The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Pacific islands’ climate change refugees – a warning from Fiji’s Prime Minister

Fiji PM Warns Of Syria-Style Refugee Crisis If Rich Nations Don’t Do More On Climate,Thom Mitchell,  New Matilda, 2 Oct 15  Frank Bainimarama has taken aim at advanced nations for ignoring the plight of Pacific Islanders in pursuit of short-term economic growth. Thom Mitchell reports.

The Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has hit out at developing nations for their “unacceptable” progress in reducing carbon emissions as part of a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he warned of a humanitarian refugee crisis on the scale of the current migration out of Syria if more is not done.

The talks come as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop seeks a place for Australia on the UN Security and Human Rights Councils, but Bainimarama warned that developed nations like Australia are not listening to the voice of Pacific Island nations, whose human rights are threatened by rising seas and hostile weather patterns.

“It is simply not acceptable for advanced economies to build a high standard of living on the degradation of the earth and the seas,” Bainimarama said.

The choices we face may be politically difficult in the short run, but the consequences we are already seeing – environmental degradation, unbearable heat, drought, powerful tropical storms and unpredictable weather patterns – are simply unacceptable,” he said.

“[Fiji] plans to move some 45 villages to higher ground, and we have already started.

“We have committed to resettle people from other low-lying, South Pacific Island States that face the prospect of being swallowed up by the rising ocean and falling inexorably to oblivion.

“Should that happen, the people of those Island States would be refugees as desperate and lost as the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

As New Matilda reported in June, experts in migration law, like those at the University of New South Wales’Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, are already warning that the “disasters on steroids” climate change will bring is likely to create a need for special refugee visas.

It is clear by now that international pledges nations have made through the United Nations climate change process will not be enough to keep the global rise in temperature to less than two degrees, which is the level accepted as ‘safe’ by Australia and around 200 other nations:

October 2, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Global warming endangers world’s energy systems

text-cat-questionWhy did this article not  mention nuclear facilities – reactors, used fuel pools, waste containers, wind-turbines-Japantransport of radioactive trash – as being at risk from extreme climate events?
Also interesting that Japan’s wind turbines survived the 2011 tsunami and kept providing electricity
World’s energy systems at risk from global warming, says industry group, Guardian, , 1 Oct 15 Energy grids, power stations and distribution networks are vulnerable to storms, flooding and heatwaves caused by climate change, says World Energy Council  The world’s energy infrastructure is at risk from the extreme weather expected to result from climate change, a group of prominent energy companies has warned.

nuke-&-seaLEnergy systems, including fossil fuel power stations, distribution grids, and the networks that reach to people’s homes, are all at risk from effects such as flooding, severe storms and sea level rises, according to a new report from the World Energy Council, which brings together energy companies, academics and public sector agencies.

When energy systems fail, the knock-on effects on other aspects of modern infrastructure – from water and sewage to transport and health – can be catastrophic.

Experts point to the effects of Hurricane Sandy in New York to show that these effects are not limited to the developing world, where most of the serious consequences of climate change are expected to wreak havoc, but will be felt even in the most modern of cities.

Christoph Frei, secretary-general of the World Energy Council (WEC), warned that the question of the resilience of modern energy systems under the threat of imminent disaster must be treated as one of great urgency. “We are on a path where today’s unlikely events will be tomorrow’s reality,” he said. “We need to imagine the unlikely. Traditional systems, based on predicted events, no longer operate in isolation.”

The warning comes ahead of a UN climate summit in Paris later this year where developed and developing countries are expected to agree a deal on how to mitigate and adapt to global warming’s impacts………

WEC warned that the number of extreme weather events globally had risen by a factor of more than four in the past three decades, from about 38 events – such as major storms, heatwaves and flooding – to 174 events in 2014. The insurance industry has struggled to keep up, with global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters reaching $35bn (£23bn) last year, with the losses of the uninsured exceeding $130bn.

Frei warned: “Current estimates for the cost of energy system adaptation do not fully account for the additional financing required to accommodate these new emerging risks.”………

October 2, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Still possible to contain climate change: Paris UN conference will be critical

United Nations: ‘Too late’ for world if no climate deal in Paris, French president Francois Hollande says 
Reaching a successful climate deal in Paris at the end of the year is the last chance to save the planet, France’s president Francois Hollande has warned.

Without “this decision in Paris … it will be too late for the world,” Mr Hollande said in his address to the UN General Assembly in New York.

The UN-led conference in Paris, which starts at the end of November, aims to seal a wide-ranging agreement to limit the worst effects of climate change.


Key points:

  • Hollande optimistic after China, US sign “joint vision” ahead of Paris summit
  • India to unveil its climate strategy on Thursday
  • UN talks a key precursor to Paris summit at end of November

Despite the warning, Mr Hollande sounded a note of optimism after China and the United States signed a “joint vision” ahead of the Paris summit, and China committed to a domestic cap-and-trade carbon exchange.

“We have moved forward over recent months,” Mr Hollande said.

“Very strong declarations were made by those countries who are most responsible for global warming … the United States and China, which undertook commitments towards changing the situation.”

He also pledged that France would increase its financial commitment on climate from 3 billion to 5 billion euros ($4.8 billion to $8 billion) between now and 2020.

A week of climate events in New York ahead of the annual UN summit brought out new promises from governments and the private sector to slash greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

The United Nations offers one of the last opportunities for high-level talks before the Paris conference opens on November 30.

Still possible to contain climate change: experts Continue reading

September 30, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Pope Francis not facing up to role of population growth in climate change

while the scientist applauded the pope’s overall message on the environment, he said Francis had undermined his own cause by failing to acknowledge the need for birth control and reproductive choice

Book Population Bomb copyPope’s climate push is ‘raving nonsense’ without population control, says top US scientist, , Guardian , 24 Sept 15 
 Scientists applauded Pope Francis’s overall message on climate but criticised his  failure to acknowledge the need for birth control. 
Paul Ehrlich writes in Nature Climate Change that Francis is wrong to fight climate change without also addressing the strain from population growth on resources One of America’s leading scientists has dismissed as “raving nonsense” the pope’s call for action on climate change – so long as the leader of the world’s 1 billion Catholics rejects the need for population control.

In a commentary in the journal Nature Climate Change, Paul Ehrlich, a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, argues that Pope Francis is simply wrong in trying to fight climate change without also addressing the additional strain on global resources from population rise. “That’s raving nonsense,” Ehrlich told the Guardian. “He is right on some things but he is just dead wrong on that.”

The critique in “Society and the Pope’s encyclical”, part of a special package from scientists on the encyclical, marked a rare note of dissent from scientists and campaigners. Many hope that the pope will drive home his call to action on poverty and the environment in his speech to Congress on Thursday.

Ehrlich, in his Nature Climate Change commentary, accuses Francis of a dangerous flaw in his indictment of consumerism and its effects on the poor and the environment. The pope had fallen for the usual clerical “obsession” with contraception and abortion – when he could have instead broken new ground on the Catholic church’s approaches to women’s reproductive rights and family planning.

The broadside exposes some of the difficulties of embracing a figure such as the pope – for those on the left as well as the right.

Conservative allies of the pope, on issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, have balked at his denunciation of capitalism and call to action on climate change.

Those thrilled by the pope’s intervention on climate change – and Ehrlich counts himself among them – were troubled by Francis’s refusal to countenance the need to limit population, the scientist said. “It is crystal clear. No one concerned with the state of the planet and the state of the global economy can avoid dealing with population. It is the elephant in the room,” he said.

Ehrlich became a household name in the US nearly 50 years ago for warning of a global catastrophe because of population growth – a scenario he later conceded did not entirely materialise.

But while the scientist applauded the pope’s overall message on the environment, he said Francis had undermined his own cause by failing to acknowledge the need for birth control and reproductive choice……….

September 25, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Dirty dangerous expensive nuclear power can’t save the climate

globalnukeNONuclear ≠ the solution!
by Don’t Nuke the Climate
“Tell EDF: nuclear can’t save the climate: too dirty, too dangerous, too expensive, too slow #exposeEDF #EDFMenteur

Thousands of people will join the climate negotiations, the COP 21, in Paris this year to discuss a new agreement. Under the expiring Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the nuclear industry, in collaboration with certain nations, is lobbying for their dangerous and polluting technology to be seen as a climate-friendly option. This would obstruct real progress in protecting the climate.

An example of these lobbyists is EDF, world’s biggest electricity generator. Which is running many nuclear and coal plants all over the world and all French nuclear power plants. They are shamelessly using the context of climate negotiations to promote its nuclear electricity as climate-friendly and carbon-free… And EDF is also one of the big sponsors of the COP 21!

Poster EDF menteur

EDF’s argument is misleading: the nuclear industry does emit greenhouse gas, particularly during uranium mining! Nuclear power manifests a wide range of human rights violations, from the rights to life and health, to disproportionate impacts on indigenous peoples, women, children, and future generations. No matter what else EDF claims.

Join us in exposing EDF. Tweet or share in English, German, French, or any language (copy paste this in the text field):

  • Tell EDF: nuclear can’t save the climate: too dirty, too dangerous, too expensive, too slow #exposeEDF #EDFMenteur

The French petition will be online before the 26th of September.

September 23, 2015 Posted by | ACTION, climate change | Leave a comment

Melting Arctic permafrost adds to the $300 trillion economic costs of climate change

Emissions from melting permafrost could cost $43 trillion, Science Daily September 21, Source: University of Cambridge

New analysis of the effects of melting permafrost in the Arctic points to $43 trillion in extra economic damage by the end of the next century, on top of the more than the $300 trillion economic damage already predicted. 
New analysis of the effects of melting permafrost in the Arctic points to $43 trillion in extra economic damage by the end of the next century, on top of the more than the $300 trillion economic damage already predicted.Increased greenhouse gas emissions from the release of carbon dioxide and methane contained in the Arctic permafrost could result in $43 trillion in additional economic damage by the end of the next century, according to researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Colorado.

In a letter published today (21 September) in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers have for the first time modelled the economic impact caused by melting permafrost in the Arctic to the end of the twenty-second century, on top of the damage already predicted by climate and economic models.

The Arctic is warming at a rate which is twice the global average, due to anthropogenic, or human-caused, greenhouse gas emissions. If emissions continue to rise at their current rates, Arctic warming will lead to the widespread thawing of permafrost and the release of hundreds of billions of tonnes of methane and CO2 — about 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon are held in permafrost soils in the form of frozen organic matter.

Rising emissions will result in both economic and non-economic impacts, as well as a higher chance of catastrophic events, such as the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets, increased flooding and extreme weather. Economic impacts directly affect a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), such as the loss of agricultural output and the additional cost of air conditioning, while non-economic impacts include effects on human health and ecosystems.

The researchers’ models predict $43 trillion in economic damage could be caused by the release of these greenhouse gases, an amount equivalent to more than half the current annual output of the global economy. This brings the total predicted impact of climate change by 2200 to $369 trillion, up from $326 trillion — an increase of 13 percent……..

September 23, 2015 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015

New Climate Institute report: The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015: What the Paris negotiations mean for Australia and our economy September 18, 2015. The Global Climate Leadership Review 2015: What the Paris negotiations mean for Australia and our economy summarises global climate developments in the lead up to the Paris climate negotiations in late 2015. It explores what success in Paris would look like and also the impact of the agreement on the global and Australian economies.

The report is accompanied by a short video animation addressing the same issues.

The report is also part of the broader project, Focus on Paris & Beyond, that The Climate Institute has conducted throughout 2015. Reports, factsheets, infographics and other content can be accessed here on the project page.

Download the 5-page report at:

(And check out other recent Climate Institute reports and projects, media releases and briefs and multimedia available at:

September 21, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Coal is subsidised by $billions, in USA and Australia

fossil-fuel-industryUS and Australian taxpayers pay billions a year to fund coal – report,

 Ending US subsidies would lead to cuts in coal use equivalent to shutting up to 32 coal-fired power stations, according to the report. , 16 Sept 15

Ending subsidies, that amount to almost a quarter of the sale price in some cases, would hugely reduce carbon emissions, new research reveals

Coal subsidies are costing US and Australian taxpayers billions of dollars a year, according to a new report.

The research examined the subsidies given to coal production in the US’s largest coal field, the Powder River Basin, and found they totalled $2.9bn (£1.9bn) a year. This equates to $8 per tonne, almost 25% of the sale price.

Ending the subsidies would lead to cuts in coal use equivalent to shutting up to 32 coal-fired power stations, the researchers found, leading to a large reduction in carbon emissions.

The report also analysed Australia’s exporting of coal for power stations in Asia and found these came to $1.3bn a year, or $4 a tonne. Ending these subsidies would cut demand by up to 7%, a smaller impact than in the US because coal users could buy supplies from other countries.

“The fossil fuel industry has gamed energy market consumers, with numerous subsidies evident over the long term,” said Tim Buckley, at the Institute forEnergy Economics and Financial Analysis, who worked on the report. “Any discussion of cost competitiveness of renewable energy and energy efficiency needs to take into account the decades of extensive subsidies evident for the coal industry and that, in many cases, remain in place today.”

Luke Sussams, senior researcher at Carbon Tracker Initiative, also part of the research team, said: “Policy makers concerned about climate change and a level playing field in energy markets should look to take coordinated action to remove the distortions to production these subsidies create.”

The subsidies given to coal companies included tax breaks, cheap leases, government-funded infrastructure including railways and ports and allowing inadequate funding of clean-up operation after mining ends.

The G20 nations pledged to end fossil fuel subsidies in 2009, but little action has been taken. However, falling oil and coal prices in the last year have seen some countries starting to reduce subsidies.

A recent study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took into account not just direct subsidies but also the cost to nations of the damage caused by air pollution and global warming. It estimated coal, oil and gas were being subsidised by $5.3trn a year, more than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. Much of the cost is due to the illness and death caused by air pollution.

“Eliminating coal subsidies in the Powder River Basin and throughout the world, is an obvious, no-regrets climate strategy,” said Doug Koplow, of Earth Track and another member of the research team.

The new report, called Assessing Thermal Coal Production Subsidies, was produced by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Energy Transition Advisors, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis and Earth Track.

September 18, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Charles Koch saboteur of clean energy

How Charles Koch Prevents Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding,  TruthOut 02 September 2015 By Matthew KasperRepublic Report | News Analysis Last week, President Obama correctly singled out the Koch brothers – Charles and David – and the Koch-funded network for standing in the way of America’s clean energy Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Climate change at a ‘turning point’ – could now move faster

climate-changeEarth’s climate system ‘at turning point’ Experts warn big changes are under way in the earth’s climate.Source:  AAP

Experts said big changes were under way in the earth’s climate system, with a natural phenomenon known as El Nino combining with the impact of greenhouse gases to push global temperatures to record highs.

But other changes in the Atlantic Ocean over the coming decades could make relatively cooler and possibly drier summers in the UK and northern Europe more likely.

Globally, the Earth’s climate system was at a “turning point”, with a number of major changes happening at once, the Met Office’s Professor Adam Scaife said.

In the run-up to key United Nations talks in Paris, at which it is hoped a new international agreement to tackle climate change can be agreed, “the signal is very clear” that global warming is happening.

The world has witnessed a slowdown or “pause” in rising temperatures in recent years, which sceptics pointed to as contradicting evidence of ongoing climate change.

The new report from the Met Office, which has been peer-reviewed by the University of Reading’s Professor Rowan Sutton, suggests the world is warming again.

Prof Scaife said experts could not be sure it was the end of the slowdown.

However, rates of warming averaged over decades were likely to reach the high levels seen at the end of the 20th century, when the world was warming rapidly, within two years.

The years 2014, 2015 and 2016 are all likely to be at or near record levels, in part due to the influence of the El Nino phenomenon of surface warming in the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists are very confident there is now a major El Nino under way, which is set to peak this winter, on the scale of an El Nino event in 1998 which helped drive global temperatures to record highs.

But Prof Scaife said natural variations such as El Nino were just the “icing on the cake” on top of human activity which is putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and driving climate change.

September 16, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Australia’s and New Zealand’s Prime Ministers just don’t care about Pacific Islands with sea levels rising

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmTony Abbott faces down Pacific island nations’ calls for tougher action on climate change
ABC Radio AM  By Eric Tlozek in Port Moresby, 11 Sept 15  
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has held his Government’s line on climate change despite pleas from low-lying Pacific island nations for a stronger stance on emissions and temperature rises.

Both Mr Abbott and New Zealand prime minister John Key refused to go further than their existing commitments on global warming at the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby.

Some Pacific island leaders say they are disappointed in the leaders for putting economic growth ahead of the survival of communities in small Pacific nations.

Kiribati 15

“Australia and New Zealand have made no additional commitments when it comes to climate change,” Mr Abbott told reporters after the meeting last night……….

Pacific island nations had said the meeting was their last chance to highlight the threat they face from climate change, before the UN Climate Conference in Paris.The Australian response disappointed leaders who say some people are already being forced out of their homes by rising salinity, lack of water, or damage from severe storms or high tides………

September 14, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, New Zealand, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Record rain overwhelming Fukushima’s nuclear station’s drainage pumps

Japan’s torrential downpour overwhelmed Fukushima’s drainage pumps sending hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific! Japanese flooding update, The Big Wobble , 10 Sept 15 
Rainfall reached 600 millimetres in the area around Joso, with weather officials expecting at least 200mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday.

Report Says Floods May Pose Threat To Radiation Under Fukushima

The torrential downpour has exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, sending hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water flowing into the ocean, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said.
The continuous torrent of rain water is complicating the already difficult situation in Fukushima where, according to an operator of the Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the drainage pumps are not able to evacuate all the water that is pouring into the plant, becoming contaminated and damaging the ‘surrounding environment.
Since 2011, the Tempco has been in charge of storing tons of radioactive water used to cool the reactors at the plant, destroyed by the tsunami……..TEPCO is storing huge volumes of water used to cool reactors that were sent into meltdown when a tsunami hit Japan in 2011……..

 waist-high floods in some areas left rescuers scrambling to pluck people to safety as a wide area was deluged in the wake of Typhoon Etau.
“This is a scale of downpour that we have not experienced before.
Grave danger could be imminent,” forecaster Takuya Deshimaru told an emergency press conference. Etau, which smashed into Japan on Wednesday, moved out into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) by the end of the day, but a wall of rain continued to lash the country……

September 11, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Fukushima 2015, incidents, Japan | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear plant under threat from epic flooding

flood Japan 13ABC: “Epic flooding in Japan threatening Fukushima… Serious concerns about nuclear power plant in flood zone” — Hundreds of tons of contaminated water have already flowed into ocean — Torrential downpours overwhelm site — Worst rains to hit area in past 50 years (VIDEO)

MainichiTyphoon causes injuries, cancelled trains and flights, radioactive water leak… [TEPCO] announced on Sept. 9 that rainwater contaminated with radioactive materials had leaked from the plant’s drainage system into the ocean. The heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Etau exceeded the capacity of a transfer pump… This is the seventh time of possible or confirmed leaks of radiation-contaminated water since the utility began transferring the water from canal to canal in April… TEPCO says it does not know how much contaminated water leaked into the ocean, and is currently analyzing the concentration of the radioactive matter in the leaked water.

ABC News transcript: Epic flooding in Japan threatening the Fukushima plant… Serious concern this morning about a nuclear power plant in the flood zone… Torrential downpours [are] raising concerns about the Fukushima power plant… Reports that these heavy rains may overwhelm the site’s drainage pumps.

Reuters: A spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) told the Guardian hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water have flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima nuclear plant… Rainfall reached 500 mm around Joso, NHK said, with weather officials expecting at least 200 mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday.

AFPJapan flags grave danger from floods and water tainted by Fukushima nuke plant radiation— Tens of thousands of people were ordered to evacuate across Japan today as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant… The torrential downpour has also exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power said.

Weather Channel: JMA issued landslide warnings parts of Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, including areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that suffered a catastrophic meltdown after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. According to the Mainichi Shimbun, a national newspaper, the heavy rain caused contaminated water from the site to run off into the Pacific Ocean for several hours early Wednesday.

UPI: More radioactive water has leaked out from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… The heavy rain has caused additional leaks at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where the site’s drainage pumps were overwhelmed — causing radioactive water to leak into the Pacific Ocean.

Telegraph: The huge rains also exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, sending radiation-tainted water into the ocean.

Guardian: The heavy rain, which is expected to spread north on Friday, has also caused additional leaks of radioactive water at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… The meteorological agency warned that heavy rain would continue in the northeast, including Fukushima prefecture, until early Friday morning.

Bloomberg: The storm caused contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant to leak into the ocean… Contaminated water at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi facility leaked into the Pacific Ocean at about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said by phone, adding that company is still investigating the leak.

ABC AustraliaFukushima tainted water flows into ocean… weather officials [are] expecting at least 200mm more in parts of eastern Japan, including Fukushima, the site of the nuclear reactor crippled in 2011, before the downpour stops on Friday. The torrential downpour has exacerbated a contaminated water problem at the Fukushima nuclear plant as it overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps, sending hundreds of tonnes of contaminated water flowing into the ocean, a spokesman for operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said.

ABC News: In addition to the clear danger facing residents, Japanese authorities are particularly concerned about the flooding, given its proximity to one of the country’s biggest nuclear power plants, Fukushima — damaged by the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami… “The torrential downpour is threatening safety at the Fukushima nuclear plant, closed since the 2011 disaster, as it has overwhelmed drainage pumps at the site’s contaminated water treatment facility,” a Japanese government official told ABC News.

NPR: Floodwaters also “overwhelmed the drainage pumps at the Fukushima nuclear plant,” Japan Times reports, citing a Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman who said the flooding sent “hundreds of tons of contaminated water” into the ocean.

Prensa Latina, Sep 10, 2015: Typhoon Etau Causes Leak of Radioactive Water in Fukushima — Typhoon Etau originated leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant in Japan… Leaks occurred in dams located around the tanks storing liquid used to cool the reactors. With this leak, there have been seven detected since last April when a pumping system was implemented to prevent radioactive waste emanating from the reactor to flow in a place away from the plant.

EFE: Contaminated water from Fukushima leaks into sea due to typhoon Etau — The Fukushima plant… has been found to be leaking contaminated water into the sea following heavy rainfall in the region caused by typhoon Etau, a spokesperson of Fukushima’s operator confirmed to EFE Thursday… The leaks have been caused in the embankments around the tanks where highly radioactive water is stored after they are used to cool the reactors…

USA Today: Tens of thousands of people are ordered to flee homes across Japan as heavy rain pounded the country, sending radiation-tainted waters into the ocean at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Kyodo: Heavy rains whose severity was described as occurring once in 50 years were observed in… Fukushima Prefecture.

CNN: Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by the 2011 tsunami, saw more than 30 centimeters (1 foot) of rain in 48 hours — the heaviest downpour there in 50 years, NHK said.

Watch ABC’s broadcast here

September 11, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Fukushima 2015, Japan | Leave a comment

Pacific Island Forum: theme will be Australia’s Inaction on Climate CHnage

Australia’s inaction on climate change set to dominate Pacific Island talks, Guardian, 6 Sept 15  Australia and New Zealand are expected to face strong criticism from Pacific Island leaders disappointed the nations are not doing more to combat climate change.


The issue will likely dominate this week’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Port Moresby, ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later in the year.

Pacific leaders want the world to work on restricting the global warming temperature rise to 1.5C, fearing a 2C target will risk the survival of many tiny islands.

Natural disaster recovery will be fresh on their minds. The summit starts on Monday, six months after Cyclone Pam, which flattened much of Vanuatu and caused heavy flooding on Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.

Host nation Papua New Guinea is grappling with the opposite problem – what could be its worst drought in 20 years and a potential food crisis.

The prime minister, Peter O’Neill, has said El Niño conditions have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are also experiencing a dry spell………

The Pacific Island Forum runs from 7-11 September.

September 6, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

Climate Change 1

In recent themes I wrote about nuclear power being in fact a big contributor to global warming,  and about how climate change will in fact finish off the nuclear industry.

But – let’s pretend that nuclear reactors really could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TIME: To do that, 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed within a few yeas to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology Study on “The Future of Nuclear Power”   projected that a global growth scenario for as many as 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation. Average 115 built per year would reduce our CO2 use by only 16%.

When we talk about Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – that 1500 reactors needed translates to millions, (and these SMRs are already shown to be more costly than large ones,)

COSTS: historically and now, the costs of the nuclear industry are staggering. Cost estimates have increased in the past decade from $1,000 to $7,000 per kW installed. And that’s before additional costs – e.g new safety measures, decommissioning are added. U.S. Vogtle project  originally budgeted at $660 million, by 2013 cost $9 billion.   Rating agencies consider nuclear investment risky and the abandoning of nuclear projects explicitly “credit positive”.

Meanwhile – if the nuclear “climate cure” were to be pursued, the enormous costs and efforts involved would take away from the clean, fast, and ever cheaper solutions of energy efficiency and renewable energy.




August 28, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 1 Comment


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