US opposes pos t-Fukushima nuclear safety proposal http://rt.com/usa/199024-cns-nuclear-safety-proposal/
But while Reuters says the Swiss-led initiative is tentatively being backed by other European countries, the newswire alleges that energy officials in the US, Russia and Canada are all opposed to the measure, which would likely increase industry costs.
Although details of the proposed pact have not been made public, Bloomberg reported that it would involve rewriting “international standards to ensure nuclear operators not only prevent accidents but mitigate consequences if they occur, by installing costly new structures built to survive natural disasters.” In a report published on Thursday this week by Reuters, the newswire said that the proposed changes would not only apply up-to-date safety standards for new reactors, but also carry out back-fitting measures on sites that are already in operation.According to this week’s reports, however, some of the world’s top energy powers are opposed because, as Reuters’ Fredrick Dahl wrote, any changes to the CNS could take years to be installed if, of course, they are ratified by the dozens of nations involved. “You are trying to drop a Ferrari engine into a Volkswagen. If you want a new car, let’s go to the show room” and buy one, a senior but unnamed Department of State official said to Dahl.
But experts have previously said American facilities, in particular, are in need of upgrades, with a July 2014 report published by the National Academy of Science that said the US “should access their preparedness for severe nuclear accidents associated with offsite-scale disasters.” Additionally, the authors of that study wrote that America’s current approach to nuclear safety is “clearly inadequate for preventing core-melt accidents and mitigating their consequences,” yet newly-initiated upgrades in the US are being conducted on a scale hardly comparable to what’s occurring overseas: according to Bloomberg, Electricite de France SA is spending around $13 billion on implementing safety measures on its 59 reactors, whereas American utilities will spend only $3 billion on portable generators and cooling reserves for roughly 100 reactors.
Nevertheless, officials in Berne remain optimistic that the countries currently opposed to the proposed changes will come to an agreement that makes facilities around the world more secure.
“Switzerland, as the initiator of the proposal, will continue to collaborate with all delegations and do everything to find a solution that is acceptable to all of us,” Georg Schwarz, deputy director general of the Swiss nuclear-safety regulator, ENSI, wrote to Bloomberg Business Week.
Russian officials did not immediately respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment, and neither BusinessWeek nor Reuters included remarks from Canada in their report.
ANOTHER investigation into the controversial Hinkley C deal has begun.
Just two weeks ago, the European Commission approved plans for the £16bn nuclear power plant.
They had been investigating whether the subsidy deal between energy company EDF and the Government constituted as illegal State aid.
While the project was approved, the National Audit Office has now begun investigating the deal to make sure the subsidy price of £92 a megawatt hour represented value for money.
The NAO is a financial watchdog which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament……….
The Stop Hinkley Campaign welcomed the news about the investigation. Spokesperson Allan Jeffrey said: “This is an extraordinarily bad deal, locking consumers into high prices until almost 2060.
“Worse still, it will use up most of the money available to subsidise non-fossil fuel energy, leaving almost nothing available for renewables at a time when their costs are plummeting.
“The European Commission’s ill-thought through decision has turned UK Energy Policy into even more of a dog’s breakfast than it was to begin with…….
Energy supplier Ecotricity has said it is considering taking legal action against the deal along with the Austrian Government and Germany………http://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/11554761.Hinkley_C_deal_goes_under_scrutiny_again/
Japan warns of increased activity at volcano near nuclear plant TOKYO Fri Oct 24, 2014 (Reuters) Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Michael Perry- Japan warned on Friday that a volcano in southern Japan located roughly 64 km (40 miles) from a nuclear plant was showing signs of increased activity that could possibly lead to a small-scale eruption and warned people to stay away from the summit.
The warning comes nearly a month after another volcano, Mt Ontake, erupted suddenly when crowded with hikers, killing 57 people in Japan’s worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years.
Ioyama, a mountain on the southwestern island of Kyushu, has been shaken by small tremors and other signs of rising volcanic activity recently, including a tremor lasting as long as seven minutes, an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s volcano division said……..
Ioyama lies in the volcanically active Kirishima mountain range and is roughly 64 km from the Sendai nuclear plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co, which the Japanese government wants to restart even though the public remains opposed to nuclear power following the Fukushima crisis.
Critics point out that the Sendai plant is located about 50 kms (31 miles) from Mount Sakurajima, an active volcano that erupts frequently. Five giant calderas, crater-like depressions formed by past eruptions, are also in the region, the closest one 40 kms (25 miles) away.
The plant still needs to pass operational safety checks as well as gain the approval of local authorities and may not restart till next year……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/24/us-japan-volcano-idUSKCN0ID0A320141024?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
Japan to ratify international convention on nuclear accident compensation pact THE ASAHI SHIMBUN http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201410240041
Japan intends to ratify an international convention that sets a global uniform standard for compensating victims of nuclear accidents.
The move is in line with fears of an increasing risk of a nuclear accident abroad with developing nations accelerating their efforts to construct nuclear power plants.
The convention limits responsibility for nuclear accidents to the operator of the nuclear plant, meaning companies that manufacture nuclear plant equipment would not be liable. That provision would make it easier for Japanese manufacturers to export nuclear technology.
However, critics charge that Japan has not yet adequately assessed the reasons for the catastrophic triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011 and that it is wrong to join a convention that would promote nuclear technology exports.
The Abe administration will submit a bill to the extraordinary Diet session now in progress to ratify the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC). Currently, five nations, including the United States, have ratified the treaty, which was adopted in 1997.
However, the treaty has still not entered into force because one provision has not been met–that the total installed nuclear capacity of the ratifying nations be at least 400,000 megawatts.
If Japan ratified the convention, that provision would be cleared. The United States has been lobbying Japan to join the pact. Continue reading
- A study from the University of New Hampshire suggests missions to Mars might be impossible due to an increased risk of radiation
- Research suggests when sun is less active cosmic rays increase
- This lowers the amount of time an astronaut can safely stay in space
- It is predicted solar activity will continue to decrease in future
- This will mean male astronauts can only stay in space for 320 days
- And for females this is reduced to just 240 days
- These would be too short for a mission to Mars, particularly for women
- Both would be susceptible to radiation sickness, cancer and more
By JONATHAN O’CALLAGHAN FOR MAILONLINE 22 October 2014
Sending people to Mars may be impossible due to an increased radiation risk from cosmic rays, claims a study.
It’s thought that a predicted decrease in solar activity will raise the levels of radiation astronauts are subjected to from cosmic rays on a deep space mission.
This will increase the risk of suffering sickness, cancer and more on lengthy trips to the red planet lasting about a year to levels beyond what is considered safe……
the number of days a human could spend in space before reaching the limit is less than thought……a mission to Mars for a man difficult, but for women it would be all but impossible without them succumbing to serious effects of radiation. ……..http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2802937/mars-mission-expose-astronauts-deadly-levels-radiation-travelling-red-planet-study-claims.html
Suga downplays conflict involving new trade chief’s Tepco stake, Japan Times, BY REIJI YOSHIDA, 25 OCT 14 STAFF WRITER
THE FORGOTTEN COUP Little Darwin, John Pilger 24 Oct 14 – How America and Britain crushed the government of Australia Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.
Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor Party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm”. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonisation of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent’s vast natural wealth. …………………….
US diplomatic cables published last year by WikiLeaks disclose the names of leading figures in both main parties, including a future prime minister and foreign minister, as Washington’s informants during the Whitlam years……….Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention”.
Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House… a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.”
Pine Gap’s top-secret messages were de-coded by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the de-coders was Christopher Boyce, a young man troubled by the “deception and betrayal of an ally”. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as “our man Kerr”…………………..
The Americans and British worked together. In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain’s MI6 was operating against his government. “The Brits were actually decoding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office,” he said later. One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, “We knew MI6 was bugging Cabinet meetings for the Americans.” In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the “Whitlam problem” had been discussed “with urgency” by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: “Kerr did what he was told to do.”…………………
On 11 November – the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.http://littledarwin.blogspot.com.au/
Gov’t report reveals Fukushima radioactive release much larger than Chernobyl — Japan reactors could have emitted nearly four times as much cesium-137 http://enenews.com/govt-report-reveals-fukushima-radioactive-release-larger-chernobyl-japan-reactors-could-emitted-four-times-cesium-137?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
- The Fukushima accident [led to a] release of huge radioactivity
- It is reported… 4 times more radioactivity was released to the sea than to the atmosphere
- Best-estimate source term of 137Cs… released into the atmosphere, is about 4%
- Best-estimate release fraction of the 137Cs inventory that flowed into the sea…about 16%
- Of the 4% inventory of 137Cs released into the atmosphere, only 0.8% was deposited in the Japanese land and the other 3.2% was transported to the sea or other areas
- The inventory… available for release in the units 1-3… the time of accident [was] 7.6 – 8.2 x 10^17 [760 - 820 quadrillion] Bq for 137Cs
- Because of the geographic location of the nuclear power plant — at the beach of the Pacific Ocean… more than 80% of the radioactivity released from the crippled reactors flowed into the sea
To determine the best estimate of the total 137Cs that was released into the environment from Fukushima, the 137Cs release fraction (4% atmosphere, 16% ocean) is multiplied by the 137Cs inventory for the 3 melted reactor cores (760 to 820 quadrillion Bq):
- Ocean Release of 137Cs from Fukushima: 121.6 to 131.2 quadrillion Bq (16% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq)
- Atmospheric Release of 137Cs from Fukushima: 30.4 to 32.8 quadrillion Bq (4% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq)
- Total Release of 137Cs into the Environment from Fukushima: 152 to 164 quadrillion Bq
- Total Release of 137Cs into the Environment from Chernobyl: 70 to 85 quadrillion Bq
However, the 137Cs inventory of 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq used by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute is significantly lower than the U.S. Department of Energy calculated:
- DOE’s Total 137Cs Inventory in Reactors 1-3: 1.3E+18 Bq (1,300 quadrillion Bq)
- Ocean 137Cs Release from Fukushima: 208 quadrillion Bq (16% x 1,300 quadrillion)
- Atmospheric 137Cs Release from Fukushima: 52 quadrillion Bq (4% x 1,300 quadrillion)
- Total 137Cs Release into the Environment from Fukushima: 260 quadrillion Bq
- Total 137Cs Release into the Environment from Chernobyl: 70 to 85 quadrillion Bq
“Never heard of so much sickness & death in such a short period” says Fukushima evacuee — Writes about strange diseases in young people, deadly tumors and hemorrhages, pets missing hair, child losing all their fingernails, polydactyl baby — Doctor: My friends are dying of cancer, one after another http://enenews.com/never-heard-sickness-death-short-period-fukushima-evacuee-writes-about-strange-diseases-young-people-deadly-tumors-hemorrhages-pets-missing-hair-child-losing-all-fingernails-polydactyl-baby?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Excerpts from message by a Fukushima evacuee, translated by World Network for Saving Children from Radiation, Oct. 15, 2014: Mrs. Junko Honda… was a successful beauty salon owner who ran two salons… She recently [compiled the] unusual symptoms that she had heard about over the past three years… whose veracity she has been able to ascertain.
“I had never heard of so much sickness and death in such a short period of time” -Honda
Babies, Children, Young Adults
Sep ’11: Child… had nosebleeds very often… many others at school who had nose bleeding
Jun ’12: Child had headaches and nausea since the accident
Apr ’13: Friend of an evacuee gave birth to a polydactyl child [birth defect, extra fingers/toes]
Jul ’13: Younger friend of an evacuee… got ill with cancer
Mar ’14: Relative [in] middle school… got ill with rheumatism [and] medicine doesn’t work
Lymph, Thymus, Thyroid Gland Problems
Apr ’11: I felt strange feeling in my lymph nodes… salon staff also felt the same
Sep ’11: My friend’s father died with a tumor in the lymph glands
Sep ’11: Gynecologist mentioned there was an increase of lymph tumors
Jan ’13: Child of an evacuee [had] unsubsidized thyroid exam… thymus gland was swollen
Jan ’13: Several children… from Fukushima [also diagnosed with swollen] thymus gland
Sep ’13: Child of an evacuee had an unsubsidized thyroid examination… they found many cysts
Oct ’13: Friend, an evacuee age 35, developed thyroid cancer
Mar ’14: Friend of an evacuee, in her 30s, had thyroid surgery
Unusual Skin, Hair, Nail Problems
Apr ’11: Hair of our pets [dog & cat] become uneven because of hair loss to an unusual degree
Apr ’11: Reddish eczema on my daughter’s face [which] stayed until we evacuated
Sep ’11: Hairdresser friend and her sister have suffered dermatologic eczema since the accident
Jun ’12: [Child's mother] experienced hair loss and… had sparser hair
Jun ’12: All the fingernails of a child evacuee from Sugakawa fell off after the accident
Adults Under Retirement Age
Sep ’11: Customer in her 40s got ill with a disease that cannot renew blood
Sep ’11: Woman in her 30s died from cardiac arrest
Aug ’12: My relative died suddenly of subarachnoid hemorrhage… in his 30s
Dec ’12: Resident in his 30s developed a tumor
Dec ’12: Resident in her 40s developed a tumor and died
Jan ’13: Doctor [said] his friends have been dying with cancer one after another
Mar ’13: Man in his 30s died suddenly
Mar ’13: 5 customers… had funerals of close family in very short period… 3 were in their 50s
Oct ’13: Male friend who was doing decontamination work died suddenly
Wind farms outstrip nuclear power BBC News, By Roger Harrabin, 21 Oct 14 BBC environment analyst The UK’s wind farms generated more power than its nuclear power stations on Tuesday, the National Grid says.
The energy network operator said it was caused by a combination of high winds and faults in nuclear plants………Wind made up 14.2% of all generation and nuclear offered 13.2%.
It follows another milestone on Saturday, when wind generated a record amount of power – 6,372 MW, according to National Grid.
This formed nearly 20% of the the UK’s electricity, albeit at a time at the weekend when demand is relatively low………The government is offering more generous subsidies to nuclear than wind in the long term.
But Jennifer Webber, a spokeswoman for RenewableUK, the trade body, said: “Wind power is often used as a convenient whipping boy by political opponents and vested interests.
“All the while, it’s been quietly powering millions of homes across the UK and providing a robust response to its vocal detractors.” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-29715796
Pitt researchers awarded a nearly $1-million grant for nuclear power safety research By Stephanie Ritenbaugh / Pittsburgh Post-GazetteOctober 22, 2014 Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh were awarded a $987,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs to develop a fiber optical sensor network to improve safety in nuclear power reactors……..The grant was part of $11 million awarded for 12 research and development projects. http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/companies-powersource/2014/10/22/Pennsylvania-DEP-fines-Regency-Marcellus-Gas-Gathering-more-than-300-000/stories/201410220158
They relate to the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) first signed in 1958, which, according to the government, enables the UK and the US “nuclear warhead communities to collaborate on all aspects of nuclear deterrence including nuclear warhead design and manufacture”.
One amendment refers to potential threats from “state or non-state actors”. But the amendments are for the most part arcane and their significance cannot be understood in the absence of information which is kept secret.
The MDA does not have to be debated or voted on in parliament, as I have remarked before. Though the agreement is incorporated in US law, it has no legal status in Britain.
Yet the matters covered by the treaty, which is renewed only at 10 year intervals, are hugely important. Successive British governments have made clear a proper debate on the issues involved would not be welcome.
“A debate on the renewal of the MDA would be used by some as an opportunity to raise wider questions concerning the possible renewal of the nuclear deterrent…and our obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty,” notes an internal MoD paper, dated 2004. The paper was released only earlier this year through a freedom of information act request by the independent Nuclear Information Service……….
Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) says the UK-US agreement flew in the face Britain’s commitments as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“It is appalling that David Cameron is signing secretive nuclear deals behind Parliament’s back. In no other area of government would such a sinister sidestepping of democratic process be tolerated.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/defence-and-security-blog/2014/oct/20/nuclear-weapons-uk-us
Pakistan court stops construction work on nuclear plants http://www.firstpost.com/india/pakistan-court-stops-construction-work-nuclear-plants-1761153.html 19 Oct 14, Islamabad: A court in Pakistan has restrained the government from initiating construction work on two proposed nuclear power plants unless environmental safeguards are adhered to, media reports here said. The two-judge bench at the Sindh High Court restrained the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) yesterday to carry out work at the proposed sites in the southern port city of Karachi without adhering to environmental laws.
The court directive was issued on a petition challenging the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report of the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency which approved the two plants.
The counsel of petitioner said that the reactors would be built by the China National Nuclear Corporation on a design known as ACP-1000 that has not been operational even in China.
“The ACP-1000 reactor so far exists only on paper and in computer programmes and any real life experience, tests and trials … on the ACP-1000 design will be from operating the reactors in Karachi,” the counsel added.
Karachi, one of the world’s most densely populated cities with an estimated population of about 21 million, lacked the infrastructure for mass evacuation of its inhabitants in the wake of a possible nuclear accident, he added.
Pakistan government had finalised plans for starting work on two nuclear power plants of 11,00 MW each – adjacent to the Karachi Nuclear Power Plant – with support from China. Besides, subsequent plans for two more plants – K-4 and K-5 – were also under consideration.
Power Plants Seek to Extend Life of Nuclear Reactors for Decades NYT, By MATTHEW L. WALD OCT. 19, 2014 The prospects for building new nuclear reactors may be sharply limited, but the owners of seven old ones, in Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina, are preparing to ask for permission to run them until they are 80 years old.
Nuclear proponents say that extending plants’ lifetimes is more economical — and a better way to hold down carbon dioxide emissions — than building new plants, although it will require extensive monitoring of steel, concrete, cable insulation and other components. But the idea is striking even to some members of the nuclear establishment.
At a meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in May, George Apostolakis, a risk expert who was then one of the five commissioners, pointed out that if operation were allowed until age 80, some reactors would be using designs substantially older than that.“I don’t know how we would explain to the public that these designs, 90-year-old designs, 100-year-old designs, are still safe to operate,” he said. “Don’t we need more convincing arguments than just ‘We’re managing aging effects’?”
“I mean, will you buy a car that was designed in ’64?” he asked……. Continue reading
Judge Sullivan resorts to incomplete logic in order to bar world-renowned expert from testifying in “flowers” case…
“I don’t like to break the law and don’t encourage others to do so, either. But this industry has to be stopped.”
Ace Hoffman October 19, 2014
Judge Sullivan resorts to incomplete logic in order to bar world-renowned expert from testifying in “flowers” case…
Four grandmothers attempted to plant flowers to bring attention to the dangers at Pilgrim nuclear power plant. But Judge Sullivan refused to allow world-renowned pediatrician and nuclear expert Helen Caldicott to testify in their defense, because she (the judge) sees a huge difference — when pushed to see it by the District Attorney — between “potential theoretical harm” and actual imminent harm.
The defendants — four women 60 to 80 years old — are using the “necessity” defense. Is there an immediate danger? Is the illegal act (trespassing) effective in addressing and abating the danger? The judge refused to learn how quickly a nuclear power plant can explode. She refused to hear that the plans for evacuation require immediate action for millions of people around the plant. She refused to consider that the warning that it’s time to evacuate must be sent out by people who, if they fail to do their duty, will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and end up in Judge Sullivan’s court (if she survives the holocaust) to be sentenced for negligent homicide.
How imminent can you get?
And sticks and stones may break my bones but planting flowers never hurt anybody.
The judge would like to turn the issue of nuclear safety away. Not her concern. Not in her courtroom. That’s for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide. They say it’s safe. And for the judge, that’s the end of the “imminent threat” defense. Continue reading
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