Gas Explosion. The blast killed eight people. Due to this conviction, the company was placed on probation until 2022, paid a $3 million fine, and was sentenced to 10,000 hours of community service.
2018... Newsom wins the governor’s race in November of 2018. Three days later, the Camp Fire started, destroying the town of Paradise and nearby communities. The fire resulted in the deaths of 85 people. It was determined the company left a hook hanging for nearly a hundred years until it broke, dropped a power line and sparked the fire.
2019… Problems with similar parts on a high tension power line are blamed for sparking the Kincade Fire. It burned more than a hundred homes in wine country. No one died, but it was close. Firefighters were injured while saving people. PG&E is fighting multiple felony and misdemeanor charges filed by Sonoma County in connection to the Kincade Fire.
2020…PG&E pleaded guilty to 84 felony counts of manslaughter, and one felony for sparking the Camp Fire through criminally reckless behavior. Three months after the court proceedings for the Camp Fire, the Zogg Fire broke out when a tree hit a PG&E power line in Shasta County. Four people died, including eight-year-old Feyla McLeod and her mother, both of whom burned to death running for their lives in a pickup truck. It’s an active homicide investigation and prosecutors recently announced they will be filing charges against PG&E and possibly officials who work there. The judge managing PG&E’s probation already found PG&E committed safety “violations” when PG&E’s contractors marked an unsafe tree leaning over the power line, but no one ever followed up to cut it down.
2021… PG&E’s legal obligation to find and cut trees threatening power lines is again under investigation for the Dixie Fire, which is still raging through communities ever since igniting on July 13. The fire started where a tree fell on a PG&E power line just a short distance up the Feather River Canyon from where PG&E sparked the Camp Fire. The question for investigators isn’t whether PG&E sparked the Dixie Fire, but whether PG&E is criminally responsible. That question hinges on whether PG&E should have found the tree and cut it before it fell.
ABC10 series: Fire Power Money For over three years, ABC10’s Fire – Power – Money team has been at the forefront covering California’s wildfire crisis, the danger of PG&E’s power lines, and how the company avoids accountability. Governor Newsom, PG&E, the CPUC, and the California fires https://www.abc10.com/firepowermoney