Archive for May, 2011

Huge yearly subsidy from US taxpayer to nuclear industry

May 8, 2011

When comparing energy choices, nuclear versus solar for instance, the full life cycle costs are rarely used. Nor are the financial risks taken into account, Pearce said. 

The Nuclear Cost Shell Game, By Stephen Leahy, UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 6, 2011 (IPS)“…….Experts estimate the U.S. nuclear industry’s liability cap of 10 billion dollars amounts to “an indirect subsidy of about 33 million dollars per plant per year over the lifetime of a nuclear plant,” according to a study published in Energy Policy in April. (more…)

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Connections between NRC and Nuclear Industry

May 8, 2011

Industry Connections “……….As with many regulatory agencies, the movement from N.R.C. jobs to industry jobs — and sometimes vice versa — is a recurring issue…….

for others, particularly officials at the highest levels, the commission can be a steppingstone to more lucrative work in the private sector.

Nuclear Agency Is Criticized as Too Close to Its Industry.  NYTimes.com, By , May 7, 2011  “…..The agency’s deferential attitude also brought the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio to the brink of the worst American nuclear accident since the Three Mile Island meltdown of 1979. (more…)

Open source method of measuring Fukushima radiation

May 8, 2011

Radiation monitoring in Japan goes crowd, open source,  CNET, by Eric Mack, May 6, 2011 A new open and crowdsourced initiative to deploy more geiger counters all over Japan looks to be a go. Safecast, formerly RDTN.org, recently met and exceeded its $33,000 fund-raising goal on Kickstarter, which should help Safecast send between 100 and 600 geiger counters to the catastrophe-struck country.

The data captured from the geiger counters will be fed into Safecast.org, which aggregates radiation readings from government, nonprofit, and other sources, as well as into Pachube, a global open-source network of sensors. Safecast is one of the larger crowdsourced monitoring efforts, not unlike a similar effort in the United States that predated the Japanese disaster.

For the last month, the Safecast crew and volunteers have been collaborating with universities in Japan and driving their geiger counters around the country and taking measurements. Safecast’s early monitoring trips north of Tokyo returned some disturbing findings, including elevated radiation levels in a kindergarten classroom…. http://news.cnet.com/radiation-monitoring-in-japan-goes-crowd-open-source/8301-17938_105-20060639-1.html#ixzz1LhM9vTgH


Taxpayer will cop astronomic costs of nuclear accidents

May 8, 2011

The Nuclear Cost Shell Game, By Stephen Leahy, UXBRIDGE, Canada, May 6, 2011 (IPS) – The nuclear energy industry only exists thanks to what insurance experts call the “mother of all subsidies”, and the public is largely unaware that every nuclear power plant in the world has a strict cap on how much the industry might have to pay out in case of an accident. (more…)

Toxic effects of rare earths industry in Inner Mongolia

May 8, 2011

near Baotou city in Inner Mongolia, … the world’s largest deposits of rare earths, which are vital in making many high-tech products….

Environmental groups have long criticised rare earths mining for spewing toxic chemicals and radioactive thorium and uranium into the air, water and soil, which can cause cancer and birth defects among residents and animals…..

China pays price for world’s rare earths addiction, By Allison Jackson (AFP) – Google News, 7 May 11, BAOTOU, China Peasant farmer Wang Tao used to grow corn, potatoes and wheat within a stone’s throw of a dumping ground for rare earths waste until toxic chemicals leaked into the water supply and poisoned his land. (more…)

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission defers to nuclear industry

May 8, 2011

“The N.R.C. rule change gutted a substantive process and replaced it with a rubber stamp. They placed industry profits ahead of public safety.”….

Nuclear Agency Is Criticized as Too Close to Its Industry.  NYTimes.com, By , May 7, 2011“……..Exelon’s risky decisions occurred under the noses of on-site inspectors from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. No documented inspection of the pipes was made by anyone from the N.R.C. for at least the eight years preceding the leak, and the agency also failed to notice that Exelon kept lowering the acceptable standard, according to a subsequent investigation by the commission’s inspector general. (more…)