Pandora’s Promise doesn’t live up to the hype – review by Alice Bell Monday 9 December 2013 20. theguardian.com ”…….. Pandora’s Promise presents a pro-nuclear documentary……The key problem I had, however, was how politically disempowering their message was, and how they used allusions to science to do this. Clips of news coverage of radiation are used to suggest – oh so sympathetically, but also rather patronisingly – that we normal people can’t possibly understand.
We get references from Rhodes about talking to experts, and a few expert witnesses, but very little detail. Explanations are heavily abstracted and stylised. They feel comforting, but scratch the surface and you’re left with many questions. Moreover, as Damian Carrington’s reviewpointed out, there is a massive hole in its discussion of economics. It also misses a lot from the history of Atoms for Peace. The nuclear story is not just one of images of nature, science and technology, and they shouldn’t be used to obfuscate the politics and economics at play. Because energy policy needs to take it all seriously: science, politics, economics, engineering, culture and more.
The film clearly paints anti-nuclear activists as irrationally emotional; carefully juxtaposed with Brand, Lynas et al as calm, silently brooding in deep, wise thought. There’s even a line from Cravens about women being hardwired to protect their families (apparently as opposed to thinking rationally). At one point it shows activists handing out and eating bananas accompanied by a voiceover explanation of how much naturally occurring radiation there is in the fruit anyway. It’s a neat trick, making the activists look stupid, but it’s science communication by way of laughing at others’ ignorance. I don’t like it…..
I also felt the film seems to exhibit a rather depressing lack of faith in social change, especially when it came to global negations and energy efficiency. The concluding message seemed to be that we should give in to the particular idea of growth we currently work by; spread it, fuel it and accept it but don’t question or imagine anything new. The pro-nuclear lobby often presents itself as the hopeful, optimistic end of environmentalism, but with such a lack of belief in people, who exactly are the pessimists?. …..http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/dec/09/review-pandoras-promise-doesnt-live-up-to-the-hype
Japan enacts state secrets law late Friday night amid revolt — “It criminalizes investigative journalism” — Terrorism defined as “imposing one’s opinions on others”http://enenews.com/secrets-law-passes-late-friday-night-amid-revolt-mushrooming-opposition-it-criminalizes-investigative-journalism-terrorism-defined-as-imposing-ones-opinions-on-others-protesto
Japan Times, , Dec. 6, 2013: Following political turmoil that rocked the Diet over the past week, ruling block Upper House members finally enacted the contentious state secrets bill late Friday night. Earlier in the day, opposition parties intensified their protests in vain over a law that’s being criticizing for not creating an independent oversight body capable of preventing the government from hiding inconvenient information at its discretion.
Businessweek, Dec. 6, 2013: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured final passage of a bill granting Japan’s government sweeping powers to declare state secrets, a measure aimed at shoring up defense ties with the U.S. that prompted a public backlash and revolt by the opposition.
Asahi Shimbun, , Dec. 6, 2013: Kazuo Shii, chief of the Japanese Communist Party, described the ruling coalition’s behavior as “tyrannical, arrogant and disorderly.” The ruling coalition believed prolonging the Diet debate any longer could backfire, only fueling the mushrooming opposition to the bill, and lead to a further decline in approval ratings for Abe’s Cabinet and hold on power. An Asahi Shimbun survey taken between Nov. 30-Dec. 1 showed the Cabinet’s approval rating at 49 percent, dipping below 50 percent for the first time since he took power in December 2012. Officials in the Abe administration foresee the public eventually forgetting about the controversy, once the legislation is approved.
GlobalPost,, Dec. 6, 2013: Here are four disturbing ways the bill could be a democracy muzzler. It defines terrorism as imposing one’s opinions on others [...] According to Article 12, terrorism is partially defined as an activity that forces “political and other principles or opinions on the state or other people.” In other words, throw up a rowdy anti-government protest, and the judiciary can find a reason to lock you away. It criminalizes investigative journalism [...] Journalists can be prosecuted for “improperly accessing” classified documents or “conspiring” to leak them. Even asking an official to take a look at classified documents could constitute “conspiracy,” leading to up to five years in prison. “Instigating” the release of government secrets, meanwhile, carries up to 10 years in the dock. [...] Basically, anything can be a secret [...] administrators can make the opaque decisions to classify a document even if their work hardly relates to national security. That effectively allows them to hide any embarrassing piece of evidence, and then pursue the journalists and bloggers who make it public. [...]
Federal police blocked access Friday to hospital where the six were held
Mexico Police Block Hospital Where 6 May Have Radiation Exposure In Wake Of Theft HUFFINGTON POST, By ADRIANA GOMEZ LICON and E. EDUARDO CASTILLO 12/06/13 06:MEXICO CITY (AP) — Six people being tested for possible radiation exposure in a hospital in central Mexico are suspects in the theft of highly radioactive cobalt-60, a government official said Friday.
The official said the six were arrested Thursday and taken to the general hospital in Pachuca for observation and testing for radiation exposure.Once they are cleared, they will be turned over to federal authorities in connection with the case of a cargo truck stolen Monday at gunpoint that was carrying the extremely dangerous material.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. He did not specify how the six were allegedly involved in the theft.
Hidalgo state Health Minister Pedro Luis Noble said Friday that the six suffered from skin irritations and dizziness, but that none are in grave condition and may be released soon. Only one was vomiting, a sign of radiation poisoning……..
The atomic energy agency said the cobalt has an activity of 3,000 curies, or Category 1, meaning “it would probably be fatal to be close to this amount of unshielded radioactive material for a period in the range of a few minutes to an hour.”
But Mexican officials said that the thieves seemed to have targeted the cargo truck with moveable platform and crane, and likely didn’t know about the dangerous cargo. The government official would not give details or location of Thursday’s arrest nor names or ages of the suspects…….
The material was from obsolete radiation therapy equipment at a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana and was being transported to nuclear waste facility in the state of Mexico, which borders Mexico City.
Authorities maintained a 500-meter (yard) cordon around the site where the cobalt-60 still remains in the state of Mexico and continued to work Friday to extract it safely, said Juan Eibenschutz, director general of Mexico’s National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards.
“It’s quite an operation and it is in the process of being planned,” he said. “It’s highly radioactive, so you cannot just go over and pick it up. It’s going to take a while to pick it up.”
Federal police blocked access Friday to hospital where the six were held. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/mexico-hospital-blocked-radiation_n_4399922.html
Record outdoor radiation level that ‘can kill in 20 min’ detected at Fukushima Rt.com,8 Dec 13,Outdoor radiation levels have reached their highest at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant,warns the operator company.Radiation found in an area near a steel pipe that connects reactor buildings could kill an exposed person in 20 minutes,local media reported.The plant’s operator and the utility responsible for the clean-up Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) detected record radiation levels on a duct which connects reactor buildings and the 120 meter tall ventilation pipe located outside on Friday. TEPCO measured radiation at eight locations around the pipe with the highest estimated at two locations – 25 Sieverts per hour and about 15 Sieverts per hour, the company said.
The ventilation pipe used to conduct radioactive gasses after the nuclear disaster may still contain radioactive substances, TEPCO added. ……http://rt.com/news/fukushima-radiation-record-outdoor-912/
Obama says Iran could be allowed a modest nuclear enrichment program President Obama says that it isn’t realistic to try to force Iran to dismantle its entire nuclear complex, but that strong monitoring would be needed. LA Times, By Paul RichterDecember 7, 2013, WASHINGTON — President Obama signaled Saturday that he was prepared to allow Iran to enrich uranium on its own soil, saying that a final deal could be structured to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.
Obama also put the odds of success for the upcoming international negotiations with Iran at not “more than 50-50.”…….
But Obama is struggling to sell the deal in the face of intense resistance from Congress, Israel, Saudi Arabia and others who fear it will leave Iran with the ability to secretly edge toward a nuclear weapons program. Congress may adopt new sanctions in the coming weeks that Obama fears could upset the fragile diplomacy before negotiations resume.
The comments marked the first time that Obama has acknowledged Iran could be granted international approval to enrich uranium to low levels, provided it satisfied world concerns about its nuclear program and agreed to intrusive monitoring. ……….http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-obama-us-mideast-20131208,0,2891554.story#axzz2mzg6eYug
Japan may set up UK-style decommission agency for Fukushima plant BY YOSHIFUMI TAKEMOTO TOKYO Thu Dec 5, 2013 (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling party could set up a British-style agency to shut down the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, taking control of a project now managed by the station’s embattled operator, a senior party policymaker said on Thursday…… Tepco, de facto nationalized after 2011, is still responsible for the ambitious decommissioning of the plant as well as for paying compensation to evacuees and cleaning up affected areas.
A plan to set up a decommissioning agency is controversial as it would reduce Tepco’s responsibility and increase the burden on taxpayers.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has so far pledged half a billion dollars in government funds to help stem the flow of contaminated water at the plant after a highly radioactive water leak in August triggered international alarm………http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/12/05/us-japan-fukushima-ldp-idINBRE9B407C20131205
Fire at Arkansas nuclear plant contained – report http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/energy-nuclear-fire-idUSL1N0JO0WK20131209 Dec 9 (Reuters) – A fire at a nuclear plant in Arkansas operated by Entergy Corp is contained, local media reported on Monday, citing a company spokeswoman.
The Courier News newspaper reported the fire broke out in a transformer at the plant, near the town of Russellville, and that Unit 2 was down, while Unit 1 was still operational. The newspaper also reported a possible explosion at the site.
AARP seeks repeal of nuclear ‘advance fee’ as a priority in 2014 Ivan Penn, Tampa Bay Times, 9 Dec 13 In its December newsletter, the AARP pledged that one of its 2014 legislative goals is the repeal of the state law that allows utilities to charge customers in advance for new nuclear projects.
AARP said it is backing a small but growing coalition of lawmakers who believe the law is an unfair tax on consumers who may get nothing from the charges. The Nuclear Cost Recovery Clause or so-called “advance fee” has been a growing point of contention since Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light began using the statute for proposed nuclear plants that may never get built.
In August, Duke canceled its proposed project in Levy County after running up $1.5 billion in costs that customers still must pay. In addition, the utility spent hundreds of millions as part of the failed upgrade of the Crystal River nuclear plant that permanently closed in February……http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/aarp-seeks-repeal-of-nuclear-advance-fee-as-a-priority-in-2014/2156258
Obama Aims to Triple Government’s Renewable Energy Use http://www.care2.com/causes/obama-aims-to-triple-governments-renewable-energy-use.html by Kevin Mathew December 9, 2013 Believing that change begins at home, President Barack Obama has called for the federal government to triple its use of renewable energy within the next six years.
Currently, the government receives 7% of its energy from renewable sources, but the goal is to hit at least 20% by 2020. Thanks to technological advancements and a rising interest in weaning the country off of foreign oil, the Obama administration believes the 20% figure is a reasonable mark to hit by the end of the decade.
According to the President, this step is necessary “to promote energy security, combat climate change, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the federal government must lead by example.” He’s right: there’s no better way to demonstrate to the American public that we can rely on sustainable energy sources than by having government agencies become early adopters. http://www.care2.com/causes/obama-aims-to-triple-governments-renewable-energy-use.html#ixzz2n60E7UNT
EU Research on How Data Centers Can Use More Renewable Energy Launches, CIO By Dipti Fatania December 07, 2013 Project will develop tools to help operators evaluate the costs of building data centers powered by renewable energy.Techworld — A $3.6 million EU project investigating how data centers can be designed and operated to make more efficient use of renewable energy has been launched.
The three-year RenewIT project plans to develop a web-based planning tool that will help data centre operators understand the costs related to building a facility that uses renewable energy, such as wind, solar and biomass, for power, as well as for cooling, with air and sea water.
Project spokesperson Andrew Donoghue of 451 Research said that “only a minority” of European data centres are currently powered by renewable energy.
“Of those that do, the motivation is usually to gain positive publicity or curry favour with regulators rather than for purely commercial reasons,” he said.
According to the project co-ordinator, Dr Jaume Salom of IREC, the main roadblocks to using renewable energy are the perceived costs and the lack of tools to help operators make decisions about using it…….http://www.cio.com/article/744393/EU_Research_on_How_Data_Centers_Can_Use_More_Renewable_Energy_Launches?taxonomyId=3028
The UK has decided to take the cheapest option for decommissioning according to a recent report by the badly named Department of the Environment and Climate Change (DECC), as 65 percent of their annual budget goes just on the costs of decommissioning it should be named British Nuclear Fools.
The processes involved with “decommissioning” are a “corporate secret” but a quick google says that the cheapest option is dissolution that involves melting everything in Nitric acid (or similar) and this has been the cause of high NO2 levels in the UK that are regularly blamed on other industries or countries. Though La Hague in France does contribute.
The UK has been reprimanded by the EU for the deaths caused by this NO2. And in the UK parliament we hear calls to cut the pollution detection monitors as they give the nuclear hazard away and threaten profits. These NO gases and particulates make it to even the arctic region of Russia (as Bellona has reported on many occasion whilst defending Norway from unjust blame)
As EDF and the French government begin the plans to reduce French nuclear and the shutting down of La Hague, they plan to increase use of Sellafield and other sites in the UK for these environmentally polluting nuclear processes.
The Irish Government has not been involved in the decisions for Hinckley, so An Taisce has formally lodged an appeal to the EU. The reaction of the UK and Ed Davey are well documented here… http://nuclear-news.net/2013/12/06/no-objection-by-ireland-uk-nuclear-hearing-told/
And as DECC were threatened with non co-operation if they asked for certain technical details or even the names of people involved, the Irish were likely not to be aware of the processes that the UK was planning to expand nor has their been a proper discussion concerning radionuclide’s and air quality issues being released due to these nuclear processes.
In fact not even the British public could be expected to know. In fact the UK NGO steering group who was supposed to be discussing this very issue over the past two years were not even allowed to know.
Who needs Leveson inquiry to silence information when the corporations and governments are doing the job so well anyway, I find myself asking.
I might point out that DECC also masterminded the Science Media Centre UK (SMC) to cover up or “manage” the Fukushima incident press coverage in 2011, which they then did and were rewarded by their sponsors (The big corporations and nuclear interests).
Bloggers and free press elements in Japan got too much truth out and the Japanese nuclear family had to close ranks with the USA and the Olympic Committee and have came up with the new “Secrets Act” , a shocking attack on free speech from a supposedly western country. It is now up to the Japanese Press to mobilize the people to reject this new Law, there are some signs of dissent in the media. We wish them well!
DECC has contracts of understanding with ROSATOM as well as some dubious eastern nuclear states. China, an authoritarian and pushy country will have the same leverage over DECC as the French and USA partners and therefore the Chinese communist (mostly)will have control of the information we hear on the news etc.. Have you heard the one about the Dalai lama recently? No? And you probably never will again!
Elements of the UK Media have had enough and are beginning to look a little harder at the Pro nuclear spin and analyse the sources of this drive for nuclear. The UK media is beginning to wake up to the deception but how deep will they dig?
It began after the crash of 2008 and 200 billion Euro moved directly into nuclear investments (A Norwegian insurance investment company has just sold its stocks in TEPCO at a massiviely reduced price and has beeen left licking its wounds). The Insurance and banking industry saw this as a safe bet for three more years and are heavily invested, in fact, the UK insurance industry will be proping up this PONZI scheme with a staggering 25 billion investment that is a curiously small amount considering the Total investment accrued in the Nuclear Industry by now. Just the normal monthly “Top Up” perhaps?
And if you dont think the Insurance Corporations view this as their own private nuclear “gravy train” why was the liability capped in Canada to only 1 billion? when the Japanese have paid TEPCO 50 billion in just the first year after the disaster. It seems it is the beleaguered Tax Payer is always the end recipient of this PONZI shaped dept burden.
Finally, the UK corporations have been supporting the Pro nuclear Corporations in Japan from the start and are still supporting Japan as it becomes a fascist state to protect their investments. These investments are very long term, measured in decades, and any country with nuclear power could be facing the same control of the population and of information.
Orwell would be not surprised perhaps at technology being used to enslave people by reducing their knowledge and controlling them totally.. No dissent, no illegal thoughts or 5 years in prison and a criminal history to stop you getting work for the rest of your life. Poor Japan! Poor UK!
Japan “will resuscitate nuclear energy, and rebuild the basis for promoting exports of infrastructure facilities,” indicating that the ministry would continue to advance nuclear power generation and further expand nuclear facilities exports.
Because the pro-nuclear Abe administration has said, “We will share our experience of the accident and lessons learned from the disaster with countries of the world,” the ministry’s report can be regarded as a prototype for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nuclear policy.
Ministry continued promoting nuclear power right after Fukushima accident December 02, 2013 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN The industry ministry began working to continue promoting nuclear power even immediately following the disastrous meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011, sources said.
The Asahi Shimbun has obtained a copy of the ministry’s confidential internal document titled, “Toward the Renaissance of Nuclear Energy,” which was compiled in late March 2011.
The report was written by a senior ministry official familiar with nuclear power facilities and distributed to its executives involved in designing the country’s energy policy, according to the sources.
The in-house document was used as a basis to determine the nation’s future nuclear policy in the aftermath of the disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, the sources said. Read more »
Japan has said the main purpose of Emperor Akihito’s ongoing visit to India was to add more ballast to the bilateral relationship.
One of the elements that would add greater depth to the ties would be a civil nuclear agreement. “We are close to a bilateral deal on the peaceful use of nuclear energy,’’ said senior Japanese diplomats accompanying the Emperor, who is on a six-day visit to India……http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nuclear-deal-with-japan-on-the-anvil/article5415157.ece
How Pakistan and China Are Strengthening Nuclear Ties http://world.time.com/2013/12/02/how-pakistan-and-china-are-strengthening-nuclear-ties/?iid=gs-main-lead
The reactors are expected to start supplying 2,200 megawatts to the grid by 2019. The complex is not the first energy investment or nuclear project in Pakistan that China has been involved with, but it will be by far the largest.
The nuclear power relationship between Pakistan and China is widely seen as a continuing effort to respond to the India-U.S. civilian nuclear deal, which, among other things, ended a decades-long moratorium on U.S. companies selling nuclear technology to India, despite India not being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The move rankled Pakistan, which has also not signed the treaty and worries about a nuclear buildup by a country it considers its archenemy. China, too, criticized the deal for, it asserted, undermining nonproliferation. That the U.S. was building ties with India to counterbalance China’s growing power in Asia was probably not lost on Beijing either.
biggest criticism is over ministers’ insistence that the deal agreed by the Treasury and EDF to fund the construction of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset is not a subsidy.
“New nuclear is being subsidised and the coalition should come clean and admit it,” said Walley. “The government cannot escape that clear fact by talking about ‘support mechanisms’ and ‘insurance policies’ instead of ‘subsidies’.”
A parliamentary watchdog argued on Monday that ministers should admit they are already providing £12bn of annual subsidies to fossil fuel operations and windfarms while lining up more support for shale gas and nuclear.
The environmental audit committee (EAC) said subsidies to oil and other carbon fuels should be scaled back because of the impact on global warming, and also urged ministers to restate a previous commitment to ending fuel poverty.
A report on energy subsidies just published by the committee says the chancellor’s autumn statement later this week is an ideal chance to provide a “clear and comprehensive analysis of energy subsidies in the UK”. Read more »
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