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Tepco detects increase in temperature in ice wall in Fukushima

ice wall 2 sept 2016.jpgTokyo Electric Power : Plant operator detects increase in temperature in ice wall in Fukushima

Tokyo, Sept 2 (EFE).- Tepco Electric Power, or TEPCO, the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant has detected an increase in the temperature of some parts of the underground ice wall that could affect its further construction and the dismantling of the plant.

The temperature rise was caused by intense rainfall in the region where the plant is located due to the typhoons that have been affecting the area since mid-August, a spokesperson of the company told EFE Friday.

The temperature of the wall to the south of reactor No.4 has gone up from minus 5 degrees to 1.8 degrees, according to the measurements carried out by TEPCO on Thursday.

An increase in temperature from minus 1.5 degrees to 1.4 degrees has also been detected east of reactor No.3.

The company is injecting a chemical in both the walls to solidify them, reduce the flow of water and accelerate the freezing process and is discussing other options in case these measures prove ineffective, the spokesperson explained.

Temperatures in these sections are already higher than those in other parts of the ice wall before the storms. However, there are fears some sections of the wall could have thawed with the increase in underground water flow due to the rains.

The company said that this incident could affect the deadlines for the completion of the wall but the construction, which entered the second and second last phase in early June, will continue.

The purpose of the wall is to isolate the ground around the four reactors – affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami – to prevent water from natural aquifers flowing into them and coming into contact with the radioactive refrigerant and the contaminated water then finding its way into the Pacific Ocean.

This setback increases pressure on the company, that had barely made progress in bringing down the water still within the reactor basements and had said in July that the ice wall will not be 100 percent effective in blocking the groundwater, thus complicating efforts to dismantle the plant.

http://m.4-traders.com/TOKYO-ELECTRIC-POWER-COMP-6491247/news/Tokyo-Electric-Power-Plant-operator-detects-increase-in-temperature-in-ice-wall-in-Fukushima-22994362/

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

Fukushima could host 2020 events

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Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are working toward staging a baseball and softball game in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Fukushima Prefecture, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Baseball and softball were among the five sports approved last month by the International Olympic Committee to be added to the Tokyo Games program, and the 2020 organizers will look to get approval for the plan from the IOC executive board in December.

The organizers are working to present the idea to IOC president Thomas Bach in October when he visits Japan for a meeting.

Three baseball parks inside the prefecture — all previous hosts of NPB games — are on the shortlist, and organizers are likely to argue accessibility from Tokyo and the possibility of installing fixed seats in the outfield stands as to why the idea is feasible.

The main ballpark for the 2020 Games is set to be Yokohama Stadium, home of the Yokohama BayStars.

Former Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo reiterated on March 11 — the fifth anniversary of the disaster — that the prefecture could host some games in order to demonstrate the revitalization of the Tohoku region, most affected by the disaster.

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori met Yoshiro Mori, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president, on Wednesday to request his region be given the opportunity to host the two games in the baseball and softball tournaments’ first round.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2016/09/03/olympics/fukushima-host-2020-events/#.V8rqwa3KO-c

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

Tepco telling California 9th Circ. To Send Sailors’ $1B Fukushima Suit To Japan

TEPCO trying to block the hearing of this case in California under US law.

 

Watch recording for case: Lindsay Cooper v. Tokyo Electric Power Co., No. 15-56424

http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/media/view_video.php?pk_vid=0000010155


9th Circ. Told To Send Sailors’ $1B Fukushima Suit To Japan

Law360, Los Angeles (September 1, 2016, 5:47 PM ET) — Tokyo Electric Power Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Thursday to dismiss a $1 billion putative class action on behalf of 70,000 U.S. sailors allegedly exposed to radiation while responding to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, arguing the claims belong in Japan.

During oral arguments in Pasadena, California, Daniel Collins of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, representing Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., the owner of the Fukushima nuclear plant, urged a three-judge panel to reverse U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino’s refusal to dismiss the suit….

http://www.law360.com/articles/835597/9th-circ-told-to-send-sailors-1b-fukushima-suit-to-japan

 

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

VOX POPULI: A curse that lasts 100,000 years: buried nuclear waste

Homo sapiens sapiens, or anatomically modern humans, emerged on the African continent about 200,000 years ago. They started migrating to various parts of the globe around 60,000 years ago with some eventually reaching the Japanese archipelago.

The Paleolithic era came and went, and rice cultivation began in the Neolithic era.

I started thinking about these prehistoric times after a recent news report mentioned “100,000 years” in connection with radioactive waste that must be disposed of when nuclear reactors are dismantled.

It takes a mind-boggling number of years for nuclear waste, stored deep underground, to decrease in radioactivity to a level that is no longer a health hazard.

With respect to highly radioactive waste such as reactor control rods, the Nuclear Regulation Authority has just set its basic policy, which is that electric power companies will be responsible for the management of such waste for 300 to 400 years, and then the government will take over for the next 100,000 years.

Every precaution must be taken to prevent future humans from accidentally entering sites where the waste is buried and digging the ground. The potential effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on the stored waste also has to be considered.

In determining the extent of responsibility to be shouldered by utilities, it was agreed that it would not be realistic to expect them to manage the storage sites for tens of thousands of years to come.

According to “Hyakunen Tsuzuku Kigyo no Joken” (Conditions necessary for businesses to last 100 years) compiled by Teikoku Databank, a corporate credit research and database service company, there are some, but not many, Japanese companies that have remained in business for more than 400 years.

They include Sumitomo Metal and Mining Co., Yomeishu Seizo Co., and Matsuzakaya, which were founded before or during the Edo Period (1603-1867).

Are Japan’s electric power companies also destined to join their ranks?

But whether it’s 400 years or 100,000 years from now, nobody in our present generation can remain responsible for all those years. I shudder at this “ultrarealistic” reality.

Incidentally, Japan’s first nuclear reactor commenced commercial operation 50 years ago.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609020033.html

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Test fishing for flounder begins off Fukushima coast

Flounders surely vacuum well the radionuclides from the ocean floor, and the government-imposed limit of 100 becquerels per kg does no mean no contamination.

There is no such a thing as a low dose when it comes to internal radiation such as the one from ingested contaminated food.  Any radioactive contamination may cause harm.

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This flounder was caught on Sept. 2 off the coast of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, during the first test fishing for the species since the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Test fishing for flounder begins off Fukushima coast

IWAKI, Fukushima Prefecture–Fishermen here caught flounder for sales on Sept. 2 for the first time since the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Eleven boats equipped with dragnets left Hisanohama wharf in the morning, and they snared five of the bottom-dwelling flatfish, previously a specialty of Fukushima Prefecture.

It is a big step (for flounder fishing),” said Akira Egawa, 69, head of the Iwaki city fishery association. “We are going to recover one by one.”

On Aug. 25, 10 kinds of fish, including flounder, were added to the list for “test fishing” off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. These fish can be caught for the resumption of sales of “safe” fish.

In 2010, 734 tons of flounder were caught in Fukushima Prefecture, the third most in Japan.

The peak season for flounder fishing is around the end of October.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609020065.html

Japan authorizes commercial flounder ‘test-fishing’ off Fukushima

The sales of flounder caught in Fukushima Prefecture might soon resume, with fishermen already “test-fishing” for the first batches of the flatfish. The five-year-long halt in flounder fishing and sales was prompted by the deadly nuclear disaster.

On Friday fishermen caught flounder off the coast of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, during the first test fishing since the 2011 nuclear disaster, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reports. Flounder along with ten other kinds of fish was added to the list for “test-fishing” last week, meaning it is “safe” for sales.

As many as five flatfish were captured with the help of 11 boats equipped with dragnets.

It is a big step [for flounder fishing],” said Akira Egawa, head of the Iwaki city fishery association. “We are going to recover one by one.”

Following the nuclear disaster the government issued an outright ban on more than 35 kinds of fish including flounder, angler fish and rockfish which were said to contain high levels of radioactive substances.

The ban has had a huge effect on Fukushima’s fishing industry which has significantly gone down after 2011. Around 5,600 tons of fish were caught off Fukushima coast last year compared to about 38,600 tons before March, 2011.

After March 2011, 50 percent of the fish samples tested for radiation levels exceeded the government-imposed limit of 100 becquerels per kg. However, after April 2015, no fish exceeded that number, according to The Japan Times.

However, after April 2015, no fish exceeded that number, according to The Japan Times.

https://www.rt.com/news/358095-flounder-test-fishing-fukushima/

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

Tokyo Hopes To Lift No Go Zone Order In Fukushima In Next Five Years

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By the end of the 2021 fiscal year, the Japanese government intends to repeal an evacuation order on the remaining “no go zone” around the Fukushima no.1 nuclear plant, the site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.


Tokyo announced Wednesday that it aims to conduct infrastructure restoration and radiation clean ups in reconstruction bases built within the zone, which was highly contaminated when the plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), was shut down during a March 2011 tsunami and earthquake.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at a joint meeting of the Reconstruction Promotion Council and Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, where the proposal was adopted, said, “Based on the basic policy, we will embark on reconstruction work in the zone as soon as possible.” In June 2015 the government decided it would lift the ban on areas of Fukushima with lower contamination levels by March of 2017.


Headquarters also announced that the decontamination of Fukushima would be paid for with state funds. It was estimated in 2013 that cleanup would cost upwards of 2.5 trillion yen (about $24 billion), and the decontamination efforts would be financed with funds collected from selling state-owned shares of TEPCO.


Tokyo hopes to profit 2.5 trillion yen from selling the shares, but TEPCO stock would have to trade at about 1,050 yen for that to happen, and shares are currently valued at around 360 yen. After evacuation and some rearranging, Tokyo has been gradually lifting no-go zones restrictions in Fukushima since 2013.


53-year-old Toshiko Yokota, who was able to return to clean up her home in Naraha in 2015 said, “My friends are all in different places because of the nuclear accident, and the town doesn’t even look the same, but this is still my hometown and it really feels good to be back. I still feel uneasy about some things, like radiation levels and the lack of a medical facility,” she said. “In order to come back, I have to keep up my hope and stay healthy.”


According to Jiji Press, the public cost of decontamination and cleanup of the nuclear accident exceeded 4.2 trillion yen by the end of the 2015 fiscal year. Factoring in costs for reactor decommissioning, compensation payments to people and organizations affected by the accident and radioactive decontamination, the government spent about 33,000 yen per capita.

http://sputniknews.com/asia/20160902/1044873179/tokyo-lift-no-go-zone.html

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

Japan may invest $10 bln in Russian oil firm Rosneft – Nikkei

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Japan will propose a broad cooperation in the energy sector with Russia that could include a nearly $10 billion investment in Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Friday.

The report comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a two-day business conference beginning Friday in Vladivostok.

The two are expected to discuss closer cooperation in such areas as energy and technology, with Japan hoping to strengthen economic ties and create a breakthrough in a decades-long territorial dispute.

The Nikkei said the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is considering investing as much as 1 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) to buy 10 percent of Rosneft through the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp, or Jogmec.

In addition, Japan will consider joint surveys for oil and gas projects in Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. It will also seek technical cooperation in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster, the paper said.

METI was not immediately available for comment.

http://www.diligentia.net.in/japan-may-invest-10-bln-in-russian-oil-firm-rosneft-nikkei/

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

Steel in Troubled French Nuclear Reactor Used in 13 Japanese Reactors

Thirteen Japanese nuclear reactors were constructed with steel from the same company used in a French power plant that’s under scrutiny for anomalies found in the reactor vessel’s structure.

Six utilities used steel from Japan Casting & Forging Corp., they all said in separate statements on Friday. The steelmaker was identified by Japanese authorities last month as supplying steel to the Flamanville nuclear plant, developed by Electricite de France SA and Areva SA, where the French safety authority last year found weaker-than-expected steel.

Japan’s nuclear regulators asked utilities last month to examine reactor parts manufactured by the same companies as the Flamanville facility. Utilities must now evaluate whether their reactor pressure vessels meet Japan’s standards and report the results to the Nuclear Regulation Authority by Oct. 31.

The Japanese facilities affected include Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai No. 1 and 2 reactors, the company said Friday. The plant was restarted last year and is facing opposition from the region’s new governor, who has demanded they be temporarily shut for inspections.

Reactors that are currently operating don’t need to be shut down, Yoko Kobayashi, an official with the NRA’s planning division, said Friday. The affected utilities are now required to submit manufacturing reports and past evaluation results, she said.

Nuclear Challenge

The steel scrutiny is latest hurdle for nuclear power in Japan and the government’s goal of having it account for as much as 22 percent of its energy mix by 2030 in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Local court challenges have threatened reactor operations, and even those restarted under new post-Fukushima safety rules have faced a rocky road. Only three of the nation’s 42 operable reactors are online.

Parts manufactured by JCFC met rigorous standards requested by the utilities, and the company will provide support going forward, Seigo Otsubo, an official at the company, said Friday.

EDF and Areva are conducting additional tests to determine whether the anomalies are a safety issue. The two companies said in April that the submission of their report to French regulators about the Flamanville reactor has been delayed until year-end.

EDF has also determined that steam generator channel heads at 18 French reactors contain anomalies similar to those at Flamanville, Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, the safety regulator, said in June.

Japanese reactors that used steel from JCFC, according to statements from the companies:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-02/steel-in-troubled-french-nuclear-reactor-used-in-japanese-plants

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

30 Big City leaders join forces to make a stand on climate change action

climate SOSSadiq Khan and megacity mayors urge G20 climate change action, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/02/sadiq-khan-and-megacity-mayors-urge-g20-climate-change-action

30 mayors from cities including London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, New York, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro call for rapid ratification of Paris climate deal, Guardian, 2 Sept 16London Mayor Sadiq Khan has joined forces with city leaders from around the world to call on governments to take urgent action on climate change.

Ahead of a meeting of the G20 group of leading nations in Hangzhou, China, 30 mayors from cities including London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney, New York, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro called on national leaders to work with them to “build a low carbon, climate safe world”.

They welcomed government moves to secure the Paris Agreement, the world’s first comprehensive global deal to tackle climate change, in December last year, and efforts to ratify it as soon as possible so it could come into force rapidly.

But they warned “this is only the first step along the road towards our low carbon, climate safe future”.

In an open letter, the mayors from the C40 group of cities championing climate action said: “To limit the global temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020.

“Achieving such a rapid shift is probably one of the greatest political, economic and practical challenges faced by every national leader, but you do have great allies in this task: we, the mayors of the megacities of the world.”

They said they were already dealing with the consequences of climate change in their cities, battling floods to heatwaves.

But city leaders were also taking action such as banning the most polluting cars, rolling out fleets of electric buses and improving energy efficiency, which also had benefits for health, well-being and economic growth, they said.

“For the major cities of the world it is already clear that the faster we move to a low carbon economy, the greater will be the improvement in urban citizens’ standards of living, and the stronger and more sustained will be the economic development that makes that possible.”

The leaders have committed to setting out concrete plans for how they will deliver the greenhouse gas cuts in their cities needed to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change.

“We want our citizens, markets and other political leaders to know that we are serious about making the Paris Agreement a reality. We call on the heads of states from our respective nation states to do the same,” they said.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Harvey Wassermann on nuclear’s last stand in New York

Wasserman, HarveyNuclear’s Last Stand? New York’s Cuomo Rushes in to Save Dying Plants  Progressive.org,  September 2, 2016 Harvey Wasserman Andrew Cuomo is trying to ram through a complex backdoor bailout package worth up to $11 billion to keep at least four dangerously decrepit nuclear reactors operating.

To many proponents of safe energy, the move comes as a shock. Its outcome will have monumental consequences for nuclear power and the future of our energy supply.

For years, Governor Cuomo has made a public show of working to shut down two Entergy-owned reactors at Indian Point, thirty-five miles north of Manhattan. He and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have fought Entergy in court, trying to stop operations. They warn that the reactors are too dangerous to run so close to New York City, which cannot be evacuated in case of a major accident.  More than ten million people live within a fifty-mile radius of Indian Point, whose two operating reactors opened in the 1970s.

Entergy is now trying to get the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to extend the expired operating licenses for the two plants, Indian Point Two and Three. (Indian Point Unit One was shut in October 1974 due to its lack of an Emergency Core Cooling System).

Cuomo claims he still wants to close Indian Point Two and Three. Like most aging reactors, they have been continually plagued with leaks, mechanical failures, structural collapse, and unplanned shutdowns. Recent revelations of major problems with critical bolts within Indian Point’s core structure, and tritium leaks into the broader environment, have deepened public opposition.

The national and local groups fighting to shut Indian Point, some for decades, include Riverkeepers, Clearwater, the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Beyond Nuclear, Friends of the Earth, and many more.

But now Cuomo wants to earmark more than $7 billion in public money, for starters, to keep four upstate nuclear reactors on line. One is the Ginna reactor, near Rochester; the other three—FitzPatrick, Nine Mile Point One, and Nine Mile Point Two—occupy a single site on Lake Ontario. Fitzpatrick is owned by Entergy. The rest are owned by Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power owner/operator.

All four reactors are in various stages of advanced deterioration and were slated for permanent closure. Without massive public subsidies, none can compete with natural gas or with wind and solar, which are rapidly dropping in price.

Entergy announced last fall that economic factors would force it to shut Fitzpatrick in January 2017. Exelon told the New York Public Service Commission that it would probably shut Nine Mile 1 and Ginna next year as well.

Environmentalists hailed the announcements. The aging U.S. fleet now involves about 100 reactors, down from a maximum of about 130, and 900 fewer than the 1,000 Richard Nixon predicted in 1974. Many of them, like Ginna, are well over forty years old. Many are known to be leaking various radioactive substances, most commonly tritium, as at Indian Point. Major leaks have also recently been revealed at FitzPatrick. Structural problems like Indian Point’s missing bolts and a crumbling shield building at Ohio’s Davis-Besse are rampant.

Nonetheless, in a complex twelve-year package ostensibly meant to promote clean energy, Cuomo’s PSC has passed a huge subsidy plan meant keep the four upstate reactors going.

The deal’s arcane terms involve a transfer of Fitzpatrick from Entergy to Exelon.  The handouts from the public to the nuclear industry would be spread over more than a decade. Ironically, they could, under certain circumstances, also be used to keep open the two reactors at Indian Point.

Cuomo has made much of “saving” some 2,000 reactor jobs jobs in a depressed region where unemployment is rampant. But Stanford economist Mark Jacobson has shown that the billions spent to keep the reactors open could create tens of thousands of jobs throughout the state if spent on pursuing wind and solar energy and increased efficiency. Those sources could provide New York with far more energy at a much cheaper rate, without the long-term safety, ecological, and public health problems caused by the aging reactors………

Nuke operators throughout the United States are watching to see if New York’s proposed subsidies will keep set a precedent for states to jump in and keep money-losing reactors operating as they crumble. Exelon has lost a fight for billions in Illinois. Environmental, consumer, and even competing utilities are fighting huge bailout demands from FirstEnergy for its Davis-Besse reactor near Toledo.

At the turn of the twenty-first century, the industry fought for deregulation, arguing that its reactors would do well in a “free market economy.” But in the process it demanded (and got) about $100 billion in public handouts for “stranded costs” that it argued were unfairly imposed on its massively inefficient technology.

Now that the reactors are failing even after that huge cash infusion, the industry wants another round of huge subsidies…….

The reaction among New York anti-nuke groups to Cuomo’s handout has been fierce. The battle heads back to the PSC in the form of public comment, and then into the courts. Opponents are buoyed by the growing success of the state’s solar industry. As the interests tied to Solartopian technologies expand, their opposition to bailouts like this escalates.

It’s unclear how the battle over nuclear power in New York will be resolved. “The fight,” promises Tim Judson of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, “is far from over.”

Harvey Wasserman, a co-founder of the global “No Nukes” movement, has been writing forThe Progressive since 1967. He is author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, and editswww.nukefree.orghttp://www.progressive.org/news/2016/09/188931/nuclear%E2%80%99s-last-stand-new-york%E2%80%99s-cuomo-rushes-save-dying-plants

September 3, 2016 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Polarisation on climate change – now worse than ever in America

global warming has joined God, guns, gays, and abortion as core elements of Republican identity, and this will be hard to change.

Americans Now More Politically Polarized On Climate ChangeThan Ever Before, Analysis cartoon-Tom-Toro-Finds http://www.skepticalscience.com/americans-more-polarized-on-climate-change.html  

American voters and politicians are now more polarized than ever before across all aspects of climate change  — from the cause, to the science and the impacts — a major new analysis has found.

Campaigns funded by vested fossil fuel interests and pushed by a network of ideological think tanks, many linked to the oil billionaire Koch brothers, have helped to widen the gap, pushing Republican politicians, elites and voters away from action ongreenhouse gas emissions.

Tracking Gallup opinion poll surveys going back to 2001 and congress voting patterns from 1970 onwards, the analysis authors warn that as the November election approaches, Americans are faced with a stark political choice.

The analysis is published in the respected journal Environment and comes from sociologists Associate Professor Aaron McCright of Michigan State University, Professor Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University, and PhD researcher Jerrod Yarosh also at Oklahoma.

The researchers found the widest gaps between Democrats and Republicans come when they are asked about the causes of climate change and if the media exaggerates the seriousness of the issue.

While virtually all climate scientists and the world’s leading scientific academies have long agreed that the burning of fossil fuels is causing climate change, only about half Republicans accept the science.

A Republican controlled Congress, the article says, would be a “huge step backward in our nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” and could also undermine international cooperation, especially if Republican nominee Donald Trump won the Presidency.

“Whether, and how, individual Americans vote this November may well be the most consequential climate-related decision most of them will have ever taken,” the authors conclude.

Stark Choices

Dunlap told DeSmog the choice facing US voters was glaring.

“Looking back, Gore versus Bush was stark, although Bush hid his denial for a bit.  But now the partisan differences on climate change are out in the open, and the choices from the top down are stark.”

The Koch brothers had led a network of “conservative mega-donors” that had created a “shadow GOP” that had managed to reduce the influence of the Republican National Committee, the analysis argues.

These efforts, the article explains, have blocked legislation, limited international negotiations and made rejection of climate science  “normative” among Republican elites and activists.

Widening Gaps

Dunlap, McCright and Yarosh looked at how elected Democrats and Republicans had voted on environment and climate bills in both houses of Congress since 1970, using data from the League of Conservation Voters.  The researchers found:

What was once a modest tendency for Congressional Republicans to be less pro-environmental than their Democratic counterparts has become a chasm—with Republicans taking near-unanimous anti-environmental stances on relevant legislation in recent years, especially 2015.

Since 2001 polling company Gallup has been asking US voters for their views on aspects of climate change, such as if they think it’s happening, if it’s caused by humans and if they are concerned about it.

In 2001, 53 percent of Republican voters agreed that global warming was caused by humans, compared with 70 percent of Democrats — a gap of 17 percentage points. But by 2016, this gap had blown out to 41 percentage points, with only 43 percent of Republican voters accepting climate change is human-caused.

These “partisan gaps” had widened across all areas since 2008, except when voters were asked if they thought global warming had already started, where the gap remained at 34 percentage points.

Bridging the Gap?

Alongside the analysis, the authors look at various attempts to bring Republicans closer to accepting the realities of climate change, such as changing communication strategies. The writers claim:

Does any persuasive framing strategy hold special promise for penetrating Republicans’ partisan/ideological identities? The evidence so far gives little basis for optimism.

The sociologists say one major reason why attempts to better communicate the realities of climate change to conservatives have failed is down to “motivated cognition” — described as the tendency for people to only accept information that reinforces their existing political beliefs and their views on the world.

Even when Republicans experience extreme weather events, there was little evidence that this was enough for those voters to change their views. Dunlap told DeSmog:

“I fear polarization will be difficult to overcome because Republican reluctance to accept the reality and seriousness of human-caused climate change is in a self-reinforcing loop.

There are top-down cues from Republican political elites and their supporters from conservative think tanks to conservative media — especially the Murdoch media— that influence voters, as well as bottom-up pressure from party activists such as Tea Party supporters who act as ‘enforcers’ of party principles, especially in primary elections to select Republican candidates.

The result is that global warming has joined God, guns, gays, and abortion as core elements of Republican identity, and this will be hard to change.”

Since 2001 polling company Gallup has been asking US voters for their views on aspects of climate change, such as if they think it’s happening, if it’s caused by humans and if they are concerned about it.

In 2001, 53 percent of Republican voters agreed that global warming was caused by humans, compared with 70 percent of Democrats — a gap of 17 percentage points. But by 2016, this gap had blown out to 41 percentage points, with only 43 percent of Republican voters accepting climate change is human-caused.

These “partisan gaps” had widened across all areas since 2008, except when voters were asked if they thought global warming had already started, where the gap remained at 34 percentage points.

Bridging the Gap?

Alongside the analysis, the authors look at various attempts to bring Republicans closer to accepting the realities of climate change, such as changing communication strategies. The writers claim:

Does any persuasive framing strategy hold special promise for penetrating Republicans’ partisan/ideological identities? The evidence so far gives little basis for optimism.

The sociologists say one major reason why attempts to better communicate the realities of climate change to conservatives have failed is down to “motivated cognition” — described as the tendency for people to only accept information that reinforces their existing political beliefs and their views on the world.

Even when Republicans experience extreme weather events, there was little evidence that this was enough for those voters to change their views. Dunlap told DeSmog:

“I fear polarization will be difficult to overcome because Republican reluctance to accept the reality and seriousness of human-caused climate change is in a self-reinforcing loop.

There are top-down cues from Republican political elites and their supporters from conservative think tanks to conservative media — especially the Murdoch media— that influence voters, as well as bottom-up pressure from party activists such as Tea Party supporters who act as ‘enforcers’ of party principles, especially in primary elections to select Republican candidates.

The result is that global warming has joined God, guns, gays, and abortion as core elements of Republican identity, and this will be hard to change.”

September 3, 2016 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Great danger in air transport of nuclear wastes: anger in Aberdeen

flag-UKFury over “dangerous” nuclear flights from the Highlands to US, Aberdeen Press and Journal 2 September 2016 by Iain Ramage Road around Wick Airport will be regularly shut over the next 18 months so nuclear waste can be taken be flown to the US. Plans to transport highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Dounreay in Caithness to the US emerged late last year.

Airplane danger

Politicians and activists have condemned the move, warning that flying the material is excessively dangerous.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has remained silent on the issue, but an £18million upgrade of the airport was recently carried out to make it suitable for larger planes.

And, now Highland Council has published a road closure order which reveals minor routes around the airport will be closed over the coming months. The closures could happen at any time from today, and will last up to five hours each time.

A spokeswoman at Dounreay said she could neither confirm nor deny that nuclear waste from the redundant power station would be flown from Wick.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed earlier this year, after talks with President Obama, that it was the UK’s intention to transport uranium from Dounreay to the South Carolina. It will be swapped for other forms of uranium to be shipped to Europe which, it is believed, will be used in producing medical isotopes.

Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross SNP MP Paul Monaghan has described the deal to transport the waste by plane “morally reprehensible”.  And Highlands and Islands Green MSP John Finnie last night said many people would be surprised to find out about the road closures – but that the disruption was nothing compared to the risks involved with flying the waste.

“Many will be astonished that it is considered appropriate to move, let alone fly, this waste material from Dounreay,” he said. “The local disruption is nothing compared to the risks any transit poses. This waste should be retained at Dounreay.”

The council’s local area leader Gillian Coghill said: “We were not briefed about this, which is absolutely shocking……….

Independent nuclear consultant John Large raised concerns about the transport of the material. He said if there was an accident it would involve an extremely vulnerable and potentially radiologically significant material. “The radiological consequences of even a relatively small amount of this material would be very serious,” he said.

“In terms of nuclear safety, the International Atomic Energy Agency recognises that the transportation of radioactive materials is the one at most risk and is most prone and vulnerable to terrorist attack.

“The risk in transport by aircraft is the fuel being engulfed in fire, the packages breaking down and the fuel igniting.”

Mr Large added that it was incumbent on Dounreay to provide sufficient information for the public to come to an informed judgement about the move. “It doesn’t matter whether the material is for civil or military stock, it presents the same risk,” he said. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1014760/fury-over-nuclear-flights/

September 3, 2016 Posted by | safety, UK | 1 Comment

Hitachi sued for $1 billion Over Hitachi Fukushima Cleanup Contracts

legal action1 Billion USD Lawsuit Over Hitachi Fukushima Cleanup Contracts http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=15716  September 1st, 2016 Purolite company based in the US has sued Hitachi for 1 billion USD in a US court over theft of intellectual property.The suit alleges that Hitachi signed on to a joint venture to develop contaminated water systems for Fukushima Daiichi back in 2011 or 2012. Once Hitachi had the proprietary technical information from Purolite they signed on to work on the project with AVANtech, also a US company, according to the allegation in the suit.

Purolite claims they have evidence that AVANtech and Hitachi conspired to do the work but cut Purolite out of the project. The high dollar amount in the lawsuit was based on the assumption that Hitachi would see significant income out of the water decontamination contracts they won for Fukushima Daiichi. Purolite has also filed suit in a court in Japan related to this issue.

With all of the high dollar contracts related to Fukushima Daiichi and the large number of joint projects this may not be the only one in the future.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016, Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Typhoons have damaged Ice Wall at Fukushima Daiichi

ice-wall-FukushimaIce Wall at Fukushima Daiichi damaged by recent typhoons in Japan http://enformable.com/2016/09/ice-wall-fukushima-daiichi-damaged-recent-typhoons-japan/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has announced that the “ice wall” (formally known as the “Land-Side Impermeable Wall”) under construction at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has been critically affected by rainfall from recent typhoons that have melted parts of the ice structure, allowing new pathways for highly contaminated water to leak from the basements of the reactor buildings.

The “ice wall” is an underground wall of frozen dirt 100 feet deep and nearly a mile long designed by the utility to divert groundwater from entering the reactor buildings and mixing with the contaminated water therein.  The ice wall was built by installing 100 foot-long pipes into the ground at three-foot intervals and filling them with a supercooled brine solution.  The Japanese utility has had to admit that the $335 million wall of frozen soil and water is not working as designed.
TEPCO announced that contaminated water was able to escape from the reactor buildings through the gaps in the ice wall that had melted from the rainfall and likely reached the Pacific Ocean.

Tokyo Electric will attempt to repair the melted portions of the ice wall by adding additional refrigerant into the underground pipes.

TEPCO has had to repeatedly address issues with the ice wall project, including an announcement in the spring of 2016 that one of the sections had not yet fully frozen.

Experts have warned that the ice wall, being electrically powered, is just as susceptible to damage from natural disasters as the nuclear power plant itself.

“The plan to block groundwater with a frozen wall of earth is failing. They need to come up with another solution, even if they keep going forward with the plant,” said Yoshinori Kitsutaka, a professor of engineering at Tokyo Metropolitan University.

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | 1 Comment

Talen Energy abandons proposed Bell Bend nuclear power plant

Enformable, 1 Sept 16 , Talen Energy, the company that owns the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania, has informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it sees no “viable path” forward and is abandoning its application to construct a new nuclear power plant next to the Susquehanna facility…….. http://enformable.com/2016/09/talen-energy-abandons-proposed-bell-bend-nuclear-power-plant/

September 3, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment