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Crossfire: Nader & Shellenberger debate nuclear power…

CNN

Published on 8 Nov 2013

Is nuclear power safe? Consumer advocate Ralph Nader and nuclear power supporter Michael Shellenberger debate.

Keep your eye out for part 2 – Arclight2011

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Wrecked Japanese nuclear plant to double pay after criticism

TOKYO Fri Nov 8, 2013

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/08/us-japan-fukushima-tepco-idUSBRE9A70CH20131108

(Reuters) – The operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will double the pay of contract workers as part of a revamp of operations at the station, after coming under criticism for its handling of clean-up efforts.

Hazard pay for the thousands of workers on short-term contracts will be increased from 10,000 yen ($100) to 20,000 yen a day, Tokyo Electric Power Co said in a statement on Friday.

It will also tighten supervision of contractors and improve meals and other conditions at the site where three reactors melted down in March 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami.

A Reuters investigation last month found that workers’ pay was being skimmed, some had been hired under false pretences, and some contractors had links to organized crime gangs.

Tokyo Electric also faces a shortage of workers for the clean-up, that will take decades and cost more than $150 billion.

The revamp of operations comes as the company prepares to start removing spent fuel rods from one of four damaged reactors. The unprecedented operation, which could begin next week, will mark the beginning of full decommissioning efforts.

Continue reading

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US Energy Secretary “shocked” and “stunned” after being at Fukushima plant

…“From the beginning, the United States has worked to support the Government of Japan in the immediate response efforts and in recovery, decommissioning, and cleanup activities. Within days of the accident, the Department of Energy sent a team of 34 experts and more than 17,000 pounds of equipment in support of efforts to manage the crisis. I was able to witness firsthand the continuing partnership between TEPCO and U.S. agencies and companies...

http://nodisinfo.com/Home/us-energy-secretary-shocked-stunned-fukushima-plant/#prettyPhoto

08 November 2013

“On Friday, I made my first visit to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. It is stunning that one can see firsthand the destructive force of the tsunami even more than two and a half years after the tragic events.  The words of President Obama following the incident still hold true today: ‘The Japanese people are not alone in this time of great trial and sorrow. Across the Pacific, they will find a hand of support extended from the United States as they get back on their feet.’ My colleagues from the Department of Energy and I are grateful for the cooperation and openness of our host, TEPCO President Hirose, and his dedicated staff. They face a daunting task in the cleanup and decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi, one that will take decades and is being carried out under very challenging conditions. The TEPCO workforce is facing unprecedented challenges and is clearly focused on devising and implementing solutions.

“From the beginning, the United States has worked to support the Government of Japan in the immediate response efforts and in recovery, decommissioning, and cleanup activities. Within days of the accident, the Department of Energy sent a team of 34 experts and more than 17,000 pounds of equipment in support of efforts to manage the crisis. I was able to witness firsthand the continuing partnership between TEPCO and U.S. agencies and companies.

“The DOE, our national labs, and U.S. companies will continue to offer our experience and capabilities to assist the Japanese government and TEPCO, especially with regard to water contamination issues.  On Thursday, we were able to meet with Prime Minister Abe, METI Minister Motegi, and other senior members of the Japanese government. Their commitment to advancing the Convention on Supplementing Compensation of Nuclear Liability is much appreciated, since this will facilitate the further engagement of U.S. and other companies in Fukushima cleanup.

 

“We also witnessed the progress being made on spent fuel removal activities in parallel with the water challenges. It appears that spent nuclear fuel will begin to be removed from Unit 4 as scheduled in mid-November. This will be significant milestone for TEPCO and the Japanese Government and in the process of decommissioning the site.

“As Japan continues to chart its sovereign path forward on the cleanup at the Fukushima site and works to determine the future of their energy economy, the United States stands ready to continue assisting our partners in this daunting yet indispensable task. The United States and Japan created the Bilateral Commission to strengthen our strategic and practical engagement on civil nuclear R&D, Fukushima cleanup, emergency response, nuclear safety regulatory matters, and nuclear security and nonproliferation, and we look forward to the commission meeting next week in Washington, D.C.”

NHK WORLD, Oct. 31, 2013: Ernest Moniz […] in his speech in Tokyo on Thursday […] said the success of the cleanup of areas around the Fukushima plant and decommissioning of reactors have global significance. Moniz said the US has a direct interest in seeing the next steps are done efficiently and safely.

AP, Nov. 2, 2013: In a speech Thursday in Tokyo, [Moniz] said “the success of the cleanup also has global significance. So we all have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well, efficiently and safely.”

NHK, Nov. 2, 2013: Ernest Moniz spoke to NHK on Saturday in Tokyo, one day after visiting the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Moniz said he was shocked to see the scale of the damage that remains more than 2 and half years after the tsunami disaster and the nuclear accident. He said he also sensed how difficult work at the plant is with workers required to wear full face masks and other protective gear.

Watch the NHK interview here

 

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I toured the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant. This is what I saw.

…The greatest physical damage might have come on the way home: Still hungry after lunch, we stopped for doughnuts….  Chico Harlem (below)

…As our bus left reactor four and drove along the sea front, I pointed my new monitor out of the window towards reactor building three. Suddenly the needle started to spike – 1,000 counts per second, then 2,000, 3,000, finally it went off the scale.

There, outside the bus, just a few dozen meters away is the real dead zone, a place where it is still far too dangerous for anyone to go. No human has been inside reactor three since the disaster. To do so would be suicide. No-one knows when it will be possible to go in…  Rupert Wingfield-Hayes ( NOTE ; The gieger was likely reading Ruperts own positional reading. Or is there a new directional remote gieger on the market that measures a few meters away from the sensor?? Poor Rupert !! Arclight2011)

  • November 7

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/11/07/i-toured-the-devastated-fukushima-nuclear-plant-this-is-what-i-saw/

FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, Japan — On Thursday, I visited the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for the first time, and it was a bit like seeing the movie after having read the book — vivid images flooding every space that my imagination hadn’t yet filled.

The visit didn’t do much to change my thinking about the main problems at the plant. But it did give me a sense of what it’s like to walk the premises and to work there, in layers of suffocating protective gear. I also got a sense of what it’s like to eat lunches provided by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco — in this case, white-bread sandwiches filled with a mayonnaise-meat ooze.

Tepco provided the tour Thursday to more than a dozen foreign journalists, and the first impression came on the bus ride to the facility. The plant is even more isolated than you’d expect. On the way there, you drive for miles through a recommended evacuation zone, an area of gutted car dealerships, abandoned homes and weeds high enough to obscure traffic signs. Starting about three miles from the plant, only authorized vehicles are allowed to enter. Polite policemen in face masks wave in Tepco vehicles, and for the rest of the drive, there are no human beings to be seen.

Soon after we arrived at the plant, we were escorted to a change room where we stripped down to our underwear and then dressed ourselves in Tepco-provided gear. First, gray and navy athletic gear that seemed suitable for yoga. Then socks. Then white gloves. Then a baggy white suit, followed by another layer of socks, two more sets of gloves, a cotton cap and plastic covers for our shoes. Last came the tight-fitting face mask, the sort that made us all look like nocturnal tree animals, with enormous eyes and extended honking noses. Similar equipment seems to be required for every employee at the plant, or at least the ones we saw. With the masks on, holding any kind of conversation is difficult. Because of that, workers need to know what they’re doing before they actually get there.

Seeing the nuclear plant firsthand, there’s no clear sign of chaos or trouble. Work is done mostly in silence. And some of the biggest problems — such as the leakage of contaminated water into the ocean — are happening out of sight. But cleanup from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has happened on a need-to-fix basis. Some buildings are pristine. Others have been ravaged by the natural disasters and left to rot. In one area of the nuclear plant, an abandoned car is wedged between pieces of rubble, its windshield shattered. In another area, a set of picnic tables — presumably an old lunch spot for employees — is now covered with a rich red rust.

Tepco allowed us out of the tour bus at three places around the site. We spent five minutes looking at tanks used to store contaminated water. We walked inside the No. 4 reactor building. Lastly, we caught a glimpse of construction taking place along the coastal side of the facility. Dosimeters buzzed sporadically, detecting high radiation levels. But after two radiation checks on the way out — one for surface contamination, one for internal contamination — I was given a clean bill of health. The greatest physical damage might have come on the way home: Still hungry after lunch, we stopped for doughnuts.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pandora/Schmandora; We’ve Got the Uranium Film Festival!

US Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz well on his way to blackmailing Japan into indemnifying GE over Fukushima.

November 6, 2013

  1. INTERVIEW:  Norbert Suchanek is the founder and General Director of the Uranium Film Festival, which covers all aspects of the nuclear issue.   A native of Germany, Suchanek is a journalist, author, filmmaker and activist living in Rio de Janeiro.  He shares with Nuclear Hotseat listeners how the festival got started, his vision for an international nuclear film archive, and how you – yes you! – can get your film into the 2014 festival.  The Uranium Film Festival comes to the United States this month (November, 2013) for showings in New Mexico and Albuquerque, with stops in early 2014 in New York and Washington, D.C.  Learn more about the Uranium Film Festival at: www.UraniumFilmFestival.org – See more at: http://www.nuclearhotseat.com/nuclear-hotseat-124-pandoraschmandora-weve-got-uranium-film-festival/#sthash.hiTbmypU.dpuf

Nuclear Hotseat Podcast

The Activist Voice of the Anti-Nuclear Movement

Produced and Hosted by Libbe HaLevy

THIS WEEK’S NUCLEAR HOTSEAT: www.NuclearHotseat.com/Blog

Nuclear Hotseat is the weekly international news magazine keeping you up to date on all things anti-nuclear.  Produced and Hosted by Three Mile Island survivor Libbe HaLevy, each podcast contains the week’s international nuclear news, at least one expert interview, ways to protect physical health of yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of radiation exposure, and activist opportunities.

Among the nuclear experts interviewed by Nuclear Hotseat in its first two years:

  • Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer, head of Fairewinds Energy Education
  • Dr. Helen Caldicott, founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Dr. Janette Sherman and Joseph Mangano, authors of “An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the United States Follows Arrival of the Radioactive Plume from Fukushima:  Is There a Correlation?”
  • Karl Grossman, Journalist, host of “Enviro Close-Up”
  • Daniel Hirsch, Nuclear Policy Lecturer, UC Santa Cruz
  • Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
  • Mochizuki Iori, blogger, Fukushima Diary
  • Nuclear Whistleblowers
  • …and many more.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kevin Kamps of beyond nuclear discusses nuclear waste site plans near Lake Huron

Hoon-Yung Hopgood

Hoon-Yung Hopgood

Published on 1 Nov 2013

Guests:

State Representative Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores)

Kevin Kamps, Radioactive Waste Specialist, Beyond Nuclear

A Discussion on the planned radioactive waste dump near Lake Huron.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PONI – The future of nuclear is bright!

…the project seeks to help develop the next generation of leaders with both the necessary subject matter expertise and the professional skills to be effective in shaping and implementing policy….

The Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) aims to build and sustain a networked community of young nuclear experts from the military, national laboratories, industry, academia, and policy communities.

http://csis.org/program/project-nuclear-issues

About the Project on Nuclear Issues

Addressing the complex array of nuclear weapons challenges will require a solid foundation of expertise across numerous sectors. Because most of these challenges are long-term, the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) aims to build and sustain a vibrant community of young nuclear experts from the military, national laboratories, industry, academia, and the policy community. To that end, PONI maintains an enterprise-wide membership base, hosts four major conferences and several smaller events each year, maintains an online blog, holds live debates on critical nuclear weapons issues, runs a six-month academic program for young experts, organizes bilateral exchanges involving young experts from the U.S. and abroad, oversees a working group of top young professionals, and distributes bi-weekly news and event announcements to members.

The project has three primary objectives.

First, PONI aims to build and sustain a networked community of young nuclear experts from across the nuclear enterprise, including in the laboratories, military, industry, academia, and policy world.

Second, the project seeks to help develop the next generation of leaders with both the necessary subject matter expertise and the professional skills to be effective in shaping and implementing policy.

Third, PONI works to mobilize the wide-ranging nuclear expertise within its membership ranks to generate new ideas and advance the public debate on all issues concerning nuclear weapons. 

There are over 1,100 PONI members and affiliated programs in the UK and France. Membership is open to anyone working in the nuclear field or studying nuclear weapons issues. Members receive a periodic newsletter containing updates on activities, invitations to PONI events and conferences, and access to members-only forums and job boards. Visit the PONI Membership page for more information about the community or click here to go directly to the application.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia has nuclear weapons ‘on order,’ ready to deliver from Pakistan: report

Saudi Arabia has been “generous” to Pakistan’s defence sector for years, the BBC says.

This handout photograph released by Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) office shows a Hatf IX short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile launched from an undisclosed location in Pakistan on May 29, 2012.  Pakistan said on May 29 it had successfully test fired a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile. It was the third time Pakistan had test-fired a ballistic missile since arch-rival India last month launched its new long-range Agni V, capable of hitting targets anywhere in China.

This handout photograph released by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) office shows a Hatf IX short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile launched from an undisclosed location in Pakistan on May 29, 2012. Pakistan said on May 29 it had successfully test fired a short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile. It was the third time Pakistan had test-fired a ballistic missile since arch-rival India last month launched its new long-range Agni V, capable of hitting targets anywhere in China.

National Post Staff | 07/11/13

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/11/07/saudi-arabia-has-nuclear-weapons-on-order-ready-to-deliver-from-pakistan-report/

Saudi Arabia has reportedly invested in the Pakistan nuclear program and has atomic weapons “on order” ready to be delivered.

The Saudis have long been interested in obtaining nuclear weapons to counter the possibility of an nuclear-armed Iran.

The BBC quotes a senior NATO source saying Pakistani nuclear weapons are ready and waiting to be delivered to Saudi Arabia.

The Newsnight report also cites former chief of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who told a conference in Sweden last month that if Iran acquired a nuclear bomb, “the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”

Saudi Arabia purchased nuclear-capable ballistic missile launchers in the late 1980s from China, the report says.

The BBC also cites American intelligence reports and a former Pakistani security officer.

Gary Samore, who was U.S. President Barack Obama’s counter-proliferation adviser until earlier this year, told Newsnight: “I do think that the Saudis believe they have some understanding with Pakistan, that in extremis they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan.”

However, the Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has been accused by the West of selling nuclear secrets to Libya and Iran and dismissed the report.

He told the Telegraph that neither Saudi Arabia or Pakistan had anything to gain by such a deal.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah said in 2009 that his country would move to obtain nuclear weapons if Iran built its own arsenal.

Pakistan declared itself a nuclear state in 1998 and has never signed up for non-proliferation agreements.

Saudi Arabia has been “generous” to Pakistan’s defence sector for years, the BBC says.

 

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Belarus reactor under construction since Chernobyl

07 November 2013

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-First-Belarus-reactor-under-construction-0711134.html

The first safety-related concrete has been poured for the foundation slab of the initial reactor at the Ostrovets site in Belarus marking the official start of construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant.

The concrete-pouring process for the slab began on 6 November, according to Belarus official news agency Belta. This will provide a foundation for the containment and auxiliary buildings that are within the unit’s nuclear island.

Nuclear Power Plant Construction Directorate (Belarus AEC) announced in late October that it had been issued with a construction licence for Ostrovets unit 1 by the Department for Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor) of the Ministry of Emergencies.

Belarus launched a tender for the construction of the plant and invited bids from Russian state nuclear enterprise Rosatom, Areva and Westinghouse-Toshiba. The 1200 MWe AES-2006 model VVER pressurized water reactor design, developed by the Saint Petersburg AtomEnergoProekt, has been selected for use at the plant.

The main construction contract was awarded to AtomStroyExport (ASE) in October 2011, while a $10 billion turnkey contract was finalised between Belarus and Rosatom in July 2012 for the supply of the two reactors.

The construction time for the first unit is expected to be 60 months after first concrete, with the beginning of the physical start-up and commissioning of the unit due in 2018. The timetable for the second unit will be about 18 months behind it, with commissioning set for July 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Loss of veto over Cumbria nuclear waste dump site ‘extremely flawed’

“We need to make sure these areas are properly compensated and not just given a few goodies in a paper bag.”

 Cash for Nuclear Clunkers

Image source ; http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/politicalcartoons/ig/Political-Cartoons/Cash-for-Nuclear-Clunkers-.htm

PLANS to sideline the views of Cumbria County Council on whether a nuclear waste dump should be located in the county have been lambasted by councillors.

Area representatives for the authority met at County Hall in Kendal yesterday to discuss a new government document which sets out the process for how a site will be found.

The report states the final decision on the location of a new nuclear repository – once a new search gets under way – will rest in the hands of district authorities.

The move would remove Cumbria County Council’s “no” vote on the matter in January this year.

County Councillor Lord Roger Liddle told the council meeting that while he believed in nuclear power, asking communities to volunteer themselves for a repository was not the right way to approach the matter.

He said: “I have always been a believer in nuclear power. But this process is extremely, badly flawed.

“We have a huge responsibility to future generations, not just to solve the problem of waste in Cumbria but to preserve the asset of the Lake District, a priceless part of our heritage.”

Continue reading

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Urgent need to remove nuclear fuel rods from unsteady reactor No.4

spent-fuel-rodsNuclear Expert: Fuel rods are “in a jumble” at Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Unclear if they are cracked — US pressing Japan on removal, fears terrorist activity at plant (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/nuclear-expert-fuel-rods-are-in-a-jumble-at-fukushima-unit-4-pool-unclear-if-they-are-cracked-us-pressing-japan-on-removal-fears-terrorist-activity-at-plant-video

Telegraph,, Nov. 6, 2013: “Did you ever play pick up sticks?” asked a foreign nuclear expert who has been monitoring Tepco’s efforts to regain control of the plant. “You had 50 sticks, you heaved them into the air and than had to take one off the pile at a time. “If the pile collapsed when you were picking up a stick, you lost,” he said. “There are 1,534 pick-up sticks in a jumble in [sic] top of an unsteady reactor 4. What do you think can happen? I do not know anyone who is confident that this can be done since it has never been tried.” Even now, it is not clear whether any of the rods, containing transuranic and transplutonic elements, are cracked, he said. […]

Others have issued even more dire warnings, with Charles Perrow, a professor emeritus at Yale University, warning: “The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas, including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site, the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”

Inside Japan’s stricken Fukushima unit four nuclear reactor

 

Nikkei, Nov. 7, 2013: [Tepco] will begin removing spent nuclear fuel from the storage pool at the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s No. 4 reactor this month, a company official said at a press corps gathering at the site Wednesday. […] The U.S. and other countries have been pressing Japan to securely store the spent fuel, fearing another earthquake or terrorist activity. […] the upper part of the No. 4 reactor building was severely damaged, causing a large amount of rubble to fall into the pool. Concerns have arisen that the fuel may be damaged, making it even less certain whether the work will proceed smoothly.
Watch Bloomberg’s report on Unit 4 here

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Southern Italy’s cancer epidemic, due to radioactive trash dumping

To clean it up it would cost the entire Italian budget for a year I think.’  

The lower house in the Italian Parliament had elected to make the documents public in the interests of transparency.

Toxic nuclear waste dumped illegally by the Mafia is blamed for surge in cancers in southern Italy He added: ‘We disposed of 70 or 80 trucks from the north, millions and millions of tonnes.    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483484/Toxic-nuclear-waste-dumped-illegally-Mafia-blamed-surge-cancers-southern-Italy.html#ixzz2k64qz8UL 

  • Italian Senate investigating link between pollutants and 50 per cent rise
  • Classified documents from 1997 reveal poison would kill everyone 
  • Nuclear sludge, brought from Germany, was dumped in landfills

By HANNAH ROBERTS IN ROME   1 November 2013 Toxic nuclear and industrial waste, dumped illegally by the Neapolitan mafia, is responsible for a surge in cancers in southern Italy, it is feared.

The Italian Senate is investigating a link between buried pollutants and a rise of almost 50 per cent in tumours found in the inhabitants of several towns around Naples.

In classified documents from 1997, only now released to the public, a mafia kingpin warned authorities that the poison in the ground would kill everyone ‘within two decades’. Camorra chief Francesco Schiavone, once the world’s number one mafia fugitive, said: ‘The inhabitants are all at risk of dying from cancer within twenty years.

‘In towns like Casapesenna, Casal di Principe, Castel Volturno, and so on, they have, perhaps, twenty years to live. In fact I don’t think anyone will survive.’

Doctors first noticed that cancers in towns around Naples were on the rise in the 1990s. But since that time they have increased by 40 per cent in women and 47 per cent in men.

Map-Italy-nuclear-wastes

 The illegal trafficking of hazardous waste came to light in 1997 when Francesco’s cousin, Carmine Schiavone, was overcome by guilt at the environmental damage he and others were inflicting, and decided to turn super-grass.  Francesco Schiavone was arrested and eventually given a life sentence for a string of murders.

In secret out-of-court testimony he told lawyers how the Casalesi clan ran ‘a military style operation’ dumping millions of tonnes of waste on farmland, in caves, in quarries and even on the edge of towns.  The mafia family also disposed of contaminated waste in Lake Lucrino and all along the coast.

Operatives were equipped with real police and carabinieri uniforms, as well as firearms, and the clans raked in huge profits of up to 600 million of the old lire (£200,000) a month.  The industry became an officially clan-sanctioned ‘business’ in 1990 but had been going on long before.  Nuclear sludge, brought in on trucks from plants in Germany, was dumped in landfills, Schiavone said. The trucks would unload waste at night before earth was thrown over with a JCB.

He said: ‘I know that some is on land where buffalo live today, and on which no grass grows’

The cost of a clean up would run into billions, he said, describing several sites in the suburbs of Naples.

Schiavone revealed: ‘We buried 520 drums of toxic waste in a specially dug quarry near the town of Pure Villaricca. But we also did it in very populated places, outside towns- at Casal di Principe behind the sports field at the edge of the motorway.’He added: ‘We disposed of 70 or 80 trucks from the north, millions and millions of tonnes.

‘To clean it up it would cost the entire Italian budget for a year I think.’ The lower house in the Italian Parliament had elected to make the documents public in the interests of transparency.

November 8, 2013 Posted by | health, Italy, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Bad manners: Japanese lawyer’s letter to Emperor about Fukuhsima

flag-japanAnti-nuclear letter handed to Japan’s Emperor Akihito causes uproarnews.com.au,  NOVEMBER 07, 2013  A NOVICE Japanese lawmaker who wanted to draw attention to the Fukushima nuclear crisis has caused an uproar by doing something taboo: handing a letter to the emperor.

The ruckus began at an annual autumn Imperial Palace garden party last week. As Emperor Akihito and his wife, Michiko, greeted a line of guests, outspoken actor-turned-lawmaker Taro Yamamoto gave the emperor the letter – a gesture considered both impolite and inappropriate…….. Yamamoto’s action drew criticism from both ends of the ideological spectrum and left many Japanese baffled by what they consider to be a major breach of protocol: reaching out to the emperor in an unscripted act………Many conservatives still consider the emperor and his family divine (“the people above the clouds”) and believe a commoner shouldn’t even talk to him…….The Imperial Household Agency vice chief said that Yamamoto’s action was “inappropriate,” and that the incident could affect operation of future palace public events. He said the agency has the letter, and Akihito hasn’t read it.

Yamamoto’s anti-nuclear stance makes him a target for conservatives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which is pushing for a return to nuclear power. Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura called for Yamamoto’s resignation……

Nakano [ Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo] said Yamamoto has at least drawn some public attention to the potential health risks faced by children from the Fukushima area and plant workers. ”After all, he might have achieved part of his goals, ” Nakano said. http://www.news.com.au/world/anti-nuclear-letter-handed-to-japans-emperor-akihito-causes-uproar/story-fndir2ev-1226755434400

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Eyes of the world on Fukushima, as critical nuclear fuel rods cleanup to begin

They have to remove the fuel as early as possible – the risk from major structural failure leading to pool collapse is a greater threat than leaving the fuel in situ.”.

Radiation levels in those reactors are still too high for humans to enter, and attempts to use robots to determine the exact location of the melted fuel have failed. Instead, officials are placing their faith in the law of gravity, assuming only that the highly hazardous material lies somewhere deep inside the reactor basements.

highly-recommendedFukushima nuclear cleanup enters critical phase Tokyo Electric Power to begin removing more than 1,500 fuel assemblies from spent fuel pool in unprecedented operation  in Fukushima The Guardian, Friday 8 November 2013 Gazing down at the glassy surface of the spent fuel pool inside the No 4 reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi, it is easy to underestimate the danger posed by the highly toxic contents of its murky depths.

But this lofty, isolated corner of the wrecked nuclear power plant is now the focus of global attention as Japan enters the most critical stage yet in its attempt to clean up after the worst nuclear accident in the country’s history.

Later this month the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), will begin removing more than 1,500 fuel assemblies from the pool, the first step in a decommissioning process expected to last at least three decades.

Fukushima-No-4-1113

On Thursday, the Guardian witnessed Tepco’s preparations for an unprecedented operation that the utility’s critics claim has the potential to end in disaster.

The risk posed to the reactor by earthquakes and other natural catastrophes has made removal of the fuel – 1,331 spent assemblies and 202 fresh ones – a matter of urgency. Continue reading

November 8, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

China will have controlling interest in UK’s nuclear power!

flag-ChinaBritain’s debt to foreign power: China’s nuclear revolution George Osborne has effectively handed the nation’s nuclear industry over to Chinese and French giants Telegraph, By   18 Oct 2013  How’s this for a turn-up flag-UKfor the books? A Conservative Chancellor, promoter of free markets and defender of national sovereignty, is boasting of “allowing” (a euphemism, it seems, for “begging”) a totalitarian Communist country to build nuclear power stations in Britain.

It will all start – under a deal expected to be finalised next week – with the state-owned China General Nuclear Power joining the equally nationalised Electricité de France (EDF) in constructing a £14 billion brace of reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The Chinese will have a minority share in the project, but have made it clear – and George Osborne accepts this – that they should have a controlling interest in future schemes.

So, much of Britain’s highly sensitive nuclear industry – which sprang from the atomic bomb programme – is effectively to be owned by two foreign powers, one the country’s oldest traditional enemy, the other a bitter Cold War opponent. Few other nations, and certainly not China, would dream of permitting anything of the kind. Doesn’t Mr Osborne see that this could be a bit radioactive, shall we say? Continue reading

November 8, 2013 Posted by | China, politics international, UK | Leave a comment