When asked what were the major differences between the yakuza and TEPCO the same Senator paused for a minute. “The primary difference between TEPCO and the yakuza is they have different corporate logos.” He explained, “They both are essentially criminal organizations that place profits above the safety and welfare of the residents where they operate; they both exploit their workers
The Yakuza and the Nuclear Mafia: Nationalization Looms for TEPCO Atlantic Wire, JAKE ADELSTEIN, 31 Dec 11, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the monolithic corporation that controls all electric power in Greater Tokyo, and runs the Fukushima Daichii nuclear plant that experienced a triple meltdown following the March 11 earthquake, is on the brink of nationalization according to Japanese government sources.
The official reason is that the firm may not be able to handle the massive compensation payments it owes to victims of the meltdown without going bankrupt.
Unofficially, the firm has such long-standing ties to anti-social forces, including the yakuza—that some members of the Diet, Japan’s national legislature, feel the firm is beyond salvation and needs to be taken over and cleaned up. A Japanese Senator with the Liberal Democratic Party stated on background, “TEPCO’s involvement with anti-social forces and their inability to filter them out of the work-place is a national security issue. It is one reason that increasingly in the Diet we are talking de facto nationalization of the company. Nuclear energy shouldn’t be in the hands of the yakuza. They’re gamblers and an intelligent person doesn’t want them to have atomic dice to play with.”
In June we reported that yakuza were working at the Fukushima nuclear power plant as cleanup crews and manual labor, but the post-meltdown yakuza ties were only the tip of the iceberg. This month, a new book was published, Yakuza and The Nuclear Industry: Diary of An Undercover Reporter Working at the Fukushima Plant (ヤクザと原発-福島第一潜入記-鈴木-智彦) in which a former yakuza fan magazine editor Tomohiko Suzuki reports on the nuclear business-industrial-political and media complex in Japan known as the “nuclear mafia” and Japan’s actual mafia: the yakuza. The book is already generating controversy and renewed examination of Japan’s “dark empire” and its ties to the underworld. It presents more solid pieces of evidence that Japan’s nuclear industry is a black hole of criminal malfeasance, incompetence, and corruption. Read more »
open nuclear war between Israel and Iran is very unlikely. Israel knows that the consequences would be grave and in Iran’s case, the regime knows that it would result in their demise.
Iraq’s fledgling democracy is also likely to be negatively affected by war with Iran. And Saudi Arabia is also likely to be targeted, too. Syria may need to crackdown even more repressively on its internal protesters in order to support Iran.
there is no guarantee that an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites would eliminate all of Iran’s nuclear sites,
war with Iran is likely going to unite the people behind an unpopular government. This should be avoided.
The Standoff With Iran: Challenges and Options, Huffington Post, PAUL HEROUX , 31 Dec 11 War is said to be the result of political failure. The tense standoff with Iran is heating up again since Iran has threatened to shot down the 34-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz. 15 million barrels of oil are shipped through the Strait every day, which makes up about 1/3 of the world’s sea shipped oil. Read more »
With Israel and Washingtonkeeping open the possibility of pre-emptive strikes on Iran to stop it getting nuclear weapons, negotiations are a possible way of avoiding what analysts say would be military action that could inflame the Middle East.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the Islamic Republic is prepared to renew talks with the P5+1 group of world powers over its controversial nuclear program, the Tehran Times reported on Friday.
Speaking with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun in Tehran, Salehi said that Iran was prepared to reenter negotiations with the group made up of the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany based on the “step by step” plan proposed by Moscow in July. The plan calls for a gradual easing of sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic disclosing details about its nuclear program…..
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US President Barack Obama in July of Moscow’s “step-by-step” approach under which Iran could address questions about its nuclear program and be rewarded with a gradual easing of sanctions.
Salehi’s comments came amid increased tensions between Iran and the West, particularly the United States. Iran has threatened to close shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports. The US Fifth Fleet responded on Wednesday that it would not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a strip of water separating Oman and Iran.
Also on Thursday, the US announced that it will sell $29.4 billion in fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, in a deal the White House said would help reinforce regional security in the Gulf amid mounting tension with Iran. http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=251599
The containment vessel was never designed to withstand an earthquake. Reactor one is 40 years old, it should have been shut down ten years ago. What was the Japanese government thinking when they gave them firm permission to extend the reactor life for another ten years? And that TEPCO had the audacity to ask, should tell you how close their ties are to the Japanese government.”
TEPCO: Will Someone Turn Off the Lights?JAKE ADELSTEIN AND STEPHANIE NAKAJIMA JUN 28, 2011 “……..The meltdown began on March 11, the day a 9.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Japan. For the first day, TEPCO strongly denied any problems at the plant but by March 12, reactor one had already melted down. Each subsequent day brings more news of radiation leaking from the plant and mistakes, cover-ups, and corporate malfeasance by TEPCO. Slowly voices within and outside the Japanese government are beginning to suggest that it’s time to dismantle the company and put their nuclear plants under government supervision; books highly critical of the firmare becoming best sellers.
TEPCO has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the nation of Japan: cronyism, collusion, gentrification, corruption, weak regulation, and entropy. Despite being in the spotlight for the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, TEPCO continues to engage in questionable labor practices, and has escaped bankruptcy in closed-door meetings with politicians, and through denying culpability has shifted part of the reparations burden onto taxpayers – deeds which testify to the extent to which TEPCO still has plenty of political power, if not as much nuclear power…… Read more »
Bellona, a respected Norwegian NGO which monitors Russia‘s nuclear fleet, said the number of casualties may have been higher…..
The desolate region around Murmansk contains the biggest concentration of old nuclear reactors in the world and, since the cold war ended, has become the world’s atomic dustbin.
Russian nuclear submarine blaze injures nine after crew remain inside, Guardian UK, 31 Dec 11 President orders inquiry into fire on board vessel docked in Arctic but officials play down any fears of radiation leak
The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, has ordered an investigation after a nuclear submarine caught fire during repairs in the Arctic, injuring at least nine people. Read more »
Russia submerges nuclear submarine to douse blaze (Reuters), 31 Dec 11 – Russia said it had won the battle with a raging blaze aboard a nuclear submarine on Friday by submerging the stricken vessel at a navy shipyard after hours of dousing the flames with water from helicopters and tug boats. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/29/us-russia-submarine-fire-idUSTRE7BS0MJ20111229
the debate remains stifled. Trident was excluded from last year’s strategic defence and security review. As part of the coalition agreement, the Lib Dems were offered a Trident “value for money” review. It is little more than a fig leaf…..
Britain, meanwhile, is also collaborating with the US on plans to replace nuclear warhead components.
How many ministers are questioning the plan to replace Trident? Guardian UK, Richard Norton-Taylor, 31 Dec 11, Two-thirds of Thatcher’s cabinet were reportedly against buying Trident. Thirty years on, debate about its replacement is stifled. In 1981, two-thirds of the cabinet were opposed to Britain buying the US Trident nuclear missile system, according to the defence secretary at the time, John Nott.
The prime minister went ahead anyway, without any proper debate.
Fukushima hospitals in financial strife / Services being cut as medical facilities’ losses top 12 billion yen due to nuclear crisis Joji Takagai / Yomiuri Shimbun 31 Dec 11, FUKUSHIMA--Hospitals in Fukushima Prefecture are facing financial strain–and cutting services–due to the ongoing impact of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Read more »
New Year despair for nuclear refugees Oman Daily Observer, 31 December 2011 By Shingo Ito – AS most of Japan prepares to ring in the New Year at the end of a traumatic 2011, refugees from the country’s nuclear crisis relocated far from home say they have nothing to celebrate. All over the country families will gather for a midnight trip to a shrine, many donning traditional kimono for the centrepiece of several days of celebration during one of Japan’s most important festivals.
But for the many tens of thousands of people forced to flee when reactors at Fukushima Daiichi began spewing radiation, festivities are a long way from their thoughts. Many of the 1,000 or so refugees holed-up in a 36-storey Tokyo tower block say their mood will be altogether downbeat, after a devastating year which saw their hometowns engulfed by the worst nuclear crisis.
“I can’t say a Happy New Year this year as I don’t feel happiness,” said Yuji Takahashi, who has been in the block since April. Takahashi was one of tens of thousands of people ordered to leave their homes after the 9 magnitude earthquake of March 11 sent a huge tsunami crashing into Fukushima Daiichi…….
Japan has said decommissioning the tsunami-wrecked reactors at Fukushima could take as long as 40 years, and some areas around the plant could be uninhabitable for decades……
Many families have also already decided that the unknown health risks of returning to their homes are not worth taking. ….http://main.omanobserver.om/node/77456
China’s State Grid and BYD Launch World’s Largest Battery Energy Storage Station, Market Watch . ZHANGBEI, China, Dec 30, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — BYD and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) have finished construction on what may be the world’s largest battery energy storage station.
This large utility-scale project, located in Zhangbei, Hebei Province, combines 140 Mega-Watts of renewable energy generation (both wind & solar), 36 Mega-Watt-Hours (MWh) of energy storage and a smart power transmission system. While there are renewable generation systems of this scale in service today, there are no battery systems of this size.
The State Grid system is demonstrating a stable solution for transferring vast amounts of
renewable electricity safely to the grid on an unprecedented scale. Although BYD manufactures 1GW of solar panels annually, their role in this project was primarily providing energy storage batteries in arrays larger than a football field…. This new project with the
State Grid has outpaced other grid projects in China and, though independently designed by SGCC, is part of the national “Golden Sun” program. The first phase investment with 100MW of Wind, 40MW of Solar and 36MWh of Battery is worth over $500M USD (~3.3 Billion RMB). Read more »
The Council of Canadians is calling on the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to hold another public hearing on the matter before renewing Bruce Power’s permits to ship the nuclear waste across the Great Lakes to Sweden.
Bruce Power cannot ship nuclear waste until permit is renewed, Rabble Ca, BY EMMA LUI | DECEMBER 30, 2011 Bruce Power will not be able to ship 16 radioactive steam generators until they renew their permit with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) As of tomorrow, December 31, 2011, the Welland Canal is officially closed to all vessels, preventing Bruce Power from proceeding with the nuclear waste shipment until the spring.
Bruce Power had planned to ship 16 bus-sized radioactive steam generators from Owen Sound, through Lake Huron and Lake Erie, then along the Welland Canal and
through Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The shipment would end up in Sweden where Studsvik, the Swedish company contracted by Bruce Power, would decontaminate the waste in order to sell the scrap metal back onto consumer markets.
On February 4, 2010, Bruce Power had received the necessary CNSC permits to ship the nuclear waste to Sweden. However, the permits are only good for one year and will expire on February 3, 2012 — before the Welland Canal re-opens again for the shipping season. The Canal generally re-opens for shipping sometime in March….. Read more »
Uranium Mining Could Leave Toxic Waste in Occoquan Watershed LakeRidge-Occoquan Patch. 31 Dec 11 The Fairfax County Water Authority assesses the risks of uranium mining in Virginia.Lifting Virginia’s ban on uranium mining could open the door to toxic and radioactive waste in the Potomac and Occoquan Watersheds, according to a recent study by the Fairfax County Water Authority.
Though mineral mining occurs throughout the U.S. near water supplies, the study said, “Uranium mining and milling represent unique risks that require additional process controls to prevent impacts from toxic and radioactive byproducts.”…. ”uranium mining and milling activities initiated in the Potomac and/or Occoquan watersheds have the potential to increase the risk of negative impacts to Fairfax Water’s source water quality and water supply reliability.”
“A study commissioned by the Danville Regional Foundation also came out this month,” the Post article read. “It concluded that uranium mining could have economic benefits but also environmental risks.” http://lakeridge.patch.com/articles/uranium-mining-could-leave-toxic-waste-in-occoquan-watershed
Spanish nuclear power stations have accumulated an estimated 6,700 tonnes of spent fuel in cooling ponds and will run out of room to store it from 2013.
Spanish voters are generally opposed to nuclear power
Spain names site for delayed nuclear waste dump By Martin Roberts MADRID, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Spain’s incoming centre-right government named a site on Friday for a nuclear waste dump, a decision that had been long delayed by its Socialist predecessors amid protests by residents and regional authorities. Read more »
Nuke experts urge CM to tap renewable energy sources Times of India | Dec 31, 2011, MADURAI: People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has written to chief minister J Jayalalithaa to implement schemes for generation of electricity using renewable energy sources on a war footing.
“We would also like to request implementation of the distributed renewable energy system and institution of proper policies as was done for grid-connected renewable energy generation. Tamil Nadu has got a greater potential for solar energy(25-30MW per sqkm) and 300 cloud free days,” PMANE representatives said in the letter to Jayalalithaa, sent after a meeting of energy experts in Kanyakumari on Friday. Read more »
India is currently completing the development of its own Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic submarines …The 8,140-tonne vessel can fire a range of torpedoes as well as Granat cruise missiles that can be nuclear-tipped…..
Newspaper reports in India said New Delhi may end up paying as much as $900 million under the terms of the deal.
Russia hands over Nerpa nuclear sub to India (AFP) Khaleej Times, 30 December 2011 MOSCOW — Russia has handed over the nuclear-powered attack submarine Nerpa to India following more than two years of delays, a senior naval official was quoted as saying Friday.
“The signing ceremony happened yesterday at the Bolshoi Kamen ship building facility in the (Far East) Primorye region where the Nerpa is now based,” the official in the naval chief of staff told ITAR-TASS. The report said an Indian crew would sail the Akula II class craft to its home base at the end of January after receiving it on a 10-year lease, in a deal that has angered India’s arch-rival Pakistan…..
India is currently completing the development of its own Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic submarines … Read more »
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