RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION

OVERVIEW ARTICLE

 

Author: Richard Denton, MD

Disclaimer: I am a medical doctor and will concentrate on the medical aspects. I have no conflict of interest as some nuclear physicists might who are paid by the nuclear industry.

Radiation is one of the six crises that this Platform addresses; each one could annihilate civilization as we know it. Radiation could do so in either an acute or chronic manner. The acute effects would come from a major accident, miscalculation, or terrorist attack or an actual nuclear war. The chronic effects are killing by inducing cancers and other medical conditions.

Radiation exposure is of course related to the other five global threat scenarios. Radiation is interconnected as part of a nuclear war that would immediately kill millions from radiation. A nuclear bomb is not just a bigger better bomb but emits radiation that kills locally and at a distance over time. Because of its power, it would put dust and smoke into the stratosphere that would cause a decrease of the sun’s penetration. A “nuclear winter” would result, causing death of millions by famine. Some people suggest that nuclear power is “green” —even the answer to climate change. But nuclear power plants could be a target of terrorists using cyberwarfare or crashing an airliner into a reactor.

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Zaporizhzhia: Real Risk of Nuclear Disaster in Ukraine – Watchdog
George Wright | BBC News | 7 August 2022

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62449982

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has called for an immediate end to any military action near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, warning of a “very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.
IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said he was “extremely concerned” by reports of shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
It comes as Ukraine said parts of the facility were “seriously damaged” by Russian military strikes.
Russia seized the plant in March.
It has kept its Ukrainian employees, but Kyiv accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics”.
Friday’s strikes underline “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond”, Mr Grossi said in a statement.
“Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” he added.
Ukrainian staff must be able to carry out their important duties “without threats or pressure”, he said, adding that the IAEA should be allowed to provide technical support.
“For the sake of protecting people in Ukraine and elsewhere from a potential nuclear accident, we must all set aside our differences and act, now. The IAEA is ready,” said Mr Grossi, days after stating the plant was “completely out of control”.
The operator of the Zaporizhzhia plant said the Russian missile strikes had forced the closure of one “power unit”, adding that there was a risk of radioactive leaks.
The strikes “caused a serious risk for the safe operation of the plant”, operator Enerhoatom wrote on Telegram.
Moscow said Ukraine carried out the attack.
The BBC was unable to verify the reported damage at the nuclear plant.
However, the EU has hit out at Moscow over the latest shelling with the bloc’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, saying it “condemns Russia’s military activities” around the plant.
“This is a serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms,” he said, and called for the IAEA to be granted access to the plant.
Russian forces hold the plant and surrounding areas, close to Ukrainian-held territory. It consists of six pressurised water reactors and stores radioactive waste.
Civilians in nearby Nikopol, which lies across the river and is still under Ukrainian control, told the BBC that the Russians were firing rockets from the area around the plant and moving military hardware into the compound.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that “any bombing of this site is a shameless crime, an act of terror”.
The plant is in the city of Enerhodar, in the south-east of Ukraine along the left bank of the River Dnieper (Dnipro in Ukrainian).
The UK defence ministry says Russia is using the area to launch attacks – taking advantage of the “protected status” of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk of overnight attacks from Ukrainian forces.”

RADIOACTIVE BEASTS ARE INVADING OUR CITIES
comment image
This is excerpted from a story adapted from Animal Revolution, by Ron Broglio. The story was published in WIRED Magazine, june 22, 2022.
RADIOACTIVE WILD BOAR are invading towns in southern Germany. They take out a man in a wheelchair; they break through fences and roam the roads, shutting down highway traffic; they travel in packs scavenging for food. Police scramble to restore order in urban centers. The radioactive boar are armed with a postapocalyptic payload; they live in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. By foraging on radioactive plants, the animals embody the return of a disaster many seek to repress. Following the collapse and meltdown of a reactor at Chernobyl, more than 100,000 people were evacuated from the 20-mile Exclusion Zone around the nuclear power plant. Residents exposed to the radiation suffered from radiation poisoning, leukemia, and thyroid cancer. Estimates are that some 4,000 people could die from illnesses related to the accident.

animal revolution.png

Fires in Irradiated Zones are Bad Too
The animals are a danger but probably more dangerous are the forest fires in Belarus and other regions where Chernobyl fall-out still contaminates the plant life. When fires occur, the smoke contains radioactivity, which falls again in new spots.

WATCH OUT FOR THE BLUEBERRIES
Kate Brown tells in her book Manual for Survival: An Environmental History of the Chernobyl Disaster that she went out to the woods in Belarus and picked blueberries along with lots of people who were picking them to sell. They take them to a truck that is buying them to ship into the EU. There’s a geiger counter or something, and if a batch is too “hot,” they dilute them by mixing them in with non-irradiated berries. Be careful where your berries come from.

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UN Nuclear Watchdog Is ‘Gravely Concerned’ About Ukraine Plant Held by Russia
Stephanie Liechtenstein | PassBlue | 3 May 2022

VIENNA — The International Atomic Energy Agency expressed “grave concern” recently about the safety at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, in Zaporizhzhia, and said that the situation for the Ukrainian personnel working there was “unsustainable.”

The plant was captured by Russian forces in a dramatic assault on March 4. Ever since then, Ukrainian staff continue to manage the daily business at the plant, but eight nuclear experts from Russia’s own Rosenergoatom company, a unit of the Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom, are also present at the plant.

The IAEA director-general, Rafael Grossi, said on April 29 that the United Nations agency was informed by Kyiv that the Ukrainian staffers at Zaporizhzhia were “working under unbelievable pressure,” being monitored constantly by the Rosatom experts, who demanded daily reports from plant management about “confidential issues” on the functioning of the plant.

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Read More: https://www.passblue.com/2022/05/03/un-nuclear-watchdog-is-gravely-concerned-about-ukraine-plant-held-by-russia/

A Big Pile of PU: 120 Tons of Plutonium is Legacy of Britain’s Dirty Decades of Reprocessing

By Paul Brown, The Energy Mix [as reprinted by Beyond Nuclear International]
https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2022/02/06/a-big-pile-of-pu/
 
Seventy years after the United Kingdom first began extracting plutonium from spent uranium fuel to make nuclear weapons, the industry is finally calling a halt to reprocessing, leaving the country with 120 tons of the metal, the biggest stockpile in the world. However, the government has no idea what to do with it.
 
 
Having spent hundreds of billions of pounds producing plutonium in a series of plants at Sellafield in the Lake District, the UK policy is to store it indefinitely—or until it can come up with a better idea. There is also 90,000 tons of less dangerous depleted uranium in warehouses in the UK, also without an end use.
 
 
Plans to use plutonium in fast breeder reactors and then mixed with uranium as a fuel for existing fission reactors have long ago been abandoned as too expensive, unworkable, or sometimes both. Even burning plutonium as a fuel, while technically possible, is very costly.
The closing of the last reprocessing plant, as with all nuclear endeavours, does not mean the end of the industry, in fact it will take at least another century to dismantle the many buildings and clean up the waste. In the meantime, it is costing £3 billion a year to keep the site safe.
Perhaps one of the strangest aspects of this story to outside observers is that, apart from a minority of anti-nuclear campaigners, this plutonium factory in one of prettiest parts of England hardly ever gets discussed or mentioned by the UK’s two main political parties. Neither has ever objected to what seems on paper to be a colossal waste of money.
 
 
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Paul Brown is a former environmental writer for The Guardian and one of the founders of Climate News Network, now incorporated into The Energy Mix. @pbrown4348. This article first appeared on The Energy Mix and is available for republication through the commons.

Last edited 5 months ago by Adam Wynne

Plutonium is a very long-lived radioactive heavy metal that is not found in nature to any perceptible degree. It is a powerful nuclear explosive. Once created, plutonium can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons for tens of thousands of years thereafter – long after the reactor that produced it has crumbled into dust and vanished from human memory. 

The first nuclear reactors were built for the express purpose of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons, but all reactors now operating – regardless of their primary purpose – produce plutonium as an inevitable byproduct. Many nuclear proponents see plutonium as a potential nuclear fuel, but any attempt to give plutonium a commercial value makes it increasingly likely that this dangerous material will fall into many hands in many corners of the world – including criminals and terrorists.

Every atom of plutonium (chemical symbol Pu) started out as an atom of uranium (chemical symbol U). Inside every nuclear reactor fuelled with uranium, including all existing electricity-producing power reactors, some of the uranium atoms are fissioned (“split”) to release energy, while other uranium atoms are converted into plutonium. When a uranium atom absorbs one or more neutrons, it becomes more massive and before long it spontaneously “transmutes” into an atom of plutonium through a process of radioactive disintegration. 

Plutonium can be extracted by dissolving the irradiated uranium fuel assemblies in a hot corrosive liquid solvent and then chemically separating the plutonium from all the rest of the fiercely radioactive leftovers, now in liquid form, called the “high level liquid nuclear waste”. Any method of plutonium extraction is called “reprocessing”.

Former heads of US, German, and French nuclear regulation and

Secretary to UK government’s radiation protection committee:

 

“Nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy

that could counter climate change.”

 

 —————————————– 

Dr. Gregory Jaczko,

former Chairman of the

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

 —————————————– 

Prof. Wolfgang Renneberg,

former Head of

Reactor Safety, Radiation Protection and Nuclear Waste,

Federal Environment Ministry, Germany.

 —————————————–

Dr. Bernard Laponche,

former Director General,

French Agency for Energy Management,

former Advisor to French Minister of Environment, Energy and Nuclear Safety.

 —————————————– 

Dr. Paul Dorfman,

former Secretary of the UK Government

Committee Examining Radiation Risk from Internal Emitters.(CERRIE)

 —————————————– 

The climate is running hot. Evolving knowledge of climate sensitivity and polar ice melt-rate makes clear that sea-level rise is ramping, along with destructive storm, storm surge, severe precipitation and flooding, not forgetting wildfire. With mounting concern and recognition over the speed and pace of the low carbon energy transition that’s needed, nuclear has been reframed as a partial response to the threat of global heating. But at the heart of this are questions about whether nuclear could help with the climate crisis, whether nuclear is economically viable, what are the consequences of nuclear accidents, what to do with the waste, and whether there’s a place for nuclear within the swiftly expanding renewable energy evolution.

As key experts who have worked on the front-line of the nuclear issue, we’ve all involved at the highest governmental nuclear regulatory and radiation protection levels in the US, Germany, France and UK. In this context, we consider it our collective responsibility to comment on the main issue: Whether nuclear could play a significant role as a strategy against climate change.

 

The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction. The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm. Nuclear isn’t cheap, but extremely costly. Perhaps most importantly nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy that could counter climate change. To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than ten thousand new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design.

 

In short, nuclear as strategy against climate change is:

 

• Too costly in absolute terms to make a relevant contribution to global power production

 

• More expensive than renewable energy in terms of energy production and CO2 mitigation, even taking into account costs of grid management tools like energy storage associated with renewables roll-out.

 

• Too costly and risky for financial market investment, and therefore dependent on very large public subsidies and loan guarantees.

 

• Unsustainable due to the unresolved problem of very long-lived radioactive waste.

 

• Financially unsustainable as no economic institution is prepared to insure against the full potential cost, environmental and human impacts of accidental radiation release – with the majority of those very significant costs being borne by the public.

 

• Militarily hazardous since newly promoted reactor designs increase the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

• Inherently risky due to unavoidable cascading accidents from human error, internal faults, and external impacts; vulnerability to climate-driven sea-level rise, storm, storm surge, inundation and flooding hazard, resulting in international economic impacts.

 

• Subject to too many unresolved technical and safety problems associated with newer unproven concepts, including ‘Advanced’ and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

 

• Too unwieldy and complex to create an efficient industrial regime for reactor construction and operation processes within the intended build-time and scope needed for climate change mitigation.

 

• Unlikely to make a relevant contribution to necessary climate change mitigation needed by the 2030’s due to nuclear’s impracticably lengthy development and construction time-lines, and the overwhelming construction costs of the very great volume of reactors that would be needed to make a difference.

06.01.2022. 

Posted by the Nuclear Consulting Group, http://www.nuclearconsult.com .

for more info on the above: kitchissippiottawacocchapter@gmail.com (Ann Pohl, contact person)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Wednesday, January 12th at 7 pm Eastern
Nuclear Waste Watch (NWW) is planning a webinar
This educational event will help all of us get prepared for the release of the federal government’s draft radioactive / nuclear waste management policy, which is anticipated any time after New Year’s.
Here is a link to a backgrounder that will help prep anyone to these issues. https://kovcouncil.files.wordpress.com/2021/12/7000-gens-nuclear-waste-backgrounder-document-1.pdf
We also encourage anyone with time in the next few weeks to visit http://www.nuclearwastewatch.ca and click on the Radioactive Waste Policy Review tab at the top. Through this, you can review all that was covered in the Feb to May 2021 public engagement process with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). Also have a look at the “What we said” report that NWW — our mentors and leads on all these issues — submitted to NRCan in September, in response to the feds’ first two engagement reports. 
Some of you may be aware that there is a simultaneous “strategies” process being led by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), on contract with the federal government. Our chapter, like many other organizations involved on this issue, chose not to be involved in NWMO’s process as they are industry-led, and we feel that development of strategies ought to come after a good public policy is in place. Hopefully we will soon learn from Natural Resources Canada how we can review and comment on the outcomes from NWMO’s process. 
I will send out more details about accessing NWW’s January 12th “Review and Restart” webinar as I get them. I hope everyone receiving this has a wonderful relaxing and re-energizing break and a great start into 2022.

I see nothing convincing in this presentation, nothing quantitative. Anecdotal. I’m a nuclear physicist, professor , having used nuclear accelerators, and worked at a reactor for years. This whole presentation is mostly propaganda/grossly alarmist. How many people have died, gotten severe sickness from being near nuclear reactors? Give some real numbers compared to other energy sources and dangers. What about using radioactive sources in hospitals. How many tons of fish have been affected. Just talk!! You have lost me! Not progressive! The dangers of nuclear war are real, but discussion about nuclear radiation here is largely ignorant, not to say stupid. Do people realize the natural sources of radiation and through the evoluion of life?

Jellyfish Attack Nuclear Power Plant. Again.

Susan D’Agostino | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | 28 October 2021

Scotland’s only working nuclear power plant at Torness shut down in an emergency procedure this week when jellyfish clogged the sea water-cooling intake pipes at the plant, according to the Scotland Herald. Without access to cool water, a nuclear power plant risks overheating, with potentially disastrous results (see: Fukushima). The intake pipes can also be damaged, which disrupts power generation. And ocean life that gets sucked into a power plant’s intake pipes risks death.

The threat these gelatinous, pulsating, umbrella-shaped marine animals pose to nuclear power plants is neither new nor unknown. (Indeed, the Bulletin reported on this threat in 2015.) Nuclear power plant closures—even temporary ones—are expensive. To protect marine life and avert power plant closures, scientists are exploring early warning system options. For example, researchers at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom launched a project earlier this year to determine whether drones may be used to provide estimates of jellyfish locations, amounts, and density.

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Link: https://thebulletin.org/2021/10/jellyfish-attack-nuclear-power-plant-again

The History of Nuclear Power’s Imagined Future: Plutonium’s Journey from Asset to Waste

William Walker | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | 7 September 2021

Two histories of nuclear power can be recounted. The first is the history of the active present. It tells, amongst other things, of the technology’s evolution and role in electricity production, its military connections, installed types, capacities and performance of reactors, their fuelling and spent fuel discharges, their accidents, the supplying, operating and regulating institutions, and the involvement of states. The second is the history of the imagined future. It tells of how, at particular moments, nuclear power and much connected with it have been imagined playing out in years, decades, and even centuries ahead.

Plutonium’s history, of each kind, and its legacies are the subject of a recent book by Frank von Hippel, Masafumi Takubo and Jungmin Kang. It is an impressive study of technological struggle and ultimate failure, and of plutonium’s journey from regard as a vital energy asset to an eternally troublesome waste.

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Civil plutonium is therefore not an asset, it is not “surplus to requirement;” it is a waste. This is the message that needs to be proclaimed and acknowledged, especially by governments, utilities, and industries desiring that nuclear power have a solid future and make a contribution to the avoidance of global warming. For reasons set out in von Hippel’s recent article in the Bulletin, Bill Gates is deluded in believing that the plutonium-fuelled, sodium-cooled, “Versatile Power Reactor” in which his company Terrapower is involved, has a commercial future.[18] His support is also unwelcome insofar as it helps to perpetuate the myth that plutonium is a valuable fuel, posing acceptable risks to public safety and international security. Reprocessing is a waste-producing, not an asset-creating, technology. It adds cost rather than value. It merits no future when seen in this way.
Even if all civil reprocessing ceased tomorrow, the experiment would have bequeathed the onerous task of guarding and disposing of over 300 tons of plutonium waste, and considerably more when US and Russia’s military excess is added in. Proposals come and go. Burn it in specially designed reactors? Blend it with other radioactive wastes? Bury it underground after some form of immobilization? Send it into space? All options are costly and hard to implement. Lacking ready solutions, most plutonium waste will probably remain in store above ground for decades to come, risking neglect. How to render this dangerous waste eternally safe and secure is now the question.

Disclosure
Preparation of this essay for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was suggested by Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel.

Link: https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-09/the-history-of-nuclear-powers-imagined-future-plutoniums-journey-from-asset-to-waste

Last edited 10 months ago by Adam Wynne

Plutonium: from Nagasaki to New Brunswick
Gordon Edwards | NB Media Co-Op | 9 August 2021

“Today, August 9, is the 76th anniversary of the US military’s atomic bombing of the City of Nagasaki in Japan. The nuclear explosive used was plutonium.

The destructive power of plutonium was first revealed on July 16, 1945, when a multicoloured mushroom cloud bloomed over the American desert – the first atomic explosion, top-secret, and much more powerful than expected. Robert Oppenheimer, the man in charge, was awestruck and thought of the words from the Bhagavad-Gita: “I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”

Three weeks and three days later, on August 9, 1945, the City of Nagasaki was destroyed with a single plutonium bomb.

Plutonium is named for Pluto, god of the dead. It is the primary nuclear explosive in the world’s nuclear arsenals. Even the largest nuclear warheads, based on nuclear fusion, require a plutonium “trigger” mechanism. Access to plutonium is key to the construction of such thermonuclear weapons. Removing the plutonium from nuclear warheads renders them impotent.

Plutonium is not found in nature but is created inside every nuclear power reactor, including the one at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. Plutonium is a human-made derivative of uranium. A metallic element heavier than uranium, it is created inside the nuclear fuel along with hundreds of lighter, fiercely radioactive by-products – the fragments of uranium atoms that have been split.

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Link: https://nbmediacoop.org/2021/08/09/plutonium-from-nagasaki-to-new-brunswick/

Last edited 11 months ago by Adam Wynne

Aging Hanford Tank Is Leaking Radioactive Waste Into The Ground, Feds Say

Annette Cary | Tri-City Herald | 29 April 2021

“An underground Hanford tank holding 123,000 gallons of radioactive waste appears to be leaking contaminated liquid into the ground, according to the Department of Energy.
This is the second of Hanford’s 149 single-shell tanks believed to be currently leaking waste, although in the past 67 tanks are suspected of leaking.
The most recently discovered leaker is Tank B-109, which was one of the earliest waste storage tanks built. It was constructed during World War II and received waste from Hanford site operations from 1946 to 1976.

Hanford’s 149 single-shell tanks were built to hold a mix of high-level radioactive and other hazardous chemical waste from chemically processing irradiated uranium to remove plutonium.
The Hanford site in Eastern Washington was used from WWII through the Cold War to produce about two-thirds of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.”

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Link: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article251017489.html?

Remember the Rainbow Warrior!

“Emptying the tank is possible but would be expensive.” So where would you put it? Double-shelled tanks cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But if you put it in the ground, we know where it is going to wind up. What other options are there?

Enriched Secrecy: BWXT’s Radioactive Plans

Zach Ruiter | Trent Arthur | 13 April 2021

“The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) recently granted a ten-year licence renewal to BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada on Monaghan Road in downtown Peterborough-Nogojiwanong.

The decision to grant the licence is contentious because it allows BWXT to spew toxic radioactive uranium particles into the water and disperse them in the air across the street from Prince of Wales Elementary School.

BWXT is the new owner and operator of what was General Electric-Hitachi Canada, the nuclear operation of the General Electric factory known for poisoning generations of workers and families in addition to contaminating the Little Lake and Otonabee River system with numerous toxic chemicals.

The added pollution will come from relocating their current uranium pelleting factory from Toronto to Peterborough-Nogojiwanong.”  

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Link: https://www.trentarthur.ca/news/enriched-secrecy-bwxts-radioactive-plans

How many citizens of France are aware that their government had put radioactive fallout onto 110,000 French Polynesians? We need a picture of Gauguin’s Tahitian ladies carrying nuclear contamination signs.

French Nuclear Tests Contaminated 110,000 In Pacific, Says Study

BBC News | 10 March 2021

France concealed the true impact of its nuclear tests in the Pacific from the 1960s to the 1990s, a study has said.

Researchers used declassified French military documents, calculations and testimonies to reconstruct the impact of a number of the tests.

They estimated that around 110,000 people in French Polynesia were affected by the radioactive fallout.

The number represented “almost the entire” population at the time, the researchers found.
French Polynesia, a French territory made up of hundreds of islands and atolls including Tahiti, was the site of dozens of nuclear tests over 30 years.
Over the course of two years, researchers analysed around 2,000 documents released by the French military and recreated the impact of “the most contaminating” of France’s nuclear tests carried out between 1966 and 1974.

The study was carried out in collaboration between French news website Disclose, researchers from Princeton University and British firm Interprt.”

Read More: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56340159

More Poison from the Plant

Zach Ruiter | Arthur (Trent University) | 14 January 2021

“On the solstice, December 21, 2020, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) gifted BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada with an extended licence to pollute in downtown Peterborough-Nogojiwanong.

That licence allows BWXT to significantly intensify their radioactive pollution across the street from the Prince of Wales Elementary School on Monaghan Road.

Pollution will intensify by adding uranium fuel processing to their current operations, known as pelleting.”

Read More Here: https://www.trentarthur.ca/news/more-poison-from-the-plant

Big Money, Nuclear Subsidies, and Systemic Corruption

Cassandra Jeffery and M. V. Ramana | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists | 12 February 2021

“For years, the firm lobbied to get a subsidy to continue operating its unprofitable nuclear plants and maintain its revenue flow. When lobbying efforts failed to produce subsidies, it resorted to bribery to gain legislative support for House Bill 6, 2019 legislation that forces state consumers to pay into something called “the Ohio Clean Air Fund.” The green language is a smoke screen for the real purpose: to siphon nearly $150 million annually to FirstEnergy to keep its Perry and Davis-Besse nuclear power plants and two coal-fired power plants operating, while simultaneously gutting Ohio’s renewable energy standards. Also gone were the state’s energy efficiency programs, which had saved consumers and corporations millions of dollars. When citizens tried to organize a referendum to repeal the bill, FirstEnergy indulged in various dirty tactics to thwart this democratic opposition.

[…]

These companies and various associated organizations have engaged in extensive lobbying and large-scale propaganda campaigns to get governments pass legislation that makes consumers pay more for the electricity they use. In that sense, what has resulted would be better described as corporate welfare than as subsidies. The subsidies have improved these companies’ financial situation, which in turn contributes to their clout in state and national policy making and their ability to fund advocacy efforts—and even to pay politicians tidy sums of money. The larger significance of the political power these large utilities have amassed is their ability to block transition to a fully renewable and more environmentally sustainable energy system.”

Read More: https://thebulletin.org/2021/02/big-money-nuclear-subsidies-and-systemic-corruption

This way to treat Hanford radioactive waste could save $210 billion. But is it safe enough?

Annette Cary | Tri-City Herald | 7 January 2021 | https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/hanford/article248276995.html

Grouting rather than glassifying a large amount of radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear reservation could save taxpayers $73 billion to $210 billion, according to a new Department of Energy report.
Turning millions of gallons of waste into a concrete-like grout form also could cut 10 years off the time needed to treat radioactive waste now stored in underground tanks and permanently dispose of it, the DOE report estimated.”

Read more

1960

Huh? This doesn’t explain what the hell “grouting” is. Encapsulating the waste in a “specialized grout”? Tell us more about this “grout.”

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