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Asian and Pacific green Parties unite in aim for nuclear free region

Asia-Pacific-green-federatiGreen Parties call for a nuclear free region on anniversary of Fukushima, Global Greens  10 March, 2015 “……The Green Parties of the Asia Pacific region offer our sincere condolences for the tragedy suffered, and our solidarity with the people and Green Party of Japan.

We use this anniversary to remind the Governments of the world, that it is the responsibility of all nations to ensure the safety of our planet.

There is no doubt, the suffering for the Japanese people has been immense, especially for those living in and around Fukushima, and it is not yet over. The world has already witnessed suffering following nuclear disasters in Chernobyl (Ukraine), Khystym (Russia), Sellafield (United Kingdom), and Three Mile Island (USA). However, there are currently 71 new nuclear plants under construction around the world, the majority of which are in the Asia Pacific region (China 26, Taiwan 2, India 6, Japan 2, Pakistan 2, South Korea 5). (3)

It is time we fully committed to a nuclear-free world.

text-relevantWhether your country is listed as one of these constructing further nuclear plants or not, we are all implicated in the nuclear supply chain – through uranium mining, refining, power generation, radioactive waste, nuclear weapons, or through complicity by not discouraging the practice of our trading partners.

global-greensGreen Parties around the globe oppose the expansion of nuclear power and are working to rapidly phase it out.  Nuclear energy is not the emissions-free solution that the world needs to address climate change, in fact, it is a net producer of greenhouse gases.(4)

As we have seen with Fukushima, the human and planetary costs are too high, and when examining the nuclear supply chain, it is simply ineffective at reducing emissions.

We need to stay focused on transitioning to clean renewable energy sources – these are not only safer, but offer a more equitable solution. We can achieve economic development with genuine quality of life through a sustainable smart green economy. Examples of this kind of development include community-based, co-operative, renewable energy operations complemented by reduced energy consumption through electricity saving government policies.

At this critical moment, we ask the people Asia Pacific to call on their governments to:

  1. Commit to a nuclear-free world.
  2. Move to clean equitable renewable energy solutions for your country
  3. Provide democratic process in citizens’ referenda on nuclear power.
  4. Ensure information transparency, participatory democracy, social and environmental justice for residents living near power plants and nuclear waste fields.
  5. Prioritise in decision-making the wellbeing of our planet and future generations.


The Asia-Pacific Greens Federation (APGF) Coordination Committee

The APGF’s members are:

March 14, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, AUSTRALIA, New Zealand, politics international | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium for Utah – mind boggling scenario

depleted-uraniumhighly-recommendedWill Utah bury nation’s leftover depleted uranium? By , Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — Yet another delay is being encountered on the long and winding regulatory path that will determine if Utah becomes a key repository of the nation’s supply of depleted uranium — low-level radioactive waste that becomes increasingly potent over millions of years.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality just received this week additional information from EnergySolutions related to potential erosion and other “deep time” problems suspected to impact its Tooele County disposal site, pushing back the start of a public review to April 13.

Helge Gabert, project manager for the state on the depleted uranium issue, said the requested information was about a month late. It was submitted Wednesday for review. It will be incorporated into a subsequent analysis or safety evaluation that the agency will release for public comment about a week beyond its earlier time frame.

In addition, a pair of public meetings will be held the week of May 4, with a decision on disposal due July 1 from Rusty Lundberg, director of the Utah Division of Radiation Control.

To take the nation’s leftovers of 750,000 metric tons of depleted uranium, EnergySolutions has to first convince Utah regulators that its site will be safe for 10,000 years. Beyond that, it has to prove that the threat to public health will be minimal in the advent of a return of a Lake Bonneville or other “deep time geologic events” over 2.1 million years.

It is a mind boggling scenario, planning for all manner of circumstances that could play out, modeling time and performance over such an extended period that it is difficult to grasp.

EnergySolutions must account for the farmer who wanders onto the disposal site, unaware of the radiological hazard underneath his feet. Or the burrowing rodent that could cause vulnerabilities to the at-grade disposal site.

The company must try to figure out how the wind will deposit the sand, how dunes will form and when the lake returns — as some say it inevitably will — how the water might disperse the radiological hazard from an anticipated breach of the disposal barrier.

Such planning is something Utah is requiring because of the unique nature of depleted uranium, which is the byproduct of the uranium enrichment process for nuclear fuel. While depleted uranium has commercial applications, such as antitank armaments, demand for it is far outpaced by the amount that is generated. The U.S. Department of Energy has responsibility for its disposal.

Depleted uranium gets more radioactive as its isotopes try to get back to their natural state, and as these “daughter products” break down, they not only multiply, but increase in intensity.

The instability that occurs in the decay process occurs over 2.1 million years, with what was once classified as “low-level” radioactive waste breaching Utah-imposed limits on what is allowed to be buried in the state.

Gabert said there is no question that by 40,000 years, depleted uranium will violate the state’s prohibition on anything “hotter” than Class A waste, so it becomes a policy issue for current regulators to decide if its disposal is acceptable in the here and now.

“You could argue why does not the state just make the decision based on the science, but we have not made that. We are willing to hear out what the facility has to say,” Gabert said.

The deep time analysis looks in particular if the threat will be mitigated enough — if the doses of radioactivity would be diluted to the degree that even exposure to a higher “category” of waste would not cause harm.

Critics of the EnergySolutions’ proposal to dispose of the depleted uranium say no amount of assurances or analysis can safeguard human health given the sheer amount of unknowns.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | depleted uranium, environment, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Another major leak of radioactive water at Fukushima nuclear facility

water-radiationJapan TV: “Radiation levels surge” at Fukushima — “Another major leak” — “Massive leak of … highly contaminated water” — “Hundreds of tons… breached barriers” (VIDEO)

TEPCO, Mar 11, 2015 (emphasis added): Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report — Tepco Reports Rainwater Containing Strontium90 Found Seeping Into Ground At Fukushima Daiichi Tank Area; No Leakage Into Ocean… approximately 750 tons of rainwater containing Strontium90 may have seeped into the ground… [TEPCO] explained that the water is unlikely to leak out to the ocean through any of its drainage channels but it is monitoring the situation… the total amount of nuclides emitting beta rays such as Strontium90 ranged from 150 to 8,300 Bequerels per liter… it is investigating the cause of the rainwater contamination…

Asahi, Mar 11, 2015: [TEPCO] reported a massive leak of radioactive rainwater… on March 10. It said hundreds of tons of contaminated rainwater breached barriers surrounding storage tanks for highly radioactive water and seeped into the ground… Highly contaminated wateralso leaked from the same area and seeped into the ground in summer 2013… In the latest leakage, workers discovered bubbles at the junctions of side ditches in the area. Officials said this indicated that contaminated rainwater had seeped through the junctions and into the ground.

NHK, Mar 11, 2015: Radioactive rainwater leak at Fukushima plant — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says an estimated 750 tons of rainwater with relatively high levels of radioactivity has been leaked… TEPCO officials said the rainwater was 15 centimeters deep at 10:30 PM on Monday, but the figure had fallen to 8 centimeters shortly after 8 AM on Tuesday… They say the water inside the dam contained up to 8,300 becquerels per liter of beta-particle-emitting substances. TEPCO officials say all the water has now been collected. They say the drainage channel to the ocean is buried underground and it is unlikely that the water flowed into the ocean.

Jiji Press, Mar 11, 2015: TEPCO initially put the amount of leaked rainwater at 400 tons. The number was revised to 747 tons.

Arirang, Mar 12, 2015: Another major leakat… Fukushima nuclear power plant earlier this week may have raised radiation levels in nearby waters. [TEPCO] told Seoul-based Yonhap News that the radiation levels in water collected on Wednesday were 30 times higher than the sample collected on Monday. TEPCO said earlier this week that nearly [750] tons of contaminated rainwater had escaped the plant.

NHK, Mar 11, 2015: Groundwater radiation levels surge after leak –  [TEPCO] says levels of radioactive material in groundwater have surged 30-fold, apparently after contaminated rainwater leaked outside a barrier… [It] estimates the leak at about 750 tons of rainwater, and it says levels of beta ray-emitting substances [were] 8,300 becquerels per liter. On Wednesday, TEPCO measured 11,000 becquerels per liter in groundwater… up from 370 becquerels…

Watch broadcast here

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Utah’s environmental regulatory boards getting cosier with nuclear industry

Merger of environmental boards stokes concerns, opposition from Utah Radiation Control Board, Deseret News, By , March 12 2015 SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Radiation Control Board voted unanimously to voice its opposition to the state Legislature’s move to dismantle the organization, declaring the change is ill-advised and members should have been consulted.

In an emergency vote on a “position statement” Wednesday, the five members present approved sending the document to all 104 members of the Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert.

The action is in response to SB244, sponsored by Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, which passed the Utah Senate on Wednesday and now awaits Herbert’s signature.

Dayton’s measure, which has the nod of Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s executive director Amanda Smith, combines two divisions under Smith’s purview — Radiation Control and Solid and Hazardous Waste……..

Representatives from the radiological community, Smith added, feel their numbers have been “diluted” because the board’s composition is bigger…….

Radioactive waste watchdog organizations such as HEAL Utah complained that the board composition weakens oversight of industry in general and EnergySolutions in particular. EnergySolutions operates the low-level radioactive waste dump in Tooele County.

“We decided early on that we didn’t have any problem with the merger,” said Matt Pacenza, HEAL Utah director. “We waited and waited and waited to see what the board composition would look like, and we were really unhappy. It is significantly more dominated by the industry it regulates. It is going to make it that much more challenging of an environment to raise issues on nuclear waste and hazardous waste and that concerns us.”……..

Pacenza said Utah’s environmental regulatory boards are already too cozy with industry, and Dayton’s bill takes that relationship to an expanded degree of warmth.


“It’s not like it is an easy environment now for passing rules to require more strict oversight of industry,” he said.


Twitter: amyjoi16

March 14, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

32 million people in Japan are exposed to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Report says 32 million people in Japan are exposed to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster Approximately 32 million people in Japan are affected by the radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, according to the 2015 Fukushima Report now available from Green Cross. (PRWEB UK) 11 March 2015  Geneva: Approximately 32 million people in Japan are affected by the radioactive fallout from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, according to the 2015 Fukushima Report now available from Green Cross. This includes people who were exposed to radiation or other stress factors resulting from the accident, and who are consequently at potential risk from both long and short-term consequences.

The 2015 Fukushima Report is available for download in English at

As with the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which impacted 10 million people, Japan is expected to see increased cancer risk and neuropsychological long-term health consequences. The stress-related effects of evacuation and subsequent relocation are also of concern. The evacuation involved a total of over 400,000 individuals, 160,000 of them from within 20km of Fukushima. The number of deaths from the nuclear disaster attributed to stress, fatigue and the hardship of living as evacuees is estimated to be around 1,700 so far.

“Our local presence and ongoing activities to help the communities impacted by radioactive contamination in Chernobyl and Fukushima gives us first-hand experience of the human and environmental consequences of nuclear disasters,” said Adam Koniuszewski, Chief Operating Officer of Green Cross International, who recently shared the stage with former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan for a conference on nuclear power. “This is why we are demanding more transparency and better governance around nuclear power and the risks involved, and a better assessment of its mounting costs. The management of nuclear waste in increasingly burdensome and the cost of decommissioning plants is escalating. In the meantime, renewable energy solutions are getting cheaper. Over the last five years the cost for utility scale solar has declined by 78 per cent, and by for wind by 58 per cent.”……….

About Green Cross International:
GCI is an independent non-profit and nongovernmental organization founded in 1993 by Nobel Peace Laureate Mikhail Gorbachev. It addresses the interconnected global challenges of security, poverty and environmental degradation through global advocacy and local projects. GCI is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has a network of national organizations in 27 countries

For further information, please contact:

Green Cross International (GCI)
Etienne Lacombe-Kishibe
Communications Coordinator
Phone: +41 22 789 08 13
Mob: +41 78 839 79 03
Email: etienne.lacombe(at)gci(dot)ch


March 14, 2015 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

The hazard of Fukushima nuclear radiation in the seafood chain

radiation-in-sea--food-chaiIs seafood totally free from Fukushima radiation?, March 13, 2015,

A new report on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan raises concerns as to seafood safety given the radioactivity levels in tuna and other fish.

The 2015 Fukushima Report was prepared under the direction of Professor Jonathan M. Samet, Director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California(USC), as a Green Cross initiative.

“Our local presence and ongoing activities to help the communities impacted by radioactive contamination in Chernobyl and Fukushima gives us first-hand experience of the human and environmental consequences of nuclear disasters,” pointed out Adam Koniuszewski, Chief Operating Officer of Green Cross International.

“This is why we are demanding more transparency and better governance around nuclear power and the risks involved, and a better assessment of its mounting costs. The management of nuclear waste in increasingly burdensome and the cost of decommissioning plants is escalating. In the meantime, renewable energy solutions are getting cheaper. Over the last five years the cost for utility scale solar has declined by 78 per cent, and by for wind by 58 per cent,” Koniuszewski added.

The radiation released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was largely concentrated in Japan and over the Pacific Ocean.

According to estimates, 80 per cent of the released radiation was deposited in the ocean and the other 20 per cent was mostly dispersed within a 50 km radius to the northwest of the power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture.

While the expected cancer risk to humans caused by the radiation released over the Pacific Ocean are small, trace amounts of radiation have already reached the North American continent, in particular parts of the North West Coast of the United States.

In addition to the radioactive material initially released in the ocean, water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant remains a problem four years after the accident.Reports of pipes breaking and water escaping from containment tanks in the months and years since the accident are a source of worry for workers and the public. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) reported that radioactive material had been released as late as May of 2013.

Green Cross is committed to phasing out nuclear energy worldwide. The organisation is also concerned about the effects military use of nuclear materials can have on the environment and health. Because of the worldwide effects of climate change and nuclear disasters, it is urgently necessary for the global community to work together on developing and using renewable energies, boosting energy efficiency, and pursuing a controlled, global end to the production of nuclear power.

The 2015 Fukushima Report is available to download in English at: Fukushima Report.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | oceans | Leave a comment

India’s atomic energy programme an economic failure and an environmental disaster

Oh, meltdown!, Sourav Roy,  March 9, 2015  “………it does not take nuclear physics to figure out that liability is the most important aspect while dealing with nuclear power. Being unaccountable for your mistakes is as good as being invited to make them. India is a country which is still recovering from the aftermath of Bhopal gas tragedy, where a gas leak in a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal city killed about 20,000 people in 1984, in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters. Since then, justice has been denied to the families of the victims, and given that India’s ruling political party has taken election funds from Union Carbide’s parent company, chances of any justice to the victims is bleak.

India’s atomic energy programme so far has been an economic failure and an environmental disaster. The existing nuclear plants have shown irregularities, and are prone to mishaps. Jadugoda, only 20 kms from my home town, has witnessed huge number of cancer cases related to nuclear mining. Despite contributing a mere 3% of the country’s energy needs, more than 60% of India’s total research budget on energy goes to the nuclear sector, while the investment in renewable energy remains menial…….. Continue reading

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why is Israel’s nuclear bomb not discussed ?

What About Israel’s Nuclear Bomb?, The Nation  William Greider on March 12, 2015 
After Bibi Netanyahu’s provocative speech to Congress, The New York Times provided helpful clarifications in an article headlined “What Iran Won’t Say About the Bomb.” Written by two superbly expert reporters, William Broad and David Sanger, the piece walked through the technical complexities for non-experts (myself included) and explained key questions Iranians have failed to answer.

But this leads me to ask a different question: What about Israel’s bomb? Why isn’t that also part of the discussion?

In the flood of news stories about Iran’s nuclear intentions, I have yet to see mention of Israel’s nuclear arsenal (if I missed some mentions, they must have been rare).

Yet Israel’s bomb is obviously relevant to the controversy. The facts are deliberately murky, but Israel has had nuclear weapons for at least forty years, though it has never officially acknowledged their existence. The Israeli diplomatic approach has been called “nuclear ambiguity.”……

My point is, the existence of Israel’s nuclear superiority is clearly a pivotal fact of life in the chaotic conflicts and occasional wars of the Middle East. It should not be left out.

Israel’s bomb might be an important factor in motivating Iran to seek a nuclear bomb of its own (though Iran denies that intention). It might also be the subtext for Netanyahu’s bellicose warnings and his occasional calls for bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Bibi’s country would lose valuable leverage if it no longer had a nuclear monopoly in the region. Yet it might be considered a provocative act if Israel bluntly acknowledged its nuclear arsenal………

That brings the story back around to Bibi. For roughly twenty years, Netanyahu has now and then called for bombing Iran to crumple its nuclear intentions. The Obama administration is attempting to accomplish the same result peacefully, through negotiations.

As Juan Cole has written in The Nation, that may be a false choice, because Israeli intelligence and a former defense minister have admitted that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Cole explained: “Nuclear weapons are in any case defensive, not offensive, and Iran could not deploy a bomb (if it had one, which it doesn’t) against Israel because the Israelis would retaliate by wiping Iran off the map,”

In other words, even if Tehran were to acquire nukes, it could not use them against Israel. Both nations would become prisoners of the stalemate that ruled the United States and Soviet Union for forty years during the Cold War. The doctrine was known as Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD for short………

March 14, 2015 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Web traffic for the UK’s nuclear weapons agency routed through Russian telecom by error

A network error routed traffic for the UK’s nuclear weapons agency through Russian telecom, The Verge By Russell Brandom March 13, 2015 
For the past week, something strange has been going on in the European internet. For five days, web traffic from Texas to certain addresses in the UK has been routed through Ukrainian and Russian telecoms, taking a detour thousands of miles out of the way. Network traffic often takes a circuitous route as a result of network congestion or interconnection difficulties, but neither one would be enough to account for these routes. Instead, this was the result of a bad route announced by Ukraine’s Vega telecom, inserting itself in between. “At this point, I have to believe this was an innocent mistake by Vega,” said Dyn’s Doug Madory, who first discovered the redirection, “but it’s concerning nonetheless.”
This phenomenon is known as “route hijacking,” and it’s a common security concern for network engineers and security researchers alike. It’s particularly disconcerting because of the sensitive nature of many of the sites involved. Among the dozens of sites involved was the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment, which is tasked with managing and delivering the UK’s nuclear warheads, ……..

It’s still likely that the redirection was simply an innocent error, but it underscores the insecure nature of the global routing system. While much of the web has grown more wary of digital attack, routing is still based on trust, with networks freely announcing routes and friendly telecoms adopting them as a matter of habit. As a result, inefficient and potentially insecure routes like this one can linger for days without being corrected, without the parties involved ever being aware of them.

The full traceroute is below, with the Ukrainian telecom visible at line 11 and Russian interconnection at 12 and 13:…..

March 14, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Renewable Energy Target to be raised in Norway and Sweden

Norway and Sweden agree to raise renewable energy target Fri Mar 13, 2015  OSLO,  (Reuters) – Norway and Sweden agreed on Friday to increase a joint 2020 renewable energy target by almost 8 percent under a subsidy scheme which could lead to higher energy prices for consumers.

Under the new target, the two Nordic countries aim to raise the amount of electricity they produce in total from renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro or biomass to 28.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year by 2020 from 26.4 TWh.

The changes to the common support scheme need to be approved by lawmakers in both countries before it comes into effect.

Norway and Sweden launched the first cross-border renewable support scheme in the world in 2012. Producers receive electricity certificates depending on how much green power they produce, which they can sell on the market for profit.

However, the system is financed by electricity end-users, as the costs of the certificates are added to electricity bills, meaning consumers in Norway and Sweden contribute to paying for rises in renewable energy production.

Higher renewables output could also increase pressure on already low Nordic power prices, hurting revenues of such power producers as Vattenfall or Statkraft.

Nordic spot power prices fell to 29.61 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2014, the lowest since 2007, partly due to more renewable power being added, sluggish demand and warm weather.

However, the wind power industry welcomed the news.

“It’s a big boost for the Nordic electricity certificate market. There will be additional 2 TWh to fight for,” said Andreas Thon Aasheim, an advisor at Norwegian wind power association Norwea, referring to the additional renewable output agreed by the two countries.

Norway lags Sweden on wind power production, but the Norwegian government has agreed to harmonise depreciation rules for wind power projects to bring them into line with Sweden. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Nina Chestney and David Evans)

March 14, 2015 Posted by | renewable, Sweden | Leave a comment

Crash in Bosnia of van carrying radioactive materials

Van transporting radioactive material crashes in Bosnia 13 Mar 15, A van carrying radioactive isotope Iridium-192 has crashed in north Bosnia, local media reported. The vehicle ran off the road after colliding with a car.

The police blocked the area around the crash site. Bosnia’s nuclear safety agency reported that no radiation leak had been detected.

The van was transporting “apparatus with radioactive material” from the Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, the Banja Luka-based Nezavisne Novine newspaper reported.

After the collision, the van overturned. The radioactive material, however, which is in a solid state and poses no risk of large-scale contamination, remained contained, the authorities said……..

The driver of the car was killed in the crash, while the van driver and a passenger traveling with him survived.

Iridium-192 is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 73.83 days. It is also a strong gamma ray emitter and is commonly used as a gamma ray source in radiography and radiotherapy as a radiation source.

According to the UN, Iridium-192 is the isotope that most frequently goes missing when radioactive materials are used to make a dirty bomb.

March 14, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, incidents | Leave a comment

Radioactivity detected in sample of tea from Japan

Hong Kong Finds Small Amount of Radioactivity in Sample of Japanese Tea NYT By MARCH 12, 2015HONG KONG — A sample of powdered tea imported from the Japanese prefecture of Chiba, just southeast of Tokyo, contained traces of radioactive cesium 137, the Hong Kong government announced late Thursday evening, but they were far below the legal maximum level.

The discovery was not the first of its kind. The government’s Center for Food Safety found three samples of vegetables from Japan with “unsatisfactory” levels of radioactive contaminants in March 2011, the month that nuclear reactors in Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo, suffered partial meltdowns following a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

Other samples of Japanese food have occasionally been found to have low levels of radiation since the Fukushima disaster, the Hong Kong food center said…….

March 14, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Our sick society uses dolphins to guard nuclear weapons

Military dolphins help defend the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, Business Insider, 

PIERRE BIENAIMÉ 14 MAR 15 Naval Base Kitsap, a marine base 20 miles from Seattle, may be home to the world’s largest single-location arsenal of nuclear weapons, and it’s defended by dolphins trained by the US Navy.

“Nearly one-quarter of America’s 9,962 nuclear weapons are now assigned to the Bangor submarine base on Hood Canal, 20 air miles northwest of downtown Seattle,” the Seattle Timesreported in 2006.

Bangor was the name of a base that merged with another to form Kitsap in 2004.

“This makes Bangor the largest nuclear weapons storehouse in the United States, and possibly the world,” according to the Seattle Times……

March 14, 2015 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment