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Why don’t you have a video-showing event of “NUCLEAR JAPAN” in your country?

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Almost in one year, this film has been shown to more than 70,000 people, and there have been held more than a thousand voluntary movie-showing events since “NUCLEAR JAPAN” was released in November 2014. It has been also presented at many courtrooms as evidence to get a bird’s-eye view of all the issues of nuclear power in order to halt nuclear power plants whole Japan.

If you are planning to have a video-showing event of “Nuclear Japan” (2h 15m), please send an application form to eiga@nihontogenpatsu.com.
It may take time for international shipping, please apply well in advance. Thank you!

SYNOPSIS

This movie strives to provide
a complete picture of nuclear power in Japan.

NUCLEAR JAPAN is a documentary film directed by a 70-year-old lawyer with remarkable record of winning very high-profile cases who elucidates the controversial issue of nuclear power industry in Japan.

On March 11th, 2011, a massive earthquake hit East Japan, which caused a catastrophic accident in Tokyo Electric Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. Radioactive materials were released from its four nuclear reactors, and they have contaminated the people’s land as well as ocean. Today, the effort to clean up the radioactive materials is still ongoing, only too little effect.

The film takes you back to a few hours after the earthquake on March 11th, to the shore of Namie Township, 7 kilometers north of Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant. The local fire brigade in Namie is desperately searching for missing persons swept away by the disastrous tsunami. However, the next morning on the 12th, the question starts to rise for the possible dissemination of radioactive material. The Japanese government consequently declares the area within 10 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power plant as an evacuation zone. As a result, the fire brigade in Namie Township is forced to give up the search…

A month after the earthquake, the search for missing persons resumed. During the search, more than 180 bodies were found along the shore of Namie Township.

If it weren’t for the nuclear accident, most of those lives could have been saved.

There was one lawyer who had been actively voicing the absurdity and danger of Japanese nuclear power – Hiroyuki Kawai. Kawai has been fighting in many legal battles to halt nuclear power plants in Japan for over 20 years. Ever since the crisis at Fukushima No.1 power plant, his fight has been fueled by even more drive and dedication.

Then, Kawai had a thought. What if he makes a movie about this issue? If he wants the public to understand the complicated issues of nuclear power, literature has its limits. Also, all the coverage by Japanese media has been biased. Only by providing the visual and giving the objective view, he can communicate the true absurdity and inhumanity of the nuclear power in Japan.

With the help of another lawyer Yuichi Kaido, Kawai’s old ally who also has been fighting in nuclear power plant lawsuits, Kawai completed this documentary film, NUCLEAR JAPAN.

The film not only features the interviews of many experts, a number of facts and evidences, but it also brings to light the immense pain of the people have been suffering from the nuclear crisis. NUCLEAR JAPAN is now being presented as evidence in many lawsuits to halt nuclear power plants all over Japan.

This film is the ultimate nuclear power documentary that takes you on a journey to grasp all the issues of nuclear power in a factual, objective way, and eventually, a journey to find a hope.

img_director01

DIRECTOR

Protecting the environment of the planet
as an advocate for future generations;
especially from nuclear disasters
is Kawai’s very purpose.

Profile

Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer and a filmmaker, was born in Northeast China, Manchuria, in 1944. Kawai graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law in 1968, and has been practicing law since 1970. In 2014, he made a directorial debut with a documentary film NUCLEAR JAPAN.

Today he holds various titles including; President of Sakura Kyoudo Law Offices, Chairman of The Support Group for Japanese War Orphans Left in China Obtaining Japanese Nationality, Head Director of Philippine Nikkei-jin Legal Support Center, and Representative Auditor of Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies.

Kawai is also a representative of National Federation of Lawyers Against Nuclear Power as well as The Complainants for Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Criminal Prosecution legal team. He is the lead lawyer of the legal team for Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant Suspension Lawsuit and Tokyo Electric Executives Criminal Responsibility Lawsuit. He is also a part of Ohi, Takahama, Sendai Nuclear Power Plants Provisional Suspension Lawsuit legal team.

His motto is–
If you give 100%, you can achieve almost anything.
If you give 100%, you will find anything enjoyable.
If you give 100%, somebody will offer you their hand.

DIRECTOR’S
STATEMENT

“To share the idea of nuclear zero nationwide,
we need a movie.”

Kawai became involved with lawsuits against nuclear power plants from 1994.
The first suit concerned use of MOX fuel in the Fukushima No.1 Reactor 3 plant that exploded in March 2011.

This suit failed, as have many more since that time.
Ever a shrewd lawyer, Kawai was losing his passion to continue such lawsuits just before the Fukushima accident.

The Great East Japan Earthquake rekindled this passion and Kawai has said “I will never give it up. I will continue lawsuits against nuclear plants until nuclear power is eradicated from Japan”.

As part of this process, Kawai decided to make a movie.
Explaining this, he said “in a democracy, a fair legal process is obviously important to protect our rights, especially for minority issues.

Lawsuits in a democracy functions as safety valves.

Justice is justice. I shall stand up to protect life and Japan in courts, even if I would be alone.

But to share the idea of nuclear zero nationwide, we need a movie”.
img_statement01

Nuclear accidents strike at the very foundation of our lives.
Economics, culture, art, education, justice, welfare,
frugal and fancy living alike – everything is turned on its head.
Ignorance of nuclear power’s dangers renders every
enterprise meaningless, even irresponsible.
We have come to realize this.
What matters now is what we will do about it.

Hiroyuki Kawai

http://www.nihontogenpatsu.com/english

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

Woman gives up electricity and goes ‘off grid’ for 4 years

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Chikako Fujii says she uses a human-powered dynamo remodeled from a bike-type training machine to generate power in emergencies

 

Chikako Fujii used to leave the TV on all the time, but since the Fukushima nuclear disaster inspired her to go “off grid” nearly four years ago, she has consumed literally no energy supplied from her regional power company.

Fujii, 55, a textile dyeing artist, uses a tiny amount of electricity generated primarily by solar panels set up on her veranda that measure a total of just 1.6 square meters.

The lifestyle choice means that Fujii cannot power an air conditioner, a refrigerator or a TV with such a small quantity of energy, but those things don’t concern her.

“I enjoy working out how to lead a life without using electricity,” she said.

A resident of Kunitachi, western Tokyo, Fujii terminated her contract with Tokyo Electric Power Co. in September 2012, after rolling blackouts were implemented in the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Fujii said that before the disaster struck, she habitually left the TV on so that she could check the time whenever she wanted.

But when she stopped using her home appliances one by one, she found her electricity bill could be reduced.

While she paid more than 4,000 yen ($36) per month for electricity before the disaster, the figure gradually dropped to around 2,000 yen. When she finally unplugged the refrigerator, which requires much power, the bill reached 800 yen.

“I thought I might be able to live without relying on the power company, and decided to start an off-grid life for the fun of it,” Fujii said.

The solar panels installed on the veranda have a power production capacity of 260 watts and can generate more than 1 kilowatt-hour of power on a typical sunny day–enough to operate a washing machine for three hours to dye fabrics with plant-derived materials.

However, when cloudy weather continues for a week during the June rainy season or due to a typhoon, the electricity stored in the battery dries up. When that happens, Fujii uses a pedal-operated sewing machine and an old charcoal-powered iron for her work instead of electric ones.

One night, Fujii was asked by a business partner to send a document by e-mail on short notice.

She pedaled hard a human-powered dynamo remodeled from a bike-type training machine to generate electricity to use her computer.

As Fujii cannot use an air conditioner, she made small holes in a plastic bag containing water and hung it above the veranda to sprinkle water automatically to cool the surrounding air.

In lieu of an electric kettle, she painted plastic bottles black and exposed them to sunlight to heat the water inside.

In December last year, Fujii also introduced a handmade heater made out of a used tempura oil-based lamp and a flowerpot put over the lamp upside down. According to Fujii, 20 milliliters of oil can keep the flowerpot hot for three to four hours.

She said she daily consumes only 500 to 800 watt-hours of power at home, about one-12th that for an ordinary household.

“I always live while being conscious of the weather,” Fujii said. “For example, when I wake up to find it is sunny, I think I should use the washer today. Thinking this way is fun for me.”

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The water heater made of glass tubes can increase the water temperature to 85 degrees in two hours even during winter if it is exposed to sufficient sunlight.

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A handmade evaporation heat-based cooler designed to remove heat from flowerpots when water evaporates

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201606010003.html

 

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

Japan’s Nuclear Holy Grail Slips Away With Operator Elusive

Japan is missing its own deadline to find a new operator for a prototype nuclear power program that’s failed to succeed in the two decades since it was built, threatening the resource-poor country’s support of a technology other nations have abandoned.

The country’s nuclear regulator demanded in November a replacement for the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency be found within six months for the Monju fast-breeder reactor. Monju, which has functioned for less than a year since its completion more than 20 years ago, now faces the possibility of being scrapped.

The so-called fast-breeder reactor — a cornerstone of its atomic energy strategy dating back to the 1950s — uses spent nuclear fuel from other plants and is designed to produce more atomic fuel that it consumes. The reactor, named after the Buddhist deity of wisdom, has cost the nation more than 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) and has barely operated since it first generated electricity in 1995.

“The potential closure of Monju would be a major blow not just to the fast-breeder community in Japan, but also those supporting reprocessing of spent fuel,” M. V. Ramana, a professor at Princeton University’s Nuclear Futures Laboratory, said by e-mail. “I wonder if the government will allow Monju to be shut down? I would expect that they will simply create a new agency to oversee Monju.”

1950s Strategy

Monju is currently operated by the JAEA, a quasi-government organization that is under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. JAEA declined to comment. The nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, didn’t respond to e-mailed questions regarding the status of Monju.

“We don’t have plans to decommission the reactor,” said Hiroki Takaya, director of the ministry’s International Nuclear and Fusion Energy Affairs Division, which oversees Monju. “We are exploring many different options for who will operate the reactor — either a new entity or an existing company.”

The NRA said in November the science ministry must find a new operator or consider closure. The ministry drafted a set of criteria for a new operator, but have yet to name a replacement, it said on May 27. The ministry hopes to find an operator as soon as possible, but hasn’t set a concrete deadline.

“These turn out to be very expensive technologies to build,” Allison MacFarlane, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said by e-mail. “Many countries have tried over and over. What is truly impressive is that these many governments continue to fund a demonstrably failed technology.”

While Japan’s science ministry seeks a new operator of Monju, no power utility has stepped forward.

“Monju’s reactor design is quite different from a normal reactor, and utilities don’t have the expertise to handle it,” Makoto Yagi, chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, told reporters in May. “Monju is currently in a research and development phase by the government, it isn’t the matter for a private company.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-31/nuclear-holy-grail-slips-away-from-japan-with-operator-elusive

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

Russia, China, marketing nuclear power to – well, just about everybody

nuclear-marketing-crapRussian-BearGhana explores nuclear power opportunities  Business News , text-relevant30 May 2016 Source: Tv3network.com Ghana is among these emerging nuclear energy countries, as the country strives to meet the increasing demand of energy for domestic and industrial use. State-owned nuclear companies in Russia and China have taken the lead in offering nuclear power plants to emerging countries, usually with finance and fuel services.

Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) hosts the annual ATOMEXPO International Forum as a major exhibition and business platform for conducting meetings and negotiations between the worldwide leaders of the nuclear power industry.

The 2016 edition, holding in Moscow from May 30–June 2, provides leaders of nuclear power industry and nuclear power engineering with an opportunity to publically define the place and role of nuclear generation in the 21st century energy balance.

The Forum also promotes international cooperation between the Russian Federation and the countries of Latin America, Pacific Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe in the field of nuclear power, and to discuss Russia’s proposal on developing national energy programs…….

Nuclear energy is growing globally with nearly 10 GW of new nuclear capacity supplying electricity in 2015 – more than double the average capacity connected each year in the previous decade.

Though there are long term prospects for nuclear, experts say the emerging nuclear energy countries are not expected to contribute very much to the expansion of nuclear capacity in the foreseeable future. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/business/Ghana-explores-nuclear-power-opportunities-443245

June 1, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia marketing nuclear fuel to USA !!

nuclear-marketing-crapWill The Russians Become Fuel Supplier To U.S. Nuclear Power text-relevantPlants? http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/05/31/will-the-russians-become-fuel-supplier-to-u-s-nuclear-power-plants/#413acf8f2638  Kenneth Rapoza , 31 May 16, 

Will a Russian government owned enterprise become a nuclear fuel tech supplier for U.S. power plants? Yes, if the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission grants a license for Rusatom’s TVEL Fuel subsidiary to sell the fuel assemblies to local reactors.

It’s not unprecedented. While the U.S. does not currently use Russian technology at any of its nuclear power stations, a deal between Global Nuclear Fuel Americas and TVEL would be the first to make it happen. Global Nuclear Fuel-Americas is a GE-led joint venture that includes its main nuclear power plant partner Hitachi and rival Toshiba, which owns Westinghouse.

Under the agreement proposed May 24, GE partners and TVEL will “work together toward the licensing, marketing and fabrication of fuel” for U.S. pressurized water reactors (PWRs). Global Nuclear Fuel and TVEL would create a strategic alliance with the purpose of introducing the Russian fuel rods into the U.S. market.

“We believe strongly in the TVEL technology,” said Jonathan Allen, a spokesman for GE Hitachi.

TVEL’s latest nuclear fuel assembly technology is for use in Westinghouse-designed reactors. There are currently 35 of these reactors operating in the U.S., but none of them are allowed to use TVEL’s technology because it has not yet been approved U.S. nuclear industry regulators. The assembly rod, known as the TVS-K design, has been used for many years in Rusatom’s VVER-1000 nuclear power plants at 78 nuclear power reactors in 15 countries, most of them in the former Soviet bloc.

“This (deal gives) additional diversification of fuel supplies to U.S. reactors,” said Oleg Grigoryev, Vice President of Commerce and International Cooperation at TVEL.

Russia’s entrance into the U.S. market comes at a time when its partner in the deal, Toshiba, is also trying to capture some of TVEL’s market share in Finland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Washington has actually lent support to Westinghouse in sales pitches to governments looking to move out of Russia’s energy orbit. A move to bring Russian technology to the U.S. could also be seen as a fig leaf to Moscow, which has been locked in an energy security battle for Europe over the last year.

Opening the U.S. market to Russian tech would be the same as the traditional Russian markets, including Ukraine, opening up to Westinghouse.

Fuel assembly rods are essentially the batteries of nuclear power plants. They hold the uranium that goes into the reactor that generates electricity. Westinghouse is TVEL’s biggest competitor. But Chinese developers, working close with Westinghouse and Toshiba in China in a tech sharing deal, are also moving up market and could become rival suppliers at some point in the future.

TVEL has a roughly 17% global market share of fuel assemblies, with Westinghouse and Areva competing for first place with close to 30%.

June 1, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

USA trying to beat Russia in selling nukes to India

Russia-USA marketingWestinghouse to get new site for Indian nuclear plant – officials, text-relevantReuters NEW DELHI | BY DOUGLAS BUSVINE AND RUPAM JAIN , 31 May 16 Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) Westinghouse Electric will relocate a planned project to build six nuclear reactors in India, said officials, bringing the first deal stemming from a U.S.-India civil nuclear accord struck over a decade ago closer to reality.

The six AP-1000 reactors would be built in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, after the original site proposed for the multi-billion-dollar project, in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, faced local opposition.

The breakthrough comes ahead of a June 7-8 visit by Modi to Washington, where he will be hosted by President Barack Obama for a final summit before the U.S. presidential election in November, and will address both houses of Congress.

U.S. lawmakers ratified the civil nuclear accord three years after it was struck in 2005, as part of an attempt to deepen the strategic relationship with India, but have expressed growing dismay over its failure to yield follow-on deals for U.S.-based reactor makers like Westinghouse…….

Analysts say resolving the land issue is a crucial step, but complex issues remain, including project financing and reaching a civil nuclear pact with Japan, where Westinghouse parent Toshiba is based…..

Russia’s Rosatom operates two reactors at Kudankulam, in Tamil Nadu, while France’s EDF (EDF.PA) signed a preliminary deal with the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) [NPCIL.UL] in January to build six reactors at Jaitapur, Maharashtra…..

Two sources, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed that the site was being acquired for Westinghouse, which plans to build six AP-1000 pressurized water reactors, each with a design capacity of around 1,100 megawatts.

Westinghouse did not respond to requests for comment, while senior executives at NPCIL were not available………http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-westinghouse-idUSKCN0YM0L2

June 1, 2016 Posted by | India, marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Russia flogging nuclear to Africa

nuclear-marketing-crapMore African countries interested in nuclear energy: Russia, SABC News,31 May text-relevant2016 Amina Accram, Moscow “…….8th annual ATOM EXPO and conference currently underway in Moscow Russia…….. The Nigerian government aims to electrify at least eighty percent of its population by the year 2035. It is now investing in nuclear energy to meet this target. …
General Director Atomic Energy Commission in Nigeria Frannklin Osaisai says Nigeria is seeking to diversify its economy by increasing agriculture output. It will use nuclear technology to advance this. …….
Bangladesh identified a nuclear reactor site in 1963, but only started to physically build a reactor in 2011- fifty years after toying with the idea. The country’s electricity demands have grown rapidly. It plans to generate 40 thousand MW by 2030 from coal, gas and nuclear. Ali Zurkarneyn is the chairman for the Atomic Energy in Bangladesh. …….
Other countries like Bolivia want to use nuclear technology for medicinal purposes…….
Egypt, Zambia, Namibia, Ghana have all embarked on nuclear technology to increase energy consumption needs. Russia says nuclear also builds human capital and increases economic efficiency……..http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/ec9532804cf7465cb9f7fd00ab741406/More-African-countries-interested-in-nuclear-energy:-Russia-20160531

June 1, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia flogging nuclear to Nigeria

nuclear-marketing-crapRosatom to prepare agreement on nuclear power plant project in text-relevantNigeria http://tass.ru/en/economy/879335  May 31, MOSCOW,  Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom will prepare an agreement on construction of a nuclear power plant in Nigeria, first deputy head of Russian state owned nuclear corporation Rosatom Kirill Komarov said at the Atomexpo 2016 forum.

“We established a joint coordination committee. We have already held the first meeting of the committee and plan to hold a second meeting this summer,” he said, adding that he hopes the sides will prepare an agreement on the development of the project, he said.

According to him, this document will determine further steps on implementation of the project on construction of nuclear power plants in Nigeria.

June 1, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia flogging nukes to Bolivia

nuclear-marketing-crapRussian-BearAgreement on Bolivia’s nuclear research center may be signed text-relevantat SPIEF MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. An agreement on construction of a nuclear research center in Bolivia may be signed at the Petersburg International Economic Forum due to be held in June 2016, Kirill Komarov, the first deputy CEO of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said on Tuesday.

“We are set for very serious work. Soon, we plan to sign an agreement on the project implementation, to sign an agreement on the site examination,” he said. “It is not ruled out that some of our documents will be signed in a span of two weeks, at the Petersburg Economic Forum.”…….

Russia and Bolivia signed intergovernmental agreements on cooperation in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy and on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear research and technology center on March 6…….http://tass.ru/en/economy/879346

June 1, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Endless nuclear power – America’s foolish dream

 America’s long fever dream of boundless nuclear power: What’s a country to do?  Environmental Leader, 31 May 16, America’s relationship with civilian nuclear power is curious: it’s like the story of the aging playboy who can’t let go of his alluring but high-maintenance showgirl. The two love each other, dreaming of what might have been and what might be. They can’t quite make the relationship work, but can’t let go either……..

Showgirl new nukes

Next generation nuclear power might take many forms. Those behind the technologies they are working on – the small, modular, passively safe nuclear reactor; the traveling wave rector Bill Gates and others are backing, and other advanced concepts, which a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing learned about from experts last week – seem aware they may never see the fruit of their labors in their lifetime. They talk of initial developments by 2030 or 2035 and beyond.

They talk of public-private partnerships aimed at solving supply chain problems, of resolving technical and licensing challenges, and addressing technical and economic questions at the demonstration phase. After 60-some years of commercial nuclear power, we’re still trying to profit from what we’ve learned and determine what yet we need to do. It’s conceptual, patient work. It seems we’re willing to keep the industry alive, but just barely.  DOE’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative will be funded at a modest $80 million over several years……

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) would like to end tax incentives for wind and instead double spending on new reactor research, but there’s no consensus for that……
 it is high cost. And then, of course, there’s the little matter of what to do about the still-radioactive spent fuel.

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

Ontario pouring good money after bad in its failing nuclear dream

flag-canadaOntario’s misguided love affair with nuclear power, The Star, 31 May 16  Instead of seeing principled leadership in Ontario, we are seeing the opposite – a stealthy effort to keep an old and uneconomic nuclear dinosaur on life support. By JACK GIBBONS
nuclear-dream

The Wynne government in Ontario is considering spending more than $300 million to patch up Canada’s oldest nuclear generating station in hopes of keeping it running for another eight years or more. It’s kind of like deciding to buy new tires, a new transmission and a new windshield for your 20-year-old Buick LeSabre, except this mechanical dinosaur is a giant nuclear plant located in the heart of our largest urban area.

Construction on Pickering began in the 1960s and its first reactors were powered up in 1971 – the same year Led Zepplin released Stairway to Heaven. Despite 45 years of operation, its owner, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), only recently decided to see if the millions of people living around the plant are aware of its plans for what they should do in the event of an emergency at the plant. It quickly found out that a) local residents had no clue what they were supposed to do; and b) they weren’t buying OPG’s plan to “shelter in place” (stay put) during a high-level emergency.

No other nuclear plant in North America even comes close to having as many people on its doorstep as the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. …….

Pickering is already sucking up $900 million per year in out-of-market subsidies for its power. As one of the highest-cost nuclear plants on the continent, keeping Pickering running means higher electricity rates.

And it’s not like we need its power: In 2015, Ontario exported more power than Pickering produced – and lost money doing it.

So why after promising to close Pickering by 2020 at the latest are the Liberals now working to keep it limping along?  It could be like your Buick: You bit the bullet on that costly new transmission and just can’t admit it was a big mistake. Repairs to Pickering’s reactors in the late 1990s went massively over budget and were years late in being completed.

The truth is, however, that “fixing” Pickering is like fixing your aging Buick – it is an ongoing and costly battle. One reactor has recently been offline for months for repairs and breakdowns and “incidents” are regular occurrences at North America’s fourth oldest nuclear station. Pickering was the site of the worst loss of coolant accident at a Canadian reactor, during which workers had to siphon heavy water off the floor of the containment building and back into the reactor in 1984.

Designed in the 1950s and ‘60s, Pickering is an unusual nuclear facility: It has multiple reactors sharing a single containment building and has no secondary fast shutdown system. Separate containment for individual reactors and redundant fast shutdown systems have been standard issue for most nuclear plants for years.

The real reason the government wants to keep Pickering going is that our energy planners remain some of the last people on the planet who still believe that nuclear energy is the best way to meet our need for a brightly lit home or a cold drink. Only France outranks us for dependence on nuclear energy……

The problem is, we are all going to pay the price for their love affair with this outdated technology. https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2016/05/30/ontarios-misguided-love-affair-with-nuclear-power.html

June 1, 2016 Posted by | Canada, politics | 1 Comment

Monju: the failing nuclear reprocessing dream

Nuclear Holy Grail Slips Away From Japan With Operator Elusive http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-31/nuclear-holy-grail-slips-away-from-japan-with-operator-elusive  sstapczynski  

  • Japan to pick a new operator for Monju fast-breeder reactor
  • The prototype plant has cost more than $9 billion amid delays

Japan is missing its own deadline to find a new operator for a prototype nuclear power program that’s failed to succeed in the two decades since it was built, threatening the resource-poor country’s support of a technology other nations have abandoned.

fast-breeder-Monju

The country’s nuclear regulator demanded in November a replacement for the government-backed Japan Atomic Energy Agency be found within six months for the Monju fast-breeder reactor. Monju, which has functioned for less than a year since its completion more than 20 years ago, now faces the possibility of being scrapped.

The so-called fast-breeder reactor — a cornerstone of its atomic energy strategy dating back to the 1950s — uses spent nuclear fuel from other plants and is designed to produce more atomic fuel that it consumes. The reactor, named after the Buddhist deity of wisdom, has cost the nation more than 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) and has barely operated since it first generated electricity in 1995.

 “The potential closure of Monju would be a major blow not just to the fast-breeder community in Japan, but also those supporting reprocessing of spent fuel,” M. V. Ramana, a professor at Princeton University’s Nuclear Futures Laboratory, said by e-mail. “I wonder if the government will allow Monju to be shut down? I would expect that they will simply create a new agency to oversee Monju.”

1950s Strategy

Monju is currently operated by the JAEA, a quasi-government organization that is under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. JAEA declined to comment. The nation’s nuclear watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, didn’t respond to e-mailed questions regarding the status of Monju.

“We don’t have plans to decommission the reactor,” said Hiroki Takaya, director of the ministry’s International Nuclear and Fusion Energy Affairs Division, which oversees Monju. “We are exploring many different options for who will operate the reactor — either a new entity or an existing company.”

The NRA said in November the science ministry must find a new operator or consider closure. The ministry drafted a set of criteria for a new operator, but have yet to name a replacement, it said on May 27. The ministry hopes to find an operator as soon as possible, but hasn’t set a concrete deadline.

 “These turn out to be very expensive technologies to build,” Allison MacFarlane, a former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said by e-mail. “Many countries have tried over and over. What is truly impressive is that these many governments continue to fund a demonstrably failed technology.”

June 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | 1 Comment

You think the oil industry’s in trouble? Try nuclear!

nukes-sad-Nuclear power in more trouble than oil Utilities shutting down plants earlier than expected Houston Chronicle , By Chris Tomlinson , 31 May 16 If you think folks in the oil and gas business have it tough, talk to someone in the nuclear power industry where 20 percent of the reactors operating today may shut down early.

 Across the country, older nuclear power plants are facing early closure because they can’t compete in a competitive market that the builders never expected.

The last time the United States opened a new nuclear reactor was 30 years ago, when state commissions set the price for electricity and a generator could rely on steady, reliable profits for the lifetime of the plant. But since then, states have deregulated electricity markets and have forced generators to compete to sell the cheapest electricity by the 15 minute interval.

That’s a problem a nuclear power plant, which requires a huge investment to build and a huge amount of cash to decommission. The electricity may be marginally cheap, but what experts call the levelized cost of electricity that includes all the expenses is actually quite high.

That’s why the Nuclear Energy Institute reports that 15 to 20 of the nation’s 99 commercial reactors are at risk of premature closure in the coming years. If they have to compete solely on the spot-market price for electricity, keeping them going doesn’t make economic sense…….http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/outside-the-boardroom/article/Nuclear-power-in-more-trouble-than-oil-7943174.php?t=2d6e26d409&cmpid=twitter-premium

 

June 1, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear stations more at risk than Regulators say

safety-symbol-SmFlag-USAUndercovered: New Report Says Nuclear Power Plants More Vulnerable Than Regulators Said, Mediaite, by   May 31st, 2016 

Welcome to Undercovered: our new daily feature bringing attention to excellent reporting and stories we feel deserve a larger audience.

Nuclear power plants in the United States are more vulnerable to the threats of natural disaster or terrorism than federal regulators have said, according to study released May 20 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The Academies’ study is something of a rebuke to a 2014 study by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a government agency that oversees the nuclear power industry. According to the chair of Academies board, the NRC’s study neglected to adequately evaluate the risks posed by terrorism or sabotage to nuclear power plants, specifically to the aboveground pools that hold the spent nuclear fuel. There are 96 such pools in the U.S. spread out across 30 states………http://www.mediaite.com/online/undercovered-new-report-says-nuclear-power-plants-more-vulnerable-than-regulators-said/

June 1, 2016 Posted by | safety, USA | 1 Comment

Ukraine Cuts Russia Out Of Plans To Build Nuclear Reactors,

 flag-UkraineDaily Caller 31 May 16 ANDREW FOLLETT  The president of Ukraine’s state-controlled nuclear power company announced Monday that the country is terminating an agreement with Russia to complete the construction of two nuclear reactors.

The president told the satellite television channel Ukraine Today that the company was looking for new technical and economic advice from other countries to help finish the reactors.  The reactors are currently 75 and 28 percent complete, and the company believes both will be completed by 2020.

The project was been delayed several times by both Russia and Ukraine due to political concerns and Ukraine’s parliament voted to terminate the agreement with Russia last September. The country’s Ministry of Energy held off of an outright cancellation as Russia was providing the financing for the reactors. The reactors will likely be finished by American companies such as Westinghouse, which previously bid on a contract to finish the reactor……..

hackers linked to Russia attacked the country’s power grid last December, according to a February statement by Ukraine’s energy ministry. The massive hacking was the first known cyber-attack to take down an electric grid and one of relatively few attacks which damaged physical infrastructure. It left approximately 700,000 homes without power for several hours last December, mostly in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine.

The attack was probably caused by a well-engineered malware called BlackEnergy that disconnected electrical substations from the main power grid. A similar malware was used against Ukrainian media organizations during the 2015 local elections. The American Department of Homeland Security twice warned American utilities about the type of malware in December 2014 and again in June 2015http://dailycaller.com/2016/05/31/ukraine-cuts-russia-out-of-plans-to-build-nuclear-reactors/

June 1, 2016 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment