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Politics in Japan, as government muddles over Fukushima crisis

Fukushima  Nuclear Crisis Update for October 2nd to October 4th, 2012 Greenpeace International,  by Christine McCann – October 5, 2012   Nuclear Regulation Authority Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has released new guidelines for nuclear disasters, including expanding the evacuation zone around nuclear reactors from 10 to 30 km. The move will have a significant impact on local communities, which now need to craft complicated evacuation plans. Previously, only 45 municipalities in 15 prefectures were required to have nuclear emergency plans; now 135 municipalities in 21 prefectures are required to submit them by March 2013. Iodine tablets will also be distributed to anyone living within 50 km of a nuclear reactor. Local officials are complaining that the central government has not shared radiation diffusion simulation data, which makes it impossible to determine where to send people if a nuclear accident occurs. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Cancers the result of radiological spraying in St. Louis?

She has watched four siblings die of cancer

Victims of suspected radiological spraying in St. Louis suffer thyroid, other cancers — Helicopters covered children in powder — “Oh my God, if they did that there’s no telling what else they’re hiding” http://enenews.com/victims-of-suspected-radiological-spraying-in-st-louis-suffer-thyroid-other-cancers-oh-my-god-if-they-did-that-theres-no-telling-what-else-theyre-hiding  October 4th, 2012 Title: Secret Cold War tests in St. Louis raise concerns Source: Associated PressDate: October 4, 2012

“…In the mid-1950s, and again a decade later, the Army used motorized blowers atop a low-income housing high-rise, at schools and from the backs of vehicles, to send a potentially dangerous compound into the already-hazy air in predominantly black areas of St. Louis. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Yamaguchi Prefecture kills project for new nuclear plant

Yamaguchi rejects Chugoku Electric’s license for new nuclear plant http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201210050069 5 Oct 12,  THE ASAHI SHIMBUN YAMAGUCHI–Yamaguchi Governor Shigetaro Yamamoto has rejected a license extension to Chugoku Electric Co. to reclaim land for a new nuclear power plant in Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture effectively killing the project.

“We cannot grant permission at this moment. The decision has been made
not to grant the license,” Yamamoto told the news media on Oct. 5. The
license is set to expire Oct. 6. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Other Nuclear Politics in Japan

Fukushima  Nuclear Crisis Update for October 2nd to October 4th, 2012 Greenpeace International,  by Christine McCann – October 5, 2012 “….Other Nuclear Politics in Japan Municipal leaders and residents in towns surrounding Electric Power Development Company’s (known in Japan as J-Power) proposed Ohma nuclear power plant are protesting resumption of construction there, citing concerns about their safety in the event of a nuclear disaster.  Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

San Onofre nuclear reactor to restart without any repairs!

Edison rolls the nuclear dice, Friends of the Earth Oct. 5, 2012  by: Kendra Ulrich A dangerous gamble with the safety of Southern California If you have ever been to Las Vegas, you’ve seen it: People so caught up in the excitement of the casino that they just can’t resist the lure of the next bet or the thought that maybe thistime they’ll win.

Unfortunately, it seems that San Onofre nuclear operator, Southern California Edison, has the same weak spot for a high-stakes gamble. In a stunning announcement yesterday, the utility said that it plans to restart one of the crippled San Onofre nuclear reactors without any repairs. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

AREVA loses in the scramble to sell nukes to Czech Republic

UPDATE 2-CEZ dumps Areva from Temelin nuclear tender ReutersOct 5, 2012
* CEZ says Areva fails to meet requirements
* Disqualification leaves U.S., Russian firms in tender (Adds quotes, shares, details)
By Jason Hovet and Jan Korselt PRAGUE, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Czech power group CEZ threw out Areva’s bid for a multibillion-dollar contract to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant, leaving U.S. and Russian firms to contest the country’s biggest-ever energy deal. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Gloom and doom for uranium market getting worse

Miners pressured as uncertainty sours uranium market Reuters  Oct 5, 2012  

* Uranium spot price hits new 2-year low, miners’ shares sag

* Idled Japan reactors weigh as politics unclear

* Uranium price seen stagnant to lower over next months  By Julie Gordon

TORONTO, Oct 5 – Eighteen months after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, the spot price for uranium hit a two-year low this week, putting the squeeze on the already depressed shares of uranium miners.

With a looming election keeping Japan from making a decision on how much, if any, of its nuclear reactor fleet it will keep, and slowing growth inChina weighing on the broader resource sector, it will likely be months before uranium prices start moving back toward pre-Fukushima levels.

“In the near term, the price of uranium is going to go sideways to down,” said Raymond Goldie, a senior mining analyst at Salman Partners in Toronto, adding that the spot price is not likely to start recovering until March or April 2013.

That is bad news for producers Cameco Corp, Uranium One Inc and Paladin Energy Inc, which have watched their shares plummet since a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, crippling the Fukushima-Daiichi atomic power plant.

Cameco, the world’s largest publicly listed uranium producer, has lost more than 48 percent of its market value in the aftermath of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Uranium One is down 62 percent, while Paladin has fallen 72 percent. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

Fukushima residents treated with discrimination, like the hibakusha

 the same sort of discrimination is happening to people who were exposed to radiation in Fukushima.

Voices of the “Explosion Covered People”    http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2012/09/25/161755636/voices-of-the-explosion-covered-people  More than 65 years after atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are still thousands of people suffering. In addition to experiencing lingering effects from the radiation, many are also considered social outcasts.

The term hibakusha  in Japanese means “explosion-covered people” and applies to anyone who came within 2 kilometers (approximately 1.25 miles) of the hypocenter  of the bomb — within two weeks of the explosion. Thought to be diseased and contagious, many people hid their experience from friends, family and society at large to avoid being shunned. Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

State of the Fukushima Reactors

Fukushima  Nuclear Crisis Update for October 2nd to October 4th, 2012 Greenpeace International,  by Christine McCann – October 5, 2012 “…State of the Fukushima Reactors TEPCO has finally installed a new thermometer in the crippled #2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The reactor experienced a meltdown in the days following the Fukushima nuclear disaster; since then, five out of six thermometers in the reactor have broken. If the final thermometer broke, the utility would have no way of knowing if the reactor was overheating and in danger of further meltdown. Although they cannot see inside the reactors, workers believe that the new thermometer is near the bottom of the pressure vessel.

The NRA will declare the Fukushima Daiichi plant a “special nuclear facility” in order to oversee stabilization of the plant, as well as its decommissioning. Currently, the agency has no authority over TEPCO’s plans there. NRA Chair Shunichi Tanaka said this week that the Fukushima plant is still unstable, contradicting earlier government reports that operations there had been stabilized.

This week, TEPCO began removing 764 spent fuel rods from reactor #4 at its Fukushima Daini power plant. The Daini plant is located approximately 11 km from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, where a triple meltdown occurred after power was lost there after last year’s massive earthquake and tsunami. Although a nuclear emergency was also declared at the Daini plant, workers were able to recover cooling systems and avoid meltdowns at the reactors. The utility is moving the rods to a storage pool on upper floors of the building, and eventually plans to follow suit with reactors #1, #2, and #3, a process that will continue through the end of 2014. (Source: NHK) http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-update-for-october-2/blog/42456/

 

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012 | Leave a comment

Human Rights request to Fukushima Prefecture

Human Rights Now (3 September 2012)【Statement】Request for the Radical Reform of the Health Check System including Thyroid Examination for the Affected People by the Nuclear Power Plant Accident  “…..HRN requests to Fukushima prefecture to:

 1. Conduct the thyroid examination for children at least once a year for the “early identification” and “early treatment.” Especially when the thyroid nodules or cysts are recognized, establish and implement the system quickly;

 2. Expand the thyroid examination to adults, and also conduct the blood and urine examinations;

 3. Provide information of the thyroid examination and others (such as blood examination and thyroid sonogram) conducted by the prefecture to first-person or their parents, and provide explanation if requested;

 4. Store the result of the thyroid examination over a long period of time for the future follow-up and comparison, and disclose the information of the examination result when requested by the examinees or their parents, without asking the information disclose procedure. Also, take necessary measures so that other municipalities and medical institutes that will provide the health examinations can share the data.

 HRN requests to the state to:

1. From the position of protecting the residents’ rights to health around the nuclear power plant accident, as a responsibility of the state, construct the guidelines regarding health checks, examination, and medical treatment promptly. In the course of that, take into account the international perception and the good practice of medical policies, taken by the related countries of the Chernobyl accident;

 2. Publish guidelines about the information disclosure of the result of health examinations including the thyroid examination, and instruct the prefecture;

 3. As a state, commit to the health checks of the prefecture, and request the drastic reform and improvement of the examination system, based on the above mentioned recommendations towards Fukushima prefecture;

 4. Provide a financial support to the municipalities in Fukushima prefecture to enable them to establish the examination systems including the thyroid examination and the internal exposure examination; secure the base hospitals of the health examinations including the thyroid examination in all areas in Japan, and provide a financial support so that the affected people are able to take necessary examinations, such as thyroid and internal exposure examinations, for free at least once a year, regardless of their living place.

 HRN requests to Mr. Shunichi Yamashita (the head of the Exploratory Committee on the “Fukushima Health Management Survey,” the vice-president of the Fukushima Medical University, and the president of theRadiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima health management survey) to:

 1. Officially withdraw the announcement (dated 16 January 2012) sent to the members of the Japan Thyroid Association.

 These recommendations are all important to protect the right to people’s health (Article 25 of the Constitution, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights), therefore, prompt improvement and implementation are required. http://hrn.or.jp/eng/activity/area/japan/statementrequest-for-the-radical-reform-of-the-health-check-system-including-thyroid-examination-for/

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Fukushima 2012, Reference | Leave a comment

Fukushima plant “is a waste generation facility… with no off switch

AUDIO Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima plant “is a waste generation facility… with no off switch”  http://enenews.com/nuclear-engineer-fukushima-daiichi-waste-generation-facility-switch-audio  October 5th, 2012    Interview with Nuclear Engineer Chris Harris

Nutrimedical Report
Oct 4, 2012

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer: This is a waste generation facility, along with a nuclear power plant, with no off switch.

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Regulators warn of flood risk at SC nuclear plant http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/05/4884081/regulators-warn-of-flood-risk.html#storylink=cpy The Associated Press, Oct. 5, 2012  CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Federal regulators say the danger of flooding at Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina  is higher than previously thought.

The Charlotte Observer  reported (http://bit.ly/UlTVhk) the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission  has notified the Charlotte-based utility about
the risks.

The report says estimates of flooding have increased substantially if
the 385-foot high Jocassee Dam failed upstream from the three reactors
near Seneca, S.C.

The report warns such flooding could leave the station blacked out.
The NRC removed large parts of the report from the public version in
order to protect infrastructure that could become a security target.

Duke says Oconee is safe and the utility has taken steps to reduce flood risks.

The NRC began a formal study of the safety implications of dam failure
on nuclear plants in March.

October 5, 2012 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

The Real US Motivation For Japan To Keep Nuclear Power

“At a meeting with the DPJ’s policy chief Tuesday, Poneman said that if Japan takes such steps it might have unexpected effects on the United States and other concerned parties, Maehara said”

 

“The new policy allows Japan to continue its fuel recycling program, despite the nuclear phase-out. The contradiction prompted U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman to raise concerns about Japan’s ability to reduce plutonium stockpiles,”

 

The US has also sent a former NRC official to assist TEPCO in their effort to rehabilitate their image in order to restart some of their nuclear reactors.

October 4th, 2012

Last week the odd political dance between the US and Japan ended with Japan backing off of their plan to phase out nuclear power. The US claimed heavily that is was over proliferation issues but mentioned as an aside it would hurt the US nuclear energy sector. This seemed quite odd, why the US would be so worried about Japan’s civilian nuclear power program. The proliferation excuse was very flawed and made no sense.

Ending nuclear power generation would stop the fuel cycle in Japan meaning no new plutonium would be created. This then would only leave the issue of what to do with all the spent fuel and plutonium already created in Japan. A wide array of options exist to deal with the proliferation issue yet the US pretended to be oblivious to the multiple ways to solve this problem declaring the only solution would be for Japan to instead keep making even more spent fuel….

So why does the US really need Japan to not phase out nuclear power?

There are three companies capable of currently building nuclear reactors in the US.
Areva/EDF from France, they have the EPR reactor. Two are attempting to be built currently. One in France and the other in Finland. Both are massively over budget and have had a long history of technical failures in the building process. Currently there are no plans to build an EPR in the US.

Continue reading

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Contamination, Including Human Exposure – Fukushima

Fukushima  Nuclear Crisis Update for October 2nd to October 4th, 2012 Greenpeace International,  by Christine McCann – October 5, 2012 “…Contamination, Including Human Exposure The JAEC has begun monitoring radiation levels in restricted zones of Fukushima Prefecture via unmanned helicopters. The project, which was requested by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), marks the first time that radiation has been measured from the air in the no-go zone. The agency will compile a report by the end of the month, including radiation maps of hotspots. Meanwhile, another research team is studying radiation levels in forests and rivers there, in order to determine their effect on human habitats and the ocean. The research will continue for the next 20 years. (Source: NHK)

Researchers from the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University (NVLU) have begun to study the effects of radiation on Japanese macaques, noting that the similarities between primates and humans may help them determine how radiation could eventually affect people. Shin-ichi Hayama, one of the scientists working on the project, said, “This presents an opportunity to study the impact of low-dose radiation on primates, which are so close to humans, over a more than 20-year period. That could help forecast the impact on humans, as well.”http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/fukushima-nuclear-crisis-update-for-october-2/blog/42456/

October 5, 2012 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Costly radiation remediation at Port Hope

Port Hope radiation: $464,615 spent to remediate $130,000 house thestar.com  October 05, 2012 PORT HOPE, ONT.—It started in the attic. Wally Davis wanted to build a room in the attic of his house. Since he lives in Port Hope, he couldn’t just go ahead and do it. He went to the Low Level Radioactive Waste Management Office, a federal agency, requested the file on his property and asked them to test for remnants of historic radioactive waste.

“There was contamination in the roof, on the floors, in the walls . . . everywhere in the house,” said Davis, 75, a retired Ontario Hydro employee.

In July 2011, Davis and his wife, Carole, were relocated to neighbouring Cobourg as agency staff started remediation work. The couple returned to their two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot home this July and discovered that except for the outer walls, it had been essentially rebuilt.

“They did a superb job,” Davis said.

They did indeed. The waste management office spent $464,615 to clean up the house Davis bought a decade ago for $125,000 — or $130,000, he can’t remember.

“We didn’t have a clue how much they spent,” said Davis when the Star told him that almost a half-million dollars had been used to remediate his home.

“They didn’t tell us,” he said. “That is a lot of money.”The Davis home on Bruton St., in a leafy old part of town, is about two kilometres from the waterfront. It has a red-brick façade, an attached garage and a large front and back yard. There’s a shed in the back and a Canadian flag fluttering on a tall post.

Port Hope, the picture-pretty lakeside town about 110 kilometres east of Toronto, will soon see the biggest cleanup of historic radioactive waste in Canadian history. Fifty years of radium and uranium refining at the Cameco refinery, formerly Crown corporation Eldorado Nuclear Ltd., has left contamination spread around the town…. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1267186–port-hope-radiation-464-615-spent-to-remediate-130-000-house

October 5, 2012 Posted by | Canada, environment, Uranium | Leave a comment