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6 months into Japan's cleanup, radiation a major worry - World - CBC News - 0 views

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    "The scars of Japan's March 11 disaster are both glaringly evident and deceptively hidden.

    Six months after a tsunami turned Japan's northeast into a tangled mess of metal, concrete, wood and dirt, legions of workers have made steady progress hauling away a good portion of the more than 20 million tonnes of debris covering ravaged coastal areas. The Environment Ministry says it expects to have it all removed by next March, and completely disposed of by 2014."
Energy Net

Crews burying mine's toxic past | Recordnet.com - 0 views

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    "Work has begun to rebury radioactive waste at a former uranium mine where campers once vacationed in a remote corner of the Stanislaus National Forest.

    Forest officials announced that a crew from Engineering/Remediation Resources Group of Martinez began work Aug. 25 at the Juniper Uranium Mine. The remediation is being paid for with $1.5 million from the federal government's Superfund for handling toxic waste.

    The Juniper Uranium Mine is not far off Eagle Meadow Road, about 40 miles east of Sonora and just two miles west of Kennedy Meadow.

    Until eight years ago, the former mine site was used occasionally by RV campers and hunters because it provided a rare level spot to park in a remote section of the forest, said John Buckley, executive director of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center."
Energy Net

Fukushima cleanup recruits 'nuclear gypsies' from across Japan | Environment | The Guar... - 0 views

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    "The sun has only just risen in Iwaki-Yumoto when groups of men in white T-shirts and light blue cargo pants emerge blinking into the sunlight, swapping the comfort of their air-conditioned rooms for the fierce humidity of a Japanese summer.

    Four months on from the start of the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, this hot-spring resort in north-east Japan has been transformed into a dormitory for 2,000 men who have travelled from across the country to take part in the clean-up effort 30 miles away at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

    Iwaki-Yumoto has come to resemble corporate Japan in microcosm. Among its newest residents are technicians and engineers with years of experience and, underpinning them all, hundreds of labourers lured from across Japan by the prospect of higher wages.

    They include Ariyoshi Rune, a tall, wiry 47-year-old truck driver whose slicked-back hair and sideburns are inspired by his idol, Joe Strummer.

    For five days a week, Rune is in thrall to the drudgery of life as a "nuclear gypsy", the name writer Kunio Horie gave to contract workers who have traditionally performed the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs for Japan's power utilities."
Energy Net

TEPCO announces updated roadmap for ending nuclear crisis, but many problems remain - T... - 0 views

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    "Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on June 17 announced an updated roadmap for bringing the troubled Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant under control and stressed that it is making progress, but many obstacles remain and some important problems still have no resolution in sight.

    New problems have emerged at the plant such as how to improve the working environment of workers and how to dispose of radioactive waste after removing it from contaminated water. Only one month remains until the final day of Step 1 of the roadmap: achievement of stable, maintained cooling of the reactors.

    "Regarding a cold shutdown, even if the reactor core temperature is cooled to below 100 degrees Celsius, we cannot say we have achieved our goal until we secure a state where the reactors are emitting only limited amounts of radiation," said Goshi Hosono, special advisor to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, at a news conference on June 17. He vowed to do his utmost to help bring the nuclear reactors to a state of cold shutdown in the period from mid-July to the beginning of next year, as envisioned in Step 2 of the roadmap."
Energy Net

FEATURE - Fukushima residents dump radiated soil in absence of clean-up plan | Reuters - 0 views

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    "They scoop up soil from their gardens and dump it in holes dug out in parks and nearby forests, scrub their roofs with soap and refuse to let their children play outside.

    More than three months after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at a nearby power plant, Fukushima residents are scrambling to cope with contamination on their own in the absence of a long-term plan from the government.

    "Everything and everyone here is paralysed and we feel left on our own, unsure whether it's actually safe for us to stay in the city," said Akiko Itoh, 42, with her four-year old son in her lap."
Energy Net

asahi: Government compiles timetable for dealing with Fukushima accident, evacuees - En... - 0 views

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    "The government is compiling a schedule of measures to deal with the accident at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to provide evacuees as well as the international community a better idea of what to expect.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan is scheduled to attend the Group of Eight summit later this month and is expected to explain what the government is planning to do to stabilize the situation at the Fukushima plant, as well as in rebuilding areas struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake. "
Energy Net

Hanford landfill work halted for probe - Business | Tri-City Herald : Mid-Columbia news - 0 views

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    "Disposal has been halted as a precaution at Hanford's landfill for low-level radioactive and chemical waste until more is known about a load disposed there Tuesday afternoon.

    Workers reported an unpleasant sulfurlike smell and seeing possibly dust or smoke rising from waste being disposed of in the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, said Todd Nelson, spokesman for Washington Closure Hanford.

    The load had come from cleanup work in a part of B Reactor that's not accessible to the public.

    The Department of Energy asked that some housekeeping work be done in the historic reactor to get it in top shape as limited tours are offered and the National Park Service considers possible plans for a Manhattan Project National Historical Park."
Energy Net

Waste-disposal plan wins initial approval | GJSentinel.com - 0 views

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    "An evaporation pond and land farm adjacent to the uranium mill tailings disposal site south of Whitewater won preliminary approval Tuesday from the Mesa County Commission.

    The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the proposed 160-acre Indian Mesa solid-waste disposal facility that commissioners said was in a nearly perfect location.

    Residents of Bean Ranch Road, about two miles away, begged to differ.

    "I am concerned that Whitewater is being perceived as a dumping ground," Bean Ranch Road resident Doris Janowski said, citing the proximity of the Mesa County Landfill, a mill-tailings site, Mesa State College's body farm and the Indian Mesa solid-waste disposal facility. "As a landowner, I don't think that bodes well for me.""
Energy Net

Yakamas sue over Hanford waste landfill - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City Herald : Mid-Col... - 0 views

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    "The Yakama Nation has filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Washington's actions to start construction of a cover over closed portions of private company US Ecology's waste disposal trenches at Hanford.

    Heart of America Northwest Research Center has joined the Yakamas in the lawsuit filed in Yakima County Superior Court.

    The state believes it has acted properly and that the Yakama Nation does not have a valid case, according to the Washington State Office of the Attorney General.

    The state has a lease from the federal government for 100 acres on the Hanford nuclear reservation subleased to US Ecology for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste from organizations such as universities, hospitals, biotech firms and electric utilities in western states.

    The plaintiffs maintain that the landfill contains at least 220 pounds of plutonium 239 plus irradiated fuel segments and other spent nuclear fuel. It also may contain two high-level radioactive fuel rods disposed of at the site around 2003, the plaintiffs said."
Energy Net

Opinion | Nuclear cleanup regulation could put public at risk | Seattle Times Newspaper - 0 views

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    "The weaknesses of federal regulatory agencies have been exposed by recent high-profile accidents. Guest columnist Tom Carpenter fears the Department of Energy will reduce its oversight of cleanup at the nation's nuclear waste sites.\n\nBy Tom Carpenter\n\nSpecial to The Times\n\nPREV of NEXT\n\n \n\nRelated\n\nMillions of gallons of oil gush continue to rush unabated from BP's mile-deep well in the Gulf of Mexico, and 11 workers are dead from the massive explosion that caused the biggest oil spill in decades. Weeks before this event, the news was dominated by the preventable explosion that killed 29 West Virginia coal miners.\n\nIn both cases, the not-so surprising news was that the mine and the oil rig had abysmal records of safety violations before the explosions yet were still allowed to operate by the captive regulatory agencies.\n\nWhere is the government accountability? It is the government's job to assure that ultra-hazardous industries operate safely and responsibly.\n\nIs nuclear next? The Department of Energy sits on the nation's biggest nuclear nightmare. Its inventories of highly radioactive and toxic wastes defy comprehension. Washingtonians are familiar with the DOE's No. 1 accomplishment, the Hanford nuclear site, which holds the lion's share of the nation's radioactive detritus. Suffice it to say that the escape of even a small fraction of such material into the environment would constitute a Chernobyl-sized catastrophe."
Energy Net

Cotter corp. starts water cleanup in old uranium mine - The Denver Post - 0 views

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    "The owner of a defunct uranium mine leaking pollution along a creek that flows into a Denver Water reservoir has launched a cleanup as ordered, state officials confirmed Thursday.\n\nCotter Corp. installed a system that can pump and treat up to 50 gallons per minute of contaminated water from inside its Schwartzenwalder Mine, west of Denver in Jefferson County.\n\nWater tests in 2007 recorded uranium levels in mine water exceeding the human health standard by 1,000 times. Elevated levels in Ralston Creek also were recorded.\n\nThe Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ordered the action. State natural-resources officials also are monitoring the mine, which produced uranium for weapons and nuclear power plants."
Energy Net

Godley: Exelon ending bottled water program - The Daily Journal - 0 views

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    "Exelon plans to end its distribution of bottled water July 30 to some residents of Godley and others affected by radioactive tritium found in 2005 in groundwater wells near the Braidwood Nuclear Plant.

    Exelon has been providing up to 20 gallons of bottled water per week to some households for the past four years, according to a press statement released Friday.

    "Only about 150 of the more than 400 eligible participants are currently taking advantage of the bottled water program," said Exelon spokesman Neal Miller. "
Energy Net

Judge to decide Tallevast class action question - Tallevast - BradentonHerald.com - 0 views

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    "A judge heard the closing arguments Friday on whether a lawsuit against Lockheed Martin Corp. should be expanded into a class action.

    Circuit Court Judge Jannette Dunnigan said she will rule at a later date on the request of the four plaintiffs who are asking her to establish a medical monitoring system and to open it up to a class action lawsuit.

    The case heard Thursday is one of several lawsuits filed against Lockheed claiming personal injury and property damage from the exposure to the chemical beryllium.

    Lockheed purchased the former Loral American Beryllium plant at 1600 Tallevast Road and the lawsuits claim the corporation is responsible for damages."
Energy Net

Daily Herald | Radioactive material removal resumes along DuPage River - 0 views

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    "Removal of radioactive thorium along the West Branch of the DuPage River has resumed after a year's hiatus.

    Tronox Inc., the chemical manufacturing company responsible for the cleanup efforts, filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009. After months of legal and political wrangling, a bankruptcy judge approved a plan to create a trust fund that will hold money needed to pay for the cleanup efforts in the portion of the river that runs through Warrenville. That move paved the way for cleanup work to resume.

    The trust fund contains $25 million, which is expected to be enough to cover the cost of thorium removal from a nearly milelong stretch that runs from Butterfield Road to the Warrenville Grove dam, said Tony Charlton, DuPage County's stormwater management chief. Workers are already on site and are expected to be done with the second-to-last phase of the river cleanup by the end of this year."
Energy Net

Entergy to ship radioactive soil from Vermont Yankee nuclear plant: Rutland Herald Online - 0 views

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    "Entergy Nuclear said Sunday it is getting ready to ship about 10 tractor trailer containers full of soil that has been contaminated with radioactivity, saying that only a small portion of the dirt comes from the tritium leak earlier this year at the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor.

    Larry Smith, spokesman for Entergy Nuclear said that "two or three" containers, measuring 3 feet by 4 feet by 4 feet, were needed to hold the contaminated soil excavated near the tritium leaks. Smith said that a total of 240 cubic feet of soil had been excavated near the tritium leaks near the advanced off-gas system.

    The soil, which is considered low-level radioactive waste, will be shipped to a facility in Clive, Utah, since the state's joint facility with Texas has yet to be built."
Energy Net

Hanford waste retrieval resumes with better technology - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City H... - 0 views

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    "Hanford workers have resumed digging up temporarily buried transuranic waste in central Hanford with improved technology that should take some of the surprises out of the work.

    Retrieval of the transuranic waste -- typically debris contaminated with plutonium -- was stopped in February by CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. when it ran into problems. Since then the Department of Energy contractor has been working on improvements to its processes.

    In 1970 Congress ordered transuranic waste sent to a national repository. But until the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico opened, Hanford workers have been storing waste suspected of being transuranic, often by temporarily burying it.

    Much of the waste that Hanford workers have dug up so far to ship to New Mexico was buried in tidy rows and information about what's underground has been available.

    But within the last year CH2M Hill has been progressing to more difficult burial trenches, and that's contributed to problems."
Energy Net

Milestone reached in Hinkley A decomissioning (From This is The West Country) - 0 views

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    "HINKLEY Point A nuclear power station near Bridgwater has achieved a major milestone in its decommissioning programme - by using technology similar to an industrial car wash.

    The site has decontaminated the last of its huge inventory of nearly 1800 'skips' that were used during generation to store spent fuel elements prior to their despatch to Sellafield. "
Energy Net

Robot to recover fuel hot spots - John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier - 0 views

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    "A FRESH trawl of waters off Dounreay will get under way next month to recover more rogue radioactive fragments.


    A robot mounted on a bespoke subsea assembly is being mobilised to detect and then retrieve some of the hottest of the reactor fuel particles.

    The operation is part of Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd's attempt to tackle the legacy of radioactive pollution caused by sloppy historic waste practices at the site. A major part of its strategy is to target the seabed near the site's original sea effluent plant.

    This area - the size of 10 football pitches - is thought to contain the 1500 to 2000 particles deemed to pose a significant health hazard.

    Last year, a robot recovered 64 particles, including 13 in the significant category."
Energy Net

Munger: DOE banks on more Recovery Act projects » Knoxville News Sentinel - 0 views

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    "Gerald Boyd, the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge manager, said several of the environmental cleanup projects funded with Recovery Act money are coming in under budget, and Boyd said DOE hopes (plans) to spend those savings on other projects.

    Oak Ridge officials apparently are expecting other stimulus money may become available as well.

    "We have some proposals in Washington that we would like to do - a few additional projects," Boyd said. "They're all EM (environmental management) projects.""
Energy Net

Hanford barrier plan better block vs. waste in river - Mid-Columbia News | Tri-City Her... - 0 views

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    "The Department of Energy is proposing extending a chemical barrier along the Columbia River at Hanford after a pilot project successfully trapped radioactive strontium before it entered the river.

    At the same time, a system to pump contaminated water out of the ground and treat it, which had disappointing results, would be torn out.

    DOE has been testing the chemical barrier technology since 2005, with the most recent results showing a 90 percent reduction in strontium contamination in ground water, according to DOE.

    The test area extends 300 feet along the Columbia near Hanford's N Reactor, but DOE is proposing extending the chemical barrier to 2,500 feet to span the width of the area where strontium exceeds drinking water standards in ground water near the river."
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