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Sino-American rivalry: Energy consumption, nuclear energy and deadly nukes – RT

Both global powerhouses thus appear to persist in gambling with the Earth’s future. In fact, American and Chinese willingness to continue playing with fire is also demonstrated by their actions in the field of nuclear energy and weapons. Some time ago, the award-winning journalist Ken Silverstein wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that the “Obama administration wants to seed the United States with pint-size nuclear reactors … The US Department of Energy said it would provide $217 million in matching funds over five years to [the private company] NuScale, which builds small, ready-made reactors that can be strung together”. These pint-size nuclear reactors would be added to the already existing “100 commercial nuclear power reactors [that] are licensed to operate at 62 sites in 31 States.”

Meanwhile, in China 20 nuclear power reactors are in operation, with a further 28 under construction, and even more about to start construction. The recent Fukushima disaster in Japan (11 March 2011) and the now-legendary Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine (26 April 1986) provide ample evidence that the mere principle of nuclear energy seems patently absurd: in order to boil water to operate some turbines, nuclear material is fused to produce high levels of energy (or heat) that is then put to use to boil water basically, or to put it in more formal words, as can be found on the website Three Mile Island (named after another famous nuclear mishap on 28 March 1979): the “only purpose of a nuclear power plant is to produce electricity. To produce electricity, a power plant needs a source of heat to boil water which becomes steam. The steam then turns a turbine, the turbine turns an electrical generator, and the generator produces electricity”. And the dangers of nuclear radiation are manifold, as explained by Dr. Helen Caldicott, the well-known Australian anti-nuclear advocate: “[n] dose of radiation is safe. Each dose received by the body is cumulative and adds to the risk of developing malignancy or genetic disease … Children are ten to twenty times more vulnerable to the carcinogenic effects of radiation than adults. Females tend to be more sensitive compared to males, whilst fetuses and immuno-compromised patients are also extremely sensitive … High doses of radiation received from a nuclear meltdown or from a nuclear weapon explosion can cause acute radiation sickness, with alopecia, severe nausea, diarrhea and thrombocytopenia”.

All in all, the US and China seem well-matched in their dedication to endangering the continued existence of humanity on this earth: either by their use and propagation of fossil fuels leading to disastrous climate change. Or by sticking to nuclear energy as an alternative, which is a dangerous proposition to begin with, while the issue of the resultant nuclear waste material has not even been touched upon.

http://rt.com/op-edge/171824-sino-american-rivalry-energy/

Dr. Can Erimtan is an independent scholar residing in İstanbul, with a wide interest in the politics, history and culture of the Balkans and the Greater Middle East.

The Bank of America recently claimed that the US will continue as the world’s biggest crude oil producer in 2014 after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia, as extraction from shale rock fuels the nation’s economic recovery.

And this seems like good news for the United States, struggling to recuperate from the ill-effects of the Bush years, those nightmare-like eight years that had disastrous effects on the national as well as the global economy.

As such, it has to be said that it has been quite a while since the US came out on top of any kind of worldwide ranking.

Famously, last year Education Week, the publication of the Editorial Projects in Education – an initiative that was expressly started “to withstand a concerted challenge to [the US’] technological pre-eminence” in the aftermath of the Soviet launch of Sputnik (1957) when American leaders began to fear the advance of their adversaries – indicated that “[i]n mathematics, 29 nations and other jurisdictions outperformed the United States by a statistically significant margin, up from 23 three years ago”, while “[i]n science, 22 education systems scored above the US average, up from 18 in 2009”.

As such, these “dismal US scores in reading, math and science have not changed since 2003″, remarked NPR’s Claudio Sanchez. As the US is now slowly winding down, with its future prospects looking bleak as judged by the school performance of tomorrow’s US wheelers and dealers, the news that, at least, in the field of crude oil production, the Americans are once again on top of the world must come as some kind of solace.

America’s current principal rival is the People’s Republic of China, a huge country still nominally led along Communist principles but actually really employing a strange ideological sauce that has been described as Capitalist Communism and has even received the moniker “socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics”, adhering to the principle of “using capitalism to develop socialism”, as worded by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Today, the development of capitalist enterprise in China has achieved really rather unthinkable growth figures and has given China a most unlikely appearance, turning the present ‘Middle Kingdom’ into a “country of extremes”, where “European cars swerve through traffic barely missing battered Soviet-era motorcycles laden with bounties of plastic and metal recyclables [and] [c]ollege students carrying iPads walk past street vendors selling 15 cent eggs in various states of decomposition”, as worded by Warren Rizzi, who spent a yearlong fellowship at a university in northeast China.

In addition, China possesses the largest population of any country on earth (officially, the number involved is 1,354,040,000 and that figure excludes the people living in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao); while China’s industry has also become one of the largest in the world, with the Forbes Global 2000 List of the world’s biggest public companies, released last May, being topped by three Chinese companies (ICBC, China Construction Bank, and Agricultural Bank of China); and finally, the number of motor vehicles used in China has also exploded, currently possessing the second largest fleet in the world, slightly more than 78 million actual vehicles – about three years ago, the Guardian’s Jonathan Watts insightfully wrote that between the years “2000 and 2010, the number of cars and motorcycles in China increased twentyfold. In the next 20 years it is forecast to more than double again, which means there will be more cars in China in 2030 than there were in the entire world in 2000.”

Therefore, it stands to reason that China has now earned the somewhat onerous sobriquet of being the “world’s largest net importer of petroleum and other liquid fuels”, as expressed by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) – having imported 5.66 million barrels per day of crude oil in June 2014. China actually overtook the US as net importer in September 2013. China recently signed a lucrative gas deal with Russia, when Putin visited Beijing last May, envisioning the construction of the so-called Power of Siberia gas pipeline to supply Russian gas to China at a cost to Russia of $60-70 billion. This $400 billion deal between Russia’s Gazprom and the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) had been 10 years in the making, when it was signed as a 30-year agreement. As such, Russia will provide China with 38 billion cubic meters of gas per annum with Russia planning to invest $55 billion in the deal, and China around $22 billion. This Siberian addition to the network of “Pipelineistan” neatly complements the already existing connections with Kazakhstan and Iran.

At the same time, China also trades with Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Republic of the Congo (also known as Congo-Brazzaville and not to be confused with the DRC or the Democratic Republic of Congo), and Angola, Brazil and Venezuela.

The United States, on the other hand, is trying very hard to increase its domestic production of hydrocarbon assets, giving rise to the above-quoted Bank of America statement. But not just shale gas and shale oil exploration, though detrimental to the environment and human health, are being pushed vigorously by the Obama administration. The research, communication, and clean energy advocacy organization Oil Change International recently released a report detailing the extent to which the US federal and state governments give away more than $21 billion in subsidies to oil, gas, and coal companies to promote increased fossil fuel production and exploration. The report, called Cashing in on All of the Above (July 2014), posits that “Thanks in large part to these huge subsidies, US fossil fuel production is booming. Between 2009 and 2013, natural gas production increased by 18 percent and oil production increased by 35 percent. Although President Obama has pledged to tackle climate change and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, he champions the oil and gas boom as the centerpiece of his administration’s ‘All of the Above’ energy strategy”. Ominously, the report continues that “[s]ince President Obama took office in 2009; federal fossil fuel subsidies have grown in value by 45 percent, from $12.7 billion to a current total of $18.5 billion. This rise is mostly due to increased oil and gas production: the value of tax breaks and other incentives have increased along with greater production and profits, essentially rewarding companies for accelerating climate change”.

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July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Islamist plot to blow up Eiffel Tower, Louvre and nuclear power plant foiled, say French police

Marc Trevidic, one of France’s highest-profile anti-terror judges, said the case of Ali M was far from being isolated. “There are doubtless others on our soil programmed to harm French interests,” he told Le Parisien.

Some 800 French nationals or residents are thought to have left to fight in Syria since the start of the civil war

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/10956636/Islamist-plot-to-blow-up-Eiffel-Tower-Louvre-and-nuclear-power-plant-foiled-say-French-police.html

French police stumbled on terror plans after decrypting coded messages between Algerian butcher living in southern France and high-ranking members of al-Qaeda in the Maghreb

4:48PM BST 09 Jul 2014

France foiled an Islamist terrorist plot to target the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and even a nuclear power plant, it emerged on Wednesday, as the country unveiled new, tougher anti-terror rules.

French police stumbled on the plans after decrypting coded messages between a 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in the Vaucluse, southern France, known only as Ali M, and one of the highest-ranking members in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, in April last year, the married father of two who went by the pseudonym Abu Jaji was asked by his AQIM contact, whose web alias was Redouane18, to make “suggestions concerning how to conduct jihad in the place you are currently”.

Ali M suggested targeting nuclear power plants, “planes at the moment of take-off”, and a string of French landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum in Paris.

 

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July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hamas rockets target Israel’s nuclear reactor

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-07/10/c_133472353.htm

English.news.cn   2014-07-10 02:23:06

Image source ; http://socialistwebzine.blogspot.ie/2010/06/dismantling-nuclear-dimona-israels-wmds.html

JERUSALEM, July 9 (Xinhua) — Hamas fired three rockets on Wednesday evening from the Gaza Strip into Dimona, a southern city where Israel’s nuclear reactor is located, causing no injury or damage, the Israeli military said.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported that one rocket was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, while the rest fell in open fields.

Hamas’ military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they launched three M-75 missiles targeting the reactor in Dimona.

It’s the first time that rockets have hit Dimona, one of Israel ‘s most sensitive areas.

Sirens also wailed in cities in central and southern Israel for the second night in a row, as rockets showered over the skies of the southern central and central coastal plain on Wednesday. One rocket made its way to Hof Hacarmel, a regional council in northern Israel near Haifa, about 120 km north of the Gaza Strip, which is the most northern spot reached by Gaza rockets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel will further intensify its offensive on Gaza. “We have decided to further increase our attacks against Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said, swearing that Hamas “will pay a heavy price” for the barrages of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel.

Since Israel launched operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday, it has attacked over 560 sites in Gaza, killing at least 41 Palestinians, according to the army. Hamas militants have fired more than 160 rockets at Israel.

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fukushima farmer takes on nuclear plant operator over wife’s suicide

The next morning, Watanabe resumed clearing brush. In the distance, under the spreading boughs of a tall tree, he noticed a fire. He assumed his wife was burning trash as usual, and continued working.

https://news.yahoo.com/fukushima-farmer-takes-nuclear-plant-operator-over-wifes-210717071–finance.html

By Mari Saito and Lisa Twaronite

 9th July 2014

YAMAKIYA Japan (Reuters) – A Japanese court is due to rule next month on a claim that Tokyo Electric Power is responsible for a woman’s suicide, in a landmark case that could force the utility to publicly admit culpability for deaths related to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In July 2011, nearly four months after the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered a series of catastrophic failures at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Hamako Watanabe returned to her still-radioactive hilltop home, doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire.

She left no suicide note, but her husband Mikio says plant operator Tokyo Electric is directly responsible.

“If that accident hadn’t happened, we would have lived a normal, peaceful life” on their family farm some 50 km (30 miles) from the plant, said Watanabe, now 64, who discovered her charred body.

A district court in Fukushima is expected to rule in late August on Watanabe’s lawsuit, which Tokyo Electric (Tepco) is contesting. The outcome could set a precedent for claims against the struggling utility, said Watanabe’s lawyer Tsuguo Hirota.

The triple meltdowns at the plant forced more than 150,000 people from their homes. About a third, including Watanabe, remain in temporary housing.

The utility has settled a number of suicide-related claims through a government dispute resolution system, but declined to say how many or give details on how much it has paid.

Japan has made public 25 disaster-related death cases that were settled through the resolution system, some for more than 16 million yen ($157,000). Causes of death were not always specified, and include those due to natural causes, such as elderly patients who died in evacuation centers. A Mainichi report this week said arbitrators were encouraged to automatically halve requested damage to expedite the process.

Tepco said it could not comment on pending cases, including Watanabe’s.

Watanabe has so far declined to settle outside of court and has broken off contact with relatives who urged him to drop his suit. His oldest son left his job after co-workers harassed him, accusing him of using his mother’s death for personal gain. Watanabe is seeking more than 91.16 million yen ($896,200) in damages.

“No matter what verdict I get in August, I just want my wife to rest in peace,” said Watanabe.

DEEP DEPRESSION

Like her husband, Hamako had grown up in Yamakiya, a rural pocket of farms and rice paddies surrounded by hills inside Kawamata Town. Being forced to leave plunged her into a sudden and deep depression, he said.

“For them to argue that the suicide is not directly related is unforgivable,” Watanabe said.

Hirota, Watanabe’s lawyer, said the verdict could set the stage for others who have experienced losses as a result of the nuclear disaster to take similar legal action.

“For the claimants, it’s not about the money. They want to know what the meaning of their husband’s death was, or why their mother had to perish this way,” he said.

Kazuo Okawa, an Osaka-based lawyer who has spent over three decades representing victims of Minamata disease, a neurological syndrome caused by mercury poisoning from industrial wastewater, said that courts in Japan generally tend to favor companies in liability cases.

Civil suits are uncommon in Japan, where victims are far more likely to skirt arduous court battles and accept settlements.

“There are massive hurdles to go to court in Japan. It takes a long time for court cases to proceed and this discourages many victims … If they felt they had a chance of winning they still might, but that hasn’t always been the case,” Okawa said.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

The case also highlights what advocates call a quiet crisis of depression in Japan’s disaster zone, which many say has gone unnoticed in a culture that values stoicism and stigmatizes mental illness.

“Their houses are still there, but they can’t go back,” said Shinichi Niwa, a professor of psychiatry at Fukushima Medical University, who said that displacement contributed to anger, despair and suicide.

Between 2011 and 2013, suicides declined 11 percent across Japan. Suicides in Fukushima had also been decreasing in the years before the disaster, but deaths have ticked up in the past two years.

Since April 2011, there have been more than 1,500 suicides in the prefecture. Authorities have so far ruled 54 of those deaths to be “disaster related”.

Japan’s government has dispatched counsellors, appointed a government minister in charge of suicide prevention and provided funding to local organizations for survivors and evacuees like Watanabe.

Tepco was bailed out with taxpayer funds in 2012 and expects to spend more than $48 billion in compensation alone, and billions more for a decades-long costly decommission.

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July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Compensation halved over nuclear disaster victims’ deaths during evacuation

A center official defended the practice. “The 50 percent rule is merely an unofficial indication, and not part of the official criteria, so we don’t have to disclose it.”

TEPCO has declined to comment on the amount of compensation paid over the deaths of nuclear victims during evacuation. “We’re not in a position to comment on the contribution ratio of the nuclear disaster, but we understand that mediators at the center propose settlement plans based on the circumstances surrounding each individual case,” said an official with the TEPCO public relations division

Image source; http://riversong.wordpress.com/myth-of-corporate-personhood/

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140709p2a00m0na003000c.html

July 09, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

he government-backed center that handles the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for the Fukushima nuclear disaster has halved the amount of compensation that the operator of the crippled plant must pay in most cases over the deaths of nuclear disaster victims during evacuation, it has been learned.

The Nuclear Damage Claim Dispute Resolution Center has set the contribution ratio of the nuclear disaster to the deaths of most victims during evacuation at 50 percent to halve the amount of compensation to their bereaved families.

Hiroshi Noyama, former head of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry section that serves as secretariat to the center, made the admission in an exclusive interview with the Mainichi Shimbun.

Noyama defended the practice, saying the center must quickly handle disputes, while admitting that there are some cases for which full amounts of compensation should have been paid.

“In some cases, we can recognize that the contribution ratio of the nuclear accident to deaths is 100 percent. But we assess the ratio is 50 percent in most settlement plans. If we are to carefully deliberate each case, we couldn’t maintain the current pace of deliberations (an average of about six months per case),” he said. “This is the best thing that the center can do. If you’re dissatisfied with the practice, please file a lawsuit,” Noyama said.

The revelations highlight the insufficiency of relief measures for nuclear disaster victims.

In nuclear ADR processes, lawyers who serve as mediators at the center work out settlement plans in response to petitions from victims and show the plans to both the victims and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

About 260 mediators are supposed to screen petitions independently. However, mediators often consult with the secretariat at the ministry over the details of settlement proposals to prevent conditions for reconciliation from varying from case to case.

Noyama said the secretariat summoned some “influential” mediators to the center and proposed to set the contribution ratio of the nuclear disaster to the deaths of evacuees at about 50 percent, considering that evidence cannot be sufficiently examined. The mediators present at the meeting accepted the proposal.

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July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japanese engineers struggle to make Fukushima ice wall concept work

Tepco has explained that the water is difficult to freeze because it is flowing at a rate of 2mm a minute. Toyoshi Fuketa, a member of the NRA, told Japan News: “It’s strange that flow on such a scale should prevent the freezing.”

The NRA has commented that the failure to freeze the tunnel made it impossible to create the ice wall around the reactor buildings and that TEPCO should “double or triple” its freezing capabilities.

 

9 July 2014 | By David Rogers

http://www.globalconreview.com/news/japanese-engineers-struggle-make-fukushima876754/

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has been told to re-examine its attempt to create an ice wall around the crippled reactors of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

The instruction was delivered on Monday by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) which is concerned that the container of frozen soil around the partially melted reactors has not yet formed three months after work began.

The NRA ordered Tepco to increase the freezing power of its machinery. It is particularly concerned by the ice failing to contain a 5m2 tunnel filled with heavily contaminated water leading into the number one reactor, which is the one that suffered the greatest damage in the 2011 tsunami.

Tepco had hoped to block this tunnel with the ice, remove about 11,000 tons of radioactive liquid from it and replace it with concrete.

Tepco has explained that the water is difficult to freeze because it is flowing at a rate of 2mm a minute. Toyoshi Fuketa, a member of the NRA, told Japan News: “It’s strange that flow on such a scale should prevent the freezing.”

The NRA has commented that the failure to freeze the tunnel made it impossible to create the ice wall around the reactor buildings and that TEPCO should “double or triple” its freezing capabilities.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Tepco has been forced to switch off the cooling system at the number five reactor after it was discovered that it had been leaking water. The decision was taken after engineers discovered that 1,300 litres of water had leaked from a cooling system intended to stabilise the temperature of the reactor, which was offline  at the time of tsunami, but still loaded with fuel rods.

The source of the leak is understood to be a 3 mm-diameter hole near a flow valve, according to a statement released by Tepco on Sunday. If no water is pumped over the next nine days, the reactor may reach a threshold temperature of 65°C, above which dangerous reactions may take place.

(Arclight2011  notes that the pump is now back on with a temporary repair in place)

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Freezing ducts very slowly built for Fukushima’s ice wall 90 built. 1460 more to go

TEPCO: 90 out of 1,550 freezing ducts built so far http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001411769 The Yomiuri Shimbun 10 July 14  Tokyo Electric Power Co. unveiled on Tuesday the construction site of the ice wall at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for the first time since work began last month.

As a measure to halt the increase of contaminated water, the ice walls are aimed at freezing the ground around the Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings of the plant to block groundwater from flowing into reactor buildings and becoming contaminated.

Contaminated water at the nuclear plant currently amounts to about 500,000 tons. The government and TEPCO have been working on the construction in the hope of completing it early next fiscal year.

On Tuesday evening, about 30 workers drilled small holes about 30 meters deep around the No. 4 reactor building. Ducts to freeze underground soil are to be installed in the holes.

A total of 1,550 freezing ducts must be installed to surround the Nos. 1 to 4 reactor building area, measuring about 1.5 kilometers. However, TEPCO said only about 90 freezing ducts have been installed so far.

Fukushima-ice-wall-construc

Due to heat exhaustion concerns during summer, workers at the construction site wear vests containing blue ice.

Meanwhile, the task of freezing tunnels filled with contaminated water using the same method involving the construction of an ice wall has been facing difficulties. The Nuclear Regulation Authority has therefore been calling on TEPCO to fundamentally revise construction plans.

Akira Ono, the chief of Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, said: “We’ve already confirmed the effectiveness of ice walls through an on-site experiment. We will push ahead with the construction work forward as fast as we can.”

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, Japan, Reference, technology | Leave a comment

ISIS insurgents get hold of nuclear materials in Iraq

safety-symbol1flag-IraqIraq tells UN that ‘terrorist groups’ have seized nuclear materials  SMH, July 10, 2014 – Michelle Nichols New York: ISIL insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq has told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”.

Nearly 40 kilograms of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s UN Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter this week.

“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Mr Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction”. However, US security sources said it would be difficult to make weapons from the material.

“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” Mr Alhakim said.

He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.

A US government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon………http://www.smh.com.au/world/iraq-tells-un-that-terrorist-groups-have-seized-nuclear-materials-20140710-zt2eb.html#ixzz378WRoppD

July 10, 2014 Posted by | incidents, Iraq | Leave a comment

Solar energy in Japan attracting nuclear workers – for clean, safe, and better paid jobs

Stigmatized nuclear workers quit Japan utility. Bloomberg Business Week, By By Yuri Kageyama July 10, 2014 TOKYO (AP) —”………While TEPCO is out of favor with the public, the skills and experience of its employees that span the gamut of engineers, project managers, maintenance workers and construction and financial professionals, are not.

Energy industry experience is in particular demand as the development of solar and other green energy businesses is pushed along in Japan by generous government subsidies.

Currently the government pays solar plants 32 yen ($0.31) per kilowatt hour of energy. The so-called tariff for solar power varies by states and cities in the U.S., but they are as low as several cents. In Germany, it’s about 15 cents.

Sean Travers, Japan president of EarthStream, a London-based recruitment company that specializes in energy jobs, has been scrambling to woo TEPCO employees as foreign companies do more clean energy business in Japan.

“TEPCO employees are very well trained and have excellent knowledge of how the Japanese energy sector works, making them very attractive,” he said. Two top executives at U.S. solar companies doing business in Japan, First Solar director Karl Brutsaert and SunPower Japan director Takashi Sugihara, said they have interviewed former TEPCO employees for possible posts.

Besides their experience, knowledge of how the utility industry works and their contacts, with both private industry and government bureaucracy, are prized assets.

“It’s about the human network and the TEPCO employees have all the contacts,” said Travers, who says he has recruited about 20 people from TEPCO and is hoping to get more.

Yoshikawa, the former TEPCO maintenance worker, said he has received several offers for green-energy jobs that paid far better than his salary at TEPCO of 3 million yen ($30,000) a year.

Since September 2012, all TEPCO managers have had their salaries slashed by 30 percent, while workers in non-management positions had their pay reduced 20 percent. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2014-07-10/stigmatized-nuclear-workers-quit-japan-utility

July 10, 2014 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Fukushima Women Against Nuclear Power – At the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan July 3, 20l4

Screenshot from 2014-07-10 04:05:02

Statement in Japanese http://onna100nin.seesaa.net/

We, The Fukushima Women against Nuclear (Women of Fukushima Demand End to Nuclear Power) have submitted the following 4 demands to the Ministry of Environment, which has critical responsibilities for the decontamination and monitoring of radioactive materials, removal of earthquake debris and tainted soil as well as health care program for victims of the nuclear accidents;

l. Make plans to reduce radioactive exposure and carry them out immediately, getting out of too much dependence on decontamination.

2. Based on the principle of the Act for the relief and support of the nuclear power plant disaster victims, especially the affected children, make drastic changes to the policies of the Ministry of Environment in dealing with the affected areas with its  victims, and radioactive contamination.

3. Listen to voices of victims and reflect them into the policies from now on.

4. Environment Minister, Nobuteru lshihara, should resign.

The demands are to protest against the skull session with the experts about decontamination held in Fukushima on June 15th, as well as the remark of Environment Minister lshihara “What matters in the end is the money” on the following day.

The skull session had been closed-door in the original plan, rejecting the participation of public audience. Several experts and hosts are associated with organizations which promote nuclear power, so that the selection of members wasn’t well balanced at all. There were also practices which are totally lack of transparency and fairness, such as;

– Acts to obscure affiliations of experts and hosts in a subtle manner.

– Absence of residents’ participation or representation.

– Substantive downgrade of decontamination target by shifting to measured results of personal dosimeter which measures only a part of external exposure

We strongly protest all of those practices. Yet this is not only about the Ministry of Environment, but it’s spread over various governmental agencies including the Reconstruction Agency, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and lndustry, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Their common premises are:

– No harm would be affected by this level of radioactive contamination.

– No health issues due to the nuclear power plant accident have been identified yet.

– Continuous living in the affected area is desirable both for victims and for economy of the country.

To derive policies aligned with those premises, they practiced actions such as;

– Sabotage of important investigations.

– Denial of the existence of the subjective symptoms of poor health by individuals.

– Underestimation and disregard of initial contamination and internal exposure.

– Disregard of the reports about the health effects of the Chemobyl accident from the local doctors.

– Unfair procedures to prevent submission of objections or counterarguments from citizens.

– Diffusion of the radioactive materials by policies with priority on economy and vested interests.

(The policies in place are going in the  completely opposite direction to where it should be going  to minimize damages of the nuclear accident;

rubble processing in the wide area  and construction of incineration facilities for radioactive debris.)

The lack of sincerity on the part of the government has brought unnecessary contamination to citizens. They haven’t carried out their missions to prevent expansion of the damage.

In Fukushima Prefecture, among the youth and children under l8-year-old at the time of the disaster, the number of patient of thyroid cancers has been increasing. According to the announcement made on June 10th 2014, 89 children have or are suspected to have thyroid cancer. And many out of the 50 who already underwent operations have been suffering more severe symptoms such as lymph node metastasis, lung transition, and hoarseness. We are anxiously awaiting for the publication of reports with more detailed and accurate information.

There are also concerns of  immunity system, respiratory system, circulatory organ system, alimentary system, nerve system, psychiatric disorders and others. Yet thorough investigations haven’t been conducted and the government has acted to suppress the voices of concern.

However, we are aware of the data about children who live in the post-Chemobyl nuclear-disaster Ukraine and Belarus. The number of diseases and immunity deficiencies has been increased throughout 28 years and even now. Because operations of decontamination haven’t achieved satisfactory results, the Government shouldn’t downgrade the target and left children, who are susceptible to radioactivity, in the affected area. We believe it’s unforgivable, and it’s sure from a viewpoint of preventive medicine. The Government shouldn’t confine the children in the areas of high air dose, but they should implement comprehensive measures to reduce radiation exposure, and to prevent health hazards. And it shouldn’t rely solely on decontamination work. For families who want to evacuate out of a contaminated area, they should be offered practical plans to meet their needs based on their right to evacuate. For families who decided to stay on, a program should be developed to provide periodical recreation and regular medical check-ups.

Moreover, the support for evacuees, including the voluntary evacuees, runs very short. And serious issues have come out, such as suicides and solitary deaths in evacuation home, child-abuse, unwanted retuning to the original residence, and family breakup. There is  an urgent need to investigate the situation, and to provide practical supports to the victims.

Minister lshihara said “Ultimately what matter is the money.” in his answer to the question from a press after he briefed Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, about the meeting with local residents on an interim storage facility.

What we desire as the victims of this nuclear disaster is not money, but the hometown and the life we had before March11th 2011. And we do understand it’s extremely difficult. From the depth of sadness and agony, what we are asking from the Government is;

– Policies based on their determination to do the best to secure health of people and to preserve the environment.

– Minimization of the damage of the Eukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, which has not yet ended.

– Maximum preparation for the potential crisis following a big aftershock.

– Prevention of recurrence of nuclear disaster elsewhere.

However, what they’ve done is to make damage invisible with utmost effort, instead of preventing it. They’ve been accelerating diffusion of radioactive materials, and hiding initial radiation exposure and intemal exposure. On top of those, the Govemment adheres the capability of nuclear weapons through restarting nuclear power plants on the Japanese Islands which have entered into the period of great crust change.

The continuation of nuclear-fuel-cycle planning, and export of nuclear power plants to overseas such as Turkey which is another seismic country . Those activities trample on the sentiment of the victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and we must say that it is the policy which has no respect for the lives of other people in the world.

Two days ago, the Abe Cabinet pushed through the Cabinet decision to approve the exercise of the right-of-collective-self-defense which rocks the foundation of constitutionalism and pacifism of the Constitution of Japan. We believe that such militarization of the country, nuclear power plant promotion, and forced toleration of radiation exposure are the Trinity, and we strongly oppose to them all.

To the People of the World,

We would like you to be aware of this serious reality in Japan, and to pay attention to it. We need your help to our activities toward the minimum damage of nuclear power disaster.

July 3, 20l4 Fukushima Women against Nukes

(Women of Fukushima Demand End to Nuclear Power)

Statement source ; http://onna100nin.up.seesaa.net/image/Speech20At20the20Foreign20Correspondents20Club20of20Japan20July2032C202014.pdf

 

 

July 10, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments