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Japan’s dilemma – a precedent for a nuclear free nation?

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

With just one nuclear reactor still functioning, the global nuclear lobby just can’t afford to have it shut down, and leave Japan to get through the summer without nuclear power.  Shock horror, that could be all too possible!

What a precedent!  The nuclear lobby won’t be too pleased its good pal,  the Japanese government, lets that happen!

The Japanese government can override the opposition of prefectures that adjoin the  2 nuclear reactors at Oi, in Fukui Prefecture.  And they probably will –  using a hastily devised stress test program, to claim that the nuclear reactors are safe. And –  it’s  a pity that ionising radiation does not recognise the boundaries of prefectures – an interesting dilemma for democracy.

To be fair, the government is also under pressure from those in the prefecture whose livelihoods depend on the nuclear reactors.     But hey!   There are ways to compensate these communities, and provide different employment.  With extreme weather events predicted to increase in Japan, the risk of nuclear accidents becomes greater, and results of restarting the reactors could eventually be catastrophic.

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Nuclear radiation is more harmful to women than to men

Mary Olson on how women are more vulnerable to atomic radiation, http://ifyoulovethisplanet.org/?p=5755   7 April 12 This week’s guest is biologist Mary Olson, Southeast Regional Coordinator with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in the U.S., an organization that provides information to citizens concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues. In her 21st year of this work, Olson has come to focus on the disproportionate impact that exposure to ionizing radiation has on women and children. Her recent paper entitled “Atomic Radiation is More Harmful to Women”reveals information the National Academy of Sciences BEIR (Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation) VII report includes, but does not discuss.

April 7, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Resources -audiovicual, women | Leave a comment

Nuclear power and HEALTH – theme for April 2012

The nuclear lobby will now tell you, proudly, that there are no deaths from Fukushima radiation – so really, it’s not all that bad for health.  Indeed, they will claim that ‘low level’ radiation is even good for health.

They know well that radiation induced cancer takes decades to appear – so that first claim is a wicked deception.

The second claim is untrue.  The truth is that the USA Department of Energy is funding research in many places, worldwide, aimed at trying to prove that “low level radiation is good for you” .  No credible evidence exists for this distortion of the true situation.

The list below applies to USA veterans, who took part in nuclear weapons testing decades ago. The ‘low level radiation’ that they received is exactly the same kind of ‘low  level radiation’ experienced by the Fukushima communities.  The cancer outcomes will be the same.   But, like the veterans, not just soon after the contamination.

DISEASES ACKNOWLEDGED BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO BE CAUSED BY PARTICIPATION IN ATMOSPHERIC TESTING OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS,   Leukaemia (other than chronic Iymphocytic leukaemia)  –  Cancer of the Thyroid  –  Cancer of the Breast –  Cancer of the Pharynx –  Cancer of the Oesophagus- Cancer of the Stomach – Cancer of the small intestine – Cancer of the Pancreas – Multiple Myeloma – Lymphomas (except Hodgkinís disease) – Cancer of the Bile Ducts  – Cancer of the Gall Bladder – Cancer of the liver (except if cirrhosis or hepatitis indicated) – Cancer of the urinary tract, which also translates to the bladder and kidneys – Cancer of the salivary glands

Incorporated into public law 100-321, 20.5.88.

“This law gives US atomic exservicemen due recognition for the unusual service they rendered, and is an expression of gratitude of the American people toward their atomic veterans The law enables Veteran Affairs benefits to flow to US atomic veterans who are afflicted. The US government m relation to nuclear veterans considers the nature of service plus the development of any of the above diseases sufficient cause to quality for Veteran Benefits regardless of recorded dose rates received. All US nuclear test service personnel are officially Veterans.”   http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/diseases-acknowledged-by-the-united-states-government-to-be-caused-by-participation-in-atmospheric-testing-of-nuclear-weapons/

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

Risk of zero nuclear power being effective: Japan’s govt anxious to avoid this

There is something altogether unnerving about safety standards which are admittedly adapted not primarily for safety’s sake, ……but rather to convince host communities and the public of the safety of nuclear plants.

Japanese officials are concerned that if all of the nation’s nuclear power plants are shut down, that the rising sentiment in the island nation will prevent any of the commercial reactors to start once again.

“They want to avoid setting a precedent of the country operating without nuclear power because it will create a huge barrier in terms of restarts,”   “People will question why we need it,”

Top Japanese Officials endorse new nuclear safety standards created in less than one weekEnformable, Lucas W Hixson,  7 Apr 12The government is accelerating plans to give it’s the official nod to the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture after the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission approved the results of Kansai Electric’s first-stage stress tests on the two reactors in March.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Noda instructed Economy minister Yukio Edano to draft nuclear safety standards before judging whether to restart reactors 3 and 4 of the nuclear plant at Oi in Fukui Prefecture.

Despite having only held their third meeting, as of Thursday the Japanese central government have drafted, adopted, and generally endorsed new nuclear safety standards in record time.

The Japanese government is expected to take action on the new agreement following a meeting on Friday pending some modification on the wording of the draft by the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.  However, there is no need to restart the reactors if the region has sufficient power, or if energy-saving measures can sufficiently reduce power consumption…… Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Japan: prefectures next to town of Oi don’t want Oi’s nuclear reactors restarted

Debate growing over ‘local’ reactor consent Governors of prefectures without units seek greater say in process Japan Times, By ERIC JOHNSTON, April 6, 2012 OSAKA — Dissent between those inside Fukui Prefecture who want two reactors in the town of Oi restarted quickly and those in adjacent prefectures who want to wait for stronger safety measures or are opposed altogether, highlights the dilemma Tokyo faces in obtaining local consent. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Latest evidence for man-made global warming

On Wednesday, scientists showed in an article published in the journal Nature that rising CO2 preceded warming at the end of the last ice age

Sceptics’ case melts more, Gerard Wynn, SMH, April 6, 2012 A clutch of recent studies reinforces evidence that people are causing climate change and suggests debate should now move on to a more precise understanding of its impact on humans.

The reports, published in various journals in recent weeks, add new detail to the theory of climate change and by implication cast contrarians in a more desperate light. To be clear: there’s nothing wrong with doubting climate change; but doubts based on ignorance, a political bias or fossil fuel lobbying don’t help.


The basics, well known, are that rising greenhouse gas emissions are almost certainly responsible for raising global average surface temperatures (by about 0.17 degrees Celsius a decade from 1980-2010), in turn leading to sea level rise (of about 2.3 millimetres a year from 2005-2010) and probably causing more frequent bouts of extreme heatwaves and possibly more erratic rainfall. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Rise in carbon in the atmosphere leads to rise in global temperature

As more and more CO2 enters the atmosphere, Shakun said, the global warming trend continues

While the research strengthens the link between CO2 and the Ice Ages, Shakun believes it also reinforces the importance of addressing CO2-driven climate change in our own time.

Confirming carbon’s climate effects, Eureka Alert, Harvard University, 7 April 12, Researcher helps paint the fullest picture yet of how increases in CO2 helped end the ice age

Harvard scientists are helping to paint the fullest picture yet of how a handful of factors, particularly world-wide increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, combined to end the last ice age approximately 20,000 to 10,000 years ago. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Obama sends conciliatory message to Iran, on civilian nuclear programme

Obama offers to accept Iran’s civilian nuclear programme

* Tehran wants to soothe diplomatic ties with Turkey

* China steps up pressure to prevent any attack on Iran

Daily Times, 6 April 12, WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has told Iran the United States would accept Tehran having a civilian nuclear programme if the Islamic state can prove it is not seeking atomic weapons, the Washington Post said Friday. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Plutonium in space – another great idea from the pro nuclear lobby

despite precautions, scenarios exist in which plutonium-238 from spacecraft could contaminate Earth. If a nuclear-laden spacecraft performed a high-speed slingshot fly-by and a calculation mistake occurred, the craft could enter the Earth’s atmosphere, disintegrate, and spew plutonium throughout the planet.

The public will have to weigh the benefits [what benefits? – Christina Macpherson] of these pioneering space missions against the costs and risks of use

Nuclear Renaissance in Space, Miller-McCune, By Wendee Holtcamp, April 6, 2012 As the U.S. prepares to relaunch domestic production of plutonium-238, the space community wishes to assure the public of its safety. Are they right?

In this, the 50th year of using nuclear energy for space missions, the U.S. is preparing to restart domestic production of a plutonium isotope that fuels space vehicles — a topic that was front and center at the recent Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space conference, held in The Woodlands, Texas…. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | - plutonium, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

If Japan can get through summer without nuclear reactors, perhaps it won’t need them – ever!

Japan fears non-nuclear summer will hamper restarts

* Japan PM, ministers discuss reactor restarts, to meet again today

Daily Times, 6 April 12, TOKYO: Japan’s government is rushing to try to restart two nuclear reactors, idled after the Fukushima crisis, by next month out of what experts say is a fear that surviving a total shutdown would make it hard to convince the public that atomic energy is vital.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and three cabinet ministers are to meet for a third time on Friday to discuss the possible restarts of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co’s Ohi plant in Fukui, western Japan – a region dubbed the “nuclear arcade” for the string of atomic plants that dot its coast. …http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012%5C04%5C06%5Cstory_6-4-2012_pg4_5

April 7, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Japanese government can override community opposition to nuclear reactor restarts

The new accident touched a nerve among the public at a time when Japan’s government is working to convince its people that atomic power is vital.

 Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura underscored that there was no legal requirement for local communities to sign off on the restarts.

Japan races to get nuclear reactors running again China Daily-Reuters  2012-04-06 About 12 tons of radioactive water has leaked at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant while the Japanese government is racing to get two nuclear reactors of Kansai Electric Power Company running again by next month. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Japan: Governor of critical region Shiga threatens to oppose nuclear reactor startups

“It appears to me that they are compromising technological safety in a half-baked way,” 

reactors should not be restarted until a new, more independent regulatory agency is set up.

Japan Shiga threatens to rain on nuclear restarts Apr 6, 2012  (Reuters) – Japan’s western Shiga prefecture, one of the nation’s biggest sources of drinking water, threatened on Friday to oppose the restart of nearby nuclear reactors unless the government met several demands designed to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima disaster.

Shiga, whose Lake Biwa provides water for 14 million people, more than one in 10 Japanese, lies near a string of nuclear plants in adjacent Fukui prefecture – giving Shiga a distinctive voice in the debate over the future of atomic power. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Many thousands of jobs created by USA’s renewable energy grants program

DOE: Renewable grant program was a big jobs creator Politico,  By ALEX GUILLEN | 4/6/12  A $9 billion Obama administration grant program for renewable energy projects has created tens of thousands of jobs, an Energy Department report out Friday concludes.

The report comes just one week after Speaker John Boehner slammed Energy Secretary Steven Chu over the claim and challenged him to provide proof of the jobs creation. The report — conducted by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory — concludes that the program supported 52,000 to 75,000 construction and installation jobs on average over the three years it was in effect. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | employment, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Decentralised energy: solar rooftop array provides electricity to 200 homes

Local solar panel array lights up region, New Bern Sun Journal, April 05, 2012  Eddie Fitzgerald The largest solar energy collecting array in Eastern North Carolina, which is located in New Bern, is now online and producing electricity for Progress Energy. Continue reading

April 7, 2012 Posted by | decentralised, USA | Leave a comment

Greece gearing up for solar energy export industry

Greece Eyes Jobs, Growth Impulse From Solar Energy Export http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-06/greece-eyes-jobs-growth-impulse-from-solar-energy-export.html  By Paul Tugwell – Apr 5, 2012  A group led by Germany’s Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG was chosen as technical adviser forGreece’s 20- billion euro ($26.1 billion) Helios solar power project, according to the country’s committee on privatizations.

The other members of the venture are all from Greece; Kantor Management Consultants SA, the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and the National Technical University of Athens, according to a statement from the committee posted on the Greek government’s ministerial decision website.

The Helios project, named after the ancient god of the sun, would install as many as 10 gigawatts of solar panels by 2050, enabling Greece to export power from the natural energy to other European Union countries.

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Greece, renewable | Leave a comment