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Reflecting on this week, in nuclear, and other, news

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

This week I chanced upon a website that made me think, and reminded me that everything is inter-connected. The nuclear issue is just one part of the web of global social and environmental issues . This website is  “Project New World: Let’s co-operate “   I think it originates in Germany – but anyway, it can be read in many languages, and it links up all sorts of issues.

This idea is timely, as now there’s an international group in gaol in Russia, for protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic.  (Includes Ana Paula Alminhana Maciel (Brazil), Sini Saarela (Finland), Roman Dolgov (Russia), Tomaz Dziemianscuk (Poland), Faiza Oulahsen (Holland), Anthony Perrett (UK), Alexandra Harris (UK), Philip Ball (UK), Kieron Bryan (UK), Mannes Ubels (Holland), Camila Speziale (Argentina-Italy), Dima Litvinov (US-Sweden), an Australian, a New Zealander, a Ukranian crew member and a Russian crew member.) OK – it’s oil not nuclear. In fact, the Russians have dumped so much radioactive trash in the Arctic, that this drilling may well be very connected to nuclear trash..

In America, 83 year old Sister Megan Rice remains in a prison cell, awaiting what could be a 30 year sentence for her anti nuclear action.

The one bright spot is that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s wheels of process for re-licensing nuclear power plants have ground to a halt, along with much else, due to the USA government shut-down.  Also, for Australia and others, it might be just that bit harder for the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership to get signed up, seeing that Obama has had to cancel his Asian visit.

In Australia, Robert Stone is showing his nuclear advertising film “Pandora’s Promise”, and getting mainstream media coverage, of course. In Melbourne, there will be a protest at the launching of the film. Cinema -goers will be handed  leaflets explaining what the film carefully leaves out.


October 5, 2013 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Japan’s PM is lying to the Japanese people

Nuclear Engineer: Japan’s PM “Lying to the Japanese People

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Final curtain staying down for nuclear energy in Japan?

flag-japan“Some people may say it is irresponsible to call for zero nuclear plants,” he said, “but I think it is even more irresponsible not to have a disposal site for the waste or even any prospect of constructing such a facility.”

He now doubted the claims by experts in the industry that nuclear energy was “safe, clean, and inexpensive” and wondered “if human beings can really control nuclear energy” Abe,-Akie

Koizumi has an accomplice: Abe’s wife. She has been whispering into her husband’s ear at night – and making anti-nuclear speeches during the day 

The End Of Nuclear Energy In Japan? Zero Hedge by testosteronepit  10/04/2013 Wolf Richter

“I’m calling for zero nuclear power,” said Junichiro Koizumi, the hugely popular former prime minister of Japan, on Tuesday at a lecture in Nagoya. He’d served from 2001 to 2006. In 2005, he’d led the Liberal Democratic Party to win an extraordinarily large parliamentary majority. Then he groomed Shinzo Abe to become his successor. By September 2006, Abe was PM – only to get kicked out a year later. Now that Abe is PM again and is trying to restore the scandal-plagued nuclear industry to its former glory, Koizumi’s words ripped into his policies at the perfect moment…..

Though retired from politics since 2009, Koizumi remains influential. He was pro-nuclear throughout his career. But on Tuesday, he said that the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 and the subsequent nuclear fiasco in Fukushima should be used as an opportunity to build a resource-recycling society. And he called on his former protégé to abandon nuclear power…….

If he were an active politician, he’d want “to convince lawmakers to move in the direction of zero nuclear plants,” he said. Now would be the ideal time to move that direction. All 50 nuclear reactors were off line. All opposition parties favored zero nuclear power. It could be done “as long as the prime minister made the decision” – putting the onus squarely on his former protégé. And nuclear politics in Japan haven’t been the same since. Continue reading

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Just the bare 6,700 times higher than the legal limit – Fukushima’s latest radioactive spill

water-radiationflag-japanWater 6,700 times more radioactive than legal limit spills from Fukushima By Arata Yamamoto and Alexander Smith, NBC News TOKYO 4 Oct 13 — Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has suffered yet another leak, spilling out 430 liters of contaminated water thousands of times more radioactive than legal limits, its operator said Thursday. Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said the water which spilled from the storage tanks had radiation readings as high as 200,000 becquerels per liter — almost 6,700 times higher than the legal limit of 30 becquerels.

Although sandbags have been placed to prevent further spread of the leak, some of that water may have already reached the plant’s harbor on the Pacific Ocean through a drainage trench, TEPCO said.

The leak comes one day after Japanese fast food company Yoshinoya Holdings announced plans to grow vegetables on a farm just 60 miles from the nuclear plant……

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013 | Leave a comment

USA shutdown stalls Nuclear Regulatory Commission meetings on dead San Onofre nuclear plant

san-onofre-deadfGovernment shutdown: Nuclear Regulatory Commission meetings on San Onofre postponed Ed Joyce | October 4th, 2013The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has postponed two California meetings on nuclear waste storage proposals related to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station due to the federal government shutdown.

While its website proclaims “NRC Remains Open For Business” on the home page, the agency is postponing public meetings around the country due to the “anticipated lack of federal funding” resulting from the government shutdown.

Two public meetings next week in San Luis Obispo (Monday) and Carlsbad (Wednesday) fell victim to the shutdown. The meetings were meant to present the findings and receive public comments on NRC’s proposed rules andenvironmental study on the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The postponed meetings come at time the NRC is laying out plans to oversee the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear power plant near San Clemente. Those plans are likely to include proposals to store spent nuclear fuel on site for hundreds of years or longer.

The agency said more scheduled meetings in October and November might also be affected if the shutdown continues. The status of these meetings will be updated on the agency’s Public Meetings Schedule on the NRC website.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

30 years gaol for USA’s 83 year old anti nuclear nun?

Rice,-Sister-Megan-82Flag-USANun faces up to 30 years in prison for protesting at nuclear weapons facility District judge denies appeal of Sister Megan Rice, 83, and two other activists, citing their intent to ‘disarm’ Oak Ridge, Saturday 5 October 2013 An octogenarian Roman Catholic nun, jailed for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility in Tennessee, is facing up to 30 years in prison after losing her plea for the most serious charge to be dropped.

Sister Megan Rice, 83, and two fellow peace activists staged a non-violent protest to symbolically disarm the Oak Ridge Y-12 nuclear weapons facility, home to the nation’s main supply of highly enriched uranium, in July. They were initially charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, but felony charges quickly followed. They were eventually convicted of interfering with national security and damage to federal property.

This week, a judge denied a motion to acquit them of interfering with national security under the sabotage section of the US criminal code, which carries the harshest prison sentence of up to 20 years. Rice and her two fellow activists, Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, a carpenter, and Michael Walli, 68, a veteran, now face up to 30 years in prison, although the ruling by district judge Amul Thapar, in the eastern district of Tennessee, suggests their sentences will be more lenient than the maximum allowed. Continue reading

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

Does USA even need the super-expensive new uranium processing facility ?

scrutiny-on-costsFlag-USACosts for new nuclear facility skyrocket as critics question its creation  By Barnini Chakraborty  October 04, 2013  WASHINGTON –  Plans for a new facility that will handle, dismantle and secure nuclear material are in a major meltdown.

The price tag attached to the country’s largest uranium processing facility under the direction of the Department of Energy has climbed to more than 19 times its original estimate. What’s worse is that much of the Tennessee complex, according to the government’s own calculations, isn’t needed and the rest will most likely be outdated when the facility becomes fully operational — two decades from now. Continue reading

October 5, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, Uranium, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulator not happy with Fukushima Plant’s Operator

flag-japanJapanese Nuclear Agency Scolds Fukushima Plant’s Operator NYT, By   October 4, 2013TOKYO — In an unusually public scolding, Japan’s nuclear watchdog agency criticized the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Friday for making mistakes that allowed radioactive water to leak into the Pacific Ocean, and ordered it to quickly fix the problems. The agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, summoned the president of the operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to explain the accidents and spills that have plagued the cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi plant since it suffered a triple meltdown two years ago……

In a public hearing, an official at the regulatory agency, Katsuhiko Ikeda, dressed down Tepco’s president, saying the problems raised serious questions about the company’s ability to operate its other nuclear plants, like the huge Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility, which Tepco wants to restart……

Critics have faulted the government for leaving the plant in the hands of the same operator that many blame for failing to sufficiently fortify it before the huge earthquake and tsunami that struck in March 2011, knocking out vital reactor cooling systems.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, politics | Leave a comment

AUDIO: discussion on Japan’s non reporting of stillborns and birth defects

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: Arnie discusses Fukushima Daiichi on WBAI’s Morning with Michael

Gundersen: Deformities, stillbirths not being reported after Fukushima — Officials withholding truth about health effects — Gov’t suppressing studies on deformed animals (AUDIO)

Title: Arnie Gundersen discusses Fukushima Daiichi 

Source: WBAI’s ‘Morning with Michael’

Date: October 2, 2013

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Chief Engineer: We’re constantly frustrated — We have scientists contacting us, doctors contacting us, telling us that their patients are suffering from radiation induced injuries, or they’re noticing deformities in animals and plants, but yet the Japanese government is trying to put the heat on them to prevent those studies from moving forward.

Morning with Michael, Host:: E[NE]News, the website, they talk about 100 babies with polydactyl situation — they have 6 fingers — this kind of exotic, strange, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ kind of thing’s happening here. There’s an x-ray picture on their website of a hand with 6 digits. Have you heard about that?

Gundersen:: Yes — ENENews is a great source; I check it a couple times a day — We’ve seen that and we’ve also seen the thyroid cancers. The deformities, the stillbirths, and the increased morbidity is not being reported by the Japanese. They used to publish a report every year that had a prefecture-by-prefecture breakdown […] of deformities and stillbirths and things like that. Well, they stopped publishing that report. They did say in 2011 there was an increase stillbirths and deformities, but they’re not providing scientists with the prefecture-by-prefecture breakdown. So that’s bad news for science, and clearly they would rather have the Olympics than be honest with their own people about the health effects they’re facing.
[Note: The report of 100 polydactyl babies was not on ENENews, it was posted by ‘Fukushima Appeal’ (link: Fukushima: 100 babies with polydactyly are on the waiting list for operation)]
Full interview here

See also: Reporters in Japan write about rise in birth defects for 2011 — University won’t publish data on malformed babies after many years of doing so; Not releasing figures for Fukushima, other prefectures — Expert: This is ridiculous

October 5, 2013 Posted by | health, Japan, Reference, Resources -audiovicual | 1 Comment

The slow poisoning of our oceans

undersea_light_We could act radioactive  pollution to this” deadly trio”

The oceans are heating, acidifying and choking New Scientist,  04 October 2013 by Fred Pearce We know the oceans are warming. We know they are acidifying. And now, to cap it all, it turns out they are suffocating, too. A new health check on the state of the oceans warns that they will have lost as much as 7 per cent of their oxygen by the end of the century.

The cascade of chemical and biological changes now under way could see coral reefs irreversibly destroyed in 50 to 100 years, with marine ecosystems increasingly taken over by jellyfish and toxic algal blooms.The review is a repeat of a study two years ago by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), a coalition of scientists. It concludes that things have become worse since the first study.

“The health of the oceans is spiralling downwards far more rapidly than we had thought, exposing organisms to intolerable and unpredictable evolutionary pressure,” says Alex Rogers at the University of Oxford, the scientific director of IPSO.

Deadly trio

Rogers describes a “deadly trio” of linked global threats. The first is global warming: surface sea water has been warming almost as fast as the atmosphere. The second is acidification – a result of the water absorbing ever more CO2 from the atmosphere. The third is deoxygenation…….

October 5, 2013 Posted by | climate change, oceans | 1 Comment

Constructive diplomacy: Iran’s President Rouhani promises a nuclear proposal

diplomacy not bombs 1flag-IranIran president pledges nuclear plan Sky News, September 28, 2013 Iran says it hopes a proposal to be presented to major powers next month will ‘serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue’.

Iran’s new president was closing a hectic week at the United Nations where his foreign minister held landmark talks with the US.

At a closing news conference, Rouhani said that Iran would present a proposal in talks with six major powers scheduled for October 15-16 in Geneva.

‘We hope it will serve as an even more effective step to settle the nuclear issue,’ Rouhani said.Rouhani said he hoped to resolve the nuclear row in a ‘short period of time,’ a day after his foreign minister said that major powers had set a goal of a deal within one year…….We say explicitly that we do not seek a bomb. We say explicitly that we believe the building of a bomb is dangerous for us, for our region.’

Rouhani said Iran would hold true to promises made in talks with the six powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.

‘We will never deviate from our commitments,’ he said. ‘We want to provide more assurances if necessary to the world that our program will remain peaceful.’

Rouhani’s latest remarks come after the UN atomic agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said it had ‘very constructive’ talks with Iran. ….

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear marketing: now USA is selling nuclear technology to China

Buy-US-nukesChicago Bridge to Build China’s Nuclear Plant by Zacks Equity Research October 04, 2013 “……Chicago Bridge announced on Oct 1 that it has agreed with CPI’s Power Engineering Company, (a subsidiary of China Power Investment Corporation) to form a joint venture to construct nuclear power plants in China…..According to the agreement, Chicago Bridge is required to provide engineering, procurement, construction management, commissioning, project management and technical support services for the nuclear plants that are to be constructed.

China Power Investment Corporation is China’s biggest power generation company, which owns one of the three nuclear power plants in China. These power plants are planned and funded by the China Power Investment Corporation.    ….

October 5, 2013 Posted by | China, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Russia trying out 2 small floating nuclear reactors

Nuclear ahoy! Russia installs reactors on floating power station Smart Planet, By  | October 4, 2013 “…..Over the last week, it has lowered two small reactors onto a ship berthed in St. Petersburg, which will eventually serve as a floating nuclear power station, World Nuclear News reported.…..The floating plant is due off the coast of the Chukotka Peninsula in northeast Russia in 2016, in a part of the Arctic Ocean known as the East Siberian Sea. The Chutkotka Peninsula has a mining industry….

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Russia, technology | 1 Comment