Japanese prosecutors delay decision on charging 3 former TEPCO executives, about Fukushima nuclear disaster
3/11 charges for Tepco execs delayed by three months, Japan Times, REUTERS, KYODO OCT 25, 2014
Work begins on nuclear dump sites in Miyagi as residents protest, Japan Times, KYODO OCT 25, 2014 SENDAI/SAPPORO – As nuclear workers on Friday geared up to take soil samples at two locations selected to store radioactive waste, ignoring residents standing by in protest, work at a third site was stalled by demonstrations……….http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/25/national/work-begins-on-nuclear-dump-sites-in-miyagi-as-residents-protest/#.VExlBCLF8nk
Stopping a Nuclear Nightmare: How We Can Secure Loose Nuclear Materials “Since the collapse of communism, there have been 664 reported incidents involving the theft or loss of nuclear and other radioactive materials…”
The National Interest, Kenneth N. Luongo
October 24, 2014 “……..The United States will host the fourth and likely final Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in 2016, and later this month, representatives from over fifty nations will start planning the agenda. They need to overcome the prevailing complacency about the strength of the current security system and its ability to prevent a nuclear nightmare. The current system suffers from three fundamental weaknesses. It mostly relies on voluntary obligations that nations can take or leave. There are no mandatory international standards that would allow for effective evaluation of security consistency and competency across borders. And, there is no requirement for peer review or even communication among countries about their security strategy and practices. The result is an opaque global patchwork, with the weakest links offering tempting targets for increasingly emboldened terrorists………
Chief of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Will Leave Job That She Fought to Keep NYT By MATTHEW L. WALDOCT. 21, 2014 The chairwoman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced Tuesday that she would leave the commission and return to academia at the end of the year, a little more than a year after she survived a cliffhanger fight with a California senator to keep her job.
The chairwoman, Allison M. Macfarlane, a geologist with a strong background in nuclear waste issues, said she would become the director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University………http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/us/chief-of-nuclear-regulatory-commission-will-leave-job-that-she-fought-to-keep.html?_r=0
(PHOTOS) What life is really like in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear disaster news.com.au OCTOBER 20, 2014
“They literally evacuated that day and were told they had to get out of town completely and since then they haven’t been able to go back,” she said.
“The kids themselves haven’t been back, adults have gone back on a daily pass to clear their house. Anyone that’s under 15 isn’t able to go on. So it’s pretty tough on them.”…….. 160,000 people have been forced from their homes after Japan’s environment ministry labelled 11 municipalities “no-go zones”. They’ve been forced to live in temporary housing while authorities painstakingly decontaminate the area in order for them to return home…….
Fukushima Update’s editor James Corbett, who lives 600 kilometres from the plant and started his website in an attempt to provide information on the disaster, said the situation is still a “huge problem” with no resolution in sight.
“The cores are still there and highly radioactive. The technology to approach the cores does not exist yet,” he told news.com.au.
“Just last week they had a typhoon and in the wake of that they found 10 times the radioactivity in the groundwater than in the week before.”
Since the disaster, Mr Corbett said clean-up operations have focused on containing groundwater that has become contaminated with radioactive material. But as more flows into the area each day from Japan’s mountains, it’s an ongoing problem that doesn’t come close to solving the real issue.
“There really isn’t the technology to even begin approaching the core of these reactors yet,’’ he said. “[They’re] the fundamental cause of the problem. That is going to go on for potentially years, potentially decades. At this stage it’s more damage control and trying to take care of things like the radioactive water.”………
There’s even a term — Genpatsu rikon — or “atomic divorce” coined to describe marriages ripped apart by the strain. Meanwhile there are plenty of tales of peoplebeing discriminated against by being banned from donating blood and asked to provide medical certificates on job applications, while farmers have had their livelihood threatened by stigma over produce.
“It’s taken a huge toll on residents of Fukushima and will probably continue for a long time to come,” Mr Corbett said.
“For generations survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had a stigma attached to them. They were often treated differently if it was known they were from that area. I know even in my area of Japan … when I was working in school system there were students that had been evacuated. [It would be] interesting to see if they were treated differently.”
Despite this, effects of the disaster are often not openly discussed, as “expressing strong opinions, especially ones not seen as conducive to general harmony, is not seen as acceptable in public” in Japan, Mr Corbett said.
There is also a view that authorities are “basically trying to keep it out of the headlines” in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics.
“Their number one project is trying to keep the situation under control in order to successfully conduct the Tokyo Olympics 2020,” he said……….http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/what-life-is-really-like-in-japan-following-the-fukushima-nuclear-disaster/story-e6frflp0-1227096107865
More answers about Fukushima disaster needed before reactor restarts, Niigata governor says, Japan Times, AP OCT 16, 2014 Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida said Japan should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdowns is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major disaster.
Izumida, whose prefecture is home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, said on Wednesday that regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans……….http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/16/national/niigata-governor-says-soon-reactor-restarts/#.VEMPZmddUnl
Al Gore lauds Salesforce.com, Google, Apple for renewable energy plans http://www.zdnet.com/al-gore-lauds-salesforce-com-google-apple-for-renewable-energy-plans-7000034604/
Summary: The former vice-president president of the United States advised Dreamforce attendees about the necessities (and business opportunities) presented by the “age of renewables.” AN FRANCISCO—Former Vice President Al Gore has many choice words about the ramifications hammering the environment, stemming from corporate influences on politicians and governments worldwide.
But the climate change advocate had a few bits of praise reserved for a select group of big tech corporations — specifically for Google, Apple, and Salesforce.com — while speaking at the close of the latter’s annual expo on Thursday.
“Everyone knows the way we got out of the Great Depression was mobilizing for World War II,” said Gore. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a huge project where we needed to mobilize people around the world for jobs that couldn’t be automated?”
With his talk, Gore hinted we have that major project.
Over the course of an hour, Gore fired off harrowing statistics about many recent natural disasters from China to Guatemala to Colorado over the last few years, followed up by some sobering predictions concerning ongoing droughts and continuously plummeting winter temperatures.
“We’ve got to take responsibility for consequences of our actions endangering the earth,” Gore retorted.
Nevertheless, Gore remained optimistic, insisting that many of these predictions can be curbed with immediate response and action.
“We need to recognize the age of renewables is beginning,” insisted Gore. He emphasized the business opportunities by renewable energy development and technology, asserting that “the private sector is going to finance most of renewable energy.”
Along with championing the aforementioned trio of Silicon Valley titans for their respective energy efficiency goals, Gore highlighted American business magnate and billionaire Warren Buffett as a prime example of an entrepreneur investing heavily in the renewable energy space.
“He’s not someone known for making dumb decisions,” Gore quipped. The Internet, Gore continued, is going to play a huge role in this shift as well. Projecting that the Internet will be more powerful (and influential) than television, Gore cited advertising dollars online surpassed those on the small screen last year.
As a further incentive to the keynote audience filled with sales executives and software developers, Gore observed that “we are always surprised” when technology costs drop dramatically, referencing the development of processors and Moore’s Law as examples. He theorized the same can be done with wind and solar power tech.
Gore concluded, “I’m optimistic about this, but we need to speed it up.”
Paris and Pretoria have signed an agreement which could open the way for French nuclear giant Areva to bid to build eight nuclear reactors in South Africa worth up to $US50 billion ($A54.10 billion). French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and South African Tina Joematt Pettersson signed an intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in nuclear energy development which is necessary for any commercial deal……..http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/france-safrica-sign-nuclear-energy-deal/story-e6frg90f-1227093196986
Dr. Caldicott Tells of Fukushima’s Lethal Toll and Meeting Ronald Reagan Harvey Wasserman | EcoWatch 17 Oct 14 She tells us about what’s happening to the renewable industry in Australia, and why Dr. James Hansen needs to reassess his views on atomic energy. “Nuclear Power Plants are cancer factories and bomb factories … because any country that has a nuclear reactor makes 500 pounds of plutonium a year and you need 10 pounds to make an atomic bomb … so the nuclear power industry in this country in its wisdom and in Japan, Canada and elsewhere is selling nuclear reactors as fast as it can … and they will have enough plutonium to make enough atomic bombs for the next half a million years … cause that’s how long the plutonium lasts …,” said Dr. Caldicott.
Then she shared one of modern American history’s most critical episodes. In the early 1980s, during the global campaign for a nuclear freeze, Helen met Patty Davis, the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Davis figured that Dr. Caldicott might be one of the few people who might reach her father about the dangers of nuclear war.
So she brought Helen to the White House. Dr. Caldicott quickly sized up the President and determined to treat him “like a patient.” He was already showing early signs of the Alzheimer’s disease that would eventually claim him … and much of his second term in office.
For more than an hour Dr. Caldicott talked with the world’s most powerful about what atomic war might do to the human race. It was, she said, a uniquely long meeting with our oldest president.
And, apparently, it did have an impact. Hear all about it on my Solartopia Green Power & Wellness show: http://prn.fm/green-power-wellness-dr-helen-caldicott-101414/
Understanding the civilian and environmental risks from weapons before using them is a key part of the legal review process for new weapons – even if the bar is not set particularly high. However, when it comes to the toxic constituents of weapons, this process can take far longer to complete, as scientific research struggles to catch up with military enthusiasm.
So it has proved with DU, where research was left behind in the rush to develop and deploy the weapons. Often factors relating to how the weapons are used in conflict and what, if anything, is done to reduce harm after they are used are not taken into account. Even decades on, significant uncertainties may still remain, for example the extent to which civilians have been, and continue to be, exposed to DU…..http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/shoot-first-ask-questions-later
Fukushima Radiation vs Ebola Outbreak http://warr-blog.blogspot.com.au/ , BY WARR LORD OCTOBER 12, 2014 The contrast between news coming out on the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and the ebola outbreak could not be more stark. The mainstream media is completely saturated with news of the ebola virus outbreak. The Obama Administration’s refusal to restrict air travel from Africa is already becoming an election issue in America. This is as it should be, because ebola is a very scary disease. It isoverwhelming west-central Africa and kills about 70% of its victims in short order. Now Europe and America are experiencing their first cases of ebola.
Japan needs a national debate on nuclear risks, ex-U.S. regulator says, Japan Times, KYODO OCT 9, 2014 Japan needs to hold a national debate on what nuclear power-related risks are acceptable before it restarts reactors idled after the 2011 Fukushima meltdowns, a former top official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
“There has to be a national dialogue on the level of risk acceptable for people, because in the end, the people of any country determine” what risks they are willing to accept, said Charles Casto, who advised Japan on behalf of the U.S. government in the wake of the March 2011 Fukushima No. 1 meltdown crisis.
“The elected officials may believe they have control of that, but . . . the people will stand up if they don’t accept the level of risk,” he told a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.
All of Japan’s 48 commercial reactors are offline, but the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to restart them…….http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/09/national/japan-needs-national-debate-nuclear-risks-ex-u-s-regulator-says/#.VDw_wWddUnl
Please! No more solar! Japanese utilities want to slow the rush to renewables Smart Grid News, Oct 10, 2014 “……Japan’s electric utilities are putting the brakes on renewable energy, reports Daniel Cusik at EENews.net. Solar power is creating an oversupply problem for some regions while stressing the grid.
Five of the country’s 10 major utilities have announced they will no longer accept new renewable energy for the time being until they can strengthen their grid.
In the wake of Fukushima, the Japanese government adopted a generous feed-in tariff to encourage renewable energy. The result, says Cusik, “has been a glut of new mostly solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays coming online over the last 24 months.” And no wonder — current feed-in tariffs, excluding taxes are 29 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar PV for large customers and 34 cents residential customers. And those high prices are guaranteed for 10-20 years!
The high tariffs have fueled 11,000 MW of new solar capacity since 2012 with another 72,000 MW in the pipeline. But Japanese energy experts say the surge in solar power threatens to overwhelm the country’s transmission and distribution systems, which serve 10 distinct distribution areas and are not bound together by a robust transmission system.http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_DG_Renewables/Please-No-more-solar-Japanese-utilities-want-to-slow-the-rush-to-renewables-6809.html/#.VDnU2WddUnk
The EDF Hinkley Deal: We Have Been Shafted, City Unslicker 10 Oct 14“………..And now we find that UK plc has fallen for the same trick, but on a scale with so many noughts added, I’m not sure they can be counted. The EDF Hinkley deal, which the EC socomprehensively demolished 9 months ago, has been passed because of a small alteration which makes it just fine: an upside sharing device for the UK to claw back a bit of the gargantuan subsidies, in the event EDF’s profits are above a certain exorbitant level.
For many years now I have been predicting the French will get the rest of Europe to pay for its nuclear industry as surely as we all pay for their agriculture: and so it has come to pass. The gormless gits in Whitehall have served it up on a platter. There are some early rumours as to how the political fix was achieved, but we may never really know. Will the Germans and Austrians really block it at the eleventh hour ? I’m not pinning much hope on that.
This ‘French Tax’ on UK plc will run for 35 years, and will end up being an identifiable percentage of GDP. Countries have gone to war for less. The ‘deal’ (which, incidentally hasn’t yet been signed) needs to be repudiated fast: I might even join UKIP if they make it part of their manifesto. http://www.cityunslicker.co.uk/
EU backing for plant ‘a total sell-out to nuclear industry’Paul Melia Irish Independent 09/10/2014 |THE European Commission has given the green light to a controversial plan by the British Government to underwrite the €21bn cost of building a nuclear power plant just 240km from Ireland. And it has emerged that Ireland’s outgoing EU Commissioner, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, was not present for the crucial vote on the matter.
A spokesman said she had committed to attending a conference in Turin, Italy yesterday, and did “feed into” the decision – but was not present for the vote……..
The move provoked fury among environmental groups, while the Austrian Government has warned it may take legal action against the commission.
This was because the decision set a “bad precedent”, as guaranteed payments had previously been reserved for renewable forms of energy.
The Department of the Environment here has also raised concerns, saying it had written twice since 2009 to the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change outlining concerns about potential environmental impacts in Ireland and in the Irish Sea.
“The key issues of concern include the assessments by the UK of effects on the environment, management of radioactive waste, and the rationale underpinning the proposed justification decision for new nuclear facilities,” it said.
A spokesman added it was awaiting the full, written decision of the commission before deciding if any further action would be taken…….
Greenpeace said the Commission had “cleared a path for taxpayers” to heavily subsidise the construction of nuclear power plants, adding it was a “total world record sell-out” to the nuclear industry.
“It’s such a distortion of competition rules that the Commission has left itself exposed to legal challenges,” legal adviser Andrea Carta said.
“There is absolutely no legal, moral or environmental justification in turning taxes into guaranteed profits for a nuclear power company whose only legacy will be a pile of radioactive waste.
“This is a bad plan for everyone except EDF.”
The Green Party also expressed concern, with leader Eamon Ryan saying that competition rules had been broken by allowing “massive state subsidies” for nuclear power.
“There is no accounting for the security risks that come with the building of such a plant, and no apportioning of the massive clean up costs that will come when the plant has to be decommissioned,” he said. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/eu-backing-for-plant-a-total-sellout-to-nuclear-industry-30650482.html
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