USA. A federal panel has ruled for a formal license amendment proceeding with full public participation, on the restart of troubled San Onofre Nuclear power Plant in California. It is on the cards that this plant will never restart. This is a pretty important turning point for the entire USA nuclear power industry. Meanwhile Indian Point nuclear plant (near New York) is to be allowed to operate a nuclear reactor that will not be licensed – first time ever allowed.
Japan. Tepco’s radioactive water crisis continues. They can just empty the accumulating waste-water into the sea. There is no international maritime law that prevents this. Japanese Fisheries Associations are strongly opposing it. Reprocessing plants. Japan’s government wants to restart these – at Monju and Rokkasho. Japan’s Nuclear Regulator has ordered against Monju starting up. But Rokkasho, after 20 years, and $20 billion costs, now looks like going ahead. This is causing anxiety among safety conscious Japanese, and in USA – as the plant will produce 8 tonnes of plutonium a year.
UK. Atomic test veterans. For the first time, a judge ruled this week that men ordered into the fallout zone were injured by radiation in the 1950s and 60s. the veterans will at last war pensions after a four-year fight with the Ministry of Defence.
France developing a multi $billion plan for underground radioactive waste storage in North Eastern France, but already there’s not enough money for it. Costs are supposed to be paid by nuclear companies, such as AREVA and EDF.
Uranium companies continue to post losses – Uranium One and Mega Uranium join Cameco in dismal earnings reports .
It’s a sobering thought. If this elderly nun is so capable at getting inside USA’s Oakridge Nuclear Weapons Facility, what chance are they going to have to keep her in jail for 20 years?
Fukushima has to be the top story, no matter how earnestly the mainstream media ignores it. The critical problem remains the constant flow of groundwater into the reactors, and the storage of this radioactive water in many tanks, now holding the equivalent of 112 Olympic-size pools. Tepco is clearing the nearby forest for more tanks, and is deliberating about emptying the radioactive water into the Pacific. Reports are coming in that the ground under Reactor No 4 is sinking – posing the danger of it collapsing.
Other reports tell of the quite heroic work of people saving and caring for animals in the evacuated area. One particular horseman, Tokuei Hosokawa, just won’t leave his horses – many of them sick – he cares for them until they die.
A very sad report on the psychological aspects of Fukushima – discrimination and fear add to the very real anxiety about ionising radiation. Fukushima’s children may face the discrimination still experienced by the atomic bomb survivors – the hibakusha.
Japan’s govt now planning to redevelop the (previously failed) Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing facility, which can produce nine tonnes of weapons-grade plutonium annually, or enough to construct up to 2,000 bombs. This raises the question of Japan developing nuclear weapons in the future.
Japan’s “transition towns” – a more optimistic story. Towns like Fujino are becoming popular – where communities are switching to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
USA Sister Megan Rice, 83, and her 2 elderly companions found guilty of ”intent to injure national security” when they broke into Oak Ridge nuclear weapons facility, with their prayers and flowers. They might be sentenced to 30 years’ gaol.
UK. latest survey shows the increasing popularity of solar and wind energy.
Japan: Fukushima is top of the news, unfortunately. Groundwater is flooding into the plant’s reactor buildings at the astonishing rate of 285 litres a minute. The highly radioactive water has to be stored in in tanks which cover 17 hectares of the plant’s grounds. Tepco is now clearing a nearby forest to make space for more tanks.
Japan is starting up the Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant, which has had a chequered career of huge costs and safety failures. It will produce 9 tons of plutonium each year, (enough for 2000 bombs), and they don’t know what to do with this radioactive trash. Prime Minister Abe is in Dubai, trying to sell Japan’s nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates. On May 2nd, the Monju reprocessing plant issued black smoke, and there was a fire alarm, but Japanese officials say it is OK.
Uranium: Cameco’s earnings went down 93% so far this year. Their shares were 33 cents last year. Now they’re 2 cents. Uranium price for immediate delivery has slumped 40 percent over the past 2 years.
USA continues to angst over its radioactive trash problem. Duke Energy pulls out of plan to build 2 new nuclear reactors. San Onofre nuclear plant might be shut down. Los Angeles City Council demands thorough safety investigations before any question of restarting it. Experts consider it dangerous, and there are doubts that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s special investigation team is impartial – the NRC is seen as too cosy with the nuclear industry.
yes – I know that this site is supposed to be all about nuclear news. But what IS the nuclear news? And what IS happening in the energy world.
Well – my problem is that IT’s ALL HAPPENING IN RENEWABLE ENERGY.
The nuclear lobby huffs and puffs, and tries to blow down the house of renewable energy.
But it’s all hot air. The reality of the nuclear industry is that it hobbles on, in its servitude to nuclear weapons, it pretends that it’s economic, which it clearly isn’t, and it touts for markets all over the world.
The real news about the nuclear industry is that it can’t solve the waste problem, that it can’t convince the world’s health authorities, as it lies its head off about ionising radiation. And its costs just keep skyrocketing. Nuclear news is all negative stuff, and I get sick of it.
Meanwhile there’s all sorts of positive things happening in renewable energy, small and large scale, in energy storage, and in constantly falling costs.
Of course, as the nuclear lobby huffs and puffs, it tries to fight, to destroy, the clean energy movement. It brings to mind Mahatma Ghandi’s sayng:
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”
North Korea. What a week – of bellicose threats against USA, South Korea and Japan, claims of intercontinental ballistic missiles. closing down of joint “two Koreas’ ‘” Gaeseong industrial complex, and all sorts of dire warnings! North Korea now. Even North Korea’s pal China got angry with them, as did Russia. However, President Obama states that N. Korea does not have a nuclear missile. USA had ramped up stealth jet flights over North Korea, and military drills in South Korea. North Korea now wanting talks, demanding end of sanctions and an end to South Korea-US joint military drills.
USA. Obama approves drastically more lax rules on what is “permissable” radiation in food and water.New peer-reviewed research published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics indicates that babies on West coast are developing hypothyroidism as a result of Fukushima radiation. Govt to dump over 400 containers of nuclear waste in Nevada. Legal action in Colorado to force uranium companies to clean up their radioactive messes.
UK. New nuclear build in doubt, as French company EDF not sure about going on with it, due to financial uncertainties. 47 people arrested at protest in Scotland against Trident nuclear weapons project
Fukushima nuclear reactors releasing 400 tons of radioactive water every day. Tepco may now empty this into the Pacific Ocean. Concerns in Japan over radioactive boars. Much debate over radiaoactive emissions. Nuclear lobby working hard to downplay any health risks.
Renewable Energy. Germany launches project to speed up storage of wind and solar energy. Saudi Arabia commits to spending $109 billion on renewable energy.
North Korea dominates the news today, as it pronounces a state of war with South Korea, and its readiness to strike USA with nuclear weapons. Most expert observers believe that North Korea is in no position to carry out these threats. United States has moved anti-missile system to Guam and has moved Two advanced missile destroyers closer to North Korea. Tensions have risen in South Korea, and it’s an atmosphere of brinkmanship that could result in military action.
USA. Continued warnings about the dangerous state of Hanford nuclear waste tanks – explosion is areal possibility. Gallup poll shows that Americans prefer wind and solar power.
UK. Scotland ambivalent at being selected as base for dismantling nuclear submarines. UK govt still writhing around trying to make its subsidies for new nuclear look like well - not suibsidies.
Japan. More and more information leaking out about Fukushima and its radioactive water problem – still leaking into the Pacific. New concerns about ocean life affected by this radiation – from shellfish to sea lions.
VIDEOS - New York Symposium on Fukushima’s health and environmental effects. – well worth watching these 20 speakers, and the documents at http://www.totalwebcasting.com/view/?id=hcf#
Having great difficulty with my computer technolgy. I recommend that you go to http://cinemaforumfukushima.org/ to view the opening address by former Prime Minister of japan.
All speakers were impressive, but the speakers from Japan, and the presence of Japanese at the symposium were memorable.
More information when I can conquer my technology problems.
Americans very hospitable and friendly. My first time in USA
Fukushima is in the news – much as the nuclear lobby and mainstream media like to forget it, or pretend that it’s all over. Public protests in Tokyo express the concern of Japanese people about Fukushima radiation, and about the danger inherent in the nuclear industry. Never mind, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe is determined to restart the nuclear reactors, and many are worried that the industry might somehow circumvent Japan’s new safety regulations.
The World Health Organisation has released its Health Risk Assessment on the Fukushima nuclear accident.http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/pub_meet/fukushima_report/en/index.html The WHO report acknowledges the likelihood of increased cancer incidence and mortality from radiation exposure from the Fukushima disaster
- It pulls together lots of information on radiation exposures from the Fukushima disaster.
- It uses information / estimates on radiation exposure to predict increases in cancer incidence risks
What the WHO report does NOT do The WHO report does not consider cancer incidence and mortality statistics to see if there is a significant increase that can be attributed to Fukushima. Because of the way it is framed, it is not possible from this WHO study to come to any estimate as to the total number of cancer deaths that could arise from the Fukushima disaster.
What the WHO report finds − cancer incidence estimates for people in the most contaminated location, the estimated increased risks over what would normally be expected are:
- all solid cancers – around 4% in females exposed as infants;
- breast cancer – around 6% in females exposed as infants;
- leukaemia – around 7% in males exposed as infants;
- thyroid cancer – up to 70% in females exposed as infants
I am happy to be going to the New York Symposium on The Medical and Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident To Be Held at the New York Academy of Medicine nuclearfreeplanet.org . Still hoping that some other Australians will join me – to hear this most impressive array of international scientists and doctors .
UK govt has done a complete about face, and now announces that it will subsidise new nuclear power, despite all previous promises of “no subsidy for nuclear”. Conflict of interest, as nuclear career executives now in government planning department. In UK, the angst and agonizing about Sellafield’s huge amount of high level nuclear waste continues. Nuclear submarine leaking radioactive waste in Scottish waters
USA also having wrangles about who will pay for new nuclear reactors, and for nuclear waste cleanup. Utah and Florida communities getting rebellious about having to pay upfront for reactors that might never be built. Hanford nuclear site – the most polluted place in America, now leaking radioactive fluids, and even semi solids.
Mass rally to urge Obama to act on climate change
China. Wind energy now surpassing nuclear energy, and rapidly being developed, while nuclear power development slows down.
Russia. had an awful scare when a meteorite exploded above an old nuclear weapons site.
Fukushima. The story just gets worse. Much continues to be covered up, by Japan, USA and mainstream media. which is the history of this nuclear disaster. Fukushima’s Governor is asking for the “acceptable” level of ionising radiation to be raised. TEPCO is arranging “temporary compensation” for nuclear victims – they will have to repay this money. Radiation level still found in blufin tuna, off Fukushima coast – indicatng that leakage into the ocean is still happening.
A big promotion for “small nuclear reactors” – but – read between the lines – even the proponents admit that they are untested, and just as expensive as large ones.
Uranium companies advised to get out of Africa – seeing that African nations will now probably demand fair treatment (we can’t have that, can we? It’s not profitable)
Europe’s nuclear industry in palliative care, or worse, as Czech Republic joins long list of failed nuclear projects. Finland is embarrassed at super costly ever-delayed Olkiluoto new nuclear plant. UK government writhing about as it plans subsidies that don’t look like subsidies for nuclear power
USA: A bit of positive news, as Obama states his aim and plans for climate change action, and renewable energy.
North Korea: public exultation at announcement of a nuclear test, but features of this test are not clear, due to the secrecy of this State, and no radiation being detected.
India: France’s President Sarkozy goes to India to promote sales of French nuclear technology, but greeted by anti nuclear protest, and burning of French flag.
Fukushima: worrying radiation and cancer news filters out, despite media censorship in Japan, and in global mass media. 70,000 US navy personnel were exposed to Fukushima radiation, and many are ill.
Here’s what Roger Helbig sent me today: ” Your first immediate action is to take my name out of your
e-mail subject line. I have already advised WordPress and I will make
every possible effort to take down your WordPress blog and eliminate
your ability to ever have another WordPress blog.” along with a lot of other threats of legal action.
This humble little website is now in the company of some much more illustrious sites. For example – “It has come to our attention that an individual by the name of Roger Helbig, has been going to great effort to damage our reputation” http://www.salem-news.com/
There are dozens more .. you see, Roger Helbig makes a profession of harrassing and preferably shutting down, any voices that criticise the use of depleted uranium.
War in Africa over resources, especially uranium. French troops protect AREVA’s uranium mines in Niger. 3500 French troops fight in Mali, which is rich in uranium, and Mali provides access to Niger.
- - a nuclear domino effect? Another nuclear power plant bites the dust as Florida shuts its Chrystal River plant. It will take at least 60 years to dismantle and decontaminate it. Duke Energy largest U.S. electricity company, hopes its investments will gradually cover the costs, but also hopes to pass on the costs to its customers.
- San Onofre nuclear plant teeters on the brink of permanent closure, as questions asked by a USA Senator about the Edison company’s possible prior knowledge of its safety defects.
- Nuclear weapons: new USA Defence Secretary Hagel (a Republican!) favours a reduction in nuclear weapons
- USA servicemen involved in radiation areas after Fukushima disaster. the govt has closed the medical registry of their illnesses – that’s one way to prevent trouble – don’t collect the data!
- In Virginia - a win for the environment as the State will keep its ban on uranium mining.
UK - new nuclear power stalled – as Cumbria refuses to host a radioactive waste dump – despite the incentives offered.
North Korea causing international angst as it plans new nuclear bomb tests – even China unhappy about this.
Japan. mainstream media keeps its deafening silence on Fukushima nuclear plant, which is still critically dangersous. News seeps out from bloggers, such as Fukushima Diary- whose author translates many items into English
Australia: Some good news. That rare event – all parties in the Australian Parliament support the Bill to include the beautiful World Heritage area of Koongarra into Kakadu National Park. JeffreyLees, traditional owner of Koongarra resolutely knocked back AREVA’s millions to mine uranium there. Lees donated his land to the National Park – “Money comes and goes, but the land is always here”.
Fukushima is always in the news, if only in the alternative media. Tepco’s plan to empty tomnnes of radioactive water into the Pacific. Fish caught with high levels of cesium. Nuclear top officials “descended for Heaven” into high paying jobs.
Africa France is sending troops into Niger, specifically to protect AREVA’ uranium mines. Also to send 2500 troops (for a start) into mali, which has huge deposits of uranium.
Russia making efforts to get out the uranium, and do a bit of cleaning up of its radioactive waste dump in the Arctic Kara Sea – preliminary to oil drilling there. Climate Change and nuclear issues converge in the Arctic. As sea ice dwindles, oil companies move into the Arctic.
Germany shows that shutting down nuclear power is no handicap, as its power supply thrives, with renewable energy.
There’s really lots more – but I’m running out of steam. E.g USA angsting about how to relicense aging reactors. Will San Onofre nuclear plant be closed down permanently? Virginia at critical stage about whether or not to lift its ban on uranium mining.
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