Monthly Archives: May 2014

High count of 145 cpm found on West Coast.

There has been a high radiation count  of 145 at a single site reported on the West Coast:

http://jkmhoffmandotcom.wordpress.com/2014/05/31/radiation-levels-spiking-to-150-and-above-in-so-california/

Details are lacking, but this site at Radiation network should be monitored to see whether it is a persistent finding.

I was able to confirm this by checking on the map today, May 31, at http://radiationnetwork.com/ at 1;50 PM, EDT.

I have subsequently returned to the radiationnetwork.com web site, and clicked on the alerts.   There is a good discussion of the findings, and  the summary of the findings is as follows:

Summary: This appears to be a genuine detection, and not a false alert.  To the extent it may be relevant, the Shell Beach station is located about 4 miles east of the operating Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.  Could the Monitoring Station have detected some sort of release from the plant?  To explore this, the graphs and spreadsheets from our software can at least serve asdocumentation of an elevated radiation level in close proximity to the plant.  Their Date/Time Stamps will help correlate with any related activity at the plant.

The other explanation of Shell Beach’s alert level, based on the graph pattern, could be the passing of a local radioactive weather pattern, as we have often seen with other monitoring stations.  Such phenomena is sometimes, but not always associated with precipitation, but is often related to an overhead jet stream pattern.  In the case of Shell Beach, weather conditions were clear.  The Jet Stream map at the time of the elevated levels showed a “detached” portion over Southern California, and we know that airborne particles have a chance to fall from the jet stream along its fringes.  As a reminder, a radioactive weather pattern can be either naturally so from its decaying Radon gas constituent, or artificially radioactive from manmade causes.  Only an isotope analysis can distinguish between the two.

 

As of today, the counts have returned to normal.   I will continue to follow these reports.   High Geiger Counter counts show increased radiation, but cannot identify sources.   More information can be found on this blog at the  pages post about Geiger Counters.

NRC agrees; Entergy could walk from Vermont Yankee

Recently I went to the NRC meeting Brattleboro about the closing of Vermont Yankee.   There was  report about this  in the Sentinel about the meeting.   They reported that on a question I posed, based on my recent post:

One audience member asked if Entergy could walk away from its responsibilities altogether if it went bankrupt during the decommissioning process.

Michael Dusaniwskyj, an NRC economist, said there are so many scenarios that could surround such a situation that he hesitated to speculate, drawing loud jeers from the crowd.

After the meeting, however, Dusaniwskyj explained that if something like that occurred, the NRC would ask a bankruptcy judge to prevent any funds set aside for decommissioning from being used to pay off Entergy’s debtsBut if the company was truly broke, he said, “either the ratepayer or the taxpayer is going to have to pick it up.”

This is a big problem.   Entergy VY is a LLC, limited liability corporation, and they have no reason not to go bankrupt if the funds are not available.

Vermont Yankee moving forward with storage plan

Vt. Yankee moving forward with storage plan | The Recorder.

The article says that

Entergy has announced it is taking the first steps toward moving its spent fuel to dry-cask storage at the Vermont Yankee site by 2021, with plans to file with the state to build a second concrete pad.

This is good news that they will not delay the storage into dry casks far into the future.   This should have been part of their ongoing maintenance.

Lest you think that Entergy has become a good corporate citizen, there is another report that

Entergy Nuclear has again filed suit against the federal Department of Energy, seeking $88 million it has already spent on handling and storing its high-level radioactive waste at the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vernon.

Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty :: JapanFocus

Mobilizing Nuclear Bias: The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty :: JapanFocus. This is a lengthy essay on the Fukushima Nuclear disaster.  It states that TEPCO initially withheld information from the public.   There is a section about the impact of radiation on the USS Ronald Reagan, which has been discussed previously in this blog.  The article concludes that the anti-nuclear activists have been vindicated.  The article says

Any notion that these concerns were irrational would seem to be unfounded, based on the available evidence. Now that the situation has relatively stabilized, people in Japan remain anxious, especially in Tohoku, about important and entirely reasonable concerns related to health and well being, and those who have been displaced from their homes because of the nuclear accident may never return. It is difficult to overstate the impact this dual crisis will have on Japan in this generation. Now that the initial crisis phase has passed, the focus has turned to reconstruction and reform, but on the ground in the Tohoku region people face chronic uncertainty about the safety of food and the long-term effects of low-level radiation exposure. The government’s initial response was discouraging, and the nuclear village, when all is said and done, may remain substantially intact. But social activism is on the rise, bringing previously disengaged citizens into political movements that were previously the domain of activists, who are now being vindicated by recent events.