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Flooding at the Nuclear Plant: Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #1 via All Things Nuclear

Disaster by Design

The March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan did not reveal flooding to be a nuclear safety hazard; it reminded us of this well-known threat. Flooding from internal sources (e.g., broken pipes and failed storage tanks) and from external sources (e.g., heavy rainfall and swollen rivers) had long been recognized as a risk to be managed with an array of flood protection measures. As the following summaries—an abridged sampling among many such events—indicate, there were numerous reminders before Fukushima.


LaSalle (Illinois): Fission Stories #113 described the May 13, 1985, event where one of the circulating water pumps that sent cooling water from the lake through the plant stopped running. A worker dispatched to the pump house to investigate the problem discovered the building filling with water through a broken rubber expansion joint. The pump house flooded to a depth of 15 feet, disabling all the circulating water and service water pumps for both reactors.


The summaries indicate that adequate flood protection relies on (1) preventing water from entering areas housing vital equipment, (2) locating vital equipment in diverse locations to lessen the chances for a flood to disable it all, (3) draining areas containing vital equipment faster than then can flood, and (4) detecting a flooding condition as soon as possible to maximize the time available to successfully intervene.

Flooding is but one of many risks to be managed at a nuclear plant. Properly managing a single risk factor would be relatively simple. Properly managing multiple risk factors, often at odds with one another, complicates the task quite a bit. For example, installing fire headers and fire sprinklers within a nuclear power plant decreases the fire risk. But it increases the flooding risk. It’s not a matter of choosing which risk to manage and which to neglect; it’s a matter of understanding all the risks and developing designs and procedures that effectively manage them.

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Nuclear power plants in ‘culture of denial’ over hacking risk via The Financial Times


A focus on safety and high physical security means that many nuclear facilities are blind to the risks of cyber attacks, according to the report by think-tank Chatham House, citing 50 incidents globally of which only a handful have been made public.

The findings are drawn from 18 months of research and 30 interviews with senior nuclear officials at plants and in government in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, Ukraine and the US.
Dozens of nuclear power stations have control systems accessible through the internet even though many plant operators believe a persistent “myth” that their facilities are “air gapped” with physically separated computer networks, the report says.
It points to a 2003 incident at the Davis-Besse plant in Ohio, when an engineer accessed the plant from his home laptop through an encrypted VPN connection. His home computer had become infected with the nuisance self-replicating “slammer” worm. The trojan infected the nuclear plant’s computer system, causing a key safety control system to be overwhelmed with traffic from the worm and trip out.
A more serious 2006 incident occurred at Browns Ferry in Alabama when a key safety system was similarly overwhelmed with network traffic and nearly led to a meltdown.


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(プロメテウスの罠)百姓飛行士:3 シイタケ、育てた夢via 朝日新聞









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【event】Little Voices from Fukushima via the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago

A screening and discussion with director Hitomi Kamanaka

Wednesday, October 7, 7-10 p.m.
The Franke Institute for the Humanities (in the Regenstein Library)
1100 East 57th Street, JRL S-102
Chicago, IL 60637
Refreshments will be provided

The event is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

The post-Chernobyl present: Fukushima’s future?

People would rather not acknowledge their own exposure to radiation or the contamination of their environment. They also wish to avoid discrimination. Taking advantage of this psychology, TEPCO and the Japanese government continue to shirk responsibility. I would rather entrust the future of the children caught up in our society’s warped priorities to the mothers who wholeheartedly wish to guard and protect them.

Hitomi Kamanaka

See here for more information.

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NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: Nuclear techniques keep insects at bay in Croatia’s Neretva Valley via Faoreu

Growers in the picturesque citrus orchards of Croatia’s Neretva Valley are keeping their fruit clear of insect pests – but without resorting to pesticides. They use the so-called Sterile Insect Technique, with help from the Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture – a joint unit of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Division pioneered the technique and has been backing its application in the Neretva Valley since 2010.

In essence, the approach is to release thousands of sterile male fruit flies near orchards. The sterile males mate with wild females but produce no offspring, thus suppressing insect populations. This photo story takes a peek inside the insect emergence and release facility in Opuzen, Croatia.



In effect, the Sterile Insect Technique is a “birth control“ method for insects promoting the creation of pest-free areas or areas of low pest prevalence. It involves the use of ionizing radiation to sterilize mass-reared pest insects, such as fruit flies, which are subsequently released into infested target areas. There, the sterile males mate with fertile wild females but produce no offspring. Sterile males should outnumber wild males and cause the fruit fly population to decline.

The basic technology dates back to the 1950s, but was improved by the FAO-IAEA Insect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf, Austria. The laboratory also developed and harmonized international quality control guidelines for sterile insects.

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Global nuclear facilities ‘at risk’ of cyber attack via BBC

The risk of a “serious cyber attack” on nuclear power plants around the world is growing, warns a report.


Unfortunately, research carried out for the study showed that the UK’s nuclear plants and associated infrastructure were not well protected or prepared because the industry had converted to digital systems relatively recently.

This increasing digitisation and growing reliance on commercial software is only increasing the risks the nuclear industry faces.

There was a “pervading myth” that computer systems in power plants were isolated from the internet at large and because of this were immune to the kind of cyber attacks that have dogged other industries.

However, it said, this so-called “air gap” between the public internet and nuclear systems was easy to breach with “nothing more than a flash drive”. It noted that the destructive Stuxnet computer virus infected Iran’s nuclear facilities via this route.

The researchers for the report had also found evidence of virtual networks and other links to the public internet on nuclear infrastructure networks. Some of these were forgotten or simply unknown to those in charge of these organisations.

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仏首相、原子力セクター再編への関与を安倍首相に提案 via ロイター

[東京 5日 ロイター] – 来日しているフランスのバルス首相は、安倍晋三首相との会談し、仏原子力セクター再編に対する日本の業界の関与を提案したと述べた。


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Why Bernie and Hillary Must Address America’s Dying Nuke Reactors via Reader Supported News

By Harvey Wasserman

s the first Democrat presidential debate finally approaches (on Oct. 13), America’s nuke power industry is in accelerated collapse.

The few remaining construction projects in the U.S. and Europe are engineering and economic disasters.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders may address this in broad terms.

But as a nation we must now focus on the 99 dying U.S. reactors that threaten us all every day. In terms of our national survival, this is what Sanders and Clinton really must discuss.

Meanwhile the extreme success of Germany’s Solartopian Energiewende makes it clear the world can indeed run entirely on renewables. The central electric grid is no longer sustainable. All German nukes will be done by 2022. Germany’s great green community-based assault on King CONG (coal, oil, nukes and gas) is ahead of schedule and under budget. Clean energy prices are plummeting along with climate impacts.
But in the meantime, above all, we fear the 99 U.S. reactors that crumble as we speak:

1. The infamously lax Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) warns that Pilgrim, south of Boston, can’t meet even the NRC’s absurdly loose safety standards. Entergy may shut it down rather than pay to fix it up. The two candidates should demand they do it now.

2. Indian Point Unit 2, near New York City, has been operating without a license. The Unit 3 permit expires in December. Both must shut immediately.

3. The shield building at Ohio’s Davis-Besse is literally crumbling. FirstEnergy wants Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission to hand it a $3 billion bailout. This may be the world’s most decrepit nuke. It should have shut a very long time ago.

4. Exelon is begging the Illinois legislature for massive bailouts at five money-losing, increasingly dangerous reactors. That should be denied.

5. Entergy’s FitzPatrick in New York is losing millions, as is nearby Ginna. Both must go.

6. California’s Diablo Canyon reactors sit atop an interconnected web of 12 known fault-lines. They are 45 miles from the San Andreas, less than half the distance of Fukushima from the seismic trench that destroyed it. They are in violation of state and federal water quality laws. They’re being propped up by a corrupt Public Utilities Commission. They need to close.

… and that’s just for starters.


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どう取り組む?自然エネルギーの拡大と環境配慮の「両立」via WFFジャパン







ですが、もし事業一つひとつでは問題が無いとしても、いくつもの事業が隣り合わせで同時に行なわれたら? たくさんの風車が同じ地域に立ち並んだ場合、個々の評価ではわからない環境への影響が生じるかもしれません。





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電力関連に71人天下り 原発事故後 経産省最多17人 via 東京新聞

東京電力福島第一原発事故の後、電力会社や関連団体に天下りした国家公務員OBが少なくとも七十一人に上るこ とが、本紙のまとめで分かった。特に 経済産業省は、事故を受けて電力会社本体への天下りを自粛するよう職員に求めているのに、電力会社の関連団体を受け皿に最多の十七人が再就職していたこと が判明。電力業界との変わらぬ蜜月ぶりが浮き彫りとなった。 (荒井六貴、大野孝志)


  経産省の十七人のうち、六人は電力会社が設立した電気保安協会に天下りしていた。電力十社で組織する電気事業連合会の出資比率が高い「日本電気協 会」には、二人が天下り。協会の理事には事故当時、東電会長だった勝俣恒久氏も名を連ねている。ほかの九人も、電力会社や原発と関係が深い団体に再就職し ていた。

 事故直後の一一年四月、当時の民主党政権から「原子力行政に疑念を抱かれな いようにする」との指示を受けた経産省は、電力会社への天下りを自粛す るよう職員に求めた。事故以前に六十八人の幹部OBが、電力と日本原子力発電、電源開発(Jパワー)の十二社に天下りしていたことが問題視されたためだ。





<原子力資料情報室の伴英幸共同代表の話> 天下りによる電力業界と国との癒着関係を断たないといけないから、自粛の動きが出た。その自粛に抜け道 があるというのは、もってのほか。とんでもない話だ。経産省は電力業界と緊張ある関係を保たなければいけないのに、天下りでなれ合い構造をつくると、原子 力行政が腐敗の温床になる。天下り全てをやめるべきだ。

<国家公務員の天下り> 幹部が民間企業や独立行政法人などに再就職する場合、内閣総理大臣に届けることが義務付けられている。2014年度では 1617件の届けがあり、財務省が355件で最も多く、次いで国土交通省の315件。現役職員がOBの再就職のあっせんをしたり、利害関係企業に求職活動 することは禁じられている。

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