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Stanislav Petrov , the man who saved the world from nuclear war

‘I was only 50/50’: Russian who saved world from nuclear war, New York Post,  17 Sept 15  FRYAZINO, Russia — The elderly former Soviet military officer who answers the door is known in the West as “the man who saved the world.”

A movie with that title, which hits theaters in the United States on Friday, tells the harrowing story of Sept. 26, 1983, when Stanislav Petrov made a decision credited by many with averting a nuclear war.

An alarm had gone off that night, signaling the launch of US intercontinental ballistic missiles, and it was up to the 44-year-old lieutenant colonel to determine, quickly, whether the attack on the Soviet Union was real.

“I realized that I had to make some kind of decision, and I was only 50/50,” Petrov told the Associated Press. Despite the data coming in from the Soviet Union’s early-warning satellites over the United States, Petrov decided to consider it a false alarm. Had he done otherwise, the Soviet leadership could have responded by ordering a retaliatory nuclear strike on the United States.

What made this even more dangerous was that the Soviet Union appears genuinely to have feared a surprise US nuclear attack during what was an exceptionally tense period of the Cold War. That month, the Soviets had shot down a passenger plane flying to South Korea from the US, suspecting it of spying. The United States, after a series of provocative military maneuvers, was preparing for a major NATO exercise, called Able Archer, which simulated preparations for a nuclear attack……….

Petrov reported to his commander that the system was giving false information. He was not at all certain, but his decision was informed by the fact that Soviet ground radar could not confirm a launch. The radar system picked up incoming missiles only well after any launch, but he knew it to be more reliable than the satellites.

The false alarm was later found to have been caused by a malfunction of the satellite, which mistook the reflection of the sun off high clouds for a missile launch.

Petrov was not rewarded for his actions, most likely because doing so would have brought to light the failure of the Soviets’ early-warning satellites………….. http://nypost.com/2015/09/17/i-was-only-5050-russian-who-saved-world-from-nuclear-war/

September 18, 2015 Posted by | history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

AT IAEA’s General Conference Arab States lose bid to monitor Israel’s nuclear sites

Arab Bid to Monitor Israel’s Nuclear Sites Rejected at UN Atomic Agency
In big win for Israel, 61 countries vote against resolution led by Egypt, which also called on Israel to sign Non-Proliferation Treaty.Haaretz,  Barak Ravid Sep 17, 2015
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s General Conference on Thursday voted down a resolution proposed by the Arab nations, headed by Egypt, which called for international supervision over Israel’s nuclear facilities.
61 member countries opposed the proposed resolution, 43 voted for it and 33 abstained.
……….Among those voting against the resolution were the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, all European Union members, Ukraine, Moldova, Albania, as well as south American countries such as Uruguay and Panama. Kenya and other countries in Africa and the Pacific also opposed the resolution. Many others abstained, including Brazil and India.
Russia, China, Turkey and South Africa joined the Arab countries in backing the resolution.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in recent weeks there has been a joint effort led by the National Security Council at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry and the Atomic Energy Commission to thwart the resolution.

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Israel, MIDDLE EAST, politics international | Leave a comment

Donald Trump on nuclear codes

GOP debate: Donald Trump responds to question about nuclear codes with unprovoked attack on Rand Paul and “his looks”, Salon http://www.salon.com/2015/09/17/gop_debate_donald_trump_responds_to_question_about_nuclear_codes_with_unprovoked_attack_on_rand_paul_and_his_looks/

“I’ve never attacked him on his looks, and believe me, there’s plenty of subject matter there,” Trump said

 …..

September 18, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

In the news this week – Nuclear and Climate

a-cat-CANWORLD. Learn about these terrific films showing at Uranium Film Festival in Berlin. Russian who saved world from nuclear war.

IndependentWHO: Our demands to World Health Organisation.

Arab Bid to Monitor Israel’s Nuclear Sites Rejected at UN Atomic Agency.

MEDIA. Fukushima Sensationalism and Hoaxes

CLIMATE Climate change at a ‘turning point’ – could now move faster. Climate Risks from Nuclear Power. Radioactive Krypton 85: Atmospheric-Electrical and Air-Chemical Effects of Ionizing Radiation in the Atmosphere.

RENEWABLE ENERGY Renewable energy race – 5 developing countries fast ditching fossil fuels. 100% renewable energy achieved in city of Columbia, MarylandColorado city Aspen achieves 100% renewable energy. 500 MW Renewable Energy Plan for Alabama.

JAPAN ignores post Fukushima nuclear safety guidelines     JAPAN lifts evacuation orders on irradiated towns in preparation for 2020 Summer Olympics. Call by former Prime Minister Koizumi for a national anti nuclear movement. Unspoken Death Toll of Fukushima: Nuclear Disaster Killing Japanese Slowly.

Fukushima  Typhoon Etau flooded Fukushima Daiichi.  Strontium-90 density rose up 155 percent of the previous highest reading in the seaside of Reactor 2.  395 bags of tainted material washed away in floods. Tepco started discharging contaminated groundwater beside crippled reactor buildings. 850 tons of ‘decontaminated’ Fukushima water dumped into ocean.  Another Fukushima worker died / No media coverage. Solar farms in Fukushima.

FRANCE.French govt uses amendment to impose nuclear waste dump without parliament vote

UK.  Bloomberg Finance gives 5 good reasons not to build Hinkley nuclear station.  Lib Dem Leader Tim Farron Calls for Independent Investigation into Environmental Damage from Nuclear Industries. Britain’s nuclear plans: the Corbyn factorU.S. Nuclear Missile Submarine Surfaces in Scotland. Is UK’s ‘white elephant’ nuclear power programme linked to nuclear weapons programme?

USA. Nuclear Regulatory Commission might back quack pro nuclear ‘science’ on ionising radiation!  Entergy’s FitzPatrick Nuclear Reactor next to bite the dust? Resentencing of USA’s nun who broke into nuclear weapons complex. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s scathing attack on the Koch brothers and corporate greed  How Charles Koch Prevents Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding. Last bid to kill Iran nuclear deal blocked in Senate.  Former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann wants USA to bomb Iran.

NORWAY Norway, Russia sign deal on nuclear accidents.

SOUTH AFRICA  fires key nuclear negotiator

NORTH KOREA Experts guessing about meaning of North Korea’s renewed nuclear threat.

INDIA. India: Dumping of Radioactive Water Imperils Mumbai; 9 Nuclear Scientists “Commit Suicide”

IRAN. How world health will benefit from Iran nuclear deal.

 

AUSTRALIA. Gets rid of worst ever Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, but govt nuclear and climate policies unchanged

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Why we must expose the true ugly nature of the nuclear industry

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As I stood against sensationalists and repeated hoaxers, mostly Youtubers, who are only harming the antinuclear cause and the Fukushima victims cause, lately those people have sent me insults and threats of violence, calling me a pro-nuke shill hiding behind my D’un Renard alias,, and not showing my face etc. I presently became the focus of those people hate and slurs for calling their repeated hoaxes what it is: B.S., mental pollution, sensationalism and disinformation. I did it not to look for trouble, but because I believe truth is important, primordial, crucial.

Only by sharing the true facts, we will win, as true facts stand, stay.

B.S. flies high first but stinks later when it is quickly debunked

 

Consequently, for the first time, i will share publicly my personal story, why and how I awoke and became antinuclear.

A little about myself, I am Hervé Courtois, 60 years old, Picardie, France.
For 4 years and half I used a nom de plume “D’un Renard”, which in french means “from a fox”, because around my place there are many forests and many foxes which I could hear at night while blogging. I did not want to used my true identity because I wanted to protect the identity of my daughter in Japan when I started to blog on internet about the Fukushima catastrophe by fear of getting her in troubles with the Japanese government, and also by fear that Japanese government could bar me to enter Japan to visit my daughter. Few months ago I decided finally to use my real name.
I lived very long time in Asia, 37 years, in Japan, Korea, Hong-Kong and the Philippines, I came back home to France 6 years ago.
My 33 years old daughter, French-Japanese, lives in Iwaki city, Fukushima prefecture, 50 kms South from the nuclear plant of Fukushima Daiichi. She was born in Paris in 1982, but grown up in Fukushima, she is 33 years old, unmarried, no children, does not want to give birth anymore by fear of possible tetragenic birth due to radioactive contamination thru her living environment and the contaminated food.
Three months after the start of the Fukushima catastrophe, I went to visit her there in Iwaki city, Fukushima for the full month of June 2011, to check how she was and how was the real situation there.
On location I was surprised how to find that the people on location who should be the most at risk were kept uninformed of the real situation and of the dangers for their health, for their life, by the Japanese government.
I became aware that there was then an imposed omerta on the media by the Japanese government. All media repeating the same tune, don’t worry be happy, there is no danger, the situation is under control. The reactors are now in cold shutdown.
I keep wondering how reactors having exploded could be in cold shutdown. Smelling a rat.
Most people I met were kept in dark of the real situation, informations were totally controlled, filtered, censored, twisted, the people lied to. Just as the french people in 1986 were lied to by their own government telling them that the Chernobyl plume was not coming towards France, that it would not reach France, that they were safe, most of the people not taking protection measures to regret it later with rampant thyroid cancer allover Eastern France.
When I came back from Japan to France, the most nuclearized nation in the world per square kilometer and per inhabitant, the nuclear industry Areva being owned by the State, the French government, of course the french media were also censored about Fukushima by the French government, telling to French people that the Fukushima disaster was over, that it had ended in March 2011, that it was nowall under control. I found at home the same omerta, that I had met in Japan.
I decided to search for informations on internet, search for knowledge, to learn about nuclear, so that I could better understand what was truly happening, what was hidden, unsaid, covered up, so that I could then inform my daughter and help her to know the facts, the dangers and how to protect herself.
My life changed and was never the same again, it became almost a full time occupation, many hours days and nights on internet to find informations and to share them to other people, discovering gradually the lies, what had been hidden about Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile islands and other hidden nuclear catastrophes, so many. I lost my innocence about nuclear.
I became angry and quite involved as an activist both on the net but also in real life. I became a a member of Sortir du Nucléaire France and of Greenpeace France,
On March 2012 I was the one to organize in Paris the 1rst year Fukushima Anniversary, a rally in front of the Paris main cityhall, with french antinuclear activists combined to some Japanese members of the Paris Japanese community, a Japanese TV crew coming to film our event.
Since the end of June 2011 up to now I continue to blog on the net on various blogs and on some Facebook antinuclear groups and pages that I founded.
I have therefore been following the Fukushima catastrophe day and night from the right beginning, and I am very well aware of the real dangers of Fukushima and of nuclear, my own blood and flesh French-Japanese daughter being one of the victims of nuclear in Fukushima, l will therefore continue to fight nuclear until it ends or until my last breath.
I am opposed to all pro-nuclear and their paid shills, but I am also oppose to those irresponsable people who produce hoax after hoax about Fukushima to satisfy their attention-glory-narcissist craving and their donations milking. All those people in different ways are harming the truth, harming our antinuclear cause.
I never asked donations not wishing to become an activist for sale, I do it for the love of my daughter, and because it is right to do it, not for money nor glory.
Nuclear is more than bad, we will only win by exposing its its ugly real nature, the true real solid facts. We won’t win by spinning sensationalism or hoaxes, which only become ammunitions for the pro-nuke shills to discredit us and the true dangers of nuclear in the mind of the general public.
We need everybody to wake up and to get their hands on deck, to ban all kinds of nuclear, civil and military, allover the world, to free our planet from this evil criminal industry.
Say no to nuclear, say yes to renewable, clean, safe and getting cheaper everyday.
Best wishes to everyone.

Hervé Courtois, “D’un Renard”, from France

Source: Nuclear News
https://nuclear-news.net/2015/09/16/why-we-must-expose-the-true-ugly-nature-of-the-nuclear-industry/

10425494_10204962312879275_6290649800040595084_nIn front of the gates of Fessenheim Nuclear plant at the end of the day, Naoto is standing at the center, all the others are solid Fukushima Watchers and Antinuclear activists, friends.

European No to Nuclear Rally at Fessenheim Nuclear plant on March 9, 2014
At Fessenheim, Alsace, France

First 9 bridges upon the Rhine River, between France and Germany, were occupied, then all the people from the bridges regrouped to the Fessenheim Nuclear Plant, 9500 people participating.

The largest groundwater in Europe is located right under the Fessenheim Nuclear plant: the Rhine aquifer, nearly 80 billion cubic meter of water between Basel and Mainz, which provides 80% of the drinking water and more than half of the industry in that area. What would happen in the event of a serious accident?

The Honored guest of that day was Naoto Matsumura, for his heart and spirit in caring for the abandoned animals within the 20kms radius No Man’s Zone of Fukushima. The next day Naoto was delivering his Fukushima testimony at the Europen Parliament in Strasbourg city in front of all the European MPs.

It was a terrific feeling, meet again some old friends and making some new friends.

DSC01999With Christian Roy, an antinuclear activist and my closest friend

that day occupying one of those night bridges on the Rhine river.

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September 18, 2015 Posted by | France, Japan | , , , | 4 Comments

Former PM Naoto Kan says nuclear power makes little economic sense, must end

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Although the first reactor in Japan to be fired up in two years went online last month, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday that Japan needs to seek a nuclear-free path.

This is a lesson the country has learned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, said Kan, who was prime minister when the Fukushima No. 1 plant was hit by a huge quake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

“I’m absolutely sure that there will no longer be nuclear power by the end of this century. This is because it doesn’t make sense economically, and enough energy can be provided without it,” Kan said in a lecture to foreign residents in Tokyo.

While reactor 1 at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture was restarted in August, Japan has survived the past few summers without nuclear power, Kan said.

He added that although the current government is still promoting nuclear power, Japan has seen an increase of renewable energy since the Fukushima accident, especially from solar panels.

He said nuclear power was believed to be a cheap source of energy, but it is actually expensive, considering the cost of decommissioning and managing nuclear waste.

Kan also shared his experience of visiting Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Finland, where a final nuclear waste repository is being constructed. There, he was told it would take 100,000 years for the radiation of nuclear waste to descend to the same level of the uranium that exists in the natural environment.

Using nuclear power, Kan said, means increasing the amount of dangerous waste that will trouble future generations, adding that this is why other former prime ministers such as Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa are also voicing their wish to end Japan’s dependence on it.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/16/national/former-pm-naoto-kan-says-nuclear-power-makes-little-economic-sense-must-end/#.VfnAxZeFSM8

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan lifts evacuation orders on irradiated towns in preparation for 2020 Summer Olympics

Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Japanese government recently announced they are lifting a four-year evacuation order on a town located 10 miles from the Fukushima disaster site, allowing residents to return full-time if they so desire, according to reports.

The evacuation order was issued in 2011 for the town of Naraha, which was among seven municipalities that were forced to vacate following a 15-meter tsunami triggered by an earthquake, subsequently resulting in the meltdown of three of Fukushima’s Daiichi reactors.

The Daily News reports:

Officials have said radiation levels in Naraha have fallen to levels deemed safe following decontamination efforts.

But according to a government survey, 53% of evacuees from Naraha, which is 12 miles south of the plant, say they’re either not ready to return home or are undecided. Some say they have found jobs elsewhere over the past few years, while others cite radiation concerns. Some houses are falling down, and wild boars roam at night.

About 100,000 people from about 10 municipalities around the wrecked plant still cannot go home. The government hopes to lift all evacuation orders except for the most contaminated areas closest to the plant by March 2017 — a plan many evacuees criticize as an attempt to showcase recovery ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Other reports have raised concerns over dangerous radiation levels recorded in the area, as well as the town’s lack of infrastructure.

U.S. News and World Report states:

In the once-abandoned town, a segment of a national railway is still out of service, with the tracks covered with grass. Some houses are falling down and wild boars roam around at night.

Only about 100 of the nearly 2,600 households have returned since a trial period began in April. Last year, the government lifted evacuation orders for parts of two nearby towns, but only about half of their former residents have returned.

Source: Fukushimaz Watch

http://www.fukushimawatch.com/2015-09-15-japan-lifts-evacuation-orders-on-irradiated-towns-in-preparation-for-2020-summer-olympics.html

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Sr-90 density rose up 155 percent of the previous highest reading in the seaside of Reactor 2

Sr-90-density-rose-up-155-percent-of-the-previous-highest-reading-in-the-seaside-of-Reactor-2-sept 16 2015

From Tepco’s report released on 9/4/2015, the density of Strontium-90 increased to 155% of the previous highest reading in the seaside of Reactor 2.

It was measured in groundwater gathered to pump up. The sampling date was 8/3/2015, Sr-90 density was 2,800,000 Bq/m3. The previous highest reading was 1,800,000 Bq/m3, which was analyzed on 7/2/2015.

From the report of 9/15/2015 about the same area, the density of Mn-54, which has 310 days of a half-life, reached the highest reading of 680 Bq/m3 on 9/10/2015. 4 days later, it rose up to 970 Bq/m3 again.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2015/images/2tb-east_15090401-j.pdf

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2015/images/2tb-east_15091501-j.pdf

Source: Fukushima Diary

http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/09/sr-90-density-rose-up-155-percent-of-the-previous-highest-reading-in-the-seaside-of-reactor-2/

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Climate Risks from Nuclear Power. Radioactive Krypton 85: Atmospheric-Electrical and Air-Chemical Effects of Ionizing Radiation in the Atmosphere

Title: Climate risks by radioactive krypton-85 from nuclear fission Atmospheric-electrical and air-chemical effects of ionizing radiation in the atmosphere
Klimarisiken durch radioaktives Krypton-85 aus der Kernspaltung Luftelektrische und luftchemische Wirkungen ionisierender Strahlung in der Atmosphaere
Authors : Kollert, R. (Kollert und Donderer, Bremen (Germany)); Gewaltfreie Aktion Kaiseraugst, Liestal (Switzerland);
Corporate author: Bund fuer Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany). Landesverband Baden-Wuerttemberg ; Bund Naturschutz in Bayern e.V., Muenchen (Germany)
Publication year: 1994
Language: German ;
Abstract:
The study shows that krypton-85 from nuclear fission enhances air ionization and, thus, interferes with the atmospheric-electrical system and the water balance of the earth atmosphere. This is reason for concern: There are unforeseeable effects for weather and climate if the krypton-85 content of the earth atmosphere continues to rise. There may be a krypton-specific greenhouse effect and a collapse of the natural atmospheric-electrical field. In addition, human well-being may be expected to be impaired as a result of the diminished atmospheric-electrical field. There is also the risk of radiochemical actions and effects caused-by krypton-85-containing plumes in other air-borne pollutants like the latters’ transformation to aggressive oxidants. This implies radiation smog and more acid rain in the countries exposed. This study summarizes findings gained in these issues by various sciences, analyses them and elaborates hypotheses on the actions and effects of krypton-85 on the air, the atmosphere and the climate. (orig./HP);
Abstract : Die Studie zeigt, dass Krypton-85 aus der Kernspaltung die Luftionisation erhoeht und damit in das luftelektrische System sowie in den Wasserhaushalt der Erdatmosphaere eingreift. Dies gibt Anlass zu Sorge: Nicht absehbare Folgen fuer Wetter und Klima, falls der Krypton-85-Gehalt der Erdatmosphaere weiter stark ansteigt. Ein Krypton-spezifischer Treibhauseffekt ist moeglich sowie ein Zusammenbruch des natuerlichen luftelektrischen Feldes. Zu erwarten ist ueberdies eine Beeintraechtigung menschlichen Wohlbefindens infolge des verringerten luftelektrischen Feldes. Hinzu kommt das Risiko strahlenchemischer Wirkungen der Krypton-85-haltigen Abgasschwaden auf andere Luftschadstoffe, insbesondere deren Umwandlung in aggressive Oxidantien. Das bedeutet Strahlen-Smog und mehr sauren Regen ueber den betroffenen Laendern. Die Studie fuehrt zu diesen Problemkreisen Erkenntnisse aus verschiedenen Sachgebieten zusammen, analysiert sie und begruendet Hypothesen zur Wirkung von Krypton-85 auf die Luft, die Atmosphaere und das Klima. (orig./HP) ;
Pagination/Size: 66 p.;
SIGLE classification: 08N – Meteorology, climatology ; 03J – Nuclear waste reprocessing;
Keyword(s) :
FUEL REPROCESSING PLANTS; RADIOACTIVE EFFLUENTS; KRYPTON 85 ; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY ; ATMOSPHERIC PRECIPITATIONS; CLIMATIC CHANGE ; RADIOECOLOGY; IONIZING RADIATIONS ; PHOTOIONIZATION; AIR; EARTH ATMOSPHERE;
Document type :
I – Miscellaneous ;
Series / Report no. :
BUND Information : Luftelektrische und luftchemische Wirkungen ionisierender Strahlung in der Atmosphaere. v. 51 (ISSN )
Other identifier :
DE_ 1995:4257; DE;
handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10068/255704
Provenance: SIGLE;
Get a copy:
FIZ – Fachinformationszzentrum Karlsruhe TIB – Technische Informationsbibliothek
http://www.opengrey.eu/partner/fiz
http://www.opengrey.eu/partner/tib
Availability :
Available from TIB Hannover
Country :
Germany ;
http://www.opengrey.eu/item/display/10068/255704
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/fr/
To cite or link to this reference:
http://hdl.handle.net/10068/255704

Note: Krypton is emitted during nuclear reactor operations, nuclear accidents, and nuclear fuel reprocessing (it’s present in the spent fuel-nuclear waste): “Radionuclide Release Limits—In the context of this ANPR, the specific radionuclide release limits established under 40 CFR 190.10(b). These are the legally permissible maximum amounts of krypton-85, iodine-129, as well as plutonium-239 and other alpha emitters that can enter the environment from the processes of nuclear power operations in any given year, on an energy production basis… There have been active reprocessing facilities in 15 countries, including the U.S., although some of these facilities were more research-oriented as opposed to commercial reprocessing facilities. Of the current operating facilities, the most widely known are the facilities at Sellafield (United Kingdom) and La Hague (France), which constitute the first and second leading producers globally for krypton-85. Both facilities discharge krypton-85 directly to the environment.https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/04/2014-02307/environmental-radiation-protection-standards-for-nuclear-power-operations

Potential radioactive pollutants resulting from expanded energy programs” By Hong Lee, et. al. Environmental Monitoring and Support Laboratory (Las Vegas, Nev.). Monitoring Systems Research and Development Division, EPA-600/7-77-082 August 1977 See text p. 83 re nuclear reactor emissions: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/9101EI5M.PDF?Dockey=9101EI5M.PDF

Source: Mining Awareness

https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/climate-risks-from-nuclear-power-radioactive-krypton-85-atmospheric-electrical-and-air-chemical-effects-of-ionizing-radiation-in-the-atmosphere/

September 18, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

End the nuclear ‘safety myth’

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s final report on the March 2011 triple meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant puts the main blame on the then prevailing assumption that Japan’s “nuclear power plants were so safe that an accident of this magnitude was simply unthinkable.” Constant monitoring is needed to make sure the government, power companies and nuclear regulatory authorities aren’t falling into the same “safety myth” as they push to reactivate idled reactors that meet what is now touted as the “world’s most stringent” nuclear safety standards.

Last week, Kyushu Electric Power Co. began commercial operation of the No. 1 reactor of its Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture — a little over a month after it became the first reactor idled since 2011 to be reactivated on the basis of the safety standards that were tightened in response to the Fukushima disaster. The utility plans to restart the plant’s No. 2 reactor as early as next month, and the Abe administration and the power industry are pushing to bring more idled plants back online once they have cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s screening.

The regulatory system for nuclear power generation has been reformed since the 2011 crisis. The old Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, which came under fire for the Fukushima debacle, has been replaced by the NRA, and new regulations introduced in 2013 require operators of nuclear power plants to beef up their defense against natural disasters such as major earthquakes and tsunamis. But while the NRA itself states that compliance with the new standards does not guarantee the plants’ safety, the government says the plants are ready for restart because they meet the NRA criteria. No one appears ready to take final responsibility for the plants’ safety.

The IAEA report, compiled by around 180 experts from 42 countries and submitted to an annual general conference of the United Nations nuclear watchdog this week, highlights the “assumption” held by Japan’s nuclear plant operators prior to 2011 that a crisis of that magnitude would not happen, which was never challenged by the government or regulatory authorities, leaving the nation unprepared for a severe accident.

The Fukushima power plant lost its emergency power supply after it was flooded by a 15-meter tsunami triggered by the magnitude-9 quake on March 11, 2011. The loss of power crippled its crucial core-cooling functions and led to the meltdowns in its three operating reactors. Citing Tepco’s failure to take precautionary action against such external hazards despite an estimate prior to the disaster that a powerful quake off Fukushima could cause a tsunami of roughly the same scale that hit the plant site, the report said “there was not sufficient consideration of low probability, high consequence external events,” partly because “of the basic assumption in Japan, reinforced over many decades, that the robustness of the technical design of the nuclear plants would provide sufficient protection against postulated risks.” This assumption led to “a tendency for organizations and their staff not to challenge the level of safety” and “resulted in a situation where safety improvements were not introduced promptly.”

The report also pointed to the deficiencies in Japan’s nuclear regulatory system behind the Fukushima disaster. “The regulation of nuclear safety in Japan at the time of the accident was performed by a number of organizations with different roles and responsibilities and complex interrelationships. It was not fully clear which organizations had the responsibility and authority to issue binding instructions on how to respond to safety issues without delay,” it said. “The regulations, guidelines and procedures in place at the time of the accident were not fully in line with international practice in some key areas, most notably in relation to periodic safety reviews, re-evaluation of hazards, severe accident management and safety culture.”

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, in his foreword to the report, says Japan’s regulatory system has since been reformed to meet international standards, with regulators given clearer responsibilities and greater authority. Whether the new plant safety standards are the world’s most stringent or not, plants that meet the standards are supposed to withstand much greater levels of external hazards and be better able to respond to emergencies than before.

Still, complacency under the new standards would risk reviving the same safety myth rebuked in the report. Questioning whether the tightened standards are sufficient could be branded as demanding zero tolerance of risks and thereby unrealistic. However, as the IAEA report points out, it was an “unlikely combination of events” that hit the Tepco plant, and the utility’s unpreparedness for such a situation that resulted in the 2011 disaster.

We need to consider whether the tendency to dismiss low-probability risks as “small enough” — as was, for example, the risk of Kyushu Electric’s Sendai plant being hit by a volcanic eruption when the go-ahead was given for its restart — is acceptable from the viewpoint of preventing severe accidents at nuclear plants in the future.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/09/14/editorials/end-nuclear-safety-myth/#.Vfjrx5eFSM9

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Solar farms in Fukushima

Solar power farms grow in shadow of Fukushima plant http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/16/national/solar-power-farms-grow-shadow-fukushima-plant/#.Vfsu99KqpHw JIJI SEP 16, 2015 FUKUSHIMA – Parcels of farmland totaling 250 hectares near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are returning to life and being covered with solar panels, amid government incentives to invest in renewable power.

At least one village has set up its own tiny power company, and together the solar farms are scheduled to generate about 160 megawatts of electricity.

Tohoku Electric Power Co. will buy the output, according to prefectural and municipal officials in Fukushima Prefecture.

solar farm Fukushima

Japan strictly regulates the conversion of farmland to other uses, to keep a lid on disorderly development. The cases in Fukushima Prefecture were made possible after the central government eased restrictions as an exceptional measure to promote reconstruction following the quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Tohoku in March 2011. Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Charles Koch saboteur of clean energy

How Charles Koch Prevents Clean Energy Businesses From Succeeding,  TruthOut 02 September 2015 By Matthew KasperRepublic Report | News Analysis Last week, President Obama correctly singled out the Koch brothers – Charles and David – and the Koch-funded network for standing in the way of America’s clean energy Continue reading

September 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment