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Japanese billionaire takes the lead in promoting renewable energy

His goal is to encourage local governments to shift to renewable energy sources and to provide land for mega-solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal, small hydropower generators, and other renewable energy forms.

Investment would come from Son’s fund as well as other public and private sources…..

As it takes a minimum of 10 years to build a nuclear plant, and given that the cost of solar power in other countries like the United States continues to fall thanks to ever more efficient solar panels, Son is betting that, by 2020, renewable energy technology will have developed to the point where it is extremely cost-competitive on a per kilowatt hour basis compared with nuclear power. And renewable energy would not have the social and environmental problems of nuclear power..

SON’S CLEAN ENERGY INITIATIVE, Son’s quest for sun, wind has nuclear interests wary, Japan Times, 12 July 11, By ERIC JOHNSTONIn late March, while engaging in volunteer work and making efforts to restore telecommunications networks in the quake-stricken Tohoku region, Softbank Corp. founder and Chairman Masayoshi Son met with evacuees from the area surrounding the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Days later, he returned to Tokyo and declared pursuit of a new energy policy, one emphasizing renewable sources, such as solar, wind and thermal energy, was needed. Continue reading


July 12, 2011 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Japan must reduce its reliance on nuclear power

Japan PM says must reduce dependence on nuclear power

* PM Kan apologises for confusion over stress tests

* Suggests future of nuclear business open to debate..

By Linda Sieg, TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) Japan has no choice but to reduce its reliance on nuclear power, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Tuesday, as the country battles to end a four-month-old radiation crisis at a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.

The unpopular prime minister appears increasingly sensitive to growing public concern about nuclear power, but whether he oversees an overhaul of energy policy is in doubt as he has promised to resign, although he has not specified when.

“We must scrap the plan to have nuclear power contribute 53 percent (of electricity supply) by 2030 and reduce the degree of reliance on nuclear power,” Kan told the panel.

The crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima plant has sparked public debate over the role of nuclear power in quake-prone, resource-poor Japan, as well as immediate concerns about power shortages as 35 of the country’s 54 reactors are currently off-line.

A 2010 basic energy plan had called for boosting nuclear energy’s share of the electricity supply to 53 percent by 2030 by building at least 14 new reactors, but many politicians agree that is nearly impossible now given the growing public anxiety….

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

USA House to vote on cutting back renewable energy, promoting fossil fuels

US House To Vote On Cuts To Renewable-Energy Research, NASDAQ By Ryan Tracy, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 12 July 11, WASHINGTON – The U.S. House Monday was expected to vote on cuts to renewable-energy research while boosting funding for energy technologies that use fossil fuel, the latest evidence of a partisan divide on energy policy…..

July 12, 2011 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Radioactivity in waste incineration near Tokyo

Radioactive ash found in waste plants near Tokyo, Google News, (AFP)12 July 11, TOKYO — Japanese waste incineration plants near Tokyo have found high levels of radiation in ash, and officials said Tuesday it may be from garden waste contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The radioactive caesium was detected in plants in Kashiwa city in Chiba prefecture, northeast of Tokyo and about 200 kilometres (120 miles) from the plant that has leaked radiation since the March 11 quake and tsunami….

Authorities suspect the caesium may be from garden waste, such as tree branches and grass cuttings, that has been burnt in the facility.

Kashiwa city official Kiyoshi Nakamura told AFP: “Some people are believed to have cut plants and mown their lawns because of fear of radioactive contamination, and that waste was apparently brought to the plant.”…

July 12, 2011 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011 | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission to decide on USA nuclear waste repository

Fate of Yucca Mountain Decision in NRC HandsBy SONYA ANGELICA DIEHN, 11 July 11 , (CN) – The D.C. Circuit ruled that a decision on the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada lies firmly with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission…..Although the DOE withdrew its application and has halted construction at the site, it’s really up to the NRC to decide its fate, the appeals circuit wrote in three separate concurring opinions.

Judge Kavanaugh said this case is a “mess” due to overlapping responsibilities between the two agencies. While both are under the executive branch, the NRC can act more independently.
But for now, he wrote, “the ball in this case rests in the executive branch not with the President, but rather with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”
Since the commission hasn’t made a final decision on Yucca Mountain yet, the case was determined untimely and dismissed. …..

July 12, 2011 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Stuxnet computer worm ushers in new threat to nuclear installations

STUXNET: WORLD’S FIRST CYBER WEAPON, Big Think   July 12, 2011 .When the Stuxnet computer virus infected Iran’s nuclear power facilities at the Natanz enrichment plant, it became the world’s first cyber weapon…..”Stuxnet required an enormous amount of resources to produce, but its cost-benefit ratio is still in question. While it may have helped set Iran’s program back to a degree, it also altered the landscape of cyberattacks. Stuxnet’s authors mapped a new frontier that other attackers are bound to follow; and the next target for sabotage could easily be a nuclear facility in the United States. No one knows what Stuxnet might have achieved had it never been discovered by VirusBlockAda a year ago. … It appeared the attackers were still developing the code when it was uncovered.”..

July 12, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology | Leave a comment

Investigations continue into radioactive leak from nuclear plant

Radioactive waste leaks at nuclear plant, Officials say no threat posed, but federal safety team continues to investigate, The State, South Carolina, By SAMMY FRETWELL , 12 July 11,

Federal nuclear safety inspectors are investigating a radioactive waste leak at SCE&G’s atomic power plant in Fairfield County.

An estimated 100 gallons of liquid waste spilled at the utility’s V.C. Summer plant, apparently from a pipe that leaked, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The discovery was made late last week.

State, federal and SCE&G officials say they have found no signs the material left the SCE&G nuclear plant or posed any threat to the public, but they are continuing to investigate….Read more:


July 12, 2011 Posted by | safety | Leave a comment

Hospital fined for losing radioactive material

Federal nuclear regulators fine Bozeman hospital after losing radioactive material

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Uranium – film reveals impact of uranium mining on indigenous people   Uranium, Intercontinental cry By Uranium is an award winning short film on the consequences of uranium mining in Canada. Narrated by Buffy Sainte-Marie, the 48-minute film explores how uranium mining can impact the environment, the health of those who are employed in the industry, and the quality of life of Indigenous peoples who live near the mines. Continue reading

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

USA’s radioactive rainwater from Fukushima nuclear disaster

High levels of radiation detected in Northwest rainwater, by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News, July 11, 2011, SEATTLE — A Seattle nuclear watchdog group is accusing the federal government of failing to keep the public informed of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In the days following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the U.S. began monitoring radiation from Japan’s leaking nuclear power plants.

Most of the public attention went to the air monitoring which showed little or no radiation coming our way. But things were different on the rain water side.

“The level that was detected on March 24 was 41 times the drinking water standard,” said Gerry Pollet from Heart of America Northwest. He reviewed Iodine 131 numbers released by the Environmental Protection Agency last spring.

“Our government said no health levels, no health levels were exceeded.When in fact the rain water in the Northwest is reaching levels 130 times the drinking water standards,” said Pollet.Elevated rain water samples were collected in Portland, Olympia and Boise — which had the highest….–125391598.html

July 12, 2011 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Taiwanese government not taking nuclear risks seriously

Nuclear safety inaction pannedBy Lee I-chia  Taipei Times   Staff Reporte, 12 July 11, Four months after a powerful earthquake and tsunami sparked a crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, environmental protection activists yesterday said the Taiwanese government remained flippant about nuclear safety.

RISKS:The former head of an anti-nuclear group said problems could occur at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant given a lack of experienced engineers working there.

During a press conference at the legislature, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) said that if an earthquake of similar magnitude occurred in Taiwan, the operating power plants might be unable to withstand the impact and catastrophe might ensue at tremendous cost to society.

There are 108 schools located within a 20km radius of the Jinshan, Guosheng and Fourth Nuclear Power Plants in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Shihmen (石門), Wanli (萬里) and Gongliao (貢寮) districts respectively, Tien said.

“If something goes wrong at any one of the three plants, many schools will face total evacuation,” she said…..

July 12, 2011 Posted by | safety, Taiwan | Leave a comment