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Inside Fukushima’s Time Bomb

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Five years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster many residents are still living in a radioactive nightmare.

Bubbling streams, lush forests, cherry blossoms in full bloom – Japan’s north is stunningly picturesque.

But nature’s beauty hides a lethal secret – dangerous levels of radiation contaminate this area, fall-out from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Five years after the twin catastrophes of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, villages sit silent and empty.

Thousands of workers still toil to clean up the radioactive material but it could be decades before their work is finished.

As Japan continues to suffer the toxic aftermath of one of its worst ever disasters, 101 East reveals that the countryside may never again be safe.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2016/08/fukushima-time-bomb-160824122108827.html

 

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August 26, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear governor in Japan asks Kyushu Electric to suspend nuke plant

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An aerial view shows the No.1 (L) and No.2 reactor buildings at Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear power station in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, Japan, August 11, 2015

A local Japanese governor on Friday asked Kyushu Electric Power to temporarily suspend the Sendai nuclear plant, one of two operating in the nation, further clouding efforts by the government and utilities to restart more idled reactors.

Anti-nuclear advocate Satoshi Mitazono, who was elected governor of Kagoshima prefecture last month, called on Kyushu Electric to re-examine safety and safety measures at its facility in southwestern Japan, raising concerns about a series of strong quakes that struck neighboring Kumamoto in April.

The request was expected as Mitazono, a former journalist, had said he wanted the temporary shutdown amid heightened concerns from local residents about safety and evacuation plans.

Mitazono’s pledges to suspend operations at the Sendai plant are credited with helping him beat in a July election incumbent Yuichiro Ito, who had agreed to the resumption of Sendai’s reactors.

“As an operator of nuclear power plants, the company has a duty to sincerely listen and response to the concerns of local residents. The company should temporarily suspend the nuclear plant and re-examine safety,” Mitazono said in a statement that was handed to Kyushu Electric President Michiaki Uriu at the prefectural government offices.

Mitazono has no legal power to shut down operating reactors.

“We will give the matter serious consideration,” Kyushu Electric said in a subsequent statement.

Only three reactors are online in Japan: two at Kyushu Electric’s Sendai plant and one at Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata station. Utilities have struggled to get nuclear units running again in the face of a skeptical public after shutting them all down following the Fukushima disaster of 2011.

Sendai’s reactors are already schedule to be stopped for maintenance this year, one in October and one in December. Reactors in Japan are required to be shut for servicing after 13 months of commercial operation.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-nuclear-kyushu-elec-pwr-idUSKCN1110WH

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

President of Fukushima Pediatric Association recently hand delivered the Association’s requests to Fukushima Prefecture to “scale down” thyroid exams for children in Fukushima

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Does Fukushima Prefecture need to scale down or expand its existing thyroid exams provided to Fukushima children who were 18 years of younger at the time of Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011?

President of Fukushima Pediatric Association recently hand delivered the Association’s requests to Fukushima Prefecture to “scale down” thyroid exams for children in Fukushima.

Fukushima Pediatric Association claims that identifying many children with thyroid cancer through Prefecture’s thyroid exams is causing anxiety among children, their guardians, and citizens in the prefecture, and requests that a partial re-consideration of the thyroid exam is necessary.

(By the way, can you tell which one is Dr. Kazuhiro Ohga of Fukushima Pediatric Association and which one is an official of Fukushima Prefecture, just by looking at the photo of the article? I initially thought the man on the right is an official from the Fukushima Prefecture, because the man on left is bowing deeper, as if he is asking a favor by delivering a request. I was wrong. Dr. Ohga is on the right.)

http://this.kiji.is/141480622388215816?c=39546741839462401

 

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On the other hand, a citizens’ group with parents of children whose thyroid cancers were detected because of Prefecture’s thyroid exams requests Fukushima Prefecture to expand the exams.

http://ourplanet-tv.org/?q=node%2F2057

Credit to Mari Inoue

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , | Leave a comment

Population Reference Bureau Issues 2016 World Population Data Sheet

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:  Our current population of 7.4+ billion is expected to reach 10 billion by 2053.  Economists generally do not recognize what this means.  On the Dianne Ream show this morning, they were discussing the negative economic consequences of aging populations and slowing births.  None of them mentioned the benefits of slowing population growth.  They did not discuss societal changes needed to encourage and live with even slower birth rates. It’s like they live in a cake bell aware only of a future that their teachers painted on the walls.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center:  “Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has just released their 2016 World Population Data Sheet. In what is news to me, they have also created a dedicated website to help users get access to the data in various forms (maps, data visualizations, graphs, etc.).

“Navigate to http://www.worldpopdata.org/ to explore.

“PRB sees global population exceeding the…

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August 26, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Tepco Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors may pass geared-up safety checks by March

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Nuclear regulators have decided to gear up the safety assessment of two reactors operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. in central Japan, raising the possibility of finishing the process by next March, sources said Tuesday.

Reactor Nos. 6 and 7 at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture are boiling water reactors, the same type as the ones that suffered core meltdowns in 2011 at Tepco’s Fukushima No. 1 complex.

All reactors in Japan — either BWRs or pressurized water reactors — are required to meet tougher safety criteria imposed after the Fukushima crisis, but the BWR assessment has been delayed due to the need to install safety equipment that involves extensive work.

If reactors 6 and 7 clear the assessment, they will become the first BWRs technically qualified to resume operation under the post-Fukushima rules.

Facing massive decommissioning costs and compensation payments after the Fukushima disaster, Tepco applied for the safety assessment of the two reactors in September 2013, hoping that restarting the units will help turn around its business.

But it is unclear whether the development will lead to their swift restart because Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida has said he will “not talk about restarting” the reactors unless a study on the Fukushima calamity is sufficiently carried out.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex on the Sea of Japan coast is one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants in capacity if all of its seven reactors were in operation.

Allowing Tepco to reactivate its reactors can be controversial, as the utility is still struggling to scrap the crippled reactors at the Fukushima plant. Tens of thousands of people who lived nearby also remain displaced evacuees.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided last August to prioritize checking the two Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors, hoping to make them a model case of the BWR assessment process. But it retracted the decision in March after Tepco failed to offer sufficient explanation on questions raised by the regulators.

But Tepco has come up with the necessary documents and the NRA decided to reinstate the priority status of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors at least until mid-September. The NRA has conveyed its plan to other utilities whose BWRs are being checked, the sources said.

Under the new safety requirements, BWRs must be equipped with filtered venting systems so that radioactive substances will be reduced when gas and steam need to be released to prevent damage to containment vessels.

The venting facilities are not an immediate requirement for PWRs as they are housed in containers larger than those of BWRs, allowing more time until pressure rises inside the containers.

Currently, two reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant and another reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant are operating in Japan after passing the safety checks. They are all BWRs.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/24/national/two-tepco-kashiwazaki-kariwa-reactors-may-pass-geared-safety-checks-march/#.V74sqmU5ais

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Majority of governments at UN vote for 2017 conference on banning nuclear weapons

world-nuclear-weapons-freeflag-UN-SmOverwhelming Majority: Ban The Bomb In
2017,
Huffington Post, Susi Snyder Nuclear Disarmament Programme Manager for Pax in the Netherlands 08/19/2016 A nuclear working group at text-relevantthe UN concluded its work in Geneva today and the majority of governments voted to recommended that the UN General Assembly set up a conference in 2017 to negotiate a new treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons are the only weapon of mass destruction that are not outlawed by international treaty. But that is about to change.

2017 Conference
After more than twenty years of nothing, this working group just had a breakthrough. 107 governments said they support:

“The convening by the General Assembly of a conference in 2017 open to all states, international organisations, and civil society, to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons leading towards their total elimination”

It was a group of Pacific Island countries that said these exact words first. Diplomats who have personal connections with nuclear weapons- relatives who remember seeing the bombs explode in the distance. Friends that can never go home to what were once islands of paradise, and are now radioactive wastelands.

The 54 member African Group, the 33 member Community of Latin America and Caribbean countries (33) also voiced their support for a conference in 2017. For the first time, the ASEAN grouping (11) added their collective voice to this call for negotiations next year on a new nuclear weapons treaty.

It is now up to the October meeting of the UN General Assembly First Committee to take up this recommendation, and set up a meeting next year to negotiate a new treaty to finally make nuclear weapons illegal.

Putting people first
This breakthrough is result of the new global discourse on nuclear weapons. Since Norway hosted the first conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in 2013, the effect of the weapons on humans and the environment has taken center stage……http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susi-snyder/overwhelming-majority-ban_b_11610606.html

August 26, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kazakhstan to Host Major Nuclear Disarmament Conference

world-nuclear-weapons-freeAstana to Host Major Nuclear Disarmament Conference http://astanatimes.com/2016/08/astana-to-host-major-nuclear-disarmament-conference/ BY AIMAN text-relevantTUREBEKOVA  24 AUGUST 2016

ASTANA – The Kazakh capital will host the international conference “Building a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World,” dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site and commemorating UN International Day against Nuclear Tests at the Palace of Independence Aug. 29, the Senate of the Parliament announced.

The Kazakh Senate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) have co-organised the conference.

It will be addressed by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and will bring together parliamentarians, representatives of international organisations, civil activists, scholars, mayors and media from around the world.

The event will include a plenary session and four panel sessions: “Security without nuclear weapons or war: Manifesto “The World. The 21st Century”; “A nuclear test ban and the role of the UN in achieving nuclear disarmament;” “National prohibition and nuclear-weapons-free zones. Geography of a sustainable world;” “Initiatives and campaigns – legislators, religious leaders and civil society”.

Conference participants will commemorate victims of nuclear tests, consider current disarmament  issues and make proposals on how to strengthen international security.

According to Speaker of the Kazakh Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the 25th anniversary since the closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site is a date of global significance.

“President Nursultan Nazarbayev is recognised as a leader of the global antinuclear movement. His decision on the full closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site is the first and the only such case in the disarmament history of the world. The idea of complete nuclear disarmament underpins the Manifesto, “The World. The 21st Century.” The anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site is the best opportunity for the entire world community to consider the paramount importance of establishing sustainable peace on the planet and to propose new common solutions to security problems,” he said on the eve of the event.

On Dec. 2, 2009, at Kazakhstan’s initiative, the UN unanimously declared Aug. 29 the International Day against Nuclear Tests. “For nearly a decade as UN Secretary-General, I have witnessed many of the worst problems in the world, as well as our collective ability to respond in ways that at times seemed impossible. Our ambitious new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change have demonstrated the power of political will to break long-standing deadlocks. On this International Day against Nuclear Tests, I call on the world to summon a sense of solidarity commensurate with the urgent need to end the dangerous impasse on this issue,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a special message on this year’s International Day against Nuclear Tests.

In his message, made public by the UN shortly prior to the date, Ban Ki-moon said, “Today marks a quarter of a century since the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site in Kazakhstan, ground zero for more than 450 nuclear tests. The victims there are joined by others scattered across Central Asia, North Africa, North America and the South Pacific.”

He continued, “A prohibition on all nuclear testing will end this poisonous legacy. It will boost momentum for other disarmament measures by showing that multilateral cooperation is possible, and it will build confidence for other regional security measures, including a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction. When I visited Semipalatinsk in 2010, I saw the toxic damage – but I also witnessed the resolve of the victims and survivors. I share their determination to strive for a world free of nuclear weapons.”

The UN Secretary General went on to urge Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation member states to act now.

“Those states whose ratification is required to bring the treaty into force should not wait for others. Even one ratification can act as a circuit breaker. All states that have not done so should sign and ratify because every ratification strengthens the norm of universality and shines a harsher spotlight on the countries that fail to act,” he said.

Kazakhstan knows well those catastrophic human consequences. The Soviet nuclear weapons tests at the Semipalatinsk site, caused illnesses and premature death to an estimated 1.5 million people and contaminated a huge area.

The Manifesto “The World. The 21st Century,” which was released by Nazarbayev earlier this year, is another contribution to the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world and to an end to war. The main idea of the manifesto is to prevent war by utilising common security and international law approaches such as diplomacy, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and adjudication.

August 26, 2016 Posted by | Kazakhstan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK figuring out how to get out of the Hinkley nuclear power deal

Hinkley planflag-UKHinkley Point nuclear power station: Whitehall officials ‘exploring ways UK could pull out of deal’ Theresa May’s administration called an unexpected halt to the project amid security and viability concerns, Independent Joe Watts Political Editor @JoeWatts_  Thursday 25 August 2016 Whitehall officials reviewing the massive Hinkley Point nuclear project are exploring how the UK might withdraw from the deal while minimising financial risk and damage to international relations, it has been claimed.

Westminster sources told The Independent civil servants are looking to see if there is any loophole, clause or issue in contracts yet to be signed that allow the Government to pull back without huge loss and while also saving face.

Ministers are acutely aware of the potential damage a withdrawal could do to relations with China, which is committed to pouring billions of pounds into the controversial project.

Former Chancellor George Osborne was an enthusiastic supporter of the £18 billion scheme, but since Theresa May’s arrival it is being reviewed by the new administration.  A Whitehall source said: “There is a working assumption of people in government that the civil service is looking for a way out, a legal loophole, a clause.

“They are looking for anything that will allow the Government to withdraw and also allow the Chinese to withdraw while also saving face.”

It was expected last month when the board of French energy company EDF voted to go ahead with Hinkley C power station that the British Government would give its approval.

Instead new Business Secretary Greg Clark announced he needed more time to make a decision.

It followed claims that the price promised for Hinkley’s electricity at £92.50 per MWh, more than double the wholesale price, was too expensive……..

EDF may also have problems fulfilling its end of any agreement. The company’s finance director Thomas Piquemal resigned earlier this year, fearing Hinkley could lead to the firm’s insolvency.
title=”24 August 2016 16:26 London”>A senior Government figure said: “The other thing no-one is talking about is what happens after the French election.

“Hollande is not going to be there and it is not clear whether Sarkozy or Juppe are committed to it.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: “No contract has been signed and it is only right that a new Government considers all component parts carefully before making a final decision.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hinkley-point-edf-nuclear-power-station-deal-how-uk-could-pull-out-a7207776.html

August 26, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

The First Nuclear Decommissioning Project in Taiwan

 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8477450529678693123

  1. Mon, Sep 5, 2016
flag-TaiwanTaiwan started with a new government on 20 May, who will be in power in the next 4 to 8 years. (same government can be re-elected once) The new government officially announced Taiwan will become “nuclear home free land”. By law, Taiwan will decommission the first nuclear power plant by 2018. The energy source will be replaced by renewable energy, coal fire power plant and LNG. Taiwan is also facing serious challenge to manage its nuclear waste that has no place to allocate them. Many local protesters refused a dry storage site build near their neighborhood, Taiwan Power Company has awarded the contract to deliver a Decommission Plan for the first nuclear power plant in May last year. UKTI Taipei is planning to bring a nuclear mission to Taiwan in early Nov.

August 26, 2016 Posted by | decommission reactor, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Japan protests, as North Korea fires submarine-launched ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

submarine-missileflag-N-KoreaNorth Korea fires submarine-launched ballistic missile into Sea of Japan, officials say, ABC News 24 Aug 16, text-relevant North Korea has fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast, South Korea’s military said, the latest in a string of missile launches by the isolated country in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

Key points:

  • The missile reached Japan’s air defence identification zone
  • Japan President Shinzo Abe slams ‘unforgiveable act’
  • China, Japan and South Korea’s Foreign Ministers were due to meet in Tokyo today

The missile was fired at around 5:30am (local time) from near the coastal city of Sinpo, where satellite imagery shows a submarine base to be located, and flew about 500 kilometres before splashing into the Sea of Japan, US and South Korean officials said.

The projectile reached Japan’s air defence identification zone (ADIZ), an area of control designated by countries to help maintain air security, according to Japanese and South Korean authorities

“This is the first time a missile from North Korea was launched from a submarine into our country’s air-defence identification zone,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters, adding that Japan had lodged a stern protest………http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-24/north-korea-test-fires-submarine-launched-ballistic-missile/7779612

August 26, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘Command and Control ‘Another very real danger from nuclear weapons – accidents

FilmDONALD TRUMP’S GLIB TALK ABOUT NUCLEAR WEAPONS OBSCURES A GREATER text-relevantDANGER, Newsweek BY ON 8/23/16 A nuclear holocaust, like death itself, is something we’d rather not think about. So we don’t, much, except when some figure of note starts talking about using hydrogen bombs to settle a problem. Someone like Donald Trump.

But the shock and outrage over Trump’s recent loose talk about making Japan and South Korea develop their own nukes or dropping a bomb on the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS, obscures a more prosaic but arguably more imminent danger, according to a new documentary—a warhead going off by accident.

Command and Control, directed by veteran filmmaker Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on a best-selling book of the same name by Eric Schlosser, aims to widen the discussion about the threat posed by the thousands of nuclear weapons in U.S. hands (and, by extension, other countries’ as well). Developed in concert with PBS’s long-running American Experienceseries but slated for a limited September theatrical debut in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the uncommonly gripping documentary focuses more on the frightening number of weapons mishaps than the missteps that could trigger a nuclear war. It skips over near-disasters involving panicky U.S. and Russian radar crews picking up incoming missile “ghosts” and nearly launching massive counterstrike orders. Instead, citing recently declassified Energy Department figures, it burrows into one of the “more than a thousand accidents and incidents involving our nuclear weapons,” including the loss of eight warheads, one still buried somewhere in the soil of North Carolina.

Why any one of these incidents hasn’t ended in a mass disaster is “pure luck,” Schlosser says in the film. “And the problem with luck is it eventually runs out.” Think about your laptop or car, he suggests. “Nuclear weapons are machines,” he says. “And every machine ever invented eventually goes wrong.”……..

Two hydrogen bombs, for example, fell from a B-52 that broke up in flight and was spiraling down over North Carolina in 1961. One of the bombs “went through all of its arming steps to detonate, and when that weapon hit the ground, a firing signal was sent,” Schlosser says in the film. “And the only thing that prevented a full-scale detonation of a powerful hydrogen bomb in North Carolina was a single safety switch.”

Peurifoy describes the switch as not much more than something you might find on a desk lamp. “If the right two wires had touched,” he says, “the bomb would have detonated. Period.” The exploding 4-megaton warhead, about 267 times as powerful as the bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima 71 years ago, would have instantly obliterated much of North Carolina and produced a mushroom cloud and deadly radiation plumes poisoning people and crops as far north as New York……….. http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/02/command-control-donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-492743.html

August 26, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Resources -audiovicual, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UN Security Council warned on danger of nuclear drone terror attacks

drone-near-nuclear-plantBritain warns UN security council it MUST act over threat of nuclear drone terror attacks BRITAIN has warned the UN security council that not enough is being done to prevent chemical, nuclear and biological weapons finding their way into the hands of terrorists. Express, By SIOBHAN MCFADYEN , Aug 25, 2016 And they say evolving terrorist threats include materials created through technological advances including 3D printers and drones. The British Government is worried that border security is not tight enough to prevent the materials from falling into the wrong hands.

And they say that the security council, which is being chaired by Spain, should be able to implement an action plan before the end of the year.

UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Matthew Rycroft spoke to the council this week as fears the UN is not moving fast enough to clamp down on terrorists. Mr Rycroft said: “The threat of toxic, poisonous or nuclear materials falling into the hands of non-state actors, particularly terrorists, is a top priority that requires the closest cooperation between all Member States, as well as civil society and industry……. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/704011/Britain-warns-UN-security-council-it-MUST-act-over-threat-of-nuclear-drone-terror-attacks

August 26, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

Huge volume of Greenland Ice Sheet lost each year, due to global warming

ice-sheets-meltingGlobal warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing 110 million Olympic size swimming pools worth of water each year, Guardian, , 25 Aug 16 A new study measures the loss of ice from one of world’s largest ice sheets. They find an ice loss that has accelerated in the past few years, and their measurements confirm prior estimates.

As humans emit heat-trapping gases, we expect to see changes to the Earth. One obvious change to be on the lookout for is melting ice. This includes ice atop mountains, ice floating in cold ocean waters, and the ice within large ice sheets or glaciers. It is this last type of ice loss that most affects ocean levels because as the water runs into the oceans, it raises sea levels. This is in contrast to melting sea ice – since it is already floating in ocean waters, its potential to raise ocean levels is very small.

So measuring ice sheet melting is important, not only as a signal of global warming but also because of the sea level impacts. But how is this melting measured? The ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica are huge and scientists need enough measurements in space and time to really understand what’s going on. That is, we need high-resolution and long duration measurements to fully understand trends.

In a very recent publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, an international team reported on a new high-resolution measurement of Greenland. The lead author, Malcolm McMillan from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modeling, and his colleagues mapped Greenland with incredibly high resolution (5 km distances).

They accomplished this mapping by obtaining data from the Cryosat 2satellite. This satellite uses a technique called radar altimetry to measure the height of surfaces. It is able to track the elevation of the ice sheets on Greenland with high precision. If the height of the ice sheet is growing, it means the ice is getting thicker. If the heights are decreasing, it means the ice layers are getting thinner.

A simplistic view would be that if ice sheets become taller, then they contain more frozen water. If they are shorter, they contain less water. But, this isn’t the entire story. Scientists also have to account for other changes, such as changes to density, surface roughness, and water content. When you realize that the Greenland Ice Sheet is thousands of meters thick, and the top layers include both snow and firn (which later get buried and compressed into ice), it becomes apparent that accounting for the constitution of the ice sheet is important when estimating how much water is being delivered to the ocean.

The authors of this study did such an accounting and they discovered that not only is Greenland losing a lot of ice, but the loss varies a lot depending on location and year. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/aug/25/global-warming-is-melting-the-greenland-ice-sheet-fast

August 26, 2016 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

France to launch 6 tenders for solar energy projects

sunflag-franceFrance ushers in 3 GW solar tender across six rounds, PV Magazine, 25. AUGUST 2016, BY:  IAN CLOVER

Energy ministry confirms series of six tenders of 500 MW each to be launched between 2017 and 2020 as country gradually reignites efforts to boost its solar PV sector.  “……the government appears to at least be coming to terms with its solar shortsightedness, and this week announced that it will launch a series of solar PV tenders next year to support an additional 3 GW of PV by 2020.

The energy ministry will oversee a series of six tenders of 500 MW each, beginning in 2017. This steady and regular roll out of available projects will, the ministry said, provide stability and visibility to the French solar industry, delivering jobs and aiding the country’s carbon reduction efforts.

The tenders will be available to ground-mounted PV systems between 500 kW and 17 MW in size, and the first round of bidding ends on February 1, 2017.

During each of the six, 500 MW rounds, 300 MW capacity will be reserved for solar farms larger than 5 MW, while 135 MW of capacity will be for plants with a capacity between 500 kW and 5 MW. The remaining 65 MW will be offered to developers looking to build PV systems on carports, provided they are sized between 500 kW and 10 MW.

France is famously largely nuclear-powered, but a new solar support mechanism introduced in May – whereby bidders receive a premium on top of the market price for the PV power they feed to the grid – will hopefully deliver the types of revenue guarantee that can help the country make the transition towards more renewables.

France’s solar installation aims target 10.2 GW of PV by the end of 2018, with anywhere between 18.2 GW to 20.2 GW by 2023.   http://www.pv-magazine.com/news/details/beitrag/france-ushers-in-3-gw-solar-tender-across-six-rounds_100025903/#ixzz4IPyzWiC8

August 26, 2016 Posted by | France, renewable | Leave a comment

Britain’s nuclear police physically unable to work to age 65

Civil nuclear police: Working to 65 ‘physically impossible’, BBC News, 24 August 2016  Representatives of 1,250 armed police officers who protect UK civil nuclear sites have challenged a rule forcing them to work beyond the age of 60.

While most UK police can retire at 60, Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers must work until 65 under a new law.The Civil Nuclear Police Federation says it will be “physically impossible” for officers in their mid-60s to protect the public from terrorism.

It has taken the case to London’s High Court to try to get the rule changed.

It argues its officers have the most physically demanding role in the police service and will not be able to maintain their standards of fitness and weapons proficiency into their 60s.

A government spokesperson said the Civil Nuclear Police Authority – which oversees the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) – was “considering how to implement changes and reforms”.

The changes were brought in as part of the Public Service Pensions Act………

Analysis By Danny Shaw, BBC home affairs correspondentUnlike other forces that are in the headlines nearly every day – the Met, West Midlands and Greater Manchester Police, for example – you don’t hear a lot about the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

Much of its work goes unseen, guarding nuclear sites in remote corners of the UK and protecting material in transit.However, it is vital work, particularly at a time when the terrorism threat level is graded “severe” with an attack assessed as “highly likely”. That’s one reason why its officers are incensed – and baffled – by pension changes which mean they’d have to work until at least 65 before retiring……..http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-37169994

August 26, 2016 Posted by | employment, UK | Leave a comment