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

September 1 Energy News

Science and Technology: ¶ The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research released a study on hurricane losses. The researchers concluded that not only will the financial damages from hurricanes increase dramatically by the end of the century, but that the rate of economic growth won’t keep pace with hurricane-caused financial losses. [CleanTechnica] ¶ At the […]

via September 1 Energy News — geoharvey

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September 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 31 Energy News

Opinion: ¶ “Solar power does work – and a lot better than we thought” • Murdoch media carried an op-ed piece, “Solar and wind power simply don’t work, not here, not anywhere.” It was written by the former chairman of a coal mining company. But analysis shows utility-scale solar works better than expected in Australia. […]

via August 31 Energy News — geoharvey

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The South Australian government is going to a lot of trouble to set up a forum for 160 students and 60 teachers to hear a presentation from the former Nuclear Royal commissioner, Kevin Scarce, and the Chief Executive of the Nuclear Consultation and Response Agency, to tell them all about the plan for South Australia […]

via South Australian government’s secret nuclear forum for schoolchildren — Nuclear Australia

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

None of us are bystanders when it comes to climate change. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re all caught up in the most pressing trouble of our age. Our great burning of fossil fuels is steadily turning the Earth’s climate into something terrible. Once we realize this, the imperative for action becomes as […]

via Climate Change May be Readying to Split the Heavens over the U.S. Southeast — So What Can We Do? — robertscribbler

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Excerpts from the lawsuit filed by Grand Canyon Trust against Energy Fuels – the same Canadian company that wants to mine uranium in the environs of the Grand Canyon and that just had a fire at its Texas uranium mine, which was spotted by US Border Guards. “INTRODUCTION 1. Plaintiff Grand Canyon Trust (Trust) brings […]

via Energy Fuels White Mesa Uranium Mill Radon Emissions Violate Clean Air Act; Alternative Feed “Sham Processing” of Radioactive Waste — Mining Awareness +

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEPCO has applied to return reactors No. 6 and 7 to production at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

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Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s (TEPCO) plan to restart the defunct Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant has an increased chance of being implemented after the prefecture governor, who has campaigned against its reopening, decided against running for re-election, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

TEPCO shares rose as much as 12 percent Wednesday morning – the largest price jump since May 2015, presumably in reaction to the announcement.

Niigata prefecture governor Hirohiko Izumida said he would not pursue a bid for a fourth term for the October 16th elections, according to a personal statement posted on his fan page.

The governor has long opposed plans to return the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant – the largest of its kind in the world – to production. Japanese laws do not require that utility companies obtain the approval of local leaders before commencing operations, but it is the expected practice.

Izumida has previously demanded that TEPCO conduct further investigations into the causes of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 before proposing plans to restart any of the firm’s reactors.

“The next Niigata governor will likely not make as many relentless demands as Izumida,” Japanese analyst Hidetoshi Shioda said.

According to the World Nuclear Association, the 2011 meltdown led to highly radioactive releases over days 4-6 after the incident originally occurred on March 11th.

The organization reports no deaths or cases of radiation sickness from the incident, though 100,000 citizens had been evacuated from the area to ensure minimal health effects.

The New York Times reported on Monday that Japanese government has funded the construction of a $320 million block of man-made permafrost that would continue 100 feet underneath the Dai-Ichi plant to solve “an unrelenting flood of groundwater” that had been headed into the damaged reactors.

The project will stop the leak of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, which may be continuing at low levels to this day, The Times said.

TEPCO has applied to return reactors No. 6 and 7 to production at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. The company expects to boost profits by $97 million a month for each reactor it restarts, TEPCO spokesperson Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said earlier this week.

New Hope For Nuclear Power In Japan: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/New-Hope-For-The-Fukushima-Nuclear-Power-Plant.html

Post-scriptum: A factually incorrect article published at OilPrice.com (Update: they have corrected the erroneous claim about restarting Fukushima Daiichi but left a photo of Fukushima Daiichi on their somewhat corrected story a copy of the original version can be found here) has begun propagating across the internet. TEPCO is NOT trying to restart reactors at Fukushima Daiichi.

Credit to Nancy Foust of Fukuleaks who caught the Oilprice incorrection: http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15719

 

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan Extends Reactor Lifetimes for First Time Since Fukushima

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) this June approved 20-year license extensions for the aging Takahama 1 and 2 reactors, a first for the power-strapped country that has been conflicted about the future of its nuclear power plants since the Fukushima Daiichi catastrophe in 2011.

A regulatory system established in the aftermath of Fukushima limits the operating lives of Japanese nuclear units to 40 years, though it allows a one-time extension of no more than 20 years. The NRA’s approval to allow the 40-year-old Takahama 1 and 39-year-old Takahama 2 to operate an additional 20 years was carried out as an “extraordinary case.” Kansai Electric Power Co., which owns the two 826-MW reactors, filed applications for the extensions in April 2015, as well as for its 826-MW Mihama 3 reactor in November 2015, saying that they were “important” for its business.

Under its revised long-term energy plan, Japan anticipates getting between 20% and 22% of its total generated electricity from nuclear power by 2030, and industry groups like the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum have argued that the lifetime extensions will be integral to meeting that target.

Four of the nation’s nuclear power plants idled after Fukushima have so far cleared the new regulatory standards required to resume operations, but only Sendai 1 and 2, which are owned and operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co., are online. Kansai started up its Takahama 3 reactor on January 29 and Takahama 4 on February 26, but it took Unit 4 offline just three days later following a “main transformer/generator internal failure” (Figure 1). It was then forced to halt operations at Unit 3 on March 10 after Japan’s Otsu District Court issued a temporary injunction against the operation of both reactors because, the court said, the safety of the units could not be guaranteed. On July 12, Otsu District Court Judge Yoshihiko Yamamoto rejected Kansai’s request to lift the injunction. Kansai now says that—though it has filed to appeal the court’s decision to the Osaka High Court—it will begin removing nuclear fuel from the reactor cores.

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One step forward, two steps back. While Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Co. received Nuclear Regulation Authority approval to extend the lifetimes of Units 1 and 2 at its Takahama Nuclear Power Plant in Oi District, Fukui Prefecture, to 60 years, it has been forced to halt operations at Units 3 and 4 by a temporary injunction issued by a district court.

Meanwhile, applications for 22 more nuclear plant restarts have been filed with the NRA. According to a 2017 economic and energy outlook released by the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan (IEEJ) in late July, at least 12 nuclear power plants should be restarted next year. The research group notes, however, that those projections are clouded by a number of issues, including court judgments and local agreements. That uncertainty could come at a significant cost to the nation, it added.

Because of the judicial ruling that ceased operations at the Takahama Unit No. 3 and 4, it is important to analyse the effect of stopping operations of nuclear power plants from a local point of view,” the IEEJ’s outlook says. “As a rule, if one nuclear plant with the capacity of 1 MW stops operation for one year in an area where annual demand is about 100 TWh, total fossil fuel costs increase by [$594 million] and the energy-related [carbon dioxide] emissions increases by 4 Mt-CO2 (7% increase for the local emissions). The average electricity unit cost will increase by [$3.96/MWh] (1.8% rise of the average power unit price).”

http://www.powermag.com/japan-extends-reactor-lifetimes-first-time-since-fukushima/

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Damage caused only by misconceptions about the nuclear incident not by the nuclear accident itself, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun, a pro-government newspaper

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Fukushima farmers plant flowers to revive agriculture

Tomoko Horiuchi checks eustoma she grows in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, in early August.

FUKUSHIMA — Farmers from Fukushima Prefecture’s municipalities who have received the government’s evacuation directives in the wake of the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are cultivating flowers as a new agricultural business to rebuild their lives.

The climate in these areas is suited to growing colorful flowers, as it has abundant sunshine and a relatively large change in temperature between day and night.

After the nuclear crisis, the price of rice harvested in the prefecture has hovered at low levels because of the damaged perception of crops grown in the area.

But because growing flowers is less susceptible to damage caused by misconceptions about the nuclear incident, an increasing number of local farmers actively cultivate eustoma and other popular ornamental flowers.

Junichi Futatsuya, 65, from the Haramachi district in Minami-Soma, began cultivating eustoma in the spring of 2014 using an idle greenhouse where he used to raise rice seedlings. In 2015, a local agricultural cooperative that covers Minami-Soma formed a section to grow eustoma, with Futatsuya participating in the project. Membership has now grown to 25 people.

Stable prices

In July, the evacuation directives were lifted in most areas of Minami-Soma, and many farmers now sell their flowers in Tokyo in the hopes of gaining recognition for them in areas that are major markets.

Futatsuya, who restarted cultivating rice this year, said, “I’m expecting to secure income by growing rice and flowers.”

Kawasaki Flora Auction Market Co. trades in flowers produced by Futatsuya and other farmers from the prefecture.

We don’t hear any dealers in the market saying they would shy away from the products because the flowers are produced in Fukushima Prefecture,” said Manabu Aishima, 49, a section chief of the Kawasaki-based company. “Farmers can expect all-year shipping with adequate investment in plants and equipment.”

Tomoko Horiuchi, 69, also grows eustoma in the district. She said she did not experience a wide fluctuation in prices before or after the crisis.

It made me realize that flowers are not susceptible [to damage caused by misconceptions]. I would like fellow producers to increase to more stably supply flowers to the market,” she said.

Supporting ambition

Daytime entry is allowed in areas where evacuation directives have been issued as long as these areas are not designated as “difficult-to-return zones” due to high levels of radiation exposure.

In July last year, six farmers in the town of Namie formed a study group to grow flowers, and one of the farmers was able to grow and ship eustoma to customers.

The Namie town government plans to conduct a survey to find places suitable for flower cultivation and is considering consolidating greenhouses near the town office.

Meanwhile, in the village of Iitate, evacuation directives are scheduled to be lifted in most places at the end of March 2017. Four farmers will build greenhouses in the village to grow baby’s-breath flowers on a trial basis.

The Fukushima prefectural government is also financially supporting farmers if they build greenhouses and purchase equipment to make flower cultivation a new business in the Hamadori area, which is close to the nuclear plant.

We’d like to support ambitious farmers,” said Masatoshi Kanno, vice chief of the prefectural government’s horticulture section.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003124239

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Former senator pledges to support vets in Fukushima lawsuit

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A sailor checks sprinklers on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during Operation Tomodachi in 2011. Sailors scrubbed the external surfaces on the flight deck and island superstructure to remove potential radiation contamination.

Former Sen. John Edwards has pledged to support hundreds of U.S. sailors, Marines and airmen who say they were sickened by radioactive fallout from the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

U.S. forces participated in relief efforts after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that battered swaths of northeastern Japan, including the plant.

Edwards — the 2004 Democratic nominee for vice president who ran for president that year and in 2008 — has offered his “legal and personal assistance” to the plaintiffs after hearing about their lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the plant, according to a statement from the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

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Former Sen. John Edwards arrives at the Federal courthouse in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tuesday, May 29, 2012.

The lawsuit against TEPCO and several other co-defendants, including General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi, is scheduled to proceed to trial pending appeals. Oral arguments in the appeals case are due to begin Thursday in the 9th Circuit Federal Court in Pasadena, Calif. The plaintiffs’ lawyers don’t expect a ruling before November.

The plaintiffs maintain that TEPCO lied about the risk of radiation exposure, luring American forces closer to the affected areas and lulling others at bases across Japan into disregarding safety measures. The other defendants are accused of making faulty parts for reactors that contributed to Fukushima’s meltdown in March 2011.

The plaintiffs allege they have developed cancers, ulcers, uterine bleeding and thyroid issues as a result of radiation exposure. The U.S. government has said the radiation levels servicemembers encountered were too low to cause any maladies.

Edwards is now a partner at Edwards Kirby, a Raleigh law firm specializing in personal injury, economic justice and property rights. He could not be immediately be reached for comment.

News of Edwards’ support comes just months after another ex-politician, former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, pledged his support after meeting with several of the plaintiffs during a visit to the United States.

In July, he called on his countrymen to donate to a fund for the plaintiffs, saying “it is not the kind of issue we can dismiss with just sympathy,” according to the Asahi Shimbun.

https://t.co/u1WSg8Cz6q

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

After Typhoon Lionrock landed in Fukushima

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Flexible container bags filled with radioactive soil in flooded water in Iidate, Fukushima.

Credit to Hiroki Suzuki

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 2 Comments

Niigata Pref. Nuclear Power Opponent Governor Out of The Way

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Was he pressured to drop out?

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, said he won’t run for a fourth term and dropped out of the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 16.

The move may affect Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s efforts to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in the prefecture. According to Bloomberg, Tokyo Electric rose as much as 12 percent to 417 yen, the biggest intraday increase since May 2015, and traded at 394 yen at 9:32 a.m. Tokyo time. The Topix index rose as much as 1 percent.

Tepco Rises Most in Year After Governor Opposing Restart Retires

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, jumped the most in more than a year after a prefecture governor opposing the restart of one of its reactors abandoned his bid for re-election.

Tokyo Electric rose as much as 12 percent to 417 yen, the biggest intraday increase since May 2015, and traded at 394 yen at 9:32 a.m. Tokyo time. The Topix index rose as much as 1 percent.

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata prefecture, said he won’t run for a fourth term and dropped out of the gubernatorial election scheduled for October 16, according to a personal statement posted on a website of supporters. Izumida opposed Tokyo Electric’s plan to restart its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, the world’s largest facility, located in Niigata prefecture. Local government approval is typically sought by Japanese utilities before they restart nuclear reactors, though not required by law.

With Izumida out of the picture, the chance of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa’s reactors restarting has increased, said Hidetoshi Shioda, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities, who views the retirement as a positive for Tokyo Electric shares.

Izumida had demanded that Tokyo Electric further investigate the cause of the triple meltdown at its Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in 2011 before restarting any reactors. 

The next Niigata governor will likely not make as many relentless demands as Izumida,” SMBC’s Shioda said.

Tepco, as the company is known, has applied to restart No. 6 and 7 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. Running one reactor boosts Tepco’s profits by as much as 10 billion yen ($97 million) a month, company spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi said Monday.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/tepco-rises-most-in-year-after-governor-opposing-restart-retires

Niigata Pref. nuclear power opponent governor won’t stand for re-election

NIIGATA — Gov. Hirohiko Izumida has retracted his announcement that he will run in the upcoming gubernatorial election to seek a fourth term.

Since Izumida has adopted a cautious stance toward the restarting of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Niigata Prefecture, his decision not to run in the election will likely have a huge impact on the issue. All seven reactors at the power station, owned by Tokyo Electric Power Co., have been idle since March 2012 in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The campaign for the Oct. 16 Niigata gubernatorial election is to kick off on Sept. 29.

Izumida’s decision not to run in the election is linked to his criticism of a report in the Niigata Nippo regional daily over a dispute involving a subsidiary of a shipping company funded by the prefectural government.

In an interview with news organizations, Izumida said, “It’s important to have prefectural residents know the facts, but I feel my appeal never reached the residents. Even if I requested the newspaper to correct its report, the daily would never do so, which prompted me to abandon running in the race.”

At a prefectural assembly session in February this year, Izumida announced that he would run in the gubernatorial election to seek a fourth four-year term. However, his retraction of his candidacy leaves Nagaoka Mayor Tamio Mori, 67, who heads the Japan Association of City Mayors, as the only person who has announced his candidacy.

It came to light this past July that Japan Shipping Exchange Inc., an arbitration organization, had ordered a shipping company’s subsidiary funded by the prefectural government to pay 160 million yen to a South Korean company following a dispute over the purchase of a ferry.

The Niigata Nippo published a series of articles holding the Niigata Prefectural Government responsible for the case.

In response, the prefectural government has dismissed the accusations saying, “The daily’s coverage is incorrect,” and repeatedly urged the newspaper to correct its reports.

The Niigata Nippo is set to release a statement to express its views on the case.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20160831/p2a/00m/0na/008000c

 

September 1, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment