Radiation is silent and invisible and the potential for long-term serious health effects are concepts that are difficult to grasp by the lay person. The need to educate the public could undermine the, until now, strongly projected assurance by both nuclear operators and government agencies, that nuclear power is safe…..
RECOMMENDATIONS: According to the new PSR report: “The past experience with catastrophic nuclear accidents and their frequency indicates that no country is prepared physically or financially to deal with the short and long term effects. As opposed to natural disasters, experience has shown us that nuclear catastrophes do not remain isolated but tend to become global problems affecting us all. Such preparations in the U.S. will likely be useless if a similar accident happens in countries such as North Korea, Pakistan, or other countries that have nuclear power reactors but no emergency plans. In reality, there is no cure once these events have happened; the only options are mitigation and palliation. In the absence of a cure, prevention is the only option.”
Physicians for Social Responsibility PSR Report: U.S. First Responders, Medical Infrastructure not Prepared for Fukushima-Level Reactor Crisis in the United States Market Watch, WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 – One Year After Japanese Disaster, Little or No Movement Seen in U.S. to Improve Response Capability; Complicating Factors: Growing Population Near Nuclear Sites, Aging Reactors & Lack of Gov’t Coordination.
One year after the Fukushima reactor crisis in Japan, no meaningful progress has been achieved in improving the ability of first responders and medical professionals to react to a disaster on a similar scale in the United States, according to a major new report from Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). Read more »
“Today we are witnessing an exploding epidemic of cancer cases,” … “Cancers, birth anomalies and other radiogenic diseases make a compelling argument for the United States to reopen the nuclear issue,”
RMI CRITICIZES U.S. OVER NUCLEAR COMPENSATION PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West CenterWith Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i
‘Exploding epidemic of cancer cases,’ $2 billion in unpaid claims
By Giff Johnson SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, March 6, 2012) – Marshall Islanders accused the United States government of refusing to provide adequate nuclear test compensation on the 58th anniversary of the largest American hydrogen bomb test that exposed thousands of islanders to radioactive fallout. Read more »
The committee, known as UNSCEAR, will publish a report in May 2013 that aims to give an analysis of radiation dosages among citizens and forecast health risks in the coming decades
Children Wait for UN Radiation Study After Fukushima Crisis, Bloomberg By Yuriy Humber and Tsuyoshi Inajima March 05, 2012 As five-year-olds charge through the corridors of a kindergarten in northeast Japan at lunchtime, teacher Junko Kamada says she is still unsure if their food is safe a year after the Fukushima nuclear accident.
Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima plant, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the Sakuragi Hanazono kindergarten in Tagajo city, parents of the 198 children have been seeking assurances that the school lunches are free of radiation…..
wait at least another 14 months for a unified view on food contamination when the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation issues the first global and independent assessment of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Read more »
Fault under Tsuruga nuclear plant could trigger M7.4 quake: research TOKYO Mainichi Daily News, 6 March 12, (Kyodo) — An active fault running under the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture is at least 35 kilometers long and could trigger an earthquake with a magnitude of around 7.4, much higher than previously anticipated, a team of government-affiliated researchers said Monday. Read more »
Radiation is still venting into the air around Fukushima.
Noda says the entire Japanese establishment had been taken in by the “myth of safety” and it’s all a do-over. At the same time, that establishment also propagated the now laughable argument that nuclear power is clean, safe and cheap…..
Most Japanese don’t want a nuclear future, yet they’re being strong-armed into submission. If that’s not a crime, I’m not sure what is
Pesek: Japan Nuclear Mobsters Don’t Share Pain, Bloomberg, By William Pesek Mar 6, 2012 A year after an earthquake in Japan (JGDPAGDP) touched off the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, here’s the question on my mind: Who’s going to jail? The news media are asking the obvious and safe questions ahead of March 11: How well did the government respond? Whither the devastated northeast? What’s the economic effect? When might the 52 of 54 nuclear reactors mothballed since then reopen?
This barrage of “anniversary” articles misses the point. Read more »
World Powers Agree to Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran, NYT, By NICHOLAS KULISH and JAMES KANTER , March 6, 2012 BERLIN — For the first time in more than a year the global powers dealing with Iran ’s disputed nuclear program said Tuesday that they would resume face-to-face negotiations. “I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue,” said Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran. “We hope that Iran will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress.”…..
Fears of a pre-emptive Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities have driven up oil prices and represent a threat to the already fragile state of a global economy still reeling from a sovereign debt crisis in Europe . At the same time, the Iranians have acutely felt the squeeze from sanctions aimed at pressing the government to freeze its uranium enrichment program.
The resumed talks represent a significant step forward, because all six parties agreed to participate……
UK’s nuclear weapons in the frame, Guardian UK Richard Norton Taylor and Nick Hopkins, 6 Mar 12, LibDems question future of Trident Debate building up in coalition over deterrent Pressure on defence budget remains There are signs, like green shoots heralding spring, that the last taboo of British politics is breaking.
Liberal Democrats are finally gearing themselves up seriously to question the Conservative attachment to Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons system and commitment to replace it with a “like for like” fleet of ballistic missile submarines.
Trident – the ultimate strategic weapon – was excluded from the coalition government’s “strategic defence and security review” last autumn.
And judging from the “shadow defence review” consultation paper, just launched, there is no difference at all between Labour and Conservatives on the matter…..
Now, the thinktank CentreForum – independent but linked to the LibDems – says the plans to build a new Trident system are “nonsensical” and should be scrapped. As my colleague, Nick Hopkins, notes, the 60-page study, Dropping the Bomb: A Post-Trident Future, is believed to reflect the views of many senior Lib Dems who are trying to force a debate on whether the UK still needs a nuclear deterrent.
The report says the government is sleepwalking into taking a costly and illogical decision at a time the army, navy, and air force are being squeezed by budget cuts. The cost of a new fleet of Trident submarines alone is officially estimated at £25bn. Interestingly, the report’s author, Toby Fenwick, is a former Treasury official. BAE Systems, manufacturer of the Trident subs, is listed on CentreForum’s website, as one of the thinktank’s “corporate partners”.
In his memoirs, A Journey, Tony Blair described Trident’s expense as “huge” and its military use as a weapon “non-existent”….
Mixed Greens: Offshore wind for Fukushima REnew economy, By Sophie Vorrath 7 March 2012 Almost one year after an earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima and sent three out of six of its nuclear reactors into meltdown, the Japanese government has announced plans to install two Mitsubishi Heavy 7MW turbines, and a 2MW turbine made by Fuji Heavy, at a floating wind farm off the coast of the devastated prefecture. Recharge News reports that the estimated ¥12.5 billion project is part of a government plan to kick-start the country’s offshore wind sector and rejuvenate the Fukushima region. Tokyo has flagged plans to install 1GW of offshore wind power in the Fukushima region, and Japan’s Wind Power Association estimates potential for 519GW of floating offshore wind capacity in Japan. “The Tokyo area has good potential for offshore. It’s easy to get grid connections. The Fukushima nuclear power plants will never operate again so there’s a vacant grid line there,” says Yoshinori Ueda, assistant general manager at MHI.
The floating wind farm will be located between 20-40km offshore, where ocean depths range from 100-150 metres, the average wind speed is more than 7-metres per second and wave heights are 10-15 metres. It will be built by a consortium including Japanese trading house Marubeni, MHI, Mitsubishi Corp, IHI Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel, Hitachi, Furukawa Electric and Shimizu; with consultation from the University of Tokyo and Mizuho Information & Research Institute. The first phase of the project, due to be completed by March 2013, will see the installation one of Fuji Heavy’s Subaru80 2MW turbines with a four-column, semi-submarine type floater and a 66kV floating offshore substation. In the second phase, from 2013-15, Mitsubishi Heavy will install two of its new 7MW turbines, with a three-column, semi-submarine type floater.
Mitsubishi Heavy’s 7MW turbine, known as the ‘SeaAngel’ and developed with about ¥5 billion in backing from the Japanese government, uses a hydraulic transmission system to eliminate the need for a gearbox. The first prototype is set to be installed onshore in the UK next year, ahead of the Fukushima offshore project….
Reuters report on mining conference in Canada Mar 6, 2012 By Euan Rocha TORONTO, March 6 - The Anglo-Australia mining giant, which already operates an underground mine at the site, has yet to sign off on the budget for
the open pit…. but BHP may opt to delay taking on the heavy financial burden that could easily be in the $10 billion to $20 billion range…..
…. PDAC, the mining industry’s largest annual gathering. The convention, organized by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, opened in Toronto on Sunday.
Even though Olympic Dam, located 550 km (345 miles) north of Adelaide, is one of BHP’s biggest growth prospects, the cost of
digging the massive pit may prove prohibitive.
Last month the company reported a profit decline, and it struck a cautious tone on its expectations for growth in China, one of its
biggest markets. That has led some to speculate that the miner may delay spending on capital-intensive projects such as Olympic Dam and the Jansen potash project in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.
In late 2011, BHP finalized state approvals to begin construction work on the open-pit phase of the Olympic Dam project, but the agreement would lapse around December if BHP delays its decision on proceeding.
“We want to see a board decision before the end of the year about substantial works beginning. If not, the approvals run out and BHP know this,” said Tom Koutsantonis, minister for mineral resources and energy for the state of South Australia.” I’m not in the business, and no government should be in the business, of allowing anyone to have massive tenements that they don’t develop …”-
A spokesman for BHP declined to comment on the remarks.
MASSIVE SCALE The sheer scale of the open-pit project is formidable. BHP will have to shovel rock for five to seven years before it reaches the Olympic Dam ore body, discovered in the mid-1970s…..
ANAWA and EDO strongly believed that Lynas had chosen to move its operations to Malaysia because of the heavy metals and radioactive waste involved in the processing. “We believe Lynas picked Malaysia to save money and enable it to operate under less stringent laws,”
“The biggest concerns about the processing are the storage and waste management issues which are made more difficult in Gebeng which we understand to be wetlands.”
“There is no way it could operate the way it is in Malaysia over here,” he said. “Australia’s laws are much more stringent.”
Aussie NGO: Gebeng not part of Lynas’ blueprint, Free Malaysia Today News, Stephanie Sta Maria | March 6, 2012 Anti Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) claims that Lynas’ massive changes to its plan has resulted in its plant being built in Gebeng where laws are looser and labour is cheaper. PETALING JAYA: The Anti-Nuclear Alliance of Western Australia (ANAWA) has revealed that Lynas Corporation Ltd was supposed to build its plant in Western Australia and not Malaysia. Read more »
No decision yet on sending Lynas waste to Western Australia The Star, Malaysia, KUALA LUMPUR, 7 March 12, : The Cabinet has not decided on a proposal asking Lynas Corp rare earth waste material to be sent back to Western Australia, said Green Technology, Energy and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin.
He said Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore was entitled to his view that Australia would not accept responsibility for any waste produced by Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd. “Our Cabinet has not made a decision on the matter. Wait for it to be announced,” he said after the launch of the National Energy Security Conference 2012 yesterday.
Moore told the Australian parliament that the Western Australian government does not support the import and storage of other countries’ radioactive waste.
PKR MP Fuziah Salleh had proposed that the rare earth waste material for Lynas be returned to Australia. ….
“Even though the Government is satisfied there will be no radioactive residue produced during the plant’s operation, we have ordered Lynas to guarantee and plan the provision of a permanent waste disposal facility far from human population as recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“Failing which, Lynas has already expressed willingness to take the residue out of Malaysia,” said Mustapa in a joint statement with Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob here Tuesday.
He said the Government had also announced the setting up of an independent monitoring panel to audit the plant’s construction as an additional measure. On the residue’s radiation monitoring, Mustapa said the plant had yet to start operation and the Government had not appoint independent experts to analyse the radiation level of the residues produced by the
The Star, Malaysia, 6 March 12, KUANTAN: Another anti-Lynas rally will be held if the Government does not shut down the rare earth refinery project in Gebeng, said the Himpunan Hijau committee which organised the first protest on Sunday.
Its chairman Wong Tack said he was disappointed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s statement that the Government had to look for a solution that would be acceptable to the people without affecting investments. “We cannot accept his statement. Therefore, the Himpunan Hijau 3.0 rally is on – unless the project is cancelled,” Wong said at a press conference yesterday. The organisers had called on the Government to respond within 24 hours after the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 rally ended two days ago. Najib had said Lynas was looking for an uninhabited location to store the waste material from the plant, although it was scientifically safe. Wong said the committee would discuss with Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan on the possibility of holding a joint rally soon.
Nuclear Chief: Safety Moves Behind Schedule, WSJ, By RYAN TRACY March 6, 2012, WASHINGTON—Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said
Tuesday the agency wasn’t on pace to meet its own timeline for improving safety at U.S. nuclear plants in response to the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant a year ago. Read more »
Several New Zealand Renewable Power Projects Scheduled to Begin Construction in 2012-13, an Industrial Info News Alert Market Watch, PERTH, AUSTRALIA, Mar 06, 2012 – Researched by Industrial Info Resources Australia – Industrial Info is currently tracking 25 New Zealand renewable energy projects in the planning and engineering phase that are scheduled to begin construction from 2012 onward. The projects total more than US$4.87 billion in investment value and indicate that New Zealand is predominately investing in wind, geothermal and hydro generation projects…..
Despite pro nuclear Bob Carr joining the Ministry, the Australian Government opposes nuclear power plants. The Prime Minister was quoted in an article in 9 News, Mar 6 2012 By Julian Drape “…….The prime minister was also quizzed on Tuesday about incoming foreign minister Bob Carr’s stated support for nuclear power.
In response she said Labor’s policy was to oppose nuclear power plants in Australia “and it won’t be changing”.
“Our future as a country … is in making the best of our natural assets as well as continuing to use traditional sources of energy.
“We are a country with abundant sunshine. We are a country with a very, very, very long coastline which gives you access to tidal power.” Ms Gillard added that hot rocks energy could also be brought on stream.
Lawmaker says deal struck on nuclear power bill CBS News, 6 Mar 12, DES MOINES, Iowa — A legislator said Tuesday that he had struck a deal on a plan that would give MidAmerican Energy new incentives to build a nuclear power plant in Iowa.
Sen. Matt McCoy, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said his panel will approve the compromise Thursday. The compromise would require that MidAmerican, Iowa’s largest utility, have financing in place before beginning construction of a nuclear power plant. Once
state regulators approve a new plant, the utility would have to carry out construction.
Some legislators had worried earlier versions of the measure would allow the utility to raise rates to pay for the plant, without being committed to actually building the facility. They said consumers could end up with higher rates, and no new power plant to show for it.
Lawmakers reached the agreement even as opponents held a Statehouse news conference, where they argued that nuclear plants are inherently dangerous….. Francis Thicke, a farmer and environmental activist from Fairfield, said the compromise backed by McCoy only dealt with the potential financial risks of the proposed nuclear plant. ”My concern is the whole environmental issue and they are not addressing the environment,” Thicke said. ….
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