nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

German Vatican Ambassador: Evil Brain Behind Dumping German Nuclear Waste on Poor in USA, Plagiarized Dissertation on Ethics; Doctorate Revoked

Mining Awareness +

Der alt böse Feind…Und wenn die Welt voll Teufel wär…” (Martin Luther, 1529)
[The old evil enemy… And when this world with Devils filled…]
“For still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe; his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate, on earth is not his equal…

Annette Schavan, Düsseldorf Karneval 2013, 11 February 2013 by Citanova Düsseldorf, CC-BY-2.0
Poking fun at PlagiAnette Schavan: Düsseldorf Karneval 2013, by Citanova Düsseldorf, CC-BY-2.0

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us. The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.” Martin Luther: A Mighty Fortress is Our God, 1529, Frederick Hedge transl, 1852

Who was the evil German person behind asking the treasonous US official, Tom D’Agostino, in February 2012, to…

View original post 1,092 more words

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

March 4 Energy News

geoharvey

World:

¶ The Canadian province of Ontario will invest $100 million into “green energy” projects in its push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 37% by 2030. Ontario’s premier said this will help the province cut greenhouse gas emissions while improving local business prospects. [CleanTechnica]

Ontario wind turbine. Image via Shutterstock Ontario wind turbine. Image via Shutterstock

¶ German utility E·ON will partner with Solarwatt GmbH to develop and release modular energy storage systems based on Solarwatt’s MyReserve battery. The first models are expected in the next few months. E·ON’s domestic marketplace has over 1½ million private rooftop PV systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ India gave a big clue about how serious it is about energy transformation policy when it doubled a national tax on coal. The increase, to ₹400 per tonne ($6/tonne), applies to all domestic and imported coal. The coal tax represents 30% of the wholesale price of domestic coal. [Corporate Knights Magazine

View original post 649 more words

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Five Years After Fukushima, ‘No End in Sight’ to Ecological Fallout

radiationtesting

An employee uses a a radiation dosage monitor as workers continue the decontamination and reconstruction process.

The environmental impacts of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are already becoming apparent, according to a new analysis from Greenpeace Japan, and for humans and other living things in the region, there is “no end in sight” to the ecological fallout.

The report warns that these impacts—which include mutations in trees, DNA-damaged worms, and radiation-contaminated mountain watersheds—will last “decades to centuries.” The conclusion is culled from a large body of independent scientific research on impacted areas in the Fukushima region, as well as investigations by Greenpeace radiation specialists over the past five years.

“The government’s massive decontamination program will have almost no impact on reducing the ecological threat from the enormous amount of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster,” said Kendra Ulrich, senior nuclear campaigner at Greenpeace Japan. “Already, over 9 million cubic meters of nuclear waste are scattered over at least 113,000 locations across Fukushima prefecture.”

According to Radiation Reloaded: Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident 5 Years Later, studies have shown:

  • High radiation concentrations in new leaves, and at least in the case of cedar, in pollen;
  • apparent increases in growth mutations of fir trees with rising radiation levels;
  • heritable mutations in pale blue grass butterfly populations and DNA-damaged worms in highly contaminated areas, as well as apparent reduced fertility in barn swallows;
  • decreases in the abundance of 57 bird species with higher radiation levels over a four year study; and
  • high levels of caesium contamination in commercially important freshwater fish; and radiological contamination of one of the most important ecosystems – coastal estuaries.

The report comes amid a push by the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to resettle contaminated areas and also restart nuclear reactors in Japan that were shut down in the aftermath of the crisis.

However, Ulrich said, “the Abe government is perpetuating a myth that five years after the start of the nuclear accident the situation is returning to normal. The evidence exposes this as political rhetoric, not scientific fact. And unfortunately for the victims, this means they are being told it is safe to return to environments where radiation levels are often still too high and are surrounded by heavy contamination.”

According to Greenpeace, it’s not only the Abe government that holds “deeply flawed assumptions” about both decontamination and ecosystem risks, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), too. Indeed, the failures in the methods used by the IAEA to come to the “baseless conclusion” that there would be no expected ecological impacts from the Fukushima disaster are “readily apparent,” the report claims.

In September, Greenpeace Japan blasted the IAEA for “downplaying” the continuing environmental and health effects of the nuclear meltdown in order to support the Japanese government’s agenda of normalizing the ongoing disaster.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/04/five-years-after-fukushima-no-end-sight-ecological-fallout

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Report on Ecological Impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident 5years Later

jjlklm

The report is based on a large body of independent scientific research in impacted areas in the Fukushima region, as well as investigations by Greenpeace radiation specialists over the past five years. It exposes deeply flawed assumptions by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Abe government in terms of both decontamination and ecosystem risks. It further draws on research on the environmental impact of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe as an indication of the potential future for contaminated areas in Japan.

The environmental impacts of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster will last decades to centuries, due to man-made, long-lived radioactive elements are absorbed into the living tissues of plants and animals and being recycled through food webs, and carried downstream to the Pacific Ocean by typhoons, snowmelt, and flooding.

Greenpeace has conducted 25 radiological investigations in Fukushima since March 2011. In 2015, it focused on the contamination of forested mountains in Iitate district, northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Both Greenpeace and independent research have shown the movement of radioactivity from contaminated mountain watersheds, which can then enter coastal ecosystems. The Abukuma, one of Japan’s largest rivers which flows largely through Fukushima prefecture, is projected to discharge 111 TBq of 137Cs and 44 TBq of 134Cs, in the 100 years after the accident.

Read here >>

http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/library/publication/20160304_report/

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Mutations, DNA damage seen in Fukushima forests, says Greenpeace

n-greenpeace-a-20160305-870x577

Conservation group Greenpeace warned on Friday that the environmental impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis five years ago on nearby forests is just beginning to be seen and will remain a source of contamination for years to come.
The March 11, 2011 magnitude-9.0 undersea earthquake off the nation’s northeastern coast sparked a massive tsunami that swamped cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Radiation spread over a wide area and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes — many of whom will likely never return — in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
As the fifth anniversary of the disaster approaches, Greenpeace said signs of mutations in trees and DNA-damaged worms were beginning to appear, while “vast stocks of radiation” mean that forests cannot be decontaminated.
In a report, Greenpeace cited “apparent increases in growth mutations of fir trees, … heritable mutations in pale blue grass butterfly populations” as well as “DNA-damaged worms in highly contaminated areas.”
The report came as the government intends to lift many evacuation orders in villages around the Fukushima plant by March 2017, if its massive decontamination effort progresses as it hopes.
For now, only residential areas are being cleaned in the short-term, and the worst-hit parts of the countryside are being omitted, a recommendation made by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But such selective efforts will confine returnees to a relatively small area of their old hometowns, while the strategy could lead to re-contamination as woodlands will act as a radiation reservoir, with pollutants washed out by rains, Greenpeace warned.
The conservation group said its report relies largely on research published in peer-reviewed international journals.
But “most of the findings in it have never been covered outside of the close circles of academia”, report author Kendra Ulrich said.
The government’s push to resettle contaminated areas and also restart nuclear reactors elsewhere around the country that were shut down in the aftermath of the crisis are a cause for concern, Ulrich said, stressing it and the IAEA are using the opportunity of the anniversary to play down the impact of the radiation.
“In the interest of human rights — especially for victims of the disaster — it is ever more urgent to ensure accurate and complete information is publicly available and the misleading rhetoric of these entities challenged,” she said.
Scientists, including a researcher who found mutations of Fukushima butterflies, have warned, however, that more data are needed to determine the ultimate impact of the Fukushima accident on animals in general.
Researchers and medical doctors have so far denied that the accident at Fukushima would cause an elevated incidence of cancer or leukemia, diseases that are often associated with radiation exposure.
But they also noted that long-term medical examination is needed, especially due to concerns over thyroid cancer among young people — a particular problem for people following the Chernobyl catastrophe.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/04/national/science-health/mutations-dna-damage-seen-fukushima-forests-greenpeace/#.VtmtlObzN_m

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Bags of Trouble

tornbags march 4, 2016

Torn bags containing radioactive soil from decontamination work are seen dumped on a beach devastated by the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Naraha, near Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

The level of incompetence and irresponsibility displayed by the government is staggeringly awful.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/bags-of-trouble

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s nuclear refugees face bleak return five years after Fukushima

Tokuo Hayakawa carries a dosimeter around with him at his 600-year-old temple in Naraha, the first town in the Fukushima “exclusion zone” to fully reopen since Japan’s March 2011 catastrophe. Badges declaring “No to nuclear power” adorn his black Buddhist robe.

(For a video of ‘Fukushima refugees face a bleak return home’ click here)

Hayakawa is one of the few residents to return to this agricultural town since it began welcoming back nuclear refugees five months ago.

The town, at the edge of a 20-km (12.5 mile) evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, was supposed to be a model of reconstruction.

Five years ago, one of the biggest earthquakes in history shook the country’s northeast. The 10-metre (33-foot) tsunami it spawned smashed into the power plant on the Fukushima coastline triggering a meltdown and forcing nearby towns to evacuate. The disaster killed over 19,000 people across Japan and caused an estimated 16.9 trillion yen ($150 billion) in damages.

Only 440 of Naraha’s pre-disaster population 8,042 have returned – nearly 70 percent of them over 60.

“This region will definitely go extinct,” said the 76-year-old Hayakawa.

He says he can’t grow food because he fears the rice paddies are still contaminated. Large plastic bags filled with radioactive topsoil and detritus dot the abandoned fields.

With few rituals to perform at the temple, Hayakawa devotes his energies campaigning against nuclear power in Japan. Its 54 reactors supplied over 30 percent of the nation’s energy needs before the disaster.

Today, only three units are back in operation after a long shutdown following the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. Others are looking to restart.

“I can’t tell my grandson to be my heir,” said Hayakawa, pointing at a photo of his now-teenaged grandson entering the temple in a full protective suit after the disaster. “Reviving this town is impossible,” he said. “I came back to see it to its death.”

That is bound to disappoint Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Rebuilding Naraha and other towns in the devastated northeast, he says, is crucial to reviving Japan.

Tokyo pledged 26.3 trillion ($232 billion) over five years to rebuild the disaster area and will allocate another 6 trillion for the next five years.

VANISHING TOWN

More than 160,000 people were evacuated from towns around the Daiichi nuclear plant. Around 10 percent still live in temporary housing across Fukushima prefecture. Most have settled outside their hometowns and have begun new lives.

In Naraha, two restaurants, a supermarket and a post office, housed in prefabricated shacks, make up the town’s main shopping center. The restaurants close at 3 p.m.

No children were in sight at Naraha’s main park overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a recent morning. Several elderly residents were at the boardwalk gazing at hundreds of bags stuffed with radioactive waste.

In fact, the bags are a common sight around town: in the woods, by the ocean, on abandoned rice fields.

Little feels normal in Naraha. Many homes damaged in the disaster have been abandoned. Most of the town’s population consists of workers. They are helping to shut down Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (9501.T) Daiichi reactors or working on decontamination projects around town.

Other workers are building a new sea wall, 8.7 meters high, along a nearly 2 km stretch of Naraha’s coast, similar to other sea walls under construction in the northeast.

A local golf course has been turned into dormitories for workers. Some families have rented their houses to workers.

“Naraha is a workers’ town now,” said Kiyoe Matsumoto, 63, a member of the town council, adding that her children and grandchildren have no plans to come home.

RADIATION LEVELS

The town’s future depends on young people returning, residents say. But only 12 below the age of 30 have returned as worries about radiation linger.

Radiation levels in Naraha ranged from 0.07 to 0.49 microsieverts per hour in January, or 0.61-4.3 millisieverts per year. That compares with the government’s goal of one millisievert a year and the 3 millisieverts a year the average person in the United States is exposed to annually from natural background radiation.

The significant drop in atmospheric radiation allowed the government to lift the evacuation order last Sept. 5 – “the clock that had been stopped began ticking again,” Japan’s Reconstruction Agency said on its website.

“It is hoped that the reconstruction of Naraha would be a model case for residents returning to fully evacuated towns,” the agency statement said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the town a month after that and repeated one of his favorite slogans: “Without reconstruction of Fukushima, there’s no reconstruction of Japan’s northeast. Without the reconstruction of the northeast, there’s no revival of Japan.”

But with few people coming back, there is little meaning in what the reconstruction department in Naraha does, said one town hall official who requested anonymity. “I don’t know why (Abe) came,” he said.

Back at his Buddhist temple, part of which he has turned into an office for his anti-nuclear campaign, Hayakawa called the idea Naraha could be a model of reconstruction “a big fat lie”.

“There’s no reconstructing and no returning to how it used to be before (March 11). The government knows this, too. A ‘model case’? That’s just words.”

($1 = 113.1100 yen)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-disaster-return-idUSKCN0W430X

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Living in Limbo

Five years after the meltdown in Fukushima, the Japanese government’s effort to reboot its nuclear energy program is still being met with resistance.

The atmosphere in the packed meeting room is tense. It is a Wednesday night in November, and perhaps a hundred people have gathered at a community center in the city of Minamisoma, which begins about six miles north of the decimated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At the front of the room sits a phalanx of government officials in dark suits. Facing them are men and women who were forced from their homes in Minamisoma’s Odaka district by nuclear fallout, and who are now being told they might be allowed back by spring. The question on the table is whether that move is premature. Twenty minutes into the discussion, the deep divide between the officials and the residents is clear.

An older man raises his hand. “There’s a tombstone behind my house where the radiation measures 10.5 microsieverts per hour. 10.5!” he says.

Multiplied over a year, the figure is 4.6 times the standard Japan’s government has set for mandatory evacuation, and 92 times the limit the International Commission on Radiological Protection recommends for the general population under normal circumstances. It is also far higher than most measurements taken recently in Odaka, where a massive government-sponsored cleanup – together with natural decay – is steadily lowering radiation levels.

“It’s probably a hotspot,” an environment ministry official says. “We can take care of it for you.”

“I asked the government for data about that spot in August, but I haven’t gotten anything. Why not?” the resident demands.

A woman in the audience shouts out: “Because they’re liars!”

“We think you’re afraid to give us the real data,” the man says.

Another resident speaks up: “The forest surrounding my house has not been decontaminated. Would you live in a place like that? I beg of you, please delay the resettlement!” Applause breaks out in the audience.

I kneel at the back of the crowd, surprised by the depth of the anger and skepticism coursing through the room. The normal tone of public space in Japan is deferential courtesy. That ordinary residents of a provincial town are willing to challenge officials so openly reflects a profound shift brought about by the nuclear disaster.

Simply put, far fewer people trust the government today than they did five years ago. The immediate cause of the disaster was an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 that deprived the coastal Fukushima plant of its power supply, and hence of its ability to keep reactors and spent fuel cool. A series of explosions and meltdowns followed, which led to the eventual evacuation of 164,000 people. Subsequent investigations soon revealed, however, that poor oversight and cozy ties between government, industry, and academia (the so-called “nuclear village”) laid the groundwork for the disaster. The public also learned that the government bungled the evacuation, causing thousands of people to suffer more radiation exposure than they otherwise would have.

Since then, resistance has extended deep roots. The clearest evidence of that is here in Fukushima, where residents like the ones in this room are fighting to make sure their rights are respected. But far beyond these borders as well, communities are embracing renewable energy and citizens are protesting government abuses of power more loudly than they have in decades. The question that remains after I slip out into the cool night air is how much that resistance is changing policy and politics in Japan.

At times, the answer seems to be: very little. The same political party that enabled the Fukushima disaster through half a century of pro-nuclear policy is back in power, three nuclear reactors are running again despite safety concerns, one more is about to restart, and 20 more are awaiting approval. Meanwhile, Japan played only a minor role at the Paris climate talks in November, and is pouring money into coal plants to compensate for its idled nuclear fleet. In Fukushima, the government remains intent on repopulating the 310-square-mile exclusion zone as quickly as possible.

I have come to Japan on the eve of the disaster’s fifth anniversary to try to make sense of these changes – to weigh hope against cynicism, transformation against retrenchment. What happens here matters globally. Japan is the world’s fifth largest carbon dioxide emitter, is the number-one importer of liquefied natural gas and number-two importer of coal, and a leading exporter of nuclear and “clean coal” technologies. Its domestic energy choices clearly affect the world’s efforts to tackle climate change. But my motivation is also personal. I was living in Japan when the disaster occurred. I witnessed firsthand both its devastating aftermath and the sense of hope for a more sustainable and democratic future that sprang up in its wake. I want to know the fate of that hope.

My host in Minamisoma is a retired postman and lifelong activist from Odaka named Tomio Kokubun. He began protesting nuclear power when he was 20 years old and a new plant – Fukushima Daiichi – was proposed south of his home. Back then, his anti-nuclear activism placed him on the fringe of a community eager to benefit from the jobs the plant brought to the region. Today, he tells me with just a hint of vindication, his neighbors concede he was right to worry.

Kokubun

Long-time anti-nuclear activist and Fukushima native Tomio Kokubun stands next to a sign he wrote and posted near his abandoned house. It reads: “Abe administration, don’t ignore the voice of the people and restart the nuclear reactors.”

I first met Kokubun in 2013 in the snowy mountains west of Fukushima City, where he and his family had been living since they fled the coast after the first explosion at the plant. It was clear that two years of displacement had taken their toll. Kokubun’s ailing mother-in-law and sister-in-law died after a series of evacuation-related moves, and his wife Mieko told me she felt isolated and unhappy in her new surroundings. His grown son, too, talked about how much he wanted his old life back.

Kokubun alone seemed galvanized by the chain of events. He had founded a sprawling association of evacuees and supporters, and was traveling regularly to speak against nuclear power. He was also deeply involved in a class-action lawsuit to gain more compensation from Tepco, the plant operator, for damages caused by the accident. (By 2015, over 10,000 evacuees and nearby residents had filed similar claims.) The stricter safety rules for nuclear plants that the government implemented later that year – including more rigorous backup power requirements – did not placate him. To the contrary, the disaster and its aftermath proved what he had always suspected – that any man-made system contains the potential for failure, and in the case of nuclear power, failure is catastrophic.

Now, two years later, Kokubun was back in Minamisoma, and I had arranged to meet him there the morning of the community meeting. As I looked around the clean, quiet bus stop, I caught sight of him grinning and waving at me from across the street. He was dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, his snow-white hair poking out from under a tweed hat.

“We’re doing well,” he told me as I climbed into his car. He and Mieko had finally pulled together enough money to start building a new house farther north. In the meantime, they are living in a house in a part of their hometown that was only briefly evacuated. One reason for this move was Mieko’s worsening depression, which Kokubun told me had eased now that she was on familiar ground. The other reason was political.

“I felt strongly that I needed to expand my activism, and I thought if I came back here more people would sympathize with my message,” he said. In July of last year he launched a local organization focused on radiation safety, which so far has attracted around 100 members.

We headed into Odaka where Kokubun’s abandoned house is located. The cleanup was in full swing. Industrious men in masks power-washed sidewalks, dump trucks crowded the streets, and orange placards marked houses for demolition. Everywhere we went we saw squat black bags stuffed with tainted dirt and debris. (Almost 10 million of these bags litter Fukushima, awaiting transportation to a mid-term storage site near Fukushima Daiichi.)

At the community meeting later that night, the mayor of Odaka insisted that all this work was meant only to ensure displaced residents could return if they wanted to – not to force them back.

The dilemma, of course, is that contamination cannot be completely removed from the environment. It will linger in forests and ponds and backyard corners for decades to come, exposing anyone who returns to low but persistent levels of radiation. Science provides no clear answers regarding the potential health risks of that exposure. Above 100 millisieverts (mSv) cancer rates clearly rise; below that level, they may also rise slightly, but the increase is extremely hard to detect in population-level studies.

Following the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s government used the lack of scientific consensus on low-level radiation impacts to justify raising the acceptable level of exposure for the general population from 1 mSv to 20 mSv per year above background levels. (The International Commission on Radiological Protection’s recommended maximum exposure for the general population is 1 mSv under normal circumstances and between 1 mSv and 20 mSv after a nuclear accident.) The decision was, in effect, a pragmatic one. If the government had stuck with the 1 mSv limit, it would have had to evacuate far more people and establish a large, long-term exclusion zone similar to the one around Chernobyl. With the higher limit, bringing nuclear refugees back home became a possibility.

But why the fixation on return? Is it merely that Japan is small, land is precious, and people’s attachment to place fierce? As we drove through the strange landscape of black bags and masked men, Kokubun told me he believes otherwise. “The government is doing this to regain support for nuclear power,” he said. The logic is that if even Fukushima can be “fixed,” people will stop fearing the reopening and operation of other plants.

Kokubun’s response has been to do whatever he can to prevent the illusion of normalcy from seeping in – from dragging Tepco through court to lecturing nationwide about the situation on the ground to hosting visitors who want to see the exclusion zone for themselves. That he is 70 and has been fighting the same fight for 50 years appears not to bother him.

“Right now, the old have to protect the young,” he told me. “We’re the ones who accepted the nuclear plants, who allowed them to be built. The real responsibility lies with us.”

“Do you ever feel like giving up?” I asked.

“I will never give up,” he replied, almost cheerfully. “I will never accept nuclear power.”

A majority of Japanese now share Kokubun’s opinion. Over 70 percent of respondents in recent polls say they want to phase out nuclear power, and 8.5 million have signed a petition calling for renewable energy to replace reactors. Anti-nuclear protests in Tokyo drew hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens at their peak in 2012. When the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) – which briefly held power before and after the disaster – asked for public input on its energy and environment policy in 2012, a record-breaking 89,000 people sent in comments, close to 90 percent of them opposing nuclear power.

fukushima-japan

Bags stuffed with tainted dirt and debris stored near the sea. About 10 million of these bags litter Fukushima, awaiting transportation to a mid-term storage site.

The relationship between this surge in anti-nuclear sentiment and Japan’s broader energy policy is complex. The Fukushima disaster occurred just as global concern over climate change was accelerating. In 2009, then-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama had committed Japan to lowering carbon emissions a quarter below 1990 levels by 2020 – largely through a plan to increase nuclear power to half of the country’s electricity mix. The meltdowns changed everything.

“With the 3-11 disaster, everyone’s attention turned toward nuclear power. Since then, climate change has fallen more and more off the public’s radar as an important issue,” Takako Momoi told me when I stopped by the Tokyo office of Kiko Network, Japan’s biggest homegrown climate-change NGO, where she works as a manager. A minority of activists even began to spread the message that climate change was a ruse to gain support for nuclear power. In 2013, when the new government traded Hatoyama’s ambitious emissions goal for a 3 percent increase over 1990 levels by 2020, few people protested.

Coal has already seen a major resurgence. Construction of coal-fired power plants had stalled around 2009 due to climate change concerns, but now 48 new plants are planned or under construction, says Momoi. Even with much-touted new “clean coal” technology, she adds, these plants will emit as much carbon dioxide as those that burn oil.

Then there is the fact that even if the public prefers renewables to coal or nuclear, most people still prioritize the economy over the environment in elections. In 2012, voters ousted the DPJ in favor of the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has monopolized power for most of Japan’s post-war period. The LDP quickly set about formulating its own energy vision. It tossed out the public comments the DPJ had collected, kicked anti-nuclear advisors like those from Momoi’s organization off policy committees, and last summer finalized a long-term energy vision that calls for electricity to come from roughly equal parts nuclear, liquid natural gas, coal, and renewable sources by 2030.

At the local level, however, a more ambitious vision has started to emerge. Many communities are formulating their own renewable energy plans – Minamisoma among them. This March, the city of 63,000 released a “Non-Nuclear Power Declaration” reaffirming an earlier pledge to generate 65 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and 100 percent by 2030 (compared to around 10 percent today). Construction is slated to begin this year on a solar farm large enough to power almost all of the city’s households, and four windmills are planned as well. A generous national feed-in tariff program introduced in 2012, which guarantees high prices to individuals and companies selling renewable energy to the grid, has lured corporate investors to these projects.

Cleanup

Cleanup workers power-wash a parking lot in the Odaka district of Minamisoma.

That, together with some smaller subsidy programs, should get the city to its 2020 goal, says Shunichi Shiga, who heads Minamisoma’s newly-established renewable energy division. Reaching 100 percent could be tougher. Power distributors say they’ve already reached the limit of how much renewable energy they can incorporate without major improvements to the grid, and now that the feed-in-tariffs are being ratcheted down, investing in renewable energy is looking riskier. Overcoming these obstacles, Shiga says, will require action at the national level. Momoi concurs. “The [local] movement to increase renewable energy is great, but within the current policy context, it will hit a ceiling,” she says. “There’s a need to think more about the big picture.”

Many people are, in fact, starting to think about what it will take to achieve true change at the national level. One of the most interesting developments set off by the disaster has been the emergence of a strong student movement protesting the government’s disregard for democratic processes. Although its focus is on military policy rather than energy issues, the underlying concern is the same.

Called Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy, or SEALDs, this small but vocal group of high school and university students coalesced in mid-2015 against a set of security bills that the LDP ultimately pushed through the Diet (Japanese parliament) in September. Using social media and protests outside the Diet building featuring fierce, smart speeches, the students quickly engaged a broader slice of society than old-school protesters had been able to. It was the most significant student movement since the 1960s.

Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Tokyo’s Sophia University says SEALDs is a “direct descendant” of the civil-society awakening that followed the nuclear disaster. “They were high school students at the time [of the meltdowns], and for many of them the first experience of protest was those anti-nuclear rallies,” he tells me. “The disaster exposed the myth that was more credible in earlier times about the trustworthiness of ruling elites in Japan.”

Nakano is himself active in an organization opposing the security bills, and has collaborated closely with SEALDs over the past year. He too sees the roots of the nuclear and military issues as intimately linked. “There’s a sense that the 1 percent increasingly control our fate and the 99 percent of us are left out in the dark, uninformed and practically disenfranchised,” he says. “In the case of the security bills, it’s about the ruling elites of Japan in collusion with the American elites changing the interpretation of the constitution to allow Japan to take part in America’s wars even without Japan being attacked. The nuclear power issue is very similar because nuclear power is something that those big powers need to continue on for lucrative reasons. They wouldn’t want to see Japan dropping out from the nuclear power club.”

In spite of this, Nakano believes citizen activists have changed the government’s course, at least on energy. “There was a long period in which even [Prime Minister] Abe couldn’t restart the nuclear reactors. That has only to do with the strength of the opposition,” he tells me. “We are talking about ordinary citizens, without resources, stopping the reactors for many, many months.”

As important as these popular movements may be, the people who will determine Japan’s longer-term energy path are not in the crowds outside the Diet, or even inside its halls. They are in elementary and middle school classrooms across the country. Japan’s education system played a key role in creating the so-called “myth of nuclear safety” – the widespread belief that Japan’s reactors were indestructible – that led towards poor oversight and, ultimately, disaster. Likewise, the lessons children learn now about the Fukushima disaster will shape their views on energy and the environment throughout their lives. So, on my last day in Japan, I take the train back to Fukushima to talk with a professor who has spent the past five years trying to improve radiation education.

9235438329_8964def815_o

The contamination will linger in forests and ponds and backyard corners

for decades to come.

Shinobu Goto is a tall, serious man in his forties who teaches environmental education at Fukushima University. We meet on a Saturday evening in a cluttered university office, where we are joined by two members of the Fukushima teachers’ union, Toshiki Kokubun (no relation to Tomio) and Hiroshi Sato, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. All three were deeply impacted by the disaster.

Goto in particular says the unexpected catastrophe thrust him into a period of intense reflection and regret. He had not previously focused on nuclear education, but now he began to scour official teaching materials on the topic for evidence of bias. He found plenty: elementary-level readers titled Exciting Nuclear Power Land, illustrations of frowning coal plants juxtaposed with friendly nuclear reactors, claims that Japan’s reactors could withstand large earthquakes and tsunamis. Goto was not alone in his critique. The minister of education himself admitted that the pre-disaster texts contained information “contrary to reality,” and soon had them replaced.

Yet the new radiation readers that the ministry published in late 2011 were hardly an improvement. They included just 8 lines about the Fukushima disaster, and instead emphasized how useful and ubiquitous radiation is in daily life. In this, Goto saw the makings of a new myth – not that reactors are infallible, but that the radiation they emit when they do fail is nothing to worry about.

“The concept that the level of radiation we have in Fukushima is safe is being steadily created through education and PR,” he tells me as we sip tea in the quiet research building. He was particularly worried that kids weren’t getting the information they needed to protect their own rights to physical, mental, and social wellbeing. “If you don’t know the exposure limit is 1 or 5 mSv per year in other places, you don’t realize the situation in Fukushima is abnormal,” he says. “Education is empowerment in the sense that it allows you to make those critiques.”

Teachers needed a better option, so in early 2012 he assembled a group of 16 Fukushima University professors, and together they wrote an alternative reader from a human-rights perspective. He also began holding workshops to teach critical thinking skills to public school students, so they could assess government and media claims on their own. At this point, top-level administrators began pressuring him to tone down his activism. The school is the only national university in the prefecture; from the start, its administrators had echoed the government’s emphasis on recovery over risk.

AbandonedTown

A sign in Fatuba, directly north of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, reading “Nuclear power, energy for a bright future.” The town is closed off now.

“They told me I had to put a sticker on the reader saying it wasn’t an official publication of the university. I said that’s discriminatory; you don’t do that for other publications,” Goto says. (University representatives tell me they are unable to confirm or deny Goto’s claims, citing personnel changes and a lack of relevant meeting minutes.)

He refused to back down. Ultimately, the reader was published without the sticker, helping to turn national attention on the official curriculum. That attention reverberated to the ministry of education; when the official readers were revised again in 2014, they included more information on the Fukushima disaster, and an acknowledgement that scientists hold “various views” on the impacts of low-level radiation. Still, a startling array of terms were missing: “meltdown,” “Nuclear Accident Child Victim’s Law,” “hotspot,” “thyroid cancer,” and “radioactive waste” among them.

Kokubun and Sato say most teachers in Fukushima don’t venture beyond the official curriculum, which allots just two hours a year for radiation education, partly because they are too busy, and partly because they’re pressured not to.

Sato, an elementary school teacher in Fukushima City, has experienced this pressure directly. “Some high-level board-of-education staff observed one of my classes [on radiation in 2013], and afterwards they said to me, Don’t you think today’s class might worry the children?” The content was purely science based: Sato had shown the kids a graph of the relationship between radiation and cancer, and pointed out that high levels of exposure can be deadly. (In lessons, he also explains that the current degree of contamination in Fukushima City carries a relatively low risk of cancer.)

Fukushima’s Board of Education tells me later that teachers are permitted to share science-based radiation material as long as it is widely accepted. “Our goal,” a staff member writes in an email, “is to teach children to make appropriate decisions based on correct knowledge and understanding of radiation.” However, Sato says he’s been told to avoid the topic by his principal, vice-principal, and other teachers.

Like Goto, he has not bowed to this pressure. Yet both he and Kokubun seem worn down by their lonely struggle. The government defends its interests tenaciously, and the public – with the exception of a determined minority – is all too eager to assist by turning away from the painful past. “People need to be angrier,” Kokubun says. “I’m sad that more people haven’t spoken out with us.”

Outside Goto’s office, the sky is growing dark. Kokubun and Sato need to head home. After they leave, I ask Goto how much hope he has that things will change. He says he feels like he is gasping for breath. The pace of progress is slow, and public interest in the disaster’s ongoing impact is dwindling. Still, he says, he is determined to continue his work.

Later, after he drops me off at the train station, I leaf through some papers he has given me, among them an essay he wrote for his hometown newspaper concluding with the following lines: “They say that history is written by the victors. I will be watching and acting to make sure the lessons of the Fukushima nuclear accident are not written to suit the interests of the perpetrators of this unprecedented man-made disaster.”

In that, and in the commitment of many others to do the same, there lies a glimmer of hope.

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/living_in_limbo/

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

An unforgettable year for solar power in USA

Statue-of-Liberty-solartext-relevantSolar energy is poised for an unforgettable year, WP, By Chris Mooney March 2  New statistics just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration suggest that in the coming year, the booming solar sector will add more new electricity-generating capacity than any other — including natural gas and wind.

EIA reports that planned installations for 2016 include 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale solar — followed by 8 gigawatts (or 8 billion watts) of natural gas and 6.8 gigawatts of wind. This suggests solar could truly blow out the competition, because the EIA numbers are only for large or utility-scale solar arrays or farms and do not include fast-growing rooftop solar, which will also surely add several additional gigawatts of capacity in 2016.

In other words, U.S. solar seems poised for not just a record year but perhaps a blowout year. Last year, in contrast, solar set a new record with 7.3 gigawatts of total new photovoltaic capacity across residential, commercial, and utility scale installations.

“If actual additions ultimately reflect these plans, 2016 will be the first year in which utility-scale solar additions exceed additions from any other single energy source,” says EIA……….

“2016 is going to be a huge year, and then we’re going to continue to see big years over the next 5,” he [Nathan Serota, a solar industry analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance] said. Granted, solar could still face some headwinds, particularly from the competition offered by extremely low natural gas prices.

In the grand scheme, the tax credits for solar, as well as an extension of the production tax credit for wind, could serve as a kind of “bridge” into an era in which the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is operating — or at least, so the current administration hopes. Granted, that depends on whether that plan survives its current legal challenges.

recent report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that due to the tax credit extensions, the U.S. will add 53 additional gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by the year 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/03/02/solar-energy-is-poised-for-an-unforgettable-year/

March 4, 2016 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Global Boom in Wind Power, led by China and USA

Turbines in a windfarmChina, U.S. Lead Global Boom in Wind Power, Climate Central, By 
March 2nd, 2016 Wind power had a big year worldwide in 2015 as China became the leader in wind power production capacity while the U.S. kept its top spot in electricity actually produced from wind turbines, according to new data released by the Global Wind Energy Council.

Low-carbon energy sources such as wind and solar power are critical to countries seeking to meet climate goals set forth in the Paris climate agreement struck in December. The pact aims to keep global warming to below 2°C (3.6°F)……..

GWEC data show China built more wind turbines than any other country in 2015, adding 30,500 megawatts of wind power capacity last year, a roughly 22 percent increase over 2014. China surpassed the European Union last year in wind power production capacity after having built enough wind farms by the end of 2014 to power 110 million homes.

“Wind power is leading the charge in the transition away from fossil fuels,” GWEC Secretary General Steve Sawyer said in a statement.

“The Chinese government’s drive for clean energy, supported by continuous policy improvement, is motivated by the need to reduce dependence on coal, which is the main source of the choking smog strangling China’s major cities, as well as growing concern over climate change,” the statement said.

No other country came close to China’s level of wind development growth last year. But while China is seeing the biggest wind turbine building boom, the U.S. is better at actually producing electricity from its turbines, generating more wind power than any other country last year.

The U.S. generated 190 million megawatt-hours of wind power in 2015, powering about 17.5 million homes. China clocked in at 185.1 megawatt hours, followed by Germany at 84.6, according to American Wind Energy Association data released Monday……

AWEA chief Tom Kiernan said the U.S. is on its way to generating 20 percent of its electricity from wind power by 2030. http://www.climatecentral.org/news/china-us-lead-global-wind-power-boom-20089

March 4, 2016 Posted by | China, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

UK govt urged to lower tax on energy efficient homes – report

energy-efficiency-mantext-relevantReport calls for lower stamp duty on UK’s energy-efficient homes  Tax should be lowered by up to £5,000, according to Policy Exchange report, which says the government is doing far too little to cut energy waste, Guardian, , 2 Mar 16  The stamp duty paid on energy efficient homes should be up to £5,000 less than on leaky, hard-to-heat homes, according to a new report that says the government is doing far too little to cut energy waste.

The report is from the thinktank Policy Exchange, which is close to the government, and ministers are considering the idea. It estimates the stamp duty change would lead to 270,000 households a year improving their energy efficiency.

“Improving home energy efficiency can save households money, as well as substantially reducing their carbon emissions,” said Richard Howard, author of the report, and a former chief economist for the crown estate. “Policies which link property values more closely to energy performance could kickstart an energy efficiency revolution in this country.”

The report heavily criticises ministers, who have cut back energy efficiency programmes which are widely seen as the cheapest way to cut energy bills and meet carbon targets. “The UK still has amongst the least efficient housing stock and highest rates of fuel poverty in Europe,” it states.

The government aims to improve the insulation of 1m homes this parliament, far fewer than the 4.5m in the last parliament. It has also abandoned the failed green deal programme, which was meant to reach millions of homes with unique loans but only taken up by 16,000 households. “This leaves a major policy gap,” says the report.

The Policy Exchange proposal is to lower the stamp duty on energy efficiency homes while increasing it by the same amount on inefficient homes, meaning the tax taken by the government remains the same overall……

The report says: “There is huge potential to improve domestic energy efficiency. Research shows that a more ambitious approach to energy efficiency could deliver carbon savings of 24m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2030 – equivalent to taking more than 10 million cars off the road – and save households of £8.6bn a year in energy costs.”…….

Another report published on Wednesday indicates that a roll-out of energy storage technology could save energy customers £50 a year, as well as cutting emissions on improving energy security. Energy storage technologies, from liquid air to big batteries, are developing rapidly and can store excess renewable energy and cut the need to build new power stations and lines.

The report was written by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London and commissioned by Decc and three of the UK’s big six energy energy companies. A spokesman for one, SSE, said: “The report shows that, with the correct market structures, price signals and policy certainty, projects such as SSE’s proposed pumped storage scheme at Coire Glas can make a valuable contribution to society.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/02/report-calls-for-lower-stamp-duty-on-uks-energy-efficient-homes

March 4, 2016 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Cornwall, UK, gets wind farm without any govt funding- community energy!

text-relevanttext-community-energy“The benefits of the Big Field wind farm are too great for it not to go ahead just because subsidies are being withdrawn. Being community-owned will ensure that the economic benefit of the wind farm can be retained locally and re-invested in Cornwall.”

Good Energy promises UK’s first subsidy-free flag-UKwindfarm,  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/02/good-energy-promises-uks-first-subsidy-free-windfarm Guardian, , 3 Mar 16 

Green power company believes it can build onshore windfarm in Cornwall with local people helping finance it, despite government scrapping subsidies. The UK’s first onshore windfarm to be built without government subsidy is now under planning in Cornwall, to be financed in part by the local community.

The Big Field windfarm, near Bude, will consist of 11 turbines, none of more than 125m in height to the tip of the blade, and provide electricity for 22,000 homes. Its backers hope it will point the way to further such projects, after the damages to the onshore wind industry caused by the reversal of policy on government support for clean energy.

Likely to cost about £30m to build and install, Big Field is planned by the green power company Good Energy. While other wind and solar farms have been cancelled or left in limbo by the government’s scrapping of incentives for onshore wind, the company decided instead to try to raise funds locally to support the installation.

An initial application for planning permission for the turbines was filed under the previous subsidy regime. However, that was blocked, and with the withdrawal of government support for onshore wind, the plan looked at an end.

Good Energy revived its prospects with a new project that would use the same number of turbines, of the same size, but with 50% more generation capability, because of changes to the turbine technology.

The revised scheme will only go ahead if planning permission is granted, but the company is hopeful that the support of local residents in agreeing to co-finance the project will help to tip the balance. The inquiry will start in April and, if the green light is given, the windfarm could be operational in 2018.

Bill Andrews, who lives close to the site, said: “This is a very welcome development. A lot of my neighbours already support this wind farm, and giving local people the chance to invest in the project would mean the community will see even more of the benefit.”

The abrupt alterations to government support for wind and solar energy have caused severe disruption in the UK’s renewable energy industries. Thousands of jobs have been lost, companies forced to close, projects mothballed or abandoned, and future developments left in doubt.

Onshore wind technology has tumbled in price in recent years, a factor the government used to justify its withdrawal of support, but the economics of energy generation are complex. Ministers have also introduced new rules to make it more difficult to construct renewable energy projects, and increased subsidies to the fossil fuel industries through the “capacity market”.

Juliet Davenport, chief executive of Good Energy, said: “The benefits of the Big Field wind farm are too great for it not to go ahead just because subsidies are being withdrawn. Being community-owned will ensure that the economic benefit of the wind farm can be retained locally and re-invested in Cornwall.”

Good Energy said it was too early to decide how much of its own money and how much the local community would be expected to put into the project, or what returns investors could expect. However, if successful, it hopes this could provide a new blueprint for small onshore wind farms.

March 4, 2016 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Design flaws in America’s nuclear reactors: NRC engineers call for shutdown, if not fixed

safety-symbol1Flag-USANRC engineers urge shutdown of nuclear plants if design flaw not fixed, Utility Dive By  | March 3, 2016 

Dive Brief:

  • A group of engineers in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission say they have identified a design flaw in nearly all nuclear reactors in the country that should result in their mandatory shutdown unless operators fix the problem, Reuters reports.
  • In late February, the engineers petitioned the NRC to order immediate enforcement actions to correct the design flaw, which they say could result in damage to cooling systems and ultimately lead to an emergency situation. The filing asks the agency to respond by March 21 and is a part of a standard NRC process, according to the news outlet.
  • The filing stems from an incident in January 2012, when Exelon’s Byron 2 unit in Illinois experienced an automatic reactor trip from full power after an undervoltage condition was detected. The unit was shut down for a week, in what is known as an open phase condition created by an unbalanced voltage. The NRC engineers say such an event could cause an electrical short, reducing the abilituy of cooling systems to operate.

Dive Insight:

In a little-noticed public filing, a group engineers from within the NRC are calling for an investigation into the nuclear vulnerability, and why it has not been fixed when the issue has been known since Exelon’s 2012 event.

Union of Concerned Scientists nuclear expert Dave Lochbaum told Reuters the agency “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” with its failure to address the issue after it became known in 2012. And the engineers say there has been at least 13 open phase events over the past 14 years.

Lochbaum said it was a positive sign the engineers filed, indicating no fear of reprisals. But the issue means “something is not right with the safety culture at the agency.” ……..http://www.utilitydive.com/news/nrc-engineers-urge-shutdown-of-nuclear-plants-if-design-flaw-not-fixed/414919/#.VthYQXYJX1Y.twitter

March 4, 2016 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

TEPCO Lied To The World About Fukushima Meltdowns

New! Worker has minor injury at Fukushima Nuclear site due to snow build up - Tepco report5 Yrs. Later, TEPCO Finally Admits It Lied To The World About Fukushima Meltdowns  http://environews.tv/world-news/after-5-yrs-tepco-finally-admits-it-lied-to-the-world-about-fukushima-meltdowns/   — Fukushima Prefecture, Japan — EDITORIAL: THE TRUTH 3 Mar 16 : Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) knew within hours following the 3/11/11 tsunami that a full-scale, multi-reactor nuclear meltdown was underway. THE LIE: TEPCO waited nearly two months to inform the public. Those were the staggering admissions handed down to the media in a press release published by TEPCO on February 24, 2016. Of course, for many people on the inside track with Fukushima Daiichi news, this came as no surprise at all. TEPCO admitted it was aware of the meltdowns from the inception and apologized, saying a declaration should have been made to the public. Despite the acknowledgement of wrong-doing in the press release, on the other hand, TEPCO says it didn’t break the law, and did what was required when it reported the meltdowns to the Japanese Government within three days. But the company downplayed the severity to the public, allowing people to linger in worry, and to remain ignorant of the fact that dangerous radiation had already been spewed and rained down onto the population. And sadly, the Japanese government didn’t let them know either
As per TEPCO’s own Disaster Management Manual, a meltdown is to be declared if five percent of the fuel in a reactor has been damaged. TEPCO spokeswoman Yukako Handa told the Japan Times it was ascertained that 55 percent of the fuel in Reactor No. 1, and 25 percent in Reactor No. 3 had been “damaged,” based on the high levels of radiation detected, and that company staff was aware of this just hours following the accident. Comforting to few, TEPCO also says it will investigate itself as to why it didn’t follow its own rules and publicly declare the incident. Many news agencies downplayed the significance of TEPCO telling on itself with soft headlines like, “Fukushima meltdown announcement made months late,” ” Fukushima disaster: Tepco admits late meltdown announcement,” and, “TEPCO admits announcing Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns far too late.” TEPCO shall get no such treatment at EnviroNews World News. “Lied” is a strong word, but let’s be clear: Intentionally deciding to selectively not disclose certain facts as part of a damage control campaign is a lie, and in TEPCO’s case reeks of negligence. Interestingly, in other TEPCO headline news this past week, Japanese prosecutors announced that criminal indictments against three TEPCO executives, including its former chairman are immanent, and will likely be filed before March 1.
WHY DOES THE PUBLIC NEED TO KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE WHEN A MELTDOWN IS IN PROGRESS?

Why is it critical for the public to know as soon as humanly possible when a meltdown is underway? For one, so people can get the heck out of there, but secondly, so people can take iodine capsules or other protective supplements in a timely fashion. It has long been encouraged for people living near nuclear reactors to keep iodine supplements on-hand for consumption in the event of a meltdown. The idea is that the non-radioactive iodine supplement will saturate a person’s thyroid gland, so that the incoming radioactive iodine is then treated as excess by the body, not taken up by the thyroid, and excreted through the body’s natural pathways of elimination. The problem is, if these supplements are not administered immediately after a meltdown starts, before the environment and air becomes inundated with radioactive iodine, the pills do nothing to protect a person at all. Noteworthy is the discovery that approximately 48% of the ground-zero children from Fukushima Prefecture are displaying thyroid abnormalities — and that number has been steadily rising.

Journalist, activist and author Harvey Wasserman writes in EcoWatch: Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal. More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

In all three of the world’s highly publicized meltdowns, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the operators of the plants did the same thing: attempted to quell concern by pacifying the public as to the severity of the incident in the press, while everyone was sitting there being poisoned.
By the time anyone started ingesting iodine capsules, it was already too late. The next big problem is that iodine is only one of dozens of deadly isotopes released in a meltdown. Another great reason to inform the public ASAP so they can get the hell out of Dodge.
A COVERUP FROM DAY ONE Alarms of a Fukushima meltdown-coverup were sounded early after Koichiro Nakamura, a senior Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency (NISA) official, said at a press conference the day following the tsunami that a “meltdown of the reactor’s core” may be underway. Nakamura was immediately removed from all PR duties with the agency — an agency that has since been abolished and replaced with a new regulatory body — the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).
NISA had taken tremendous heat following the accident for its handling of the situation and for glaring conflicts of interest, because its parent organization, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), is charged with promoting nuclear power in Japan. Ultimately, NISA was dissolved in September of 2012 and swapped for the NRA.
With the five-year anniversary of the massive tsunami and subsequent triple reactor meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi rapidly approaching, many are hoping this one admission by TEPCO may become the first in a pattern of good behavior — a first step in coming clean about the many dark secrets engulfing the demolished scene at what was once the world’s tenth largest nuclear power plant. – http://environews.tv/world-news/after-5-yrs-tepco-finally-admits-it-lied-to-the-world-about-fukushima-meltdowns/

March 4, 2016 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

UK govt to spend £642 million developing new submarines for Trident nuclear missiles

Trident II USG photo of UK subflag-UKAnger as £642m Trident nuclear submarines investment is confirmed, Herald Scotland, 3 Mar 16  A further £642 million will be invested in developing the new generation of submarines carrying the UK’s nuclear deterrent, Michael Fallon has confirmed.

The defence secretary said the nuclear deterrent “provides the ultimate guarantee of our security” as he announced the extra spending on the boats which will carry the Trident weapons.

But he was condemned by anti-Trident campaigners for making the announcement before MPs have had a chance to give the final go-ahead for the project……… It takes spending on the project’s assessment phase to £3.9 billion……

Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “I ask Michael Fallon, what is the point of a parliamentary vote on Trident if the Government’s going to spend millions on replacement anyway?

“This is completely unacceptable. This is about huge amounts of money being spent on out-of-date technology that will be redundant by the time it is built.

“There is a growing body of evidence which shows that Trident is vulnerable to cyber warfare and attacks by underwater drones.

“The Government appears to be burying its head in the sand – stuck in a 1980s mindset that we are a great power fighting in the Cold War.

“We ask for some objectivity in considering Trident. It is time the Government thought very carefully about the real security threats we face from terrorism, climate change and global pandemics, but also be honest about the very real threat posed by our own nuclear weapons system.”……

the Trident missile system, which was launched in the 1990s as a replacement for the predecessor, Polaris, is due to end its service from 2028. It takes about a decade to build and prepare a new submarine for service. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/14319629.Anger_as___642m_Trident_nuclear_submarines_investment_is_confirmed/?ref=rss

March 4, 2016 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment