California Wildfire Likely Spread Nuclear Contamination From Toxic Site

California Wildfire Likely Spread Nuclear Contamination From Toxic Site

SOURCE: TruthDig DATE: November 26, 2018 SNIP: The incredibly destructive Woolsey Fire in southern California has burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, killed three people, destroyed more than 400 structures, and at the time of this writing, was finally nearly completely contained. The fire may also have released large amounts of radiation and toxins into the air after burning through a former rocket engine testing site where a partial nuclear meltdown took place nearly six decades ago. While explaining how incredibly toxic the SSFL site is, Hirsch added, “Collectively, the sloppy environmental practices and lax regulatory oversight resulted in widespread radioactive and toxic chemical contamination of soil, surface water and groundwater.” And now, given that most, if not all, of the SSFL site has burned, it is possible that the millions of people who live within a 100-mile radius of the site have been exposed to its radioactive waste and toxic chemicals that are now airborne. While explaining how incredibly toxic the SSFL site is, Hirsch added, “Collectively, the sloppy environmental practices and lax regulatory oversight resulted in widespread radioactive and toxic chemical contamination of soil, surface water and groundwater.” And now, given that most, if not all, of the SSFL site has burned, it is possible that the millions of people who live within a 100-mile radius of the site have been exposed to its radioactive waste and toxic chemicals that are now airborne. There are multiple human health impacts that have been known to stem from the site well before the Woolsey Fire began. A study prepared by Professor Hal Morgenstern for the...
The San Onofre nuclear plant is a ‘Fukushima waiting to happen’

The San Onofre nuclear plant is a ‘Fukushima waiting to happen’

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times DATE: August 15, 2018 SNIP: Southern California Edison is keeping 3.6 million pounds of lethal radioactive waste at the shuttered San Onofre nuclear plant in San Clemente. The waste poses a significant threat to the health, safety and economic vitality of the region’s more than 8 million residents. But Edison’s plan for storing it is unnerving at best. The idea is to bury the spent fuel on site, about 100 feet from the ocean and just a few feet above the water table. Edison has already begun transferring the waste from cooling pools into specially designed steel canisters. The containers are prone to corrosion and cracking, and cannot be monitored or repaired. But flawed storage containers are just one of many worrisome aspects of the scheme. San Onofre sits on an active earthquake fault, in an area where there is a record of past tsunamis. It is close to Interstate 5, the railroad line that Amtrak runs on, and the Marines’ Camp Pendleton. The ocean is expected to keep rising over the next few decades, bringing seawater closer to the canisters. If hairline cracks or pinholes in the containers were to let in even a little bit of air, it could make the waste explosive. And although San Onofre is in a no-fly zone, it is not being guarded with radar and surface-to-air-missiles, as nuclear aircraft carriers are. It is protected by a handful of guards carrying pistols. This leaves the site susceptible to terrorist attacks. San Juan Capistrano Councilwoman Pam Patterson warned President Trump of this vulnerability at a roundtable meeting in May. She...
World’s first floating nuclear barge to power Russia’s Arctic oil drive

World’s first floating nuclear barge to power Russia’s Arctic oil drive

SOURCE: Phys.org DATE: May 19, 2018 SNIP: To meet its growing electricity needs in its drive to develop oil resources in remote Arctic regions, Russia has built a floating nuclear power station, a project that detractors deride as a “Chernobyl on ice”. Built in Saint Petersburg, the Akademik Lomonosov is currently moored in Murmansk where it is being loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia. “I hope today will be a symbolic day for the Arctic,” Rosatom chief Alexei Likhachev said, adding that Rosatom “is setting a trend, a demand for medium-capacity nuclear facilities, mobile facilities, for many decades ahead.” As Russia is forced to push further north into the Arctic in the search for oil and gas, it needs electricity in far-flung locations. “The idea is to have low-capacity, mobile power plants that can be used in the Russian Arctic where large amounts of electricity aren’t needed” and the construction of a conventional power station would be complicated and costly, said Sergei Kondratyev at the Institute for Energy and Finance in Moscow. Trutnev said the barge has “the latest security systems and should be one of the safest nuclear installations in the world.” Activists at the environmental group Greenpeace are not convinced and call for international monitoring. They fear that the Akademik Lomonosov could become a “nuclear Titanic” or a “Chernobyl on ice” 32 years after the Soviet nuclear disaster. Greenpeace Russia’s Rashid Alimov said that accidents are possible at all nuclear power plants, but that the barge “will be especially sensitive to storms, environmental phenomena and threats such as terrorism.” He said a shift to...