The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Employment boost for South Africa due to renewable energy projects

Green energy IPPs create 14 000 jobs April 14 2014  Independent power producers (IPPs) using renewable energy had created about 14 000 jobs over the past three years, Energy Minister Ben Martins said on Friday. “One of the imperatives of government is to ensure that all departments assist in job creation. Through the independent power producers programme, more than 14 000 have been created,” Martins said following a summit with 61 IPPs. “At the meeting, we acknowledged and expressed appreciation of the fact that to date more than R100 billion has been invested into this particular sector.” IPPs are entities which either own and or operate facilities that generate electric power. They then sell the power to a utility, central government buyer or to end users. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Eskom and the Public Investment Corporation. Diplomats representing Denmark, Spain, Germany, Norway, and the UK were also present at the Pretoria meeting. Martins said the IPP project had brought significant direct foreign investment. – Sapa

April 16, 2014 Posted by | employment, renewable, South Africa | Leave a comment

Over 800 laborers missing from Fukushima nuclear plant

KPFA in Japan: I’ve learned over 800 people have disappeared from Fukushima plant — “May have been killed or died during work” — “Gov’t Hear-This-wayactually in business with the Yakuza” (AUDIO)

KPFA Flashpoints, Mar. 10, 2014 (at 3:00 in):

Steve Zeltzer, reporting from Japan: One of the things I learned in Osaka from the president of the day laborers is that many of the day laborers being brought into the plant, they’re not being registered and they’re disappearing. There were over 800 day laborers who have disappeared from contact by the union, which means they may have been killed or died during work.

KPFA Flashpoints, Mar. 11, 2014 (at 4:00 in):

Zeltzer: The government now is in control of Tepco, which runs Fukushima plant, and they’ve allowed the use contract workers, through the Yakuza. So the government is actually in business with the Yakuza, allowing the Yakuza to bring in these workers, and we heard a report that many are not even being registered when they go into the plant so they’re not entitled to health care and also when they get sick and over-doses you can’t tell because they haven’t been registered, these are the contract workers at the plant. […] These workers are basically being used as cannon fodder. Some of them are not only day laborers but also immigrant workers who are being used as well to clean up the plant.

Full Flashpoints broadcasts available here

March 21, 2014 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2014, Japan | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear project means opposition to EU renewables targets, and potential job losses

UK opposition to new EU green eenergy targets could risk ‘half a million jobs’, Thursday 2 January 2014 Britain’s demand to keep nuclear option open to reduce emissions will mean potential job losses, leaked report shows  Over half a million new jobs over the next two decades could be at risk from the UK’s opposition to new EU targets for green energy, according to a leaked official report from the European commission.

Since last spring, European countries have been battling over what new climate change targets should be set to follow the existing ones for greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and energy efficiency, which run out in 2020. The UK, along with the Czech Republic, is strongly opposed to setting a new renewable energy goal for 2030, favouring an overall target for greenhouse gas emissions instead – which would entail an ambitious cut of 50% on 1990 levels. They want countries to be allowed the freedom to reach the target as they choose to, for example by relying heavily on nuclear power.
Energy and climate secretary, Ed Davey, has said: “We need a technology neutral approach to how individual countries meet their emissions targets … we will therefore oppose a renewable energy target at an EU level as inflexible and unnecessary.”

But a draft report, commissioned by the European commission on the impact of setting different targets and seen by the Guardian, says that including renewable energy and energy efficiency targets in addition to a greenhouse gas emissions target would create around 568,000 more jobs across Europe by 2030 than an emissions one alone. However, the cost of having renewable energy and efficiency targets would be 2.6% higher than with just an emissions target alone, the report notes.Germany, Denmark, Austria and Finland back a renewable energy target. A new energy efficiency target is considered unlikely.The wind industry said that not setting a renewable energy target would make it harder for developers to attract investment. ……

The new German government has already set a target of 40-45% of its electricity supply coming from renewable sources by 2025, higher than the 30-35% EU-wide target being discussed. By contrast, the UK has been one of the worst performers for share of energy generated by renewable sources, near the bottom of the European league table along with Malta and Luxembourg.

January 3, 2014 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment

Navajos copped uranium pollution, now they’re to do the clean-up


they always give the dirty jobs to indigenous people

NAU seeks Navajos for uranium cleanup training http://www.sunherald.Navajocom/2013/11/25/5146098/nau-seeks-navajos-for-uranium.html BY FELICIA FONSECA Associated PressNovember 25, 2013 FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. — Northern Arizona University is using federal grant money to address two of the most widespread problems on the Navajo Nation — unemployment and uranium contamination.

A $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will allow the school’s Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals to train up to 40 people over three years to safely handle radioactive materials and to find a job in a place where the unemployment rate hovers around 50 percent.

About 4 million tons of uranium ore were mined from the reservation from 1944 to 1986 for wartime weapons, leaving a legacy of death and disease. Families still live among the contamination that the tribe and federal government are working toward cleaning up. The top priority is the former Northeast Church Rock Mine near Gallup, N.M. Continue reading

November 26, 2013 Posted by | employment, indigenous issues, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Japan’s mafia gangs exploiting homeless people in Fukushima nuclear cleanup

TV: Mentally disabled are working at Fukushima Daiichi, says journalist — Many men forced to go to plant — Homeless treated like ‘disposable people’ (VIDEO)

Atomic Mafia? Yakuza cleans up Fukushima, neglects basic worker

RT News, , Nov. 20, 2013: Homeless men employed cleaning up the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, including those brought in by Japan’s yakuza gangsters, were not aware of the health risks they were taking and say their bosses treated them like “disposable people.” [...] While some workers voluntarily agreed to take jobs on the nuclear clean-up project, many others simply didn’t have a choice [...] many of the workers were brought into the nuclear plant by Japan’s organized crime syndicates, the yakuza. [...] Although a special task force to keep organized crime out of the nuclear clean-up project has been set up, investigators say they need first-hand reports from those forced to work by the yakuza [...]
Anonymous former Fukushima worker:  We were given no insurance for health risks, no radiation meters even. We were treated like nothing, like disposable people — promised things, and then kicked us out when we received a large radiation dose.

Tomohiko Suzuki, journalist who worked at Fukushima plant: The government called Tepco to take urgent action, Tepco relayed it to subcontractors — and they, eventually, as they had a shortage of available workers, called the Yakuza for help. [...] They were given very general information about radiation and most were not even given radiation meters. They could have exposed themselves to large doses without even knowing it. Even the so-called Fukushima 50 [...] at least three of them were enrolled by the yakuza.

Aleksey Yaroshevsky, RT: : There are 25% more openings for jobs at Fukushima plant than applicants, according to government data. Gaps filled, says Suzuki, by the homeless, the desperately unemployed and even those with mental disabilities.   Watch the broadcast here

November 24, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan, Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

Uranium workers unhappy with safety arrangements

A Fridge Full of Uranium for Honeywell Employees, In These Times,  BY MIKE ELK  7 Nov 13 On Monday, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) team arrived at Honeywell’s Metropolis, Ill., uranium conversion plant to do a routine weeklong inspection. Recently, workers at the plant have alleged that the employee refrigerator in the control room of the main processing building has repeatedly tested positive for dangerous levels of uranium.

But because Honeywell will not allow a qualified union worker to accompany NRC representatives on their inspections if the workers are on layoff, the union claims that the company is putting them and the local community at risk.

During the last few years, the plant has faced problems with federal authorities over a series of safety issues. In March 2011, after an investigation by the Environmental Proection Agency (EPA), Honeywell pleaded guilty to one felony offense for knowingly storing hazardous radioactive waste without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)” and paid an $11.9 million fine to the federal government. Two months later, OSHA officially cited the company for 17 serious violations for the accidental release of toxic hydrogen fluoride (HF) gas directly into the atmosphere outside of the plant in December 2010.

Members of United Steel Workers Local 7-699, which represents workers at the Metropolis plant, claim that having a specifically designated worker present during inspections was the key to at least some of the company’s citations in 2011. The plant, workers say, is large and complex. Though inspectors are highly trained, they may miss small but crucial details during their visits. Union representatives, they say, can point out problems known to workers that regulatory officials may otherwise overlook.

So when workers found out that the union’s elected representative, USW Local 7-699 President Stephen Lech, would not be allowed to go on the NRC inspections because he is on what the union labels a “punitive” layoff, they were outraged. As union president, they say, Lech talks to more members of the union and has a more in-depth knowledge of safety issues than anyone else…….

November 8, 2013 Posted by | employment, Uranium, USA | Leave a comment

Low morale amongst Fukushima’s cut price nuclear clean-up workers

Fukushima: Japan’s Cut-Price Nuclear Cleanup: Human Error, Plummeting Morale and Worker Exodus 福島は割引清掃 By Global Research News Global Research, November 04, 2013
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 43, No. 2, October 28, 2013
  TEPCO woes continue amid human error, plummeting morale and worker exodus By Justin McCurry and David McNeill reporting from Fukushima

During a visit to Fukushima Daiichi in September, Abe Shinzo told workers: “the future of Japan rests on your shoulders. I am counting on you.”

The prime minister’s exhortation was directed at almost 6,000 technicians and engineers, truck drivers and builders who, almost three years after the plant suffered a triple meltdown, remain on the frontline of the world’s most hazardous industrial cleanup.

Yet as the challenges facing Fukushima Daiichi become clearer with every new radiation leak and mishap, the men responsible for cleaning up the plant are suffering from plummeting morale, health problems and deep anxiety about the future. Even now, at the start of a decommissioning operation that is expected to last four decades, the plant faces a shortage of workers qualified to manage the dangerous work that lies ahead, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the situation inside the facility. Continue reading

November 7, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan | Leave a comment

Unemployed Japanese tricked into dangerous jobs at Fukushima

exclamation-flag-japan‘Nuclear Slaves’ at Fukushima: Workers have debts paid off, forced to stay as ‘indentured servants’ — Foreign workers may soon be needed at plant, official reveals

Voice of Russia, Oct. 27, 2013: “Nuclear slaves” discovered at Fukushima [...] An in-depth journalistic investigation uncovered that thousands of unemployed Japanese were tricked into working underpaid and highly dangerous jobs on the site of Fukushima’s nuclear disaster. [...] Yakuza act as enforcers who keep the “nuclear slaves” from complaining or leaving their jobs. [...] Reuters reports that “labor brokers” [...] resort to “buying” laborers by paying off their debts and then forcing them to work in hazardous conditions until their debt to the “labor broker” is paid off. Such “employment schemes” are commonly referred to as “indentured servitude”  and are a form of slavery [...] Lake Barrett, a former US nuclear regulator and an advisor to Tepco, told the news agency that existing practices won’t be changed for Fukushima decontamination: “There’s been a century of tradition of big Japanese companies using contractors, and that’s just the way it is in Japan. You’re not going to change that overnight just because you have a new job here, so I think you have to adapt.”

Asahi Oct. 28, 2013: TEPCO President Naomi Hirose [...] explained that it is getting difficult for the utility to secure sufficient manpower at the plant and that it was grappling with tasks the company was not familiar with.

AP,, Oct. 28, 2013: Hirose acknowledged that TEPCO is having trouble finding a stable pool of workers at the plant [...] TEPCO Vice President Zengo Aizawa said [...] that uncertainty remains over the long-term decommissioning process. “We are not sure about our long-term staffing situation during the upcoming process of debris removal, which requires different skills,” Aizawa told a news conference. Asked if the company may have to consider hiring foreign workers, he said TEPCO is open to that idea even though it’s not an immediate option. [...] [Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the NRA] called on Hirose to implement sweeping steps to safeguard workers from high doses of radiation and other troubles [...]

UPDATE: Fukushima Worker: I was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2012, now stomach and intestinal cancers found recently — Each developed independently, not from one spreading — Worked at plant for just 4 months in 2011

October 30, 2013 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan, Reference | 1 Comment

“Nuclear Gypsies” work in Japan’s $150-billion Fukushima radiation clean-up

flag-japanRadiation, desperation and gangsters: Inside the hidden tragedy of Fukushima The Globe and Mail , 25 Oct 13 ANTONI SLODKOWSKI AND MARI SAITO  IWAKI — Reuters , Oct. 25 2013  Tetsuya Hayashi went to Fukushima to take a job at ground zero of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. He lasted less than two weeks.

Hayashi, 41, says he was recruited for a job monitoring the radiation exposure of workers leaving the plant in the summer of 2012. Instead, when he turned up for work, he was handed off through a web of contractors and assigned, to his surprise, to one of Fukushima’s hottest radiation zones.

He was told he would have to wear an oxygen tank and a double-layer protective suit. Even then, his handlers told him, the radiation would be so high it could burn through his annual exposure limit in just under an hour.

“I felt cheated and entrapped,” Hayashi said. “I had not agreed to any of this.” Continue reading

October 26, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan | Leave a comment

Poor working conditions in Japan’s nuclear industry

flag-japanAt Fukushima, ‘nuclear gypsies’ struggle with low wages and steep risks The Verge, By Katie Drummond on October 25, 2013  “….. the process of cleaning up that mess has become something of a disaster itself: an estimated 50,000 “nuclear gypsies” employed by the project are now grappling with poor wages, risky working conditions, and rampant labor violations.  In a sweeping investigation, Reuters reports that a combination of factors like lax governmental regulations, sketchy contractors, and poor oversight is to blame for the fiasco. Some workers complain of having their wages skimmed by illegal labor rackets, while others say they were hired to do one job before being forced into a much more dangerous one. Unfortunately, the investigation notes that the Fukushima cleanup merely highlights problems that have long plagued the industry. “Working conditions in the nuclear industry have always been bad,” Saburo Murata, deputy director of Osaka’s Hannan Chuo Hospital, told Reuters. “Problems with money, outsourced recruitment, lack of proper health insurance — these have existed for decades.”


October 26, 2013 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Sellafield unions want new Sellafield planning authority

nuclear-worker-it's-a-jobUNIONS WANT DEDICATED PLANNING AUTHORITY SET UP FOR SELLAFIELD, TIMES AND STAR,  By Julian Whittle , 30 August 2013  Sellafield unions are calling for a dedicated planning authority to be set up specifically for the nuclear site and surrounding area. This new body would rule on any proposals for a nuclear power station or underground waste repository, taking over planning powers which are currently held by local authorities.

The call is a reaction to Cumbria County Council’s decision in February to block investigations into the suitability of west Cumbria for a repository and is among 10 recommendations drawn up by the Unite union on behalf of the Sellafield Workers’ Campaign.

Unite’s report asks the Government to “begin a new search” for a suitable site for a geological disposal facility with the search taking place “within the perimeter of the proposed new planning authority”.

The report, Sellafield – at the heart of a low carbon energy future, was launched this morning at Energus at Lillyhall with Copeland MP Jamie Reed as keynote speaker.

It contains a three-point plan to secure 10,000 jobs. This involves building a nuclear power station, exploring the use of Sellafield’s plutonium stocks as fuel for power stations, and pursuing the idea of a waste repository…….

August 31, 2013 Posted by | employment, UK | 2 Comments

Renewable energy creates many more jobs than there are in fossil fuel energy

Debunking the Renewables “Disinformation Campaign”, Mother Earth NewsDespite vast evidence supporting the advancement of renewable energy, various media outlets insist on denying its progress, blurring the lines between inefficient reporting and deliberate lying.  By Rocky Mountain Institute  August 19, 2013 “……..a recent study commissioned by Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry found that the renewable energy sector provided around 382,000 jobs in 2011, up four percent in a year, and more than doubled in seven years. More jobs have been created than lost in Germany’s energy sector—plus any jobs gained as heavy industry moves to Germany for its competitive electricity.


Yet a myth persists that countries lose more jobs then they gain when they transition to renewables. This upside-down fantasy rests largely on a 2009 study from King Juan Carlos University in Spain, by an economist reportedly tied to ExxonMobil, the Heartland Institute, and the Koch brothers. His study asserted that, on average, every renewable energy job in Spain destroys 2.2 jobs in the broader Spanish economy. This story was picked up by news media around the world and is still promoted by U.S. anti-renewables groups. But its methodology and assumptions were promptly demolished by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Spanish government, among others. A 2012 report for the International Labour Organization (ILO) even cites Spain, which built a renewable export industry, as a counterexample: “The green economy presents a good opportunity to increase competitiveness, promote the creation of quality employment and reduce the economy’s environmental impact,” says Joaquín Nieto, who heads the ILO Office in Madrid, especially “when Spain needs to kick-start its economy.” Sure enough, despite new electricity taxes and a halt to subsidies for new renewable projects, Spain’s latest solar projects continue to be built to compete without subsidy.

The disinformation campaign about job creation is not limited to Europe. A Cato Institute article claimed that if people believe a commitment to renewables will fuel job growth “we’re in a lot of trouble.” Yet in 2012 alone, more than 110,000 new U.S. clean-energy direct jobs were created, and in 2010, the U.S. had more jobs in the “clean economy” than in the fossil-fuel industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that direct employment in May 2012 totaled 181,580 for oil and gas extraction, 87,520 for coal mining, and 93,200 for iron and steel production. BLS doesn’t similarly classify solar or wind jobs, but reputable analysts have determined from bottom-up industry surveys that in September 2012, for example, the U.S. had 119,016 direct solar jobs (89 percent full-time, the rest at least half-time), up 27 percent in two years—more than in steel-making or coal-mining. Had you heard that before? Why not? ……..


August 20, 2013 Posted by | employment, Reference, renewable, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nearly 1000 Fukushima workers have increased risk of getting leukaemia

text ionising9,640 Fukushima plant workers reach radiation level for leukemia compensation August 05, 2013 By MIKI AOKI/ Staff Writer Nearly 10,000 people who worked at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are eligible for workers’ compensation if they develop leukemia, but few are aware of this and other cancer redress programs. Continue reading

August 6, 2013 Posted by | employment, Fukushima 2013, Japan | Leave a comment

Unsafety at Brown’s Ferry nuclear plant, and a whistleblower’s case

whistleblowerFor Johnson, speaking out has had consequences, as she said she ran up substantial legal bills without expectation of a resolution with TVA. But she became more concerned about the costs of not speaking out.

“I found myself in the position of becoming a whistleblower when TVA management altered root cause reports I authored to subdue their findings,” she said last week. “I hope that bringing this story to public light will force TVA to address the safety significance of altering the findings of teams of engineers and experts for the sake of protecting production and their own bonuses.”

safety-symbol1Browns Ferry: Shrinking the safety margin at Alabama’s largest nuclear plant By Challen Stephens and Brian Lawson, All Alabama 7 July 13

What federal regulators have said in recent years:

• Browns Ferry received a red finding, the federal government’s most serious warning Flag-USAbefore shutdown.

• Browns Ferry failed to notice a blocked low-pressure cooling line.

• Inspectors discovered wider problems with safety culture at Browns Ferry.

What a search of TVA and Nuclear Regulatory Commission documents also shows:

• The backup low-pressure line also malfunctioned.

• The high-pressure core spray was installed incorrectly.

• The Unit 1 reactor operated for years with overlapping, malfunctioning emergency cooling systems.

What a whistleblower alleges, and paperwork supports:

• TVA ignored or obscured failing safety tests for malfunctioning equipment.

• TVA hurried to install equipment based on managerial bonuses.

What TVA acknowledges in their own paperwork:

• The plant operated for years with a bias toward power production over safety. Continue reading

July 8, 2013 Posted by | employment, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Australian uranium mining company Paladin in trouble in Namibia, as well as in Malawi

Some of the issues pertain to female worker’s miscarriages; [CEO] Duvenhage’s apparent failure to engage with the union; the company’s reluctance to give workers a “single cent” for an annual increment; unfair performance bonuses; nepotism and corruption.

Australian-based Paladin Energy Ltd. (TSE:PDN) owns 100% interest in the mine.

Protests hit second largest uranium mine in Namibia Vladimir Basov | July 2, 2013 About 300 workers, including mine staff and contractor employees, picketed at Langer Heinrich Uranium (LHU) mine last Thursday over pay and working conditions, The Namibian reported.

Workers and media were barred from the minesite where the demonstration was supposed to take place although the protesters had organized the peaceful demonstration at the beginning of last week and had announced it to the mine’s management.


As a result, all day shift buses were forced to stop inside the concession area where workers then had to disembark – about five kilometres away from the actual site. To their dismay, the protesters were forced to picket at the concession area. The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) branch executives felt that the mine’s management snubbed what it termed a legal and democratic action. Continue reading

July 5, 2013 Posted by | employment, Malawi, Uranium | 2 Comments


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