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September 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 22 Energy News

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Science and Technology:

Prototype JBT ceramic batteries undergoing high-temperature testing. Prototype JBT ceramic batteries undergoing high-temperature testing.

¶ Solid-state battery technology may deliver up to three times more energy than equivalent-sized lithium-ion cell, while eliminating many of the durability and safety issues associated with conventional lithium-based energy sources. The technology employs ceramic electrolytes instead of volatile liquid or gel electrolytes. [IHS Electronics360]

¶ According to new research from Griffith University, in Queensland, Australia, harnessing the energy created from salinity gradients could provide a renewable source of power able to mitigate climate change impacts, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and improve processes within the desalination industry. [WaterWorld]

World:

¶ Yingli Green Energy Holdings has announced a partnership with Namene Energy International, a leading renewable energy projects developer in Africa, to work together to set up 100-MW of utility-scale and 50 MW of rooftop solar power projects in Ghana and other African countries. Each company…

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September 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

URGENT- US Burial of “Low Level” Nuclear Waste: Public Radiation Exposure 33 x Higher than “High Level” Dump; Removes State Rights to Protect People-Environment; Comment Today, 11.59 PM ET (NY-DC)

Mining Awareness +

While it appears a waste of time to comment to the USNRC, comments become public record. As such, they can be used in future legal proceedings against the NRC-US government. Additionally, future generations, if there are any survivors, will know that people cared and tried. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission should change its name to Nuclear Regurgitation Commission, because they directly and indirectly encourage the leaching, leaking, spewing, and even exploding, of nuclear waste into the land, air and water of America, and ultimately of the world. Depending on location, this also impacts other countries such as the Canada, Mexico, and via the Gulf Stream and air currents, Europe, and even the Arctic. “Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal; Reopening of Comment Period” Comment Now! Due Sep 21, 2015 11:59 PM ET Proposed Rule Posted: 08/27/2015ID: NRC-2011-0012-0165 Comment here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NRC-2011-0012
Rad Waste Barrels WCS Texas
Burial of Radioactive Waste in the WCS Nuclear Waste Dump in…

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September 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactivity In Our Ocean: Fukushima & Its Impact On The Pacific

Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Sep 14, 2015:

  • 1:02:15 — Buesseler: “There have been ongoing releases… being maintained at higher levelsThe groundwater is almost impossible to stop, so that will continue for decades… very hard to contain. Ice dams, things you can engineer to stop them, have never been done on this scale before, so it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen.”
  • 1:09:30 — Audience Q&A: “Can anyone — scientists, physicists, anyone — really estimate the levels that are coming out of Fukushima on a daily basis? This rain event… how could anyone possibly estimate what is going it’s disingenuousto make these kind of assumptions — that it ‘probably’ won’t be a problem in the future. How can anyone say that? It’s never happened before… I don’t know where these predictions can really be nailed down, and was wondering your opinion on that as a couple of ‘good scientists’ (laughs).”
  • 1:11:00 — Buesseler: “Fair points. It’s never happened before, it’s somewhat unpredictable and dynamic… There’s certainly not enough information. I was very frustrated after the rain event to find almost no information about the amount and levels that were in the ocean… There are some monitoring sites right in the harbor, and you can actually see the level of cesium go up from 1,000 of my units to 3,000 — so there was an impact. How long that’s going to continue? I can’t tell  you… How it’s going to change in the future? We hope it gets back down to the levels that were near zero, but it never will be. It’s going to be — for decades, anyway — a site of continuous releasethat’s what keeps me up at night, are continuous leaks that could happen at that site.”

September 22, 2015 Posted by | Canada, Japan, USA | , | Leave a comment

The Fukushima Fix

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was briefed on the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant as he toured the facility back on Sept. 19, 2013.  chief Akira Ono (4th L) in front of two tanks (back) which are being dismantled after leaking contaminated water, during his tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan on September 19, 2013. Abe told Fukushima's operator to fix radioactive water leaks as he toured the crippled nuclear plant on September 19, less than two weeks after assuring the world the situation was under control. AFP PHOTO / Japan Pool  JAPAN OUT        (Photo credit should read JAPAN POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was briefed on the situation at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant as he toured the facility back on Sept. 19, 2013. chief Akira Ono (4th L) in front of two tanks (back) which are being dismantled after leaking contaminated water, during his tour to the tsunami-crippled plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan on September 19, 2013. Abe told Fukushima’s operator to fix radioactive water leaks as he toured the crippled nuclear plant on September 19, less than two weeks after assuring the world the situation was under control.

Japan’s Abe government claims portions of Fukushima Prefecture (original population 2 million) are safe for habitation, radioactivity is acceptable; whereas scientific data by third-party NGOs indicates otherwise, stay away!

PM Abe’s specific maneuvers towards rehabilitation give the appearance that the Fukushima full-blown nuclear meltdown is relatively minimal in comparison to Chernobyl’s disastrous explosion of 1986. After all, to this day, Chernobyl after 30 years is still a 30km “exclusion zone” where nobody is allowed due to excessive levels of radiation.

Meanwhile, back in Japan, PM Abe is moving people back into former restricted zones four years after the fact.

It remains an open question as to whether the Fukushima aftermath will be worse than Chernobyl. After all, the China Syndrome may be actively at work at Fukushima and as such could last over many lifetimes.

Still, the immediate direct exposure of radiation over population centers at Chernobyl was significantly more than Fukushima of which 80% drifted out into the Pacific Ocean.

But, that may be slight solace because, horrifyingly, nobody knows where the Fukushima melted cores are located, nobody knows; it’s absolutely true, nobody knows whether the molten cores are within the containment vessels, outside of the vessels, deep in the ground, or cataclysmically traversing towards the water table.

Regardless, PM Abe’s directive appears to be: “No problem, we’ve cleaned up a whole lot of the mess outside of the immediate meltdown… so, move back into former restricted areas.”

Still, it’s nearly impossible to give an all-clear signal at this stage, especially with the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station containment vessels completely out of control with wild atom-splitting rogue radionuclides spewing into the Pacific Ocean, and who knows where else (Einstein must be spinning in his grave).

The China Syndrome Worry

“While a molten reactor core wouldn’t burn ‘all the way through to China’ it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. It’s a nightmare scenario, the stuff of movies. And it might just have happened at Fukushima,” Eben Harrell, Was Fukushima a China Syndrome? Time Magazine, May 16, 2011.

If Chernobyl is a leading indicator of Fukushima’s future, “Chernobyl offers many lessons about what Princeton University engineering professor Robert Socolow calls the ‘afterheat’ of a nuclear disaster, but it’s the generational lesson that’s most important. Because some of the isotopes released during a nuclear accident remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years, cleanup is the work not just of first responders but also of their descendants and their descendants’ descendants. Asked when the reactor site would again become inhabitable, Ihor Gramotkin, director of the Chernobyl power plant, replies, ‘At least 20,000 years,” Eben Harrell, Apocalypse Today: Visiting Chernobyl, 25 Years Later, Time Magazine, April 26, 2011.

As of June 12th, 2015, the Abe government is returning residents to the Iitate village in Fukushima’s Prefecture four short years post the nuclear plant meltdowns, and by the upcoming 2018 year, the prime minister is eliminating state compensation to victims.

Not only that, but since August 2015, PM Abe is reopening nuclear facilities, the Sendai No. 1 reactor has already resumed full-scale commercial operations.

Contrariwise, according to former PM Naoto Kan, who was prime minister during the Fukushima disaster: “I now consider nuclear energy to be the most dangerous form of energy, and the risks associated with it are too great for us to continue generating atomic power,” Former Japanese PM Naoto Kan: Fukushima Radically Changed my Perspective, Deutsche Welle, Feb. 25, 2015.

One of the issues in trying to assess the dangers, as well as timing of recovery, for Fukushima is believability. Who can be trusted? In that regard, the Abe government’s enactment of strict extraordinarily broad secrecy laws, similar to WWII, with the threat of prison sentences up to 10 years for any violators of indeterminately wide-open secrecy laws undermines confidence in believability of the Japanese government, by definition.

On the other hand, respected third-party NGOs seem more reliable, if only because they do not have an axe to grind, no broad open-ended secrecy laws, no threats of prison sentences, no scare tactics, no public demonstrations in opposition, no lost revenues, no cleanup costs, no threats to human health, no threats to marine life, and no connections to the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Greenpeace/Japan Exposes Failure of Fukushima Decontamination (July 21, 2015)

Greenpeace Japan presumably takes issue with Prime Minister Abe’s declaration that people can safely move back to parts of Fukushima Prefecture.

Greenpeace Japan conducted a radiation survey and sampling program in Iitate, a village in Fukushima Prefecture. Even after decontamination, radiation dose rates measured ten times (10xs) the maximum allowed to the general public.

According to Greenpeace Japan: “The Japanese government plans to lift restrictions in all of Area 2 [2], including Iitate, where people could receive radiation doses of up to 20mSV each year and in subsequent years. International radiation protection standards recommend public exposure should be 1mSv/year or less in non-post accident situations. The radiation limit that excluded people from living in the 30km zone around the Chernobyl nuclear plant exclusion zone was set at 5mSV/year, five years after the nuclear accident. Over 100,000 people were evacuated from within the zone and will never return.” (Greenpeace Press Release, July 21, 2015).

So, Chernobyl’s 5mSV/year radiation limit morphs into the possibility of 20mSV radiation each year for some areas of Fukushima, subjecting residents to what?

According to Green Cross International, founded in 1993 by Mikhail Gorbachev, who was president of the Soviet Union when Chernobyl exploded: Both Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disasters are categorized as Level 7 events defined as a major release of radioactive material.

“However, the number of people affected by radiation in Japan has tripled when compared to Chernobyl, says Nathalie Gysi of Green Cross Switzerland… water leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant remains a problem four years after… There continue to be rising doubts over the safety of seafood, such as radioactivity levels in tuna and other fish.” (Green Cross Int’l March 11, 2015).

The Green Cross International 2015 Fukushima Report was prepared under direction of Jonathan M. Samet, MD, University of Southern California professor Keck School of Medicine and chair Department of Preventive Medicine, using the same standards as a similar 2012 study of Chernobyl.

According to the report: “Continued exposure to low-level radiation, entering the human body on a daily basis through food intake, is of particular consequence.”

Morphologically Defective Fir Trees

According to the National Institute of Radiological Science/Japan (“NIRS” est. 1957 as Japan’s only institute of radiology science) fir trees in Fukushima are exhibiting “strange growth patterns,” meaning the trees are stunted and showing morphological defects, in particular bifurcation or the splitting of a tree body into two parts at the tip. Thus, further normal tree growth is stopped dead.

Fir trees normally extend upward in growth patterns with two or more branches each year. However, 98% of inspected fir trees within a 3.5km area of the Fukushima damaged nuclear plants have severe defects. NIRS believes radiation causes abnormalities of fir trees “without a top bud,” hence no more normalized growth. Results of inspected trees found 125 out of 128 abnormal.

Thus, begging the question: If tree growth is stunted/deformed within 3.5km of the damaged nuclear plants, what’s the analogous impact on people?

Missing Birds

According to CBS News (April 16, 2015): “Birds are becoming a rarity around the damaged nuclear site… dramatic reductions… in terms of swallows in Fukushima, there had been hundreds if not thousands in many of these towns where we were working. Now we are seeing a few dozen… It’s just an enormous decline,” (Dr. Tim Mousseau, biologist, University of South Carolina, Dwindling Bird Populations in Fukushima, sc.edu, 4/14/15).

Fukushima Myths

Chris Harris, a former senior nuclear reactor operator for over three decades and currently a nuclear consultant, claims Fukushima is an extinction level event: Containment is a myth, there isn’t any; cold shutdown is a myth; cooling is a myth because there is no way to measure cooling when nobody knows where the nuclear fuel is located; waste processing is a myth; cleanup is a myth because it’s a “waste generation facility” that won’t stop.

Voices Within Japan

According to Yauemon Sato, the ninth-generation head of a sake brewery, since 1790, and the president of Aizu Denryok, an electric utility: “You know the caldron of hell? You will be sent to hell and will be boiled in that caldron if you do evil. And there are four such caldrons in Fukushima… And the disaster has yet to end. It continues to recur every day. More than 300 tons of water, contaminated with intense levels of radioactive substances, are being generated every day,” The Asahi Shimbun, May 1, 2015.

Hiroaki Koide, professor (retired) at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute reacts to PM Abe, as of April 24, 2015:
“The Prime Minister [said Fukushima] had been brought to a close. My reaction on hearing his words was, ‘Stop kidding.’ Reality is, though 4 years have passed, the accident has not yet been brought to a close at all… The Japanese government has issued a declaration that this is an emergency situation. As a result, normal laws do not have to be followed. What they are saying is that, in these very high radiation exposure level areas, they have basically abandoned people to live there. They’ve actually thrown them away to live there… The Cs-137 that’s fallen onto Japanese land in the Tohoku and Kanto regions, so much so that this area should all be put under the radiation control area designation [the Kanto region includes Tokyo and is home to over 40 million people].”

Footnote on Cs-137: Cesium-137 is one of the most problematic fission isotopes as it easily moves and spreads in nature and has a half-life of 30 years. It is deadly dangerous, for example: The Kramatorsk Radiological Incident of 1989 in Ukraine a small capsule of Cs-137 was discovered inside concrete walls of an apartment building, probably part of a measurement device, lost and accidentally mixed with gravel used to make concrete. For over 9 years two families lived in the apartment. By the time the capsule was discovered, 6 residents had already died from leukemia.

Fortunately for PM Abe, unfortunately for radiation victims, radiation is a silent destroyer that slowly progresses over time. In fact, it takes 5-40 years for the incubation period to take hold. Next year is the 5th year.

Nevertheless, when hit by powerful rapid radiation exposure, too much too soon, physical damage occurs relatively quickly, now experienced by sailors of the USS Reagan that served in Japan in 2011.

U.S. Sailors File Lawsuit

Two hundred U.S. sailors of the USS Reagan have a pending lawsuit filed in San Diego against TEPCO, General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi through the law offices of Bonner & Bonner, Sausalito, CA. The plaintiffs won a crucial battle in the U.S. District Court/San Diego last year, allowing the case to move forward.

“The lawsuit is based on the sailors’ participation in Operation Tomodachi (meaning “Friends”), providing humanitarian relief after the March 11, 2011 devastation caused by the Earthquake and Tsunami. The lawsuit includes claims for illnesses such as leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults. The injured servicemen and women will require treatment for their deteriorating health, medical monitoring, payment of their medical bills, appropriate health monitoring for their children, and monitoring for possible radiation-induced genetic mutations,” Press Release, The Law Offices of Bonner & Bonner, Sausalito, CA.

According to the press release, up to 70,000 U.S. citizens were potentially affected by the radiation and will be able to join the class action suit, which alleges that TEPCO deliberately lied to the public and the U.S. Navy about radiation levels at the time the Japanese government was requesting help.

Therein lies a prime example, although only alleged, of why official sources in Japan cannot be trusted. Moreover, as far as convincing evidence goes: How is it that a disproportionately high number of very young naval personnel, all from the same ship, have severe medical problems like leukemia and brain cancer?

Furthermore, according to Charles Bonner, Esq.: Additional plaintiffs with serious aliments from radiation are continuing to come forward.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is a grim tragedy that is extremely difficult to fully understand or gain trustworthy information, in large measure because the Japanese government instituted a new secrecy law, Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets, Act No. 108 that is extraordinarily broad and provides up to 10 years in prison for release of “state secrets,” which may be subjectively, not objectively, defined by government bureaucrats… oh, isn’t that just grand!

Essentially, Japan surreptitiously institutes news blackouts of any information that government employees don’t like, carte blanche.

“On Dec. 10, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new special secrets law took effect despite overwhelming public opposition. The new law gives bureaucrats enormous powers to withhold information produced in the course of their public duties that they deem a secret — entirely at their own discretion — and with no effective oversight mechanism to question or overturn such designations. The law also grants the government powers to imprison whistle-blowers, and prohibits disclosure of classified material even if its intention is to protect the public interest. This Draconian law also gives the government power to imprison journalists merely for soliciting information that is classified a secret,” Abe’s Secrets Law Undermines Japan’s Democracy, The Japan Times, Dec. 13, 2014.

Once again: “This Draconian law gives the government power to imprison journalists merely for soliciting information.” For merely soliciting information, for merely soliciting information, gives the government power to imprison journalists for merely soliciting info…. some footprints should never stop.

“Susumu Murakoshi, president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, says the law should be abolished because it jeopardizes democracy and the people’s right to know. Meiji University legal scholar Lawrence Repeta agrees with Murakoshi,” Ibid.

What democracy?

Thus, on the surface, by all appearances, the government of Japan has something to hide. It must be really big. Why else adopt a hard-hitting secrecy law on the heels of the worst disaster to hit Japan since America dropped A-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Japan’s citizenry really should expect consolation rather than aggravation, intimidation, and terrorizing by their own government.

At the end of the day, George Orwell’s 1984 has captivated a radiantly glowing ancient country.

Source: Counterpunch

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/21/the-fukushima-fix/

September 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Radioactive rain releases can’t be curbed due to lack of laws: NRA

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant has released rainwater tainted with radioactive substances into the Pacific Ocean at least seven times since April.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government, pressured by worried residents and fishermen, has pressed the Nuclear Regulation Authority to set maximum radiation limits for rainwater releases, but the regulator hasn’t acted yet, citing the lack of specific laws on radioactive rainwater.

The plant’s K channel, a gutter that was built to drain rainwater accumulated around the six reactors, leads directly to the sea. After rainwater was found tainted with radiation in April, Tepco, as a temporary fix, installed eight pumps and a special underwater curtain in its artificial bay to segregate the water from the open ocean.

With the pumps and the curtain, Tepco claims it can keep radioactive runoff within the bay as long as the rainfall stays at 14 mm per hour or less. But on Aug. 17, rainfall at the plant exceeded 18 mm per hour, and some untreated rainwater overflowed the K channel and got into the ocean. The same thing happened again on Sept. 9 and 11, amid flooding in the Kanto and Tohoku regions triggered by Typhoon Etau.

When the drainage system is overwhelmed by heavy rain, it is difficult to measure the tainted water and its radiation level, the utility said.

In May 2014, when Tepco succeeded in measuring rainwater on the premises, the cesium-137 level was gauged at 770 becquerels per liter, or over eight times the 90-becquerel limit for water the plant can release into the sea.

To rectify the situation, Tepco has been trying to change the K gutter’s path so it will flow into the artificial bay instead. But the rerouting work will take until March 2016.

While Tepco says the problem will be solved in six months, prefectural officials are demanding Tepco resolve the problem as soon as possible, because if the leaks are allowed to continue throughout the typhoon season, public distrust in the government will deepen, making the decommissioning process even more difficult.

Fishery officials are meanwhile worried that their industry could be damaged further if the unregulated rainwater releases continue.

The prefecture is specifically asking that a new pump be installed close to the source of the tainted rainwater, but Tepco has been reluctant, saying such a pump is structurally impossible to install because the part of the drainage system where tainted water is leaking from is underground.

Tepco has been cleaning the drainage gutters on a regular basis to reduce the radiation levels, but to no avail.

Kiyoshi Takasaka, a prefectural expert on atomic power, wants the NRA to place radiation limits on rainwater immediately.

However, the NRA’s position is that there are no laws that regulate radiation-tainted rainwater and therefore it cannot set numerical limits. One industry source said doing so would require revisions to existing laws, which will take a lot of time.

“I’m worried because we don’t know how much radiation-tainted rainwater has leaked out,” said Tomomitsu Konno, a 56-year-old fisherman in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. “Tepco should fully investigate the problem and show the results to the fishermen.”

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/09/20/national/radioactive-rain-releases-cant-curbed-due-lack-laws-nra/#.Vf8R95eFSM8

September 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

The highest I-131 density of this year detected in 2 Fukushima sewage plants

The-highest-I-131-density-of-this-year-detected-in-2-Fukushima-sewage-plants-sept 20, 2015

According to Fukushima sewage public corporation, this July over 1,000 Bq/Kg of Iodine-131 was detected in dry sewage sludge. The sewage plant is located in Da-te District of Fukushima prefecture.

High level of I-131 was measured this May, however this reading of July is the highest density of this year. (cf, Significant level of I-131 detected from dry sludge of Fukushima sewage plant after rain in May [URL])

I-131 was detected from the samples collected from 7/9/2015 to 7/29/2015.

The highest reading was 1,038.4 Bq/Kg of 7/11/2015. The highest density of Cs-134 was also detected, which was 44 Bq/Kg the same day. It rained on 7/8/2015 but the precipitation was only 10.5 mm.

Also in another sewage plant in Koriyama city, 889 Bq/Kg of I-131 was detected from dry sewage sludge. This is also the highest reading of this plant. I-131 kept on being detected for 15 days of this July.

http://www.pref.fukushima.lg.jp/uploaded/attachment/129631.pdf

http://www.pref.fukushima.lg.jp/uploaded/attachment/129632.pdf

Source: Fukushima Diary

http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/09/the-highest-i-131-density-of-this-year-detected-in-2-fukushima-sewage-plants/

September 22, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment