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The real reason the Nuclear Regulatory Commission cancelled its cancer research

HYPOCRISY-NRC-Nuclear power kills! The real reason the NRC cancelled its nuclear site highly-recommendedcancerstudy http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2985492/nuclear_power_kills_the_real_reason_the_nrc_cancelled_its_nuclear_site_cancer_study.html Chris Busby 19th September 2015 

The US’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission just cancelled its study into cancer near nuclear plants citing the ‘excessive cost’ of $8 million, writes Chris Busby. Of course that’s rubbish – similar studies in the UK have been carried out for as little as £600 per site, and in any case $8 million is small change for the NRC. The real reason is to suppress the unavoidable conclusion: nuclear power kills.

After spending some $1.5 million and more than five years on developing strategies to answer the question of increases of cancer near nuclear facilities, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) last week reported that they would not continue with the process. They would knock it on the head [1].

This poisoned chalice has been passed between the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the NRC since 2009 when public and political pressure was brought to bear on the USNRC to update a 1990 study of the issue, a study which was widely seen by the public to be a whitewash.

Dr Chris Busby at the Royal Society on Scientific Dishonesty


The NCR quickly passed the unwelcome task up to the NAS. It requested that the NAS provide an assessment of cancer risks in populations living ‘near’ the NRC-licenced nuclear facilities that utilize and process Uranium. This included 104 operating nuclear reactors in 31 States and 13 fuel cycle facilities in operation in 10 States.

The NRC request was to be carried out by NAS in two phases. Phase 1 was a scoping study to inform design of the study to be begun in Phase 2 and to recommend the best organisation to carry out the work.

The Phase 1 report was finished in May 2012. The best ‘state of the art’ methods were listed and the job of carrying out the actual study, a pilot study, was sent to: Guess who? The NRC. The poisoned chalice was back home. The NRC was now in a corner: what could they do?

If you don’t like the truth … suppress it Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Fisherman debunks radiation as cause of giant woffish

wolffishThe Guy Who Caught the Internet’s Favorite Giant Fish Is Bummed No One Gets It, Motherboard by EMIKO JOZUKA September 18, 2015 Earlier this week, an odd-looking gargantuan fish from Japan became a minor celebrity on Twitter. But the tide soon turned as curious reactions gave way to harmful rumors that its strange appearance is the result of the effects of radiationfrom the Fukushima disaster.

The fish, however, was no radioactive specimen. It was a Bering wolffish (Anarhichas orientalis)—a species found off the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It also just happens to look like a cross between a grumpy grandpa and a monster.

When rumors broke of the fish’s supposed contamination, no one was more disappointed than the man who captured the creature: Hiroshi Hirasaka, a reporter and researcher who “lives life in pursuit of odd-looking creatures.”

“The wolffish I caught was given write-ups on the internet as ‘monster as a result of nuclear accident,’” Hiroshi Hirasaka, the man who caught the fish, told me. Hirasaka initially tweeted the photo because he was proud of his catch, but he soon became devastated by the rapid-fire spread of false internet buzz around the fish.

“That fish has been in [Hokkaido] for a long time, so it’s not feasible for it to be affected by radiation. It’s rude to the fish to say that, and it’s not cool to blame everything on radiation,” Hirasaka said. “Creatures only become big in the world of science fiction, and we’re not living in the world of Hulk or Godzilla.”………

“I find slightly odd, grotesque or scary fish interesting,” Hirasaka told me. “There will always be other writers who report on the beautiful creatures of this world, but I want other people to understand the allure of more ugly specimens.”

As for the internet rumour—he tried debunking it on Twitter, but admitted that the misunderstanding was probably still developing out of his sight and control.

“People in Japan are used to seeing that fish in aquariums, but I guess other people don’t know it. I’m not sure if it was a joke or not, but I was sad to think that they thought it was like that because of nuclear radiation,” said Hirasaka. “I just want them to have the correct information.” http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-fish-that-was-wrongly-accused-of-being-affected-by-radiation

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s radioactive overflowing toilet

As the government of Japan continues to declare that the ocean impact from contaminated storm runoff from the Daiichi site is minimal, attention has been completely diverted from the more serious questions concerning the redistribution of toxic radiation and contaminated groundwater through massive rainfall and flooding into previously pristine locations inhabited by innocent people.

Inland impacts are considerable. Typhoon Etau likely washed more radiation from the mountains surrounding the Daiichi disaster than from the nuclear site itself, yet TEPCO and the Japanese government ignore the health impact of these huge, unmonitored releases. Without the government of Japan accepting responsibility for all the contamination caused by the nuclear disaster, the health of the public on both sides of the Pacific Ocean will continue to be jeopardized.

Fukushima toilet

Demystifying Nuclear Power: The Fukushima Toilet Overflows   http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education/demystifying-nuclear-power-the-fukushima-toilet-overflows  by Sue Prent

Japan just can’t seem to catch a break as extreme forces in nature repeatedly buffet the island.

Efforts are currently underway to coax former Nahara residents, evacuated during the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown, to return to their abandoned homes in the desolated city. Despite assurance that radiation levels in Nahara are now within a ‘safe’ margin, the relatively few who chose immediate return when it officially reopened on September 11, are being issued dosimeters; a reminder that life in this city can never hope to be the same.  Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Video Audio: Radioactive Floods Recontaminate Japan

see-this.wayRadioactive Floods Recontaminate Japan http://www.fairewinds.org/nuclear-energy-education//radioactive-floods-recontaminate-japan  Last week a serious typhoon hit eastern Japan creating flooding that has not occurred for at least 50 years. Tokyo Electric Power Company, the operator and owner of the triple meltdown site Fukushima Daiichi, admitted that drainage pumps at Fukushima failed and radioactive water once again poured into the Pacific. But what about the extraordinary amount of radioactive cesium, strontium, and other isotopes spread hundreds of miles from the nuclear catastrophe site yet to be cleaned up and now displaced by the flood into newly contaminated villages? Once again, Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer, Arnie Gundersen, is here to keep you informed.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Long term effect of radiation leakage to the sea

Officials: “Trillions of becquerels of radioactive material still flowing into sea” at Fukushima — Map shows nuclear waste coming up from bottom of ocean far offshore — Japan TV Journalist: “Contaminated seawater will circulate around globe… disaster like a huge cloth expanding everyday” (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/officials-trillions-becquerels-radioactive-material-flowing-sea-fukushima-map-shows-nuclear-waste-flowing-bottom-ocean-offshore-japan-tv-journalist-contaminated-seawater-will-circulate-around-gl August 11th, 2015

Interview with NHK journalist Morley Robertson, by the Center for Remembering 3.11, published Jun 30, 2012 (emphasis added): I begin with the radiation leakage. Radiation leakage exerts a long term effect on the environment. It contaminates our food chain, the groundwaterand the ocean. And the contaminated seawater will circulate around the globe. We never know how much this will impact on the environment… We’ll never able to study such issues with empirical certainty… [Due to nuclear testing] we have already accumulated “hidden losses” of radiation damage… how much is the [Fukushima] cesium in relation to that?… I believe we should enjoy delicious food rather than worrying about the food. I enjoyed the town’s delicacy… I didn’t mind about how the beef was produced or where it came from. As long as it is tasty, it is no problem for me. With regard to radiation, I have become more optimistic. My hypothesis is that it’s no use worrying about radiation. For people in Fukushima, they have a lot to worry about their future, like damaged reputation… One reason why we have relied on nuclear plants is because we didn’t know about the facts… We need to face the facts… Rad-waste from the nuclear cycle is said to be unsolvable even after 2.5 million years. Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy’s sobering Report on Fukushima nuclear accident

Japan is not the only nation “rearranging the nuclear deck chairs”

The Titanic was also ill-prepared to evacuate its passengers because it failed to consider the unimaginable and thus mismanaged the risk. It seems the lessons of Fukushima are also being ignored in favor of wishing away risk, and hoping for inspired improvisation. There is thus good reason why citizens across Japan are filing lawsuits to block reactor restarts and some gutsy judges are resisting pressure from the nuclear village and siding with common sense.

Rearranging the deck chairs on the nuclear Titanic BY  JAPAN TIMES 20 Sep 15 The International Atomic Energy Agency’s recently released postmortem on the Fukushima nuclear accident of 2011 makes for grim reading and serves as a timely reminder of why the restart of the Sendai nuclear plant in Kyushu is a bad idea.Book fukushima by Lochbaum

When an atomic energy advocacy organization delivers multiple harsh assessments of Japan’s woeful nuclear safety culture and inadequate emergency countermeasures and disaster management protocols, it’s time to wonder how much has really changed in the past five years — and whether restarting any of the nation’s nuclear reactors is a good idea.

In 2012, the government established a new nuclear safety watchdog agency called the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) and it now contends that Japan has the strictest nuclear safety regulations in the world. But is that true? And does it
matter?

David Lochbaum, co-author of last year’s “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,” the best book on the meltdowns that I’ve read, likens recent reforms to “rearranging the deck chairs on the nuclear Titanic” He’s not buying Japan’s claim of having the world’s strictest guidelines. Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

UK and USA tried to develop nuclear land mines

exclamation-flag-UKFlag-USAThe Ultimate Weapon of War: Nuclear Land Mines?  National Interest, Matthew Gault, 20 Sept 15  Land mines and nukes are two of the most terrifying weapons of war — for two very different reasons. Nuclear weapons can wipe out entire cities, and land mines wait buried in the earth, ready to harm anyone who wanders too close.

In the 1950s, Britain tried to combine the two into a nuclear mine … with chickens as a heating source. Yes, this was actually proposed. But we’ll get to the chickens in a moment. The Blue Peacock would have been one of the worst kinds of Cold War weapons — a nuke the enemy doesn’t know you have. The United Kingdom sought to develop and deploy 10 nuclear mines. Once completed, it would ship the nightmare weapons to the British Army of the Rhine — the U.K.’s occupation force in Germany.

The BAOR would then plant the landmines along the East German border in the north and detonate them should the Soviets ever try to cross the Iron Curtain. The project’s primary goal wasn’t to kill Soviet soldiers — though the blasts certainly could — but to irradiate and contaminate the North German Plain so Moscow’s troops couldn’t occupy it.

“A skillfully sited atomic mine would not only destroy facilities and installations over a large area, but would deny occupation of the area to an enemy for an appreciable time due to contamination,” explained a Cold War era policy paper unearthed by Discovery.

Scientists based the Blue Peacock’s design on Britain’s first atomic weapon — the Blue Danube. The Danubes were 10 to 12 kiloton bombs designed to free fall from planes. They looked cartoonish, like a bomb Wile E. Coyote might drop on the roadrunner.

The Blue Danubes packed less of a punch than Fat Man and Little Boy, so in 1954, the British Army decided to adapt that tiny nuclear punch into a land mine.

The War Office ordered development and the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment set to work converting the Danube into the Peacock. In a few years, the researchers had a prototype. The nuclear land mine used a plutonium core surrounded by conventional explosives with twin firing pins. Steel encased the entire contraption.

The project had several problems.

First, compared to a conventional land mine, the Blue Peacock was massive………

The U.S. Army developed and deployed nuclear bazookas — the Davy Crockett — in the ‘60s, but the tiny nuke was still a nuke. It takes miles for the fallout from even a small nuclear blast to dissipate. The Pentagon thought better and shelved the project.

Britain had a similar problem with its Blue Peacock. How could it detonate a nuclear land mine without being anywhere near the device? It came up with two solutions, one ingenious and the other bizarre……….

The British Army shelved the project. One of the prototype Blue Peacocks is currently on display at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Historical Collection in England.

Britain’s attempts to develop a nuclear land mine were crazy, but it wasn’t the only time a nuclear power attempted to develop mines and smaller, more tactical nuclear munitions. It was just one reflection of the mad logic that was 1950s atomic war planning.

This piece first appeared in WarIsBoring here.  http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-ultimate-weapon-war-nuclear-land-mines-13890

 

September 21, 2015 Posted by | history, UK, USA, weapons and war | 6 Comments

End the uneconomic nuclear power industry – former Japan PM Naoto Kan

Former PM Naoto Kan says nuclear power makes little economic sense, must end  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/16/national/former-pm-naoto-kan-says-nuclear-power-makes-little-economic-sense-must-end/#.Vf8titKqpHx BY   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.

Kan, Naoto

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.

September 21, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Russian bombers began to arm NUKE near UK airspace

How close we came to Armageddon: Russian bombers began to arm NUKE near UK airspace PILOTS in exclamation-Smflag-UKone of the two Russian supersonic bombers intercepted near UK skies last week had started the countdown to arm a nuclear bomb, sources revealed last night. By MARCO GIANNANGELI, SUNDAY EXPRESS, 20 Sept 15  after RAF specialists analyzed a four-second signal transmitted from one of the Tupolev Tu-160 bombers, known by Nato as “Blackjacks”, in the days following Thursday’s incursion.

Analysts at RAF Boulmer, Britain’s Control and Reporting Centre, confirmed that the Russian bombers had begun the sequence to arm nuclear weapons while carrying out the incursion.

It is not the first time they have done this and comparison with a similar signal transmitted by a TU-95 “Bear” bomber revealed Russian air crew had begun the countdown during an incursion last year, as well.

The Sunday Express revealed that the bomber involved in the February 2014 incident had been carrying a submarine-busting nuclear depth charge designed to attack Britain’s Trident-carrying Vanguard submarines.

“All I can say is that we now know it related to the first stage of arming a nuclear device,” said a senior RAF source last night. “There are several additional arming procedures which, thankfully, were not carried out.”

Last week’s air incursion, which was intercepted by Two RAF Typhoon jets, was the seventh this year by Russian forces.

RAF Boulmer, in Longhoughton. Northmberland, is the headquarters of the Air Surveillance and Control System force and the nerve centre of UK air security operations. Once a target is tracked the information is fed into the NATO network operated by the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany and the RAF’s Air Defence Operations Centre at Air Command, High Wycombe.

However it was only when a female analyst decoded last week’s transmission that it was realised Russia had carried out a similar exercise last year.

Aviation expert Justin Bronk, of the Royal United Services Institute think tank, said the revelation confirmed a “worrying” development in Russian strategy.

“Putin does not allow his air force to fly with cruise missiles because he is so worried about defections, but dual purpose bombs such as nuclear depth charges are a different matter. And these are designed to be a direct threat to our nuclear deterrent. “It is entirely probable that Russian crews have been practicing arming drills. The whole process can take several minutes, and it is important to be able to carry out quickly.”………http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/606505/Armageddon-Russian-bombers-arm-nuclear-bomb-UK-airspace

September 21, 2015 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK taxpayers to boost nuclear project by £2 billion support package for Hinkley Point C.

text-my-money-2Taxpayer to give nuclear project a £2bn boost, Times,  Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor, 21 Sep 15 The government has moved to shore up flagging support for Britain’s first new nuclear power station in 20 years with a £2 billion support package for Hinkley Point C. It was originally estimated that Hinkley Point C would cost £5.6bn to build, [now at £24.5bn and rising]
The financing guarantee, backed by taxpayers, was announced as George Osborne arrived in China for final talks about the troubled project to build two giant 1.6-gigawatt nuclear reactors in Somerset……...(subscribers only)  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/industries/utilities/article4562711.ece

September 21, 2015 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UK: Tories slashing and buring solar industry

Ah, you say, but surely new nuclear is the answer? No chance. The new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset was supposed to open in 2017. Now that has been pushed back to 2024 while its estimated cost is skyrocketing to £24bn and beyond.

If it is ever built, Hinkley will be by far the most expensive nuclear plant ever. And they are planning more. Future generations will not thank this government for loading them with high and ever-rising electricity prices to pay for their ridiculous new toys.

Undeterred by their nonsensical energy policy, the Conservatives now want to slash the support mechanism for roof-top solar, known as the feed-in tariff, by up to 87%.

Solar industry is being slashed and burned by the Tories http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2015/sep/09/solar-industry-is-being-slashed-and-burned-by-the-tories
Ashley Seager The government’s claim to be leading a solar revolution is a bad joke when it is instead pursuing ideological warfare against ‘green crap’ T
he government wasted no time after the election in killing the country’s onshore wind power sector and is now taking its wrecking ball to the solar industry, despite the call from the energy and climate change secretary, Amber Rudd, only months ago for a “solar revolution”.

Rudd, Amber UKHer claim, repeated this week, that this is the greenest government ever, is a bad joke. The problem is that the Tories’ actions, far from pushing down electricity prices, will push them up. They are playing politics with our money. Why? Because they are culling cheap forms of renewable power, the costs of which are falling rapidly, in favour of ruinously expensive nuclear power, never-likely-to-happen fracking and schemes like the overpriced Swansea tidal lagoon, all of which will suck more money out of our wallets than onshore wind or solar ever could.

The reasons are purely political. The Conservatives perceive they lost rural votes to Ukip in the election because of the latter’s opposition to wind and solar farms.

Rudd and George Osborne have developed a narrative of expensive renewables requiring subsidies that are no longer affordable. Nonsense – the support going to solar and onshore wind has been in sharp decline for years, as the sectors have slashed costs to a competitive level. By contrast, the government’s preferred choices, particularly nuclear power, are horribly expensive and require far higher subsidies than wind or solar. Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Pacific Ocean radioactive isotopes from Atomic Testing compared with from Fukushima nuclear disaster

Fukushima inputs are much smaller in magnitude and despite ongoing release unlikely to exceed weapons fallout. 
The weakness of this approach is that there are other pressures (ocean acidification, warming, oxygen depletion) on the marine environment that one could qualitatively say might make the ecosystem more vulnerable to these very small increases in radiation.
Pacific-Ocean-drainHistory of Bomb Strontium and Cesium Isotopes in Pacific Compared to Fukushima Sources http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/16/1269942/-History-of-Bomb-Strontium-and-Cesium-Isotopes-in-Pacific-Compared-to-Fukushima-Sources# (EXCELLENT GRAPHS) by MarineChemist

The purpose of this diary is to compare the concentrations of Sr-90 and Cs-137 in the North Pacific Ocean over the last 50 years to the concentrations predicted to arrive on the west coast associated with waters affected by release of radionculides from the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Given present levels that are being measured in the eastern Pacific and barring release rates that significantly exceed past rates in March-April 2011 the impact on marine organisms and the marine environment is going to be very minimal.  What follows below the fold is a comparison of the concentrations measured and predicted over much of the Pacific owing to Fukushima to the concentrations that were present in the mid-1960s from the fallout of atmospheric weapons testing that is free from any discussion of safe doses or models of radiation exposure to organisms. Continue reading

September 21, 2015 Posted by | oceans, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

North Korea – same old nuclear weapons threats – and how to break them

Atomic-Bomb-Smflag-N-KoreaWhy North Korea’s Latest Nuclear Threats Are Like Groundhog Day All Over Again An expert explains why we’ve been here before, and how to break the cycle.  World Reporter, The Huffington Post , 19 Sept 15 North Korean officials sent a defiant message to the world over their nuclear and missile programs this week, as the reclusive regime gears up to celebrate the ruling party’s 70th anniversary.

The head of Pyongyang’s space agency said on Monday it was preparing to send a new earth observation satellite into space on a long-range rocket. The U.S. has warned this would violate United Nations resolutions against Pyongyang conducting ballistic missile tests, because of the similarity of the technology involved. Meanwhile, analysts and South Korean officials are skeptical of the announcement, saying there is little sign that Pyongyang is readying a satellite launch.

A day later, the director of North Korea’s Atomic Energy Institute announced that the country’s main Nyongbyon nuclear complex was fully operational again and reiterated threats to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. The complex was closed in 2007 during six-party talks with the U.S., China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. But the talks collapsed, and North Korea said in 2013 that it would resume nuclear enrichment. Tuesday’s announcement accords with recent analysis by 38 North, a project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University, which concluded, based on satellite imagery, that North Korea is “expanding its capacity to mine and mill natural uranium.”

The WorldPost spoke to Chad O’Carroll, the founder of specialist news and media service NK News, about what’s behind the latest warning signs from Pyongyang.

Did North Korea’s announcements this week about the rocket launches and nuclear reactivation come out of the blue?

The statement about the satellite launch did not come out of the blue. North Korea has made at least two or three announcements this year about upcoming satellite launches, leading many analysts to suggest that there will likely be a satellite launch to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the ruling party. This has been a narrative building up to those events.

The nuclear announcement did not necessarily come out of the blue either. Pyongyang had already announced that they would reactivate the nuclear processing plant, and that’s been underway for a while. This week’s statement was potentially triggered by 38 North recently publishing satellite imagery that shows activity at the Nyongbyon nuclear complex. The North Korean media may be responding to that, amid the general build-up to the Oct. 10 anniversary.

What do we know about the current state of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, and how concerned should the world be about them?

The technology for long-range ballistic missiles has not been fully mastered yet. It takes North Korea several weeks, if not months, to set up a satellite launch. So this is not much of a military threat because that’s a long window of time for the U.S. to take that threat out.

The real threat is two-fold: usage of short-range to medium-range ballistic missiles — which North Korea has a lot of and have been proven to work — and low-end applications of nuclear technology. The problem is that as long as the status quo continues, the better North Korea’s technology becomes. Five or six years ago, no one would have thought that in 2015 North Korea would be showcasing submarine technology to launch ballistic missiles………

We have seen that the way that world leaders are currently responding  to North Korea leads to Groundhog Day: complaints to the U.N., limited sanctions on North Korea, complaints from Pyongyang that it has been unfairly singled out, followed by further tensions and a new nuclear test, and then we’re back where we started.

Understandably, democratically elected leaders need to be seen to be responding to things, but having seen the cycle repeat itself so many times, it seems that there does need to be some fresh thinking. And there are only really two options on the table: one is military — and there doesn’t seem to be much appetite for that — and the other is of a different diplomatic response. 

If you want to reduce the threat that North Korea’s weapons pose, the best solution is  some kind of settlement and diplomatic agreement. Unfortunately, everything seems very far away in that regard right now. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/north-korea-nuclear-weapons_55facf48e4b0fde8b0cd2596?section=australia&adsSiteOverride=au

September 21, 2015 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa’s govt keeping nuclear costs secret from the public

censorshipflag-S.AfricaBusiness Day denied nuclear cost reports http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2015/09/18/business-day-denied-nuclear-cost-reports BY CAROL PATON, 18 SEPTEMBER 2015THREE reports by top international consultancies which explore the cost of building 9,600MW of nuclear power in SA have been classified as secret and will not be made available to the public, the Department of Energy has said.

The reports were commissioned in the past year by the department from KPMG, Ingerop and Deloitte to provide information on nuclear-procurement models, the cost of nuclear plants and financing models.

The Open Democracy Advice Centre requested the documents on behalf of Business Day under the Promotion of Access to Information Act last month.

In a reply received this week, deputy director-general of the department Zizamele Mbambo said “the records contain information to be used in the procurement process. The disclosure of such information will compromise the negotiations or prejudice the commercial competition as far as third parties are concerned”.

These were the same grounds used to maintain the secrecy of the intergovernmental agreements on nuclear co-operation. But when the agreements were tabled in Parliament in June, they contained no proprietary or commercial information. The letter also states that the documents are classified. Mr Mbambo has said the department’s studies show that the nuclear build “is affordable” without giving details.

Business Day editor Songezo Zibi said the application was made as “we have reason to believe that the cost studies the department does not want the public to see until it is too late in the process, show that 9,600MW of nuclear will be unaffordable”.

The Open Democracy Advice Centre is to appeal against the refusal.

Spokesman for the Right 2 Know Campaign Murray Hunter said the affordability study for SA’s strategic arms procurement in 1999 was classified until last year. “When this was unclassified, it was clear that there had been enormous financial risks. Governments often overclassify documents to shield themselves from accountability and end up making the wrong decisions. The fact that these documents are being withheld makes it impossible for SA to have the conversation about nuclear energy.”

Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson recently claimed that she had never advocated nuclear build of 9,600MW.

Mr Zibi said it “was also curious how a cost study can be conducted if, as the minister claimed, the size of the procurement was yet to be determined. What, then, would be the benchmark number if not the 9,600MW already mentioned by the president and ministers of energy including Ms Joemat-Pettersson?”

September 21, 2015 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Salem nuclear plant cooling-water affecting the Delaware River


nuke-tapFlag-USANew round of debate over Salem nuke’s water intake  http://enviropoliticsblog.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/new-round-of-debate-over-salem-nukes.html#.Vf9Nq9KqpHw  
A regional environmental group set the stage Friday for a new round in the decades long battle over Salem nuclear plant cooling-water demands, submitting the most-detailed critique yet of the site’s 3-billion-gallon-per-day draw from the Delaware River.  Jeff Montgomery reports for the The News Journal:

Delaware Riverkeeper, a multi-state environmental and conservation group, said New Jersey’s renewal of a federally required permit for the twin reactors’ intakes would be “irresponsible,” based on newly submitted and past economic and ecological studies.

The comments came at the end of a public response period that New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection recently extended after opponents accused the agency of providing inadequate time to assess the massive permit.
Salem’s regular authority to draw from or discharge into the Delaware River expired in 2006, but the plant has been operating under the previous approval, pending a decision on the “best available technology” to reduce fish losses, heating of the river and other environmental burdens.
Billions of fish, fry, eggs and other aquatic organisms are caught and killed, or impinged, on the plant’s intake guards while even larger numbers die when sucked into plant systems. Estimates of economic losses in the Riverkeeper group’s latest filings were more than 70 times higher than company supported estimates from the past.
“Salem is surpassed in its impingement and entrainment impacts on fish by only one other facility in the nation,” a power plant in Florida, Maya van Rossum, the Riverkeeper’s director, said on Friday. “Salem is the largest predator in the Delaware Estuary and Bay, and has been for over 40 years.”

September 21, 2015 Posted by | USA, water | Leave a comment