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Radioactive Cs in the estuary sediments near Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Cs-137 of estuary sediment impacted by the FDNPP was measured.
Physical and chemical properties were measured also.
Increasing radioactivity was observed from surface to bottom.
90% of the Cs-137 was strongly bound to clay minerals in the estuary sediments.
Cesium-137 is being transported from contaminated paddy fields to the estuary.
The migration and dispersion of radioactive Cs (mainly 134Cs and 137Cs) are of critical concern in the area surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP). Considerable uncertainty remains in understanding the properties and dynamics of radioactive Cs transport by surface water, particularly during rainfall-induced flood events to the ocean. Physical and chemical properties of unique estuary sediments, collected from the Kuma River, 4.0 km south of the FDNPP, were quantified in this study. These were deposited after storm events and now occur as dried platy sediments on beach sand. The platy sediments exhibit median particle sizes ranging from 28 to 32 μm. There is increasing radioactivity towards the bottom of the layers deposited; approximately 28 and 38 Bq g− 1 in the upper and lower layers, respectively. The difference in the radioactivity is attributed to a larger number of particles associated with radioactive Cs in the lower part of the section, suggesting that radioactive Cs in the suspended soils transported by surface water has decreased over time.
Sequential chemical extractions showed that ~ 90% of 137Cs was strongly bound to the residual fraction in the estuary samples, whereas 60 ~ 80% of 137Cs was bound to clays in the six paddy soils. This high concentration in the residual fraction facilitates ease of transport of clay and silt size particles through the river system. Estuary sediments consist of particles < 100 μm. Radioactive Cs desorption experiments using the estuary samples in artificial seawater revealed that 3.4 ± 0.6% of 137Cs was desorbed within 8 h. More than 96% of 137Cs remained strongly bound to clays. Hence, particle size is a key factor that determines the travel time and distance during the dispersion of 137Cs in the ocean.


February 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | | Leave a comment

Arnie Gundersen Speaking Tour in Japan N°1

On The Road Again…Japan Speaking Tour Series No. 1

Fairewinds’ Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen is hitting the road yet again for his third speaking tour of Japan! It will be five years in March since the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi began and the Japanese public continues to search for the truth about nuclear risk and honest answers to their energy future as they face their current government’s push to restart Japan’s atomic reactors. By invitation from various organizations and public interest groups, Arnie will be presenting to communities throughout Japan including those who live in the shadow of atomic reactors, plutonium reprocessing plants, and proposed atomic waste dumps. Join the Fairewinds Crew as we explore some of the key issues that will be discussed during the tour.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

More than 1,100 water storage tanks at Fukushima plant … and counting

feb 2016

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–From the air, the rows of different colored water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant resemble a giant integrated circuit board.
As the fifth anniversary approaches of the earthquake and tsunami disaster that unleashed the nuclear catastrophe, the stricken facility is fast running out of space to position the tanks holding highly contaminated radioactive water.
As of Feb. 12, there were 1,106 massive water tanks on the premises.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the plant, constructed the tanks to store radiation-contaminated water that has been accumulating at the plant since the disaster unfolded in March 2011.
The utility plans to construct 20 more water storage tanks to accommodate 30,000 tons of water that is expected to be generated in the remaining months of 2016.
As the tanks occupy much of the parking lots, green spaces and vacant areas, TEPCO has no choice but to build new tanks in the narrow alleys between the huge containers.
The accumulation of contaminated water has been a persistent problem at the plant, which is only in the very early stages of decommissioning, a process that will take 30 to 40 years.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | 5 Comments

Environment minister withdraws radiation remark, apologizes to Fukushima residents


Environment Minister Tamayo Marukawa retracted her remark about the government having “no scientific grounds” for its radiation decontamination target in the Fukushima nuclear disaster, saying she wanted to rebuild trust with local residents.
As the minister in charge of overseeing the decontamination efforts in Fukushima Prefecture, Marukawa, 45, said Feb. 12 she wants to “sincerely apologize to residents in Fukushima.”
During a speech in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, on Feb. 7, she labeled the government’s long-term goal of reducing radiation levels near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to an annual dose of 1 millisievert or less as having “absolutely no scientific grounds.”
A local newspaper, The Shinano Mainichi Shimbun, picked up the story and reported her comments on Feb. 8, which she promptly denied having made.
At Diet sessions on Feb. 9 and 10, Marukawa stated that she had “no recollection of using such wording” in the speech.
Nevertheless, she told the news conference on the evening of Feb. 12 that she had decided of her own volition to “retract the remark in order to maintain a relationship of trust with residents in Fukushima.”
Marukawa went on to say that the government’s decontamination target is “indeed scientific in the sense that it was set as a result of thorough discussions by scientists.”
Her acknowledgment of making the faux pas will likely prompt the opposition camp to go on the offensive during Diet sessions in the coming week. For the time being, at least, Marukawa is standing firm. She said she has no intention of stepping down and wants to continue fulfilling her duties.
The decontamination goal was set by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government of the time on the basis of recommendations by the International Commission on Radiological Protection in the aftermath of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
After the newspaper covered her remarks, Marukawa told reporters on Feb. 8 that she did not remember using such wording as “scientifically ungrounded.” She repeated the plea at Lower House Budget Committee sessions on Feb. 9 and 10.
During a regular news conference after the Feb. 12 morning Cabinet meeting, the minister finally acknowledged the possibility of making the remark.
She eventually retracted the comment later the day after obtaining a memorandum of her speech and confirming the content with attendants.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | | Leave a comment

Sunset for Nuclear Power? Nuclear Showdown in California

Flag-USAWhy the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You, Sunset for Nuclear Power?  CounterPunch, by JAMES HEDDLE FEBRUARY 12, 2016

Does the dream of nuclear power still ‘look bright’ as one enthusiastic investment advisor gushed less than a year ago, or is it the “the dream that failed,” as the Economist asserted as far back as March of 2012?

Approaching 5 years this March 11 after the still on-going Fukushima nuclear disaster, the debate goes on, enveloped in a miasma of mis-, dis-, and conflicting information generated by industry ‘merchants of doubt,’ but rarely leavened by rational analysis of What’s Really What.

The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2015 by Mycle Schneider, Antony Froggatt et al went a long way toward settling the issue with just that – a data-based rational analysis.

Its conclusion: worldwide, despite a few troubled construction starts over budget and behind schedule, “The nuclear industry remains in decline.”

You’d never know it from the pro-nuclear happytalk and proposed subsidy and bailout bills being floated in Congress, but all around the world the global nuclear power industry is fighting for its life.

Nuclear Showdown in California

Nowhere is that battle closer to being decisively lost by the industry than in California, where the Sunshine State’s ‘last nuke standing’ – PG&E’s Diablo Canyon – faces a very uncertain future. A showdown between those who want to shut it down, and those who want to keep it going.

Diablo nuclear power plant
It is a microcosmic drama with all the elements of a movie thriller:

· A corrupt California Public Utilities Commission racked in scandals.
· A compromised Nuclear Regulatory Commission captured by nuclear interests.
· A resurgent peoples’ movement determined to shut Diablo down and responsibly manage the state’s thousands of tons of lethal radioactive waste.
· The growing vision of a nuclear-energy-free West Coast and a solartopian transition.
· A handful of atomic denialists clamoring to ‘save Diablo.’
· All this in the context of deepening climate change and the battle for decentralized, clean, renewable power.

A Diablo shutdown in California would be a shot heard in nuclear boardrooms around the world, and would continue this bellwether state’s well-earned reputation as being ‘no country for old nukes.’

A quick look at the history of California’s Nuclear Free Movement tells the tale.

Back last century, then-President Nixon predicted 1000 nuclear reactors in the US by the year 2000.

In the 60’s, PG&E announced plans to build 63 reactors every 25 miles up and down the California coast.

Thanks to informed popular resistance interventions in the courts, in the legislatures, and in the streets, that didn’t happen.

Only 9 of those planned power reactors ever got built: 1 at Humboldt Bay, 1 at Pleasanton, 2 at Rancho Secco, 3 at San Onofre, and 2 at Diablo Canyon.

Today, only 2 are still in operation, those at Diablo Canyon.

From a planned 63 nuclear power plants in the 1960’s, down to 1 in 2015.

Not a bad track record for the effectiveness of informed non-violent, popular resistance…and a demonstration of the non-viability of nuclear energy – vulnerable as it is to public opposition, industry incompetence, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and what renowned energy expert Amory Lovins long ago called ‘a terminal overdose of market forces.’………

February 13, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Epidemiology studies needed around nuclear facilities. Why is this ignored by authorities?

 Childhood leukemialow birth weightcompromised neural development are all associated with exposure to radiation during pregnancy and early childhood.

Astonishingly, no official body in the United States is seriously investigating these impacts. In fact, the U. S. federal government appears not to conduct public health impact studies of populations around nuclear power reactor sites.

text Epidemiology

Who is monitoring the health of populations around nuclear power
questionplants?, Enformable, Cindy Folkers Author’s note: I wrote this blog post with knowledge of the ongoing tritium leaks plaguing a number of  nuclear power reactors in the U.S., but before the latest high levels of tritium released from the Indian Point reactor in New York were reported. These recent unplanned and largely unaccounted for releases bring into stark relief the need to measure in real time the releases we DO initially control; further, it is reasonable to request public access to these data.

Humans have known of natural radioactivity since about the turn of the 20th century when Marie Curie carried around vials of radioactive substances in her pocket, admiring the glow-in-the-dark “fairy lights” they would give off. Long-term exposure to these “fairly lights” made Curie chronically ill, physically scarred, and nearly blind from cataracts. At the age of 66, she succumbed to a radiation-induced disease (either leukemia or aplastic anemia, sources differ), as did her daughter and son-in-law. Despite being deeply troubled by deaths of colleagues and radiation workers, the Curies never really admitted radioactivity played a role in their diseases; Marie even recommended sickened radium dial painters eat calf’s liver to combat anemia. Daughter Eva, who outlived her sister by 50 years, died at 102 and recognized the role radiation played in the shortened lives of her female kin.

This denial of the dangers of radioactivity has carried through to the present day. When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its first-ever radiation exposure standards in 1977, the US was only 20 years into the atomic energy age, barely long enough to see many of the health impacts radioactivity may have had. Man-made radioactivity had been around for about 40 years with the building of the bomb, well before EPA was established, but well after some very nasty health effects from larger doses were recognized.  Now, in 2015, EPA is considering revising its radiation standards – the first major revision since 1977.

EPA is responsible for regulating radioactive emissions that migrate off of a site that releases such material. These off site releases can expose members of the public and their environment. Revision of these nearly 40-year old standards should be a good thing; adding protection for women who are 50 % more sensitive to radioactivity than men; and providing proper protection for pregnancy and childhood development —life stages that are particularly, in some cases uniquely, sensitive to exposure to radioactivity. But old habits, and nuclear industry interference, die hard. Continue reading

February 13, 2016 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

USA Government quietly funding billionaires’ nuclear folly

Breakthrough Energy CoalitionThe Breakthrough Energy Coalition is Bill Gates again, and loaded to the hilt with his fellow billionaires all salivating at the prospect of old nuclear pots to mend. 

But given the Breakthrough Coalition is entirely “separate” and “private,” what is it doing even being mentioned in a government budget rollout?

Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget  CounterPunch, by LINDA PENTZ GUNTER  FEBRUARY 12, 2016 “……..Cut to page 19 of the Office of Management and Budget’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget document.  Here we find “clean energy,” a phrase no longer to be trusted at face value, having been purloined into meaning at times something quite the reverse.  For example, nuclear energy tends to hide beneath the “clean energy” mantel, muddling the message and undermining cause for optimism.

…….. let’s gerund away anyway and see what lurks beneath the section entitled, “Doubling the Investment in Clean Energy R&D.”  Here we learn that the U.S. Government indeed intends to double its current $6.4 billion investment in clean energy for 2016 to arrive at $12.8 billion by 2021.  A hefty chunk — $7.7 billion — will be given as discretionary funding to the Department of Energy in 2017 alone for “clean energy R&D.”

But for what, exactly?  “About 76 percent of the funding is directed to DOE for critical clean energy development activities, including over $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies,” the Budget document reads.  Just two billion dollars for energy efficiency and renewable energy combined?   That leaves $5.7 billion for something else that the DOE considers “clean energy.”  One of those claimants undoubtedly is nuclear power.

More clues to the likely destination of this unassigned mystery money can be found in a later section where the Budget document reveals that the $7.7 billion is actually earmarked as funding for the “first step toward the Mission Innovation doubling goal.”…….

there is only one logical explanation for this “fair and balanced” energy policy nonsense: corporate captivity.

To oversimplify: Barack Obama, the Senator from Illinois, emerged from Rahm Emanuel’s clamshell, and Emanuel invented Exelon and Exelon is today the country’s leading nuclear behemoth.  Exelon’s chief lobbyist in the early days was David Axelrod.  Team Obama was born in the country’s nuclear cradle, then.  Nevertheless, it’s high time that a U.S. president as committed to renewables as Obama, ceased tossing favors — aka our money— to his corporate nuclear cronies.

And so it goes on. Sitting on that Paris stage last December for the Mission Innovation announcement was Bill Gates, whose only energy agenda is tinkering around with nuclear unicorns, an exercise so devoid of relevance to the urgent battle to address climate change that every dime spent there is a dime wasted.  OK they are his dimes, trillions of them.  But think what he could really do for climate change if he spent his riches wisely.

Let’s follow the trail of budget breadcrumbs a little further.  The OMB goes on to say: “Mission Innovation is complemented by the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a separate, private sector-led effort whose purpose is to mobilize substantial levels of private capital to support the most cutting-edge clean energy technologies emerging from the R&D pipeline.”

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition is Bill Gates again, and loaded to the hilt with his fellow billionaires all salivating at the prospect of old nuclear pots to mend.  But given the Breakthrough Coalition is entirely “separate” and “private,” what is it doing even being mentioned in a government budget rollout?

What comes out of the Clean Energy R&D pipeline rather depends on what goes into it.   It would be good if that turned out to be a true renewable energy revolution and not more deadly radioactive effluent from an obsolete fleet of new nuclear power plants.

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear. She also serves as director of media and development.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

87 US Senators blithely voted for more spending on nuclear energy

Renouncing nuclear, then, is the ultimate act of patriotism. Love of country (or “cournty”as the typo-loving Ted Cruz campaign would say) should mean making decisions that protect it, not letting it turn into a radioactive wasteland.

Which makes it so hard to understand why any US political leader on the Left or Right  – but especially those Freedom Fries-loving, jingoistic wall-building, Make-America-Great-Again saber rattlers – would continue to support, promote and secure funds for an industry that could kill tens of thousands of people and exile even more.

With very little fanfare, 87 senators were happy to endorse the squandering of likely billions more taxpayer dollars on yet another nuclear snipe hunt, dreaming of fusion and fast reactors, when solar and wind would do very nicely instead.

Kan, NaotoFukushima PM Naoto Kan: ‘if you love your country, let nuclear go!’, Ecologist Linda Pentz Gunter 12th February 2016   Nuclear power is a uniquely hazardous technology that can destroy entire nations, Japan’s prime minister at the time of the Fukushima nuclear disaster has warned British MPs. The lessons of from such catastrophes must be heeded in other countries that believe that nuclear fission can be harnessed safely, writes Linda Pentz Gunter – or they, and the world, will reap the whirlwind…….

 no coincidence that the leaders at the time of the two countries that have experienced the world’s most catastrophic nuclear disasters, are fervent campaigners against any further use of nuclear energy.

They see the choice to continue with nuclear power, knowing the risk to the nation they swear an oath to protect, as tantamount to declaring war on your own country.

Former leaders during nuclear meltdowns, now oppose nuclear power

Former Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, who led the then USSR during the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine; and Naoto Kan who was prime minister of Japan when the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster began, both now travel the speakers’ circuit extolling the need to abolish nuclear power.

Kan, now 69, who resigned the premiership in August 2011, has become a ubiquitous and compelling voice for the global anti-nuclear movement. Gorbachev is equally on board but, due to age and infirmity (he turns 85 on March 2nd) is less often in evidence.

Kan made his case in January during a presentation at the UK’s House of Commons co-organized by Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Green Cross International (the group Gorbachev founded) and Nuclear Consulting Group. Gorbachev was scheduled but had to cancel.

Kan compared the potential worst-case devastation that could be caused by a nuclear power plant meltdown as tantamount only to “a great world war. Nothing else has the same impact.”

Japan escaped such a dire fate during the Fukushima disaster, said Kan only “due to luck”. But he is clearly haunted by the map his advisors showed him in the early days of the still unfolding triple meltdowns, one he screened for his London audience:

“I was shown this map with a 250km radius around Fukushima. An area home to 50 million people. One quarter of the country’s population would have had to flee if all the fuel had escaped at Fukushima. We came that close. If 50 million people had had to evacuate Japan, as a state our very survival would have been questioned.”

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few Continue reading

February 13, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

The role of LEAD in damaging brains and contributing to violence

an astonishing body of evidence. We now have studies at the international level, the national level, the state level, the city level, and even the individual level. Groups of children have been followed from the womb to adulthood, and higher childhood blood lead levels are consistently associated with higher adult arrest rates for violent crimes. All of these studies tell the same story: Gasoline lead is responsible for a good share of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century……

 It’s the only hypothesis that persuasively explains both the rise of crime in the ’60s and ’70s and its fall beginning in the ’90s.

text Epidemiology

A second study found that high exposure to lead during childhood was linked to a permanent loss of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex—a part of the brain associated with aggression control as well as what psychologists call “executive functions”: emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, verbal reasoning, and mental flexibility.

highly-recommendedLEAD – America’s real criminal element. Mother Jones, By Kevin Drum, February 16    “…………IN 1994, RICK NEVIN WAS A CONSULTANT working for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development on the costs and benefits of removing lead paint from old houses. This has been a topic of intense study because of the growing body of research linking lead exposure in small children with a whole raft of complications later in life, including lower IQ, hyperactivity, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities.

But as Nevin was working on that assignment, his client suggested they might be missing something. A recent study had suggested a link between childhood lead exposure and juvenile delinquency later on. Maybe reducing lead exposure had an effect on violent crime too?

That tip took Nevin in a different direction. The biggest source of lead in the postwar era, it turns out, wasn’t paint. It was leaded gasoline. And if you chart the rise and fall of atmospheric lead caused by the rise and fall of leaded gasoline consumption, you get a pretty simple upside-down U: Lead emissions from tailpipes rose steadily from the early ’40s through the early ’70s, nearly quadrupling over that period. Then, as unleaded gasoline began to replace leaded gasoline, emissions plummeted.

Gasoline lead may explain as much as 90 percent of the rise and fall of violent crime over the past half century. Continue reading

February 13, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, environment, health, Reference | Leave a comment

In France, Greenpeace activists blocked convoy to Flamanville nuclear project

Greenpeace activists block truck convoy from French nuclear plant, Euronews, 13 Feb 16   Greenpeace activists blocked a truck convoy from reaching a French nuclear plant early on Friday (February 12) to protest nuclear power in France.

The convoy was carrying the lid to the nuclear vat at the Flamanville EPR reactor (Evolutionary Power Reactor) in north-western France — the sole nuclear reactor under construction in France……..After the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the French government voted to cap nuclear capacity at current levels and to reduce its share in the power mix to 50 percent by 2025, but Greenpeace says they have done little to achieve that goal.

French President Francois Hollande would have to close four to five nuclear reactors by the end of his term in 2017 in order to stay on track, Greenpeace said in a statement.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby did not win over governments in its lobbying at Paris climate conferemce

Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You, Sunset for Nuclear Power?  CounterPunch, by JAMES HEDDLE FEBRUARY 12, 2016

“…….Nuclear Denialists Panic

That may be why, in what looks like the plant’s eleventh hour, self-styled ‘environmentalist’ and hyper-technophile Michael Shallenberger has founded the SaveDiabloCoallition and launched a campaign claiming that (not even a Colbert could make this up) a Diablo shutdown would lead to an ‘environmental disaster.’

Charging that public fears of nuclear risks – based on incontrovertible evidence and undeniable past experience – are ‘overblown’ and ‘irrational,’ Shallenberger, with surprising media attention, has become a new mouthpiece for the view that, because of its ‘low’ carbon emissions, nuclear power is a ‘clean’ source of energy and therefore a major solution to climate change.

That was a view promoted at the recent CoP21 Paris climate talks by such luminaries as James Hansen. With no great result it turns out. The Ecologist reports:

The nuclear power industry’s malaise was all too evident at the COP21 UN climate change conference in Paris in December. Former World Nuclear Association executive Steve Kidd noted:

“It was entirely predictable that the nuclear industry achieved precisely nothing at the recent Paris COP21 talks and in the subsequent international agreement. …

“Analysis of the submissions of the 196 governments that signed up to the Paris agreement, demonstrating their own individual schemes on how to reduce national carbon emissions, show that nearly all of them exclude nuclear power.

“The future is likely to repeat the experience of 2015 when 10 new reactors came into operation worldwide but 8 shut down. So as things stand, the industry is essentially running to stand still.”

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Radioactive packages lost or stolen in Canada

safety-symbol-Smflag-canadaNuclear and Radioactive Packages Keep Going Missing in Canada, VICE News By Justin Ling
February 13, 2016 
If you’ve ever lost your wallet or car keys, you’ve got something in common with the people who run Canada’s nuclear facilities, who keep misplacing nuclear and radiological material.

Last year alone, 14 radioactive packages were lost or stolen, according to the annual report from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and less than half were later recovered. That’s on top of the dozen of other nuclear packages from recent years that have yet to be found.

The report doesn’t detail the circumstances of the losses or thefts, except to say that they were either “sealed sources” — a secure container carrying nuclear or radioactive material — or “radioactive devices.”

The lapses, at a time when security services pledge neurotic devotion to tracking and recovering dangerous goods that could reach the black market, are thanks in part to a handful of private companies that are mishandling radioactive material. n the nuclear watchdog’s 2014/2015 annual report, it identified 27 companies that were mislabeling or mishandling nuclear material, or which had inadequate security protections.

In some cases, CNSC lightly rapped the knuckles of companies, including a New Brunswick brewery which, according to the government body, had “several non-compliances related to safety requirements for nuclear gauges.”

Pump House Brewery, at the time, told CBC News that the problem amounted to some missed paperwork.

In other cases, the problems were more serious and resulted in fines…….

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Canada, incidents | Leave a comment

Nuclear corporate giants get away with fraud and dodgy deals

Designers of PRISM, General Electric and Hitachi are frauds whose criminality could have put the public at dire risk. They were hit with a $2.7 million penalty by the US DoJ.

Ecocidal maniac GE has a rap sheet which is despicable yet they don’t lose their licence to meddle with the atom. Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme got him 150 years in prison yet the GE beasts remain free to run amok with impunity.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Pyongyang orders South Koreans out of Kaesong, labels closure of industrial zone ‘declaration of war’

North Korea says it is kicking out all South Koreans from the jointly run Kaesong industrial zone and freezing the assets of companies operating there, calling the South’s move to suspend operations a “declaration of war”…….


February 13, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

Russia will fund building of nuclear power, an attractive deal for South Africa?

Russian-BearRussia, China front runners in South Africa’s nuclear project-source 

 * Russia, a poltical favorite, ability to fund plants, a bonus* South Africa to build pressurised water reactors

* Other countries could be included in building plants

Reuters, By Peroshni Govender JOHANNESBURG, Feb 12 South Africa will finalise requirements for its 9,600 megawatt nuclear power plant by April, with Russia and China the front-runners to win the bid, a government official involved in the negotiations told Reuters.

Pretoria has earmarked billions of rand for much needed power generation but its nuclear build of 9,600 megawatts by 2030 at a price tag of up to 1 trillion rand ($63.46 billion) has raised concerns over whether it would be affordable.

Fears that what could be the most expensive procurement in the country’s history will be made behind closed doors, without the necessary public scrutiny have been raised by the opposition, claims the government has rejected.

“From what I have seen, the Russians do have a case and so do the Chinese. If we go with two countries, it could include the Chinese,” said the official, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “If we go for one country, it would be the Russians.”

Political alliances, Pretoria and Moscow’s membership of the BRICS association of five emerging economies and Russia’s ability to fund the project have put them as the favourites, the official said.

Russia’s willingness to build the plant at its own expense, operate it for 20 years and charge South Africa for the power and running costs had given that country an even better chance to clinch the deal, the official said.

Officials at the nuclear unit in the energy department were not available to comment…..

February 13, 2016 Posted by | marketing of nuclear, politics international, South Africa | Leave a comment