Nuclear energy costs still rising, three years on from Fukushima, SMH, 11 Mar 14 #……Atomic Abe The arrival of Abe as prime minister in December 2012, gave a boost to the pro-nuclear camp. Cutting energy costs is part of his plan to revitalize the economy.
Abe’s push on nuclear shows how polarizing the issue is in Japan.
At least three former prime ministers have publicly opposed the current premier on reactor restarts, including Junichiro Koizumi, Abe’s mentor and one of Japan’s most-popular postwar leaders. Naoto Kan, prime minister at the time of the 2011 quake, is another.
“The reason I’m against nuclear is that people cannot fully control it,” Kan told reporters in a briefing in December.
Industrial accidents can happen, but nothing on the scale of nuclear, he said. A worst-case scenario for Fukushima would have made a third of Japan’s land uninhabitable, Kan said. Opponents also point to the cost of nuclear accidents. The government has estimated it’ll take 11 trillion yen and 40 years to clean up the Fukushima site.
The former prime ministers find themselves in an unusual place on the opposite side of the argument from Japan Inc.,……..http://www.smh.com.au/environment/nuclear-energy-costs-still-rising-three-years-on-from-fukushima-20140311-34ii6.html
Senior Scientist at MIT Event: Japanese scientists censored — Not allowed to publish research that compared Fukushima to Chernobyl — Fukushima ‘arguably’ bigger http://enenews.com/senior-scientist-at-mit-event-japanese-scientists-censored-not-allowed-to-publish-research-that-compared-fukushima-to-chernobyl-fukushima-arguably-bigger
Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (at 31:00 in):
I kind of look at these [Chernobyl and Fukushima] and say these are similar in scale, we can argue about which one’s bigger.
It was politically impossible, the first paper I wrote, for Japanese scientists to be co-author because I compared Fukushima to Chernobyl and that was considered not appropriate by his bosses at his institution.
Buesseler during a recent radio interview: Fukushima released “100, or 50 to 80 petabecquerels” of cesium-137 in 2011 — Chernobyl total was 70 petabecquerels Watch the presentations here
Jiji: Highly radioactive groundwater now flowing under Unit 1 — Levels skyrocket since last test, now 1,000s of times higher — 8 locations hit record in recent days at Fukushima Daiichi http://enenews.com/jiji-highly-radioactive-groundwater-now-flowing-under-fukushima-unit-1-levels-skyrocket-since-last-test-now-1000s-of-times-higher-8-locations-hit-record-in-recent-days
Jiji Press, Jan. 24, 2014: Tainted Water May Also Have Leaked from No. 1 Reactor at Fukushima N-Plant — Highly radioactive water accumulated in the basement of the turbine building of the No. 1 reactor [...] may have contaminated groundwater, experts said Friday. [...] TEPCO has explained that the groundwater may have been contaminated by highly radioactive water in underground cable tunnels of the No. 2 and 3 reactors [...] however, 5,600 becquerels of radioactive tritium per liter was detected in groundwater taken on Sunday from an observation well near the turbine building of the No. 1 reactor. No radioactive tritium was detected in water collected in mid-November. [...]
8 groundwater locations hit new highs for tritium since January 6 (Bq/liter):
0-2: 4,700 <1/12>
0-3-2: 73,000 <1/16>
0-4: 46,000 <1/12>
1-8: 12,000 <1/6>
1-17: 31,000 <1/16>
2-2: 660 <1/8>
2-7: 1,100 <1/17>
3-5: 170 <1/8>
No plan best plan in Kansai nuclear disaster Area leaders paralyzed by lack of answers, state guidance Japan Times, BY ERIC JOHNSTON 26 Jan 14 Ten months after regional governments were required to submit nuclear disaster evacuation plans, a lack of central government guidance and local-level cooperation is generating concern that Kansai will be ill-prepared to respond if any of Fukui Prefecture’s 13 commercial reactors suffers a meltdown.
Questions remain about how fleeing Fukui residents who pass through neighboring Kyoto would be stopped and screened for radiation, and how residents in the rural northern areas closest to the reactors would be gathered and evacuated in a timely manner. Evacuating the elderly, young mothers and the pregnant is also a serious concern.
There is also the question of what to do if Shiga’s Lake Biwa, which supplies drinking water to about 14.5 million people, gets contaminated with radiation.
Citizens’ groups have posed these and other detailed questions to prefectural officials in Kyoto and the Union of Kansai Governments, a loose federation of seven prefectures and four major cities in the region. But Kansai officials reply that, on many issues, there is little they can do because the central government hasn’t drafted specific guidelines…..
Kansai leaders recognize that more monitoring stations, particularly in northern Kyoto and Hyogo, are needed, but without guidance from the central government, as well as funding, there is little they can do.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has made restarting the nation’s nuclear reactors a primary goal. The discussions have focused mostly on the technical issues related to the plants and whether the fault lines surrounding them, or in some cases under them, are active.
Given the widespread concerns, Smith says such thinking puts the cart before the horse. “It’s a very serious problem that Japanese nuclear power regulation does not require evacuation plan approval as a prerequisite for restarting nuclear power plants,” she said. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/26/national/no-plan-best-plan-in-kansai-nuclear-disaster/
Human Rights Watch chides China for enforcing highly repressive policies in Tibet http://tibet.net/2014/01/23/human-rights-watch-chides-china-for-enforcing-highly-repressive-policies-in-tibet-2/ DHARAMSHALA: China’s policies in Tibet once again came under criticism from Human Rights Watch, which says in annual report released on Tuesday that the Chinese government systematically suppresses Tibetan political, cultural, religious and socio-economic rights.
The Chinese government systematically suppresses Tibetan political, cultural, religious and socio-economic rights in the name of combating what it sees as separatist sentiment including non-violent advocacy for Tibetan independence, the Dalai Lama’s return, or opposition to government policy, the report said.
“Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment remains common, and torture and ill-treatment in detention is endemic. Fair trials are precluded by politicised judiciary overtly tasked with suppressing separatism,” it said.
“The Chinese government carries out involuntary population relocation and rehousing on a massive scale, and enforces highly repressive policies in ethnic minority areas in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia,” Human Rights Watch said in its report.
“The government is also subjecting millions of Tibetans to a mass rehousing and relocation policy that radically changes their way of life and livelihoods, Continue reading
The evolution of South Asia’s nuclear powers, Journal Pioneer, Henry Srebrnik on January 26, 2014 While much of the world’s attention these days is focused on Iran’s nuclear program, it should not be forgotten that its eastern neighbours, Pakistan and India, South Asia’s two largest countries and long-time enemies, both are nuclear-armed states.
India is not a party to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and tested what it called a “peaceful nuclear explosive” in 1974. The test was the first after the creation of the NPT, and India’s secret development of nuclear weaponry, using civilian nuclear technology, caused great concern and anger from nations such as Canada, that had supplied its nuclear reactors for peaceful and power generating needs……..
India is also expanding its ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons, according to a U.S.-based think tank that cited satellite imagery taken last April of a gas centrifuge facility under construction at the Rare Materials Plant near Mysore in Karnataka.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) published a report in 2013 stating that this new facility “could significantly increase India’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons.”
Pakistan, too, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and built its first nuclear power plant near Karachi with equipment and materials supplied mainly by western nations in the early 1970s. Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had promised in 1965 that if India built nuclear weapons then Pakistan would too, “even if we have to eat grass.”……http://www.journalpioneer.com/Opinion/Columnists/2014-01-26/article-3591613/The-evolution-of-South-Asia%26rsquo%3Bs-nuclear-powers/1
China’s solar PV installations soared to record in 2013 http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/chinas-solar-pv-installations-soared-to-record-in-2013-20140124-31cck.html Developers in China installed a record 12 gigawatts of solar panels last year, almost matching the total amount of solar power in operation in the U.S., and may exceed that this year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
The power plants were built mostly in the sunny, western provinces of Gansu, Xinjiang and Qinghai and make China’s state-owned power companies the world’s biggest owners of solar assets, the London-based research company said today in a statement.
China was the biggest solar market last year, surpassing longtime leader Germany. Chinese installation more than tripled from 3.6 gigawatts in 2012, and the nation expects to add 14 gigawatts of solar capacity this year, according to New Energy Finance.
China led a 28 per cent increase in global solar installations last year of 39 gigawatts, and total installation may increase another 20 per cent this year, according to the statement. Before 2013, no nation had ever installed more than 8 gigawatts of solar power in a year.
China blocks foreign news sites that revealed elite’s offshore holdings Guardian among sites blocked over reports • China Digital Times publishes details of directive Tania Branigan in Beijing and James Ball in New York theguardian.com, Thursday 23 January 2014
The blocking of foreign news sites that revealed details of offshore holdings by the relatives of senior leaders has continued in China as reports emerged of a propaganda directive ordering websites and services to target users posting on the subject.
Details of the order were published by China Digital Times, a website that monitors censorship instructions.
“Immediately find and remove the foreign media report “China’s Secret Offshore Tax Havens” and related content. Interactive platforms must strictly check [users]. Related images and accusatory comments about leaders and the system [of government] must be deleted without exception,” said the instructions, according to CDT.
“Block the [user] IDs of those who have an evil influence and coordinate on-the-ground investigations with the relevant departments.”…http://engineeringevil.com/2014/01/23/china-blocks-foreign-news-sites-that-revealed-elites-offshore-holdings/
“Shock & Outrage”: Japan TV host reveals being told he cannot discuss nuclear power until pivotal Tokyo election ends — “Somebody needs to bring these issues into the media” — #2 in trending news http://enenews.com/shock-outrage-japan-tv-host-reveals-being-told-he-cannot-discuss-nuclear-power-until-pivotal-tokyo-election-ends-somebody-needs-to-bring-these-issues-into-the-media
TokyoReporter’s tweet, Jan. 22, 2014: Radio host Peter Barakan says broadcasters told him to avoid nuclear issues till after poll
To say that nuclear power should not be an issue in the Tokyo gubernatorial election is ludicrous as the question of what to do about nuclear power affects everyone in this small, quake-prone country — including the tens of millions of people living and working in the nation’s capital.
Can’t bury the nuclear issue, Japan Times Editorial, 23 Jan 14 Campaigning kicked off on Thursday for the Feb. 9 Tokyo gubernatorial election, which will not only decide the leader of the nation’s capital but also influence the debate on whether Japan should continue to rely on nuclear power — a major issue that will help determine the shape of Japan’s future.
The nuclear issue has assumed great importance because former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa has entered the race with the backing of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and is running on a “zero nuclear” platform — a stance shared by Koizumi. Both Hosokawa and fellow candidate Kenji Utsunomiya, a former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, are calling for the immediate halt of nuclear power generation. They oppose the Abe administration’s plan to restart idled nuclear power plants if their safety is confirmed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Some people, in particular Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, oppose the idea of treating nuclear power as a major issue in the Tokyo gubernatorial election. In an apparent effort to prevent the nuclear power issue from rousing wide interest among Tokyo voters, Abe said energy policy is an issue not just for Tokyoites but for all Japanese, adding that various issues that the Tokyo governor must deal with should be discussed in a balanced manner.
Yet Tokyo, which consumes about 10 percent of Japan’s total electricity, is the biggest power user among Japan’s 47 prefectures. Continue reading
Is Japan’s Offshore Solar PowerPlant the Future of Renewable Energy?s found a new way to harness the power of harness the power the sun
By Vicky Gan SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
FEBRUARY 2014 cross Japan, 50 nuclear power plants sit idle, shut down in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Nobody is certain when government inspectors will certify that the plants are safe enough to be brought back online. Anti-nuclear activists point to this energy crisis as evidence that Japan needs to rely more on renewables. One think tank has calculated that a national solar power initiative could generate electricity equivalent to ten nuclear plants. But skeptics have asked where, in their crowded mountainous country, they could construct all those solar panels
One solution was unveiled this past November, when Japan flipped the switch on its largest solar power plant to date, built offshore on reclaimed land jutting into the cerulean waters of Kagoshima Bay. The Kyocera Corporation’s Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant is as potent as it is picturesque, generating enough electricity to power roughly 22,000 homes.
Other densely populated countries, notably in Asia, are also beginning to look seaward.
In Singapore, the Norwegian energy consultancy firm DNV recently debuted a solar island concept called SUNdy, which links 4,200 solar panels into a stadium-size hexagonal array that floats on the ocean’s surface.
Former Japanese Premier Challenges Abe’s Nuclear Policy Tokyo Governor Race Threatens to Become Referendum on Atomic Energy, WSJ, By ALEXANDER MARTIN And TOKO SEKIGUCHI Jan. 22, 2014 TOKYO—Former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa pledged on Wednesday to work toward keeping Japan’s nuclear reactors offline in his campaign platform for the coming Tokyo gubernatorial race, threatening to make the local election a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-nuclear energy policies.
“Restarting nuclear reactors while we still have no place to dispose nuclear waste is a criminal act toward future generations,” Mr. Hosokawa said during a news conference where he laid out his campaign promises for the Feb. 9 election……..
Mr. Hosokawa’s candidacy poses a headache for Mr. Abe’s administration, which has been preparing to reactivate the nation’s 50 commercial reactors once they are deemed to comply with new safety standards introduced after the March 2011 Fukushima crisis.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is the fourth-largest shareholder of Fukushima Daiichi plant operator Tokyo Electric Power 9501.TO +1.02% Company (TEPCO) with a 1.2% stake, giving it the right to make proposals at the general shareholders’ meetings. Using this leverage, Mr. Hosokawa said he would pressure TEPCO not to restart any reactors………Mr. Hosokawa, 76, opposes any restarts and calls for pulling the plug on nuclear power entirely. And he aims to tap the antinuclear electorate with the support of fellow former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. A political mentor to Mr. Abe who in recent months has become an avid antinuclear campaigner, Mr. Koizumi remains one of the nation’s most popular politicians after stepping down in 2006……
rival candidate Yoichi Masuzoe……supports a phasing out of nuclear power……..http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303448204579335982659523094?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fo
Is Nuclear Experimentation Fascism? OpEdNews 1/22/2014 By Ethan Indigo Smith (about the author) ”…the crew of the U.S.S. Reagan. The U.S.S. Reagan was exposed to radiation after being redirected towards Japan to provide support immediately after the massive Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami off the coast of Japan.
According to an article in the New York Post, Senior Chief Michael Sebourn, a radiation-decontamination officer who tested the aircraft carrier for radiation found that “levels were incredibly dangerous and at one point, the radiation in the air measured 300 times higher than what was considered safe.” The article continues: “The former personal trainer has suffered a series of ailments, starting with severe nosebleeds and headaches and continuing with debilitating weakness” has lost 60 percent of the power in the right side of his body and his limbs have visibly shrunk.” As Senior Chief Michael Sebourn stated, “I’ve had four MRIs, and I’ve been to 20 doctors” No one can figure out what is wrong.” He has since retired from the Navy after 17 years of service.
And he is not alone. According to The Post, “crew members on the aircraft carrier and a half-dozen other support ships are battling cancers, thyroid disease, uterine bleeding and other ailments.” Of the 5,000 sailors on board, at least 70 have contracted some form of radiation sickness, and of those, “at least half” are suffering from some form of cancer,” said lawyer, Paul Garner, who is representing the sailors in a lawsuit against the operators of the Fukushima Daiichi energy plant. ”We’re seeing leukemia, testicular cancer and unremitting gynecological bleeding requiring transfusions and other intervention,” said Garner.
In a Voice of Russia report, Mr. Garner elaborated: “it seems that there’s too many people at the same place at the same time without any family background or any reason to believe that they had these issues to now show up with these significant cancers and beyond. So we feel that time will tell in many instances”. especially, because they all had physicals and were all in top health.”
Navy sailor Lindsay Cooper, who was also present on the U.S.S. Reagan, stated that crew members suffered from excruciating diarrhea at the time. ”People were s-”-tting themselves in the hallways,” Cooper recalled. ”Two weeks after that, my lymph nodes in my neck were swollen. By July, my thyroid shut down.”
When asked about the U.S.S. Reagan’s ability to detect radiation early, sailor Cooper stated “we have a multimillion-dollar radiation-detection system, but” it takes time to be set up and activated”. She went on to describe that after being exposed, ”we couldn’t go anywhere. Japan didn’t want us in port, Korea didn’t want us, Guam turned us away. We floated in the water for two and a half months” until Thailand took the stricken sailors in……..http://www.opednews.com/articles/Is-Nuclear-Experimentation-by-Ethan-Indigo-Smith-Fukushima_Nuclear-Cover-up_Nuclear-Meltdown_Nuclear-Waste-140122-627.html
Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore being implemented in Madhya Pradesh Economic Times India By Shreya Jai, ET Bureau | 23 Jan, 2014 NEW DELHI: Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are being implemented in Madhya Pradesh, which have quietly reached out to companies and attracted GE, Reliance Power, Spanish wind major Gamesa and others, giving tough competition to Gujarat in the sector.
Pakistan Parliament House Going Solar, Renewable Energy News, 23 Jan 14 A 1.8 megawatt (MW) solar farm is being installed at the Parliament House building in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad.
According to Trust.org, the USD $60 million project has been funded by the Chinese government; which also recently assisted in the preparation of a solar park project on over 10,000 acres that could ultimately host 1,000 MW of solar panel capacity.
The Parliament House project will not only save Pakistan’s government around a million dollars a year in electricity costs, it’s hoped the high profile array will also spur on broader adoption……http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.php?main_page=news_article&article_id=4138
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