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Japan might suspend developing its troubled fast breeder reactor

Unlike regular light-water reactors fueled by uranium, the Monju reactor, operated by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, runs on an oxide mix of plutonium and uranium, or MOX, made from spent nuclear fuel from existing plants.

The reactor first achieved criticality in 1994, but was shut down due to a serious accident involving a leak of sodium coolant and a resulting fire in 1995.

Science minister says gov’t will mull halting Monju prototype reactor project, Mainichi Japan) July 15, 2011TOKYO (Kyodo) — Science minister Yoshiaki Takaki indicated Friday that the government will consider suspending the development of the prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju in the wake of the country’s worst nuclear crisis that continues at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Continue reading


July 15, 2011 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Japanese mothers and pregnant women at risk from Fukushima radiation

VIDEOS,  (scroll down page for videos) radiation exposure
concerns mount for mothers
Japan Women News Network, Eva Fernández Ortiz and Shubhi Tandon  14 July 11,   As parents from Fukushima prefecture line up in Tokyo for public protests and a more recent 7.0 level earthquake hit off shore of the east coast of Honshu, Japan on July 9, the latest data on nuclear power reveals: the amount of radiation inside the plant’s reactor has reached much higher than originally expected levels. 
Current released figures through JAIN – Japan Atomic Industrial Forum show 4,000 millisieverts per hour of radiation on June 4 was measured in Reactor No. 1 through a steam release rising from a crevice in the floor……

Current radiation release figures from TEPCO, the power company that operates and manages the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant now reveals that larger than originally reported releases of radiation at 770,000 terabecquerels did happen, a level that may hold much more significance as the disabled plant is expected to continue to release radioactive isotopes over an extended period of time. Continue reading

July 15, 2011 Posted by | Japan, Resources -audiovicual, women | Leave a comment

Billions of yen, and decades, to clean up Fukushima’s radiation

Japan aims to totally clean Fukushima of radiation, Prokerala News 15 July 11, The Japanese city of Fukushima, whose nuclear power plant was badly damaged by a magnitude-9 earthquake, has now revealed a plan to clean every building and road of radiation, a British newspaper reported.

The local government said the plan to scrub every building and road clean of radioactivity may take up to 20 years, the Daily Telegraph reported from Tokyo.

“We are drawing up a plan to clean our city and the first phase of the project will be announced early next month,” said Akane Saito, a spokeswoman for thecity government.

Authorities are hoping to receive funding from the national government and the Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled nuclear plant. The cost of the two-decade clean-up operatioon is likely to run into billions of yen.

An 18-mile exclusion zone has been declared around the plant, where emergency teams are working around the clock to keep the plant reactors cool and contain further leaks of radioactivity.

However, radioactivity has gone well beyond the no-go zone. At least 10 children from Fukushima had urine samples tested for radioactivity and came back positive…..


July 15, 2011 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011 | Leave a comment

20,000 nuclear weapons – all illegal

July 8 marked the 15th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s landmark advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons. The court unanimously held that nations have a legal obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons under strict and effective international control. …..

Today there are more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in the arsenals of eight or nine countries, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2011. 

Nukes Are Illegal – But Still AroundBy Neena Bhandari, IDN-InDepth NewsFeature, 15 July 11, SYDNEY (IDN) – Junko Morimoto was 13 years old when the United States of America dropped the first atomic bomb on her hometown of Hiroshima. She was only 1,700 metres away from the hypocentre and if it weren’t for a stomach bug that confined her to home, she would have been amongst the 360 students who died at her city centre school on August 6, 1945.

Morimoto has an inoperable brain tumour affecting her balance. Nearly seven decades after the nuclear bombs exploded, Japanese people are still living each day with the terrible aftermath of the radiation on the environment and their health, with genetic damage passing to future generations.  Continue reading

July 15, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA Republicans use budget Bill to promote Grand Canyon uranium mining

The Interior spending bill now goes to the full House for approval. If it passes — as expected, on a largely party-line vote — the Senate should make certain that none of the anti-environmental provisions survive in the final appropriations bill. And President Obama should veto any legislation that includes them.

EDITORIAL: Protect the Grand Canyon, House Republicans target a mining moratorium, Register Guard,  July 14, Congressional Republicans are continuing their assault on the nation’s environmental safeguards with a proposal to reverse a recently imposed 20-year ban on mining 1 million acres bordering the Grand Canyon.

Democrats were unable to strip this rapacious proposal from an Interior spending bill that was approved Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee. Never mind that 3,500 mining claims have been filed in the Grand Canyon area alone. Never mind that uranium mining would generate toxic wastes that would pollute the Colorado River, on which millions of Americans rely for drinking water. Continue reading

July 15, 2011 Posted by | politics, Uranium, USA | 2 Comments

Health impact of Fukushima radiation will come many years later

“Many people really don’t care because they cannot see the radiation, they cannot smell the radiation,” …

“But the impact of the radiation will come maybe 10 years later.

“It will be a silent killer into the future.”

Fukushima a future silent killer – expertHerald Sun, AAP , July 15, 2011, JAPAN’S Fukushima nuclear disaster is a silent killer that will claim lives for years to come, an anti-nuclear campaigner from Tokyo says., Rikiya Adachi, who also lectures on Peace Studies at the National University of Japan, recently toured the area north of Japanese capital that had been affected by the nuclear incident and high radiation levels.

He said it was disturbing to see many people still living close to the exclusion zone despite the serious risk to their health after the nuclear meltdown sparked by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11….. Continue reading

July 15, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Pakistan wants to join the nuclear power cartel

Pakistan wants to join Nuclear Suppliers Group, The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011., By Zia Khan, ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan has offered to join four nuclear export control regimes, including the Nuclear Suppliers Group, if the international community recognises it as a nuclear weapons state, but remains unwilling to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

At a meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, the country’s top political and military leadership said Pakistan wished to be part of global non-proliferation efforts but only if it was accepted as a nuclear weapons state…..

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua later told The Express Tribune that Pakistan was willing to join four ‘technology cartels’ that control the international trade of nuclear and missile technologies: the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Australia and the Wassenaar groups.

The MTCR and the NSG deal with the international trade of missile and nuclear technologies while the Australia and the Wassenaar groups manage trade in conventional small weapons and various materials used in the manufacturing of arms respectively.

Janjua said Pakistan’s ‘principled’ position on Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) was the same. About NPT, she added that Islamabad considered it as a ‘discriminatory’ arrangement and will not sign the CTBT unless the United States and India do the same….

July 15, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, Pakistan | 1 Comment

Rossing uranium mine workers on strike for fairer pay

“It is the second largest employer after Namdeb. Rössing already made a loss last year, so this is big stuff.”

Rössing workers defy court order, Namibian 15 July 11, By: DENVER KISTING, YESTERDAY afternoon, Rössing Uranium employees ignored an order by Judge President Petrus Damaseb, who had ruled that their three-day strike was illegal and they must return to work immediately.

This means that by this morning, the accumulated loss for the uranium giant as a result of the strike amounted to approximately N$22,5 million. In court papers filed at the High Court in Windhoek yesterday, the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mpho Mothoa, said Rössing has lost approximately N$2,5 million per shift. It has three shifts per day. Continue reading

July 15, 2011 Posted by | employment, Namibia, Uranium | Leave a comment

$20 million budget for NRC to review licensing application for Yucca Mt as radioactive waste repositary

House increases money for nuclear waste review, Fuel Fix, July 14, WASHINGTON  The House has approved more money to review an application to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, deviating from the Barack Obama administration effort to kill the project.

The 297-130 vote on an amendment to an energy spending bill doubles from $10 million to $20 million the budget for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to review a licensing application for the Yucca operation.

Some $15 billion has been spent over the past several decades to prepare Yucca Mountain as the central burying point for the nation’s nuclear waste, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has long opposed the project and Obama has followed through on a campaign promise to shut down the project. His administration has sought to withdraw the government application to build the dump……

July 15, 2011 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

UN Security Council not taking action on allegations about Syria’s nukes

Security Council Agrees to Disagree About Syria Nuclear Program, IsraelNationalNews.15 July 11  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday brought its allegations of covert atomic work by Syria before the UN Security Council, but the 15-nation body took no immediate action, Reuters reported. Last September, IAEA said that Syria had refused to allow UN inspectors to visitDair Alzour, the nuclear facility that was meant to produce plutonium and which was bombed by the Israeli Air Force while still under construction in 2007.

The IAEA’s report expressed concern that should Syria continue to stonewall the investigation, “some of the necessary information may deteriorate or be lost entirely.”In June, the IAEA’s board of governors voted to report Syria to the Security Council over its behavior.

Reuters reported that during Thursday’s closed-door briefing by Neville Whiting, head of the IAEA safeguards department dealing with Syria and Iran, it was made clear that Syria had a secretnuclear plant.But despite this, Syria’s close allies Russia and China queried whether the Council should be involved, as the Syrian complex no longer exists…..

July 15, 2011 Posted by | politics international, Syria | Leave a comment