nuclear-news

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

Evidence of a cataract epidemic in Miyagi Prefecture after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

nuclear-news

仙台市の病院で白内障手術が急増 ’09年395件,’10年399件,’11年514件,’12年784件 
Operation of cataract increased in Sendai hospitals:

395 in 2009,

399 in 2010,

514 in 2011,

784 in 2012.

The data from the official website of the Japan Labour Health and Welfare Organization.

Tohoku hospital in Aoba-ku, Sendaishi-city, Miyagi prefecture

Screenshot from 2013-12-21 12:26:25

http://www.tohokuh.rofuku.go.jp/

Above graph from herehttp://bran7.net/archives/43285

Evidence of soil contamination in Miyagi Prefecture Contamination by Cesium 137 and Cesium 134 from 60 Km to approximately 150 Km north of the Fukushima Daichi disater site..

Radioactive contamination in soil in Izunuma area in Kkurihara-city, Miyagi prefecture

Cs137:2100 Bq/Kg(検出下限minimum limit of detection 40.7)

Cs134:870 Bq/Kg(検出下限minimum limit of detection 10.4)

Total CesiumCs合計:2970 Bq/Kg(検出下限minimum limit of detection 51.1)

Screenshot from 2013-12-18 01:06:20https://nuclear-news.net/2013/12/18/radioactive-cesium-levels-in-miyagi-forest-soil-up-since-2011/?relatedposts_exclude=60913

 

 

 

Meet Grigorij Nikolaevich Sorikov
Pensioner, Bartolomeevka village, Belarus


The day after the accident there was an old aeroplane, an E2 I think, flying very low, about 300 metres above ground, to and fro…

View original post 265 more words

Advertisements

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

SPECIAL REPORT-The U.S. government lab behind China’s nuclear power push

Jess Gehin, a nuclear-reactor physicist at Oak Ridge, says the pact allows the two sides to share information about their research.

“The Chinese are very aggressive, very determined and programmed to move forward with this technology,” Gehin said. “Right now we agree that we should meet routinely, maybe a couple of times a year.”

[….]

Top British naval engineers last year proposed a design for a thorium reactor to power warships

[…]

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/12/20/breakout-thorium-idINL4N0FE21U20131220

By David Lague and Charlie Zhu

Dec 20 (Reuters) – Scientists in Shanghai are attempting a breakthrough in nuclear energy: reactors powered by thorium, an alternative to uranium.

The project is run by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a government body with close military ties that coordinates the country’s science-and-technology strategy. The academy has designated thorium as a priority for China’s top laboratories. The program has a budget of $350 million. And it’s being spearheaded by the influential son of a former Chinese president.

But even as China bulks up its military muscle through means ranging from espionage to heavy spending, it is pursuing this aspect of its technology game plan with the blessing – and the help – of the United States.

China has enlisted a storied partner for its thorium push: Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The U.S. government institute produced the plutonium used for the Manhattan Project and laid important groundwork for the commercial and military use of nuclear power.

The Tennessee lab, as it happens, helped pioneer thorium reactors. The Pentagon and the energy industry later sidelined this technology in favor of uranium. The Chinese are now enthusiastically tapping that know-how, in an example of how the rising Asian superpower is scouring the world for all sorts of technology needed to catch up to America in a broad array of scientific fields.

Thorium’s chief allure is that it is a potentially far safer fuel for civilian power plants than is uranium. But the element also has possible military applications as an energy source in naval vessels. A U.S. congressman unsuccessfully sought to push the Pentagon to embrace the technology in 2009, and British naval officers are recommending a design for a thorium-fueled ship.

In a further twist, despite the mounting strategic rivalry with China, there has been little or no protest in the United States over Oak Ridge’s nuclear-energy cooperation with China.

“The U.S. government seems to welcome Chinese scientists into Department of Energy labs with open arms,” says physicist and thorium advocate Robert Hargraves. He and other experts note that most of the U.S. intellectual property related to thorium is already in the public domain. At a time when the U.S. government is spending very little on advanced reactor research, they believe China’s experiments may yield a breakthrough that provides an alternative to the massive consumption of fossil fuels.

The technology’s immediate appeal for China, both Chinese and American scientists say, is that thorium reactors have the potential to be much more efficient, safer and cleaner than most in service today.

The Chinese plan to cool their experimental reactors with molten salts. This is sharply different from the pressurized water-cooling systems used in most uranium-fueled nuclear plants. The risks of explosions and meltdowns are lower, proponents say.

“If a thorium, molten-salt reactor can be successfully developed, it will remove all fears about nuclear energy,” says Fang Jinqing, a retired nuclear researcher at the China Institute of Atomic Energy. “The technology works in theory, and it may have the potential to reshape the nuclear power landscape, but there are a lot of technical challenges.”

Other advocates agree on thorium’s peaceful promise. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, introduced legislation in 2010 calling on the U.S. government to share its thorium expertise.

The unsuccessful bill said it was in U.S. “national security and foreign policy interest” to provide other countries with thorium fuel-cycle technology, because doing so would produce less long-lasting waste and reduce the risk of nuclear proliferation.

Oak Ridge has been free to proceed in spite of that bill’s failure.

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

What China is attempting is to turn the nuclear clock back to the mid-1960s, when Oak Ridge successfully operated a reactor with fuel derived from thorium and cooled with molten salts. The lab also produced detailed plans for a commercial-scale power plant.

Despite considerable promise, the thorium test reactor was shut down in 1969 after about five years of operation. Research was effectively shelved when the Nixon Administration decided in the 1970s that the U.S nuclear industry would concentrate on a new generation of uranium-fueled, fast-breeder reactors. For a range of technical and political reasons, not least the public’s fear of nuclear plants, these new uranium reactors have yet to come into widespread commercial use.

The die was cast against thorium much earlier. In the early 1950s, an influential U.S. Navy officer, Hyman Rickover, decided a water-cooled, uranium-fueled reactor would power the world’s first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus. Rickover was instrumental in the 1957 commissioning of a similar reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania – the world’s first nuclear-power station.

Admiral Rickover was a towering figure in atomic energy and became known as the father of the U.S nuclear navy. He had clear reasons for his choice, engineers say. The pressurized water reactor was the most advanced, compact and technically sound at the time. More importantly, these reactors also supplied plutonium as a byproduct – then in strong demand as fuel for America’s rapidly growing arsenal of nuclear warheads.

“The short answer is that uranium was good for bombs and thorium wasn’t,” says Kirk Sorensen, president of Flibe Energy, a privately held thorium-technology start-up based in Huntsville, Alabama.

With the launch of the Nautilus in 1955, a course was set that is still followed today, with most of the world’s nuclear power generated from this type of reactor.

Although it does not yield byproducts that can be readily used to make weapons, thorium does have military applications.

The fuel could be used to power Chinese navy surface warships, including a planned fleet of aircraft carriers. China’s nuclear submarine fleet has struggled with reactor reliability and safety, according to naval commentators, and thorium could eventually become an alternative.

Top British naval engineers last year proposed a design for a thorium reactor to power warships. Compact thorium power plants could also be used to supply reliable power to military bases and expeditionary forces.

Continue reading

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did the NSA conceal Fukushima meltdown from military sent into area?

….The case also raises serious questions about whether the NSA properly executed its mission to protect U.S. troops from overseas threats. These possible injuries came at a time when the spy agency seemed preoccupied with conducting surveillance on the American people in what U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon called an “almost Orwellian” violation of the U.S. Constitution in his ruling on the NSA’s PRISM…..

WASHINGTON, December 24, 2013 —

http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/freedom-press-not-free/2013/dec/24/did-nsa-conceal-fukushima-meltdown-military-sent-a/

More than 50 U.S. Navy sailors who served aboard ships that responded to the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan report falling ill to cancer and other radiation-linked diseases.

 

The reported illnesses among sailors who served on the USS Ronald Reagan and other Navy ships make it imperative to ascertain whether the Navy knew or should have known the conditions into which it was sending personnel. To that end, it is critical to know whether the NSA intercepted telephone and email communications from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and whether the spy agency knew that TEPCO was covering up the multi-reactor meltdown at the time the Pentagon ordered sailors into harm’s way during “Operation Tomodachi.”

 

It would be hard to imagine that the NSA, the embattled spy agency which has been caught eavesdropping on the German and Brazilian heads of state, as well as on the pope, was not using all available surveillance technology and Japanese translators to monitor the unfolding TEPCO catastrophe. It would be highly unlikely that it failed to provide the Obama Administration with frequent updates on the situation.

 

Did the Navy get updates about Fukushima from NSA? Who was responsible for deciding who would get updates? Who was responsible if the NSA did not provide them?

Continue reading

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Futaba mayor dissolves assembly, fukushima minpo.

Katsutaka Idogawa, mayor of the town of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, said on Dec. 26 that he has dissolved the town assembly after it passed a no-confidence motion against him.

Idogawa notified assembly chairman Seiichi Sasaki of the dissolution. Under the public offices election law, an election will be held within 40 days of the day following the notification. The town election board is seeking to arrange voting on Feb. 3.

The assembly unanimously passed a no-confidence motion against Idogawa on Dec. 20, citing his absence from a meeting in November about a plan to set up temporary storage facilities for soil contaminated with radioactive substances released from the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The assembly passed the no-confidence motion in a session held in the city of Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, to which the Futaba municipal government relocated its office following the outbreak of the nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Idogawa was absent from the Nov. 28 meeting of prefectural government officials and mayors of municipalities in Futaba county held to discuss the central government’s proposal to set up temporary storage facilities for radiation-contaminated soil.

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BBC continues to mislead audiences on Iran nuclear issue

…..So why does the BBC insist on propagating this misleading “West vs Iran” theme?….

26/12/2013

http://bbcwatch.org/2013/12/26/bbc-continues-to-mislead-audiences-on-iran-nuclear-issue/

Last week the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK, Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times which clarified his country’s position on Iran and Syria in no uncertain terms.

“We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East. This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by. […]

And yet rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them. The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization.

This year’s talks with Iran may dilute the West’s determination to deal with both governments. What price is “peace” though, when it is made with such regimes?

The foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world. ”

Earlier in December the Gulf Co-operation Council summit in Kuwait issued a final communique which expressed continued concern over Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and other Gulf Arab countries, praised Iran’s new rapprochement efforts towards the Gulf’s monarchies, but also expressed concern over reports of intention of new nuclear reactor projects in the country.

“The higher council expressed concern over reports about plans to build more nuclear reactors along the Gulf coast,” Abdellatif al-Zayani, the GCC general-secretary, said at the end of the two-day summit hosted in Kuwait, reading the council’s final communique.”

Despite these and other clear signs of unease among Gulf countries, the BBC continues to report concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear programme as a ‘Western’ issue. 

An article titled “Iran nuclear talks with world powers make ‘slow progress’” which was published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on December 23rd states:

“Israeli and American critics of the Geneva deal say it gives Iran cover to expand the programme.”

Clearly, concerns regarding the the P5+1 deal with Iran are by no means limited to “Israeli and American critics”.

The article also employs the standard equivocal impartiality box ticker, according to which:

“Western nations have long accused Iran of seeking to acquire a nuclear weapon, but Iran says the programme is for solely peaceful ends.”

Beyond the fact that this pro forma statement neglects to provide BBC audiences with the supporting evidence to assessments regarding the military nature of Iran’s nuclear programme and reduces the entire issue to a puerile ‘he said-she said’ level, it also bizarrely paints it as a matter of ‘the West vs Iran’ when in fact the range of countries concerned about Iran’s military nuclear designs in fact includes nations which are not “Western” such as the Gulf States and also Russia and China, which are part of the P5+1 which engaged in talks with Iran precisely because of assessments regarding the military nature of its nuclear programme.

In addition, of course, that programme has been the subject of several UN Security Council resolutions which were backed by numerous countries which cannot be described as “Western nations” and the IAEA – also not a “Western” body – has repeatedly voiced its concerns over the nature of the Iranian nuclear project.

So why does the BBC insist on propagating this misleading “West vs Iran” theme?

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EDITORIAL: Abe’s nuclear energy policy ignores reality in Japan

Given the current situation, the government’s plan to burn MOX fuel at 16 to 18 reactors is little better than a pipe dream.

Japan already has a stockpile of 44 tons of plutonium—enough to make thousands of nuclear warheads—not to mention 17,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel.

 

December 26, 2013

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/AJ201312260053

The draft of the basic energy plan the government has drawn up as the energy policy outline for the next two decades or so clearly reflects Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s enthusiasm for keeping nuclear power plants running in Japan.

To be sure, the draft contains Abe’s promise to reduce Japan’s reliance on nuclear power as much as possible and references the lessons learned from the accident that crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The government has also made sure that the document doesn’t call for building new nuclear power plants or replacing old ones with new ones.

But this policy outline leaves no doubt that the government views nuclear power as an important and basic power source and intends to use it vigorously.

This approach is totally unacceptable.

Toshimitsu Motegi, minister of economy, trade and industry, criticized the Democratic Party of Japan’s policy decision to phase out nuclear power as “an unrealistic strategy.”

Indeed, there were also inconsistencies in the DPJ’s energy policy. But the Abe administration’s vision for the nation’s energy future isn’t any more realistic by any measure, as is revealed by its pledge to “promote steadily” the nuclear fuel recycling program.

The current policy of reprocessing all spent nuclear fuel to extract and use plutonium is effectively unworkable.

Progress has halted at the Monju project to develop fast-breeder reactor technology, the centerpiece of the nuclear fuel recycling program, while the maintenance of the prototype fast-breeder reactor is costing a huge amount of money every year.

The so-called plutonium-thermal (pluthermal) project, which involves processing spent nuclear fuel into mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel to be burned in ordinary reactors, doesn’t seem to have a good chance of success, either. Even before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, only four reactors were being used for the pluthermal power generation.

Continue reading

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima salmon industry in peril with hatcheries stuck in evacuation zone

….The cooperative aims to resume fishing in autumn 2015, but it is still not known if the evacuation order will be lifted next spring…..

https://nuclear-news.net/2013/12/27/japan-eyes-completion-of-fukushima-radiation-cleanup-by-march-2017/

December 27, 2013

By HIROKI ITO/ Staff Writer

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201312270008

NARAHA, Fukushima Prefecture–Hideo Matsumoto stares at the surface of the Kidogawa river here, a quiet, tree-lined waterway where salmon have been caught for centuries. A forlorn expression forms on his face.

“I want fishing to make a full comeback soon,” says Matsumoto, the 65-year-old head of the Kidogawa river fishermen’s cooperative. “If we don’t resume fishing, the river won’t have many salmon coming up it.”

Unfortunately, Japan’s greatest salmon runs could see a huge drop in returning fish in two or three years’ time, putting the entire salmon business in Fukushima Prefecture in jeopardy.

Fishermen have been unable to hatch eggs or release young fish on five rivers in the prefecture because the hatcheries are located within the evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

In normal times in the town of Naraha, located along the Kidogawa river, salmon are caught in autumn and then their eggs are artificially inseminated. The hatchlings are released the following spring, and return to the river, where they were born, four or five years later to spawn.

But the majority of hatchlings released into the Kidogawa river immediately before the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 are believed to have been wiped out by the tsunami.

Since then, no salmon have been hatched or released because the disaster destroyed hatcheries, which cannot be repaired because they lie within the evacuation zone of the nuclear accident.

If the situation remains unchanged past 2014 or 2015, when the salmon released in 2010 are expected to return, then the number of fish making the run could plummet.

On Nov. 17, 11 members of the fishermen’s cooperative caught about 100 fish using the “combination net fishing” technique, in which they sent a net flowing downstream to meet another net that was set in position.

Fishing in the evacuation zone is generally prohibited by the Fukushima prefectural government. This excursion was a test to study the effects of radioactive substances. Although the levels have never exceeded detection limits since these test catches began last year, it is still not known when fishing can resume.

Continue reading

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Toshiba nears majority stake in UK nuclear project- CEO

“We are thinking about an exit, but we haven’t decided anything yet. We will reduce our majority stake over time. We are a plant provider, not a nuclear power provider,” he said. Tanaka said revenue from the project, including the reactors, was expected to be around 1.5 trillion yen ($14.4 billion)……

TOKYO Thu Dec 26, 2013

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/12/26/uk-britain-nuclear-toshiba-idUKBRE9BP01820131226

(Reuters) – Toshiba Corp (6502.T) said it is in the final stages of nailing down a majority stake in a British nuclear power consortium after one of the joint shareholders agreed to sell the Japanese company its 50 percent stake.

Securing a long-awaited majority holding in the NuGen consortium would guarantee a $14 billion deal for Toshiba’s Westinghouse unit to supply three reactors for the project, Toshiba’s Chief Executive Hisao Tanaka told reporters in Tokyo.

A deal for majority control, including part of French utility GDF Suez’s (GSZ.PA) 50 percent stake, could be in place as early as January, Tanaka said. That would allow Toshiba to kickstart an ambitious reactor building programme that stalled after countries around the world froze nuclear expansion plans and regulations were tightened in the wake of Japan’s 2011 disaster at Fukushima.

Spanish utility Iberdrola SA (IBE.MC), which is selling assets to reduce debt, said on Monday it has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in NuGen to Toshiba for 85 million pounds ($139 million), subject to final approvals, terms and conditions.

Continue reading

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan eyes completion of Fukushima radiation cleanup by March 2017

Kyodo — Dec 27
The Environment Ministry said Thursday that it now aims to complete radiation cleanup activities in the most seriously contaminated areas outside the accident-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex by the end of March 2017.

The ministry had hoped to finish the work at 11 cities, towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture by the end of next March, or about three years after the nuclear crisis began. But the schedule has been delayed due to the difficulties of securing enough places to temporarily store the contaminated soil and other waste.

“We reviewed the plans so that they will be realistic. We will proceed with the decontamination work, offering a detailed response to local needs,” Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara told a press conference.

東京電力の福島第1原発事故で、帰還の見通しが立たない住民に、追加で700万円の慰­謝料を支払うことなどを盛り込んだ、賠償方針がまとまった。

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments