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New bursts of fission at the crippled Fukushima power plant

The three reactors — together with spent fuel rods stored at a fourth damaged reactor — have been leaking radioactive material since the initial disaster, and new episodes of fission would only increase their dangers.

Fears of Fission Rise at Stricken Nuclear Plant in Japan, NYT, By HIROKO TABUCHI  November 2, 2011 TOKYO — Nuclear workers at the crippled Fukushima power plant raced to inject boric acid into the plant’s No. 2 reactor early Wednesday after telltale radioactive elements were detected there, and the plant’s owner admitted for the first time that fuel deep inside three stricken plants was probably continuing to experience bursts of fission. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | - Fukushima 2011, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

By 2025 Belgium to be completely nuclear power free

Belgium to completely phase out nuclear power by 2025  Click, 2 Nov 11, The Belgium Government has announced plans to phase out nuclear power within the next 15 years, reports our affiliate site ENN.comGreen staff. Published Wed 02 Nov 2011 Although typically quite fractured, Belgium’s political parties have reached a consensus on nuclear power.

The oldest reactors are to be shut down by 2015 and all nuclear reactors at both sites will be shut down by 2025. The plan is conditional on Belgium finding enough energy from alternative sources to prevent power shortages…..

Plans to have the plants shutdown were drawn up way back in 2003. The plan was kicked into action as public hostility grew towards nuclear energy following Japan’s nuclear disaster at Fukushima. It also has followed Germany’s announcement that it would phase out nuclear power by 2022…..
One of the companies which owns one nuclear site, GDF Suez, saw its shares drop by 4% on Monday following the Sunday announcement. The other owner, Electrabel had refused to comment until it receives official confirmation. Politicians are now deciding how much more the state will tax the nuclear companies moving forward. Socialist Party chief, Elio Di Rupo, has suggested raising their taxes from €215 million per year in 2009 to €1 billion per year. …

November 3, 2011 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Mexico abandons plans for new nuclear plants

Mexico Scraps Plans to Build as Many as 10 Nuclear Plants, Bloomberg, By Carlos Manuel Rodriguez – Nov 2, 2011 Mexico, one of three Latin American nations that uses nuclear power, is abandoning plans to build as many as 10 new reactors and will focus on natural gas-fired electricity plants after boosting discoveries of the fuel.

The country, which found evidence of trillions of cubic feet of gas in the past year, is “changing all its decisions, amid the very abundant existence of natural-gas deposits,” Energy Minister Jordy Herrera said yesterday in an interview. Mexico will seek private investment of about $10 billion during five years to expand its natural gas pipeline network, he said……

“This is a very good decision by the Mexican government,” said James Williams, an economist at WTRG Economics, an energy research firm in LondonArkansas. With a power generation project based on gas “you can build multiple plants at a much lower cost and much faster pace than a nuclear facility.”

Nations around the world are also reconsidering plans for increasing their reliance on nuclear power after the March 11 earthquake in Japan that wrecked the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, causing a loss of cooling, the meltdown of three reactors and the worst atomic disaster since the leak at Chernobyl in 1986…..

November 3, 2011 Posted by | politics, SOUTH AMERICA | Leave a comment

Canadian army never told soldier about his depleted uranium test results

The 2001 lab results, copies of which were supplied to The Canadian Press by Lacoste, were performed two years before tests conducted by a civilian doctor also found high levels of uranium in his hair.

Lacoste’s  fight is also directed at helping other ex-soldiers he believes might be suffering from the health effects of depleted-uranium exposure, but might not even be aware of it.

Hunger-striking vet says Ottawa never disclosed his positive uranium tests, Winnipeg Free Press, By: Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press, 11/2/2011  MONTREAL – A former soldier battling a series of health problems says the Canadian Forces failed to inform him that medical tests showed he was carrying an unusually high level of uranium.

Pascal Lacoste eventually filed a request under the Access to Information Act to see his own medical files, which revealed his hair samples contained “abnormally elevated” amounts of the metal. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Canada, depleted uranium, health | Leave a comment

Uranium price falling – AREVA stops African project

Areva suspends uranium mine project, SMH ,November 3, 2011 – French nuclear giant Areva says it is suspending a mining project in the Central African Republic for “a year or two” because of a drop in uranium prices since the Fukushima disaster.

Work on developing the Bakouma mine, which is estimated to hold about 32,000 tonnes of uranium, has been suspended until the market value of the commodity rises again, an Areva spokesman said on Wednesday……

The price of uranium subsequently dropped by about 30 per cent, at a time when Areva was hoping for a global nuclear power renaissance.

On Wednesday the price of a pound (450 grams) of uranium was at $US52 ($A50.49), down from $US68 in March before the accident…..

Areva began development works at the mine under a deal signed in 2007 and to date has spent 106 million euros on developing the site.

The 2007 deal ended friction between Areva and the country’s authorities, who had handed mining rights to British-Canadian firm UraMin in 2006.

Areva bought out UraMin in July 2007 to the displeasure of the government, which said the “irregular” sale showed “disregard for the rights and interests” of the Central African people…..

Areva is expected to present a plan next month on a rethink of its corporate strategies in the wake of the Japanese disaster.

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AFRICA, business and costs, France, Uranium | Leave a comment

Indian government’s nuclear plans fraught with problems

The anti-nuclear lobby has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), while protests are on the rise at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, a new site for a large reactor project, which got the approval for work to begin.

In Kudankulam, protests have been getting bigger. The Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa herself wrote to the PM, 

 There is also the question of ageing of the existing reactors. 

Daunting road ahead for nuclear power, THE HINDU, M. SOMASEKHAR, 2 Nov 11 The Department of Atomic Energy is bullish on the power programme, but achieving the target of 20,000 MW by 2020 is plagued by resource crunch, technology issues and environmental problems. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

Woes of Australian uranium miner Paladin

Shutdowns affect Kayerekera production ,The Daily Times, , 02 November 2011   Kingsley Jassi
Frequent shutdowns at Paladin’s Kayerekera Uranium Mine have affected production, incurring the Australian company a loss of 140,000 pounds of the yellow cake in the quarter ending September, a recently released report has said.
The mine produced 395,478 pounds of uranium as compared to 566,248 pounds at the end of the June quarter, according to the report signed by Managing Director, John Borshoff…….

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Opt out of the cancer risk X ray scanners at USA airports

How Homeland Security Increases Your Cancer Risk,The Nation, Jon Wiener on November 2, 2011  In the airport security screening line in Kauai a few months ago, I
asked an American Airlines pilot what he thought about the new X-ray scanners in front of us—the ones that are replacing metal detectors at airports around the country. He offered a startling one-word answer: “reprehensible.”

I said “Usually I opt out, because I didn’t like being X-rayed by people who are not X-ray technicians.” He replied, “If enough people opted out, they’d have to get rid of the scanners.”

Now ProPublica’s Michael Grabell reports that the cancer danger from the new scanners—which look under a traveler’s clothing—is greater than we had feared. “Research suggests that anywhere from six to 100 Americans could get cancer each year from the machines,” Grabell says.
“Still, the TSA has repeatedly defined the scanners as ‘safe,’ glossing over the accepted scientific view that even low doses of ionizing radiation—the kind beamed directly at the body by the X-ray scanners—increase the risk of cancer.”

Nevertheless, millions of Americans are now being sent thru the scanners. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

2012 will by United Nations international year of sustainable energy

UN calls for universal access to renewable energy, Guardian UK 2 Nov 11, UN’s annual Human Development Report backs drive towards sustainable energy for all and says empowering women will help to meet world’s environmental challenges

The UN has called for a high-profile initiative to promote universal access to power such as electricity in developing countries based on a global advocacy campaign and investments on the ground for clean energy.

In its annual Human Development Report, the UN Development Progamme (UNDP) said the time is right for such a drive as the UN has designated 2012 as the international year of sustainable energy for all. Meanwhile, next year’s Rio+20 Earth summit will provide an
opportunity to define a global approach for universal access to energy
– about 1.5 billion people worldwide, more than one in five, lack electricity. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

With increasing nuclear weapons the world grows closer to the brink

The nuclear strategies of countries are tied to one another in a relationship of response and counter-response. Current trends appear to be propelling the chain of responses toward greater, not less, reliance on nuclear weapons. 

 Under these circumstances, the only possibility of any change in the situation may come from a nuclear catastrophe – a deliberate planned nuclear attack by a state or non-state actor, or a nuclear launch as a result of an accident or miscalculation.

Will the world have to relive the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before sense prevails? 

Same, Sad Nuclear Story,The Diplomat, By Manpreet Sethi, November 2, 2011 “……….The United States alone has been estimated to spend as much as $700 billion on its nuclear weapons systems, while Russia is likely to spend $70 billion on improving its delivery systems. Although the amount China will spend on modernizing its strategic capabilities is unknown, it’s evident that Beijing has its eyes set on enhancing the efficiency and survivability of its nuclear weaponry. This amounts to increasing the range, mobility and maneuverability of its missiles. India and Pakistan, too, are engaged in similar processes. Meanwhile, the UK and France may have reduced the numbers of their nuclear warheads, but they haven’t lost their appetite for retaining a robust nuclear capability to “hedge against future uncertainties.” Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Airport radiation scanners are not stringently regulated

The US government skirted over the radiation safety concerns of airport X-ray machines 109 2 Nov 11One of the most important principles of radiation safety is that X-ray machines should only be used when there’s a clear medical benefit. But now backscatter X-ray machines are found throughout America’s airports. How did we get here?

 According to a new report by ProPublica and the PBS NewHour, the US government has gone ahead with the controversial scanners despite serious concerns from radiation safety experts. The scanners are expected to be in place in every American airport security lane by as early as 2014. This is a big reversal from as recently as 1998, when the device’s own inventor, Steven W. Smith, told a panel of radiation safety experts, said he didn’t think such devices would be used at lower-security facilities – such as airports. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Roosevelt would surely applaud saving the Grand Canyon from uranium mining

A 20-year ban on new uranium mining confirms what many of us here in Arizona have been saying for years: uranium mining doesn’t belong here. It would wreak havoc on our local economies, our water supply, and our beautiful, quintessentially Western landscape all while putting tens ofthousands of jobs in jeopardy at a time when so many continue to struggle.

 Standing with Roosevelt and Salazar: No New Yellowcake Uranium Mining in the Grand Canyon HUFFINGTON POST, Kyrsten Sinema: 11/2/11 ” ………President Teddy Roosevelt said it best in a 1903 speech delivered at the Grand Canyon, saying in part:

“In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country — to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is……
We have gotten past the stage, my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children’s children will get the benefit of it.”

Now, more than 103 years after President Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon a national monument, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has taken an important step towards heeding the former president’s admonition to “leave it as it is” by announcing a 20-year ban on new uranium mining on one million acres of federal land around this national treasure.

As a State Senator and native Arizonan, I can say without hesitation that this was the right thing to do. Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Will Australia afford civil rights to Julian Assange, or kow tow to USA?

Assange’s extradition will have broad implications, not only for the exercise of free speech, but also for all Australians — as it will bring into stark relief our own government’s commitment to our rights as citizens…

If he is sent to Sweden, Assange’s extradition must be conditional on him not being subject to the “temporary surrender” clauses in the bilateral treaty between the USA and Sweden….

[ Former Prime Minister]Kevin Rudd.., unlike the Prime Minister [Julia Gillard]  and Attorney General, knew he was obliged to presume Julian Assange innocent
before proven guilty. Instead of threatening to cancel this Australian passport, the Foreign Minister said publicly that his responsibility was to attend to his legal and consular rights.

While the world watches events unfold in London, we have a singular responsibility here in Australia for the protection the citizenship entitlements of one of our own. The next move is squarely in the court of the Australian Government.

Why Julian Assange Could Be YouNew, By Scott Ludlam, 3 Nov  Australians should watch closely how the Gillard Government responds to Julian Assange’s extradition . It will test Labor’s commitment to all of our rights as citizens Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Wikileaks’ Julian Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden

Assange Loses Appeal, New , By Paul Farrell, 3 Nov 11 The UK High Court has rejected all four grounds in Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden. Paul Farrell reports from the media circus in London on the reasons for the decision Continue reading

November 3, 2011 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Radiation hot spots in USA – public kept in the dark

Fukushima deadly hot particles hit U.S., Health right violation (video)  , Human Rights Examiner November 2, 2011

West Coast, Seattle, Boston hot spots: Cancer to dramatically increase yet public kept in dark

On Monday, it was confirmed that the major human right to health is being violated in the United States by the public not being advised that Fukushima hot particles contaminated the United States and that West Coast cancer are due to surge, based on scientific analysis by Scientist Marco Kaltofen of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) of radioactive isotopic releases from Fukushima who presented his findings at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in Washington DC as reported by nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen.

November 3, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment