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A child born in the Chernobyl zone without legs and abandoned by his parents. Vesnova Mental Asylum, Belarus.
Photographer Jenny J. Norris’s images of Chernobyl “Liquidators” and developmentally disabled children born in Chernobyl following the nuclear meltdown 25 years ago, are part of an exhibition and event series taking place at the Ukrainian Institute in New York City through April 26, 2011, in remembrance of the anniversary of the disaster.
Norris first became interested in creating a series of images about Chernobyl through her personal work teaching art and photography to children in impoverished areas around the world.
Many of the children and young adults there were born in Chernobyl after the disaster, and though Norris says that staff at the asylum do not say explicitly that the developmental disabilities of the residents are radiation-related, there is an unspoken assumption.
While at Vesnova, Norris showed residents how to make pictures, printing out their work for them on a portable printer she brought. “They were practically tearing the photos I gave them because they were so excited,” Norris recalls.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Nov. 1 restarted the No. 4 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, the first resumption of reactor operations in Japan since the March 11 earthquake.
The reactor, which was automatically shut down on Oct. 4 due to equipment trouble caused by human error, is expected to reach full capacity on Nov. 4, company officials said.
Kyushu Electric Power concluded that the words of the mayor and the governor showed it has obtained the understanding of the people to resume operations--even though a company official said it wasn't needed.
"In a sense, the consent of local governments or the people is unnecessary," Naoyuki Toyoshima, a senior official of the utility, said at a news conference that started at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1.
A delegation from the Fukushima Prefecture is en route to two former Soviet republics to investigate how they reacted to the persistent problem of radiation after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
The University of Fukushima organized the visit of 8 day Ukraine and Belarus. More than 30 medical experts and officials of municipalities involved.
The group hopes to learn what decontamination measures were taken and how people's health is monitored.
If they were anywhere near Kiev on Thursday, then they would have seen how not to handle a nuclear disaster, even 30 years after the initial incident.
A thousand "liquidators" at Chernobyl have tried to get inside the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev, Tuesday 1 st November.
These men were involved in cleaning around Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster of 1986, protesting against a bill that aims to eliminate their benefits. The bill, passed in first reading in September, caused the same uproar in the Ukrainian society.
Sixteen categories of the population are affected by this deletion. In addition to the "liquidators" at Chernobyl, Soviet veterans in Afghanistan must also be affected by this bill.
The liquidators have chanted the word "Shame" and broke the metal bars installed around Parliament. In front, a hundred riot police pushed them back.
Areva SA, the world’s largest provider of nuclear equipment and services, is “not at all concerned” about the outcome of stress tests on Europe’s atomic power stations, Chief Commercial Officer Ruben Lazo said.
The Fukushima atomic disaster in Japan won’t stop construction of new reactors in Europe, Lazo said in an interview yesterday after a ceremony in Prague where representatives of Areva and rival bidders Westinghouse Electric LLC and a Russian-Czech group led by ZAO Atomstroyexport got technical specifications for two new reactors at CEZ’s Temelin station.
The U.K., the Czech Republic and Poland continue to press ahead with plans to build more reactors.
“We are all waiting for the stress tests, but we are completely calm,” Lazo said. “Fukushima has not stopped many countries from going as planned.”
French nuclear power group Areva was the target of a cyber attack in September, according to a recent post on the website of French business magazine L’Expansion.
There were conflicting reports about the incident, which raises the specter of nation-backed spying.
Some accounts, including one from Slate Magazine’s French language site, claim that the attack was serious, with hackers enjoying consistent access to Areva’s computers for up to two years.
Areva has not commented on the incident publicly. Calls made to the company were not immediately returned on Monday.
Word of the incident first came to light on September 16, when employees of the firm were notified that there would be three days of maintenance performed on the company’s system to “strengthen security measures.” These security measures, implemented in conjunction with the National Security Agency Information Systems (ANSSI), appear to be in direct response to the break-in.
Czechs bet on nuclear power for their future (RT @Dogmanblue: http://t.co/z8HjjuZd Czechs bet on nuclear power for their future.)...
"Of course renewable sources are equally expensive but their costs are falling," said Vojtech Kotecky of the Duha (Rainbow) movement. "The government should try to boost the sector, not stifle it," he added.
Three groups, led by France's Areva, Russia's Atomstroiexport and the US giant Westinghouse are bidding for a deal to build the two new units at Temelin, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Prague.
Estimated to cost 20 billion euros, the contract also includes an option to build a reactor at Dukovany and two others at the Jaslovske Bohunice nuclear plant in neighbouring Slovakia.
"Six months after the terrible Fukushima disaster in Japan, our neighbours have learned no lessons," Austrian Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich said recently.
The NRC requires U.S. nuclear power plants to be able to shut down safely in the face of many extreme events – tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes. But the NRC also takes into account far more unusual events, like solar flares and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by a certain type of nuclear weapon. Both can affect generators, transformers and other parts of the electric grid – which in turn could affect nuclear power plants.
Earlier this year a citizen petitioned the NRC to revisit the issue of grid disruption, this time focusing on the spent fuel pools at U.S. nuclear power plants. The petition calls for a new rule that would require nuclear power plant spent fuel pools to have emergency systems capable of functioning for two years in the absence of an operating electric grid. The NRC is currently analyzing dozens of public comments on the petition, and the agency expects to issue a decision on the petition in the middle of next year.
DAMAGED PACKAGING CONTAINING RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
"The purpose of this report is to notify the NRC of a breach of a package containing a limited quantity of radioactive material. This breach was considered 'breakage' in accordance with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Transportation. In accordance with 49 CFR 171.15, Duke Energy contacted the National Response Center at 1350 [EDT] on October 28, 2011, Report Number 993866. The National Response Center then contacted Mecklenburg County, NC, Emergency Management.
"Although the packaging of the radioactive material was damaged during transportation, the package was transported in an enclosed van. The radioactive material itself has not been released, and the damage did not result in radioactive contamination or any radiation exposure. This event is being reported because notification to other government agencies has been made."
The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.
Fishermen in Córdoba, Argentina caught a three-eyed wolf fish in a reservoir fed by a local nuclear power plant, which will surely hinder the plant's owner's attempt to run for local office.
According to Infobae.com, the lake where the three-eyed fish was caught is a reservoir where hot water from the nuclear facility is pumped, and that folks living nearby have started to grow worried after seeing undeniable evidence of mutation. Never had such a fish been seen there before.
"We were fishing and we got the surprise of getting this rare specimen. As it was dark at that time we did not notice, but then you looked at him with a flashlight and saw that he had a third eye," said fisherman Julian Zmutt of his unusual discovery.
The men have decided to let it be tested to see if the mutation was actually a result of it being exposed to the water from the nuclear plant.
The Embalse Nuclear Power Station is one of the two operational nuclear power plants in Argentina. It is located on the southern shore of a reservoir on the Río Tercero, near the city of Embalse, Córdoba, 110 km south-southwest of Córdoba City.
"At approximately 1715 EDT on 10/27/11, a Security Officer accidentally discharged his weapon and wounded himself in the foot. An ambulance and Monroe County Sheriff reported to the site. The officer was transported offsite to a local hospital. This is being reported under 10CFR50.72(b)(2)(xi)."
The officer was clearing his weapon following his shift when the accident occurred. No other individuals were hurt.
The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission’s research reactor, following a reported potential radiation overexposure of one of its workers.
The Rhode Island research reactor reported the potential overexposure on Oct. 25 (event report # 47375 will be available on the NRC website) in which an employee entered the facility’s dry gamma exposure room to calibrate a radiation probe as part of an experiment the facility was conducting.
The circumstances meet the criteria for conducting a special inspection. The area was posted as a high radiation area and the reactor was shut down at the time and remains secured. The licensee's investigation is ongoing.
NRC inspectors are on-site responding to this event at the research facility and they will stay on to lead the special inspection. The inspectors will seek to understand the circumstances surrounding the event and its probable causes, including conditions preceding the event, chronology, equipment performance, precursors, human factors considerations, quality assurance considerations and radiological considerations.
A written report of the special inspection will be issued about 30 days following the completion of the inspection. It will be available on the NRC website. The NRC’s predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission, originally licensed the Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission Research Reactor to operate in 1964.
Construction of the first EPR unit at the Taishan nuclear power plant in China's Guangdong province has reached a major milestone with the dome of the reactor building being lowered into place.
Plant constructor China Nuclear Engineering and Construction Corporation (CNECC) announced that the reactor dome was successfully lifted by crane and placed on top of the containment building at 10.18am on 23 October.
The reactor building dome, with a circumference of 147 metres and weighing some 270 tonnes, was lifted some 70 metres above the ground and then slowly lowered onto the 44-metre high reactor building. CNECC said it was the largest reactor building dome to be lifted in the world.
Taishan 1 and 2 are the first two reactors based on Areva's EPR design to be built in China. The first two EPRs planned for the site form part of an €8 billion contract signed by Areva and the Guangdong Nuclear Power Group (CGNPC) in November 2007. The Taishan project - 140 kilometres west of Hong Kong - is owned by the Guangdong Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Company Limited, a joint venture between EDF (30%) and CGNPC.
NRC: No functional damage caused by earthquake at North Anna nuclear reactor
The review found cracks caused by the 5.8-magnitude quake, which was greater than what the reactors were built to withstand. But the NRC said that it found no functional damage that would prevent the plant from safely restarting.
Some residents disagreed with the findings and said they were "concerned the NRC and Dominion will put profits over safety."
However, Dominion Nuclear President and Chief Nuclear Officer David Heacock said that the energy caused by the earthquake lasted one second, which is why there was little effect on the power station.
NRC officials said they will likely issue a final recommendation next week which will allow the reactors to be restarted.
Meanwhile, Heacock said Dominion customers will likely see a rate increase since the power plant has been shut down and the company had to buy alternate energy sources to keep up with demand.
A DOJ memo from 1977 indicates that the owner of North Anna plant concealed earthquake concerns.
The memo, from May 1977, was the conclusion of an investigation into whether criminal charges should be brought against VEPCO for concealing this info. It notes that the plant's original owner, Virginia Electric Power Company, along with engineering contractors the company hired, tried to cover up the fact that a fault had been found under the site in 1970. The company had already invested $730 million in the plant, and didn't want the plant's ability to get a license to operate compromised. From the memo:
Abandonment of the site would have been intolerable from both a financial and public relations standpoint for all persons involved. In addition, the contemporaneous notes of the VEPCO team are replete with suggestions to "overwhelm the NRC with talent" and prepare "a convincing story." It is deeply disturbing to think that the peo0ple entrusted with design and construction of nuclear power plants for the purpose of producing energy for the public actually view the public as adversaries.
But then the NRC found out about the fault in 1973, and newspapers later covered it. Still, the NRC’s Office of Reactor Regulation didn't do anything about it. The memo also states that when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission became aware of the fault under the nuclear plant, it decided it was not a threat:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission determined that the fault discovered under the four nuclear reactors at the North Anna plant was not "capable" in terms of the NRC regulations.
The NRC did cite the company for making "material false statements" about the fault and fined it $32,500. But DOJ didn't proceed with criminal charges, largely because the NRC's actions at the time were "ill-considered and inept," and the commission had been complaint in their attempts to hide the fault, the memo concludes.
An alert has been declared at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County.
Orange County Sheriff’s officials say that there was an incident at the plant at approximately 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, prompting an alert.
Southern California Edison tells CBS 2 that the incident is “an ammonia leak that is being contained.” The leak occurred in a steam system used to drive the station’s turbines, SCE said. The leak is not nuclear.
No radiation is currently escaping from the power plant, Lt. Roland Chacon said. The Orange County Emergency Operations Center has been activated.
No evacuations have been ordered and there is no danger to the public, SCE said.
In October 2010, the South Texas Project announced that the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, had entered into an agreement with Nuclear Innovation North America, to purchase an initial 9.2375% stake in the expansion for $125 Million, and $30 Million for an option to purchase an additional stake in the new units for $125 Million more (resulting in approximately 18% ownership by TEPCO, or 500MW of generation capacity).
NRG Energy Inc. officially ended plans to build more nuclear power reactors in Texas after the Fukushima Disaster, which their proposed project partner company, TEPCO was responsible for.
Analysts attributed the abandonment of the project to the financial situation of the plant-partner TEPCO, the inability raise other construction financing, the current low cost of electricity in Texas, and expected additional permitting delays.
NRG has written off its investment of $331 million in the project.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Tuesday it has approved a new version of a nuclear power plant design which was to be used at the project location.
South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company, which includes U.S. power company NRG Energy , submitted an application to amend the ABWR design in June 2009.
The agreement was made conditional upon STP securing construction loan guarantees from the United States Department of Energy.
Despite the announcement of the reactor's cancellation by NRG Energy in the Spring of 2011, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission continued the COL process for the new reactors in October 2011.
It is not clear at the current time why the reactor license application is proceeding, but questions have been raised about what other projects might spring up due to the approval.
Officials with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission will discuss construction at the Watts Bar nuclear plant in a meeting next Tuesday afternoon.
According to a release, the meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 8th at a Comfort Inn on Decatur Pike in Athens.
Officials will explain the construction schedule and challenges they could face before a question and answer section.
The plant, in Spring City, is expected to be done with construction in 2013. TVA officials originally stopped construction on the unit in 1985. In August of 2007, officials decided to complete the project.
FirstEnergy Corp. said an investigation of damage to the concrete outer shell of its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant unearthed additional hairline cracks.
The sub-surface cracks on the shield building don’t “affect the facility’s structure integrity or safety,” Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy said in a letter to investors today. The company said the 913-megawatt reactor, shut since Oct. 1, will resume producing power in late November.
FirstEnergy shut the plant to install a new reactor vessel head three years earlier than previously planned. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2005 imposed a $5.45 million fine, its largest ever, for FirstEnergy’s failure to discover corrosion had eaten a hole in a prior vessel head.
Contractors found the newest cracks on the shield building, a 30-inch-thick (76 centimeters) reinforced concrete structure that protects the reactor’s containment building from wind and tornadoes.
FirstEnergy previously discovered a hairline crack measuring about 30 feet (9 meters) on Oct. 10 after it cut a hole in the side of building to allow for installation of the new vessel head.
The company is still studying two other cracks found as it tested the shield building and continues “to assess their implications, if any,” she said.
FirstEnergy is seeking regulatory permission to extend its operating license for Davis-Besse, which has been in service since 1977, by another 20 years. The commission is scheduled to issue its decision on the application next year.
School teachers across Japan have been grappling with how to deal with topics concerning nuclear power and radiation in their classes since disaster flared at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March.
Education has a crucial role to play in helping children tackle this challenge, facing the risks of radiation and thinking about nuclear power generation is of vital importance for future generations.
What is the difference between radioactivity and radiation? It is not easy to help children understand such concepts, as most adults are unable to provide an adequate answer.
Japanese in their mid-40s and older learned in junior high school that atoms of radioactive elements change into atoms of different elements by emitting radiation.
Since the 1980s, however, the topic of radiation has been dropped off the science curriculum under a government policy of making school education free from pressure, which has significantly reduced educational content.
On the other hand, the government has been promoting education on nuclear power generation in line with its policy of expanding the use of atomic energy.
The education ministry often points out what it thinks are problematic descriptions concerning nuclear power generation in its screening of school textbooks.
The government also distributed supplementary readers containing statements stressing the safety of nuclear power generation, such as "Nuclear power plants are designed in a way that ensures they don't release radioactive materials into the environment."
LOSS OF GREATER THAN 25% OF EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM SIRENS DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS
"At approximately 1818 EDT on October 29, 2011, Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station received notification that 25 of 96 emergency notification system offsite sirens were not functional. The loss of >25% of the sirens is considered a Major Loss of Emergency Preparedness Capabilities (10CFR50.72(b)(3)(xiii)). The loss of offsite sirens was due to loss of electrical power caused by significant heavy snowfall in the area. Efforts are in place to restore offsite sirens to service."
The licensee stated that compensatory measures are in place should their be a need to notify the areas affected by the lost sirens.
The licensee has notified State and local authorities. The NRC Resident Inspector will be notified.
LOSS OF GREATER THAN 25% OF EPZ SIRENS DUE TO WEATHER
"Limerick Generating Station reports a loss of >25% of the EPZ sirens for greater than 1 hour. Forty eight of the 185 offsite sirens are not functioning due to loss of power related to the recent storm."
The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector, and state and local government. A press release may be issued.
FITNESS FOR DUTY INVOLVING A EMPLOYEE SUPERVISOR
A non-licensed supervisor was arrested for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The employee's access to the plant has been terminated. Contact the Headquarters Operations Officer for additional details.
Bavaria is expected to trade out their significant nuclear electricity portfolio for fossil generation in the coming decade, according to new analysis from Der Spiegel.
While the contribution of non-hydro renewables is anticipated to increase from 10 to 36 percent of generating capacity, the largest increase comes from natural gas, which will increase its portfolio share from 10 to 46 percent, far more than any other single fuel. Spurred by recent fears following the Fukushima crisis in Japan.
The Oconee Nuclear Station is a nuclear power plant located on Lake Keowee near Seneca, South Carolina, and has an energy output capacity of over 2,500 megawatts. It is the second nuclear power plant in the United States to have its operating license extended for an additional twenty years by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (the application for the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland preceded it).
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Water containing radioactive substances has leaked from a reactor pressure vessel at the Tokai No. 2 power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, although there was no release of toxic substances into the outside environment, the government's nuclear safety agency said Wednesday.
Some 64 tons of water may have escaped from the pressure vessel to the outer primary container of the plant's boiling water reactor, which is undergoing regular checkups, the agency said. The incident has not affected the cooling process of the nuclear fuel, it said.
According to plant operator Japan Atomic Power Co., workers erroneously loosened a screw located at the bottom part of the pressure vessel, resulting in the leakage of water. Water splashed onto four workers, but they were not exposed to radiation.
The operator said that an alarm went off at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday warning there was a leak in the primary containment vessel.
The leaking stopped around 1 p.m., according to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
The Tokai No. 2 Power Station automatically suspended its operations when the devastating March 11 earthquake struck northeastern and eastern Japan.
As the plant has since entered into its checkup period, the nuclear fuel usually kept inside the pressure vessel has been moved to a spent fuel pool. The water level of the pool has been maintained, Japan Atomic Power said.
Amid growing concerns over the safety of the country's nuclear power plants, the mayor of Tokai village told the central government earlier this month that the Tokai No. 2 plant should be scrapped because it is aging and located near a densely populated area.
Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami the number 2 reactor was one of eleven nuclear reactors nationwide to be shut down automatically. It was reported on 14 March that a cooling system pump for the number 2 reactor had stopped working. Japan Atomic Power Company stated that there was a second operational pump and cooling was working, but that two of three diesel generators used to power the cooling system were out of order.
The process of loading fuel into the fourth reactor of the second phase of development at the Qinshan nuclear power plant in China's Zhejiang province has been completed.
China National Nuclear Corporation announced that, following an operation lasting 45 consecutive hours, the final fuel assembly was loaded into the CNP-600 design pressurized water reactor (PWR) at 5.42am on 23 October. The next stage in the unit's commissioning will be for it to achieve first criticality - a self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction. The 610 MWe reactor is expected to begin commercial operation in 2012, when it is set to become China's 15th operating power reactor.
Qinshan Phase II is already home to three operating CNP-600s, an indigenous reactor design built with a high degree of localisation. Units 1 and 2, comprising the first stage of Phase II, began operating in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Construction of the second stage was formally inaugurated at the end of April 2006, although first concrete had been poured for unit 3 the previous month. First concrete for unit 4 was poured in February 2007. Unit 3 entered commercial operation in October 2010.