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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

The terrorism risk of new geewhiz nuclear reactors – theme for August 14

The promoters of  the Integral Fast Reactors’ (IFRs),  Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor ( LFTR), and  Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) like to pretend that these geewhiz new schemes are quite different from the well known dirty, dangerous, and expensive nuclear power plants.

Note the way that they carefully leave out the word “nuclear” from the titles.

First of all – they depend on the whole vulnerable nuclear chain for their existence, anyway.

Target-nuclear-chain

For now, I’ll leave aside those matters of Cost, Environment, Radioactive Wastes – and just look at the much touted Safety of these supposedly different new electricity producers.

PRISM (Power Reactor Innovative Small Modular) latest manifestation of much-hyped but non-existent   IFRs: It would require converting  plutonium oxide powder into a metal alloy, with uranium and zirconium. This would be a large-scale industrial activity on its own that would create  large amount of plutonium contaminated salt waste. This  plutonium metal would be even more vulnerable to theft for making bombs than the plutonium oxide.

Smaller versions of present-day pressurized water reactors, planned to be built underground, will be hard to get to, in an emergency situation. Pebble-bed reactors- high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) run risk of cracking of their tiny fuel kernels, and of temperature rise, resulting in Chernobyl-type graphite fire.

 Thorium The risks inherent in nuclear reactors are due to the massive concentrations of radioactive materials and the huge amount of heat they produce . No matter if the fuel is based on uranium or thorium, if it’s solid or liquid.  Thorium itself can’t be used as weapons fuel – but to be used in a nuclear reactor it has to be transmuted into the fissile uranium isotope, U-233, which can be used  for nuclear weapons.

While the entire chain leading to these new, and non-existent reactors carries terrorism risks, the end result is just as vulnerable or more so . In the case of Small Modular Reactors this means not just a few targets for terrorism, but multiple targets.   That means more safety regulations, more security guarding – and then of course – more costs too. It is  a particularly vicious cycle!

 

 

 

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Christina's themes | 1 Comment

Typhoon on its way to Fukushima nuclear plant area

Once-In-A-Decade Typhoon Heads For Japan Nuclear Plant Earth Changes Media  August 22, 2014 Tokyo (AFP) – A typhoon described as the “strongest in 10 years” closed in on Japan on Wednesday, on a path that will take it towards the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Tokyo and surrounding areas were hit by violent winds and heavy rains in the early hours of Wednesday morning as Typhoon Wipha moved northeast off the coast of central Japan.

Thousands were evacuated from their homes in the neighbouring prefecture Chiba and power outages were reported.

Record rainfall of around 118.5 millimetres (4.7 inches) per hour was recorded on Izu Oshima Island, which lies in the Pacific, 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of central Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, according to Kyodo news agency.

Three homes on the island had been washed away by a swollen river, Kyodo reported, citing police.

The weather bureau warned the typhoon could make landfall in the densely populated Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, later in the morning.

Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of nearly 200 kilometres (125 miles) per hour near its centre, was moving northeast at around 55 kilometres per hour in the early hours of the morning, Kyodo said……..TEPCO bracing for impact

Japanese airlines announced the cancellation of 500 flights on Wednesday, while 30 high-speed trains and 100 other trains were cancelled, rail companies said.

Automaker Nissan said it had told employees across Kanto to stay at home for the morning to ride out the storm……

As the weather agency issued warnings of torrential rain and strong winds, the operator of the Fukushima plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said it was bracing for the storm after a series of leaks of radiation-polluted water.

“We are making preparations for proper management of contaminated water…. We will patrol places that could have inflows of water (from the storm),” a company spokesman said.

Cables and hoses have been bundled together, while ground and off-shore works have been halted, he said……..

The nuclear plant was badly damaged by the tsunami that hit in March 2011. Critics say it remains in a fragile state and at the mercy of extreme weather or other natural hazards…….http://earthchangesmedia.com/once-in-a-decade-typhoon-heads-for-japan-nuclear-plant

August 23, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Arab initiative at UN meeting will focus on Israel’s nuclear arsenal

Arab states, Israel set to clash at U.N. nuclear meeting The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb   Reuters   VIENNA: As war rages in Gaza, Arab states will likely try to heighten flag-Israeldiplomatic pressure on Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at next month’s annual meeting of the U.N. nuclear agency’s 160 member states, diplomats said Friday.

An Arab initiative to single out Israel for criticism was defeated in voting last year.

But Western diplomats opposed to the Arab move said the unresolved Gaza conflict may influence any wavering countries at this year’s debate, although there was no direct link between the issues.

“It is all about getting out the undecided vote. And it will be all about Israel widely and not about the actual nuclear issue,” one Vienna-based diplomat said.

“I would expect ongoing conflict to lead many [Arabs and any others critical of Israel] to want to lash out in any forum available.”

An Arab resolution on what it calls Israeli Nuclear Capabilities would be non-binding even if it were to be approved by the Sept. 22-26 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

However, lobbying by both sides underlines its symbolic significance as well as deep divisions.

Israel is believed to possess the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, and frequently draws condemnation from Arab countries and Iran which say that it threatens regional peace and security…….http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Aug-23/268217-arab-states-israel-set-to-clash-at-un-nuclear-meeting.ashx#axzz3BFYUb8Ga

August 23, 2014 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, politics international | Leave a comment

Scrutiny on the methods of pro Thorium Twitter trolls

A recent article analysed the illogicality, if not downright dishonesty of the climate sceptic trolls. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/8/20/policy-politics/what-i-learned-debating-science-trolls
I welcomed that article with interest, as it dissected the often quite sophisticated comments, blogs, tweets, etc of the climate denialists, most of them well and truly in the pay of vested interests in the fossil fuel industries.
The nuclear lobby is no doubt just as sophisticated. However, it has a sort of “side arsenal” of tweeters, mainly focusing on the red herring industry of thorium energy, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs and Small Modular (Nuclear) Reactors. (Note how these new geewhiz lobbyists leave out that tainted word “Nuclear” )
It’s interesting to look at their tactics – particularly on Twitter.
I am constantly the victim of Twitter trollism because I campaign against the nuclear industry. It is ironic that these trolls use climate change as their argument for nuclear power, – and accuse me constantly of being in the pay of the coal and gas companies. That’s despite the fact that I repeatedly write and publish on websites on the critical need for action to address climate change
The pro nuclear trolls use two tactics.
 The main one is to abuse and discredit their targeted person. Thus I am not only “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries, I am also a “murderer” – as well as being “stupid” “evil” ignorant” and have many other unpleasant attributes.
Their second tactic is to focus on narrowly technical matters - such as the intricacies of new (though not yet existing) Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTRs). The pretense is that this is the whole argument – the superiority of new nuclear technology. Subjects such as economics, ecology, public health, civil liberties, – these matters are “not relevant” to the discussion on nuclear power.
In fact, only people with technical expertise can have a valid opinion. (Of course if a technically qualified person should oppose nuclear power , then he or she must be “in the pay” of the fossil fuel industries).

Here are today’s samples of pro thorium tweeter tactics against critics – me, in fact. No attempt to answer the factual tweets that I posted about renewable energy versus nuclear power (My full name is Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope)
Thomas Huxley @thjr19Notice how fossil fuel shill Noel Wauchope only mentions say coal (NEVER mentioning gas) perhaps once in a dozen tweets. $$$$$$ !! #thorium

Thomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope: Please! Fossil Fuel Shill Manager: No! NW: Please! FFSM: OK, every 2nd tweet. NO MORE, hear me

Thomas Huxley @thjr19

Noel Wauchope, fossil fuel industry shill, has been told to lay off coal. How long to get permission again?!

 

August 23, 2014 Posted by | Christina's notes, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Wind energy shown to be much more scalable than nuclear energy.

wind-nuclear-Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy? Forbes, 22 Aug 14 Answer by Mike Barnard, Senior Fellow – Wind, E&PI,on Quora, 

 Summary: Empirically, wind energy is much more scalable than nuclear energy.

China is the true experiment for maximum scalability of nuclear vs wind. It has a tremendous gap between demand and generation. It can mostly ignore democracy and social license for nuclear. It is building both wind and nuclear as rapidly as possible. It has been on a crash course for both for about the same period of time. It has bypassed most of the regulatory red tape for nuclear.
So how is it doing?

  • China turned on just over 16 GW of nameplate capacity of wind generation in 2013 according to the Global Wind Energy Council.
  • Over the four years of 2010 to 2014, China managed to put 4.7 GW of nuclear intooperation at the Qinshan Phase II, Ling Ao Phase II, Ningde, Hongyanhe and Yangjiang plants. This is not their stated plans for nuclear, which had them building almost double this in 2013 alone and around 28 GW by 2015, but the actual plants put into production. The variance between the nuclear roadmap and nuclear reality in China is following the trajectory of nuclear buildout worldwide: delays, cost overruns, and unmet expectations.
  • Modern wind turbines have a median 40.35% capacity factor and exceed 50% in the best wind resources according to the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) who track the actuals on this sort of thing.
  • Taking similarly sourced numbers for nuclear capacity factor from the Nuclear Energy Institute, we see 90.9% capacity factors for nuclear reactors. These are apples-to-apples statistics from the same country.

Running the math, that’s about 6.5 GW of real capacity of wind energy in one year vs 4.3 GW of real capacity for nuclear over four years. That’s roughly six times more real wind energy capacity than nuclear per year. 2014 might be better than average as perhaps 2 GW have been made operational this year. We’ll see what reality brings as wind energy is being expanded rapidly as well. So far nuclear is losing the race badly.

No other geography is capable of building as much nuclear per capita as China is. In the most pro-nuclear geography in the world with the most relaxed regulatory regime, the nuclear industry is being outstripped by the wind industry…………http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/08/22/which-is-more-scalable-nuclear-energy-or-wind-energy/

August 23, 2014 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Should Japan take the nuclear power risk again?

Fukushima-aerial-viewShould Japan restart its nuclear reactors? Cyprus Mail, 22 Aug 14, By Arnie Gundersen Only luck and real courage at 14 nuclear reactors on Japan’s Pacific coast overcame the technical failures of nuclear power and prevented the nation from being destroyed by radiation.

The untold story of March 11, 2011 is how close Japan came to three more spent fuel pool fires at Fukushima Daiichi and four meltdowns at Fukushima Daini.

When the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific coast caused a seismic shock wave that reverberated throughout northern Japan, the country’s nuclear plants shut down automatically, as planned, preventing any further nuclear chain reactions.

Therein lies nuclear power’s fatal flaw, because an automatic shutdown does not stop the ongoing heat generated inside each nuclear reactor.

When uranium atoms split (a process called fission), they release tremendous energy, as well as rubble. Even when the chain reaction stops, the highly radioactive rubble emits decay heat that continues for years. Automatic shutdown simply means that no new nuclear fissions will occur……..

When the tsunami struck, the cooling equipment along the shoreline was turned into a scrap yard of twisted metal. Even if they had not been flooded, without operational shoreline pumps, the emergency diesel generators were doomed to fail, making it impossible to cool the nuclear core. In truth, the utter destruction of the shoreline pumps caused the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi.

The tsunami also wrecked cooling pumps at eight other reactors located at Fukushima Daini, Onagawa, and Tokai.

Twenty-four of the 37 emergency diesel generators located at four separate nuclear power sites, which contained a total of 14 nuclear reactors, failed during the tsunami. Of the 24 diesel generators that failed, only nine failures were due to flooding (eight at Fukushima Daiichi and one at Fukushima Daini). The other 15 diesel generators were not flooded, but were disabled when the tsunami wrecked their shoreline cooling pumps.

The situation in Japan was dire when the sun set on March 11, 2011. At Fukushima Daiichi, three reactors were melting down and three spent fuel pools were at risk of catching fire because they could not be cooled. Conditions were also worsening at Fukushima Daini’s four reactors.

It was good fortune and extreme courage that saved Japan and its people from a more tragic catastrophe………

If the earthquake and tsunami had begun at night, only 200 employees would have been working at these plants. With roads and bridges destroyed, none of the necessary staff would have been able to return to work.

Now, more than three years after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, shoreline cooling pumps throughout the world – including in Japan – remain unprotected from flooding or terrorist attacks.

Japan is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Is reopening its nuclear plants worth the risk to its people and their homeland?

The simultaneous technological failure at 14 nuclear reactors due to a single natural phenomenon clearly shows that the nuclear engineers who envisioned and designed nuclear power failed to expect the unexpected.

Unfortunately, the nuclear industry continues to push its message that nuclear power can be made safer. Fukushima, and before it Chernobyl, shows us that nuclear technology will always be able to destroy the fabric of a country in the blink of an eye. http://cyprus-mail.com/2014/08/22/should-japan-restart-its-nuclear-reactors/

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Catastrophic Risk if Nuclear Regulatory Commission relaxes waste safety rules

any-fool-would-know

 

 

that they should just stop making the stuff!

 

Ruling on Nuclear Waste Storage Could Create a “Catastrophic Risk” Regulators may let companies store radioactive rods in on-site pools for up to 120 years. Mother Jones, —By  Fri Aug. 22, 2014 Strict safety controls sought by environmental groups for the storage of radioactive waste at dozens of nuclear power plants may fall to the wayside under a rule that’s expected be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission next week. According to a congressional source who does not wish to be identified, the NRC is rushing to vote on the rule before the September retirement of Commissioner William Magwood, an ally of the nuclear power industry.

Waste-Confidence-Rule

nuclear-cooling-pondThe rule would establish that the environmental risks of storing spent fuel in pools of water at reactor sites for extended periods are negligible and for the most part don’t need to be studied as part of the licensing requirements for nuclear power plants.

But critics of the rule say that the NRC is blatantly ignoring its own research, which shows that the practice could lead to serious disasters: “You will have all the waste sitting, basically, in a giant swimming pool,” the source says, “and the potential of the swimming pool draining or being breached by an accident or an attack or a power loss that causes the water to boil off—all of those things would have impacts that the NRC’s own analysis says would equal that of a meltdown of the reactor core.”

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Existing nuclear plants are designed to store spent fuel for no more than a few years but have accumulated large stockpiles of it due to repeated delays in plans to build a permanent repository  in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. In 2010, the Obama administration canceled the $15 billion Yucca project, raising the distinct possibility that a single geologic waste storage site may never be built. In 2012, the Natural Resources Defense Council successfully sued to force the NRC to stop licensing nuclear reactors until the commission conducted an environmental impact study on the long-term risks posed by on-site waste—including the possibility that those temporary storage sites will become permanent. The completed study, along with the new rule, is expected to be approved by the NRC on Tuesday, over the strong objections of environmental groups.

The NRC rule would pave the way for nuclear waste to be stored in open cooling pools at reactor sites for up to 120 years—and up to 60 years after a reactor is decommissioned. Environmental groups say that’s way too long. “The pools are a catastrophic risk,” says Kevin Kamps, the radioactive-waste watchdog for a group called Beyond Nuclear. Many pools are holding up to four times as many spent rods as intended. Packing so many rods into the pools dramatically increases the risk of a fire should a leak cause the cooling water to drain. A 2013 NRC study found that a pool fire could contaminate 9,400 square miles and displace 4 million Americans from their homes for years.

The NRC’s assumption that operators will guard and maintain their waste for decades after their plants are decommissioned is laughable to many enviros. In comments submitted to the NRC last December, the NRDC pointed to “the sad history” of managing hazardous waste in America, which often involves commercial operations going bankrupt and saddling taxpayers with the cleanup.

Even at operable nuclear plants, about a dozen waste storage pools are known to be leaking, including one at New York’s Indian Point reactor, which is discharging radioactive water into the Hudson River. To minimize the risk of disaster, environmental groups want the industry to immediately move its waste into thick concrete-and-steel dry casks at a cost of roughly $7 billion. But in a 4-1 vote earlier this year, the NRC ruled that this wouldn’t be cost-effective…….

Environmental groups hope the new commission will break with its industry-friendly past. “The industry crawls all over that place in terms of lobbying,” Kamps told me. “They own that place.” http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/08/nuclear-regulatory-commission-radioactive-waste-magwood

 

August 22, 2014 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Australia should wean other countries onto renewables and off nuclear power says former PM of Japan

Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan urges Australia to wean world off uranium, focus on renewables http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-22/move-towards-renewables-former-japanese-pm-tells-australia/5691118 By Kate Wild and Xavier La Canna  

Japan’s prime minister during the Fukushima disaster says Australia should be trying to wean other countries away from nuclear power, not increase exports of uranium.

Naoto Kan, who was prime minister from June 2010 to August 2011 is in Australia to lobby for a greater use of renewable energy sources.

He said the world was moving away from nuclear power, and Australia should not get in the way of that.

“Rather than looking at making contributions through exporting and making it more possible for more countries to be relying on nuclear power, all countries including Australia should be making efforts to do what can be done to reduce such dependence on nuclear power,” Mr Kan said.

“I hope that Australia can be exporting not uranium or coal for example, but electricity created through renewable sources,” he said.

When he was Japanese PM, representing the Democratic party of Japan, a tsunami caused a nuclear incident in which three nuclear reactors melted down at the Fukushima nuclear power plant and forced widespread evacuations.

“We were very close to the scenario of having to evacuate people in a 250 kilometre radius,” he said.

“This would have included also Tokyo, which would mean 40 per cent of the entire Japanese population – close to 50 million people.”

His party initiated policies to see nuclear power phased out in Japan by the 2030s, but this policy was overturned by the Liberal Democratic Power, which regained office in 2012.

Australia is thought to have the world’s largest uranium resources, and mines exist in the Northern Territory and South Australia, while Queensland recently lifted a 30-year ban on uranium mining.

Western Australia is also looking to develop its uranium industry.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will soon travel to India to finalise a deal for Australia to sell uranium to their energy-hungry economy for the first time.

August 22, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New nuclear generation is limited to China and India – and even then …

Which Is More Scalable, Nuclear Energy Or Wind Energy? Forbes, 22 Aug 14 Answer by Mike Barnard, Senior Fellow – Wind, E&PI,on Quora, “………… India is often touted as another great country for buildout of nuclear.  Its track record is worse than China’s; it only has a total of 4.2 GW of nuclear generation capacity in operation after decades meanwhile it built 1.7 GW of wind energy in 2013 alone.

Unlike nuclear power, most countries are perfectly capable of building wind farms and are doing just that, with utility-scale wind generation in 100 states globally so far. For the past five years, wind energy has averaged 40 GW of new operational nameplate capacity according to GWEC or 16 GW of median capacity and that is expected to grow.

Meanwhile, globally nuclear capacity has diminished and is expected to continue to diminish for the next several years as France shuts off 33% of its fleet in favour of mostly wind energy, Germany shuts off its fleet entirely,Ontario intends to move from 55% to 42% supply from nuclear according to its draft long term energy plan and aging reactors globally reach end-of-life with no economic refurbishment possible. Japan will be able to restart at most a third of the reactors it shut down after Fukushima according to knowledgeable sources.

In empirical terms, it doesn’t matter what anybody claims is theoretically possible: wind energy is growing rapidly while nuclear is going backwards. That’s reality……..

Pragmatic reality limits nuclear generation growth mostly to China and India because they both are existing nuclear powers and both have vast disparity between demand and supply so will pay a premium for expensive nuclear energy. Similarly, refurbishing reactors in the developed world often makes economic sense. But there are a lot of other factors also hindering nuclear growth that don’t apply to renewables. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2014/08/22/which-is-more-scalable-nuclear-energy-or-wind-energy/

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan thyroid cancer children – crimes against humanity – Tokyo Press Conference

highly-recommendedTokyo Press Conference: Gov’t is committing crimes against humanity; Fukushima children living in war zone and can’t leave — Childhood cancer developing much faster than Chernobyl; Rate now 14 times higher — Parent: “I’m revealing the reality of what’s going on… it’s only way to get rid of the criminals” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/tokyo-press-conference-officials-committing-crimes-against-humanity-fukushima-children-living-war-zone-evacuate-childhood-cancer-developing-faster-chernobyl-rate-14-times-higher-parent-im-reveal?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=e

Press Conference at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, August 18, 2014:

Toshio Yanagihara, attorney representing Fukushima children and their parents

  • 5:00 — Thyroid cases after Chernobyl in Belarus — comparing that with the present situation in Fukushima, [here] there’s 14 times [the rate] of children with thyroid cancer.
  • 6:00 — Fukushima prefecture’s announced that the massive number of thorough screenings [is the reason why there's] more numbers of people with cancer — but we found that doubtful. In Fukushima prefecture, the west part of Fukushima compared to those areas that are closer to the nuclear power plant, there are about ¼ or even 1/5 the people who are found with thyroid cancer.
  • 7:00 — June 10th of this year, the Fukushima committee in charge of researching thyroid cancer admitted for the first time that the suspicion of malignancy is due to the lymph node metastasis. This is the common thing that was found after the Chernobyl accident.
  • 8:00 — In Fukushima right now, we see that the number of the children found with thyroid cancer — and the scale of this catastrophe is ongoing — it is going much faster than it was in the Ukraine after Chernobyl.
  • 11:45 — The announcement from the Sendai high court from April 2013 that the Fukushima children’s lives are threatened… this didn’t cause Fukushima or the Japanese government to help provide support.
  • 16:15 — We emphasis that the Japanese government is discriminating against the Fukushima children, and in the international [court], we can say this is a crime against humanity. This is Japan’s most important and most criminal human problem that we’re facing right now.
  • 17:15 — Fukushima is a war zone, and children have a right to be evacuated to a safer place… In Japan, this present situation is the most harsh child-rearing situation in the world.
  • 19:15 — They’re supposed to support and evacuate children from Fukushima during this war zone… It must be argued at the international court that this is a crime against humanity. We would like to take this case to the International Criminal Court, and we’re preparing for that.

Katsumi Hasegawa, parent of two young children who evacuated from Koriyama (60km from Daiichi)

  • 22:45 — We currently live in Shizouka prefecture where we evacuated to in August 2011 — my pregnant wife and 5 year-old son… Why did the Japanese government contain us in the no-go zone 20 or 30 km radius, while many foreign countries had told residents within 80 km from Fukushima Daiichi to evacuate?
  • 35:00 – I’m a parent of children, and I’m an adult whose living at the time of this accident — this era. I would like to reveal the reality of what is going on. And I would like to do my best, even if I’m starting right now, I would like to do my best. That is my responsibility, and that is the only way to get rid of the criminals — and irresponsibility that we have committed already… Even though raising my voice is hard, I know that there are things that we need to do. Thank you.
  • 36:30 — Lucy Birmingham, FCCJ president: Thank you so much. OK… wow.

Watch the press conference and Q&A here

August 22, 2014 Posted by | children, Japan | Leave a comment

Belgium’s closed nuclear reactors may remain shut

Nuclear Shutdowns Leave Belgium Looking for Power Closure of Three Nuclear Power Plants  WSJ By  VANESSA MOCK  21 Aug 14,  BRUSSELS—Belgian authorities are racing to map out emergency plans in case of a severe energy crunch this winter. The country could face energy shortfalls in the depths of winter after the sudden closure of three major nuclear power plants over the past months.

Two nuclear reactors, Doel 3 and Tihange 2, were closed in May after cracks appeared in the steel reactor casings, and another large plant, Doel 4, closed down on Aug. 5, after an oil leak which its French parent company GDF Suez GSZ.FR +0.38% said was due to sabotage.

The incidents mean that all three plants are likely to remain out of action until the end of the year, depriving Belgium of more than half its nuclear capacity.

Belgium’s parliament is holding a special session on Friday to discuss situation and it has commissioned the national crisis center to set out possible scenarios in case of a power shortages this winter.

If shortages look imminent, authorities would launch an appeal, urging the general public to cut down on energy use and would order some industrial firms to reduce production…….. http://online.wsj.com/articles/nuclear-shutdowns-leave-belgium-looking-for-power-1408632643

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The People’s Climate March is one month away, but you can start it now

 climate-changeRC’s Nuclear Blog August 21, 2014

Dear Friends,
The historic People’s Climate March is just one month away–September 21, 2014. And NIRS and all the other groups supporting this massive event have launched an all-out mobilizing campaign starting now.

This weekend, we ask every organization–and every individual–supporting the Nuclear Free-Carbon-Free Contingent to help get the word out about this event. Send an e-mail–or just forward this one–to everyone on your lists. Put up a notice on your websites and blogs; post on Facebook/Twitter or any other social media sites you use. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper about why you’re going to the march, or just to raise awareness of it (we’ve made this easy for you, see details below).

The March Starts Now

We’re not waiting until September 21–we’re kicking off the march now! We’re creating a photo gallery of marchers to visually tell everyone why we’re marching. And if you absolutely can’t come to New York City on September 21, this is a perfect way for you to stand and be counted……. http://rceezwhatsup.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/the-peoples-climate-march-is-one-month.html

August 22, 2014 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Propping up Japan’s nuclear industry – with guaranteed electricity prices?

scrutiny-on-costsflag-japanJapan may guarantee price for nuclear power to prop up industry TOKYO Aug 21 (Reuters) - Japan will consider guaranteeing prices for electricity generated by nuclear plants to help the country’s struggling utilities, which have lost about $35 billion in the three years since the Fukushima disaster saddled them with extra costs.

Japan’s nuclear plants are in shutdown with no schedule for restarts after the meltdown at Fukushima in 2011, leading the country’s utilities to turn to expensive fossil fuel imports.

But even if they can get their reactors running they face higher costs to meet new safety requirements just as the government is pushing through plans to allow more competition in the industry. They also face possible costs for decommissioning older units that are too costly to upgrade.

The move was floated by a trade ministry panel as an example of supporting the nuclear industry financially like Britain’s “Contracts for Difference” scheme, which guarantees nuclear operators fixed rates for power.

The panel, which is in charge of making detailed policies in line with the government’s basic energy plan, did not give a schedule for finalising the scheme.

Propping up nuclear power, promoted for decades by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party as cheap, safe and reliable, is likely to be at odds with public sentiment which has turned against atomic energy since Fukushima. If the market price of electricity falls below a pre-set level, consumers would pay the gap to the utilities, according to the British example discussed on Thursday at the panel……… http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL4N0QR1G120140821

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August 22, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Local leaders want full disclosure of testimony of Fukushima nuclear plant manager

Local leaders seek disclosure of testimony by former nuclear plant chief THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 21 Aug 14 Leaders of local governments near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant want the testimony given by the plant manager months after the accident to be disclosed.

The Asahi Shimbun ascertained that eight local leaders want full disclosure after seeking the views of the Fukushima governor and heads of 13 cities, towns and villages located within 20 kilometers of the plant and areas outside the 20-km radius where radiation levels were more than 20 millisieverts per year.

Masao Yoshida was plant chief when the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear accident.

He gave hours of testimony to the government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations, and died in July 2013 from esophageal cancer. Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, said Yoshida’s cancer was not related to radiation exposure.

The survey also revealed that five of the leaders said there would be no problem if their own interviews with the government investigation panel were made public.

After the onset of nuclear crisis, the government’s investigation panel interviewed 770 officials and others involved in the disaster.

Although the central government currently plans to publicly disclose part of those records by the end of the year, it will not release the contents of Yoshida’s interview, citing Yoshida’s request not to disclose his testimony……http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201408210044

August 22, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Life in a Fukushima world

nuclear-village-  http://asaablog.tumblr.com/post/94878108901/life-in-a-fukushima-world Asian Currents, By Adam Broinowski, 21 Aug 14   The focus of sovereign intervention in response to the nuclear meltdowns since 3/11 risks long-term consequences for short-term gains.

The meltdowns of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) since the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 (3/11) have exposed not only the dangers of nuclear power but the visibility of the power structure that supports it.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

The focus of sovereign intervention has demonstrated the major priorities of this power structure, while local responses have sought to increase public knowledge of the nuclear industry and the health dangers from radiation exposures. Given the myriad factors in play, it is useful to consider the disaster in terms of immunity.

Three main forms of immunity are applicable to the disaster. Continue reading

August 22, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Indian Uranium Corporation ordered to probe birth deformities near mines

hydrocephalus-babyThe health issue came to the attention of the High Court earlier this year after pictures of Jadugora’s deformed children appeared in the Indian press. The court in February ordered Uranium Corp. to produce documents that might shed light on the health issues. The court noted then that children living near the mines in Jadugora are “born with swollen heads, blood disorders and skeletal distortions.”

India Court Orders Uranium Corp. to Probe Deformities Near Mines Bloomberg By Rakteem Katakey and Tom Lasseter  Aug 20, 2014 India’s sole uranium mining company is being ordered by a regional court to disclose radiation levels and the presence of any heavy metals in soil and water in a cluster of villages with reports of unusual numbers of deformed and sick children.

The order by the Jharkhand High Court also mandates thatUranium Corp. of India Ltd.explain how it ensures the safety of nearby civilian populations who may be exposed to its 193-acre (78-hectare) radioactive waste dump near the village of Jadugora in eastern India.

The move comes about a month after a Bloomberg News story chronicled the plight of parents living near the Uranium Corp. mines who are seeking answers to what’s sickening and killing so many of their kids. The story also reported that local residents routinely wander the unfenced dump sites and fish and bathe in a river that receives water flowing from the dumps, known as tailings ponds. The Bloomberg article was submitted to the judges of the High Court by Ananda Sen, the lawyer appointed by the court to review the case.

Uranium Corp. has denied its mining operations have anything to do with village health issues. In 2007, a survey of more than 2,100 households by an Indian physicians group found mothers in villages 1.5 miles from the mines reported congenital deformities more than 80 percent higher than the rates just 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, with reported child death rates from such abnormalities more than five times as high.

Independent Experts

Continue reading

August 22, 2014 Posted by | children, India, Reference, Uranium | 1 Comment

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