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Cleanup at Idaho Nuclear Landfill on Hold After Pit Collapse via U.S. News

The contractor handling nuclear waste cleanup at the Idaho National Laboratory may revise some guidelines on excavator use after the walls of a dig area collapsed, sending an excavator sliding into the pit.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Some cleanup efforts at a nuclear waste landfill in eastern Idaho are on hold while workers try to figure out what caused a collapse in a dig area that sent an excavator into a pit.

The excavator was digging up transuranic waste — which is waste contaminated with highly radioactive elements.

No radiation was released during the incident last Thursday, and no one was injured, said Erik Simpson with Fluor Idaho, the contractor hired to clean up the site at the Idaho National Laboratory.


The collapse at INL happed just a few days after workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state discovered that a large sinkhole had caved in a tunnel filled with radioactive waste there. That discovery prompted an emergency, with some workers evacuated and others ordered to stay inside buildings for a time.

But the collapsed pit at the Idaho National Laboratory was less dramatic, in part because the nearly 2-acre (about 8100 square meter) dig site is completely enclosed in a soft-sided building designed to contain any radioactive debris.

Simpson said the workers inside the building were also wearing protective gear, and the excavator operator was in a protected cab with a personal air supply.


The site is a nuclear landfill that stored material from Idaho in the 1950s, and also accepted shipments nuclear waste from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Denver throughout much of the 1950s and the 1960s. Commercial nuclear waste was also sent to the facility for years, but Idaho officials eventually sued the federal government in an effort to stop the shipments and force the cleanup. The facility currently stores more than 300 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel.

In 1995, the federal government reached a legal settlement that requires the high-level transuranic nuclear waste to be removed from the site. Transuranic waste includes substances contaminated with plutonium, americium or other highly radioactive elements.

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東日本大震災 福島第1原発事故 指定廃棄物、協定なくても搬入 副環境相方針 楢葉町長は容認/福島 via 毎日新聞






全文は東日本大震災  福島第1原発事故 指定廃棄物、協定なくても搬入 副環境相方針 楢葉町長は容認/福島

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原発が次々稼働、震災前より高収益…東電、不可能な「妄想的」事業計画に失笑広がる via Business Journal







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Ontario’s proposed plan for nuclear plant emergencies ripped via Toronto Sun

TORONTO – Ontario’s proposed plan for how to respond in the unlikely event of a nuclear emergency falls short, environmental groups say.

The province recently released an update to its emergency planning for potential large-scale accidents at the Pickering, Darlington, Bruce Power, Chalk River and FERMI 2 nuclear sites.


“These proposals do a disservice to Ontarians. They make no proposals to tangibly strengthen public safety and ignore key lessons from Fukushima. It’s unacceptable.”

Community Safety Minister Marie-France Lalonde said the plan “definitely” covers a Fukushima-scale accident

“We’ve learned many things from the event in Japan, unfortunately,” she said.


Environmental advocates have for years been urging a wider distribution of those potassium iodide, or KI, pills. Radioactive iodine is released in the event of a nuclear accident, and the potassium iodide pills can help protect against thyroid cancer.

The pills are currently distributed to households and businesses within a 10-kilometre radius of the nuclear sites, but the environmentalists want that to be 50 kilometres. People outside the 10-kilometre radius can currently request the pills.

The groups also say the government has no comprehensive plan to address potential contamination of the Great Lakes, which are a source of drinking water for millions.

Read more at Ontario’s proposed plan for nuclear plant emergencies ripped

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Kepco restarts Takahama No. 4 reactor amid anti-nuclear protest via Japan Times

Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama No. 4 reactor was restarted Wednesday just over 14 months after it was forced to shut down, bringing to four the number of reactors currently operating in Japan.


Kepco officials reported no problems during Wednesday’s final preparation to fire up the No. 4 reactor in Fukui Prefecture, which had been idle since a restart attempt was aborted in February last year when an alarm went off due to a problem with a generator.

That incident led to anti-nuclear activists in neighboring Shiga filing a temporary injunction a month later to halt the restarts of the Takahama No. 3 and 4 reactors, saying that safety standards were inadequate. In a landmark decision, the Otsu District Court agreed with the plaintiffs and ordered that the reactors be kept offline.

But after Kepco appealed, the Osaka High Court reversed the decision in March this year, saying that the safety standards were not unreasonable. That ruling paved the way for the restart of the No. 4 reactor Wednesday.

Kepco said that criticality at the reactor is expected to be reached by early Thursday morning. Electricity generated by the reactor will be ready for consumer use by mid-June.

Plans to restart the Takahama No. 3 reactor are also moving forward. Nuclear fuel was loaded into the reactor on Tuesday, and Kepco hopes to start selling electricity from that reactor by late June.

In Osaka, about two dozen anti-nuclear protestors gathered in front of Kepco headquarters on Wednesday to protest the restarts, expressing concerns about safety and questioning the economics behind the decision to resume operations.

“Kepco has poured hundreds of billions of yen into new safety measures to restart not only the Takahama No. 3 and 4 reactors, but also to extend the life of its aging Mihama No. 3 reactor and Oi No. 1 and 2 reactors,” said Tetsuen Nakajima, the chief priest at the Buddhist Myotsu-ji temple in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, and a longtime anti-nuclear activist who staged a brief hunger strike in protest prior to Wednesday’s start up.


The two Oi reactors are 37 years old this year, while the Mihama reactor is 41 years old. Under new safety standards enacted following the March 11, 2011 Tohoku quake, tsunami, and triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, operators must either scrap a plant after 40 years or apply for a two-decade extension that involves spending additional funds on increased safety measures.



Read the whole article here.

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高浜原発4号機が再稼働 1年3カ月ぶり 発送電22日開始 via 東京新聞




高浜原発4号機が再稼働 1年3カ月ぶり 発送電22日開始

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戦争・原発「仕方ない」を問う ユダヤ人男性が講演 via 朝日新聞







続きは 戦争・原発「仕方ない」を問う ユダヤ人男性が講演

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「地元中の地元」反対訴え 共存40年の地区 高浜原発再稼働 via 朝日新聞




傍らには「高浜原発 運転延長反対 音海区」と書かれた看板が立っていた。きっかけは昨年6月に原子力規制委員会が認めた1、2号機の40年超運転。申請の前に説明がなかったと住民らは言う。



続きは 「地元中の地元」反対訴え 共存40年の地区 高浜原発再稼働

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4号機、今夕再稼働へ via 毎日新聞




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原発にペットボトルロケット 発射容疑で男逮捕 via 朝日新聞




全文は 原発にペットボトルロケット 発射容疑で男逮捕

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