Flamanville

Flamanville: NGOs lodge a complaint against EDF for “breaches” of security. Sortir du nucléaire and Greenpeace must take legal action this Wednesday morning in the case of defective welds detected on the pipes of the future EPR reactor. The soap opera of the damn shipyard of the EPR reactor, built by EDF on the Flamanville power station (Manche), takes a legal turn. According to our information, Sortir du nucléaire and Greenpeace France will file this Wednesday morning with the prosecutor of the High Court of Cherbourg a complaint against EDF and its industrial subsidiary Framatome (ex-Areva NP) “for ten violations of the code of the environment and the regulation of basic nuclear installations “.

Liberation 17th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2018

Nuclear Ships

On June 23, a tender was published on the website of state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) for the construction of a nuclear-powered icebreaker. The project, commissioned by China Maritime Nuclear Power Development (CMNPD), a joint venture established last year with China National Nuclear Power (CNNP) as the controlling shareholder, and Jiangnan Shipyards, and Shanghai Electric among its minority shareholders, would see the construction of China’s first nuclear-powered surface vessel.

The Diplomat 17th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2018

Fukushima

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Wednesday resumed television commercials, seven years after a 2011 meltdown that sparked the world’s worst atomic accident in a generation. A retail arm of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Holdings said it was placing commercials on television, radio stations, and trains, as competition among energy companies intensifies. The decision is controversial, with some activists angered that TEPCO is spending on advertising while it remains on the hook for enormous costs stemming from the disaster, including clean-up, decommissioning and compensation payments.

Daily Mail 18th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2018

Japan

Japan’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday granted its first approval for a plan to reuse nuclear fuel from decommissioned reactors. The decision will allow Kansai Electric Power Co. to load some nuclear fuel assemblies from the Oi power plant’s scrapped No. 1 and 2 reactors into its No. 3 and 4 reactors, which resumed operation this spring. A nuclear fuel assembly holds fuel rods, and those at the four reactors in Fukui Prefecture are interchangeable.

Japan Times 18th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2018

US

A retired professor testified Tuesday he found evidence that billions of particles of plutonium had escaped from a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado and settled on land that is now a wildlife refuge, raising concerns about whether the site is safe for the public. But an attorney for the federal government countered that the study was done in the mid-1970s, and that the Environmental Protection Agency determined years later that the site was safe. The exchange was part of a hearing in federal court over whether the public should be allowed onto Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge west of Denver.

Daily Mail 18th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 18 July 2018

Plutonium

Japan has amassed enough plutonium to make 6,000 atomic bombs as part of a programme to fuel its nuclear plants, but concern is growing that the stockpile is vulnerable to terrorists and natural disasters. Japan has long been the world’s only non-nuclear-armed country with a programme to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from its power plants into plutonium. On Tuesday a decades-old deal with the United States which allows Japan to reprocess plutonium was renewed, but the pact can be terminated by either side with just six months’ notice. Plutonium reprocessing is meant to create a new and emissions-free fuel source for resource-poor Japan, but the size of its stockpile has started to attract criticism, even from allies.

Daily Mail 17th July 2018 read more »

Japan and the U.S. have extended their nuclear pact as Tokyo pledged to work to reduce its plutonium stockpile to address Washington’s concern. The 30-year pact agreed upon in 1988 allowed Japan to extract plutonium and enrich uranium for peaceful uses even though the same technology can make atomic bombs. Without either side requesting a review, the pact was extended Tuesday but now can be terminated by either side giving six months’ notice. Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Japan must reduce the stockpile to keep the pact in place stably. Japan has 47 tons of plutonium — enough to make 6,000 atomic bombs. Despite security concerns and Washington’s pressure, the amount isn’t decreasing due to slow restarts of reactors that can burn plutonium amid setbacks from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Japan Today 17th July 2018 read more »

OPINION: How not to reduce Japan’s plutonium stockpile. Facing U.S. pressure and the expiration on July 16 of the initial term of the 1988 U.S.-Japan nuclear agreement, the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) is expected to propose plans to reduce Japan’s massive 48-ton stockpile of unirradiated plutonium by boosting the use of plutonium mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in nuclear power reactors. However, this plan directly contradicts the lessons from a yearlong study that I recently led of all countries that have commercially used or produced MOX for thermal nuclear power plants. We found that five of the seven countries had already abandoned MOX fuel due to concerns about economics, security, and public acceptance.

Kyodo News 13th July 2018 read more »

A new report claims that nuclear materials stolen from US Department of Energy (DOE) employees last year in Texas are still missing. The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) reports that plutonium and cesium were stolen from the officials’ car when they stayed overnight at a hotel. Authorities have not publicly commented on the theft, CPI reports, but a DOE official confirmed it to the BBC. A DOE official told the BBC the public is not at risk due to the theft. The security officials from the DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory had driven to San Antonio in March 2017 to collect nuclear materials from a research laboratory. They had in their possession radiation detectors and disks of plutonium and cesium to calibrate the devices to ensure they would collect the right materials from the laboratory.

BBC 17th July 2018 read more »

Center for Public Integrity 16th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 July 2018

US – uranium

The uranium tailings spill at Church Rock, NM was the largest single release of radioactive contamination in US history. On July 16, 1979, the worst accidental release of radioactive waste in U.S. history happened at the Church Rock uranium mine and mill site. While the Three Mile Island accident (that same year) is well known, the enormous radioactive spill in New Mexico has been kept quiet. It is the U.S. nuclear accident that almost no one knows about. Just 14 weeks after the Three Mile Island reactor accident, and 34 years to the day after the Trinity atomic test, the small community of Church Rock, New Mexico became the scene of another nuclear tragedy. Ninety million gallons of liquid radioactive waste, and eleven hundred tons of solid mill wastes, burst through a broken dam wall at the Church Rock uranium mill facility, creating a flood of deadly effluents that permanently contaminated the Puerco River.

Beyond Nuclear 16th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 July 2018

Iran

New details from a trove of Iranian nuclear documents stolen by Israeli spies early this year show that Tehran obtained explicit weapons-design information from a foreign source and was on the cusp of mastering key bombmaking technologies when the research was ordered halted 15 years ago. Iran’s ambitious, highly secretive effort to build nuclear weapons included extensive research in making uranium metal as well as advanced testing of equipment used to generate neutrons to start a nuclear chain reaction, the documents show. While Iranian officials halted much of the work in 2003, internal memos show senior scientists making extensive plans to continue several projects in secret, hidden within existing military research programs.

Stars & Stripes 15th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 July 2018

Pakistan

Nuclear terrorism is a potential threat to the world security. Nuclear security expert Mathew Bunn argues that, “An act of nuclear terrorism would likely put an end to the growth and spread of nuclear energy.”After 9/11, the world came to know that al-Qaeda wanted to acquire nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has observed thousands of incidents of lost, left and unauthorised control of nuclear materials and such materials can go into the wrong hands. After 9/11, terrorism generated negative perceptions about the nuclear security of Pakistan. The western community often pressurises Pakistan that its nuclear weapons can go into the wrong hands. Nations mostly obtain nuclear weapons for the international prestige, but Pakistan is one of those states which obtained the nuclear capability to defend itself from India which has supremacy in conventional weapons.

Daily Times 16th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 July 2018

Germany

German wholesale power prices for August are up sharply pointing to potential output reductions by some nuclear reactors in the country which rely on water to keep them cool, traders said on Monday. With the weather forecast to be warmer than normal in August traders see “water cooling issues” as an issue for the nuclear power plants. “The first nukes are scaling down already …… due to cooling water issues,” one trader said. August delivery German baseload power was up 3.4 percent at 49.1 euros a megawatt hour (MWh), Thomson Reuters data showed on Monday.

Reuters 16th July 2018 read more »

Posted: 17 July 2018