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New Nuclear UK : fears Hinkley uncertainty will affect Wylfa, Moorside, Sizewell and Bradwell

Moorside NuGen plan CumbriaNucClear News No 87,  5 Aug 16 New Nuclear: Wylfa, Moorside, Sizewell and Bradwell. Horizon and NuGen are both insisting that their projects at Wylfa and Moorside are not dependent on EDF getting the go-ahead for Hinkley. But Industry experts have warned that confidence across the sector would be damaged if Theresa May pulls the plug, especially given the French energy giant has already invested £2.4bn in Hinkley with unstinting Government support until now. If Hinkley were cancelled without any reimbursement for EDF, this would “significantly undermine” other developers’ confidence and might prompt them to seek some sort of financial guarantee. (1)
Greg Clark flew to Tokyo at the end of July on a three-day mission to convince Hitachi and Toshiba of the government’s commitment to new nuclear power stations in Wales and Cumbria and drumming up funds for the reactors, which he says are needed to replace Britain’s ageing coal and nuclear plants.
Hitachi and Toyota are understood to be concerned about Britain’s commitment to nuclear power. They hope to use the reactors as a showcase for their nuclear technology – Advanced Boiling Water Reactors and AP1000s. But the funding for the schemes has yet to be found, and both are scrabbling for investment. (2)
Meanwhile prominent nuclear lobbyist and former chair of the House of Commons energy select committee – Tim Yeo – says Russian, Chinese and South Korean nuclear companies should be offered subsidy contracts to build reactors in the UK if they are cheaper than other projects already under development. Yeo who chairs New Nuclear Watch Europe, a lobby group whose members include the Korean nuclear firm Kepco, urged the Government to “urgently examine which nuclear vendors can deliver the cheapest electricity, maximise the number of UK supply chain jobs and minimise the risk of construction delays”. (3) …….

August 5, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Non-profit World Business Academy sues Lands Commission over Diablo Canyon Nuclear Station

justiceFlag-USASanta Barbara nonprofit sues Lands Commission over Diablo Canyon, Cal Coast News, August 3, 2016

A Santa Barbara-based nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against the California State Lands Commission, alleging the agency wrongfully approved a new lease for the cooling system at Diablo Canyon power plant. The lawsuit claims state law mandates than Diablo Canyon undergo an environmental review.

On June 28, the three-member State Lands Commission voted unanimously to approve a new tidelands lease for the Diablo Canyon cooling system. The decision will allow PG&E to continue operating the nuclear plant until 2025, when the utility plans to shut it down. If PG&E did not obtain the new lease, it faced the possibility of closing Diablo Canyon as early as 2018.

The World Business Academy, a think tank that opposes nuclear power and promotes renewable energy, filed its lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The suit demands that state officials review potential environmental and public health dangers that could occur due to continued operation of Diablo Canyon.

California law mandates a project undergo an environmental review when any unusual circumstances exist, the lawsuit states. The World Business Academy claims there are numerous unusual circumstances surrounding Diablo Canyon. They include: high seismic risk; adverse health impacts from continuing emissions of radioactive isotopes; devastating impacts on marine life; potential adverse impacts from a terror attack; leakage and buildup of radioactive waste; and Diablo Canyon’s status as the sole remaining nuclear plant in California.

Rinaldo Brutoco, the president of the nonprofit, said any of the unusual circumstances should have triggered an environmental review…….

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Legal, USA | 1 Comment

Energy efficiency cheaper and more effective than Hinkley nuclear power

energy-efficiencyUtilitywise champions merits of energy efficiency over Hinkley Point C, 03/08/2016,  International Digital Editor

Utilitywise, the independent utility, energy and water cost management consultancy says that implementing energy efficiency makes much more sense for the UK than developing Hinkley Point C nuclear power project.

The cost of implementing energy efficiency measures is estimated to be less than £6 billion, while the construction of the new nuclear plant Hinkley Point C is expected to cost around £18 billion.

The company’s strategy and innovation director Jon Ferris said the controversial nuclear power plant represented an “unnecessary expense,” believing better strategy in terms of technologies such as heating, for example, would be a better option.

“Consumers are increasingly looking at energy efficiency to reduce the impact of levies that are contributing more and more to the cost of electricity consumption.

“Not only can individual businesses make significant financial savings, but the UK could offset more than the expected output from Hinkley Point C by taking all the opportunities to save energy,” he said.

The consulting firm which carried out audits for around 200 UK businesses as part of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) found that more efficient lighting and heating improvements would reduce energy consumption by more than 460 GWh.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactor installation mishap in Belarus

Belarus plant work suspended after installation mishap, WNN, 02 August 2016
Russia’s Rosatom has offered to replace the reactor shell its workers dropped during installation work last month at Belorussia’s first nuclear power plant, in Ostrovets, in the Grodno region. Meanwhile Mikhail Mikhadyuk, deputy energy minister of Belarus, has said a decision would be taken on the use of the equipment only after a thorough investigation of the “abnormal situation”……

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Exelon nuclear snubbed by Illinois legislature, embraced by New York’s governor-appointed state regulators

Exelon finds a nuclear ally in New York after Illinois snub , Chicago Tribune, Mark Chediak and Jim Polson, Bloomberg, 4 Aug 16,   In the end, the fate of Exelon Corp.’s money-losing reactors in Illinois and New York may have come down to one governor who desperately wanted to rescue them and another who wasn’t so sure.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid down his marker in December when he told the chairman of the state’s utility regulator that losing two upstate nuclear plants would gut a plan to cut global warming pollution and cost jobs. On Monday, the state agreed to a bailout and within hours, Exelon said it would invest $200 million in the two plants.

While Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner also worried about job losses, he said any rescue plan must protect ratepayers and taxpayers and that corporate bailouts raise red flags. In June, Chicago-based Exelon said it would close two Illinois plants after the state legislature balked at a measure to stem their financial losses.

“In New York, it was the governor’s support that did it,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kit Konolige said by phone Wednesday. “In Illinois, from what the governor said in public, it appeared he wasn’t all in.”

Debates over nuclear policy come at a critical time for the industry as U.S. reactors face tough competition from power generators that burn cheap natural gas flooding out of shale formations and rising solar and wind production. As of the end of July, 11 nuclear power plants have closed or are slated to be shut, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

In New York, Exelon benefited from Cuomo’s support and his determination to help upstate reactors as part of a clean energy plan even as he calls for the retirement of Entergy Corp.’s Indian Point nuclear plant near New York City. The state Public Service Commission vote Monday may also save Entergy’s James A. FitzPatrick nuclear plant near Oswego. Exelon said it would consider buying FitzPatrick if subsidies were approved.

Cuomo had the advantage of being able to tap governor-appointed state regulators to weigh the nuclear bailout instead of the legislature, according to Christine Tezak, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners in Washington……..

August 5, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Westinghouse to try to take over Nuclear Fuel Production In Ukraine

Toshiba Westinghouse

Westinghouse To Build Nuclear Fuel Production Unit In Ukraine, Oil PriceBy Zainab Calcuttawala – Aug 04, 2016 The American firm Westinghouse will be building a nuclear fuel production unit in Ukraine in order to help the country reduce its reliance on Russia, according to officials who announced the project on Thursday.Ukraine, which was formerly a Soviet Republic, has been trying to sever ties with Russia since the February 2014 revolution that tore the country apart. The Kremlin-backed president is now in self-imposed exile in Russia, while pro-European Union forces rule the country…….

Nasalyk visited the United States two months ago in an effort to find new sources of fuel and new forms of energy. Towards the end of his visit, he told reporters that Westinghouse would build a nuclear production factory in Ukraine in the future.

Russia has argued in the past that American fuel would be unsafe for nuclear plants built by Soviet scientists who operated under their own guidelines and standards.

“We have agreed to diversify our sources of fuel delivery to nearly half of our nuclear blocks,” Nasalyk said. “And we agreed (for Westinghouse Electric Sweden) to construct a nuclear fuel production facility on the territory of Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s relationship with Russia has been falling apart further in recent days……

August 5, 2016 Posted by | marketing, Ukraine | Leave a comment

GE Hitachi to provide human resources development program for nuclear energy, Malaysia

Hitachi-GE to launch nuclear energy course in Malaysia, WNN 04 August 2016 Japan’s Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy has renewed an agreement with two Malaysian universities under which it will conduct a new international human resources development program to train workers for the nuclear power industry.


Hitachi-GE announced today that it has renewed an agreement with the National University of Malaysia (UKM) and the Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten), a private university operated by Malaysia’s largest power company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

Under the agreement, Hitachi-GE will run an international human resources development program for nuclear energy, leveraging a course that the company has jointly conducted with Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) for the past five years. So far the course has been held at venues in Southeast Asia and other regions and attended by more than 2000 students. For the new program, Hitachi-GE will work with Tokyo Tech, which has cooperation arrangements with UKM and Uniten……….

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Malaysia, marketing | Leave a comment

Potential for legal challenges to New York’s new Clean Energy Standard

justiceFlag-USAWith Clean Energy Standard, New York looks to save nukes, skirt legal challenges Regulators say three nuclear plants are essential to meeting state climate goals, but is their plan to save them legal? Utility Dive, By  | August 4, 2016  New York regulators approved an aggressive Clean Energy Standard this week that calls for 50% renewable energy and includes income supports to keep three upstate nuclear plants online. ……the order has been carefully crafted to pass federal or legal scrutiny, though a challenge is all but inevitable……

New York’s nuclear support is unique, in that it uses the federal government’s social cost of carbon as an integral part of the formula determining the level of financial support to plants. Regulators hope that formulation will insulate them from legal challenges, but the National Energy Marketers Association has argued that the nuclear supports are the same type of regulatory action invalidated by the Supreme Court in Hughes v. Talen Energy MarketingThe Natural Gas Supply Association has said the ZEC proposal steps into FERC’s territory…….
With parties on both sides of the issue staking out positions, a challenge in front of either federal regulators or a judge is likely. And because time is of the essence for these challenged plants, it remains unclear what impact a drawn out fight could have………
Potential legal challengesWith opposition to the CES bubbling among fossil fuel providers, its likely the decision will face some challenge, either regulatory or legal.

In the days after its announcement, much of the legal speculation has centered on Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing.

In a unanimous decision in April, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a controversial Maryland program to incentivize new in-state generation, finding that it intruded on federal authorities’ jurisdiction over wholesale energy markets.

That case is also being talked about in the context of Ohio’s struggles with uneconomic generation. A previous subsidy passed by that state was blocked by FERC, forcing the utilities to revise and reduce their subsidy proposals……

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Zero new nuclear builds so far in 2015 – report

nukes-sad-New nuclear reactor builds fall to zero in first half of 2016 – report Jul 13, 2016   Construction starts for new nuclear reactors fell to zero globally in the first half of 2016 as the atomic industry struggles against falling costs for renewables and a slowdown in Chinese building, a report on the industry showed on Wednesday.

The last time there were no new reactors started over a full year was in 1995, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2016. The number of reactors under construction is in decline for a third year, with 58 being built by the end of June, down from 67 reactors at the end of 2013, the report said.

The latest figures highlight the struggles the nuclear sector is facing after the Fukushima atomic disaster in Japan five years ago, as higher costs and delays take their toll while other sources of energy become cheaper.

The nuclear industry faces a risk it “will not be easily protected from: the economic and financial risks from nuclear power being irreversibly out-competed by renewable power,” Tomas Kaberger, energy and environment professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, wrote in a forward in the report.

Kaberger is also a member of the board of state-owned Swedish utility Vattenfall, which owns 10 nuclear reactors, according to its website.

Construction started on six reactors in China in 2015, three times more than the rest of the world, while eight went into operation there last year, out of 10 globally, underlining how the world’s biggest energy user is a bright spot for the nuclear industry.

Three reactors have started up this year in China, with one in South Korea and another in the U.S., Watts Bar 2, which took 43 years to build, according to the report.

But even in China, renewables investment and capacity additions are outstripping nuclear, the report said.

New nuclear reactor builds fall to zero in first half of 2016 – report Renewables investments totalled $100 billion in China last year, more than five times the amount for new reactors, which was $18 billion.

Wind energy output totalled 185 terawatt hours (TWh) last year in China, compared with 161 TWh for nuclear. Solar power output totalled 39 TWh in 2015, up from 23 TWh the year before.

The report’s lead authors are industry analysts Mycle Schneider, based in Paris, and London-based Antony Froggatt. Both have advised European government bodies on energy and nuclear policy.

The report is available in full at:


August 5, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

Cover-up of failures at Guangdong nuclear plant

safety-symbol-Smflag-ChinaNuclear cover-up: environment ministry slaps penalties on errant crew over failures at Guangdong plant
Breaches did not lead to leak or threaten public safety, industry insiders say South China Morning Post, Stephen ChenEric NgErnest Kao, 05 August, 2016,Four staff members at a nuclear power plant in Guangdong have been punished for breaching ­operational guidelines and trying to cover up the failures, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said this week, more than a year after the incident took place.

Three staff at the Yangjiang nuclear power plant in Guangdong, about 220km north of Hong Kong, were given administrative warnings, while the crew’s leader, Wei Haifeng, was stripped of his senior nuclear operator’s licence, a severe punishment………

August 5, 2016 Posted by | China, safety | Leave a comment

Sheer folly to do nuclear deals with the Chinese

Espionage. Repression. It would be sheer folly to do nuclear deals with the Chinese, By MAX HASTINGS FOR THE DAILY MAIL  4 August 2016 The Prime Minister’s decision to review the £18 billion Hinkley Point nuclear power project has won a cheer from everyone not in line to make money from it.

When the holidays are over, there are two good reasons why Theresa May should go further and cancel the scheme.

The first is that its electricity will be fantastically expensive.

The second, which we shall consider here, is that it was a critical error of judgement for the Cameron government to invite the People’s Republic of China to fund a huge national infrastructure project.

Allowing the Chinese access to Hinkley Point, and beyond it to other British nuclear plants, would give a hostage to fortune. The record shows that the Chinese can’t be trusted with sensitive industrial data. Fair dealing has no place in their system.

A decade ago, Robert Zoellick, then World Bank president, said the West’s future relations with China required the country to become a ‘responsible stakeholder’ in the international order.

This it has not yet done. Until it happens, we cannot do big business with Beijing.

The last government, and especially the then-Chancellor George Osborne, cherished naive ambitions to create a historic new trading relationship with the dragon.

The new Downing Street, and especially Mrs May’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy, take a much beadier view. He recognises, and publicly warned about last year, the threat to Western interests posed by granting the Chinese access to our secrets and infrastructure.


HostilityA nation that engages in global industrial espionage, employing an estimated 1.5 million geeks to penetrate other people’s computers — while denying its own people online access — is not a comfortable business associate…………..

President Xi has shown himself to be the most autocratic Chinese leader since the death of the genocidal tyrant Mao Zedong in the Seventies.

The price of industrial co-operation with Beijing is British silence about China’s systemic human rights abuses, of which the highest rate of state executions in the world is only the most conspicuous example……..

AutocraticWe should be equally worried about the Second Bureau of the Third Department of the People’s Liberation Army — otherwise known as Unit 61398, which is engaged in the theft of intellectual property across the world………. we can scarcely ignore the evidence that Beijing scorns international law, personal freedom and property rights…….

RepressivePresident Xi and his comrades expect the international order to fit in with Beijing’s template…….

The involvement in Hinkley Point of one of the most repressive and secretive regimes in the world poses unacceptable risks.

Britain will have to pay a stiff forfeit for abandoning the project, but it seems right for the Prime Minister to make that decision.

There are many powerful economic arguments for cancellation, but the threat to our national security is the clincher.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point Nuclear – a Pointless Project

Hinkley Pointless, Britain should cancel its nuclear white elephant and spend the billions on making renewables work , The Economist, Aug 6th 2016 THE “golden decade” of co-operation between Britain and China, launched last year as Xi Jinping banqueted at Buckingham Palace, seems to have lasted all of nine months. The centrepiece of the new partnership was a deal in which China would invest £6 billion ($8 billion) in a new French-built nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in south-west England, before building one of its own in the south-east (see page 21). Yet on July 28th, as the Hinkley project was due to receive final approval, Britain’s new government announced ominously that it was under review……

EDF, the firm building Hinkley, has yet to finish two similar reactors in France and Finland that, based on a design plagued by problems, are overdue and over-budget. The British government has nonetheless promised to pay about £92.50 per megawatt hour for Hinkley’s output, compared with wholesale prices of around £40 today. By 2025, when Hinkley is due to open, that may look even pricier; by the time the guarantee runs out, 35 years on, it could look otherworldly. Other technologies are galloping ahead, upsetting all kinds of pricing assumptions. In the past six years Britain’s government has reduced the projected cost of producing electricity from onshore wind in 2025 by one-third, and of solar power by nearly two-thirds (see chart). Because nobody knows how the next few decades will unfold, now is not the time to lock in a price

One of the few certainties is that Hinkley is not the sort of power station that any rich country will want for much longer……..

August 5, 2016 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

New York’s Clean Energy Standard includes nuclear as “clean “renewable”

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

This Clean Energy Standard is  a joke. Nuclear power masquerades as clean and green, when it is clear that nuclear power is neither. While the operating reactor produces minimal emissions, it is part of a highly carbon emitting chain of processes and transport . Uranium mining, milling, conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, reactor building, waste pool and canister building, reactor decommissioning, waste burial –   all steps producing greenhouse gases.

And that other amazing lie – that nuclear power is “renewable”.
“Clean” – no mention of the unsolved toxic wastes problem, nor of the ever present risk of catastrophe.
And even with all this political help – nuclear power will still be uneconomic.

Adoption of Clean Energy Standard Acknowledges Nuclear as Clean, Green Energy, Oswego County Today, Aug 4, 2016,  In passing the Clean Energy Standard (CES), New York is now the groundbreaking world leader in recognizing nuclear power’s crucial role in our energy portfolio and in the protection of our environment

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Home at last, but little joy as evacuee picks up pieces of her life

3 km’s up the coast. 1.8 miles to Minami-Soma from fuk. …. “The Japanese government steered displaced people toward their return by repeating that an annual exposure of up to 20 millisieverts poses little health risk,”


Tomoko Kobayashi, right, prepares with a volunteer worker for the reopening of her Futabaya ryokan in the Odaka district of Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, on July 11.

MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–It was no ordinary homecoming for Tomoko Kobayashi, after an enforced absence of more than five years due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

She says she is “in no mood for celebration” given the daunting task facing her: having to start from scratch at the traditional ryokan inn that has been in the family for nearly 70 years.

The community that Kobayashi had called home was overrun with rats, wild boar and palm civets, and she struggled to protect the family business from that nightmare.

Kobayashi’s journey home to start afresh took her via Ukraine, which she visited in 2013 to learn how victims of the world’s worst nuclear accident–the Chernobyl disaster in 1986–were coping after all those years.

Kobayashi, 63, was shocked by the different approach authorities there had taken compared with that of Japan.

She said Ukraine takes a more cautious approach toward radiation risks.

Kobayashi returned to Minami-Soma’s Odaka district on July 12 after the central government lifted a ban for 11,000 or so evacuees from the district, which is within a 20-kilometer radius of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Her initial concern is living with low-level radiation.

She also worries for her future and whether she can get the business up and running. With her husband, Takenori, 67, Kobayashi has reopened Futabaya ryokan. The inn that she took over from her mother 10 years ago has 15 guest rooms and is located in front of JR Odaka Station, which is 16 km from the plant.

Another of her concerns centers on whether her return home to reopen the inn could play into the hands of the authorities.

The central government is eager to wind up the program that compensates the victims,” she said, alluding to a sense that evacuees are being encouraged to return so that financial redress can end.

On the plus side, the radiation level in her neighborhood has dropped to below 0.2 microsievert per hour. Although it is three times the level before the triple meltdown in March 2011, the figure is significantly lower than in the immediate aftermath.

Since the disaster, Kobayashi has closely monitored the radioactivity of food, drinking water and soil by working with a local citizens group. In one instance, radioactivity registered more than 10,000 becquerels per kilogram when she measured the levels of the dust and dirt sucked up in a vacuum cleaner at her home.

Returning home means she still faces the risk of exposure to long-term, low radiation. How this could affect her health is not understood by scientists.

Odaka was previously designated a “zone in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order,” where an annual radiation dose is estimated at 20 millisieverts or below.

Extensive decontamination work over the past three years paved the way for the evacuees’ return.

Despite the lifting of the ban, only 10 to 20 percent of the residents from Odaka and other parts of Minami-Soma are expected to go back.

Evacuees are reluctant because of the potential hazard of the long-term, low radiation exposure and the new living and social networks built during the five years they were away.

They are also wary of the risks of moving back in the vicinity of the nuclear complex where the unprecedented scale of work to decommission the damaged reactors is under way amid a host of challenges, including an accumulated buildup of highly radioactive water.

Before the nuclear accident, Kobayashi had a staff of five that washed and starched the linen. It was a hallmark of her ryokan’s hospitality. With only one staffer coming back, however, Kobayashi has to forgo the starched sheets.

At one point, more than 60,000 of the city’s 72,000 residents evacuated, including those who left voluntarily.

After she moved into temporary housing in Minami-Soma in 2012, Kobayashi occasionally visited the inn to clean up. The dark waters of the tsunami, spawned by the magnitude-9.0 tremor on March 11, 2011, almost reached the front door of her ryokan, even though it is situated 3 km from the coast.

Her neighborhood, which was blessed with a wide array of edible wild plants, mushrooms and freshwater fish, was transformed into a “gray ghost town.” The landscape became increasingly bleaker as gardens of homes were occupied by piles of black plastic bales containing radioactive waste from the cleanup operation.

Kobayashi had many sleepless nights. She wondered whether she could ever pick up the threads of the existence she led before the catastrophe.

Her turning point came in September 2013 when she joined a tour to the region in Ukraine devastated by the Chernobyl accident.

I was curious to know how victims of a nuclear accident considered more serious than Fukushima’s are faring nowadays,” Kobayashi said.

Kobayashi also wanted to convey her gratitude to those affected by the Chernobyl explosion in Zhytomyr province for sending 150 dosimeters to Minami-Soma. The devices proved to be invaluable at a time when the city badly needed them.

When her tour group visited Zhytomyr, the residents there shared their experiences and answered questions sincerely.

What struck Kobayashi during the trip was the disparity between Ukraine’s local government and Japanese authorities in their handling of radiation risks and programs made available to help the victims.

In Ukraine, authorities are more hands-on.

No Trespassing” and other warning signs were put up in communities, although their doses of radiation were lower than that in Odaka. Ukraine authorities issued a warning on the basis of radioactive contamination in the ground as it could lead to internal radiation exposure of residents through the spread of radioactive dust.

She also learned that a large number of people in Zhytomyr have developed health problems, not just cancer, but also a wide variety of diseases.

But they are guaranteed by law the right to receive treatment or to take refuge.

That is in sharp contrast with the Japanese government briefings with evacuees, which barely touched on the long-term, low radiation risks.

Kobayashi is outraged by this.

The Japanese government steered displaced people toward their return by repeating that an annual exposure of up to 20 millisieverts poses little health risk,” she said.

Kobayashi said she would have been less suspicious of the intention of Japanese officials if they had candidly admitted that they didn’t know about the possible effects on health.

She is also angered about the way authorities treated evacuees in light of the July 12 lifting of the ban.

Evacuees from Minami-Soma’s Kawabusa district, a mountainous area that fell in the “residence restriction zone,” were also allowed to return. The zone is defined as one registering an estimated annual dose of between 20 to 50 millisieverts.

Although a dose in Kawabusa was confirmed to have dropped to less than 20 millisieverts, the clearance came as a surprise to many locals since it ran counter to the government’s previous policy of designating such an area first a zone in preparation for the lifting.

Kawabusa is home to about 300 people, including many children.

Despite a drop in radiation readings in her community, Kobayashi said she cannot ask her grandchildren, who are 8 and 2, to come visit her and her husband yet.

But she is determined to make an effort for rebuilding.

I don’t know how many more years it will take to bring back the happy sounds of children to our community, but I am determined to do what I can do now,” Kobayashi said.


August 5, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

New Japanese nuclear power plant project given go ahead by local authorities


A man holds a flag with a radioactive hazard symbol during No Nukes Day, a protest calling for a nuclear-free future, in Yoyogi park in Tokyo, Japan.

Yamaguchi prefecture in Japan has renewed a landfill license for construction of a new nuclear power plant. The license was halted after the Fukushima disaster. The renewal comes amid heated debate on whether Japan needs new reactors at all.

The license to reclaim land for a new nuclear plant was renewed for the Chugoku Electric Power Co. by the prefectural government on Wednesday, Kyodo news agency reports.

The plant once planned to be constructed in the coastal town of Kaminoseki is positioned “within the country’s energy policy,” the local government said.

Originally, the two-reactor Kaminoseki nuclear complex on an island in the Seto Inland Sea was granted the landfill license in October 2008. The Fukushima crisis brought the construction to a halt at an early landfill work stage, while the license expired in 2012 and was not prolonged, as the former Yamaguchi Governor Shigetaro Yamamoto said the local authorities wanted to “examine the issue appropriately,” but did not make a decision, citing “special circumstances after the nuclear accident.”

Now the landfill license for Kaminoseki nuclear complex has been extended until July 6, 2019, specifically stipulating, though, that the landfill work cannot start until the company presents exact schedule of when the plant facilities are going to be built.

As of now, Chugoku Electric is not ready to elaborate on exact dates when construction will begin, company Vice-President Akira Sakotani said the same day the license was extended.

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

When the construction of the Kaminoseki nuclear complex began, it was slowed down by protests of the local anti-nuclear energy activists. The activists are expected to go on with their protests now, that the license has been extended.

Anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan have been strong ever since the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, but Japan’s huge nuclear energy industry has been stagnating amidst uncertainty for five years now.

Official Tokyo is already pushing for restoring operations of those existing reactors that have successfully met the new post-Fukushima safety requirements.

Just on Wednesday, the No. 3 reactor of Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co. successfully passed the state safety assessment, becoming yet another nuclear power unit confirmed for safe operations under new regulations.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment