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Plan to end rent subsidies for some Fukushima evacuees under fresh fire

One expert knowledgeable about the evacuees says, “The reason that a plan to end these subsidies has arisen even though the financial burden is not large may be that government officials want to try and force voluntary evacuees to return to their homes, without respecting the evacuees’ own judgments on the matter.”

A plan to end rent subsidies for some evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear disaster has come under fresh fire, as it emerged that those subsidies are costing at most 8.09 billion yen this fiscal year.

The evacuees under consideration for having their subsidies cut — at the end of fiscal 2016 — are voluntary evacuees living in homes other than temporary housing structures built for evacuees. The total Fukushima Prefecture relief budget for disaster evacuees this fiscal year, including non-voluntary evacuees, is over 28.8 billion yen, so the subsidies being considered for being cut account for less than 30 percent of the relief budget.

One expert knowledgeable about evacuees says, “The reason that a plan to end these subsidies has arisen even though the financial burden is not large may be that government officials want to try and force voluntary evacuees to return to their homes, without respecting evacuees’ own judgments on the matter.”

Voluntary evacuees are people who evacuated from areas outside of those where the government ordered evacuations. Until November 2012, Fukushima Prefecture did not allow them to use emergency temporary housing set up for evacuees in the prefecture, and many voluntary evacuees moved outside of the prefecture.

According to the Fukushima Prefectural Government, for this fiscal year it allocated about 20.73 billion yen for the temporary homes of non-voluntary evacuees within the prefecture, and 8.09 billion yen for those of evacuees outside the prefecture. The evacuees outside the prefecture include non-voluntary evacuees, but the exact numbers are not known. A Fukushima Prefectural Government official says, “Non-voluntary evacuees have been using compensation for their lost real-estate to buy homes, and most of the people getting rent subsidies outside of Fukushima Prefecture are probably voluntary evacuees.”

Within the prefecture, voluntary evacuees live in around 300 homes, which are not temporary housing structures, but subsidies for their rent are included in the “out-of-prefecture” budget, so the 8.09 billion yen covers all voluntary evacuees from the prefecture.

According to the Cabinet Office, as of April 1 this year, there were evacuees living in 18,742 homes in Fukushima Prefecture other than temporary housing structures, and according to the Fukushima Prefectural Government, evacuees were living in around 10,000 such homes outside of the prefecture. Both numbers include voluntary and non-voluntary evacuees. Neither the Fukushima Prefectural Government nor the central government has yet released exact figures on the number of homes for voluntary evacuees other than temporary housing built after the disaster, nor have they released exact numbers for the total rent paid for them.

Currently, evacuee homes are set to be subsidized until the end of March 2016, with a decision on whether to extend this to be made soon after discussions between the Fukushima Prefectural Government and the Cabinet Office. A plan to end subsidies for voluntary evacuees would extend the deadline for one more year, to the end of March 2017, after which voluntary evacuees would no longer receive them. Although Fukushima Prefecture has money budgeted for subsidizing voluntary evacuees, this money is in effect all paid for by the central government. Tokyo Electric Power Co. has expressed reluctance to pay for voluntary evacuees’ rent, and so far the central government has not billed them for such.

Meanwhile, this fiscal year’s Fukushima Prefecture budget for radiation decontamination measures is 64.39 billion yen, up 13.35 billion yen from the previous fiscal year. The Ministry of the Environment released an estimate in December 2013 that the total costs for decontamination and mid-term storage for radioactive waste would be 3.6 trillion yen.

Source: Mainichi

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Businesses Compensation Payments Terminated, Youth Unwilling to Return

Side Note: While the government continues to try to compel people to return to the evacuation zone, they have turned a section of Tomioka into a permanent high level radioactive waste dump. The dump will take anything over 8000 bq/kg in contamination including trash, contaminated plant matter and building rubble from the evacuation zone. This is in addition to the temporary soil dump being built in Futaba and Okuma.
A new plan was announced by TEPCO and the Japanese government that would terminate compensation payments to businesses impacted by the disaster. The plan includes giving businesses a lump sum payment to cover compensation through fiscal 2016. If a business still needs compensation after that date they will need to take up a new fight against TEPCO who said they would consider more payments on a case by case basis.

This cut off times with the government plan to reopen large sections of the evacuation zone even though radiation levels remain unsafe. At the same time they announced the payment cut off they stressed that they would be putting money into “revitalization” efforts in the evacuated areas.

New polling found a majority of younger residents originally from the towns in the evacuation zone have no intention of returning and see themselves living somewhere else as adults.

While the government continues to try to compel people to return to the evacuation zone, they have turned a section of Tomioka into a permanent high level radioactive waste dump.

Fukushima youths ready to desert irradiated hometowns, survey finds
Ministry to nationalize Fukushima site to bury radioactive waste
Fukushima business owners at a loss over plan to terminate compensation

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Rain May Have Caused Radiation Spike At Fukushima Drainage Canal


The rain did it. That’s it. It has nothing to do with 3 cores in meltdown under the plant sitting in the aquafier pissing 400 tons plus a day of Radioactive water from the basements down into the ocean 24/7. It’s just the rain.

TEPCO reported a small radiation spike at the K drainage canal on June 6th. .59 inches of rain fell during June 6th according to the historical weather data.


The amount of rain was small but appears to have caused a notable spike in the drainage system. Since multiple locations feed into the K drainage canal it is hard to say what area specifically contributed to the rise but it is a clear indicator that rain does continue to play a role.

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Risk of nuclear meltdown due to faulty valves in new-generation EPR reactor

pressure vessel olkiluotoFaulty valves in new-generation EPR nuclear reactor pose meltdown risk, inspectors warn
Flamanville third-generation EPR nuclear reactor – the same model Britain plans to use for two new plants at Hinkley Point – has multiple faults in crucial safety valves, inspectors warn
 By , Paris 09 Jun 2015 Nuclear safety inspectors have found crucial faults in the cooling system of France’s flagship new-generation nuclear power plant on the Channel coast, exposing it to the risk of meltdown.

The third-generation European Pressurised Reactor currently under construction in Flamanville is the same model that Britain plans to use for two new plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

State-controlled nuclear giant Areva is responsible for the design and construction.

France’s nuclear safety watchdog found “multiple” malfunctioning valves in the Flamanville EPR that could cause its meltdown, in a similar scenario to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US.

The inspectors listed the faults in a damning presentation obtained by Mediapart, the investigative French website. This is the latest setback for what is supposed to be France’s atomic energy showcase abroad, following the revelation last month that its steel reactor vessel has “very serious anomalies” that raise the risk of it cracking. The vessel houses the plant’s nuclear fuel and confines its radioactivity. Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | France, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Jonathon Porritt busts the pro thorium nuclear reactor hype

flag-UKFriends Of The Earth: Still Critical to Anti-Nuclear Movement, Jonathon Porritt, 9 June 15 “…….Using thorium as the basis for the nuclear fuel cycle solves none of the problems of high cost, nuclear weapons proliferation, nuclear waste, radioactive emissions and decommissioning. The only difference is a lower production of long-lived transuranics(like plutonium) in the waste.

And it has three huge disadvantages:

• First, the develop the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) technology favouredby thorium advocates would likely cost of the order of $100 billion;
• Second, we don’t know if a working design would ever result as there are huge engineering challenges, for example in creating materials to withstand the high temperatures and intense radiation for decades on end;
• Third, even if the project were successful, there’s no way that LFTRs could be deployed at scale for half a century – by which time, the rapid development ofrenewables that’s taking place will have made it entirely redundant.


So in my humble opinion, any idea of supporting more research into thorium reactors is plain daft. If there’s a spare $100 billion to be spent on energy research, it should go into accelerating the development of clean, green renewable technologies!……..

As the Government’s pro-nuclear position has become more and more extreme, it’s having a more and more disturbing impact on energy policy in general – as I’ve explained in umpteen blogs over the last few years. The renewables sector has already taken a massive hit because of the preferencing of nuclear, and energy efficiency barely gets a look-in when it comes to thinking strategically about our energy infrastructure.

As both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace stay in the background on nuclear issues, largely invisible and mostly silent, more and more people are gulled into thinking that nuclear really does have some part to play in securing our low-carbon energy future – not just in the UK but around the world. This fantasy persists in part because those who know just how ludicrous it is apparently haven’t got time to speak up and campaign against it…….

it’s foolish to think that the nuclear industry’s dreams will automatically fade away with the collapse of the Hinkley Point project. There’s an extremely aggressive campaign already under way to accelerate approval for a completely different kind of reactor at Sellafield, led by the NuGen consortium, and other sites (including Sizewell) are only too aware of being ‘next in line’……….


June 10, 2015 Posted by | thorium | Leave a comment

US nuclear industry lobbying hard to sell its reactors to China

Buy-US-nukesNuclear industry pushing for renewal of U.S.-China agreement, The Hill,  By Devin Henry – 06/08/15The nuclear energy industry is pushing to keep a critical export agreement with China on the books beyond the end of this year.

 A nuclear cooperation agreement that allows United States companies to export their products and technologies to China expires in December. President Obama proposed a 30-year extension of that agreement in April, which the American nuclear industry says will allow it to continue working in the country.

Congress has the right to block or modify that agreement, and concerns about nuclear nonproliferation could hinder it at some point. But key lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they support the idea of a nuclear cooperation pact, and industry officials are hopeful the new version takes hold this year.


“Even where the Russians may have brought in financing, or the Koreans may have underbid folks, there is still the desire to have the American supply chain come in,” said David Blee, the executive director of the U.S. Nuclear Infrastructure Council, a business group. Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | China, marketing, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

High levels of breast cancer near UK nuclear power stations

BREAST-CANCERNuclear power station cancer warning: Breast cancer rates are FIVE TIMES higher at Welsh plant – and twice as high at Essex and Somerset sites, experts reveal

  • Studies looked at rates of various cancers in people living close to Trawsfynydd, Bradwell and Hinkley Point power stations
  • At the Welsh plant breast cancer rates were five times higher than expected
  • At Bradwell and Hinkley Point they were twice as high as UK average
  • Researchers warned their ‘very clear’ findings are ‘remarkable’  

By LIZZIE PARRY FOR MAILONLINE  9 June 2015 Women living downwind from nuclear power plants are at five times greater risk of developing breast cancer, experts have warned.

In three separate studies, a team of scientists looked at the rates of various cancers in populations living close to Trawsfynydd power station in North Wales, Bradwell in Essex and Hinkley Point in Somerset.

They discovered breast cancer rates, in particular, were higher than expected national averages at all three sites.

At Trawsfynydd, rates of the disease were five times greater than average, while in Essex and Somerset women had double the risk of developing breast cancer.  Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | health, UK, women | 1 Comment

Russia adhering to Cold War-era nuclear treaty , rejects US accusations

flag_RussiaRussia rejects US accusations of nuclear treaty breach Yahoo News  By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 9 June MOSCOW (AP) — Russia on Tuesday pledged adherence to a Cold War-era nuclear treaty and rejected U.S. accusations that it had violated it. Speaking at a briefing, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the U.S. has failed to provide evidence to prove allegations of Russian breaches of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF, treaty.

He added that Moscow is ready for an “honest but specific dialogue” and said Russia “has no intention to break the treaty.” The disagreements over the INF treaty come amid the Ukrainian crisis and may further foment Russia-West tensions.

Asked to comment on U.S. considerations to deploy land-based missiles in Europe as a possible response to the alleged Russian violations, Lavrov warned that “building up militarist rhetoric is absolutely counterproductive and harmful.”He said that Russia had its own grievances regarding the U.S. implementation of the treaty and that mutual concerns could be assuaged through dialogue.

The U.S. has accused Russia of flight-testing a ground-launched cruise missile with a range prohibited by the treaty. Russia denied the claim and, in its turn, alleged that some elements of the U.S. missile defense shield violate the treaty…….

The INF Treaty, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. Its signing followed some of the darkest periods of the Cold War, when NATO allies hosted U.S. ground-launched cruise missiles and Pershing 2 ballistic missiles to countering Soviet SS-20 missiles…..

June 10, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

‘Dirty bombs’ tested by Israel

radation sign dirtyflag-Israel  Israel tested ‘dirty-bomb cleanup’ in the desert Haaretz 10 June 15 Series of tests in conjunction with four-year project at Dimona nuclear reactor measured damage and other implications of detonation of radiological weapon by hostile forces. By  | Jun. 8, 2015 

Israel recently carried out a series of tests in the desert in conjunction with a four-year project at the Dimona nuclear reactor to measure the damage and other implications of the detonation of a so-called “dirty” radiological bomb by hostile forces. Such a bomb uses conventional explosives in addition to radioactive material.

Most of the detonations were carried out in the desert and one was performed at a closed facility. The research concluded that high-level radiation was measured at the center of the explosions, with a low level of dispersal of radiation by particles carried by the wind. Sources at the reactor said this doesn’t pose a substantial danger beyond the psychological effect.

An additional concern stems from a radiological explosion in a closed space, which would then require that the area be closed off for an extended period until the effects of the radiation are eliminated.

In 2010, staff from the Dimona nuclear reactor began a series of tests, dubbed the “Green Field” project, designed to measure the consequences of the detonation of a dirty bomb in Israel. The project was concluded in 2014, and its research findings have been presented at scientific gatherings and on nuclear science databases. The researchers explained that the experiments were for defensive purposes and that they were not giving consideration to offensive aspects of the tests.

Public concern over radiological terrorism began after the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 and the threat by representatives of Al-Qaida to use such weaponry against the United States. The radioactive material is available to the medical and industrial sectors, and those who threaten its use as a weapon aim to augment the damage and fear caused by an explosion by adding the threat of radiation to the mix……

In the course of the experiments, 20 detonations were carried out involving between 250 grams and 25 kilograms of explosives together with the common radioactive substance known as 99mTc, which is used in the health care field for medical imaging. The experiments made use of the reactor’s most innovative technology, including tiny drones used to measure radiation and sensors to measure the force of the blast.

In the course of the project, there was an additional test known as “Red House,” designed to examine another kind of radiological scenario in which a substance would be left in a crowded public space but not exploded…..

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA negotiates with Iran, while selling advanced weapons to Iran’s opponents!

Threatening Iran with military attacks while also negotiating with it only casts doubts on the sincerity of the Obama administration to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement and to seek out Iran’s help to thwart the advances made by the Islamic State.

Obama puppetIt Is Untenable to Seek a Nuclear Agreement With Iran While Also Arming its Opponents, Huffington Post 06/09/20 Ever since the negotiations between the administration of President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and P5+1 — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany — began in earnest in September 2013, and particularly since the announcement of the Lausanne Accord, the Obama administration has been trying to mollify the opponents of the nuclear accord. The most outspoken foes of the agreement are the usual suspects, namely, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Arab nations of the Persian Gulf area. They all claim that the agreement with Iran threatens their national security, but offer no viable alternative to the negotiations and a comprehensive agreement. What they really want is a new war in the Middle East, this time against Iran. As the President rightly stated on April 2 when the Lausanne Accord was announced, insisting that Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure and continuing the sanction regime and even tightening it up further will eventually lead to war with Iran.

And how has the Obama administration has been trying to mollify Israel, Saudi Arabia and their allies? By threatening Iran and selling more advanced weapons to them. Last October, the U.S. announced sale of new missiles to Saudi Arabia worth $1.75 billion. This is on top of $60 billion worth of weapons that the U.S. has sold to that nation since 2010.

U.S. allies in the P5+1 have also been busy selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear power production beaten by renewable energy in 2014 and beyond

Overall, utility-scale solar is expected to drive growth, due to its increased cost competitiveness. In the rooftop sector, self-consumption is said to be becoming the “backbone” of distributed PV development………

Read the full SolarPower Europe report.

sun-championRenewables outpace nuclear in 2014 European power generation, PV Magazine 09. JUNE 2015 BY:  BECKY BEETZ Last year was said to be a benchmark for renewable energy, with renewables producing more power in Europe than nuclear for the first time. In yet another glittering solar industry report, SolarPower Europe further calculates cumulative solar capacity could reach 540 GW, globally, by 2020, with a record 40 GW installed in 2014. China is set to “frame global growth.

SolarPower Europe, formerly the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has released its “Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2015-2019.” In the report, the association notes the “key” role solar has played in helping the renewable energy industry overtake nuclear power for the first time in Europe……

Price declines The “massive” price declines have help solar become a cost-competitive energy source, including a 75% drop in PV system prices in the past decade. As such, it should be viewed as a “low risk investment” by the financial community, says SolarPower Europe…….

Geographical spread Marking a significant change from just three years ago, China (10.6 GW in 2014), Japan (9.7 GW) and the U.S. (over 6.5 GW) are leading current solar industry growth, with the U.K. forging Europe’s onward path. Of the 40 GW installed in 2014, Europe accounted for just 7 GW, 2.4 of which were deployed in Britain, while Germany added just 1.9 GW and France 927 MW. Despite this, Europe still leads in terms of cumulative installed capacity, at 88 GW.

The U.K. is set to keep the European solar crown for another year – something no one would have believed just a couple of years ago. “The success of the U.K., set to be the largest European market again in 2015, reinforces the evidence that solar power is a versatile and cost-efficient energy source in any climate,” continues Schmela.

Also of note is Korea, whose solar market doubled to see a cumulative capacity of 900 MW at the end of 2014 – similar to that of Australia. South Africa, which has seen an enormous amount of activity recently, also boasts a capacity of 800 MW. CanadaTaiwanThailandthe Netherlands and Chile also added nearly 500 MW, respectively.

Interestingly, there is a “perfect balance” between utility-scale and distributed solar installations globally, said SolarPower Europe, at around 20 GW each in 2014. However, when you look at individual markets, like Denmark, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland, for example, they are comprised almost entirely of residential and commercial installations.

Overall, utility-scale solar is expected to drive growth, due to its increased cost competitiveness. In the rooftop sector, self-consumption is said to be becoming the “backbone” of distributed PV development………

Read the full SolarPower Europe report.

June 10, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia threatening to develop nuclear weapons

Saudis ready to go nuclear: ‘All options are on the table’ if talks fail to contain Iran, ambassador says, National Post Con Coughlin, The Telegraph | June 9, 2015 “…….this year came Saudi Arabia’s dramatic military intervention in neighbouring Yemen. Saudi warplanes and troops are now involved in a bitter conflict with Iranian-backed rebels from the Houthi religious movement in Yemen. And Saudi Arabia has been confirmed as one of the region’s dominant military powers.

In the past two years, it has beaten Britain into fourth place in the world’s military spending league with a defence budget of around 37 billion pounds (compared with the UK at around 34 billion pounds)……

Now the Saudis have raised the alarming prospect of the Middle East becoming embroiled in a nuclear arms race after the country’s blunt warning that “all options are on the table” if Iran fails to resolve the international stand-off over its nuclear programme…..

Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60 per cent of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice. ………..

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Nuclear safety breaches – legal action, at Devonport Naval Base

safety-symbol-Smflag-UKSix nuclear incidents at Plymouth dockyard including employee contaminated with radiation By Plymouth Herald, June 09, 2015 Plymouth’s naval base is facing legal action after an employee suffered a dose of radiation.

The safety breach is one of six highlighted at Devonport Naval Base by the Office for Nuclear Regulation from the end of last year.

Radioactive water from the cooling system of a nuclear reactor was also mistakenly discharged into a submarine.

The ONR says reporting of safety incidents at the Plymouth base has been below standard…….

June 10, 2015 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Sunshine and seawater to power farms in the desert

sun-powerDesert farms could power flight with sunshine and seawater, The Conversation, John Mathews Professor of Strategic Management, Macquarie Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, 9 June 15  “…….what if you could grow biofuels on land nobody wants, using just seawater and sunlight, and produce food at the same time?

That’s just what a new project in Abu Dhabi is seeking to do. TheIntegrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System, or ISEAS, will grow sustainable food and aviation fuel in the desert, using seawater and sunshine, in a way that is eminently transferable to similar arid regions around the world.

The project was announced in January 2015 and is now under construction……..

Energy, water and food problems frequently compound each other, each making the others more difficult to resolve.

Examples abound: think of wasteful irrigation coming up against water limits and threatening reductions in food production. But there are some projects that turn the issue around and bring water, energy and food issues into positive relations, each strengthening the others.

One example of this is the Sundrop Farms project in South Australia, on which I previously wrote on The Conversation, where abundant sunshine and seawater are used to produce electric power and fresh water to cultivate greenhouse crops like tomatoes.

The Sundrop Farms project is moving ahead, and has won substantial financial support from the global venture capital firm KKR Continue reading

June 10, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Unlike the nuclear industry – it’s all happening in renewable energy

Record boost in new solar power continues massive industry growth
UK leads European solar energy expansion to help renewables overtake output of nuclear power as industry leaders hail ‘tipping point’ for the technology

U.S. Could Have 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2050

Discovery News-9 June 15
Next, they looked at what kind of renewable energy makes the most sense for each state. For states that get more sunlight, solar power might …
Renewable Energy to Dominate the US by 2050?
Nature World News-9 June 15
State-by-state plan to convert US to 100% clean, renewable energy …
R & D Magazine-9 June 15
Study shows how the US could achieve 100 percent renewable …
Highly Cited-Gizmag-10 hours ago

June 10, 2015 Posted by | renewable | Leave a comment