Wednesday, 31 October 2012
First X-ray diffraction analysis of Martian soil shows that it is similar in composition to volcanic soils in Hawaii
Cool! First X-ray diffraction analysis of Martian soil shows that it is similar in composition to volcanic soils in Hawaii: http://www.nasa.gov/home/
"CheMin uses X-ray diffraction, the standard practice for geologists on
Earth using much larger laboratory instruments. This method provides
more accurate identifications of minerals than any method previously
used on Mars. X-ray diffraction reads minerals' internal structure by
recording how their crystals distinctively interact with X-rays.
Innovations from Ames led to an X-ray diffraction instrument compact
enough to fit inside the rover.
These NASA technological advances
have resulted in other applications on Earth, including compact and
portable X-ray diffraction equipment for oil and gas exploration,
analysis of archaeological objects and screening of counterfeit
pharmaceuticals, among other uses.
"Our team is elated with these
first results from our instrument," said Blake. "They heighten our
anticipation for future CheMin analyses in the months and miles ahead
The specific sample for CheMin's first analysis was
soil Curiosity scooped up at a patch of dust and sand that the team
named Rocknest. The sample was processed through a sieve to exclude
particles larger than 0.006 inch (150 micrometers), roughly the width of
a human hair. The sample has at least two components: dust distributed
globally in dust storms and fine sand originating more locally. Unlike
conglomerate rocks Curiosity investigated a few weeks ago, which are
several billion years old and indicative of flowing water, the soil
material CheMin has analyzed is more representative of modern processes
on Mars. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:13
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Hitachi buys right to build next generation of British nuclear power plants in £700million deal: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
news/article-2225160/ Hitachi-buys-right-build-genera tion-British-nuclear-power-pla nts-700million-deal.html#ixzz2 AmRkFh7U
"Britain’s nuclear expansion plans have been boosted after Japanese
engineering giant Hitachi signed a £700 million deal that will enable it
to start building the next generation of power plants.
engineering giant is buying Horizon Nuclear Power - which has the rights
to build reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey, North Wales, and Oldbury in
Gloucestershire - from its German owners E.ON and RWE npower.
what it described as the start of a 100-year commitment to the UK,
Hitachi confirmed that it intends to progress Horizon’s plans to build
between two and three new nuclear plants at each site.
facilities, which could be feeding electricity into the national grid in
the first half of the 2020s, are expected to generate power equivalent
to up to 14 million homes over 60 years.
Up to 6,000 jobs are
expected to be created during construction at each site, with a further
1,000 permanent jobs at both locations once operational."
And the news at WNN: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C_Horizon_back_in_focus_3010122.html "Hitachi will take forward the Horizon Nuclear Power project, having secured the company with a bid of £696million ($1.1 billion). Between four and six boiling water reactors are now slated for construction in Britain.
The Japanese firm now takes ownership of the project company set up by EOn and RWE to develop new reactors at two UK sites: Wylfa and Oldbury. It will "immediately" set about securing generic design acceptance for its Advanced Boiling Water Reactor from the UK nuclear safety regulators. With that approval, as well as planning permission, Hitachi would then be able to go ahead with building the units. Two or three reactors are planned for each site, with the first one in operation before 2025."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:23
Monday, 29 October 2012
A must read: Non speak week: silencing scientists by Stephen Strauss: http://pencanada.ca/blog/
"Whenever I try to explain to ordinary people why the present
Conservative government’s muzzling of its scientists is a wrongheaded
and self-destructive act, I begin by stating the obvious. Not letting
scientists readily talk to journalists expresses a fundamentally
Then I quote what French historian Arthur
Mangin wrote nearly 150 years ago. “Connaître, découvrir, communiquer —
telle est la destinée d’un savant” or as that reads in English “to get
to know, to discover, to communicate – this is the destiny of a
scientist.” The sentence announces what anyone who knows anything about
science already understands. Science is not about uncovering something
that you aren’t going to tell anyone else about because you are afraid
of what they are going to make of your discovery. Science is
intrinsically a hive activity in which communication and explication of a
discovery isn’t just a good thing, it is an intrinsic thing. Maybe
almost the intrinsic thing.
Science is intrinsically a hive activity
in which communication and explication of a discovery isn’t just a good
thing, it is an intrinsic thing. Maybe almost the intrinsic thing.
Scientists measure the impact of what they have found by the numbers of
times others cite their work. They love it when others try to reproduce
their findings. They speak about what they have done at any institution,
conference or webinar which will have them. And they are increasingly
blogging like mad about what is going on in their fields – a
communicating mania that can viewed at sites such as scienceblogs and
technorati. I personally have never seen as gossipy a collective as the
hallways and meeting rooms and even lavatories of a scientific
So when the government muzzles its scientists and
forbids them from talking journalists it has resulted in behavior that
seems almost pathologically non-scientific.
Think of when Ottawa
Citizen reporter Tom Spears asked the National Research Council what its
joint falling snow study with NASA was about. After 11 staffers and
dozens of emails went back and forth considering the request, the NRC
really didn’t respond. While this was occurring, a request to a NASA
scientist for information got all Spears’ questions answered in 15
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 14:34
Sunday, 28 October 2012
A great read: is the closing of one nuclear reactor the beginning of the decline for nuclear, it is not: http://
www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/ william-tucker-matt-wald-parlay s-one-reactor-closing-into-the -decline-of-nuclear/
"Political pressures may force a few reactors to close in hostile
territories such as New York and Vermont. So will a few plants such as
Crystal River, which have suffered major damage. But when Wald compares
reactors to “old coal plants now facing big capital expenses,” it turns
out he means capital costs for major uprates, which doesn’t involve
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 09:14
Friday, 26 October 2012
Great news: All twenty of Canada's nuclear power reactors are on line now: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ C_Point_Lepreau_back_in_operati on_2410121.html
"All twenty of Canada's nuclear power reactors are on line now that
Point Lepreau has been reconnected to the grid after refurbishment.
The reactor unit in the province of New Brunswick is in the final stages
of commissioning after a troubled overhaul. It was grid-synchonised on
23 October, said owner NB Power, to supply power for the first time
since refurbishment began four years ago."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 10:13
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
CNSC requests feedback on comments on draft omnibus amendments to regulatory documents addressing lessons learned from Fukushima event
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has posted the public
comments received for draft omnibus amendments addressing lessons
learned from the Fukushima Daiichi event for the following documents:
- S-294, Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants
- S-296 and G-296, Developing Environmental Protection Policies,
Programs and Procedures at Class I Nuclear Facilities and Uranium Mines
- G-306, Severe Accident Management Programs for Nuclear Reactors
- RD-308, Deterministic Safety Analysis for Small Reactor Facilities
- RD-310, Safety Analysis for Nuclear Power Plants
The comment period was July 20 to September 28, 2012.
If you would like to provide feedback on the comments received, please do so before November 7, 2012.
For more information about the draft document, how to participate, and key links, see Information Bulletin 12-47: http://
www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/ readingroom/infobulletins/ view_bulletin.cfm?bulletin_id=3 13"...
"The comments posted here are not the views or opinions of the CNSC.
The comments are posted in the language in which they were submitted."
the website provides direct links to comments provided by : Bruce Power,
Candu Energy, Hydro-Québec, NB Power, Ontario Power Generation
The comment period was July 20 to September 28, 2012.
If you would like to provide feedback on the comments received, please do so before November 7, 2012.
For more information about the draft document, how to participate, and key links, see Information Bulletin 12-47: http://
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:05
A white paper on the Integral Fast Reactor by Tom Blees and Barry Brook: http://bravenewclimate.com/
2012/10/23/ the-case-for-near-term-commerci al-demonstration-of-the-integr al-fast-reactor/
"Demonstrating a credible and acceptable way to safely recycle used
nuclear fuel will clear a socially acceptable pathway for nuclear
fission to be a major low-carbon energy source for this century. We
advocate a hastened timetable for commercial demonstration of Generation
IV nuclear technology, via construction of a prototype reactor (the
PRISM design, based on the Integral Fast Reactor project) and a
100t/year pyroprocessing facility to convert and recycle fuel."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:02
Monday, 22 October 2012
Start of the end for the solar hype perhaps? Siemens Exits Solar, Desertec in Green Portfolio Setback: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/
2012-10-22/ siemens-exits-solar-business-in -setback-for-green-portfolio-p ush.html
"Siemens AG (SIE) plans to give up its unprofitable solar-energy
business after failing to turn the unit around, in a blow to the German
engineering company’s effort to win more revenue from its so-called
Siemens is offering the asset to potential buyers,
the Munich-based company said in a statement today. The company will
also end its membership in a high-profile venture to generate renewable
energy in the Sahara desert. Siemens will keep its wind and hydro-power
activities, the company said.
“Due to the changed framework
conditions, lower growth and strong price pressure in the solar markets,
the company’s expectations for its solar energy activities have not
been met,” Siemens said in the statement.
Siemens is pulling the
plug on a business created with acquisitions including Archimede Solar
Energy and Solel Solar Systems in 2009, as deteriorating prices for
photovoltaic modules have made concentrated solar power less attractive.
The solar-power activities had been unprofitable since Siemens bundled
the operations into a separate unit a year ago. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 09:04
Remarkable achievement!: Refurbished Bruce approaching full strength: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ C-Refurbished_Bruce_approaching _full_strength-1810127.html
"The second unit at the refurbished Bruce A nuclear power plant has
sent electricity to the Canadian grid for the first time in 17 years,
five months after its restart was postponed because of generator
The grid synchronisation of Bruce A2 signals the final
stages of commissioning the 750 MWe Candu after seven years of
refurbishment. This saw the replacement of all its pressure tubes and
calandria tubes, electrical system upgrades, and the first ever
replacement of a steam generator at a Canadian nuclear plant. The unit
was ready to restart in May, but a problem with the electrical generator
in the non-nuclear side of the plant resulted in a last-minute
postponement. Bruce A1 went through a similar refurbishment and became
the first of the pair to restart, synchronising with the grid in
Bruce Power president and CEO Duncan Hawthorne expressed
his satisfaction that the project was moving into its final stages.
"This gets us one step closer to the finish line and for the first time
in nearly two decades we're in the midst of returning the site to its
full operational capacity," he said."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:41
Saturday, 20 October 2012
Happy Birthday James Chadwick! http://www.nobelprize.org/
He won the Nobel Prize in Physics 1935 "for the discovery of the
neutron" in 1932... without his discovery these amazing research in many
areas of science and technology with neutrons would have not been
possible for the past 80 years!
A short video about Chadwick and his discovery of the neutron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK-yeuu_p9k
A great writeup about the discovery of the neutron by ANS, posted it here last year but it is worth repeating: http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/10/19/pioneers102011/
The full original paper by Chadwick in 1932 is available here http://www.chemteam.info/Chem-History/Chadwick-1932/Chadwick-neutron.html and the full pdf also from Proc. Roy. Soc. website: http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/136/830/692.full.pdf+html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 17:01
Friday, 19 October 2012
very nice illustration comparing how much fuel it takes to power a
lightbulb for a year, not surprising for nuclear energy it is only 0.035
lbs=0.016 Kg! http://visual.ly/
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:19
Food for thought: Hidden costs of grid intermittency of clean energy: http://www.thestreet.com/
story/11740857/1/ little-known-filth-fouls-clean- energy-costing-trillions.html? cm_ven=GOOGLEN
"Since electricity must be used (or stored) the instant it's
generated, intermittency is the mortal enemy of a reliable and stable
power grid. While renewable power sources like wind turbines and solar
panels produce squeaky-clean green electrons, the electric current they
feed into the grid is filthy because it's intermittent.
output can easily fluctuate up or down by 3% over a 10-minute interval,
10% over a one-hour interval and 16% over a two-hour interval. Solar
panel output can plunge by 50% or more in five minutes. To avoid grid
collapse, somebody else has to be ready, willing and able to step in and
fill the intermittency gap. Providing that service is not cheap or
Renewable power is, quite literally, pollution of the electric
grid with intermittency and the lion's share of the cost of the smart
grid, automated demand response, dispatchable standby power, and energy
storage is, in reality, the cost of pollution abatement. "....
"Currently, renewable power producers enjoy a variety of financial
incentives including feed-in tariffs, investment tax credits, production
tax credits and renewable energy certificates that make their
intermittent power more valuable than reliable power from conventional
producers. To add insult to injury, they're not usually required to bear
the costs of the standby facilities that are essential to integrate
their intermittency into a public commons that values stability above
In the end, rate payers are saddled with the premium price of
renewable power and the premium price of the standby facilities required
to make that power stable, and, therefore, useful to society.
is a simple solution to the tragedy of the renewable power commons. We
can require each producer of intermittent power to pay the true cost of
the standby facilities required to make their power stable. Without a
rational approach that places the burden of intermittency abatement on
the producers that create the problem, rate payers will be stuck with a
hundred-trillion-dollar tab. "
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:13
Anti-Nuclear Plan Cutting Into Germany's Families: http://www.forbes.com/sites/
jamesconca/2012/10/17/ anti-nuclear-plan-cutting-into- germanys-families/
"The cost of shutting down Germany’s nuclear program won’t fall on the
back of heavy industry, like first feared. It will fall on the backs of
citizens. Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) guarantees that
renewables are taken onto the grid by the utilities in front of all
other energy sources, and they have to buy it at rates way-above market
This was put in place to encourage alternative energy
development and installation. However, renewables are so much more
expensive than nuclear, hydro and fossil sources, that Germany
instituted a levy, or Umlage, charged to consumers to cover this
On Monday, the Germany’s four primary grid operators
announced an increase in this levy from the 2012 rate of 4.5 cents per
kWhr to a 2013 rate of 6.7 cents per kWhr (Reuters).
In addition to
this 47% increase, consumers will be charged a value-added tax and
higher fees for network usage by utilities. Retail electricity prices
will rise by more than 10%, the largest increase in ten years. The
typical family of four will pay about $324 per year just to fund this
Also see: Germany’s Campaign to Dump Nuclear Runs Aground: http://www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/william-tucker-germany%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-dump-nuclear-runs-aground/ "he first bills for Germany’s campaign to give up nuclear power have come due and they are not pretty.
week the country’s four major grid operators announced a rate increase
of 47 percent, from 4.5 cents per kWhr to 6.7 cents per kWhr next year
in order to cover the costs of buying from renewable sources. In
addition, consumers will begin paying a value-added tax and higher fees
for network access by utilities. All this is going to cost the average
family of four about $325 per year.
that’s just the beginning. Renewables are barely halfway to the goal
of getting 40 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2020.
(The current 25 percent figure is highly dubious since not much of the
old stuff has been shut down and new coal plants are actually being
added to keep the lights on.) Germany already pays the second highest
electrical rates in Europe, almost twice what France pays with its 70
percent nuclear. (Just who’s #1 we’ll get to in a moment.) German
industries are already complaining they won’t be able to compete anymore
in the world market.
many times do we have to go through this? It has become clear over and
over that renewables are hopelessly expensive and will likely remain so
for the foreseeable future and beyond. The only way they can survive
is through ham-handed renewable mandates and extensive government
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 15:57
Neat!: Japan robot suit offers hope for nuclear work: http://phys.org/news/
"A robot suit entitled HAL (Hybrid Assistive Limb) is displayed at the
Japan Robot Week exhibition in Tokyo. The brain wave-controlled robot
suits that allow wearers to don heavy radiation protection without
feeling the weight were unveiled in Japan." wonder it is related to HAL
9000 in Space Odyssey! :)
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 15:47
Thursday, 18 October 2012
those of you who love history of physics especially nuclear-related
developments, here is a great write up in Physics World about Hans Bethe
(1967 Physics Nobel Prize winner "for his contributions to the theory
of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy
production in stars" http://www.nobelprize.org/
nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/ 1967/bethe.html): http://physicsworld.com/cws/ article/indepth/2012/oct/18/ hans-bethes-early-life to read the full article you need to register which is free...
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:55
must watch talk given by Ohio State University Physicist, Professor
Gordon Aubrecht: Clear Case for Nuclear Power in Fighting Climate
nuclear_power_industry_news/b/ nuclear_power_news/archive/ 2012/10/17/ ohio-state-university-physicist _3a00_-clear-case-for-nuclear- power-in-fighting-climate-chan ge-_2800_video_2900_-101702.as px
"In this TEDx talk posted online Monday, Ohio State University physics
Professor Gordon Aubrecht makes a compelling case for more nuclear
power in the face of climate change and the existing slate of
technologies to meet growing energy demand.
In the long term, he
sees solar technology serving as the world's primary source of power.
Until that happens, though, he said, "We cannot afford, as the human
race, to continue to do this to our planet, and so we need to get to a
future where we can use that solar energy. To get there we need a
bridge, and I think that bridge is nuclear energy."
In addition to
presenting data elaborating on the history and potential consequences of
climate change, he outlined nuclear power's advantages compared to
fossil fuels in terms of energy density and environmental impact.
also noted that, if American coal plants were regulated by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, they would be shut down for exceeding the limits
on radiation releases imposed on nuclear plants."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:38
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
you also find it odd that both candidates last night seem to support
fossil fuels? at times it seemed they were attacking each other for the
lack of their support for coal, oil drilling etc... seems fossil fuels
are the winners of this upcoming election! http://
theenergycollective.com/ josephromm/131496/ sound-climate-silence-romney-an d-obama-spar-over-who-wants-dr ill-more-fossil-fuels
A good read from Scientific American Blog: No Nukes + No Fracking = More Coal? : http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2012/10/15/no-nukes-no-fracking-more-coal-indian-point-debate-highlights-green-quandary/
"If we shut down Indian Point and other nuclear power plants, we will
become even more dependent—at least for the foreseeable future–on fossil
fuels, which, in addition to spewing out toxic pollutants, also
contribute to global warming.
illustrates the problem. After Fukushima, German announced that it
would close its nuclear power plants by 2022. But to meet its energy
needs, Germany has had to build new fossil-fuel plants, including one of
the biggest coal facilities in the world. As The Washington Post
reported, “Germany’s dilemma shows how difficult it is to balance
competing environmental priorities, even with vast resources and popular
support for the efforts."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:24
A report by American Security Project: Small Modular Reactors: A Possible Path Forward for Nuclear Power: http://
americansecurityproject.org/ featured-items/2012/ report-small-modular-reactor/
"For decades, nuclear power has played a vital role in meeting
America’s energy needs, and it currently generates 21% of our nation’s
However, decades have passed since nuclear power was
considered the preferred option for new electricity generation. The
industry has stalled. Cost overruns, construction delays, inaction on
handling nuclear waste, and low natural gas prices continue to be
challenges for the industry.
But, there are multiple reasons why the
United States must reverse this trend. As the only large source of
baseload electricity that also emits zero greenhouse gases, nuclear
power must play a large role in decarbonizing our electricity supply. As
the global leader in non-proliferation, a strong domestic industry is
needed to ensure other countries follow our lead in safety. With a
history of price volatility for fossil fuels, nuclear energy serves as a
hedge. And rising demand for nuclear power around the world presents
huge business opportunities for U.S. companies.
One way forward for
nuclear power is to pursue small modular reactors (SMRs). SMRs offer a
variety of benefits over conventional large reactors, which may go a
long way to addressing the chronic problems facing the industry.
Enhanced flexibility, cost advantages and safety features offer up SMRs
as a viable path forward"
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:11
Hornepayne, ON: the location of deep geological repository for Canada's spent nuclear fuel? http://www.cbc.ca/news/
technology/story/2012/10/16/ pol-nuclear-waste-site-hornepay ne.html
"So what are those benefits? For one, the project will cost anywhere
from $16 billion to $24 billion. It will take 10 years to build the
repository and that will mean 800 construction jobs. There will be
spin-offs from that: cafes, groceries, maybe even a McDonald's, hopes
"Schools will be built. Houses will be built. Not an
endless supply of things, but everything would be increased," says
Once the repository is in place, he says, there will be the people who manage and operate the facility: PhDs.
Forster could imagine a theatre troupe setting up shop in Hornepayne because of them."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 16:02
Bruce Power's Unit 2 sends electricity to Ontario grid for first time in 17 years: http://www.marketwire.com/
press-release/ bruce-powers-unit-2-sends-elect ricity-to-ontario-grid-for-fir st-time-in-17-years-1714318.ht m
"Bruce Power's Unit 2 sent power to Ontario's electricity grid for the
first time in 17 years earlier today, marking a major milestone in the
Bruce Power revitalization program.
"This gets us one step closer to
the finish line and for the first time in nearly two decades we're in
the midst of returning the site to its full operational capacity," said
Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO. "With this project in the final
stages we can see a period of stable, steady operations ahead where
Bruce Power plays a key role in keeping electricity costs low, the
lights on and the air we breathe clean."
With first synchronization
now complete, final planned commissioning activities will be carried-out
on Unit 2 including safety system shutdown testing. Once the units are
at high power, they will produce enough electricity to power cities the
size of Ottawa and London, ON, combined.
"Ontario is building a
modern, clean, reliable electricity system and nuclear energy is a
critical part of our energy supply. Bruce Power's revitalization program
is an important step towards eliminating the use of coal fired
electricity by the end of 2014," said Chris Bentley, Ontario Minister of
The return to service of Units 1 and 2 bring the Bruce
Power site back to its eight-unit capacity, doubling the number of
operational units from 10 years ago when the company began its
multi-year revitalization program to make it the largest nuclear
generating facility in the world. Prior to this investment, half of the
units on the site were laid up.
The Bruce Power revitalization
program is an essential element to Ontario's plan to phase out coal
generation in 2014. Coal output over the past decade has dropped by
nearly 90 per cent annually, while Bruce Power has increased its output
by 55 per cent. This increased clean generation from the Bruce Power
site accounts for 40 per cent of the coal generation reduced to date in
the province. With the return to service of Units 1 and 2, Bruce Power
will remain a key player in both reducing and staying off coal, which is
one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in North
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 15:53
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
talk "about the “new” AECL and how it contributes to Canada" on
Wednesday, October 24, 2012... perhaps some more details about how the
"new" AECL will look like and whether a replacement for the aging NRU
research reactor is in its future or not will be revealed in the talk? http://members.peo.on.ca/
index.cfm?ci_id=1849&la_id=1&ye ar=2012&month=10&day=24&event_ id=69805&ch_id=36 if you are able to attend please tell us about it...
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:13
very detailed and illustrated guide to global warming and with links to
all studies mentioned in the post: An Illustrated Guide to the Science
of Global Warming Impacts: http://
theenergycollective.com/ josephromm/124636/ illustrated-guide-science-globa l-warming-impacts-how-we-know- inaction-gravest-thre
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 05:41
Sunday, 14 October 2012
A great read: The Tragedy of Radiation Phobia http://
www.nucleartownhall.com/blog/ william-tucker-the-tragedy-of-r adiation-phobia/
"This week there was an absolutely heartbreaking story in Business Week
about Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ‘s trip to Fukushima. His
visit was intended to show the Japanese public that things are going
well at the reactor. Also on the agenda was a ceremony honoring the
“Fukushima 50,” the brave Tepco workers who stayed on the job during the
worst of the accident and risked intense doses of radiation to try to
bring the reactor under control.
Now in any other country you’d
think that this heroic bunch would be given a ticker-tape parade, appear
on talk shows and be feted at the centers of government. Here they’d
be signing book contracts and negotiating with Hollywood about a movie.
When 33 miners were trapped for a week underground in Chile in 2010,
the whole world held its breath and they were celebrated in New York
after their rescue.
What happened in Japan instead is this. Only a
handful of the Fukushima 50 showed up and most of those who did stood
with their backs to the cameras and refused to show their faces. Why?
Because they were afraid their relatives would be shunned for somehow
being indirectly exposed to the horrifying dangers of nuclear radiation.
This is the fruit of 50 years of the “no safe dose” hypothesis run
wild. Anti-nuclear activists have been so successful in preaching that
even the minutest exposure to radiation is some kind of death ray that
people are now afraid of anyone and anything that is even association
with nuclear energy. Radiation has become a kind of international
cooties that not only infects a person but can be “passed along” by
touch or contact with someone else who has been exposed. The Fukushima
50 are afraid that children and grandchildren will be shunned by other
young children at school simply because they are related to them. Such
is the power of the dreaded word “radiation.”
This is a contemporary
tragedy and one that no one seems very inclined to do anything about.
All over Japan people who have been forced to evacuate from Fukushima
are being denied basic services because they are “radioactive.”
Families have been denied admission to hotels, people are denied jobs,
their children are shunned in school by their classmates. The pattern
actually goes back to people who were exposed to high doses of radiation
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were given a special name – hibakusha –
the explosion-covered people” – and have spent most of their life
trying to hide their identity. In a recent NPR interview, one woman
revealed to her sister for the first time that she had been affected by
the blast in 1945. The Fukushima 50 knew what they were talking about.
on Fukushima 50: it has made the top of the cracked.com article listing
5 Big News Stories That Left Out the Most Important Part: http://www.cracked.com/article_20048_5-big-news-stories-that-left-out-most-important-part_p2.html "The "Fukushima 50"
Sacrificed Their Lives to Prevent Disaster (also, They're All Still
Alive): t was one of the truly inspirational stories that came out of
the horrific Japanese earthquake/tsunami and subsequent meltdown at the
Fukushima nuclear power plant: A group of heroic workers colloquially
known as "The Fukushima 50" stayed behind to try to bring the reactors
under control. It was reported that the workers had received lethal
doses of radiation, but that -- although they expected to die within
weeks -- they would carry on as long as necessary to try to protect
But They Forgot to Mention ...
have a right to be surprised; to provide a point of comparison, during
the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the 1980s, 134
"liquidators" were diagnosed as having radiation poisoning, and 28 of
them died within two months of the accident. On the other hand, over a
year after the Fukushima disaster, the number of workers who have died
from radiation poisoning is ... zero.
a single worker has died from radiation-related causes, and in fact
none of the workers have even shown symptoms of radiation poisoning. But
what about the report from the workers that they were prepared to die
from radiation poisoning? Well, that claim came from a single worker who
yanked his hypothesis straight out of his ass and told his mother about
it, who then passed it on to reporters. That's right -- all the news
reports you heard about Fukushima workers expecting to die within weeks
or months literally stemmed from the claims of one worried mom. But
that's just short-term risks. Surely we can expect to see that Big C
asshole popping up over the long term, right? Probably not. A panel of
experts found that the average cancer risk for the workers is 0.002
percent higher than the normal population. Even the most exposed worker
(who received a dose of 670 millisieverts, over twice the emergency
limit of 250 mSv) only has a 6.7 percent higher chance of getting
why all the panic? Well, the effects of different types of radiation
are difficult to explain to the layperson, and when you have the queen
of the Uruk-hai (aka Nancy Grace) belching out a cloud of undiluted,
pants-shitting sensationalism, it's easy to see how misinformation can
spread so quickly. But while the press had a field day comparing the
accident to Chernobyl, in reality it wasn't nearly as bad. As a matter
of fact, Japanese officials are already starting to permit people to
return to their homes and businesses, and looking back now, it turns out
that the workers were never really in much danger.
don't get us wrong -- each and every one of those workers is a hero and
stood tall in the face of disaster. But why not reward them by gaping
in awe of their badassery and not by looking at them with solemn pity,
waiting for the next one to keel over?""
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 10:12
Food for thought: Solar Power: economically and environmentally unsound: http://energy.i2i.org/2011/10/
24/ solar-power-economically-and-en vironmentally-unsound/
"We still don’t know how large solar installations covering thousands
of acres in the desert over long periods of time will affect the
To answer our earlier question, is the taxpayer
“investment” in solar power worth the cost to achieve “energy
independence” with “clean” power sources? It’s a trick question because
solar is neither a domestic product nor a clean one.
The bottom line
is that all energy sources come with some type of risk and to assume
that solar panels are an economic and environmental panacea is wrong"
This is a good link for background information on different types of solar panels: http://solarcellcentral.com/solar_page.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:56
Another obstacle for solar energy: Five Rare Earths crucial for clean energy seen in short supply: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/
2012-01-05/ five-rare-earths-crucial-for-cl ean-energy-seen-in-short-suppl y.html
Also see: http://www.energytrend.com/PV_20120307
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:55
Clean energy investment set to fall for first time in eight years: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
environment/2012/oct/09/ clean-energy-investment-fall-ye ars?newsfeed=true
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:07
A good read: Nuclear energy: It’s better than climate change: http://www.moenergyfuture.org/
news/ column-nuclear-energy-it-s-bett er-than-climate-change/
"Every day, the United States alone releases more than 19 billion tons
of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This fact and the
unprecedented danger it poses to society inarguably need to be
For those who recognize our harrowing environmental
circumstance and are compelled to heed to the call of sustainability (as
we all should), there are means of action. Low-carbon alternatives to
conventional consumer goods are becoming ubiquitous, and there is an
incipient cultural shift toward more sustainable lifestyles that will
surely play a prominent role in the future.
But we can only go so
far in our individual efforts. We must not neglect the need for
large-scale, government-run operations to assuage our addiction to
fossil fuels. It is for precisely this reason we all must abandon our
naive fears of nuclear energy and embrace nuclear power for what it
really is: a safe, convenient and efficient source of energy that must
be utilized if we are to seriously combat our climate crisis."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:01
China continues to make progress with its construction of new nuclear power reactors: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ NN-Chinese_units_get_their_dome s-1010125.html#.UHWcX2PDXss.fa cebook
"China continues to progress with its construction of new nuclear power
reactors. Within the space of a couple of weeks, the milestone of
installing the dome of the reactor containment building has been
achieved at two more units - Fuqing 3 and Changjiang 2."... "The
installation of the reactor building dome marks the end of the major
civil engineering works on the reactor buildings. Changjiang 2 and
Fuqing 3 are the fifth and sixth Chinese units, respectively, to have
had their reactor domes installed since the start of 2012. The others
include Taishan 2, Yangjiang 3, Ningde 4 and Fangchenggang 1.
Construction projects already underway should see China bring online
some 27 new reactors by the end of 2015 - in addition to the 15 units
currently in operation."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:57
Thursday, 11 October 2012
N. Brockhouse, Nobel Prize laureate: in lieu of the recent announcement
of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, here is a remarkable cbc short
clip broadcasted after the 1994 Physics Nobel Prize announcement, as
stated in the video Brockhouse won the prize for starting a new branch
of physics and that in the 1950s a truly remarkable achievement... even
today his invention is still a unique and powerful technique in the
quest for our understanding of what atoms do in condensed matter
systems allowing scientists to gain information not attainable by any
other technique: http://www.cbc.ca/archives/
categories/society/ celebrations/ canadas-nobel-laureates/ bertram-n-brockhouse.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:34
AECL Whiteshell Laboratories technicians and technologists to strike: http://www.marketwire.com/
press-release/ aecl-technicians-and-technologi sts-to-strike-1709593.htm
"Technicians and Technologists at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
(AECL) Whiteshell Laboratories voted overwhelmingly to reject the
company's final offer and strike as they pursue a first collective
agreement. These employees recently formed the Whiteshell Technical
Employees Group (WTEG) and joined the Professional Institute of the
Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
Until June 2011, the AECL
Whiteshell Technicians and Technologists were not unionized. As a
result, they were regularly bypassed for the salary increases and
benefits received by their unionized counterparts. Their bargaining
objective is to achieve salary and benefits comparable to their
On September 13, 2012, without notice AECL tabled a
"take-it-or-leave it" offer. If accepted, Whiteshell Technicians and
Technologists would continue to have lower salaries, inferior severance
and pension protection and significantly lesser maternity and parental
PIPSC President Gary Corbett said, "It's unconscionable
that the same class of employees working for the same employer would
receive significantly different pay and benefits. Pensions and severance
should be protected for all, not just some. Until AECL stops treating
them as second class employees, there's going to be push back"."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 08:15
Gas on the brain: official “greens” continue to sell fossil fuel to Ontario: http://
canadianenergyissues.com/2012/ 10/09/ gas-on-the-brain-official-green s-continue-to-sell-fossil-fuel -to-ontario/
"Over the Thanksgiving long weekend, Ontario natural gas-fired power
plants dumped roughly 57,908 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the
main greenhouse gas, into Ontario’s air. They did not pay a dime for
this privilege. The CO2 dumping occurred as a by product of generating
roughly 106 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. That electricity cost
Ontario ratepayers an officially undisclosed but inferable rate that is
much higher than the rates for clean power like hydro and nuclear."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:17
Fast moves for nuclear development in Russia: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ NN_Fast_moves_for_nuclear_devel opment_in_Siberia_0410121.html
"n experimental lead-cooled nuclear reactor will be built at the
Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC). If successful, the small BREST-300 unit
could be the first of a new wave of Russian fast reactors.
The Tomsk region that hosts the SCC signed an agreement with
nuclear company Rosatom during an official visit at the end of
September. It specified that a demonstration BREST-300 unit would be
built at the site, along with the manufacturing facility for the dense
nitride uranium-plutonium fuel that it would need. The cost was put at
RUR25 billion ($805 million) for the 300 MWe reactor and RUR17 billion
($54 million) for the fuel plant.
Russia already uses a BN-series
fast reactor for power production at Beloyarsk with another under
construction and more proposed for several other sites. However, the
BREST design is seen as a successor to the BN series and the 300 MWe
unit at the SCC could be the forerunner to a 1200 MWe version for wide
deployment as a commercial power generation unit. The development
program is as part of an Advanced Nuclear Technologies Federal Program
2010-2020 that seeks to exploit fast reactors as a way to be vastly more
efficient in the use of uranium while 'burning' radioactive substances
that otherwise would have to be disposed of as waste."
More on small nuclear power reactors: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html
Russia already uses a BN-series fast reactor for power production at Beloyarsk with another under construction and more proposed for several other sites. However, the BREST design is seen as a successor to the BN series and the 300 MWe unit at the SCC could be the forerunner to a 1200 MWe version for wide deployment as a commercial power generation unit. The development program is as part of an Advanced Nuclear Technologies Federal Program 2010-2020 that seeks to exploit fast reactors as a way to be vastly more efficient in the use of uranium while 'burning' radioactive substances that otherwise would have to be disposed of as waste."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:15
Japanese firm continues investing in nuclear: http://
www.world-nuclear-news.org/ C-Toshiba_to_buy_Shaws_stake_in _Westinghouse-1010124.html
"Toshiba's stake in Westinghouse will increase to 87% in January 2013
when it completes the purchase of the Shaw Group's 20% stake in the
company. Shaw announced over a year ago that it planned to sell its
stake back to Toshiba."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:04
Nuclear industry preparedness for the unexpected: http://
analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.c om/supply-chain/ health-safety-post-fukushima-wo rld-us-nuclear-industry-prepar ed-unexpected?utm_source=http% 3A%2F%2Fuk.nuclearenergyinside r.com%2Ffc_nei_decomlz%2F&utm_ medium=email&utm_campaign=NEI+ e-brief+1010&utm_term=Health+a nd+Safety%3A+in+a+post-Fukushi ma+world+is+the+US+nuclear+ind ustry+prepared+for+the+unexpec ted+&utm_content=151899
"If there is one longstanding silver lining from the tragedy of
Fukushima, it is that the nuclear industry will continue to use the
event as a benchmark for improving safety at nuclear plants around the
Of course, the same thing occurred following the Three Mile
Island accident in the US in 1979, and the terrorist attacks in the US
Fukushima, however, will remain the industry barometer for
what could go wrong, as two natural disasters combined to create the
worst nuclear disaster in history.
The US Nuclear Regulatory
Commission has responded quickly since Fukushima. The agency has
established the Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, a group of
more than 20 full-time employees focused exclusively on implementing the
recommendations and related activities of the NRC’s Japan Near-Term
Task Force (NTTF).
The result? Increased preparedness and a feeling -- in the US at least -- that the nuclear industry is prepared for anything."
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 06:58
Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and
David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable
measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems" http://www.nobelprize.org/
nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/ 2012/ congratulations to the winners for this well-deserved recognition!
Check out this great short video for more background on the science behind the Nobel Prize in Physics 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dRr-fnPCwM
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 07:39
Thursday, 4 October 2012
great resource put together by a couple of MIT engineers: The fear of
nuclear power is mainly from a widespread misunderstanding and fear of
thingsworsethannuclearpower.blo gspot.ca/2012/05/ sunburn-is-worse-than-400x-back ground.html
See the link for "the real waste problem, solar edition": http://thingsworsethannuclearpower.blogspot.ca/2012/09/the-real-waste-problem-solar-edition.html
Also see: http://thingsworsethannuclearpower.blogspot.ca/2012/06/quick-post-on-nuclear-coverup.html
"There is no insane spike, and definitely not to over 7,000 counts let
alone 1,700. You can get the excel data for EACH hour from me (email
worsethannucpow @ gmail) or get it yourself from the EPA at https://cdxnode64.epa.gov/radnet-public/queryResult.do.
is not a nuclear plant in the area, let alone (as previously
established in one of the reddit edits) there is no appreciable DOD land
in the area. What is more likely to cause a small increase in
radiation readings and maybe even an explosion is natural gas fracking,
which is very common in the general area (Ohio is in the top 7 states
for number of fracking wells) and has even caused earthquakes in Ohio
(confirmed by the USGS- U.S. Geological Survey). Natural gas fracturing
injects radioactive tracers into the ground in order to map out a well.
This fact is not something they want publicized too much. They also
inject millions of gallons of fluids in order to explode underground and
release natural gas trapped in the rock."
This is also quite good: http://thingsworsethannuclearpower.blogspot.ca/2012/04/10-conservation-nuclear-still-lot-more.html
"The past year in Japan, the country has used between 6-10% less power but produced approximately 20-30% more carbon emissions (as well as other pollution- SO2, NOx, ozone, etc, which goes along with that). While it is not easy to find in the news, Japan has seen a doubling of the use of oil, a 30% increase in liquified natural gas, and a 5% increase in the use of coal. (Reuters imports report)
All of these imports have meant that for the first time in many years, Japan has a trade deficit. And because they are planning to permanently shut down their nuclear plants, the deficit, a depressed economy further kneecapped by expensive and unreliable energy, the carbon emissions, and the pollution are there to stay. The Kyoto protocol, signed in Japan, simply cannot be met by a Japan without nuclear power-- even with drastic conservation."
Also a great resource: http://atomicinsights.com/
This is also a must read: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/07/09/pro-nuclear-environmentalism/
"Why has the anti-nuclear movement succeeded? It is easy and tempting
to write-off its success to dishonourable actions from the leadership of
the movement which:
-Grants itself the luxury of being single-issue, and ignores the rest of the world’s problems when they don’t suit them
- Uses fear-mongering freely and to great effect
-Never, ever feels obliged to correct the record when their fear-mongering is subsequently shown to be completely false"
This is also a great resource: http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/what-is-the-hiroshima-syndrome.html
Posted by Zahra Yamani at 12:40