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Radioactive waste “forgotten”

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April 2, 2015

Any material that radioactive cesium contamination exceeds 8000 Bq / kg should be classified radioactive waste. However, according to the Ministry of Environment, 3648 tons of waste, which contamination is exceeding this limit, were not correctly classified. This is in Miyagi Prefecture where are the most, with 2711 tons and in Iwate Prefecture, with 710 tons. It is mostly rice straw and hay.

The municipalities concerned are responsible for storing this waste the time that a final solution is found by the government. But some preferred to say nothing to protect their image. For others, it’s a hardship. In Kurihara (Miyagi Prefecture), for example, there are officially 974 tons of rice straw exceeding the 8000 Bq / kg limit, which the town does not know what to do with. And the government has nothing to offer for now because the search for a storage site is blocked. So as there is more downside to declare the waste many prefer to say nothing.

In late December 2014, there were officially 157,420 tons of radioactive waste accumulated in 12 provinces other than Fukushima.

Source : Acro

http://fukushima.eu.org/dechets-radioactifs-oublies/

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Strange and worrying effects of Chernobyl radiation – failure of dead trees to properly decompose

Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly It wasn’t just people, animals and trees that were affected by radiation exposure at Chernobyl, but also the decomposers: insects, microbes, and fungi By Rachel Nuwer  smithsonian.com  March 14, 2014 Nearly 30 years have passed since the Chernobyl plant exploded and caused an unprecedented nuclear disaster. The effects of that catastrophe, however, are still felt today. Although no people live in the extensive exclusion zones around the epicenter, animals and plants still show signs of radiation poisoning.

Birds around Chernobyl have significantly smaller brains that those living in non-radiation poisoned areas; trees there grow slower; and fewer spiders and insects—including bees, butterflies and grasshoppers—live there. Additionally, game animals such as wild boar caught outside of the exclusion zone—including some bagged as far away as Germany—continue to show abnormal and dangerous levels of radiation.

Chernobyl-fallen-trees

However, there are even more fundamental issues going on in the environment. According to a new study published in Oecologia, decomposers—organisms such as microbes, fungi and some types of insects that drive the process of decay—have also suffered from the contamination. These creatures are responsible for an essential component of any ecosystem: recycling organic matter back into the soil. Issues with such a basic-level process, the authors of the study think, could have compounding effects for the entire ecosystem. Continue reading

April 4, 2015 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | 3 Comments

Deceptive push by Japan’s ruling Party to bring back dependence on nuclear power

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeflag-japanLDP stealthily seeking to raise nuclear energy dependence THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 3 Apr 15 The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is pushing a policy of heightening Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy but has buried this stance under a calculation trick.

An LDP research commission on energy issues on April 2 called on the central government to ensure that base-load electricity sources–nuclear energy, coal-fired thermal plants, hydroelectric and geothermal plants–account for about 60 percent of Japan’s energy needs in 2030.

The proposal does not mention any specific ratio for nuclear energy. But considering the difficulties in increasing the supply from the other base-load electricity sources, the dependence on nuclear power would have to rise to about 20 percent.

The proposal is expected to be presented to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as early as next week as the formal recommendation of the LDP. The central government wants to decide on the energy mix for Japan in 2030 and beyond by June.

The government’s designation of the base-load electricity sources means their costs for power generation are comparatively low and electricity can be produced around the clock.

In fiscal 2013, Japan depended on base-load electricity sources for about 40 percent of its power: 1 percent for nuclear energy; 30 percent for coal-fired thermal plants; and a combined 9 percent for hydroelectric and geothermal plants……..

The LDP panel’s proposal said, “Energy policy must serve to strengthen Abenomics.”

It pointed out that electricity rates increased after nuclear power plants went offline following the Fukushima nuclear crisis triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

But to achieve that level of dependence on nuclear energy, nuclear plants would have to be operated beyond the current 40-year operating life set by the government or the government would have to approve the reconstruction or new construction of nuclear plants……..http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201504030042

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Bulgaria pulls out of $4bn Westinghouse nuclear deal

nuclear-costs1Bulgaria drops $4bn Westinghouse nuclear deal  Yahoo 7 News, April 1, 2015  Sofia (AFP) – Bulgaria has dropped a deal with US-based firm Westinghouse Electric to build a new reactor at its only nuclear plant because of financial pressures, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced Wednesday.

“We cannot uphold the agreement” which is worth $4 billion (3.8 billion euros), Borisov told parliament, adding that the cash-strapped country was unable to shoulder the costs…….

Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Japanese company Toshiba, had initially planned to take a 30-percent stake in the Kozloduy project, but Bulgarian media reported that it now refused to invest in the deal.

The company has not yet commented on Borisov’s announcement.

In 2012, Bulgaria was forced to drop another project, this time to build two Russian VVER 1,000-megawatt reactors at the planned Belene nuclear plant in the country’s north.http://news.yahoo.com/bulgaria-drops-4bn-westinghouse-nuclear-deal-161118449.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Bulgaria, business and costs, politics | Leave a comment

Thousands of years for the oceans to recover from climate change

the abrupt fluctuations offer a glimpse at the duration of the effects of climate change driven by human activity pumping more planet-warming gases into Earth’s atmosphere, Moffitt said.

“What this shows us is that there are major biomes on this planet that are on the table, that are on the chopping block for a future of abrupt climate warming and unchecked greenhouse gas emissions,” Moffitt said. “We as a society and civilization have to come to terms with the things that we are going to sacrifice if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.

barrier-reeefOceans might take thousands of years to recover from climate change, study suggests, SMH, April 2, 2015 Geoffrey Mohan Naturally occurring climate change lowered oxygen levels in the deep ocean, decimating a broad spectrum of seafloor life that took some 1,000 years to recover, according to a study that offers a potential window into the effects of modern warming.

Earth’s recovery from the last glacial period, in fact, was slower and more brutal than previously thought, according to the study, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers deciphered that plotline from a 30-foot core of sea sediments drilled from the Santa Barbara Basin off the coast of California containing more than 5,000 fossils spanning nearly 13,000 years.

“The recovery does not happen on a century scale; it’s a commitment to a millennial-scale recovery,” said Sarah Moffitt, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis’ Bodega Marine Laboratory and lead author of the study. “If we see dramatic oxygen loss in the deep sea in my lifetime, we will not see a recovery of that for many hundreds of years, if not thousands or more.”………

beginning around 13,500 years ago, the seafloor community began a slow recovery with the rise of grazers that fed on bacterial mats. Recovery eventually was driven by a fluctuation back toward glaciation during the Younger Dryas period, a cooling sometimes called the Big Freeze.

“The biological community takes 1,000 years to truly recover to the same ecological level of functioning,” Moffitt said. “And the community progresses through really interesting and bizarre states before it recovers the kind of biodiversity that was seen prior to the warming.”……..

The climate changes chronicled in the study arose from natural cycles involving Earth’s orbit of the sun, and the oxygen declines that ensued were more extreme than those that have occurred in modern times, the study noted.

Still, the abrupt fluctuations offer a glimpse at the duration of the effects of climate change driven by human activity pumping more planet-warming gases into Earth’s atmosphere, Moffitt said.

“What this shows us is that there are major biomes on this planet that are on the table, that are on the chopping block for a future of abrupt climate warming and unchecked greenhouse gas emissions,” Moffitt said. “We as a society and civilization have to come to terms with the things that we are going to sacrifice if we do not reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.” http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/oceans-might-take-thousands-of-years-to-recover-from-climate-change-study-suggests-20150401-1md7qk.html

April 4, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans, Reference | Leave a comment

The Dirty Tricks of US nuclear company Exelon

dirty tricksExelon plays dirty http://safeenergy.org/2015/04/02/exelon-plays-dirty/  Michael Mariotte  It should surprise absolutely no one that a utility that relies on dirty energy to make its money also plays dirty when its money is threatened or when a state legislature is considering whether to bail out the company with its constituents’ money.

So don’t be surprised that we report that yes indeed, gasp, Exelon is playing dirty in Illinois. And just about everywhere else too.

Misleading robocalls. A subsidiary trying to sabotage energy efficiency programs. Even hiding–or at least not drawing attention to–a huge tax case loss. That’s Exelon in action.

Take those robocalls. Dave Kraft of Illinois’ Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) reports that some NEIS members have received unidentified robocalls on their home phones, urging them to call their state legislators to “support clean renewable energy.”

The problem is, the bill the robocalls support is Exelon’s bill to establish a “low carbon portfolio standard.” As we reported last month, that’s the bill that was written to bail out Exelon’s uneconomic reactors in Illinois and prevent the expansion of “clean renewable energy” in the state.

NEIS, NIRS and those honestly in favor of clean energy are supporting a different bill also before the legislature, SB 1485/HB 2607, that actually would encourage clean energy in the state–and wouldn’t bail out Exelon’s failing nukes in the process.

Earlier this week, Crain’s Chicago Business, which continues to be the best source of reporting on Exelon and its machinations, reported that Exelon subsidiary Commonwealth Edison–the state’s largest distribution utility–“wants to make it illegal in Illinois to count the benefits of lowering energy prices when deciding which energy efficiency projects should qualify for ratepayer-funded financial assistance.”

In other words, while even CommEd can’t discount the fact that energy efficiency is cleaner than electricity generation, it wants the other main benefit of improving efficiency–lower electricity prices for ratepayers–to be ignored entirely.

Why? Because holding back gains in energy efficiency would help out Exelon’s six uneconomic reactors. Improving efficiency means less generation is needed. By attempting to sabotage the state’s efficiency programs, CommEd is trying to ensure that electricity demand goes up, making it at least somewhat more likely those reactors would be useful. In fact, those reactors still wouldn’t be needed; but the numbers conceivably could be manipulated enough to make it appear so.

Finally, Forbes reported on Monday that Exelon lost a major tax case, worth $661 million–or about 2% of the company’s value. The issue is complicated (it is tax law, after all) and has to do with decommissioning funds and Exelon’s purchase a decade or so ago of Amergen, which owned the Three Mile Island-1, Oyster Creek and Clinton reactors.

It doesn’t appear that Exelon actually misled anyone about the case; it’s all there in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings. But it’s there in footnotes, and Exelon didn’t exactly publicize its loss in the case either. So, instead of going down, Exelon’s stock went up. Maybe because no one reads footnotes. Perhaps they should.

It is vital that we reach everyone possible in Illinois to counter Exelon’s proposed nuclear bailout. That’s a bailout that would cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars and provide them with nothing but the electricity they would receive even without the bailout. But instead of coming from cleaner energy sources, and helping to expand Illinois’ clean energy programs, the bailout would ensure that Illinois’ power would continue to come from dirty, aging and expensive nuclear reactors.

If you’re in Illinois, act now here. If you have any friends at all, any relatives, business colleagues, if a part of any e-mail list you’re on, includes anyone from Illinois, send them this link to our action page: http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/5502/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19803 And please post it on every social network you’re on.

As we’ve said, this is the most important state action this year.  And the outcome will have national implications. It matters to all of us. Act. Now.

 

April 4, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Increasing percentage of radioactive cesium in water in basement of Fukushima nuclear reactor 1

Author-Fukushima-diaryCs-134/137 density of Reactor 1 basement water continues to increase since last July, Fukushima Diary Iori Mochizuk1, 3 Apr 15  790,000,000Bq/m3 According to Tepco, Cs-134/137 density of contaminated water that is retained in the basement of Reactor 1 has been increasing since last July.

On 3/4/2015, Tepco published the latest data of Cesium-134/137 density of retained water in Reactor 1 turbine building.

This water is assumed to be the mixture of leaked coolant water and groundwater that keeps coming in from the outside of the crippled building.

The report reads Cs-134/137 density was 1,790,000,000 Bq/m3 from the sample taken on 1/28/2015.

It was 1,670,000,000 Bq/m3 in November, 1,470,000,000 Bq/m3 in September, 1,460,000,000 Bq/m3 in July, which shows it has been constantly increasing though they release data only every two months.

It is not identified what keeps making the contamination level higher for 7 months in water retained in Reactor 1 basement.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2014/images/tb_water_140730-j.pdf

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2014/images/tb_water_140926-j.pdf

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2014/images/tb_water_141128-j.pdf

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2015/images/tb_water_150304-j.pdf

 

 

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Offshore wind energy is already cheaper than gas or nuclear

wind-turbine-oceanThe myth of expensive offshore wind: it’s already cheaper than gas-fired and nuclear [informational graphs] REneweconomy By  on 2 April 2015 Analysing public data on offshore wind in Denmark, energy consultant Mike Parr concludes that existing offshore wind is already cheaper than gas-fired power plants. Future offshore wind farms will be cheaper still – and up to 60% less expensive than the proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C in the UK. This means, writes Parr, that government support for offshore wind can be quickly and substantially reduced. ……..

Financial (R)Evolutions?When we analyse the available data, we can draw some interesting conclusions about the evolution of costs in offshore wind. Offshore wind turbines already appear to be cheaper than combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGT’s), although this is not yet reflected in the subsidies that the operators get……

Cheaper than gas-fired power and nuclear

What is interesting to note, in addition to the high profitability of Anholt in particular, is that the Danish auctioning process seems to be successful at driving prices down (26% reduction over 5 years Anholt vs Horns Rev 3).

Even more importantly perhaps are the actual costs of offshore wind, which are lower than the bid prices. …….

If we compare the offshore wind farms to the cost of the nuclear power project proposed at Hinkley Point, which will get £92.50 (about €125) per MWh for 35 years, Anholt delivers electricity that is 40% cheaper, Horns Rev3 will deliver electricity that is 58% cheaper and Saeby 60% cheaper. Of course the authorities should ensure that they will get competitive bids.

The only uncertainty in this is how wholesale prices in Denmark will evolve in the next 25 – 30 years. What is certain is that once 10 years have elapsed, the owners of Danish wind farms will be at the mercy of the markets and the wind. By contrast, owners of UK nuclear plants seem to have been granted certainty on both price and market access. Whilst the UK talks about energy markets, the socialist Danes seem to have implemented them. Funny that. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/the-myth-of-expensive-offshore-wind-its-already-cheaper-than-gas-fired-and-nuclear-99353

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Denmark, renewable | Leave a comment

TEPCO kept silent for a full year about massive radioactive waste leak at Fukushima

logo-TEPCOTEPCO under fire after hiding massive radioactive waste leak at Fukushima for a full year

Friday, April 03, 2015 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer (NaturalNews) A major bombshell has dropped concerning the failed cleanup efforts at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The shuttered plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), has apparently been hiding for an entire year the fact that radioactive waste has been quietly pouring into the ocean from an onsite drainage ditch.

Sputnik News reports that TEPCO, which is also managing remediation efforts at the site (with guidance from the Japanese government), concealed from the public the fact that highly contaminated radioactive water has been flowing from the drainage ditch directly into the ocean. Local fishermen and others have since expressed outrage over the news.

“I don’t understand why you (TEPCO) kept silent about the leakage even though you knew about it,” stated Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, according to Sputnik. “Fishery operators are absolutely shocked.”

The news comes as TEPCO continues to sustain criticism over the way it’s handled cleanup efforts since the 2011 tsunami and earthquake took their toll. In recent months, TEPCO has been exposed for attempting to cover up the fact that U.S. Navy sailors were exposed to harmful radiation, as well as concealing true levels of radioactive waste releases into the Pacific Ocean.

And this latest revelation only reiterates TEPCO’s tarnished legacy, proving that the company can’t be trusted with adequately addressing the looming problems that are still present at Fukushima more than four years since the disaster occurred.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/049226_TEPCO_radioactive_waste_Fukushima.html##ixzz3WHznDNCB

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Enthusiastic response in Iran to new nuclear agreement with the West

Iran Nuclear Deal: Cheering Crowds Greet Foreign Minister in Tehran http://time.com/3770352/iran-javad-zarif-nuclear-deal-tehran-israel-switzerland-lausanne/ NBC News

Iran’s top diplomat was given a hero’s welcome by a jubilant crowd Friday afterreaching a framework nuclear deal that could ease crippling sanctions.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was cheered as he landed in Tehran on a flight from Switzerland, where the U.S., China and European powers announced a deal meant to block Iran from developing nuclear weapon.

In Tehran, residents took to the streets late Thursday, waving flags from cars to celebrate the outline agreement, which sets the stage for work on a final accord over the next three months

April 4, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Safest option for the world is a nuclear deal with Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranA nuclear deal with Iran is the best option By Fareed Zakaria WP April 2 When making up their minds about the nuclear deal with Iran, people are properly focused on its details. But to figure out whether an agreement that limits and inspects Iran’s nuclear program is acceptable, one has to consider seriously the alternatives to it — and there are really only two.

First, a return to sanctions. Let’s say that the U.S. Congress rejects the final agreement reached by all in June. What then? The current sanctions regime against Iran is almost unprecedented in that all the world’s major powers, and Iran’s neighbors, support it. Usually sanctions wear thin over time.

If other countries believe that Iran made a reasonable offer that the United States turned down, they are unlikely to continue to support a tight sanctions regime. Most studies confirm that it is the multilateral aspect of the sanctions against Iran that has made them effective………

Would continued sanctions halt the nuclear program? That’s highly unlikely. Iran has expanded its nuclear program under sanctions for the last two decades. In 2003, Iran had under 200 centrifuges. Today it has 19,000. The restrictions are now tighter — if they last — but Iran’s nuclear establishment is also much larger. Keep in mind that Iran began showing active interest in a nuclear program as early as the 1950s. It now has thousands of nuclear scientists and technicians who work in the field.

That raises option two, a military attack. People speak of a strike on Iranlike Israel’s against an Iraqi reactor in 1981 and a Syrian facility in 2007. But those were single facilities. Iran, by contrast, has a vast nuclear industry, comprising many installations spread across the country, some close to population centers, others in mountainous terrain. The United States would effectively have to go to war with Iran, destroying its air defenses, then attacking its facilities in dozens — perhaps hundreds — of sorties. The bombers would be equipped with highly explosive weapons, demolishing buildings, reactors and laboratories, but also producing considerable collateral damage.

What would be the effect of such an attack? When any country is bombed by foreigners, its people tend to rally around the regime. The Islamic Republic would likely gain domestic support. It would also respond in various ways, through its allies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere. The attacks might be directed at U.S. troops or allies.

An attack would also mean the splintering of the international coalition against Iran. Russia, China and many other countries would condemn it. Iran would be seen as the victim of an unprovoked invasion. The sanctions would crumble. Its nuclear program would be devastated, but Iran would begin to rebuild it. Even under the current sanctions regime, Iran makes tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues, more than enough to afford to rebuild its facilities.

Finally, once it had been attacked, Tehran would invoke the need for a deterrent against future attacks and would work directly and speedily not on a nuclear program but a nuclear weapon. In his op-ed advocating war with Iran, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton argues that military attacks “should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.” But bombing and then threatening the Islamic Republic’s existence would likely produce exactly the opposite effect — a government strengthened at home with a clear rationale to acquire a nuclear deterrent. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-nuclear-deal-with-iran-is-the-best-option/2015/04/02/bc8292d2-d978-11e4-8103-fa84725dbf9d_story.html

April 4, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

France’s desperate efforts to salvage its uneconomic nuclear industry

nuclear-costs1flag-franceFrance Renews Push for Nuclear Shake Up Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron urges stronger cooperation between the state-controlled businesses By  INTI LANDAURO WSJ April 2, 2015 PARIS—The French government has turned up the heat on the country’s biggest nuclear-power companies to restructure the industry to help stem multibillion-euro losses at state-controlled equipment maker Areva SA.

Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron has asked Eléctricité de France SA–the operator of France’s fleet of nuclear power stations which provide most of the country’s electricity—to come to the rescue of Areva by deepening their industrial and possibly financial ties.

EDF and Areva, which are both majority-owned by the French state, have to cooperate better over the construction of nuclear reactors and tendering for international business, Mr. Macron said on Thursday. He said that he has asked both companies to make proposals in the coming weeks.

The plea falls short of calling for a full-scale merger of the two companies………

Changing international attitudes to nuclear power, notably after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, have complicated the task for the French government by crimping demand for new business at Areva………

The company faces major hurdles with its contract to build a reactor in Finland, which has suffered a series of delays and cost overruns, and has also made a poor investment in uranium mining,…….http://www.wsj.com/articles/french-government-pushes-areva-edf-to-make-tie-up-proposal-1427961063

April 4, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Historical record indicates increased risk of a Nuclear Reactor Disaster

text-risk-assessmentThe Risk of a Nuclear Reactor Disaster  Cultural Psychology, Satyagraha, 2 April 15

Utility companies, to support their claims of nuclear reactor safety, present artificial risk estimates — such as no more than one core meltdown per 30,000 years of reactor operation — that are based on faulty assumptions, guessing, and unvalidated theoretical models. Our only solid source of information on reactor risk is the historical record. According to the International Atomic Energy Commission (2013), as of 2012 a total of 581 civilian reactors had logged 15,247 years in operation. There have also been three major reactor accidents: Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three-Mile Island (counting the three reactor accidents at Fukushima as a single event). This produces a rate of 3/15247 or 0.000197 such accidents per reactor-year. That number may seem small, but, as we shall see, it actually indicates extreme danger.

The number calculated above is an empirical rate based on a limited sample. What we really seek is the long-run population risk rate. (Similarly, we might flip a coin twice and observe heads both times, making the empirical proportion 1.0, but the long-run population rate is 0.50.)…….Assuming that 100 reactors operate in the United States for an average of 25 years each, the conservatively estimated Total Risk of at least one meltdown accident ranges from about 60% to 72%. (Over 40 years, even the nonconservative estimate is above 50%.) These estimates are consistent with other recent analyses (e.g., Ghys 2011; Smythe 2011; Lelieveld et al. 2012; Ha-Duong & Journé 2014).

One can easily imagine a utility company looking at these results and countering: “You can’t go by past events. The industry learns from mistakes. Reactors today are better designed and safer than those at Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island.” However it is unlikely that today’s American reactors are better designed than those at Fukushima. Further, more complex designs supply new opportunities for malfunction. And human error is always a danger.

In short, if we base risk estimates on the historical record — our best, most objective, and perhaps only reliable source of data — it is more likely than not that a serious accident will occur at one or more US reactors within the next 25 years. The unacceptability of this risk becomes even more salient when we consider that we are all neighbors. An accident that happens anywhere in the country is not “the other guy’s problem.” We’re all in this together.

References……..https://satyagraha.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-risk-of-a-nuclear-reactor-disaster/

April 4, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, safety | Leave a comment

Refrigeration, air-conditioning done cheaply by solar cooling system

Solar cooling system keeps water at 9 degrees Celsius for up to three monthshttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150402081756.htm April 2, 2015 Source: Investigación y Desarrollo

Summary:
Maintaining food in places where high temperatures prevail, using little energy at a low cost,  it is now possible with new technology, thanks to the creation of a solar cooling system.

Maintaining food in places where high temperatures prevail, using little energy at a low cost, it is now possible with Mexican technology, thanks to the creation of a solar cooling system designed by Susana Elvia Toledo Flores.

The prototype developed in the Research Department in Zeolites, at the Institute of Science of the Meritorious University of Puebla (BUAP), in center Mexico, works 24 hours and keeps the cold for up to three months.

The researcher developed the prototype in the Black Mountain Range of the state, where she has achieve to maintain water at nine degrees Celsius “with that temperature we can cool food, though the goal is to get as low as five, with this fish can be preserved without denaturing its proteins.”

The BUAP design is inexpensive, easy to manufacture and environmentally beneficial. “Normal cooling systems use chlorofluorocarbon chemicals that destroy the ozone layer and contribute to greenhouse gases, ours is friendly to the environment,” explains Toledo Flores.

It works with solar radiation and the cooling is achieved by means of a thermodynamic adsorption-desorption cycle lasting 24 hours. Methanol is used as a refrigerant and as zeolite (mineral) as an adsorbent.

Toledo Flores says the system has two stages, during the day “warming, desorption and the period of condensation happens. Solar energy heats the zeolite and increases the methanol vapor pressure, the refrigerant is condensed and stored in a tank flowing to the evaporator. ”

Overnight the cooling process is achieved, adsorption and evaporation period is performed. “The adsorbent bed temperature decreases after sunset, therefore, the refrigerant pressure is reduced and evaporates while the absorbent is cooled. During this period the coolant begins to evaporate and is again adsorbed by zeolite generating cooling temperatures of five degrees Celsius. The adsorption process continues all night until morning. ”

The equipment is composed of a solar collector, adsorbent bed, condenser and evaporator. To build it, the researcher calculates the amount of water to be cooled, thereby knows how many zeolite to use. She also considers the room temperature, in this case of 20 degrees Celsius.

Furthermore, the system “is not only designed to cool foods. It may also serve as an air conditioning, for example, in communities like Tecali de Herrera, Puebla, where there are areas without electricity and the system could adapt well to preserve their foods and medicine, bringing them better quality of life,” says Toledo Flores.

The project was presented at the International Congress of Solar Energy at Germany.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Investigación y Desarrollo

April 4, 2015 Posted by | decentralised, SOUTH AMERICA | Leave a comment

It’s time now for a tax on carbon

Why Now Is the Right Time for a Carbon Tax http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2015/04/02/why-now-is-the-right-time-for-a-carbon-tax/ MARGARET WALLS: The current downturn in the oil and gas business, like the ups and downs of the cycles that came before it, is fundamentally a result of demand and supply. Weak economic activity in Europe, China and elsewhere has led to reduced demand at the same time that increased exploration and development, particularly from U.S. unconventional sources, has increased supply.

The low prices are creating winners and losers in the U.S., but the biggest loser may be the environment. As consumption of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products rises in response to lower prices (and it will, mark my words), emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will rise, too, exacerbating the already dire projections for global climate change. The time couldn’t be better for implementing a carbon tax.

The timing is right for two important reasons. For one thing, low oil prices will dampen the blow. A tax of $25 a ton of CO2 would raise gasoline prices by about 25 cents a gallon, keeping pump prices still far below where they were a year ago. For another, a carbon tax might help to avert some capital investment decisions that would lock in higher emissions. Many observers are worried that low oil prices may lead households to increase purchases of SUVs and other gas guzzlers, cause manufacturers to back off from conversions of oil-fired boilers, and dampen plans for a variety of renewable-energy investments. A carbon tax would provide the right consumption and investment incentives.

As former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers put it in advocating for a carbon tax, “that which is not paid for is overused.” We pay a price for energy but that price reflects only its private costs and benefits and not the externalities associated with its use, the most serious of which is climate change. The call for a carbon tax is now coming from many quarters.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz has made an impassioned plea for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, an option many economists have supported for years. Coupling a carbon tax with reduced income or payroll taxes can improve the environment and the tax code. A lump sum per household annual “climate dividend” is another option.

Congress is gridlocked but a revenue-neutral carbon tax should have appeal to both political parties. And with oil prices at a five-year low, no time could be better.

Margaret Walls (@margaretwalls1) is research director and senior fellow at Resources for the Future, an independent nonprofit research organization in Washington, DC. 

Read the latest Energy Report.

April 4, 2015 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment