The bottom line is simply that what Kim Jong Un is choosing to do is provocative. It is dangerous, reckless. The United States will not accept the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) as a nuclear state. …the United States will do what is necessary to defend ourselves and defend our allies, Korea and Japan. We are fully prepared and capable of doing so, and I think the DPRK understands that.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry • Speaking sternly on a North Korean declaration to reopen its primary nuclear reactor complex in Yongbyon. North Korean state media reported that the reactors, as well as a uranium enrichment facility, were shut down and disabled as part of a 2007 agreement with the United States, which the government now plans to “readjust and restart.” This is not the first indication of a renewed international belligerence on the part of North Korea and its hereditary leader, Kim Jong-un — they also declared last week that they were entering a “state of war” with neighboring South Korea. source
We have had circumstances where Navy vessels have collided at sea in the past, but they’re fairly rare as to how often they do take place.Lt. Cmdr. Brian Badura of the Fleet Forces Command • Discussing the circumstances behind the crash of two Navy vessels — a nuclear submarine, the USS Montpelier, and an Aegis cruiser, the USS San Jacinto. Nobody was injured in that Saturday crash, but the current damage to the vessels remains unknown.
It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin during the first or second meetings. We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached.International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano • Discussing failed efforts to visit the Iranian nuclear facility at Parchin. The country effectively blocked IAEA officials over two days. On top of this, efforts to tackle questions regarding the Iranian nuclear effort went unanswered. ”Intensive efforts were made to reach agreement on a document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear program,” the IAEA said in a statement. “Unfortunately, agreement was not reached on this document.”
Alabama Nuclear Plant safely shut down: In the midst of the destruction caused by tornadoes (which as we mentioned earlier, have a minimum confirmed death-toll of 214 people), here’s something, albeit remote, to make you maybe feel a smidge better about crisis preparedness; namely, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, was safely handled after a power failure. When the storms knocked out primary power, the plant’s batteries and diesel generators still worked, and the plant safely shut down. It may just be everything going according to plan, but in times like these, even that can be a comfort. source
Chernobyl at 25: Today marks 25 years since Chernobyl blew up, plagued as it was by a mixture of poor decision-making by its chief operator, Anatoly Diatlov, as well as a critically flawed reactor design. All these years later, officials and experts still debate the health effects resulting from the crisis; the UN concluded about 6,000 youths would/have suffered thyroid cancer as a result, while other scientists and organizations insist the magnitude of the problem is much greater, in the tens of thousands. Now, the containment sarcophagus around Chernobyl is decaying, to boot, so the building of “the shelter,” an enormous arch that would cover the entire plant, becomes more important than ever for the surrounding areas. source
p53angel asks: Hey guys! So first, a little background, I’m a 2nd year microbio major at Ohio State U (basically, I’m into science and what we can use it for). However, and a big however, looking at what’s happened in Chernobyl, Brazil, and recently Japan (heck even the “demon core,”) I’m beginning to wonder if we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew with nuclear power. Before the Sendai earthquake, I was pretty convinced that nuclear power was pretty safe because we understood it, and took tons of precautions with it, but I’m having doubts now; and it was a magic solution to the fossil fuels dilemma. But what about all the toxic waste we don’t really have a way of getting rid of? What about when it goes wrong, something completely out of our control (like an earthquake and tsunami.) It’s like the Jurassic Park question: we can, but should we? In this case, are we ready to play with this fire? I mean, areas in Ukraine are never going to be habitable again. That’s pretty serious stuff. (and, granted, Fukushima is not like that, and Chernobyl was 30 years ago in the Soviet Union). Still. The question stands; Should we use nuclear power on such a massive scale when we really can’t control what we’re doing to our environment/ourselves? Just my thoughts, I’m curious about what you guys have to say. Thanks!
» We say: Without digging too far into all this, I guess that you have to weigh the risk/reward here. That’s ultimately our feeling on the whole mess, and something we’ve said in the past about this matter. The thing is, even with the environmental issues that have come up of late, it’s still far safer than many forms of energy. And even ones considered “safe” have their downsides. And to put into clear terms: I don’t think anyone’s arguing about making nuclear our only energy source. Rather, I think that, because the damage caused when nuclear energy screws up is so acute (thereby lending itself to media frenzy), it leads to the type of overreaction that ultimately hurts further research and discourages figuring out how to make it safer. Coal and oil make smog and are growing more limited by the year; solar is an intermittent resource without continuous availability; wind makes noise and has many of the same problems as solar; biomass cuts into our food supply; fracking natural gas can damage the water supply. And well, nuclear energy occasionally causes fluke accidents like Fukushima and has not-insignificant waste issues. The question is, is there a way avoid or limit these flaws, with any of these sources?
» The flow has continued at a seemingly unchanged rate. This is bad news for pretty obvious reasons- the leak, coming through an eight-inch crack in a pit containing power cables, is sending water irradiated at 1000 millisieverts per hour into the ocean. Having tried pumping in concrete and failed to make any progress, TEPCO’s next plan is to employ a similar strategy using a type of polymer. Polymer spraying has already been happening throughout the plant, in an effort to prevent radioactive isotopes from escaping into the environment.