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Public fund may help decommission Fukushima

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TOKYO — Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering a public fund to ensure progress in the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, ministry sources said on Saturday.

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METI is specifically considering a new fund at the government-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation, the sources said.

A massive earthquake and tsunami hit the northeastern part of Japan on March 11, 2011. The twin natural disasters also triggered the meltdowns at the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 units of the nuclear plant.

According to the sources, the new fund would provide necessary financial support to Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, or Tepco, the operator of the crippled nuclear plant, to help it carry out the decommissioning work.

Tepco would have to eventually repay any money to the national government, but over a long period, the sources said. The sources also said that the scheme under consideration would minimize the public burden while ensuring steady progress in the decommissioning work.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation currently has a majority stake in Japan’s largest utility.

It is said that removing melted nuclear fuel and other decommissioning work will take several decades to complete. The work is estimated to cost a few trillion yen (tens of billions of dollars).

As things stand now, Tepco will be able to secure around 2 trillion yen ($19.6 billion) to implement the decommissioning work.

If the exact cost of the decommissioning work is determined and if Tepco takes the accounting step of booking reserves in a lump sum to cover the cost, the utility’s liabilities could exceed its assets.

If Tepco were to fall into such a financial crisis, the decommissioning work as well as compensation payments to victims could be stalled. This would delay the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture.

http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Public-fund-may-help-decomission-Fukushima

July 31, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

July 31 Energy News

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Science and Technology:

¶ The American Psychological Association links air pollution to brain disorders and diminished cognitive abilities in a report that links air pollution to increased depression, educational troubles for children, and degenerative problems. “Now, the evidence is mounting that dirty air is bad for your brain as well,” it says. [CleanTechnica]

Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC. Neural Connections of the Brain via Flickr CC.

¶ Scientists may underestimate how quickly plants can change location in response to climate change, a study from the University of British Columbia says. The comfort zones of many plants and trees are easing north or into higher elevations, but the speed with which they move is being driven by evolutionary responses. [Windsor Star]

World:

¶ A study suggests that households in Pakistan waste 25% of their electricity due to inefficient appliances, contributing to the energy-crisis in Pakistan. It criticizes the dominant narrative on the…

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July 31, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Korea Wants to Send Its Nuclear Waste to Someone Else! Who gives a Flying Fukushima about what they want?

Mining Awareness +

South Korea has decided that they may want to give someone else their nuclear waste, according to Reuters (July 25, 2016). Well doesn’t almost everyone? Why would anyone give a flying Fukushima about what South Korea wants anyway? Let North Korea have them. Or China. China would still be smaller than Russia.
WIPP  15 May 2014 7
WIPP 22 May 2014
WIPP: US Underground Repository for Transuranic Nuclear Waste – Plutonium, Americium and all of that long-lived nasty stuff.

At least South Korea was honest enough to say so, however, and people can be on guard, instead of sneaking it out the backdoor like Germany’s trying to do with its high level Pebble Bed radioactive waste, and like Switzerland did with its old Swiss made, useless, plutonium. Swiss plutonium will be “diluted” and buried at WIPP as so-called GAP plutonium (aka foreign plutonium that foreign countries didn’t want). A long list of other countries have dumped their nuclear waste…

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July 31, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

July 30 Energy News

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Opinion:

¶ “Michael Liebreich Slams Extremely Expensive Hinkley Point C” • The £18 billion Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant would be guaranteed payments equal to twice the current wholesale price of electricity (i.e., what it would get without subsidy) for 35 years! And why? For nonsensical political reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Lazard's LCOE chart. Note that the guaranteed price of £92.50 ($122.40) per kWh offered to Hinkley Point C falls in the middle of the LCOE for nuclear power presented in that chart. Lazard’s LCOE chart. The guaranteed price of £92.50 ($122.40) per MWh offered to Hinkley Point C is well above costs for solar power.

¶ “Climate change video directed by James Cameron heats up the
DNC” • At the convention, Sigourney Weaver introduced a video directed by James Cameron that contrasts opposing views of on climate change. Titled “Not Reality TV,” the video shows how climate change affects everything from hurricanes to drought. [Inhabitat]

Science and Technology:

¶ Wood buildings sequester carbon, instead of burning it up in production, as steel and concrete do. A video from…

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July 31, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment