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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 11:55 PM
Number of posts: 26,361

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The Bathtub Curve, Nuclear Safety, and Run-to-Failure

The NRC’s Operating Experience Branch issued a report on component failures from 2007 to 2011. More than 75% of the failures examined in this study involved components used longer than their recommended service lifetimes. The NRC’s report referred to it as being “run-to-failure.”


Deliberately running safety components beyond service lifetimes until they fail is not only irresponsible, it is illegal. The NRC must not run away from its charter and obligation to protect public health and safety by failing to stop this lawbreaking nonsense.

Read the rest: http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/the-bathtub-curve-nuclear-safety-and-run-to-failure

Pope Francis delivers stern warning ahead of Paris climate conference

Source: CNN

Pope Francis celebrated a historic Mass in Kenya Thursday before delivering a stern environmental warning to the world, just days ahead of a potentially pivotal climate change conference in Paris.

"It would be sad, and I dare say even catastrophic, were particular interests to prevail over the common good and lead to manipulating information in order to protect their own plans and projects," the Pope said, urging nations to reach agreement over curbing fossil fuel emissions.


But it was Francis' comments on the pillaging of African resources that drew a louder response from the crowd. He said Africans cannot afford to remain silent on the illegal trade in precious stones and the poaching of elephants for ivory, which "fuels political instability, organized crime and terrorism."


Kenya declared the day a national public holiday as throngs of jubilant Catholics flocked to Nairobi to hear the Pope.


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/26/africa/kenya-pope-francis-trip-main/

Venezuela Investigating Opposition Politician's Death, US Interfering

Source: Telesur TV

The U.S. has again interferred in domestic affairs following the death of opposition politician Luis Manuel Diaz, while government leaders have rejected “defamation” around the case.


"I have asked the authorities to convene a press conference once they have accurate information in order to let people know the facts,” Maduro said Thursday. The Venezuelan leader said however that preliminary investigations point to the murder, which occurred while Diaz was at a campaign event for the Democratic Action party, may have been carried out by criminal groups whom Diaz had dealings with.


United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Jorge Rodriguez also announced on Thursday that his party would take legal action against the leader of opposition party Democratic Action, Henry Ramos Allup, for defamation. Within minutes of the murder, Allup blamed the PSUV.

“Luis Manuel Diaz was unfortunately well known for his long record of criminal activity in the start of Guarico. He was the last member of a criminal gang called the Plateados (silver plated), which was involved in extorsion, contract killings, and kidnapping in that state,” Rodriguez said.

“(Diaz’s) involvement in that gang was known to everyone … as were his links to trade union mafias in the construction industry, which were in dispute with the mayor of Chaguaramas, who certainly isn’t a member of the PSUV. In fact, Mayor Giovany Salazar, who was fighting with this man, Luis Diaz, for control of those union mafias, is a member of another opposition party, Justice First.”

Finally, on Thursday the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the killing of Diaz, something it has never done following the murders of hundreds of indigenous activists, rural leaders, and pro-government unionists, as well as various PSUV leaders, such as legislator Robert Serra last year.


Read more: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Maduro-Addresses-the-Killing-of-Venezuelan-Opposition-Leader-20151126-0012.html

Safe haven law protects mom who left baby in manger scene

Source: Associated Press

A mother who left her newborn baby in a Christmas manger inside a New York City church will not be prosecuted, authorities said Wednesday.


New York has a so-called safe haven law that says a newborn can be dropped off anonymously at a church, hospital, police or fire station without fear of prosecution. But the law, known as the Abandoned Infant Protection Act, requires that the child be left with someone or for authorities to be called immediately.

Police said that didn't happen in this case, which led investigators to begin searching for the mother.

In deciding not to bring charges, Brown said the mother followed the spirit of the Safe Haven law.

"It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place in the church, and further she returned the following morning to make certain that the baby had been found," Brown said.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/11/26/baby-manger-safe-haven-law/76409890/

E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Costco Chicken Salad, C.D.C Says

Source: New York Times

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that public health officials were investigating an outbreak of E. coli that had sickened 19 people in seven states. The outbreak is thought to be linked to chicken salad from Costco, the C.D.C. said.

Five people had been hospitalized, and two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, the centers said in an update on Tuesday. No deaths have been reported, and most of the cases have involved people living in the Western United States.

The agency said that consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store on or before Nov. 20 should not eat it. Throw it away.

The strain of E. coli linked to the chicken salad, STEC O157:H7, can be fatal, especially in children. In 1993, hundreds of people became sick and four children died after an outbreak from undercooked Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers.


Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/26/us/e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-costco-chicken-salad-cdc-says.html?_r=0

Ukraine nuclear power plants 'dangerously' without power as towers feeding energy to Crimea blown up


Ukraine nuclear power plants ‘dangerously’ without power as towers feeding energy to Crimea blown up
Published time: 23 Nov, 2015 06:10

In an eerie reminder of a possible nuclear catastrophe, a senior Ukrainian energy official revealed that the attack on transmission towers that cut off the delivery of electricity from Ukraine to Crimea also created an emergency situation at nuclear power plants.

The apparent act of sabotage in Ukraine’s Kherson region forced an emergency power unloading at several Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which can be extremely dangerous, according to the first deputy director of Ukraine’s energy company Ukrenergo, Yuriy Katich.

Russia’s Crimea was forced to switch to autonomous reserve power after transmission towers in the adjacent Ukrainian region were blown up, causing a blackout. Meanwhile, the repairs were delayed by Right Sector and Crimean Tatar “activists” attempting to block crews from getting to the scene. None of the groups have accepted responsibility.

“All of these events have led to an additional emergency shutdown of the electrical network of two units at thermal power plants – the Dnieper and Uglegorskaya – and the emergency unloading by 500 MW of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. This includes Zaporozhskaya NPP and the South Ukrainian NPP. I want to stress that such emergency unloading of a nuclear plant – it is very dangerous,” 112. Ukraine online portal quoted Katich as saying.


Russian Federation to finance Egypt's nuclear power plant

Source: Newzy

Sergey Kiriyenko, general director of Rosatom, said the Dabaa nuclear plant will be the largest Russian-Egyptian project since the Aswan High Dam and will mark a "new chapter" in bilateral relations between the countries.


The timing of the deal is significant as it comes not long after a Russian-operated airline went down in Sinai on October 31, killing all 224 people on board.


Egypt has been considering building a nuclear power plant since the 1980s, but Cairo froze construction plans after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, only announcing its intention to revive them in 2006, under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Current President Sisi said Egypt is seeking to diversify its energy sources, and the "peaceful-purpose" nuclear plant would meet all the worldwide safety requirements. As well as a nuclear plant, Sisi has talked of building solar and wind energy facilities in the coming three years to generate around 4,300 megawatts of power.

Egypt's nuclear programme was given fresh impetus following the election of Al-Sisi in May 2014.


Read more: http://newzy.net/2015/11/25/russian-federation-to-finance-egypts-nuclear-power-plant.html

Security tight at France's nuclear power plants

Source: The Local

France's nuclear power stations remain at maximum alert after the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th over fears the installations could be a future target of jihadists.

“We are working with police and the gendarmerie to carry out systematic checks of everyone entering nuclear power stations,” Jean-Bernard Levy, president of French state power company EDF has told France 2 television.


Levy noted the sensitive facilities – hugely important in a county where around 75 percent of power is generated by nuclear reactors – had already been at maximum alert before the November 13th attacks.

But he also admitted the EDF group did not have access to France’s so-called "fiche S" ("S file") which is updated daily to include individuals suspected of links to a terrorist movement or group. Some 10,000 names are on the list, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said recently.


Read more: http://www.thelocal.fr/20151125/france-ramps-up-security-at-nuclear-power-stations-terrorism

Nuclear generator shuts down I-8 in El Cajon

Source: KGTV TV News

A truck hauling a nuclear generator brought down power lines over the Interstate 8 freeway in El Cajon for several hours Wednesday morning.

Just before 2 a.m. the truck was headed east on I-8, just west of Greenfield Drive, when the nuclear generator it was transporting struck the power lines and brought them down over the freeway.

A Sig Alert was issued and the eastbound lanes were shut down. Traffic was being diverted at 2nd Street.

As of 4:50 a.m., I-8 east was still closed. SDG&E crews were on scene working to fix the downed lines.

Read more: http://www.10news.com/news/nuclear-generator-shuts-down-i-8-in-el-cajon

This was a generator for the ITER fusion project in Europe.
It's an oversized load and snagged the power lines.

'Dirty War' editorial shocks Argentines, including paper's own reporters

Source: Washington Post

The first news cycle after the election of Mauricio Macri as president of Argentina included an unusual contribution from La Nacion, one of the country's top newspapers: an editorial headlined "No More Vengeance."

The gist of the instantly controversial piece was that the time had come to forget about the crimes committed during Argentina's 1976-1983 military dictatorship. The editorial argued that the old regime's leftist opponents were "ideologically committed to terrorist groups" and acted in a way "no different" from the militants who attacked Paris earlier this month. It also bemoaned the "shameful" treatment of regime officials imprisoned for human rights crimes despite their "old age."


The piece provoked swift condemnation by many Argentines, including many of the newspaper's own reporters. They took to social media to disavow the unsigned opinion piece, and the newspaper published a photo of dozens in the newsroom holding up signs that said, "I condemn the editorial."


The editorial waded into especially sensitive territory — the legacy of the "Dirty War," in which tens of thousands of people were killed or made to "disappear" by government forces, and ongoing human rights trials against the perpetrators.

Part of the concern was the timing, as it prompted fears that the newly elected Macri government might be more open to forgiving these crimes than voters had been led to believe. As Jonathan Watts and Uki Goñi wrote in Britain's Guardian newspaper, "Many middle- and upper-class Macri supporters want the trials to end. They prefer to speak of 'reconciliation', a catchword for amnesty, now that hundreds of former officers have been convicted — many of so advanced an age that about 300 are estimated to have died so far in jail, either serving their sentences or pending trial."


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/24/dirty-war-editorial-shocks-argentines-including-papers-own-reporters/
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