The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fukushima children and adolescents have unusually high rates of thyroid cancer

highly-recommendedThyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Among Residents Ages 18 Years and Younger in Fukushima, Japan: 2011 to 2014.   by Tsuda, Toshihide; Tokinobu, Akiko; Yamamoto,
thyroid-cancer-papillaryEiji; Suzuki, Etsuji Epidemiology: Post Author Corrections: October 5, 2015 Open Access Published Ahead-of-Print

 Background: After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, radioactive elements were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Based on prior knowledge, concern emerged about whether an increased incidence of thyroid cancer among exposed residents would occur as a result.

Methods: After the release, Fukushima Prefecture performed ultrasound thyroid screening on all residents ages <=18 years. The first round of screening included 298,577 examinees, and a second round began in April 2014. We analyzed the prefecture results from the first and second round up to December 31, 2014, in comparison with the Japanese annual incidence and the incidence within a reference area in Fukushima Prefecture.

Results: The highest incidence rate ratio, using a latency period of 4 years, was observed in the central middle district of the prefecture compared with the Japanese annual incidence (incidence rate ratio = 50; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 25, 90). The prevalence of thyroid cancer was 605 per million examinees (95% CI = 302, 1,082) and the prevalence odds ratio compared with the reference district in Fukushima Prefecture was 2.6 (95% CI = 0.99, 7.0). In the second screening round, even under the assumption that the rest of examinees were disease free, an incidence rate ratio of 12 has already been observed (95% CI = 5.1, 23).

Conclusions: An excess of thyroid cancer has been detected by ultrasound among children and adolescents in Fukushima Prefecture within 4 years of the release, and is unlikely to be explained by a screening surge.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

October 9, 2015 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2015, Japan, Reference | Leave a comment

Scotland’s Labour MPs join Jeremy Corbyn in supporting nuclear disarmament

flag-ScotlandCorbyn, JeremyNeil Findlay convinced unilateral nuclear disarmament campaign will win Trident debate, Courier UK, 
By PRESS ASSOCIATION, 8 October 2015 
Jeremy Corbyn’s closest ally in Scotland has said he is “absolutely convinced” those in favour of unilateral UK nuclear disarmament will win the argument.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay clashed with party colleague Jackie Baillie at Holyrood today over the best tactics to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Two other Labour MSPs, Malcolm Chisholm and Elaine Smith, signed an SNP motion opposing the renewal of Trident – in a foretaste of the wider debate expected at the Scottish Labour Party conference later this month.

Mr Findlay, Mr Corbyn and Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray favour unilateral UK disarmament in the hope it will convince other countries to follow suit, but they are at odds with Labour’s multilateralist support for Trident renewal.

UK Labour reaffirmed its support for Trident at its conference last month but Mr Corbyn caused confusion by admitting he would never launch a nuclear attack.

Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown, a former marine, said it is “deeply immoral” for Labour to advocate spending £100 billion on weapons it would not use…….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Examining Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s deceptive article about ending the cancer research

NRC-DraculaExamining the Reasons for Ending the Cancer Risk Study as given in article by USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission 6 Oct 15 Garry Morgan, U.S. Army Medical Department, Retired Director Health and Radiation Monitoring BEST/MATRR a local chapter of BREDL

One word describes this article – FALLACY. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) mission to protect the public is compromised by politicians supported by Nuclear Special Interest Groups such as the NEI, Nuclear Energy Institute, applying pressure to decrease funding to the NRC. You are supporting the nuclear industry not the public. The NRC is not an agency which has separated itself from undue political and industry influences and pressures.

A report of radiological contamination and its health effects could have been completed with less expense than $8 million dollars, accurately. The nuclear industry and the United States Government has much to hide regarding the failures to protect the public at large and in communities surrounding all nuclear facilities – this includes the uranium mining communities, the fuel facility communities, the nuclear hazardous waste communities, nuclear weapons communities and all nuclear reactor facility communities.

The nuclear industry and the regulator does not report real time ionizing radiation from emission sources from any active nuclear facility; reporting is based on averages reported annually from nuclear facility locations. This type of reporting is skewered, and lacks scientific credibility due to not reporting emissions in a real time monitoring program with accurate radiological assessments from real time monitoring reports along with community resident health evaluations.

Non-profit institutional examination of nuclear emissions and community health is demonstrating an entirely different story from that which the nuclear industry and the NRC reports. When there is contradictory evidence disputing the nuclear industry and the NRC, the NEI hires nuclear industry paid persons to contradict any information assimilated from private non-profit sources, regardless if the information is actually an accurate compilation from government sources with professional data assimilation and analysis. Example – The Browns Ferry Report <>

The examination of dispersal of radiological contaminating materials in East Tennessee presents a horror story of cancer, declining health and radionuclide contamination of the environment of East Tennessee communities along the Tennessee River and its’ tributaries. The citizens of East Tennessee have become a sacrificial group since the beginnings of the nuclear age in 1945. Unfortunately, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the NRC are participants in this horror story of the atomic age, placing the money gained from atomic death industry before peoples health and welfare – shame on you. Shame on the NRC, DOE, and the many nuclear and nuclear defense industries for your continued deceit.

This is the million pound weight in the room – the continuous deceit and placing money before human health in civilian nuclear and nuclear contractor programs, besides the continuous building of highly radioactive nuclear waste materials. The deceit demonstrated is a continuous failure to uphold Human Reliability Standards which is a cornerstone of any nuclear program, the failure due to deceit is tantamount to a disaster awaiting an outcome.>

October 9, 2015 Posted by | health, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Reality check on what Isil could actually do with nuclear materials

What could Isil actually do if they got their hands on nuclear material?Dirty bomb? Nuclear missile? After reports of Russian criminals trying to sell to Islamic State, we ask what the jihadists could actually do with nuclear material. By Richard Brown, King’s College London, Telegraph UK,  08 Oct 2015 The confirmation that black market gangs have been offering nuclear materials for sale – and have expressly targeted Islamic State buyers – can hardly be received with equanimity.

There is no reason to believe that an organisation with so hellishly violent a track record as Isil would baulk at using such materials offensively if ever they had ready access to them.

It would, however, be premature to leap from news of (failed) transactions to visions of a nuclear-armed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil), without first asking what they could actually do with any nuclear material they bought.

Why ‘bomb-grade’ doesn’t always mean that

The term ‘nuclear material’ can, in fact, cover a range of different substances, including those required for nuclear explosions – namely, uranium and plutonium. Neither is at all easy to produce………

Alternative uses for nuclear material

A nuclear explosion is not the only use to which Isil could put ‘nuclear materials’.

There are other radioactive substances than uranium and plutonium, and a more practical and perhaps more tempting prospect would for Isil to use these to produce a radiological dispersal device – a so-called ‘dirty bomb’. Such a device would scatter potentially lethal doses of radioactive material over a large area.

The explosive component could be fairly crude, and the appropriate radiological materials would be easier to obtain used (a small quantity of Caesium-137 or Cobalt-60 would be ideal).

No nuclear explosion would result, but there would be a significant risk of radiation sickness and contamination of a wide area. The psychological and environmental impact could be severe.

That said, the lethality of the device itself might not be especially high; much would depend on the context in which the device was used, and the swiftness with which authorities could begin decontamination.

At any rate, most of the value to the terrorists would come from the scale of disruption the bomb caused, rather than from the radiological death toll……..

October 9, 2015 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, safety | Leave a comment

Many nuclear facilities insecure, vulnerable to cyber-attack

cyber-attackReport finds many nuclear power plant systems “insecure by design” Use of VPNs in some reactors, lack of security measures pose risks. by  – Oct 8, 2015 study of the information security measures at civilian nuclear energy facilities around the world found a wide range of problems at many facilities that could leave them vulnerable to attacks on industrial control systems—potentially causing interruptions in electrical power or even damage to the reactors themselves. The study, undertaken by Caroline Baylon, David Livingstone, and Roger Brunt of the UK international affairs think tank Chatham House, found that many nuclear power plants’ systems were “insecure by design” and vulnerable to attacks that could have wide-ranging impacts in the physical world—including the disruption of the electrical power grid and the release of “significant quantities of ionizing radiation.” It would not require an attack with the sophistication of Stuxnet to do significant damage, the researchers suggested, based on the poor security present at many plants and the track record of incidents already caused by software.

The researchers found that many nuclear power plant systems were not “air gapped” from the Internet and that they had virtual private network access that operators were “sometimes unaware of.” And in facilities that did have physical partitioning from the Internet, those measures could be circumvented with a flash drive or other portable media introduced into their onsite network—something that would be entirely too simple given the security posture of many civilian nuclear operators. The use of personal devices on plant networks and other gaps in security could easily introduce malware into nuclear plants’ networks, the researchers warned.
The security strategies of many operators examined in the report were “reactive rather than proactive,” the Chatham House researchers noted, meaning that there was little in the way of monitoring of systems for anomalies that might warn of a cyber-attack on a facility. An attack could be well underway before it was detected. And because of poor training around information security, the people responsible for operating the plants would likely not know what to do.

That problem is heightened by what the researchers characterized as a “communication breakdown” between IT security professionals and the plant operations staff, and a simple lack of awareness among plant operations people about the potential dangers of cyber-attacks. Cultural differences between IT and nuclear engineering culture cause friction at some facilities, in fact—making it difficult for IT and security staff to get across the problem with the poor security practices in the plants.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how bad the problem really is, because the nuclear industry doesn’t talk about breaches. “The infrequency of cyber security incident disclosure at nuclear facilities makes it difficult to assess the true extent of the problem and may lead nuclear industry personnel to believe that there are few incidents,” the researchers wrote in their summary. “Moreover, limited collaboration with other industries or information-sharing means that the nuclear industry tends not to learn from other industries that are more advanced in this field.”

These issues, combined with a lack of regulation, may lead to an underestimation of risk by nuclear operators and result in a lack of budgeting or planning for reducing the risk of attack.

October 9, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Fiftyfold increase in child thyroid cancers in Fukushima residents

thyroid-cancer-papillaryChild cancers up fiftyfold after Fukushima disaster The Times,  Richard Lloyd Parry Tokyo, October 8 2015  Cases of thyroid cancer among children living close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant have increased fiftyfold since the meltdown in 2011, according to Japanese scientists.

Residents of Fukushima prefecture in northeast Japan should be monitored in the same way as survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, say the researchers, who offer one of the most pessimistic assessments so far of the health implications of the world’s second worst nuclear disaster……..

October 9, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Moldova – a “thriving black market in nuclear materials”

CriminalWhy Moldova May Be the Scariest Country on Earth A new report details a black market in nuclear materials, The Atlantic, 8 Oct 15 On Wednesday, the Associated Press published a horrifying report about criminal networks in the former Soviet Union trying to sell “radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists.” At the center of these cases, of which the AP learned of four in the past five years, was a “thriving black market in nuclear materials” in a “tiny and impoverished Eastern European country”: Moldova.

It’s a new iteration of an old problem with a familiar geography. The breakup of the Soviet Union left a superpower’s worth of nuclear weapons scattered across several countries without a superpower’s capacity to keep track of them. When Harvard’s Graham Allison flagged this problem in 1996, he wrote that the collapse of Russia’s “command-and-control society” left nothing secure. To wit:

The Russian nuclear weapons archipelago includes hundreds of sites over one-seventh of the Earth’s land mass, sites at which 1,000 tons of highly enriched uranium, 100 tons of plutonium and some 30,000 nuclear warheads are at risk.

Specifically, as described in Foreign Policy by the journalist Douglas Birch:

Russia inherited [the Soviet Union’s] vast stores of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. And they were a mess. Western visitors to weapons depots and labs were shocked to find AWOL guards, broken fences and unlocked doors. Two million nerve gas shells were discovered sitting in rotting barns in a patch of forest in western Siberia.

In the intervening years, the United States has spent billions to help Russia upgrade its nuclear facilities and improve security, helping decommission or destroy thousands of nuclear warheads until that cooperation ended in late 2014. But nuclear materials remain accessible, and certain estimates about their prevalence are classified. While it would be hard to steal a nuclear warhead, radioactive components for a “dirty bomb” are significantly easier to obtain and transport. Radiation sickness isn’t necessarily a deterrent for a suicide bomber……….

Reports such as these surface periodically from the former Soviet Union andPakistan and, perhaps because the implications are too terrible to think about and the solutions are too hard to find, they fade more quickly than their severity warrants. The underlying issues are largely the same as they were 20 years ago: The black market exists because there’s a supply of the material and a demand for it. As one Moldovan investigator told the AP: “As long as the smugglers think they can make big money without getting caught, they will keep doing it.”

October 9, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Increasing public opposition to South Korean govt’s nuclear power policy

Protest-No!flag-S-KoreaThe Repercussions of South Korea’s Pro-Nuclear Energy Policy A long-term policy is running into increasing domestic opposition, The Diplomat,  By Se Young Jang,  8 Oct 15 Se Young Jang is an associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Studies, Harvard Kennedy School, and a non-resident Kelly fellow at Pacific Forum CSIS.

October 08, 2015 South Korea has been trying to develop its nuclear energy industry over half a century. Insufficient energy sources, increasing domestic energy consumption, and rising oil prices in the 1970s were significant drivers that turned South Korea into a nuclear energy producer. Today, the country runs 24 nuclear reactors in four nuclear power plant sites, the second highest number of reactors among Asian countries after Japan and fifth highest in the world. Despite the contribution of nuclear energy to the South Korean economy, however, the country is currently facing mounting domestic concerns over its pro-nuclear energy policy.

In a local referendum held in October 2014, an overwhelming majority of the residents in Samcheok, a small coastal city in Gangwon province, rejected the South Korean government’s plan to build a nuclear power plant in the city. Since Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima and South Korea’s 2013 scandals over fake safety certificates for nuclear equipment, South Koreans have begun to take nuclear safety issues more seriously, which in turn has prompted a growing anti-nuclear power sentiment. A series of scandals and accidents in South Korea’s nuclear power plants have focused public attention on the effects of radioactive materials on the health of the residents who live near the country’s four nuclear power plants. Last year, a South Korean courtruled that the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., a state-run nuclear power plant operator, was responsible for the thyroid cancer suffered by a plaintiff, who has lived 7.7 km away from the Kori nuclear power plant over the past 20 years. Since then, more than 500 thyroid cancer patients living close to the nuclear power plants in South Korea have been preparing a joint legal action against the company.

Notwithstanding the anti-nuclear sentiment, nuclear energy as a share of total electricity generated increased to about 30 percent in 2014, and the South Korean government is currently constructing four new nuclear reactors with eight more being planned. Standing firm on its nuclear power plant projects, the South Korean government regarded the Samcheok referendum as not legally binding, and this position remains unchanged. Under the Second Basic National Energy Plan for 2015-2035, South Korea appear to have few options but to stick to its original plan of building more nuclear power plants, as the 2015-2035 energy plan was based on the assumption that it could not avoid raising its dependence on nuclear power.

Critics say that the government overestimated future electricity demand and underpriced electricity. According to the Sixth Basic Supply-Demand Plan for Electricity (2013-2027), South Korea will use more electricity per capita than the United States in 2024. The high population density in South Korea could translate into lower demand for electricity per capita. Moreover, estimates of electricity demand are based on cheap prices for electricity; the government calculated that the rate of increase in electricity prices in the coming years would be one third of the inflation rate. Some newspapers in South Korea report concerns about rising electricity bills as a result of a decreasing reliance on nuclear power. Still, it is interesting to note that 65.6 percent of respondents in a 2013 poll were willing to pay a higher electricity bill if it meant fewer nuclear power plants……….

Today, South Korea no longer seeks its own nuclear weapons, but Park Geun-hye still sees boosting nuclear energy industry as a great opportunity for the South Korean economy. Now a nuclear exporter, South Korea has concluded agreements with Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to construct one research reactor and four commercial reactors. …….

Korea’s success in the nuclear export market and geopolitical necessities notwithstanding, the current domestic situation is hardly favorable to the South Korean government. The 2013 scandal over hundreds of faulty components used in reactors is still unfolding. A parliamentary audit last year revealed that the temporary suspension of the operations of nuclear power plants after the scandal caused the loss of 10 trillion won (about $9.5 billion), and that some officials fired from the KEPCO E&C (Korea Electric Power Corporation Engineering and Construction) over the scandals were rehired. Worse, the result of the referendum in Samcheok is probably only the beginning of a series of hurdles which the South Korean government will have to overcome. More than half of the respondents in a recent poll conducted in Yeongdeok, in North Gyeongsang Province, which was also designated as a nuclear power plant site by the government in 2012 along with Samcheok, opposed the central government’s construction plan.

The consent of local residents will be even more important in the near future as South Korea faces a crisis over the storage of nuclear spent fuel. South Korea has nearly 9,000 tons of spent fuel stacked in temporary storage pools with about 750 tons added to the pools every year. They could reach maximum capacity by 2021. The government has been deliberating over several ways of storing spent fuel, including pyroprocessing and a medium-term solution using dry casks; but no matter what method South Korea chooses, the government will need to be able to persuade people living next to the facility, no easy task as Samcheok has demonstrated……….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Korea | Leave a comment

Nadejda Koutepova speaks out on the hidden scandal of the Mayak radioactive contamination

flag_RussiaA Russian antinuclear activist asks for asylum in France  Mediapart , October 2, 2015, by Amélie Poinssot and Michel de Pracontal, The revelation, decades later
“………Fifteen years ago you established the NGO “Planet of Hope” in order to aid the victims of radioactive contamination from Maiak. What led you to this cause?
Nadejda Koutepova :
My grandmother was a chemical engineer and she worked at the complex from the time it opened in 1948. The Soviet state wanted, like the Americans, to develop nuclear weapons, so they built a secret factory in the Siberian forest next to the closed city of Ozersk. People who worked there were forbidden from talking about their work. In 1965, my grandmother died of lymphatic cancer. I never knew her. At the time of the accident in 1957, when a container of highly radioactive waste exploded, my father was a student in Ekaterinburg. He belonged to the Komsomols (All-Union Leninist Young Communist League) so he was immediately mobilized as a liquidator. He worked there for nearly five years. In 1985, he died of intestinal cancer. I was a teenager at the end of his life, and it was horrific. He lived with a colostomy bag and was consumed by alcoholism.
But it was only later that I understood what could have caused him and my grandmother to die. One fine day in 1999, I was invited to a conference on the environment organized in Chelyabinsk, the big regional city. It was there that I discovered that the whole Ozersk region is contaminated, yet the local population ignores the situation completely. Officially, the region is not polluted. The inhabitants eat mushrooms and fish in the rivers without asking any questions. This conference was a revelation. At that moment I decided to establish an NGO. I had studied law, sociology and political science at university. I wanted the inhabitants who were still there to have the means to leave and I wanted the unrecognized victims to be able to defend themselves.
Mayak disaster
In the first years of operation of the factory, 1949-52, all the highly radioactive wastes were dumped into the Techa. Cases of leukemia and premature death multiplied in the villages along the river, so the factory started managing the wastes in metal tanks. During the next decade, 34 out of 39 villages along the river were evacuated. At the same time, radioactive wastes were dumped in Lake Karachai. It was only in 1962 that the authorities announced that they would stop these practices.
In reality, the contamination of the surrounding waters never ended. In 2005, the director of the factory at Maiak, Vitali Sadovnikov, was prosecuted for having let the factory release, starting in the year 2000, tens of thousands of cubic meters of radioactive water into the Techa. Sadovnikov was given amnesty by the Duma (Russian parliament) in 2006. Nonetheless, the files on the court decision on Sadovnikov show that 30 to 40 cubic meters of radioactive water were dumped between 2001 and 2004! Since then, we haven’t even had access to the file, and the Maiak factory denies all responsibility for the contamination of the river.
Do the Russian authorities today recognize the victims of radioactive contamination?
A law was enacted in 1993, inspired by the 1991 law on victims of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. This law provides social assistance to the victims of the 1957 accident and to people affected by the contamination of the river—but not to their spouses or children. It specifies the typology of illnesses: if the patient could prove a direct link to her work at Maiak or to a place where she lived with radiation from Maiak, then she had a right to compensation.
In total, 19,000 people have been classified as eligible. The figure is always declining because of deaths. Five years ago there were 23,000. But this only represents a small part of the population affected by the consequences of contamination in the region. Our NGO estimates that the number has grown now to about 100,000.
The typology is very restrictive. It was reduced a lot by scientists after Chernobyl. There are only four categories: cancers, blood diseases, genetic instability, and chronic cellular dysfunction. Mental health and psychosomatic problems, for example, are not on the list. Furthermore, when a patient applies for compensation, a “council of experts” gets together at the center for radiation research in the Urals. Made up of eleven persons, they vote by a show of hands on whether the patient should be compensated. These men are not independent. They raise their hands under pressure from their supervisors. And who are we to question their decisions? They respond that they are the scientists. It is they who have the knowledge. We have tried to set up procedures to appeal their decisions. It is impossible.
Another problem is that many people lived and worked in the city at various jobs, but their occupations were not considered to have put them at risk. These were such people as the teachers at the technical college in Maiak, or workers at the train station in the neighboring town. They couldn’t claim compensation. Others didn’t live within the officially recognized zone of contamination. There is also the story of the children of the village of Karabolka who worked regularly in the fields. They were mobilized after the accident to bury carrots and potatoes. For weeks they handled irradiated produce. But unlike the liquidators, they never received certificates proving their participation. Fifty years later they have finally been recognized.
European Court of Human Rights
Still now local people don’t have the chance to get proper medical tests. When they are done, they are often very cursory. I know a woman who had a chromosome test done, but they looked at only one hundred cells. In order to do it properly, they need at least 500 to 1,000. As a result, no pathology was proven.
Compensation is not large. It depends on the occupation and the place the applicant lived. A former liquidator, for example, receives a food supplement of 600 rubles a month (which is worth about 8 euros at present rates), as well a small payment annually for health care. The recipient has access to free medicine and can, in theory, go once a year to a sanatorium. In some cases, a housing benefit is available…….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | environment, Reference, Russia | 1 Comment

Pediatric Thyroid Cancer after the Fukushima Accident

Press Conference: Toshihide Tsuda, Professor of Okayama Univeristy, October 08, 2015, “Pediatric Thyroid Cancer after the Fukushima Accident” 

Toshihide Tsuda
Professor, Graduate School of 
Environmental and Life Science, Okayama University
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

Almost five years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, attention is turning to the possible long-term health effects radiation exposure has had on local people, particularly children.

A large-scale thyroid ultrasound screening examination is underway in Fukushima Prefecture, covering about 370,000 children who were 18 or younger at the time of the accident.

Despite evidence of much higher rates of juvenile thyroid cancer in the prefecture compared with the pre-accident incidence rate, local medical authorities and the central government claim that the Fukushima disaster is not the cause.

They point to the evacuation of tens of thousands of people in the immediate aftermath, and the ban on the sale of locally produced milk and other produce. The authorities, backed by prominent international experts, claim the increased rate of thyroid cancer is due to the highly sensitive ultrasound equipment being used to test Fukushima children.

But in a significant challenge to that thesis, Toshihide Tsuda, professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University, believes the excess occurrence of juvenile thyroid cancer is not due merely to the screening effect, but is the consequence of exposure to radiation.

October 9, 2015 Posted by | children, Japan | Leave a comment

Duke Energy very doubtful about new nuclear stations

nukes-sad-Flag-USAWill new nuclear plants be ‘part of the picture’ for Duke Energy? CEO raises doubt, Charlotte Business Journal,  Oct 8, 2015, Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good sounded a strongly doubtful note about the company proceeding with its proposed Lee Nuclear Station in her speech Wednesday to the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.Talking about what Charlotte-based Duke (NYSE:DUK) would look like in 2025, she said natural gas would be the backbone of its power fleet and that the utility would make greater use of renewable energy and battery storage.“Nuclear will continue to be an important part of energy supplies in the Carolinas,” she said “But whether or not new nuclear is a part of the picture remains to be seen.”

Abandoned plants   Duke still includes the proposed 2,334-megawatt Lee plant in its long-range plans. But the utility has never formally committed to construction of the $12 billion project. Good’s comments raised new doubts about whether it ever will. Since 2012, Duke has abandoned plans to build new nuclear units in Raleigh and in Florida. The Lee plant, proposed for Gaffney, S.C., is the last new nuclear plant still included in the company’s plans……..the company will have to “look very hard at whether we can replace current nuclear with new nuclear,” she said.

That is likely to mean a much greater dependence on natural gas plants than there is now.

Good said that no new coal plants will be built in the United States…….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

The work of Russia’s anti nuclear NGO “Planet of Hope”

 A Russian antinuclear activist asks for asylum in France  Mediapart , October 2, 2015, by Amélie Poinssot and Michel de Pracontal,  “…….What did your NGO accomplish?
Protest-No!flag_RussiaOur NGO, based in Ozersk, had three programs. We educated citizens about their rights, in particular those who were victims of radioactive contamination. We did sociological research on the inhabitants. And we gave training to representatives of other NGOs in the Ozersk region.
We brought some sixty cases before Russian courts or administrative bodies. In most cases, they concerned proving that the person resided in the contaminated zone. For others, it was a matter of making them aware of their right to be relocated by the state, or to obtain the correct level of compensation.
One example was the case of Akhmadeyeva, a mother and her son who lived in the village of Mouslioumovo, on the Techa river. They requested to be relocated. The child had a mental deficiency linked to the effects of radiation contamination from the river. The municipality finally recognized him as disabled, then the state gave him a housing allowance and they were able to move to Chelyabinsk.
But we also failed many times. Such was the case with a small girl who died in 2011 from liver cancer. Experts had recognized that her illness was linked to a genetic anomaly derived from her grandmother’s exposure to radiation when she worked on cleanup of the site, after the accident in 1957. But the court decided that the accident was too far in the past. The case rested on a claim for pecuniary damage, which wasn’t possible under the laws of the USSR.
We took other cases to the European Court of Human Rights. My mother, Gayeva, was one such case. As a widow of a liquidator, she had not been compensated, and despite the positive appeal decision of the court in Ozersk (a three-year legal battle), her compensation was quickly denied by the regional court in Chelyabinsk. So next she went to Strasbourg. But the delays were very long, and she died in the meantime.
Have you taken on other types of cases?
Yes, we also worked on cases that were linked to the status of the closed city of Ozersk. At that time in the USSR, Ozersk was called Chelyabinsk 65. Like all the closed cities, it couldn’t be identified, so it took the name of the closest major city, followed by a postal code. On my passport, this is still listed as my place of birth. After an eight-year legal battle, a woman succeeded in correcting this incongruity and got her place of birth recognized as Ozersk, not Chelyabinsk.
Still today, even though the Soviet Union hasn’t existed for twenty-eight years, access to the town is limited. No one can enter without official authorization, and there are many restrictions. A resident of Ozersk who went to prison wanted to return when he was released, but he was not allowed to. We helped him in his applications, and he went as far as the European Court of Human Rights. In 2011, the court decided in his favor. He was able to return to his place of origin.
The explosion in 1957 was not revealed until nineteen years later, in 1976, by the exiled biologist Jaurès Medvedev. However, you, in spite of the illnesses you saw in people close to you, didn’t become aware of the severity of the accident until much later, after the collapse of the USSR. Why was this disaster ignored for so long?
The 1957 explosion released 20 million curies (two million went up in the atmosphere, 18 million fell on the nearby environment). An area of 23,000 square kilometers was contaminated at a high level. But all of this happened at a strategically important facility which didn’t exist on any map. It was completely shut off from outside visitors. The catastrophe remained a state secret.
It was 1990 when there was the first official recognition of the accident, with a visit from Boris Yeltsin. As for myself, at that time I still couldn’t admit the truth. We were brought up with such an ideology. We were convinced that at Ozersk we worked for the security of the USSR, we were heroes. My mother, who was a doctor, cared for employees at Maiak, and she lost her husband who was a liquidator. She told me certain things, but I didn’t attach importance to them.
Declared “undesirable”
What is Maiak like today?
The facility that was built, at first to produce the Soviet nuclear bomb, functions today as a nuclear fuel reprocessing center, including for foreign clients (Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Iraq and Ukraine, according to Greenpeace). 15,000 people live there and work in the complex. The old military reactors have been shut down.
But abnormal situations continue. The village of Mouslioumovo, one of the last to remain, was finally moved between 2005 and 2008. Most people took compensation and left, but a few chose to relocate only two kilometers from the Techa, which is highly polluted. Some inhabitants were not registered with local authorities. They were not eligible for compensation.

Today, we have no way to be certain that releases into the Techa have been stopped. The factory states that the reservoirs are secure…….

October 9, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Russia | Leave a comment

Displacement Solutions advocates on behalf of climate refugees

climate-changeUN drops plan to help move climate-change affected people, Guardian, , 7 Oct 15 “…….Advocates for displaced people argue that a new international framework needs to be created to help them, given that the UN refugee convention does not cover them because they are not fleeing persecution.

“I’d hope the UN would put a new apparatus in place. At the moment this is being dabbled in – there’s nothing systemic,” said academic Scott Leckie, founder of Displacement Solutions, an NGO that facilitates moving people displaced by climate change within their countries.

Leckie’s organisation focuses its work in five countries – Bangladesh, Colombia, Fiji, Panama and the Solomon Islands – but said climate displacement was a global problem, even in wealthy nations such as the US where people in Alaskahave had to move and Boston faces a future of being a “city of canals” because of sea level rises.

“Successful relocation is very complicated and there’s a real gap in how governments do this internally,” he said. “It may seem simple to move 30,000 people within Panama, for example, but when you get into it there is a variety of land and ethnic tensions.

Kiribati 15“The question for people on small islands is whether to stay or go, which is almost impossible to answer because the stakes are so high. Once you have people leave, you get a brain drain, investment dries up and you get into a vicious cycle of despair and poverty.

“This is solvable with political will and resources. There needs to be a coordinated human rights approach. Just as Australia takes in 12,000 Syrian refugees, there’s nothing stopping a further 1,000 places earmarked for people who have nowhere else to go in the Pacific islands.

“I think every country in the world responsible for CO2 emissions have some measure of responsibility for the predicament they’ve caused. Top of that list is Australia, given it is the worst per capita emitter in the world.”

October 9, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Turkey warns Russia it may not get its nuclear technology from Russia

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia on nuclear project, natural gas: papers   ISTANBUL (Reuters), 8 Oct 15  – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Russia there were other places Turkey could get natural gas and other countries that could build its first nuclear plant, in the wake of Russian incursions into Turkish air space during its air campaign in Syria.

Russian aircraft twice entered Turkish air space at the weekend. Turkish F-16 jets have also been harassed by Syrian-based missile systems and unidentified planes since then.

“We can’t accept the current situation. Russia’s explanations on the air space violations are not convincing,” the Turkish daily Sabah and others quoted Erdogan as telling reporters as he flew to Japan for an official visit. He said he was resentful over what had happened but did not currently plan to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“These are matters for Russia to think about. If the Russians don’t build the Akkuyu (nuclear plant in southern Turkey) another will come and build it,” he said.

Turkey in 2013 commissioned Russia’s state-owned Rosatom to build four 1,200-megawatt reactors, but a start date for what is Turkey’s first nuclear power plant project has not yet been set.

“We are Russia’s number one natural gas consumer. Losing Turkey would be a serious loss for Russia. If necessary, Turkey can get its natural gas from many different places,” he said.

Around 28-30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Turkey’s 50 bcm annual natural gas needs are met by Russia.

(Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

October 9, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Russia, Turkey | Leave a comment

How Russia repressed anti nuclear Non Government Organisation Planet of Hope [Planeta Nadezhd]

censorshipflag_RussiaA Russian antinuclear activist asks for asylum in France  Mediapart , October 2, 2015, by Amélie Poinssot and Michel de Pracontal,  “………..You have been in France since July, in Paris, and on October 2nd you are applying for asylum. Why did you leave Russia?
Our NGO came under increasing pressure over the years. In 2004, a law was passed to make it illegal to do sociological research in the Ozersk region, under the pretext that it threatened national security.
Starting in 2008, we were ordered to pay tax on our “profits.” We refused because we are financed by donations and we are non-profit. Next they tried to intimidate us. I was watched and harassed. But we won the game in court.
In 2012, a law enacted by the Duma put controls on NGOs that received donations from abroad. They were considered as “foreign agents.” So we organized a public meeting to explain that we are not foreign agents because in our activities we consult the local population. We work only for Russians.
But in April of this year, the authorities put us on their list of foreign agents. They accused us of two things: receiving financing from the United States, and “political activities.” This latter accusation concerns two interviews that I gave, one to an ecology magazine in which I discussed Article 42 of the constitution that grants the right to compensation when one is the victim of an environmental disaster. I criticized the way the courts were circumventing Article 42. The other interview was with the nuclear information website Bellona. I spoke of the deaths of children of liquidators and I also criticized the Russian courts.
In May, the pressure continued. The court in Ozersk ordered us to pay 900,000 rubles (4,000 euro) for not having registered with the authorities as foreign agents. All of a sudden, Rossia 24, one of the leading national media networks, broadcast an “assassin report” about us. My face was there at the top of the news, my views were misrepresented, and I was accused of industrial espionage. Journalists came and filmed my house. The question is this: how did they get the permits to enter Ozersk, which is still a closed city?
After this, my supporters encouraged me to leave Russia. Since then, I have been added to a list of persons declared “undesirable” by the Duma. This indicates that I could be imprisoned. At the end of June, a new report was broadcast on television. We decided to dissolve the NGO. On July 7, with my children I left for Paris as discretely as possible.
How do you explain the reaction by the media and the Russian authorities?
The general policy is that the United States is our enemy. We are surrounded by enemies. Whoever receives aid from enemies is an enemy also. Then there are the local interests. FSB Ozersk is not eager to have people know about the ecological catastrophe of the region. These interests merge with national interests.

See also:

Chris Harris, “Charity boss flees with young kids after Russia’s NGO crackdown,” Euronews, September 9, 2015.

October 9, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, Russia | Leave a comment


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