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Fukushima I NPP: Data on Strontium in Water Hasn’t Been Published for 6 Months, and Will Not Be Published Until TEPCO Figures Out What’s Wrong

No other entity is allowed to take measurements of radioactive materials inside the plant. It has been TEPCO’s monopoly. It was less than two months ago that IAEA visited the plant and endorsed TEPCO’s method of measurement.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/fukushima-i-npp-data-on-strontium-in.html

9 January 2014

What’s worse is (as usual) TEPCO didn’t say anything until now.

What’s even worse is that TEPCO is not going to release the data until it fully investigates why the new results differ from the old results.

Nuclear Regulation Authority was openly expressing doubt about the data that came from TEPCO on radioactive materials measurement, and that was about 6 months ago.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (1/9/2014):

東電、ストロンチウム濃度公表せず…測定誤り?

TEPCO will not publish data on strontium density, measurement error?

東京電力は8日、福島第一原子力発電所の港湾や井戸で海水や地下水を採取して調べている放射性ストロンチウムの濃度について、「測定結果に誤りがある可能性があり、公表できない」と発表した。

TEPCO announced on January 8 that regarding the density of radioactive strontium in the sea water and groundwater whose samples are taken from the plant harbor and wells at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, there is a possibility of errors in the measurement results and the results cannot be published.

海水などは定期的に採取して汚染状況を監視することになっており、放射性セシウムなどは毎週、濃度を分析して公表している。しかし、汚染水に含まれる主要 な放射性物質の一つであるストロンチウムは、毎月分析することになっているが、昨年6月に採取した海水などの分析結果を最後に、半年近くも公表していな かった。

Water samples are regularly collected to monitor contamination, and the density of radioactive cesium are measured and published every week. Strontium is supposed to be measured every month, but the result of measurement hasn’t been published for nearly a half year since the last one for the seawater samples taken in June last year.

東電によると、昨年夏まで使っていた装置の分析結果にばらつきがあり、信頼性に乏しかった。同9月に新たな装置を導入し、信頼性が向上したが、「旧装置と異なる分析結果になった原因を詳しく解明してから、新たな装置による結果を公表したい」と説明している。

According to TEPCO, the measurement results from an equipment used until the summer of 2013 were not consistent and not reliable. TEPCO switched to a new equipment in September and the reliability was enhanced. But TEPCO says, “We would like to investigate first why the new results differ from the old results, before we announce the new results from the new equipment.”

 

Curious to know what kind of “inconsistencies”?

According to TEPCO’s own words during the regular press conference on January 8 (well captured by this tweet from @jaikoman), the density of strontium – a beta nuclide – exceeded the density of all-beta, which is impossible.

No other entity is allowed to take measurements of radioactive materials inside the plant. It has been TEPCO’s monopoly. It was less than two months ago that IAEA visited the plant and endorsed TEPCO’s method of measurement.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bohol earthquake victims’ lament: We’ve been forgotten

The quake released energy equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs.

http://manilatimes.net/bohol-earthquake-victims-lament-weve-been-forgotten/67046/

January 11, 2014 10:13 pm by Robertzon F. Ramirez Reporter

Victims of last year’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Bohol province bewailed what they felt was government neglect after public attention shifted to the relief operations following Super Typhoon Yolanda’s onslaught in Eastern Visayas.

“We feel forgotten here in Bohol,” Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

The bishop likewise appealed to the laity to support the rebuilding of churches, whose proceeds will be given to earthquake victims who are still recuperating from the tragedy.

“We are [not only] rebuilding the churches, but [also] the spirit of our people,” he added.

Medroso thanked Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who urged millions of Black Nazarene devotees to pray for the victims of calamities.

In October last year, at least 15 churches in Bohol province were destroyed or heavily damaged by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 200 people and injured close to 1,000.

The quake released energy equivalent to 32 Hiroshima bombs.

Several thousand Boholanos were still living in temporary shelters when Typhoon Yolanda tore across Central Visayas on November 7.
Since then the government’s relief and rebuilding efforts has shifted to the Yolanda-ravaged areas.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Highly irradiated fish caught near crippled Japan nuclear plant

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/140111/highly-irradiated-fish-caught-near-crippled-japan-nuclear-plant

Tokyo, Jan 11 (EFE).- Japanese authorities have detected radiation levels 124 times higher than the accepted limit in a fish caught in waters near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the Asahi daily reported Saturday.

The government-affiliated Fisheries Research Agency said Friday that the black sea bream had 12,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, far above the maximum limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram allowed for foodstuffs.

The fish was caught on Nov. 17 at the mouth of the Niidagawa River in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, 37 kilometers (23 miles) from the Fukushima plant, which was battered by a powerful March 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

It was one of 37 black sea bream caught in and off Iwaki to study their radiation levels.

The agency said it would conduct further studies to determine when the fish was contaminated with such high levels of radioactive cesium.

Two other fish also had radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s food-safety standards, containing 426 becquerels per kilogram and 197 becquerels per kilo, respectively.

The readings of the other 34 black sea bream, a species that is no longer sold at fish markets in the affected region, showed levels of contamination below the accepted limit, the agency said.

Black sea bream fishing is currently restricted off the coasts of Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures.

After the nuclear disaster, Japan lowered its ceiling for allowable cesium in foodstuffs from 500 becquerels per kilogram to 100 becquerels per kilo, or six times stricter than European Union standards.

In March of last year, a fish caught near the Fukushima plant had 740,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, the highest reading recorded since the nuclear disaster.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Defying Japan, Rancher Saves Fukushima’s Radioactive Cows

“I needed to find a new philosophy to keep on living,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, who is unmarried and lives alone on the ranch. “Then I realized, why is Japan being so meek in accepting what authorities are telling them? I decided to become the resistance.”

“Not all Japanese are passive,” Mr. Yoshizawa said. “My cows and I will show that there is still a chance for change.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/world/asia/defying-japan-rancher-saves-fukushimas-radioactive-cows.html?src=rechp&_r=1

NAMIE, Japan — His may be one of the world’s more quixotic protests.

Angered by what he considers the Japanese government’s attempts to sweep away the inconvenient truths of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Masami Yoshizawa has moved back to his ranch in the radioactive no-man’s land surrounding the devastated plant. He has no neighbors, but plenty of company: hundreds of abandoned cows he has vowed to protect from the government’s kill order.

A large bulldozer — meant to keep out agricultural officials — stands at the entrance to the newly renamed Ranch of Hope like a silent sentinel, guarding a driveway lined with bleached cattle bones and handwritten protest signs.

“Let the Cows of Hope Live!” says one. Another, written on a yellow-painted cow skull, declares: “Nuclear Rebellion!” Inside the now overcrowded ranch, bellowing cows spill from the overflowing cattle sheds into the well-worn pasture, and even trample the yard of the warmly lit farmhouse.

“These cows are living testimony to the human folly here in Fukushima,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, 59, a gruff but eloquent man with a history of protest against his government. “The government wants to kill them because it wants to erase what happened here, and lure Japan back to its pre-accident nuclear status quo. I am not going to let them.”

“I needed to find a new philosophy to keep on living,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, who is unmarried and lives alone on the ranch. “Then I realized, why is Japan being so meek in accepting what authorities are telling them? I decided to become the resistance.”

Mr. Yoshizawa is no sentimentalist — before the disaster, he raised cows for slaughter. But he says there is a difference between killing cows for food and killing them because, in their contaminated state, they are no longer useful. He believes the cows on his ranch, abandoned by him and other fleeing farmers after the accident, are as much victims as the 83,000 humans forced to abandon their homes and live outside the evacuation zone for two and a half years.

He is worried about his health. A dosage meter near the ranch house reads the equivalent of about 1.5 times the government-set level for evacuation. But he is more fearful that the country will forget about the triple meltdowns at the plant as Japan’s economy shows signs of long-awaited recovery and Tokyo excitedly prepares for the 2020 Olympics — suggesting his protest is as least as much a political statement, as a humanitarian one.

“If authorities say kill the cows,” he said, “then I resolved to do the opposite by saving them.”

The cows at the Ranch of Hope are what is left of a once-thriving beef industry in the towns around the plant.

Entire herds died of starvation in the weeks after the residents left. The cows that survived escaped their ranches to forage for food among the empty homes and streets, where they became traffic hazards for trucks shuttling workers and supplies to and from the stricken plant. Proclaiming the animals “walking accident debris,” officials from the Ministry of Agriculture ordered them to be rounded up and slaughtered, their bodies buried or burned along with other radioactive waste.

Outraged, Mr. Yoshizawa began returning to his ranch soon after to feed the remnants of the herd he had been tending. He eventually decided to return full time to turn the ranch into a haven for all of the area’s abandoned cows. Of the approximately 360 cows at his 80-acre spread, more than half are ones that others left behind.

Although he describes his protest in mainly political terms, his explanation for returning despite the possible danger is tinged with a hint of emotion. He describes his horror on visiting abandoned farms where he found rows of dead cows, their heads fallen into food troughs where they had waited to be fed. In one barn, a newborn calf hoarsely bawled next to its dead mother. He said his spur-of-the-moment decision to save the calf, which he named Ichigo, or Strawberry, was his inspiration for trying to save the others left behind.

He still searches the evacuation zone for the often emaciated survivors, which he often has to pull by their ears to get them to follow him home. He tries to dodge police roadblocks; it is technically illegal for anyone to live inside the evacuation zone. Nonetheless, he has been caught a half-dozen times and forced to sign prewritten statements of apology for entering the zone. He has done so, but only after crossing out the promises not to do it again.

Mr. Yoshizawa is no stranger to challenging authority, having protested against nuclear power before. But he says he felt particularly bitter after the Fukushima accident, which he fears could permanently ruin the ranch that he inherited from his father.

It does not help that his town, Namie, felt especially deceived by its leaders. After he heard the explosions at the plant, whose smokestacks and cranes are visible from his kitchen, he and many other townspeople ended up fleeing into the radioactive plume because the government did not disclose crucial information about the accident.

“I needed to find a new philosophy to keep on living,” said Mr. Yoshizawa, who is unmarried and lives alone on the ranch. “Then I realized, why is Japan being so meek in accepting what authorities are telling them? I decided to become the resistance.”

On a recent cold morning, Mr. Yoshizawa used a small bulldozer to carry bales of yellow rice stalks to feed the cows, about two to three times the number that he says his ranch can sustainably support. The cows, mostly a breed known as Japanese Black prized for its marbled wagyu-style beef, hungrily mooed as they jostled one another to get a mouthful.

Mr. Yoshizawa says one fear is running out of feed. With the oversized herd having already grazed his pastureland to stubble, he now relies on contributions of feed and money. Another worry is what living amid the contamination is doing to the cows, and to him.

A checkup soon after the accident showed high levels of radioactive cesium in his body, though he said the number had decreased over the last two years. He tries to keep his contamination as low as possible by using filtered water and buying food on trips out of the area.

The cows, however, are constantly ingesting radioactive materials that remain in the soil and grass; since most of the donated feed he receives is from the region, it, too, is contaminated.

Ten of the cows have developed small white spots on their heads and flanks that he thinks are a result of exposure to radiation. Experts said they had never seen such spots before, but they said other causes were also possible, including a fungal infection from the overcrowding.

Mr. Yoshizawa has attracted a small following of supporters, but has his critics, too, who say he is keeping the animals alive in less than humane conditions in order to make a political point.

“Looking at the over-concentration of animals, I personally don’t think this is very humanitarian,” said Manabu Fukumoto, a pathologist at the Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University who studied the white spots.

Mr. Yoshizawa notes wryly that the cows are living much longer than they would have if they had been led off to slaughter.

For now, the local authorities have come up with a very Japanese solution to Mr. Yoshizawa’s defiance: turning a blind eye. Town officials in Namie deny knowledge of him or anyone else living inside the evacuation zone — despite the fact that they have restored electricity and telephone service to the ranch.

Mr. Yoshizawa does not make himself easy to ignore. He continues to appear in Japanese news media, maintains a blog with a live webcam of the ranch and holds occasional one-man protests in front of the headquarters of the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

“Not all Japanese are passive,” Mr. Yoshizawa said. “My cows and I will show that there is still a chance for change.”

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Toll of U.S. Sailors Devastated by Fukushima Radiation Continues to Climb

But with U.S. support, Japan has imposed a state secrets act severely restricting reliable news reporting from the Fukushima site.

So now we all live in the same kind of dark that enveloped the USS Reagan while its crew was immersed in their mission of mercy.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Toll-of-U-S-Sailors-Devas-by-Harvey-Wasserman-Fukushima_Radiation-140111-539.html

By (about the author)

opednews.com

The roll call of U.S. sailors who say their health was devastated when they were  irradiated while delivering humanitarian help  near the stricken  Fukushima  nuke is continuing to soar.

So many have come forward that the progress of their federal class action lawsuit has been delayed.  Petitions are now circulating worldwide on their behalf at www.nukefree.org and elsewhere.

Bay area lawyer Charles Bonner says a re-filing will wait until early February to accommodate a constant influx of sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other American ships.

Within a day of Fukushima One’s March 11, 2011, melt-down, American “first responders” were drenched in radioactive fallout. In the midst of a driving snow storm, sailors reported a cloud of warm air with a metallic taste that poured over the Reagan.

Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NRC proposes fine for Univ. of Michigan Radiation Safety Service

Details of the violations were not released.

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $3,500 fine against the University of Michigan Radiation Safety Service after a routine materials inspection turned up security-related violations.

The federal agency says the inspection conducted between last June and September looked at the use of licensed materials for medical applications, research and development.

Violations were found on the school’s Ann Arbor campus.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a release Friday that the university took “immediate corrective actions to restore compliance.”

Details of the violations were not released.

The school’s Radiation Safety Service website says it provides radiological safety training, professional guidance and technical support to implement an effective radiation safety program.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unusual event declared at nuclear facility – Duke NPP

Posted: Jan 11, 2014 4:33 AM GMT

http://www.waff.com/story/24421967/unusual-event-declared-at-nuclear-facility

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – For the second straight day an emergency situation was declared at the Duke Energy Plant near Southport.

An unusual event was declared at the nuclear power plant because of a breaker issue. This occurred in the transformer yard where a breaker, like you would find in your home only much larger, tripped.

The event happened on the plant property and does not affect the public safety in anyway. The plant also maintained normal operation at the time of the event.

An unusual event is the lowest of 4 emergency classifications. It is used when the emergency doesn’t pose a threat to public safety, but requires notifying state authorities.

The plant continues to operate without issues and power output was not affected during the incident.

Investigation teams are still reviewing all information that caused the security arm to rise at the facility.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Nuclear power no solution to climate change – say 300 influential gtoups

While the cost of these [ clean renewable] technologies continues to decline and enjoy further technological advancement, the cost of nuclear power continues to increase and construction timeframes remain excessive.   And we emphasize again that no technological breakthrough to reduce its costs or enhance its operation will occur in the foreseeable future.”

For more:
– see the letter

globalnukeNOClimate change battle: Nuclear vs. an efficient, renewable grid  http://www.fierceenergy.com/story/climate-change-battle-nuclear-vs-efficient-renewable-grid/2014-01-09 January 9, 2014 | By  More than 300 U.S. and international environmental  and clean energy groups are expressing their disagreement with climate change scientist Dr. James Hansen’s claims that nuclear power is the solution to global warming. A joint letter from more than 311 groups — including 237 from 46 U.S. states and the District of Columbia and 74 from 44 other nations around the world, which includes those on the ground dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster — is being issued in response to a November 3, 2013 statement from Hansen and three of his academic world colleagues, Ken Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley. Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Public broadcasting suppressing film “Nuclear Savgage”

U.S. Human Radiation Experiments Covered Up by Public Broadcasting Op Ed News, By William Boardman — Reader Supported News 10 Jan 14 “….. hen the military scientists of an advanced technological nation deliberately explode their largest nuclear bomb (and 66 others) over Pacific islands and use the opportunities to study the effects of radiation on nearby native people, which group is best described as “savage”?  And what should you call the people who prevent a documentary about these American post-war crimes from reaching a wide audience in the United States?  

film-nuclear-savage

 Nuclear Savage ” is a recent documentary film that explores American nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands, 1946-1958, and particularly the secret Project 4.1: an American experiment in exposing Pacific Islanders to overdoses of radiation — deliberate human radiation poisoning — just to get better data on this method of maiming and killing people. The public broadcasting establishment has spent more that two years keeping this story off the air.

The preview reel of “Nuclear Savage” includes a clip with a stentorian newsreel announcer reporting on the American treatment of Marshall Islanders in April 1957, and explaining to his predominantly American audience:

“The Marshallese caught by fallout got 175 roentgens of radiation . These are fishing people, savages by our standards, so a cross-section was brought to Chicago for testing. The first was John, the mayor of Rongelap Atoll “. John, as we said, is a savage, but a happy, amenable savage.”

So how serious is 175 roentgens (assuming the measurement is accurate)? In 1950, the  International Commission on Radiological Protection  (ICRP) recommended that human radiation contact should not exceed 0.3 roentgen per week for whole-body exposure [“roentgen” as a measure of radiation dose has since been replaced by “rem” (for “roentgen equivalent man”)]. It’s not clear how long the Marshallese were exposed to radiation levels of 175 roentgens — or on how many occasions — but that amount was more than 580 times what was then considered a safe weekly exposure.

Public broadcasting paid for this film — and is now suppressing it …….

…….Given the unpalatibility this story might have for an American television audience, it’s little wonder that public broadcasting executives are content to spend public money to keep the public under-informed.         http://www.opednews.com/articles/Nuclear-Savage-by-William-Boardman-Broadcasting_Navy_Nuclear-Arms-Race_Nuclear-Attack-140110-941.html

 

January 11, 2014 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Small Modular Reactors – forlorn hope of beleaguered nuclear industry

Small-modular-reactor-dudIEER REPORT: Small Modular Reactors a “Poor Bet” to Revive Failed Nuclear Renaissance in U.S.  AUDIO: Light Water Designs of Small Modular Reactors: Facts and Analysis http://ieer.org/resource/nuclear-power/light-water-designs-of-small-modular-reactors-facts-and-analysis/By Dr. Arjun Makhijani

Download the report, updated September 2013

$90 Billion in Initial Manufacturing Order Book Needed, Requiring Massive Involvement by the Chinese or Taxpayer-Backed Federal Subsidies;

Major Implications Seen for Companies and SMR Test Sites in FL, MO, NC, OR, PA, SC, and TN.

WASHINGTON, D.C.///August 8, 2013///A shift to “small modular reactors” (SMRs) is unlikely to breathe new life into the increasingly moribund U.S. nuclear power industry, since SMRs will likely require tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies or government purchase orders, create new reliability vulnerabilities, as well as serious concerns in relation to both safety and proliferation, according a report issued today by the nonprofit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) think tank .

The IEER report has implications for SMR companies headquartered or with planned test sites in Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Titled “Light Water Designs of Small Modular Reactors: Facts and Analysis the IEER report focuses on light water reactor (LWR) SMR designs, the development and certification of which the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is already subsidizing at taxpayer expense.  Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Reference, technology | 1 Comment

Solar energy’s 1 $billion boost in New York State

sunNew York Governor Announces $1 Billion For Solar Energyhttp://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/09/3139091/cuomo-big-solar/ BY KILEY KROH ON JANUARY 9, 2014 NEW YORK GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO DELIVERED HIS STATE OF THE STATEADDRESS ON WEDNESDAY AND ANNOUNCED AN EVEN GREATER COMMITMENT TO CLEAN ENERGY, INCLUDING $1 BILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR SOLAR ENERGY PROJECTS.

Launched in 2012, Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative has already been a tremendous success, with almost 300 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic capacity installed or under development, more than was installed in the entire decade prior to the program.

Now with another major financial boost, Cuomo aims to install 3,000 (MW) of solar across New York. “That’s enough solar to power 465,000 New York homes, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2.3 million tons annually — the equivalent of taking almost 435,000 cars off the road — and create more than 13,000 new solar jobs,” according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In addition to the ten-year financial boost for NY-Sun, Cuomo announced a new program entitled K-Solar, which will incentivize the deployment of solar energy by using the state’s 5,000 schools as “demonstration hubs” to increase the number of solar energy projects in their surrounding communities.

The governor also unveiled the $40 million NY Prize competition, which will bolster community microgrids in the state, helping to make the electrical grid more resilient in the face of increasing extreme weather like Superstorm Sandy. Additionally, Renewable Heat NY will seek to utilize private sector investment to boost biomass heating as a cheaper, renewable alternative to home heating oil.

As Cuomo’s impressive commitment to clean energy pays off in the state’s rapidly growing solar industry, NRDC notes that not only is NY-Sun expanding the marketplace, it has also served to “to drive down the cost of installed solar power by establishing new, cost-effective and efficient practices and technologies.”

Thanks to this suite of forward-thinking policies, New York has skyrocketed through the U.S. solar rankings. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, “with enough solar to power more than 30,900 homes, New York currently ranks 12th in the country for installed solar capacity. There are more than 411 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in New York, employing more than 3,300 people.” And those figures are on the rise. An analysis of clean energy jobs created in the third quarter of 2013 ranked New York third in the U.S., behind only California and Nevada.

January 11, 2014 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment

Wide implications for uranium industry of test case in Niger

Niger uranium mining dispute a test case for use of African natural resources  by  Friday 10 January 2014    theguardian.com The wrangle between Niger and a state-owned French firm over payments for uranium extraction has wider ramifications

areva-medusa1The protracted negotiations on uranium mining between Niger andAreva, the French energy multinational, are not just a trial of strength between an African government and a big company. The face-off will also test whether there is more than just pious sentiment to the notion that African countries should derive greater benefit from their natural resources.

Areva, which owns stakes in the Somair and Cominak mines, has been negotiating with Niger over new uranium mining contracts for two years. The mines’ 10-year licences expired on 31 December without a new agreement, although Niger issued a decree on 27 December providing a legal framework under the 2006 mining law for operations to continue.

The company is tight-lipped on discussions……..

The mines have been closed since mid-December for what Areva describes as routine maintenance. Some see the move as hardball tactics by the company to put pressure on the Nigerien government.

At heart of the matter is the country’s desire for a better deal. Niger accounts for more than a third of Areva’s uranium production, and President Mahamadou Issoufou’s government wants to increase the royalties the company pays from 5.5% of revenues to 12%, officials told Reuters…….

Niger is desperately poor, ranking last of the 187 countries in the 2012 UN Human Development Index. Three-quarters of its people live on less than $2 a day and malnutrition is rife, with the country beset by droughts. Although mining made up 70.8% of Niger’s exports in 2010, it contributed only 5.8% of the country’s gross domestic product.

According to a report from Oxfam France and the Niger arm of Publish What You Pay, the transparency group, Areva’s two mines produced uranium worth more than €3.5bn (£2.9bn) in 2010, but Niger received just €459m, or 13% of this amount. In 2012 Areva received tax exemptions worth €320m, the report says….http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2014/jan/10/niger-uranium-mining-dispute-african-natural-resource

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Niger, politics, Uranium | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear power program stalled at best, planned to decline

Even if President Hollande’s plan for the transition stalls, it seems clear at least that there will be no further expansion of nuclear in France.EDF is planning to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley in western England with Chinese help, but at Flamanville in Normandy a new reactor of the same EPR design is behind schedule and massively over budget. A second envisaged EPR reactor in France has been shelved indefinitely – and no other new nuclear power stations are planned.

France struggles to cut down on nuclear power By Rob Broom  BBC News, 10 JAN 14 Paris “…….French President Francois Hollande also wants to cut nuclear output sharply – by a third in 20 years. It’s a big ask in a country that now relies on nuclear for 75% of its electricity.

If fully implemented, the pledge would force the closure of up to 20 of the country’s 58 reactors according to Professor Laurence Tubiana a former government adviser who the president asked to facilitate a national debate, paving the way for what they call le transition energetique.

This would be a huge step, but Tubiana describes it as a “logical evolution”.France realised that Japan had survived economically when all its atomic power stations were shut down because of its diverse energy mix. In Japan, before the disaster, nuclear power delivered about 30% of the country’s electricity, but France is hugely dependent not only on nuclear, but on a single generation of nuclear power stations.

It is vulnerable to a “generic risk”, according to Tubiana, where a problem with one reactor could force them all offline for the fault to be fixed. This would cause chaos.

She says the 20 reactors closed in the “transition” could be replaced by renewable energy, which she says would maintain French energy independence and be both “stable and secure”. Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Criminality of atomic bomb testing in Marshall Islands

U.S. Human Radiation Experiments Covered Up by Public Broadcasting Op Ed News, By William Boardman — Reader Supported News 10 Jan 14 ”……..director  [of film Nobles Savages] Adam Horowitz has been angry about American treatment of the Marshall Islands for a long time. In late 2013 he told a reporter the U.S. “destroyed an entire country that we were not at war with, that we were at peace with. Not only did they blow up all these islands, but they purposely contaminated all these people as human experiments. It’s a very unknown story here.”

Bikini-atom-bomb

The story was classified top secret until the 1990s, when the Clinton administration declassified documents related to nuclear testing that including previously unknown information on the Project 4.1 program to use Pacific Islanders as human guinea pigs for assessing the impact of ionizing radiation. Even the official historian of U.C. nuclear testing, Barton Hacker, who tries to minimize the criminality of Project 4.1, ended up writing in 1994 that an “unfortunate choice of terminology may help explain later charges that the AEC [Atomic Energy Commission] had deliberately exposed the Marshallese to observe the effects. Like the American radium dial painters of the 1920s and the Japanese of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the Marshallese of 1954 inadvertently were to provide otherwise  unobtainable data on the human consequences of high radiation exposures.”  Continue reading

January 11, 2014 Posted by | OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Sweden’s anxiety about Finland’s planned Pyhäjoki nuclear plant

Will Finland’s proposed nuclear plant affect  Sweden’s North?, Alaska Dispatch YLE NewsEye on the Arctic  January 10, 2014 Northern Sweden is concerned that the proposed nuclear plant in Western Finland would harm neighboring Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.

At the Finnish Ministry of the Economy and Employment, sending a delegation to Sweden to discuss the contentious issues is on the table.

Fennovoima’s planned Pyhäjoki nuclear plant is being strongly opposed in Northern Sweden. The opposition is set on stopping the plant, which is a Finnish-Russian joint venture…….

In Sweden, opposition to the plant includes non-governmental groups as well as government officials and local politicians. Their goal is to provoke debate and ultimately prevent construction of the plant all together. Their concerns include nuclear safety as well as the potential destruction of Northern Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.

According to Senior Engineer Aurela, opposition to the plant mainly concerns the nuclear plant’s warm water cooling system and potential nuclear accidents.

Rosatom’s promised financing has also raised suspicions…….http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140110/will-finland-s-proposed-nuclear-plant-affect-sweden-s-north

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Sweden | Leave a comment