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Japan mulling over energy options for the future

A key element in the national dialogue will be the future energy mix for Japan to 2030. Three advisory committees – to METI, Environment and Cabinet – have been consulted and the government is ready to put out three options for public consultation

The government appears to have got the message that the public want more choice in their energy supply.

It will be interesting to see what happens when they let the public have their say.

Japan’s energy dilemma: a renewables embrace?, Climate Spectator,  8 Jun 2012. Gwen Andrews “……..modeling by the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan demonstrates the immensely difficult choices the country is facing……

The announcement of the restarts may be twinned with another announcement, of a ‘national dialogue’ on future energy policy. Japan reviews its energy policy plan every three years, with the last review completed in June 2010. The events of ‘3/11’, as the Japanese call the tsunami disaster, has brought forward a fierce debate on where the
country goes from here.
The debate is notable in that it is front page news, Continue reading


June 8, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Ambitious solar energy plans in Middle East and North Africa

Solar Power Rises in the Mideast, North Africa, CNBC, 7 June 12, ”….A number of recent developments highlight the push for renewable energy in the MENA region, from Saudi Arabia’s ambitious solar plans to Qatar’s first-ever polysilicon plant and massive concentrated solar power plants across North Africa. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, renewable | Leave a comment

Legislation to help USA renewable energy, by way of tax code

Tweaking US tax code could spur green energy: senatorClimate Spectator,  8 Jun 2012, Reuters WASHINGTON, – A freshman U.S. Democratic senator thinks he may have found a way to encourage investment in wind, solar and biofuel projects without sapping too many taxpayer dollars or injecting new venom into a bitter partisan battle over energy incentives.

Chris Coons introduced legislation on Thursday that would allow a broad range of renewable power generation and transmission projects to qualify for a tax structure used widely by pipeline and other energy-related companies.
The bill is unlikely to be considered until after the November presidential election, but may give lawmakers food for thought as they wrestle with whether to extend tax breaks for green energy set to expire this year…..

June 8, 2012 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Indian government treats anti nuclear citizens as mentally ill

If anything, then, the really delusion-prone people are on the other side, in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The day the Fukushima crisis took a turn for the worse last year, with hydrogen explosions ripping through three reactors, DAE secretary Sreekumar Banerjee said the blasts were “purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear emergency …”. NPCIL chairman SK Jain went one better: “There is no nuclear accident….It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme …

No margin for error Hindustan Times Praful Bidwai June 04, 2012 When it comes to thrusting nuclear power down the throats of unwilling people, official India sets a record of violations of dignity and rights that is embarrassing. Which other government but India’s maligns all anti-nuclear protesters as foreign-inspired and lacking any agency? Where else would the police file 107 FIRs against 55,795 peaceful anti-nuclear protesters, but at Koodankulam, charging 6,800 with “sedition” and ”waging war against the State”?

And which other government has asked a psychiatric institution, in this case, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans), to “counsel” people and convince them that the project, despite the hazards, is good for them?
To its discredit, Nimhans despatched psychiatrists to Koodankulam to ”get a peek into the protesters’ minds” and help these insane people to “understand the importance” of the plant. According to reports quoting its director, Nimhans has “commenced the collection of primary data” and is now seeking “field reactions” to write “multiple strategies” to address “the problem” (the opposition to nuclear power).

Such opposition is thus equated with schizophrenia, fear of sexual intimacy, paranoia or craving for victimhood, to be cured by drastic means. By this criterion, more than 80% of the people of Japan, Germany, France and Russia – who oppose new nuclear plants – must be considered abnormal. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | India, politics, psychology - mental health | Leave a comment

Ionising radiation moves up in the marine food chain

Radiation and Mercury in Fish: Should Americans be Concerned? One Green Planet  June 5, 2012 by Joseph Keon:   The May 29th issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that fish caught off the California coast in 2011 by researchers from Stony Brook University in New York were contaminated with radioactive waste from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power facility.

The radioactive isotopes cesium-137 and cesium-134 were found in blue fin tuna at levels ten times higher than in the years prior to the accident, roughly four months after the waste was released into the ocean. Seven months after the accident, Japan’s Fisheries Agency reported broad-spread radioactive contamination (up to 100 percent) in fish caught both in Japanese coastal waters and hundreds of miles away.

Problems with Radioactive Waste Predate Fukushima Even before Fukushima, fish have been shown to carry radioactive waste from the nuclear industry. Tests of salmon from six British supermarkets revealed contamination by the radioactive isotope technetium-99, which has also been found in lobster and shellfish, and has been traced to Britain’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant, even though the fish were raised hundreds of miles away.

According to James Waczewski of Florida State University, author of Legal, Political, and Scientific Response to Ocean Dumping, the United States has dumped an estimated 112,000 containers of long-lived radioactive nuclear waste into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at 30 different sites. A U.S. Senate ruling has since imposed a moratorium on this practice, but nuclear power plants continue to discharge radioactive waste-water into the world’s oceans daily.

No Fish from the Ocean Is Protected Because ionizing radiation from nuclear waste is a carcinogen,
radioactivity in fish is a disturbing reality. Yet even without the Fukushima disaster, the world’s fish supply has become a dubious source of nutrition…….
Although we seldom see the waste floating on the surface of the oceans, if we’re willing to test it, we find that sea life has become our proverbial “canary in the coal mine,” clearly revealing the hidden truth of all that has infiltrated the world’s oceans. Some bodies of water are vastly more polluted than others, but one toxin, mercury, permeates the world’s oceans to such a degree that no fish (and no one who eats fish) is protected.

Mercury in Fish Mercury is a toxic substance that can devastate the nervous system,
leading to lower intelligence and compromised fine motor skills. …..

June 8, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster remains a problem for the whole world

324 Civic organizations from all over the world have submitted a petition called “An Urgent Request for UN Intervention to Stabilize the Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Nuclear Fuel”, Mr. Murata said noting that those organizations are also demanding a moratorium on Japan’s nuclear reactors.

 ”the nuclear village and nuclear dictatorship is exposed, and public opinion and their movements are strong.”Nuclear village is a term for the Japanese distorted social structure in which the pronuclear politicians, scholars and companies have more power than those who are skeptical of nuclear energy. Anti-nuclear protests have been ignored for more than 40 years.

Fukushima Reactor Global Security Issue: Japanese Former Diplomat 7, 2012 Tokyo- (PanOrient News)The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Number 4 reactor presents a security problem for the entire world, Mitsuhei Murata, Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland said.

Fukushima Daiichi plants are “not under control at all… and the situation with nuclear reactors in Japan is like vehicles being driven without a license,” Mr. Murata told a news conference at the foreign correspondents’ club of Japan on June 5. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, safety | Leave a comment

Despite local government opposition, China funding new nuclear plant in Wangjiang

The Pengze project made headlines in February, when the Wangjiang County government openly opposed its construction on grounds that the site selection was based on unreliable population and seismic activity data.

The County government also alleges that the firm used gifts to entice villagers into agreeing to the plans.

Controversial China nuclear plant funding resumes, Market Watch, Jiangxi nuclear plant gets funding in sign building freeze is ending By Lu Bingyang and Wang Yong BEIJING ( Caixin Online )7 June 12, — One of China’s pioneering inland nuclear power projects has received another capital injection after the government put nuclear development on hold due to last year’s disaster in Japan. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | China, politics | Leave a comment

Increasing global danger from nuclear weapons and nuclear power

the calculations used to assess risks posed by nuclear weapons and nuclear power are “fallible.”….  the risks posed by nuclear accidents, regional war, and nuclear terrorism are increasing….  “no nation is immune from risks involving nuclear weapons and nuclear power.” 

Risks from nuclear power and weapons are on the rise, Even established power faces a riskier nuclear environment. ArsTechnica, by James Holloway – June 7 2012, The risks posed by both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy are increasing. Nowhere is immune from these risks, and the methods used to assess them are imperfect. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | Leave a comment

Half of the world’s nuclear reactors will be closed down by 2030

GlobalData’s report shows that more than 200 nuclear power stations across the world are expected to be closed by 2030, almost half of the number that are currently in operation.

Europe to Decommission Majority of Nuclear Power Stations by 2030 Europe to Decommission Majority of Nuclear Power Stations by 2030 While US Bucks Global Trend   06 Jun 2012 Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Reference | Leave a comment

Meningiomas are dangerous, ionising radiation is the only clearly known cause

meningiomas are not anywhere near so universal, and, despite the “benign” designation, can be dangerous, leading to severe disabilities, and, in rare cases, death.

Radiation to the head and neck is the only well-defined cause found so far

No, ‘half of us’ don’t have a brain tumor like Sheryl Crow’s, 7 June 12  Singer Sheryl Crow recently revealed she had been diagnosed with a meningioma, a type of brain tumor that accounts for nearly 30 percent of brain tumors in the U.S. More than 90 percent of them are benign. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports. By Brian Alexander Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health | Leave a comment

Underwater solar panels

Solar Panels That Work Underwater, by Energy Matters, 8 June 12Are solar powered submarines on the horizon? Not quite, but solar panels that can produce electricity under water could soon be used for a variety of important aquatic applications.

Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Electronics Science and Technology Division, are working on developing “high bandgap” solar cells with the ability to generate enough electricity to operate equipment such as electronic sensor systems at depths of up to 9 meters.

June 8, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

San Onofre nuclear power plant shut throughout the summer

San Onofre nuclear plant out of service for the summer, LA Times, June 7, 2012 The top official at Edison International said Thursday that the troubled San Onofre nuclear plant will remain out of service through the summer.

The plant has been shuttered since Jan. 31 while officials probe the extent and cause of unusual wear on tubes that carry radioactive water in the plant’s newly replaced steam generators. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese lawmakers plan for new nuclear regulatory body

Opposition wins on nuke watchdog, Japan Times, Kyodo 7 June 12, The administration will effectively accept a plan proposed by opposition parties to set up an independent “nuclear regulatory commission,” lawmakers said following talks between ruling and opposition parties to explore amending a bill to create a new nuclear regulatory agency. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

UK’s Thorpe nuclear reprocessing plant not economically viable

Extending Thorp’s life would require investment “well in excess of £1bn”, the NDA said, including the construction of £600m of storage tanks for the highly-radioactive “liquor” that is produced by reprocessing.

“It would be very expensive to carry on much longer,” said Bill Hamilton, head of stakeholder relations at the NDA. “If there was a market out there, there would be a reason to invest, but there is no major appetite.”

Cumbria’s reprocessing plant to close Financial Times -8 June 12 By Rebecca Bream  One of the more problematic facilities in the UK nuclear industry, the Thorp reprocessing plant at Sellafield in Cumbria, is set to close, reflecting a worldwide drop in demand for its services.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which is responsible for cleaning up the UK’s nuclear reactor sites and dealing with radioactive waste, said on Thursday that Thorp would close in 2018 when its existing reprocessing contracts end. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | reprocessing, UK | Leave a comment

Sellafield nuclear reprocessing to shut, but no plan for waste disposal!

and they still want to keep on making the stuff!

 the authority said it was “still many years from making final decisions on the design” of the dump and even where it would be located.

Construction on the UK’s national nuclear waste dump, to be built deep underground, is expected to start in 2075, though a location has not yet been chosen.

Controversial Thorp plant at Sellafield to be shut down,
 Irish Times, MARK HENNESSY, London Editor, 7 June 12
SELLAFIELD’S CONTROVERSIAL Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant is to close. The facility will be shut down in six years’ time, Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has said.

The decision will mean that spent nuclear rods produced by the British nuclear industry after 2018 will have to be buried untreated in a temporary nuclear storage dump for up to a century.

“Our strategy to close Thorp following completion of the reprocessing contracts has potentially wider policy implications for spent fuel management in the UK,” the authority acknowledged. Continue reading

June 8, 2012 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment