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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finland and Sweden - the Real Bad Boys of Nuclear Power ? ( And Their Dirty Guns)

Olkiluoto BWR:s of TVO are quick to melt down if total SBO (station black out) occures  Arts photo: JS / CF

As we think about the two Northern European Countries of high standard of living - Finland and Sweden - and read the news about Finland being the leading country in education, and knowing Sweden to have a long history of defending human rights, it is quite astonishing to find out the hidden scaletons of secret Swedish  nuclear weapons programs
or their nuclear power plants import to countries blacklisted by the western world because of their  Bomb projects.

Link - UTNE:


The famous super-expensive but not super-safe EPR Olkiluoto-3 in Eurajoki, Finland. Melt-through in 7-8 hours by total SBO, according to European Stress Test for Nuclear Reactors.  Photo: JS / CF

And the first nuclear reactor to be built inWestern Europe after Chernobyl was the problem-cost-leader; famous Olkiluoto-3 in Finland . Actually our parliament made the decision to allow the construction of this plant just a few weeks after Swedish Forsmark-1 had been 14 minutes to LOCA (loss of coolant accident) according to German officials, after having almost total station blackout for over 20 minutes. It was later given INES-2 label, some experts saw it as the worst nuclear accident in the world after Chernobyl.


LINK(Swedish) - DN:

Still Finns got their Olkiluoto-3 EPR built, our nuclear watchdog, STUK, didn't see any problem with beeing only minutes or hours away of our very own Nordic Chernobyl. But STUK was guided by Jukka Laaksonen   who instantly after being pensioned started selling reactors recruted by Rosatom, the Russian nuclear reactor -company.


So the Western World Nuclear Renessance was started by Finnish companies, nuclear regulatory authorities and well lobbed parliament of Finland. No real discussion was held publicly. Just like in Fukushima prefecture in Japan or in Japanese Nuclear Village. It was simply stupid to speak about the possible risks of nuclear power. If you did, you lost all your credibility, you were a person non grata.

So when our Minister of Environmental Issues Mr. Ville Niinistö recently estimated that Fennovoima, Rosatom NPP-project in Pyhäjoki, would be abandonned during the next half year because of economical reasons, it was a sign of new realistic post-Fukushima thinking among our leading politicians. Are we finally starting to learn from our "dark" past?


Finnish nuclear power plants are woulnerable against worst case scenarios. Total station blackout would cause a melt through accident in Olkiluoto BWR 1-2 reactors in 2 hours: the nuclear fuel would be exposed after half an hour, the reactor core would start melting down in one hour and it would melt through the reactor pressure vessel in two hours according to EU stress tests for nuclear reactors. In addition to total station blackout the loss of ultimate heat sink - seawater cooling - would cause a melt-through in two to three hours:

"Total loss of AC power sources would lead to a severe reactor accident. Core uncover would take place within 30 minutes, extensive fuel damage would be caused within an hour and RPV melt through would take 2 to 3 hours." (STUK: European Stress Tests for Nuclear Power Plants, National Report, Finland, p. 163/236).

The original design basis of Olkiluoto 1-2 BWRs does not count severe accidents -  they were then seen as impossible events with very low probability:

"Even though the management and mitigation of severe accidents was not included in the original design basis of OL1 and OL2, several original plant systems also play an important part in the severe accident management schemes,..." (STUK: European Stress Tests for Nuclear Power Plants, National Report, Finland, p. 166/236)

And the one called the most safest nuclear reactor in the world - Olkiluoto-3 EPR built by Siemens-Areva - would have a core melt through in 7-8 hours after a total blackout and loss of seawater coolant:

"Total loss of all AC power sources would lead to a severe reactor accident. Core uncovery would take place within 3 hours, extensive fuel damage would be caused within 4 hours and pressure vessel melt-through would take 7…8 hours."   (STUK: European Stress Tests for Nuclear Power Plants, National Report, Finland, p. 220/236)

So if we count the severe accidents from Three Mile Island via Chernobyl to Fukushima, it can be estimated that in the case of a serious accident, the people living around Olkiluoto 1-3  would be given no information about the real situation before a melt-through, or multireactor melt-through would  be a fact. Two hours is a very short time to evaluate and inform about the situation. In Chernobyl it took several days to admit the severity of the accident also among the nuclear scientists. In Japan it took Tepco and the Japanese Government months to admit the multireactor melt-throughs, although they occurred during the first hours or days of the crisis.

An excellent article about the Fukushima Daichi NPP accident is recently written by the former prime minister of Japan, Mr. Naoto Kan:


Last year Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen told renewables and clean tech to be the magic key to positive change. Fennovoima is not clean tech! Photo: JS / CF  

So, it seems that Finnish and Swedish politicians (and perhaps the majority of ordinary people) have not learned anything about the risks of nuclear power. No word of possible accidents or safety has been mentioned while discussing this week about Fennovoima -project. Unrealistic economical idealism about nuclear power being cheap seems to be again the main topic.

(Here's some realism: LINK -INDEPENDENT: )

Our government is acting like a group of irrresponsible teenagers backing up this Fennovoima 8.6 Billion Euros maniac investment: last year the same ministers spoke about renewable energy to be the backbone of Finnish economy and one of our main employers in the future. (  and in Finnish

Was this just political nonsence? Has someone been lobbying hard?

Last autumn also Minister Jutta Urpilainen saw renewable energy and distributed energy generation through intelligent grids as well as green technology as answer for Finland's problems. Now she demands Fennovoima -plan to be quickly to be run forward. Well, what we need is a break here!  Photo: JS / CF 

We would really need some experienced politicians and international experts on energy issues and nuclear power who have personal experience of nuclear accident, to give us lessons to find new perspectives.

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan sharing his lessons of Fukushima nuclear disaster last year in Tokyo   Photo: JS / CF





There is a black swan lurking behind every nuclear reactor (also behind Finnish and Swedish reactors)
 Photo: JS / CF

The immortality-inwoundability syndrome should be left behind. (S*)it can happen here. Statistically, it will happen here. We still have the opportinity to choose if that risk is worth taking or not. But to do that, we need some honest information.

Clean tech in sight!                          Photo: JS / CF


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fukushima Daichi Accident Getting Worse Day by Day

Arts Picture: JS / C.F.

The operator of Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant, Tepco, is struggling every day to contain the accident. But the more they try, the more new problems occure. Recent weeks we have been hearing about highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean. And there are millions of liters more to come.

Tepco doesn't tell everything they know and everything they should tell to Japanese authorities and international organizations having the role of a watchdog of the nuclear industry. And what is the most important they deny the right to know what is going on there from the great audience, Japanese citizens and people everywhere in the world. This is not a Japanese matter any more, this is a global catastrophe, an event that is affecting somehow every single human being on this planet earth.

Let me explain a little bit.

Senior cheaf engineer of Fairewinds Energy Education and former executive of nuclear industry Arnie Gundersen estimated a few weeks ago that whole the Pacific Ocean would have in five years 5 to 10 times as much man made radioactive isotopes such as cesium 134, Cs137, Sr90 and plutonium  as it had after the nuclear weapons testing during 1950ies - 1970ies. Whole the water mass of our largest ocean will be radioactively contaminated by crippled Fukushima plant. That will cause whole the ocean food chain to be contaminated for decades. And hundreds of millions even billions of people are and will be affected. And statistically even low level radiation will cause hundreds of thousands or millions of people getting genetic damage, cancer and other health problems, some of them lethal. But it takes decades and the connection between radioactive contamination and getting sick is hard to prove. It can be seen statistically but is it enough?

*    *    *

I wrote this upper first part of this blog post as a draft almost two months ago, but the situation has not been changing any better by now. The contaminated water keeps on flowing to the Ocean - although Prime Minister Abe keeps on telling us the tainted water is all contained in the harbor of Fukushima Daichi (scientists say 40% of the water in harbor is mixed with the ocean sea water daily) and no-one have injured because of the Fukushima nuclear accident and never will (still huge increase in thyroid gland cancers have been found among the children and youth in Japan after FD-accident). And the situation is fully under control. So says Mr. Abe. Three out of four Japanese citizens and most of the experts disagree with him. But at least he got the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. Well, if the city will not be evacuated by then!

There is a real risk of huge radioactive fallout in addition to the 300 to 400 tons of tainted water seeping daily to the ocean now. The removal of spent fuel from the badly damaged spent fuel pool of reactor 4 is a very risky business. According to nuclear power specialists it may cause uncontollable criticality or a prompt criticality explosion if two nuclear fuel rods move too close each other during the removal, or corroded nuclear fuel rods or racks break and the fuel pellets drop to the bottom of the pool. This is all because of bended and corroded fuel racks and rods. And Fairewinds Cheaf Engineer Arnie Gundersen said that Tepco had admitted that the protective Boron of fuel rods had decayed away - adding Boron in pool water doesn't protect against unintented criticality if fuel rods get too close to each other. And the result of this could be radioactive fallout  over 15 000 times more severe than that of the Hiroshima bomb, or 50-100 times as severe as Chernobyl. Fukushima Daichi (and Daini) could be forced to be abandonned because of extreme radiation. And then the cooling down of reactors and all spent fuel pools could be compromized. Tokyo and half of Japan would be in danger to be evacuated. And the fallout would be worldwide.

Tepco is to begin the removal of those fuel rods in October - November this year.

*    *    *

The former Chairman of NRC Mr. Gregory Jaczko was giving a Speech yesterday in Japan. He was also commenting this  harsh situation at Fukushima Daichi NPP. The speech can be watched here:


Let's hope the worst scenario doesn't happen! International help is needed in Japan. Tepco can't cope with such a huge task to decommission six reactors, spent fuel ponds and one thousand leaky tanks of contaminated water - and 300 tons of tainted groundwater contaminating the ocean each day. Nor doesn't the Japanese government seem to be able to handle the situation. The time is running short.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Been Busy with My Book and Documentary

Arts-photo: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

Last month I have been busy writing a fiction book about a nuclear power plant accident in Finland. I hope people could understand better what the risks of nuclear power mean if they see them to become reality in your everyday life. It may be too hard for the people to see the documentaries and read the news articles of Japanese victims of NPP accident or hear the interviews of Chernobyl children or their parents. They just don't receive the information because of the pain involved. But when you have a story where fiction and facts are interacting, it may be easier to read. And after that you may see that one day your life can be affected by a nuclear disaster in a way that you really don't want things to happen. I hope this will generate energy discussion on a national level in Finland.

The other thing I have been involved in for the last weeks has been recording and editing the English version of my video documentary "The Battle of Our Energy Future" .   I have only a few days left before the deadline to get it ready and copied for CMS VATAVARAN  environmental film festival in India . I'm not really sure if I can manage to catch the deadline.

But being too busy for blogging I have still been following intensively energy news. Let's hope I'll find more time for blogging during this summer.

Have Nice, Sunny, Windy and (some) Rainy Renewable Summer Days!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Nuclear Accident in France Would Cost 1 to 5.8 Trillion Euros - Study Kept Secret for Years

Nuclear power plants can be more dangerous than a snake bite -  for millions of people    Arts-photo: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

According to a IRSN-study made by French government in 2007, a severe nuclear accident in one of the nuclear power plants in France, at Dampierre, would cost 1 Trillion - 5.8 Trillion Euros - that is - 1,000 - 5,800 Billion Euros.

LINK - BUSINESSINSIDER: (Update - 30.12.2014: This link has been taken down. The same story you can find from this link: )

 The results of the study were so frightening that the french government decided to keep the study secret. France produced then 85% of its electrical power by nuclear power plants and the reality was too rough to be published. The study says 5 million people would be forced to be evacuated from their homes and the contaminated area would cover London, Munich and Genova and be affecting the lives of 90 million people.


Study's estimate of cancer deaths was over 28,000 and almost 27,000 additional cancers and other diseases would be caused by this kind of accident.

The study was not published until now and the estimates of economical effects were downgraded to 430 Billion Euro in the new version of the study. But after downscaling the estimate, the author of the study still said that real accidents cause extremely high costs: for example the now ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster will ultimately end up at least 1 Trillion Euro bill.

The author of the study pointed out that no country - not France, nor Japan - can pay the costs of a bad nuclear accident. The people suffering of it are simply not paid by anyone.

It's about a time to begin to face the truth - nuclear power can cost much, much more than we can afford.

Photo-Arts: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

*     *     *

A very good video, really worth watching, can be found here:

On this (26 min.) video a senior US official tells why now it's time to leave nuclear era behind. If you still believe in nuclear power, please watch and listen to this 86-year old wise man!


The Largest Wind Park in the World Is Being Planned in Sweden - 2500 MW, 700 Mills

A Finnish wind park at the north-west coast    Photo: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

While Fennovoima and TVO are still dreaming of new nuclear reactors, several thousands of Megawatts wind parks are being planned in Finland and Sweden in addition to Danish windparks. The latest news tell about a plan to build 700 wind generators with combined capacity of 2500 MW on the Swedish cost. The offshore park would be the biggest in the world and the building should start in 2014 or 2015. The company behind the plan was shown green light by the Swedish environmental court in the beginning of this year. Finnish wind power companies are seeing realistic to have about 1000 MW new wind power capacity during 2020ies in Finland.

According to wind power industry new offshore power is already cheaper than new nuclear power, so we'll see what kind of effect these kind of large wind parks will have to profitability of planned new nuclear power plants on nordic power market. Signs of overcapacity and sinking power prices has been recently seen in Germany and Central Europe while new wind power and solar PV-plants have been writing new rules for the energy game.

There seems to be interesting times ahead!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Kim Jong Un Could Be a Bad Leader for North Korea - If He Thinks He Can Win a Nuclear War

There are plenty of Black Swans in Korea right now!     JS / CF

A few days ago I wrote in this blog about Kim Jong Un to be possibly a good leader for North Korea.

But all this only IF he is really willing to negotiate with US and South Korea of peace and stability in the area. And if he is using threatening as a means of driving through his reforms to modernize his country and make it more democratic. If all this harsch rhetoric is needed for getting enough power to reduce the influence of old-fashioned party and military men who are now controlling the country. And if he is capable of preventing war with South Korea and the U.S.A. And if he is capable of avoiding civil war in North Korea.

And IF US and South Korean officials and political and military leaders understand what is really going on there.

There are many IFs.


I have to admit that after reading more recent news and watching some more North Korean propaganda videos I had to write this article.

It is possible that Kim Jong Un has a dream of a united Korea ruled by him. It may be that the U.S.A. and other leading countries have underestimated North Korean Army's ability to conduct a military surprize that could lead the whole peninsula under their command. Or then both Koreas would be totally destroyed by US nuclear IC missile attack.

Let me once more explain a little bit.

I just read some articles about North Korean nuclear strategy being concentrated in creating a EMP (electromagnetic pulse) weapon that is capable of destroying modern communication and military devices of US and South Korean troops located in Korean Peninsula. If North Korea would use its mid-range missiles and small nuclear warheads (which it declares to have) for generating a EMP-pulse over Korean Peninsula by detonating those little nuclear warheads 40-50 km above South Korea, it could begin a 3-days war, have 100 000 US hostages and hundreds of thousands of South Koreans as POW. All the modern arms systems would be ruined by the EMP but old North Korean tanks and weapons would function just fine. South Korea would be under North Korean command in a few days.

The only way to win that war for the US army would be sacrificing hundreds of thousands of their own citizens and soldiers and even more South korean Citizens and North Korean civilians by striking with their intercontinental strategic missiles with nuclear warheads to North Korean targets. But this could be a zero-possibility just because of the hostages that North Korea could have been captured during the short war. No developed country would kill this much of own people for a single victory.

After reading that American high officier had warned about this kind of possibility a few years ago I had to admit that this could really happen. And when I watched a North Korean propaganda-video which was made in the beginning of this year  this kind of strategy could be seen in this 'United Korea in three days' -film. They mentioned that electricity in Seoul and everywhere in South Korea would be off after North Korean attack. Despite of being propaganda, the film was quite clearly describing a situation where EMP strike could have been the first military act and immediately after that a full scale war with conventional weapons would give north victory very quickly.

*      *      *

So here is one example what happens when little countries get help to start their own nuclear reactors. It is needed only international tensions and lack of democracy and you get the leaders of the country making their own bombs. And a little more tensions and missunderstandings, then you'll get a nuclear war.

Stop building new nuclear reactors! Without nuclear reactors we would not have nuclear arms. The more reactors, the more nuclear bombs. They are always connected.

For Korean Peninsula; I'm sorry I have no answers, only quesses. No good ones.

Let's hope the first of my scenarios of Kim Jong Un  would be more true than this war-hero possibility. Next weeks will tell us.

We'd better to pray!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kim Jong Un Could Be a Good Leader for North Korea - If the U.S.A. only Allowed Him to Be

I know that most people think this must be a joke. But it isn't. I'm serious. Kim Jong Un could be,  and I think he is willing to be, a good leader for his country.

Could Kim Jong Un be creating a new peaceful North Korea by adapting renewable energy policy?     Photos: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

Well, after having said this I 've got plenty of enemies. Many people may think me being crazy.

But let me explain a little bit what I mean.

Last year, after the death of his father Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un was having a TV show where Disney-like characters were having a performance on the stage. At the same time as Mickey and Winnie were dancing on North Korean TV broadcast, long banned american style of food like hamburgers were officially shown to be eaten in North Korea.

I think this was kind of asking for cooperation with the western world and a sign of good will. But what was the response? I think people were laughing at this and Disney was sewing  North Korea for a stolen Copyright.

And now - Kim Jong Un is threatening the US army and South Koreans with a nuclear strike having declared war and cut hot lines of early warning in case of misunderstanding.


There is one very strong sign and message hidden in North Korean policy. They named Pak Pong Ju for Prime minister. And he seems to be a man of reforms in economy, supporting Chinese style of market driven socialism.


I think this is a clear indicator that the country will go on talks with US and South Korea in the future. But China must not be left out of the scene.

Let me put it in this way:

Let's imagine Mexico was having a civil war in 1950ies where Northern Mexico capitalist revolutionists were receiveing support and arms from US government. The southern part of Mexico was fighting to remain the communist society they had on the whole Mexico area before the capitalist gerillas started US aided revolution. The southern Mexico communists were fighting with Chinese weapons and having Chinese army soldiers and fighter jets to help them. The parties could not achieve peace so they made a ceasefire and divided the country to North Mexico and South Mexico.

Decades passed but the country remained divided: China helped and supported the communist South Mexico and US aid was received in capitalist North Mexico. But Southern part was having more natural resources and with a massive support of China it evolved to a wealthy communist market economy. The northern part was poorer and couldn't get as much support from US government which was having budget cuts and other economical issues. But they did get some nuclear reactors and military support. And they bagan to develop their own nuclear weapons with the US government silently agreeing, though they were officially warning about the nuke program.

Every year the Chinese army participated the joint military exercise with South Mexico and sometimes North Mexico opened fire and showed their military power by sinking some South Mexican military ships with US silently agreeing in the background.

The economical situation in North Mexico being desperate and millions of people having not enough food to eat they still were obliged to keep their dignity by investing all their resources to arms development. And the yearly military exercise of China and South Mexico is to be held once more near the US coast. This time the young leader of North Mexico is warning South Mexicans and China more eagerly than before to gain the support of his own army leaders and leading companies and capitalists and gathering enough power to make the inavoidable reforms the country is facing in the near future, to take some communist elements to their economy to get it work better.

But when he is threatening China with a nuclear strike, China sends some new stealth bombers, capable of carrying nuclear bombs, to Southern Mexico to drop dummy bombs. And after that China brings a powerful navy fleet to US-Mexican coast loaded with nuke-bombers and missiles and threaten strike back with full force if North Mexico or its allies attack South Mexican battle forces or targets.

Well, what do you think, how would the US government act in a situatuation where Chinese nuclear battle force would be carried to the very shore of the U.S.A. ?

Can we afford ignoring China in Korean crisis?

                                       *      *      *     

I hope that North Korea, the U.S..A., South Korea and China will stay calm and avoid any additional provocative acts. This may be a historical moment to restart negotiations and solve the Korean Peninsula problems. It may take decades but it is still possible. But every party in this game need now to respect each others - I mean really respect. If they fail in doing that, the game that follows will be called the World War III. We can't afford it!

                                      *      *      *

When I wrote that Kim Jong Un could be a good leader I really meant it. And here are some things that could make him a best man for Norh Korea:

He could:

1. Start negotiating of a full scale energy shift to renewables to make North Korea to be among the first countries in the world with 100 percent renewable energy economy. I think that Germany, Denmark and  Finland could be participating this process with a great pleasure cooperating with North Korea and training their experts in developing their own industry of PV solar cells production and wind and wave energy research. We could jointly make this country a winning economy to boost also the nearby countries to make their own energy shift to safe and sustainable renewable energy. Also China and Japan could share their technology know how in such a friendly win-win project.

2. Negotiate with the U.S.A and South Korea together with China and Japan to quarantee the safety and independance of North Korea and  give both the Korean peninsula countries a good possibility of ecologically sustainable economical growth and wealthy.

3. Negotiate about turning the huge military machines of both of the countries into more police-force-like safety and security institutions that could have very important role in helping their own people and government and if asked also the neighbour countries in case of nature forces cause large scale catastrophes like earthquakes,storms,  tsunamis and volcanic events. And of course helping to minimize the impact of industrial accidents often combined with natural disasters.

4. Make an initiative of agricultural revolution using means of modern biological farming. No GM food but understanding the ecological processes of sustainable acriculture in Korean Peninsula area. Japan could be one of the best friends in achieving good results in agriculture.

5. Renew the law and punishment system so that no valuable human resources would be wasted in jails or camps but the people who have new ideas and different thinking could be having an important role in developing North Korea to one of the most leading countries in the world.

6. Take good things of every leading country in the world and combine them to Korean way of thinking and Korean culture. There are plenty of things to be adapted from China, Germany, Cuba, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea e.t.c.  and even from the U.S.A. And I'm sure that North Koreans have also lots of good things to give the world.

7. Announce the people of North Korea, the leading communist party and whole the world that North Korea is now beginning a new era - a revolution for peaceful development and cooperation of the countries in the area on win-win basis.

If he would take these kind of steps, he could be remembered as a revolutionist and a great politician and leader. If not ... ? ? ?

There are plenty of  Black Swans swimming around Korean Peninsula now - let's hope we can catch all of them!        Photo: Jukka Seppälä / Creator's Fingerprints

                                            *      *      *

I hope the tension will give up and a peaceful progress will follow in Asia. China must be welcomed to developing work too. We must create a chain of winners instead of confrontation. And renewables could be fueling that process.

Maybe just hopes and dreams....


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Think Big - Sink Big: Fennovoima Sinking Fast - Rats Are Leaving the Ship

More than 2000 experts on clean tech and renewable energy were participating Vaasa Energy Week 2013 last week in Vaasa, Finland  - new wind power is now half the price of new nuclear power   Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

More and more rats are leaving the Fennovoima -ship. They are thinking with their own brains.

LINK (Finnish) - KALEVA:

LINK (Finnish) - MTV3:
There is no trouble with Finnish nuclear power companies to Think Big. Fennovoima and Olkiluoto-3-4 projects are a clear sign of ability to Think Big when everyone else in the world is thinking small about nuclear power investments (if you don't count China, Russia, North Korea and other politically and from a military point of view centralized countries, and of course Iran , Saudi-Arabia, Arab-Emirates and all the other countries willing to have their own bomb). But realism has something to do with businesses, I have heard. And during the Vaasa Energy Week,  last week in Vaasa, I heard many specialists on renewable energy telling that the real business is now in renewables. New wind power is half the price of new nuclear power. Solar is getting cheaper. The main problem with renewables seems to be that sometimes the price for generated energy gets too low due to overproduction.

So when a Finnish company is continuing its efforts to build a brand new nuclear power plant in Hanhikivi -area in Pyhäjoki, it is struggling with raising constructing costs - the estimate now shows the plant to be costing 8-9 Billion Euro - a slightly smaller unit than Olkiluoto-3 which may break 10 Billion Euro limit if it gets ready for power generation in 2015-2020. I hope not. This spending money on old-fashioned and unsecure way of generating power should be abandonned straight away. The investments should be made for creating smart grids for wind and solar power generation.

New onshore wind power is even cheaper than new coal power in Australia according to Christian Kjaer (EWEA)   Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

In Vaasa some experts on renewable energy were just wondering why Finland is spending 2 Billion Euro for constructing old technology power grids, while Germany is investing Billions on constructing smart grids. Yesterday I saw on TV news that Fingrid had invested almost two Billion Euro for "securing the grid" as they said. They had built a new 110 Million Euro gas turbine power plant for fast peak power generating in Forssa, southern Finland.

LINK (Finnish) - MTV3:

Our Minister of Trade and Economy Mr. Jan Vapaavuori was ponting out that this power plant was needed for securing grid beacuse of increasing wind and solar power generation. But the news reporter knew better the reason: this kind of fast to maximum power PPs are made to secure Olkiluoto-3 and other big nuclear power plants if they go suddenly offline.The need of additional 1600 MW of power generating capacity in 10 minutes or less is compromizing the grid unless you build this kind of fast PPs. In the end of 1970ies we had Inkoo 1000 MW coal power plant to secure our grid if our NPPs should have emergency shutdowns: in half an hour that 1000 MW could be fully achieved if needed. Those power plants were just kept most of the time idling and they were expensive to have. Nowadays these fast supply PPs are mostly gas turbine powered. They are expensive to have but a must if you have large power generating units like Olkiluoto-3. Of course they can be used for backing up wind or solar power, but nordic hydro power does that job more easily and cheaper. And by constructing smart grids with storing capacity quick changes in power output or demand can be managed though it needs much R&D to be fully realized in a large scale.

The message I hope Finnish power industry and leading politicians should now understand is that every Billion Euro investment on old technology is giving our European, Asian and American competitors more advance for their projects. If we are trying to remain in centralized DDR-like power generating  thinking we'll end up with watching them winning the multi-billion global renewable projects that we could have technology and know-how to win. It's a question of HOW and WHERE to Think Big. Now it's time to Think Big - Renewables!

SolarWindProNet Admin was also participating Vaasa Energy Week - and Thinking Big :-)      Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints  


Sunday, March 17, 2013

NRC Finally Admits Solar Storms Can Threaten Nuclear Power Plants Causing Multiple Meltdowns

The Sun was quiet - not at all stormy during the historical Venus Transit last year. But solar storms could trigger geomagnetic storms that may be capable of causing months long blackouts and multireactor meltdowns - a possibility NRC is now gathering more information of  for better estimating the risk and possible means of dealing with it.  Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

NRC says it cannot rule out the possibility of severe solar storms causing geomagnetic storms that may cause multiple nuclear meltdowns in US nuclear reactors and spent fuel pools. Further investigation is needed to better estimate the real risk, but there may occur some new regulations and means of securing the US NPPs against long blackouts caused by geomagnetic storms.



I hope this new information makes it easier for the other nuclear regulators of the world to realize and re-estimate the dangers of long blackouts for the nuclear industry. I'm waiting the reaction of Finnish nuclear regulatory authority - STUK to study the new information available about severe solar storms and months long blackouts.

At least one "Black Swan" is just now being indentified by NRC ( US Nuclear Regulatory Commission) - the voulnerability of NPPs against severe geomagnetic storms.    Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

As energy blogger I have written about this issue from the very beginning of my blogging.  I see this question to be a real "Black Swan" until sufficient structural changes and backup systems are provided to secure our electrical grids and transformers - and NPPS and spent fuel pools - against long blackouts caused by solar storms or other such events affecting power grids.

Let's hope the discussion begins!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Former Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan Has A Message to The World

Mr. Naoto Kan tells his Experiences as Prime Minister during the FD Nuclear Disaster on a new video.   Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

The second anniversary of Fukushima nuclear disaster has revealed many good articles and videos about this worst accident of our industrial history. One of them is this excellent video speech which the former Prime Minister of Japan, Member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Naoto Kan has given for Helen Caldicott Foundation "Symposium: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident" that is being held in New York the 11th and 12th March 2013. Mr. Kan could not attend the Meeting but gave his speech via video. The video behind the following link is 16 minutes - worth watching!


On the video Naoto Kan explains his experiences as prime minister during the FD -crises and how it affected his way of thinking about nuclear power. He reveals that 50 million people would have been evacuated for decades if the worst case scenario had happened. Well, that's something really to think about.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Russian Asteroid Could Have Killed Tens of Thousands of People and Caused A Worldwide Nuclear Fallout

There are plenty of space rocks moving ten times faster than bullets through our solar system. Thousands of potentially hasardous asteroids are estimated to circle around us crossing the earths path in space. It's a question of timing whether they will hit or not. This bright spot in the picture is not an asteroid - it's our fellow planet Venus.   Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

It was a big surprize. The scientists admitted it was an extraordinary rare event. That two relatively large asteroids came so close to the earth in 24 hours time from different directions. And the other, smaller one actually hit the atmosphere. And it is also rare for an object this big to evaporate and explode high in the air without hitting the earth. And the bigger space rock, 45-60 meters long, just passed by. This time. We were lucky. This time.




Scientists say that if this 15 meter wide smaller asteroid had striken the earth and exploded there, it would have been equivalent to 20-30 hiroshima bombs. It could have killed tens of thousands of people nearby. If hit into a major city it could have killed millions.

The evidence of continous threat of asteroids can be found on the surface of the moon. There is no atmosphere to protect our natural satellite from impacts. And the impact craters are not eroded by winds and water.   Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

And the radioactive fallout. It would have been far more worse than Hiroshima or Nagasaki. It would have been far worse than Harrisburg. More worse than Chernobyl. Worse than Fukushima.

And why is that? Asteroids are not normally radioactive. But Cheljabinsk and Majak nuclear arms facilities with masses of spent nuclear fuel are. This kind of mega-explosion could have devastated some of these nuclear facilities and caused a masssive, world-wide radioactive fallout.



Well, we were lucky as well as the Russians were. We got some more time for preparations. One day a 15-50 meter or bigger asteroid is going to strike our planet. We'd better get rid of nuclear power as quick as possible. The nuclear industry said that a core meltdown accident would be as impossible as an asteroid strike to some nuclear power plant. Now we have had five nuclear reactor meltdowns - and been very near to a catastofical asteroid strike straight to a nuke concentration.

Somebody up there likes us. We have been warned. Those who have ears....

Photo: J.S/C.F.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Volcanoes and Nuclear Power - The Absent Discussion

Volcanoes could pose a threat to nuclear facilities - perhaps greater than  admitted up to now  Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

One issue that has bothered me personally for some time now (in addition to nuclear power & solar storms  ) is volcanic hazards and nuclear power. I think this subjects has just been too difficult to analyze since it brings such horrifying scenarios with it that the main reason for ignorance of discussion would be something like this: "If Yellowstone blows up, we don't need to think about nuclear fallout - we'll end up dead, all of us, and there's no difference which one would be the cause."

But this kind of thinking rejects the logics as too painfull to be continued. The most probable case is that there won't exist any ELE -volcanic eruption on this earth during the next thousand years but thousands of smaller volcanic events that could have a high regional or national impact. And there's where this nuclear thing becomes important.

There was just recently a brief news that Hanford nuclear facility in the U.S.A. is having once more a serious radioactive leak. But when this Hanford case was analyzed, there occurred another hazardous possibility. The Hanford staff would have only less than 24 hours to change 7 000 filters of the facitility in case of volcanic eruption of the nearest volcano. Could that be possible? And what if the eruption and ashfall continues for weeks or months?


That article reminded me of the volcanic black swan ( ) that is hidden from the politicians, the common man and even from the nuclear industry. What if we'll get strong volcanic events near to nuclear power plants? If we'll get 20 - 30 inches of volcanic ash falling down from the skies. How would water intake filters and cooling systems, emergency cooling systems and power grids response to this kind of event?

And how about the structures of nuclear facility buildings? Well, perhaps the reactor buildings would not have any difficulty with coping the extra weight of hundreds of tonnes. The main issue would be the large turbine and generator halls, spent fuel storage buildings, high voltage transformers and such vital equipment that could be destroyed by falling ash.

If you believe this is not possible, you could check out this article about Chernobyl NPP turbine hall which was recently partly collapsed by the weight of the fallen snow. ( LINK -  DAILY NEWS: )

We were lucky the reactor was decommissioned due to that famous accident.

In Japan they have warned that Mt Fuji, the magnificant volcano quite near to Tokyo, may erupt in the near future with a great intensity. They are now making evacuating plans and updating early warning systems.




But no one - at least that I have noticed - have mentioned a single word of the risks that this kind of powerful eruption could  pose to the nearest nuclear facilities. And there are plenty of other active volcanoes in Japan. And over 50 NPPs (It doesn't really matter if the NPP is closed down as long as there is nuclear fuel inside the reactor or in the spent fuel pools - they have to be constantly cooled down).

I know that the designers of nuclear facilities have realized the issue but I think they have underestimated the risk and possible consequences as they did with earthquakes and tsunamis, dam breaks and superstorms and of course solar storms.

I think what we'll need now is a fair and open discussion; how to reduce the risks of nuclear meltdowns and radioactive fallout caused by volcanic events. But the question is: who will take the initiative?

Could it be NRC, or STUK or perhaps JNES? Or GREENPEACE, NIRS or UCC?
We'll see.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will 10 Billion Euros Be Enough to Get Olkiluoto -3 EPR Generating Power? (And Is It Worth It?)

This week we once more read the news about Finnish Olkiluoto-3 nuclear power plant construction project: the NPP may not be generating power before 2016.

              Olkiluoto-3 will be delayed until 2016    Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints









A few months ago they postponed the construction schedule to 2014, AREVA estimated the total cost for the NPP to be 8,5 Billion Euros. And now two years more. Is it 1,5 or 2 Billion Euros more? So the total cost of this project would rise up to 10 Billion Euros or more. And with that 8,5 Billion Euros it was obvious that this project would not bring the investors back the money which they had thrown into it. Never. Each MWh that will be produced will be just for trying to minimize the lost amount of money.


But if the investors keep on burning their money on this project for many years to come, they will find out that it would have been wiser to back off in good time.

Say you'll have to invest 4 Billion more to the recent level of estimated investments to get the generators running. Then you'll have to pay for the decommissioning of the radioactively contaminated reactor once you'll load the fuel and start the nuclear reaction. You'll have to pay some 300 Million to 1 Billion more. And if you'll use the reactors several years or decades, you'll have plenty of highly radioactive spent fuel to take care of. Another 200 million spent.


So You'll end up with 4,5 - 5 Billion Euros more costs. And that should be added to that 8,5 Billion .

Well, that may be too simple maths but it seems to me to be quite clear that if I were an investor, I would quit my funding on nuclear power and instead put my money on renewables. With about 5 Billion Euros you'll get the same average power generating capacity 1600 MW (4500MW Max.) with wind power parks. And you don't have nuclear waste. You don't produce CO2. You don't pay for the fuel. You don't have nuclear accidents. You'll generate cheaper power - and first years with price quarantee. And you don't have to wait 10 years to get the power on - in three years you'll see your windmills spinning money to your company account. And you will get a true green reputation on the market. In a positive way.

And in addition to wind power there are solar PVs and new wave power concepts. They are really getting ready for powering nations and continents. During the arctic winter we have plenty of biomass or biogas in addition to existing hydro power to balance the supply and demand. It deals with capability of organizing and there we need real leadership, engineering and business skills. But I think that shouldn't really be an issue.

P.S. If you still believe in nuclear, think about if an accident occurs in your brand new EPR-NPP. Well, the core-catcher can (perhaps) handle your reactor core and the containment building can (perhaps) copy with the radioactive particles and gases and 5000 degrees heat of the melting core and keep inside your new reactor building the radioactivity that could wipe out Europeans from our continent if totally vaporized and set free. And this could be the situation if you were extremely lucky and there would not occur any coincidents which the engineers hadn't think of beforehand (that's what happened in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima: great surprizes)). So if you'll be that lucky you'll only had to pay some 1-20 Billion Euros extra just for decontamination and decommissioning. But If you weren't that lucky there wouldn't be any TVO more just state and taxpayers owned wreck (like TEPCO)  that should be trying to cope with hundreds of Billions of Euros compensations and decontamination costs for a very severe nuclear accident affecting large areas of Finland and Northern Europe.

We have the right to think. And rethink.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wind and Solar Too Cheap to Meter - Nuclear Too Expensive to Think About

Wind power can create a situation where "power is too cheap to meter"  Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

In 1950ies and 1960ies they told us that nuclear power would be so cheap that by now it should be too cheap to meter.


This scenario turned out to be ultra-optimistic and the real costs of nuclear power are very difficult to count but are far from free power. In fact it seems that if all costs are combined (planning, construction, running, back up systems, accidents, health consequences, nuclear waste, decomissioning and clear weapons proliferation) then nuclear power is the most expensive way of power generating.

LINK -  DW :

But wait a minute - could there be energy sources that generate power almost without costs?
In fact, none. But if you think about old hydro power, wind or solar PV, you have no fuel costs. Only the payback of investement of constructing, transformers and the grid. And maintenance costs. Well, thats a lot of money. But when you have paid the investment, the price of energy remains low. For example the low price of hydro power is pulling down prices on Nordic power market. When the new wind parks will be starting their power generating, the price will be going further downwards.

And last summer - yes it's true - the power price in Germany was almost zero during windy, sunny days. Those moments were short, but they did exist. Wind power combined with solar PV capacity was creating a situation "too cheap to meter". Still the consumers payed full price for their power but this event shows the direction for the future. Many studies have shown out that renewable energy can offer power with lower prices than our coal-nuclear power plants do today.


So we have a clean and sustainable and economical way to go. Let's take the renewables seriously!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Renewable Energy Revolution Is Here

One could speak of a revolution these days. New solutions and technologies, studies and news articles are reaching the internet like a tsunami. And the best thing is that it's all good news!

Renewable Revolution is going on. Picture: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

Well, there exists some not so good news also, but it depends on the angle of view that you take whether it's bad or good.

For example in the U.S.A. there have been 24 wise senior energy experts hunting for the "black swans". In other words they have been looking for possible disasters that can threaten the very existence of American way of life, American Culture, and the U.S.A. as a world power.


Grid failure - the black swan of the industrialized  world.  Picture: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

Black swans come from a Lebanese-American Scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who created the metaphor. Black swans are catastrophic events, outliers of which we have no historical experience before and also events that carry an extreme impact.


The two dozen wise men found out that the most probable "black swan" in the near future would be the collapse of the electic grids.

So is this a good or bad news? The good news is that the americans have found out it to exist. And that there is a lot to be done to prevent it, turn the black swan into a white one.

But the bad news is that here in Europe and especially in Finland our politicians and power industry experts seem to be more or less blind - they can't see the black swan that swims towards us. When it reaches us, it will be too late to act.

That has been my personal worry over a year now. From the first story of my energy blog   I started warning about the black swan I could see swimming towards us to destroy our energy grids and modern way of life. And to kill and injure millions of people around the world. And that black swan will attack our nuclear power plants and spent fuel pools and destroy them like it did in Chernobyl and Fukushima. This time there are dozens of them in danger. Solar storms do not respect any country border on this planet. The greatest danger is on the northern hemisphere but the more southern countries have also a certain risk. Afterwards it will be easy to say: "We should have seen the risk, it was imminent." But it won't help any more.

The time is now right for action: secure our power grids, our transformers, our nuclear power plants and spent fuel pools. The technology needed is available, it just takes some money to build up.  And don't forget to create backup systems for everyday life - shopping, banking, transportation, health care, heating, fresh drinking water and waste water systems etc. They should work in emergency mode with minimum power or totally without electric power. Perhaps we could use 1950-1970ies shopping and banking models as backup system if we lose the grid totally for some time. But we need now more wise men and women to plan how we could cope with such an extraordinary severe condition that a once in hundred years solar storm could trigger.

And the good news!

One more study found recently out that the U.S.A. could lean solely on renewable energy 99.9 % of time already in 2030. This time it was University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College that made the research. When combined wind power and solar power to new battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology the demand of power could be effectively met and the costs remain relatively low.


Another news story tells about plans to build a doughnut-shaped artificial island in Belgium to use sea water for generating hydropower when wind power is not available. The idea is to pump sea water from the artificial pond inside the island to the sea using extra wind power capacity when the demand of windpower is low. When the power demand is higher sea water runs back through the turbines generating hydropower. Belgium is closing down all of its nuclear reactors following the example of Germany and some other countries. New technologies for efficiently utilizing wind and solar power are needed.


Japan's power grid is old-fashioned for renewable energy. Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

A Japanese Consortium is aiming to build a totally new type of internet-like smart grid to allow the country to build enough renewable energy to cover the demand of energy after all of Japan's nuclear power plants will be decommissioned. The grid would function as a bank account or stock market computer system buying and selling power for the producers-customers.


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Naoto Kan - the Prime Minister of Japan during the Fukushima nuclear accident. Photo: Jukka Seppälä/Creator's Fingerprints

The former Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Naoto Kan is one of those politicians who recognized the black swan immediately it had landed on Japan after the tsunami and multiple nuclear meltdowns. He sees clearly the other dark swans waiting for to come in  - the continuing danger of nuclear meltdowns if Japan reactivates its nuclear power program. It is so sad that many other Japanese politicians and economical leaders are so blind about it.