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Seniors mull share house to keep Fukushima evacuee community intact

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Masaharu Fujishima, who is proposing to build a share house for temporary housing residents, explains his plan to residents in a meeting in April in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture.

 

FUKUSHIMA – As the government looks to lift the evacuation zone for part of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, elderly people currently living in temporary dwellings are considering a share house so they can stay together.

If the no-go zone is lifted, residents at temporary housing units are likely to be asked to leave. One option is to return to their hometown of Minamisoma’s Odaka district — a choice few are likely to make. Another option is to move in to city-provided public housing where they would have to start again in unfamiliar surrounds.

In Odaka, residents will be allowed to stay inside the evacuation zone to prepare for their permanent return after the designation is lifted. But of the area’s 11,700 residents, only 1,870 have registered to go back, suggesting few plan to return permanently.

It’s for this reason that Masaharu Fujishima, 70, a resident at Minamisoma’s temporary housing complex, is pitching a plan to create a share house with individual rooms and common space that will allow temporary housing residents who have bonded since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster to live together.

Fujishima evacuated from Odaka to temporary housing in the city center. Serving as head of the community association until January, he was able to talk with many residents about the troubles they faced as they attempted to rebuild their lives.

Many were worried about leaving a community of friends they bonded with over the past five years for a new one they would need to create from scratch.

“After the nuclear disaster, many people had to move around before they finally settled in the temporary housing,” said Fujishima. “I’m worried that if they leave here, they would have to go through all the trouble again of searching for a new place to live.”

So far, Fujishima has held three meetings for temporary housing residents to explain his proposal. While some feedback has been positive, with residents saying it will prevent them from becoming senile, others have voiced concern about what will happen when one of the dwellers becomes ill or dies.

To put the plan in motion, Fujishima submitted about 16,000 signatures to the Minamisoma Municipal Assembly.

The city is expected to consider the proposal, though a city official in charge of housing construction was not sure if the idea is feasible.

“It is difficult because public houses are not designed for many people to live together like a share house,” the official said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/11/national/seniors-mull-share-house-keep-fukushima-evacuee-community-intact/

 

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May 11, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Collision on the Joban Expressway in Fukushima

On May 4, 2016, a head-on collision between a car and a bus on the Joban Expressway in Fukushima killed a mother and her daughter on the passeger car. *link for Yahoo Japan article

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The accident happened in Okuma town which is within “Difficult-to-return” zones, due the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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The designated area has been exposed to more than 50 millisieverts per year of radiation from the melted-down power plant. It is considered difficult for local residents to return possibly for the next several decades.

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Since the entire area has been evacuated, the injured passengers on the crashed bus had be transported as far as 37Miles.

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40 passengers including the bus driver had to wait for the ambulance for two hours on the side of the road. No face masks were provided.
(Cars and buses are allowed around this section of Joban Expressway, but not motorcycles due to the extreme level of radioactive contamination.)

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*Photo of the Japanese newspaper article courtesy of Facebook group, “NPO法人チェルノブイリへのかけはし“.

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Background radiation level in Okuma town as of March 24, 25 of 2016, measured by Okuma town.

*Original PDF file

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*Okuma town home page

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Source: http://www.mp-nuclear-free.com/main-articles/news-snippets_20160507.html

 

 

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Arnie Gundersen measured 4,000 Bq/kg on a Tokyo street

 

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Arnie Gundersen measured 4,000 Bq/kg on a Tokyo street outside METI, Japan nuclear regulator…Olympics anyone?

https://t.co/TREXYQcEo

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | 1 Comment

76 measurements that are over 5µS/h in the “Kashiwa hotspot”

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Kashiwa city, Chiba prefecture, nearby Tokyo

Some screen caps of the new background radiation tests from Japan. Kashiwa hot spots. Thanks to Bruce Brinkman

Hakatte Geiger users have uploaded 76 measurements that are over 5µS/h in the “Kashiwa hotspot” area. You can see how they are distributed as the plume came over Kasumigaura and into eastern Tokyo. I travel through that on my way to and from work. I have to go through Matsudo and Kashiwa which are buried under the map pins.

 

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Zoom in a little and set for > 1 μSv/h… 1222 places.

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May 11, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Abe’s questionable handling of the Kumamoto quakes

The series of earthquakes that has hit central Kyushu since April 14 pose a variety of problems for us. The Meteorological Agency has explained that this chain of temblors is unprecedented in that the location of the hypocenter has moved. But one has to realize that it was only recently in the long history of the Earth that humans began their observations of seismic activities — and that it should come as no surprise if such a pattern of earthquakes had happened frequently in the past. In short, we humans know very little about the movements of the Earth. In Japan, earthquakes can hit anytime and anywhere.

Serious questions have been raised about the Abe administration’s response to the Kumamoto quakes. The first is why it didn’t try to listen to people who were suffering from the devastation brought by the temblors. The government’s call on evacuees to take shelter indoors following the initial quake that hit on April 14 drew the ire of the Kumamoto governor, who felt that officials in Tokyo didn’t understand the feelings of local residents.

The second question deals with the administration’s policy on the operation of nuclear power plants following the quakes. The government has declared that it won’t shut down the reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture — currently the sole nuclear plant in operation in this country. After clearing the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s screening of the plant for a restart, Kyushu Electric scrapped its plan to build a new facility with a seismically isolated structure that would serve as a command center in the event of an emergency. One of the assumptions in judging the safety of restarting the Sendai plant was that people would be able to evacuate the area by using bullet trains and the expressway network in case of a nuclear crisis. The Kumamoto quakes knocked those transportation means out of service, raising doubts about the workability of the evacuation scenario. That alone should be reason enough to halt the Sendai plant and rethink the safety measures. We need to consider carefully whether it is wise to have so many nuclear plants in this quake-prone country.

The third question is on the government’s intension to take advantage of the disaster to achieve its political goals — instead of focusing on relief for people in the disaster zone. Right after the temblors hit, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the quakes highlighted the importance of amending the Constitution to give the government emergency powers to respond to such crises. Two U.S. Marine MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft were dispatched to transport relief supplies in an apparent attempt at what Canadian author Naomi Klein calls the Shock Doctrine — taking advantage of a disaster to push a political agenda that has nothing to do with disaster response.

It is false to say that the government’s response to a disaster cannot proceed quickly because the Constitution does not grant emergency powers. Existing laws, such as the basic law on disaster response, provides a variety of powers that enables the government to take various actions if it wants to. Requesting the Osprey aircraft had nothing to do with providing relief for the disaster-hit people. I have heard nothing about Self-Defense Forces helicopters having been mobilized to their full capacity to transport relief goods to Kumamoto. I believe that using the Osprey was only a ploy to impress the public that strengthening defense cooperation between Japan and the United States under the Abe administration’s security legislation is helping ordinary citizens.

As memories of the 3/11 disasters fade away, the Abe administration is trying to divert public attention from the damage brought by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and create the impression that everything is back to normal. Its policy of restarting nuclear plants idled in the wake of the Fukushima crisis is part of such attempts. The Kumamoto quakes have exposed the questionable nature of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s politics.

When it comes to risks to people’s lives and their safety, natural disasters at home and the weakening of society as manifested by the aging and shrinking of the population pose a much more real threat than changes in the security environment surrounding Japan. The government is about to invest trillions of yen in Tokyo as it prepares to host the Summer Olympics in 2020. What significance does building a posh new national stadium in Tokyo and pursuing large urban redevelopment projects carry when people in other parts of the country suffer from the devastation caused by natural disasters? Can the government secure sufficient financial resources for reconstruction of the disaster-hit areas?

It is difficult to criticize the government when it is engaged in efforts to help people affected by a major disaster. But objections need to be clearly raised against any attempt to take advantage of a disaster to promote an unrelated political agenda. The mass media in particular bear a heavy responsibility to do that.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/05/09/commentary/japan-commentary/abes-questionable-handling-kumamoto-quakes/#.VzF9rr4TUaF

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

40-year-old Shikoku reactor to be sixth unit scrapped under stricter safety regimen

MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – Shikoku Electric Power Co. on Tuesday ended operation of a nearly 40-year old nuclear reactor in western Japan, making it the sixth unit to be scrapped under stricter safety regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima disaster started.

The utility decided in March to decommission the idled reactor 1 at its Ikata nuclear complex in Ehime Prefecture, as it would be too costly to reboot the aging reactor.

The company estimates more than ¥170 billion ($1.59 billion) would be needed to beef up safety measures for restarting the reactor, which started operation in 1977.

It is expected to take about 30 years to complete the decommissioning of the reactor at a total cost of ¥40 billion, according to Shikoku Electric.

The company is banking on technology cooperation that it agreed on with three other regional utilities last month to cut decommissioning costs.

The tougher safety rules prohibit the operation of nuclear reactors beyond 40 years in principle. But operation for an additional 20 years is possible if operators make safety upgrades and pass the regulator’s screening.

The government is looking to reactivate more reactors to meet a goal of generating at least 20 percent of Japan’s overall electricity with nuclear power generation by 2030.

The shutdown of the Ikata reactor 1 reduced the number of commercial reactors in Japan to 42, of which four have been restarted under the post-Fukushima safety rules. But two of the four were shut down earlier this year following a court decision banning them from resuming operations.

With new reactor construction difficult amid public concern over the safety of nuclear power, the country would need a dozen of the aging reactors to operate beyond the 40-year limit to accomplish the government goal, industry observers say.

Shikoku Electric has said it would not make economic sense to restart the unit 1 given the cost and the fact that it has a relatively small output capacity of 566,000 kw, while the company aims to reboot the larger and newer reactor 3 at the same power plant.

The town of Ikata expects the scrapping of the aging reactor to reduce state subsidies that it receives for hosting the nuclear complex by ¥300 million to ¥400 million to around ¥1 billion.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/05/10/national/40-year-old-shikoku-reactor-sixth-unit-scrapped-stricter-safety-regimen/#.VzFIF4R95D8

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Britain failed to consult Europe over Hinkley nuclear safety dangers – UN

text Hinkley cancelledsafety-symbol-SmHinkley Point: UN says UK failed to consult over risks  UN Economic and Social Council says Britain has not met its obligations to discuss the impact of nuclear accident with neighbouring countries , Guardian, 9 May  16  The British government has run into a major new problem with the Hinkley Point C nuclear project, with a United Nations committee ruling that the UK failed to consult European countries properly over potential environmental risks.

Documents seen by the Guardian show Britain “is in non-compliance with its obligations” (page 21) to discuss the possible impact of any accident or other event that could affect those nations in proximity to Hinkley.

This is just the latest in a string of problems connected with the planned £18bn project to construct new reactors in Somerset, with the developer EDF of Francerecently delaying a final investment decision until September.

Paul Dorfman, a senior researcher at UCL’s energy institute, said the ruling from the UN Economic and Social Council throws great uncertainty over Hinkley.

“This is a huge blow to the government and introduces a whole new element of doubt over the scheme. It is hard to see how EDF can sign off any final investment decision whilst the government has yet to resolve this important issue.”…..http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/may/08/hinkley-point-united-nations-says-uk-failed-to-consult-over-risks

May 11, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear safety problems, and high powered guns

text-cat-questionIf the nuclear security people have high-powered guns, how long before the terrorists get the, and can then damage the nuclear facilities?


Bigger guns, bigger problems? How high-powered ammunition could affect nuclear power plants
 
May 9, Target-nuclear-chain2016 By TERI SFORZA / STAFF WRITER, Orange County Register,   Shortly after the horrors of 9/11, a curious package landed on Dave Lochbaum’s desk.

It was flat but heavy. Inside the bubble pack was a battered steel plate, blasted with dents and holes from semiautomatic weapons fire. Each pockmark and perforation was carefully labeled – by hand, in permanent ink – with the type of ammunition used to produce it.

Security forces at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and nuclear plants nationwide had increased their firepower to take on a more formidable terrorist threat. The steel plate, sent by a San Onofre security manager, graphically illustrated what Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer, considered a potentially devastating, increased risk:

More powerful ammunition meant to protect nuclear reactors was capable of piercing control panels and critical piping.

The concern doesn’t appear to have been publicly disclosed at the time, but it resurfaced recently after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed nuclear security forces to override state and local gun control laws and possess high-powered weaponry that would otherwise be banned.

Government documents – provided by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit watchdog that keeps a critical eye on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. – offer a rare glimpse intoefforts to secure America’s nuclear power plants that occur out of the public eye and the controversies that can simmer behind the scenes.

Critics maintain that not enough is being done to protect plants and the public. Their issue is not whether those guarding nuclear plants should have high-powered weaponry, but about how much additional security training and hardening of facilities should be required to reduce the risk of collateral damage.

An accidental discharge, friendly fire or all-out firefight during a terrorist attack could potentially cripple a working reactor and release dangerous radiation, experts said.

Risks are different at shuttered plants like San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station because there’s no reactor core to melt down. But millions of pounds of nuclear waste remain on site, cooled and protected by intricate technologies that sit beyond the thick containment domes.

The NRC has allowed San Onofre to dial back its emergency plans because it no longer splits atoms, a move that many critics opposed. Operating nuclear plants must work up detailed responses to four levels of emergency, but San Onofre owner Southern California Edison no longer has to prepare for the worst two.

Nuclear power plant security is a nationwide concern. Nearly one-third of Americans – 96 million – live within 50 miles of such facilities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau………

Plant security must defend against attackers whose goal is to damage or disable safety-related equipment, the letter said. Because such attackers would likely be armed with automatic weapons with high-powered ammunition, the guards must have comparable equipment……..

Concerns remain, however.

“We have upgraded security at America’s nuclear plants and made it much harder for bad guys to cause mayhem, and that’s good,” Lochbaum said. “But there’s all kinds of equipment that could inadvertently be damaged, and not much training on what security officers should try not to hit. ”………http://www.ocregister.com/taxdollars/nuclear-715262-security-nrc.html

May 11, 2016 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

End nuclear power – a cry from South Korea

flag-S-KoreaPlease leave without a trace, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2016/05/162_204415.html

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By Kim Sun-ae
The nights in cities are too bright. When I recently passed by a shopping arcade at night, the lights of each building were blinding. I couldn’t help thinking of how that electricity was made and where it comes from.Korea produces about 70 percent of its total electricity through thermal power generation, and about 30 percent through nuclear power generation. Nuclear power has emerged as a big social issue since the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. The nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima, and other places have shown that nuclear power stations are not safe.

Just as all the old nuclear power plants in Fukushima exploded, decrepit power stations have a higher risk of accidents. Therefore, nuclear power plants that reach the end of their lifespan must be closed. Also, new nuclear power stations should not be built.

With this, the government needs to actively support the development of renewable energy including solar power generation. Korea can make electricity with its abundant solar energy. Continue reading

May 11, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Russia’s new more powerful nuclear missiles

missile-envyflag_RussiaRussia Developing New Nuclear Missiles Capable of Penetrating US Defenses
Russia wants to modernize 70 percent of its intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal by 2018, The Diplomat, By Franz-Stefan Gady May 11, 2016 Russia is developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) specifically designed to penetrate U.S. missile defense systems, Russian Commander of Strategic Missile Forces Colonel-General Sergei Karakayev told Russian state-owned news agency TASS on Tuesday.

“This is conditioned by the fact that the United States is not stopping after what it has achieved and continues improving its missile defense system, including the deployment of its elements in Europe. That is why special attention in the development of new missile complexes is paid to the issue of overcoming the missile shield,” Karakayev said.

As I reported previously, Russia announced in January that it would conduct a total of 16 ICBM test launches in 2016 with 14 dedicated to testing new missiles and warheads (See: “Russia to Launch 16 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in 2016”). The Strategic Missile Forces are also holding more than 100 command and staff, tactical and special exercises throughout the year.

According to Karakayev, the Russian military is introducing new types of warheads with a difficult to predict flight path in order to overcome U.S. missile defenses. “This is achieved both through the ICBM’s shorter acceleration phase and new types of warheads with a hard-to-predict flight trajectory and new means of overcoming the missile shield,” he said.

Russia has been testing a new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), the YU-71, a warhead capable of accelerating to up to ten times the speed of sound descending from the atmosphere on an erratic flight path without following a predictable ballistic trajectory. (The YU-71 performs evasive maneuvers making it very difficult for conventional missile defense systems to intercept.)

By 2021, the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) plan to have an equal number of stationary and mobile ICBM systems. “Considering the ratios of stationary and mobile groupings of the Strategic Missile Forces, it can be noted that at the turn of 2021, the quantitative indicators of these groupings will come to equal each other. However, the capabilities of the stationary grouping will continue to be higher due to the availability of heavy missiles,” Karakayev noted…….

As I noted in a previous piece (“Russia to Add 40 New ICBMs: Should the West Be Worried?”):

Russia is in the middle of modernizing its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear warheads. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Moscow has currently 4,500 nuclear warheads, of which roughly 1,780 strategic warheads are deployed on missiles and at bomber bases. An additional 700 strategic warheads are kept in storage along with approximately 2,000 nonstrategic warheads. “Russia deploys an estimated 311 ICBMs that can carry approximately 1,050 warheads,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists further notes.

The SMF’s most powerful future weapon will be the RS-28 Sarmat, Russia’s newest super heavy liquid-propelled ICBM, currently under development with first test-launches scheduled for later in the year. “The development of the Sarmat silo-based missile system with a heavy missile is nearing completion,” Karakayev said.

“The performance of the stationary grouping of the heavy ICBM (of the Voyevoda or Sarmat class) will four times surpass that of the stationary grouping of the light-class ICBM (Topol-M, Yars) by all the RVSN grouping tactical effectiveness parameters,” he added. The Sarmat purportedly can carry ten heavy or 15 lighter warheads and is expected to become operational by 2020.

A YU-71 HGV warhead mounted on a Sarmat ICBM could be one of the deadliest nuclear weapons fielded since the end of the Cold War. Sputnik News bombastically claims that the Sarmat ICBM can wipe out an area the size of Texas or France, while “its higher speed performance will enable it to speed past every missile defense system in existence.” http://thediplomat.com/2016/05/russia-developing-new-nuclear-missiles-capable-of-penetrating-us-defenses/

May 11, 2016 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear corporation EDF’s Annual General Meeting faces more financial gloom

Poster EDF menteurNuclear giant EDF Energy reports sales fall as AGM looms, BBC News, 11 May 16  French energy giant EDF says sales fell 7% in the first three months of the year in the face of stiff competition, a mild winter and lower energy prices.

The figures come ahead of Wednesday’s AGM where investors will quiz management over their plans for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the UK.

EDF, 85% controlled by the French state, has struggled to find the cash for its 66.5% stake in the project.

In April it pushed a final decision on the £18bn plant back to September.

Chief financial officer Thomas Piquemal resigned in April following an internal disagreement over whether to press on with the controversial project.

However, EDF has outlined plans to raise €4bn, with up to €3bn provided by the French government.

Tough markets

Credit rating agencies are due to assess the group in the coming days and their verdict on its finances will determine how easy it will be for the group to raise cash.

Meanwhile, tough market conditions mean EDF is cutting costs and planning to sell €10bn in assets by 2020, including a stake in French power-grid operator RTE……http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36262029

May 11, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics | Leave a comment

The 1964 nuclear bomb exploded in South Mississippi – and its effects

In 1964 a nuclear bomb was detonated in South Mississippi http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2016/05/obama_hiroshima_nuclear_bombin.html By Jed Lipinski, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune  The White House announced Tuesday (May 10) that President Barack Obama later this month will visit Hiroshima, Japan, site of the world’s first atomic bombing. It’s the most familiar nuclear explosion in history, but it’s just one of more than 2,000 such explosions — most of them tests — since 1945.

 It happened 2,600 feet underground in 1964, when a 5.3-kiloton bomb, one fourth the size of the bomb used on Hiroshima, was detonated deep inside the Tatum Salt Dome in Mississippi. The Tatum Salt Dome explosion was part of a nuclear test to determine whether the U.S. “had the ability to measure Soviet nuclear tests underground in caves,” reporter Mark Schleifstein wrote in The Times-Picayune in 1990.

“The Defense Department and the Atomic Energy Commission — precursor of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy — picked as their test site the Tatum Salt Dome southwest of Hattiesburg,” Schleifstein wrote. “It was huge, about a mile across, and relatively remote. Only about 250 families lived within five miles of ground zero.”

Three more blasts — one nuclear, two non-nuclear — followed over the next four years before researchers decided to abandon the site. Officials would later conduct a a massive clean-up effort, dumping 1.3 million gallons of contaminated water and 10,700 cubic yards of contaminated soil into the cavity.

Workers who participated in the clean-up said they were exposed to high levels of radiation on the job. Bill Teck, the chief of security at the site until 1971, was later diagnosed with skin cancer, which a Veterans Administration pathologist attributed to nuclear radiation.

Today, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality conducts annual tests of the surface water at the Tatum Dome to monitor slowly dropping levels of tritium, a mildly radioactive type of hydrogen that can seep into water supplies near nuclear power plants.

May 11, 2016 Posted by | environment, USA | 2 Comments

USA Congress mulls ‘new nuclear’ but the prospects are not great

Nuclear energy draws renewed interest in Congress, Houston Chronicle, 9 May 16 “…….Most mainstream environmental groups in the U.S., however, still see nuclear as an ecological disaster waiting to happen, that produces a radioactive waste that remains hot for tens of thousands of years. They also are equally skeptical that advanced reactors under development can provide cleaner, safer nuclear power.

“Even though many of these advanced reactors have been around for decades, none of them have proved to be safe or that they can compete commercially,” Geoffrey Fettus, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, testified before the House last month. “This may serve as a distraction to the rapid scale-up of proven technology to combat climate change, like wind and solar.”……

Close to half of the 99 nuclear plants operating in this country will reach the end of their government-sanctioned life spans by 2040. With licensing of nuclear plants taking a decade or more, it’s unclear whether the power would be replaced by new nuclear facilities, or through other fuels.

For now, developing an affordable, meltdown-proof nuclear reactor remains very much theoretical. Marvin Fertel, president of the trade group Nuclear Energy Institute, said he knew of no such reactor commercially operating anywhere in the world ……

May 11, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

South Africa Dept of Energy to press on woth nuclear power despite huge costs

scrutiny-on-costsDepartment of energy presses ahead with nuclear, Business Day Live, BY BEKEZELA PHAKATHI,  10 MAY 2016 THE Department of Energy said on Monday it was still confident of conducting a successful nuclear-procurement process.

SA is aiming to install 9,600MW of nuclear power within the next 15 years to tackle the electricity shortages. However, the cost of the project, estimated at about $100bn, continues to be a major budgetary headache for government.

Earlier this year, the Treasury put brakes on nuclear spend, putting more emphasis on gas and smaller coal-fired power stations to attend to the electricity crisis. It said in its budget review that the nuclear energy newbuild programme would proceed after a “thorough and transparent tender process”.

There have been reports that the Treasury’s reluctance to sanction the procurement of the new nuclear power stations was one of the major reasons behind the sacking of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister in December.

The National Nuclear Regulator expects to finalise a decision by 2018 on Eskom’s two new site licence applications.  ……http://www.bdlive.co.za/business/energy/2016/05/10/department-of-energy-presses-ahead-with-nuclear

May 11, 2016 Posted by | politics, South Africa | Leave a comment

Larry Koehrsen: Nuclear power and climate change

 Ames Tribune, 10 May 16  By Larry Koehrsen  “……There are few greenhouse gas emissions from an operating nuclear plant. However, the carbon footprint of mining uranium for fuel, and the cement and steel required for construction of a generating plant is significant.

Safety is always a concern when nuclear materials are dispersed around the country and around the world. There have been two major disasters involving nuclear power plants; Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. In particular, the Japanese incident at Fukushima resulting from earthquake and tsunami caused a rethinking of priorities everywhere. Several nations, besides Japan, scaled back on their nuclear power generation and/or cancelled plans for new reactors.

High–level waste from generating plants is relatively small in volume, but may remain dangerously radioactive for thousands of years. Most regulators agree that deep burial of such wastes in a stable geological setting is the preferred method of disposal. However, after almost six decades of nuclear power generation, no government has succeeded in opening such a repository. In this country all commercial high-level waste is in “temporary” storage, mainly at nuclear power plants…….http://amestrib.com/opinion/larry-koehrsen-nuclear-power-and-climate-change

May 11, 2016 Posted by | general | 1 Comment