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Radioactive caesium on nearly 10% of Japan’s land

Nearly a tenth of Japan contaminated  Almost eight per cent of Japan’s land area has been covered by radioactive caesium from the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. ABC Nes  22 Nov 2011  Mark Willacy, North Asia correspondent Japan’s Science Ministry says nearly 10 per cent of the country’s land has been contaminated by radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

It says more than 30,000km², or eight per cent of the country’s land area, has been blanketed by radioactive caesium.
The Ministry says most of the contamination was caused by four large plumes of radiation spewed out by the Fukushima nuclear plant in the first two weeks after meltdowns after the March earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese Government says some of the radioactive material fell with rain and snow, leaving the affected areas with accumulations of more than 10,000 becquerels of caesium per square metre.


November 23, 2011 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Continuing crisis of Fukushima, and of the global nuclear industry

In particular, scientists believe the accident resulted in the atmospheric release of over 35,000 terabecquerels’ worth of caesium-137 – or some 42 percent of what was released during the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl. Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope that has a half-life decay period of around 30 years and is capable of causing gene damage after prolonged exposure…..

Also contrary to government claims, researchers believe that a great amount of caesium-137 was discharged from the spent nuclear fuel storage ponds, which were in significant distress during the crisis as the cooling systems failed to supply water to the ponds, leading to heat accumulation and exposure of the fuel rods.

A chronicle of nuclear decay: Over half a year later, what have we learnt from Fukushima? MOSCOW Eight months since the fateful March of 2011, one of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophes that enflamed Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has ceased to be the stuff of front-page frenzy. We will likely still see radioactive goods and food products popping up on the store shelves around the world, reminding us of the terrors of nuclear energy, but for many, the panic caused by the threat of contamination spreading silently in a far-off country has become yesterday’s news. But does it mean that the problems of Fukushima – and, indeed, of the global nuclear power industry – are soon to be over? Not by a long shot.
Bellona, Vladimir Slivyak, 22/11-2011 – Translated by Maria Kaminskaya
Clearly, even a cursory look at the latest developments will tell us it will be a very long time before the tragedy in Japan is safely forgotten. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Does USA really need to spend $700 billion on nuclear weapons?

there are serious questions about whether all of these programs are necessary. Do we need to keep almost 5000 warheads in the active stockpile? Do we need to replicate the entire existing fleet of missiles, planes and subs for another 50 years, as the Pentagon now proposes? 

Nuclear Turkeys, Huffington Post, Joe Cirincione , 22 Nov 11 Washington is planning to spend over $700 billion on nuclear weapons and related programs over the next ten years. Some programs are necessary, some are questionable and some are simply turkeys gobbling up defense dollars.

With the failure of the Supercommittee almost certain, pressure to cut military spending will increase. These nuclear turkeys offer lawmakers a way to reduce spending without any harm to national security. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japanese seismologist predicted nuclear earthquake disaster

Disregard for the science extended to a government panel started in 2001 to revise seismic engineering standards for Japan’s nuclear plants, said Ishibashi. He quit the panel after five years of debate that he called rigged and unscientific…..

an article on Hamaoka published in the October 1997 issue of Japan’s Science Journal that reads like a post-mortem of the Fukushima disaster: A major quake could knock out external power to the plant’s reactors and unleash a tsunami that could overrun its 6-meter
defenses, swamping backup diesel generators and leading to loss of cooling and meltdowns.

Vindicated Seismologist Says Japan Still Underestimates Threat to Reactors, Bloomberg, By Jason Clenfield – Nov 21, 2011, Dismissed as a “nobody” by Japan’s nuclear industry, seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi spent two decades watching his predictions of disaster come true: First in the 1995 Kobe earthquake and then at Fukushima. He says the
government still doesn’t get it….
Haruki Madarame, now head of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission, from dismissing Ishibashi as an amateur when he warned of a “nuclear earthquake disaster,” a phrase the Kobe University professor coined in 1997. Ishibashi says Japan still underestimates the risk of operating reactors in a country that has about 10 percent of the world’s quakes. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Iran is not racing toward a nuclear weapon

“We know what’s going on in (the monitored sites) now, and what’s going on in them now is not indicative of an Iran that’s racing toward a nuclear weapon,”

Analysis: Iran’s nuclear showdown with West still short of war, 11/22/2011 LONDON — Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West has led to much harsher
words and new economic sanctions, but Tehran has yet to cross the red lines that would prompt Israel or the United States to contemplate military action…..

For now at least, experts say there was nothing in the IAEA report that makes military action more likely. If anything, it points to the limits of the effectiveness of a military campaign, which would have to be weighed against the risk of starting a potentially catastrophic
regional war. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Suppliers discriminated in favour of India, in order to sell USA nuclear reactors

India is now in the privileged position of being the only known country with nuclear weapons which is not a party to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty but is permitted to carry on nuclear commerce with the rest of the world.  The discrimination is in India’s favour, not against it.. 

Nuclear policy and process dumped at the drop of a hat, The Drum, Paul Barratt, 21 Nov 11 “………India is not a party to the NPT, has never been, has developed a nuclear weapons capability as a non-member of the Treaty, and accordingly, is in an entirely different position from China vis a vis Australian uranium export policy.

As part of a deal to enable India to gain access to US and other nuclear technologies, President Manmohan Singh and then President George W. Bush issued a joint statement in July 2005 to the effect that India would separate its civil and military nuclear activities and place all its civil facilities under IAEA safeguards, in return for which the United States would work toward full civil nuclear cooperation with India.  An IAEA Safeguards agreement was signed in 2008, and India was granted an exemption by the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an export control group that had been established mainly inresponse to India’s first nuclear test in 1974. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste safety problems, retaliation against whistleblowers

The agency “seems to be more interested in paying contractor fees than in paying attention to safety concerns or to those who are disciplined for raising them,”

Hanford Nuclear-Waste Safety May Not Be Assured, Markey Says,  By Brian Wingfield Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) –– The U.S. Energy Department may not have adequately responded to safety questions and allegations of retaliation against whistle-blowers at a nuclear-waste treatment plant in Washington state, Representative Edward Markey said. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear power falling behind, as China grows its wind power

In China, and globally, wind power will stay well ahead of nuclear for decades and replace it altogether…..

China’s path to renewable superpower, Climate Spectator, Matthew Wright, 23 Nov 11 Comparing China’s wind and nuclear power sectors reveal much about the fortunes of new and old energy technologies.

Wind power in China is growing at a blinding pace. China commenced construction of its first wind turbines in 2005 and in just six years has installed 58GW worth of wind power, which now contributes 128TWh to its grid. …

What’s remarkable about China’s wind sector is the speed and scale of its expansion. Wind generators are up and operating within nine months of breaking ground. Continue reading

November 23, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, China | Leave a comment

Uranium spill ship leaves Vancouver, as legal wrangles continue

North Vancouver bids adieu to uranium ship By James Weldon, North Shore News November 22, 2011 A boat that sparked concern among some residents of North Vancouver’s waterfront for its connection to a radioactive spill has left its anchorage in Indian Arm………

The container vessel had been sitting idle while its former owners and the owners of a one-time cargo duke it out in court over a Uranium concentrate spill that took place onboard late last year.

The Altona became contaminated in the final week of 2010 when an unspecified amount of powdered uranium concentrate — commonly called yellow cake — spilled out of toppled containers and into the hold when the ship hit rough seas en route to China.

The boat returned to Port Metro Vancouver for cleanup, a process that took weeks because of the chemical’s radioactivity and toxicity. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Transport Canada declared the Altona clean and safe in early May, at which point it was moved to Indian Arm while the legal battles got underway.

The owner of the cargo, Saskatchewan’s Cameco Corporation, claimed the ship’s owners were responsible for the mishap, which Cameco said cost it close to $20 million. Facing the potentially costly lawsuit, the ship’s owners — a company called MS MCP Altona GMBH — went bankrupt, and the ship was put up for sale. That sale is now being finalized, according to the port.

Undeterred, Cameco went after other associated companies and companies involved in loading the cargo to get its money back. The case was expected to take some time to resolve. Proceeds from the sale of the Altona will go to the defunct owner’s creditors. It remains to be seen how much, if any, of that money will go to Cameco.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Canada, Legal | Leave a comment

Media blacking out the full and continuing rate of radiation from Fukushima

Fukushima: 27 Hiroshimas per day, China Syndrome inevitable, Abused Islanders,  , Human Rights Examiner November 21, 2011  Fukushima nuclear energy ecocide, ongoing Big Energy human rights abuses Eight months after 311, a human right to health violation with media blacking out the public health hazards of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, the highest radiation to date, the silence was broken Sunday with news that 1600 millisievert per hour at Unit No. 3 reported on Tokyo Broadcasting System, shocking news that the nuclear event is equivalent to 27 Hiroshimas per day. Uehara Harua, architect of Fukushima’s Reactor #3 warned that China Syndrome is inevitable and tons of radioactive contaminated debris is hitting shores of Least Developing Pacific Island nation, Marshall Islands where its Indigenous People’s rights have been gravely violated for years by American scientists studying nuclear weapons on them.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

International humanitarian law bans the threat of using nuclear weapons

International humanitarian law and nuclear weapons: Irreconcilable differences, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 23 Nov 11 Dean GranoffJonathan Granoff 

Abstract In 1996, the International Court of Justice issued an opinion that the use of nuclear weapons is “scarcely reconcilable” with international humanitarian law and concluded that nations have an obligation to pursue good-faith negotiations leading to disarmament. The 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference reaffirmed the need for all states to comply with international humanitarian law, which governs the use of nuclear as well as conventional weapons. When the rules of war are applied to nuclear weapons, it becomes clear that these weapons cannot comply with international law. The effects of nuclear weapons are inherently uncontrollable and do not meet international criteria for discrimination between military and civilian targets, for proportionality, and for necessity. Arguments made by the United States as to why some uses of nuclear weapons could be lawful do not stand up to scrutiny. Nuclear weapon states should make immediate changes to any missions, deployments, and targeting policies and practices that facilitate the use of nuclear weapons. Not only does international law preclude the use of nuclear weapons, but it also precludes threats to use nuclear weapons…….

November 23, 2011 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK – renewable energy to go up 33%, while energy demand to drop

UK renewable energy supply to jump to 33 pct-NatGrid,   Energy demand to drop 5 pct between 2020 and 2030… By Henning Gloystein and Oleg Vukmanovic LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Britain’s total energy supply from renewable sources is set to double to more than 30 percent between 2020 and 2030 if the government reaches its climate and renewable energy policy targets, the National Grid said on Tuesday.

Renewable energy generation is set to rise from 232 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2020 to 474 TWh between 2020 and 2030, a share of 33 percent of total supply, Britain’s grid operator said in its ‘Gone Green Scenario’, which is part of its UK Future Energy Scenarios published on Tuesday.

During the same period, Britain’s total energy demand is set to drop by nearly 5 percent from 1,471 terawatt-hours (TWh) to 1,402 TWh.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | general | Leave a comment