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Nuclear-free society advocate set to win Kagoshima governor race


KAGOSHIMA – Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono was heading for victory in the Kagoshima gubernatorial race Sunday, beating incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who agreed to the resumption of reactors at a power plant in the prefecture, a projection showed.

The 58-year-old Mitazono is a former TV Asahi Corp. commentator. He ran as an independent backed by the main opposition Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party as well as some conservatives who typically support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party but were opposed to the incumbent.

Ito, 68, with the support of the LDP and its junior coalition partner Komeito, was seeking his fourth four-year term.

One of the contentious issues in the race was the fate of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant in the prefecture.

The Sendai plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 units are the only reactors operating in the country after the government imposed tougher safety rules following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Mitazono demanded that plant operations be temporarily suspended for safety checks in the wake of a series of strong earthquakes that hit central Kyushu in April, while Ito argued that the plant’s safety had been secured.

We will not activate any reactors the safety of which is not guaranteed,” he told reporters on Sunday.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear power opponent wins governor’s race in South West Japan

text-Noflag-japanJapan nuclear restart in doubt after skeptic wins governor’s race, 11 July 16 TOKYO — The election of a governor who favors shutting down the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan raises uncertainty for the nation’s only running reactors.

“A nuclear plant whose safety hasn’t been confirmed shouldn’t be operating,” Satoshi Mitazono, a former TV journalist who ran in Kagoshima Prefecture, told reporters Sunday.

  Mitazono said he wanted another study to determine whether the facility lies near active faults and said there are “problems” with the current plans for evacuating residents in an emergency.

His victory in Sunday’s gubernatorial race is not expected to lead to the plant immediately shutting down, since governors lack the legal authority to make this happen.

But the plant’s two reactors are due for regularly scheduled inspections in October and December. Local utility Kyushu Electric Power would have little chance of restarting them after the safety checks if the governor objects. Mitazono’s problems with the evacuation plans may introduce time-consuming revisions.

“If the new governor insists on postponing the restarts, that would rule out operating the Sendai reactors,” said a senior official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is responsible for Japanese energy policy.

The No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power‘s Ikata nuclear plant may resume operations as early as this month. Even so, nationwide nuclear energy output would remain far short of the government’s fiscal 2030 target of 20-22% of power generation.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | Japan, politics | 1 Comment

British Parliament to vote on renewing Trident nuclear missile system, as Brexit problems loom

submarine-missileA UK nuclear vote, as Brexit looms By John Mecklin, 10 July 16   In a somewhat unexpected move, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron—who has already declared he will resign in September because of his country’s vote to exit the European Union—announced a quick parliamentary vote on replacing the country’s fleet of nuclear-missile submarines.

The announcement, made at a NATO summit in Warsaw, seems designed to underscore the UK’s commitment to the alliance. This Reuters piece suggests Parliament is likely to vote in favor of renewing the submarine fleet, in large part because of support from Cameron’s Conservative Party.

But amid the political turmoil over possible paths to a “Brexit” from the EU, there will almost certainly be opposition from some in the Labour Party and the Scottish Nationalist Party, which is on record as wanting the Scotland-based submarines decommissioned.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Old nuclear waste from Manhattan Project contaminating Niagara County

text-radiationRadioactive hot spots pepper Niagara County, Investigative Post, July 05 By  The first hint of radioactive waste near John Grace’s home in Lewiston came from his son who carried a radiation meter for his government job. The meter would beep every time his son drove over the gravel driveway.

“He said ‘something’s not right here,’ ” said Grace, who lives at 738 Upper Mountain Road.

Turns out, he was right.

Gravel in the driveway was first tested some 40 years ago by the federal Department of Energy and found to have radiation levels some 70 times greater than what’s found in the local natural environment. The driveway was still hot when tested again three years ago by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I just said ‘you’ve got to be kidding me,’” Grace said. “They said it was all around Niagara County.”

Indeed, this radioactive material is prevalent throughout the region.

Government documents show that state health and environmental officials have known for almost four decades that at least 60 properties throughout Niagara County and Grand Island, including the driveway near Grace’s home, are contaminated with radioactive material that resembles gravel. The radioactivity at these properties ranges from three to more than 70 times what people are naturally exposed to in the local environment, according to state and federal documents……..

Although the exposure to the radioactive waste does not pose an immediate health risk, the EPA and the National Academy of Sciences have concluded there is no safe level of radiation.

Furthermore, the group of attorneys and environmental engineers investigating some of the contaminated properties in Niagara County disagree with the state’s position that the waste does not pose a significant risk………

Radioactive hotspots identified

This story is based on a review of more than 8,000 pages of government documents requested under the Freedom of Information Law, property inspections with a radiation detector, and interviews with more than a dozen experts, attorneys, residents and government officials.

The federal Department of Energy and state Department of Health identified 100 hot-spots in Niagara County and Grand Island almost four decades ago. The federal government cleaned up about a third of the properties after determining the radioactive waste was linked to nuclear weapons development through the Manhattan Project. The remaining contaminated properties were left untouched at the time because the federal government believed the material was linked to commercial metallurgical companies, which have since closed……….

July 10, 2016 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

Renewal of Trident nuclear weapons system opposed by British Labour and Scottish National Party

flag-UKTrident: David Cameron confirms date for vote on renewal of nuclear weapons system MPs will vote on the future of the controversial weapons system in the House of Commons, The Independent  Siobhan Fenton @siobhanfenton  10 July 2016 Parliament will vote on the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system on 18 July, David Cameron has announced.

Replacement for the system is estimated to cost between £15bn and £20bn. The force currently consists of four submarines which are each capable of carrying up to 16 ballistic nuclear missiles which are capable of hitting targets up to 7,500 miles away……

The fleet will need to be replaced in 2028 and a decision is required by Parliament this year whether to renew the system.

The controversial scheme has proved divisive in Parliament…….

The Labour party has previously supported it but current leader Jeremy Corbyn has been a long-time opponent of renewal. It is expected Labour MPs may be given a free vote on the issue.

Mr Corbyn told Sky News: “We are having a look at all the issues surrounding it. I believe security in the world is achieved through peace, through democracy, through justice, through human rights.

“I do not believe that nuclear weapons actually enhance security, I support the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which we are signed up to, which is trying to bring together collective disarmament. Those are the views that I will be putting forward.”

The Labour party has commissioned a defence review about its policy on nuclear weapons. A draft version has reportedly indicated the party will leave open the option of retaining nuclear weapons on a smaller scale, thereby providing a compromise between total disarmament and renewal.

The SNP has been vocal in its opposition of the scheme.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear calls for answers on safety probe into Palisades nuclear power

logo Beyond Nuclear (USA)Beyond Nuclear Wants Answers in Latest Palisades Probe , July 09, 2016  by Gary Stevens  TAKOMA PARK, MD (WHTC) – The most outspoken opponent of the Palisades nuclear power plant wants answers.

Following a report by WWMT-TV on Friday of an investigation over several security officers at the Covert facility being placed on administrative leave, the group Beyond Nuclear on Saturday sent a “backgrounder” to media outlets that provides “significant additional context, information and documentation” about “current and long-standing security and fire risks at Palisades.”

Lead spokesman Kevin Kamps added in a statement that, “Beyond Nuclear also plans to file a Freedom of Information Act request at the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission as soon as possible regarding this matter, in order to make the NRC investigations into ‘fire inspection anomalies’ … at Palisades accessible and transparent to the concerned public.”

An unnamed employee admitted to the television station concerns about security at the plant due to the absence of the guards. Officials of Entergy, the operator of the plant, told WWMT that they are looking into the matter but “denied any change of security levels in or around” the 45-year-old facility. “An investigation identified anomalies within the site’s fire tour records, and we have implemented strong interim actions to make sure we have appropriate staffing levels and that fire tours are conducted properly,” Entergy Senior Communications Specialist Val Gent told WWMT, who refused to give other specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission admits that a probe is ongoing and defended not notifing the media before the television station was alerted by an unnamed employee about the matter, saying that there was never an immediate concern about public safety. NRC inspectors at the plant “continue to monitor this issue,” agency spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng told WWMT, and she added that a public statement will be issued when the investigation is complete.

Beyond Nuclear has been the most outspoken in asking the NRC to decommission the Palisades plant due to its age and its operation.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. (SCE&G) increase budget for new nuclear plant

hungry-nukes 1Santee Cooper works toward fixing costs to complete nuclear station, Berkely Independent  Staff Report Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors has authorized the utility to proceed with securing an option that fixes the costs to complete two new units at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station located in Jenkinsville, northwest of Columbia.

The fixed price option could give greater cost and schedule certainty to customers of Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (SCE&G), joint owners of the new nuclear project.

The state-owned utility’s board also approved the sale of $831 million in revenue obligation bonds, primarily to finance the ongoing nuclear construction project. A portion of the proceeds will be used to refinance existing utility debt……..

Santee Cooper owns 45 percent of the nuclear expansion project, and SCE&G owns 55 percent. The two utilities negotiated an amended EPC Agreement with Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC in October, featuring terms that incentivize schedule adherence and shift financial risk to Westinghouse for any additional delays in the current scope of work. The amended EPC Agreement also offers a fixed price option, and Santee Cooper’s authorization to proceed is contingent upon SCE&G receiving approval this fall of a related petition being considered by the South Carolina Public Service Commission.

Exercising this option will increase Santee Cooper’s budget for the nuclear project by about 20 percent……..

The 2016BD bond sale included $508 million in tax-exempt series B bonds and $323 million in taxable series D bonds. The series B issue includes $91.3 million in refunding bonds, which provide $9 million in net present value savings. The term “tax exempt” means exempt from federal and South Carolina income taxes for South Carolina residents under current law……

July 10, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

July 10 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ Rising sea levels and increased pollution linked to global warming are posing a huge threat to the future of the world’s peatland areas, new research shows. Peat bogs cover 3% of the Earth’s surface and play a crucial role in absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere, but climate change can alter their chemistry. [Scotsman]

A boggy plateau west of Carn a' Bhacain. Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons. A boggy plateau west of Carn a’ Bhacain.
Photo by Richard Webb. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.


¶ The forward to a new report quotes National Grid’s head of energy insights as saying, “We are in the midst of an energy revolution.” Two years ago, National Grid expected solar capacity in the UK to be 8 to 17 GW by 2030. Today, they see 15 GW as a minimum, and believe capacity could be as much as 39 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Asserting that the Indian…

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Drigg Nuclear Waste Dump Menaced By Coastal Erosion: Foreign Companies Profit; UK Taxpayer Holds Liability (Still Time to Oppose-Decision 15th July)

Mining Awareness +

For information on how to oppose Drigg see:
The Low Level [Radioactive] Waste Repository (LLWR) is situated near to areas of Cumbrian coastline where historical evidence indicates that the coast has receded in the past, and as it is anticipated that sea level will rise, it is expected that the repository area will be disrupted through coastal erosion and sea-level rise will accelerate this process.” (NDA, 2015)
Drigg map
Rusting Shipping Containers at Drigg on the Irish Sea
Rusting Shipping Containers Storing Radioactive Waste At Drigg Near the Irish Sea

Looking at the picture above, it doesn’t take much imagination to see that the LLW Nuclear Waste Dump at Drigg will fall onto the beach and eventually into the Irish sea, (unless it’s moved). Official documents even say so. It’s not a matter of if, only how quickly.
Drigg Failure Coastal Erosion NDA-OGL
“LLW Repository, Holmrook, Cumbria: Coastal Erosion Summary, Version 2, January 2015”, NDA-OGL

Who benefits from this dump along the coast…

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Outrageous and Reckless Endangerment of Public Health” Proposed by US EPA: Increased Radiation in Drinking Water after Nuclear Accident- Comment Deadline 25 July 2016

Mining Awareness +

Comment on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Draft “Guide for Drinking Water after a Radiological Incident” here: Due Jul 25, 2016 11:59 PM ET 06/10/2016 ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268

Comment submitted on June 13th, 2016:
ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268-0214
Tracking Number: 1k0-8q4j-uogf
In order to defend the withdrawal of your “Draft Protective Action Guide for Drinking Water after a Radiological Incident,” I urge you to consider the National Academy of Sciences BEIR VII report which reaffirms that there is no safe dose of radiation no matter how small.

No only is any increase in allowable radiation exposures a danger to the populations you are charged with protecting, BEIR VII particularly emphasizes that infants, women and children are harmed more severely by a given dose of radiation exposure than the adult males generally used as the basis for setting radiation exposure standards.

Please consider in addition…

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Allowing Increased Radiation in Drinking Water After Nuclear Disaster Akin To Murder Says Three Mile Island – Cancer Survivor: US EPA Comment Deadline 25 July 2016

Mining Awareness +

S/he is being diplomatic. Increasing the amount of radioactive materials allowed in drinking water is not akin to murder. It is premeditated murder.

Comment on the US EPA Notice: “… Guide for Drinking Water after a Radiological Incident” here: Due Jul 25, 2016 11:59 PM ET 06/10/2016, ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268

Fairewinds 8 Aug 2013 podcast TMI Fallout
Fairewinds 8 Aug 2013 podcast TMI Fallout

Anonymous Comment:
ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0268-0238
Tracking Number: 1k0-8qc9-wu2o
In 1979 Three Mile Island released radioactivity, drifting northward due to prevailing winds, through Chemung County NY. I lived there then, with my family. My dad died of Cancer, my wife died recently from cancer, I have had cancer and am a cancer survivor, other friends, neighbours and friends have died from or had cancer. Yet the local, state, and federal government and the nuclear industry said that everything was safe, that there was no danger to the public from…

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 9 Energy News



¶ “Will US Taxpayers Foot The Bill For Cleaning Up After Bankrupt Coal Companies?” • Fifty US coal companies have filed for bankruptcy since 2012. But before the collapse, speculating top producers ran up billions in debt to finance unwise acquisitions. Now we have a question. Who will clean up the mess they made? [CleanTechnica]

Strip mining, Powder River Basin, Wyoming. WildEarth Guardians/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND Strip mining, Powder River Basin, Wyoming.
WildEarth Guardians/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

¶ “Clean energy gets warm welcome from First Nations” • At the opening ceremony for the Box Canyon Hydro Project near Port Mellon, British Columbia, Squamish women elders cleansed the project of any ill spirits and sentiments, blessing it for a long and prosperous operation, providing power for 4,500 homes. [Vancouver Sun]


¶ GE Renewable Energy is assembling the parts for five of their Haliade wind turbines for America’s first offshore wind farm, which is being built by Deepwater…

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July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan wanting to market nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates

Buy-Japan's-nukes-2Japan teaches UAE lessons learnt from Fukushima nuclear disaster Caline Malek, The National UAE 11 July 16, ABU DHABI // Japan is offering experts and technology to the UAE to increase its nuclear energy cooperation with the country and share lessons learnt from the Fukushima disaster.

Professors with vast experience of the industry are being flown in to educate the Emiratis who aim to be the future of the country’s growing nuclear energy sector, while Japanese companies have provided essential parts for the UAE’s first nuclear power plant…….

Lectures are part of wider nuclear cooperation between the countries through an agreement signed in 2014 on the peaceful use of nuclear energy…..

Japan will also help to develop human resources in nuclear science and engineering.

“Japanese experts come to universities in the UAE to teach the most updated science and technology,” Mr Fujiki said…….

cooperation is based on the idea that nuclear energy should be used for the production of desalinated water to be used by the industry,” Mr Fujiki said. “A study is being carried out on the feasibility of this by a Japanese institute and the UAE.”

Japan has extensive nuclear experience and a well-developed industry, said Hamad Alkaabi, UAE ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency…..

Japan has one of the largest nuclear industries, dating back to the 1950s.

“It has a large body of knowledge and expertise in nuclear and a large corps of experts, scientists, engineers, businessmen, critics and journalists who have looked after the nuclear business,” said Nobuyasu Abe, vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission…..

July 10, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment