Sunday, April 17, 2011

NUCLEAR POWER PLANT DISMANTLED, 1986, by 200 worker at Shippingport, PA. under ideal conditions. Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant working conditions are far from ideal

April 18, 2011 UPDATE at bottom


SHIPPINGPORT, Pa.— PIECE by laborious piece, about 200 workers here are taking apart a nuclear power plant in a project that could affect the price of electricity throughout the country and the financial health of most major utilities.

In the process, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial nuclear generating facility, has become a radioactive classroom, a demonstration of the technological and economic feasibility of what is sometimes called ''nuclear power's missing link.''

Disassembling the reactor is a milestone in the atomic age - ''the capstone of the nuclear fuel cycle,'' said Cynthia Pollock, a researcher for Worldwatch, a nonprofit institute that studies the use of resources and energy. ''Most people have never thought about the idea that nuclear plants wear out - far less that they're contaminated. You can't just let plants sit forever.''

When the work is finished, the plant's seven-acre site on the south bank of the Ohio River 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh is to be restored to a grassy knoll suitable for any purpose including, say, a playground or a school.


Bechtel International, the construction company, recently bid $104 million to disassemble a new, never used and therefore uncontaminated plant in Zwentendorf, Austria. Both critics and proponents of nuclear power acknowledge it will be much more expensive to take apart contaminated plants.

Many states have started pressing utilities to set aside millions of dollars to finance the dismantling of their plants. But how much the utilities should set aside and who should provide the money are hotly debated.
Utilities now have three options for retiring reactors: mothballing, entombing and dismantling. Non-nuclear power plants can be demolished as cheaply and easily as any other structure. But large portions of nuclear plants become contaminated by radioactivity, which lasts for centuries. They therefore require careful treatment, even after they are retired.

Mothballing involves removing the fuel as well as guarding the structures and monitoring radiation. Initially, it is quite cheap. Since the plant remains radioactive for centuries, however, the continuing security and monitoring could make it more expensive than the other options, according to a study by the Atomic Industrial Forum, a lobbying group for the industry. In addition, it just postpones dismantling until a later day.

Entombment entails removing the fuel and covering the structure in a thick mantle of concrete. This is the option selected by the Soviet Union for the reactor destroyed in the Chernobyl accident. Entombment has many of the same advantages as mothballing, but the process exposes more workers to radiation. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not approved entombment as a long-term decommissioning option, it is a temporary solution.

Dismantling retired nuclear plants immediately eliminates the need for long-term security and maintenance and frees the site for other uses, possibly including new reactors to replace the worn-out ones.

On the other hand, dismantling is costly in the short run and involves the highest occupational exposure to radiation. Shippingport's interior walls, for instance, are covered with yellow stickers whose bright red propeller symbols denote danger from radiation. 


Google search for Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project 

Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project

Hallam Nuclear Power Facility
Pique Nuclear Power Facility
Elk River
Peach Bottom
Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment
SRE (Sodium)  Editorial

Google search for  Los Alamos molten plutonium reactor experiment

Decommissioning the Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment

The $98 million (1985 estimate) cleanup of Shippingport has been used as an example of a successful reactor decommissioning by proponents of nuclear power. However, critics point out that Shippingport was smaller than most commercial nuclear power plants; most reactors in the United States are about 1,000 MWe, while Shippingport was only 60 MWe. -Wikipedia

   UPDATE     A Link and a Comment from cacone

"...... less than about 400MWe in the above study"

"I wonder how much of this is still true...  -  cacone"

Fukushima Daiichi
Unit 1
- 439 MWe BWR, 1971

Unit 2
- 760 MWe BWR, 1974

Unit 3
- 760 MWe BWR, 1976
Unit 4
- 760 MWe BWR, 1978

Unit 5
- 760 MWe BWR, 1978

Unit 6
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1979

Fukushima Daini
Unit 1
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1982

Unit 2
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1984

Unit 3
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1985

Unit 4
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1987

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vancouver 125 years old, brings back memories, captured in photos of old and new paintings today

The Vancouver Sun, H section, Saturday, April 16, 2011

One of the icons of Vancouver restaurant history, the Aristocratic stands open for business at the corner of Granville and Broadway (south west corner) on September 25, 1951.  The eatery, now only a memory, was among several Aristocratics around the city.
Art Jones Photo, from the Vancouver Public Library special collections No. 81669
I remember this intersection well, my family's home was two and half blocks away.  One thing that is not mentioned in the Vancouver Sun on page H1, is that on the North East corner of Broadway and Granville there was another Aristocratic, a drive-in, somewhat like the WhiteSpot.   Too bad we didn't have a Google Streetview back then.

At Fir (one block west of Granville) and Broadway was a baseball stadium (North East corner all the way to Eighth Avenue)(Vancouver Center Park).  This was the predecessor to Little Mountain's Nat Bailey Stadium.  Rumour has it that Nat Bailey sold his first hot dog at the stadium at Broadway and Fir.

Four doors to the south of the Aristocratic, shown in this morning's newspaper, was the Ingledew shoe store which had the latest technology to make sure that the shoe was the right fit for their customers, young and old.

From the photo below you can see that the X-Ray machine was a well thought out design, where the customer would be encouraged to lean against it so that he could see his own feet inside his yet to be purchased high-priced leather shoes.  The saleman, lucky fellow, had the golden opportunity to see the same results, day in, day out, without lifting a fingers to test the distance of the customer's toe to the shoe's toe.

For some strange reason, the X-Ray machine was removed, should have been outlawed.  Don't know whether it was the WAC Bennett Provincial government, the City of Vancouver Health Inspectors, or the shoe Industry at large that finally woke up to the fact of the harmful effects of X-Ray while seeing the results in REAL-TIME (fluoroscopy).

The radiation hazards associated with shoe fitting x-ray units were recognized as early as 1950. The machines were often out of adjustment and were constructed so radiation leaked into the surrounding area.


The Vancouver Public Library has all sorts of photographs of our most livable city in the world, but here's another source, a local artist, Tom Carter.

Tom continues to capture new ideas from the photographs that he has collected over many years, by bringing them back to life in his paintings, especially under the weather conditions that we all so adore here.   Rainy, Saturday night where Theatre Row  is lit up with neon lights. 

The center painting below is the same Aristocratic's, at Broadway and Granville (South West corner), not sure if the photo to the left is inside the Aristocratic, but it looks just about right.
 Make sure your speakers are on.  Tom has captured not only the colour of Vancouver at night, but the sound as well.

"I love the urban environment - a fascinating cross section
of society where people in very different situations must
interact. Cities may also be where loneliness is felt more
My art explores themes of isolation versus inclusion – how
we fit into the world and society. I tend to set my subjects
in other eras which, besides satisfying my historical interest,
reveals elements that are timeless – truths do not change.
Although there might be cold and turbulence in my work,
all of my settings have a sanctuary, a place of warmth and
respite. We, as the viewer, have the option of going inside
but we choose not to; we stand outside observing."

- Tom Carter
Tom's painting are hanging at the Baron Gallery in Gastown:
Intersections - paintings by Tom Carter

Wednesday to Saturday                          Noon till Six pm

Who else can remember this, the construction of the Granville Bridge?   One of the finishing touches was that the city of Vancouver had a merry-go-round, and a ferris wheel too, for the opening ceremonies, in the area where the south bound bridge traffic would exit onto Fir Street and Fourth Avenue.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fukushima Power plant Level 7 - same rating that Chernobyl reached with one reactor

Japan's nuclear safety agency has raised the crisis level at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7, from the current 5.

The agency told reporters on Tuesday that large volumes of radioactive substances that could affect human health and the environment are being released in a wide area.

Level 7 is the highest rank on an international standard and equivalent to the severity recorded after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

But the agency said the volume of radiation from Fukushima is one-tenth that at Chernobyl.

The agency said its calculations show that 370-thousand terabecquerels of radioactive iodine 131 and cesium 137 have been released from the plant.

The nuclear safety commission, in a joint press conference with the agency, put the estimated leak at 630-thousand terabecquerels of both substances.

One terabecquerel is equivalent to one trillion becquerels. Both organizations say the leak constitutes a level-7 crisis.

Senior agency official Hidehiko Nishiyama said 29 people died of acute radiation exposure at Chernobyl but there are no fatal radiation casualties at Fukushima.

He added that at Chernobyl the nuclear reactor itself exploded in contrast to the Fukushima plant, which was damaged by hydrogen explosions. He said the reactors themselves retain their shape.

Nishiyama also said the upgrade does not affect the existing evacuation plan, which was made on the basis of the same radiation evaluation.

The agency is required to announce the severity of a crisis at a nuclear facility based on the international standard from zero up to 7 set by the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 13:09 +0900 (JST)

The president of the operator of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi power plant says he is taking the decision by the government's nuclear safety agency seriously.

Masataka Shimizu, the head of Tokyo Electric Power Company, released the comment on Tuesday after the agency raised the crisis level of the accident to 7, the worst on the international scale of nuclear incidents.

He said he is deeply sorry for causing trouble and concern to nearby residents and people in Fukushima Prefecture, as well as to the public.

Shimizu said he wants to resolve the ongoing accident as soon as possible, adding that his company is trying to cool the crippled reactors down and prevent the dispersion of radioactivity.
He also said the company is considering various possible ways and steps to contain the nuclear crisis.

He added that his company will make all-out efforts to resolve the problem in close cooperation with the government, related ministries and municipalities.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 20:15 +0900 (JST)

Shouldn't the company have been making an all-out effort from Day 1, not a MONTH later?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002) 853 medals awarded to citizens of B.C.

 UPDATE May 23rd, 2011   The other Golden Jubilee link.

My Blog has a SiteMeter program which shows that the Government of British Columbia has been hitting my site practically every day.  Didn't know why, until I realized that Premier Christy Clark's PAB have been rewriting the BC Liberal Government webpages of what happened during the three term HST enthusiast, Gordon Campbell.

I won't be upgrading my links, waste of time.  But, by leaving the links in place, it's plain to see just how much British Columbians tax dollars are being wasted today, by the "new" BC Liberal Party, just so the public won't confuse the Premierships of Christy Clark with that of Gordon Campbell.  And it isn't just this blog, the changes that the PAB are making, are rippling through the whole of the internet.

On a previous post I also happened to notice that Premier Christy Clark's PAB staff did a re-write on the last Chief of Staff for the HST Premier.   One day the bio was politically Partisan, the very next day it sounded more palatable for the public to read "Mr. Taylor received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal".  (via the NEW PAB, Mr. Taylor's bio has totally disappeared from the government's websites).

For example:
On October 25, 2010 the last paragraph in Paul Taylor's Bio was this (Link is still good):
"The Chief of Staff is responsible for providing strategic support and advice to the Premier and Executive Council to advance government’s policy and legislative objectives." 
UPDATE: November 6, 2014   Premier Christy Clark's former Chief of Staff Kim Haakstad role in the Ethnic Scandal ........ would seem to indicate that the Premier and hte Executive Council were in the know, eh.

On October 26, 2010 the last paragraph in Paul Taylor's Bio was changed to this (The Link is now broken)(doesn't exist on the internet either):
"Paul Taylor was an Ambassador for Vancouver 2010 and a torch bearer in the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Torch Relay. In 2003, Mr. Taylor received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal."   

For those readers who don't know the Background on the Medal:

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal

The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal was created in 2002 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ascension of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. The Medal was awarded to Canadians who have made outstanding and exemplary contributions to their communities or to Canada as a whole.
The award focuses both on the achievements of those people who, over the past 50 years, have helped create the Canada of today, and on the achievements of younger Canadians who are actively contributing to our future.
In order to ensure all regions of Canada were represented, various organizations were invited to propose candidates, including the federal, provincial and territorial levels of government; national professional, educational and cultural organizations; the military; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; veterans’ groups; sports associations; and philanthropic and charitable bodies.
Description: a circular gold-plated bronze medal with a thin raised edge:
  • on the obverse of which is an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the King George IV State Diadem, circumscribed with QUEEN OF CANADA . REINE DU CANADA, and
  • on the reverse of which is a large stylized maple leaf, with CANADA inscribed at the bottom, and 1952 and 2002 inscribed on either side of the Royal Cipher and Crown
  • the Medal is worn suspended from a broad royal blue ribbon, with red outer stripes, and double white stripes with a red central stripe

In the description above: "In order to ensure all regions of Canada were represented, various organizations were invited to propose candidates........"  and here I thought the idea was that it would be these various organizations doing the proposing of candidates, not the other way around by including themselves when it comes to the BC Provincial level of Government.   Every MLA was awarded the medal, along with the Ministers' Deputy Ministers, such as the former short term Chief of Staff when he was the DM to the Finance Minister, Gary Collins.

On one of my searches via Google, I used "Don Bell Mayor Golden Jubilee" as key words, several Mayors turned up as being recipients, not the rest of Council members though unless they belong to another grouping.   Next up in the search was Gary Collins and then every Minister from 2002.

The Comptroller General put out the word for nominations from within the ranks of public servants.

"The Office of the Comptroller General was seeking nominations for the Commemorative Medal for The Queen's Golden Jubilee. This medal was created on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Queen's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada and only 853 medals will be awarded to citizens of B.C.- six of these are available to public servants in the Ministry of Finance.

We are seeking nominations from you for government employees who have made an outstanding achievement or given exemplary service (either within/outside of government).

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you know of someone deserving of this recognition, please contact me immediately for further information (package) and a nomination form.


To be eligible to receive the medal, a person must:

* be a Canadian citizen, not necessarily resident in Canada at the time of awarding

* have made a significant contribution to Canada or to a particular province, territory, region
or community within Canada, or have made an outstanding achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada and

* have been alive on February 6, 2002, the fiftieth anniversary for Her Majesty's accession to
the throne.


* the recipients should be exemplary B.C. Public Servants whose service and achievements extend over a period of years

* recipients' names and who selected them will be part of the public record

Public Record????

I thought that the easiest way to find out who the other Recipients of the Golden Jubilee Medal were, would to be to use the the keywords of "Golden Jubilee Medal" along with other words like "Chief of Staff".   Mr. Taylor's bio popped up, on my blog too, then I found two hits, one titled  211 names, then second one a Toastmaster congratulations to one of their own, but nowhere could I find one list that covered all 853 medals, nor those who selected them, or possibly each other in the case of the MLAs.   There is, of course the Governor General list, but to use that database you have to know the name of the Recipient or just take a wild guess.  I tried, using names of my various neighbours, nothing.   I finally did it (Golden Jubilee) by just looking for everyone who was a recipient and living in the Province of British Columbia and skipping the given names section.

Under the Premiership of Gordon Campbell, 853 medals were awarded, however the Governor General database lists 4,644 British Columbians recipients

Here's one from Gordon Campbell's Executive Council biographies and Mr. Falcon doesn't mention the Medal, only Minister Coleman does (and Its interesting-to-note-that-the-photo-of-Premier-Christy-Clark is now attached to this document and she wasn't even an MLA, or Premier, when this Executive Council was assembled)


Kevin Falcon was first elected in 2001 to represent the riding of Surrey-Cloverdale, and was re-elected in 2005 and 2009. He initially served as minister of state for deregulation.

He previously served as Minister of Transportation since January 26, 2004, overseeing a capital program that included the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Sea-to-Sky Highway and the William R. Bennett Bridge, among many others.
Minister Falcon's leadership recently earned him recognition in Vancouver Magazine’s annual ranking of the city’s 50 most influential leaders.

Before his election to the Legislative Assembly in 2001, he was president of Access Group, a corporate communications firm he founded in 1998. He has also worked in the real estate development industry and was vice-president of Northwest Investment Properties. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Simon Fraser University, and his real estate education at the University of British Columbia."
 Kevin Falcon 2002 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal with the Governor General


Plaque recognizes and immortalizes Sea to Sky workers

Premier Campbell thanks workers for four years of hard work

""The commemorative plaque we unveil today includes the names of 2,124 people who were involved in the six years of planning, engineering, design and construction of the vastly improved Sea to Sky highway from West Vancouver to Whistler," said Campbell in front of about 100 who turned up on the sunny afternoon."

"Campbell said if the highway was awarded recognition, the workers should be as well."We decided it was time to recognize workers – one of the things we want is for this to be lasting," he said. "It's the workers of British Columbia that are actually here not just on beautiful days like this…but the really crummy days, the rotten days, the days when you really wish you weren't here."Within a year, this will just be the road, but remember this – in 50 years, if you want to, you'll be able to drive along that road and say to your kids and your grandkids 'I did this' and you'll be able to prove it.""  

50 years, the same criteria for the Golden Jubilee Medal of 2002 and nine years later the public can't find one place on the provincial government internet highway website that lists off all 853 recipients ...... let alone the other 3,791 medal recipients in British Columbia and who selected them, for the public record.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

… like most, you have other fish to fry and cannot think about fukushima any more.

UPDATE at bottom
"… like most, you have other fish to fry and cannot think about Fukushima any more. However, in the middle of an election campaign, maybe it is appropriate to remind our politicians that they have responsibilities to their electors and the public in general.
so, here is my story/questions
1          the nyt (New York Times) just published an interesting article underlining how simulations done all around the world had a clear picture of what was happening and what was going to happen very early in the game.
2          the slides referenced to in the article are attached and they don't take much of a knowledge to figure out, i.e. even a domestic politician at the knowledge level of Mr Harper could understand them,
3          CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Canada) still does not provide readings past March 23, but EPA has all the information that may be useful for the area; where is CDC personnel?
thanks for listening"

1   From Far Labs, a Vivid Picture Emerges of Japan Crisis - New York Times

"Thanks to the unfamiliar but sophisticated art of atomic forensics, experts around the world have been able to document the situation vividly. Over decades, they have become very good at illuminating the hidden workings of nuclear power plants from afar, turning scraps of information into detailed analyses."  Snip.....
"..... Robert E. Henry, a developer of the code at Fauske & Associates, an engineering company near Chicago, said that a first sign of major trouble at any reactor was the release of hydrogen — a highly flammable gas that has fueled several large explosions at Fukushima Daiichi. The gas, he said in an interview, indicated that cooling water had fallen low, exposing the hot fuel rods.

The next alarms, Dr. Henry said, centered on various types of radioactivity that signal increasingly high core temperatures and melting."
Snip .......

2  The Nuclear Crisis in Japan

  Center for International Security Cooperation

A slide presentation of 32, turning scraps of information into detailed analysis....... like this one


4    The Vancouver Province Sunday April 3, 2011

Crack found in pit for reactor

Japanese officials grappling today to end the world's worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl were focusing on a crack in a concrete pit that was leaking radiation into the ocean from a crippled reactor.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it had found a crack in the pit at its No. 2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings of 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit.
"With radiation levels rising in the sea water near the plant, we have been trying to confirm the reason why, and in that context, this could be one source," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, on Saturday.
Leakage did not stop even after concrete was poured into the pit, and Tokyo Electric now plans to use waterabsorbent polymer to prevent contaminated water from leaking out into the sea.     Snip

Govt did not reveal high level radiation estimate
It has been learned that the Japanese government withheld the release of computer projections indicating high levels of radioactivity in areas more than 30 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The estimates were made on March 16th following explosions at the plant by an institute commissioned by the government using a computer system called SPEEDI. The system made its projections on the assumption that radioactive substances had been released for 24 hours from midnight on March 14th, based on the available data.

But the government was reluctant to reveal the SPEEDI projections, and did not release them until March 23rd.
The released data showed that higher levels of radioactive substances would flow over areas to the northwest and southwest of the plant.