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Teacher, activist, interested in energy technology, climate change, environmental issues and global security.

Monday, October 29, 2012

TEPCO Will Need 100 000 Clean-up Workers Each Year To Work at Fukushima Daichi

According to some japanese sources translated by  Fukushima Diary TEPCO will force its own employees (100 000 people per year) to work in Fukushima Daichi to decontaminate and keep the crippled power plant in control.
It may take next 40 - 50 years to decommision the plant according to TEPCOs own plan. But some nuclear specialists say that TEPCO may be forced to seal the plant in concrete for next hundred(s) of years, and then it is perhaps possible to decommission the plant permanently.
There are also some good guesses about the location of the melted fuel of Reactor 1 of FD: the melted fuel may have escaped the main containment building and found its way to the west side torus room or just under it, according to SIMPLYINFO:

It seems that FD reactors are still leaking radioactivity directly or via ground water to the ocean - the amount of Cesium -isotopes in sea fish has remained high near Fukushima reactors. A good summary on FUKUSHIMA DIARY:


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Dominion Effect

Dominion shuts down its Kewaunee NPP as unprofitable. When the Finnish NP companies will do the same? (Arts-Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

Now it has started  - The Dominion Effect! Dominion just decided to close its Kewaunee nuclear power plant for economical reasons. This is the first US NPP to shut down for business reasons - other power generating sources like natural gas just happen to be cheaper and the demand of electric power is decreasing. The plant had just got a licence renewal in 2011: it could have been operated up to 2033. The last operating years of a reactor tend to be the most profitable in nuclear power generation so the Kewaunee shut-down is casting a long shadow over the newer NPPs economy.

Will this be the first of series of NPP shutdowns in US nuclear power market - Donminion says no - but I personally believe yes. Many grand old nuclear gentlemen have earlier said that nuclear power is not a profitable way of power generating; neither now - nor in the future. Arnie Gundersen have mentioned earlier that Wall Street will end the nuclear era. I believe that to be true. And now it's happening.

One thing struck me when I read the Dominion news: how do the Americans manage to decommission a nuclear plant with only USD 392 Million when the british nuclear regulatory officials have counted the cost of decommissioning a single reactor to be Euro 3,7 Billion? I just wonder if the Yankees do it with a tenth of the money we'll spend for that in Europe.

Finnish Fortum has also problems. They are searching for Euro1 Billion savings a year. Nuclear is not so profitable any more, they admit it. And they are angry about the cheap state subvented wind power that occassionally drives the power prices low. How about their decades long state subvented guaranteed-to-be-bought nuclear power hegemony. Times, they are a'changing!

Decommission all the nuclear power plants we have - stop the construction and planning of new projects. That's the best thing we can do for the future. Let's invest in renewables - it's the only sensible way to go.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Secret Swedish Nuclear Arms Program Produced Plutonium For Several Nuclear Warheads

                                         Olkiluoto -1 and -2 were build by a Swedish (originally) nuclear arms company
                                         AB ASEA-ATOM (Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

This is no news for many people - years ago it has been revealed that Sweden had its own nuclear arms program that has up to 100 nuclear warheads as a goal. But for me this was a real schock when I found out that the peace-loving, anti-Vietnam-war-Swedes turned out to be secretly manufacturing  plutonium for bombs in several "experimental" reactors.

And this activity continued decades after Sweden had signed the international Non-Proliferation Treaty that forbid any kind of nuclear arms manufacturing. It was not until mid 1990ies when Swedish plutonium producing capable reactors were taken totally out of use. They had been kept in reserve - capable of producing bomb grade plutonium.

It was this year, March 27th 2012, when Sweden transported the rest (really all?) of its plutonium to the USA in a top secret operation that was planned for years with the American colleques. 3,3 kg of plutonium and about 9 kg of natural and depleted uranium was shipped to US officials.

Sweden had made (or partly bought from abroad) 24,4 kg of plutonium according to SKI, but the "research" reactor R3 was planned to produce 20 - 23 kg of bomb grade plutonium per year. Nobody knows what the real figures are. When you start covering up you can continue by admitting nasty things only gradually, leaving something in the dark, if you see it politically wise or impossible to reveal from the military point of view.

Soviet Union was the threat Sweden was planning its nuclear arms for. And it seems clear that the Soviets did know about the Swedish bomb program. So did the Americans. But after some decades it became clear for the Swedish politicians and Military leaders that Sweden would be under the American nuclear umbrella and the USA made it clear for the Swedes that they should give up making their own bomb. Conventional weapons could be bought by the Swedes from Western NATO countries and the nuclear weapons program was partly abandonned. But only partly, the Swedes kept the option of producing plutonium by not decommissioning all their plutonium reactors. And the nuclear weapons expertize inside Swedish army was kept alive. And the Swedes had the fift largest air force in the world.

There is something remarkable in this Swedish nuclear arms process: the US analytics were really nervous about Sweden developing their own bomb - if Sweden manages to do that even though it claims officially to be against nuclear arms, what would all the other countries that have nuclear power plants and research reactors do after Sweden has detonated its first nuclear bomb?

That's a good question for us all now when Iran is claimed to produce its own bomb. Saudi-Arabia, The Arab Emirates and many others are now considering to have own nuke programs for bomb or buying nuclear warheads. All the countries that have nuclear reactors are potential nuclear weapons developers. Even Finland is listed as a country capable of making nuclear weapons because of our nuclear know-how. The idea of own uranium production is too near to own nuclear weapons program. If you do it virtually you can do it for real. Virtual nuclear weapons countries include Japan, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Canada, South Korea and Taiwan according to international experts. They could make own N-bombs in a very short time, they have all it takes.

The Swedish program was cleverly stated to be a research program that finds out how nuclear weapons work so that the Swedish army could protect the country against such weapons. And Olof Palme, the Swedish anti-nuke prime minister was the secretary of this secret project when he was a young politician.

By the way - our Olkiluoto-1 and -2 reactors are planned and manufactured by a company that originally had been established for planning and manufacturing Swedish nuclear weapons - AB ASEA -ATOM.



Clean Winners Of The Future: Finnish Cross-Country Skiing Team Sponsored By Leading Finnish Renewable Energy Company

Finnish cross-country skiers were leaving for a training camp on Tuesday 16th October in Helsinki.
I was priviledged to join the press conference for photographing the event. I also had the opportunity to briefly discuss with the managers of their main sponsor St1 - a Finnish energy company. And I came to the conclusion that both of the teams - Finnish skiers and St1 - are having the Fair Play -cards in their hands, and are both potential winners of this beginning term.

                                               Finnish Cross-Country Skiing Team 2012-2013 (part of the team)
                                                                                    (Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

Finnish Cross-Country SkiingTeam
has a brand new strategy for their sports activities and it seems to me that it is largely based on hard work, commitment to a greener way of life (including sports) and also their main sponsor is clean tech oriented.

For an oil company it is admirable to search new goals for the future, cleaner technology and a wide range of alternative fuels and energy sources in sight . St1   has been making brave decisions and developed leading technology for making bio-ethanol fuel out of waste: waste food and waste of food industry.
They have an ambisious plan to produce yearly 300 million litres of bioethanol traffic fuel in 2020. And all that without cutting down rain forests but utilizing waste.  Not bad at all!

Mika Wiljanen, The Managing Director of St1Oy joined also the press conference
(Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

Watch the excellent video of the company  "From Oil to Renewables - The Story of St1" here:

Secondly the company has a powerful industrial wind power program via its TuuliWatti -wind energy company that is owned mostly by St1 and S-ryhmä. TuuliWatti just bought four 4,5 MW Gamesa wind generators  for their Simo Wind-park. They have now a framework agreement to buy the coming months 26 more of Gamesa 4,5 MW wind generators with total effect of 117 MW.

I wish the Finnish Cross-Country Skiing Team a succesful sports-winter and the Green Energy Company St1 succes in their renewable investments and business!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are Minor and Middle-Scale Solar Storms More Dangerous For Power Transmission Systems Than Generally Thought

Vulnerability of power grids is a hot question (photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

When I read the year 2009 US-study of the vulnerability of power grids in the USA, ( METATECH: ) I found one quite strange remark made by the authors of the report: the large transformers of nuclear power plants had been several times getting fire or exploded just a few days after or during a geo-magnetic storm caused by the sun. The power companies denied the statistical correlation between the solar storms and failure of NPP transformers. But the study saw it to be quite obvious.

Yesterday when I did some google-searching for the several days continuing mild geo-magnetic storm if there was any damage to the NPPs transformers in the news, I found out a strange thing. There were masses of news of minor transformer fires and explosions earlier this year and I got an idea. If I read these news and find out the exact date and time of these incidents I can compare them with the information of a russian website  (TESIS: ) that have statistics of all recent geomagnetic storms. And to my surprise most of the transformer fires occurred just during or shortly after relatively high geo-magnetic activity. I haven't seen any studies about this correlation between solar storms or risen geo-magnetic activity and the transformer fires but after what I found out with my non-scientific quick-search, it would be interesting to know if there really exists a correlation. And if such exists, what could be done to protect power grids and also the smaller transformers from exploding or getting fire because of solar activity. Many homes, cars and lorries were destroyed  because of these fires and thousands and again thousands of people were varying times without power. Economical costs can be quite high and sometimes the loss of human lives can not be avoided because of these fires.

So, I'm waiting for the power companies or state officials to take the initiative to find out if there is a hidden danger in these minor solar storms also. Only time will tell if someone hears my call.


P.S. In the USA the officials and energy industry have taken seriously the warnings of solar storms and the manufacturing of large power transformers is beginning new in US factories. The new model under development is going to offer a revolutionary one week replacing time when the older models took months or years to replace. The new (2012) governemental study of power grid security in US is worth reading.



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fukushima Reactors Were Destroyed by Earthquake Not Only by the Tsunami

There is now more evidence available that the Fukushima Daichi reactors were destroyed already by the earthquake and meltdowns started occurring before the tsunami hit. Also the radiation levels rose before the tsunami had destroyed the power generators and caused a total black-out at the plant. Sounds of loud explosions had been heard right after the EQ and some of the workers on site saw white smoke coming out from the reactor building and the walls of the turbine building collapsing or getting large holes on them before the tsunami came. Some of the cooling system pipes of reactor -1 had been seen getting broken and leaking, and the emergency cooling system was automatically activated after the EQ to cool down the core that had lost cooling when the pipes broke.

For nuclear industry and the so called nuclear watchdogs - nuclear regulators and safety agencies - that are rowing the same boat as nuclear industry, it seems to be impossible to admit that earthquakes cause nuclear meltdowns. That would force them to shut down tens of nuclear reactors that are sitting on the EQ-faults.

No more lies this time, let's check this out! Regulators should now take care of their main job: safety first!



Friday, October 5, 2012

Mafia Connected to One Subcontractor of TVO Olkiluoto-3 EPR Nuclear Reactor Construction Work

TVO Olkiluoto-3 construction problems continue. Now revealed are possible mafia -connections of a subcontractor. (Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

According to YLE -news today, Some Bulgarian subcontractor at Olkiluoto-3 NPP construction site had demanded the workers to pay 50 euros per week as protection money. This construction company may have had mafia connections or may be owned by mafia. The workers are not willing to publish the information with their own names fearing that violence could be addressed to their families by local mafia. TVO tells that this subcontractor doesn't work for them any more.

There have been news before of workers that have not been paid their wages according to agreements and Finnish law. Sometimes the workers have been only paid  two euros per hour and concerns have been arising of misuse of social security insurances that could be profitable to these companies.

LINKS - YLE-NEWS (Finnish): '



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thirty Five Minutes To Meltdown - The Most Dangerous Nuclear Power Plants Are Forsmark in Sweden and Olkiluoto 1-2 in Finland According to the EU -Stress Tests

Olkiluoto 1-2 nuclear reactors, both built in late 1970ies and Forsmark reactors in Sweden have a high meltdown risk in a blackout situation according to news of  EU-stress tests being published this week (Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

According to news given out by Der Spiegel and some other news sources, having some pre-information of the EU -stress tests for nuclear power plants that will be made public in two days, among the most risky nuclear power plants are Forsmark NPP in Sweden and Olkiluoto NPP in Finland. According to the EU-analysis in the case of serious cooling pipe-damage or total facility blackout the operators of these NPPs would have only 35 minutes or less than an hour to relaunch the power to avoid a serious meltdown accident.

Finnish radiation protection authority (STUK) denies the seriousity of the situation, though they admit the fact that there would be problems in less than an hour if a total blackout occurs, and they blame the EU-study to be one-sided.






Yet, we have to wait for the EU-stress tests to get published to get more detailed information about the situation. If these preliminary news are correct, we have serious discussion ahead whether these dangerous nucler power plants should be immediately closed down, repaired and secured against this type of serious accidents - and if they occure to be too old and difficult and expensive to be repaired, then we should permanently decommission them.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Dark Clouds Gathering Around Finnish Nuclear Industry

Dark clouds are surrounding Finnish nuclear idustry - ultraexpensive reactor constructing is causing turbulence (Arts pic - Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints)

Todays news keep on following the recent line of nuclear news around the world: no news would be good news.

The CEO of Finnish nuclear power company Fennovoima, Tapio Saarenpää, had to go as well as the chairman of the board Juha Rantanen a few weeks ago . Many investors have already abandonned the ship earlier and it seems now that it is only a question of time when the others also see investing in zero-business not worth continuing.

Also TVO had risen its demands for compensations for delay of Olkiluoto-3 NPP to 1,8 Billion Euros. TVO is trying to get AREVA pay that sum via court. But Areva-Siemens is also demanding TVO to pay them 1,9 Billion Euros for the delay. Bad business is searcing for funders using laywers that will be the real winners of this game.

And the real loosers are the taxpayers and electric power consumers of Finland, France and Germany - they are paying the gamers bills the same way as they are paying for rescueing Euro.

If we look at the global megatrends of energy industry nuclear power is a clear looser.  Generating power with nuclear power will be much more expensive in the future, more expensive than with renewables or natural gas. There's an ongoing trend to make the industry to pay all costs of constructing the nuclear power plants, taking care of the security of the plants, paying the real costs of decommissioning the reactors (3,7 billion euros/reactor according to brittish studies - 10 000 times more expensive than expected in 1960ies) and taking care of the spent fuel and radioactive waste for several hundreds of thousands of years.

It is really hard to sell the citizens the thought that they should pay the multi billion costs for benefitting this high tech power generating technology when there are awailable safe and less expensive alternatives like solar, wind, waves and bioenergy. It's true that you may have to pay a little bit more for your power in the beginning of the alternatives era, but in the long run all will be winners with clean energy. And no more evacuation zones and forcing hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes and live in fear for the rest of their lives.

When people and politicians worlwide are getting the results of recent studies that low level radiation is much more harmful that it has been told before (for example Hiroshima - Nagasaki survivers -study last round or international nuclear industry workers low level radiation-cancer -study, or medical x-rays related cancer -studies, tell all the same thing - things are far worse than everybody previously have been thinking), there will be a wide discussion  about how nuclear industry should pay for the damage it is causing. And the levels of radioactive emmissions allowed in the future will be far stricker than today. I think there will be demands of shutting down the NPPs that are polluting environment with most highest amounts of Tritium because it causes leukemia and cancers among young children living close to NPPs. According to some experts Areva-originated EPR-reactors (like the ones being built in Finland and France) are polluting the environment ten times more than the old BWRs or PWRs.

A few links for check-up: 

So it may be like entering a financically very high risk zone to invest in Nuclear power or even finish the projects that have been started years ago. For me it seems that the right thing to do now for the real businessman would be getting rid of any nuclear power project that his or hers enterprice is involved as quick as possible. There just isn't any sense to carry whole the time more water into a barrel that is rotten and full of holes.

My guess is that the companies that continue to do that will result into nuclear poverty. Well, we'll see.