nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Japanese do not trust the government about Fukushima radiation

 83% of Fukushima residents and 73% countrywide felt ‘greatly’ or ‘somewhat’ worried about radioactive contamination. More importantly, 70% of people in the three disaster hit prefectures , and 71% people countrywide , felt that government was “hiding” information. 

This background of mistrust and deception, coming on top of enormous suffering, haunts the island nation, and especially the 350,000 people, who are living in camps unable to go back home to Fukushima.

Debris, radiation fear, mistrust still piling up  Times of India, , TNN | Mar 12, It is one year since the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake generated a tsunami that ripped apart the north-eastern sea-coast of Japan leaving over 20,000 people dead and the Fukushima nuclear power plant damaged. The triple disaster is estimated to have caused losses worth $235 billion according to World Bank.

Pictures circulated worldwide by visiting journalists show spectacular scenes of the massive clean up operation launched by the government of Japan. But the reality is numbingly grim. Goshi Honoso , Japan’s environment minister speaking at a routine press conference on February 21, urged local governments to help in cleaning up the debris left behind in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, the three areas which bore the brunt of the tsunami, reports Kyodo news agency.

Then, he revealed jaw dropping numbers: an estimated 22.53 million tonnes of debris was created by the tsunami . Of this, only 1.18 million tonnes, that is, about 5% has been disposed of.The rest of it is simply bulldozed and piled into giant heaps, some as high as 20 meters high. ….

Repeated polls over the past year show that there is a growing sense of mistrust towards the government’s handling of the nuclear disaster and it is casting a shadow over clean up efforts. People think that the debris may be contaminated.  Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Japan, psychology - mental health, social effects | Leave a comment

Across Japan thousands protest against nuclear power

Antinuclear protests held across Japan on anniversary of disaster, Mainichi Daily News,   http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120312p2g00m0dm069000c.html 12 March 12, TOKYO (Kyodo) – Antinuclear protesters took to the streets in Tokyo and elsewhere in Japan on Sunday, the one-year anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami which triggered the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

Near the head office of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima complex, demonstrators called for the country to abandon nuclear power generation and restore Fukushima Prefecture, where more than 100,000 residents were forced to relocate.

Some 16,000 people attended an antinuclear gathering in the city of Koriyama in Fukushima and rallied in the city, calling for scrapping all nuclear reactors in Japan. The country has 54 commercial nuclear reactors, which provided a third of Japan’s electric power prior to the Fukushima plant disaster.

In Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, about 1,100 people gathered to call for scrapping Chubu Electric Power Co.’s nuclear reactors at its Hamaoka power plant. Those reactors were halted last May after then prime minister Naoto Kan asked the utility to suspend their operation due to concern about a powerful quake in that area of Shizuoka Prefecture.

About 1,200 people including members of antinuclear citizens’ groups marched in the city of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, which hosts the prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju and Kansai Electric Power Co.’s nuclear reactors.

They voiced objection to restarting two of the reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi power plant in the prefecture after the country’s nuclear safety agency approved results of safety tests conducted on the reactors idled for a regular checkup and left a final decision on whether to restart them to the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

“What we need to do, after witnessing how tragic Tokyo Electric’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident is, is to build a society which does not rely on nuclear plants,” said Fujio Yamamoto, who leads a group which organized the protest.

Similar protests were also held in other prefectures which host nuclear power plants or related facilities, including Saga and Aomori.

In the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, atomic bomb survivors took part in antinuclear protests and urged the country to stop relying on nuclear power.

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear rallies around the world

Protesters link arms around the world to decry nuclear power, Google News, France 24, 11 March 12,   AFP - Tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters across the globe called for an end to nuclear power as they marked the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami at Japan’s Fukushima power plant. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Democratic rights eroding in India, as paranoia rises about anti nuclear activists

It’s a gloomy look for democratic freedoms, civil liberties in India.  Seems as if the India government is bent on obliging the USA, Russia, France.  Those unfortunate nuclear powers, unable to sell their dirty and dangerous nuclear reactors to their own populations, are trying to make a fast few billion bucks out of selling them to India.

Never mind the Indian public – what’s the well-being a few hundred thousand fisher folk, and plain village agricultural people matter, compared to the well-being of multinational nuclear corporations and their political lackeys?  So – the Indian establishment is gettig very anxious
to crack down on dissenting opinions.

Keep anti-nuclear project activists under check: Vasan   The Hindu, 11 March 12 Union Minister for Shipping G.K. Vasan has called upon the State government to keep the anti-Kudankulam nuclear power project activists under check….

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Big turnout of protestors blockading UK’s Hinkley nuclear site

Activists blockade nuclear plant, Google News, (UKPA) 12 Mar 12, Anti-nuclear protesters have completed a 24-hour blockade of the entrance to Hinkley Point nuclear power station, marking the first anniversary of the disaster at the Fukushima power station in Japan. The Stop New Nuclear alliance hailed the rally as the “largest anti-nuclear protest in three decades” with up to 1,000 demonstrators surrounding the site on Saturday.

Protesters were also demonstrating over plans to build the first new nuclear reactors in Britain on the site. A number of protesters stayed overnight with over 100 people blocking the main entrance, stopping all traffic from entering or leaving the site, which is about 10 miles from Bridgwater, in Somerset…..
Hinkley Point is seen by protesters as the new “front line” in the fight against the use of nuclear power. Nancy Birch, spokeswoman for the alliance said: “We’ve successfully concluded the first ever 24-hour blockade of a UK nuclear power station.
“This is a major victory for the anti-nuclear movement and a sign that the tide is turning against the government’s nuclear renaissance. “A mini tent city emerged as over 100 people remained outside the main gate at Hinkley overnight – camping on the tarmac in makeshift tents.”
The blockade formally ended when Japanese Buddhist monks performed a prayer for the victims of the tsunami that precipitated the Fukushima disaster. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jjnCvxI8QTlU3mTeTo-q0bR3PaFw?docId=N1027381331401975467A

March 12, 2012 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Protest rally for a nuclear free Taiwan

About 2,000 Taiwanese stage anti-nuclear protest, Mainichi Daily News, TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) 12 March 12, About 2,000 people have staged an anti-nuclear protest in Taiwan’s capital as they observed a moment of silence to mourn the victims of the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan one year ago.

The protesters paraded in Taipei on Sunday to renew calls for a nuclear-free island by taking lessons from Japan’s disaster on March 11, 2011, which triggered meltdowns at three nuclear reactors.

They want the government to scrap a plan to operate a newly constructed nuclear power plant — the fourth in densely populated Taiwan.

Scores of aboriginal protesters demanded the removal of 100,000 barrels of nuclear waste stored on their Orchid Island, off southeastern Taiwan. Authorities have failed to find a substitute storage site amid increased awareness of nuclear danger over the past decade. http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/international/news/20120311p2g00m0in035000c.html

March 12, 2012 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Increasing risk to nuclear sites, of sea level rise and tsunamis

Nuclear sites, sea-level rise and tsunamis, guardian.co.uk, Dr Paul Dorfman Co-ordinator, Nuclear Consulting Group  11 March 2012  It seems clear that nuclear facilities will be vulnerable to the effects of global warming (Nuclear power sites face flood and erosion risks, 8 March). As the Institution of Mechanical Engineers    stated in a 2009 report: “Nuclear sites, such as Sizewell, based on the coastline, may need considerable investment to protect them against rising sea levels, or even abandonment/relocation in the long term.”

So, given that proposed new UK reactors, together with  their radioactive waste stores   including spent fuel, will be located on coasts – predicted sea-level rise, shoreline erosion, coastal storms, floods, tidal surges and the evolution of “nuclear islands” stand out as primary concerns.  This means that adapting nuclear power to climate change will entail increased expense for construction, operation, waste storage and decommissioning, and the incurring of significant costs to the environment, public health and welfare.

Robert Griffiths:   Although the risk of floods to nuclear power stations must not be ignored, a much more dangerous threat is that of a tsunami. Oldbury, Berkeley and Hinkley Point are all in the area of England’s only known tsunami. This is reported to have occurred on 20 January in 1607. Plaques on local churches indicate the depth of the water may have been 7 to 8 metres, and it is said to have reached Glastonbury Tor, some 22km inland. Flood and erosion problems can be solved by building sea walls around the plants as we approach 2080. Why is no one worried about an unexpected tsunami on top of rising sea levels?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/11/nuclear-sites-sea-rise-tsunamis?newsfeed=true

March 12, 2012 Posted by | climate change, oceans, UK | Leave a comment

Bursting the nuclear industry’s bubble that radiation is OK

By October 2011, an article in the journal Nature estimated Fukushima emissions to be more than double that of Chernobyl. How anyone, let alone scientists, could call Fukushima doses “too low” to cause harm in the face of this evidence is astounding.

Within six days of the meltdowns, the plume had reached the U.S. and, within 18 days, it had circled the Northern Hemisphere.

 Last month brought the news that 573 deaths in the area near the stricken reactors were certified by coroners as related to the nuclear crisis, with dozens more deaths to be reviewed. 

The dangerous myths of Fukushima: Exposing the ‘no harm’ mantra, Bay View,   by Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, M.D. March 10, 2012 The myth that Fukushima radiation levels were too low to harm humans persists a year after the meltdown. A March 2, 2012, New York Times article quoted Vanderbilt University professor John Boice: “There’s no opportunity for conducting epidemiological studies that have any chance for success – the doses are just too low.” Wolfgang Weiss of the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation also recently said doses observed in screening of Japanese people “are very low.”

Views like these are political, not scientific, virtually identical to what the nuclear industry cheerleaders claim. Nuclear Energy Institute spokesperson Tony Pietrangelo issued a statement in June that “no health effects are expected among the Japanese people as a result of the events at Fukushima.”

In their haste to choke off all consideration of harm from Fukushima radiation, nuclear plant owners and their willing dupes in the
scientific community built a castle against invaders – those open-minded researchers who would first conduct objective research
BEFORE rushing to judgment. The pro-nuclear chants of “no harm” and “no studies needed” are intended to be permanent, as part of damage control created by a dangerous technology that has produced yet another catastrophe.

But just one year after Fukushima, the “no harm” mantra is now being crowded by evidence – evidence to the contrary. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott’s message on nuclear power, now truer than ever

(a) “We can no longer afford to entrust our lives, and the lives and health of future generations, to politicians, bureaucrats, ‘experts’ or scientific specialists, because all too often their objectivity is compromised.

(b) “Most government officials are shockingly uninformed about the medical implications of nuclear power — and yet they daily make life-and-death decisions in regard to these issues.”

(c) Some in the medical profession are too indifferent about larger questions and they are reluctant to look beyond their immediate research and treatment responsibilities.

(d) Many doctors remain silent about the medical hazards of nuclear technology despite their firm knowledge that nuclear radiation is a certain cause of cancer and genetic diseases.

Is Helen Caldicott’s Nuclear Madness still relevant?, THE HNDU, 11 March JOHN VERGIS VILANILAM Helen Caldicott, the Australia-born physician and anti-nuclear activist of the late 1970s and early 1980s, was a practitioner of paediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston, U.S. A leading critic of nuclear technology and armament industries, she tried to conscientise the world through her almost solitary protest writings and TV and radio appearances against the dangers of nuclear technology for the environment.

In the light of Fukushima (2011), Chernobyl (1986) and Three Mile Island (1979) nuclear accidents (all of which happened after 1978) and the great concern they generated in the world during the last four decades, Caldicott’s 1978 book Nuclear Madness assumes prophetic significance.

We cannot ignore the several pieces of vital information missing from the reports of these accidents. Our treasure house of
knowledge of nuclear technology is the poorer for these omissions. But what is more puzzling is the deliberate or accidental camouflaging of scientific truths from people’s vision by well-informed people of national and international significance who ought to, and do know better.

Caldicott did not have any personal stake in taking a strong stand against nuclear technology. Such disinterested personalities are few in the 21st century, and hence this brief note to a brave doctor who took a stand in favour of universal safety. Her book is dedicated to “her children and all the children of the world.”

“As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. All of us will be affected by radioactive contamination, unless we bring about a drastic reversal of our government’s pro-nuclear policy,” she observed in the late 1970s. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anti nuclear movement in Japan growing, and broadening

March 11, One Year On: A New Breed Of Anti-Nuclear Protesters?  WSJ, By Mitsuru Obe 11 Mar 12, Musicians in Japan were supposed to keep clear of politics. And TV shows that allowed anti-nuclear messages would likely find themselves short of advertisers. But that seems to be slowly changing.

“……..“Unlike Europeans, Japanese are not used to taking direct political action. But women and young people are stepping forward and taking action,” Tetsunari Iida, Japan’s leading renewable energy advocate, said backstage at the rally.

Mr. Iida said he wants to see a steady growth in people’s involvement in politics, not a short-term burst in popular action. Satoshi Kamata, an investigative journalist who is leading a campaign to collect 10 million signatures for ending Japan’s nuclear power, said the anti-nuclear movement in Japan is broadening in spectrum.

“It is no longer a political issue. It’s about your life. That’s why so many people are now coming out to voice their opposition,” he said. In a rally in Aomori, home to Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling facilities, 1,760 people showed up, a welcome surprise to the organizers who were anticipating only 1,000 people, said Mr. Kamata.

“Opposition to nuclear fuel recycling slowed after the facilities were constructed. But the Fukushima disaster showed the danger of spent fuel. That has rekindled concerns about nuclear power again in Aomori,” he said.
http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/03/12/march-11-one-year-on-a-new-breed-of-anti-nuclear-protesters/?mod=google_news_blog

March 12, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Safecast helps Japanese people to learn about radiation

Even if nuclear science and the impact of a nuclear meltdown on human health were simple to understand (and they are not), there is still the rather uneasy fact of dealing with a daily foe: invisible, odourless radiation.

 Working with Safecast , which crowdsources radiation readings gathered by volunteers, and combines it with data from other outfits to give a clearer picture of what’s going on, Saito wanted people to be able to determine what was safe for them based on fact, not paranoia or nuclear industry propaganda.

Japan’s radiation: Ignorance isn’t bliss Feeling that officials aren’t doing enough, everyone, farmer to housewife, is learning about radiation contamination. Aljazeera, D. Parvaz  10 Mar 2012  Iitate Village, Japan – Second-generation farmer Muneo Kano has not been able to tend to his cattle or grow crops since the Daiichi nuclear power plant contaminated land, air and sea after being damaged by last year’s earthquake and tsunami.

He had his 11 cows scanned for radiation and sold them to another farm outside the radiation area. Kano’s own seven-hectare farm is 45km from the nuclear site, and the soil has been deemed too contaminated for farming.
And Kano has had to learn all about radiation and soil fast – he now tracks and maps radiation dips and spikes on an iPad, and has a series of maps he consults to check what authorities say about farms in the area.

Soil samples tested in Iitate still contain ten times the acceptable levels of the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 for agricultural soil, and the government has yet to remove the top layers of contaminated soil and wash the streets…. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | Japan, psychology - mental health | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear establishment secretive, like Japan’s

Fukushima Disaster: Nuclear power is a risk without independent regulation, The Economic Times, 12 MAR, 2012“…….After Fukushima, you cannot underplay the risks of nuclear energy. It is now clear that utilities, manufacturers and vendors of nuclear technology were in bed with Japan’s bureaucrats and political parties. The establishment ignored the risks of building reactors in a highly seismic zone. Reactors were bunched up in so-called nuclear villages. Safety checks were ignored, overage plants were allowed to run.

Worldwide, nuclear power is controlled by the state. If the state adopts wink-andnudge policies, the people are at peril. … India’s nuclear establishment is totally opaque and there is no independent regulator….

March 12, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Compensation for uranium workers afflicted by radiation

some of the workers who were exposed to radiation in those eight years would pay the price
decades later….

 the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program has paid $7.8 billion in medical bills and compensation to 151,095 individuals.

Radiation workers sought by program May be compensated if Cold War-era job involved uranium  Dan Stockman | The Journal Gazette,  March 11, 2012   FORT WAYNE – The work lasted only eight years, but the effects scarred a generation for decades. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | health, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

The undead’s warning to Iowa on a radioactive future

Zombies marched on the Iowa statehouse on Friday night. DES MOINES, Iowa KCC1, 10 March 12, The undead, organized by the Iowa Public Interest Research Group, want lawmakers to kill a nuclear power plant bill.

Protester Sonia Ashe said she doesn’t want Iowa’s future to be nuclear. “We don’t want to have a radioactive future in Iowa,” Ashe said. “We see this as kind of an outrageous way to respond to an outrageous proposal.” http://www.kcci.com/news/30651038/detail.html#ixzz1owNj9M1H

March 12, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Massive and costly new cover for Chernobyl nuclear wreck

VIDEO included   http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=worlds-largest-movable-structure-seal-chernobyl-reactor   Nuclear Cover Up: World’s Largest Movable Structure to Seal the Wrecked Chernobyl Reactor To safely enclose and robotically dismantle the 25-year-old makeshift confinement sarcophagus at Chernobyl, contractors are now erecting a massive steel structure weighing more than 29,000 metric tons Scientific American, By Charles Q. Choi  | March 17, 2011 CHERNOBYL, Ukraine—Imagine a metal arch taller than the Statue of Liberty. Now picture it sliding a distance of roughly three football fields, making it the largest movable structure ever . Under this steel rainbow engineers are planning to entomb the site of the worst nuclear accident in history, the destroyed reactor at the Chernobyl power plant, using robotic cranes to dismantle the ruins and keep its deadly remains from poisoning the rest of the planet. Continue reading

March 12, 2012 Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

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