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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Fukushima’s spookily empty towns

Three years later, Fukushima radiation leaves towns eerily empty CBS News, Aug 29, 2014 EDTFUTABA, Japan – Every time Shuichi Saito goes home, he has to suit up to protect himself from radiation.

“We’re allowed in 15 times a year,” Saito told CBS News, on a trip back to his home near where a typhoon caused the Fukishima nuclear plant to leak dangerous amounts of radiation three years ago. “But, as my home and grounds deteriorate, as the weeds take over, it’s depressing.”

Aug 29, 2014 10:20 PM EDT

FUTABA, Japan – Every time Shuichi Saito goes home, he has to suit up to protect himself from radiation.

“We’re allowed in 15 times a year,” Saito told CBS News, on a trip back to his home near where a typhoon caused the Fukishima nuclear plant to leak dangerous amounts of radiation three years ago. “But, as my home and grounds deteriorate, as the weeds take over, it’s depressing.”

Japan still doesn’t have enough room to store the millions of tons of radioactive soil that has been scraped up. Today, bags of the toxic waste are stacked along roadways………http://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-years-later-fukushima-radiation-leaves-towns-eerily-empty/

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear deal is not certain, between India and Japan

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2flag-indiaPrime Minister Narendra Modi’s Japan visit may not seal civil nuclear deal Economic Times, Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau Aug 30, 2014, NEW DELHI: The India-Japan civilian nuclear deal may not be sealed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip toJapan that begins on Saturday although discussions are on to bridge the core differences between the two sides over the proposed treaty, officials familiar with the matter told ET.

Negotiations are on over Japan’s insistence on tougher safeguards and “no nuclear test” clause in the bilateral agreement, said officials, who did not wish to be identified. Modi will give a personal assurance to his counterpart Shinzo Abe to assuage Japanese concerns, particularly over nuclear tests, and pave the way for a breakthrough in the near future, an official said. It was earlier hoped that the deal, negotiations for which were launched by the previous UPA government, would be clinched during Modi’s trip. However, it is not yet clear whether the logjam will be broken during this trip……..http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-30/news/53387773_1_india-and-japan-india-japan-japan-visit

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India’s nuclear power programme – is it safe?

Doubts over India’€™s ability to handle nuclear power expansion, SMH,  August 31, 2014  South Asia correspondent at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald New Delhi: With an agreement to allow the sale of Australian uranium to India expected this week, Indian scientists are questioning India’s ability to manage a rapid expansion of its nuclear power industry.

“Nuclear security and safety is a pressing concern in this country,” said Happymon Jacob, who teaches arms control and disarmament at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.

“India insists that enough security is in place, but my argument is that we need to look deeper, and when you look deeper you see that the regulation of nuclear materials is in the hands of government – and not in the hands of a totally independent regulator,” Dr Jacob said.

With India’s nuclear capabilities hidden beneath layers of secrecy since its first successful nuclear tests in 1974 and a subsequent round of tests in 1998, Dr Jacob said, there have been several attempts to establish an independent regulator of the nuclear power industry……….

if we are going to learn the lessons of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, then we have to ensure there is a means for independent verification of what is occurring and of what could go wrong,” Dr Jacob said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will arrive in Mumbai on Thursday  for his first bilateral meeting with India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The meeting will take place the day after Mr Modi’s return from Japan where he is expected to a sign a massive $90 billion nuclear trade pact to allow Japanese nuclear power companies to build  plants in India………http://www.smh.com.au/world/doubts-over-india128153s-ability-to-handle-nuclear-power-expansion-20140830-10aggo.html

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | 2 Comments

Fukushima radiation is one part of process that is killing off ocean life

please keep an eye out for the upcoming book on Fukushima entitled: Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization (2014). It should be published within the next month or so and is an anthology of articles by a wide variety of independent-minded journalists and scholars of unique talent written in order bring into sharper focus the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Some of the proceeds from the book will be donated to help children refugees who are still suffering in temporary housing situations in the Fukushima area.

How Badly Is Fukushima Radiation Damaging the Pacific Ocean? Richard Wilcox, PhD, 1 Sept 14

Although its heart is rich in pearls and ores 
The Sea complains upon a thousand shores
– Alexander Smith (1)

I watched some wonderful movies over the summer with “ocean” themes and one was with Robert Redford calledAll is Lost. The entertainment value was good but it also made a statement about Man’s interference with Nature and how nature can strike back. I love films like All is LostMaster and Commander, in which the imperial navy visits the Galapagos Islands and “Kon Tiki,” a story about a 4,000 mile trek across the ocean, because they show the unspeakable beauty and power of the world’s great oceans. Can humans actually destroy them?

Over the past year we’ve read many news stories about mass die-offs of marine species in the Pacific Ocean and other regions. One hypothesis in the alternative media is that the massive radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is the cause. Others blame over-fishing, pollution or climatic events.

My opinion is that if the die-offs are unusual and “man made” then it is a combination of factors, but Fukushima is probably one of them. The Earth is under many human threats — we are an industrious species — Fukushima is doing the ocean only harm, and following that logic, at a minimum the health of local species and perhaps wider ecosystems are being affected in a reverse synergy whereby organisms have surpassed the limits they can endure. …….

Continue reading

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Legal action against Fukushima Prefecture and Japan’s government

justiceflag-japanFukushima families sue prefecture, government for radiation exposure during meltdown crisis Japan Times 1 Sept 14 FUKUSHIMA – A group of parents and children who were residing in Fukushima Prefecture when the nuclear disaster unfolded in March 2011 is suing the central and prefectural governments for failing to take sufficient steps to protect children from radiation exposure during the crisis.

The 88 plaintiffs are demanding ¥100,000 each in compensation, according to the lawsuit filed Friday at the Fukushima District Court.

In a written complaint, they said the central and prefectural governments failed to promptly release accurate data on airborne radiation levels after the nuclear crisis, neglecting their duty to prevent residential radiation exposure as much as possible, and exposing children to radiation……http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/30/national/fukushima-families-sue-prefecture-government-for-radiation-exposure-during-meltdown-crisis/#.VAVeS9ddUnk

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Protest building in Wales, against NATO militarism

‘No to NATO’: Hundreds march against militarism, nuclear weapons at Wales summit Rt.com August 30, 2014  Some 400 people have joined a protest camp in Newport to protest against NATO. The march comes ahead of next week’s military summit that will see 60 world leaders descend on the area and is already causing considerable disruption to locals.

Nuclear NATO – no, thanks!” or “Iraq, Ukraine – no more wars” read the numerous placards as about 400 protesters took in a march on Saturday against the upcoming NATO summit. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said that they expect Saturday’s march to be a “major demonstration” and local officials have said a number of roads will be affected by the march, which began at 2 pm local time.

The campaigners are organizing a week of marches and meetings against NATO as well as a “peace camp” and a Counter Summit to take place on the campsite on Sunday. The NATO summit is to run at the Celtic Manor resort on the outskirts of Newport on the 4th and 5th September. There will be representatives from a number of groups at the protests including “No to NATO,” the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), the Stop the War Coalition and South West against Nuclear (SWAN).

More than 20,000 protesters from around the world are expected to attend the demonstrations in what is being billed as Wales’ biggest protest in a generation.

At least 20,000 protesters, who are gathering in Newport, objecting to everything NATO stands for have accumulated by Saturday, Harry Fear, RT’s correspondent at the scene, said.

Protesters here “associate NATO in their words with imperialism, warring, global in equality and austerity.”

He also said there is a huge policing “operation going on in South Wales to secure the NATO meetings and to facilitate these very significant demonstrations.”……..http://rt.com/uk/183940-nato-summit-protest-march/

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Unwise for Japan to restart its nuclear reactors

Should Japan Restart Its Nuclear Reactors? TruthOut , 29 August 2014 10:51By Arnie GundersenThe Mark News | Op-Ed Only luck and real courage at 14 nuclear reactors on Japan’s Pacific coast overcame the technical failures of nuclear power and prevented the nation from being destroyed by radiation.

The untold story of March 11, 2011 is how close Japan came to three more spent fuel pool fires at Fukushima Daiichi and four meltdowns at Fukushima Daini.

When the magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Pacific coast caused a seismic shock wave that reverberated throughout northern Japan, the country’s nuclear plants shut down automatically, as planned, preventing any further nuclear chain reactions.

Therein lies nuclear power’s fatal flaw, because an automatic shutdown does not stop the ongoing heat generated inside each nuclear reactor……..http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/25882-should-japan-restart-its-nuclear-reactors

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japan’s “anti hate speech” rule could be used to target anti-nuclear protesters

Abe NUCLEAR FASCISMAnti-nuclear protesters fear that restrictions on hate speech will also target them August 31, 2014 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN As anti-nuclear demonstrators rallied in front of the Diet building on Aug. 30, many were troubled by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s discussions on restricting hate speech, fearing that a clampdown could also be used to silence their dissent.

“We do not interrupt traffic. We do not break through the cordon of police, either. Our demonstrations are different from just generating noise or making hate speeches. The government should hear the voices of the public,” said Tsuyoshi Mizuno, 67, a taxi driver from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.

Mizuno has participated in the weekly anti-nuclear demonstrations around the Diet building and the nearby prime minister’s office since the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The protesters’ concerns apparently stemmed from the discussions held by a project team of the LDP on Aug. 28, which met for the first time.

The team was set up in response to a request from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to consider possible measures to restrict hate speech, prompted byrecent demonstrations in Tokyo and Osaka and across the country where racial invectives were made against ethnic Koreans living in Japan……….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201408310014

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)’s “final rule” for waste storage – not a solution

NRC Final Rule: Nothing More Than a Patch for a Broken System, The Daily Signal,  Jack Spencer Katie Tubb / August 29, 2014 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) voted to finalize its “continued storage” rule, establishing a general recognition that onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel is safe for the short, long, and indefinite terms.

In the short term, the NRC’s decision recognizes that spent fuel at reactors can be safely stored on site until a geologic repository is available. This allows the nuclear industry to move forward with licensing activities, which had been postponed due to a 2012 court decision requiring the NRC to perform a more thorough environmental assessment of nuclear waste storage beyond the licensed lifespan of the reactors. Thirteen existing power plants and two fuel storage facilities will now be able to renew licenses to operate, and another 15 new reactors can move forward to obtain final licensing approvals.

But in the long term, the NRC’s decision is little more than a temporary patch for a broken system and removes any incentive to fix the real problem. The nation ultimately needs a viable nuclear waste management system, and any solution begins with geologic storage.

Over 35 years ago, the courts required the NRC to provide “reasonable assurances”—or a Waste Confidence Determination—that offsite storage would be available for reactors when their licenses expired or that nuclear waste could be safely stored on site until that point. Not long after, Congress charged the Department of Energy with the responsibility to manage nuclear waste from commercial nuclear power plants. And that is where the problem started.

The resulting government monopoly over nuclear waste management has turned scientific and commercial questions about nuclear waste disposal into a political circus. …….

September 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry’s role in our general trashing of the planet- theme for September 2014

The nuclear industry is the epitome of the whole process of human society destroying its own essential environment. While so-called “primitive” societies function on a culture of spirituality, and respect for the land, unfortunately the “developed” society has the upper hand in this sad world, and seems bent on mindless destruction.

I do single out nuclear power and nuclear weaponry, because this toxic industry has special features that do not apply in anything like the same degree, to our other toxic industries. These features are:  secrecy, deception, false propaganda, invisible cancer-causing radiation, dangerous wastes lasting for thousands of years,  weaponry that could quickly annihilate millions, astronomic costs to be paid by present and future generations.

This nuclear nastiness is symptomatic of the malaise affecting the world. The dominant culture of endless growth and endless consumption has now brought about global warming, and frightening climate change with extreme weather, sea level rise, and acidification of the oceans.  The focus is now on climate change –  but it is not the only disaster befalling our planet.

planet-polluted

And all these disasters are related to each other – and to the race for to grow, consume, and sell. Where to start?  – over-population, chemical pollution, deforestation, over-fishing, scarcity of clean water , destruction of habitats – loss of biodiversity, loss of arable soil,  – just  a few aspects of our truly disastrous world culture.

An alien space traveller might be bemused – observing how the world’s technocrats come up with “solutions”.  Things like geo-engineering – an example of yet again trying out  grand chemical fixes, which would make an awful lot of money for  a few, and an awful lot of misery for many.

The trashing of our world is the background to the distrust between ethnic and religious groups, and to violent and criminal clashes.  That in turn, feeds the greedy weapons industry, which, while making a few people rich, sets the scene for military destruction of the world environment.

My favourite silly solution is the push to set up a colony on Mars. Never mind that Mars average temperature is 51F, but can reach – 184F on cold nights, that there’s not enough oxygen, that there’s no magnetic field to protect us from cosmic radiation, there’s intolerably low atmospheric pressure …..etc.  Never mind that the astronauts would probably die on the way there anyway.

There IS NO PLANET B.

 

August 29, 2014 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

The dream of Karipbek Kuyukov, on UN International Day against Nuclear Tests

I have a dream: A world free of nuclear weapons Aljazeera,  28 Aug 2014  China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the US are still to sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Karipbek Kuyukov is the Honorary Ambassador of The ATOM Project. The UN International Day against Nuclear Tests on August 29 is an opportunity to remind the world about the inhumane consequences of nuclear explosions. It is a day which has a special meaning for the many thousands of people who, like me, grew up in Eastern Kazakhstan.
Kuyukov,-Karipbek,-KazakhstI was born 100 kilometres from the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site where the Soviet Union exploded more than 600 nuclear devices between 1949 and 1991.  They have had terrible physical consequences for the people who lived near them.
I came into this world without arms. People often ask me if I can be sure that radiation was the cause. If you had lived in my home town or region, this would not be a question.

In the place where I grew up, I saw mothers and midwives shocked at the sight of their babies. I saw families too embarrassed to show their children to the outside world, hiding them deep inside their homes and bringing them out only briefly for fresh air and sun.
I witnessed families and whole communities decimated by radiation-related cancers. As the United Nations confirms, more than 1.5 million people in Kazakhstan have suffered the effects of Soviet nuclear weapons testing.
The most terrifying fact about this story is that we didn’t understand the impact these explosions would have. We were taken completely by surprise – and this, I believe, is why it is so important that we use August 29 to warn the world about the impact of nuclear testing. We must never forget what happened or allow others to remain in the dark.
I saw so much tragedy and suffering in my homeland that I decided to do everything possible to ensure that my generation is the last to suffer such damage. I became an activist in an anti-nuclear weapons movement and found peace in expressing my pain through art.
I use my feet and mouth to hold my brush and pour out in my own colours my inner world, calling on others to follow my cause. Today, I am an honorary ambassador of The ATOM Project, an online campaign to encourage the global leadership needed to totally eliminate the nuclear threat.
Since its launch two years ago, The ATOM Project has taken the stories of Kazakhstan’s nuclear testing survivors around the globe. On my travels, I have made many new friends in many countries who have encouraged us to continue our work.
We now have over 90,000 supporters from more than 100 countries and have set ourselves a goal of reach the 100,000 mark by August 29. You can help us reach this milestone by signing the petition and showing your desire for a nuclear-weapons-free world.
And over the last two decades we have seen progress. Even before Kazakhstan became a fully independent country, our leader, and now President, Nursultan Nazarbayev shut down the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991 in defiance of then Soviet government in Moscow. On independence, our country also voluntarily gave up the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, which we had inherited from the Soviet Union. Similar courageous decisions were taken by Ukraine, Belarus and South Africa who all renounced their nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programmes………http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/08/i-dream-world-free-nuclear-weap-201482874433467528.html

 

August 29, 2014 Posted by | health, Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s young thyroid cancer sufferers – the tip of the coming cancer iceberg?

thyroid-cancer-papillaryThyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima, Asahi Shimbun August 24, 2014 By YURI OIWA/ Staff Writer  The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.

The 104 are among 300,000 young people who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and whose results of thyroid gland tests have been made available as of June 30. They were eligible for the tests administered by the prefectural government.

Of these 104, including 68 women, the number of definitive cases is 57, and one has been diagnosed with a benign tumor. The size of the tumors varies from 5 to 41 millimeters and averages 14 mm.

The average age of those diagnosed was 14.8 when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011……..

The figure can be extrapolated for comparison purposes to an average of more than 30 people per population of 100,000 having definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer.

The figure is much higher than, for example, the development rate of thyroid cancer of 1.7 people per 100,000 among late teens based on the cancer patients’ registration in Miyagi Prefecture…….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201408240011

August 29, 2014 Posted by | children, Fukushima 2014, Japan | Leave a comment

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe concerned over USA’s nuclear deal with Ukraine

safety-symbol-Smflag-UkraineOSCE shares Moscow’s concerns over Ukraine’s nuclear deal with US Rt August 28, 2014 The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe shares Moscow’s concern on world nuclear safety and the potential threat that possible US atomic fuel supplies to Ukraine might cause as the country remains in crisis.

Buy-US-nukesThe head of the OSCE and Swiss president Didier Burkhalter says he is concerned about nuclear safety in connection with the US intention to supply the country with nuclear fuel, according to a reply letter to Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry Vladimir Gutenev.

Switzerland “shares the view concerning nuclear safety,” Burkhalter wrote, as cited by Itar-Tass,……..

In early June, Gutenev sent a letter to Burkhalter warning of security threats that European nations will face in case of a potential industrial nuclear disaster at one of Ukraine’s power plants, as Kiev is planning to sign a contract with American Westinghouse Electric Company. He highlighted the fact that Soviet made nuclear plants are not compatible with fuel assembly type TBC-W offered by the Americans, as previous trials have shown.

“The nuclear reactors in Ukraine are of Russian (Soviet) design, which are only designed for fuel that has passed a special certification. Therefore, further attempts to use non-adapted fuel assemblies of American production without a corresponding adjustment increase the risk of failure of the Ukrainian reactors and dramatically increase the likelihood of man-made disasters,” Gutenev wrote in June, calling on the OSCE to consider the issue.

In 2005, six experimental Westinghouse fuel assemblies, adopted for use in USSR-developed reactors, were tried at the South Ukraine plant in one reactor together with Russian fuel rods. By 2008 Ukraine signed a contract with Westinghouse on fuel rod supply. However, the experiment showed that Westinghouse assemblies deformed during exploitation and got stuck in the core. The reason is simple – Russian nuclear fuel rods are hexagonal in section, while Americans produce fuel assemblies of square section.

By 2012, after the failed test, exploitation of US nuclear fuel was banned in Ukraine and the fuel rods were returned to the producer “to get fixed” while Russian scientists came to the rescue. The Energoatom Company of Ukraine lost an estimated $175 million in this trial.

Now the Kiev regime has renewed the 2008 nuclear fuel deal till 2020, to replace 25 percent of the Russian-made fuel rods with an option to “provide more if needed.”…….http://rt.com/news/183248-nuclear-ukraine-threat-osce/

August 29, 2014 Posted by | marketing, safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Westinghouse fighting Areva as both try to sell radioactive trash technology to South Africa

Westinghouse challenges South Africa nuclear contract awarded to Areva Thu Aug 28, 2014 JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Westinghouse Electric Company said on Thursday it had filed an interdict in a South African court to reopen the bidding process for a contract awarded to French rival Areva to replace six steam generators at a nuclear power plant…… Westinghouse, the world’s largest nuclear fuel producer and part of Japan’s Toshiba group, said in a statement it had gone to the Johannesburg High Court about the matter. http://af.reuters.com/article/investingNews/idAFKBN0GS1LJ20140828

fighters-marketing-1

 

August 29, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

Uranium industry has poor future selling to Japan, says former Japan P.M. Naoto Kan

graph-down-uraniumBetter Market Your Uranium Someplace Else, Japan Appetite No Longer Huge as Before – Former PM Tells Australia Queensland Premier Campbell NewmanInternational Business Times, By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 28, 2014 Campbell Newman, premier of Australia‘s Queensland state, has gotten an advice from former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, and that is to market the country’s uranium to someplace else. This, as a new study said the bill of damages from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown will zoom to over $105 billion, double than the earlier estimates released by authorities in 2011.

While Japan may restart some of its 54 idled nuclear power plants, Kan said Japan’s appetite for the yellow cake uranium won’t be “anywhere the same levels of uranium it has in the past.”

Kan was in Australia last week on a trip sponsored by the Australian Conservation Foundation. A previous staunch supporter of nuclear power, Kan is now against uranium mining, having seen the effects of the Fukushima Daiichinuclear power plant meltdowns in March 2011.

Kan was Japan’s prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago.

“Even if some did restart it would be practically impossible to return to the kind of levels of operation that were in place before the March 2011 disaster,” Brisbane Times quoted Kan………

He also stressed the appeal of the yellow cake to fuel nuclear power plants had simmered down, and thus Queensland has China as the only potential country it can export its primary product.

“The trends we are seeing in the United States and Europe – and also because of the very high costs of nuclear power – we are not seeing a growth in this market,” he said………http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/564339/20140828/uranium-japan-appetite-kan-australia-queensland-newman.htm#.VADXudJdUnk

August 29, 2014 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, Uranium | Leave a comment

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