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Japan’s shame: no solution in sight to Fukushima’s radioactive pollution

the current setup is untenable — particularly since so little is understood about how to deal with the melted-down reactors, or how long it will take to end the radiation threat. It is long past time that the government take direct control of the disaster site.

Fukushima’s Shameful Cleanup  By  MARCH 21 A pattern of shirking responsibility permeates the decommissioning work at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. An increasing proportion of the 3,000 contract laborers at Fukushima are poorly trained, with little technical expertise or knowledge of radiation. They earn about $150 a day, less than what a regular construction job pays. Few are given insurance coverage. Many are destitute, recruited by ruthless labor brokers, some with ties to the mob. And the laborers are tossed out once they are exposed to the legal radiation limit. Critics point to the poor quality of the laborers for the series of large leaks of contaminated water. Continue reading


March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Nuclear industry thinks Ukraine crisis is great; “We might sell some nukes to Europe”

Nuclear industry hopes Ukraine crisis to boost business in Europe By Michel Rose PARIS, March 21 (Reuters) – Western players in the nuclear industry are hoping the conflict between Ukraine and Russia could help push countries in Eastern Europe that rely on Russian gas to turn to atomic energy…….


The nuclear industry, whose prospects were hit by the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, has been keen to promote its advantages as a domestically produced source of clean energy by comparison with imported gas and polluting coal-fired plants.

“I think it is wise for eastern Europe to be evaluating nuclear, because it forces them to be less dependent on external forces, external politics,” Donald Hoffman, president of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), told Reuters on the sidelines of the SFEN nuclear industry conference in Paris.

Delegates from the French nuclear industry are also keen to export reactors to central European countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

“It (nuclear power) can bring rethinking in terms of energy independence,” said Christophe Behar, director of the French nuclear research centre CEA’s nuclear energy division……..”The first Ukrainian alert had played a role in energy policy decisions in Britain, for example,” said Philippe Knoche, chief operating officer at French nuclear reactor builder Areva.

Britain went on to award a 19 billion euro ($26.4 billion) contract last year to build the first new nuclear plant in Europe since Fukushima to a consortium made of EDF, Areva and Chinese state-owned companies CGN and CNNC……..

NO SHORT-TERM BOOST But other players were more sceptical on the prospects for nuclear energy in Eastern Europe as a response to the Ukrainian crisis. “The gas issue is very short-term, I don’t see how the nuclear industry could help,” said Jean Van Vyve, nuclear assets and projects manager at Belgium’s Electrabel, owned by GDF Suez.These countries’ existing heating infrastructure, mainly based on oil and gas and not on electrical devices, reduces the attractiveness of nuclear energy, he added.

Danes Burket, from Czech utility CEZ, did not expect a major boost for nuclear energy either. “I am not optimistic on that,” he said, partly because the EU energy strategy focuses more on supporting renewables than nuclear energy……

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dr Helen Caldicott debunks rumour of death threats in Japan

Caldicott,H1dunrenard 22 March 14, That was debunked today by Doctor Helen Mary Caldicott herself. No one threatened her in Japan, during an interview there she was asked if she had ever been threatened before. She answered that in the past she had been threatened several times in the USA.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties | 2 Comments

In Japan: death threats as Dr Helen Caldicott spoke on the dangers of nuclearpower

Caldicott-2013KPFA: Dr. Helen Caldicott threatened with death while in Japan for speaking about nuclear power — Students being charged with disturbing the peace for handing out flyers (AUDIO)

KPFA Flashpoints, Mar. 10, 2014

Steve Zeltzer, reporting from Japan: We went to Osaka […] we were told there’s continuing repression. Activists here are being threatened, including Professor Shimoji who was arrested for handing out leaflets. The government is trying to suppress opposition to nuclear power by passing the secrecy law which just passed the parliament and also by intimidating antinuclear activists and saying they have to keep quiet. […] We also learned from Dr. Helen Caldicott that she was threatened. She spoke at a meeting in Kyoto on the 8th and it was reported at the meeting that she had been threatened by right-wingers with death for speaking out about the dangers of nuclear power. (correction – Dr Caldicott referred to previous incidents in USA, not Japan)

KPFA Flashpoints, , Mar. 11, 2014 Zeltzer: There were also students there from different universities that are reporting that they’re being repressed. They’re being charged with disturbing the peace for handing out flyers against the burning nuclear rubble and against nuclear power plants.Full Flashpoints broadcasts available here

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Can the Nuclear Security Summit actually do anything about the urgent danger of plutonium?

Harvard’s Bunn said the absence of top Russian leaders at the event will be noticed, if only because Russia and the United States together control the bulk of the world’s nuclear explosive materials.

Bunn, an expert on physical security, said that the summits have focused too much on short-term fixes rather than on building more robust systems to prevent nuclear terror. In a report, Bunn and his colleagues call for the establishment of a database of nuclear terror-related incidents to demonstrate that the threat is urgent.

  • plutonium238_1Move Over, Uranium, Now It’s Time for Plutonium Can the Nuclear Security Summit actually move beyond stopgap measures and vague promises? FP BY DOUGLAS BIRCH MARCH 21, 2014 proposal by Western countries to limit holdings of a key nuclear explosive, which appears in a draft communique for the Nuclear Security Summit beginning on March 24, is concise and modest.
  • But its uncertain fate symbolizes the uphill battle Washington faces in moving the biennial summits beyond what critics depict as stopgap measures, small ambitions, and vague promises to tighten security for the world’s stockpile of nuclear explosives.

    A January draft of the communique to be released at the March 24-25 summit in the Netherlands — convened at President Obama’s initiative — for the first time includes a suggestion that nations try to restrain their stocks of plutonium, the fuel for the bomb that devastated Nagasaki in August 1945. Continue reading

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima molten nuclear fuel cores causing “Risk of re-criticallity”

Japanese TV: Fukushima fuel cores have ‘molten-through’ containment vessels — Location of molten fuels is unknown — “Risk of re-criticallity” from filling vessels with water

Email update from Genn Saji, former Secretariat of Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission, Mar. 10, 2014 (emphasis added):

On February 26, NHK released (Japanese only) a news on their overall view on un-dissolved nub parts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The identified issues are categorized in the following four topics;

De-fueling of “molten” core debris should start six years from now in the earliest — The core-meltdown has occurred in 1F1 through 1F3, resulting in penetration of the molten high temperature nuclear fuels through the RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessel) and leached at the bottom of the PCV (Primary Containment Vessel) in the Fukushima Daiichi accident.  According to TEPCO’s schedule, the de-fueling should start in 2020 in the earliest.  The overall decommissioning should be completed in a time span of 30-40 years.
Exact damage location of PCVs have not been identified — In attempting the above task, there is an urgent issue waiting for early solution.  First of all, the exact damage locations of the PCVs where the fuel have molten-through has not been identified yet.  TEPCO plans to fill the PCVs with water to shield against radiation […]
The molten fuels have not been characterized — Next issue is whereabout and characteristics of the molten fuels are not know.  Without resolving these issues, it is not possible to establish the necessary approaches for de-fueling.  In addition, there exists a risk of re-criticallity upon filling the PCV with water.  The contaminated water is hindering human access for inspection with high radiation field and hazardous radioactive species.  The Japanese Government and TEPCO are rushing for R&D of robots as well as theoretical predictions trying to grasp accurate status of nuclear fuels.
Searching for way out of contaminated water issues — Fundamental solutions are waited for the contaminated water issues which are generated through cooling of nuclear fuels.  The contaminated water accumulated at the basements of buildings through leakage from PCVs.  Its volume continue increasing, and a part of the water was found leaked unnoticed last year. […] leak path has not been identified […]

I believe NHK failed to identify two of the most important and serious issues among the consequences of Fukushima nuclear accident […] [one] issue is the root case of hydrogen explosion.  NHK simply followed TEPCO’s scenario of zirconium-steam reaction. […]
(More to come about Saji’s view on the root cause of the explosions)

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fears and no secure answer to Japan’s nuclear waste


they should not make any more of the stuff


Video: Japan nuclear waste disposal raises fears
The government’s plan to find an underground disposal site has raised concerns over long-term safety. Japan’s government has encountered oppostion to find an underground disposal site for nuclear waste.

As Japan prepares to begin nuclear power generation again – after safety reviews carried out in the wake of the Fukushima disaster – there is increased focus on the long-term problem of nuclear waste.

The government plans to find an underground disposal site but campaigners say Japan is not a safe place to bury highly radioactive materials. Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett reports from Horonobe, Japan.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Failure in Fukushima water decontamination: process suspended

water-radiationFukushima water decontamination suspended indefinitely March 20, 2014  Treatment of radioactive water at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant might be indefinitely suspended after malfunctions crippled the water purification process and recontaminated thousands of tons of partially purified water, Japanese media report.

The failure in the system, known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), is the latest setback in Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) uphill battle to stockpile radioactive water, which is ballooning at a rate of 400 tons per day.

TEPCO said up to 900 tons of water, which had not been sufficiently cleaned in the ALPS equipment, flowed into a network of 21 tanks that were holding 15,000 tons of treated water. Not only have the 21 tanks been rendered unusable, but all 15,000 tons of previously cleaned water will now have to be retreated.

While efforts are underway to measure the full extent of the contamination, TEPCO officials said the problem was not noticed prior to March 18 because no abnormalities were detected in water sampled on March 14, Japan’s Asashi Shimbun daily reports.

“We never expected radioactive water to flow into the storage tanks,” Masayuki Ono, acting general manager of TEPCO’s Nuclear Power & Plant Siting Division, told the paper. “We should have been better prepared. We have no idea how long it will take to clean them if we decided to do so.”……..a United Nations rights investigator said Japan should expand its cancer tests beyond the thyroid screenings being employed by local authorities, Bloomberg reports.

“Why don’t we have a urine analysis, why don’t we have a blood analysis?” said Grover, who also recommended that the tests be expanded to a broader geographical area. “Let’s err on the side of caution,” Grover, a UN special rapporteur who surveyed the events surrounding the March 11, 2011 disaster, said in Tokyo on Thursday…..

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Book: Manufactured Crisis. The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare

read-this-wayManufactured Crisis. The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare Review of Gareth Porter’s recently released book By Dr. Ludwig Watzal  Global Research, March 21, 20 Since the early 1990s, Israel, U.S. officials and their submissive European allies, supported by their uncritical and subservient media, have been peddling allegations, fabrications, accusations and lies that the government of Iran was pursuing a secret, military adjunct to its regularly inspected civilian nuclear program. The main thrust of Porter’s book is to demonstrate that this crisis was „manufactured“ and the accusations were bogus, i. e. Iran never had a military nuclear program. For over 20 years Israeli politicians have been claiming that Iran’s nuclear device was just around the corner. Continue reading

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cuba and Latin American and Caribbean States proclaim region of peace, no nuclear weapons

Cuba Calls for Elimination of Nuclear Weapons 20 March 2014 HAVANA, Cuba, ) Cuba called before the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU ) in Geneva , Switzerland for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and noted the decision of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States ( CELAC) to declare the region a zone of peace .

“The problems the world is facing today are very complex. We live moments in which climate change and the existence of nuclear weapons threaten the survival of our species,” the vice president of the Cuban Parliament , Ana María Mari Machado, said during the 130th assembly of the IPU.

The Cuban deputy considered unacceptable to continue spending substantial resources on armaments and its further development, including nuclear, and not the promotion of the right to development of peoples, Prensa Latina news agency reported.

With excessive resources devoted to war we could combat the existing extreme poverty, feed the hungry and prevent the death of more than 11 million children that die each year from starvation and preventable diseases, she said.

Mari Machado stated that the promotion of peace, solidarity, social justice and sustainable development are the only way to secure the future.

The Vice President of the National Assembly of People’s Power said that this spirit inspires CELAC, which seeks ways for development through solidarity and cooperation between peoples, in order to improve welfare. She noted that at the recent summit of the bloc, held in Havana, it proclaimed the region as a zone of peace and made a commitment to further nuclear disarmament as a priority objective, and the contribution to general and complete disarmament.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drug user was in charge of Salem Nuclear Power Plant?

Nuclear Power Plant Operator Suspended for Cocaine Use, Clean Technica, 21 Mar 14  A senior reactor operator employed at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant allegedly tested positive for cocaine after a random drug test. He was working as a control room supervisor. According to Career Zone, a person  working in this capacity, “Operate or control nuclear reactors. Move control rods, start and  stop equipment, monitor and adjust controls, and record data in logs.  Implement emergency procedures when needed. May respond to abnormalities,  determine cause, and recommend corrective action.” In other words, the individual runs the plant when it is online……

In 2012, 205 nuclear power plant employees tested positive for drugs or alcohol. Marijuana, alcohol and cocaine were the top three substances identified in those employees. Given the potential for human error and mechanical breakdowns in the nuclear industry, it seems very reasonable that nuclear plant employees are tested randomly and consistently for substances……
One of the many advantages of solar power plants is that operator error could not cause a radiation leak of any sort.  In theory, a solar plant operator could be impaired by a substance but still unable to do much damage to the public health, though he or she could
disrupt the production of electricity.

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Washington State demands that federal govt pump out radioactive wastes from Hanford tank

Hanford-waste-tanksWashington state wants the feds to start pumping nuclear waste out of Hanford waste tank Oregon live, 21 Mar 14 RICHLAND, Wash. — The state on Friday demanded that the federal government begin removing radioactive liquid waste from a nuclear waste tank at the Hanford Site by Sept. 1.

The Washington Department of Ecology’s order requires pumping of the double-walled tank to begin about 18 months sooner than what the U.S. Department of Energy has proposed.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons, and the site contains the nation’s largest supply of radioactive wastes.

Double-walled Tank AY-102 was found to be leaking between its walls in October 2012. While many older single-walled tanks have leaked at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, this is the first of the newer double-walled tanks where leaks have been detected.

The Ecology Department said that after months of discussions it is clear the Energy Department is not willing to pump the tank in a timely manner. The agency said failure to comply with its administrative order could result in fines for the federal government.

“In order to meet legal requirements and to provide public health and environmental protection, the state believes this leaking double-shell tank must be addressed in the most aggressive manner possible,” Ecology Director Maia Bellon said. “Waiting another two years, at best, to initiate actions to address this hazardous condition is neither legally acceptable nor environmentally prudent.”……

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Audio: Hazards of uranium mining to South Dakota water

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: SOUTH DAKOTANS WORRY ABOUT WATER ISSUES RELATED TO PROPOSED URANIUM MINING, FSRN Radio News March 21, 2014 · in   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s recent report on a request to mine uranium in South Dakota’s Black Hills isn’t going over well with Native Americans   and non-Natives alike. As Jim Kent reports, both groups are expressing concern over contamination of local aquifers as well as the amount of water necessary to conduct the mining operation……..

March 22, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment