— 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

http://enenews.com/huge-crane-collapses-on-to-japan-nuclear-plant-damages-spent-fuel-pool-building-area-covered-in-mangled-wreckage-tv-workers-checking-buildings-functions-to-prevent-r

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– Declassified NRC 3/18/11 report: 100% of Reactor 4 spent fuel aerosolized — more cesium than all US atomic above ground tests

From Sputnik News Radio
By Jay Johnson
January 1, 2016

A massive gas leak in Southern California is ongoing, and it is unknown when it will be able to be fixed. Pundits are comparing it to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and even Fukushima. A recently declassified US gov report revealed that Fukushima is way more dangerous than has been revealed. But do people care?

The colorless miasma slowly crept over the land, engulfing everything in its path. Living creatures that could move, attempted to do so, or faced the ultimate ending in a most gruesome way. Unfortunately and eventually, the animals tired, and were forced to rest, closing their eyes for one final time. The end had come. Now, if you thought this was another story describing the BP spill in the Mexican Gulf or even Fukushima, you would be wrong. Our story involves a natural gas leak in California that is taking place right now, as we speak.

Wired described the situation further when it wrote — “Methane, a greenhouse gas 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide, has been leaking out of a natural gas storage site in southern California for nearly two months, and a fix won’t arrive until spring”. That’s right. The authorities don’t have any idea when it will be fixed, or when this horror will come to an end. The article went on to say that — “According to the California Air Resources Board, the site is leaking up to 145,000 pounds per hour. In just the first month, that’s added up to 80,000 tons, or about a quarter of the state’s ordinary methane emissions over the same period.” In fact, the problem is so bad that — “The Federal Aviation Administration recently banned low-flying planes from flying over the site, since engines plus combustible gas equals kaboom”. Kaboom, as in, a massive explosion. That’s right. A low-flying airplane could set this thing off.

The situation was further described — “Families living downwind of the site have also noticed the leak. Methane itself is odorless, but the mercaptan added to natural gas gives it a characteristic sulfurous smell. Over 700 households have at least temporarily relocated.” It continued by saying — “Given both the local and global effects of the gas leak, why is it taking so long to stop? The answer has to do with the site at Aliso Canyon, an abandoned oil field. Yes, that’s right; natural gas is stored underground in old oil fields. It’s a common practice in the US, but largely unique to America. The idea goes that geological sites that were good at keeping in oil for millions of years would also be good at keeping in gas.”

Zerohedge noted that — “Across the US, over 300 depleted oil fields, of which a dozen are in California, are now natural gas storage sites.” Chris McGill, a vice president of the American Gas Association said — “We have the largest natural gas storage system in the world”. And the site at Aliso Canyon is one of the largest in America, with a capacity of 86 billion cubic feet. Aliso became a natural gas storage site in the 1970s. Each summer, SoCalGas pumps natural gas into the field, and each winter, it pumps it out. The sites are basically giant underground reserves for winter heating.”

The authorities put out a statement that read — “SoCalGas began drilling a relief well on December 4. The relief well will intercept the steel pipe of the original well—all of seven inches in diameter—thousands of feet below ground. Then crews will pour in cement to seal the wells off permanently.” So, that is it. They apparently have a plan, although Zerohedge noted once again- “As if finding a skinny pipe hundreds of feet below ground weren’t hard enough, the presence of all that explosive natural gas adds an extra layer of complication. A tiny spark and everything can go boom. So at the leaking well site, work is restricted to daylight, as lighting equipment could produce stray sparks. (The relief well is far enough away that drilling there can proceed 24/7.) Back in 1975, a well at Aliso Canyon caught fire because of sparks from sand flying up the well…..And crews can’t set a deliberate fire, also known as flaring, which they often do at other remote areas with excess gas. The leak is so big and the flare would be so hot that it could make the mess even harder to contain.”

A pundit commenting on the situation noted — “that means that natural gas leak is putting out 17.5 times the amount of greenhouse gas (effectively) as all the cars in California (combined) per unit of time!… that means (probably) that that single well is putting out as much greenhouse gas as probably half of the country…and it is ongoing. It is like Fukushima down there.” And speaking of Fukushima, which also isn’t in the mainstream news, InvestmentWatch noted that — “Following the March 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reactors have sprayed immeasurable amounts of radioactive material into the air, most of which settled into the Pacific Ocean. A study by the American Geophysical Union has found that radiation levels from Alaska to California have increased and continue to increase since they were last taken.”

In fact, although the US government has played down any and all claims that Fukushima is something to worry about, a recently declassified report written by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission dated March 18, 2011 was released to the public. In that report, and remember this was ONE week after the tidal wave hit Fukushima, they wrote — “The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.” Now, for most of us, those numbers don’t mean anything. However, Arnold “Arnie” Gundersen, a former nuclear industry executive, and engineer with more than 44 years of nuclear industry experience, explained it in layman’s terms when he said bluntly — “The fuel pools at Units 3 and 4 contained enormous amounts of radiation.” He continued by saying — “There’s more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground…”. That’s right. More than 800 nuclear bombs and that was just one unit.

So, what do you think dear listeners — “Regarding Fukushima, what did the US gov know, and when did it know it?

http://sputniknews.com/radio_connecting_the_pieces/20160101/1032503470/regarding-fukushima-what-did-us-gov-know.html

Declassified U.S. government report prepared a week after Fukushima accident: “100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from Unit 4”

Global Research, December 11, 2015
Washington’s Blog 10 December 2015

We reported in 2011 that the International Atomic Energy Agency knew within weeks that Fukushima had melted down … but failed and refused to tell the public.

The same year, we reported in 2011 that the U.S. knew within days of the Fukushima accident that Fukushima had melted down … but failed to tell the public.

We noted in 2012:

The fuel pools and rods at Fukushima appear to have “boiled”, caught fire and/or exploded soon after the earthquake knocked out power systems. See this, this, this, this and this.

Now, a declassified report written by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 18, 2011 – one week after the tidal wave hit Fukushima – states:

The source term provided to NARAC was: (1) 25% of the total fuel in unit 2 released to the atmosphere, (2) 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 was released to the atmosphere, and (3) 100% of the total spent fuel was released to the atmosphere from unit 4.

FukushimaNARAC is the the U.S. National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, located at the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. NARAC “provides tools and services that map the probable spread of hazardous material accidentally or intentionally released into the atmosphere“.

The fuel pools at Units 3 and 4 contained enormous amounts of radiation.

For example, there was “more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground.”

– California Coastal Commission approves nuclear waste storage on the beach

This photo from San Onofre Safety shows where Southern California Edison wants to store nuclear waste. It’s circled in yellow.

Location of Holtec system. SCE

The company making the canisters has already been in trouble.

By the end of 2011 Holtec International had to close its office in Kiev as it had come under harsh criticism worldwide. It is widely believed that the company has lost licenses in some countries because of the poor quality of its containers resulting in radiation leaksWestinghouse and Holtec are members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).
http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/04/us-ukraine-partnership-threatens-new.html

What could go wrong????? This is only located adjacent to millions of Californians and on the ocean.

From San Onofre Safety

Southern California Edison plans to make another bad decision by unsafely storing over 1600 metric tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste.

Below is the proposed location for the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX thin “underground” spent fuel canister system at San Onofre. Half under ground, and close to the water table and about 100 feet from the ocean. Edison admits the Sea Wall hasn’t been maintained so can’t be counted on for protection. This plan doesn’t meet Coastal Act requirements, but Coastal Commission staff think there are no other options, but there are.

Holtec Side View

 Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit (handout)

Excerpt:

Request Coastal Commission REVOKE Nuclear Storage Permit

The California Coastal Commission granted a Coastal permit for the San Onofre Holtec nuclear waste storage facility with “Special Conditions” that are unlikely or impossible to meet.

Special Conditions require a storage system that can be inspected, repaired, maintained, monitored, and transported without cracks but only after 20 years. The Coastal Commission recognizes the Holtec system does not currently meet these requirements, but have been convinced by Edison and others there are no other reasonable options and someday these problems will all be solved. However, there is insufficient evidence to support that and evidence to the contrary.

Reasons to revoke SoCal Edison Coastal Development Permit #9-15-0228

Coastal requirements for nuclear waste storage should be met now, not deferred 20 years.

The Coastal Commission may not have the jurisdiction to choose casks, but can require their special conditions be met now. Thin (1/2” to 5/8” thick) stainless steel canisters can crack, cannot be inspected,

repaired, maintained or adequately monitored. Cracked canisters cannot be transported. The Coastal Commission should require a system that does not have these flaws and not accept promises of future solutions.

Edison can meet Coastal requirements with thick casks. For example, Areva sells thick (over 10” thick) metal casks to the U.S. market, and to most of the rest of the world for storage and transport.

The Areva TN‐32 and TN‐40 are licensed by the NRC. The TN‐24 used at Fukushima survived the massive earthquake and tsunami. Spent fuel must cool in the pools for a few years, so choosing proven thick storage casks will not significantly delay removing fuel from pools.

Canisters cannot be repaired. Holtec President says these canisters cannot be repaired.

Partially cracked canisters cannot be transported. NRC Regulation 10 CFR § 71.85.

Canisters may crack. The NRC states it takes about 16 years for a crack to go through the wall of thin stainless steel canisters and canisters are vulnerable to cracking from marine environments.

A similar component at the Koeberg nuclear plant failed in 17 years with numerous cracks. A Diablo Canyon canister has all the conditions for cracking in a 2‐year old canister.

No funds are available to relocate this system. Once the system is installed, there are no funds to rebuild and move it to a different site, so it is not reasonable to expect it will be relocated (even onsite).

Edison’s $1.3 billion Spent Fuel Management Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission assumes nothing will go wrong and they will not need to pay to move the fuel on‐site or elsewhere.

Edison’ plan assumes the Dept. of Energy will start picking up the fuel in 2024, which Edison admitted to the CPUC is unlikely.

Vaporware is not a solution. The Coastal Commission should not base decisions on “vaporware” – promises of solutions that do not exist with no guarantee they will exist in the future. Even State of California procurement rules do not allow procurement of “vaporware”.

Edison plans to destroy the spent fuel pools. Pools are the only method to replace canisters.

The Commission should add a special condition to not destroy pools unless a better plan is in place.

Existing 51 thin canisters may have cracks. Fuel loading into thin canisters began in 2003, so “special

conditions” for aging management and related issues should be addressed now.

Act now: Email Joseph.Street@coastal.ca.gov More info & references at SanOnofreSafety.org

https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/revokecoastalpermit2015-11-5.pdf

Stop Fukushima Freeways; Telebriefing October 15

From the Nuclear Information & Resource Service
October 9, 2015

STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS   NIRS Telebriefing  Thursday October 15, 2015
8 pm (eastern) to 9:30 pm (eastern)

Speakers:

Diane D’Arrigo, Radioactive Waste Project Director, Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Watch Dog, Beyond Nuclear
David Kraft, Executive Director, Nuclear Energy Information Service
Judy Treichel, Executive Director, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force

Congress will order the transport of highly radioactive waste through our major cities, communities, farms and forests, and even our waterways, unless we say STOP!

If highly radioactive “spent” nuclear fuel went to a central site, how would it get there? This month our network of activists and allied organizations will show that picture.

Transporting the highly radioactive waste that has piled up at the nation’s nuclear power reactors is a far greater hazard than Congress or the federal government has admitted. These bodies also play down the risk that anything bad will happen. It is only rational to prevent extra and unnecessary shipments.

NIRS will host a telebriefing next Thursday, October 15, 2015, to share more information on transport. Register for this telebriefing by clicking here.

And join the Stop Fukushima Freeways campaign this month by helping NIRS and grassroots groups across the country raise awareness of the issue with a nationally-coordinated release of new maps of the projected routes that this lethal radioactive waste would travel. Many groups acting together as one community on the same day underscores that we are working together to stop bad ideas. NIRS will help you do it, but we ask that each group/activist step up and contact the media in your region in your own name. To join this campaign now, sign up by clicking here.

Congress wants to revive the failed Yucca Mountain repository site, and is also considering creating a new option for the creation of consolidated storage sites that would be identical to the storage already at reactors. We call on you to stand together and reject these bad ideas. We can’t allow any more lost time, money and other resources on the failed Yucca plan, or there will be no resources for a better plan. The first step remains an end to making more of this waste.

Fukushima stands as proof that this same waste can be catastrophic when stationary in pool storage. Dry storage is a step forward in reducing radioactive risks; many environmental and safe energy groups have endorsed the concept of hardened on site dry storage (HOSS).

The risks go way up, however, when these containers containing waste that will give a lethal dose of radiation in seconds if unshielded are put on a truck or a rail car. Learn more—see the links below, and register for NIRS’ telebriefing: STOP FUKUSHIMA FREEWAYS.

You will receive call-in information after you register. There is also a web-phone option.

The telebriefing will be recorded and posted online. If you register, we will send you that link in the days after the event.

Resources:
Hot Cargo Factsheet
Talking Points on Yucca
Science vs Fiction at Yucca Mountain

Bills in Congress that, if passed, would trigger transport of highly radioactive waste:
HOUSE: H.R.3643 — Interim Consolidated Storage Act of 2015
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c114:H.R.3643
SENATE: Nuclear Waste Administration Act SB 854
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114s854is/pdf/BILLS-114s854is.pdf
Click here for a webcast of an October 1 hearing in the US House Commerce Committee: Transporting Nuclear Materials: Design, Logistics, and Shipment. Written testimony is posted here.

Thank you for your activism!

And thank you for your support for NIRS. That support is especially needed now. We are just four thousand dollars short of meeting a critical $50,000 matching grant for our campaigns on nuclear power and climate and to close dangerous, obsolete and uneconomic nuclear reactors. Your donation now, of whatever size you can afford, will help enable us to meet that essential match.  Please donate now by clicking here

Michael Mariotte
President
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
nirsnet@nirs.org

Stay Informed:

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