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Eight more Fukushima kids found with thyroid cancer; disaster link still denied

The total number of people eligible for the checkups is 375,000, of whom about 270,000 have been examined.

 

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/02/07/national/eight-more-fukushima-kids-found-with-thyroid-cancer-disaster-link-denied/#.UvU7T6HbBok

8/2/2014 – 5 am

Eight more Fukushima children have been confirmed as having thyroid gland cancer following the prefecture’s checkups, a local panel of experts said Friday, ruling out any link to the Tepco triple-meltdown calamity.

The prefecture began the checkups in 2011 due to the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power station. Those subject to the measure were 18 or under at that time.

The panel, made up mainly of doctors and other medical experts, said it is unlikely the disease was caused by exposure to radiation from radioactive materials from the stricken power station.

The panel said 75 people were suspected of having thyroid gland cancer as of the end of last year, of whom 33 were confirmed as having the disease. Three months before, the number of confirmed patients stood at 25.

The total number of people eligible for the checkups is 375,000, of whom about 270,000 have been examined.

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

5.1 magnitude quake near Japan’s Fukushima: US geologists

HONG KONG: A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan’s Fukushima prefecture early on Saturday morning, the United States Geological Survey said.

The moderate quake hit 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of coastal Namie city in Fukushima prefecture, where a devastating quake-tsunami in March 2011 sparked a nuclear disaster and caused massive damage.

Saturday’s earthquake occurred at 2:18 am local time (1718 GMT) off the east coast of Japan’s main Honshu island, at a depth of 63 kilometres, US geologists said in a preliminary report.

No tsunami warning was issued after the tremor, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, according to Kyodo news agency.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2014/Feb-07/246716-51-magnitude-quake-near-japans-fukushima-us-geologists.ashx#ixzz2sfQjBgzR

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

French nuclear watchdog investigates reactor concerns

07 Feb 2014 18:34 GMT

http://www.argusmedia.com/pages/NewsBody.aspx?id=888306&menu=yes

London, 7 February (Argus) – French nuclear watchdog ASN is studying fuel rod casing corrosion problems at a number of nuclear units owned and operated by French state-controlled utility EdF. There is no immediate safety issue or impact on operations, ASN said.

The issue is understood to affect as many as 25 of EdF’s 58 nuclear reactors and was brought to ASN’s attention by EdF. ASN continues to investigate and expects to be able to provide more information next week.

ASN does not know whether there will be an impact on future production and maintenance. “We are monitoring the situation but we do not know if EdF will have to change fuel more often.”

EdF was not immediately available to comment.

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USA – Nuclear utilities beg for bailouts to avert reactor shutdowns — Obama administration appears amenable

DateFebruary 7, 2014

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PALADIN’S MALAWI URANIUM MINE FALLS VICTIM TO THE FUKUSHIMA EFFECT

Australian mner shuts down Kayelekera mine over ‘unsustainable’ continuing losses due to the post-March 2011 slump in global uranium prices

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http://www.miningbusiness.net/content/paladin%E2%80%99s-malawi-uranium-mine-falls-victim-fukushima-effect

Paladin to sell Africa mine stake to China firm for $190 mln

Extract

20th Jan 2014

Paladin Energy Ltd. (TSE:PDN), the Africa-focused uranium miner, agreed to sell a 25 percent stake in its Namibian mine to China National Nuclear Corp. (CNNC) for $190 million, helping the Australian company to reduce debt.

The Perth-based company said in a statement today that it signed the deal to sell the equity stake in flagship Langer Heinrich uranium mining operation to China Uranium Corp. Ltd., a CNNC unit on Jan. 18.  Paladin still owns the remaining 75 percent of Langer Heinrich.

The transaction gives Paladin a cash injection after a long period of losses incurred mainly because of a steep drop in uranium prices in the aftermath of an earthquake that triggered an atomic crisis in Japan in early 2011.

“The significant cash injection from this minority interest sale will largely be applied to debt reduction, which the board considers an essential step during a time of unprecedented low uranium prices,” said Chief Executive Officer John Borshoff in the statement. “This will help stabilize the company.”

http://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/51386/paladin-to-sell-africa-mine-stake-to-china-firm-for-190-mln-51386.html

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Courts will be able to prove radiation as cancer-causer, by DNA evidence

justiceDNA Evidence Can Now Prove Link Between Cancers And Fukushima Radiation, What if there were a way to establish a direct and provable in court link between cancer and Fukushima radiation? ……

Hess, J. et al Gain of chromosome band 7q11 in papillary thyroid carcinomas of young patients is associated with exposure to low-dose irradiation. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS); Link to publication
“Scientists have been able to discriminate between the cancers caused by the radioactive contamination and those that arise naturally. Prof. Zitzelsberger ascribes the success of this study to the careful collection, documentation and storage of thyroid cancers from the Chernobyl region in the Chernobyl Tissue Bank. He noted that this unique collection of materials made it possible for the team to compare for the first time tumours from children of the same age and regional background.
Gain of chromosome band 7q11 in papillary thyroid carcinomas of young patients is associated with exposure to low-dose irradiation
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/05/18/1017137108.abstract
This DNA marker is quite possibly the nuclear industry’s worst nightmare. Any medical professional or lawyer team around the world can now order a DNA test and have the cancer tissue analyzed to see if it was caused by Fukushima or Chernobyl, or Santa Susana, or Three Mile Island radioactive elements, each of which have a unique ‘signature’, just like people have fingerprints.  ……
Since the nuclear industry in many countries has a legal immunity from lawsuits, a recent class action to try and get this changed may open things up on a larger front. Wouldn’t you agree that a company that can harm or kill millions of people should not be immune from lawsuits?
via MamaBears AgainstNukes ”The lawyers for the 1.415 plaintiffs stated that they have filed a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court, describing the case as a landmark challenge to nuclear power plant manufacturers immunity from liability in nuclear accidents.”

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Disaster insurance will kill off nuclear power, financially

nuclear-costs1Disaster insurance alone makes nuclear power uncompetitive The true cost of disaster insurance makes nuclear power uncompetitive, Ecologist Ingmar Schumacher, 6th February 2014 

From this we can conclude:

  1. Nuclear energy becomes uncompetitive once the costs of completely insuring against disasters are fully integrated into its price.
  2. Without full insurance, disaster damages will have to be socialized. Given the limited budgets of governments it will necessarily be the case that not all disaster costs will be compensated. We must ask if this is morally acceptable.
  3. It is irresponsible to argue that nuclear energy is the solution for our CO2 problem. It makes little sense to rely on nuclear energy – which the ‘green’ economist E. F. Schumacher called an “evil of an incomparably greater ‘dimension’ than anything mankind has known before” – in order to reduce human-induced climate change, which is yet another evil of incomparably great dimension.

Fortunately there are other options available – such as wind, solar and hydroenergy – and we have to make full use of their potential, alongside other far-reaching changes in how we produce, store, distribute and utilize energy.

But first we must have a proper discourse on the true costs of nuclear energy, and fully analyze whether it really makes sense to include nuclear energy in our future energy mix.

……Ingmar Schumacher is an Environmental economist, with interests in cultural economics, sustainability, social norms, intergenerational justice, endogenous preferences. He is Professor in Environmental Economics at IPAG Business School, Paris.

See his website for more discussion on nuclear energy and other issues in green economics: http://ingmarschumacher.wordpress.com/ . http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2265605/the_true_cost_of_disaster_insurance_makes_nuclear_power_uncompetitive.html

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan will be cursed with nuclear radiation for generations to come

text ionisingThe results of the research carried out in Ukraine for 25 years after the Chernobyl disaster prove that living even in slightly contaminated areas for long periods of time is more harmful than receiving a one-time large radiation dose 

flag-japanTop Radiation Expert: ‘Extremely dangerous’ situation in Japan — 14,000 km² of land contaminated by Fukushima — Mayor: Country will be dealing with this for generations to come — Officials thought hot spots would diminish with distance from plant… Why didn’t they? http://enenews.com/top-radiation-expert-extremely-dangerous-situation-japan-14000-km-land-contaminated-fukushima-thousands-km-away-be-safe-officials-thought-hot-spots-diminish-distance-plant-didnt

Professor Vsevolod Kortov, prominent scientist and leader of the school of solid-state radiation physics, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Feb. 5, 2014: “I spoke at a press-conference in Fukushima City and offered explanations and some criticism. 20 millisievert a year is the occupational radiation dose for adults. I mean people employed at nuclear power plants 6 hours a day who afterwards go to a clean environment. And here it was planned to send both youngsters and old people to spend 24 hours in such radioactive zones.

The results of the research carried out in Ukraine for 25 years after the Chernobyl disaster prove that living even in slightly contaminated areas for long periods of time is more harmful than receiving a one-time large radiation dose […] living on territories with even weak radioactivity for decades is extremely dangerous because internal radiation develops, immunity suffers and genetic problems occur. I said that this does not comply with standards accepted in Russia and Europe. […] Even the distance of hundreds and thousands of kilometres from nuclear stations is no security guarantee. Accidents of this kind outstep the borders of one state and clearly demonstrate the need for international cooperation […]”
Voice of Russia,, Feb. 5, 2014: Due to serious problems with radioactive water leaks, the issue of reclamation of infested soils was recently ignored both by the local and international media. The area contaminated with radionuclides is about 14,000sq km […] The Japanese seem to have ignored the Chernobyl experience, Professor Kortov believes. […]

Emmett Messenger-Index Feb. 4, 2014: […] Japanese public television producer Hideki Sasaki […] brought a team to America to document what’s happened since the above-ground nuclear tests over 50 years ago. The film crew said they are amazed how people from Japan are not troubled by the long-term effects of the fallout […] Japanese officials thought the fallout hot spots would diminish the farther away one got from the plant, Midori Yanagihara, researcher and translator from the team said. There are hot spots miles away from the plant. A big topic in Japan is finding out the age-old question, “Why?” In their research, the team found Emmett [Idaho] was the third hardest hit with fallout from the tests in Nevada, 800 miles away. […] They spent a couple of days visiting with Bill Reynolds, an Emmett downwinder with several medical issues he says were caused by exposure to the multitude of particles in the fallout. […] “It seems Japan cares more about what’s happening here in America to our people than our government does,” Reynolds said. Emmett Mayor Bill Butticci told the visitors, “We’ve seen this go down for generations in our country. For Japan, you’ll be dealing with it for generations to come.”

See also: TV: We’re talking about generations being affected by Fukushima, and also their future healthcare… How are those in charge getting away with this, time after time by just saying sorry? — What do we tell the younger generation about what happened to our ocean? (VIDEOS)

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors – the mirage that they’re trying to sell to Australia

The Australian government is under pressure from the USA nuclear lobby, and a bunch of entrepreneurial Australian types, to buy the (as yet only on paper) Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, based on Thorium as fuel.

Sure, let’s debate nuclear power – just don’t call it “low-emission”  , The Conversation , Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW at University of New South Wales 6 Feb 14,

“……..The technology trap Could new types of nuclear power station solve the problem?“Fast breeder reactors” produce more nuclear fuel than they use and so would theoretically have much lower life-cycle CO2emissions than existing “burner” reactors. But in practice breeders are even more complex, dangerous and expensive than burners. As a result they have been stuck at the demonstration stage for decades and even some nuclear proponents admit that breeders are unlikely to be commercialized for at least another two decades, if ever.

The government’s issues paper mentions the possibility of nuclear reactors based on the thorium fuel cycle, but these are also more complex than uranium-based nuclear energy and there are no commercial systems operating as yet.

SMRs-mirage

Advocates of another possible option, nuclear fusion on Earth, recognize that it unlikely to become a commercial reality for at least three decades, if ever.

To sum up, based on existing commercial technology, nuclear energy is not a solution to the global climate crisis, because it will soon become too emissions-intensive. It is also not a short-term solution, because it is a very slow technology to plan and construct. It is dangerous and very expensive.

So why bother? There is already a better alternative to fossil fuels: the efficient use of renewable energy.http://theconversation.com/sure-lets-debate-nuclear-power-just-dont-call-it-low-emission-21566

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

True costs of nuclear energy can’t be estimated – as insurance is inadequate

text-my-money-2The true cost of disaster insurance makes nuclear power uncompetitive, Ecologist Ingmar Schumacher, 6th February 2014 “…….Quantifying nuclear power’s real costs The second issue with the socialization of costs is that it is unlikely to lead to a thorough quantification of the true costs of nuclear energy.

While we have seen some attempts to quantify the costs of nuclear disasters, a thorough analysis for most European countries remains non-existent.

The fact that these assessments have not been undertaken in most countries shows clearly that these potential costs are not integrated into the Cost-Benefit analysis of most countries’ nuclear energy.

However, without this assessment we are unaware of the ‘below-the-counter’ subsidy that governments provide to the nuclear industry in case of disasters, and we are simply ignorant of the true costs of nuclear energy.

This makes a thorough comparison of the costs and benefits of nuclear energy extremely difficult if not impossible……

Poorer countries tend to have lower insurance levels. As nuclear disasters nearly always turn into international problems, it should not be the case that the insurance cover in poorer countries is lower, since international spillovers to richer countries need to be covered, too.

So either poorer countries have to be able to cover spillover costs to richer countries, or international solidarity needs to plan for this eventuality.

So – the greater the degree of solidarity, the more room is given to free-riding and moral hazard, and the true costs of nuclear disasters remain unquantified.

And the less the degree of solidarity, the more likely it is that major disasters will lead to the default of either an operator or an installation state – and that those who bear the cost of a disaster may not receive full compensation…….http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2265605/the_true_cost_of_disaster_insurance_makes_nuclear_power_uncompetitive.html

 

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Japan dumps costly, secretive, ineffective nuclear reprocessing plant

fast-breeder-MonjuJapan to drop troubled fast breeder reactor from energyhttp://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Policy-Politics/Japan-to-drop-troubled-fast-breeder-reactor-from-energy-plan?n_cid=NARAN012plan TOKYO 6 Feb 14,– Japan will scrap its grand nuclear energy plans centering on the accident-prone Monju fast breeder reactor, a decision that will likely force a reassessment of a fuel cycle program that was supposed to provide an infinite source of energy.

Monju, once touted as a “dream reactor” that generates more fuel than it consumes via nuclear chain reaction, has remained shut down due to a series of troubles. Its enormous upkeep costs, reaching 50 million yen ($490,000) a day, have led to criticism of wasting taxpayer money.

 The government will re-evaluate Monju’s position in the nation’s nuclear cycle program under a new energy plan to be adopted as early as this month. It will no longer be at the core of the nation’s energy planning.  As an alternative, the government plans to use Monju to advance research on reducing nuclear waste. Processing waste with a fast reactor is said to accelerate the decay of radioactive material and slash their volume.
Japan has no final disposal sites for spent nuclear fuel. The government hopes that cutting the amount of waste and the storage time would make municipalities more amenable to building such facilities.

In a plan crafted in 2010, the government envisioned developing demonstrative facilities by around 2025 and having breeder reactors commercially generating power around 2050.

But the plan never took off. A leak of liquid sodium coolant was discovered at Monju in 1995, leading to a shutdown that lasted for nearly 14 years. After a brief restart, a piece of equipment fell into the reactor in August 2010, keeping the facility idle ever since. Systemic information cover-ups and other management lapses have also come to light, prompting the Nuclear Regulation Authority to halt Monju’s preparations for a restart in May 2013.

Monju has almost never been in operation in the roughly 20 years since its construction.  It is unclear whether the new plan would lead to a restart.

The government’s nuclear fuel cycle involves processing spent uranium and plutonium for reuse as fuel for fast-breeder reactors. If the technology cannot get off the ground, the pricey process of extracting plutonium would become pointless, forcing the government to rethink the entire fuel cycle.

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Niger’s struggle for justice against AREVA – the French Nuclear Medusa

areva-medusa1 “For 40 years, Niger has been one of the world’s largest uranium producers, but it’s still one of the poorest countries on the planet,” he said. “At the same time, Areva has grown to be one of the world’s largest companies. You see the contrast?”
 A nuclear story: Areva and Niger’s uranium fight Express Tribune 5 Feb 14 Niger has become the world’s fourth-largest producer of the ore after Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. But uranium has not enriched Niger. The former French colony remains one of the poorest countries on earth. More than 60 per cent of its 17 million people survive on less than $1 a day.

Arlit is a dusty and neglected place, scoured by desert sandstorms and barely touched by the mineral wealth it ships off to Europe each year. “There are neighborhoods which go without water for three weeks at a time,” said Deputy Mayor Hassan Hamani. “There are schools where the pupils have to sit on the floor or study in straw huts.”

Now Niger’s government is demanding a better deal from Paris, and specifically from state-owned nuclear company Areva. Continue reading

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Women are noticing: The legal process can have a huge negative impact on nuclear companies

judge-1DNA Evidence Can Now Prove Link Between Cancers And Fukushima Radiation http://agreenroad.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/dna-evidence-can-now-prove-link-between.html“………….The legal process can have a huge negative impact on nuclear companies. The San Onofre nuclear plant had a number of lawsuits filed against it re-opening, after it admitted that many of the steam tubes it had just replaced were leaking (within 18 months of installation). It is quite possible that the large number of lawsuits, combined with citizen activism, plus citizen reporting via numerous blogs and youtube videos, all made a difference. Bottom line, keep fighting and never give up. And remember, that there are many ways to ‘win’.
Here is another way that women specifically can make a difference. “Japanese women have started a twitter account that says; “We won’t have sex with men who vote for Yoichi Masuzoe”! Yoichi is a misogynist candidate running in the Tokyo gubernatorial election. He says women can’t make good conductors nor composers so they aren’t meant to be politicians either.” Yoichi Masuzoe is the candidate for ProNuke and Restart Nuke Plants supported by LDP. https://www.facebook.com/groups/OccupyNuclear/339202559531792/?notif_t=group_comment_reply
“One person with courage makes a majority.” Andrew Jackson

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear power operators in a panic about their uncompetitive industry

radiation-sign-sadWe’re all coming together, racking our brains, saying what’s out there, what can we do, whether it’s market reform or raising awareness of the value of nuclear?” said David Brown, Exelon’s vice president of federal affairs. 

Nuclear giants urge market changes to thwart closures Hannah Northey, E&E reporter Greenwire: Thursday, February 6, 2014 The country’s largest nuclear operators yesterday reiterated their calls for market changes to prevent a spate of reactor closures in markets that they say are becoming too reliant on subsidized renewables and cheap gas Continue reading

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dear oh dear, nuclear industry wants MORE perks from USA government

Beside the current closures and uprate cancelations, of which there are nine, 38 reactors in 23 states are also at risk of early retirements, with 12 of those facing the greatest risk of being shutdown,

 little chance that the cost of new reactors will become competitive with low carbon alternatives

Nuclear Energy Operators Say Market Stacked Against Them, Forbes, Ken Silverstein, 6 Feb 14  When Entergy ETR +1.87% Corp. made its decision to close its Vermont Yankee nuclear facility,  it opened the door to discussions on how to allow all electric generating facilities fair access to the markets. The utility says that the action it has taken could become more widespread unless system operators make corrections….

If an electricity market is going to be economically sustainable for investors and consumers, it must be truly competitive, says Mohl, in a phone interview.To that end, he says that fuels that cost more have entered the market and that they are receiving state-sanctioned, long-term contracts. Existing merchant generators that sell their power at market prices, conversely, are unable to compete…..
“Our projected revenues were significantly lower than the projected costs,” Continue reading

February 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment