Risks and Accidents

(Français) Marée noire à Diélette / Flamanville

7 Oct 2014

(Français) Marée noire à Diélette / Flamanville

Only in French.

Lire la suite

Towards a new Chernobyl ?

25 Apr 2014

Twenty-eight years following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ukraine is confronted with political turmoil. In this context, management issues concerning the Ukrainian nuclear industry are dangerously put aside. There are 15 nuclear reactors in Ukraine, all fueled by Russia. They were designed in EX-USSR in the 1960s and 1970s and do not meet safety regulations in place today in Ukraine. However, in 2012 the Ukrainian government decided to implement life extensions of 20 years for 11 of its oldest reactors which were to be decommissioned from 2015. Under the current financial and political difficulties, it is doubtful that necessary funds will be available. Important investments are needed to guarantee the adequate radiation protection of workers responsible for upgrading the sites as well as the safety of the reactors beyond the initial life-span. The reactors life extensions are financed by the international community, notably European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The nuclear life extensions have not been subject to a public Environmental Impact Assessment and are not in compliance with the ESPOO Convention which addresses transboundary environmental and health impacts issued by industrial projects.

Lire la suite

Delivery of nuclear fuel to Japan. Position of Robin des Bois

10 Apr 2013

The new Japanese Nuclear Safety Authority (NRA – Nuclear Regulation Authority) is considered independent. It will publish this summer 2013 a collection of basic safety rules and prescribe generic or specific work to each nuclear site in the archipelago.

These preventive improvements will take several months to a few years. They will be carried out under the precondition that the political decision to relaunch nuclear power is affirmed and accepted by civil society.

The risks of a transoceanic shipping of spent fuel containing plutonium are unacceptable today, particularly because of political, military and nuclear tensions between North Korea, South Korea and Japan.

Lire la suite

(Français) Le cercle des déchets disparus dans le Pacifique

7 Mar 2013

Only in French.

Lire la suite

Fessenheim : To be shut down or not ?

6 Sep 2012

Fessenheim : To be shut down or not ?

In any event, an immediate decision on the closure or continued operation of the nuclear center in Fessenheim is imperative. Fessenheim does not make tea. Operators and contractors are responsible for handling of radioactive fuel and monitoring of nuclear fission. The staff has been under pressure for a year now, which is absolutely inconsistent with the serenity and concentration required when working at a nuclear plant. Prolonging the uncertainty is irresponsible of the government.

The handling, storing, and transport of hydrogen peroxide leads to many accidents and releases of exothermic vapors that have could potentially cause burns to employees and first-aid attendants every year. Such accidents occur in paper mills, agribusiness, and water purification centers.

Lire la suite

MSC Flaminia : to remove the doubts about radioactivity

23 Aug 2012

MSC Flaminia
Press release no. 4

Inspection of the damaged container ship before she crosses the English Channel and the North Sea will take place in the coming days.

German experts along with British, Dutch and French specialists shall examine the condition of the vessel, her containers and her cargo.

Robin des Bois wishes this expertise to be completed by a radiological diagnosis of the ship. Hundreds of containers are damaged and the charterer of MSC Flaminia, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), is known to occasionally transport radioactive materials. The company is also known for a lack of transparency when it comes to publishing, when required, an inventory of transported goods. In November 1997, the MSC Carla broke in two off the Azores during a journey from Le Havre to Boston. MSC have remained silent with regards to the nature of the cargo, and it was three days after the accident that the French Nuclear Installations Safety Directorate (DSIN) announced that three sealed radioactive sources for use in American hospitals were aboard MSC Carla; they sank with the fore section, whilst the aft section was towed to the Canary Islands.

Lire la suite

(Français) Incendies en Russie

1 Aug 2012

Only in French.

Lire la suite

In Tomsk, the Forbidden City

26 Jun 2012

In Tomsk, the Forbidden City

In April 2012, a delegation from the High Commission for Transparency and Information on Nuclear Security accepted the Russian authorities invitation to the forbidden city of Seversk. In fact, Seversk (the northern city) has only had this name for a few years. Its real name is Tomsk-7, the city and atomic complex of architects, scientists, and Stalin’s military. In this high place of the Cold War, the French delegation received a warm and scrutinizing welcome.

Lire la suite

Freezing. Will they hold out?

10 Feb 2012

Freezing. Will they hold out?

Long periods of climatic cooling were dismissed by EDF (Electricity of France) and other managers of nuclear installations of Complimentary Evaluations of Safety post-Fukushima.

Lire la suite

Plutonium for Martians

24 Nov 2011

Whatever life forms are on planet Mars, they will have to deal with plutonium-238 produced by American atomic research labs if the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission succeeds. The launch is scheduled for Saturday, November 26th from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The plutonium-based radio-isotopic generator that powers the Curiosity robot will become an out-of-commission vehicle on the Martian surface after 23 months of activity and exploration. It will leave a lot laboratory waste and its 4.6kg of 238Pu. The half-life of 238Pu is 87.7 years. 264 years after its production, it gives off another 12.5%. If Mars is the subject of colonization experimental within the next century, pioneers risk being exposed to radioactive contamination of human origin dating from 2012 or 1975 with the landing of the Viking probes. Do not forget that the surface and the atmosphere of Mars have been poisoned by at least 5 other crashed probes each powered by a plutonium battery amounting to hundreds of grams.

Lire la suite