The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Fresh Currents: Japan’s flow from a nuclear past to a renewable future

To concerned individuals everywhere:

We now stand at a critical watershed for Japan and the world – will we choose to revert to the dangerous, costly and centrally-controlled industry of nuclear power, rely on the CO2-producing fuels of oil and coal, or embrace the exciting new possibilities of decentralized renewable energy technologies?

Living only 60 kilometers from the Oi nuclear power plant (reopened in June amidst growing protests across the country), we felt compelled to add something positive to the growing movement towards a sustainable energy future. *Fresh Currents* was put together from a network of writers associated with *Kyoto Journal,* an NPO based in Kyoto that has been publishing in print and digitally for over 25 years. This book would not have been possible without the kind donations of people who visited our Indiegogo campaign or the incredibly hard work of all the volunteer writers, translators, photographers, designers and illustrators. We deeply thank everyone who has been or who will be a part of our project!


Please download your complimentary digital copy of *Fresh Currents,*

our book on Fukushima and Japan’s energy future, HERE….

A print edition will be available at the end of September (¥2000).

Join us! You can do four things to help move our project forward:

* Give us feedback! Point out texts that that you find
especially valuable. Ask someone to review Fresh Currents

* Please send this PDF of *Fresh Currents *to any educational,
environmental or citizen group, individual, blog, or website who has
interest in our energy future. May this publication multiply and spread!

* We are looking for a Japanese publisher and appreciate any
suggestions you may have in this regard.

* We wish to produce a screening of films in Kyoto related to
nuclear power, Fukushima, and renewable energy technologies. Do you
have a favorite film? Please send your suggestion to our Heartwork Editor

Jennifer Teeter: teeter42(at)

Thank you!

The Fresh Currents Team

Look for Fresh Currents & Kyoto Journal on Facebook

Thanks to for the links and info!


August 14, 2012 Posted by | resources - print, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

How President Jimmy Carter slowed down the spread of nuclear weapons

Carter entered office and promptly pushed through Congress the 1978 Non-Proliferation Act

Carter’s U.S. nuclear doctrine was enormously unpopular among America’s nuclear science elite

To the chagrin of the powerful nuclear weapons and nuclear power lobbies, Carter abandoned the idea of a new nuclear renaissance.

 Jimmy Carter’s re-election defeat brought the nuclear establishment another opportunity.

United States Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium, DC Bureau By Joseph Trento,  April 9th, 2012 “….Stopping the Spread of Fissile Material After Jimmy Carter won the presidency in 1976, he instituted an aggressive policy to control the spread of fissile materials. As a former nuclear reactor engineer on a Navy submarine, Carter knew better than any other world leader the immense power locked up in plutonium and highly enriched uranium. He was determined to keep it out of the hands of even our closest non-nuclear allies – including Japan.
Carter had good reason for this policy. Despite Japan’s ratification of the NPT in 1976, a study conducted for the CIA the following year named Japan as one of the three countries most able to go nuclear before 1980. Only the Japanese people’s historic opposition to nuclear weapons argued against Japanese deployment. Every other factor argued for a Japanese nuclear capability.

By now the CIA – and its more secretive sister agency, the NSA — had learned the position of Japan’s inner circle.

Carter knew the incredibly volatile effect plutonium would have on world stability. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | history, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Former head of Fukushima nuclear plant says plant is not safe

‘Fukushima reactors not stable’ – plant ex-boss 13 August, 2012,  The reactors at crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are not stable, says its former head. He urged for international expertise to be called in to make the site of one of world’s worst nuclear disasters safe.

“People won’t come back to Fukushima until the plant is stabilized and we still need to find a way to do that,” Masao Yoshida said as cited by The Australian newspaper. “We have to bring people in from around the world. It will require people, technology and wisdom from all corners.”

Yoshida, 57, was speaking on Saturday after a 17-month silence in a video message, in which he described his experience of leading a desperate drive to tame the disabled plant. He and his men, dubbed the Fukushima 50 in Japan, were working to hold down melting down reactors at the facility hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

He said he had no right to go public with his warning until four investigations into the disaster were concluded. Yoshida, who is currently in hospital suffering cancer of the esophagus, said he and his workers cooperated with the probes, but since their human stories did not enter the official reports, he agreed to an interview.

“It was clear from the beginning that we couldn’t run,” Yoshida said. “Reactors five and six would have also melted down without people staying on site.

“My colleagues went out there again and again. The level of radiation on the ground was terrible, yet they gave everything that they had.”

The former Fukushima manager said he feared for his life three times in the first days of the disaster. Three huge explosions of hydrogen released from water injected into reactors rocked the facility, ripping through the roof and sending debris flying.

“At the time we didn’t know they were hydrogen explosions,” he said. “When that first explosion occurred, I really felt we might die.”…..

Some in Japan hold Yoshida as a hero for refusing orders to stop the injection of seawater into one of the damaged reactors, thus preventing the disaster from becoming even worse. There is also a video shot in the command bunker that TEPCO recently released showing Yoshida suggesting he lead a suicide mission to restore the cooling of the reactors if the situation deteriorated.

Yoshida did not touch on either of those episodes in the interview.

The Fukushima plant is currently in cold shutdown, with no nuclear reactions happening inside the reactors. There are fears that the site could be further damaged by a new earthquake, should one occur.

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, safety | Leave a comment

Hotter summers shut down nuclear power plants

Heat Shuts Down a Coastal Reactor NYT, By MATTHEW L. WALD  A reactor at the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., has shut down because of something that its 1960s designers never anticipated: the water in Long Island Sound was too warm to cool it.

Under the reactor’s safety rules, the cooling water can be no higher than 75 degrees. On Sunday afternoon, the water’s temperature soared to 76.7 degrees, prompting the operator, Dominion Power, to order the shutdown of the 880-megawatt reactor.

“Temperatures this summer are the warmest we’ve had since operations began here at Millstone,’’ said a spokesman for Dominion, Ken Holt. The plant’s first reactor, now retired, began operation in 1970.

The plant’s third reactor was still running on Monday, but engineers were watching temperature trends carefully out of concern that it, too, might have to shut down….. And higher water temperatures could lie ahead. The sound’s temperature usually does not peak until late August….. Power plants in the Midwest have also experienced problems as temperatures soared in recent weeks. In some cases, reactors shut down because the cooling water was too warm; in others, the ongoing drought had shrunken the body of water from which the cooling water is drawn, and the plant’s intake pipes were above the surface.

Last month the twin-unit Braidwood nuclear plant in Illinois needed special permission to keep operating because its cooling water pond reached 102 degrees as a result of low rainfall and high air temperatures. When Braidwood opened 26 years ago, it was designed to run at temperatures up to 98 degrees.

August 14, 2012 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Butterfly studies demonstrate how radiation effects are passed on to later generations

When second generation butterflies with abnormal traits mated with healthy ones, the rate of abnormalities rose to 34 percent in the third generation

It was after breeding them, they  noticed various abnormalities that hadn’t been seen in the previous generation, such as malformed antennae.

Radiation from Fukushima power plant meltdown ‘triggers genetic mutations in butterflies’
Abnormal wings and antennae found in Japan’s insects Genetic damage ‘can be passed down generations’ Defect rate as high as 52 per cent in some offspring
  DAILY MAIL, 14 August 2012 Butterflies in Japan are suffering from ‘serious abnormality’ following the radioactive fallout after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, Reference | Leave a comment

Genetic effects of Fukushima radiation

  The devastating physical & genetic effects of Japan’s nuclear disaster are revealed — All mutant butterflies were caught far outside Fukushima evacuation zone 
August 14th, 2012 a By ENENew
Title:   Mutant butterflies haunt Fukushima
Source: The Australian
Author: Richard Lloyd Parry
Date:  August 14, 2012

THEY have bizarre dents in their eyes, their legs are shrunken and they are marked by strange spots. Many of them are infertile and when they do conceive the offspring are even more mutated than the parents. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | environment, Fukushima 2012, Japan | Leave a comment

Nuclear phaseout a key election policy for Japan’s ruling party

62.6 percent opposed the use of nuclear energy, giving scores between zero and 4, with 17.8 percent saying they think Japan should idle all nuclear plants immediately.

DPJ vow for next poll: a nuclear phaseout, Japan Times 14 Aug 12, Role for Kan urged to draft pre-election energy goals Kyodo Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s party is arranging to make a nuclear phaseout a key policy pledge in the next general election, sources in the Democratic Party of Japan said.

The DPJ’s plan comes amid widespread opposition to the continued use of nuclear energy. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear power industry lost $46 billion – and that’s its good news

Utilities lose $46 billion as nuclear era nears end, Japan Times, 14 Aug 12, Shareholders at risk amid efforts to break up power monopolies Bloomberg The nuclear power industry has lost a record $46 billion since the earthquake and tsunami disasters led to three meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant last year, wiping out seven years of profit.

Then came the bad news. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Uranium One profit falls on lower uranium price Aug 14, 2012  (Reuters) Canada’s Uranium One Inc’s quarterly earnings fell 2 percent as it sold less uranium at lower prices….

August 14, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

For the third time this month, Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactor shut down

Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactor shut down,  Control rod malfunction reduces power By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun, August 13, 2012 Operators of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Southern Maryland have shut down one of the two reactors there because a control rod unexpectedly dropped into the reactor core, causing a reduction in power generation, a plant spokesman said Monday.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon, prompting the plant’s staff to shut the reactor down to find and fix the cause of the malfunction, according to Kory Raftery, spokesman for Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. Control rods are used in a reactor to limit the fission taking place among the reactor’s enriched-uranium fuel rods.

An unplanned insertion of a control rod into a reactor core can “create an imbalance in the fissioning and pose challenges for reactor operators,” according to Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He described it as an infrequent occurrence
among U.S. nuclear plants…… It’s the third unplanned shutdown of Unit 1 in the past month; the reactor was taken out of service twice in July to fix a pair of leaks, ..,0,4708290.story

August 14, 2012 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Developing storage systems for renewable energy

Storage systems for renewable energy, Energy Harvesting Journal , 13 Aug 12Energy storage systems are one of the key technologies for the energy turnaround. With their help, the fluctuating supply of electricity based on photovoltaics and wind power can be stored until the time of consumption.

At Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), several pilot plants of solar cells, small wind power plants, lithium-ion batteries, and power electronics are under construction to demonstrate how load peaks in the grid can be balanced and what regenerative power supply
by an isolated network may look like in the future.

“High-performance batteries on the basis of lithium ions can already be applied reasonably in the grid today,” says Dr. Andreas Gutsch, coordinator of the Competence E project. As stationary storage systems, they can store solar or wind power until it is retrieved by the grid. “When applied correctly, batteries can also balance higher load and production peaks and, hence, make sense from an economic point of view.”

The Competence E project is presently developing several pilot systems consisting of photovoltaics and wind power plants coupled to a lithium-ion battery. Over a development phase of two years, a worldwide battery screening was made. “Now, we know which lithium-ion cells are suited best for stationary storage systems,” says Gutsch.
The first stage of the modular systems will be constructed on KIT Campus North by the end of 2012. It will have a capacity of 50 kW…..

August 14, 2012 Posted by | energy storage, Germany | Leave a comment

The insidious effect of ionising radiation, over time

Radiation poses a long-term danger because it mutates DNA, rewriting the genetic code in ways that can lead to cancerous growth of cells.

 workers at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant absorbed 0.4 to 1 Sv of radiation per hour while contending with the nuclear disaster last March. Although they survived in the short term, their lifetime cancer risk increased

Limits Of The Human Body: How Much Sleep Deprivation, Radiation & Acceleration Can We Survive? HUFFINGTON POST, : 08/13/2012  By: Natalie Wolchover One hears epic accounts of people surviving bullets to the brain, 10-story freefalls or months stranded at sea. But put a human anywhere in the known universe except for the thin shell of space that extends a couple of miles above or below sea level on Earth, and we perish within minutes. As strong and resilient as the human body seems in some situations, considered in the context of the cosmos as a whole, it’s unnervingly fragile. Continue reading

August 14, 2012 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

German utility company thriving following exit from nuclear power

E.ON triples net profit as nuclear past fades  Aug 13, 2012  
* H1 net 3.13 billion euros vs 948 million year ago

* Trading and Optimisation unit seen posting full-year profit

* Could close some power plants

* Shares up 1.2 pct (Recasts, adds trading unit, analyst)

By Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert FRANKFURT, Aug 13 (Reuters) – E.ON AG, Germany’s largest utility, said net profit more than tripled in the first half of the year, benefiting from a gas price deal with Russia’s Gazprom and absence of charges related to Germany’s exit from nuclear power.

German utilities have posted strong first-half results so far, thanks to renegotiated gas purchase contracts and higher selling prices, in a recovery from the downturn caused by the government’s decision last year to shut nuclear power stations.

Last month, EnBW, Germany’s third-largest utility, said first-half sales at its gas unit rose a third because of an expansion in gas trading activity….

August 14, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, Germany | Leave a comment

Breaking! M7.7 quake hits to the north of Japan, 500 km from Hokkaido — Felt across eastern half of nation (MAPS & VIDEO)

Published: August 14th, 2012 at 4:45 am ET

From the comments;

 August 14 2012 at 5:18 am

Hi all, the High Sensitivity Seismograph Network Japan has finally set up an English beta version of their site with lots of EQ info.
Under “Hypocenter / Waveform” you can find the Hypocenter maps, which are just great.
Check it out, it’s a goldmine.

Click on the Enenews link for more information and updates..

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Professor who met with Fukushima physicians: Thyroid diseases already apparent — Diseased newborns and Down’s syndrome still kept secret


An interview of Dr. Michel Fernex published August 2, 2012 translated by FRCSR:


“..Dr. Fernex, a professor at University of Basel in Switzerland who has visited Fukushima: I met with four physicians from Fukushima Medical University in cardiology, urology, internal medicine and ophthalmology. They all seemed unaware of conditions related to radiation contamination. They were very surprised to see young patients with myocardial infarction, diabetes and eye diseases…”

“…Thyroid diseases are already apparent, but cancers have latency, brain cancer will be seen in children in four years and later in adults. The number of babies with low birth weight increases. The number of female births down 5% because the female embryo is more vulnerable. Appearance of diseases of the newborn and Down’s syndrome is still kept secret….”

Click enenews link above for more…

August 14, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment