— Huge crane collapses at Japan’s Takahama nuclear plant, damages spent fuel pool building; TV — “Workers checking building’s functions to prevent radioactive materials from leaking”

From ENE News

January 22, 2017

Kyodo News. Jan. 21, 2017 (emphasis added): Crane falls on building storing spent nuclear fuel at Takahama plant — A crane collapsed Friday night at the Takahama power station… damaging a building housing spent nuclear fuel, the plant operator said Saturday… An official apologized for the accident at a news conference at the plant, saying the utility would re-examine the risk of crane accidents amid strong winds and investigate the cause of the latest incident…

Asahi Shimbun, Jan 21, 2017: The mangled wreckage of the construction crane at the Takahama nuclear power plant… The 113-meter tall [nearly 400 foot] crane used for construction work collapsed around 9:50 p.m. … The plant’s operations have been suspended. The mangled wreckage lies on [a] building used to store spent nuclear fuel… Winds gusting at 50.4 to 54 kph [31 to 34 mph] were raging at the time, and a warning had been issued…

Jiji Press, Jan 21, 2017: Large Crane Falls Down at Takahama Nuclear Plant… A 113-meter crane toppled over two buildings… Friday night, the operator… [T]he 270-ton boom crane partially damaged steel frames of an auxiliary building and an adjoining spent fuel storage facility for the No. 2 reactor… The central control room for the reactor is located in the auxiliary building

Getty Images, Jan 21, 2017: Crane falls on Takahama plant building housing spent nuclear fuel… where a crane collapsed a day earlier, damaging a building housing spent nuclear fuel.

Manichi Daily News, Jan 21, 2017: After the incident, the framework of the collapsed crane was seen bent along the buildings on which it fell, and the metal rails on the edges of the roofs of the two affected buildings were damaged… [A] worker at the plant’s central control room heard a loud sound and checked to find one of the four cranes collapsed

NHK, Jan 20, 2017: A large crane has toppled onto a building storing nuclear fuel… Part of the building’s roof was damaged… Workers at the plant found… the crane had half-collapsed onto the building next to the containment vessel… They confirmed damage to a facility collecting rainwater on the roof, but say they have detected no change to radiation levels in the surrounding area… Nuclear Regulation Authority says its inspectors have confirmed the falling crane caused wall panels inside the building to move. Workers are checking the building’s functions to prevent radioactive materials from leaking… The Takahama plant’s operational chief… apologized for the accident…

Watch videos: Asahi | NHK



— MIT’s floating reactors — “outstanding safety performance” or dangerous fraud? (VIDEO)

Here is the transcript and MIT description for the Jacopo Buongiorno video. Again, this is a must-see video; archive it for future use.

In this video are many errors and assumptions. Obviously neither Buongiorno nor his team are sailors who have experienced weather and ocean conditions. The evacuation and contamination zone for Fukushima is not a few miles. The only thing infinite about the ocean is its goodness. Certainly the ocean is not an infinite heat sink. Heating the ocean is never, ever, a good idea, and discharging radioactivity into the water is insane. Radioactive gases will also burp out of the ocean as fast as they are pumped in, as anyone who has blown bubbles into water knows. So much for mitigation. So much for ‘higher’ education.

These universities seem to be publicly-funded industry profit enrichment systems. There is little critical thinking going on here, and degrees are being given to fools and yes-men who develop systems that endanger the Earth and everyone on it. 

Video and description from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Published April 15, 2014

“When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused most of the damage and contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects — specifically, the lack of cooling for the reactor cores and spent fuel, due to a shutdown of outside power — that caused most of the harm.

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically flooded by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, providing sufficient cooling to indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material.

The concept is being presented this week at the Small Modular Reactors Symposium, hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, by MIT associate professor of nuclear science and engineering (NSE) Jacopo Buongiorno along with others from MIT, the University of Wisconsin, and Chicago Bridge and Iron, a major nuclear plant and offshore platform construction company.

Video filmed by Christopher Sherrill, courtesy of MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.”


Speaker: Jacopo Buongiorno,
Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, MIT

Today I want to tell you about a new nuclear reactor concept that we’re developing here at MIT, and that is the possibility of revolutionizing the nuclear industry both in terms of economics and safety.

This is a floating offshore nuclear power plant.

It’s a power plant that can be entirely constructed in a centralized shipyard and then towed to the site where it would be moored or anchored a few miles off the coast and link to the electric grid with a transmission line.

Now the idea of the floating plant is not entirely new. In fact, the Russian are building a floating plant themselves, but the key difference between our concept and theirs is that ours is not only floating but is sited a few miles off the coast, and this affords some absolutely crucial advantages.

First of all, tsunamis and earthquakes are no longer a source of risk for the nuclear plant because essentially the ocean shields the seismic waves. And the tsunami waves in relatively deep waters – say, 100 meter deep – are not big and so they don’t really pose a hazard for the plant.

Number two, of course, the ocean itself can be used as an infinite heat sink. And so, the decay heat which is generated by the nuclear fuel, even after the reactor is shut down, can be removed indefinitely, and this is a major advantage with respect to current terrestrial plants in which the ultimate heat sink is not assured necessarily for the very long term as demonstrated by the accident in Japan at Fukushima.

The other key safety advantage is that because of distance from shore, even if an accident should occur at the plant, it will not force people to evacuate, to move away from their homes and their jobs on shore. Because of distance, and also because of the possibility of essentially venting radioactive gases under water, therefore minimizing the impact onshore.

Now, a nice characteristic of this idea is that it combines essentially two established technologies. One is nuclear reactors – for example, light water reactors, PWI and PWR — and the other technology is offshore platforms which are currently used obviously for oil and gas exploration, exploitation, and extraction.

So we think that the combination of these two technologies give some solid ground on which we can build a plant that has good economic performance and, as I explained, an outstanding safety performance.

And we have a great team here at MIT of students, both graduates and undergraduates, as well as professors, and we’re also collaborating with other universities and with industry to develop these new concepts.

Expert: Ukrainian nuclear energy decision could lead to “Chernobyl disaster”

From Fort Russ

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
 23rd February, 2016
The refusal of Russian fuel cells and the use of American equivalents at the Ukrainian atomic power stations has already led to an accident at the South-Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).
An expert on atomic energy, Alexander Igonin, commented on this on the website “Ukraine.ru”. “The technological inconsistencies of American nuclear fuel and Soviet reactors has already led to accidents at nuclear power plants in Finland, Czech Republic and Ukraine. Despite the official statement that the South-Ukrainian NPP “is all within the normal range”, an unscheduled stop of the reactor is a serious incident, describing the technical state of the station” — he said.
Igonin also noted that the Kiev regime has significantly increased the risks of accidents at Ukrainian nuclear power plants. “The Zaporozhye and South-Ukrainian NPP are the first stations where the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers, before the end of the year, decided to start using exclusively American nuclear fuel. According to experts, such a move significantly increases the risk of incidents similar to Chernobyl“, — stated the expert.
He reminded us that in future the Ukrainian authorities intend to make a transition to American nuclear fuel across all operated nuclear power station, with more than a dozen working reactors.
Earlier it was reported that the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant (NPP) disconnected its third turbine due to technical problems.

Accident at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant: radioactive steam release, panic, evacuation and reactor shutdown

From ENE News
December 22, 2015

Mass panic as radioactive cloud pours from nuclear plant — Radiation levels reportedly spike near reactor after emergency shutdown — Traffic jams as people evacuate area — “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine” (PHOTOS)

Express, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): Russians flee Chernobyl-style plant over fears of radioactive leak — Russians took iodine and caused traffic jams… amid fears officials were covering up a radioactive leak. The panic followed the emergence of pictures showing a cloud of vapour pouring from Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, some 50 miles from St Petersburg. The authorities insisted that the was no radioactive leakage… but people did not believe the “no danger” claim. Radio Svoboda reported that in the wake of the incident on Friday locals in Sosnovy Bor started withdrawing money from their credit cards. They said locals were in panic mode despite statements from officials that the radiation level was normal… One local said: “Everyone got very worried and rushed to get iodine.”… There were traffic jams as residents left the area and headed for St Petersburg… The plant manager (not pictured) insists there are no reasons for evacuation. [Oleg Bodrov, chairman of Green World ecological group] said: “They know well that the officials’ first task is to say all is normal but not to report about danger, even if there is one. All those who understand a bit about nuclear energy know that it was an attempt to mistake the wish for the reality… this vapour is surely radioactive… Bodrov called for medical checks for staff at the power plant. Interfax reported that a special commission was working at the nuclear station aiming to find out the reasons for the emission.

Daily Mail photo captions: A cloud of vapour pouring out of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant in St Petersburg caused mass panic… Russian radio reported St Petersburg residents rushing out to buy iodine to protect against radiation poisoning after spotting the steam flowing out of the power station… The billowing vapour spreads across buildings

QHA, Dec 19, 2015: Accident occurred at Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (PHOTO) — Eyewitnesses of the accident and the inhabitants of the Russia’s northern capital are scared. The second unit was stopped at the station… The accident occurred at the second power unit when a pipe with steam cracked in turbine hall yesterday. The steam filled the room, and leaked beyond the power plant. The employees of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP) had to go home… According to specialists, the release was radioactive, because the waste steam entered the so-called loop reactor coolant. However, the population was encouraged not to panic.

Baltic Newsletter of the Green World, Dec 20, 2015: An emergency stop of the second power unit of Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant took place… The reason for the stop and cooling of the reactor was a sudden leak of radioactive steam from a faulty pipe in one of the rooms of the turbine shop… During the cooling – down step, the reactor steam was ejected through the pipe into the environment. A south – southeast wind of 5 meters per second (not typical for this area) blew the radioactive steam toward the Gulf of Finland… Thus, the five millionth city of St. Petersburg, located 40 km east of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant was fortunate this time. According to some sources , the radiation level rose a few times higher than the background radiation only in the NPP area.

Watch video from the Director of Leningrad NPP here



• Jimmy Carter’s cancer risk history censored by news media

Jimmy Carter touring Three Mile Island,  April 1, 1979
Jimmy Carter touring Three Mile Island,
April 1, 1979
Courtesy of Wikipedia.org. Public domain.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently had cancer on his liver removed, and is now being treated for cancer on his brain.

Jimmy Carter helped cleanup a nuclear accident in Canada during the 1950s. As President, he toured Three Mile Island on the fourth day after the partial meltdown, while the accident was still ongoing. And he was part of then-Captain Hyman G. Rickover’s fledgling nuclear submarine program when he served in the Navy. These substantial radiation exposures are risk factors for cancer, but they aren’t mentioned in the (virtually identical) media reports dated August 20. One AP article stated his cancer is probably due to too much sun.

Experts say his lifelong activities may have increased his risk for skin cancer. He lives in the South, is fair-skinned and freckled, and through Habitat for Humanity and travel, has spent a lot of time outdoors, noted Anna Pavlick, co-director of the melanoma program at NYU’s Laura & Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center.”            http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2015/8/20/jimmy_carter_to_disc.html

Many think Jimmy Carter was just a peanut farmer who became President for one term, and then got involved with Habitat for Humanity. His career is much more extensive.

Carter graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, served on submarines as a Navy officer, did graduate work at Union College (NY) in reactor technology and nuclear physics, and was senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second US nuclear submarine. He helped shut down and disassemble the Ontario Chalk River Experimental Reactor after it suffered a partial meltdown in 1952. This, plus his exposure at TMI in 1979, together with his exposures in Rickover’s program and in graduate school, are risk factors for his present cancers.

Carter himself seems unwilling to bring up this issue.

Cancers often have long latency periods and can take decades to develop.

Especially now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants to declare “low-level” radiation exposure as beneficial, the lack of information on Jimmy Carter’s background and exposure is suspicious. With no information, there is no bad press for the nuclear industry, no derailing an industry-friendly NRC decision, and no reminders about Fukushima.


Remember: NRC comments due September 8.







Note: A 2007 New York Times article on the Carter family also sidestepped malathion and pesticide exposure as a reason for his family’s high death rate from pancreatic cancer.