nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Japan agrees second reactor life extension since Fukushima

000067262

 

TOKYO Aug 3 (Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear regulator on Wednesday approved an application by Kansai Electric Power Co Inc to extend the life of an ageing reactor beyond 40 years, the second such approval it has granted under new safety requirements imposed since the Fukushima disaster.

 

The move means Kansai Electric, Japan’s most nuclear-reliant utility before Fukushima led to the almost complete shutdown of Japan’s atomic industry, can keep No. 3 reactor at its Mihama plant operating until it is 60 years old.

The regulator granted the first such approval in June to Kansai Electric’s ageing reactors No.1 and 2 at its Takahama plant.

The Mihama No.3 reactor, which will turn 40 years old in December, has been shutdown since 2011 and a restart will not happen immediately as Kansai Electric needs to carry out safety upgrades at a cost of about 165 billion yen ($1.63 billion).

The upgrades involve fire proofing cabling and other measures and are planned to be completed in March 2020, a company spokesman said.

Opinion polls consistently show opposition to nuclear power following Fukushima. Critics say regulators have failed to take into account lessons learned after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N1AK41C

Advertisements

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear disaster evacuation plans worry many local authorities

uhijklmm.jpg

Workers clean up a bus that transported evacuees in a nuclear disaster evacuation drill in Shizuoka in February.

Nearly half of local governments polled are concerned about the recommendation that residents living within 5 to 30 kilometers of a nuclear power plant should “evacuate” by staying indoors if a serious accident occurs, an Asahi Shimbun survey found.

The survey also showed that a quarter of local governments want a review of the central government’s evacuation guidelines, which were set in October 2012 following the Fukushima nuclear disaster the previous year.

It was taken to find how local governments hosting a nuclear facility or located in the vicinity of a nuclear plant view the guidelines in light of the recent series of earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture.

In the quakes that began in mid-April, a large number of homes, as well as roads and other structures, were damaged. Continuing aftershocks added to difficulties in victims’ abilities to evacuate quickly.

The nuclear disaster evacuation guidelines were compiled on the assumption of a serious accident occurring at a nuclear complex, but do not take into account the destruction of evacuation routes, bridges and other buildings in the surrounding area, caused by a powerful earthquake, for example.

Shiga Prefecture, which called for a review of the guidelines in May, said: “Indoor evacuation would be unrealistic if a nuclear accident were coupled with an earthquake. Evacuation to the area beyond 30 km should be considered.”

Under the current setup, people living within a 5-km radius are ordered to evacuate immediately.

Those within a radius of 5 to 30 km are advised in principle to stay indoors initially and evacuate in stages, depending on the amount of radiation released into their neighborhoods.

Indoor evacuation” for such a zone is aimed at allowing the smooth evacuation of people in the 5-km zone first to avoid an expected gridlock.

But many local governments are wary of the central government’s recommendations, citing the possibility of a complex disaster involving more than just a nuclear accident, according to the survey.

The survey, conducted in mid-June and mid-July, covered 21 prefectural governments and 135 municipalities that fall within the 5-30 km radius. All the local governments responded but one, the Fukui prefectural government.

Of the total of 155, The Asahi Shimbun analyzed the responses of 151, as the remaining four municipalities replied that they will evacuate immediately. Most of these municipalities’ jurisdictions are also situated within the 5 km radius.

The survey showed that 71 local governments, including Niigata and Ibaraki prefectures, expressed concerns about the guidelines, while 22 replied that they are not.

Asked to choose one or more reasons for their anxiety, 56 cited the response to a situation where a large number of structures are destroyed.

As for the need to review the guidelines, 37 respondents, including Nagasaki and Shizuoka prefectures, agreed while 13 did not. Sixty-four said they don’t know.

According to the survey, 12 local governments replied that they are well prepared with regard to the infrastructure that enables smooth evacuation, whereas 69 cited problems with that issue.

How to evacuate in a nuclear accident that could be triggered by a devastating earthquake or another disaster that destroys homes and infrastructure has emerged as a pressing issue since the Kumamoto temblors.

Kagoshima’s new governor, Satoshi Mitazono, was elected in July on his campaign pledge to review the existing evacuation plan in connection with a hypothetical accident at the Sendai nuclear power plant.

The nuclear power station in Satsuma-Sendai in the prefecture is the only plant online in the nation and is situated relatively close to an active fault that is believed to have slipped in the Kumamoto quakes.

Despite growing concerns voiced by local governments, the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s secretariat, which compiled the guidelines, said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun that it will not consider a review.

Indoor evacuation will not be for a prolonged period,” said an official. “Gyms and other public facilities would be available for residents even if their homes were destroyed.”

The official also said local governments can improve their evacuation plans based on their understanding of local conditions.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201608030068.html

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco’s Profit Plummets Amid Declining Sales and New Competition

Operating profit falls by 37 percent in the first quarter

More than 750,000 Tepco customers have switched providers

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, said first-quarter operating profit plummeted 37 percent as sales declined amid faltering demand and new entrants into Japan’s power market.

Tepco, as Japan’s biggest utility is known, posted operating profit of 143.6 billion yen ($1.37 billion) for the three months ended June 30, down from 228.3 billion yen a year ago, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Revenue fell about 18 percent to 1.26 trillion yen as the company’s electricity sales volume dropped and rates were automatically lowered by the nation’s price adjustment system. The system adjusts monthly electricity rates for each utility based on a three-month average of import prices for LNG, crude oil and coal.

Japan’s regional utilities are getting squeezed by new entrants after the country liberalized its retail power market in April, allowing consumers to choose their electricity providers for the first time. Tokyo Electric hopes to boost its profits by expanding its domestic gas sales when the market fully opens up next year, increasing its foreign investments and restarting its operable nuclear reactors.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, said first-quarter operating profit plummeted 37 percent as sales declined amid faltering demand and new entrants into Japan’s power market.

Tepco, as Japan’s biggest utility is known, posted operating profit of 143.6 billion yen ($1.37 billion) for the three months ended June 30, down from 228.3 billion yen a year ago, the company said in a statement Thursday.

Revenue fell about 18 percent to 1.26 trillion yen as the company’s electricity sales volume dropped and rates were automatically lowered by the nation’s price adjustment system. The system adjusts monthly electricity rates for each utility based on a three-month average of import prices for LNG, crude oil and coal.

Japan’s regional utilities are getting squeezed by new entrants after the country liberalized its retail power market in April, allowing consumers to choose their electricity providers for the first time. Tokyo Electric hopes to boost its profits by expanding its domestic gas sales when the market fully opens up next year, increasing its foreign investments and restarting its operable nuclear reactors.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-28/tepco-s-profit-plummets-amid-declining-sales-and-new-competition

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Reuse of radioactive soil could cut costs by 1.5 trillion yen: ministry estimate

f-ghlmùppklkjhh.jpg

 

Behind the Environment Ministry’s controversial decision to allow reuse of highly radioactive soil emanating from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in public works projects was an estimate that the reuse could cut the costs of reducing radiation levels of such soil by over 1.5 trillion yen, it has been learned.

The estimate in question was presented during a closed-door meeting of the ministry in January and stated that reuse of radioactive soil generated from Fukushima decontamination work could cut the cost for purifying such soil from 2.9127 trillion yen in case the levels of radioactive cesium are reduced to 100 becquerels per kilogram to 1.345 trillion yen in case the cesium levels are cut down to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram. The estimate calls the latter option “reasonable from economic and social points of view.”

The Environment Ministry decided in June to allow reuse of soil with radioactive cesium of no more than 8,000 becquerels per kilogram in mounds under road pavements and other public works projects. The decision sparked criticism that it runs counter to the safety standards of 100 becquerels or less for recycling metals generated from the decommissioning of nuclear reactors under the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors. The ministry has insisted that the radiation levels of tainted soil used in road mounds can be held down from 8,000 becquerels to around 100 becquerels by covering those mounds with concrete among other measures.

A ministry working group on safety evaluation of radiation effects held closed-door meetings over the issue on six occasions between January and May this year. In June, the Mainichi Shimbun reported that an estimate presented to one of those meetings stated, “For example, it will take 170 years for radiation levels to reduce to 100 becquerels if tainted soil of 5,000 becquerels is put to reuse,” sparking controversy. In response, the ministry on Aug. 1 released the minutes of the closed-door meetings and other documents on its website.

At the second meeting of the working group on Jan. 27, the copies of a document titled “About reasonable radioactivity concentrations of recycled materials” were handed out to attendants. The document, which was drawn up by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, includes an estimate that the cost for reducing the radiation levels of tainted soil to 100 becquerels for recycling would reach 2.9127 trillion yen, with a volume reduction rate of 40 percent, adding that 40 percent of contaminated soil could not be put to reuse. Meanwhile, the estimate says it would cost 2.1185 trillion yen to drop the radiation levels of tainted soil to 3,000 becquerels, with a volume reduction rate of 0.5 percent, while it would cost 1.345 trillion yen to decrease the radiation levels of soil to 8,000 becquerels, with a volume reduction rate of 0.2 percent. The latter option could make 99.8 percent of tainted soil available for reuse, the estimate says.

“Considering economic and social factors, it is appropriate to set the radioactivity concentration of recycled materials at several thousand becquerels,” the document stated. A note of caution in the document states, “Apart from this, it is necessary to project the cost for final disposal (of tainted soil).”

A ministry official in charge of the issue told the Mainichi Shimbun, “The document was produced in response to a request by a member of the working group. As the document states, it is difficult to (set the standards for reusing tainted soil) at 100 becquerels from a realistic point of view.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160803/p2a/00m/0na/014000c

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

License renewed for new nuclear plant project in western Japan

EN-424353-thumbx300.jpg

Planned construction site for Kaminoseki nuclear plant

File photo taken in October 2012 shows the planned construction site for a Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s nuclear plant in the western Japan town of Kaminoseki. Local opposition and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster have prevented development of the construction project.

YAMAGUCHI, Japan (Kyodo) — The Yamaguchi prefectural government on Wednesday renewed a license for Chugoku Electric Power Co. to reclaim land for a new nuclear power plant in the western Japan prefecture, surprising and angering local residents opposed to the project.

Whether to extend the expired license for landfill work in the coastal town of Kaminoseki to build the Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Station had been a pending issue after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis led to the suspension of the work. But the local government decided to grant permission, saying that the plant is positioned “within the country’s energy policy.”

The utility is unlikely to quickly restart the work due to local opposition, however. The local government’s license renewal is also conditional: It said landfill work should not start until prospects of building plant facilities become clear.

But the latest development could open up substantial discussions on whether new reactors should be built in Japan, which the central government has largely avoided so far in consideration of antinuclear sentiment that has prevailed after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

Meanwhile, the government has already been pushing for the resumption of existing reactors that have met post-Fukushima safety requirements. On Wednesday, the No. 3 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture became the latest unit to have effectively cleared the state safety assessment.

Chugoku Electric was initially granted the landfill license in October 2008 for the two-reactor Kaminoseki nuclear complex on an island in the Seto Inland Sea.

The company began landfill work a year later, but progress was slow amid local protests and was suspended after the Fukushima crisis was triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan in March 2011.

Just before the license was set to expire in October 2012, the utility applied for a three-year extension to the prefectural government. “We have not changed our idea that we need the Kaminoseki plant. We want to keep the license,” a utility official said at the time.

Then Yamaguchi Gov. Shigetaro Yamamoto said the local government will “examine the issue appropriately” but did not make a decision, citing “special circumstances after the nuclear accident.”

But on Wednesday, the prefectural government reversed course and permitted the extension of the license, though saying that landfill work should not begin until the utility has clear prospects of building plant facilities.

Chugoku Electric Vice President Akira Sakotani said the same day that there is currently no specific date set for building the facilities.

“We will seriously take to heart the request (by the prefectural government) and carefully consider (our response),” he said.

The license will be effective until July 6, 2019.

The decision of the prefectural government drew mixed responses from local residents.

“I can’t believe the permission was given,” said Toshiyasu Shimizu, 61, who heads a group of residents on an island several kilometers from the construction site.

But Naonori Koizumi, a 58-year-old member of a group supporting the construction project, said, “I don’t think work will immediately resume, but the town is depopulating and graying. I hope nuclear power will make this town richer.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160803/p2g/00m/0dm/058000c

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco’s hazmat suit guideline decreases burden on workers during summer heat

n-tepco-a-20160803-870x590.jpg

 

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, has been revising guidelines for when workers need to wear full masks with hazmat suits or less-bulky outfits to improve their working conditions during the scorching summer.

While a full-body outfit limits radiation exposure, hazmat suits and full masks have been a heavy burden for workers because they restrict movement and make it difficult to breathe, prompting Tepco to revise the guidelines on their usage.

In March, Tepco changed the guidelines, dividing the premises into three areas.

In the area where radiation levels remain high, including inside reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3, workers will need to wear a full mask and disposable hazmat suit with a raincoat-like outer layer.

Workers meanwhile will need to wear full or half masks with hazmat suits in areas where radiation levels are lower, such as near tanks filled with radiation-tainted water. In the remaining area, the majority of which has low levels of radiation, workers only need to use disposable masks and their usual work outfits, Tepco said.

According to the utility, out of about 5,000 to 6,000 workers on the premises, about 47 percent were required to wear a full mask in June, down from about 66 percent in January, before the guidelines were changed.

Those who are required to wear a half mask increased to 48 percent from 28 percent in the same period, it said.

Before the guidelines were revised, about 8,000 disposable hazmat suits were used per day, but the number declined to about 4,000.

Even as hazmat suit requirements have halved, radiation exposure cases have remained unchanged at an average of two a day, Tepco said, adding that the risk of radiation exposure has not increased.

Tepco said it will offer summer outfits at the beginning of this month to lessen the chance of workers succumbing to heatstroke.

In July, the health ministry opened a health care office at J-Village near the Fukushima No. 1 power plant so that its workers can seek free health consultations from doctors who are versed in radiation exposure.

“During the summer period, the health of workers tends to worsen due to heatstrokes as well as other illnesses, so we need to step up measures to resolve the situation,” said a heath ministry official.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/02/national/tepcos-hazmat-suit-guideline-decreases-burden-workers-summer-heat/#.V6FSAYQiBHw.facebook

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Small Progress of Landside Impermeable Wall freezing

The purpose of the Landside Impermeable Wall construction lies not in freezing soil to form an underground wall but in keeping groundwater from flowing into the reactor/turbine buildings and preventing new contaminated water being generated.

By closing less than 95 percent of the mountain side of the Landside Impermeable Wall in Phase 2 of the first stage, it is expected that the amount of groundwater flowing into the areas around the reactor/turbine buildings will be reduced. This will help keep groundwater from being contaminated during the first stage.

Throughout the first stage, how freezing of the Landside Impermeable Wall has progressed will be checked by monitoring the difference in groundwater levels inside and outside of the wall and the amount of groundwater pumped up by the subdrain and groundwater drain systems and the wellpoint system.

Groundwater levels and hydraulic heads (in the medium-grained sandstone layer 1 on the seaside)

8.jpg

Groundwater levels and hydraulic heads (in the medium-grained sandstone layer 2 on the landside)

9.jpg

Groundwater levels and hydraulic heads (in the alternating strata layer and the fine-and rough-grained sandstone layer 1 on the seaside

10.jpg

Groundwater levels and hydraulic heads (in the alternating strata layer and the fine-and rough-grained sandstone layer 2 on the landside)

11.jpg

Location map of groundwater level observation wells (as of June 2016)

12.jpg

Progress of supplementary work

13.jpg

Progress of supplementary work (1BLK)

Over-time changes of the soil temperatures in the north side area of Unit 1 where the supplementary work is in progress The soil temperatures temporarily increased because of water which was used to bore through the ground during the supplementary work, but it has gradually decreased. Since the soil temperature around the thermometer pipe of 120-1S has not dropped sufficiently, however, the second round of injection is currently under way. TEPCO Holdings will continue to monitor the temperature changes.

Progress of supplementary work (9BLK)

As seen in the soil temperatures in the 1BLK area, that in the 9BLK area temporarily increased because of water which was used to bore through the ground during the supplementary work. The soil temperature around the thermometerpipe of 30-9S0 has dropped to around 0 degrees Celsius, and TEPCO Holdings will continuously monitor it. In the area around the thermometer pipe of 70-9S, the second round of injection is progressing.

Progress of supplementary work (12BLK)

Over-time changes of the soil temperatures in the east side area of Unit 2 (12BLK) where the supplementary work is in progress The soil temperatures have gradually decreased. Monitoring of the temperatures will continue.

Progress of supplementary work (13BLK)

Over-time changes of the soil temperatures in the east side area of Unit 2 (13BLK) where the supplementary work is in progress Since the soil temperature around the thermometer pipe of 30-13S has slowly decreased, the second round of injection is planned. Although the decrease of the soil temperatures around the thermometer pipes of 50-13S and 90-13S have been gradual but steady, monitoring of the temperatures is still under way.

Purpose of supplementary work

To help further freeze soil in places where the soil temperatures have slowly dropped due to fast flowing groundwater, the speed at which the groundwater runs has to be reduced by making the permeability of the soil as low as that of soil in the vicinity of the places.

The purpose of the supplementary work lines not in constructing different walls from the landside impermeable wall but in changing locally highly permeable soil areas into areas with low permeabilities observed in the soil of the surrounding area.

14.jpg

Source: Tepco

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160728_02-e.pdf

 

 

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Anti-terror facility at nuclear plant confirmed

-1x-1.jpg

Japan’s nuclear regulator says plans for terrorism-response facilities at the Takahama nuclear plant are the first in Japan to meet its requirements.

New government regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident require nuclear plant operators to build standby control rooms at least 100 meters away from each of their reactors.

The special facilities allow employees to retain control of a plant’s reactors even if main control rooms are destroyed by terrorists or in a plane crash.

Officials at the Nuclear Regulation Authority confirmed that the plans for standby control rooms for the No. 3 and No.4 reactors at the plant are in line with requirements. They will soon issue formal approval for construction.

The decision came at a closed-door session to maintain secrecy of the rooms’ design and location.

The Takahama plant on the Japan Sea coast became the first of 7 nuclear plants in Japan to submit applications for approval.

The plant’s operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, is now required to set up the facility for the No.3 reactor by August 2020 and for the No.4 reactor by the following October.

Some are criticizing the decision to restart reactors yet to be equipped with the standby facilities.

The 2 reactors at Takahama went back online earlier this year. But they were halted after a court ordered their suspension in March.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160802_20/

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

One More Worker Drops Dead At Fukushima Daiichi

hhuà.jpg

 

Another worker died on July 30, 2016 at Fukushima Daiichi. Tepco’s report indicates that he was found dead around 10:39am.

The weather recently has been warm but not extremely hot. Some of the early cases of workers dropping dead or falling ill at the plant were considered heat related. After this some heat related counter measures were put in place. Other cases were either never explained or vaguely claimed to be due to health problems.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/report/2016/1314410_8693.html

http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15653

 

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Hiroshima museum gets hibakusha’s rare copy of A-bomb tanka book written behind censors’ backs

jklm.jpg

A tanka collection by late hibakusha poet Shinoe Shoda, recently found in a private home, has been donated to the city of Hiroshima.

HIROSHIMA – A copy of an anthology of traditional tanka by Shinoe Shoda written to depict the horrors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and secretly published during the Allied Occupation has been discovered at a temple in Hiroshima Prefecture.

The anthology, titled “Sange,” a Buddhist term meaning death, was donated to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in the city on Tuesday.

The only other copy was thought to be one found earlier at the house of a relative of the late poet.

The donated copy is “a precious and rare material,” said an official at the Hiroshima Municipal Government’s peace promotion division.

Shoda experienced the atomic bombing while at home, only about 1.7 km from ground zero.

The anthology includes about 100 tanka that give graphic descriptions of what she experienced or heard from other hibakusha.

A translation of one tanka reads:

The heavy bones / must be the teacher / and alongside / small skulls / are gathered.”

In 1947, when the anthology was published, Japan was under U.S.-led Occupation and severe restrictions had been imposed on publications and reporting related to the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, according to the municipal government.

To evade Occupation censors, Shoda picked Hiroshima Prison as the place to print about 150 copies of the anthology. The copies were handed out only to people close to her.

About 10 years ago, Tomoaki Shoja, the 60-year-old chief priest of Sentokuji Temple in the town of Kitahiroshima, discovered a copy of “Sange” when he was organizing his late priest’s belongings.

The original owner is believed to have given it to Shoja’s family because a son of Shoda was evacuated to the temple in the closing days of the war.

The museum is considering putting the anthology on display.

Not many people know Shoda,” said Shoja. “She could become better known if more people have the chance to see the anthology.”

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/29/national/history/hiroshima-museum-gets-hibakushas-rare-copy-bomb-tanka-book-written-behind-censors-backs/#.V5w7vTUnDIU

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

America to upgrade its B61 nuclear missile

text-relevant  New deterrence: US plans to upgrade its nuclear bomb Rt.com 2 Aug, 2016 The National Nuclear Security Administration has given the go-ahead for work on upgrading the B61 airborne nuclear bomb, as the Pentagon is eager to embark on a multi-billion-dollar scheme to improve the US nuclear arsenal.

The decision taken by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) authorized the program to enter a post-engineering phase, which comes after four years of work. This now means that the first upgraded bombs are set to roll out by 2020.

nuclear-missile-ready

The B61 has been the principal US airborne nuclear bomb since 1968, when the first version was commissioned. With some of the modifications being canceled over the years and others withdrawn from use, only models 3,4,7,11 and 12 are currently in active service……

The Kremlin has been cautious about the announcement that the US intends to modernize the B61 nuclear bomb.

“The experts need to give their opinion about this,” said Dmitry Peskov, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary.

Meanwhile Senator Viktor Ozerov told RIA that Russia’s nuclear scientists would be assessing the US plans and would take steps to tackle the proposed threat if it is deemed necessary.  “No doubt, our nuclear weapons specialists will carefully study the level of threat and will take measures to minimize it, if needed,” Ozerov said.

However, Rob van Riet, the coordinator for disarmament program at the World Future Council foundation, told Sputnik that the decision is harmful to nuclear security and could lead to the weapons being used by accident, while it also “sends the wrong signal.” 

“The decision to extend the life span of [or] modernize the system is an unnecessary one that comes at a sizeable price tag and does the opposite of advancing nuclear security and disarmament. These weapons are a remnant of the Cold War,” van Riet said.

The decision taken by the NNSA to prolong the life of the B61-12 also comes as the US Air Force announced that it is planning to move ahead with proposals to replace its current intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear cruise missile with new programs. …….https://www.rt.com/usa/354364-bomb-nuclear-upgrade-pentagon/

August 3, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Aftermath of a Nuclear War: The Top 1% and the Mission to Mars

Mars escape

The American Empire is Playing a Dangerous Game with its Nuclear Weapons Arsenal The Day After Nuclear Armageddon: Armchair Warriors, Chicken Hawks and the Colonization of Mars? By Timothy Alexander Guzman Global Research, August 01, 2016    “………In 2015, the main-stream media, in this case Newsweek published an article titled ‘Star Wars’ Class Wars: Is Mars the Escape Hatch for the 1 Percent? It claims that wealthy billionaires are planning an escape from planet earth and leave the rest of the human race behind:

It’s nice to know Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have a plan. They will help the richest people in the world go to Mars and start over, leaving the other 99 percent to suffer on a dying, warring planet. The only solace for those of us left here will be that the Biebs should be prosperous enough to go with them

But those who have the political power and most of the world’s wealth at their disposal are in the midst of creating a plan to leave Earth in case of an apocalyptic scenario whether by a world war or an unstoppable life-threatening disease or any other catastrophe. They have it all figured out. The billionaire founder of Space X, Elon Musk and others like him have an ambitious dream and that is to colonize planet “Mars.” Yes, you heard this right the next planet closest to the sun. Maybe they want to step out into the sun and get an instant sun tan instead of heading out to their private beach or their local overpriced sun tan salons? Living on Mars does not seem like something the average human being would like to do at some point in their lives, maybe visit as a tourist but to live for the rest of their lives? I highly doubt it.

Perhaps Musk is not the only elite multi billionaire who would want to live on another planet or in space far away from the madness of our planet. Besides many of the financial and political elite created the situation that led to war, poverty and disease in the first place for their own benefit whether it was financial or political. According to an interesting article on Elon Musk’s vision of colonizing mars by www.science.com titled ‘Now Is the Time to Colonize Mars, Elon Musk Says’ quotes Musk who addressed an audience at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and said“now is the first time in the history of Earth that the window is open, where it’s possible for us to extend life to another planet,” he continued “That window may be open for a long time — and hopefully it is — but it also may be open for a short time,” he added. “I think the wise move is to make life multiplanetary while we can.”

According to Newsweek, Musk wants humans to become a “multiplanet species” and maintain an outpost as an “insurance policy” if something catastrophic were to occur on earth

Colonizing Mars has long been a passion of Musk’s. Indeed, the entrepreneur has repeatedly said that he founded SpaceX in 2002 primarily to help make humanity a multiplanet species. Having a self-sustaining outpost on the Red Planet would serve as an insurance policy, making humanity’s extinction unlikely even if something goes terribly awry here on Earth, Musk said Tuesday. Colonizing Mars would have other benefits as well, he added; the effort would greatly advance science discoveries and technological capabilities, and it would help inspire and excite people from all walks of life and from all around the globe

I do agree that colonizing mars would “advance science” but that is as far as I would go for such a project. Musk’s plan to send “people from all walks of life and around the globe” sounds nice but in all actuality is unrealistic. Who would reach Mars? Those with wealth and fortune from mainly the West not the 99 percent will get to go to Mars (and of course if you are willing to live the rest of your life on the red planet)…..http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-american-empire-is-playing-a-dangerous-game-with-its-nuclear-weapons-arsenal/5539076

August 3, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

French trade unions consider further legal action against EDF’s Hi8nkley nuclear project

justiceflag-franceNow French want to block Hinkley nuclear plant with unions set to launch second legal challenge http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3720786/Now-French-want-block-Hinkley-nuclear-plant-unions-set-launch-second-legal-challenge.html By CITY & FINANCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL, 2 Aug 16 Fresh fears have emerged over the future of Hinkley Point nuclear power station as French trade unions look poised to launch a second legal challenge against the project.

EDF gave its long-awaited approval for funding of the £18billion nuclear plant last week.

But yesterday it was claimed board members were only given 48 hours to read the 2,500-page proposal document before voting on the investment.  Complaints about the brevity of the two-day window have prompted French trade unions, who voted against the project, to consider further legal action against the energy company.

It follows an earlier legal bid from the unions over claims EDF did not provide enough information during the consultation on Hinkley.

EDF declined to comment.

August 3, 2016 Posted by | France, Legal | Leave a comment

Can America afford the Pentagon’s grandiose nuclear weapons plans?

missile-moneyThe new forecasts are likely to add to the debate over whether coming administrations will be able to afford what defence analysts call a “bow wave” of costs converging in the next decade for the new nuclear systems

A trillion dollar program: Pentagon poised to approve work on modernizing text-relevantnuclear-armed ICBMs, National Post Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg News | August 2, 2016 The Pentagon is preparing to approve development and production of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, opening competition between three top defence contractors and rekindling debate over whether the U.S. can afford to modernize its triad of nuclear weapons.

Frank Kendall, the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer, has convened a closed session of the Defense Acquisition Board for Wednesday to review the Air Force’s acquisition strategy and updated cost estimates for replacing Minuteman III nuclear-armed missiles that have sat in silos for almost 50 years.

The Air Force last year estimated the program would cost $62.3 billion for research and development and production of as many as 400 missiles as well as command and control systems and infrastructure. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman are all competing to build the new ICBMs.

The other arms of the nation’s land-air-sea nuclear triad also are scheduled to be modernized: Northrop defeated a Lockheed-Boeing team in October for the right to build a new bomber that can carry nuclear weapons, a project valued at as much as $80 billion. The Navy is planning to replace its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines through a production program now estimated at $122 billion.

Updated estimates for the cost of the missiles have been prepared by the Air Force and and the Pentagon’s independent cost assessment office but haven’t yet been released. The Navy is also updating its submarine estimate for a review later this year.

The new forecasts are likely to add to the debate over whether coming administrations will be able to afford what defence analysts call a “bow wave” of costs converging in the next decade for the new nuclear systems as well as nine Air Force conventional systems and plans for increased construction of naval vessels such as a second Ford-class aircraft carrier.

The ICBM “milestone marks the official beginning of the technology development stage where contracts will be awarded and spending” will “begin to ramp up,” from about $75 million this year to $1.6 billion in 2021, Todd Harrison, a defence budget analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an email.

Arms control organizations and some Pentagon officials say the nuclear triad’s modernization could cost as much as $1 trillion over 30 years if research, procurement, operations and support are included.

By way of comparison, Pentagon analysts estimate that Lockheed’s F-35 jet, the military’s most expensive program, may cost as much as $1.12 trillion over 60 years to support.

“It’s also important to put these costs in context,” Harrison said. “The U.S. will likely spend more than $20 trillion over the next 30 years on defence, so $1 trillion is only a small fraction of that,” Harrison said…….http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/a-trillion-dollar-program-pentagon-poised-to-approve-work-on-modernizing-nuclear-armed-icbms

August 3, 2016 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Small Nuclear Lobby sees its chance in UK, as Big Nuclear flounders

Professor Michael Bluck, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering “Nuclear power is widely accepted as a vital component in the energy mix, and Hinkley C will provide important base-load in support of other low-carbon, but intermittent technologies, such as wind and photovoltaics.

Emperor's New Clothes 3

“The construction and commissioning of Hinkley C will also provide a focus for the reinvigoration of the UK nuclear industry and the associated skills development necessary for future nuclear technologies such as small modular reactors, which could be built in a factory and transported to a location, making them cheaper to make and run, (SMRs) and Generation IV reactors, which would use nuclear waste from other reactors to power them, making them more efficient, and potentially even safer than current versions.” (http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_2-8-2016-14-28-7)

August 3, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment