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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Space exploration – it’s for weapons, too – theme for November 17

from Bruce Gagnon     We have become an occupied nation. The corporate oligarchy that runs the show in Washington uses space-based technologies to spy on us and to direct all warfare on the planet. In a way, you could call today’s expensive military satellites the “triggers” that make the high-tech weapons, like drones and offensive missiles, work. These satellites allow the military to see everything, to hear everything, and to target every place on the planet. We are sold the line that high-tech robotic warfare will save American lives and will be a cheaper way to fight.

A New Space Arms Race | Bruce Gagnon

The military industrial complex has become the primary resource-extraction service for corporate globalization and is preparing the future generations for its dead end street of perpetual war……

The aerospace industry says it needs nuclear power in space for mining the sky. Nuclear reactors on rockets will be needed to give them the kind of lift capability to reach Mars. International space law is now being re-written by corporate interests to allow their control of the planetary bodies. The industry plan is to scrap the United Nations Moon and Outer Space Treaties.

Rovers on Mars today are currently powered by plutonium-238……

Space entrepreneur Elon Musk says we must move our civilization to Mars. The Mars Society says the Earth “is a rotting, stinking, dying planet” and that we have to terraform Mars to make it habitable. Imagine how much money that would cost?……

The militarization of everything around us is a spiritual sickness. The Ongoing and Dangerous Militarization of Space https://ratical.org/radiation/NuclearExtinction/BruceGagnon022815.html

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November 11, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Disposal of low-level radioactive waste from Fukushima crisis begins

To call that site a storage site is a misnomer. As there will also be incineration and conditioning of radioactive debris there. It would be more accurate to call it a processing and storage facility….. Temporary storage, supposedly for 30 years maximum….
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FUKUSHIMA – Disposal began Friday of low-level radioactive waste generated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, more than six years after the crisis was triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.
A disposal site in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, accepted the first shipment of the waste, which contains radioactive cesium ranging from 8,000 to 100,000 becquerels per kilogram, and includes rice straw, sludge and ash from waste incineration.
The Environment Ministry is in charge of the country’s nuclear waste disposal, which totaled 200,000 tons from 11 prefectures as of the end of September. The majority of the waste, 170,000 tons, originates from the prefecture hosting the crippled nuclear power plant.
“I would like to ask the central government to move this project forward while taking adequate safety steps in mind,” a Tomioka official said. “Building mutual trust with local residents is also important.”
Under the ministry’s policy, each prefecture’s waste is to be disposed of. However, Fukushima is the only prefecture where disposal has started, whereas other prefectures have met with opposition from local residents.
In Fukushima, it will take six years to complete moving the stored waste to the disposal site, the ministry said.
The government “will continue giving first priority to securing safety and properly carry out the disposal with our best efforts to win local confidence,” Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa said at a news conference.
The government proposed in December 2013 that Fukushima Prefecture dispose of the waste at the then-privately owned site. The request was accepted by the prefectural government two years later.
To help alleviate local concerns over the disposal, the government nationalized the site and reinforced it to prevent the entry of rainwater.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

UN body calls on Japan to improve protection of press freedoms

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GENEVA (Kyodo) — A U.N. body on Thursday called on Japan to take steps to better protect press freedoms as concerns about the country’s laws aimed at curtailing leaks of state secrets could hinder the work of journalists.
In another of the 218 non-legally binding recommendations on Japan’s human rights record released by the U.N. Human Rights Council’s working group, Tokyo was urged to apologize and pay compensation to “comfort women” forced to work in Japan’s World War II military brothels.
The recommendations reflected the views of some 105 countries. Of the issues raised, the U.N. council will adopt those that have been accepted by the country in question at a plenary session around March 2018.
In relation to freedom of the press in Japan, the recommendation called on the country to amend Article 4 of the broadcasting law that gives the government authority to suspend broadcasting licenses of TV stations not considered “politically fair.”
Japan had already attracted criticism, in particular from David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, over its law called the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, which came into force in 2014.
Under the law, civil servants or others who leak designated secrets could face up to 10 years in prison, and those who instigate leaks, including journalists, could be subject to prison terms of up to five years.
In his report, Kaye noted that the law may be arbitrarily enforced as subcategories under which information may be designated as secret are “overly broad.”
On the issue of “comfort women,” raised at the request of South Korea and China, the recommendation urged Japan to promote fair and accurate historical education, including the women’s stories, and to apologize and compensate victims.
The recommendation also said Japan should abolish or suspend the death penalty, reflecting calls from European Union countries, and continue to provide support to those affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis caused by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In particular, a directive to address health issues faced by pregnant mothers and children was noted.
The U.N. Rights Council is mandated to “undertake a universal periodic review” of whether countries are meeting their human rights obligations and commitments.
The examination is conducted on all 193 members of the United Nations in periodic cycles of a few years. The latest review was the third for Japan.
Nuclear-news.net exclusive report from yesterday on the UN meeting;

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese Mothers Testing for Radiation in Food Post-Fukushima Disaster

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The “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture is staffed by local mothers who test foods, water, soil and other local materials for nuclear radiation.

In the aftermath of the 9.1-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear power plant in Fukushima to leak radioactive materials, a group of Japanese mothers work to ensure local food is safe to eat. Despite lacking a scientific background or university education, they are passionate about informing keeping the public informed.

Although levels of radiation have declined since the 2011 incident, these mothers know the struggle for safe food and water is not over. “Mothers’ Radiation Lab” staff has found Shitake mushrooms, which are often included in Japanese cuisine, have the highest noticeable levels of radiation.

“How do you fight these invisible threats? The best way is to measure them,” says Kaori Suzuki, director at Mothers’ Radiation Lab.

https://www.linktv.org/shows/trust-docs/japanese-mothers-find-high-levels-of-radiation-in-food-post-fukushima-disaster

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the early stage of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident and its fluctuation over five years

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Fig 1. Sampling sites of soil samples.

Geographical distribution of the 134+137Cs precipitation referred to the aircraft monitoring results by the MEXT of Japan on December 16, 2011 [30]. Adapted from ‘Extension Site of Distribution Map of Radiation Dose, etc.’ (http://ramap.jmc.or.jp/map/).

 

The activity and inventory of radioactive material in the eastern part of Tokyo tended to be high… The radioactive plume with high 131I activity spread into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
Almost no public information about the radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Kanto district had been shared…
The plume containing a large amount of radioactive material drifted into the Tokyo metropolitan area… where over 30 million residents live… [Publications] include almost no discussion of the fact that radioactive materials were carried into the Tokyo metropolitan area…
The contamination level was extremely high in a roadside ditch sludge in Kashiwa City…
The quantity of 134+137Cs deposited in the region studied was estimated… from values measured in the soil, it was estimated as 5.35 TBq…
High activities and inventories of the radionuclides were found in eastern Tokyo and northern Chiba… The contamination was even higher in the adjoining northern part of Chiba located east of Tokyo…
The results reveal that the Tokyo metropolitan area even now continues to be affected by radioactive contamination caused by the FDNPP accident…
Gordon Edwards, Ph.D, nuclear expert, 2017 (pdf): Intensive contamination extends over 200 km south – right down to the outskirts of Tokyo
IRSN, 2016 (pdf): Fukushima-Daiichi Accident: Main contamination events… Event of 14-16 March – This event is marked by turning winds and by a rainfall that generated significant contamination of the Japanese territory. On the evening of the 14th of March, a first radioactive plume was transported by winds towards the southwest… and reached the Tokyo area. At Tsukuba, 153 Bq/m3** were measured…
** 153 Bq/m3 = 153,000,000 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba after Fukushima vs. 1.2 uBq/m3 Cs-137 in Tsukuba before Fukushima (source) = 127,500,000 times higher Cs-137 after Fukushima

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

A book “Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination after Fukushima”

978-0-8223-6199-2_pr
By Kimura Aya Hirata (August 2016)
Description
Following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 2011 many concerned citizens—particularly mothers—were unconvinced by the Japanese government’s assurances that the country’s food supply was safe. They took matters into their own hands, collecting their own scientific data that revealed radiation-contaminated food. In Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists Aya Hirata Kimura shows how, instead of being praised for their concern about their communities’ health and safety, they faced stiff social sanctions, which dismissed their results by attributing them to the work of irrational and rumor-spreading women who lacked scientific knowledge. These citizen scientists were unsuccessful at gaining political traction, as they were constrained by neoliberal and traditional gender ideologies that dictated how private citizens—especially women—should act. By highlighting the challenges these citizen scientists faced, Kimura provides insights into the complicated relationship between science, foodways, gender, and politics in post-Fukushima Japan and beyond.
About The Author(s)
Aya Hirata Kimura is Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and the author of Hidden Hunger: Gender and Politics of Smarter Foods.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Europe: carelessness, cowardice or concealment of radiation accidents? CRIIRAD report #IAEA #UNSCEAR

“At the European level, to our knowledge, no instructions have been given to mobilize the networks of measurements and analytical laboratories; no official information has been released; no warning has addressed to European nationals traveling or residing in regions potentially at risk.” CRIIRAD

“All lessons must be learned from these dysfunctions both at European and international level so that opacity and indifference do not preside over the management of the next nuclear disaster.”

The rapid notification system for nuclear accidents set up after the Chernobyl disaster is in total failure. We still do not know which facility is causing the contamination. We do not know how many workers, how many inhabitants, how many children were exposed to radiation; how many were contaminated; what doses of radiation they were able to receive … But all is well, since in Europe ruthenium levels 106 remained very low!


The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to be silent: no warning, no warning, no request investigation was launched by the WHO Office for Europe, whose expertise extends from Greenland to Siberia, including the States singled out by official simulations, including the Russian Federation.

Screenshot from 2017-11-17 21:24:44

In blue the area is under the WHO Office for Europe.
The International Atomic Energy Agency turns away the eye and attention: no position taken despite its responsibilities under the International Convention on Early Notification of Nuclear Accidents!
No call for investigation. On the contrary: the publication of a document “for authorities’ use only” which focuses on the absence of any risk in Europe, deliberately obscuring the situation in the rejection! And what about the tables of results produced in the appendix? Clearly erroneous data and other which contradict the simulations of the IRSN without anyone worrying! Can not check anything because the results of analyzes, yet paid by the taxpayers of the countries concerned, are not free to access!

CRIIRAD challenges the World Health Organization
Read the mail of 17/11/2017
CRIIRAD wrote this day to Mrs JAKAD, Director of the WHO European Office, to ask for explanations of the total silence of this body in a file likely to pose significant health problems. according to the IRSN rating of 9/11/2017, experts from several countries agree on the importance of radioactive release 1. He would have/may require:

1 / the implementation of protective measures such as confinement or evacuation in a
radius of 5 km around the site of emission and

2 / the control of the contamination of the food up to 40 km of distance.

Recall that the authorities have set particularly high dose levels for triggering
these emergency measures. If official estimates are correct, areas requiring protective measures extend well beyond these perimeters.
How has WHO been able to remain silent and can it remain so today? Why did not she
alerted to the need to act very quickly in case of atmospheric contamination? Why did not she explain that exposure levels in the discharge zone have nothing to do with what can be measured at 1,000 or 2,000 km from distance? Why has it not reminded the States likely to be at the origin of the rejection that everything must be put in
to identify the facility in question and limit exposures? Does not its constitution stipulate that governments have responsibility for the health of their peoples?
1
According to IRSN calculations, the ruthenium 106 release would be between 100 and 300 TBq. This radionuclide is necessarily in equilibrium with its short-lived descendant Rhodium 106, also radioactive, and could be accompanied by ruthenium 103 (radio-
nuclide detected at very low levels in Sweden). The absence of any other radionuclide remains to be demonstrated, in particular (but not only) in the rejection sector.

We can only note, once again, the total erasure of this agency when the nuclear power is in cause. One can only wonder again about the consequences of the agreement which binds WHO to the IAEA, forces it to to deal with the statutory mission of the latter, which is to ensure the development of civilian nuclear energy.
It was necessary to intervene without delay because the exposures are major in the first days and the first weeks but there is still time to act. CRIIRAD calls on WHO to make every effort to determine what is happened and to provide the victims with all the help they need.


CRIIRAD challenges the International Atomic Energy Agency
Read the mail of 17/11/2017
CRIIRAD is surprised by the absence of any public position taken by the IAEA while the provisions of the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident 2 are clearly violated. She asked that the IAEA carry out, or cause to be carried out, all the investigations necessary to identify the origin of the contamination.

CRIIRAD also denounces the content of the documents that the IAEA has written “for the exclusive use of the authorities”: the “Status of Measurements of Ru-106 in Europe” press release and its technical annex presenting the measures
transmitted to the IAEA until 13/10/2017. The IAEA totally obscures the question of the origin of the contamination and the risks incurred on the spot!

Moreover, the agency’s assessments of the situation in Europe leave no room for no worry: according to her, the implementation of protective measures would be justified only after one dose 100 mSv in 7 days! Gold:

1 / the value of 100 mSv corresponds to the upper limit of the range of 20 to 100 mSv recommended by the ICRP, and chosen by the European Union, for the management of nuclear accidents;

2 / the application of values ​​above 20 mSv would only be justified in the event of a major nuclear accident in Europe.
For the impact of a long-range accident, populations must demand that the level of radiological risk exceeds that defined for normal situations, which is already high enough, ie 1 mSv / year.
In addition, the 11 pages of results published in the appendix contain clearly erroneous statements. For some results, there is confusion between the date of air sampling and the date of publication of the results. By elsewhere, the table shows that contamination reached Budapest on 25 September at the latest. But there is more 2,500 km between central Hungary and the area that the IRSN simulation designates with the strongest probability (60 to 80%) as the source of the release. It is highly unlikely that the contamination could cross such a distance in 24 hours. A delay of 3 or 4 days would be more logical but it puts in question the modelizations who place the date of rejection in the last week of September.
The IAEA must also specify the arguments on which it relies to remove the runway from a powered satellite by a source of ruthenium 106. The official models are based on the assumption that this origin is excluded on the basis of IAEA declarations but no supporting text has been published.


Europe: carelessness, cowardice or concealment?
At the European level, to our knowledge, no instructions have been given to mobilize the networks of measurements and analytical laboratories; no official information has been released; no warning has addressed to European nationals traveling or residing in regions potentially at risk.
Can we imagine that no investigation has been launched, despite the means available, to go back to source of contamination, at least to validate or invalidate certain assumptions?

Can we believe that embassies have not been solicited? That no sample was taken? Is it possible that measurements were made of aircraft that flew over suspicious installations such as those Mayak?

That could have been done 30 years ago, for Chernobyl, and even earlier for the control of fallout nuclear tests! Are European states guilty of inaction? Did they prefer not to know? Or do they hold this information they prefer to keep secret?

Most media were satisfied with reassuring information on the situation in Europe, which unfortunately in their silence.
All lessons must be learned from these dysfunctions both at European and international level so that opacity and indifference do not preside over the management of the next nuclear disaster.
2
Read the text of the Convention, which entered into force in October 1986; see the list of signatory states as of March 3, 2017

Source for this post in French here;

http://www.criirad.org/accident-et-pollutions/2017-11-17_ru-106_oms+aiea.pdf

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Vanunu Mordechai Nov’ 14. “The court decided to reject my appeal ; No justice in Israel.” #Amnesty #UNHRC

After many months of waiting to hear if Mordechai Vanunu will be released from captivity (He is under house arrest still after many years of incarceration), we find the courts in Israel have once again denied him the right to be with his wife in Norway.

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Response from Human Rights organisations is non existent as is the response from the worlds media.

Israel: Mordechai Vanunu sentence clear violation of human rights

https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/68000/mde150462007en.pdf (3 July 2007)

3. UN Statement on behalf of Mordechai Vanunu

http://www.un.org/en/conf/npt/2005/statements/npt11ngo-ellsberg.pdf (2005)

WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS HUMAN RIGHTS SUPPORTERS?

In his own words;

Published on 17 Nov 2017

“Nov’ 6 2017. in the Israel supreme court they come back repeating the same BS, they did not review any thing, they didn’t change any thing. They repeat the same mantra to their supreme court judges and blaming me for not following their stupid, barbaric order after 32 years.

I am not yet free to leave this country, to go to join my wife in Oslo. They love to see me suffering here. But they must end this case, soon or later. The ISRAEL ATOMIC SECRETS has gone for ever. This is Irreversible, for ever, NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO ME. Freedom must come.!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Nov’ 14.  The court decided to reject my appeal ;no justice in israel.”

Some recent reports mentioning Mordechai Vanunu;

“Israel is believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with more than 200 undeclared nuclear warheads.

Tel Aviv has rejected global calls to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and does not allow international inspectors to observe its controversial nuclear program.

The clandestine nuclear activities were uncovered when whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu, originally a technician at the Dimona nuclear facility, handed overwhelming evidence of Israel’s nuclear program to Britain’s Sunday Times in 1986.

It is believed that the nuclear site is home to Israel’s nuclear weapons. “

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/11/541750/Syria-Israel-nuclear-weapon-UN

Before departing Jerusalem in 2005, This American concluded hours of interviews with Vanunu by telling him:

“I will tell as in WRITE your story UNTIL Israel frees Vanunu, because it’s a mission from God for me.”

https://thearabdailynews.com/2017/11/12/to-israel-re-nuclear-whistle-blower-vanunu-mordechai-social-media-and-this-american/

A short Norewegian TV report of Mordechi going into the court.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 17 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “What the UN Climate Summit is teaching us about environmental action” • This year’s UN Climate Summit is almost over. Clear leaders have emerged, and the US is not one of them. Syria has agreed to sign the Paris agreement on climate change. The US is alone in refusing to make a voluntary climate change commitment. [GlobalComment.com]

Glacier (Photo: derwiki | Pixabay)

COP23:

¶ World leaders took center stage at the COP23 climate change conference in Bonn this week to promise dramatic new actions aimed at reducing global climate emissions. They also used the occasion to castigate the United States and Donald Trump for being entirely out of step with the rest of the world community on this issue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India has announced some good news for COP23. Just a few years ago, India relied almost exclusively on coal to fuel its rapid…

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November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Africa’s Renewable Energy Set To Soar By 2022

Strong demand is set to give a huge boost to renewable energy growth in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years, driving cumulative capacity up more than 70 percent, a senior international energy official said Wednesday. From Ethiopia to South Africa, millions of people are getting access to electricity for the first time as the […]

via Africa’s Renewable Energy Set To Soar By 2022 — TATAHFONEWSARENA

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sudden Severe Flood Leaves 14 Dead in Athens, Forecasts Show Up to 15+ Additional Inches on the Way for Greece

robertscribbler

Extreme drought. Extreme floods.

Unfortunately, with human-caused climate change, these kinds of devastating events have become far more frequent. With the Earth warming by around 1.1 to 1.2 C above pre-industrial averages, there are now four times as many instances of extreme weather than there were as recently as the 1970s.

What this means is that anywhere around the world now, the hammer of severe weather and related damages is four times more likely to fall than in the past. That the tempo of such events is now greatly increased. All thanks to continued fossil fuel burning, atmospheric CO2 levels that will average around 407 ppm over the coming months, the heat that these greenhouse gasses are continuing to add to the Earth’s climate system, and…

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November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Recharging hydropower in Europe?

Renewable energy is a hot topic in Europe at the moment. Billions are being invested, and expectations are sky high. So, in this scenario, what expectations should we have for Norwegian hydropower? This was the back-drop for the discussion HydroCen lead at a work shop in Brussels during the NTNU alumni conference this month. At […]

via Recharging hydropower in Europe? — Aktuelt fra HydroCen

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Atomic Power in dire straits after diverting funds

By TSUNEO SASAI/ Staff Writer

November 17, 2017 a

Japan Atomic Power Co. has diverted so much of its decommissioning funds to build new reactors that it now lacks enough cash to scrap its aging units or even resume operations of existing ones.

The problem-plagued company is banking on a decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, but even that might not be sufficient to save it financially.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry requires nuclear power plant operators to accumulate decommissioning funds every year based on their estimated costs to scrap reactors.

The ministry’s guidelines, however, do not prohibit the companies from temporarily using the accumulated money for other purposes.

According to calculations, Japan Atomic Power should have saved around 180 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to decommission its four nuclear reactors.

The company declined to give details about how much of decommissioning fund was used for other purposes.

However, a person familiar with the situation said the operator “diverted the majority.”

That leaves Japan Atomic Power without the necessary funds to carry out its plans to decommission its one-reactor Tokai nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, and the No. 1 reactor at its Tsuruga nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The company’s two other reactors–the reactor at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant and the No. 2 reactor at the Tsuruga plant–are off-line.

To survive the financial crunch, Japan Atomic Power will soon apply to the NRA to extend the operating life of the idled Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant reactor.

That reactor will reach its 40th year of operation in November 2018.

Even if the NRA approves the 20-year extension, the company does not have the 174 billion yen needed to improve safety measures at the reactor to bring it online.

An active geological fault line was found running directly beneath the No. 2 reactor building at the Tsuruga nuclear plant, meaning a resumption of reactor operations there is nowhere in sight.

Japan Atomic Power decided to use decommissioning funds to cover costs to build the Tsuruga No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in a bid to curb borrowing from financial institutions, according to several sources.

However, that decision was made before disaster struck at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.

After the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant, all reactors in the nation, including those of Japan Atomic Power, were suspended.

With its reactors offline and its revenue drying up, Japan Atomic Power continued diverting money from the decommissioning fund to cover its losses.

A Japan Atomic Power official told The Asahi Shimbun that the diversion of funds was not a problem because the operator “used the money appropriately in light of various circumstances and future forecasts.”

However, the company’s plight has officials in the economy ministry considering imposing limits on diverting decommissioning funds. With deregulations in the electric power industry moving forward, the risk of a sudden collapse of an electric power utility has increased.

With all of its reactors off-line, Japan Atomic Power would find it difficult to obtain loans from financial institutions.

In addition, residents around its nuclear facilities could oppose any restarts in light of the company’s inability to prepare sufficient safety expenses.

Japan Atomic Power had only 18.7 billion yen on hand at the end of March for immediate use in an emergency.

If the company is forced to decommission its Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant, the finances of other major electric companies would be affected.

To provide financing for Japan Atomic Power, financial institutes set certain loan conditions, one of which requires the company to be guaranteed by a major utility.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which hold shares in Japan Atomic Power, has come under fire over the disaster at its Fukushima No. 1 plant. Public criticism would certainly erupt if TEPCO, which is funded by the government, were to support a bailout of Japan Atomic Power.

A source with TEPCO described Japan Atomic Power’s situation as: “Stuck between a rock and a hard place.”

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201711170054.html

November 17, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

U.N. body calls on Japan to improve protection of press freedoms and Fukushima residents rights

japan-green

A U.N. body has called on Japan to take steps to better protect press freedoms as concerns about the country’s laws aimed at curtailing leaks of state secrets could hinder the work of journalists.

In another of the 218 non-legally binding recommendations on Japan’s human rights record released by the U.N. Human Rights Council’s working group, Tokyo was urged to apologize and pay compensation to “comfort women” forced to work in Japan’s World War II military brothels.

The recommendations reflected the views of some 105 countries. Of the issues raised, the U.N. council will adopt those that have been accepted by the country in question at a plenary session around March 2018.

In relation to freedom of the press in Japan, the recommendation called on the country to amend Article 4 of the broadcasting law that gives the government authority to suspend broadcasting licenses of TV stations not considered “politically fair.”

Japan had already attracted criticism, in particular from David Kaye, U.N. special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, over its law called the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, which came into force in 2014.

Under the law, civil servants or others who leak designated secrets could face up to 10 years in prison, and those who instigate leaks, including journalists, could be subject to prison terms of up to five years.

In his report, Kaye noted that the law may be arbitrarily enforced as subcategories under which information may be designated as secret are “overly broad.”

On the issue of “comfort women,” raised at the request of South Korea and China, the recommendation urged Japan to promote fair and accurate historical education, including the women’s stories, and to apologize and compensate victims.

The recommendation also said Japan should abolish or suspend the death penalty, reflecting calls from European Union countries, and continue to provide support to those affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis caused by the massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In particular, a directive to address health issues faced by pregnant mothers and children was noted.

The U.N. Rights Council is mandated to “undertake a universal periodic review” of whether countries are meeting their human rights obligations and commitments.

The examination is conducted on all 193 members of the United Nations in periodic cycles of a few years. The latest review was the third for Japan.

https://japantoday.com/category/national/u.n.-body-calls-on-japan-to-improve-protection-of-press-freedoms

Nuclear-news.net exclusive report from yesterday on the UN meeting;

https://nuclear-news.net/2017/11/16/most-of-the-un-nearly-forgets-fukushima-residents-ongoing-situation-at-up-to-20-msv-h-japan-review-radiation-version/

November 17, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | Leave a comment

As the world struggles with immediate dangers, NASA focuses on nuclear electricity for Mars

NASA reveals ‘nuclear engine’ that could provide power to the first humans on Mars

  •  NASA plans to test the Kilopower engines on Earth this year
  • Will use a uranium rector the size of a toilet roll to create heat
  • High efficiency Stirling engine would then convert this to electricity, By Mark Prigg For Dailymail.com, 15 November 2017 |NASA’s  Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) has provided multi-year funding to the Kilopower project.

    The technology could produce from one to 10 kilowatts of electrical power, continuously for 10 years or more. The average U.S. household runs on about five kilowatts of power.

    Testing is due to start in November and go through early next year, with NASA partnering with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Nevada National Security Site to appraise fission power technologies.

    ‘The Kilopower test program will give us confidence that this technology is ready for space flight development.

    ‘We’ll be checking analytical models along the way for verification of how well the hardware is working,’ said Lee Mason, STMD’s principal technologist for Power and Energy Storage at NASA Headquarters.

    NASA is set to begin testing a radical ‘nuclear engine’ that could provide power for astronauts on the Martian surface.

    Dubbed the ‘Kilopower’ it would use a uranium rector the size of a toilet roll to create heat.

    A high efficiency Stirling engine would then convert this to electricity, in a system that works in a similar way to a car engine……http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5083265/Nuclear-engines-provide-power-humans-Mars.html

November 17, 2017 Posted by | technology, USA | 1 Comment

As Bonn climate negotiations finish, scientists fear that the planned actions are not enough

As Climate Negotiators Debate Nations’ Pledges, Scientists Worry It’s Not Enough https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/16/564384950/as-climate-negotiators-debate-nations-pledges-scientists-worry-it-s-not-enough  Governments are wrapping up a meeting in Bonn, Germany, to figure out how to implement a global climate agreement.

The conference has focused on the pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which nations made two years ago in Paris. But even as negotiators debate the details, scientists are warning that carbon dioxide levels are again on the rise, and the efforts in Paris may not be enough.

President Trump has vowed that the U.S. will pull out of the Paris deal. The final withdrawal will take a few years, and the government sent a small delegation to Bonn. It made one presentation on the value of clean coal that was disrupted by protesters.

U.S. cities and states sent their own delegations as well. California Gov. Jerry Brown attended to talk about his state’s commitment to climate change.

“In the United States,” he explained, “we have a federal system, and states have real power, as do cities. And when cities and states combine together and then join with powerful corporations, that’s how stuff gets done.”

At that point protesters shouted over him, telling him to keep fossil fuels in the ground. But Brown’s message — that states and cities have agreed to meet the Paris targets for reducing emissions on their own — has been welcomed as a stand-in for a federal effort.

As diplomats debated and protesters protested, climate scientists delivered bad news. They are increasingly skeptical that the Paris deal will do what’s needed.Researchers say the emissions reduction targets made at Paris — and what countries are doing to meet them — are weak. Hanna Fekete is with the New Climate Institute. She cites new research by a European group, Climate Action Tracker.”What we actually find is that a large number of countries is in the category of weak targets and even weaker implementation,” she says, “and that is specifically worrying because there are many large emitters in this weaker category.” That weak target and effort category includes countries such as the U.S., Russia and China.

The Paris agreement set a goal not to let the planet warm more than 3.6 degrees F above what is was before the industrial revolution. This latest analysis echoes others: the pledges made by countries in Paris to reduce emissions aren’t enough, and that current energy policies aren’t going to make even the Paris pledges possible. Fekete says the Carbon Action Tracker analysis shows that the climate is currently headed for an increase of at least 6 degrees F by the end of the century.Another study released this week adds more bad news. Global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, are going up. That’s after three years where they remained fairly flat. Environmental scientist Robert Jackson at Stanford University is one of the study’s authors and says the increase is mostly from China. “This year for several reasons their coal use has ticked back up by about 3 percent,” Jackson says, “and their oil and gas use has risen even faster.”

China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Emissions in the U.S., the second-largest emitter, went down this year, but not by much. And while emissions from India were lower than expected — a growth rate of only 2 percent — Jackson says it looks like that won’t last. “I expect India’s emissions to rise faster again.” He says, “They still have hundreds of millions of people without electricity. It’s a tough nut to crack.”

One thing the delegates in Bonn appear to agree on is that the pledges made in Paris will have to get tougher.

November 17, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment