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201 Accidents at #Fukushima I NPP? “No Way,” Says Worker at the Plant, “It’s More Like 1,000”

Friday, February 28, 2014
“Happy”, who’s been tweeting from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant since March 2011, tweeted on the news that Nuclear Regulation Authority told the Lower House Budget Committee that there have been 201 accidents at the plant since March 2011 earthquake.

He says “1,000” is more like it. OK that makes more sense. Almost one a day.

“Happy”‘s tweet:



This number [201] is only the ones that have been publicly disclosed. If you include “hiyari hatto” [a Japanese word that means “an incident that almost became a more serious accident”) by all companies at the plant, the number would be over 1,000.

Prime Minister asks “Why?” He doesn’t seem to understand. But that’s because Prime Minister is not paying serious attention to the restoration [ongoing work] of Fukushima I NPP.

From what I’ve read since 2011, “Happy” seldom voices a direct criticism of politicians. This tweet is one of the rare cases.


“Hiyari” – making one’s blood turn cold
“Hatto” – startled

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lifting of Fukushima villages’ evacuation advisory to be delayed


The government Friday decided to postpone the estimated timing of lifting of an evacuation advisory by one year — until March 2015 — for two villages in Fukushima Prefecture due to delays in decontamination work following the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The two villages are Iitate and Katsurao. It is the first time for the estimated timing to have been moved back. Such estimated timings to lift the evacuation advisory have also been set for three other Fukushima municipalities, including the city of Minamisoma and the town of Okuma.
The estimated timing was pushed back for parts of Iitate and Katsurao, where annual radiation doses stand between over 20 and 50 millisieverts, and areas where annual doses are 20 millisieverts or below, according to the government’s Fukushima headquarters for tackling the nuclear accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant damaged by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
There is no change in the estimated timing for other areas of the two villages.
When it reviewed the evacuation area status for Iitate and Katsurao, the government set the estimated timing of lifting the advisory three to six years after the nuclear accident.
But the government said in December that the completion of decontamination work in the villages will be delayed by up to two to three years, citing difficulties securing places for temporary storage of radiation-tainted debris generated in the decontamination work.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hundreds protest dropped charges over Fukushima crisis

Review mission members of the International Atomic …

Tokyo (AFP) – Hundreds rallied in Tokyo on Saturday to protest at Japanese prosecutors’ decision to drop charges over the Fukushima nuclear crisis, with no one yet punished nearly three years after the “man-made” disaster.

“There are many victims of the accident, but there is no (charged) assailant,” chief rally organiser Ruiko Muto, 61, told the protestors, displaying a photograph of Kawauchi village which was hit by the nuclear accident.

“We are determined to keep telling our experiences as victims to pursue the truth of the accident, and we want to avoid a repeat of the accident in the future,” she said.

In March 2011, a huge tsunami triggered by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake crashed into the Fukushima nuclear plant, swamping cooling systems and sparking meltdowns that spewed radiation over a wide area.

No one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the radiation released by the meltdowns, but some Fukushima residents committed suicide citing concerns over radiation, while others died during evacuation.

Tens of thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes around the plant, with scientists warning some areas may have to be abandoned.

“I used to grow organic rice… But I can’t do it anymore because of consumers’ worries over radioactive contamination,” Kazuo Nakamura, 45, a farmer from Koriyama city in Fukushima prefecture, told the rally.

“I want (Fukushima operator) TEPCO officials and bureaucrats of the central government to eat the Fukushima-made rice,” he shouted to applause.

A parliamentary report has said Fukushima was a man-made disaster caused by Japan’s culture of “reflexive obedience” and not just by the tsunami that crippled the plant.

Some 15,000 people whose homes or farms were hit by radiation from the stricken plant filed in 2012 a criminal complaint against the Japanese government and officials of plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

However prosecutors in September decided not to charge any of them with negligence over the nuclear disaster.

The committee members comprise 11 citizens who are randomly picked by lot.

But the appeal was made in Tokyo instead of Fukushima, a move campaigners say is “aimed at preventing us from filing a complaint against their decision in Fukushima, where many residents share our anger and grief”.

“We to share with many people in Tokyo our anger and sadness over the fact that no one has taken responsibility three years after the accident,” one of organisers Miwa Chiwaki told AFP.

“We pin our hopes on sound judgement by people in Tokyo,” Chiwaki said.

Campaigners allege that government officials and TEPCO executives failed to take necessary measures to shield the plant against the March 2011 tsunami.

It also held them responsible for a delay in announcing data predicting how radiation would spread from the facility in the aftermath of the accident.

But prosecutors decided to exempt all of them, saying that TEPCO and government officials could not predict an earthquake and tsunami of that size, and there was nothing wrong with their post-quake response under unexpected emergency situations.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tokyo says nuclear reactors should be restarted raising the question why?

The Japanese people are going to have to come to grips with a fundamental question if they wish to exert some control over the country’s future: Why is plutonium still being separated from irradiated nuclear fuel when the future of nuclear power in Japan is far from certain?

Tony Henderson | Pressenza
Gordon Edwards in Hong Kong for anti nuclear conference-pressenza

Tokyo says nuclear reactors should be restarted but this raises a question of why. This matter was raised by Dr. Gordon Edwards – co-founder Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR) – in a note to Pressenza. It will be recalled by those following the nuclear industry that the recent Tokyo municipal elections brought into office a pro-nuclear candidate, Yoichi Masuzoe, who got 30% of the vote. Ironically, more people voted for the two anti-nuclear candidates than those who voted for the pro-nuclear candidate, yet the pro-nuclear side won!

The newly-elected Governor supports Prime Minister Abe in his determination to restart many of the 54 nuclear reactors in the country, all of them currently shut down due to public anger over the collusion between government and industry in relation to the Fukushima disaster. The nuclear fleet in Japan has been reduced from 54 to 48 by the simple fact that none of the six reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi will ever operate again.

Gordon Edwards gave a background briefing on those who stand against further development of Japan’s nuclear industry and adds a concluding comment as follows:

At least three Japanese ex-Prime Ministers are completely opposed to continuing Japan’s nuclear energy dependence and instead are speaking out publicly for an immediate nuclear phase-out in Japan.

(1) Naoto Kan was Prime Minister of Japan when the Fukushima disaster struck. As Scientific American has reported:

On March 10, 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan felt assured that nuclear power was safe and vital for Japan. By the evening of the next day, following the massive Tohoku earthquake, the ensuing tsunami and the beginnings of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, he had changed his thinking “180 degrees.”

Mr. Kan has since toured the world with a strong anti-nuclear message, not only for Japan, but for everyone.

Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

PBS Newshour: Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Continues to Unfold

PBS NewsHour

Published on 28 Feb 2014


The site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan remains a post-apocalyptic landscape of abandoned towns, frozen in time. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien got a rare tour inside the plant, where three nuclear reactors melted down after the earthquake and tsunami in 2011, to learn more about the long-term solutions for stemming the radioactive contamination.

PBS special on Fukushima starts tonight with rare look inside plant — Correspondent loses arm after filming in Japan — “Amputated after an apparently minor injury”

Published: February 28th, 2014 at 11:31 am ET

PBS NewsHour, Feb. 27, 2014: Three years after a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, PBS NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien returned to Japan for an update on clean-up efforts and the continuing impact of the radioactive spill. Friday, February 28: Inside Fukushima: Covered head to toe in protective gear and wearing a respiration mask, Miles O’Brien offers NewsHour viewers a rare look inside one of the most dangerous places on earth […]

Media Bistro, Feb. 28, 2014: The first of Miles O’Brien‘s reports from Japan airs tonight on “PBS NewsHour.” O’Brien, the program’s science correspondent, was packing up from the reporting trip on Feb. 12 when one of the equipment cases fell on his left arm. A seemingly innocuous accident resulted two days later in the amputation of his arm, above the elbow.

Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2014: His left arm was amputated after an apparently minor injury quickly worsened — TV journalist Miles O’Brien thought it was no big deal when a heavy crate full of camera gear fell on his left arm nearly two weeks ago. His arm hurt, for sure, but O’Brien decided to shrug it off and continue a reporting trip in Japan and the Philippines […] “PBS NewsHour” spokeswoman Anne Bell said O’Brien had been reporting for the program on the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster and the typhoon in the Philippines. […] O’Brien is moderating a panel discussion on climate change Thursday […]

Nuclear Energy Institute, Feb. 27, 2014: One reporter we follow very closely is PBS science reporter Miles O’Brien. He’s reported a number of stories on the nuclear industry […] As my colleague John Keeley noted in 2011, “O’Brien is a solid journo with a reputation for resisting the melodramatic and sensational in favor of substantive and balanced pieces.” Needless to say we were shocked and concerned when O’Brien reported on his own website that a freak accident had resulted in doctors having to amputate his left forearm just above the elbow. […]

Miles O’Brien, Feb. 25, 2014: I had finished my last shoot after a long reporting trip to Japan and the Philippines and was stacking the Pelican cases brimming with TV gear onto my cart. As I tried to bungee cord them into some semblance of security for movement, one of the cases toppled onto my left forearm. Ouch! It hurt, but I wasn’t all “911” about it. It was painful and swollen but I figured it would be okay without any medical intervention. Maybe a little bit of denial? The next day, February 13, things seemed status quo. It was sore and swollen but seemingly no worse. Then, that night, things got worse. […] The doctor […] was clear that the problem was progressing rapidly and there was a clear and present threat to my limb. […]  And when I lost blood pressure during the surgery due to the complications of compartment syndrome, the doctor made a real-time call and amputated my arm just above the elbow. […]

Watch PBS’s Judy Woodruff comment hereOur best wishes to Mr. O’Brien

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Fake evidence used about Iran’s supposed covert nuclear weapons

secret-agent-SmUS Uses Fake Intelligence as Evidence of Iranian Covert Nuclear Weapons Program Obama Pins Fate of Nuclear Pact on Documents From an Iranian “Curveball” Global Research, February 27, 2014 By Gareth Porter “….One of the issues Obama administration officials are insisting must be resolved to the satisfaction of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) before any nuclear agreement may be concluded involves “possible military dimensions.” That term refers to documents long discredited by German intelligence but which the United States and the IAEA have maintained came from a covert Iranian nuclear weapons program.

A former senior German official has now revealed that the biggest collection of documents cited as evidence of such a covert Iran program actually came from a member of the Iranian terrorist organization Mujihedin-E-Khalq (MEK) and that German intelligence sought to warn the George W. Bush administration that the source of the documents was not trustworthy. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Birth deformities, cancers, in Libya as result of depleted uranium weapons


In Libya now being recorded by the WHO (world health organization), the highest deformation in fetuses inside Libya and reached 23% of newborns and also the high incidence of new forms of cancer that were not known among ordinary Libyans and now amounting to 18% of the total of cancers that have been diagnosed by the organization’s branch in Libya .

Despite this serious health disaster countries involved with NATO are now demanding that Libya pay them one billion seven hundred million dollars for their help in toppling the Gaddafi regime.

NATO War Crimes In Libya: Deformities of Newborns Because of Depleted Uranium Bombs Libyans knew that depleted uranium was being used by NATO in their bombing raids and they were very concerned.

There is no doubt that NATO/US broke every agreement imposed by the Geneva Convention.

War crimes against humanity in Libya by NATO and its member countries is unmatched in the world. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Libya, Reference, Uranium | 2 Comments

Confusion and secrecy over costs of proposed nuclear energy for South Africa

secret-agent-SmCan we afford it?
The department’s nuclear costs study is understood to be complete, but the findings have not been made public.

flag-S.AfricaNuclear plan slips under budget radar Mail & Guardian, Africa, 28 FEB 2014  LIONEL FAULL If it goes ahead it will be SA’s largest contract ever, yet Pravin Gordhan failed to mention it.  Indications of policy confusion at the highest levels of the government were reinforced this week when the budget failed to build on President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation pronouncement that “we expect to conclude the procurement of 9 600MW of nuclear energy”.

The cost of 9 600MW of nuclear power has been estimated at anything between R400-billion and more than R1-trillion, and would dwarf any other tender in South Africa’s history.

In contrast with Zuma’s definitive pronouncement for the coming year, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan did not mention nuclear at all in his budget speech. He mentioned renewables four times, and shale gas exploration once.

Even the energy department, in the estimates of national expenditure that accompany the budget, did not commit to any looming procurement decisions. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | South Africa | Leave a comment

Unanswered questions about New Mexico radiation leak

text ionising‘Too soon’ to know health effects from nuclear leak in New Mexico  Aljazeera, February 27, 2014   13 workers at the nation’s first underground nuclear storage facility were exposed to radiation last week Federal officials and a private contractor held a joint press conference on Thursday to say it is too soon to speculate about the health effects a radiation leak at the nation’s first underground nuclear waste repository might have on the workers there.

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) in New Mexico confirmed Wednesday that 13 workers who were aboveground the night of one reported leak have tested positive for radiation exposure. And they say more workers are being tested.

DOE representatives said more tests are needed to determine the levels of exposure and emphasized that all readings at the site have been at what they said were “very low” levels.

The leak has raised questions about the facility’s safety and provided ammunition for anti-nuclear activists who say there is currently no safe way to store nuclear waste……..

… watchdog Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Safety program at the Southwest Research and Information Center, said the fact that the workers were exposed raises questions  Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | general | 1 Comment

AREVA now finding it harder to rip off Niger in uranium projects

areva-medusa1Niger fails to reach uranium mining deal with French nuclear firm Areva Deadlock over royalties as Oxfam points out Areva’s global turnover is more than four times Niger’s entire annual budget Guardian   in Niamey, 28 Feb 14,  Another deadline has passed without agreement in Niger in the government’s ongoing negotiations with the French nuclear company Areva on the renewal of the company’s license to operate in the country.

After months of discussions, the mining minister, Omar Tchiana, said last week that Friday would be the final deadline for the two sides to strike a deal. Now it has been agreed that talks will continue without a fixed deadline.

The negotiations are deadlocked on the issue of the royalties Areva pays Niger for the rights to two large uranium mines, Somair and Cominak in the arid north of the country. The terms of the original deal struck in the early 1970s have never been made public, but government sources say the company pays about 5.5% of its revenues in royalties. Niger wants the terms of a new mining code passed in 2006 to be implemented, which would force Areva to pay between 12% and 15% in royalties, and end a number of tax breaks on materials and equipment.

“Niger has not benefited at all from uranium production for 40 years. These contracts need to be win-win for Niger and not just for the benefit of France and Areva” said Ali Idrissa, the executive co-ordinator of the civil society group Rotab.  The issue is of huge significance to the country, which ranks bottom of the UN’s human development index.  According to Oxfam, Areva’s annual turnover of €9bn ($12.4bn) is more than four times Niger’s entire annual budget of €2bn…….

the current negotiations between Areva and the government are still less than transparent, and steps towards establishing a FGF and prioritising its spending have not been implemented…….

It is likely that Niger will be able to leverage a better deal from Areva, despite the company’s claims that a higher royalty rate could make the operation prohibitively unprofitable……

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Niger, Uranium | Leave a comment

USA Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduces Bill to cut nuclear weapons spending

missile-moneyReduce Our Nuclear Arsenal to Save Money and, Quite Possibly, Lives, Huffington Post,  Rep. Earl Blumenauer  (Oregon), 28 Feb 14,  On Tuesday, President Obama will introduce his budget for fiscal year 2015. His proposal aims to unwind some of the damage done by the indiscriminate sequester, but still shortchanges the types of investments in infrastructure, clean energy, job-retraining, and education that will generate long-term economic growth. Secretary of Defense Hagel shared an overview of the Pentagon’s massive budget request earlier this week. Like the president, Secretary Hagel outlined difficult choices to reduce and prioritize our defense dollars. But it is not enough.

That’s why I have introduced HR 4107, the Reduce Expenditures in Nuclear Infrastructure Now (REIN-IN) Act of 2014, which would save $100 billion over 10 years by reducing unnecessary nuclear weapons programs — savings we can direct to growing our economy and helping families. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Senator Markey introduces Bill to cut $100 billion in nuclear weapons spending

missile-moneyMarkey Files Bill to Cut $100 Billion in Nuclear Arms Funds By  February 28, 2014

A high-profile U.S. Senate critic of nuclear-weapons spending on Friday introduced a bill that would cut $100 billion over the next decade in arsenal outlays.

The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures — or “SANE” — Act, filed by Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), is co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

“America faces a real choice: spend billions on nuclear weapons we no longer need or fund programs that educate our children and help find cures to deadly diseases,” Markey said in provided comments. Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Even without rooftop solar, USA’s renewable energy uptake is remarkable

Renewable Energy: 100% of New US Generating Capacity in January With 287 megawatts of solar leading the way, renewables accounted for virtually all of the new utility-scale generating capacity installed in the United States in January. Earthtechling, Pete Danko  February 27, 2014 Renewable energy made up nearly 100 percent of the new generating capacity installed in the United States in January, according to a new government report.

The monthly Energy Infrastructure Update from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shows 325 megawatts of new generation going into service in January. The breakdown is 287 megawatts of solar, 30 megawatts of geothermal steam, 4 megawatts of wind, 3 megawatts of biomass, and 1 megawatt of “other” (PDF). Don’t know what that “other” was, but it wasn’t natural gas, coal or oil, so we’re calling this an all-renewables month.

Most of the new solar power came in the form of a few big projects in the Southwest, but North Carolina was active (again), too. Here’s the full roster of projects highlighted in the FERC update:……..

……..As always, too, we note that the FERC data includes only utility-scale development, leaving out rooftop solar on homes and businesses, a sector that these days is averaging over 100 megawatts of new capacity every month.

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ontario Power Generation underestimated radiation levels for planned waste storage site

text-radiationBruce waste site radiation understated, says former OPG scientist A scientist who formerly worked for OPG says the company has understated radiation levels in waste destined for a storage site near Kincardine By:  Business reporter,  Feb 28 2014  A former research scientist with Ontario Power Generation says the company has “severely underestimated” the level of radioactivity of material destined for a waste storage site near Kincardine.

Dr. Frank R. Greening’s letter to a federal panel reviewing the site says that OPG has understated the extent of radiation in material destined for the proposed site, “sometimes by factors of more than 100.”…… Continue reading

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Power utilities will have to face the reality of renewable energy’s ascendance

MUSK: Hard Times Must Come For Utilities, Business Insider, Australia, 28 Feb 14,  ROB WILEEl on Musk is warning fossil fuel-dependent utilities to prepare for hard times. In comments made at a panel set up by the California Public Utilities Commission, Musk said addressing climate change depends on upending traditional power providers, and he called on regulators to help lower the cost for renewable providers to compete with them.

“There will be some amount of strife for existing utilities, particularly ones heavy into fossil rules,” Musk said. “There will be bit of a hardship for them. But we have no choice. We have to decide if we’re going to have clean, sustainable energy or not and if we decide want good future…and the only good future is one with [clean] energy.”

Musk argued for a carbon tax, expressing disbelief at the ongoing presence of hydrocarbons for fuel use. “It’s amazing that we burn oil — it has much higher value in plastics,” he said. “It’s like burning the furniture in your house instead of firewood.”

SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive warned of the danger that regulators would allow the current monopolistic and fossil fuel-heavy power company model to persist even as renewable energy grows.

“What don’t we don’t want to have happen is the innovation, and then old biz model still continues,” he said. “We don’t want two energy infrastructures. At some point someone has to shut down, and if you fast forward 10 or 20 years, I don’t think we’ll be shutting down cleaner energy.”……..

The panel comes one day after Tesla announced details for its Gigafactory, which by 2020 will produce 50 gigawatt hours-worth of battery packs. Panasonic, the principal partner in the Gigafactory, currently makes a total of only about 6-7 gigawatt hours-worth of batteries. Tesla’s batteries will be used both in Tesla’s fleet and will help bring the cost of batteries for SolarCity power storage units down. The batteries currently comprise at least 50% of the cost of other solar storage units.

Musk emphasised that regulators will have to prove flexible to work around what amounts to monopoly control of power by most utilities…….

March 1, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment