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Evacuation of Tokyo considered during Fukushima nuclear disaster

Nuclear Crisis Set Off Fears Over Tokyo, Report Says, NYT, By , February 27, 2012 TOKYO — In the darkest moments of last year’s nuclear accident, Japanese leaders did not know the actual extent of damage at the plant and secretly considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo, even as they tried to play down the risks in public, an independent investigation into the accident disclosed on Monday.

The investigation by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a new private policy organization, offered one of the most vivid accounts yet of how Japan teetered on the edge of an even larger nuclear crisis than the one that engulfed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A team of 30 university professors, lawyers and journalists spent more than six months on the inquiry into Japan’s response to the triple meltdown at the plant, which followed a massive earthquake and tsunami last March 11 that shut down the plant’s cooling systems…….

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear “experts” try to allay Indians’ fears on nuclear processing

Anti-Kudankulam stir may be aimed at scuttling nuclear programme, feel experts, THE HINDU, 27 Feb 12, Y. MALLIKARJUN Two of the country’s top nuclear power experts on Monday hinted that the anti-Kudankulam nuclear power plant agitation was aimed at scuttling India’s three-stage nuclear power programme.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’s Chairman and Managing Director S.K. Jain and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Srikumar Banerjee said that even after all the queries on safety, quality, health and other aspects were answered by experts, people were asking questions about reprocessing of fuel Continue reading

February 28, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Iran’s on ground nuclear facilities destroyed by Israel: Wikileaks

The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers.

WikiLeaks: Israel destroyed nuclear facilities in Iran Anti-secrecy group releases email by US-based global security firm linked to CIA, citing Israeli intelligence source who claims Israelis destroyed all Iranian nuclear infrastructure on ground weeks ago Ynet  02.27.12,   Israel News sraeli commando forces destroyed, with the help of Kurdish rebels, all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure on ground, an email by a US-based global security analysis company released by WikiLeaks on Monday claims. Continue reading

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Iran, Wikileaks | Leave a comment

Mayors of 3 major cities want a switch away from nuclear power

Japan cities press utility to switch from nuclear, Feb 27, 2012  

* Mayors say no utility should depend on single energy source

* Only two of 54 reactors on stream a year after nuclear disaster

By Risa Maeda TOKYO, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Three of Japan’s major cities called for Kansai Electric Power Co, its second largest nuclear generator, to draw up a plan to switch to other energy sources nearly a year after the country suffered the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

The mayors of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto, home to a total of 5.7 million people, on Monday submitted questions on prospects for alternative energy supplies and price incentives to curb demand…..

February 28, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Reactions to Malaysian government granting temporary license to rare earths company

We have to kick BN out and then hold Pakatan Rakyat to their promise to send back Lynas to Australia.
In asserting that Lamp (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant) is unquestionably safe, Lynas and AELB have recklessly abandoned the precautionary principle and turned the Kuantan community into lab rats.
For BN, it’s ‘People last, Lynas now’ Malaysia Kini Feb 27, 2012 They don’t seem to have learnt from the Bukit Merah rare earth plant in Ipoh, and the suffering of the people there due to radiation exposure.’ 15,000 swarm Kuantan for anti-Lynas rally
Fairnessforall: I think the BN government has proven that they do not care about the people and the wishes of the people. They are only interested in approving projects where there is a lot of corrupt money involved and that is why despite all the protests, they still have to go on with the project since they have already taken their cut. 

I think all Malaysians should know by now that the only thing that we can do to stop the corruption and abuse of power is to kick BN out and put in place a government which will care about the people and their wishes. The government elected must take into consideration the people’s desires and needs, and not just bulldoze their way through everything.

If BN insists on approving the Lynas project, then they should approve it to be built in Putrajaya. Why don’t they do that, since they said it’s safe? We can see that all BN cares about is money. They do not care one bit about the rakyat. We have to kick BN out and then hold Pakatan Rakyat to their promise to send back Lynas to Australia.

Soo Jin Hou: Scientific evidence? Prof Chan Chee Khoon has this to say: Lynas, AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board), and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) have insisted that the expected levels of radiation exposure (for plant employees and for the general public) are well within the existing international norms of ‘safe thresholds’.

They have conveniently ignored the recent debates over the adequacy of existing quantitative risk models which are calibrated against external sources of irradiation (e.g. Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts), and over the micro-dosimetry of internal emitters.

In the last 10 years, there has been much debate as to whether the radiation hazards from internal emitters have been underestimated by the existing risk models. A UK expert panel (2004, could not arrive at a consensus, re: health risks of low-level exposure to internal emitters. In asserting that Lamp (Lynas Advanced Materials Plant) is unquestionably safe, Lynas and AELB have recklessly abandoned the precautionary principle and turned the Kuantan community into lab rats.

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: If the Lynas plant is so safe, then Najib should explain what happened in Bukit Merah and the cover-up by the Mahathir regime. Why not form an RCI (royal commission of inquiry) on Bukit Merah and call experts from the IAEA to testify as to what happened?

If it is so safe, why isn’t Lynas building the plant in Australia or any other Western country? Or go to Africa or South America instead. I also suggest that Najib and Rosmah Mansor buy a house next to the plant and live there. Why hide in Pekan or Kuala Lumpur?

It is easy for the Umno-BN elites to talk because when they get cancer they run to the US, UK or Australia for treatment using taxpayers’ money but we the ordinary rakyat must seek treatment in sub-standard government hospitals or just die because we cannot afford the treatment or expensive medication.

Why the unholy haste to have this plant built and operational in Gebeng? Just because money is going to be paid into the coffers of Umno and some royalty in Pahang, the rakyat must put their lives on the line?

Changeagent: If it is really as harmless as Najib puts it, why did the government only issue a temporary operating licence? They might as well issue a permanent one since they are so adamant that the plant does not pose any potential health risk to the local community….

February 28, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Gregory Jaczko not a toadie to the nuclear industry

For once, a regulator who isn’t a toadie, Boston Globe, Edward T. Russell, FEBRUARY 27, 2012  JOHN E. SUNUNU slams Gregory B. Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for standing up to the nuclear industry. I for one am happy that the NRC chairman is not a nuclear industry toadie. There is a need for balance on a commission that has long been a revolving door for industry executives.

Why should Sununu’s column bother Bostonians? Because Plymouth’s Pilgrim nuclear plant is only 40 miles from Boston, and we should remember that the United States recommended that its nationals stay 50 miles away from Fukushima. In the case of a similar disaster at Pilgrim, Bostonians could be in the evacuation zone. I cannot imagine the consequences of that.

Jaczko’s concerns are also germane to Bostonians because Fukushima has the same outmoded plant design as the Pilgrim plant in Plymouth. There are lessons to be learned from the Fukushima disaster, and Jaczko wants to benefit from them before moving forward.

I have attended NRC hearings for almost two decades, and found that they sit there and listen but then go away and do nothing. There has never been a relicensing that they haven’t liked. I’ll get on board when Pilgrim’s waste fuel is safely placed in dry cask storage where
it can’t go awry as it did at Fukushima. In the meantime, I thank Jaczko , chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, for standing up to the nuclear industry.

February 28, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

A change, but not enough, in the NRC’s pro nuclear culture

Nuclear Regulatory Commission sea change? Chairman Jaczko wants red tape removed for Fukushima contentions By Frank Mand Wicked Local  Feb 27, 2012 PLYMOUTH — While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seems to be moving quickly now, dispensing with the objections and legal contentions standing in the way of relicensing the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, as those impediments are brushed aside something quite remarkable may be taking place.
Almost hidden in several recent decisions by the NRC – decisions which went against critics of relicensing – is the core of a sea change, a belief on the part of certain key individuals in this government bureaucracy that, at least in the case of recent concerns about the relevance of the Fukushima disaster to Pilgrim and other American nuclear power plants, business as usual is no longer acceptable…. Continue reading

February 28, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Oil price rise makes renewable energy more cost competitive

Investors eye renewable energy as oil prices rise Jefferies Clean Tech Conference attendance up; crude tops $107 By Steve Gelsi, NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Biofuel, electric cars and natural gas-powered vehicles drew attention against a backdrop of sharply
higher petroleum prices from investors gathered at the Jefferies Global Clean Technology Conference.

With crude oil topping $108 a barrel and average retail gasoline costing nearly $4 a gallon at the pump, analysts and clean technology company executives said renewable fuel is becoming more cost-competitive……

February 28, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Phenomenal growth in wind energy in 2011

Global Wind Energy Powered Ahead In 2011,by Energy Matters, 24 Feb 12, This month saw the release of the Global Wind Energy Council’s wrap-up of 2011, and the figures show wind power continued to surge ahead in a global climate of political and economic uncertainty.

Today, around 75 countries worldwide have commercial scale wind power installations, with 22 of them already passing the 1 GW level. In 2011, just over 41,000 MW of new wind power was installed worldwide, bringing the total installed capacity globally to more than 238,000 MW. This represents an increase of 21%, with an increase in the size of the annual global market of just over 6%……

February 28, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Professors in court over radiation death, and injuries

Radiation Leak: DU Professors Summoned on March 12 Outlook PTI | NEW DELHI | FEB 27, 2012 Six Delhi University professors were today summoned by a court here to explain their alleged criminal culpability in death of one persons and critical injuries to seven others in 2010 due to radiation from a radioactive irradiator, disposed of in a scrap market here.

The summonses seeking the professors’s appearance on March 12 were issued by Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, who took cognisance of the chargesheet, which was under the court’s consideration since September last year.

The Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet accusing the professors of endangering lives by auctioning a radioactive Cobalt-60 gamma irradiator without due mandatory precautions….. The matter came to fore when one person died and seven people were critically injured in
April 2010 after they were exposed to radiation when they cut open a Cobalt-60 irradiator at Mayapuri scrap market here. The irradiator was traced to the varsity’s Chemistry Department…….

February 28, 2012 Posted by | India, Legal | Leave a comment

Problems of Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant

OPPD’s nuclear problems: how far will they go? (Audio) By  February 27th, 2012 Even before the great flood of 2011 hit Fort Calhoun last summer, the plant has been on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s radar for quite some time as a utility with potential problems. (The plant was cited for inadequate preparations for a flooding emergency in 2010)

But much of that only came to light when the plant actually came under threat of the Missouri waters. The plant has been offline since then – for just about a year now – and in that time the problems have only deepened. …..  Since that time though, in that interim, in June of 2011, there was a fire at Fort Calhoun, which didn’t get a lot of attention at the time. But several months later, the NRC realized the gravity of what took place at that fire, and it’s still not, I don’t think, completely clear to the public how significant that fire was because the plant was already shut down……  what we know now is that the plant suffered certain damage from the flood. Most recently, the NRC said its biggest concern is they’ve checked out the plant, and I think they’ve gone through what they can see above ground. Their biggest concern right now is below the ground, and how much damage was done underneath the earth where the Fort Calhoun plant sits on. And according to the NRC, they haven’t determined that yet, that’s still open for questions. There was a public hearing in Omaha in January. And some members of the public actually raised that issue, before I think we heard it from anybody else. Some people in the general public were wondering is the ground underneath Fort Calhoun secure? And now NRC is making it very clear they don’t know the answer to that yet, and they’re still trying to figure it out.  ….

February 28, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment