Dispute over Mideast nuclear arms ban set to torpedo U.N. meeting http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/22/us-mideast-nuclear-un-idUSKBN0O72J220150522 UNITED NATIONS | BY LOUIS CHARBONNEAU A month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty appeared headed for failure on Friday after its members were unable to overcome disagreements on an atomic weapons ban for the Middle East and other issues. Continue reading
The final document of a landmark treaty review conference Friday would call on the U.N. secretary-general to convene the conference no later than March 2016, regardless of whether Israel and its neighbors agree on an agenda.
Israel is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has never publicly declared what is widely considered to be an extensive nuclear weapons program.
A conference might force Israel to acknowledge it.
Discussions on the draft document are continuing after a request from Iran.
‘Weapons-ban treaty’ deleted from N-draft / NPT draft also leaves out call for Japan visits http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002170195 By Tetsuya Mizuno / Yomiuri Shimbun Correspondent 22 May 15
NEW YORK — The words “a nuclear-weapons-ban treaty” have been deleted from the president’s draft text on nuclear disarmament scheduled to be adopted at the ongoing review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Final draft documents, including the president’s The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference president, Algerian Ambassador Taous Feroukhi,draft text on nuclear disarmament, were distributed to countries participating in the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at U.N. headquarters on early Friday.
The deletion of the words “a nuclear-weapons-ban treaty” substantially toned down the resolution for nuclear disarmament from the initial president’s draft. A call for world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki was also not reinstated in the president’s draft text.
President of the conference Taous Feroukhi of Algeria was initially scheduled to distribute the final draft documents to each country Thursday night, but was delayed. The conference will seek to adopt the final draft documents unanimously on Friday.The president’s draft text says, “In light of the 70th year since the end of the tragic devastations of World War II” and incorporates the wording “interactions with and directly sharing the experience of people and the communities affected by nuclear weapons to know their humanitarian impact” as part of efforts to promote education of nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation.
These expressions were finalized as a result of discussions between Japan and China, according to sources.
The initial president’s draft included a call for world leaders and young people to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki as proposed by Japan and other countries.
Nuclear nations and nonnuclear nations were sharply at odds over nuclear disarmament. The wording “a nuclear-weapons-ban treaty” was deleted in consideration for nuclear powers.
The president’s draft text incorporates the establishment of a working panel to discuss a legal framework “for the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons.” The working panel is intended to comprise both government representatives and private organizations.
The president’s draft text stipulates that “the Conference recommends that the open-ended working group conduct its work on the basis of consensus.” It also stresses “deep concerns pertaining to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”
“It is in the interest of humanity and the security of all peoples that nuclear weapons never be used again,” it says.
Nonnuclear power nations have been calling for the insertion of a statement that countries will never use nuclear weapons in any circumstances, but this was ultimately not included in the president’s draft text due to opposition from France and other countries.
ISIS in nuke boast: We can get atomic bomb ‘within a year’ from corrupt officials, Express UK ISLAMIC State (ISIS) are poised to buy its first nuclear bomb “within a year”, the terror group claimed tonight. By TOM BATCHELOR, May 22, 2015 The jihadists are looking to get hold of an atomic weapon or thousands of tonnes of ammonium nitrate explosive.
The merciless organisation says it hopes to purchase a nuclear device “through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials” in Pakistan.
But it admits that obtaining the deadly weapon may be a challenge and says it would settle for a “few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive”. The chilling boast was made in the latest edition of its propaganda ‘magazine’ circulated to publicise the group’s barbaric aims.
ISIS says it has already seized “tanks, rocket launchers, missile systems, anti-aircraft systems” – and is now setting its sights on the ultimate dirty bomb.
The article reads: “Let me throw a hypothetical operation onto the table.
“The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wil?yah [powerful friends] in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region.”
“It’s the sum of all fears for Western intelligence agencies and it’s infinitely more possible today than it was just one year ago.
“And if not a nuke, what about a few thousand tons of ammonium nitrate explosive? That’s easy enough to make.” The propaganda piece, which is attributed to British hostage and journalist John Cantlie, also warns an attack by ISIS on the US would ridicule “the attacks of the past”……..However nuclear experts have cast doubts on claims to use an atomic weapon.
The United Nations nuclear agency has played down the threat, saying that the material ISIS could get hold of would likely be “low-grade” would not pose a major threat.
That’s a key, but controversial, question for the federal government. Although it might seem distasteful to put a monetary value on a life, when federal agencies consider adopting new health and safety rules — or strengthening old ones — they often do just that and weigh the proposed rule’s costs against its lifesaving benefits. The lower value they give to a life, the easier it is for them to reject a proposed safety measure as too costly. Continue reading
127 Fukushima children diagnosed malignant or possible malignant thyroid tumor / Inspector Suzuki resigned http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/05/127-fukushima-children-diagnosed-malignant-or-possible-malignant-thyroid-tumor-inspector-suzuki-resigned/ 5/18/2015, Fukushima prefectural government announced they found malignant or possible malignant thyroid tumor from 127 children so far.
Among 127 children, they confirmed 103 children cases are thyroid cancer.
Before 311, pediatric thyroid cancer was found only in one of 1 million children. The population of Fukushima prefecture is approx. 200 million in 2012.
They have tested only 0.4 million children so far.
Also, Fukushima health investigative committee announced in the press conference that the thyroid tumor inspector, Suzuki, professor from Fukushima medical university resigned “in order to focus on the medical treatment of thyroid cancer”. The successor, Otsuru, who is also a professor of Fukushima medical university stated he is a physician so he cannot treat the cancer.
Star power: Troubled ITER nuclear fusion project seeks new path, Phys Org 23 May by Pascale Mollard “……Launched in 2006 after years of wrangling, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project is saddled with a reputation as a money pit.
It has been bedevilled by technical delays, labyrinthine decision-making and cost estimates that have soared from five billion euros ($5.56 billion) to around 15 billion. It may be another four years before it carries out its first experiment………
ITER’s job is to build a testbed to see if fusion, so far achieved in a handful of labs at great cost, is a realistic power source for the energy-hungry 21st Century.
Fusion entails forcing together the nuclei of light atomic elements in a super-heated plasma, held by powerful magnetic forces in a doughnut-shaped chamber called a tokamak, so that they make heavier elements and in so doing release energy.
The principle behind it is the opposite of nuclear fission—the atom-splitting process behind nuclear bombs and power stations, which carries the risk of costly accidents, theft of radioactive material and dealing with dangerous long-term waste…….
The tokamak—a word derived from Russian—by itself is an extraordinary undertaking: a 23,000-tonne lab, three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower.
“This is a project of unprecedented complexity… a real challenge,” said Mario Merola, in charge of ITER’s internal components division.
Part of ITER’s problems lie in a diffuse managerial structure and decision-making among its partners: the 28-nation European Union, which has a 45-percent stake, the United States, Russia, Japan, China, India, South Korea and Switzerland. he partners are providing their contributions mostly in kind, which has been a cause of messy, protracted debate about who should provide what, when and how. It has been further complicated by the role of national agencies, which in turn deal with their own suppliers.
In some cases, said Bigot, discussions have dragged on for six whole years without resolution……..By November, there will be a new progress report, with the likelihood of a further increase in the price tag. The project has no reserve fund to deal with the unexpected…..So far around seven billion euros have been contractually committed to the thousand or so companies working on the scheme. Every year of delay adds 200 million euros to the bill……”clearly if we can’t manage this project correctly, if undertakings are not kept… (the project) could be in danger.” http://phys.org/news/2015-05-star-power-iter-nuclear-fusion.html
METI changes tactics after search for nuclear waste host proves futile http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/22/national/meti-changes-tactics-search-nuclear-waste-host-proves-futile/#.VV-6ZdKeAXB
KYODO The government will select potential areas to host nuclear dump sites instead of waiting for communities to volunteer, according to the revised policy on permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste that was adopted by the Cabinet on Friday.
The revision, the first in seven years, was prompted after towns, villages and cities throughout Japan snubbed requests to host nuclear waste dumps. The government has been soliciting offers since 2002.
The move is seen as a sign that the government wants to address the matter as it proceeds with its pursuit of reactor restarts. All commercial units have largely sat idle since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.
It remains unclear when a final depository could be built, because the policy mentions no time frame. The government also plans to expand its storage capacity for spent fuel by building new interim facilities as a short-term fix.
“We will steadily proceed with the process as (resolving the problem is) the current generation’s responsibility,” minister of economy, trade and industry Yoichi Miyazawa told reporters, adding there will be “quite a few” candidate sites.
They will be chosen on scientific grounds, the policy says.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is seeking to revive atomic power, although the majority of the public remains opposed in light of the Fukushima disaster, which left tens of thousands homeless. Critics have attacked the government for promoting atomic power without resolving where all the waste will end up.
Permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste requires that a depository be built more than 300 meters underground, where the materials must lie for up to 100,000 years until radiation levels fall to the point where there is no harm to humans or the environment.
About 17,000 tons of spent fuel is stored on the premises of nuclear plants and elsewhere in Japan, but some would run out of space in three years if all the reactors got back online.
Under the revision, the government said it will allow future generations to retrieve high-level waste from such facilities should policy changes or new technologies emerge.
Worldwide, only Finland and Sweden have been able to pick final depository sites. Finland is building the world’s first permanent disposal site for high-level waste in Olkiluoto, aiming to put it into operation around 2020.
But many other countries with nuclear plants are struggling to find a site for such a facility. In the United States, President Barack Obama decided in 2009 to call off a plan to build a disposal site in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain due to local opposition.
Avner Cohen, the world’s leading scholar of the Israeli nuclear programme, told me that in the first 20-25 years the processes used to protect workers were primitive and sloppy. Mistakes were common, often not intentionally, but because relatively little was known about the proper handling of radioactive materials. In some cases, documentation was fabricated.
This is the subject of Orna Ben Dor’s riveting two-part documentary, The Dark Secret of the Dimona Reactor (Part 1 and Part 2, both in Hebrew), produced for Israeli TV. Workers there call the nuclear plant “Little Hiroshima,” alluding not only to the destructive power of what’s produced there, but the tragic impact that the reactor has on those who work within it.
The documentary, while it exposes many secrets and crimes of the state against its workers, is also unintentionally maddening because it deals with a subject that the nation deems justifiably opaque. For that reason, no one in the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, which runs Dimona, will speak on the record to the cameras. No journalist is allowed within the facility. Few if any records are made public regarding the functioning of the reactor.
According to Ben Dor, the medical oversight of workers was a sham. They were given tests that were never processed and told they had a clean bill of health, only to find out months or years later they were dying of cancer. The few records that are accessible happen only because of lawsuits that pry them loose from the fingers of the state.
The real story of the film is the extraordinary lengths to which the state will go to shield itself and its nuclear project from public awareness. Following on from this is the nation’s willingness to treat those scientists, engineers and researchers who devoted their lives to this sacred project as refuse to be discarded once they get sick and die, no longer providing any useful service. There is a schizophrenic nature both to the documentary and the victims portrayed. On the one hand, they are patriots who understand the danger posed and accept it for the sake of protecting the state from its enemies. But on the other, they are human beings who demand that the country treat those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with dignity.
Treated as garbage
Missile Defense’ is Destabilizing by Bruce K. Gagnon http://space4peace.blogspot.com.au/“….The Global Network will carry this with us to Kyoto, Japan from July 29-Aug 2 for our 23rd annual space organizing conference that is being hosted by peace activists from across the Kyoto Prefecture.
The US recently deployed a ‘missile defense’ radar in Kyoto Prefecture and the Ukawa village has been resisting the deployment for some time. During the conference we will take a side trip to join the villagers in a protest against the radar that is being aimed at China.
The US is now deploying “missile defense’ systems throughout the Asia-Pacific on land and on-board Navy Aegis destroyers. These interceptors play an important role in US first-strike attack planning.
They are now deployed in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Australia, and the Philippines. Taken together these interceptor systems serve as a loaded gun pointed at the head of China. Beijing has responded by building more nuclear weapons to ensure they have a “survivable retaliatory capability” and have moved many of their more vulnerable land-based nuclear weapons onto submarines so they are harder to hit in a possible Pentagon first-strike attack.
The US Space Command has been annually war gaming such a first-strike attack on China and Russia for many years. In the computer war game the US fires weapons from space and through space in order to take out the “enemy” nuclear forces. Then when China or Russia attempt to fire their remaining retaliatory forces the US ‘missile defense’ systems are used as a shield against them giving the Pentagon a theoretical successful first-strike.
Fukushima : Build-Up In Biosphere Expected http://yournewswire.com/fukushima-build-up-in-biosphere-expected/ Edmondo Burr April 15
http://yournewswire.com/fukushima-build-up-in-biosphere-expected/#sthash.kMSyx76L.dpuf Scientists have raised concern over the rate of radioactive contamination of the Pacific, due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
- Expert : Plutonium-241 from Fukushima nearly 70,000 times more than atomic bomb fallout in Japan.
- Officials : Molten fuel now ‘particle-like’, contains ‘special’ nuclear materials.
- Gov’t Labs : Large areas of oceans contaminated by plutonium from events such as Fukushima; Build-up in biosphere expected; Considerable hazard to humans.
Energy News statement :
Detection of long-lived plutonium isotopes in environmental samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) — Plutonium isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu and 242Pu are anthropogenic radionuclides emitted into the environment by nuclear activities. Pu is accumulated in the human body and hence, poses a considerable hazard to human health. Due to the long half-lives, these isotopes are present in the biosphere on large time scales and abuild-up can be expected. Therefore it is important to study the contamination pathway of Pu into the drinking water… a method to detect long-lived Pu isotopes by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is being developed. AMS requires only few milligrams of sample material… Consequently, more samples from different locations can be taken which is essential when searching for locally increased Pu concentrations as in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima accident… Samples from different locations in the Pacific Ocean and from the snow-hydrosphere are planned… Continue reading
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.
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.
NRA to raise nuclear worker radiation exposure limit for emergencies http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/21/national/nra-raise-nuclear-worker-radiation-exposure-limit-emergencies/#.VV-819KeAXA KYODO
In light of the Fukushima meltdowns, the regulator had been considering raising the limit in the event of another disaster as Japan gets closer to reactivating some of its reactors, which remain offline amid heightened safety concerns.
Shunichi Tanaka, the NRA’s chairman, told a news conference that the current limit could be an obstacle in containing a crisis in the future, and the revision, which will entail a legal amendment, is “a step forward” in addressing the issue.
The regulator said it believes raising the limit to 250 millisieverts is appropriate based on overseas standards and scientific studies.
Mysterious deadly black fungus being found on fish in Pacific Northwest — Gov’t: There was some concern Fukushima radiation could be involved — Biologists investigating how this landbased mold is now appearing in ocean — Many reports of unusual rotting sores, growths, bumps, cancer (PHOTOS) http://enenews.com/mysterious-black-mold-being-found-fish-pacific-northwest-govt-concern-fukushima-radiation-could-be-involved-biologists-investigating-landbased-fungus-appearing-fish-many-reports-unusual-rotti?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Nome Nugget (pdf), Nov 27, 2014 (emphasis added): The Nome office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game received several reports of tomcod with black lesions this year… ADF&G fishery biologists speculate that the lesions are a fungus… Specifically, black mold, commonly found in houses… What the pathology lab finds interesting is that this fungus is landbased and yet it is appearing on fish… Fish pathologists would like to receive as many samples as possible so that they may adequately research what exactly is infecting these fish, as well as its affect on humans. Until further notice, ADF&G recommends that fish with lesions should not be eaten due to possible human health concerns (CAPTION: DON’T EAT THIS— ADF&G biologists are investigating black lesions found on tomcods in the region. Until it is known what the lesions exactly are, the department recommends not to consume fish showing these symptoms)
Brendan Scanlon, fishery biologist for North Slope Dept. of Fish & Game (pdf), Mar 17, 2015: Just a quick word on this fungus that people are seeing more and more of. It’s probably what’s called saprolegnia. It’s a water mold… It’s in the water at all times… healthy fish will swim around and never get it, but if the fish is stressed nutritionally or its immune system has been compromised… that gives a pathway for the mold to attack… It will eventually kill the fish… We saw something similar last summer. We had a very big die-off on the Kobuk River… we had thousands of dead chum salmon… and they had had presence of the same mold on them.
North Slope Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council (pdf), Feb 20, 2014:
- Dr. Jayde Ferguson, Alaska Dept of Fish & Game: The first confirmed report was from fish caught on Oct. 12, 2013… There was some concern that radiation from the Japanese disaster could be involved, so the North Slope biologist measured ionizing radiation in fish with a geiger-mueller counter and found that there was no elevated levels there… There was no food in the GI track and there was no fat or very little fat internally… The external lesions… corresponded to saprolegnia… it can act as a pathogen particularly in stressed fish because their immune system is depressed… I wanted to touch on a totally unrelated fungal case that is of interest to our lab because there’s not a lot known about it and it’s distinctly different from the saprolegnia in that it’s very black and large… there’s not a lot out in the literature on this black fungus… There’s just not a lot known about transmission or anything else, so we’re wanting to get a better idea of what’s going on…
- Dr. Todd Sformo, Wildlife Biologist: I think the main concern was that if this mold is really present in the environment… it’s been reported a lot… why is the mold coming up being on fish at this point? So we have very few records in the north slope and Jayde mentioned the one… in the 1980s, so that was just one fish with that mold that we had recorded up until this point… why is it occurring now if it’s so prevalent in the environment?… We measured a number of the fish that were caught that had the mold and that did not have the mold and the size of the fish didn’t seem to matter at all…
- Ferguson: If we’re seeing it in juveniles that really does support some environmental issue… How many fish are affected?… It might not have an impact at the population level, but if there’s a large amount of fish that are affected, then that’s a different thing.
- 02-02-15 – Whitefish that had a bulged out eye ball [and] some type of growth around the cheekbone. Would like to know the cause of these observed abnormalities
- 12-10-14 – Whitefish… has a brownish moldy growth all over it’s body. We would like to know more about what is going on with our fish and why this is happening
- 10-24-14 – Trout appeared to have sores… rotting or decaying… [we] have never seen these sores before… We are still seeing a lot of fish with these kinds of conditions
- 06-12-14 – A codfish that was caught with a deep cut or sore on it was pulled in… We are not really sure what happened to this poor cod, but we think it is unusual
- 05-26-14 – Whitefish that had a growth… on its dorsal fin. Other fish were also caught with a similar condition… ADF&G: “This whitefish has… probably a neoplasm (cancer)”
- 02-17-14 – Fish… found with lesions on them… Other people also said they saw these bumps… elders who said they have seen fish with skin bumps like this once before… people are still worried because they are not sure what it is this time…. these bumps… were like puss. There are quite a few people who are worried…
Japan still aims to start removing nuclear fuel debris at the three damaged reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant in 2021, it was learned Thursday.
The schedule remained intact in a draft update to the government’s roadmap to the decommissioning of reactors 1, 2 and 3, all of which experienced fuel meltdowns during the nuclear disaster from March 2011. The draft was submitted to a meeting of a government task force on the matter.
But it looks inevitable that the government will review the schedule. The exaction location of the molten nuclear fuel in the reactors is still unknown and radiation levels in and around the reactors are very high.
In autumn last year, the government and Tepco discussed a delay of about five years in the start of work to remove the fuel debris from reactor 1.
Meanwhile, the government is reviewing the schedule for removing spent fuel at storage pools at the three reactors.
Removal work has been slated to begin for reactor 3 by the end of this September. But the work will likely be delayed because radiation levels remain high and operations to remove rubble from the damaged building have not progressed as planned……http://fukushimaemergencywhatcanwedo.blogspot.com.au/
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