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

August 28 Energy News



¶ “Backers hope nation’s first offshore wind farm will jump-start an
industry” • At 30 MW, America’s first foray into offshore wind power is modest compared with sprawling European developments. It will provide enough power for about 17,000 homes, but there is one truly momentous thing about it: It exists. [Yakima Herald-Republic]

The Block Island Wind Farm. Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind. The Block Island Wind Farm. Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind.

¶ “Why Theresa May should plug the plug on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant” • Britain’s new Prime Minister should understand what was clear to many. Courting Chinese investment was opening the doors to an undemocratic, expansionist regime, with an appalling human rights record, that has long been a strategic enemy. [This is Money]


¶ Over the last five years, French oil and gas giant Total has acquired stakes in solar giant SunPower and battery integrators Stem and Sunverge, and has…

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August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grand Canyon: Permits for Energy Fuels Uranium Mines Must Be Rejected by Arizona – Aug 29, 30 Hearings and Comment Deadline

Mining Awareness +

Grand Canyon NPS
Grand Canyon US National Park Service
By the Sierra Club:
State of Arizona Asked to Reject Permit Renewals for Uranium Mines Near Grand Canyon National Park August 16, 2016

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— Conservation groups today asked the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to deny air permits for three uranium mines near Grand Canyon and to continue monitoring a mine that is no longer active. All of these mines are located within watersheds (surface and ground) that drain directly into Grand Canyon National Park and threaten water, air and other important resources of the greater Grand Canyon ecoregion, including soil, wildlife, sacred Native American sites and the health of people who are exposed to the heavy metals and radiation associated with these mines.

Grand Canyon Trust, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity filed comments [1] with ADEQ outlining ongoing concerns with the four uranium mines. The…

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August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive Boar Are Thriving And Causing Havoc Near The Fukushima Power Plant



It’s been over five years since tsunami waves crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi power plant and led to its nuclear meltdown. While 20 kilometers (12 miles) of the land around the plant remains a dangerous exclusion zone, the area’s wildlife is taking full advantage of the peace.

Since the nuclear disaster, the population of wild boars has rocketed, much to the dismay of surrounding communities, The Times has reported. In the four years following the disaster, the population of boars is thought to have boomed from 3,000 to 13,000. You might think this ancient Japanese symbol of prosperity and fertility might be welcomed, but it’s estimated they have caused $15 million worth of damage to local agriculture.

Assistant ecology professor Okuda Keitokunin told the Japanese Mainichi newspaper that wild boar, along with racoons, have been using the abandoned houses and emptied buildings in the evacuation zone as a place to breed and shelter.

However, this post-nuclear meltdown town isn’t exactly a safe haven for the boars. It’s thought their diet of roots, nuts, berries and water all contain particularly high concentrations of radiation. The animals show no immediate signs of harm from the radiation, however samples from Fukushima’s wild boar meat has shown they contain 300 times the safe amount of the radioactive element caesium-137. Another study on the area’s fir trees showed evidence of growth mutations.

Hunters have been offered rewards to cull the boars by local authorities. However,  the animals are breeding so quickly they can’t keep up. The city of Nihonmatsu, around 56 kilometers (35 miles) from the Fukushima plant, has dug three mass graves capable of holding 1,800 dead boars. Recently, these have become overfilled and authorities are now struggling to cope with the influx of culled beasts.

The boom in boars is a similar story to Chernobyl’s post-meltdown wildlife. A study from late last year showed that the populations of deer and wild boar are thriving in the area surrounding the Ukrainian nuclear power plant.

In a statement Jim Smith, one of the authors of the Chernobyl study, explained, “It’s very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident. This doesn’t mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse.”

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

August 27 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ Hydraulic fracturing and unconventional natural gas development may be associated with health issues such as sinus problems, migraines, and fatigue, according to a peer-reviewed study. The study acknowledges its own limitations and says more research is necessary to determine whether fracturing caused the symptoms. [Bloomberg BNA]

Flaring natural gas. Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.


¶ The UK can meet its energy and climate change targets without the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, an Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit report found. More wind farms, gas-fired power stations, and demand management could save £1 billion a year “while keeping the lights on and meeting climate targets.” [This is The West Country]

¶ Sun Brilliance says it plans to build a 100-MW solar farm east of Perth. It would be the biggest solar system in West Australia by size, and biggest to date…

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Global nuclear lobby doesn’t care if South Australia’s radioactive trash dump is not economically viable

Nuclear Australia

toilet map South Australia 2

The global nuclear lobby surely does not care about whether or not the South Australian nuclear waste importing scheme is economically viable. Their fairly desperate need is to sell nuclear reactors to those countries that don’t already have them. In particular, the ‘small nuclear” lobby sees an urgency now, with ‘big nuclear’ failing, to get their industry happening.

A commitment by an Australian State to take in nuclear waste could do the trick for them – as Oscar Archer put it – by unblocking the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Mixed motives in South Australia’s nuclear waste import plan. Online Opinion, Noel Wauchope, 23 Aug 16  In South Australia the continued nuclear push focusses solely on a nuclear waste importing industry. Yet that might not be economically viable. Behind the scenes, another agenda is being pursued – that of developing new generation nuclear reactors.


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August 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Public cost of Fukushima nuclear accident cleanup topped ¥4.2 trillion as of end of March



Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant topped ¥4.2 trillion by the end of fiscal 2015, it was learned Sunday.

The cumulative total at the end of last March, including costs for radioactive decontamination, reactor decommissioning and compensation payments to affected people and organizations, translate into about ¥33,000 per capita.

The public financial burden is expected to increase, with Tepco seeking further government assistance.

Jiji Press scrutinized the government’s special-account budgets through fiscal 2015 for the reconstruction of areas affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It summed up the amounts of executed budgets related to the nuclear disaster and additional electricity rates consumers and businesses were charged by Tepco and seven other regional power utilities to help finance compensation payments, among other costs.

According to the study, a total of ¥2.34 trillion was disbursed for decontamination of affected areas, disposal of contaminated waste and an interim storage facility for tainted soil. The expense was shouldered by the government, mainly through affiliated Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp.

The costs for decontamination and tainted waste disposal will eventually be financed by the proceeds from the sale of Tepco shares held by the government-backed organization. The government guaranteed the loans provided by banks for the acquisition of Tepco shares, and if the lending becomes irrecoverable due to weakness of the Tepco stock price, tax revenue will be used to repay the loans.

The government estimates the proceeds from Tepco share sale at ¥2.5 trillion, but to generate the estimated gain, the Tepco stock price needs to trade at around ¥1,050, up sharply from current market levels of some ¥360.

In addition, the Environment Ministry expects that the cumulative total of decontamination and related costs could surpass the estimated share proceeds by the March 2017 end of the current fiscal year.

A total of ¥1.1 trillion will be used from the energy special account to finance the costs related to the interim storage facility for contaminated soil. The account mostly consists of revenue of the tax for the promotion of power resources development, which is included in electricity bills.

Elsewhere, the government spent ¥1.38 trillion on projects including the decommissioning of reactors at the disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, checks on food for radioactive contamination and building a research and development facility.

Tepco and six other power utilities charged their customers at least ¥327 billion in electricity rate hikes after Japan’s worst-ever nuclear accident. Moreover, consumers paid ¥219.3 billion or more for Tepco, chiefly to finance the maintenance of equipment to clean up radioactive water at the plant and the operation of call centers to deal with inquiries about compensation payments.

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima scenarios used in evacuation drills at two Japanese nuclear plants

takahama npp.jpg


TAKAHAMA, FUKUI PREF. – Some 11,000 residents of Fukui and Kyoto prefectures participated in two major disaster drills on Saturday and Sunday centered on hypothetical nuclear accidents at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama and Oi nuclear power stations.

The exercises were jointly organized by the central government and the prefectural governments of Fukui, Shiga and Kyoto.

Saturday’s drill at Takahama involved about 9,000 residents. It was intended to examine the workability of evacuation plans approved by the national government last December.

The scenario was a strong earthquake off Wakasa Bay, near the plant. The tremor measured a lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 0 to 7.

The facility’s No. 3 reactor was assumed to have lost all power, leading to the release of radioactive substances — as happened at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.

Evacuation plans require residents within 5 km of plants to evacuate immediately upon an accident occurring. Those living up to 30 km away are meant to stay indoors until radiation alarms detect fallout in the air.

Some experts have cast doubt on whether it is a good idea to order people to stay indoors when reactors are spewing radiation.

For example, when quakes pummeled Kyushu this spring, about 160,000 houses and buildings collapsed. If that were to occur in Fukui, many residents would find it difficult to shelter indoors.

In the Kumamoto earthquake, there were cases where people returned to their homes after the initial quake, only to be hit when houses collapsed in the second quake, said Hirotada Hirose, a professor emeritus at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, a specialist in disaster risk management.

If a severe nuclear disaster occurs, evacuating in phases isn’t likely to go well,” he said. “The evacuation plan should assume many scenarios.”

These could include cases where an earthquake cuts traffic, jamming the roads with panicking residents who ignore advice and are trying to flee in large numbers.

Nonetheless, Saturday’s exercise finished without any major hiccups.

By doing the drills with local governments and residents over and over again, disaster-prevention skills will improve,” said Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa.

As part of the exercise, at the town hall of Mihama, Fukui Prefecture, Kansai Electric workers screened evacuees for radiation exposure. They also checked the buses for contamination.

One of the would-be evacuees was Masatoshi Nose, 46, a city government employee from Obama, Fukui Prefecture.

As this is a drill, I was able to come here smoothly,” Nose said. “But in a real disaster situation, it may take an entire day.”

Also, poor visibility scrubbed plans to use a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter to extract 20 residents from near Takahama.About 180,000 people live within 30 km of the plant whose No. 3 and No. 4 reactors were restarted in January and February, only to be halted again after the Otsu District Court in Shiga in March issued a provisional injunction following a petition by residents.

Meanwhile, on Sunday about 2,000 local residents participated in an evacuation drill under a scenario where Kansai Electric’s Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture experiences a catastrophic accident.

The drill was organized by the Fukui Prefectural Government.

The residents took shelter in their homes or evacuated to elsewhere in the prefecture as part of an effort to test response times to an accident.

The evacuation drill was only carried out within Fukui Prefecture itself as no evacuation plan covering a wider area has been drawn up for the plant, located in the town of Oi.

Residents within 5 km of the plant fled to the city of Tsuruga, and Oi residents within 30 km of the plant moved to the city of Ono, about 100 km away.

For the evacuees from Oi, a facility was set up for the distribution of iodine tablets to mitigate radiation exposure and to check for contamination.


August 28, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s surfers riding on radioactive waves

“I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation,” said one surfer. “We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”

Fukushima, Japan – On 11 March 2011, at 2:46 pm, Japan was hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake which generated a tsunami along the coast. The casualties of the disaster included 18,500 dead, 90 percent of whom drowned in the tsunami wave. The bodies of 2,561 people were never recovered.

The tsunami hit the Daaichi nuclear power plant as well, a level-7 catastrophe that was the equivalent of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant meltdown disaster.

Over the course of five years, nearly 50,000 people have worked to decontaminate the plant and stop leaks according to government press releases. They remove between 5 and 30 cm of contaminated soil every day and place them in plastic bags, which are stored on the outskirts of town, pending a better solution.

In Tairatoyoma beach, a prefecture of Fukushima and some 50km from the nuclear plant, was among the most popular areas for Japanese surfers prior to the nuclear accident.

Surprisingly, despite the presence of radiation in the sand and water, some dedicated surfers continue to come here to catch some waves. They are aware of the risks, and the hundreds of bags of contaminated sand piled up on the beach serve as a constant reminder of the health risks to them. 

“I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation,” said one surfer. “We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now.”


Tairatoyoma beach, in the prefecture of Fukushima, 50km from the nuclear plant, was among the most popular areas with Japanese surfers before the accident.


“I come to Tairatoyoma beach and surf several times a week. it is my passion, I can’t stop surfinhg”, says this surfer. The sign next to him in Japanese indicates that the area is restricted area.

Japanese surfer in the contaminated area after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tairatoyoma beach, Japan

Some surfers were on the beach when the tsunami struck. ‘The earth shook, we came back on Tairatoyoma beach, and a few minutes later, the tsunami wave arrived,’ recalls one surfer. ‘None of the surfers who were on the beach died, as we had time to escape. Those who were in their homes were taken by the waves by surprise and they died.’


Fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant five years after the tsunami, Fukushima prefecture, Futaba, Japan

Over the course of five years, nearly 50,000 people have worked to decontaminate the plant and stop leaks. Nearly 500,000 people were evacuated because of the tsunami and the nuclear accident.

A radiation dosimeter placed inthe difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

A radiation dosimeter placed in the difficult-to-return zone after the Daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Radiation sensors indicate the level of radioactivity. But no one is present to read the sensors in the red zones, classified as ‘difficult to return to zones’ by the government.

Roadblock in the difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Roadblock in the difficult-to-return zone after the daiichi nuclear power plant irradiation, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Residents receive compensation from Tepco company based on the degree of contamination of their homes. In the red zone they receive 1,000$ a month per person. That has created tensions in the population because those who live on the other side of the barrier, like here in Tomioka, do not receive as much.



In the ‘orange zone’, residents have the right to visit their home if they wish to take care of it. In the town of Naraha. This man has come to weed his garden. His wife refuses to come back, and he will not bring his children. He never sleeps in his contaminated home. He knows the dangers well as he has worked at the nuclear plant.


Abandoned car after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami five years after in the difficult-to-return zone, Fukushima prefecture, Tomioka, Japan

Cities distant from the sea, like Tomioka, were only affected by the earthquake and the radiation, not by the tsunami. They have now turned into ghost towns.



Thirty million tonnes of contaminated soil are stocked in open-air sites.


The Tairatoyoma beach was popular for its sand, but the tsunami washed this sand away. Now, a concrete wall offers protection against the waves. A few rare foreigners venture here to surf according to the Japanese surfers.


The surfers cannot ignore the riskS. There are hundreds of bags of contaminated sand piled up on the beach. ‘The government keeps telling us that things are back to normal in the region. But we can see that few people have come back. There are only elderly people. Children are kept away,’ said one surfer.


Despite knowing the risks, surfers are undeterred and willing to take the risk to surf in these waters. ‘I put on sunscreen against the sun, but I haven’t found anything against radiation. We will only know the true consequences of our time in the water 20 years from now,’said one surfer.



The people from the Fukushima prefecture had supported the construction of the nuclear power plants in the region because this brought jobs and prosperity to this rural area.


An employee of the nuclear plant said that he would never swim there as the water is too contaminated. Five of his friends who worked at the plant have now brain damage.


August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

Radioactive Broom in Tomioka House, Fukushima



Via Kurumi Sugita:

“A broom collected in the town of tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture, inside of a house.”

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Typhoon Lionrock Might Land On Fukushima Daiichi



It might land in north east Japan for the first time since the beginning of meteorological records. We are very very worried about the Fukushima Daiichi NPP and the local population.

Typhoon Lionrock has strengthened and changed course. Current predictions as of today shows it hitting the Tohoku coast as a category 1 typhoon. The center of the predicted path is around Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Fukushima Prefecture and Fukushima Daiichi are within the predicted path zone.

Even if it doesn’t directly hit Fukushima Daiichi, outer bands could still cause significant problems. High winds could damage contaminated water tanks in the process of being disassembled or assembled on site. These tanks are highly radioactive and some may still contain highly radioactive water or sludge. Cranes and other outdoor structures that could be damaged by high winds are a concern.

The “K” drainage system connected to the roofs of the reactor buildings before the disaster. Post disaster we still see spikes in contamination in this drainage system. There are multiple other locations where this system could be fed contaminated run off. This drainage system has been redirected to the port but the port still exchanges water with the sea, so it isn’t a reliable solution. There is a pumping system to pump contaminated groundwater out of the area near the reactor buildings then to contaminated water storage.

It is not clear if it can keep up with both the ongoing groundwater intrusion and influx from a typhoon.


August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Deep pessimism in Japan about future and state of democracy

Just one in five Japanese is optimistic about the country’s future and less than half the population believes that Japan is a functioning democracy, according to a survey that canvassed views on these issues in India and Indonesia as well.

The figure of 20 percent of Japanese who are optimistic about the future contrasted with more than 60 percent in India and Indonesia who felt the same.

The survey was carried out by private institutions in the three countries and the results were released Aug. 19.

Many respondents in Japan cited an aging population and a sluggish economy as reasons for being pessimistic. The survey results also highlighted a general distrust of the current state of party politics.

Genron NPO of Japan, the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia and the Observer Research Foundation of India contacted 1,000 people each in the three respective countries in June or later for the survey.

Only 20.7 percent of the respondents in Japan said they were either “optimistic” or “slightly optimistic” about the future of their country, whereas the corresponding ratios stood at 65.3 percent in Indonesia and 75.9 percent in India.

Among the various reasons for being pessimistic about the future, the commonest in Japan, cited by 84.7 percent of the respondents, was a lack of effective measures being presented to cope with the rapidly aging and shrinking population.

In Japan, 46.7 percent of the respondents answered in the affirmative when they were asked if they believe democracy is functioning. The corresponding figures for Indonesia and India were 47.1 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

When asked their reasons for believing that democracy is dysfunctional, the largest portion of the respondents who said so in Japan, at 60.2 percent, said that politicians are not confronting the challenges facing society because they are more intent on winning elections.

Only 15.5 percent of the Japanese respondents answered in the affirmative when they were asked if they had positive expectations for political parties, a figure that indicated a deep distrust of party politics.

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Yamagata&Niigata prefectural governors request FUKUSHIMA prefecture housing support extension for Nuclear disaster voluntary evacuees



Yamagata and Niigata prefectural governors strongly request that FUKUSHIMA prefecture should extend the housing support for Nuclear disaster voluntary evacuees.But Fukushima governor, Uchibori Masao did not answer anything to their request. Why?

Yamagata Prefecture governor Mieko Yoshimura has requested an extension of the house support provided asking for the “special consideration.

Niigata Prefecture governor Hirohiko Izumida  also pointed out that further burden in the problems of housing is increasing, which the Fukushima Governor Uchibori Masao  should well consider.

The Fukushima Prefecture governor to enforce central government order to terminate free housing support for evacuees by March 2017.

IfYoshimura and Izumida were Fukushima Prefecture governor, their  treatment of voluntary evacuees might have been quite different.


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356 microsieverts / hr at R #3 on Feb 9th 2016

Feb 9th 016.jpg

Credit to Ray Masalas

August 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment