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Co-operation on super grid – China, Pakistan, South Korea

Pakistan, China working to build interconnection power grid: Secy BEIJING – The Ministry of Water and Power and State Grid Corporation of China are working closely to build an interconnection power grid between Pakistan and China so that both the countries could tap each other’s energy potential, said Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power Muhammad Younus Dagha in Beijing on Thursday.
Speaking at the Global Energy Interconnection Conference, the secretary said once the grid was completed, Pakistan would be able to meet its energy demands as per its requirements.

‘Asia Super Grid’ eyed by Softbank boss takes embryonic step Softbank Group Corp.’s hopes of building a cross-border power grid in Northeast Asia got a welcome nod March 30 when a feasibility study was agreed in Beijing.

SBG, along with State Grid Corp. of China, Russia’s power transmission and distribution company PJSC Rosseti and Korea Electric Power Corp. of South Korea, hopes the grid fired by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power will be operating by around 2020.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | ASIA, ENERGY | Leave a comment

Ryuichi Sakamoto offers his thoughts on politics, Japan and how his music will change ‘post-cancer’


The Professor” is back in town. Last weekend, Ryuichi Sakamoto took the stage at Tokyo Opera City for the debut concert of the Tohoku Youth Orchestra, a 105-strong ensemble of young musicians from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, which counts him as its musical director.

Though he isn’t inclined to make a fuss about these things, the occasion also had personal significance for the 64-year-old composer and musician, a longtime New York resident. It was the first concert Sakamoto had played since undergoing treatment for throat cancer in 2014, canceling all engagements in what must be one of the music industry’s busiest work schedules. As he later remarked, it was the first extensive time off he’d had for 40 years.

“It’s the closest I’ve come to death during my lifetime,” he tells The Japan Times, speaking the day after the Tohoku Youth Orchestra concert. “I feel differently since I came back from that place, compared to before. I want to capture the mood I have now, post-cancer, in my music.”

Sakamoto’s unobtrusive return to the limelight was heralded by the soundtracks that he composed for Yoji Yamada’s “Nagasaki: Memories of My Son” and, in collaboration with Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), for Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant.” (The latter film, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, opens in Japan on April 22.)

Now there’s also the prospect of a new album of original material, his first since 2009’s “Out of Noise.”

“I have a lot of sketches and ideas, but when you don’t use them they get stale,” he says. “You’re changing every day, right? Your curiosities and ambitions change, your ear changes, the music you like changes — and the music you want to make, too … I’m planning to begin work on an album when I get back to New York, but I think I’m probably going to start from scratch.”

Prior to that, Tokyo audiences can catch Sakamoto again next weekend, when he presides over a three-day festival at Yebisu Garden Place, to mark the 10th anniversary of his Commmons label. Rather than perform a headlining set himself, he’ll be playing support roles throughout the weekend: sitting in with some of the musicians, hosting discussions and providing piano accompaniment for communal rajio taisō (radio calisthenics) sessions with the crowd.

Sakamoto established Commmons in 2006 with the rather lofty goal of creating “a place where new relationships can be built between the music industry, the audience, artists and creators.” In addition to releasing music by artists such as Boredoms, Sotaisei Riron and Kotringo, the label has provided a platform for its founder’s prolific musical output, as well as a series of scholarly journals.

One of Sakamoto’s current areas of inquiry is traditional Japanese music, once a blind spot in his otherwise rich musical vocabulary. He studied composition and ethnomusicology at Tokyo University of the Arts, leading his Yellow Magic Orchestra bandmate Yukihiro Takahashi to nickname him “Professor” — a moniker that stuck. Yet the musical system employed by noh theater remains something of a mystery.

“I could understand Bach, but not noh,” he says with a laugh. “It has a 600-year history — it’s very deep.”

Sakamoto has been based in New York since 1990, and seems to value the perspective that life as an expatriate has given him on his native country; his increasing appreciation of Japanese performing arts such as noh, kabuki and gagaku is one example.

“When I lived in Japan, I only noticed the bad aspects of the country,” he says. “I didn’t really like Japan then, but when I moved overseas I was able to appreciate the good side more. The quality of the craftsmanship, the temples and Japanese gardens. … As I’ve got older, I’ve started to appreciate the precious parts of Japanese culture that you don’t find in other countries.”

When he first relocated to the States, Sakamoto was that rarest of things: a Japanese celebrity with global clout. Both in his solo work and with YMO, the techno-pop trio he formed with Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono in 1978, he had positioned himself at the vanguard of synthesizer- and sample-based music.

But it was his movie soundtracks that clinched his international renown, including for Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” (in which he co-starred opposite the late David Bowie) and Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor,” which won him an Academy Award in 1988.

Sakamoto’s subsequent career may not have yielded such boundary-breaking music, but in other ways it has been awfully prescient. He began to use environmentally friendly packaging for his albums in the early 1990s, and was powering his tours on renewable energy long before Radiohead took up the idea. He was also an early adopter of Internet technology, staging his first live online broadcast of a concert in 1995.

“Internet speeds were still really slow then,” he recalls with a laugh. “We’d call it a concert, but you were basically watching static images that changed once every 10 seconds. The audio was all choppy, too.”

While Japanese labels were enjoying record-breaking CD sales during the late ’90s, Sakamoto had already anticipated how online distribution would upend the music industry. He lobbied for changes in the way that copyright licensing body JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers) handled music rights online, and cautioned the retail behemoths that their boom times were about to end.

“I was telling the Tower Records people in 1996 or 1997: ‘(CD shops) are going to disappear, you need to think about it,’ ” he says. “I thought they’d be able to get in early and make something like what we have with the iTunes Store now, but they couldn’t seem to do it.”

After spending his career championing technological innovation, Sakamoto is a little rueful about where things have ended up. In a world of YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, few young people would think to pay to listen to music. Life isn’t much easier for session musicians: Why hire a band for a TV or film soundtrack when you can use sophisticated software synthesizers instead?

“There are still young people hoping to become professional musicians, but it’s so tough now, they’d be better off giving up,” he says. “I’d tell them to get a different job and play music as a hobby.”

“Everybody’s hurting now, whatever the genre,” he continues. “The only people making money are DJs.”

Sakamoto has a talent for statements like this. Famously outspoken, in recent years he’s lent his voice to campaigns on issues including the relocation of the U.S. Futenma air base in Okinawa, government restrictions on free speech, and the police crackdown on all-night dance clubs.

But he’s most closely associated with environmental causes, notably his advocacy of renewable energy and staunch opposition to nuclear power. Following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in March 2011, Sakamoto quickly emerged as an influential figurehead in the anti-nuclear movement. In 2012, he organized the No Nukes festival at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, inviting Kraftwerk and a roster of well-known Japanese artists.

As a veteran of Japan’s late-1960s student protest movement, which he joined when he was still a high-school student, he was comfortable amid the demonstrations that galvanized the country during 2011 and 2012.

“With the demos we held in the ’60s, everyone was wearing helmets and masks, holding poles and fighting with riot police — it was totally different,” he says. “I think the way we do it now is better. Anyone can take part.”

He expresses regret about the political retrenchment that has occurred since the election of Shinzo Abe’s LDP administration in December 2012: “For a couple of years there, I hoped that genuine democracy might take root in Japan … I felt there were more people who were openly speaking their minds, without being influenced by others.”

Does he worry a lot about Japan’s future?

“I do, I do. One of the unfortunate things that’s happened in the three or so years since Abe came to power is that Japanese people are going on about how brilliant Japan is: ‘This is great! This place is amazing!’ There are too many TV programs and campaigns like that, and I’m getting a little sick of it. It’s fine if people from outside the country praise you like that, but to say it yourself — things like ‘Cool Japan’ — I don’t think that’s ‘cool.’ ”

Being one of the country’s most internationally renowned cultural icons, Sakamoto may seem like an obvious ambassador for the government’s campaign to promote Japanese soft power overseas. So it’s surprising when he says that he hasn’t even been approached by the apparatchiks behind Cool Japan.

Maybe it’s because the campaign originates within the halls of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry — the main cheerleader for Japan’s nuclear power industry.

“I hate them, and I think the feeling’s mutual,” he says.

The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics can also strike Sakamoto’s name from their invitation list. Although he composed and conducted the music for the opening ceremony at the Barcelona Games in 1992, he says that he wouldn’t be interested in taking part when the event returns to Japan.

Asked why, he reels off a list of the problems that continue to afflict the Tohoku region: the tens of thousands of people still living in temporary housing, the nuclear disaster evacuees unable to return home, the ongoing problems with cleanup efforts at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

“It’s not ‘under control’ at all, is it?” he says, echoing the words used by Abe in his speech to the International Olympic Committee in 2013. “They should be making that their first priority.”

For Sakamoto, the way to end Japan’s current malaise is through encouraging fresh thinking — though he concedes that this is difficult in “a society where it’s hard to say things that others don’t agree with.”

“You won’t get original thinking in an environment like that. The ideas won’t come, and the talented people will just end up going overseas,” he says as we wrap things up.

“I’ve been saying this for a long time,” he concludes, “but if you take Sony, which is a company that really represents Japan, and compare it to Akira Kurosawa — just one person — Kurosawa is probably worth more worldwide. A lot of people don’t seem to get that.”


April 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Radioactive sediment found in Fukushima rivers


Tokyo: Japanese researchers have detected relatively high levels of radioactive substances in sediment in multiple rivers running through Fukushima prefecture, the media reported on Friday.

The prefectural government in January surveyed the density of radioactive materials in soil and other sediment that has accumulated on the bottoms and banks of 72 rivers in the prefecture, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The study came in response to the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The researchers found up to 54,500 becquerels per kg of radioactive substances in the Maeda river in Futaba town, where the plant is situated, and 39,600 becquerels in the Hiru river in Fukushima city. They also detected more than 10,000 becquerels at five other locations in four municipalities.

The prefectural government plans to study restricting access to rivers with high concentrations of radioactive materials.

It also plans to urge the central government to remove contaminated soil and other sediment.


Past References

Overview of active cesium contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and Eastern Japan

Received: 13 March 2012
Accepted: 05 April 2013
Published online: 29 April 2013


This paper focuses on an overview of radioactive cesium 137 (quasi-Cs137 included Cs134) contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and eastern Japan based on the data published by the Fisheries Agency of the Japanese Government in 2011. In the area north and west of the Fukushima Nuclear plant, freshwater fish have been highly contaminated. For example, the mean of active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of Ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) is 2,657 Bq/kg at Mano River, 20–40 km north-west from the plant. Bioaccumulation is observed in the Agano river basin in Aizu sub-region, 70–150 km west from the plant. The active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of carnivorous Salmondae is around 2 times higher than herbivorous Ayu. The extent of active cesium (quasi-Cs137) contamination of Ayu is observed in the entire eastern Japan. The some level of the contamination is recognized even in Shizuoka prefecture, 400 km south-west from the plant.


The serious accidents of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant have been contaminating a vast area in eastern Japan1, home of 60 million people. Consumption of freshwater fish is an important part of the aquatic pathway for the transfer of radionuclides to the freshwater ecosystem creatures including humans2. Therefore the contamination of freshwater fish of aquatic bioaccumulation is an important problem3,4. In the case of the Chernobyl Accident, the transfer of radionuclides to fish has been studied in European countries5,6,7. Most attention was focused on Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, because of the higher contamination of water bodies in these areas8,9. However, in the case of Fukushima, there is little information about freshwater ecosystem contamination in 2011. Therefore, this paper focuses on an overview of active cesium 137 (quasi-Cs137) contaminations of freshwater fish in Fukushima and eastern Japan based on 2011 data published by the Fisheries Agency of the Japanese Government10.


Highest contaminated area in fukushima prefecture

Fukushima Prefecture is located in the northeastern part of the Main Island of Japan (Fig. 1). It is divided into three sub-regions by its mountainous topography, i.e., Hamadori, Nakadori and Aizu (from east to west). Hamadori is the coastal region facing the Pacific Ocean and separated from Nakadori (central basin) by the Abukuma Highlands. The westernmost Aizu is mountainous with the Aizu Basin in the center. There still is a rich natural environment maintained throughout the prefecture with three national parks, one quasi-national park and eleven prefectural parks present. The mountain ranges form headwaters and basins of many rivers such as the Abukuma River and the Aga River. The Abukuma Highlands is designated as one of the prefectural parks and rich in endemic wildlife including the indigenous forest green tree frog (Rhacophorus arboreus) and salamanders (Hynobius lichenatus, Hynobius nigrescens). There the Ayu (Plecoglossidae: Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis), Salmon (Salmonidae: Oncorhynchus masou, Salvelinus leucomaenis) and carp (Cyprinidae: Tribolodon hakonensis, Cyprinus carpio, Carassius.sp) are very popular freshwater fish for fishing and angling.



Blue is water system: Aga river basin is west area of Fukushima, Abkuma river basin is center of Fukushima. Green is mountain chain or highland where heights is more 1,000 m. Yellow is high contaminated area by nuclear accidents.

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is located in Hamadori. Due to the topography with the Pacific Ocean in the east and the Abukuma Highlands in the west, the areas in the north to the west of the plant are highly contaminated. Such areas include Iidate Village and Date City. The Mano River which flows through Iidate Village in the upstream and Minami-souma City. Two months after the accident, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport surveyed the Mano River11. The survey results of the contamination level of the bottom soil are Cs134: 6,900 Bq/kg and Cs137: 7,800 Bq/kg in Mano River of Minamisouma city at Majima bridge on 29/5/2011. While the area downstream and the Abukuma River in Date City found higher contamination. Two months after the accident, the Ministry of Environment surveyed the Abukuma River of Date city. The survey results of the contamination level of the bottom soil are Cs134: 11,000 Bq/kg and Cs137: 12,000 Bq/kg in Abukuma River of Date city at Taisho bridge on 24/5/2011.

The contamination level of radioactive cesium (quasi-Cs137) of the Ayu, annual and herbivorous species, captured in these rivers or their tributaries between May and September 2011 was measured. The cesium bioaccumulation of those captured in the Mano River was mean 2,657 Bq/kg (n = 3, median 2,900 Bq/kg, range 1,770–3,300 Bq/kg) and the Abukuma River at Date city was mean 1,770 Bq/kg, (n = 11, median 1,170 Bq/kg, range 650–2,080 Bq/kg ).

The bioaccumulations of Aga river basin (West Fukushima)

The Aga River Basin encompasses the entire Aizu region in west Fukushima. The river water flows through from the Aizu region to the Sea of Japan. As it lies over 70 km to the west of the nuclear power plant and both the Abukuma Highlands and Oou montain chain are in between, the Cs137 contamination level here was lower than Mano river and the Abukuma river basin. Two months after the accident, Fukushima prefecture surveyed the Agano River (Aga river Basin) of Aizu and South Aizu region12. The survey results of the contamination level of bottom soil were Cs134: 29 Bq/kg and Cs137: 33 Bq/kg in Agano River of Aizu region at Miyako bridge on 27/5/2011, Cs134: 29 Bq/kg and Cs137: 34 Bq/kg in Agano river of Minami-Aizu region at Tajima bridge on 27/5/2011.

In the aga river basin, the bioaccumulation of fish are well recognized. Fig. 2 shows the quasi-Cs137 contamination and bioaccumulation levels of three fish families captured in the basin, i.e., Plecoglossidae (Plecoglossus altivelis n = 18), Cyprinidae (Tribolodon hakonensis n = 25, Cyprinus carpio n = 5, Carassius sp. n = 11)and Salmonidae(Oncorhynchus masou n = 12, Salvelinus leucomaenis n = 13) between April and December 2011. Since p-value = 0.008 ≤ 0.05 of Kruskal-Wallis Test, at the p = 0.05 level of significance, there exists enough evidence to conclude that there is a difference among the three families based on the active cesium contamination level. The median of herbivorous Plecoglossidae shows the lowest level among the three families (n = 18, mean 50.64 Bq/kg, median = 46.00 Bq/kg, range 12.00–90.00 Bq/kg). Then the median of omnivorous Cyprinidae shows about 1.6 times (n = 41, mean 79.80 Bq/kg, median 72.00 Bq/kg, range 15.00–210.00 Bq/kg) and the mean of carnivorous Salmonidae about 1.9 times higher (n = 25, mean 96.24 Bq/kg, median 89.00 Bq/kg, 17–200 Bq/kg) than Plecoglossidae.



The box plots indicate inter-quartile ranges of these data. Bars are into the each box indicate the each median.

The widespread contamination in eastern Japan

To the south west of Fukushima prefecture, there lies the Kanto region which as well as containing the metropolitan prefecture of Tokyo also comprises Ibaraki prefecture, Tochigi prefecture, Gunma prefecture, Saitama prefecture, and Chiba prefecture. In the area, there is the Tone river basin that is the one of biggest river basins (16,840 km2) in Japan. Therefore, there are not only many source points of water springs and many rivers and streams but also high density water network systems of irrigation canals and urban water systems. Freshwater fish inhabit all types of water systems. As a result, the level of freshwater contamination can be taken as an index of the environmental contamination of the freshwater ecosystem. The isogram map (Fig. 3) shows an average of quasi-Cs137 for each prefecture about contamination levels of the Ayu (Plecoglossus) captured in between May and September 2011.



Each isogram center points are each prefecture’s capital city.

The relation between distance from power plant and contamination level

We found a relation between the distance from the power plant and the quasi-Cs137 contamination level of freshwater fish. According to the result of inverse regression analysis about quasi-Cs137 contamination levels related to the distance from the nuclear power plants of each prefectural capital city, the equation is: Y = 27339.82−1 × −75.13 (Y = Cesium, X = The Distance from the plants to each prefecture’s capital city, Signif F = 0.009 < 0.05, Adjusted R Square 0.50). In areas within a radius of 100 km from the nuclear plant, active cesium contamination levels of the Ayu are more than 200 Bq/kg. In those between a radius of 100 km and 200 km, it is around 60–200 Bq/kg. In those between a radius of 200 km and 300 km in which Tokyo is included, it is 20–60 Bq/kg. Therefore, it is estimated that contamination of freshwater fish is extended to all prefectures in eastern Japan. The contamination is recognized as far as Shizuoka prefecture, 400 km south-west from the plant.


The Japanese freshwater system is very high density as developed rice water paddy field, irrigation canal, urban water-system network. Therefore, we have to think that the contamination of freshwater fish is widespread not only in river basins but also all over the ground included all types of water-systems, for example, agricultural and urban water systems. The isogram map shows the contamination tendency quite well. The contamination levels of the freshwater fish provide insufficient data and the knowledge of the path about bioaccumulation. So, we will have to survey a more wide spread area and monitor bioaccumulation in each species level.

In this paper we show the relation between distance and contamination levels by inverse regression analysis. The results indicate the effects of quasi radioactive cesium 137 by the Fukushima accident look like less serious than those of the Chernobyl accident. However, contamination levels are possibly higher than the Chernobyl as the cesium is concentrated by the water systems in limitation region. Water paddy field look like shallow pond saved mud included cesium 137. Moreover, the cesium137 will distribute and concentrate by high density irrigation canal and urban water-system. For example, the highly contaminated Taisho river bottom soil Cs134: 4,335 Bq/kg, Cs137: 5,456 Bq/kg was found at 1/11/2011 at Kitakashiwa bridge of Kashiwa city in Tokyo metropolitan area, 200 km south-west from the plant13. Therefore we must carefully and continuously monitor the contamination to the freshwater ecosystem and human health.


Data 2011 of radioactive cesium of freshwater fish was analyzed by each local government according to the emergency food survey manual of radioactive substance14. The purpose of this manual is they avoid feeding high contaminated food it was defined by food security of emergency condition. Therefore, it is not aimed at collecting accurate data. As a result, this data did not distinguish between cesium137 and cesium134. Therefore, the analysis of this paper calculated by quasi-Cs137 included Cs134. They used germanium semiconductor machine when they measured the radioactive cesium contamination of freshwater fish. The measure time is from 10 minute to 1 hour. The calibration is only Cs137 in per week. The range of radioactive cesium applied only Cs137 regression equation. The result, when the case included Cs134 is relatively much, the numerical value become over estimation. The sample of freshwater fish was collected by each prefectural government by emergency policy of food security. In the survey, the fish sample collected 5–10 kg in one survey station. The measure is using wet condition fish. Ayu and small fish was measured hole body, while big fish measured the part of food portion.



Monitoring information of environmental radioactivity level, MEXT and DOE Airborne Monitoring, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology in Japan, (2013).


Joanna, B. et al. Radiocesium in Fish from the Savannah River and Steel Creek: Potential Food Chain Exposure to the Public. Risk Analysis Vol. 21, No.3, 545–559 (2001).


McCreedy, C. D., Jagoe, C. H., Glickman, L. T. & Brisbin Jr, I. L. Bioaccumulation of cesium-137 in yellow bullhead catfish (Ameiurus natalis) in habiting an abandoned nuclear reactor reservoir. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 16, 328–335 (1997).


Rowan, J. R. & Rasmussen, J. B. Bioaccumulation of radiocesium by fish: The influence of physicochemical factors and trophic structure. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 51, 2388–2410 (1994).


Hakanson, L., Anderson, T. & Nilsson, A. Caesium-137 in perch in Swedish lakes after Chernobyl-present situation, relationships and trends. Environmental Pollution 58, 195–212 (1989).


Ugedal, O., Forseth, T., Jonsson, B. & Njastad, O. Sources of variation in radiocesium levels between individual fish from a Chernobyl contaminated Norwegian lake. Journal of Applied Ecology 32, 352–361 (1995).


Elliott, J. M. et al. Sources of variation in post-Chernobyl radiocesium in fish from two Cumbrian lakes (north-west England). Journal of Applied Ecology 29, 108–119 (1992).


Long-Term Observation of Radioactivity Contamination in Fish around Chernobyl. RYABOV I N Vol 79, 112–122 (2002).


Environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident and their remediation : twenty years of experience report of the Chernobyl Forum Expert Group ‘Environment’. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency (2006).


Results of the inspection on radioactivity materials in fisheries products, Fisheries Agency, (2012).


Urgent radionuclides monitoring report in public water system area of Fukushima prefecture (in Japanese), Ministry of Environment, (2011).


Urgent environmental radionuclides monitoring report in public water system area of Fukushima prefecture at 4/6/2011(in Japanese), Fukushima Prefecture, (2011).


Final report of the highly contamination spot in Kashiwa city (in Japanese), Ministry of Environment, (2012).


The survey manual “Guide: Emergency Preparedness for Nuclear Facilities”, Nuclear Safety Commission, June, 1980-final revised in 2010. (2010).


Sources :

Received: 13 March 2012
Published online: 29 April 2013

Overview of active cesium contamination of freshwater fish in Fukushima and Eastern Japan

Received: 21 November 2013
Published online: 16 January 2014

Initial flux of sediment-associated radiocesium to the ocean from the largest river impacted by Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Received: 15 May 2014
Published online: 12 February 2015

Future projection of radiocesium flux to the ocean from the largest river impacted by Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant



Map of the Abukuma river basin showing monitoring locations and the total radiocesium inventory

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

April 1 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers have shown climate change to have similar, significant impacts on bird populations in large, distant areas of the world. Their study used population-predicting models and three decades of field data, gathered by bird-watching volunteers. The findings are published in the journal Science. [BBC]

The American robin has declined in some southern states, but increased further north. US Fish and Wildlife Service The American robin has declined in some southern states, but increased further north. US Fish and Wildlife Service


¶ A total of 57.7% of electricity consumed in Scotland was renewably generated last year, up 7.9 percentage points on 2014, according to provisional UK government statistics. Scottish politicians and green groups hailed the figure, but warned further progress would be hindered by UK policy. [Energy Voice]

¶ According to new figures published by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2015 saw renewable energy generate a record 24.7% of the country’s electricity, an increase of 5.6%…

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April 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK-French-Spanish Origin Chilean Spent Nuclear Fuel Dumped on America at US Taxpayer Expense – The Opening Round of Obama’s “Nuclear Security” Plan

Mining Awareness +

The first known import of foreign nuclear waste from foreign origin fuel into the USA, to be dumped there, seems to have been from Chile. Tom D’Agostino, then of the NSSA and now of Fluor, signed a “Record of Decision” making this possible in January of 2009. Thus, the new category of “Gap” nuclear materials was born. “Gap” is US government euphemism for the nuclear garbage that no one else wants and which never had anything to do with the USA (meaning the original fuel, etc. came from elsewhere).
Tom D'Agostino US DOE
Almost certainly eligible for Italian-EU citizenship will Tom D’Agostino be sorry once he finds that there is rarely air conditioning in Italy? And that Italy itself has been poisoned by German nuclear waste? No air conditioning in hell either.

Chile actually has a much lower risk of terrorist attack than the USA. What’s more, there was an 8.8 earthquake during the…

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April 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

St Louis radioactive landfill – West Lake Landfill Moms Meet with Head of EPA

West Lake Landfill Moms Meet with Head of EPA, CBS St Louis, 
Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)March 30, 2016  ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Members of the West Lake Landfill Moms group meet with the head of the EPA in Washington, D.C., calling for a buyout of homes near the landfill, and transfer of the site from the EPA to the Army Corps of Engineers.

In a phone interview afterwards, Dawn Chapman of Just Moms described the meeting with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy as positive and constructive.

“It was really emotional talking to her, sitting in front of a Presidential appointee who can with the snap of her finger change so many people’s lives,” Chapman said.

Chapman says McCarthy made no promises about supporting federal buyouts for homeowners close to the landfill, but indicated she would evaluate the request.

The other action item sought–transfer of the West Lake Landfill to the Army Corps of Engineers–remains stalled in a House committee, after the plan passed the Senate.

After the meeting with McCarthy, Chapman says the group, along with a representative of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, met for about an hour with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Chapman says the discussion centered on widespread frustration over “EPA inaction ” on the site, and the desire to give the site to the Army Corps………

April 1, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Transatlantic flights with nuclear waste cargo – an unacceptable danger

“Nuclear waste should be dealt with as close to where it is produced as possible rather than risking transporting it in ships or planes. This waste will remain dangerous for tens of thousands of years. The consequences of an accident during transit would be horrific.”

the proposed shipment sent an “open invitation to terrorists keen to get their hands on this prime terrorist material”.

Airplane danger

Campaigners condemn UK Government for playing transatlantic nuclear ping-pong,
Herald Scotland,  MICHAEL SETTLE, 31 Mar 16
 CAMPAIGNERS have denounced the UK Government’s decision to play “transatlantic nuclear ping-pong” by agreeing a deal to transport 700 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium fuel from Dounreay in Caithness to the US.

The SNP’s Paul Monaghan, the local MP, said he too was deeply concerned by the development and is to demand assurances from David Cameron about the safety of the transportation, which he believes will involve up to nine flights from Wick airport using huge American c-130 Galaxy aircraft.

“Wick airport is not built for that kind of aircraft. I’m very concerned about the prospect of the planes flying over the town,” declared the backbencher.

Mr Monaghan stressed that the highly-enriched uranium fuel, which he said had originated from the former soviet state of Georgia, could only be used for nuclear weapons.

Claiming the Prime Minister had “obfuscated” in his replies when asked previously about the planned shipment of nuclear fuel from Dounreay to the US, the Nationalist MP said the safety of local people was his “paramount concern” and that the UK Government, through its lack of clarity, was “abrogating its responsibility to the people of Scotland”.

Mr Cameron is due formally to announce the deal when he attends an international nuclear security summit in Washington DC tomorrow. It will involve the largest ever shipment of radioactive material from the UK to America, which in turn will send a different form of the nuclear element to Euratom, the European atomic agency, for conversion in France into medical isotopes to be used in European hospitals for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

A UK Government source said: “It’s a win-win; we get rid of waste and we get back something that will help us to fight cancer.”

But Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Only the nuclear industry could think it was a good idea to risk playing ping pong with large quantities of one of the most dangerous materials on the planet across the Atlantic.

“Europe is littered with plenty of highly radioactive waste from both reactors and weapons, there cannot possibly be a need to be importing any more from the US, nor for us to be sending ours to them.”

He added: “Nuclear waste should be dealt with as close to where it is produced as possible rather than risking transporting it in ships or planes. This waste will remain dangerous for tens of thousands of years. The consequences of an accident during transit would be horrific.”

John Finnie, justice spokesman for the Scottish Greens, dismissed the UK Government’s attempt to present the proposal to send dangerous nuclear waste across the Atlantic as helping in the fight against cancer as “at best misleading and at worst cynical”.

He added: “Moving such a large amount of toxic waste shows callous disregard for the safety of people in the Highlands. There must be better ways to fight cancer than sending dangerous uranium on an 11,000 kilometre round trip.”

Whitehall has, for security reasons, not confirmed the details of the transportation or the timescale.

Last year, the Sunday Herald broke the story about a “secret plan” to ship nuclear material from Dounreay to America.

The report said the plan was for nearly five kilograms of enriched uranium to be transported by sea from Caithness to the US Government’s nuclear complex at Savannah River in South Carolina.

The material was said to have come from a research institute in Mtskheta, some six miles from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, in a secretive US operation codenamed Auburn Endeavour in April 1998. Washington was said to have been worried at the time that it could have fallen into the hands of Chechen gangs or Iran.

However, the proposed UK Government plan is to ship not five kilograms but 700kg or more than 110 stones of the nuclear material.

At the time of “secret plan” report one anti-nuclear campaigner warned the proposed shipment sent an “open invitation to terrorists keen to get their hands on this prime terrorist material”……..


April 1, 2016 Posted by | safety, UK, USA | Leave a comment

Both Coal and Nuclear Electricity Generation Will Be Severely Affected By Hotter Climate


Both hydropower and conventional thermal combustion electricity is depleted in a hotter new climate.

A new paper published at Nature Climate Change, Power-generation system vulnerability and adaptation to changes in climate and water resources provides a comprehensive look at how two categories of power generation will be impacted by climate change on a global level.

The study looked at both thermal power stations (that depend on the combustion of fossil fuels, biomass or uranium), and also at hydropower systems.

Hydropower relies directly on abundant flow in falling water from mountain snow melt, while each type of thermal energy requires a lot of water to boil to make steam to drive turbines, and water to cool off the boiled water as it is discharged.

nuke-tapUnlike solar PV and wind power, thermal electric power stations are totally dependent on adequate water supplies, at cool water temperatures

The study assesses how much global power generation will be at risk by 2050 under two alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, one in which temperatures are able to be kept under 2 degrees C, and the other in which they continue to increase at current rates to a 2.5°C to a 5°C degree world.

The estimates in the study are based on an assumption that 80% of the world’s electricity is generated thermally – coal, gas, nuclear, biomass – with an additional 17% generated using hydropower. (Only 3% of global energy comes from PV and wind, according to the study*.)

(*The figures originated from a 2009 paper from the IEA – so it’s based on 2008 data. The IEA has been fairly notorious for undercounting renewables for some time, as the adoption rate has increased exponentially, so in the future, it is unlikely that 80% will still be thermal.) 

As of now, however, of all water taken from rivers and lakes; the percentage used in thermal power generation amounts to about 50% in the UK and about 40% in the US.

With so much electricity generation so dependent on water, the study shows just how vulnerable is the world’s combustion-based energy supply in a hotter, drier world,  when water will be warmer and droughts and heat waves longer and more frequent in many regions.

The paper is one of several that look at the impact of a hotter climate on thermal electricity generation, between coal, gas, biomass and nuclear. Two more quantify the effects on electricity costs.

How rising temperatures cause rising cost: droughts reduce cheap hydropower

As Californians have just experienced, hotter temperatures have already begun to result in the droughts long predicted for the entire Southwest US by climate scientists as the 21st century continues to warm.

What California has just seen is that when droughts deepen, mountain reservoirs and lakes and rivers dry up, and hydropower dries up with them………

How thermal power is reduced as water temperatures increase: 

The changes that higher temperatures bring not only deplete water flow, impacting hydropower, but also act to warm the water that is needed to cool discharged water from thermal power plants. This warmer water, both in rivers and the ocean, also reduces electricity production.

Because of rules governing environmental degradation, thermal plants that essentially boil water must shut down if the water used for cooling gets too warm.

Discharged water temperature is monitored to ensure that coal and nuclear plants don’t discharge water that is too hot, endangering wildlife in surrounding waterways.

But already in 2007, during a heat wave that contributed to river water reaching an astounding 90 °F,  the Tennessee Valley Authority had to shut down a nuclear plant due to hot river water in Kentucky.

During the heat wave in Europe in 2003 and 2006; 17 nuclear plants across Germany, France, Spain and Romania had to idle production or shut down entirely because the waterways normally used to cool down boiled water coming out of the electricity plants was too warm to discharge hot water into.

Shutting down or idling plants reduces generation and raises electricity prices because the lowered output of electricity results in higher prices per unit of generation

Paper assesses global costs of thermal generation in a hotter water future

In a third paper published at Norges Handelshøyskole, Electricity Prices, River Temperatures and Cooling Water Scarcity, a future of higher costs for thermal electricity is predicted as a direct result of the warmer water temperatures caused by climate change. In the longer term, these costs could become unsupportable.

The study co-author Øivind Anti Nilsen estimated that even as little as a one degree rise in average river temperatures will result in almost a 4% percent increase in electricity prices, over the course of a week.

“The analysis shows that higher temperatures lead to reduced production in power plants and hence higher electricity costs. Prices shoot up”, explained Nilsen, a co-author of the paper, and professor at the Department of Economics at Norges Handelshøyskole.

“The higher the temperature, the lower the power plant’s efficiency. Prices therefore rise in line with the temperature,” said Nilsen

“Many people who work on the effects of climate change have overlooked these price effects and their implications,” he said.

These increasing costs of climate change will be felt in the US as much as in Europe, because in the US, the thermal energy industry accounts for as much as 40% of all freshwater withdrawals, according to the US Department of Energy

This effect will only continue to increase in the future, as the world sees more frequent and hotter heat waves. Yet the world continues to build thermal plants that are dependent on a diminishing resource – cool water.

The Arabian Gulf region already has one of the highest ocean temperatures in the world, reaching above 95°F in the summer. Despite this inability to act as a cooling resource, the Arabian Gulf is to provide the cooling for two proposed nuclear plants, a 1 GW nuclear plant from a Russian manufacturer, and another much larger one, comprising four adjoined 1.4 GW units, that is made in Korea.

So, which regions will be most affected?

“In particular the US, southern South America, southern Africa, central and southern Europe, Southeast Asia and southern Australia are vulnerable regions,” said Dr Michelle van Vliet, a researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and lead author of  Power-generation system vulnerability and adaptation to changes in climate and water resources.

“This is because declines in mean annual streamflow are projected combined with strong increases in water temperature under changing climate.”

One more reason to abandon thermal combustion for making electricity.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, ENERGY | Leave a comment

USA and China – joint statement: both will sign Paris climate deal

logo Paris climate1US and China to sign Paris climate deal

The United States and China have confirmed that they will sign the Paris climate change agreement in New York on April 22, a move that officials hope will help the accord enter into force this year.

The world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters issued a joint presidential statement on Thursday in which they called on other countries to sign the accord next month “with a view to bringing the Paris Agreement into force as early as possible”.

Leaders from nearly 200 countries forged the landmark agreement to transform the world’s fossil fuel-driven economy on December 12 after four years of fraught negotiations.

But the Paris climate agreement needs at least 55 countries, representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions, to formally accede to it before it can enter into force.

 Todd Stern, the US climate envoy who helped broker the deal in Paris, said hitting that threshold as soon as possible would benefit countries that were vulnerable to climate change. The best thing that can happen for them is to get this agreement going and get it into force,” he said.

Stern has stepped down from his role as the chief US climate negotiator, and will be replaced by his former deputy, Jonathan Pershing, on April 1.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said earlier this month that he expected 120 or more countries would sign the accord at the April 22 ceremony at its New York headquarters.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | China, climate change, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz agree on undoing Obama’s climate action work

USA election 2016Trump, Cruz vow to undo Obama environmental work, The Hill,   By Devin Henry – 03/30/16 GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are pledging to undo several Obama administration climate efforts and block future work on global warming if elected this fall.

In responding to a survey from the American Energy Alliance, both candidates said they would undo major Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency rules on clean water and power plant carbon emissions, with Trump saying, “under my administration, all EPA rules will be reviewed.”

 Both candidates said they oppose a carbon tax, a policy Obama has praised but not pushed while president.

“The observed temperature evidence does not support the claims that carbon dioxide is dangerous,” Cruz wrote in his questionnaire.

The two said they would also reassess the Obama administration’s finding that carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are harmful to the public. That decision is the basis for EPA rule-making on greenhouse gas emissions. …….

Both candidates have previously said they doubt the science behind climate change and have promised to undo what Obama has done on the issue.

April 1, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

“Clean coal” technology is not working

text-relevantTechnology to Make Clean Energy From Coal Is Stumbling in Practice, NYT, By IAN AUSTEN MARCH 29, 2016 OTTAWA — An electrical plant on the Saskatchewan prairie was the great hope for industries that burn coal.

In the first large-scale project of its kind, the plant was equipped with a technology that promised to pluck carbon out of the utility’s exhaust and bury it underground, transforming coal into a cleaner power source. In the months after opening, the utility and the provincial government declared the project an unqualified success.

clean-coal.But the $1.1 billion project is now looking like a green dream.

Known as SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3, the project has been plagued by multiple shutdowns, has fallen way short of its emissions targets, and faces an unresolved problem with its core technology. The costs, too, have soared, requiring tens of millions of dollars in new equipment and repairs.

“At the outset, its economics were dubious,” said Cathy Sproule, a member of Saskatchewan’s legislature who released confidential internal documents about the project. “Now they’re a disaster.”……….

April 1, 2016 Posted by | Canada, climate change, ENERGY | Leave a comment

White House says Donald Trump’s nuclear policy is ‘catastrophic’,

 US election: USA election 2016 White House says ABC News, 1 Apr 16
By North America correspondent Michael Vincent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s nuclear policy is “catastrophic”, the White House says, as world powers meet to debate the future of nuclear weapons.

Key points:

  • Trump suggests Asian allies should develop nuclear weapons
  • White House says US should focus on preventing nuclear proliferation
  • Trump’s team calls abortion comments “simple misspeak”

A major nuclear summit in Washington DC is discussing the threat of terrorism and North Korea.

But it was Mr Trump’s comments raising the prospect of returning fire with a nuke if the Islamic State group was to attack the US that raised concerns.

“I’m afraid this kind of talk in an election is bluntly irresponsible and is detrimental to our and all of our allies’ security posture,” US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

The Republican frontrunner also declared that, as president, he would withdraw troops from South Korea and Japan and allow those two countries, as well as others like Saudi Arabia, to develop nukes.

It drew a scathing rebuke from the US deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes. The entire premise of American foreign policy as it relates to nuclear weapons for the last 70 years has been focused on preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons,” said Mr Rhodes, one of President Barack Obama’s closest aides.

“That has been the position of bipartisan administrations, of everybody who has occupied the Oval Office.

“It would be catastrophic for the United States to shift its position and indicate that we somehow support the proliferation of nuclear weapons.”……….

April 1, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Donald Trump would contemplate dropping nuclear bomb on Europe

USA election 2016Donald Trump Has Refused To Rule Out Dropping A Nuclear Weapon On Britain‘I’m not taking any cards off the table’  Ned Simons Assistant Political Editor, The Huffington Post UK , 31 Mar 16 

Donald Trump has refused to rule out dropping a nuclear weapon on Europe.

In a Town Hall interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Wednesday evening, the frontrunner in the race to become the Republican president said he would be “the last one to use nuclear weapons”.

But when pressed by Matthews if he would attack Europe or the Middle East with nukes if he felt it necessary, Trump said he was “not going to take it off the table”.

Matthews, who was clearly astounded by Trump’s comments, told the Republican: “The trouble is when you said that, the whole world, David Cameron in Britain heard it, the Japanese who we bombed in 1945 heard it, they are hearing a guy running for president of the United States maybe using nuclear weapons. Nobody wants to hear that about an American president.”

Trump asked the MSNBC host in reply: “Then why are we making them?”

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday Trump was “in over his head” when it came to foreign policy with his “national security ad-libbing”.

Clinton said she did not think Trump “even studies or cares to understand” foreign policy……..


April 1, 2016 Posted by | USA elections 2016 | Leave a comment

Four dangers overlooked in nuclear security summit

Overlooked – 

  • Accidental explosions…..
  • Many other nuclear thefts or sabotage……
  • Military stocks of nuclear fuel plus civilian plutonium….. 
  • These efforts don’t include plutonium reprocessing


safety-symbol1Four dangers the nuclear talks will overlook

, USA TODAY March 31, 2016 Leaders from 50 countries converge on Washington this week for the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, part of President Obama’s call for a worldwide effort to secure nuclear materials from terrorists.

Here are four nuclear security vulnerabilities they will discuss Thursday and Friday — and four that are not on the agenda:


What they’ll discuss: The recent uptick in terrorist attacks in Europe have made world leaders more worried about terrorists using conventional bombs combined with nuclear material to explode radioactive “dirty bombs” that could cause injuries, panic and economic damage over a large area.

The leaders will discuss safeguards at facilities such as hospitals and research labs that use nuclear materials, ways to improve intelligence to better detect plots to use dirty bombs, and responses to a potential dirty-bomb attack, said Bruce Blair, co-founder of Global Zero, the international movement for eliminating nuclear weapons.

Overlooked: Accidental explosions. More recent nuclear weapons countries, such as India, Pakistan and North Korea, are decades behind the United States and Russia in terms of safeguarding their nuclear weapons in case of a mishap, Blair said. If a weapon falls from an aircraft that is crashing and is hit by an explosive force, “chances are there’d be a chain reaction and the weapons would explode,” he said.

Also, those countries along with China are moving toward a state of nuclear readiness that raises the risk of accidental nuclear launches and detonations. “That whole agenda is being ignored,” Blair said.


What they’ll discuss: The summit will address the possible theft of highly enriched uranium and plutonium in civilian facilities, such as research reactors, that can be used to fuel a nuclear device, Blair said.

Previous summits have focused on converting nuclear reactors to use less harmful low-enriched uranium or sending it back to Russia or the United States, where it would be more secure.

Overlooked: Many other nuclear thefts or sabotage, such as rogue military insiders working with outside groups to steal nuclear material or detonate a device, Blair said.


What they’ll discuss: The summit deals with highly enriched uranium and plutonium that are under civilian control, mainly nuclear power authorities around the world, but also some medical and research facilities. They oversee 2% of the world’s total stock of highly enriched uranium and plutonium — enough to produce 4,000 nuclear weapons.

Overlooked: Military stocks of nuclear fuel plus civilian plutonium, which represent 98% of the world’s supply of weapons-grade material. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, told reporters that military programs will be discussed. But they can’t be specific because the United States is the only nuclear power that has declared the size of its nuclear stockpile. Plus, Russia, which has the world’s largest nuclear stockpile, is boycotting the summit because of displeasure over how the U.S. organizers prepared the agenda. “So how can they focus on it with any specificity?” Blair said.


What they’ll discuss: The White House says international attention has focused on improving institutions that deal with nuclear security around the world. This includes improving the capabilities of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency; the international law-enforcement agency, INTERPOL, which combats nuclear smuggling; and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, an 86-nation group. All have been reinvigorated in recent years.

“We will look for ways to enhance the global nuclear security architecture,” Rhodes said.

Overlooked: These efforts don’t include plutonium reprocessing, which countries use to recycle spent nuclear fuel. It can be used to produce fuel for nuclear weapons.

Japan now has 10 tons of civilian plutonium on its soil, enough to build 2,500 nuclear bombs, Blair said. But it’s not being discussed for diplomatic reasons.

Japan could convert that material into nuclear fuel and produce nuclear weapons if it decided it needed to deter North Korea, a nuclear state that repeatedly has threatened to launch nuclear missiles targeting Japan, South Korea and the United States. “We’re not talking to Japan about that because it’s a proliferation risk,” Blair said. To do so is too sensitive, he said. It “would be a clear statement of concern that Japan would go nuclear.”

April 1, 2016 Posted by | safety | Leave a comment

New proof that South Africa planned a binding nuclear deal with Russia

secret-dealsflag-S.Africaflag_RussiaSA planned binding nuclear deal with Russia, Business Day BY CAROL PATON, 31 MARCH 2016 NEW proof has emerged that SA intended to sign a binding deal with Russia to buy a fleet of nuclear reactors, bypassing public finance management rules along the way.

This is contained in court papers lodged on Wednesday by the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Initiative and Earthlife Africa in the High Court in Cape Town.

The lobby groups, which are asking the court to declare the inter-governmental agreements on nuclear energy signed in 2014 unlawful, secured the new information through court processes that compelled the government to provide the record of decisions on the deal.

Among the records provided is an explanatory memorandum drafted by the state law adviser in November 2013 on the draft Russian deal, which makes clear — they say — that the deal was “intended” and was “understood as creating a firm commitment that Russia would construct the required nuclear plants in SA”.

The state law adviser’s memo has been long sought by the media and opponents of the forthcoming nuclear procurement as it was widely rumoured at the time that the office had given a strong warning that the proposed agreement was binding in nature, had budgetary implications and had to be debated publicly before it could be adopted.

Asked at the time to comment, chief state law adviser Enver Daniels refused, citing client confidentiality……..

April 1, 2016 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment