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Fisheries ‘shocked’ at silence over water leak at wrecked Fukushima No. 1 plant

Feb 25, 2015

Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday after it emerged that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific near the Fukushima No. 1 plant and that Tepco did nothing to prevent it despite learning of the leak last May.

“I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it. Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials.

Local fishermen have already given Tepco approval to dump groundwater into the ocean before it becomes tainted, to reduce the volume of water stored in tanks at the site. The operator is now doing this, pumping water from wells, monitoring it and piping it into the ocean.

The latest incident threatens to delay a second round of approval that Tepco wants the fishermen to provide.

The utility admitted Tuesday it failed to disclose leaks of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch at the stricken plant even though it was aware of high radiation in the water last spring.

The ditch receives runoff from the roof of the No. 2 reactor building, which is highly contaminated with radioactive substances such as cesium.

Tepco has said it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. It also detected some 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium and 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter near an outlet leading to the sea.

Tepco said there is no major change in the concentration of radioactive substances in seawater it sampled about 1 km from the drainage outlet.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Tepco reported water contaminated with high levels of radiation was flowing into the ocean at the plant’s port through another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said the utility did not disclose the information because there is no evidence of environmental impact.

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,” Moriyama said, adding that they have been investigating the sources of contamination since last spring.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/25/national/tepco-admits-failed-disclose-cesium-tainted-water-leaks-since-april/#.VO4-Cy4bKKG

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima cleanup fails to convince as just 10 to 20% of evacuees seek return

percentage of evacuees wanting to return feb 25 2015

February 25, 2015

Less than one-fifth of evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster say they want to return to their homes, despite government efforts to speed up reconstruction in areas with lower radiation levels.

The finding came from a survey by the Reconstruction Agency conducted between August and October last year that covered about 7,100 evacuee households in Namie; 2,400 in Futaba; 4,000 in Okuma; and 5,600 in Tomioka.

Between 51 percent and 60 percent of the households responded to the poll, including those living outside Fukushima Prefecture.

The four towns, all situated near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, are divided into three zones based on annual radiation dosage levels: “difficult-to-return zones” with 50 millisieverts or more; “no-residence zones” between 20 and 50 millisieverts; and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order,” with 20 millisieverts or less.

The central government has placed priority on decontaminating and reconstructing infrastructure in the latter zones to enable residents to return to their homes.

However, the survey showed that just 19.4 percent of evacuee households from “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order” in Namie wanted to return, while 14.7 percent of those in the zones in Tomioka felt the same.

Among evacuees from no-residence zones, 16.6 percent of households from Namie and 11.1 percent from Tomioka said they plan to return home when they are allowed.

Among those evacuated from difficult-to-return zones, 17.5 percent of households from Namie and 11.8 percent from Tomioka said they hope to resettle in their homes some day.

About 80 percent of all households in Namie and 70 percent of those in Tomioka are from no-residence zones and “zones being prepared for lifting of evacuation order.”

Still, even if the government lifts the evacuation order for these areas, only a handful of evacuees are likely to return, which would crimp revitalization plans for the towns.

Meanwhile, 32.4 percent of households evacuated from no-residence zones in Okuma, which cohosts the crippled plant with Futaba, said they want to return home.

The higher figure reflects preferential construction by the central government and town office of key facilities to promote the town’s reconstruction, spurring hope among residents to return. Decontamination work and restoration of a local highway route are also nearing an end in Okuma.

However, just 3 percent of Okuma residents are from no-residence zones, while the rest are from difficult-to-return zones.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201502250050

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco covered-up an ongoing leak into the sea since last year April 2014

daiichi_drainage_canals leak since april 2014  admission 24 feb 2015

February 24, 2015

Tepco admits that it failed to disclose a leak since last year April 2014.

Unit 2′s roof and downspouts have been draining directly out to sea since the disaster. Water found on unit 2′s roofs was highly radioactive with 52,000 bq/liter on one roof

TEPCO did attempt to manage this by throwing down bags of zeolite at the downspout entrance and again at the drainage canal exits. Plans submitted to IRID for a drainage canal filter system called for a much more sophisticated system that would have forced any water leaving these drainage canals through a series of filters.

Zeolite bags were also placed around the entrance to the downspouts on the building roofs. Radiation readings in the downspout water was significantly lower than the water on the roof. A filter that forces all outgoing water through the filter media would have at least worked to more effectively filter water.

Source: Tepco
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2015/images/handouts_150224_01-e.pdf

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Warning to France on drones- an easy way to destabilise nuclear reactors

drone-1Most French Nuclear Plants ‘Should Be Shut Down’ Over Drone Threat,NewsWeek BY  AND  / FEBRUARY 24, 2015 “You don’t need massive amounts of force to allow a nuclear plant to go into instability. The plant has enough energy to destroy itself. Drones can be used to tickle the plant into instability.”

With devastating simplicity, John Large explains how drones could be used to coordinate a terror attack on a nuclear power station. First, one drone hits the distribution grid serving the plant, depriving the facility of off-site power, making it dependent on its diesel generators to cool the reactor, which generates up to 1,000 megawatts of power – enough to light up half of Paris. Then the generators are easily taken out by an unmanned drone with a relatively small payload. Without power to cool the radioactive fuel, Large estimates it would take approximately 30 seconds before the fuel begins to melt, leading to potential leakages of nuclear waste.

It’s the same cause behind the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan after it was hit by a tsunami in March 2011. But potential terrorists wouldn’t need to trigger an earthquake, just be able to accurately pilot a pair of readily-available commercial drones carrying small payloads of explosive. Last year, unmanned drones were spotted flying over at least 13 nuclear power stations in France. The last widely-reported sighting was on 3 January, when two aircraft were seen flying over a nuclear facility in Nogent-sur-Seine, in northern-central France.

Activists maintain that a government blackout has blocked information on any further sightings. Curiously, no pictures of drone sightings near power stations have surfaced, a fact that causes concern amongst experts.

“There’s not one single picture. That’s very troubling,” says Jean-Luc Fornier, whose company designs and operates drones for use in the media industry. “If we had some pictures, we could decide on who may be operating the machines.” Fornier suggests that the flyovers that have been noted have three possible explanations: innocent pranksters, anti-nuclear protestors, or trial runs by terrorists. French National Research Agency said the General Secretary for Defence is “providing €1m of funding for research projects into the detection, identification and neutralisation of small aerial drones”.

According to Large, of consulting engineers Large & Associates, based in London, who was commissioned by Greenpeace France to evaluate and report on the spate of flyovers, the “unacceptable” risk posed by a terrorist drone attack means that many of Europe’s nuclear power stations – including the majority of those in France – should be shut down……..

Rousselet says the government is downplaying the threat. He says Greenpeace became aware of a further flyover sighting on 28 January before a government blackout blocked further reports. For Large, the threat remains: “The problem is that these nuclear plants are very attractive targets as the public’s perception of all things nuclear is a fate worse than death. There’s a psychological attraction for these plants as targets as they can cause mass concern among the public.” http://www.newsweek.com/2015/03/06/most-french-nuclear-plants-should-be-shut-down-over-drone-threat-309019.html

February 25, 2015 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Trouble in nuclear France: AREVA and EDF in financial distress

plants-downFrance Warns of Nuclear Industry Shake-Up After Areva Loss NYT, By  and STANLEY REEDFEB. 23, 2015 PARIS — France’s energy minister said on Monday that an overhaul of the country’s state-controlled nuclear energy industry was imminent, after one of the country’s main builders of nuclear power plants warned of a loss that could hamper its ability to continue operating independently……

Ms. Royal spoke after Areva, one of the world’s leading nuclear technology companies, said in apreliminary statement that it expected a 2014 net loss of about 4.9 billion euros, or $5.6 billion, compared with a loss of €500 million a year earlier.
 The French government — which has continued to be a proponent of nuclear power when many other big industrial nations have been more equivocal or have come to oppose it outright — owns 87 percent of Areva, and nearly 85 percent of the other big French nuclear power company, EDF, once known as Électricité de France.

EDF has been facing its own problems, including lengthy delays and steep cost overruns on a flagship plant that it is building at Flamanville, in the northwest of the country. There are also uncertainties about whether a showcase project in Britain will proceed — one in which both EDF and Areva would participate.

The French nuclear industry’s travails underline the gloomy state of the nuclear industry since the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. Moreover, the French industry, though long a world leader, has in recent years been threatened by its own mistakes……..

The loss that Areva warned of on Monday would be substantially larger than its stock-market value of about €3.7 billion, suggesting that the troubled company, plagued by cost overruns and write-downs, may need new funds to continue operating. Areva’s capabilities are vital to France’s ambitions to remain a world provider of nuclear plants and services like supplying fuel.

With few new nuclear plants being planned to replace the older ones that are being phased out in the West, “Europe will see a gradual decline in nuclear’s share of electricity supply,” said Antony Froggatt, an analyst at Chatham House, a London-based research organization…….

Areva shares closed down 2.1 percent in Paris trading on Monday.

The company, which is based in Paris, had previously warned that it was facing trouble; it said in November that it was suspending its financial guidance for 2015 and 2016. Standard & Poor’s cut the company’s debt rating to junk soon after that, citing the company’s “limited headroom.”http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/business/international/areva-nuclear-results.html?_r=0

February 25, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

Rain is bringing a new source of radioactive water to Fukushima nuclear power plant

water-radiationFukushima operator finds new source of radiation leak into sea, GMA News  February 25, 2015 TOKYO – The operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said on Tuesday it had found a pool of highly contaminated water on the roof of a plant building and that it had probably leaked into the sea through a gutter when it rained.

The finding comes four years after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc’s Fukushima reactors, and 1-1/2 years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that radiation leaks at the plant were “under control”.
Tokyo’s victory over rivals Madrid and Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympic Games followed soon after Abe’s declaration.
Tokyo Electric said it has been aware since last spring that radiation levels in water running in one of the plant gutters rise when it rains but had confirmed the source of the contamination only on Tuesday……..
Sample rainwater collected at one corner of the rooftop contained 23,000 becquerels per litre of cesium 137, more than 10 times as high as radiation levels in sample water taken from other parts of the roof, Tokyo Electric said.  Reuters http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/442161/news/world/fukushima-operator-finds-new-source-of-radiation-leak-into-sea

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | 1 Comment

Record concentration of radioactive Cesium in fish near Fukushima nuclear station port

Alarm at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Radioactivity too High, National Japan News, By Ken Tanaka & Norihisa Taguchi 23 February 2014

“…….There are presently not enough sturdy, above-ground tanks that can be used take the water from the pits in which it is stored, TEPCO General Manager Masayuki Ono said at a news conference. Water has been leaking from the pits over the lst few weekends.“………Contaminated Water And Records  Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has revealed that it may not have enough space to store the contaminated water that began to leak from its nuclear Fukushima plant over the weekend.

The company is still facing problems dealing with the consequences of the 2011 Fukushima disaster, as it attempts to keep reactors and spent fuel pools in a safe state known as cold shutdown.

A record quantity of radioactive cesium – 7,400 times the country’s limit deemed safe for human consumption – has been detected in a greenling fish in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, two years after the nuclear disaster.

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiTEPCO has also discovered a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in the fish, Kyodo News reported.

The operator installed a net on the seafloor of the port exit near the plant to prevent the fish from escaping.  The bottom-dwelling greenling fish was found in a cage set up by TEPCO inside the port next to the Fukushima Daiichi plant, a utility official told AP on condition of anonymity.

The company also indicated that the previous record of cesium concentration in fish was 510,000 becquerels per kilogram detected in another greenling caught in the same area, TEPCO said.https://onewayjapan.com/News-National/2015/09-Alarm-at-Fukushima-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactivity-too-High.html

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, oceans | 1 Comment

Federal Court decision could hasten the closure of Diablo Nuclear Power Facility

Diablo nuclear power plantLandmark Federal Court Decision: Will It Speed Diablo Nuke’s Demise? Ecowatch   | February 24, 2015 New revelations about earthquake dangers have shaken the future of California’s Diablo Canyon nukes.

In a rare move, Washington DC’s Federal U.S. Court of Appeals will hear a landmark challenge to their continued operation. The suit says Diablo’s owners illegally conspired with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to weaken seismic standards. “This is a big victory,” says Damon Moglen of Friends of the Earth. “The public has a right to know what the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric won’t admit—hundreds of thousands of people are put at immediate risk by earthquake danger at Diablo Canyon.”

Diablo is also vulnerable on state and federal water quality regulations, economic concerns and more. Citizen activism has also shut operating reactors at Humboldt, Rancho Seco and San Onofre. Proposed projects have been cancelled at Bodega Bay and Bakersfield.

California’s two remaining reactors are surrounded by more than a dozen seismic fault lines. The Shoreline fault runs within 600-700 yards of the Diablo cores, which also sit just 45 miles from the massive San Andreas fault—half Fukushima’s distance from the epicenter of the quake that destroyed it.

The two 1,100-plus megawatt Diablo nukes overlook a Pacific tsunami zone, nine miles southwest of San Luis Obispo. Since the 1980s they’ve hosted some 10,000 arrests—more than any other U.S. site.

U.S. courts generally treat the nuclear industry as a law unto itself and rarely question NRC proceedings.

But in this case, says Friend of the Earth’s S. David Freeman, “PG&E’s recent study revealed that the earthquake threat at Diablo Canyon, as measured by its original license, could be far greater than that for which the reactors were designed. So PG&E and the NRC secretly amended the license to relax the safety requirements.”

Freeman is former head of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Dr. Michael Peck, the NRC’s own chief seismic expert, warned that the Diablo reactors could not meet seismic safety standards. Peck was then transferred to NRC offices in Chattanooga.

The case follows a successful FOE filing showing that the NRC conspired with Southern California Edison to ignore steam generator violations at San Onofre. Amidst a massive grassroots upheaval, San Onofre was officially shut in 2013 (similar violations at Ohio’s Davis-Besse reactor have had little impact).

Safe energy activists staged major January gatherings in San Luis Obispo and San Francisco. A “Don’t Frack/Nuke Our Earth” conference may soon follow in the Bay Area.

Earthquake issues are not the only ones poised to doom Diablo.

The two reactors dump huge quantities of hot wastewater directly into the ocean. They’re out of compliance with state and federal water quality standards. So PG&E might soon be required by state law to build cooling towers, with cost estimates ranging from $2 billion to $14 billion.

The state Water Resources Control Board may meet on the issue this spring. The San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and others ask the public to write the board and attend its next public hearing.

If required to build those towers, which might take years to do, PG&E would ask the California Public Utilities Commission to make the public pay for them. A vehement grassroots opposition would instantly erupt.

PG&E is much hated. Its negligence caused a 2010 gas explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno. Huge state and federal fines, criminal indictments and visceral public contempt have followed.

The CPUC is also under public fire amidst an astonishing array of scandals and law-breaking. …….http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/24/court-ruling-diablo-nukes-demise/

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

UK March 5 – Conference on dismantling Britain’s unsustainable nuclear programme

text-Please-Noteflag-UKGreen nuclear conference will ‘dismantle’ Hinkley http://mollymep.org.uk/2015/02/23/green-nuclear-conference-will-dismantle-hinkley/ A major conference on nuclear power and the proposal to build a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley point in Somerset will take place in London to coincide with the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster [1].  The event will be hosted by Green MEP Molly Scott Cato – whose South West constituency is home to Hinkley – and three other Green MEPs: Rebecca Harms, Claude Turmes and Michel Reimon.

The event will present the initial findings of a new report which will seek to ‘dismantle’ the view that nuclear can be part of a sustainable energy future and demonstrate how renewables can meet the energy needs of the South West. Greens argue that the proposed deal for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset was granted by the EU Commission on dubious legal grounds, amounts to a massive government subsidy, and sets a dangerous precedent across Europe. The deal is currently facing a legal challenge from the Austrian and Luxembourg governments and a consortium of renewable energy businesses. Molly Scott Cato MEP said:

“Greens have always said that nuclear power is dangerous, expensive and will fail to deliver the energy we need in the timescale we need it. The South West has the greatest potential for renewable energy anywhere in England and Wales and the sector can provide thousands of jobs. We have the ability to provide electricity cleanly, safely and at lower costs than nuclear. Add to that the opportunity for renewables to be owned not by giant foreign corporations and global finance but by local people in the form of cooperatives and social enterprises, and it’s clear that it is renewable energy that really offers power to the people.”

The event, held on the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, will include a keynote speech from Tetsunari Iida, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Japan. Mr Iida said:

“With nuclear power, there is always the risk that a large disaster on the scale of Fukushima will occur as well as the semi-permanent nuclear waste nuclear produces. These two basic risks cannot be avoided. Our only truly sustainable type of energy is renewable energy.”

Notes

[1] FROM FUKUSHIMA TO HINKLEY: DISMANTLING THE NUCLEAR ARGUEMENT FOR A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE

Where: Europe House, 32 Smith Street, London SW1P 3EU on Thursday 5 March 2015.
Time: 09:00 – 15:30
Details: The events takes place on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster and will include keynote speaker Tetsunari Iida, Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Japan. The event will bring together experts from all over the world to discuss the impacts of Fukushima on Europe in light of the recent decision of the European Commission to allow the UK government to heavily subsidise a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point C. It will include detailed analysis of the impact of this decision on the South West, including a report on meeting the South West energy needs from renewables and how nuclear can undermine investment in renewables.

Click here for a full programme and timings

To attend the event or for further information please contact Amanda Williams, Regional Liaison Officer to Molly Scott Cato MEP Tel: 07780 970621 or Email: dorwilts@mollymep.org.uk

February 25, 2015 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Emergency inspections at Fukushima nuclear plant. as radioactivity alarms go off

Multiple Alarms Set Off at Fukushima Plant: New leak of highly radioactive material detected — “Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly” — “Emergency inspections” underway (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/alarm-rings-fukushima-plant-new-leak-highly-radioactive-material-detected-strontium-90-levels-spike-alarmingly-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

AFP, Feb 22, 2015 (emphasis added): Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected afresh leak of highly radioactive water into the sea… [with] contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant… TEPCO said itsemergency inspections of tanks storing nuclear waste water did not find any additional abnormalities… It was not immediately clear what caused the original spike… “With emergency surveys of the plant and monitoring of other sensors, we have no reason to believe tanks storing radioactive waste water have leaked… We are currently monitoring the sensors”…  The latest incident, one of several that have plagued the plant in recent months, reflects the difficulty in controlling and decommissioning the plant… TEPCO has not been able to effectively deal with an increasing amount of contaminated water…

NHK, Feb 22, 2015: Fukushima radioactive contamination sets off alarm — [TEPCO] says it has detected high levels of radioactive substances in a drainage channel on the plant’s premises on Sunday… the plant’s alarm system went off around 10 AM… levels of beta-ray emitting substances, which are not detected under normal circumstances, had risen to up to 7,230 Becquerels per liter… The utility suspects that contaminated water in the channel may have leaked into the port.

Japan Times, Feb 22, 2015: Strontium-90 levels spike alarmingly at Fukushima No. 1 plant — The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sunday that an alarm went off at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant signaling high radioactivity levels in drainage ditches… the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m., and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher levels. Officials said contaminated water may have been discharged into the ditches.

(Link removed) Jiji Press, Feb 22, 2015: Radioactivity Alarm Rings at TEPCO Fukushima Plant

Watch NHK’s broadcast here

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Taiwanese petition against nuclear-waste reprocessing

Reprocessing--NOActivists petition against nuclear-waste reprocessing http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/02/25/2003612205 By Tang Chia-ling Anti-nuclear group Mom Loves Taiwan has launched a petition against state-run Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower) call for bids to reprocess about 1,200 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan and Guosheng nuclear power plants, which Taipower announced on Tuesday last week, one day before Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Taipower has obtained a budget of NT$11.25 billion (US$353 million) to deliver 480 and 720 bundles of spent fuel rods from the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Shihmen District (石門), and the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant, in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里), respectively overseas for reprocessing. The reprocessing is to be implemented over four years, with the first batch scheduled to be shipped by the end of this year.

The campaign, dubbed “Help Taiwan & Save The World!! Stop Taipower’s Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Project,” had gathered about 270 signatures as of press time last night. Many signatories are from Japan, where the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant disaster took place in 2011.

The organization hopes to obtain 500,000 signatures and present them to Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) in the hope that the government will block the project.

Mom Loves Taiwan chief executive Yang Shun-mei (楊順美) said shipping highly radioactive nuclear waste overseas to be reprocessed only means that the waste will be shipped back to Taiwan 20 years later.

She said that nuclear waste reprocessing is a dying industry and that the French-based firm Areva, which is on the brink of bankruptcy, is a case in point.

She said that Avera is reportedly the company to which Taipower plans to send its fuel rods for reprocessing. She said the move would salvage the company from insolvency at the cost of polluting the environment, while bolstering nuclear arms production, and above all, no one would responsible for overseeing the reprocessing operations.

Taiwan Environmental Protection Union member Gloria Hsu (徐光蓉) said that Taipower did not inform the public of the actual cost of nuclear-waste reprocessing and that time and again it has requested more funds from the legislature shortly after its budget has been passed.She added that it did this while constructing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.

February 25, 2015 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Solar power is getting to be the cheapest source of electricity

Solar power set to become cheapest source of energy over next decade, German think tank says, ABC News, 25 Feb 15,  The World Today  By Annie White Solar energy is set to become the cheapest source of electricity in many parts of the world within the next 10 years, according to a new report released by German think tank, Agora Energiewende.

The report was commissioned by the independently funded organisation, designed to steer Germany towards its 80 per cent renewable energy target.

Chief executive officer Dr Patrick Graichen said they wanted to see if recent falls in the cost of photovoltaics would continue. “The finding is there’s no end to the cost decline in photovoltaics,” he said. “The technology still has further improvements so we expect that within the next 10 years photovoltaics will become, in many regions of the world, the cheapest source of electricity.”

Dr Graichen said in some sun drenched parts of the world, it would be cheaper than burning fossil fuels.

The Current and Future Cost of Photovoltaics report found the price drop is set to occur even in conservative scenarios, and assuming no major technological breakthroughs.

Dr Graichen, former head of the Division for Energy and Climate Policy at the German Federal Environment Ministry, said the falling price was being driven by several factors.

“It’s the technology itself, the modules have become cheaper because China is now producing them on a very large scale,” he said.

“So we have the effect of the mature technology with a global market, where prices decline, and second, we’ve got to know better how to integrate it into the systems during the past five-six years.”……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/solar-track-becoming-cheapest-energy-source-agora-energiewende/6251322

February 25, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Mossad knew that Iran is not producing nuclear weapons

Intelligence leaks suggest Israeli secret service believe Iran is not producing nuclear weapons Iran Nuclear Newly leaked intelligence from Mossad suggest they knew Israeli claims about nuclear weapon production were false –Middle East Eye Alex MacDonald 24 February 2015 Israel’s secret service had long believed Iran was not making a nuclear weapon, according to a tranch of documents leaked from various spy agencies.

A new joint report produced on Monday by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian shows top secret files – correspondances with the South African intelligence services – suggesting that Mossad, the Israeli security agency, has believed since 2012 that the Islamic Republic of Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” according to the leak.

The revelation would seem to undermine claims by other branches of the Israeli state – including the prime minister – that Iran presented a threat to Israelis through its desire to produce nuclear weapons.

The date of the cables is particularly ironic, as it came just a month after a speech made by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly in which he called for a united global response to Iran’s threat to develop nuclear weapons – a threat which, at the time, he assured was a very real one…………http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/intelligence-leaks-suggest-israeli-secret-service-believe-iran-not-producing-nuclear-weapons

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Iran, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Allegations by Iranian dissident group that Iran has a secret nuclear facility

Iran blockbuster: Group claims proof of secret nuclear facility By Guy Taylor – The Washington Times – Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Claiming that Iran’s government has been lying for years to U.N. nuclear inspectors, a prominent Iranian dissident group on Tuesday asserted that scientists in the Islamic Republic have actually been running a secret uranium enrichment operation at a facility buried deep beneath the ground in the northeast suburbs of Tehran since 2008.

The facility, known as “Lavizan-3,” has been used for clandestine nuclear program research and development, as well as for enrichment with advanced IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuge machines, according to the National Coalition of Resistance of Iran, which claims that the operation’s existence has never before been revealed to international officials.

The NCRI’s claim was not immediately verifiable, and the dissident group is known for its controversial history in Washington. However, the group is seen to have deep sources inside Iran’s nuclear community and its members are credited with having made game-changing revelations about Tehran’s activities in the past.

Most notably, during the early 2000s, similar NCRI claims exposed the existence of Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy-water plutonium facility — two operations that have been at the center of international scrutiny and distrust of Tehran during the years since then.

The group said its latest claims were the result of a “decade-long, detailed, risking and complex” intelligence gathering effort by members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq. The so-called “MEK” is a main component of the NCRI, but has long drawn scrutiny in Washington because the State Department had listed it as a terrorist organization until 2012.

While the MEK is seen as virulently against the current regime in Tehran, U.S. officials have said the group’s terrorist listing was related to attacks its members carried out against U.S. interests in the Middle East decades ago……..

It was not immediately clear on Tuesday how the new claims by the NCRI may impact the ongoing nuclear negotiations between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers………

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/24/iran-running-clandestine-nuclear-facility-group-sa/#ixzz3ShEhuEUE

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Iran, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Alarms as sudden higher radioactivity at Fukushima nuclear plant

Alarm at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Radioactivity too High, National Japan News

23 February 2014 Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority said that on Sunday that an alarm went off at the stricken Nuclear Power Plant of Fukushima No. 1.

The regulatory body reported that part of highly radioactive water flew into the plant’s port. It has yet to find out the cause of the situation.

According to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority and TEPCO, the company running the Nuclear Power Plant, the first alarm sounded at around 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) , and another alarm 10 minutes later indicated much higher radioactivity levels.

The levels of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, such as strontium-90, measured between 10:20 a.m. ad 10:50 a.m. stood at 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water. https://onewayjapan.com/News-National/2015/09-Alarm-at-Fukushima-Nuclear-Plant-Radioactivity-too-High.html

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment