Archive for September, 2012

The criminal system in charge of Japan’s nuclear industry

September 2, 2012

The Nuclear Mafia Derails Democracy in Japan Dissident Voice, by Richard Wilcox / August 31st, 2012

End of the day, factory whistle cries, Men walk through these gates with death in their eyes.
– Bruce Springsteen, “Factory

Bring us the living dead. People no one will miss.
– Fukushima official’s request to Yakuza

TEPCO’s involvement with anti-social forces and their inability to filter them out of the work-place is a national security issue … Nuclear energy shouldn’t be in the hands of the yakuza. They’re gamblers and an intelligent person doesn’t want them to have atomic dice to play with.
– Japanese Senator1…. The exploitation of labor at nuclear plants depends on the tools of social engineering, of government, mass media and schools. This is the hidden and shameful side of today’s materialist society and belies our complicity in a criminalized culture.

Inefficient and corrupt employment practices at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (FNPP) are prolonging the disaster. Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) outsources 90 percent of the work to subcontractors, mainly utilizing Japan’s criminal syndicates, “the Yakuza.” Japan is still a middle class society and most people will not volunteer for nuclear work. Japan risks running out of workers who have not exceeded their legal radiation limits.

Considered to be “Japan’s largest organized crime group” — who are on the radar of the US Treasury Dept. (another big crime group) — the Yakuza offer a service to society by sopping up its losers and giving them a dodgy occupation….. These short video interviews offer a useful introduction into how the Yakuza operate. Tepco’s relationship with the Yakuza is a cesspool of corruption from the highest to the lowest levels in its organization. “A senior National Police Agency officer, speaking on grounds of anonymity said, ‘TEPCO has a history of doing business with the yakuza that is far deeper than just using their labor.’

Adelstein notes that the Yakuza has 86,000 members in Japan, of the 22 major organizations the “Yamaguchi” has almost half of all members. The Yakuza are:

[c]riminal trade associations legally recognized by the Japanese government (more…)

Disturbing facts about the nuclear industry’s impact on fresh water

September 2, 2012

According to a 2011 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, water withdrawals vary widely from one type of power plant to another: “On average in 2008, plants in the US nuclear fleet withdrew nearly eight times more freshwater than natural gas plants per unit of electricity generated, and 11 percent more than coal plants.

 When water efficiency is factored into the equation, alternative energy sources, like wind turbines and solar cells, compare more favorably to coal, gas, and nuclear power. 

Treading water, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, BY DAWN STOVER | 22 AUGUST 2012 In 1954, Lewis Strauss, then chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, gave a speech in which he famously predicted that “our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter.” Whether he was talking about fission reactors or a secret fusion project is unclear, but he was wrong in either case. What did turn out to be too cheap to meter, however, was water.

Unless you have a private well or spring on your property, you probably don’t enjoy free water in your home. But it’s a different story if you’re running a power plant or drilling for oil: The biggest water consumers pay the least for every gallon, and most power plants pay almost nothing at all. Perhaps that’s why so little research and funding is devoted to saving water — far less than is spent on energy efficiency.

This year’s drought, however, is a painful reminder that water is not an unlimited resource. According to the National Climate Data Center, moderate to exceptional drought currentlycovers 64 percent of the contiguous United States. A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change predicts that severe and widespread droughts will continue during the coming decades…… (more…)

Uranium mining from the oceans – an uneconomic dream

September 2, 2012

“…….. Ocean-mined uranium feasible, but not economical The Street By Resource Investing News 08/29/12 – If uranium buyers can’t find enough U308 on land, perhaps they can turn to the sea; or so say scientists from the University of Alabama and the American Chemical Society. “The ocean actually contains more uranium, although very dilute, than you can find in any land source in total,” said chemist Robin Rogers in a recent news conference, “which means we have a wonderful resource; it’s just always been very expensive to get it out.”

On and off over the past half century, scientists have been researching ways to extract uranium from seawater, but the process has always proved so costly and laborious that no one in the industry took it seriously. The US Department of Energy recently funded a project to develop a more cost-efficient process, and as a result researchers were able to decrease the cost estimate for ocean-mined uranium by over 46 percent to $300 per pound. Unfortunately, that’s five times costlier than traditional mining and a far cry from economical.

How the nuclear lobby lies about bananas and radiation

September 2, 2012

Nukers promoting contaminated food – the falsehoods of the Potassium excuse I have blogged about this before. Attempts at selling contaminated food in the market of people’s lives by nuclear advocates has to stop in Japan and everywhere.

It will take me the weekend to finish this post as I gather the historic and current sources which show the Potassium equivalent dose (which the industry calls the banana equivalent dose) is a false, incorrect, wrong and deceptive fallacy.

In the interim, this wiki article explains the fallacy in brief:

In brief: radio potassium (K40) is much a very small proportion of all potassium. It is far less radioactive per unit weight (amount, physical dose) than any biologically active fission product.

Potassium in any form is dangerous to the heart in excess, but potassium is a needed nutrient.
The body maintains a potassium balance therefore. This danger to the heart is a bio-chemical effect. The radiological nature of radio cesium (a potassium analogue) poses an additional threat to the heart and other soft tissue.  (more…)

The dangers of MOX plutonium fuel and nuclear reprocessing

September 2, 2012


 “….MOX fuel poses a grave safety threat. Dr. Edwin Lyman, NCI Scientific Director, conducted a MOX fuel safety study using the same computer codes employed by DOE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Lymans study concluded that, in the event of a severe accident resulting in a large radioactive release, an average of 25% more people would die of cancer if the reactor were using a partial core of plutonium-MOX fuel, as opposed to a full core of conventional uranium fuel. DOE itself has concurred with many of Dr. Lymans findings.

Dr. Lyman also found that the impact of MOX fuel on certain reactor characteristics might also increase the chance that such a severe accident would occur. DOE and Duke dismiss such accidents as extremely improbable—but it must be remembered that the accidents that took place at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the Tokai nuclear-fuel plant in Japan last September all had been similarly dismissed as highly unlikely or even impossible events.

  •  MOX fuel exposes Duke to potentially enormous future costs. (more…)

Busting the “spin” about Thorium nuclear reactors

September 2, 2012

thorium is merely a way of deflecting attention and criticism from the dangers of the uranium fuel cycle and excusing the pumping of more money into the industry…..  the nuclear industry itself is also sceptical

 ‘ these arereally U-233 reactors,’   This isotope is more hazardous than the U-235 used in conventional reactors, he adds, because it produces U-232 as a side effect (half life: 160,000 years), on top of familiar fission by-products 

Don’t believe the spin on thorium being a ‘greener’ nuclear option Ecologist, Eifion Rees 23rd June, 2011 It produces less radioactive waste and more power than uranium but the UK would be making a mistake in looking to it as a ’greener’ fuel. The Ecologist reports….. nuclear radiologist Peter Karamoskos, of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), says the world shouldn’t hold its breath.

‘Without exception, [thorium reactors] have never been commercially viable, nor do any of the intended new designs even remotely seem to be viable. Like all nuclear power production they rely on extensive taxpayer subsidies; the only difference is that with thorium and other breeder reactors these are of an order of magnitude greater, which is why no government has ever continued their funding.’ (more…)

Very fast charging batteries for electric cars

September 2, 2012

New Korean Lithium Ion Battery for EVs Charges in Under 1 Minute By Ovidiu Sandru   August 21, 2012    A new lithium ion battery developed in Korea could make those long waiting times for an electric car to charge become history. A team of researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) claim they can build a battery that can charge in less than a minute, 30 to 120 times faster than a classic Li-Ion battery.

The bigger the battery (in volume), the longer it takes to charge it –
that’s the sad rule of thumb of batteries these days. One solution
would be to split the big battery into smaller piles – which has been
done so far, but it’s still not enough.
What the Korean researchers have done was to dip the cathode material
(lithium manganese oxide – LMO) in a solution containing graphite.
After carbonizing the graphite-soaked LMO, the graphite turned into a
dense network of conductive traces that ran throughout the cathode,
acting like blood vessels and allowing the entire battery to charge at
the same time, thus greatly speeding  up the recharge process, without
the energy density or life cycle being affected.
The new battery needs to be packaged no differently than a normal
lithium ion battery, which makes the new technology easily adaptable
to already existing production lines. That, in turn, shouldn’t make
the new Korean LMO batteries much more expensive, but a hell lot
faster to charge.
It remains to be seen when and if this technology will actually become
mainstream, or at least having some big car manufacturer like Ford or
GM test it on the roads.

Nuclear reactors cannot solve the climate problem

September 2, 2012

Realistically the world might build 100 or so new reactors over the coming decade or so – ..  Over this same period a similar number of existing reactors will reach the end of their lives and close, leading to a net growth rate close to zero.

Does the world need nuclear power to solve the climate crisis? Nuclear power looks expensive and repulsive compared to increasingly affordable renewable energy, arguesOliver Tickell, The Guardian, 20 Aug 12,  ”…..this is the question: does the world need nuclear power for us to solve the climate crisis, as Monbiot claims? To borrow a second thought, this time from Margaret Thatcher, must we accept that there is no alternative?….. (more…)

Nuclear industry on the whole does not support thorium reactors

September 2, 2012

D. A,. RyanNovember 6th, 2011 at 13:39  The NNL lead scientist Prof. Howarth deals specifically with the LFTR here and pours cold water on it:

A pro-nuclear engineer let slip to me a while ago the real attiude of the nuke industry to Thorium. They see it as hedging their bets in case fusion proves to be harder than they thought and they don’t get commercial grade fusion plants up and running by the 2050′s. If that occurs, then that’s when Thorium (or LFTR’s) will figure. In other words, to them its a blue sky idea to sort out a future energy crisis, not the one facing us right now. This is why you see a vast gulf of a difference between pro-Thorium bloggers and the nuclear industry establishment.

Need for vigilance in medical radiation – unnecessary use a cause of cancer

September 2, 2012

Medical Radiation Soars, With Risks Often Overlooked NYT, By JANE E. BRODY AUGUST 20, 2012, Radiation, like alcohol, is a double-edged sword. It has indisputable medical advantages: Radiation can reveal hidden problems, from broken bones and lung lesions to heart defects and tumors. And it can be used to treat and sometimes cure certain cancers.

But it also has a potentially serious medical downside: the ability to damage DNA and, 10 to 20 years later, to cause cancer. CT scans alone, which deliver 100 to 500 times the radiation associated with an ordinary X-ray and now provide three-fourths of Americans’ radiation exposure, are believed to account for 1.5 percent of all cancers that occur in the United States. (more…)