nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Climate change danger hangs over China’s coastal cities (and their nukes!)

Climate change threatens China’s booming coastal cities, says expert, Guardian, Peng Yining , 25 July 15 

With an ageing society and more people living by the coast, China faces a challenge coping with climate change, reports China Daily A recent study led by Georgina Mace, ecosystem professor at University College London, indicated that governments across the world have failed to grasp the risk that population booms in coastal cities pose as climate change continues to cause rises in sea levels and extreme weather events. Mace is director of the UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research.

Mace says population growth in coastal areas can lead to big increases in exposure to extreme weather. The biggest direct effect of projected climate change is heat waves. The number of people dying from extreme heat could increase twelvefold by the end of this century, as a result of global warming combined with increasing numbers living in affected areas.

“People are increasingly living in the wrong places, and the demographic shift in China is enormous. China has a lot of old people who are vulnerable to extreme weather,” says Mace………

map China nukes

The commission also released a report in July indicating that by 2030, China will have 230 million rural residentswho have relocated to urban areas and the urbanisation rate will reach 70%.

Increased urbanisation will also exacerbate the effects of climate change, particularly among elderly citizens who are more vulnerable to extreme weather, Mace said recently at the release of the latest climate change report commissioned by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The report, drawn up by experts from UK, the United States, China and India, demonstrated risks triggered by climate change, including extreme weather and social instability, and also stressed the potential impact on coastal areas caused by rising sea levels

“The reason we chose to work with China is very much because of the population factor. The eastern coastal region is highly populated, and the sea level is rising. That could be a big challenge,” says David King, the UK foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change, who led the project……… http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/25/climate-change-threatens-chinas-booming-coastal-cities-says-expert

July 27, 2015 Posted by | China, climate change | Leave a comment

Fukushima baby milk formula seized in central China

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Beijing, Jul 24: Border quarantine authorities in central China’s Hunan Province have seized more than 400 kg of baby milk formula produced in areas close to the site of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.
Although no excessive radioactive material was found in the formula, it was still sent back to Japan as China has banned imports of food and agricultural products from regions affected by the nuclear leak, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
 The quarantine authorities said today that they found the milk formula in parcels mailed to Hunan between July 1 and July 20. This was the province’s biggest seizure of banned Japanese food.

Source: OneIndia
 http://www.oneindia.com/international/fukushima-baby-milk-formula-seized-in-central-china-1816627.html

July 24, 2015 Posted by | China | | 6 Comments

Danger for China, in planning inland nuclear facilities

Climate kills nuclearDrought and earthquakes pose “enormous risk” to China’s nuclear plans, China Dialogue Wang Yi’nan 27.02.2013

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China’s nuclear industry is shifting inland, away from the crowded coast. It’s a risky move, argues Wang Yi’nan When the Fukushima nuclear disaster struck, China was building new nuclear power capacity at a rate unprecedented in world history: 40% of all reactors planned or under construction were in China. Targets for installed nuclear generation capacity by 2020 were raised repeatedly – from 40 gigawatts in 2007 to 80 gigawatts in 2010.

Preparations were also under way for more than 20 inland nuclear power plants. The 41-plus gigawatts of capacity already completed or under construction lies along China’s seaboard. Space is running out.

But Fukushima sent shockwaves through the nuclear industry. In China, focus shifted from the speed and scale of expansion to questions of safety and quality. The government placed a moratorium on approvals for new nuclear plants, which lasted for more than a year, a period during which debate on what to do raged – over safety, scale of expansion, technology, site locations and, most crucially, whether or not the process of considering applications to build new inland nuclear power plants should be restarted.

China’s nuclear moratorium may have been lifted, but those arguments continue today……..China’s realities warn against inland nuclear development.

Figures from the China Earthquake Administration’s Institute of Geology show that, since 1900, China has been hit by almost 800 earthquakes of magnitude six or above, causing destruction in all regions except Guizhou, Zhejiang and Hong Kong. Despite having only 7% of the world’s landmass, China – where three tectonic plates meet – gets more than a third of all strong continental earthquakes.

Moreover, China’s per-head freshwater resources are only one quarter of the global average. Inland nuclear power plants require a failsafe, 100% reliable and never-ending supply of water for cooling. Even if a reactor stops operating it still requires water to carry off heat. If the water dries up, we could see a Fukushima-style disaster, with terrible consequences: radioactive pollutants released into nearby rivers and lakes, affecting the safety of water on which hundreds of millions rely.

In June last year, Reuters covered a report by European and US scientists on the vulnerabilities of nuclear and thermal power to climate change. According to the report, “under climate change, a lack of water for cooling is severely restricting generating capacity at nuclear power plants in the EU and US. In the summer seasons of 2003 to 2009, many inland nuclear power plants were forced to shut down due to a lack of cooling water.”

The authors predicted that “due to a lack of water for cooling, between 2030 and 2060 nuclear and thermal generating capacity will drop 4-16% in the US, and 6-19% in the EU,” and went on to stress that “opting to build nuclear and other thermal power plants by the sea is an effective and important strategy to cope with climate change.”
China is densely populated and prone to both drought and earthquakes, making the development of inland nuclear power inadvisable. It has also long sought to emulate the EU and US, regions which have now realised the outlook for inland nuclear power is bleak. China should not make the same mistake………
Safety standards still not being met

Moreover, there are still limits to China’s ability to run nuclear power plants.

During the State Council’s safety audit of 41 reactors in operation or under construction, some plants and fuel recycling facilities were found not to meet new safety standards for flood and earthquake resilience, while some plants did not have procedures for preventing or mitigating major accidents. Others had not evaluated tsunami risks and responses.

The Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has no guidelines for managing a major accident, for example. The Taishan No.2 reactor, Ling’Ao and Tianwan Nuclear Power Plants have procedures only for certain types of major accident……..
China has better and more realistic options to relieve energy shortages and cut emissions. These include more efficient use of resources including coal; the promotion of energy-saving techniques such as the use of energy performance contracting(where energy savings from new buildings systems pay for the cost of a building renewal project) a tool which, if used in China as it is in the EU, would save the equivalent of several Three Gorges Dams’ worth of energy.

Comprehensive clean-energy solutions, incorporating solar power, wind power, bioenergy, pumped-storage hydropower and natural gas peak power plants, can provide China with the clean, reliable and efficient energy it needs for a new type of industrialisation.

China’s development must be built on genuinely safe, reliable, clean and efficient energy. Blindly opting for nuclear power in response to energy shortages and emissions pressures is to drink from a poisoned chalice. https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/5746-Drought-and-earthquakes-pose-enormous-risk-to-China-s-nuclear-plans

July 19, 2015 Posted by | China, climate change, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

Japan Contaminated Food: Charges In Taiwan, Japan Asks China To Ease Restrictions

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Two men have been charged in Taiwan related to the importing of banned foods from Japan. Authorities in Taiwan have asked Japan to investigate the crime on their end, so far they have received no response.
At the same time Japan is being uncooperative with Taiwan, they are asking China to ease food import restrictions. Japan recently took South Korea to the WTO in an attempt to force them to remove restrictions on suspect food imports. So far there has been no indication Japan intends to do the same to China.
The higher restrictions in place in China have created an additional problem for Japan. If they are able to comply with China’s stringent documentation requirements they have little ability to claim less onerous documentation rules in other countries are too difficult to meet. ipei Times

Sources:

Taipei Times

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/06/18/2003620995

South China Morning Post

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1824614/japan-asks-china-ease-food-import-restrictions

June 23, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan | , | Leave a comment

Japan asks China to ease food import restrictions introduced after Fukushima nuclear disaster

China banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima following the crisis

fukushima

A Japanese farm ministry official met a senior Chinese official in charge of food inspection on Friday to request the easing of restrictions on food imports introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, sources said.

A director general at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries used the meeting in Beijing to stress the safety of Japanese food, the sources said.

China banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima following the nuclear crisis.

The beginning of such talks reflects an improvement in relations between the two biggest Asian economies.

Ties had deteriorated after the Japanese government bought a major part of the Japanese-administered Diaoyu Islands – known as Senkaku in Japan – in the East China Sea, from a private Japanese owner in 2012. The islands are claimed by China.

Both countries’ leaders have met twice since November, indicating a thaw in their tense relations.

The sale and use of Japanese food products has dropped sharply at department stores, supermarkets and restaurants in China since the import ban went into effect.

But potential demand remains strong for such products.

The two countries are expected to set up another meeting of higher-ranking officials.

In another development, Beijing is set to hold a press conference on the arrangements for a grand military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of second world war, another grievance between the two nations.

Qu Rui, deputy director of the Military Parade Leading Group, is scheduled to attend the press conference.

The parade, to be held in September, is seen as an attempt by Beijing to exert pressure on Japan over wartime disputes.

But Beijing has said the parade is not targeted at any particular country.

China has said it will invite leaders of other nations to attend the parade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to be a guest, but it is not known if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be invited.

Source: South China Morning Post

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1824614/japan-asks-china-ease-food-import-restrictions

June 22, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan | | 1 Comment

Japan, China to discuss food ban

june 21 food exports

BEIJING — The Japanese and Chinese governments have agreed to hold negotiations aimed at easing China’s restrictions on imports of Japanese foodstuffs, measures put in place following the outbreak of a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The relevant bureau directors general from both sides met in Beijing on Friday, it has been learned. The event marked the first such talks since the crisis began and a move toward compromise by China.

A bureau director general of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry participated in the Friday meeting, as did China’s director general in charge of food inspections. The Japan side said it thoroughly supervised agricultural products and urged China to ease its restrictions, saying Japanese agricultural products are safe and that resolving the issue of import restrictions would contribute to the development of both nations.

China agreed to continue talks on the subject.

In addition to banning the imports of foodstuffs from 10 prefectures, including Fukushima, China requires the submission of a “radiation inspection certifi-cate” for the import of certain items from the other 37 prefectures, such as vegetables, fruit, dairy products and tea leaves.

Because the form of this certificate has not been decided, however, imports have been effectively halted.

About 50 countries and regions had curbed imports of Japanese foodstuffs at one point in the wake of the nuclear crisis. But 13 countries have lifted such rules entirely, and the trend toward easing restrictions is growing.

Source: Yomiuri

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002236052

June 22, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan | | Leave a comment

Ease food import restrictions – Japan asks China

plate-radiationJapan asks China to ease food import restrictions introduced after Fukushima nuclear disaster, South China Morning Post 21 June 15 China banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima following the crisis A Japanese farm ministry official met a senior Chinese official in charge of food inspection on Friday to request the easing of restrictions on food imports introduced after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, sources said.

A director general at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries used the meeting in Beijing to stress the safety of Japanese food, the sources said.

China banned imports of food produced in 10 prefectures in Japan including Miyagi, Nagano and Fukushima following the nuclear crisis…….

The sale and use of Japanese food products has dropped sharply at department stores, supermarkets and restaurants in China since the import ban went into effect……..http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1824614/japan-asks-china-ease-food-import-restrictions

June 21, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Jordan going ahead with solar technology in a big way, helped by China

piggy-ban-renewablesChinese enterprise funds Middle East renewables, Independent Australia Anthony M Horton 18 June 2015, New reports confirm that the future of the Middle East is in renewables, which is already cheaper and more reliable than oil. The region is predicted to become a global green economic hub, reports Anthony M Horton.

FOLLOWING A grant worth US$310 million from Hanergy, a Chinese energy enterprise that produces thin-film solar technology, Jordan will expand its power grid and increase its renewable energy production by 1 Gigawatt. As a result of Hanergy’s assistance, Jordan will achieve its goal of increasing renewable energy capacity to 40 per cent (1.8 Gigawatts) by 2020.

Jordan began removing fossil fuel subsidies and created the country’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Fund a decade ago. This signalled the move to cleaner energy, and other Middle Eastern countries are also looking seriously at them. A report published by The Climate Group earlier this year (reported on 23 April) discussed the potential of the region to become a global green economy hub.

Their analysis, which was supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency, gave an overview of the current and future renewables landscape and explored the role that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would play in reshaping the world’s energy future, given the lessons it was learning from flagship projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in terms of the best opportunities and ways to upscale renewables.

The report also highlighted the increasing adoption of solar energy technologies as evidence of the growing appetite of the private sector……….https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/chinese-enterprise-funds-middle-east-renewables,7839

June 21, 2015 Posted by | China, Jordan, renewable | Leave a comment

Gangwon Province, China, strongly opposes nuclear power

Voices growing in Gangwon Province against slated nuclear reactorhttp://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/696544.html Jun.18,2015
flag-ChinaGovernment’s recently released 7th Power Supply Plan mandates two new nuclear reactors by 2029After the government announced its 7th Power Supply Plan, which will depend on the construction of two more nuclear reactors by 2029, residents of Gangwon Province are becoming more vocal in their demands to cancel the construction of nuclear reactors in Samcheok.On June 17, the Gangwon Province branch of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) held a press conference in front of Samcheok Post Office calling for the national government to scrap its plans to build nuclear reactors in the city and to revoke its designation of the planned areas.

“In a popular referendum about building nuclear reactors that was carried out in October of last year, 85% of the citizens of Samcheok voted against the plan. A majority of Samcheok citizens are united in their position that building nuclear reactors poses an unacceptable threat to their lives and safety,” a speaker at the press conference said.

protest China 15

“The government means to push ahead with the construction of the nuclear reactors because of its stubborn insistence that nuclear power is the business of the state and is not subject to a popular referendum, but in the end no government can defeat its own people. We will join with the people of Samcheok to block the nuclear reactors,” said Shim Gi-jun, head of the NPAD’s Gangwon Province branch.

On June 16, Lee Yi-jae, 56, Saenuri Party representative for the cities of Donghae and Samcheok; Kim Yang-ho, mayor of Samcheok; and Chung Jin-gwon, head of the Samcheok city council met with Moon Jae-do, Second Vice Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, in the committee room of the National Assembly‘s Trade, Industry, and Energy Committee and asked that plans to build nuclear reactors in Samcheok be omitted from the 7th Power Supply Plan, which will be confirmed at the end of this month.

“Delaying the final decision about the location of the nuclear reactors for three years until 2018 will provoke conflict and division between different regions. There is precedent for this, since Deoksan Village was removed from the list of possible nuclear reactor sites in 1999 and the construction of a nuclear waste disposal facility was shelved in 2005. I hope that public receptiveness will be given the highest priority and that the plans to build a nuclear reactor in Samcheok will be scrapped,” Lee said.

The Committee Fighting against the Samcheok Nuclear Reactor recently issued a statement of its own responding to the government’s announcement of the 7th Power Supply Plan. “The nuclear reactor construction plan should not be slyly delayed until 2018 but should be struck from the 7th Power Supply Plan at once. If the plans to build nuclear reactors are not revoked, we will step up our fight against the government,” the committee said.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is set to submit the 7th Power Supply Plan to the National Assembly around June 20. If the plan is approved, it will be officially announced around the end of the month.

By Park Soo-hyeok, Gangwon correspondent      Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr

June 19, 2015 Posted by | China, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

US nuclear industry lobbying hard to sell its reactors to China

Buy-US-nukesNuclear industry pushing for renewal of U.S.-China agreement, The Hill,  By Devin Henry – 06/08/15The nuclear energy industry is pushing to keep a critical export agreement with China on the books beyond the end of this year.

 A nuclear cooperation agreement that allows United States companies to export their products and technologies to China expires in December. President Obama proposed a 30-year extension of that agreement in April, which the American nuclear industry says will allow it to continue working in the country.

Congress has the right to block or modify that agreement, and concerns about nuclear nonproliferation could hinder it at some point. But key lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they support the idea of a nuclear cooperation pact, and industry officials are hopeful the new version takes hold this year.

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“Even where the Russians may have brought in financing, or the Koreans may have underbid folks, there is still the desire to have the American supply chain come in,” said David Blee, the executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council, a business group. Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Mistaken Assumptions about Past and Present US Policies to China

A Critique of US “Grand Strategy toward China”, My Catbird Seat, 

If one were to propose a realistic and reasonable ‘US Grand Strategy toward China’ one would have to start by shedding all the false assumptions and bellicose proposals that have been put forth by the CFR and the authors of the Report under review. 

May 30, 2015  Seven Mistaken Assumptions, Presumptions and Prescriptions by Dr. James Petras 

Introduction

The highly influential Council on Foreign Relations recently published a Special Report entitled, “Revising US Grand Strategy toward China”, (Council on Foreign Relations Press: NY 2015), co-authored by two of its Senior Fellows, Robert Blackwill and Ashley Tellis (‘B and T’), which proposes a re-orientation of US policy toward China.

The Report a policy for buttressing ‘US primacy in Asia’ and countering what they describe as “the dangers that China’s geo-economic and military power pose to US national interests in Asia and globally”. The Report concludes by listing seven recommendations that Washington should follow to re-assert regional primacy.

This essay begins by discussing the basic fallacies underpinning the Report, including outdated and dangerous presumptions about US power and presence in Asia today, and the authors’ incoherent, contradictory and unrealistic prescriptions. Continue reading

May 30, 2015 Posted by | China, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Chinese scientist warns on dubious safety of China’s nuclear power programme

safety-symbol-Smflag-ChinaChina warned over ‘insane’ plans for new nuclear power plants, Guardian,  , 25 May 15   He Zuoxiu, a leading Chinese scientist, says the country is not investing enough in safety controls after lifting of post-Fukushima disaster reactor ban. China’s plans for a rapid expansion of nuclear power plants are “insane” because the country is not investing enough in safety controls, a leading Chinese scientist has warned.

Proposals to build plants inland, as China ends a moratorium on new generators imposed after the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, are particularly risky, the physicist He Zuoxiu said, because if there was an accident it could contaminate rivers that hundreds of millions of people rely on for water and taint groundwater supplies to vast swathes of important farmlands.

China halted the approval of new reactors in 2011 in order to review its safety standards, but gave the go-ahead in March for two units, part of an attempt to surpass Japan’s nuclear-generating capacity by 2020 and become the world’s biggest user of nuclear power a decade later.

Barack Obama recently announced plans to renew a nuclear cooperation deal with Beijing that would allow it to buy more US-designed reactors, and potentially pursue the technology to reprocess plutonium from spent fuel…..

He, who worked on China’s nuclear weapons programme, said the planned rollout was going too fast to ensure it had the safety and monitoring expertise needed to avert an accident.

“There are currently two voices on nuclear energy in China. One prioritises safety while the other prioritises development,” He told the Guardian in an interview at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He spoke of risks including “corruption, poor management abilities and decision-making capabilities”. He said: “They want to build 58 (gigawatts of nuclear generating capacity) by 2020 and eventually 120 to 200. This is insane.”

He’s challenge to the nuclear plans is particularly powerful because of his scientific credentials and a long history of taking a pro-government stance on controversial issues, from the 1950s destruction of Beijing’s city walls to the crackdown in the 1990s on the religious group Falun Gong.

He would like to see China stop its expansion once the plants that have been approved or are now under construction are finished, and then gain a few decades experience of running them safely before expanding again. Almost all the country’s working reactors started up after 2000.

“China currently does not have enough experience to make sound judgments on whether there could be accidents,” he said. “The number of reactors and the amount of time they have been operating safely both matter.

“The safety reviews after Fukushima found some problems, but only minor ones, and the final conclusion is that China’s nuclear power is safe. But the safety checks were carried out under the old standards and the standards themselves clearly need big improvements.”………

“Japan has better technology and better management, and yet it couldn’t avoid an accident despite the fact that it tried very hard to learn from the US and USSR,” He said, adding that China’s nuclear monitor has sparser staffing than Japan’s, and offers low salaries that will not attract the best young scientists.

China had considered and then rejected stronger standards, He said, because of the huge pressure for a rapid expansion and companies powerful enough to put corporate profits ahead of national security.

“There were internal discussions on upgrading standards in the past four years, but doing so would require a lot more investment which would affect the competitiveness and profitability of nuclear power,” He said. “Nuclear energy costs are cheap because we lower our standards.”

Rather than encouraging debate to expose weaknesses, the government tries to stamp it out, and in a country where challenging officials is risky, there is no mechanism to encourage or protect whistleblowers.

He said: “At the moment, the ministry of environmental protection is considering a new watchdog. When they invited me over for a discussion, I told them: ‘Your safety watchdog is not independent. It listens to the national nuclear corporation and hence the scrutiny is fake’.”…….http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/25/china-nuclear-power-plants-expansion-he-zuoxiu

May 27, 2015 Posted by | China, safety | Leave a comment

Heightened danger of war from appearance of American warships in South China Sea

American Ships in South China Sea May Lead to War Between US, China It seems the United States has found another playground for its war games. The National Interest reported that Washington plans to send its military ships and planes to patrol areas in the South China Sea stirring up an already tense situation in the region, where several nations have competing territorial claims.

Warships copy
The Asia-Pacific Region might be on the verge of a military conflict, as the United States is trying to incite several nations, including Japan and the Philippines, to gang up on China over the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Several Asian countries made competing territorial claims over the territories of the sea, making the region Asia’s potentially most dangerous point of conflict. China, the biggest and most influential player in the region, aims to convert about 80 percent of the South China Sea into its territorial waters. However, other countries in the Asia-Pacific not only challenge the Chinese claims, but also want to assert their own territorial ambitions.
http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150518/1022273558.html  http://www.therealnewsmatters.com/

May 23, 2015 Posted by | China, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan pushes its contaminated food products to neighbor countries

Fukushima has changed everything

Japan food exports to Taiwan contain cesium
In the wake of the continuing Fukushima catastrophe, countries such as Korea and China are concerned that contaminated food is being exported from Japan. In a recent report by SimplyInfo.org, data from Taiwan showing food imports (primarily green tea) from Japan have contained radioactive cesium levels below Taiwan’s limit of 370 Bq/kg, but above Japan’s limit of 100 Bq/kg. The monitoring program in Taiwan is spot-checking these imports, so this contaminated tea was discovered in only a fraction of food coming from Japan, meaning additionally contaminated food could have been missed. In addition, Taiwan had already banned food from areas in Japan considered most contaminated, so this food was imported from areas in Japan considered “safe”. Taiwan tested teas that were harvested after the Fukushima catastrophe began. However, in 2011 and 2012, the US Food Drug Administration only tested tea varieties that would have been harvested in 2010, thereby having escaped contamination, making the FDA tea tests completely meaningless.
This unsettling discovery demonstrates that people in other countries are being sold food that is contaminated above Japan’s allowable limit, but below that of the receiving country—a concern that has been expressed time-and-again by Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network (FFAN) of which Beyond Nuclear is a coalition partner.  While the allowable limit of radioactive cesium in Japan is 100 Bq/kg, in Taiwan it is 370 Bq/kg, and in the U.S. it is 1200 Bq/kg with no real explanation as to why, say, a pregnant woman in the U.S. should be allowed to ingest 12 times the radioactive poison of a pregnant woman in Japan. These inconsistent limits may not make biological sense, but they do make sense when taken in context of this statement by ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection–the body which generates statements governments rely on to set radiation exposure standards.) “There may be a situation where a sustainable agricultural economy is not possible without placing contaminated food on the market.  As such foods will be subject to market forces, this will necessitate an effective communication strategy to overcome the negative reactions from consumers outside the affected areas.” This is the price of the continued use and catastrophic meltdowns of nuclear power.
Japan has filed a complaint with the WTO over Korean Fukushima-related import bans and additional testing requirements, demonstrating that countries trying to protect themselves from contaminated food could be facing international adjudication through the WTO. Japan told the WTO in October 2014 “more than 99 percent of food items were below standard limits, and strict measures prevented the sale or export of any food exceeding those limits.” But since measurement of food is so spotty, both from the importer and exporter, a statement like this is not only meaningless, but deceptive. Further, if every country’s contamination limits are different, in reality, there are no standard limits, no matter what the WTO or Japan contends.
If the Trans-Pacific Partnership is approved, these penalties could get a lot worse (link to Part 1 of a 5 part FFAN series on the TPP and contaminated food from Japan) and could include taxpayer compensation for corporate lost revenue due to such disputes.
But the radioisotope cesium isn’t the only concern. There is also strontium. Strontium-90 is much more difficult to measure than cesium-137. To avoid this inconvenience, strontium is often assumed or calculated to be in a ratio with cesium-137 such that a certain amount of measurable cesium would have a known accompanying smaller amount of strontium-90. Originally for contamination in Japan, strontium content was thought to be 10% of whatever the cesium-137 content was. However, after testing food in Japan, researchers have discovered that the initial ratio of strontium to cesium-137 is more than two times the amount of cesium-137.  More importantly, it also means that the various country limits set for radioactive cesium in food may no longer protect from the increased health impact of the strontium-90 that may be lurking in imports from Japan.
Source : Beyond Nuclear
http://www.beyondnuclear.org/food/2015/5/21/japan-food-exports-to-taiwan-contain-cesium.html

Japan takes South Korea to WTO over Fukushima-related food import restrictions
GENEVA – The central government launched a trade complaint at the World Trade Organization on Thursday to challenge South Korea’s import bans and additional testing requirements for Japanese food after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
South Korea expressed regret at Japan’s action and said its ban on some Japanese seafood was necessary and reflected safety concerns.
Japan says several measures taken by South Korea violate the WTO’s sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) agreement and Seoul has failed to justify its trade restrictions as required, the WTO said in a statement.
Under WTO rules, South Korea has 60 days in which to deal with Japan’s concerns in bilateral talks. After that Japan could ask the WTO to adjudicate on the matter.
“In upcoming talks with Japan, we plan to explain fully that the import ban is necessary for people’s safety, and actively deal with Japan over the issue they raised based upon WTO’s dispute settlement procedures,” South Korea’s trade, agriculture, foreign affairs and other related ministries said in a joint statement.
Details of Japan’s complaint were not immediately available, but Japan has repeatedly raised the issue in committee meetings at the WTO, where it has also voiced concerns about Fukushima-related trade restrictions imposed by Taiwan and China.
Japan’s representative told the WTO’s SPS committee in March that radioactive levels in Japanese food had declined substantially since the nuclear crisis began at Tepco’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant. It noted that the United States, Australia, the European Union, Singapore and Vietnam had all lifted or eased their Fukushima-related restrictions.
“We’ve urged the South Korean government to lift the ban, but we expect it is unlikely to be dropped quickly,” Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said in a statement on Thursday.
South Korea extended its ban on Japanese fishery imports in September 2013 to cover imports from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima.
Last October, the Japanese representative at the WTO committee said contamination levels in more than 99 percent of food items were below standard limits, and strict measures prevented the sale or export of any food exceeding those limits.
South Korea’s representative told the same meeting that its restrictions were in line with WTO rules, but Japan had not provided it with sufficient data for an objective and science-based risk assessment.
Japan’s representative also cited an assessment from the International Atomic Energy Agency in September 2014, which found its measures to deal with contamination were appropriate, according to minutes of the WTO committee.
The average annual value of South Korean imports of Japanese fish and seafood was $96 million in 2012-2014, less than half the average of $213 million in 2006 through 2010, according to data from the International Trade Center in Geneva.
Source : Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/business/japan-takes-south-korea-to-wto-over-fukushima-related-food-import-restrictions/#.VV-d1kZZNBQ

May 22, 2015 Posted by | China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan | , | Leave a comment

Chinese nuclear companies keen to market reactors overseas

Buy-China-nukes-1Chinese Nuclear Firms Compete Abroad for Exports and for Market Share at Home, Energy Collective  Two giant rival Chinese state-owned nuclear firms are pulling out the stops to achieve success with exports and increased market share of the restarted domestic reactor construction program. The so-called Hualong One, a 1000 MW PWR type reactor, is being hawked by both firms, but with significant enough design differences that potential customers worry about supply chain issues……..

 recent presentations by both firms to potential customers in the UK reveal that differences are barely papered over. In a show of strength the CNNC said at a trade show in Beijing that it’s prior design, the ACP1000, is available to the UK Hinkley Point if Areva, which is supposed to supply two 1600 MW EPRs, suffers further financial setbacks and cannot support its role as the intended vendor. Separately, CGN told project managers for the UK Bradwell site that it has its own version of the Hualong One, the ACPR1000, and as a potential major equity stakeholder, wants to build it as a condition of the investment……….

Moving Inland from the Coast

Up to now China has been building its reactors at coastal sites. The reasons include the available seawater for cooling the units and the ability to deliver very large reactor components by barge.  However, the China National Energy Administration is now looking at inland sites again. Following the Fukushima earthquake, the agency suspended consideration of new construction starts away from coastal regions.

The main issue was consideration of adequate cooling water supplies in an emergency. At issue is a 100% fail safe supply of water in regions which may have some areas which may have inadequate freshwater resources even without the demand of a new power plant………http://theenergycollective.com/dan-yurman/2223861/chinese-nuclear-firms-compete-abroad-exports-and-market-share-home

May 6, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

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