— Ukraine energy crisis affecting reactors: EU urges lifting rail blockade of Donbass coal

To understand the situation in Ukraine — 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see-ukraine-on-fire-by-oliver-stone/5574843
http://www.globalresearch.ca/indepthreport/ukraine-report

From Fort Russ

February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik France, translated by Tom Winter –

“Donbass, the Heart of Russia.” 1921 poster has two coal miners at top, and the map serves well today to show how suicidal blocking the coal trains was.
This is Sputnik France’s illustration for this report.  “The EU urges lifting the Commercial blockade of Donbass.” And the picture’s hidden label reads “Instead of aid, blockade.”

Faced with the prospect of revolving power outages in Ukraine, the European Union has at last taken note of the commercial blockade of the Donbass, with Kiev no longer receiving the anthracite coal absolutely necessary for the Ukrainian power stations.

The commercial blockade of the Donbass
a) violates the rights of Ukrainians living in the territories that are currently beyond the control of Kiev, and
b) is likely to trigger an energy crisis in the country, warns the representation of the European Union in Ukraine, adding that the organizers of the blockade must immediately lift it.

The blockade of the railway connections with Donbass started at end of January, when a group of veterans of the volunteer battalions participating in the hostilities [on the side of the Kiev regime], with deputies of the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament), blocked traffic on the railway line.

The organizers of the blockade claimed that any trade with the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk (LNR) was illegal, and that all goods transported were therefore contraband.

The railway blockade has led to problems in getting anthracite coal from the Donbass, causing difficulties in Ukraine’s energy sector. As a result, Kiev is already considering revolving power cuts in most parts of the country.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/02/eu-urges-lifting-rail-blockade-of.html

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— Nuclear terrorism could be used to blackmail Europe and Russia

The situation in Ukraine is frightening on many fronts. The mainstream news severely censors the news, as it does on Fukushima. Fort Russ is one website translating and publishing articles on the situation. Global Research is another.

There are 15 nuclear reactors operating in Ukraine right now — 6 reactors at Zaporozhye (and there has already been an accident there) and 2 at South Ukraine, both in the south eastern part of Ukraine. Imagine an accident at one or both of these plants.

Peace in Ukraine and the cessation of US and Western support for the Kiev regime that has brought about this dangerous state of affairs has to be a top priority. When just one reactor at Chernobyl in Ukraine erupted in 1986, the land as far away as North Wales was so severely contaminated that the dairy industry to this day continues to be impacted and monitored.

From Fort Russ

Zhuravko: Islyamov Could Engage in Nuclear Terrorism for the Sake of Blackmailing Russia

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
27th June, 2016

The situation in Ukraine continues to be alarming, and, unfortunately, does not create hope and optimism. The state under the control of the coup is rapidly approaching collapse on all fronts. In this sense, unfortunately, the threat is not only to the State of the country or the welfare of its inhabitants, but also the lives of millions of people, and not only in Ukraine. The Kiev government largely does not control the situation in Ukraine, does not control its own militants, and cannot prevent many emergencies, among which the safety of Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant has special status.

This was discussed on the TV programme “Special Status” on the TV channel “Zvezda”, which the Ukrainian opposition politician Alexei Zhuravko participated in.

“I am receiving disturbing information from Ukraine almost every day. The threat of a terrible collapse and many deaths exists. We mustn’t joke on the topic of nuclear plants. In addition, experts seak about one other threat: it is Islyamov, it is “Azov” militants, fighters of “Dnepr”. And no one knows where the gun will turn. The worst thing is that the safety of nuclear power plants, which was ensured by the State, internal security, no longer exists. That is, there is no protection, there are no guns that were defending the stations before, all was stolen, money for major repairs of the stations was looted, very little resources were allocated. In Zaporozhye, according to my real information, there was already a shutdown of this station, and it is linked with experiments. (I still have connections, I used to work with “Energoatom”) In this situation, we need to unite, to connect media, to reach out to the Ukrainians, otherwise there will be a disaster,” he said.

Zhuravko doesn’t exclude that the fugitive Crimean Tatar terrorist Lenor Islyamov and his fighters, who have repeatedly threatened Russia with terrorist attacks, can bring his threats to life. Among those may be the explosion of nuclear facilities, nuclear power plants.

“It is simple. If some fool will get guns and mortars, after that it can explode. It’s scary! If today Islyamov wants to blackmail Russia, he has everything to do it. He can order the militants to close the stations and just to install terror. Nuclear terror. Because in Ukraine, the President does not control the country! And this process must be controlled by specialists,” said the politician.

“I ring all the bells around and I hope god will forbid those bastards from entering into nuclear power plant and chemical plant, and it’s just hard to imagine what the consequences and human toll would be,” adds Zhuravko.

“If today Russia will not interpose, we will have such a blast that it will not look like something small. And it will be Belarus, Russia, Europe, and other countries that will suffer the most! It is necessary to “rear up” Europe… it is necessary to inform Ukrainians, it is necessary to show and to tell the truth on this matter. And to prove to people that they need to rise because a catastrophe will whip up, and humanity will be no more. Think about it for the time being it’s not too late,” warns the politician.

At this time, in the South of Ukraine, armed militants that are massively deployed in the region, continue criminal terror. According to Zhuravko, robbery of the population gains the scope of this disaster.

“Kherson region. 50 people armed to the teeth took away the farmer’s tractor, covers, chemicals, and seed material to the amount of twelve million hryvnias.

Mykolaiv region, Bashtansky district, 25th June 2016, 40 people armed with machine guns and other machetes seized the entire crop from this year.

According to available information, in Ukraine, on the black market and near the area of the ATO, you can buy any kind of weapons, machine guns, grenades, machine guns, explosives, anti-tank mines, and more.

Private territorial battalions in Ukraine are growing like mushrooms after rain. The example of Isylamov’s battalions and their ISIS-isation of the Kherson region is already enough of a problem.

The President does not control the situation in Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine is not fighting against private territorial battalions with radical ideas, and are not fighting terrorism,” writes the ex-MP on a social network.

Alexei Zhuravko’s data was unexpectedly confirmed by the famous Ukrainian militant, leader of “Brotherhood” Dmitry Korchinskiy. Battalions under the leadership of businessman Lenur Islyamov, formed on the border with Crimea in Kherson region, are engaged in robbery, he said to the TV channel “112 Ukraine”.

“They have already proclaimed the necessity of national autonomy of the Crimean Tatars, without asking the Ukrainian people. Crimean Tatars, even in the times of Geray (dynasty of Kahn in the 15th Century – O.R), were not a majority in Crimea. And today they say that Crimea should be a national autonomy of Crimean Tatars!

Today in two districts in Kherson region… Tatars under the command of Lenur Islyamov, the former Deputy Prime Minister of the occupational government of Crimea, already have military formations that are very well armed, and are also engaged in robbery and all sorts of boorishness,” said Korchinskiy.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/06/zhuravko-islyamov-could-engage-in.html

Article on nuclear power in Ukraine:

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-T-Z/Ukraine/

— Researcher asks for investigative help to verify major nuclear accident(s) in 2016 and cover-up

From Allegedly Apparent
May 1, 2016

Request for Investigative Assistance! WANTED: Verification of MAJOR Nuclear Accident(s) in 2016: WHEN, WHERE, HOW BAD, and WHO is covering it up?

https://goo.gl/ZYEdai — short link

Excerpt on detections:

Ruthenium-103, mid-January 2016, Southern Norway
Cesium-137, early/mid-March 2016, Far-Northern Finland
Tellurium-103, late April 2016, Northern Germany

https://allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/request-for-investigative-assistance-wanted-verification-of-major-nuclear-accident-in-2016-when-where-how-bad-and-who-is-covering-it-up/

— California Senate Bill 968 supporting PG&E’s Diablo Canyon faces sharp opposition

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant faces increasing calls for closure. It is the only power generating nuclear plant currently operating in California. Its problems have been ongoing from the beginning. It is at daily risk from the four earthquake faults in the vicinity. The many frightening safety violations there by Pacific Gas and Electric and the NRC whistleblower exposé that the plant is out of compliance have caused alarm bells. Recent comments by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on the California Lands Commission mean Diablo Canyon’s future is being questioned in Sacramento.

But in February, Sen. Bill Monning introduced Senate Bill 968, co-written by Sen. Katcho Achadjian (San Luis Obispo) and Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson (Santa Barbara-Ventura), calling for a study of the adverse economic effects of closing Diablo Canyon. Many profit by its continued operation. The study would be funded by the public. The bill and its unbalanced study has encountered strong opposition from environmental and health organizations. Though Monning has now amended the bill to add ‘beneficial’ economic effects from a closure to the investigation, this seems merely a cosmetic change. The intent of the authors and this bill is clear.

Sen. Monning and co-authors state they want an independent evaluation, but the California Public Utilities Commission – an agency notorious for biasing results and ignoring unwanted conclusions – will oversee the selection. Furthermore in 2011, Monning as Assemblyman helped choose, and then affirmed findings of, the California Council on Science and Technology on Smart Meters. CCST was a supposedly independent group, but flaws in the review panel, the data, and the report were exposed by state health officials, scientists, and medical experts. However, Monning stood firm, despite what was widely known about Smart Meter problems, despite formal comments to the CPUC on overbilling and health issues, and despite public testimony to the Commission and Monning’s own office of the harm being inflicted by Smart Meters. CCST’s pro-industry report gave cover to PG&E and other utility companies for the continued roll-out of the very dangerous and controversial meters.

Bill Monning has proven a reliable supporter for utility company initiatives and Democratic Party positions and backers, despite his former position as Executive Director for the International Physicians for Social Responsibility. The San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles Chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility called their decision to oppose this bill and its author “painful” because of Monning’s previous affiliation with their group, but they felt they had no choice.

PSR reluctantly has concluded that this bill would be at variance with the fundamental principle “do no harm”. By calling on PG&E to submit an analysis of the supposedly adverse economic impacts of closing the plant at the end of its designed life with no discussion of impacts of a Fukushima-type disaster were the plant to keep running, the study would amount to a piece of advocacy for continued operation of this dangerous facility.

Each Diablo unit contains 1000 times a long-lived radioactivity of the Hiroshima bomb. Each year Diablo produces enough plutonium for hundreds of nuclear weapons as well as waste toxic for half a million years.

The plant was built based on the assumption there were no active earthquake faults within 30 kilometers. Now we know there are 4. It is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

The public should not be forced to pay as taxpayers or ratepayers for a wasteful, unbalanced, and unnecessary report that may have the effect of implicitly pushing for the continuation of these risks. Thank you.

Monning: “One slight correction on the opposition testimony. We do remain open to working with them. This would not be a study conducted by PG&E. It would be supported by an independent study.”

The economic and environmental damage that Diablo Canyon inflicts on San Luis Obispo County now and on the ocean now is not considered by Sen. Monning and Co.. And “a catastrophe waiting to happen” decimating all industry and population centers within many miles is simply not a part of their equation, economic or otherwise – a startling realization. It is especially surprising that Senator Jackson co-authored this bill, since her district does not have the economic gain that SLO County enjoys, and both of the counties she represents — Santa Barbara and Ventura — would suffer terrible impacts if Diablo Canyon underwent an accident. Ventura County was impacted by the Santa Susanna Field Laboratory’s multiple nuclear accidents starting in the 1950s. Why would Sen. Jackson risk more nuclear danger?

Given Sen. Monning and co-authors’ intent for his bill, it is doubtful that an evaluative group would do anything other than rubberstamp the original goal — to show that closing Diablo Canyon would cause adverse economic impacts to San Luis Obispo County (and also, to PG&E investors) – and thereby slow any process to close the plant.

When Monning states that the bill’s authors remain open to working with the groups in opposition, one thing is clear: for the authors, these environmental and health groups are the opposition. The authors are against reason, against the science, and against public safety.

Below is an unofficial transcript of the May 2 Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. The links to the video are here:http://senate.ca.gov/media-archive – Videos, May 2, 2016 Appropriations Comm hearing

http://vod.senate.ca.gov/videos/2016/20160502_Appropriations_high.mp4

Appropriations Committee hearing, May 2, 2016

SB 968 goes from 10:20 – 17:28 on the video.

SB 968 – Diablo Canyon

Sen. Monning: Good morning, Chair, members.

Senate Bill 968 requires an economic assessment of the adverse and beneficial impacts that could occur in the event that the Diablo nuclear power plant shuts down. The economic assessment is an appropriate use of ratepayer funds, because allr atepayers have benefited from the energy generated from Diablo Canyon. There are past examples of ratepayers-funded studies only benefiting a single region.

Even if there is disagreement on this point, the actual impact to ratepayers will be de minimis.

San Luis Obispo’s economy is heavily reliant on Diablo Canyon which is why an independent accurate assessment to help identify ways to mitigate the impacts is indeed prudent.

I along with Asm. Achadjian have a duty to protect the region that we represent from economic harm, and SB 968 is a means for the San Luis Obispo community to plan and discuss in the event of the plant’s closure. I recognize this is a candidate for suspense and would urge an aye vote at the appropriate time. And we have a couple of witnesses in support. Thank you.

In support:

1 — Derek ? on behalf of the San Luis Coastal Unified School District. This is a school district that encompasses the power plant and surrounding region and so it’s really impacted by the local economy that’s brought to the area by PG&E and the power plants.

This nexus we think with state funding here is the fact that when the local economy becomes depressed because of a sudden instance like the closure of a power plant, we’d see an augmentation in state funding required under the local control funding formula and our unique funding system here in California. So we think that some point, there could bee a big augmentation devoted to this very school district and surrounding area, given its $80 million dollar annual operating budget and the fact that it might fall out of basic aid status. And so we urge you to support the bill.

2 — Good morning, Chair, members. Karen Lang (?) of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. This county collects almost $26 million dollars in property taxes from the existence of the plant. Obviously that goes to all the tax entities including the school district. With concerns about any sudden or over time closure of the plant, and so a third party analysis would be really helpful we think and we urge your aye vote when the time comes.

Witness in support:

In opposition:

1 — I am Molly Johnson. I am here to present the opposition of more than 30 environmental and other health organizations including Public Citizen, Greenpeace, LA and San Francisco Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Northern Band Chumash Council

We remain troubled by the bill’s one-sided nature although it is getting better, and we are working with to continue that, Uit still focuses on adverse economic rather than a balanced, and we would like to it more balanced.

We do see that there has been an amount put to the bill which we did not see until just a little bit ago. So even though these matters are now touched upon by the staff report, we feel that this still is a wasteful expense unless it is a balanced bill. Thank you.

2 — Good morning. I am Tabez Zadi (sp?) and am appearing on behalf of the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles Chapters of Physicians for Social Responsibility which has long worked to address nuclear risks. And Sen. Monning once served as Executive Director of PSR’s parent international physician’s organization.

And PSR’s opposition to his bill on Diablo Canyon is thus painful and hasn’t been entered into lightly. PSR reluctantly has concluded that this bill would be at variance with the fundamental principle “do no harm”. By calling on PG&E to submit an analysis of the supposedly adverse economic impacts of closing the plant at the end of its designed life with no discussion of impacts of a Fukushima-type disaster were the plant to keep running, the study would amount to a piece of advocacy for continued operation of this dangerous facility.

Each Diablo unit contains 1000 times a long-lived radioactivity of the Hiroshima bomb. Each year Diablo produces enough plutonium for hundreds of nuclear weapons as well as waste toxic for half a million years.

The plant was built based on the assumption there were no active earthquake faults within 30 kilometers. Now we know there are four. It is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

The public should not be forced to pay as taxpayers or ratepayers for a wasteful, unbalanced, and unnecessary report that may have the effect of implicitly pushing for the continuation of these risks. Thank you.

Monning: One slight correction on the opposition testimony. We do remain open to working with them. This would not be a study conducted by PGE&. It would be supported by an independent study. With that again, I would request at the appropriate time an aye vote.

——————-

More information:

http://mothersforpeace.org/blog/29-gaps-in-excellence-in-2014

http://nonukesca.net/?p=539

http://www.foe.org/news/news-releases/2015-03-diablo-pge-secretly-used-wrong-data-for-safety-equipment#sthash.8DQl1ReI.dpuf

https://healfukushima.org/2016/02/29/take-action-on-diablo-canyon-npp-tell-california-state-lands-commission-to-do-full-ceqa-review/

http://mothersforpeace.org/blog/topics-to-address-at-august-5-2015-nrc-meeting-in-slo

http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/ap-exclusive-expert-calls-diablo-canyon-shutdown/ng8Tj/

http://lompocrecord.com/news/opinion/mailbag/hartmann-nuke-risks-oil-trains/article_9f1703e4-4a34-5f16-997c-6be468a26bc9.html

Belgian nuclear reactors riddled with 16,000 unexplained cracks

From the Ecologist
by Oliver Tickell
18th February 2015

The discovery of over 16,000 cracks in two Belgian reactor vessels may have global implications for nuclear safety, says the country’s nuclear safety chief. He and independent experts are calling for the immediate checks of nuclear reactor vessels worldwide.

The safety of every nuclear reactor on the planet could be significantly compromised … What we are seeing in Belgium is potentially devastating for nuclear reactors globally due to the increased risk of a catastrophic failure.

Thousands of cracks have been found in the steel reactor pressure vessels in nuclear reactors Doel 3 and Tihange 2 in Belgium – vessels contain highly radioactive nuclear fuel cores.

The failure of these components can cause catastrophic nuclear accidents with massive release of radiation.

The pervasive – and entirely unexpected – cracking could be related to corrosion from normal operation, according to leading material scientists Professor Walter Bogaerts and Professor Digby MacDonald.

Speaking on Belgian TV, Professor MacDonald said:

“The consequences could be very severe … like fracturing the pressure vessel, loss of coolant accident. This would be a leak before break scenario, in which case before a fracture of a pipe occurred … you would see a jet of steam coming out through the insulation.

“My advice is that all reactor operators, under the guidance of the regulatory commissions should be required to do an ultrasonic survey of the pressure vessels. All of them.”

Professor Bogaerts added:

“If I had to estimate, I would really be surprised if it … had occurred nowhere else … I am afraid that the corrosion aspects have been underestimated.”

Jan Bens, Director-General of the Belgian nuclear regulator the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC),  has said that this could be a problem for the entire nuclear industry globally – and that the solution is to begin the careful inspection of 430 nuclear power plants worldwide.

An unexplained embrittlement

The problem was discovered in the summer of 2012. Both the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors have been shut down since March 24th, 2014 after additional tests revealed an unexplained advanced embrittlement of the steel of the test sample.

At the time the reactors’ operator, Electrabel, dismissed the cracks as being the result of manufacturing problems during construction in the late 1970’s in the Netherlands – but provided no supporting evidence.

FANC also stated that the most likely cause was manufacturing – but added that it could be due to other causes. Following the further tests FANC has now issued a statement confirming that the additional 2014 tests revealed 13,047 cracks in Doel 3 and 3,149 in Tihange 2.

“In carrying out tests related to theme 2 during the spring of 2014, a fracture toughness test revealed unexpected results, which suggested that the mechanical properties of the material were more strongly influenced by radiation than experts had expected. As a precaution both reactors were immediately shut down again.”

As nuclear reactors age, radiation causes pressure vessel damage, or embrittlement, of the steel mostly as a result of the constant irradiation by neutrons which gradually destroys the metal atom by atom – inducing radioactivity and transmutation into other elements.

Another problem is that hydrogen from cooling water can migrate into reactor vessel cracks. “The phenomenon is like a road in winter where water trickles into tiny cracks, freezes, and expands, breaking up the road”, says Greenpeace Belgium energy campaigner Eloi Glorieux.

“It appears that hydrogen from the water within the vessel that cools the reactor core is getting inside the steel, reacting, and destroying the pressure vessel from within.”

He adds that the findings mean that “the safety of every nuclear reactor on the planet could be significantly compromised … What we are seeing in Belgium is potentially devastating for nuclear reactors globally due to the increased risk of a catastrophic failure.”

Immediate action needed to prevent another catastrophe

On February 15th the nuclear reactor operator, Electrabel (GDF / Suez parent company) announced that it would be prepared to “sacrifice” one of its reactors to conduct further destructive tests of the reactor pressure vessel in order to study this poorly understood and extremely concerning damage phenomenon.

Electrabel’s findings will be submitted to FANC which will organize a new meeting of the international panel of experts to obtain their advice on the results of the new material tests and on the new data.

According to Electrabel, the findings constitute a “Level 1 occurrence on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES)” but the company emphasises that the event “has no impact whatsoever on the wellbeing or health of the employees, the local residents, or the surrounding area.”

But Glorieux dismisses such complacency:

“As we approach the fourth anniversary of the Fukushima-daiichi nuclear disaster, evidence has emerged that demands immediate action to prevent another catastrophe. Thousands of previously unknown cracks in critical components of two reactors point to a potentially endemic and significant safety problem for reactors globally.

“Nuclear regulators worldwide must require reactor inspections as soon as possible, and no later than the next scheduled maintenance shutdown. If damage is discovered, the reactors must remain shut down until and unless safety and pressure vessel integrity can be guaranteed. Anything less would be insane given the risk of a severe nuclear accident”

There are 435 commercial nuclear reactors worldwide, with an average age of 28.5 years in mid 2014. Of these, 170 reactors (44 percent of the total) have been operating for 30 years or more and 39 reactors have operated for over 40 years. As of 2015, Doel 3 has been operating for 33 years; Tihange 2 for 32 years.

Oliver Tickell edits The Ecologist.

http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2758982/belgian_nuclear_reactors_riddled_wi%20th_16000_unexplained_cracks.html