August 31st, 2012
Renewables are happening outside Fukushima with more projects coming on line rapidly. Japanese companyWest Holdings is putting $1.3 billion into large scale solar power plants in Japan. Mitsubishi is in talks with wind energy company Vestas on a partnership for wind energy in Japan. Japan’s new feed in tariff for wind in 23.1 yen per KWH, well above the market rate for electricity. Japan’s solar market is estimated to be about $9.6 billion with a new solar feed in tariff of 42 yen.
August 28, 2012
Environmental organizations were quick to vent their fury over new plans, announced Tuesday by Norwegian oil company Statoil, to dramatically expand oil exploration activity in the northern reaches of the Barents Sea. One activist called Statoil “immoral” while conservation authorities are worried.
“Statoil’s Arctic campaign is terribly immoral, and I now think Statoil is one of the worst companies internationally,” Fredric Hauge, leader of the influential environmental organization Bellona, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Tuesday afternoon. “Drilling in these areas involves huge risk.”
Arctic ‘most exciting’
Statoil announced major plans to triple its budget for research related to technology for use in the Arctic, to make it possible to drill for oil and extract it under extreme weather conditions. Statoil also plans to build a new type of drilling rig for Arctic areas and start exploring in the Norwegian sector of the Barents next year.
Tim Dodson, exploration director for Statoil, said Statoil will drill nine wells in an uninterrupted Arctic campaign in 2013.
Dodson claimed the area was “less challenging” since it’s an ice-free zone all year long. But he said the experience gained there may be used on other prospects in other areas of the Arctic later. He called the Arctic “the most exciting area” for future exploration, with large potential for major oil discoveries.
Both Bellona, Norway’s chapter of Friends of the Earth (Naturvernforbundet) and The Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management (Direktoratet for naturforvaltning), one of state five agencies within Norway’s environmental ministry, worry about effects on the climate in the sensitive Arctic areas and the lack of oil spill preparedness in the areas targeted by Statoil.
During hearings tied to the concession round for licenses in the so-called Hoop area of the Barents, the state agency wrote that “we are worried that spills from activity in these blocks will have great probability of reaching the polar ice, leading to consequences for species living there and for the rich ice formations.”
Lars Haltbrekken of Friends of the Earth is worried about the consequences of any accidents as well. “We know that today’s spill preparedness is far from good enough to tackle an accident in these areas, and probably never will be,” Haltbrekken told NRK.
As inspectors investigate possible manufacturing shortcomings in the reactor pressure vessel of the No 3 reactor at the Doel Nuclear Power Plant in Belgium – which earlier this month was discovered to have cracks – nuclear safety authorities in other countries are conduction their own test to root out similar flaws.
Charles Digges, 30/08-2012
The reactor vessel at the Doel No 3 plant was manufactured by the now-bankrupt Dutch firm Rotterdam Drydock Company, which sold a number of such vessels to a variety of international customers. The discovery of the cracks at Doel’s Unit 3 by the use of a new ultrasound measuring technique, sent a nervous ripple through the international nuclear industry.
Rotterdam Drydock Company had sold 21 reactor vessels to nuclear power plants in the US, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK, according to the Associated Press, though that information was not released until later in the month.
Flaw rates on INES
The flaws revealed at Doel 3 have provisionally been rated as Level 1 out of seven levels on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) – constituting it as an “anomaly.” FANC may change that rating depending on what further inspections reveal.
Some 9 million people live within a 75 kilometer radius of the plant.
The ultrasound technique that discovered the cracks at Doel’s Unit 3 scanned the whole surface of the reactor rather than just around the weld zones. The initial tests were conducted in June.
They showed indications that “could be assimilated to potential cracks,” according to World Nuclear News. Additional tests confirmed the presence of these flaws, which are believed to be manufacturing defects in the steel vessel.
The reactor was shut down for further inspections to determine whether the reactor vessel could be salvaged.
Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) said in a statement that: “Numerous flaw indications in the basic steel material of the reactor vessel were detected in late June, in particular in the bottom-most ring,” adding that, “these are ‘laminar’ flaws parallel with the surface of the walls and, as such, theoretically not dangerous, as they are normally not subject to stress.”
Is it really a manufacturing flaw?
Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s general director and nuclear physicist, was not as quick as the FANC to blame manufacturing defects in the reactor vessel, and predicted that similar problems will begin to appear worldwide due to ageing nuclear reactors, whose average lifespan is about 30 years.
The wear and tear observed in Belgium, said Bøhmer, “is something that comes of neutron radiation from power generation” within the reactor core that is housed by the vessel.
“This will, as reactors get older, cause cracks,” in reactor vessels said Bøhmer.
Published: August 31st, 2012 at 2:09 pm ET
Title: Call for caution on Fukushima effects
Source: The Australian
Author: by: Rick Wallace
Date: September 01, 2012 12:00AM
The symposium heard criticism of the Japanese government’s decision to centre its health response on a limited program of thyroid checks for children, and its failure to assist with evacuation for people in areas with radiation levels close to, but not exceeding, the 20mSV level.
Japanese MP Ikuko Tanioka, who quit the ruling Democratic Party of Japan in disgust over its handling of the post-disaster clean up, told the symposium Russian authorities had done more for their citizens in the wake of Chernobyl than Japan had post-Fukushima.
heres a link to the details of the symposium
Kyodo: Doctors urge radiation action — Gov’t should pay to evacuate irradiated areas, women and children first
Published: August 31st, 2012 at 12:26 pm ET
Title: Doctor group urges radiation action
Date: Aug. 31, 2012
I have never been to America. But I have a picture of Americans as warm and friendly. I think that’s great. I understand that the USA culture is a bit more “folkish” and sentimental, than other cultures. And I guess that’s OK, too.
But “foolish” and sentimental is something else.
I listened to Mitt Romney’s speech, and to Paul Ryan’s speech – with amazement, as I watched all those thousands of (white) Americans lapping up all that stuff about family, and roses, and how great America is etc.
Bu where are the policies? And – nary a word about climate change, about renewable energy.
Are Americans really so interested to watch politicians busting their guts to appear as “a nice guy, if not terribly bright”? Or was it just that huge white crowd at the Convention, that didn’t care about policies?
VICTORY! NRC LICENSING BOARD SUPPORTS NIRS–DENIES LICENSE FOR ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE’S CALVERT CLIFFS-3 REACTOR! August 30, 2012 Great news today! The NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) hearing the Calvert Cliffs-3 licensing proceeding agreed with NIRS and DENIED a construction/operating license for that reactor.
This is the culmination of a five-year battle that started in 2007 when Calvert Cliffs-3 became the first new reactor application in some 30 years–the flagship of the “nuclear renaissance.”
Since then, NIRS has fought this project–which is on our doorstep–at every possible venue. Read more »
CALVERT CLIFFS-3 LICENSE DENIED! http://www.nirs.org/ August 30, 2012. In a historic decision, NRC Licensing Board supports NIRS’s position and denies construction/operating license for Calvert Cliffs-3! Key decision here. NIRS press statement is here.
On July 26, 2012, NIRS held a press briefing on the expected Calvert Cliffs-3 decision and its implications for the nuclear industry with Michael Mariotte of NIRS, Bob Eye, attorney for intervenors in the South Texas licensing proceeding, and former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford. You can listen to the briefing here. Michael Mariotte’s opening statement is here.
National budget priorities still tend to reflect the old paradigms.
Massive military spending and new investments in modernising nuclear weapons have left the world over-armed – and peace under-funded.
Time to explode the myth that nuclear weapons bring security
http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Time-to-explode-the-myth-that-nuclear-weapons-brin-30189402.html Ban Ki-moon August 31, 2012 Last month, competing interests prevented agreement on a much-needed treaty that would have reduced theappalling human cost of the poorly regulated international arms trade.
Meanwhile, nuclear disarmament efforts remain stalled, despite strong and growing global popular sentiment in support of this cause.
The failure of these negotiations and this month’s anniversaries of the atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki provide a good opportunity to explore what has gone wrong, why disarmament and arms control have proven so difficult to achieve, and how the world
community can get back on track toward these vitally important goals.
Many defence establishments now recognise that security means far more than protecting borders. Grave security concerns can arise as a result of demographic trends, chronic poverty, economic inequality, environmental degradation, pandemic diseases, organised crime,
repressive governance and other developments no state can control alone. Arms can’t address such concerns. Read more »
Nukers promoting contaminated food – the falsehoods of the Potassium excuse http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/nukers-promoting-contaminated-food-the-falsehoods-of-the-potassium-excuse/http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/nukers-promoting-contaminated-food-the-falsehoods-of-the-potassium-excuse/ I have blogged about this before. Attempts at selling contaminated food in the market of people’s lives by nuclear advocates has to stop in Japan and everywhere.
It will take me the weekend to finish this post as I gather the historic and current sources which show the Potassium equivalent dose (which the industry calls the banana equivalent dose) is a false, incorrect, wrong and deceptive fallacy.
In the interim, this wiki article explains the fallacy in brief:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banana_equivalent_dose
In brief: radio potassium (K40) is much a very small proportion of all potassium. It is far less radioactive per unit weight (amount, physical dose) than any biologically active fission product.
Potassium in any form is dangerous to the heart in excess, but potassium is a needed nutrient.
The body maintains a potassium balance therefore. This danger to the heart is a bio-chemical effect. The radiological nature of radio cesium (a potassium analogue) poses an additional threat to the heart and other soft tissue. Read more »
Letter — Renewable energy key http://www.iowafarmertoday.com/news/opinion/letter-renewable-energy-key/article_0d4342c0-f2d6-11e1-817c-0019bb2963f4.html Virginia Wolking Center for Rural Affairs Lyons, Neb. August 30, 2012 As Election Day rapidly approaches, elected officials and candidates for public office are criss-crossing rural America eagerly seeking votes.And, that creates an opportunity for those of us who live in America’s small towns and rural areas to ask candidates about their views on renewable energy and other crucial rural issues.
Ask them what their vision is for renewable-energy development. Ask if they will work to increase energy efficiency and accelerate renewable-energy development, both of which will create new green jobs in rural areas. Ask them what they will do to ensure energy decisions reflect the will of your community and ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
A community-based approach to energy development is our best chance to develop domestic, home-grown and localized resources. Ask them to support tax credits that drive renewable energy development. Inquire whether they will fund local loan or grant programs to promote small-scale renewable energy use by farms, businesses and homeowners.
Ask them to commit to increasing funding for renewable-energy research. Land grant institutions, USDA research stations, and Department of Energy national laboratories play a critical role. State and federal funding for these programs is at risk. It’s clear renewable energy holds great economic potential for our rural communities.
But, we need bold leadership from our elected officials to help tell the story of the value of renewable energy and your voice is crucial in making that happen.
Fukushima to expand forest areas for radiation decontamination, The Mainichi 30 Aug 12 The Ministry of the Environment accepted a request on Aug. 29 from Fukushima Prefecture to expand forest areas for radiation decontamination from the nuclear plant disaster, ministry officialssaid.
Currently, forest decontamination is limited to areas around 20 meters from where people live, and places where people gather, like camping sites or mushroom-raising facilities. Fukushima Prefecture, which is hit hard by the nuclear disaster and has 70 percent of its area covered by forests, requested an expansion of decontamination
. Fukushima Prefecture Vice Gov. Masao Uchibori, who submitted a request to the Ministry of the Environment to push forward with forest decontamination, says, “Even if we decontaminate an area, after a week, two weeks, or a month, the radiation levels return. We think it is because of radioactive material coming from the mountains.”
The national government will study factors including radioactive material movement and buildup in forests, the leaking and spreading of radioactive material from forests to other areas, and the effects on radiation levels from tree-thinning. The Fukushima Prefectural Government, meanwhile, will this fall examine the decontamination effects of tree-thinning over a 10-hectare area. http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120830p2a00m0na003000c.html
Iran nuclear issue, Syria dominate tense Teheran summit, Khaleej Times, (AFP) / 30 August 2012 Iran’s showdown with the UN Security Council over its nuclear activities, and clashing speeches over the bloody conflict shaking Syria dominated the opening of a summit in Teheran on Thursday.
Those issues swept aside the veneer of diplomatic harmony Iran had been trying to project over the gathering of 120 members of the Non-Aligned Movement and left several leaders squirming in their seats.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opened the session with a speech in which he insisted his country ‘is never seeking nuclear weapons’ and accusing the UN Security Council of exerting an ‘overt dictatorship’ under the sway of its Western permanent members, the
United States, Britain and France.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who looked irritated during the speech, shot back in his own address that Iran should build confidence in its nuclear programme by ‘fully complying with the relevant (UN) Security Council resolutions and thoroughly cooperating with the IAEA’ — the
UN’s nuclear watchdog. Read more »
Fukushima Tapes in English: Daini workers needed emergency room after being at Unit 4 — Unable to decontaminate exposed people — “Plants are not safe” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/fukushima-tapes-in-english-daini-workers-needed-emergency-room-after-being-at-unit-4-unable-to-decontaminate-exposed-people-plants-are-not-safe-video
Title: TEPCO TV Conference of Evacuation from Fukushima Daiichi
Upload Date: August 19, 2012
This video was taken on March 14, 2011.
- Top left:Fukushima Daiichi
- Top center: Fukushima Off-site Center
- Top right: Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plant
At 4:00 in
Right now [Daini's] plants are not safe, so we use emergency power supplies.
Unfortunately they refuse to supply fuel.
We said, “We supply fuel then.” Then they said we cannot let you do so…
[Daini] doesn’t have water. We don’t have enough water to decontaminate exposed people…
We prepare emergency rooms for Unit 4 of [Daini] and people from [Daiichi].
We prepare emergency rooms for each. So Head Office, please think separately. That’s all.
Solar Energy and Cars: A Perfect Combination in California August 30th 2012 GetSolar It may seem odd to some to pair together driving and solar energy. After all, one is responsible for emitting greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and the other is one of the cleanest energy sources for homeowners and businesses. However, it turns out that photovoltaicelectricity is already a big part of how some cars operate on the road.
The Sun Powers California Vehicles California solar installers should be happy to know that the market for electric vehicles in the Golden State is growing, as that means new business opportunities. According to a recent report from the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), 39 percent of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners in the state have PV power set up at home. In addition, 31 percent indicated that they were considering installing panels over the next 12 months. Considering an estimated 33 percent of respondents only charge their PEVs at home, that means a significant portion of California’s electric vehicle fleet is powered by sunlight.
The state has the nation’s largest market for PEV cars, with about 1,000 new electric vehicles hitting California roads each month, according to the report.
Even those car owners who do not have a California solar installation at their home will have their PEV partially powered by solar energy. The state’s renewable portfolio standard dictates that all California utilities need to have 20 percent of its output come from renewable energy sources like solar power by 2013 and have 33 percent of distributed electricity come from renewables by 2020, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
“California is firmly established as a national and worldwide leader in supporting advanced technology, zero-emission automotive transportation,” Mike Ferry, the CCSE transportation program manager, said in a release………
Fukushima hot cod stopped from entering U.S. Examiner, FUKUSHIMA AUGUST 30, 2012 BY: DEBORAH DUPRE The central government of Japan has ordered Aomori Prefecture to suspend shipping Pacific cod caught near the port of Hachinohe due to excessive levels of cesium detected, according to The Japan Times Wednesday.
The central government ordered Aomori Prefecture to halt shipping Pacific cod caught near the port of Hachinohe after excessive levels of radioactive cesium were, initiating the first such ban for the prefecture because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster…
..Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen told SolarIMG that high-level people he knows in the
State Department said Hillary Clinton signed a pact with her counterpart in Japan agreeing for the United States to continue buying food from Japan, despite that food not being properly tested for radioactive materials…….
Earlier this month, fish off the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were found to have 258 times the legal limit of radioactive cesium, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
“So we are not sampling the food coming into the United States,” he said, repeating, “The US government has come up with a decision at the highest levels of the State Department, as well as other departments who made a decision to downplay Fukushima.”
Aomori prefecture is surrounded by the sea on three sides. It literally means blue forest and was used as a landmark for fishermen. http://www.examiner.com/article/fukushima-hot-cod-stopped-from-entering-u-s?CID=examiner_alerts_article
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