South Koreans Still Fear Radiation From Japan WSJ, 17 Oct 14 More than three years have passed since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, but some South Koreans are still leery over possible radioactive contamination from their neighbor.
Environmental activists and residents of Changwon, a city on South Korea’s southeastern coast, staged a rally Tuesday in front of a steel company to protest its import of scrap steel from Japan through a nearby port of Masan.
The protesters demanded local steel companies stop importing Japanese steel for recycling through seaports that aren’t equipped with radioactive detection devices, such as Masan.
“A case in August, in which imports of scrap steel from Japan were found to contain radioactive material and sent back to Japan clearly shows we’re exposed to a real risk,” said Park Jong-kwon, chairman of the Masan Changwon Jinhae Korea Federation of Environmental Movements.
Mr. Park said his group will continue to demand the government divert such imports to other ports until Masan has a radiation detection system.
Concerns have heightened after the Seoul government in August found some imported scrap metal from Japan bore traces of radiation and ordered the importer to return the items to Japan.
The protest in Changwon followed similar complaints earlier this week by a civic group in another port city of Gunsan, southwest of Seoul, that the country should stop steel imports from Japan.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said Aug. 11 that it had returned some steel scrap imported from Japan due to radiation contamination, the first returned shipment since Seoul heightened nuclear safety checks in 2012………
One of Korea’s industries hit hardest by Japan’s latest nuclear disaster was seafood as domestic sales of marine products plummeted following leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011.
Since September last year, the Seoul government has blocked all fishery imports from prefectures surrounding the Fukushima plant. http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2014/10/15/south-koreans-still-fear-radiation-from-japan/
As Nuclear Waste Piles Up, South Korea Faces Storage Crisis, Scientific American, 14 Oct 14 Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast. By Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) – Among the usual commercials for beer, noodles and cars on South Korean TV, one item stands in marked contrast.
A short film by a government advisory body carries a stark message: the nation faces a crisis over storing its spent nuclear fuel after running reactors for decades.
The world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power has around 70 percent, or nearly 9,000 tonnes, of its used fuel stacked in temporary storage pools originally intended to hold it for five or six years, with some sites due to fill by the end of 2016.
It plans to cram those sites with more fuel than they were originally intended to hold while it looks for a permanent solution, suggesting little has been learned from the Fukushima disaster in neighboring Japan.
In the Fukushima crisis in 2011, the storage of large amounts of spent nuclear fuel in elevated pools posed a threat of massive radioactive release on top of meltdowns at three reactors. Spent fuel rods heated up after a quake knocked out water-cooling pumps, underlining the dangers of holding troves of radioactive material in relatively exposed cooling ponds.
“We cannot keep stacking waste while dragging our feet,” said Park Ji-young, director of the science and technology unit at respected think tank the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
“If we fail to reach a conclusion (on how to manage spent fuel), it would be time to debate if we should stop nuclear power generation.” With South Koreans still spooked by Fukushima and a scandal at home over fake safety certificates for nuclear equipment, the commission has its work cut out to come up with more than a temporary fix to the storage crunch in a report due by year-end………..
OUT OF FAVOR
A permanent solution remains elusive, Continue reading
it’s really stupid to just keep on making the stuff
As Nuclear Waste Piles Up, South Korea Faces Storage Crisis, Scientific American, 14 Oct 14“……….The 23 nuclear reactors in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy add a total of 750 tonnes of spent fuel every year to the 13,300 tonnes that filled 71 percent of its wet and dry storage capacity as of last year, according to reactor operator Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co Ltd, owned by state-run Korea Electric Power Corp.
That means storage could fill by 2021, with some pools in danger of reaching capacity by the end of 2016.
Seoul hopes to win time by stacking spent fuel more densely in those concrete-covered pools next to reactor buildings, and by moving waste to pools at 11 new power plants that are set to be built by 2024.
But experts warn that leaving spent fuel in water could be fraught with danger, even in a country that is not anywhere near as seismically active as Japan. They note that the buildings that house pools are typically not as strong as those that hold reactors, which have steel vessels inside concrete domes.
“Spent fuel in a concrete building next to reactor buildings is vulnerable to missile or other attacks from the outside,” said one expert, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
He said that stacking fuel more densely would compound any risk as it would reduce air circulation.
“Air circulation helps lower chances of spent fuel meltdown if water drains or water-cooling pumps are broken when hit by natural disaster or terror attack.”http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/as-nuclear-waste-piles-up-south-korea-faces-storage-crisis/
…..684 Accidents and Failures over 37 Years
With the situation as it is, the general public’s concerns over aging nuclear power plants as well as hacking attempts are on the rise. The total number of nuclear power generation accidents and breakdowns in Korea has reached 684 since the commercial operation of Gori 1 back in 1978. Out of those, 130 have happened in the oldest facility.
“The government is just repeating that nuclear power generation is a safe way of power supply,” Democratic United Party lawmaker Moon Byung-ho explained, continuing, “However, it would be well advised to reexamine its safety, security, sustainability, and economic advantages by taking this as an opportunity and shutting down the oldest nuclear power stations for a paradigm shift.” http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/article/6718/security-unawareness-korean-nuclear-power-plants-exposed-1843-hacks-over-five-years#sthash.iaBiCo9G.dpuf
South Korean town votes no to nuclear plant WP, By Associated Press October 9 SEOUL, South Korea — Voters in a South Korean city have rejected plans to build a nuclear power plant in a referendum the government says has no legal effect.
Thursday’s vote in Samcheok, on South Korea’s east coast, went as expected following this year’s election of a mayor who wants the government to scrap nuclear plant……..“I will persuade the national government based on this result,” the Samcheok mayor, Kim Yang-ho, told Yonhap News Agency. “I hope the government’s policy will reflect Samcheok citizens’ real opinion.”……..
Some 85 percent of the 28,867 residents who cast ballots said no, according to a volunteer committee set up to administer the referendum after election authorities refused. Out of 42,488 who registered to take part, turnout was 68 percent……http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/south-korean-town-votes-no-to-nuclear-plant/2014/10/09/1d3d23ce-5023-11e4-877c-335b53ffe736_story.html
Heavy Rain in South Korea Kills Five, Shuts Nuclear Plant Officials Say Five People Still Missing WSJ, By
JEYUP S. KWAAK 25 Aug 14, SEOUL-Heavy rainfall on Monday killed at least five people and shut down a nuclear reactor in South Korea, pushing the country’s populous southeast region to a near-standstill. …… A 650-megawatt nuclear reactor in Busan, about 330 kilometers (204 miles) southeast of Seoul, was also suspended on Monday after rising water flowed into the facilities, the national nuclear-power-plant operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. Ltd said. The reactor remained shut down as of Tuesday morning…….http://online.wsj.com/articles/heavy-rain-in-south-korea-kills-five-shuts-nuclear-plant-1409023982
they must just stop making this trash!
South Korea running out of space for nuclear waste http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-18/south-korea-running-out-of-space-for-nuclear-waste/5679626 South Korea is running out of space to store its spent nuclear fuel, with some of its storage facilities set to reach capacity by 2016, according to an independent body that advises the government on nuclear issues.
A Public Engagement Commission, consisting of nuclear experts, professors, and officials, was set up in October 2013 to take account of public opinion on spent nuclear fuel issues and feed into policy decisions.
Commission chairman Hong Doo-seung says it is urgent to find more storage sites for spent fuel.
“We will have to stop nuclear power generation if we fail to find additional temporary space, Continue reading
Global Network board member Sung-hee Choi, long time activist on Jeju Island, wrote today:
Recently, Pope Francis has visited Korea from Aug. 14 to 18. He left us many moving messages of peace and justice, but the South Korean (ROK) conservative Park Geun-Hye government started the World-biggest war exercise Ulji Freedom Guardian (In government drill, about 480,000 personnel join. In military drill, about 50,000 Korean soldiers and 30,000 US soldiers) started along with the United States on his leaving day. It ends on Aug. 21.
The exercise targets North Korea and the strategy includes preemptive nuclear strike against her. The exercise will be a passage for the US to push for the US-Japan-ROK trilateral military alliance and Missile Defense system. http://space4peace.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/from-pope-to-war-games-in-south-korea.html
South Korea to return 20 kg Japanese steel scrap due to radiation contamination Aug 11, 2014 By Meeyoung Cho SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea plans to return some steel scrap imported from Japan due to radiation contamination, the first returned shipment since Seoul heightened nuclear safety checks in 2012, the country’s nuclear watchdog said in a statement on Monday.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission detected caesium 137 at a higher than allowed level in 20 kilogrammes of steel scrap out of a total 20 tonnes imported earlier this month, said a spokeswoman at the agency…….http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0GB0IA20140811
S. Korea faces strong opposition to nuclear power SEJONG, June 15 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government is facing a renewed opposition against nuclear power plants sparked by the recent tragic sinking a passenger ferry while the need for what is considered the cheapest source of power is growing, government officials said Sunday.
The opposition against nuclear power plants gained a new momentum on raised public awareness for safety following the April 16 sinking of the passenger ferry, Sewol, in which 292 people have been confirmed dead with 12 still unaccounted for.
Those who have long opposed nuclear power are again pointing their fingers at nuclear power plants as the most hazardous facilities, which, they claim, could cause a far greater and more devastating tragedy than the ferry sinking should there be any accident, according to the government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Such a sentiment was also seen in recent remarks by Rep. Park Young-sun, floor leader of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who said, “Nuclear power plants are now said to be the largest threat to safety in our society after the sinking of the Sewol.”
Already, environmental groups are demanding the government decommission a nuclear reactor at Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently undergoing review for a possible extension of its lifespan. The initial 30-year lifespan of the reactor located some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul expired in November 2012……
China agrees North Korea’s nuclear activities a serious threat, says South Mon May 26, 2014 SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea and China agreed on Monday that recent nuclear activity by North Korea posed a serious threat to the peace and stability of the region and Pyongyang must not conduct a nuclear test, Seoul said after a meeting of their top diplomats.
Renewed activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site has indicated Pyongyang may be preparing a fourth nuclear test in contravention of U.N. sanctions.
Analysis have suggested the North may be close to miniaturising a nuclear warhead to mount on a missile, alarming regional powers that have for two decades tried to rein in Pyongyang’s atomic programme.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his South Korea counterpart Yun Byung-se to discuss the North’s nuclear programme, as well as an upcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seoul this year, South Korea’s foreign ministry said.
“The two ministers agreed to step up cooperation based on the united position that they object to the North’s nuclear test and that recent nuclear activities by the North pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the region,” the ministry said.
China, North Korea’s lone major ally, is usually very guarded in its opinion on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, usually expressing its desire for a nuclear-free “Korean peninsula” and careful not to be seen to be taking sides…….http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0E61LJ20140526
South Korea proposes aid for North if it halts nuclear arms programme First Post, Mar 29, 2014 SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye proposed a broad range of economic aid for impoverished North Korea on Friday if it agrees to give up its nuclear programme. It was not immediately clear how the North would respond to the proposal, made in a speech in Dresden, Germany, but it has repeatedly rejected the idea of abandoning its nuclear programme, which it says is a necessary deterrent against U.S. hostility.
S. Korea scales back nuclear expansion plans The West Australian, 11 Dec 13, Seoul (AFP) – South Korea is scaling back its commitment to nuclear energy after safety concerns prompted a series of reactor shutdowns, officials said Tuesday……The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it has accepted recommendations from a government advisory group in September to scale back the nuclear expansion plans…..
Safety concerns that were already high in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan have been heightened by revelations of widespread corruption and faulty equipment.
Nuclear reactors have been abruptly shut down 128 times over the past decade because of malfunctioning parts, officials admitted in October. Public prosecutors have charged about 100 people after discovering that documents relating to some parts in 20 working reactors, and eight under construction, had been forged…….http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/world/a/20257649/s-korea-scales-back-nuclear-expansion-plans/
S.Korea nuclear reactor hit by automatic shutdown; six units now off First Post World, 29 Nov 13, SEOUL (Reuters) – A “safety-related action” automatically shut down one of its 23 nuclear reactors on Thursday, South Korea’s nuclear operator said, bringing the tally of those closed to six and hiking chances of possible power blackouts this winter……. “We are now looking into the cause of the shutdown and it is not yet clear when the reactor will restart,” said a spokesman at operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power. Operation of the 587-megawatt Kori No. 1 reactor, over 300 km southeast of Seoul, was suspended early on Thursday morning. The reactor, which started operation in 1978, had recently returned from nearly 180 days of scheduled maintenance through October 5, according to KHNP’s website. (www.khnp.co.kr). The unit’s license to operate was extended another 10 years in end-2007, another KHNP spokesman noted……
Scandal-hit Korean group makes UK nuclear bid, Ft.com, 19 Nov 13 By Guy ChazanA Korean nuclear company that has been rocked by a domestic safety scandal is close to becoming a major investor in the UK – a development that could hit public confidence in the country’s much-vaunted nuclear renaissance. Korea Electric Power, or Kepco, is in talks to join the NuGen consortium, which has an option to build a reactor near Sellafield in Cumbria……
Some UK industry figures have expressed concern.
“Why would you want anyone with that kind of safety record?” said one person with knowledge of the NuGen negotiations. He said it risked “damaging the public perception of nuclear in the UK”.
But such concerns are likely to grow as more and more overseas state-owned groups enter the British marketplace. “If major pieces of UK energy infrastructure – not just nuclear – are owned by investors from afar, it’s going to give rise to a level of public disquiet that we haven’t seen so far,” said Nick Pidgeon, head of the Understanding Risk Research Group at Cardiff University.
The NuGen development highlights how reliant the UK is on foreign investors for its nuclear renaissance. Continue reading
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