Monday, March 14, 2011

Japanese Fuel-Cooling Pools Poses Nuclear Threat -

This is the real radiation problem.


pools, which sit on the top level of the reactor buildings and keep spent fuel submerged in water, have lost their cooling systems and the Japanese have been unable to take emergency steps because of the multiplying crises.

The threat is that the hot fuel will boil away the cooling water and catch fire, spreading radioactive materials far and wide in dangerous clouds.

The good news is that the Japanese have a relatively long time to deal with the problem.


bad news is that if efforts to deal with the emergency fail, the results could be worse.

Japanese Fuel-Cooling Pools Poses Nuclear Threat -

Japan Faces Prospect of Nuclear Catastrophe as Workers Leave Plant -


TOKYO — Japan faced the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear accident Tuesday morning, as an explosion at the most crippled of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station damaged its crucial steel containment structure, emergency workers were withdrawn from the plant, and much larger emissions of radioactive materials appeared immiment, according to official statements and industry executives informed about the developments.

Japanese Prime Minsiter Naoto Kan made a televised address to the nation at 11 a.m. Tokyo time to discuss the latest developments in the crisis.

The sharp deterioration came after government officials said the containment structure of the No. 2 reactor, the most seriously damaged of three reactors at the Daichi plant, had suffered damage during an explosion shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

They initially suggested that the damage was limited and that emergency operations aimed at cooling the nuclear fuel at three stricken reactors with seawater would continue. But industry executives said that in fact the situation had spiraled out of control and that all plant workers needed to leave the plant to avoid excessive exposure to radioactive leaks.

No. 4 is currently burning and we assume radiation is being released. We are trying to put out the fire and cool down the reactor,” the chief government spokesman, Yukio Edano, told a televised press conference. “There were no fuel rods in the reactor, but spent fuel rods are inside.”

It’s way past Three Mile Island already,” said Frank von Hippel, a physicist and professor at Princeton. “The biggest risk now is that the core really melts down and you have a steam explosion.”

Click on the following:  Japan Faces Prospect of Nuclear Catastrophe as Workers Leave Plant -

Belvidere Could Redo Liquor License Fees

The following is taken from the March 11, 2011 Boone County Journal which is available free at merchants across the county or on line at:

City Could Redo Liquor License Fees
By James Middleton
Belvidere Alderman Robert Bowley (Ward 2) has set
forth, with the support of his colleague on the Belvidere City
Council, Alderman Ray Pendzinski (Ward 4), to revise the
current liquor license application fee schedule. The purpose,
according to the aldermen, is to enhance commercial
development in the city’s downtown business district. Over
the last couple years, two entrepreneurs have tried to create
full-service restaurants in the downtown area, but each has
failed. One sought to create a dining establishment, and the
city agreed to allow him to pay the $20,000 liquor license
application fee over a contract schedule, but the entrepreneur
chose to site his establishment elsewhere.
In both instances, part of the reason given for the
failure of their effort to open their dining establishments in
Belvidere was the $20,000 liquor license application fee.
Mr. Bowley advanced his thoughts in a memorandum
delivered to his City Council colleagues on February 18. In
the document he reasoned why the fees should be altered
and, in some cases, reduced. Before he stated his suggested
fee changes, he reminded his colleagues, “Back in May of
2010, I wrote out my thoughts on repealed Ordinance #751-
G, the downtown business district redevelopment.”
Mr. Bowley referred to the former façade redevelopment
grant program that was repealed last year due to more than
two years in which the city did not fund the program. Mr.
Bowley and Mr. Pendzinski have expressed their belief that
the loss of the façade redevelopment program and the cost
of the liquor license application contributed to the lack of
downtown redevelopment.
For years aldermen and Belvidere Mayor Frederic
Brereton have supported the idea that the downtown district
should be revitalized. As recent as the February 2011 budget
retreat Mayor Brereton repeated he and the City Council
were committed to redeveloping the downtown district but
were also in need of ideas how to accomplish that goal.
In Monday’s City Council meeting, Aldermen Michael
Chamberlain (Ward 3), chairman of the city Finance
Committee, presented a number of motions that emerged
from a previous Committee of the Whole meeting. Item
“H” of his list identified, “Motion to direct the city attorney
to review and rewrite the city liquor license ordinance using
Alderman Bowley’s memo dated February 18, 2011.” After
Mr. Chamberlain read the item, and a second to the motion
was received, no discussion followed. The only words came
from the mayor who said, “We have an additional memo
from Alderman Pendzinski.”
A vote approved the motion to have City Attorney
Michael Drella be instructed to perform a review and rewrite
of the existing liquor license ordinance governing the fee
for that an application. The city attorney indicated after the

meeting that he would perform his review and evaluation
and deliver a result in a future meeting.
In the memo from Mr. Bowley, he proposed that a tavern
license remain at $20,000, with an annual renewal fee of
$1,400. He also proposed that a food-serving liquor license,
such as what would apply to a restaurant, should be reduced
to $10,000, with an annual renewal fee of $700. A wine
and beer license for a restaurant without full liquor service,
according to Mr. Bowley, would be reduced to $5,000, with
an annual renewal of $500.
Mr. Bowley also proposed in his memo, “The Sunday
endorsement would stay the same as current fee or $350
annually.” He further suggested “The catering endorsement
would stay the same as current fee or $200 annually,” and,
“The definition of a ‘restaurant’ and the percentage of food
sales to qualify as a restaurant needs to be determined.”
Mr. Pendzinski offered thanks in his memo for Mr.
Bowley’s ideas. Mr. Pendzinski wrote, “I am sure no one
would argue the fact that Belvidere’s application fee is the
highest in the area, possibly the entire state. The only thing
such a high fee does is to encourage businesses to look
outside of our community.”
Mr. Pendzinski also wrote, “Even if the fee that was
suggested (by Mr. Bowley) was reduced by 50 percent,
we would still be the highest. If we were reduced by 75
percent we would be more in line with the area standards.”
He summarized, “This proposal (that of Mr. Bowley) would
keep our money right here.”
The result of the motion offered in the Monday City
Council meeting was for a voice vote of approval after
no discussion. The city attorney will review and rewrite
the existing liquor license application fee ordinance to
correspond to what Mr. Bowley had presented in his memo.
The result of this review is expected to arrive to the full City
Council in an upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting
when a potential new ordinance could be debated.

3rd Blast Strikes Japan Nuclear Plant as Workers Struggle to Cool Reactor -


was not immediately clear if the blast was caused by the buildup of hydrogen, as occurred at the two other reactors at Daiichi

new blast came after emergency operations to pump seawater into the same reactor temporarily failed, leaving the nuclear fuel in that reactor dangerously exposed late Monday into early Tuesday morning.

Click on the following for the complete story:  3rd Blast Strikes Japan Nuclear Plant as Workers Struggle to Cool Reactor -

La Crosse [WI] Diocese fraud suit moves ahead

fraud lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of La Crosse that claims child sexual abuse four decades ago moved forward today.

Brenda Varga, now 48, met the late Rev. Raymond Bornbach in 1971 when her family attended a wedding at his church, according to the complaint. He later visited her, bringing the third-grader gifts and taking her to his house, where Varga said he molested her on and off for a year until Bornbach’s housekeeper caught him in a bedroom with her.

Varga’s suit claims then-Bishop Frederick Freking knew Bornbach had a proclivity for young girls when he was assigned in 1968 to St. Michael’s Parish in Hewitt, Wis.

Click on the following for more details: Diocese fraud suit moves ahead

Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As we begin this holy season of Lent, my hope is all of us can focus on our spiritual life and increase our individual attention to our prayer life. I have posted a short message for Lent on our archdiocesan website

During this time, I also want to keep my promise of sharing with you information about progress in our bankruptcy case, so I am writing to give you an update about some recent developments.

You’ll remember that our goals in filing for reorganization were to continue our outreach to victims/survivors, as well as continue to work toward resolution for those who have been harmed. Today our attorneys filed two motions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to do just that. These motions will protect the interests of victims/survivors of clergy sex abuse as we go through this challenging process.

In a bankruptcy, the court must approve any expenditure that falls outside normal operating expenses, so one of the motions asks the judge to allow the archdiocese to continue paying for psychological counseling and therapy for those who have requested it. The archdiocese has been providing therapy for victims/survivors since the 1990s and, in recent years, we have been paying just over $70,000 a year to provide this support. We want to continue this outreach to those who benefit from it as part of the ministry of the Church.

This motion also asks the judge for permission to continue making installment payments to victims/survivors as promised in settlement agreements that were reached through the independent mediation process we established in 2004. While final payments have been made to 170 individuals, $702,000 is still owed to 22 others. Of that total, $311,000 is owed this year. Those individuals rely and depend upon those monies and it would seem just that the payments continue without undue interruption.

The last part of this motion asks permission to finalize settlements in two cases that were initiated by individuals prior to the Chapter 11 filing. Any monetary settlements would need to be approved by the court, but it seems fair that those who began to finalize their resolution with the archdiocese be allowed to bring that to completion.

In working with victims/survivors, the archdiocese has pledged to maintain privacy for those involved. Though individuals are free to publicly identify themselves as victims/survivors, most choose not to disclose this information, sometimes even to their families. The second motion seeks to ensure this privacy so identities can remain confidential if they so desire. To do this, we are asking the court to establish special procedures for delivering official notices to victims/survivors who are involved in the bankruptcy proceedings. These procedures would keep the names of victims/survivors off the list of its creditors and deliver bankruptcy-related official notices to them through their attorneys or other intermediaries.

These motions reflect our desire to honor our existing commitments to those who have been harmed and prevent any additional hurt to victims/survivors and their families.

Please join me in praying for all victims/survivors, for a just resolution of this bankruptcy proceeding, and for brighter days ahead for our Church.

A blessed Lent!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee

William Tucker: Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl -


What the Japanese earthquake has proved is that even the oldest containment structures can withstand the impact of one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history. The problem has been with the electrical pumps required to operate the cooling system. It would be tragic if the result of the Japanese accident were to prevent development of Generation III reactors, which eliminate this design flaw.

Click on the following to read the complete editorial:  William Tucker: Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl -